Throwback Thursday: Remember to Live

Ok so background…this blog was posted on another platform October 28th 2014. At the time we had been living in Texas for about 3 months.

To be honest, I have been feeling as though I am grasping for time, always trying to find yet another moment to steal because there is just not enough hours in a day. PREACH… ME ALL THE TIME. The university is a black hole that consumes my time with seemingly no end. So glad this is over Lately it has led me to deep discussions of what my end goal is. I didn’t figure that out until my last semester. I fear I am burning out of Chemistry. I have spent some time trying to decide what I wish to do with a career. Turns out, I just want to be with my kids.

All the while we have been in the hectic process of purchasing our new home, which has been quite the time consuming stressful process as well! DUDE…STILL. UGH I am happy to announce that the process is complete and we are homeowners yet again! If I ever have the time, I might just decorate it. AGAIN. Man…I hope this is the last time for at least a decade that we buy another house. Geesh.

Our front door, decorated for Halloween. I stopped decorating this year… Its just to much clutter in the tiny house.

Then with the kids in so many activities, we really have minimal spare time. It only gets worse. It has led to some deep pondering. In the end I have decided I will not kill myself for perfect grades. I need to enjoy the moment as well as plan for the future.  I really tried to put this into practice towards the end… and my GPA reflects it. lol

What is that future?

I think I found it. BOY WAS I WRONG

I will complete my degree in Chemistry as planned. OK..OK.. I did do that. I will minor in anthropology as well. Yup..did that too. Guess I wasn’t totally wrong. Finally when it is time for Richard to move on to his post doctoral studies, I will apply to PhD programs in anthropology. I did not do that. I was way too burnt out by the time I finished. I just wanted to go back to being a mom. Yes,  you read that correct. I’ve done some soul searching and I am enamored with anthropology. Ok so I still am.  I aim to tie my subjects together with emphasis on radio carbon dating. I love learning and talking about the past. It fascinates me. I feel a renewed sense of purpose for my education. It’s refreshing. I mean at least this helped me make it through?

Most of all though, I am going to remember to live! Still working towards this

Currently listening to: “Once Upon a Dream” -Sleeping Beauty Sound Track

Currently Reading: Ban this book by Alan Gratz (Johnny wanted me to read this)

It’s Finally Happening!!!

I have wanted to sit down and write this for a few days now, but I just have not had the time. Girl Scout Cookie season has me super busy.

After 18 months of working towards it, we signed the final paperwork for our construction loan. Best of all, we didn’t have to cut anything from our plan! Also we found a local lender that approved us for a 1 step loan.

The signed docs…blurred for privacy lol

I am so excited to share the process of the home build with y’all. We are using a local custom home builder. The original property was 13 acres, but we had it split into two and are building on the 9 acre parcel.

The survey of the property…again blurred for privacy.

It was a rainy day during signing and my anxiety was at an all time high. It was finally happening. Since the closing the dirt guy has been out, the electric company, and the water company just put our water meter in.

I cant wait until this is the view we see when we look out our front door. This will be out side yard/front yardish. I am standing in our turn around. (See below) Still have no clue what to do with the rest of the 9 acres. I’m sure dad will have an awesome idea of turning it into a beautiful land and play scape.

A picture if the open field and our woods behind it

There is still so much left to do, but we have jumped the biggest hurtles. Now I can share design choices, room layouts, etc with everyone.

The floor plan 🙂

So tell me…what do you want to see? To know more about? We want to capture everything along our journey.

Throwback Thursday: Escrow!

Ok so background…this blog was posted on another platform June 4th 2014. At the time we lived in California, but we were working to sell our home and move to Texas. I think it is a fitting post for right now as we finish up the closing of our construction loan.

I have to say this process has been an exciting but stressful one. Here I am feeling that stress all over again…albeit I have done this a couple more times in the in-between. I am currently at the stage where I am saying I am never going to buy or sell a home ever again…haha… Clearly this threat was never realized. We had home inspections today and that seemingly went well. We just need the actual report to come in and then the buyers concessions on things that need fixing or deduction, etc. I have termite inspections, septic inspections, appraisals, and some other minor things to go through. I feel the tedium of this process all over again.

However the moving date is set for July 3rd! I can not believe it and I am just hoping and praying that time flies for us. I started another class, this time online. Also would really love to hear about John’s job transfer…it would set me at ease about our entire family moving in one piece at the same time. So very thankful that the stars did eventually align and our family stayed relatively whole. It took a little time of working in another city for John and then he worked from home.

 I received a sash (actually called a graduation stole...) from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program yesterday to wear at the graduation. I really appreciate how much these individuals believed in me.

Here I am with these awesome graduating STEM students
My sash/stole (their official name)! (Glad I did actually know the real name)
Yes, this crazy woman is me… Yup. Still crazy

And last week we went to the beach with my awesome family. Afterwards we went out to dinner with John, who had to work that day. 

The next day my kiddos had Track and Field day. Johnny got a ribbon for participation and Aurora actually won second place in the standing broad jump 🙂

The over the weekend Aurora and I had a girl scout meeting to attend. I am co-leader and some of the girls were done with activities earlier so we had an impromptu science session! They were awed by the awesome stuff they saw under the microscope. 

Man these kids have grown so much! Time has flown by!

Currently listening to: “I don’t mind” – Usher

It’s Going Down

I’m yelling timber….you better move. Seriously though, this old shed needed to get gone.

The metal shed.

Ok..ok..it’s not really a song about demolition I know. Richard and I started the process of tearing down the metal shed, because the builders were coming to start! It is right where we want the home to go on the acerage and it is in horrible shape anyway.

The wood is just rotting away.

I must say that my favorite feature of this building is the rock that is holding it up. How or why this rock became such a supporting feature I can not say. Upon it’s back it holds the weight of the world, well shed. It’s position in life amuses me greatly.

A photo to memorialize the rock.

Demolition is such fun. Richard and I enjoyed working together to strip the metal panels from its walls. We hope to reuse the metal for other little projects. I would love to build a chicken coop and use some of the metal for the coop roof.

Richard.

At the end of day one, which was about an 1.5 hour of work, the shed was down to 1 wall and 2 small panels. We need to re-home some of the contents and throw much of it away.

End of Day 1

At the end of the next major day, they had cleared trees all around the shed. We had also cleaned out the interior of the shed, with the assistance of our awesome builder. He is a cool dude for sure.

End of Day 2

Finally on Day 3 they knocked the shed down and made some attempts to break up the concrete on that day. I was so bummed that I was not able to be there, but both my dad and builder recorded it coming down so I could still see it.

End of Day 3: Some excited kids.

For some destructive fun, check out the video of the shed coming down.

https://youtu.be/5v3R-gJd1Qw

I am so excited to see the property change day to day. I will post blogs about the various design choices, building developments, and various adventures along the way. I plan to upload a few videos as well. If you are interested in following this process, subscribe to receive notifications.

Currently listening to: An Episode of English Heritage- “How to Make Macaroni and Cheese”

Currently reading: Flame Bringer by Elle Katherine White

Yes, but no

Am I doing ok? Yes, but no. It is not a secret that I attend weekly therapy sessions. I have been seeing a therapist weekly since 2014 and it has helped immensely. I see a therapist at the Texas A&M Psychology clinic, which has had many perks. Once upon a time the largest perk was that it is right on campus where I was taking classes. This allowed me to streamline my schedule, taking less time away from my kiddos by not adding additional travel time to and from an appointment. Another feature that I loved was cost, while they do not accept insurance their program is on a sliding scale.

As for cons…One that I think many may not like, but never bothered me, was the fact that the therapists are all graduate students working their way to becoming therapists. I didn’t mind this at all and I have had some really great experiences at the psychology clinic. Their hours are slightly more limited than actual doctors offices, but as I said above I found it convenient because I was already there. Other factors one might not love is the extensive wait list they often have for care and the care one does receive is recorded for educational purposes.

I would say that by far the largest con for me has been the fact that, as one might expect, students graduate. I am not even sure I could count how many therapists I have had….let us try. There was Chris to start, I believe that was his name, followed by someone I do not remember the name of, then came Sara who just disappeared out of the blue one day, then came Nam, and finally I am starting to see Lani. So at the minimum it has been at least 5 in the 5 years I have been there. Some have lasted longer than others.

Chris was someone I was seeing for therapy for Trichotillomania, but at the time he realized my depression was far worse than I had led on. He and I made the joint decision to transfer me to another providers care to work on this. The therapist I had after him was nice and I wish that I recalled her name! She eventually moved on and I started to see Sara. I could probably write a whole page about Sara.

I clicked really well with her and I loved talked to her about life. I remember once discussing how individuals see the world and getting to the point of being able to climb that hypothetical ladder and start to see how things affect other people, how the things we say and do can be taken by them. We had a lot of great discussions and I was so saddened when she disappeared.

Disappearing is not entirely an understatement either. I had an appointment with her that week and received a call from not her, which I never had before. They informed me that I needed to reschedule as she was no longer at the clinic. I was floored and I remember that at the time I felt like I deserved an answer. I did a bit of google digging and found her Facebook and page from the college. The aforementioned find later disappeared. I never did find out what happened with her, though I do know she is alive as I can still find things about her online (which I searched now as I was thinking about it.) Honestly a part of me deep down feels like I did really deserve an answer…

The person who took over after her was the best of them all, well maybe I am a little biased as she just moved on. I worked through a lot with Nam and I really enjoyed our talks. On my last session she introduced me to my new therapist, Lani, who I have yet to have a session with yet. We have our first this week actually. At the end she handed me this solid, cool, rock and said she likes to leave all of her patients with a reminder to ground them. She said she sometimes puts an inscription on it and asked me to think of something to put on it.

Aforementioned Rock

I asked her what inscription she would put on it from our time together. She smiled back and said “Yes, but no” and I was amused. The reason is any question she asked I tended to respond…”well yes, but no.” I don’t often see things as black and white, so I hate answering questions like they are. Let’s be real, when it comes to emotions, I feel like we are constantly working through a sea of grey.

Well here’s to another year of therapy…2020 let’s see what you have for me.

Currently listening to: “Can’t get enough” -Bad Company

Throwback Thursday: Physics is designed to crush souls

Ok so background…this blog was posted on another platform October 5th 2014. At the time I was in my first semester at Texas A&M University. I believe my counselor had enrolled me in 3x more credits than I had ever taken before. We had just moved to Texas in July of that year. I had three awesome kiddos aged: 7, 5, and 3

The kiddos Fall 2014

I am DROWNING in a sea of school work and life. (I wish I had been exaggerating, but I felt so overwhelmed) If I survive this semester then I will be amazed. (Not many know that I attempted to take a couple too many pills I was on at this time. I often thought about just throwing myself in front of the bus. This experience made Richard and I very aware I needed to seek help) One would think putting so much pressure on someone like myself will only crack me. (Clearly it did, but I got myself some glue and put the pieces back together) I am in tears when I do my physics homework. I never took this course in high school and this is my first introduction to it. One might think, but Christine, your husband is a budding physicist!?!?!? (Okay so I think this fact just made it worse. He is BRILLIANT and I was not used to struggling that much. Even my father-in-law attempted to point out that he had been teaching Richard these principles since toddler-hood. He had a HUGE head start. Yet when you are that deep into it, you can’t always see the logic to these arguments.)

Yeah….he is pretty great.

Honestly, I appreciate Richard so much. He sat there as I pounded my head on our headboard (quite literally) bawling my eyes out. He walked me through the dark moments so I could survive. He did everything he possibly could to help me. He never stopped believing in me. I swear he had the patience of a saint…I was not an easy person to teach at the time.

Too true, I should be overflowing with joy at the resources before me. Yet he is kept so busy by his work and I am not an easy person to tutor. I think the pressure is getting to me and one this is certain. IF I make it through this semester, next semester I will not allow the department to load me with 16 credit hours! 😦

I used to study at her games.

That semester taught me about my limitations and how much my mental health really mattered. It wasn’t about keeping up the pace with those who didn’t have the complicated life I led, but rather going at the pace I could handle. I fell back to half time and just kept chugging at it. In May 2018 I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Anthropology. I had so many amazing individuals who helped get me through it all. Some professors realized how hard wearing all the hats I did was….others had no clue. It was the amazing ones that got me through the bad times.

Oh and a life update… Richard is still a grad student and getting closer and closer to that PhD.

Currently listening to: “How does a moment last forever: -Celine Dion

Drowning

Overwhelmed and overworked…Anxiety at an all time high.

This last holiday season was rough, but wonderful. It was hard because my anxiety is at an all time high. Living in this little house already has added stress just made me feel like I was drowning a little more everyday. I have to be honest, it has been hard to drag myself out of bed. Not because I am depressed, but rather because Anxiety rears its ugly head in the middle of the night such that I can not sleep.

I worry about all of the craziest things. For example, my best friend has a railing in the second floor of her house that is a bit older so it has slightly wider rails. I woke up in the middle of the night and was worrying about this, that, and another thing. Upon these middle of the night ramblings I thought of my best friends family. She and I have babies only about 7 weeks apart in age. I started to worry that when he starts to walk and lives in the second floor of the house, he may fall. Mind you that he isn’t crawling yet and spends little to no time upstairs right now. Also I am not his parent and I know his mom will take care of the issue when the time comes. She is far less of a worrier than I am, so why am I sitting here awake at 3 am.

It would seem as I get older I get more concerned with planning ahead for anything bad that *might* happen. Which at times can be quite overwhelming as I spiral from one far fetched event to another. Does anyone else do this??

Just me

So I slept quite a bit over the holiday break, did not blog at all, and well just let my anxiety rule me for awhile. Currently trying to get myself back on track and get this anxiety in check. I used to take daily medication for this, but before conceiving my 4th child I decided to try to manage with weekly therapy. It has gone pretty well, but we all have those ups and downs. Some days its better, others its worse. Join me on the roller coaster ride if you will…

Song that I am obsessed with right now: “when the partys over” by Billie Eilish

Throwback Thursday: Goodbye to Thanksgiving Break

Ok so background…this blog was posted on another platform November 30th 2014. At the time we had just made the big move from Southern California to Texas. I hope you enjoy little bit of my past and the comments I insert in italics while looking back.


As with all other areas of life, our Thanksgiving began with some bumps in the road, but it all leveled out. Its funny how those bumps seem so important at the time, but I have no clue what they were looking back…

We had quite a nice time visiting with my mother, who flew in from California. Sadly she had to return home today and tomorrow break is over. I really appreciate how much time and energy my mom has put into seeing us. She comes out at least 3 times a year.

Tomorrow we head back to the hustle and bustle that is our daily lives. Some days I love it, some days I hate it, but mostly I am so thankful for everyone who is a part of it. Honestly in those days…I hated it a lot. I was really struggling with adjusting to a new college and such a large one at that. I had a lot of struggle deciding where I belonged in this world and led to a lot of depression.

On another note, we are in the final stretch of FALL semester! Only a few more weeks and then we can really relax! Not to mention Christmas and then vacation. We have a lot to look forward to! Man did I always look forward to the breaks during the school year. The first year after I graduated I got this horrible anxiety like I should be preparing for something, but I wasn’t… Apparently my body was just used to freaking out at that time of the year. The next year it was a lot better because I was in that stay at home mom groove.

I cant wait to see our children’s faces on Christmas morning! The best part is seeing the kids faces after we put so much effort into things. I love Christmas.


So these pictures were not a part of the original post (it didn’t have any), but I figured I would add some from Fall 2014.

We had family pictures taken that Fall and man have these 3 grown since then… and we have 2 more munchkins since then too!
I used to LOVE to get the girls themed bows for every occasion. They don’t really wear them much anymore, but I bought these bows locally for Thanksgiving 2014.
So much cuteness!

Throwback Thursday: I Said Yes

Ok so background…this blog was posted on another platform June 22nd 2014. At the time we were living in Southern California. I hope you enjoy little bit of my past and the comments I insert in italics while looking back.


The proposal wasn’t entirely a surprise. I knew he had a ring (And by “knew” what I mean is I had scoured the closet for said box and taken a peek…bad Christine…bad), I knew what it looked like, but I did not know when and where it would happen. I found out when it would happen the day before. Mostly because he just wasn’t any good at keeping his excitement in lol. I don’t even remember his excitment…aww, that was nice to read.

The location was still a mystery. (I have to say I was pretty surprised about the location) He isn’t very good at keeping secrets and I am not great at surprises. (See earlier comment about “taking a peek”) So I asked a ton of questions. Really to no avail. I was told we would be walking on sidewalks (about like walking around in the mall), that it was within a 2 hour radius, it was not super dressy, and that we had been there before. Oh and that Ross was going to be there to take pictures of the event. 

So then once we headed south on the 15 fwy I realized we were headed to San Diego. My mind started turning… And finally I realized! Balboa Park, of course! The guys wouldn’t tell me one way or the other. However I was really hoping he would propose in front of the botanical garden/conservatory there as I love it. I love it so much that I had even considered how beautiful it would be to get married there one day! 

San Diego is beautiful and it was a wonderful day. A slight breeze, not too hot, and not too many people. 


All images are from the original blog, but the captions are not.

Not really sure why I thought this awesome picture of a fence was blog worthy… pretty confused here lol
Again with the fence and trash cans… face meet palm
…just…no comment

We arrived and went to the Natural History Museum, which was fun 🙂

Man that building is intricate
That is not a real dude which was more apparent in person.
OMG…Richard was sooo young
That will be a nope from me
Ok so clearly Ross was on camera because I am in the background
I miss those boots
Daddy shark is mad yo

Then we headed to my favorite place in the park! We walked through the conservatory. It was a beautiful moment. There was a man there playing violin for the public and so there was music in the background, not many people walking around, and Richard got down on one knee and asked me to Marry him!! Of course I said yes! 

I adore this building
In retrospect… That dress was not as flattering as I thought….
He was suuper nervous and SO WAS I…social stuff like this is really hard
<3<3<3

As we were leaving there was a man doing Free caricatures so we went ahead and had one done. I love it! I am going to have it framed. (I never did have it framed, but I do still have it. I will be putting that on my to do list for sure)

After the proposal we went back to the Natural History Museum where we watched a 3D video on Sharks, then went to lunch to celebrate at a great local Thai Food restaurant! 

Hello World

Why do this? Well…I love blogging/journaling and actually I’ve been doing it on and off for years on another platform.

So they gave these starter questions and I figured I might as well fill them out.

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal? Great question. Partly because I enjoy it, but also maybe I can do something I like and earn a little moula on the side (holding my breath there lol). Plus people ask questions about our life all the time so maybe people are intrigued?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about? Anything, everything. Our family, purchases we make, and things we do.
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog? Any open minded, kindhearted people.
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished? Blogging regularly.

Oh and if you don’t know me. HI…I’m Christine.

Me. No make up, filter, etc.

I’m a 33 year old stay at home mom of 5 kids. I live in our little house with my husband, kids, brother in law, father, and ex-husband. (This is where the questions normally start…) We have a cat, dog, and rabbit. We are currently working towards building a home on a 13 acre parcel we bought with our best friends. They live in the existing home there.

My Munchkins. Photo by Michelle Voigt Photography

Currently I am hoping to post a new blog every Tuesday and Thursday. My Thursday blogs will be “flashback Thursdays” where I will share blogs I wrote from the past decade.

So now I turn it over to you…what would you like to see? What questions do you have? Be open…be honest…