Monday, July 29, 2013

A very merry unbirthday...

I only get 30 minutes for my lunch break at work, which really isn't long enough to get anywhere in the part of town I work in.  Many days, I drive my car around the back of our building, park in the shade, roll down my windows, and read.  Last week I was doing just this and was parked right at the edge of our parking lot adjacent to some thickets.  I heard some birds and looked up and there were two birds just visible in the thicket.  

Birdie! Not the one I saw, but a cute one nonetheless

Birds delight me like few things do.  Somewhere in the span of the last couple of years my affinity for birds has grown, and I love watching them do their thing.  I was so captivated and would look up from my book frequently just to watch what they were doing.

As I watched I thought to myself what a gift this little bird show was.  The Bible tells us that God knows the whereabouts of us (Psalm 139) and of the birds (Matthew 10).  He didn't have to delight my heart with a bird show.  But He did.  Such a little gift but one that made me smile.  Amazing that the God of the universe takes the time and cares enough about what delights me that he arranged all of that just for my lunch break one day.  I too often lose sight of just how loving and capable He is.  My little feathered friends were a good reminder of how well He knows me, and how much he loves me.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Our the middle of our street

We are homeowners!!!

It seems so strange to say that, even though we've been on this journey for nearly a year now.  God certainly gave us a lesson in perseverance of faith!

We started looking at houses in August of last year.


We had a fair idea of what we wanted, nothing too specific.  Right away God put us in touch with our fantastic realtor, Laura.  It wasn't too long before we found a house we loved.  Before we could even get our offer in, the house sold.

This would become a familiar theme over the next several months.  When we did get offers in, they were never accepted even though we would offer above asking price.  One after another, we found a house we liked and our offers were never quick enough or high enough.

In April, we looked at a house that we really, really liked.  Everything we had been looking at in our price range was a split level (I swear there are millions of split level houses in Knoxville).  We loathe split level houses.  Why have a tiny living room upstairs and the "real" living room down?  I mean when I want to get a snack or drink while watching TV I don't want to have to travel upstairs!  It is tenets like these that are important to the Ungleich household.  That is how we roll.

This one was a basement rancher.  Great location. With a decent sized yard, something rare here in the city o'hills and steep grades.  So we got an offer together.  The next day I got a call from our realtor that it had already sold.

Of course it had.

So here we were again, back on the hunt.  The next week we had scheduled to go see another house with our realtor and a contractor friend of ours because it was a house that needed a lot of work.  Monday I got the call that of course, the house was already under contract.

So being me, I was sent into a fury of activity.  This was getting ridiculous.  It was April.  We had been looking and putting in offers for 8 months.  I went online and noticed that the basement rancher we had been interested in the previous week was back on the market.  I called the listing agent and she said that the house had been under contract but the buyers backed out and now it was coming back on the market.

Well sweet mercies!  I called our realtor who essentially erased the date of our offer from the previous week and practically sat by her computer until the house was "officially" back on the market to put our offer in.

The next day she calls me late afternoon and asked if I was driving.  I told her I was and she said "Don't wreck" and then proceeded to tell me our offer was accepted.

And I was not excited.

At all.

I know, anti-climactic and not what you were expecting.  But Dave and I were so jaded at this point we knew that until the keys were in hand, a lot could happen.

And it did.

Inspection went fine.  Then things fell apart.

Our original lender had told us that as long as the house appraised above what we were paying we would be fine.  The house appraised $25k above what we asked so we thought, no problem.  Turns out our original lender lied and decided (after some pretty unprofessional behavior) that they were going to pull the loan.  I found this out not from our lender but from our realtor.  Do you know how hard it is to be under contract on a house and be searching for a new lender all of a sudden when you find out on a Friday afternoon?

Interestingly enough, your financial situation isn't all that matters to get a loan.  For some reason which I do not understand, the condition of the home is more important than if I can pay for it.  (scratches head).  So the same bank that was comfortable offering us a loan for double our budget and way more than we could afford didn't want to offer us a tiny loan on a house that wasn't in pristine condition.  I could go on for days about how good people are not getting good houses because the system is rotten.  But I digress...

Anywho, long story short we got another loan and had many tense "they are going to pull the contract the not give you the house" moments because a whole lot more stuff happened in the weeks that followed.

We put our offer in on April 18th.  Closed on June 28th.  That is ridiculous on so many levels I cannot tell you.  I nearly had a coronary throughout the entire process.  The paperwork needed to buy a home requires about 2500 acres of trees and no one you work with is actually organized and has their crap together.  Madness I tell you.  I was ready to be a renter forever.

So, finally, we actually owned the sucker.  The day we closed Dave went to work and I went to the house to get the key out of the lockbox before the bank came and took their box.  I walked into the house, sank to my knees, and cried like a baby.  Oh, the steadfastness of God.  Sometimes I have to remember that if God appeared to the disciples in the storm it was to show them that storms happen and we'll be in them.  But he's always there.

So now, a new adventure begins.  The upstairs of this house is the double the square footage of where we've been living.  Dave and I plan on running races and having obstacle courses in all of our new space.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thoughts as of late

1.  I am slightly obsessed with the new baby prince.

Royal Family
You know what I love?  That Kate Middleton wasn't afraid to show her "I had a baby yesterday" belly.  None of this American celebrity go into seclusion and emerge a month later back at a size 0 craziness.  Classy and real.  And what a cutie that little baby is!  I joked yesterday that just as every girl of my generation had pics of hunky Prince William pinned up in her room and glued to her binders in school, now the daughters of the my generation will have a hunky prince to swoon over.

2.  I have totally fallen off of my one soda a week wagon.  As in, I am consuming way too much of the sugary carbonated goodness that I should not be having.  Curses!!  I keep telling myself that I can get back on my healthy kick but man, it is eluding me like anything substantial eludes the hosts of that "Searching for Bigfoot" show on TV.

3.  It's almost August.  That makes me want to cry.  How is summer winding down already?  Granted, we still have over a month left of summer and summer weather and all that jazz, and I'm not in school so the fact that school starts back in about 2 weeks here doesn't bother me (other than the obscene amount of traffic that comes with it).  Still, I love summer.  Love, love, love it.  As a kid I loved Fall the most and clearly I was delusional.  We also had a garage so chilly mornings did not phase me.  I was naive and silly.

Now, I love summer.  I love the warmth and the smell of the morning and the green-ness of it.  I love being tan and swimming and drinking icees, which granted, can be done during all seasons but are most enjoyed from June-August.  The ending of summer makes me sad.  Fall is still good but it's bittersweet because I know that horrid winter soon follows and I abhor cold and the absence of sunshine.  I need a tan before this whole summer shindig is over.  Not a burn, which brings me to my next point:

4.  Hubs was in a volleyball tournament about a month ago and playing volleyball outside for hours gave him this:

Pretty stellar, yes?  I thought so.

5.  I got my first royalty check from my book that got published.  It was not a big check at all.  But the mere presence of it made me a wee bit giddy.  I can now say I get paid (a very teeny tine amount) to write. :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

TV shows you need to be watching

So recently I told you how I just recently became a fan of Duck Dynasty.  Really, there are a handful of shows that I recently became a fan of.  I feel the need to enlighten the masses on good entertainment that they may be missing.

*sidenote:  I am a voracious reader but man, I really love TV.  I see all these people make comments about how they should just get rid of their tv cause they never watch it, and I know then that I will never be close friends with these people.

1.  BBC's Top Gear.
Oh the British and their wit!!  This show is about cars.  But, it's not a boring show about cars.  It involves three hilarious British guys and some wild shenanigans and oh my, it is just a good time.  Really, trust me. British have a one up on we Americans with their humor and sarcasm.  I started watching this with Dave but now will watch it even when he is not home.  Here is a bit of Top Gear goodness:

2.  Discovery Channel's Naked and Afraid
Don't judge.  This show is a novelty for sure.  I mean, who wouldn't be entertained by 2 strangers surviving naked for 21 days together in an unforgiving and hostile environment?  Not me apparantly.

At first I mocked it when I saw the commercials run for it cause I thought my gosh that's just stupid.  Then I watched part of an episode and man, it is riveting!  These people are (mostly) hard core survivalists and it's interesting watching them make it 21 days in the wild.  Really gives you a respect for people who still live primitively or for our ancestors.  Here I get upset when my hairdryer stops working.  Definitely a show worth checking out.  (although be warned; while they blur out certain parts you're gonna see a lot of naked cheeks on this show, and I'm not talking about the ones on a person's face.  You've been warned)

3.  Discovery Channel's Fast'n'Loud
This show follows the Gas Monkey garage in Dallas as they buy old cars, refurb them, and sell them at auction.  (Can you tell my husband is a car guy?).  I like the show because the people on it are very entertaining.

Not to mention, classic cars are gorgeous.  I know nothing about cars, but I like ones that are pretty.

4.  Tru TV's Impractical Jokers
Four best friends who dare each other to do the most outrageous stuff.  This is like grown up Truth or Dare with finesse.  These guys are hilarious.  Seriously, if you need to unwind, watch this show.

Happy TV watching!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time does funny things

So, my little Chevy Cavalier has been a stellar car.  She's a 1999, has well over 200,000 miles, and -although she doesn't look as young as she used to--she still operates fairly well.

Cavaliers have a common cosmetic problem in that their dashboards get cracks fairly quickly and often.  Essie (as my car is named) got her first when I was in college; and then about my senior year a chunk of dashboard went missing--it had cracked and fallen down into the dash of my car.

Fast forward from 2004 to last week.

I am getting in my car and a piece of my dash hits my foot.  No big deal, as parts of my car are falling off fairly regularly at this point.  So I just toss it in the console.  I assume it's part of the side of my dash that falls off often and that I have to re-duct tape to get it to stay on.  So I get home and check and nope, not from there.  I look at the piece and notice its shape, and lo and behold, it is that first piece of dash that went missing years ago.

That thing was somewhere in my dash for 9 years, and it finally worked it's way out.  How wild is that?  Oh time, you really do mend all things :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jumped on late to this bandwagon

I have recently been introduced to Duck Dynasty.

And I love it.

Have you seen it?  You need to!

Uncle Si and Jase are my favorites.

You better watch it, Jack!  Hey!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Feeling Stuck

I once had a mentor of mine describe as a tornado in a bottle.  It is a very apt description.  I hate sitting still and doing nothing.  I detest boredom.  I really hate when I can't get things done.

I am a go, go, go and do, do, do type of person.  Nothing gets me more energized than getting things done.  I love working on stuff.  Somehow, as a result of my type A personality, the work ethic instilled in me since childhood, and God's good design of me, I am a doer and a go-getter.

Which is why weeks like this drive me nuts.

I have a massive to-do list right now.  Tons of projects that I am excited about working on, things that need to get done, things I want to get done.

Monday around lunch I got a migraine out of nowhere.  Bleh.  Turns out it was a really, really bad one.  Stayed home all day Tuesday, only worked half a day Wednesday.  Darn little sucker took a lot out of me, and now I have what I affectionately call a migraine hangover.  Boo!  So, needless to say I have been sidelined all week.  No getting things done, no doing much of anything other than sleeping and laying awake in a state of psuedo-consciousness.

I hate not doing things.  I hate being out of my routine.  I hate having a dirty kitchen.  But, my body is one powerful boss and must be obeyed.  It leaves me in such a funk.  I want to feel normal (normal for me anyways).  I want to have energy and a brain that is processing correctly and quickly.  I want to go to the gym and go to work and not feel like I need to go back to bed at 10 am.  I want to get things done and feel that surge of euphoria that comes from doing something I enjoy and being productive.

I really think that, for me, sometimes getting out of a funk involves getting over physical mess and getting back to it.  A to-do list waits for no man.  And I cannot wait to run and catch up with mine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On my Bookshelf

So I just finished reading The Blood Lie by Shirley Vemick.  This is one of the books that makes me wish I taught 6th grade literature because it would definitely be one that I made my students read.  This book is based on true events that occurred in Massena, New York in 1928.  A really good, easy read but one that sparks a lot of thought and that delves into the themes of prejudice and hatred of people who are different.

It never ceases to amaze me how humans can treat each other.  Slavery in the US, the Holocaust, ethnic cleanings in Europe and amazes me how humans can see another human as being less than human. My gosh, does anything anger God more??  I watch movies and read books on racism in the south and even that blows my mind, more less genocide.  And really, has there been a people group in the entire planet more persecuted and mistreated throughout the ages than the Jews?  Ugh, our human ability to hate really astounds  me.

Anyways, this was a good story, and goodness, I had never heard about the true events it was based on (a by product of my own Southern 'education' maybe?)  Events like the one told about in this book are ones our children need to know; we need to teach them to learn from our mistakes--isn't that the whole point of learning history?

Read this; you need to.

Friday, July 5, 2013

In Which God is Like the DOT

Road Work

They have been repaving the main roadway here in town the past couple weeks and as I was driving on freshly paved asphalt this morning I started thinking.  They had grated the roads previously but this morning two lanes had been freshly paved overnight.  I was thinking about the people who paved roads and how often they work overnight so they can get roads done with the least amount of traffic to deal with (not to mention that this time of year they probably prefer paving in the cool of night as opposed to 90 degree heat and humidity during the day).  But I was thinking about how overnight the road got paved; all that work that happens while we are sleeping and then you go to work and voila, things are finished.  All that work going on that I didn't see resulted in the paved road I drove on this morning.

And I was thinking of how like God that is.  How He so often works overnight so to speak, accomplishing things that aren't happening right in front of us; things that we are unaware of.  John 5:17 tells us that God is always working, and his Son is also.  I think I so often forget this.  Because if I can't see it with my own human eyes, I tend to think that God is idle.  Lies!  God is always working, always piecing the story--my story--together.  And if the DOT could pave a long stretch of road in one night, just think of the things God could be accomplishing while I sleep at night.  Psalm 121:3-4 tells me that God does not sleep.  While I need rest, He keeps on going, always working, always building the story.

Sometimes I think that God isn't as type A as I am; that I am the queen of productivity and getting things done.  To which I think God replies, "Woman, please.  I am the essence of accomplishment.  I breathe and worlds get created.  I think a thought and it happens."  He is better at checking off a to-do list than I am.

So today, take heart.  Even at times and during seasons where you think that all has grown stale and nothing is happening, remind yourself of the truth of God's word and not the false truth of your circumstances.  He is always working, always busy putting things together and progressing the kingdom story, and that story includes your story and mine.  Rest tonight knowing that while you sleep and while your eyes can behold no work, that things are happening.  All the time.

Right now...

I am listening to Golden Oldies Radio on Pandora.  I always have music flowing, and pandora is a great little gem.  "In the Summertime" just played--such a great summer tine, although, the whole "if her daddy's poor just do what you feel" line is a bit scandalous.

I am eating homemade Greek yogurt (my favorite snack--not nearly as tart as the stuff you buy at the store) and peaches.  Hooray for summer produce.

I am drinking water.  Really, I am part camel.  96 ounces while at work.  32 before I even get here.  Not counting the milk I drink for breakfast or whatever I drink for dinner.  I pee a lot. :)

I am wearing white Ralph Lauren circle skirt I scored at Goodwill and paid $3 for, a purple blouse I got at a yard sale for $2.50, and a consignment belt that cost $1.75.  The cuteness factor of an outfit goes up if you get it for cheap, I always say!  This is one of my favs :)

I am feeling slightly overwhelmed about my to-do list this week but excited about some of the things I'm working on.  So that's me more energy for that to-do list!

I am wanting a good night's sleep.  My mind is having a hard time turning off lately and I am having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep.  Boo on lack of rest!

I am needing a tan.  Perhaps my want and need should be switched, but if you saw the paleness of my legs, you'd probably agree with me that I am in dire need of some color.

I am thinking of too many things at once.  Drat that to-do list and all the crazy creativity I have swirling around in my brain!  (Not really, I secretly--or not so secretly--adore being knee deep in fun projects and things I enjoy.  It feeds me)

I am enjoying sunshine and warm days; 24 (we just finished season 4--agh!  so good!); icees, half price milkshakes at Sonic after 8 pm (really, am going to have to add a workout or two to my week if I keep indulging there), and the Snickerdoodle bread I made for the first time recently.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Love worth celebrating

Happy Anniversary to me!!

Three years ago, I walked down the aisle to join the man who I would share this incredible adventure of life with.

 Dave has been such an incredible blessing in my life.  A friend, an encourager, a reminder of truth.  A leader,   a comrade, a playmate, my love.  Marriage is so much more than I ever dreamed that it would be.  There is such a one-ness that I did not anticipate.  I love the daily part of marriage; the going to the grocery store together and having inside jokes and watching tv together.  I love the silliness that is so often found in us.

I'm so thankful for the gift of Dave.  He is so much more than what I thought a husband would be.

And here's the thing, girls--I think we are so misled as daughters of the Church in what a godly man is.  We are taught to find a leader, but really, I don't think we have a good idea of what that is supposed to look like.  Or, maybe it's more accurate to say that we have really, really well defined and specific ideas about what we think it is supposed to look like.  Because if we are honest with ourselves, I think we will find that we all have (or had as in the case of those of use who are already married) ideas of what we think a good godly leader looks like.

We think a godly leader speaks out in small group and always has a wise comment or thought.
We think a godly leader should know more Scripture than us and lead us in prayer daily.
We think a godly leader plays in the worship band or helps out in a specific ministry.
We think a godly leader is the leader of the small group, not just the guy who attends.
We think a godly leader is one who we don't have to initiate anything with.

Girls, those are lies.

They are not necessarily untrue completely, but they are painting a picture of a man that is only a half truth at best, and that's just as bad as something that's completely inaccurate.

Because, here's the truth.

A godly leader isn't the same as being outspoken.
A godly leader may keep his wise comments to himself and not want to speak out in a large group.
A godly leader will not magically know that you like him and ask you out without your expressing interest.
A godly leader will need your encouragement, your wisdom, your knowledge, and your prayers, and often, he will need you to initiate them.
Marriage is a partnership.

I know that when I take an honest look at what I was like in my single years, I can say that I had a preconceived idea as to what a godly leader was supposed to look like.  What he was supposed to do, and how he was supposed to act, and what he was supposed to know.


My husband doesn't play guitar in the worship band and he doesn't lead a small group.  He doesn't get on his knees and lead us in a ten minute prayer each night before bed.  He doesn't write sweet nothings on my Facebook wall.

Does that make him less of a godly leader than someone who does all of those things?


What makes him a leader is his security in who he is in Christ.  What makes him a leader is his incredible love for me and his ability to make hard decisions and lead our family.

Leadership and godliness are played out in a variety of personalities.  I'm so thankful God gave me eyes to see the value in my husband.  Because if I had continued to cling to those notions I had, I would have lost out on something really, really wonderful.

I often wonder how many good but quiet guys get passed over in the church because we girls have some (really silly) idea of what a godly man is, and these guys don't fit that mold.  I'm not saying to settle.  I'm just saying let God change your definition of a godly man.  Scriptures are full of examples of godly men, and not all of them played guitar and could quote Francis Chan.  I wonder how many good godly leaders are being passed over by girls because they aren't packaged the way we think they should be.

I'm so thankful today for Dave. For his personality and his leadership and the way he makes me love and know Jesus more.  Thankful that there is such a thing as marriage, and that three years ago I put on a white dress and curled my hair and started what has turned out to be one really sweet walk with Dave as we both walk after Jesus.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Go figure...

I have lived in my house for 8 years.

And yesterday my sweet little old man landlord came to the backdoor and caught me in the kitchen in my underwear.

After eight years with no curtain on the back door and that never having happened, it finally happened.