8/12/15

Molly James DeVore


Oh. Hey.

This blog is sad. Aware. It gets updated once a year as opposed to the once a week that it was used to while we lived in the city. But that's life in the suburban hood.

Molly James (after Scott's late father, whom she looks JUST LIKE) DeVore is here! I didn't even know that I was in labor on the morning of November the 3rd, 2014. I went to the mall with my friend Kaylyn, but felt a bit flu-ish, so we called it a day. As she was pulling out of my driveway, I noticed that I was bleeding. Fearing the worst, as this was how our loss prior to Molly began, I called my Dr. They saw me right away and basically just looked at me with wide eyes and said two words, "go. now." I made it to the hospital and within the hour, our girl was in my arms. Easiest delivery ever (said the idiot that would've probably had her baby in the car had she not noticed something was off when she did).

MacPherson came in to meet his sister and began to cry.

Aww, so sweet, right?

No.

"But her hair isn't pwink (pink) like Mowlly on Bubble Guppies!"

Oh.

But it's ok. He loves her now. He calls her Mollyzilla, because now, nine months later, she crawls and pulls up and is trying to walk....and she loves to "destroy him and his things."

Adjusting to the new normal of having two children took me a bit of time, but now, it's pretty great.  The next new normal begins in just two weeks time, when MacPherson begins VPK, but I'm trying not to think about that yet.

Here's proof that it only took a week of her life for her brother to have a change of heart. She has been his "best fwiend" ever since. Thankful.





10/18/14

Nests

Scott and I moved three times while living in NYC. If you've ever had to do this, even once, then you deserve all of the things. Why? The process looks like this:

1) Check bank account online. Do you have enough in your savings account to cover your first and last months rent, a moving truck, plus your security deposit? If yes, is there any left over to afford to pay a real estate broker to do all of the legwork for you?  If you were us, those answers were always, yes, then an awwwww, nope. If you did, skip to step #4. If you are us, continue on to step #2.

2) The search is all on you. Start with Craigslist. Email any and all apartments that match your criteria. Sit back for no less than 2 minutes and wait for the responses, which will, 99% of the time, come back as one of the following: A) I'm sorry, that apartment was just rented, even though yes, it was just listed 1 minute ago. B) That apartment actually has a fee that I forgot to write about in the listing. I am a Realtor, so can you afford to pay the extra thousand to secure this? C) This unit is no longer available, but I have one in another one of my buildings for only 2500$ more per month. When would you like to go and see it? D) It IS still available, though please note my question: Are you comfortable sharing a bathroom with all of the tenants on your floor? or E) It IS still available. You need to come right away, as three other people have already emailed me since I listed it one minute ago. (I won't list option F, the other 1% of the responses...it is never kind, or appropriate, and usually comes from a bored 12 year old in his parents basement)

3) Once you get reply option E, you run. Run to grab your bank statements, your job verification letter, and your most recent credit score copies. Then, you run to the first taxi that you see.

4) Go and see the apartment. If the bathroom and bedroom are in separate rooms from each other (don't ask) and mice are not breeding in the oven, you will more than likely want to secure this unit. To qualify, you must prove that you earn 40x your monthly rent. Do that, and your gold. Fail to do so and start over at step 1.

It's no surprise that when we moved back to Tampa, we were burnt out and in no hurry to begin the process again. We spent the next two years living with Scott's mother, Linda. During the last year of those two, we began our search for our first home. This process started off as fun, then quickly became a #FloridaMan version of the mess above. The houses that we saw and actually liked all had major issues, or were snatched up by investors.

Finally, in doing my own search, I found it. A place that was literally walking distance from Scott's job, within our price point, and with a yard that was, by our standards, big. It had just been listed, so I made the call and got us the first showing possible, which was that very day. We went. It needed work. It smelled like wet dog. But the yard and the bones were incredible, and with two creative eyes, it could be made to be really, really comfortable. We made an offer. It was ours by the end of that next day. And then....we tore it apart. Not shown here are our bathrooms-for some reason we never took before shots-but now, just know that they are sparkly white, new in appearance, and that we have mastered the art of wainscoting. Now, for those of you that have asked, here are our befores, and our afters:

BEFORES:

MacPherson's room. The carpets were stained with dog pee and the walls were a baby blue shade in color.

The living room. Beige walls, chipped tile floors, and dog hair matted into every available corner, crevice, and hole imaginable.

Molly's room. Again with the beige walls, and carpets that reeked of dog urine.



The side porch. Dog hairs everywhere. Stains everywhere. Smells like...no comment.

The kitchen. Red. Blue stickery laminate counters. Light wood. Roughed up sink.

Dining room view #1

Dining room view #2

Entrance way

Living room

Hallway, again with the cracked hair filled tiles.





Afters:
The kitchen. Ignore the items on the counters. We are still cleaning after our shower that was held here last weekend.

Subway tiles, white doors, raised butcher-block counter-tops, and country styled pulls.



Farmhouse sink. Happy.





MacPherson's room. Not seen here is his car rug, little chair, and dresser.

Living room. Yes, we still need curtains and art work. Aware.

Molly's room. The sign is made by a sweet friend named Angela. It references that Molly is our miracle. Our gift after our loss. I cried.

This was Scott's childhood dresser. He let me lady it up. I love the results. And thank you to Deona for making the curtains, M sign, Molly letters below, and pillows/blanket! I love my friends. 

Dining room. The chandelier and mirror are my color choices too. Thanks to Scott for letting me paint how I wanted.





For the record, almost all of this was completed by Scott DeVore. On top of his full time job and his roles as a dad and a husband, he worked his tail off for three months getting this place ready for us to move into. Thanks to our family and friends for the help with the remainder. It was a lot: All new floors throughout. Paint in every room. Heavy cleaning. New kitchen(!). New bathrooms. Done. We also replaced a lot behind the scenes like a whole-house water filtration system and electricity panel, and cleaned up the jungle of a yard. And now, we are home. And settled. Good thing, because in just two weeks time or less, we gain our little Molly. I'm going to go take a nap and be thankful for our humble, cozy, nest.

5/2/14

Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain.

This is a blog that I wrote three months ago and never published. It is the back story for the blog that precedes it. The heartbreak before the hope, if you will.
_______________________________________________________________________________
"Are you pregnant yet?"

"So.....just one kid for you guys, eh?"

"It's time to start trying for a sibling for MacPherson, you're not getting any younger you know."

These words.

I've said them in varying degrees.

I hate that I've said them.

I cringe when I hear them being said to others.

And now, I break inside when they are said to me.

Four months ago, at roughly two months of pregnancy, I miscarried. My precious little baby, whom I was already talking to and praying over, whom I was already naming secretly in my mind, whom I was already desiring more than life itself to hold in my arms, passed silently over the course of two days. It's a loss that I cannot describe. It's a loss that still washes over me at the most random times. I can be perfectly fine one moment, the next, a sobbing ball on the floor. I carried my brokenness around with me in silence until just recently. In my opening up, I have learned something. I am not alone. Not even close. Of my roughly ten friends that know of this, seven of them have miscarried as well. Those numbers, those babies, those brokenhearted women just like me walking around in their silent pain, dying a little inside every-time that someone brings up the questions above, it's heartbreaking. It's time to stop with the questions. It's time to just be gentle with each other.

And trust me, world, when and if God chooses to give me another shot, I will tell you that I am pregnant. There will be no need to ask me "has it worked yet?"

Lastly, this, which has brought me comfort on the tough days. Goodbyes are not forever, when the Lord is the author of your story:

John 14:1-3

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

I'll see you there, Baby DeVore. Until my time comes, mommy loves you. 


And now...the hope.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Today, four months later, I write with a new tone; with a new joy. 

I am 13 weeks pregnant. 

God has restored my story, almost immediately, with a sweet, tiny, healthy thus-far little baby.

I am due the first week of November. St Joe's North, begin epidural readying procedures now, please.

MacPherson is excited, though slightly confused. He walks around petting his stomach telling strangers that he has a baby inside of it. In his story, he is having a little girl named "Monster Truck."It is in fact a girl, we found out today, but this name will probably not make it far on the list.

I'm not at all sick, though sometimes I feel exhausted. I am already showing, but I'm proud of that. It's a sign that I have been given a second chance, so I'll wear this extra weight proudly. And this cake, this cake I will eat proudly too. And this box or two of macaroni. And....etc. 

I am thankful. 

I am hungry.

I'll see you soon, my little girl.

And thank you, Jesus.

1/21/14

Returning and restoring

This has been a trying month on my heart, my body, my mind, and even, sadly, on my faith. I needed a hug. I needed words of life. I needed my girls.

Timing. God has that down pat. 

One long weekend away in NYC, surrounded by fireplaces, quaint shops upstate, bubble baths, snow, and friends that are like family, and I am feeling nearly whole again. 

We flew into NYC super early on Friday morning, where our rental car was all ready for us. We drove straight into the city, stopping first in one of our old neighborhoods, Roosevelt Island, where this lovely friend, Lisa, was waiting for me.

After catching up quickly and grabbing a coffee at our local, burnt coffee chain, Scott and I drove over the bridge and landed in midtown. Once here, I had two goals: get me to my old students, and pull over to that falafel cart. 
I get what I want.

With my hot box of lamb in my lap and arms that were warm from hugging a slew of precious screaming children, we began our drive upstate to Rhinebeck for the wedding of my love, Mehren. I was so excited. Here, 10 girls that all have my heart would be. 

We stayed where the reception was held, at the Beekman Arms. It was nothing less than beautiful.





And the town? Heaven. So quaint and cozy. See:




After exploring the town, we met up with our old friends for a long dinner and lots of hugs. The next day was the wedding. It was stunning, and I definitely ugly-faced cried. 









And then, all of this.




In the morning, we said our goodbyes and drove back to the city for two days of rest, food, and quietness. We stayed at the Royalton which is near Bryant Park. I recommend it. A lot. 


Here are some city shots. I love NYC btw, I just hated the price tags attached while we were living there.










I used to do awesome things with my life......


And now, time to make dinner and hug my little boy, who accumulated a ton of new toys from all of his sucker grandparents while we were away. Spoiled. Speaking of spoiled, mom, my Starbucks card is low. You know what to do.