Baby Steps

Hello, Blog Friends!  After my last happy post I kinda fell off the cliff again.  My apologies!  Our week took a crazy turn.  After all the expensive van repairs we made that Monday, someone busted the passenger window out of my van that Thursday night.  I was parked right outside the entrance door at church and they busted out the window to get Maddie's purse, which was very clearly a child's purse.  We couldn't use the van again until they could fix it that following Monday.  What a blessing that we had just bought the new car a few days before!!

We are still struggling daily with Maddie being fearful, but there is some progress.  It has been 3 weeks today.  She still will not sleep alone.  She also talks about it every day, but not as frequently.  I am sure it is very scary for her.  Twice in 16 months our van was broken in to - once at home and once at church - the two places she should feel the most safe.  We are teaching her to pray when she is fearful.  It seems to be helping some.  Although she brings it up daily, it doesn't seem as severe.  And, she does put a positive spin on it.  Baby steps!

Ok, so I have to share something exciting with you.  My mom found a website recently for aspiring writers.  She has dabbled in writing off and on her whole life.  I think she is really good!  Anyway, this site offers a weekly writing challenge at different levels (beginner, intermediate, advance).  They give you one word each week.  You have one week to write and submit an entry for that topic.  I have been proofing Mom's work.  This time I thought I would get in on the action.  We just received feedback on the week of my first entry.  Imagine my surprise when I saw my name in the 2nd place spot!!  I had to giggle when I saw my Mom's name listed right under mine in the 3rd place spot.  What a great week!  I may be hooked now!!  Be sure to check out my entry here:

Production Junction

Whoa!  Two posts in three days... can you believe it?  Seriously though, it feels good to be back to the blogging board again.  Life doesn't seem to be quite as hectic right now, so I feel like I can sit, relax, and reflect through my blog a bit.  I need to spend some time reading and catching up on my friends' blogs, as well.  One thing at a time though!

I feel so good today!  It isn't often that I end a day thinking that I accomplished much.  I usually complain to myself about all the things I didn't get done.  Today I'm changing my tone and am going to share about the things I did do!  Let's see.... Started out the day with a shower, which is always good!  Hee-Hee!  I loaded the doggies up and carried them to the groomers.  They smell soooo good! I didn't have the heart to cut Oreo's hair yet since it just grew back, so they just trimmed around his eyes.  He is one soft dog!  (And he's snuggled up next to me as I type this.). Ok, back on subject.... I finally took the van in to be serviced. It's a whole lot easier to do that kind of thing now that we have 2 vehicles!  $715 later I have a new tire, new battery, aligned & balanced tires, and fixed brakes.  Looks like next month I'll be getting a new radiator, too.  Ugh!

In addition to the big things that had to be done, I actually cooked two meals today.  Hot dogs count, right? I got all the doggy bedding cleaned.  I mean, you can't get your dogs cleaned and bring them home to a dirty bed!  Which also means that all the floors needed to be cleaned.  I might as well get the kitchen cleaned, dust some furniture, and do another load of laundry, too.  I will also mention that we unloaded, cleaned, and organized my new shelves in the living room I found on Craigslist.   New furmiture is always a good motivator to get things done. Afterwards, was ballet for Maddie, picking up the newly fixed van, and a choreography rehearsal with the Beauty and the Beast cast.

So, what is the secret of my success today?  The girls spent the night with grandparents who also took them to classes this afternoon.  Hahahaha!  I had morning until 3:00 to accomplish  all those things.  I absolutely missed my girls today, but I am so grateful to have had a day to get things done while knowing they were being cared for and having a good time!

Here's to more productive days ahead!

Renovation 101

New stuff is happening in the Norton household.  I am so incredibly excited, blessed, grateful - you name it!  First of all, I think I have shared with you all before that we sold D's car a year ago October.  We decided we didn't need two cars and that we would use the extra money to pay off other things.  Yes, it was inconvenient at times, but we survived!  D has really been wanting a Kia Soul for at least 3 years. So, when he recently came across one that was just a year old, maxed to the fullest, and got a sweet deal (that our bank negotiated for us so we didn't even have to deal with that), we realized it was time.  We picked it up today.  WooHoo!

I jumped into a new adventure this week that I'm excited to share.  Ya'll know I love to sing. I am super, duper passionate about it.  Although I have sang most of my life, I realize that there are a lot of things that I need to improve on.  I can't tell you how much I have learned singing with Chosen and being part of the choir and praise team at First Redeemer.  But, I want to be better - take it to another level.  I started voice lessons Thursday.  They had a slot open at the same time as Audrey's ballet class so I jumped on it.  It was awesome!  She was very encouraging and said there was great potential.  I will find that big voice hiding behind that timid, soft squeak.  :)

This weekend marked five years since we bought our house.  We have been very happy here, although quite honestly, had not originally planned to be here this long.  We moved here not knowing  the area and not looking for our "dream house" at the time.  But, we love our neighbors and the area.  We have decided to stick around longer and are now ready to do some renovating and make overs.  I am in HGTV watching mode right now.  So, here's what we're doing:

1.  Home repairs.  We met with a guy who is doing a lot of those annoying-but-has-to-be-done kind of stuff.  He'll be repairing a leaky shower and fixing the rotted wood from said leaky shower.  He is also going to fix our gate that our new canine child has learned to escape the back yard from.  Ok, so that's the not so exciting stuff.

2.  Painting the exterior.  As much as I love pink, I don't want a pink house.  Ours has a very faint tint pink that really isn't cute..  He will start in a couple of weeks, so I am frantically trying to choose colors so they can be submitted to the HOA for approval.

3.  Pressure washing, mending, and restaining the deck.  Can I get a Woot!Woot! Please?! Seriously, if you have ever been to my house and seen my deck you know it Ain't Purty!  It is actually a little frightening.  He will make some needed repairs, as well.  And, I am so tired of looking at the hideous lattice wall.  That baby is coming down, down,down!

4.  Painting the kitchen & living room.  Hallelujah! Hallelujah!  We have never painted anything on the main floor of our house.  We still have one million nail holes in the walls from the previous owners (ok, so I could be exaggerating a little).  Not to mention the lovely, and I use that term very loosely, grapevine border across the top of my kitchen.  I am still very much open for suggestions on a hip new color.  I am really digging blue right now, which is the color of all my dishes and pottery.  But, I also have to think about my living room furniture that is green and mission style since the two rooms are open to each other.

5.  Last, but not least... new hardwood floors on the entire main floor.  We truly wanted to do this before we moved into the house, but we had to sink several thousand dollars into our TN house to sell it.  Ugh!  But, five years later, we a gonna do it!  No more 4 types of flooring when you walk in the front door.  Seriously, you walk into our house onto a hardwood entrance, look to your left and there's carpet, straight ahead to the kitchen is linoleum, and to the right is a bathroom with a different linoleum.  Crazy!  Here's to some cohesiveness!

So, if you try to call, write, or find me in the next few days - I am either on Pinterest or Houzz, at Sherwin Williams, or watching HGTV!!  And, do not fret! There will be plenty of pictures!!
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