Friday, March 30, 2012

East Coast Adventure

David needed to take a quick trip to Orland Beach, Florida (near Daytona Beach) to pick up a piece of equipment that they had ordered....and he was so sweet to invite me and Ashlyn to tag along!  We packed so much into those short couple days!!!

 Ashlyn looking out over the Atlantic Ocean for the first time ever!
 Ashlyn not being so very happy with her first view of the Atlantic Ocean - she clung to David like her very life depended on looks like it, but she wasn't actually crying in this picture, she was squinting from the sun.  I tried to put her sunglasses on her multiple times, but just like hats, she wants absolutely nothing to do with them!
 East Coast Weekend Getaway 2012 Family Picture
 She eventually warmed up to the sand - but she never warmed up to the ocean.
 It was a little rainy on Saturday afternoon, so we drove into Orlando to visit Walt Disney World!
 We are still saving the first trip inside the real Disney World until Ashlyn is a little older - but in the mean time, we visited Downtown Disney!

 Yes...Ashlyn did insist on pushing her own stroller for almost half the time we were there.  She would get so mad when we are steering the stroller because she thought we were about to make her stop pushing it so we compromised and David pulled it to steer and I walked behind to make sure Ashlyn didn't get lost since she can't actually see over the top of the stroller.
 This was as close as we got to Mickey ears on her...she really hates hats - even the cute mickey ears hats. :o(
 Daddy helping Ashlyn color while we waiting for our lunch Sunday.
 The new trick David taught Ashlyn-he stretches and makes the stretching sound and Ashlyn imitates him.  So funny!  She loves to copy Daddy!
 No footprints pictures this time - so I took a picture of David's shoes - he stuck Ashlyn's shoes inside his for safekeeping. :-)

We finally got her playing in the sand!!!  Her hand is reared back because she is about to chunk a big handful of sand!  We may regret teaching her that-but she sure did have fun.  One step, pick up handful of sand, second step, throw the sand, third step, pick up handful of sand, fourth step, throw the sand - we did that for a long time...then was time to go back home.  Hopefully we'll get to have another adventure very soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What does your "stuff" mean to you?

I'll admit it...I've been accused of being a pack rat (by my husband of course).  I never considered myself a pack rat.  I didn't have that much stuff...or did I???  When we put our house on the market the first time around, I couldn't bear to part with much of anything.  We packed lots of boxes and rented a storage unit to hide all this stuff in.  We filled the storage unit to the brim and put overflow and anything I felt needed some sort of temperature control over at my In-laws' house in one of their extra bedrooms.  Guess what...that stuff stayed "hidden" for over six months and with the exeption of a couple seasonal items...I didn't have a need to use ANY of it!!!  I decided I needed to change my additude and outlook on "stuff".  I started purging our home of unneeded items.  I was tired of paying for a storage unit to house stuff I wasn't using, so we brought all of our stuff back home.  I realized I liked the uncluttered feel that the house had when we had cleared out all the stuff that "made the house look smaller" so we could stage it for sale.  I started small (old clothes that are about 6 sizes too small...come the time...if I ever...can fit into those clothes again, they will be completely outdated and might not even fit the way they used to since I now have a "post baby body") and worked my way up to bigger or more sentimental items (namely baby stuff).  I have to say that I was blown away by how emotional the process was.  I really was surprised at how hard the decision to give an item that "I might need one day" away was.  I hadn't used the item recently (some items I hadn't used in ten years!), but somehow I felt an emotional pull to an item that did nothing but create clutter.  I had a realization along the way that my view of earthly possessions had become skewed from what I knew it should be.  In Luke 12:34 and again Matthew 6:21 we find an account of the words spoken by Jesus, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  I realized it was time to evaluate where my heart was. I've always thought if it's in the Bible once, it is important, but if it makes an appearance multiple come MUST be extra important, right???  What is it that I should teach my daughter to believe - can she see that I believe that thing through my actions???  Now I'm not going to say I'm anywhere close to where I want to be in my view of possessions and my additude about prioritizing items of value, but I'm making progress.  Our house is on the market again and I'm proud to say that although we have a few items in my In-Law's extra bedroom and we have a loaded attic, we don't have a storage unit!!!  I'm so greatful that God has provided the house that we live in now.  We would love to move to a new location, but if that's not in God's plan for us, I'm ok with that.  I wanted to share a couple of the resources that I found that really help me work through this organization process (I originally typed "helped", then went back and deleted the "ed" because this isn't something that you just do once - it is a continual process).

HERE - This lady is an organizational genius in my book!!!

HERE - This guy's view on Miminalism is incredibly enlightening.  I follow him on twitter and love his blog!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break and Oh S#@&

We're getting back into the swing of things around here.  We have had SO MUCH going on.  We re-listed our house for sale last Monday.  Since last week was Spring Break, we spent the whole week trying to finish getting the house ready to put on the market, while trying to squeeze in a little fun.  I can't wait to post pictures of our new and improved version of home. :)  Even the back yard is presentable.  I still have a couple projects to finish up tonight, but then, we can rest a little.  We did manage to have a little fun - David went fishing a couple times and we took a short trip to the Zoo.  Ashlyn and I went to Leeds to see Autumn and Shelby play in their first tournament!  Autumn won her game and they did their little dance.  Shelby's team did not win...but that didn't faze that girl one bit.  My sister was telling me, before we went to see them, that Shelby was one of those stare out into space/watch the butterflies kind of player.  She's definitely that!!! I'm not sure she ever knew where the ball was.  They were both super entertaining to watch.  Hayden pushed Ashlyn around in her stroller for a long time.  They are all such great cousins for Ashlyn!  Ashlyn and I got to hang out with a good friend of mine and my step-sister Lindsey all day on Saturday while selling all our old junk.  Yep...I participated in my first ever yard sale.  I did pretty good too - made almost $200!  That paid the Lowe's bill off from the EIGHT trips we made to Lowe's last week.  I counted...eight trips, plus two to Home Depot and I did my fair share of shopping during the week for "staging stuff".  You know decorator towels and bowls to put on the table, etc., etc.  We found a house that we really like, but they will not accept a contigency to sell offer.  They will accept a contigency to close if we get a contract on our house, but we haven't had anyone interested yet.  The realtor is coming today to take pictures to put online, so hopefully that will spark some interest.  In the meantime, I always enjoy having my own house clean and fixed up. :)
Ashlyn had another "first" last week.  This is an unfortunate "first" though.  She has picked up a "bad word".  She keeps saying "Oh, S#@&".  Yep...I'm not going to say I've never slipped and said it in front of her because I know I have and so has David and so has Mary and Joe and Chuck and... you see.  I think it was just a culmination of all of our slip ups.  We are trying to also stop saying words that sound like it such as sit and eat.  It's now "get in your chair" and "eat,eat".  We are very stern with her when she uses the word and also put her in time out.  We tried ignoring first, but that didn't help.  Hopefully she breaks this before she becomes a preschool delinquent.  We are all tired and grumpy and Ashlyn is a very "strong willed" child, so the last few days have been filled with lots of tantrums and I'm not going to pretend they all belonged to Ashlyn either.  I'm not good at being tired or hot or hungry either.  Hopefully things will get back to normal around the Ryan Household soon!