Monday, May 30, 2011


I wish I could come up with a catchy title for what it's like to get ready to be a wife, pack up a rental house, move into a new house, unpack, spruce up and paint the new home, all while trying to find a new job. Preparing is about as pithy a word as I could come up with. :)

I cannot say enough how grateful I am for the wonderful family I have and am acquiring. My stepdad and little sister came down to get a dog pen and helped me pack; the Atkins crew (my future in-laws, grandfather-in-law and brother-in-law) along with Josh came with their vans and trailers and trucks and helped me bid farewell to the shack of a rental house I have survived in the past 2 years. It was definitely bittersweet. A lot of awesome memories were made in that house, even if it was probably a miracle it didn't burn to the ground with its outdated electrical panels and lack of insulation. My dad and brother bravely tackled one last time the jungle of a yard that had developed since I broke the lawnmower... again.

So here I am now, permanently established and surrounded by boxes!! Thank goodness teachers get the summer off, because it's probably going to take that long to get all this stuff unpacked; especially since in 19 days another person will have become permanently established in this same residence- and he's bringing all of his stuff too!

Okay, so we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I'm going to leave you with some 'before' and kind of 'in the process' pictures of the house. We are so excited to be living here and making our home together in this place!!

D-day, as it's affectionately been dubbed, is scary close- but at the same time feels forever away. :)

This is Alvin. He hangs out on the front stoop every day.

Kitchen- you can see the 'before' color and the 1st experimental coat of "Gleeful Green" :)

Dining area. It will be two toned with chair railing. Don't mind the boxes!

You're darn tootin' cookin' makes you good lookin'! Just ask my hubby-to-be!

 The "cadaver green" (according to me) hallway. Soon to be 'Stone Harbor' (the living room color).

Living room- before

Living room- in progress. 'Stone Harbor' is thankfully covering up the Crayola's white-person-peach-crayon wall color the people before us had throughout the house. Eh. To each his own!

Our newest home addition- blueberry bushes!! Thanks JoAnn!!! Now to keep them alive...

Life is very exciting right now; in good ways and tough ways. I was joking with some soon-to-be relatives and told them I am SO ready for my life to be boring and normal!! In some aspects, I definitely am. In others, I'm enjoying the ride and looking forward to the last few legs of this amazing race.

Have a great evening everyone and more to come soon!! Maybe even a few wedding sneak peeks! ;)


Thursday, May 19, 2011


If you have kept up with me lately, you may have noticed I have gone from an incredibly joyful and happy person to someone jaded and embittered by some very discouraging circumstances.

Basically, due to reasons that even I am still unclear about, my principal feels my skills in the area of planning and using assessments to guide my instruction are deficient enough that I have not been offered a job again next year.  My skills in the classroom have no weakness at all and I am a very strong teacher. Yeah, something about that is just not right.

This news has been incredibly upsetting for me. I'm supposed to be having the most exciting, joyful time of my life right now as I prepare to be a wife and spend time with Josh fixing up "our" new home! However, I find myself emotionally unstable as I consistently put on my bravest face, fix my smile, and go into my classroom each day, knowing they are numbered, and give my all to those precious faces that I spend so much time with each day. It's hard. It is so hard.


I found a song the other day. The lyrics of this song brought me to my knees, sobbing. After a particularly tough day today, I heard it on my way home and can't help but to share it with everyone. Please have a listen, if for no other reason than just to satisfy your curiosity. It's powerful.

I would appreciate your prayers- to cling to truth rather than my emotions and that I pay attention as God reveals the next steps. Josh is behind me 100% and we are hand in hand, clinging to our Savior.

As He leads, we follow.

God bless, everyone! Happy Friday Eve!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1 Month to Go!

When Josh first proposed to me, I never thought the day where I would say "Only 1 month to go!" would EVER get here. It goes without saying that things are starting to get frantic in the almost-Atkins household. :) We closed on our house on May 2nd, and ever since then it has been full steam ahead to prepare for the beginning of our life together as husband and wife.

Whew. Those are two very mature words. Husband; wife. I can't say (and I don't know that he would either) we would consider ourselves in any position to sound so mature. 'This is my husband'. 'Why, let me introduce you to my wife'. I feel like I should have an apron on and he should be smoking a cigar or something. Instead we bicker and snap and find ourselves 10 seconds later making goo goo eyes wondering how we got so lucky to find each other. Hahaha. Boy, what are we getting ourselves into? I'll tell you what I do know:

1) Life is hard. Incredibly. You are bound to be dealt hard times, be it now or later. We happen to be dealing with a lot of them. Right now, at one time. I have come to terms with this; well, in between my emotional breakdowns at least. :)

2) God is good. Incredibly. Ha. Yes, despite life handing us some very sour lemons, we both understand (and Josh is patient enough to constantly remind me) that God is in control. He has not let us down yet, nor will He ever. With God all things are possible, not easy. I totally stole that off of a cheesy church sign.

3) We love each other like crazy. Sure, we fuss regularly enough that I'm sure everyone in any Walmart we've ever been in together thinks we've been married a while, but when it comes down to it we both agree we'd rather argue with each other than even think of spending time with anyone else. True love, baby!

Despite the job hunting on my part (while still teaching in a place that has made it clear I am not wanted), house fixing (thank the Lord He spared us our relationship and we finally decided on paint colors!), me moving across counties, him packing to move when we get married, planning a wedding (no explanation needed), balancing our small finances, training our new puppy, and spending oodles of time trying to actually figure out what in the world we are doing, what we have is very special.

I have had a very hard time getting excited about the wedding in the midst of the raging turmoil that is my life right now, but I am learning to hold to truth in times of doubt and despair. The truth I know is this: If God brings you to it, He'll pull you through it. (That may or may not have come off of another church sign) :) .

In 31 days my last name will change. I will be starting fresh, starting new and feeling so favored by God. I get to start this great journey with an incredible man after God's own Heart.

"And we know that God works together for the good of those who love Him, those called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28