Saturday, February 6, 2016

Let Me Tell You About a Miracle

I've been thinking about God a lot lately, and how his ways really aren't our ways at all. We've been praying all last year that God would heal my body, and that wasn't a prayer he chose to answer in 2015*. However, I was also praying another prayer - one that seemed far more impossible in my eyes - and that's the one he chose to answer.

He brought us a house.

A little explanation. Nathan and I are not rich. In fact, my health crisis this year has quite drained our savings. His salary is not horrible, and if I were well and able to work even a little, we'd be okay. But with my health issues we simply don't have cash to spare. We have worked to cut corners in every way we can. When you see my Lego collection, that is mostly from generous gifts - same with a good deal of my crafts supplies. Nathan gets his games from work benefits. Our clothes are nearly all secondhand. I don't share any of this to garner pity, but rather to state very clearly that we have worked extremely hard to be good stewards of what we've been given. The fact remains that we could not dream of moving out of our low-end no-frills apartment anytime soon.

But we needed to. In addition to suspecting environmental allergies, Nathan is tremendously overtaxed with taking care of me. My food sensitivities are so severe that we cannot buy any premade food, which means he has to do a lot of cooking... and since we have no dishwasher, he has to wash all the dishes by hand.

 I can't even put a load of clothes in the dryer for him because I don't have the strength to carry the laundry up and down three loads of stairs. Nathan's mom would be more than happy to come up from out of state to help us out, but in our tiny apartment it is very difficult to make that arrangement work comfortably for very long, especially when I am having a really painful day and desiring privacy in my misery (even though I adore my mother-in-law). Finally, because our apartment complex has no private yard of any sort, I get very little sunshine and fresh air as there simply isn't a place where I feel comfortable (even when I feel up to walking the three flights of stairs).

"God, please work a miracle," I started praying in early fall. "Please, somehow, make a house financially possible. And not just any house - the perfect house for all of my health needs."

I didn't know how it would be possible. Our families are not rich, and neither are our friends. It's probably the most impossible thing I have ever asked God.

Then, just as October began, Nathan's Dad came forwards with a plan to help us get a home. It would benefit them as well, as it would give them a place to stay when they visited their kids up here (Nathan's sister and her family live near us as well). If we could find a house that we could partition a space off for them when they were here, they would help us get through this period of financial difficulty and into a home. It means sacrifices for them as well, but they felt called to do this for us.

Oh. My. Gosh.

We were stunned. And we just prayed and prayed and prayed. And things kept working out. We went over tons of details and poured through hundreds of real estate listings, even though we couldn't actually make an offer on a house until mid-January. Since we would have to give a two month notice on our apartment and couldn't end our lease until March 31st, it gave us a very tight timeframe to work with.

We looked at a total of five houses before walking into the perfect home on January 21st - four days after our second anniversary, and one day after Nathan had been in a car accident. We had been eyeing this home for awhile (it had been on the market 49 days at this point) but hadn't looked at it sooner as it was at the top of our price range. Somehow, that day, things came together and we decided to look at it so we'd know whether it was worth pouncing if the price dropped (as it seemed due to.)

Our agent got on the phone with their agent and... uh oh! They already had another offer in! We had just four hours to decide if we wanted to make an offer, how much to offer, and draw up the paperwork! And Nathan was due at the chiropractor for a post-accident evaluation. AND we didn't have our pre-approval letter from the bank yet! And there was no possible way for my parents to stop over and check out the house - and Nathan's dad was back home two states away! It's actually crazy that Nathan's mom was even with us that day, otherwise we never would have made a move!

But move we did! Somehow everything came together in those four hours. We made the very best offer we could, hoping and praying that if this was the house God wanted us to have, it would be enough to trump the other offer. And then we waited for the most insane 3 hours...

Our offer was accepted! The inspection passed and they accepted our action item amendments without contest! We got a great loan rate! We close mid-March, which gives us a comfy two weeks to move everything over! We were able to get the end of lease notice in just in time... which is amazing because if we'd had to renew our lease we would have ended up paying $50 more a month!

So that's our miracle. I still can't believe it.

*AND if you were wondering... I mentioned a new med for my headaches that we are trying, and so far we are having positive results. It's a little hard to gauge for sure because of COURSE I came down with my first nasty cold in years this week, but oh well. At least my head hasn't been killing me the whole time I'm dying of coughing!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gilmore Girls News and Speculation

And the news about the Gilmore Girls revival continues! Read the linked article, then come back for some speculation. (But not if you haven't already finished the original run. Watch through Season 7 first!)

Not at all surprising that we won't be seeing Sookie - I highly doubt we'll see Dean either (whew!). It is a bit interesting that Logan will be back - it'll be fun to see him, but I have noticed a really solid trend of fans wanting Rory to ultimately end up with Jess. So how does Logan play into all of this? What brings him back to the Stars Hallow circle?

Now, what do we theorize the changes will be for each of the Gilmore women? I think it is fairly obvious that Emily will be adjusting to widowhood - there is almost no other way they could start the show and really honor the history than with the recent death of Richard.

Now Lorelai and Rory are harder to guess. I know fans are very much hoping to find Lorelai and Luke already married. It could be that them finally tying the knot is where the revival starts, although the long gap would be difficult to explain. If Luke and Lorelai HAVE been married for years, the big question is whether they had a kid right away, or whether that is something they're trying to achieve now. Even without modern medical advancements it's still not too late for Lorelai to have another child (and there were certainly plenty of hints in the original series that eventually Lorelai would have another child).

As for Rory... no idea. Could it be that she's had a successful career as a journalist and now she is moving back to Stars Hollow? Perhaps bringing a boy home and thinking about settling down? Or, a slightly different version of that would be coming home and feeling ready to settle down but not having met 'the one' yet.

I doubt that BOTH Rory and Lorelai's changes will be romantic/mommyhood related, even though those are the ideas that most readily come to mind for me.

I have no doubt that the revival will be good. I also seriously doubt that every fan will love it. Yes, it is a revival, but it's really a coda to the series, to give us the ending that Palladino meant to give us in the first place - the one we all made up in our heads. And therein lies the problem. Everyone has had 10 years to think up just how it should have ended and why. There's no way that the revival can incorporate all of these ideas - if it includes any at all. It has to balance honoring the original show and the fans with still being original and presenting a strong new story with characters that are ten years older. This is no easy feat.

There's hope, however, in the fact that we've seen this feat achieved before. The Veronica Mars movie did a pretty excellent job of hitting all the right notes. It's a similar set-up of timelines and returning stars, but Gilmore Girls is more about the relationships and I think that will make it slightly harder to deliver. Still, seeing other shows achieve it, even in different genres, is promising.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cars, Accidents, Health, Superheros... life is a quickly moving ball

Hi guys! Life is CRAZY around here. How about you?

While I can't share every detail of all the insane stuff, I will give some basics because I know I've got some worried readers.

First off, my husband, Nathan was in a minor car accident last week that totaled our (ancient) vehicle. This was super freaky for us from a financial perspective, because my health issues have been totally draining our savings. We're staying afloat because God keeps providing, with friends and family donating time and money just as we need them. "Do not worry about tomorrow" is a hard command to follow, but so far we've always made it through 'tomorrow.' 

We got a ton of prayers this past week, and were surprised when we ended up getting a little more from the insurance company than expected (still peanuts, but for an ancient car like ours, okay). My parents have been going to the same mechanic for years and he gave us a deal on an old loaner car he had - $600 marked down from $999. It's got a lot of miles on it, but it's been well cared for and if we can get six months out of it we're still ahead of the game.

Nathan had minor injuries, but we were able to get him to both my nutritionist and chiropractor right away and he's been seeing the chiropractor every other day pretty much since then. It's a bit of a struggle to schedule around his work hours, but it's worth it. The x-rays were not too bad, so though he's still having some discomfort, the prognosis is quite good. (This chiropractic office has helped me and some other family members recover from more serious injuries before, so we are quite confident with their ability to completely heal Nathan). Thankfully we had liability insurance for our car that is covering all of this.

We were super blessed that Nathan's mom was up in MN already so was able to help with some of the transport issues. And of course we're also tremendously grateful for all of the prayers so many of you offered up on our behalf. God has been doing some great things for us!

Finally, on MY health front (lol),  I saw a very good neurologist AT LAST yesterday and he believes my headache's root problem is tense shoulders, so we're working on solving that. There are other factors in my whole health picture (we're ever more suspicious of fibro although I haven't been formally diagnosed), but getting rid of my headache would be a BIG help. I have literally had a headache of some degree every day for the past month, and for one week it was so bad we went and stayed at my parents just to survive. It's intense, guys. 

But there's been good stuff too. I'm hoping my next post will include more of that. For now, let's just all enjoy the final season of Downton Abbey, and the marvelousness that is the plethora of Superhero TV right now, including the second season of Agent Carter! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two Years of being a Hajek

 Two years ago, this happened.

The past two years have been tremendously hard from a health standpoint (starting with that migraine on my wedding day, which you would never guess from the photos!), but Nathan has been with me through every minute of it and his devotion and selflessness keeps me in awe every day. I never dreamed it was possible to love someone the way I love him.

You can read all of my wedding related posts at the links below:
Our Romance
My Engagement (and Wedding plans)
Timing and Guests Lists - God's Got it All
Invitation Stuff
Shower Snapshots
Too Many Feelings to Catalog Them All (Moving out, moving in)
My Wedding - Part 1 (Preparation)
My Wedding - Part 2 (Ceremony and Reception)
My Wedding - Part 2.5 (The Legos)
My Wedding - Part 3 (The Honeymoon)
My Wedding - Official Photos
My Wedding - Part 4 (The Illinois Reception)
Mourning the Wedding I didn't have
A Letter to Bride-to-Be's about Engagement Emotions

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Trimming the Fat

You know, I feel pretty crappy most days. On the other hand, I also feel pretty proud of myself when I manage to edit 20 pages, despite having a headache and nausea all the time. But yeah, there's no extra energy for blog posts yet. Alas.

I did have one thought on the editing process that I wanted to share. Editing is weird. Part of my focus on this pass is really trimming the excess fat from the story. I'm about a quarter of the way through and have managed to cut 3,000 words, despite writing some new little scenes. If that remains the average, the book should wind up around 111,500 words. This makes for a tighter story (the beginning in particular lagged a bit), but also less expensive to publish and sell.

Unfortunately I'm still behind schedule, even with my valiant puttering away. So I'd best get back to Microsoft Word...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm alive!

I was in the ER twice this month with a migraine, and after the last one I couldn't be on the computer for a week. Now I am frantically trying to meet a writing deadline, so that's where all my keyboard typing time is going. Eeek! But I'll be back blogging in January.

My husband and I did start a new humor instagram account as something fun to help us cope with how intense and anxious the last few weeks have been. If you're a Lego fan or geek of any kind, you may get a kick out of it.

Happy Holidays and wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2015

How to (not) End a Show in December

(This post contains some spoilers for DOCTOR WHO, ARROW, AGENTS of SHIELD, and ONCE UPON A TIME and Downton Abbey Season 3.- I tried to keep things cryptic, but if you're smart you'll probably figure stuff out. )

I am very annoyed by TV shows that leave their last December episode on a horribly sad note. Mid-season finale in November? Sure, kill someone off. Mid-season finale in December? HOLD OFF ON THE TEARS UNTIL JANUARY, DUDES! LET US HAVE A NICE CHRISTMAS! Or, you know, have the tragic thing happen in the penultimate episode and give us another episode to decompress before the holidays. (Like Agents of SHIELD. That wasn't a pivotal death, but it was super emotional and unexpected and I was pretty mad for the week when I thought that was the finale until Tuesday rolled around and we got another episode. Joke was on me.)

Okay, OUAT gets a pass because it is so obvious the character is coming back next season (and he's the showrunner's special snowflake). I was more upset about the last scene character destruction than the actual death.

Doctor Who, of course, contained an actual death but ended up being the best character exit on New Who - almost, I must admit, better than Martha's. (I love Martha, but not everyone appreciates her the way I do. *sigh*)

Arrow, on the other hand, was horrible. Like, they wrote a list of "how can we best spoil Christmas" and ticked off a bunch of boxes so that for the rest of my life I will probably burst out bawling whenever "The Little Drummer Boy" plays. What's ironic about that one is that the character in question might actually end up being alive!  (no, the grave is still four months away and X is alive in the promos for January) But it had all the emotional punch of a death and it was so explicitly tied into Christmas that I just want to punch things.

So far everything else is giving me happy feels, but Arrow was so awful, I'm still bummed about it today.

No, a TV show isn't going to ruin my Christmas. But man, it can leave a sad taste in the mouth for a bit. I mean, that one Downton Abbey Christmas special still holds all the awards for worst timing ever, but some other shows are definitely trying to steal the trophy.

Seriously,  I'd far rather get a cliffhanger season finale in May and have to wait three months to see it resolved than have someone die (or appear dead) right before Christmas.

BTW - if you mention the ending on any episode for any show that has aired in the past few weeks, please tag your spoilers for the sake of other commentators. Thanks!