The clock in the kitchen read 11:45 p.m. Friday night. I went up the stairs, brushed my teeth, put on my pajamas, kissed my husband goodnight and walked to the other end of the hallway. The light in my 7-year-old niece's room indicated that she had tried her hardest to stay awake for me- even though I told her not to. I moved the purple unicorn pillow pet and slid into the bed. An hour passed and I woke up to rustling on her side of the bed. “Hi Anslee,” I said. She replied, “Hi Aunt Emmy Ann. Why didn’t you wake me up? What about the milk and cookies?” I quickly snuck downstairs to gather the midnight snack I had promised. The next hour consisted of lighthearted chatter about classmates and birthday parties. Looking back I’m so glad I crossed my heart and promised my niece that we would have a slumber party with a midnight snack. Through my exhaustion, I found such a refreshing glimpse into the spirit of an 7-year-old girl.
Can you imagine if we all had this genuine excitement for life and relationships?
I didn’t have to dig too deep to find the inner child the next day. I was thrilled to be moving into our new apartment in the heart of Sugar Land, TX. YEP...we did it!We're not homeless anymore! We managed a six month commitment to a one bedroom apartment and we’re loving it! We’re living the simple life, frill free. During our last trip to Mobile we grabbed our mattress, two tables, a few chairs, an old bookshelf, an old clunky TV and two bar stools. I’m convinced that it is only by God’s grace we had access to these things and the box labeled "bedding and towels." We almost had everything we needed!
After a shopping spree at the Dollar Tree, a trip to Home Goods, and a miserable hour in Wal-Mart, we were set! We now had a coffee maker (truly the only main essential), one pot, one skillet, one mixing bowl, the best knives Dollar Tree has to offer, plenty of red solo cups and a set of four gorgeous plastic plates. WAHOOO!!!
Yesterday was the first sunny day in our new apartment. I laced up my running shoes, threw on my headphones and I was out the door- ready to check out the surroundings. During my jog I couldn’t help but think about Anslee and how happy I am when I follow my child like intuition. Some favorites include- spending time outside on a sunny day, singing at the top of my lungs in the car, embracing my curiosity, laughing til my stomach hurts, and of course a late night snack of milk and cookies. If I ever become too cool or too grown for these things, you have my permission to smack me.
Quick flasback to my childhood-
I’m also reliving old childhood memories that I had no intention of revisiting.
Example One: Watching TV on the floor. This was a choice as a child. Now I find myself sitting on the floor in front of the TV because I have no other option.
Example Two: You’d think I had fallen down a flight of stairs with all the bruises and scrapes currently taking over my body. Did I all of a sudden become clumsy? I think I'll just blame it on the new confined territory.
Example Three: Sharing a tight space. Surely I had paid my dues by sharing a bedroom with my sister as a child? Guess not. Here’s hoping we don't go nuts in this space we call our home...and office.
These past few days have brought back fun memories all the while creating new ones. I’ve taken a fresh outlook on life and rediscovered the 7 year-old-girl within. May we take time to relish the small delights that come with each day just as a child would without even noticing. And if you ever feel that you’ve lost the ability to do this, cross your heart and promise me that you will go straight to the basics: a midnight date with milk and cookies.
The 7 year old Emily Ann
P.S. Here are a few more photos from the past few days...
This is where my child like curiosity led me yesterday... I didn't stick around too long.
Here we are on a hunt to find a comfy seat in our baby living room... I am sad to report that we're still seaching.
Decisions- they are a huge part of our lives. No….. I take that back. Decisions are more than that- Decisions create our lives. After making several major decisions at the end of 2011 one still remains. We’ve reached a remarkable 70+ days of homelessness and we just cannot avoid commitment to a living situation any longer.
We knew this point would inevitably be upon us- but the signs could not have been any clearer these past two weeks. I’ve combined a list of 20 homelessness “symptoms” based on our experiences these past few weeks.
You might be homeless if….
For the past few months, we have somehow found this unexplainable safety in avoiding commitment. Now we are ready and excited to get into a place of our own (even if it is half the size of our old town home!) Major decisions are now upon us and in the works. I look forward to sharing some of them with you in the near future!
The beginning of this journey was easy, but what a wild ride it has become! The most important lesson we’ve learned is DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. We have to keep our eye on the “big rocks” and if we hit a bump we must maintain speed and focus. We have a choice each day on how we will spend our time. We decided in the beginning not to get caught up in small details, but to keep pushing forward with big decisions and big steps. That’s not to say that we have not had to remind each other of that time to time. Two heads are truly better than one!
And now, a few photo highlights.
An awesome morning I had at the Grand Hotel watching a storm roll in drinking coffee and catching up with life on the iPad. (Thanks Mrs. Lynn and Dr. Crawford for inviting us down during the dental convention!)
This is a photo of my car throwing up because it is so full.
Happy Birthday to me!!! Yep. I got a trailer on my birthday. My poor Ford Edge just didn't know what to think after pulling this thing from Ozark to Fairhope.
John and I attended a Masquerade Party during Mardi Gras in Mobile!
Watching the parade with the girls!
This would be the "team building" exercise I referred to earlier. AKA anxiety in 10 X 20 storage unit.
John and I share in an array of emotions, but the top of our list is excitement, anticipation and a hunger to see this thing through. I am grateful for your continual prayers and support. As John would say, “we’re on the one yard line now.” We must keep pushing forward, working and hoping for the best.