Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Extreme Home Makeover

After months of neglecting our yard, Adam and I decided we needed to do some serious work on our beds to improve our curb appeal. We have watched all sorts of weeds spring up over the past few months, and recently figured out that the two large "bushes" in the front were actually trees that shouldn't be near our foundation. That meant we had to move them! Besides their large root systems, we also didn't like the way they covered up half of the front of our house. We also had some random plants in pots and did I already mention a forest of weeds? Anyways, since we were already buying the dirt and mulch, we also decided to make a bed in the back near our swing and add the bushes there. I can see the swing from our living room, and wanted to have some pretty flowers and greenery around it to see from our home during the day. Now that I am teaching from our house, I wanted to spruce things up a bit. Here are some before and after pics...

Front Yard Before

Front Yard After

I think I am most excited about the pink knock-out roses and my crepe myrtle (which up until last week I thought was "crate" myrtle. Wow, shows you just how much I know about plants!) I also chose plants that would attract butterflies, like pinta, lantana and butterfly weed. I'm hoping we will have some pretty visitors this summer! I just want to add a hydrangea to my doorstep and then I will be done with the front.

Here's the back before...

And the back after...

I still need to move the swing back to its spot (diagonal against the bed) and buy a climbing rose for the trellis, and then we are done! The swing is a special spot for us...this swing used to be in Adam's parents' back yard, and it is the honorary spot of our first kiss! (And wow, it was a good one! :) When his parents moved, they passed it on to us, knowing that it was the first place sparks flew for the Watsons! Haha!

Anyways, stay tuned for more pics on our home makeover this summer. I do not decorate year-round, rather, I choose to do it in spurts over the summer when I have more time to do so. This summer we are painting our living room/entry/hallways one color, hanging curtains, and getting some furniture, so I will post the changes as they take place!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's Over!

Wow, I can hardly believe it. My first day of summer is finally here! After a couple of days of sadness (missing the kids, mainly), I can confidently say I am LOVING this. Thank you, Lord! I can go to church with Adam Sunday and actually focus on him and our ministry instead of rushing home to get ready for school the next day. I don't think the fact that I am not going back has fully hit yet...I think the reality of not going back will really hit me when August arrives and I can continue doing what I am doing now. My voice studio is close to full already, and I am thankful for that as well. Job security is a good thing!

Anyways, today we are doing some yard work and picking up the house...I will post before and after pics later of our yard. We have really neglected it this year and decided to spruce it up a bit. Have a wonderful summery Saturday!!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

I hate making them. I am kind of a go with the flow, do whatever sort of girl, unless I have a particular craving. I love it when my friends pick where to eat, what movie to see, what game to play...I prefer to just go along for the ride. It is kind of embarrassing, but sometimes the smallest decision can stress me out, especially if I'm tired, and the big ones just completely overwhelm me. I am thankful, however, that whenever those big decisions arise, God is always faithful to guide me, and gave me and incredible husband to make hard decisions with.

All that to say, I have been praying about a huge decision since last fall--whether or not to work full-time next year. Financially, it made sense for me to keep working full-time until we had kids. But schedule-wise, it has been killing us. Because Adam works at a large church as a minister, he is gone 3-4 nights a week, and is understandably gone all day on Sundays. Thankfully, he has Fridays off to compensate and rest, but I do not. I get home wasted on Fridays and fall asleep ridiculously early. The first year it was okay, but this year, we have really missed the time together we used to have in the middle of our busy schedule. We are lucky if we have a few hours on a Saturday to relax...other than that we generally end up working 6 or 7-day work weeks. We never get to go out of town to see friends or family (he can't be gone on Sundays and I can't be gone on Fridays, so we never leave), and I have had to step back from my church involvement on Sunday in order to be energized enough for my very physically demanding job as an elementary teacher (Adam is generally gone from 6:30 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. on Sundays, and I usually get groceries, do laundry and get ready for the week during that time.) We have also had to turn down singing jobs because I work full-time, and we still desire to pursue a singing/leading worship career on the side.

I love my school. I love the kids. I love everything I do there, and I love everyone I work with (the pics are of me directing our 1st grade program this year). I love my principal--she is an incredible, godly woman who has been at the school for 25 years--and I couldn't imagine a better place to work. But my spirit has felt led to serve alongside my husband, to be an available wife again, so regain some quality of life...

So two weeks ago, I resigned. I officially have 5 days left. Half of me is celebrating, the other half, mourning. I think about all the great stuff we will be able to do now because I won't be pulled somewhere else 40+ hours a week, but I also think about the precious faces of 700 students I have taught (I teach music, so I see all of them!) and how much I will miss hearing their precious voices singing and watching them grow from year to year. I don't have children yet, and these were, well, my kids.

The great news is, whether I am celebrating or mourning, I have a peace. God made this clear, very clear to us over the last 6 months. My husband is ecstatic, and I'm looking forward to seeing him, as well as the rest of our family and friends, more! I will still work part-time, from our home, teaching voice lessons, a few days a week. The rest of the time I will be up at the church planning youth activities or scheduling singing opportunities for us elsewhere. July is already packed with 3 camps, so we are excited about that. We move forward, trusting that God has led us into a new season.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monday Milkshakes In May!

This might just be a H-town thing, but for those of you who LOVE Chick-fil-A, they have an AMAZING special right now! If you get one of their milkshakes on a Monday in May, which, btw, are incredible and worth every calorie, you get an 8-pack of nuggets FREE! Like I said, this might just be at ours, but why not check it out? That is at least a $3.00 value, and what a great excuse to indulge in a milkshake alongside some delicious nuggets? I highly recommend the chocolate. :) I have been sick all week, first with stomach issues and then a nasty chest cold, so while I was home by myself last night, mad about being sick, my mom picked me up and took me to take advantage of this awesome deal. Suddenly everything seemed better! How many Mondays left in May? 2? 3? You'll know where to find me...

Friday, May 11, 2007

An Aspiring Gardener Seeks Advice...

Dear bloggers, who have beautiful blooms filling their yards...I need some gardening advice! We have no beds in the backyard, and I am making it my summer project to beautify the area. We have our swing back there, and the plan is to put some beds on either side of it. You can see the swing from our big living room window, and I'm thinking it would be nice to see some color out there as well. I might also throw out some hearty herbs like rosemary and parsley for my cooking. Anyways, any advice for healthy, strong flowering plants that do well in full sun? Maybe some big "stay away from these" or "make sure you don't do this" ?? I need some hearty suggestions...I am new at this, and have a tendency to not take care of my yard as well as I should. I guess that's why this is my new project. Since we don't have kids yet and we can't get a dog (Adam's allergies) I've decided I need something to nurture!


We had an amazing storm hit our area last night. It went from a light, bright day to a dark, ominous stormy one in a matter of 5 minutes. I have been ill this week, and my mother-in-law, Lynn, had brought us some dinner. We sat together watching T.V. when a flash of light ran across our living room/television! It was mix of red and white--truly amazing and freaky at the same time. Our T.V. flashed off and on (we are surprised it is not fried!) and our alarm system went off. Nothing we could do would shut off the alarm, and it is loud! We finally reached someone from our security provider, and they are working on fixing it today since the system appears to be baked. I am thankful that nothing else in our house was ruined (our computer was plugged in at the time but it is OK) and that the hail missed us, too. What a night!