"Eventually all the pieces fall into place....
until then, laugh at the confusion,
live for the moment, and know that everything
happens for a reason"

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Disclaimer: This post is not meant to create turmoil or arguments and definitely not create a political tiff because political is the last word to describe me. This is a post to look back on and remember the feelings I have about the healthcare bill. My feelings may change but today, this is how I feel. 


The world is constantly changing. Even in my lifetime I have seen many changes. I grew up with a walkman and a gameboy and now 7 year olds have cell phones and ipads. In 1997 gas prices were approximately $1.40 and just last summer I spent over $4 a gallon. And sure, paying for those tanks of gas hurt, especially my pocket book, but it was a change that I had to deal with. 

Today marks a time of change for healthcare. Some people are upset by the changes because, yes, it will most likely effect them financially. They feel as though the middle class, working American is being targeted to pay for healthcare for the poverty stricken. And I kind of understand. Just because some people are able to work and pay for their own health insurance doesn't mean they are so well endowed that they can pay for everyone else's, right? 

It's easy to get caught up in me, me, me. How will this change effect me? But what about me? So instead of getting upset today, I'm choosing to be glad. I'm glad that I'm not in the financial bracket that can't afford insurance. I'm glad that even though it may cost me some extra tax money, I am able to pay my taxes. I'm thankful for a job that provides benefits when many can't find a job at all. And lastly all, I'm thankful for my health because I haven't had to deal with the over-bearing insurance companies that control our current healthcare system. Sure, the new healthcare bill probably won't benefit me much but I'm excited for the potential benefit of others. 

And yes, I know, some people may just be lazy. They may take advantage of the system and float on by while we help pay for their care. But I can promise you that there are some people out there who genuinely need assistance and it makes me smile knowing that today is likely a day of joy for them.

Love and Happiness,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

House Hunting with My Hubby

It's been a very busy three weeks. 

On our drive back from Michigan a few weeks ago Paul and I talked about all sorts of things, sang and danced to the radio and put tons of toe-prints on the windshield. It was a 12 hour trip and not until the last 45 minutes of our journey did Paul drop the biggest bomb of the day. 

"Let's buy a house," he said. 

We then spent the rest of our trip discussing our options and making a game plan. Now, when we take on an adventure, we take it on wholeheartedly. So, after weeks of looking, we bought a house. Isn't it beautiful?

Just kidding. Not quite in our budget. And who wants a big, beautiful mansion anyways? Not us. We want a smelly, outdated, fixer-upper that needs a lot of love.

But seriously. Today marks 3 weeks exactly from the day that Paul proposed we become homeowners. In these 3 weeks we have:
  • Gotten approved for a mortgage loan
  • Found a real estate agent
  • Sorted through hundreds of houses for sale
  • Went to over 25 house showings
  • Discovered every color carpet imaginable
  • Spent lots of time at Lowe's pricing appliances, hardwoods, tile, cabinets and ceiling fans
  • Contacted plumbers and electricians to help with the things Paul doesn't know how to do
  • Envisioned tearing out walls, pulling up carpet and transforming these houses in homes
  • Fell in love with a couple houses that need a lot of work
  • Realized how expensive a renovation will be
  • Had a kitchen cabinet and counter top layout created and priced for one of the houses
  • Constructed a detailed renovation budget
  • Had a few arguments about the stress of remodeling and home-buying
  • And finally, discussed putting in an offer on a house
It's been a very busy 3 weeks. But even though it has been a little stressful, it's also pretty fun. My favorite part of house hunting is walking into a horrible house and being able to envision it completely transformed. My second favorite thing is looking at Paul and saying "Can we just tear this wall out?" and Paul saying "Baby, we can do whatever you want." That boy better not give me a sledge hammer because I'm ready to do some damage HGTV-style. :)

Wish us luck!

Love and Happiness,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happiness is Attractive

Paul has a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering. 

And instead of waking up every morning and putting on khakis and a button-up, he slips on cargo shorts and a stained t-shirt. Instead of sitting in an office all day, he climbs ladders and jumps rafter to rafter. A tool belt replaces a pocket protector and his work injuries are hammered finger-tips instead of paper cuts. And even though he is an engineer by degree, he's a carpenter at heart. One of my proudest moments as a fiance and wife has been supporting Paul as he struggled with choosing the right career path. It's a blessing to know that Paul is so happy when he's working with his hands. 

No, he may not make as much money or get a 401K and a benefits package. There is no paid-time-off when it's raining or snowing and the hours are long and hot (or cold, depending on season). But what's more important than money and benefits is seeing the love he has for his job. 

I don't often get to see Paul "in action" and his terrifying stories of nearly falling off roofs makes me incredibly nervous. But over the last couple of weeks I was able to see Paul build some items for VBS for our church. I can't explain the amount of pride I feel when I see Paul working with his hands. I could sit back and watch him build all afternoon. The sound of power tools, the smell of sawdust and the sweat dripping down Paul's forehead shows me new side to him. A side I like. And the way his calves look as he shimmy's up a ladder makes me blush. :D

Yes, it's true. I sometimes find Paul most attractive when he's covered in dirt, sweat and sawdust. He's the epitome of a man's man and when he comes home from work, despite his salty smell, I always feel so lucky to be his wife. 

I don't really know if it's truly the sweat, dirt and sawdust that makes my heart smile when I look at him. If engineering was the career that made him happy, I bet those khakis and button-ups would look very attractive,too. What I find attractive about Paul is his excitement, his smile and his attitude when it comes to carpentry. Happiness is attractive. And as the rush of summertime construction continues, and as he proudly works towards perfecting his trade I find him more and more attractive each day. 

It was a hard decision for Paul to not use his degree but I am confident that it was absolutely the right decision, the one that makes him happy. And some days, I just can't help but kiss my husband because he's looking so good in his work gear. And I think that makes him happy, too. 

Love and Happiness,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Name is Bethany and I'm an Obsessive Compulsive Planner

I'm a little obsessive-compulsive. It's not like I have to wash my hands 30 times when I leave a room or count to 1,435 after each meal. But, I do have the strong urge to plan out every little detail of my life even when I know that God is really the one in control of my future. I'm not oblivious to the concept that God is the reason that either "my" plan works out or it doesn't but it doesn't stop me from making plans in order to point me in the direction I want to go. 

In essence, I'm a goal driven person. I set a goal, I make a plan to reach that goal and hopefully in the end, I achieve that goal. Some people may think it's an admirable quality but I'm finding that it can sometimes be a pitfall of my personality. My entire life has been a journey working towards certain goals, all with a set plan in mind. And it's worked out well. I look back and realize that my elaborate plans to graduate high school, obtain a 4 year degree in 3, marry my best friend while still in college, get a day shift nursing job before graduation and move to a new city all worked out just perfectly. 

And here I am, freaking out, wondering, "What's next?" All of sudden, things aren't so clear anymore. All of my well thought out plans have fizzled into a pile of uncertainty.  I'm at a crossroad and I don't know which way to turn. 

What I've found is that without a plan my life has been exposed to all sorts of fun and exciting options. No longer am I working towards one set goal. Now, I'm faced with the challenge of picking a path. It's been so long since I wasn't absolutely, positively, 100% sure of what I wanted my future to look like. So what do you do when you have several good options and an equal strong interest in a few of them? 

Paul and I have spent many hours talking our multitude of options through. He's patiently sat there and listened to me tearfully over analyze every single possible option until we agree to call it a night with no conclusion made. 

I've been desperately trying to make a plan that is sound and logical that screams responsible and mature. And after months of struggling with periodic unhappiness over my uncertain future, I'm slowly working towards a new plan. My new plan is to calm down, take a deep breath and take each day as it comes. And in my true obsessive compulsive nature, my plan is to not always have a plan. (A loop-hole of sorts, but it's a step) And if we make the wrong decision when decision time arrives I've decided to be ok with that, too. As hard as it is for me to admit, God really is the one in control and regardless of the good and bad decisions we make along the way, He'll provide for us where ever we end up. And hopefully with continual prayer and patience, God will point us in direction we need to go. 

May the Bible give us peace in times of uncertainty

Love and Happiness,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lessons in Grieving

On June 1, 2012 my grandfather passed away.

Lessons can be learned with death and personal growth can be obtained in healing. With my nursing degree came the opportunity to see first hand the different ways people handle death and the different ways people grieve.

This post is not about my grandfather. This post is about HIS daughter, my mom.

My mother is an amazing woman. She is smart. She is beautiful. She is kind. She is accepting. She is loving. She is hardworking. She is much more than I can explain with words. I have always been proud to call her my mother. And in times like these, when her world is falling apart, she exudes strength. She is poised. She is confident. She is strong. She is composed. She is my mother and I love her.

She has been a wonderful role model to me and as the years have passed, the closer our relationship became. We are not just mother-daughter. We are friends. We talk openly and honestly and our conversations are always filled with laughter.

The funeral was nice. As I sat back and watched my mother interact with all of the visitors, family and friends, I was struck with pride. Even during this hard time, deserving of a breakdown, she continued to stay strong. A beautiful woman in black whose personality brightened the room. A woman who strongly held my grandmothers hand during the eulogy. A woman who was able to comfort many while grieving herself.

My grandfather, her father, would be proud.

But most of all, I am proud. I am proud to have such a wonderful mom who is as strong as she is beautiful. I am honored to have a relationship with her that allows us to share laughter and tears together. And I pray that as she settles back into her normal routine, she allows herself to also be vulnerable and grieve completely without having to be strong for everyone around her because guess what? She is sensitive, too.

Love and Happiness,

Appreciating God's Beauty

Roan Mountain, which I mentioned in my last post, has these beautiful  rhododendron gardens that are full of purple blooms. These delicate floral balls aren't able to bloom just anywhere. The particular combination of elevation, temperature and terrain leads to an abundance of these flowers. Every year, Roan Mountain holds a festival to celebrate and display the peak blooming of these plants. 

The festival is next weekend, so Paul and I went a weekend early to avoid the crowds. The flowers were beautiful and once again, the views amazing. After a few stressful weekends, it was a perfect afternoon walking hand in hand with my husband surrounded by nature's beauty. It's easy to take these wonders for granted and not appreciate what God has provided us with. We try our best to take the time to look around and enjoy the beauty around us. Take a look...

Just look around. The world can be beautiful if you want it to be. Slow down and enjoy it.

Love and Happiness,