Bittersweet :: Woodlawn Drive

Monday, October 28, 2013

This weekend we had an all hands on deck work party to give Tony a little boost. He's been busting his butt trying to squeeze out every last drop of the day to ready our little house for rent. What he's been able to accomplish is amazing, but the man can only do so much after work, without seeing his family for days on end.
I've tried to remain very neutral about this house since purchasing our new house, because just as it's turning out to be, it's a little catch 22. It's like a piece of static lint. You keep picking it off and yet there it is, just clinging to you. I didn't want to be sad saying goodbye, because it wasn't rented and it wasn't sold, and here she now sits, our problem.

That said, being in the rooms of the house that took us from newlyweds to a rambunctious family of five, was extremely bittersweet. At every turn I wanted to see the face of one of my children. It's a weird sort of mourning to be in your first house, removed of your belongings and your family.

We painted the walls the same color as we did the main floor bathroom and I love it. I love it so much I wish we'd done it two years ago. Would a can of paint have made me more content in this house? I have so many blog posts loathing this house, filled with way too many hopes for a house with more space. And yet . . .

Again, it's just a very odd spot to be in. Call it buyers remorse, hindsight 20/20 or just a little scared to see how the future plays out, but I miss this house. We feel like we are moving in the direction God wants us. We knew how big of a change it would be to remove ourselves from the Cities, making outer edge suburbs a destination. It's just such a huge difference.

Primarily though, I miss feeling like a family. As I've said, Tony is spending every spare second at the house, finishing the basement and everything else he can think of to get us a renter. Since Oct 11th, we've spent my birthday together & the night we did our family photos [after which Tony went to the house] . . . and that's the extent of our family time, save for 30 min to an hour here or there.

I hate to be second guessing, as I know it will only be a matter of time to make our new house feel like our home, but my heart aches for it right now.

A few have questioned the details, so I'd love to share the listing. Please feel free to circulate, it'd help for sure! Mounds View house listing.

Miriam: Six Months

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Miri, you continue to be the worlds sweetest little love. You bless so many with your dimpled smile and dancing eyes!

The verdict is still out who you most resemble. There are so many votes divided between me, your Grandma Dawn and your Grandma Julie.

Your brothers continue to adore you to pieces.

Did I stress adore enough?

While you're a little bit of a Daddy's girl.

I can't believe it's already been a half a year since I was holding you in the hospital.
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A half a year.

This is Thirty

Monday, October 21, 2013

 and secretly, I think I like it.

Yesterday was full of laughter, stress, tears, happy feet, chocolate, coffee, friends, family, wine, candle lights on the porch and a very content heart. It wasn't perfect. It started way too early and escalated way too quickly, but our little family life is pretty much amazing.

As I approached my 30th birthday, I grew apprehensive and a little, almost, offended [if that even makes sense] I think, to be done with my 20's. I can't pinpoint why, but in the last week or so before my birthday, my feelings towards the year softened. As a friend wrote on my instagram, it's the end of the decade of my babies, but also the years that I found love, married and established a career. I don't know what the next decade looks like, but I know it has a pretty firm foundation of awesome to improve upon.

The Fontaine's Are Home

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On March 30, 2007, Tony and I, short of our first anniversary, moved into a 1120 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 1 bath 1 1/2 story house. Our little Mounds View house, with it's almost one acre yard, saw 1 dog, three cats, 4 pregnancies and welcomed three precious little ones home.

But, something remarkable happened over the weekend.

On Oct 11, 2013, Tony and I, just past 7 years of marriage, moved our little family several miles from all the conveniences of our centrally located home and gained, this.
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I can't lie and say that it's been without worry or downright fear. Our consistent prayer throughout the process was that regardless of how badly we wanted to be here, that we knew it wouldn't be worth it if God wasn't with us.

There were so many little things that led to this purchase though, that while we haven't worked all the kinks out yet, we feel confident that He intended this home for us.

It all started after searching for homes to rent. We knew that our time in our Mounds View home was dwindling and assumed that after 4 years of paying down debt, that the wisest thing for us to do would be to rent our house to rent a larger home. Unfortunately we couldn't find anything reasonable. We were working with Tony's cousin, who is a realtor, and asked that he put together a list of homes. The first day we received the list, our home was on it.

The list of must haves for a home to be considered was pretty short on my end, but they were extremely specific.
1). An abundance of natural light, preferably via North to South orientation.
2). A porch
3). At least 4 bedrooms.

This home had all of my hoped for must haves, so Tony and I contacted Brian to see when we could go see it. Brian said sure thing, but that it'd have to wait until he returned home from a two-week trip. While Tony and I hadn't been in the buying market for long, our friends have been, and in hearing that we'd have to hold for two weeks, we knew the house would be as good as gone. So, we asked if we could see it that night. I already had a wedding consult scheduled, so Tony picked up the kids and met Brian there ahead of me.

Let me tell you friends, do not ever, ever, go house shopping with your kids in tow. Clearly, this is common sense, but I will say, my advice isn't stemming from the resulting disobedience or distraction . . . it was because as soon as I set foot in the house, I was bowled over by an undeniable sense that I.was.home.

The boys were giddy as they ran and jumped and climbed and the sounds filled the house to the brim with such joy as I walked through each sun soaked room.

I cried at least three times.

The asking price was more than what we'd been pre-approved for and we found out that they were in negotiations with someone else. After talking it over and praying about it, we knew that we had to offer the extent of our pre-approval. We figured it was just to feel good about giving it our best shot. So that instead of looking back and wishing for something we didn't even try for, we could say that it just couldn't have worked out.

Except, the very next day, our bank owned home [so we'd been prepared to wait at least a week] accepted our offer.

We were stunned.

Our Mounds View house wasn't in any condition to rent, I was just coming up on busy season and it didn't make any sense at all and yet, we knew God had set the ball in motion.

And He continued it's trajectory, until we ended up here, where the Fontaine's are home, in a beautiful 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom, modified split, with open floor plan & three car garage.
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ps :: We still don't have a renter for our Mounds View house, so prayers are definitely appreciated.
pps :: I have a dishwasher!
ppps :: More pictures will come when there aren't boxes everywhere. I had 13 sessions in the midst of moving, so I was a bad blogger and didn't take any prior to moving in.
pppps :: Tony and I have yet to get a picture in front of our house with a Sold sign! They didn't even put one up on our sign and then took the whole thing down.

Surprise Birthday Party!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I was born in 1983.
In my favorite season, fall.
October actually.
And to be specific on the 20th.

All this to say, I'm turning 30 on Sunday.

The big 3-0.

The transition was made all the easier by wonderful husband though! Tony planned and pulled off my first surprise birthday party, by hosting it a few weeks early! Turns out, when you start planning for something 6 months in advance, things can turn out pretty well!

First my Mom nonchalantly asked if we wanted to join them for dinner on a random Friday night. I wasn't sure whether that would work for Tony or I, as business has been booming and Tony had so much to do around the house, to prep it for rental.

My Mom didn't push too hard, but followed up again and I told her I still hadn't talked with Tony. Finally, one night after Tony picked the kids up from my Moms, he mentioned that's she'd asked about dinner and that he thought it was a good idea.

And that about sums it up.

I was completely non-the-wiser, but thought my Mom was a little stressed about Dusty facing some sort of car issue that she wouldn't elaborate on when I came to pick up the kids the night of the party. Turns out, the issue was that I was there, while Dusty was trying to come home with a car full of balloons!

I hadn't had a chance to shower before leaving for work that day and practically wore the only skirt and shirt I could find that went together, but I spruced up a bit before we left. Tony confided in me just yesterday that he was glad to see that I took just a few spare moments to do it! Hah!

We were on time, for once, and walked in to a hostess who after we were both searching the books for our party, all of the sudden said "Oh, yes! Over here." Turns out, Tony had been motioning to her that we were with the party! We started walking towards the back, where I'd identified a group of people as soon as we walked in . . . not knowing they were my people!

It still seems completely surreal and I'm sure I had the lamest reaction, as I sloooowly processed that they were all here for me!

Tony did such a great job and I felt incredibly loved to have family, church friends, old friends, college friends and high school friends all jumbled together.

Three Things

Thursday, October 3, 2013

To be completely honest, I'm starting this post with only two things identified to share, but two things is hardly a list, so fingers crossed I come up with one more!

Three Things I'm Loving
1). A few weeks ago, I was gearing up for my only double wedding of the season [with two amazing brides] and you'd have thought I was prepping for the championship game. I game planned. I psyched myself up. I prayed, a lot. And I asked my friends and family to pray with me as well.

Fully owning that it wasn't exactly spiritually uplifting, Bethany text me the link to listen to Roar, which I'd never listened to, and I was hooked. It was precisely the song I needed on repeat. And, I've listened to it every wedding day since.

2). Love Does by Bob Goff. Gina was pretty much obsessed with the Biblical truths in this book last year and for whatever reason, I missed the train and chose to not read it at that time. Through the randomness that happens on IG my friend Katie suggested that I read The Emotionally Healthy Woman, but it wasn't available through kindle. In the right mind to read, Love Does popped into my head as an option, and my word. It has just been blowing me away. Read it my friends, just read it.
3). Next year we will absolutely, positively be taking a vacation, with all the kids. Any thoughts on a destination within driving distance of the Twin Cities? The carwash will not suffice next year.

If you miss me, because clearly there isn't enough stuff in the internets, remember you can follow on Instagram or my photography page!

One Year Difference

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oct 1, 2012.

Oct 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes! An absolutely crazy, whirlwind, full of love difference.

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