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Zane {15 months}

It’s hard to believe this little guy is 15 months today!

I must be getting old, because even the toddler stage is amusing these days. This buddy is full of life and energy, and knows what he wants! :) He’s also loves his mama. {Every now and then, he’ll crawl up in my lap and rest his head on my shoulder and I melt. :P}


He’s in to everything, and can make a mess in 10 seconds flat. :) Between nursing and eating real food, I think I feed him somewhere around 17 times a day. :D





The boys were so little:




How quickly they grow up!






house update

It's been a while since I've shared a house update! It's come a long way since the last time I showed you our progress! :)

Here's what our property looked like when I posted last time:


After the dirt was filled in, the slab was poured:


We did one of the coolest things after the slab was poured- we got to be there when they popped the chalk lines on the concrete:


That made me nervous, I tell you. We spent four hours outlining exactly where every window, door, and wall. We initially drew up our own plans in a home building program, so I had spent hours living in this imaginary house in my head, trying to think out each space in depth before we committed to it. And then to see my imaginary outline on a real piece of concrete was surreal. :)

But it was even weirder and more exciting when framing began a few days later:


It's a real house! :D EEEK! The cute little roof was going up too:


I didn't know if we would have one or not in the beginning, but the front porch turned out to be one of my very favorite features of the house:



Rob likes it too. :D I can imagine lots of schoolwork, reading, and playing being done here:


We have lots more pictures, but I'll save them for the next update! :)
Have you ever built a house you designed?We've built two houses before this one, but I've always had very limited selections compared to designing it yourself. It's a little nerve-wracking to be a perfectionist and build your own house. :P Funny thing is, you would never think about window placement if you bought one instead of built one, so I'm trying to think of it that way. :)

Favorite house style?I'm a traditional girl. I like classic houses that will be just as beautiful 50 {or 118} years later. For this house, we tried to build a house with a simple, classic style to save money on construction.

what i wore this week {let your light shine edition}

You know raffles and random giveaways? I almost never win them. Okay, I pretty much never win them. ;) I don't mind- I just never expect to win anything, because it hasn't happened since I was 9 years old at church camp. Yep, I won an entire six pack of canned grape soda back in 1991. And I was really excited!! :) {Seriously, I was. Soda is a big deal when you're 9!}

That's why I couldn't believe it when someone told me I won the Instagram giveaway at Allume. I think I almost passed out right there. Jen can testify to this. I asked Jessica like three times what I'd won! ha!

I was over the moon that I was blessed to win this gorgeous little beauty from The Vintage Pearl:


I didn't choose the necklace I was given, but I love how it went with the purpose of Allume. Even more than that, I love the fact that I would've chosen it out of all of their necklaces, because I so desire this to be true of my life, and I love the daily reminder.


I've worn it a ton of times already, and I still LOVE it. I've been so impressed by the chain too- even though it's been wet several times, it hasn't turned colors. I love sterling silver because I like to wear my necklaces night and day. :D I think I would seriously consider paying regular price {$58} for it. It's such a lovely piece.

I was so thrilled to win it. Can you tell? ;) And can you believe they gave me a $50 gift card too?! What?? Whoop, whoop! Thank you, sweet Vintage Pearl!!

I love jewelry that has meaning- especially when it reminds me of what I'm here to do.

And hey, it's an accessory you can wear all year long. :D


Unlike leather jackets. :) Though I wouldn't mind wearing them all year long too. They are my favorite! :)

{By the way, it's been 78 degrees this month here in East Texas! Oh my goodness, what's going on with the weather? Is my memory failing me or is it hotter than normal? Wow.}

Q: Do you love personal jewelry too? What's your favorite way to make jewelry meaningful to you?


leather jacket: Banana Republic, eBay

striped tee: AE, last year

jeans: American Eagle Artist, $27

leather shoes: clearance Giani Bini, $28 

linking up at the pleated poppy

It's time for the scream!

WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Except for the house. :) But we are working on that! We have our house for sale but no buyers yet. We want to rent until we save enough to build a house with cash.

We have saved 70% of our 6 month emergency fund. We took a vacation to Hawaii with our tax refund or we would be fully funded. I know, totally not on the Dave plan but with the new baby coming this month we wouldn't be able to go for a couple of years so we took the opportunity while we could! We paid for everything with cash of course. :)

It feels so good to be debt free! Life is so much less worrisome. The only downside is that having several thousand dollars in the bank doesn't feel like enough cushion anymore, while just two years ago we OWED $40,000 to various people and didn't have an extra penny. It's amazing how fast your perspective changes!

How Quickly Things Change

I've been busy! We sold the car for a pretty large hit a little while ago. We were eager to get rid of it and get on with life without a large monthly payment. We wrote a check for our negative equity, signed a couple of easy title papers and voila. We had no car. God really planned the whole thing to a tee because not only did we have extra cash because of the stimulus payment and odd jobs, we also found the most perfect, decked out older minivan with low miles at a great price the day before we signed the papers on the car. It was amazing how it all worked out, only by the hand of God.

And so, we are car payment free, debt-snowballing all of our extra money each month.
God has also been gracious to give us ways to earn extra money. We worked very hard, my husband mostly though- for about 8-9 weeks. The newest test of our faith comes in waiting to be paid for work already completed. We are owed several thousand dollars at the moment for work done over 5 weeks ago. As soon as we get paid, we will pay off all credit card debt, and will have money towards the LAST DEBT, a student loan! It's really frustrating though. It's hard to be patient after working so long. Fortunately, it's almost over, and we haven't sold any property yet!

Thank the Lord for His goodness. He is merciful.

I Joined the Swap!

I've finally joined PaperBackSwap. I can't believe I've waited for so long! We have a bookshelf of books I haven't picked up in years. I just signed up and added 10 books to my list and got 2 credits for free books!

Within the hour someone requested a book of mine, so I will soon print the label, affix the postage, and stick it in my mailbox! As soon as they receive it, I get a free credit for any book I want on the site.

I used one of my free book credits to get a beginner's Spanish guide for my husband. It says it should be in the mail in a couple of days! And, if you use the link or banner on my website to sign up, I get a free book credit! :) So exciting.