Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bittersweet but Exciting Change!!

I will first give you the background, so I will warn you that this could be a long post!

If you didn't already know this, John, Mallory and I have been living with my parents since we moved back to Hattiesburg, which is about a year and a half ago. So just to clarify, that means my wonderful selfless parents have had our family of 3 plus our dog Daisy living with them in their house. Now if you have never done this, I know you are thinking "I could never do this", but I will tell you that you can and if you ever have to, you will be a better person from it than you were before!

After having Mallory, I longed to be near family. It made me sad to think that Mallory would not grow up near her grandparents or cousin. I was blessed as a child having my grandparents only 20 minutes apart and my dads parents lived in the same town. On top of missing family, I could tell how unhappy John was in his current Job. The long crazy hours and being on call 24 hours a day was not his idea of a fun career, even if he was good at what he did. The atmosphere at this plant was so different than his previous plant. This one was very negative. However, God had given John this opportunity, so he tried to make the best of it, while being an Christian example and having a positive attitude. During these days, I spent many hours praying and searching the Internet for John a new job closer to Hattiesburg or Alabama where he is from, but sadly couldn't find anything.

To our surprise in Early 2010, my dad offered John a job and needed him to start June 1st, 2010. My parents knew that we still owned a house in Florida, so they offered us to move into the second floor of their house! I admit thinking to myself.... "Do they know what they are getting into bringing a 6 month old baby, who tends to do lots of crying, into their house to live and do they realize it could take forever to sell our house in the Florida housing market??? As far as I could tell they had no concerns and seemed to be excited to have us coming back!! Honestly, little did my parents know, but this was a answered prayer I had been praying for. I just never expected it to happened like it did!! Luckily, God's plans are better than our own!!

Now, to the house selling part.... we put the house on the market when Mallory was only 4 weeks old!! Now I will tell you.... this was not what I envisioned after coming home from the hospital. I mean wasn't taking care of a brand new baby enough? Well I guess not cause my husband insisted we get the house ready to sell and put on the market even though we had no where to go at this point!! Five months later and the house was still sitting on the market while the end of May was getting closer and closer. At this point I am wondering if we are making a terrible decision...... and if the house not selling was some kind of sign from God that we need to stay put.... but after much prayer , we packed up our most important things and moved into the second story of my parents house!

The first several weeks and months were interesting in that Mallory didn't want much to do with anyone but John and I. She would just scream and cry if I left her with anyone even Nana and Pops.... in fact one time when John was out of town, I tried to leave her with my dad for a little while to go with mom to the store. 30 minutes into the trip, my dad calls me very stressed telling me that I MUST come home NOW cause Mallory had been crying for the entire 30 minutes I have been gone!! He said he had tried everything he knew to do and nothing was working. I can laugh about this now, but at the time it was terrible and I had not seen my dad that stressed out in a long time!! Thank goodness we have come a long ways and she now loves staying with Nana and Pops!!!

Some of the best things about living with Nana and Pops, were having family dinner almost every night and Mallory getting to see Nana and Pops everyday! This past year and a half is not only filled with lots of great memories, but also many lessons God taught me as well. Patience, Sacrifice, humility, and what it truly means to be selfless are just a few of the lessons God taught me through this time in our life. I never thought it would take over a year to sell our house, but patience was definitely something I had to learn all over again!! Also, being content with what you have and where you live... I mean you have to admit it's not the coolest thing to tell someone that you are married, have a 2 year old, and live with your parents!! I definitely got lots of crazy looks when people would ask me where in hattiesburg we lived and my response was my parents house. In the end, I was just grateful that I had such selfless parents that allowed us to live there so we could not only wait out the sale of our house in Florida, but also save money for our new house!

I have the the best parents hands down, they are not only humble ,but they are selfless, and giving too. I thank God for their daily example in my life and the lives of people around them. My mom and dad choose to uproot their normal life, allow our family to move in ,plus the dog(which my mom is not a fan of), and didn't complain one bit the entire year and a half we lived there!! In fact, she told us we didn't have to leave several times!! Although, I secretly think she was mainly referring to Mallory not leaving. So, thank you mom and dad for blessing our life and allowing us to uproot your quietness and space for the past year and a half!! They not only allowed God to use them to answer our prayer, but far surpassed my original prayer request!

After, God was teaching me once again how important it is to be "still and know that I am GOD"..... our house in Florida finally sold last Feb(2011) after 2 failed contracts and over a year one the market! We were finally free to start looking for us a new house here in Hattiesburg!! We were really excited, but after months of looking and looking for a house and not finding anything we liked that had at least an acre of land, I was very discouraged. We then decided to check into possibly building a house. We actually found land, had the plans drawn up and an appraisal done. After the appraisal coming back very poor, we didn't know what to do. I felt disappointment all over again, but knew we have to be patient.

Over thanksgiving, we decided to look at a foreclosure that our realtor had just seen and thought we might like. I had seen it online a while back, but they had recently dropped the price, which then put it in our price range. Little did we know that we would not only really like the house, but that someone else would like it too. After the bank requested the final offer we were willing to pay, I just knew we wouldn't get the house. Well, I was wrong once again, they accepted ours and we were under contract!! We were excited, but tried not to be to excited since we knew it was a foreclosure and that could bring up many unknown issues. However, to our surprise after a inspection, and very awesome appraisal, we closed on our new house December 23rd! I honestly am still in awe that we have our own house again!! Don't get me wrong I miss my parents, but I think it's great that we can now live in the same town, and have our own space... and I am sure they are enjoying the quietness again!! I honestly do miss their company... but don't miss all the clutter!!

So we spent the weekend of New Years moving into our new house!! John's mom and Aunt Betty came down after Christmas and helped us do so much!! John's dad even built us a awesome gate for the stairs!! We are enjoying our new normal and loving our huge yard and space! We have 4 pecan trees, a kumquat tree, 2 fig trees, and several other fruit trees that we are not sure what they are. I am looking forward to making new memories in our new house and hopefully blessing others by glorifying God!

Here are a few pictures. I am still in the process of organizing and unpacking... more pictures will come soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Christmas trip to see the Lewis Lights, Santa Clause, and Mallory turned 25 Months old!!

A Christmas in Hattiesburg Ms is does not feel like Christmas without going to see the Lewis lights. This was Mallory's first time to go see these lights, but John has been a few time before in the years past. If you haven't been to see the lewis lights, they are amazing!! It's not only a display, but they have a trail you get to walk through and all these cute hand painted wood characters and even the Christmas Story! This year we invited Carmen and John, who are some new friends we have made that have been visiting our church. I think they enjoyed it and it was fun to share the experience with them!!

This was Mallory's second time to go see Santa clause at the mall. Last year was her first, and she had just turned a year old so she didn't remember it at all. She actually did much better than I expected and sat in his lap.... she wouldn't smile for us until they gave me this weird looking puppet for me to show her and it brought a little smirk!! She talked about Santa Clause the rest of Christmas and has even asked to see him after Christmas this year!! I am not sure she really understood that he brings presents, but she definitly knows who he is. She got to see him several times over the holiday... and sat in his lap every time!! Praying that even though a lot of focus gets pointed on Santa in America, that one day she will realize there is more to Christmas than Santa... and it's Jesus!!!

Mallory turned 25 months old in December!! She is talking even more and more each day!! She loves to look at art she made at school and tell me "I made that"!! She loves to sing songs now. Her favorites to sing are Happy Birthday to Jesus, Row Row Row your boat, Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the bus, and Twinkle Twinkle little star. She know most of the words to all of them and I love to see her face while singing!! She is till pretty timid with people she doesn't know, but she is getting a little better about that. She also still has problems with Men in general but if over the age of 40. She doesn't usually want anything to do with them, unless its pops!! Mallory is it tends to be worse! Ha! She is still a pickey eater, but is doing better and finally trying new things, however I hear "I don't like that" quite often. I guess it's pay back since I was a super pickey eater too!! She is really starting to test her limits now, which has become interesting and a little bit stressful at times!! I love being mommy to Mallory and seeing her grow and learn is such a joy!! Being a Mommy is one of God's greatest blessing!! Looking forward to many more years watching her grow and learn, Lord willing.

Enjoy the pictures from Lewis Lights and other events!! Coming up next is a huge purchase and change for the Kirkpatrick family and I will tell you all about our Christmas 2011 which, involved a trip to my Grandparents, A wonderful Church service, and a trip to Alabama to see John's family!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A 60th Birthday Party Surprise!!

Back in September, my mom had the idea of throwing dad a surprise birthday party since he was turning 60 this year. Now, if you haven't thrown a surprise party before, it's not an easy task, but it's especially hard if you live in the same house as the person you are surprising! My mom wanted to do a nautical theme, which at the time sounded like a great idea in September, but come December you could not find any toy plastic boats or nautical themed stuff.... so decorations were much harder than I ever dreamed they would be. After lots of searching, we did get lucky and find a few things at a local party store, which really helped. The party was held at a local community center in Glendale, which is right outside of Hattiesburg. After spending days upon days closed in the bedroom upstairs at my parents house working on decorations, I was very glad when they were done, and that dad never happened to walk in on me. I am still amazed that we managed to pull it off. All in all I think he enjoyed himself and it was lots of fun to see his reaction!! We had food catered by Front Porch, which included a roasted Pig!! The look on some of the guests faces after seeing the pig was priceless. Good food, great guests, and the best birthday Dad made for a great, fun, and memorable surprise!! I definitely have the best dad any girl could ever dream of having!! A daddy's girl I will always be!! Here are some of the funny things I found on the internet to read at his party. Enjoy!

Here are the top 10 signs that you are 60:1. Your back goes out more than you do.
2. Your address book has mostly names that start with DR.
3. Getting Lucky means you found your car in the parking lot!
4. Your joints are more accurate that the national weather service.
5. A dripping faucet causes an uncontrollable urge.
6. Your investment in Health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
7. Your ears are hairier than your head.
8. You now know where your prostrate is.
9. You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.
10. You turn out the lights for economic reasons rather than romantic reasons.

Helpful Tips for turning 60:1.Keep a diary – it will be a great source of comfort and handy reminder of what you did yesterday.
2.Cultivate friendships with people much older than yourself. This will make you feel so much younger!
3.Never attempt bending down, except under strict medical supervision.
4.Take the strain off your tired memory by labeling all household objects such as the bed, fridge, and television.
5.Save all hairs that come loose when you brush your hair. One day medical science may develop a means of replanting them.

Lastly, I will leave you with the toast I gave to my dad at his party.

It’s hard to believe that you are 60 years old! Wow that sounds so old!! You still actually have your hair and it’s not even grey!! Those 2 things should make you feel younger already.
Looking back on the past 30 years, not only brings back wonderful memories, but also reminds me what a good sport you were living with a house full of girls!! Now as you can imagine, a house full of girls requires some major adjustment. As most of you know, dad has always been a tight wad when it comes to money, but he quickly learned with girls came, clothes, shoes, and make-up. Surprisingly, he learned pretty quickly that he just better be quiet and carry the bags.
With a house full of girls, came lots of emotions and drama! He handled this way better than most men, but I often wondered if some of our emotions were rubbing off on Dad. One example of this was the morning of my first date at the age of 16; dad came in my bedroom and woke me up with tears running down his face telling me “that his little girl was growing up.” By the end of this conversation he had me in tears and wondering if I should cancel the date!!
Another step in growing up was dad teaching me how to drive. I am still not sure who was more nervous Me or Dad !! Just to tell you how nervous dad was, the entire time we were moving he held a very tight grip on the parking brake of moms Maroon Volvo station wagon. I guess he thought if I forgot to brake, he could yank the parking brake up and it would stop us! Dad, I sure am glad you have finally gotten past that!
As I was getting ready for this party, I came across letters you wrote home and scrapbooks Mom (your grandmother) made for you when you were in college. One funny thing I found was a copy of a wreck less driving ticket you got in Starkville Mississippi!! I almost couldn’t believe that the slowest driver in our family had gotten a wreck less driving ticket!! As, your mother Patsy put it, Mom may have kept a few too many documents!!
Now, I know you have been called many things over the years including: Dad, Bobby, Uncle Mike, Sir, Boss, Deacon, Forester, The Tire man, Sunday School Teacher, and Pops. But now you can officially be called a senior citizen!!
No matter what name you are called you will always be the best dad a girl could ask for! Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

Mallory's First Chrismas Play

So I am very behind on all the events that happened in December, so it's time to play catch up.

Mallory attends a Trinity Play school here 3 mornings a week. This year she got to be in her first Christmas play! This happened on December 19th. Nana, John and I all came to watch. The entire play was about 20 minutes long and since Mallory's class was the youngest they brought them in towards the end for the last two songs. They sang "We wish you a merry Christmas" and "Happy Birthday to Jesus". I had no clue what songs they were going to be singing, since Mallory kept telling me they were singing Row Row Row your boat and didn't' appear to know any other songs. They ended up bringing Mallory's class in with them holding on to a rope. It was so cute! We made sure as not to bring attention to ourselves, not knowing what she would do if she saw us. She looked so confused the whole time taking it all in. I wish I could know what was going on in that little mind of hers! Her facial expressions were priceless. After the play, we were invited back to her classroom to have a party with them. Their teacher read a book to them while they ate Christmas cookies. After eating, all the kids had sweet little gifts for their parents. This included some handmade ornaments. Getting to see Mallory be apart of this was a feeling I will never forget!! What a blessing it is to be her mother! Now, weeks later, she is still singing Happy Birthday all the time and still puts Jesus in at the end. Praying one day she will understand who Jesus really is and what His birth means to us! Enjoy the pictures.

Stay tuned for a successful 60th Surprise Party for the best Dad a girl could ever have!