Monday, February 25, 2013


For generations, there has been a stigma that men must be the providers for their families.  It hasn't been till the last couple decades that it's become more accepted that a woman could be the one to bring in more money for the family.

I grew up in a house with a stay-at-home mom.  My husband was the same way.  Our upbringing, made me think that when my husband lost his source of income and I got a job and became the provider, that he would be upset, depressed, or feel "less manly" because of the change in work / income status.  However, shortly after he left home for college his mom started to work outside the home and he has an Uncle that stayed home with his boys while his wife worked outside of the home.

Perhaps knowing that made it less painful.  All I know is that to my surprise (and probably his a little bit too), he's enjoyed the time he's been able to spend with our kids.  It's also given him the opportunity to discover talents he didn't know he had or would like: cooking, teaching, and cleaning at the top of the list.

Although he's enjoyed this time at home, I could tell he really wanted an adult project to work on.  I remember the feeling well.  I remember feeling so useful and productive when I was doing the accounting work for the company my husband and his brother started years ago.  When that work went away, I missed the "adult" aspect of my life.

So when my husband was contacted by someone asking if he wanted to work on a project I wasn't even a little bit surprised that he said yes.  I also wasn't surprised that he wound up working on it night and day till the last minute trying to make things as perfect as they could be.  Nor was I surprised, that although he was operating on about as much sleep as a mother of a nursing newborn,  he was excited and eager to get up the day of his meeting.

So how did it go?  Well, on the way there a deer jumped out in front of his car and it was snowing and sleeting (the big reasons we moved to Florida).  In fact, I got a text from him letting me know that Virginia welcomed him back with open arms by trying to kill him.

The meeting itself went much better.  Do they have a signed contract?  No.  But they do want him to add a few features to the product and come back in a few weeks to install a demo.  Considering that's how he got his last big client, he has a pretty good chance of this working.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Memory Lane

It's amazing how time passes differently for each generation.  To my kids, things drag on for what seems like an eternity (so they say).  For me, those same things pass too quickly.  And from what I understand, the older you get, the faster things seem to pass.  Something I'm not looking forward to honestly.

So today, rather than thinking about how quickly my future is going to pass before me, I'm going to reminisce and revel in the past.  You see, today my best friend through junior high and high school is celebrating her birthday.  It's been more years than I'd like to admit since I've seen her, but we still try to keep in touch as best we can considering we live 1000's of miles apart and both have families that keep us busy.

I remember walks in the woods talking about which boys we liked and who was driving us absolutely crazy (our siblings usually being near the top of the list).  I remember snowball fights, sleep overs, and working together over the summers among many other things.

But most of all, I remember what a Godly young woman she was.  And you know what, that hasn't changed.  She is still young (compared to me certainly) and she lives out her faith every day.  She truly is an inspiration.

Love you Deanna!  I pray you have a wonderful day.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Years ago I worked with a woman who was raising two boys as a single mother.  It often meant that one or both of them would come in to work with her when school was out (thankfully our employer was flexible like that).  It would mean she HAD to take sick days to take care of a sick kid (no spouse to take turns with).  It meant that she was ALWAYS busy; when not at work, she was doing something for or with her boys.

Back then, I thought she was a special woman for being able to do all that she was doing.  But the last couple days I've gotten an all-new appreciation for what she did.  You see, the last few days my husband has been out of town on a business trip.

Has my husband been on business trips before?  Yes.  But this is the first time he's been on a business trip when I wasn't near family.  In fact, he is staying at my parent's house because the meeting is near their house.  And while there, he's going to drive a couple hours to visit with his grandparents and his parents (who just happen to be finishing a visit to his grandparents).

So what have I learned?  Single mom's are a whole different breed of women.  They are amazing.  The though of doing this day after day, week after week is very daunting.  I've also learned that finding a support system is very important.  If you don't have family nearby, it's important to find friends who can help you out in a pinch.

For example:  I had a friend who watched my kids for a little over an hour today so that I could do something for work.  Was the thing I was doing for work urgent?  No.  But I had made a promise before I knew my husband was going to be out of town, and I felt I had to follow through.  Thankfully Becca was able to help me out... a God-send.

I am so thankful that this is only going to last for a few more days.  But I'm also thankful I've had this experience, because it's given me a new insight into the life of a single mom. 

For those of you who know a single mom... do me a favor.  Offer to help her out every once in a while:  Help her do some stuff around her house, offer to watch her kids for a few hours in the evening or on the weekend (without pay) so she can have some alone time, take her a meal so she can spend more time with her kids, or meet for a play-date (at a park or your house) so she can have a little time talking to another mom while the kids are running around.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Get What You Pay For

Shortly after I started working in real estate I was offered an opportunity to get a free head shot.  The goal was to get a picture I could use on the company website, my personal website (when I actually get it up and running), as well as any documentation I print out.

I have never photographed all that well, but after getting the photographers "best shots" I felt very disappointed.  Below is the picture that I felt was the best of the 6 or so pictures I was given.  I felt like I was a baby bird looking up at it's mother asking begging for food.

Yesterday, I was given another opportunity to have a head shot taken.  The session would be free and my preferred picture would be sent to my employer for them to use on the company website.  If I wanted the picture to use elsewhere it was my option to pay for that right.  Before going in I decided what I would be willing to pay.  When I was told it would cost twice that amount, I paused briefly but decided it was worth it.  Not only did I get to pick my favorite 2 shots, but I watched them touch them up (and even told them to undo something).  This experience just solidifies in my mind the saying that you get what you pay for.

Now that you've seen both pictures on the same page, do you agree?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week in Summary

I apologize for not sticking with the blogging thing as often as I should intended, but alas life seems to get in the way.  For example, my week has looked something like this:

  • Last Sunday: relaxing day at home with the kids recovering from my son's birthday party the day before
  • Monday: My son's actual birthday.  That meant time spent with him.  We had library books due so in addition to dropping them off we got some new books.  My favorite thing... I think we found an age-appropriate series that my son likes (for those interested "My Weird School Daze" series by Dan Gutman).  He even reads these on his own at night in his bed  :-)  After the library we went to MOTE aquarium.  Not only did we get to see all kinds of marine animals but we got to see the new sea lion show they have right now.  For my local peeps...Very cute and worth the time.
  • Tuesday: Robotics class in the afternoon meant preparations in the morning.  After class a few friends stayed a little while longer so the kids could actually play.  Then we went out to dinner for my son's birthday (hubby couldn't make it Monday night).
  • Wednesday:  The kids had their Lego and K'Nex class and while they were at class I made phone calls and ran a few errands (much faster without the kiddos).
  • Thursday: We went to the property appraisers office to file for our homestead exemption.  For those who are not aware of what that is, when you own and reside in a home in Florida you get a discount on your personal property taxes.  But in order to qualify you have to gather documentation and get it to the property appraisers office.  You only have to do it once and this is the first year we are eligible so we had to file before March 1.  I didn't want to wait till the last minute and there was a chance hubby would be out of town next week so Thursday it was.
  • Friday:  Hubby had a conference call in the morning trying to get a new client.  They want him to make a few additions and then they are going to present it to the end client hopefully the end of the week.  We also found out they don't think they will want him at to fly up for a meeting this week after all (a big sigh of relief for me because I'm not sure how I would handle a real estate career and homeschooling 2 kids at the same time even if only for a few days).
  • Saturday: church and small group in the evening.  
Add to all of these: reading with my kid, making phone calls for work, getting stuff together to file taxes, trying to get quotes for homeowners insurance, dishes, laundry, etc and I have a busy life.

What's planned for today?  A morning spent playing games and reading with my kids and a couple hours showing houses in the afternoon.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Where Did That Freight Train Come From?

Where has the time gone?  I mean really...  How is it possible that 9 years ago tomorrow I gave birth to my oldest child?

Boy, how things have changed during those 9 years.  For example, 9 years ago I was at my parent's house because we were iced out of our house.  Yesterday, we had a birthday party for my son and were able to take advantage of the beautiful weather by having the party outside in our lanai.  Rather than worry about getting red cheeks from the cold, we were worrying about getting sunburn (SO not complaining folks).  And today, my kids were crazy enough to swim in our unheated pool (for no more than 30 minute mind you).

Feb 10.  Outside temp = 70ish.  Pool temp = 65

It's been such a wonder and privilege to watch my son grow up the last 9 years. To see him go from a helpless baby (I can't say little) to the helpful, smart, kind young man he is now.  I hope the next 9 years go by slowly because I have no doubt that when my son turns 18 he is going to begin a very awesome chapter in his life.  Although a part of me looks forward to it, I'm in no rush for it to get here.

So, for those interested in the party details... we had a robot themed party.  The kids and I made a cake that looked like a robot,

we found some fun robot decorations, and the kids got to play with some of Jason's robot creations, as well as a variation of pin the tail on the donkey (I call it assemble the robot).

We started with the body and the kids added all the pieces.
And after it got dark (and all the party goers had gone home) we had a bonfire.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feelin' The Love

Well, it's safe to say that today I felt loved.  You see, today is my birthday.  I've gotten phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and even a small gift from my clients who I met with today. 

Was today a completely relaxing day?  Certainly not.  I did mention I met with my clients right?  Technically I met them twice today.  But that's ok, because for my birthday I also got a deal that looks like it will close in 2 months.

Being busy on my birthday also puts the day into perspective for me.  On my birthday, 29 years ago (give or take a few) I just showed up.  My mom was the one who did all the work, so today I was the one working.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What We've Been Up To

WOW! I just realized it's been over a week since I posted last, and for that I appologize.  Looking back on the last week I realize why I didn't find the time.  Here is a little bulleted list (to make things easier and in homage of my friend J who loves to use bullets in her blog):

  • I showed a few houses last Sunday afternoon to the brother of a client from out of state.  The client decided to fly down a few days ago to look at houses themselves.  That had me busy Friday and again today.
  • Monday, the kids and I went to a local beach with a homeschool group and did some beach clean up.  Then the kids played on the freshly cleaned beach for a little while before I head to get back to show a house to someone.
  • Tuesday, hubby taught his second robotics class to homeschoolers.  Although I don't teach the class, I have to be home to watch our daughter since she doesn't participate.  There are also other families with children that don't participate so I find myself trying to come up with things for those kids to do (not to mention cleaning the house before they come in case they wander into the house for a bathroom break or something to drink after running around our yard for 2 hours).
  • Wednesday the kids have their Lego / K'Nex class.  This week, rather than going, I stayed home and made LOTS of phone calls.
  • Thursday, I closed on my first house for this year.
  • Friday, I showed houses to my client that I mention in the first bullet. On my way home I spent $90 on $175 in groceries (that took planning on Thursday night).
  • Saturday I did some stuff around the house, did some stuff for work, and went to church and small group in the evening.
  • And today I am taking out my clients from Friday again to look at some more houses.  Hopefully I will get home in time to go out to dinner.  Dinner out on Super Bowl Sunday?!?  Yep.  It's a bit of tradition.  My birthday is always around the super bowl and my hubby and I don't like football.  We used to watch the super bowl for the commercials, but now that they find their way on youtube the next day, there is no need.  So instead we go out to dinner to a restaurant where there is no TV in the hopes that it won't be crowded.
Oh, and of course there's the laundry, dishes, cooking, homechooling, and the occassional sleep at night thrown in to the week too.

Here's to hoping the next week is busy enough  but not too busy.