Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Forget Yourself and Go to Work

Today I was having one of those no-good-rotten bad days I have spoken of before. The details don't matter, but generally I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was starting my pity party and feeling overwhelmed, and broke down in a CVS parking lot and just cried. You know those days where you just feel pitiful and just want to cry "Woe is me!"? Well you may not have those days, but I do sometimes. And I am not proud of it.

In the midst of this mini meltdown,  I needed to find my way to a sister's house to pick up and deliver a meal to someone who just had a baby (this sister does not have a car). After many wrong turns, and a prayer for my phone/gps battery to last, I made it to the sister's house. Once I arrived, she came out with 4 HUGE trays of food. I piled the food in my car, and just sat dumbstruck.

I remembered learning that this sister had been out of work for a while and just barely started a new job. I remember how my husband told me of the humble living space she had, and how she had told him it felt inadequate next to our nice home. I was so overwhelmed and humbled by how generous she was. Even with the little that she had she gave so much. I know she spent a lot of time and what limited money she had cooking this feast.

So life isn't perfect all the time. The perfect-ness is not what matters.What matters is loving the lord, and serving others. Forget yourself and Go to Work.  This is where true happiness is, and this is how we can leave our daily, and sometimes even petty cares.

Although I often forget, this is the best cure to a pity party. May we all be more humble, lose ourselves in service, and follow the example of this generous sister.

Kitchen Pegboard

In the past few apartments we've had, we used this nifty hanging rack that John made to organize our pots and pans. Upon moving to Boston, we realized there just wasn't the "right spot" for it to hang, and we also had WAY too much kitchen stuff and WAY to little storage (3 drawers, just a few cabinets). So we have been scaling down our kitchen appliances and electronics to only the essential (so long, rice cooker! I had to figure out how to survive/make rice without you!) and also come up with the organization solutions to make up for the lack of space.

To help solve some of our kitchen storage issues, I decided to hang a pegboard. I roughly used these instructions, but pre-measured and had everything cut to scale at home depot. Since this photo was taken, I have added more large baskets, as well as a paper towel rod which I love.

Like all overly ambitious projects I do, I did this while John was out of town for work. I invited the sister missionaries over for dinner, then they got an hour of service in heping me get it hung up and a few boxes unpacked. We then went out on splits, which is another story for another day! I really loved working with the sister missionaries here.

If you are considering something like this, all I can say is JUST DO IT! I love it, and think I will be definitely implementing in future kitchens. It is so handy when cooking, and also makes putting away very easy. One day, I may paint the peg board a different color, but I was in such a rush to get it up (and get my stuff put away!) that I didn't finish it.

Blessings in Little Rock

I am still travelling to Little Rock 3/4 weeks a month. It looks like I will be done travelling in December, and hope to find something in Boston at that time. I miss being around John during the week, but I feel grateful for the opportunity to be in Little Rock right now.
Coming home to these kids is so fun
Instead of staying in a hotel each week, I am staying with my brother and sister in-law and their two children. I cannot tell you enough how this has made all the difference. I love coming to their home each day and hearing my sweet niece yell "Kistin!!!" Even though I am not that exciting, they both never cease to be happy to see me, it is invigorating. I love staying up late talking with my sister in law, talking finance and business with my brother and law, and getting the opportunity to go to family events. I sew with my mother in law every few weeks, and see other family frequently.

Doll making night with the family. So much fun...
It is hard to be away from John. We are both our best selves when we are together. But if we have to be apart for a little while, this is the best way to do it. I feel spoiled rotten by his family, and am so grateful for their kindness and generosity. It is such a privilege and honor to be a McElderry and to have been taken in so literally into this family.

Beautiful flowers sent from my love to cheer me up.

We try to video chat often. I think this was while John was in Belgium for work.

I also have some great colleagues, which makes travelling a lot more fun.

Couch Breaking and other East Coast Adjustments

Moving to Boston has been such an adventure. Slowly I am beginning to fall in love with this city and all of its strange oddities.

 The first two months we lived in Corporate Housing downtown -- which was a real treat and gave us time to find something more permanent while exploring the city. While we were there, it still sort of felt like a vacation, it had definitely not sunk in that this was a "move". I walked around this historic town with the song "Boston" in my head in the cool rainy spring, almost summer weather. I often laughed, because  the lyrics almost held true... "where no one knows my name...."

 We rode our bikes to Bunker Hill, went on evening walks near Paul Revere's house, got our hair cut right next to the Boston Massacre site (odd, but true!) It has been fun to be in an area with such rich history.

Finding housing was a fairly frustrating process. If you are looking for small/old/out of date housing for triple the cost of your last place, move to Boston! It was really hard to stomach. We probably looked at 25 places before making a quick decision to go with our current place. We still feel a little bit of buyers remorse at the cost -- but we are overall very satisfied with where we live and now our getting all settled in.

Once we finally moved in we realized, even with the fairly spacious place we have for Boston, none of our furniture fit! As in --  the only room we could  get our couch was our bedroom (just painted purple...only room with a closet that fits hangers...). This would mean the only room we could have as our bedroom was our living room (no closet, no door to the room....eek!)

I posted something on facebook about this and got the suggestion from a friend to look into couch breaking. And since we are adventurous (and cheap), we decided to do it ourselves. So here is our brand new couch in pieces as we got it down our narrow hallway!

Do you know the only thing holding your couch together is staples?

Arm of the couch we took off.

Even with the arm off, it barely fit in our doorway.

There was a point in the process where John and I were stuck between the couch in our narrow hallway and it seemed like there was no way it was going through. We tried numerous options for about 30 min, were sweating profusely and about to give up. Then, we decided to say a prayer. We knelt across from each other with our massive, hallway consuming coach between us and pleaded for Heavenly Father's aid. And what happened next? It was like our couch shrunk 4 inches. It went through the hall immediately without any issue.

It always amazes me how Heavenly Father is involved in the details of our lives. I have such a testimony that he hears our prayers, and is always with us. We just need to humble ourselves and ask.

Our couch is now in one piece, and already has been enjoyed by many visitors. We will have to pull apart when we move, but I think it was worth it if only for the spiritual lesson learned.
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