So amidst all the craziness in my life I forgot to mention a neat thing that happened to me and is now possibly turning into a bigger thing for me for the near future. I'm still a little uncomfortable sharing this but have been urged by Evan and a few others that it's worth sharing so enjoy my friends.
Anyone who knows my in-laws or husband knows that the Hartfields are artsy people. This is shown in their careers, their homes, their personalities, you name it. You meet them and you just see their creative geniuses at work. Marrying into this has spread on me as well and I have a secret love of painting that has grown in the last 3 years.
If you've ever been inside my home you have seen this first hand on my walls. Evan and I have five murals throughout our small home that are vivid, bright and just awesome. I have others in the garage I have no space for and Nan my oh-so-wonderful mother in-love has two of them in her office at work, both of which I must say were done at random while I was pregnant with Avery but are the best I have ever done. After Avery came along I no longer had the free-time or energy to paint and everything started collecting dust in the garage (we have a whole wall shelf full of my brushes and paints).
About 3 weeks ago when everything was falling apart for us Nan had a co-worker approach her about her artwork in her office and how he really liked it. When she told him her daughter did them both he got excited and asked if he could commission a painting from me. (Say WHAT?) So Nan texted me and asked if I would like to do a painting for him and how much I would charge him for it because he was serious about getting one for his new place...
Now, this made me truly uncomfortable. Why? Well, I'm no Picasso, I have no experience or training and my art is messy and abstract and totally random. It's not a hobby but just an ideal creative past time for me to express whatever's going on with me at the time which is totally relevant in how different each piece is. Now I'm being asked to do one for a stranger and for money?! No pressure or anything. I told her I'd get back to her by the end of the day and had a huge talk with Evan about if I should do it. We needed money that was for sure and I have two blank canvas's in the garage but still.....why would anyone want to BUY my artwork, that's just weird to me. Needless to say I agreed to do a painting in the colors of his choosing and had a week to finish it for him and only asked for $50 if he liked it. (which was the hardest thing to decide on) He got it today and I was told he LOVED it and was very satisfied with the end result. (so glad I didn't have to be there I would have been mortified if he didn't like it) It was a bit of a pain to paint to be honest, I painted and re-painted it 4 times before finally settling on the end result with the help of Evan on a few finishing touches after an all-nighter. Once I brought it to Denton mom and dad both said it was great and how much they really liked it too.
With all this being said and done I am considering doing more paintings to sell on the side for extra money. Mom said her boss may also be interested in a piece and I know my neighbor is also interested in buying one of the paintings in our living room. Evan says I should totally do it and set it up on Etsy or Ebay but I'm still thinking it over.
I don't see what everyone else See's I guess because to me it's just me being expressive on a bad day. There's no big WOW factor when I step back from a painting, just a love of being splattered with paint, sweaty and my hair out of my face while escaping for a few hours. Guess we'll see what happens after we move and I figure out what to do but I thought I'd share this with you guys because it was a huge positive for my week. Here's a picture of the finished product.
I will be the first to admit that my 2 year old is a movie junkie. You offer her anything Disney or Pixar related and her attention is locked entirely. She sings the songs, she quotes the words, it's cute but it also bothered me that I may be allowing her too much free time in front of the TV. So we have decided to hide the DVD's away for awhile and focus on more number time, alphabet time, books and outdoor time (weather permitting).
Well, now instead of a movie during lunch before her nap time we have started watching PBS. I grew up with Sesame Street (Who didn't?!) but Avery.....is not a fan. She could care less about Grover, Elmo, Big Bird...she's just not into any of it. What is she into?
This is Whyatt or Super Why. Avery's BF if you ask her. Anytime Whyatt and his friends appear on the screen to solve a problem she jumps for joy and screams like a Justin Bieber fan and shouts "SUPER W-HY!?". She also loves the other characters but Whyatt, he's her crush. The show teaches kids about the Alphabet and solving puzzles by using teamwork and books, it's really cute and Evan and I like watching it too, amazingly it has some key life lessons that grabbed our attention off and on. The there's the catchy theme song that gets stuck in your head ALL THE TIME!!!
Who’s got the power?
The power to read. Who answers the call for friends in need?
Super WHY! Super WHY! He’s the guy, he’s Super WHY!
Who’s got the power? The power to read. Who looks into books for the answers we need?
Super WHY! Super WHY! and the Super Readers, we’re gonna fly,
Come along With the Super Readers. Adventure waits when you’re with Super WHY!
Super WHY and the Super Readers yeah Super WHY and the Super Readers.
Adventure waits when you’re with Super WHY!
Yeah Super WHY!
Or my favorite show ender that lately has me giggling when I sing it to Evan during all the stress and chaos of our current situation. At first, he would just glare at me and tell me to grow up but now, we both bust out with it and laugh.
Hip hip hooray, the super readers saved the day.
We changed the story, we solved the problem.
We worked together, so hip hip hooray!
Hip hip hooray(hooray!), the super readers saved the day!
Check it out and let me know if you DON'T get that jingle stuck in your head. Just another perk of Mommy hood I suppose, however I'm not sure how I am going to explain to my 2 year old that Whyatt can't come over and play because he's an animated character and not a real "cute boy!" or even how to reassure Evan that at 2 his daughter is already boy crazy and he should brace himself for the teen years. :)
Calling all Super Readers, Calling all Super Readers!
Big "WAY TO GO!" to my dear friend Therese who passed her RNC exam today. She is now an even more amazing NICU nurse who helps take care of some of Kansas City's littlest miracles. I must say I admire nurses and all they do fo their patients and the families of those said patients but for NICU babies and the new-parents I can't even imagine how I would be without the help and support of a good NICU nurse. Same for ICU nurses who help critical patients, having been witness to a sweet friends brother being taken off life support at a young age as well as my grandfathers up and downs in health landing him in ICU a few times I just have to commend all you wonderful nurses. Thanks for doing what you do!
The flu was not kind to me. I doubt I have ever been as sick as I was the last 9 days but today I did go back to work and although I am exhausted and weak, I am so THANKFUL that I actually got out of bed, out of my pj's and LEFT THE HOUSE!
Lots to update on, lots going on for Evan and I in the next coming weeks but all in all we're blessed, we're healthy (Avery and him managed to go flu free) and we're happy.
I will not be able to update as often as I'd like so please be patient. I'll give a full update of events this weekend for you faithful readers. (Whom I love dearly)
I'll leave with this fun Factoid that may help some of you with the guessing game.
WE'RE MOVING BACK TO DENTON! (on or before March 3rd)
5 years ago Evan found out about a litter of kittens born and offered to take one as a birthday gift to me and to help with my homesickness since we were living in Arlington and very much Newlyweds (I had a hard time adjusting to the new places).
6 weeks later and 2 days after my birthday he brought home this handsome guy who was all eyes and fur.
Happy Birthday Gustave AKA- Gus. You are my sweet boy and I love your snuggles and kisses.
They say when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade. Well, I must say that the recession has hit my lemonade stand hard and I have more surplus lemons then I should own these days. So...I got inventive, I made lemon bars to entice the growers to slow my shipments, I made lemon mmeringue pies for the customer service agents who have kept me and Evan on hold for obscene amounts of time and to top it off...We eat a lemon themed dinner 3 nights a week...Evan and Avery may soon plot a mutiny. Is it wrong that I'm having fun with this or at least carrying a HUGE sense of humor when the old me would boo-hoo and whine it up for days on end and throw the victim card in repeatedly when the attention got scarce? Times are a-changing.
So most if not all of you follow me on FB (cause ya know, who doesn't have a FB?!) and have endured my "cryptic" statuses for 2 weeks now. I have enjoyed the encouragement, the prayers, the guesses and most importantly the love so many of you have showered us with. Just to clear things up from the get-go.
1. I am NOT pregnant.
2. Evan and I are NOT divorcing! (we're actually offended some guessed that!)
3. We're all in good health thank you.
4. Did I mention that I'm NOT pregnant?
5. We are not buying a house..yet.
Things have been busy what with the holidays and life in general. Evan took a contract job from a consultant at the airport around the end of November that promised to pay a nice sum of money that would insure us a wonderful Christmas, a birthday party for Avery, both cars legal and fixed and some bills paid off. If it had not been for this said sum of money I doubt Evan would have took on the 2nd moonlighting job because it was indeed a LOT OF WORK. He worked his regular DFW airport job, went through his finals at UTA and also stayed up at the office until 1-3am some nights and weekends getting the contract job done. Things looked so promising for us, we were planning on moving in January with the extra funds (just another rent house possibly closer to Denton and out of our scary neighborhood) then Christmas Eve's Eve happened.....
Evan has an odd work schedule due to his school schedule, it's ubber flexible though and with him having close to 5 supervisors he's always working on drawings or whatever while there. Well, with his finals over he had a huge chunk of time to now spend at work. He asked for work and several of his supers had nothing for him so to pass the time Evan worked on his contract job until something for him to do came along...no big deal right? WRONG! His head boss approached him on Wed and asked him what he was working on, Evan not thinking anything of it told him what he was working on, showed it to him and his boss walked off. Thursday his boss approaches him again and asks what he was working on, again Evan answered him honestly and showed him and his boss got very mad and asked him if he had asked for other work which he had and the other supers told him no and knew he had the contract project and one even suggested he go work on that. Well, with DFW airport every hour you are at work your billing the work you do to the airport with Evans contract project that can't be billed to any department of the airport since it wasn't through the airport so it looked like Evan was stealing company time and being paid double for not doing airport work. He zeroed out his time sheets and spoke with his boss again but his boss had already gone to his boss and was filing a report to HR to investigate. They sent Evan home.
Christmas Eve we get a courier delivered letter (way to blow money DFW Airport) stating that an investigation was pending and Evan was being put on paid administrative leave until further notice. Evans boss even told him that if HR asked him what he thought should happen to Evan he would request termination of his post. So Evan automatically thought he was fired and right before Christmas too. Yeah, lots of tears were shed before we both promised not to dwell on it, enjoy Christmas and make the best of it. Evan took this ubber hard. Anyone who knows Evan definitely knows his character and he is nowhere near a thief or a slacker with work. He made an honest mistake and with other people aware of what he was doing and NOBODY saying anything to him he assumed it was alright. He was working so hard to provide for Avery and I and to get us the help we needed with our finances and now he may lose his job because of it.
So...We had a wonderful Christmas, Avery had an amazing but very small gathering the weekend before for her birthday, we were with tons of family and we did everything in our power to not let this scary event blow our happiness. Then the Christmas break was over and reality set back in. We went a week with no word from anyone at HR, Evans boss called him once to ask for his badge to be turned in because it was no longer valid. THEN...Evan got another call.....from an amazing person. The guy who had told Evan about the contract job called Evan and told him he had heard about what had happened and him and 2 other employees in another department were going to try to get Evan a full time position with their department and not to worry. Evan turned in his resume that night and seemed to relax a bit and was in better spirits. The other guy who was with the consultant group called Evan and informed him the invoice for the contract job went through and that oh-so-important check would be to us by the 5th!!! Yet another blessing for us in a huge time of need.
Our Anniversary and New Years came and went with no other word. (Still with me?)
Monday rolled around and things were looking less bleak when yet another call came in. A man who owned several houses for rent had remembered us from months ago and wanted to let us know he had 3 properties available and if we may be interested. We immediately went and looked at all 3 and fell in love with 2 of them. One was in south Fort Worth but was huge and upgraded and closer to school and work for Evan but ridiculously far for my commute to Denton, the other was in our neighborhood but in the North end and in a better area. I fell in love! By Tuesday we had agreed to stop payment on the check we post dated for rent and just take it because we had so many things coming in as far as job opportunities, extra money and this house was less in rent and size but was the perfect "transition" house for our plans for the next year. We could use part of the rent money to pay the deposit and put in our 30 days notice and take our time moving in since it won't be ready until 2 weeks from now due to the owner replacing all the flooring. Then HR called....
Evan went in Tuesday for over an hour and was asked a million questions about his intentions, his loyalty to his job, who told him about the extra work, had he done any other side projects, etc., etc., etc.They even told him they don't know how to handle this situation because it's never happened before (um, hello there's a sign for you HR he didn't do anything illegal and he certainly isn't out to screw over a company he has been devoted to for over 4 years) Before he left he went to his office and grabbed the last bit of drawings for the contract job (he wasn't finished yet) and several co-workers flocked him with concern and even gave us money to help tie us over until this mess was resolved (he has amazing co-workers who from day one have been our saving grace periodically) then he ran into the guy who was in charge of the consult job and he informed Evan the check was printed but wouldn't arrive until the end of the month!! He also informed Evan of a job opening with his company and suggested Evan apply for it. Evan thought this guy and the other guy worked together but no, turns out he's being offered 2 different full time positions with 2 different companies (God is indeed faithful) he also told Evan to take his time on getting the last drawings done, he was in no rush. Evan came home in a better mood but we now had to seriously think about moving into this house since the big check wasn't coming in a few days from now like we were hoping.
Then Thursday happened.....our land lord called asking if he could deposit the rent check (for all he lacks in keeping our repairs up to date he's been patient with us being late with rent 3 months in a row) Evan called the bank to check on the account since he should have been paid at midnight...well, we had a negative balance...no check, no rent money!! Evan called DFW and they told him the paperwork wasn't turned in on time and his check would probably be in NEXT THURSDAY with almost 3 weeks of pay (2 of which from paid-leave). Our land lord was not happy and Evan explained our situation and offered to pay a fine next week when his check came through which thank the Lord he agreed to do. But that also brought up the deadline to pay the deposit on the other house by 5pm that day and we could no longer go forward with our plan.
So yeah....so many things have come along for us to nibble on and then they have been yanked out of our reach. Evan was supposed to hear from HR on wed. to know if he's been terminated or put on probation, or has to pay them back for 40 hours of work just an ANSWER to this whole thing, he's waiting on 2 different calls on 2 potential jobs (prayers please!!!) and we're now waiting on 2 checks so we can pay our now way past due rent, insurance, cell phone and groceries. Definitely a bittersweet turn of events. So much to be Thankful for and so much to be fearful/worried about. I love Joshua 1:9 it's always been a favorite of mine and it has come in handy a million times over the last 2 weeks. Thanks to the money from Evans co-workers we're able to be alright until next week but if his paycheck doesn't come in, we're more than likely being evicted and are in a lot of trouble.
We lost both houses needless to say and we now have a new plan of action that we're fervently praying God allows to pan out for us. We plan on paying off a huge debt with our refund this year and moving into an apartment for a year in Denton to save money and focus on buying a house once Evan graduates. We plan on downsizing and donating a lot of stuff we do not need or have use for and I'm planning on getting a new job come the summer (My deferred judification ends in APRIL, PRAISE GOD).
Please continue to pour your good thoughts and prayers towards Evan. Both jobs would mean more pay and a flexible schedule for school. This big check would be a huge blessing for us on top of our refund so hopefully Feb can be a much better month for us than January. With all this going on though I must praise Evan and I for our faith and our determination to not allow this to turn into a sin. We've not argued about it, nor let it stress us out, we've been praying together and being more faith-based than fear-based and focusing on Avery and this "extended vacation" daddy is on and spending more quality time with us. He goes back to school on the 17th.
Whew, if you're still with me I'll make you a cookie of your choice. Thanks for all your patience. Evan hates talking about this (he feels like he's disappointed so many people :(..) and I'm the exact opposite, I needed to get this out in the open but with so many things happening at once and not being sure what was the result, I had to wait it out.
2010 has come and gone already?! I can't say I'll miss it due to so much stress it brought for us but I can honestly say I am excitedly awaiting what 2011 will bring the Hartfield family. Changes are already in progress, goals are looking achievable and plans are set in motion. God is seriously at work in us it seems and my heart is full of joy and trust and humble feelings to all that's about to take place.
I'm not really big on resolutions (i.e. I fail at keeping them) but last night on the train heading back I just stated making this mental lists if things I know I can do for myself if I just write it down and make a list or a goal board to stare at daily. Here's a sample:
Be more crafty- Focus on using my skills and talents to give people gifts that have more meaning than material items I tend to focus on.
Be more available- Stop making excuses to bail out of plans with new friends due to my fear of rejection and change.
Stay more positive- Already this is in motion after our hardships from the past 4 months but I still would like to be more positive about things.
Pray more- My God has never let me down and I continuously fail him almost daily. I plan on praying more, relying on him more, seeking him more in all situations and get back to my roots of my walk with Christ.
Be more active- I started running in March and was doing really well before November came around and my routine got messed up. I plan on starting my goal to do a 5k again ASAP, get a new routine that I can stick to and maybe even join a gym like I've always dreamed of doing. I also would like to lose15-25lbs and keep it off for more than 3 months.
Go to school- This is a big goal I wish to do and I don't see it happening before the fall but my plan is to be ready come next winter to actually attend college and go for a degree.
So there you have it, just a few goals/dreams for my 2011. What are yours?
I'll leave you with a few pictures from my week. It was a busy busy BUSY end to my year full of friends and family. LOVED IT. Wish my weeks could be that eventful more often.
Evan and I along with his brother Jarrod, his girlfriend Sarah, my childhood friend Ryan and his date Kate all went to Dallas to ring in the new year at victory plaza. Evans best friend, Nick plays in the band Sleeperstar and they won the "Fast Track to Fame" contest and performed on the main stage and on TV for the Big D NYE event. We were on TV a few times last night and the guys were amazing. Hands down the best new years I have had in almost 4 years (we're homebody's). Check them out on facebook, twitter and even iTunes.
Hope you have a great start to the new year. Here's to much Love & Blessings this 2011.
Evan and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary on Thursday. I must confess, I can not believe it's been 5 years already. Where did the time go?!
We've been blown away by all the love and support and congrats thrown our way via FB, txt msg's, phone calls, e-mails and even a few cards in the mail. It's like a record to some people!
I am so Blessed.
We had a low key day, Pj's for half the day watching movies with Avery. Then we headed to Denton where Evans parents graciously watched Avery while Evan and I went on a date. We're not too big on going out all fancy so I loved being able to go casual to one of my favorite Denton resturants and just relax and unwind with Evan. We went to El Matador and talked about dream kitchens, new cell phones and over all video game skills (we embrace our nerd-ness). Then we went to window shop for new phones since we get to upgrade on the 19th. I want an iPhone, Evan wants a windows phone. Thoughts? Advice? We have AT&T and we LOVE them.
After dinner we went and saw the latest Chronicles of Narnia. Let me just say....I am so proud of Fox for letting the movie promote Christianity more powerfully than Disney did with the last 2. I haven't left a movie feeling that good in a long time and I was in tears over several key parts as well. Evan and I loved it and want to go see it again.
We kept it low key as I said especially since we actually had plans for New Years for once but that's for another post.
What's a key piece of advice you have gained during your marriage that has worked for you?