So – I was going to make this post just about Christmas wishes for our wish list… but I started this post today when I was in a chatty mood, sitting alone in my perfectly clean house after showing it to SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BUY IT. That’s right. A friend of ours just happened to be looking for a house right now – just like ours, in our location. Of course, this means we will both benefit by not having to even hire a realtor on either side of the transaction. It all seems too good to be true. God’s fingerprints seem to be all over this decision from start to finish, even with me moaning and whining about it all.
Who does that? Just sells their house like an Ebay listing? So strange. I feel like I’m cheating the system – but if you know me, I do most things in a very unconventional way (just ask my oncologist).
Anyway… this week went by like a New York Minute… Bathroom and laundry room floors being installed by a contractor friend, toilets and washing machines and dryers all over my house, messes galore, … and frantic cleaning and organizing and painting so that we could show the house today.
My eye is twitching. I’m not sure even a hefty dose of magnesium can fix it.
I need a vacation that includes a spa and valet to pack for me and carry everything, including my cell phone and purse. Or maybe I just need to lay in bed with my eyes shut for a few days… either way, I want to do NOTHING for the next few days. N O T H I N G.
Alas, the neighborhood is having a garage sale (and they have advertised it for me), so it seems a good time to sit out in the driveway and try to unload a bunch of stuff before we move. That’s where I’ll be tomorrow… if you are in the area, stop by and bring some spending money because I’m sure we’ll have something you need. OK, want. Something you want. Some of it is from my mom’s house. Some from mine. Some from my daughter, whose life philosophy is to purge continually so that you’ll be ready to move in to an RV and travel at the drop of a hat. (Oh to be young and full of wanderlust. As opposed to being old and full of it, like me. Ha!)
As for our car-lessness… my in-laws have graciously offered to share their mechanic in Houston so I can get my ancient white SUV diagnosed. PRAY: it doesn’t cost an arm and leg to get up to speed. I was considering going down to take it this weekend, BUT: garage sale.
My boys and girl are still coughing from the worst respiratory cold in recent history. Honestly, I can’t remember all of us being so ill since December of 2012 or 13. That was the year we had the flu and a month of bronchitis during Thanksgiving. I caught it that time. This time, I didn’t. Still praising Jesus on that … because I was the only one who avoided it this time.
Kaden was busy up there in his college town with rotovirus, so he was sick last week, too. First time for being sick without mama. That is a hard life lesson to learn. #adulting101
Now that the coughs are fading, the walls are painted, the floors are done, the garden is weeded, the house has been shown, … we can turn our thoughts to the holidays. Our buyers are waiting on a piece of their financial puzzle to fit in to place, and they have told us it could be early December or mid-December when that happens… so we may, or may not be in the house for Christmas Day and New Years Day. Crazy, right?!
Do we put up the tree, only to pack it to move before the holidays? Or do we do the Grinch thing, and live the last few weeks in the house without tinsel. Seems kind of sad for the last Christmas here to be blah. I know Christmas is in the heart… but it doesn’t hurt to have reminders of it plastered everywhere your eyes can see (nor to force your kids to listen to Christmas music from the moment the turkey is digested all the way to January 2nd). I especially love decorating since my birthday is so near Christmas. This year will already be hard enough with my mama having passed in May. I am not sure I can make it through the year without the tree, too. I’m big on making the most of the holidays.
Speaking of Christmas… and the reason I sat down to write this post… WHAT is on your Christmas list?
I have been tasked with making one out for our family ASAP (or else I may get coal and switches). With all the STUFF I’ve been purging from mom’s house and my own, though, and a load of garage sale items to sell tomorrow; I have been wondering what we might need other than gift cards. I’m not one to turn up my nose at gift cards. I think they do their part in keeping things out of the landfill (because you get things you really want or need when you buy them yourself).
One thing I already did this year: buy my entire family a Spotify Premium Membership. It has been like Christmas for my teens, who were paying for their own music accounts and are living in tight financial limits. I love that we can make playlists and share them with each other. Spotify also has a social-media aspect to it, so you can follow your favorite people and see what they are listening to, which gives you a glimpse into their tastes and new music to discover. You can upload your Shazam finds into it also. It is under 15$ a month for 4-5 accounts in a family. All of the people must share the same home address. Plus: it doesn’t collect dust.
If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ll be able to search me on Spotify! It lets you decide which of your Facebook friends you want to follow if you click “Find Friends” after joining.
I got a few review items this past couple of months, too – in the middle of our crazy. Most were books. I’m busy reading those with my kiddos, and will share them with you later… however, my favorite item (that I want to share with you before the holidays, in case you love Texas as much as me):
Can you even?! I adore this pillow. Every single person that has come in to my house has commented on how much they love it. Everyone wants to touch it and asks me if I made it. Are you kidding me? Stitching looks fun, but I’m definitely not this talented with fabric arts. The pillow is one of the MANY amazing gifts on UNCOMMON GOODS. I could list quite a few on there that I would put on my Christmas wish list if I was already done renovating mom’s house and ready to look at buying “THINGS” again. Those agate drink coasters? Gorgeous. They have Christmas gifts for men, Christmas gifts for women, Christmas gifts for everyone.
Disclosure: they gave me the pillow (swoon) and paid me to post about it (I love them), just so you know. However, don’t let that put you off. I have seen this VERY SAME pillow (although it is hand made, and probably not EXACT) at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum’s Gift Shop prior to seeing it in their catalog… which means they have impeccable taste in products. Don’t take my word for it: click over and go see all the cool gifts they have for yourself.
My Christmas wish list so far:
Gift cards for Natural Grocers or Vitacost so I can buy supplements, money to pay someone to sharpen and re-bevel all of my knives, someone to offer to come help me sort and purge at mom’s house (the gift of time and free labor), another pair of reading glasses because I keep losing mine, some HEB Texana herb-infused olive oils grown in TEXAS!!!, my SUV working so I can get around (YAY!!!! It’s purring like a kitten!), good news on my tests for kidneys, liver, and abdomen this winter
Kevin’s Christmas wish list so far:
Academy or Cabella’s Gift Cards, help when we need to move (so he’s not the only one carrying the heavy stuff), Tacodeli gift certificate
Kaden’s Christmas wish list so far:
Starbucks gift cards, clothes from TenTree, gift card to American Eagle, gas money, X-Box 1
Morgan’s Christmas wish list so far:
Chapstick (this is a running joke with us – so every year I get her a chapstick for one of our Hanukkah nights), crystal rocks, gift certificates to Etsy and Amazon for unique plant pots (we have this in common), gift certificates to East Austin Succulents (she’s speaking my language)… and she said she needs more time to figure it out before we hand off the list. Classy ladies always want to think it over first… especially with important decisions that only come around once a year! Hey… maybe I should let her browse the catalog on UNCOMMON GOODS…
Koko’s Christmas wish list so far:
Trampoline, his own room (good luck, kid – not where we are going), Academy or Dick’s gift card for a new pair of shoes, Cavender’s gift card,
money for Lego sets
CK’s Christmas wish list so far:
PS4, Old Navy gift card to shop with mom, Freddy’s Gift Card for custard and burgers, Cavender’s gift card,
money for Lego sets
I’ll be updating and adding to the list as I think of stuff. I have to turn it in to our name drawing chairman by the end of the weekend. I’m up for some great ideas! Please share. This gift-list thing is so much pressure. What I really want is someone to come help me pack and move, for the paperwork to be as easy as a dream, for everyone to be well and calm and at peace – even if there is sadness in taking the next step, and for Christmas to be joyful so the tears that will come won’t overshadow it. Just lots and lots of Jesus. That’s what I want every Christmas.
Seriously. Share your top few wish list items with me for ideas… especially if they are non-dust-collecting items!
Danielle Hull says
We finally cut our kids’ gifts back to $50/each last year, plus a bit for stockings. Now we’ve started saving for a vacation, so if we underspend, we save the difference from the $50 towards the vacation. My sister got married this year, and they’re doing Dave Ramsey, so instead of gifts, we’re going to see a gingerbread house display and Christmas lights, then she’s buying the kids desserts. And I’m asking my parents for a zoo pass. I’m so excited for less stuff this year. We have 6 kids at home, 4 of those will still get toys, and those should end up with 3 toys each. Compared to probably 6 each in years past!
Yes – we also do the lights… usually we go see them with our adopted grandpa, Pappa John. It is fun to have Christmas family traditions and we lucked out with so many sets of grandparents for our kids – the only benefit of divorced families is more people to love in the end… at least for the kids and grandkids, anyway. We love all our grandparents/parents very much.
Heather, as someone who just moved to the city from the country, I’m here to tell you….PURGE! We did the opposite and bought our new house first. I couldn’t take the thought of an in-between-place if our house sold first. So, we did the hard thing and moved and now the even harder thing of having to go back and paint, clean and move all the stuff from the storage shed that we only open when it’s time to get the Christmas tree out!
At the same time as all of this is happening, we put my MIL in an assisted living and are having to repair her Hurricane Harvey damage, clean out her home and sell it too.
To say we’re so tired, is an understatement!
As far as Christmas…..the only person I’ve got a “for sure” gift for is my DIL. I bought her a subscription to FabFitFun box. She will get one every new season for 2018. When I told my son about it, he said he would like some kind of subscription box too, so I may have just scored on both of them!
I’ve tried to maintain the rule of 3 gifts: Something you Want, Something you Need, Something just for Fun
It’s a good guide to keep ME on track with spending.
I hope your friends come through on purchasing your home! That will really make things a lot easier for you!
Yes – the transaction looks like a win for everyone. I can’t see that it will fall through – seems to have heavenly fingerprints all over it. 🙂 As for the purging – I’ve been doing this every week already since May after mom died… every week at her house, going through things and getting rid of them so we can eventually move out there. It is a mountain that I’ve yet to reach the top of… much less come down on the other side. I can’t imagine doing it here… and since we are renovating there, I hate to part with EVERYTHING because although we might not need it now, we may when there is more living space in the future… and my two oldest are moving out on their own sometime soon, for sure — so they will need furniture and kitchen stuff… and there is plenty to give them now. Anything we all don’t need and love, though, we are selling and donating! I hear you on the TIRED. :::fist bump:::