Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy 1 Year Arrive-aversary

Yesterday we celebrated our 1 Year Arrive-aversary. 

(See how I capitalized those letters right there?  'Cause it's a real holiday now.  Go ahead and take a moment to do a happy dance, especially any of you lucky government employees who get every single holiday off, like Veteren's Day.  Or Flag Day.  Now Annual Arrive-aversary Day.  You're welcome!)

Can you even believe it?  It has already been a year and I cannot believe it has only been a year.  You know what I mean?  So much...SO MUCH has happened that I can't believe we crammed it all into a single year, yet at the same time it seems like just the other day that we first walked through those doors.

(p.s. If you haven't read the post [well, mostly you just have to look at pictures] Has Mike Tyson Ever Punched you in the Gut? about the first time we walked through the house, now would be an excellent time to take a quick gander.  Brace yourself.)

Despite our seemingly hopeless situation, and I can assure you that we only barely resisted falling into despair at times, I am now sitting at a real table, typing on a real laptop using a real high-speed internet connection in my real, air conditioned house.  My bigger children are playing make-believe in a real tent in their real play room listening to real music while my baby snacks on a banana in her real high chair, framed by the picture window overlooking our real property.  Outside that beautiful window I can see our real flock of chickens, our truly free-range chickens, feasting happily on the seemingly unlimited bugs and lush greenery available to them.
can you count eight?
In our real kitchen, that former disgusting den of unusability.... sweet girls baked a delicious loaf of real banana bread.

note the stained fingers from picking wild raspberries
And our real garden is growing real flowers and vegetables.

We belong to a wonderful parish , have made truly great friends, have found delicious restaurants, and know how to get where we need to be without even using our GPS anymore.  We got three dogs.  We have a barn.  It's all real.  It worked.  Despite the challenges (which have been many) and the uncertainty (which still looms), the blessings have been so abundant that I can barely contain myself sometimes!  It is a good, good life we live and stretched out before us is so much more good and wonder and adventure that I can hardly wait to see what is waiting for us down that road. 

You know that feeling of waking up in the morning the day after you decide something big, that feeling of butterflies in your stomach and wings on your feet?   I feel that almost every. single. day.  The freedom that comes from putting the worry into His hands and just getting to work is incredible.  And just look at the results!  God is so good and so is this life. 

Happy 1 Year Arrive-aversary, friends.  I can't wait to see what the next 12 months holds!

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  1. What a wonderful and adventure-filled year! I will celebrate for ya'll all the way up here, lol.

  2. Have I told you that we bought our first house unseen? We were moving back home and couldn't afford another trip back to look, so we bought it based on pictures from the internet and my Mom. I'm so glad that your gamble is paying such dividends.

  3. Jeepers! I got the shivers! Happy Holiday!

  4. This is such an inspirational post. I clicked over to look at the pictures and read the Mike Tyson post. Oh my goodness...and I thought I had it bad when we moved into our little dump of an 80+ year old home after leaving our beautiful new construction home in sunny Southern California!! Were you totally in tears when you arrived to your "fixer-upper" I was when we arrived here. But like you, when I look back on everything that has literally blossomed in our life since we left California, I'm awe-struck by how great our God is. I'm blown away at how much He's blessed us abundantly. It may not be with a bank account loaded with money or the nicest home on the block. It may not even be with certainty of what the future holds. But the blessings we see day in and day out are the true meaningful blessings that we were completely blinded by in our previous world of keeping up with the Jones'. Life really is so much better, even if I still struggle to call this new state we live in, "home." One day, I know I will.

    Blessings to you and your family! And happy one year Arrive-aversary. :)


  5. I love that feeling the day after you decide something big... it's Grace!!! Helping jump start you down that "right road" that you've discerned. Awesome Possum. One year? Man, that flew by, for real!

  6. You're many good things have come your way. And you have come my way, which is a blessing to me. Congrats on surviving the year!

  7. Congratulations! Your family has been through a huge challenge and it looks like you've all survived and thrived! Kudos :)

  8. How exciting!!! One year!! Love the poses your girls are doing... Like we love each other while making banana bread! I'm sure they actually do... I'm just sayin... haha! ;)

  9. Congrats Dweej! Can you imagine how boring and miserable life would be if you didn't start this adventure?!

    -Nina, posting from Mom's computer which won't let me log into blogger.

  10. Congrats!! You're a year in and it looks like life it good.

  11. Congratulations on one-year! You have accomplished so many AMAZING things in this one year, and I'm so glad I got to follow it with you all. I love that you have that butterflies in your stomach excitement every day. That is just awesome. You are so inspirational, really!

  12. Congratulations to you and Tommy and the kids! If you lived through this year of uncertainty and hard work, you can accomplish anything! It gives me hope that I can achieve my dreams too!

  13. HOLY.COW.... I read your Mike Tyson punching you in the gut because your unseen house turned out to be throw up and feces remains from a previous sickly toronado....I would have died... died. been resurrected just to die all over again. Girl, you amaze me and inspire me and you took the unthinkable and unfair and made it beautiful and possible with the help of the big man and your beautiful family. Canonization awaits you... I am sure of it! Congratulations- you did it!

  14. Happy Arrive-aversary!! I'm off to read the Mike Tyson post now.

  15. Wow you really have come a long long way! I feel your pain w/ the renovations. We've been renovating our place since we got married. I'm so ready to be done with it!

    I'm jealous of the lush greenery and the chickens!

  16. Congratulations on making it through your first year in Michigan! The longer you're here the more you'll love it!

  17. Congratulations! You are absolutely my Give-It-To-God hero, chica!

  18. Happy Arrive-aversary!! Your year was, indeed, blessed :)

    (And now I'm totally going to need some fresh-baked banana bread, and SOON!!)

  19. Congrats on your Arrive-aversary!

    Many {{hugs}} for you all for what you've overcome to make a house a home!

  20. Congratulations on your new life in Michigan! But more importantly, you continue to trust in God and see the goodness in whatever happens in your life. That is a gift, a gift indeed.

    And just for the record (most) state government employees in Minnesota have been on holiday since July 1 when the government shut down because a budget agreement could not be reached. No money. No government.

  21. Oh Audrey, it seems so surreal that a government shutdown in a state actually happened! I have several friends in Minnesota so have been hearing first hand accounts.

    Mosty my government rib was aimed at my husband and his old co-workers who worked for municipal government back in CA. I swear the man had holidays off that my kids didn't even have!

    I hope the Minnesota situation gets straightened out very soon.

  22. Shoot, I already have the day off. You couldn't have moved in February?

  23. Congratulations on your 1st Arrive-asary!!!

    You are amazing, I am not at all surprised you achieved as much as you did in the past 12 months.

    I love your home, I wish I could move there :)

    And you have sunflowers! My absolute favorite!

  24. Ok, you are now even more my hero than before. Amazing. Those pictures of your house when you got there? I don't think I am that strong.

    Where did you even begin? Please tell me you went to a hotel that first night so I don't feel even weaker.

    You should definitely be celebrating and government employees should definitely get off work. This is something HUGE to celebrate!

    I hope you did something very fun and you are beyond proud of how far you guys have come.

  25. So its been a year...What have you learned?

    What have you learned? What are you most happy about? And what do you miss?

    Congrats on the year of your new life,


  26. Happy Arrive-aversary!! You have come a long way. That picture of your old stove and You amaze me, Dweej. I don't know how you do it. (Still jealous of those chickens, by the way.)

    Also, I need to borrow those darling girls of yours. Any children that make delicious banana bread are welcome in the Doty household any time.

  27. Happy Arrive-aversary, Dweej!

    And thanks for the uplifting and inspiring words! I get bogged down in work and blog woes sometimes and forget what's really important. You're always there to remind me what a little positive thinking and an amazing attitude can accomplish.

  28. Happy One Year, House Unseen! Over and over again you made me want to just pack up and find a house unseen somewhere and create my own sanctuary :)

    Truly, what a little heaven you've created there! All the hard work, the frustration... only makes it even more worthwhile.

    Most importantly, I believe that God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. And you are an example.

    A big high-five to you, your girls, your loving husband, and the boys!

    PS: I want a piece of that banana bread please.

  29. Congratulations on having a very beautiful and real life. You really are blessed, but from what I can tell it wasn't easy! Good job! :)

  30. Thank you so much everyone! You're right, physically it was not easy. But that's okay...doing hard things makes us all stronger :)


    (Just wanted to take liberty with the little bit of font adjustment comments afford us.)

    You guys are ALL so amazing, and Dwija, you don't deserve anything less than all the blessings the Lord can fit in the heavens! Look at you go, girl. You. Are. AMAZING. You really are.

    Do you know why you are so blessed? Because the Lord loves you and you deserve to be, of course, but more than that it's because you love Him and you are SO grateful. You inspire everyone whose life you touch. Of COURSE we should be doing the dancy-dance!!! :D Thank you! HUGS :)

  32. Wow, we've been here 3 years and it still feels like our home is a disaster (mostly b/c crap keeps breaking). But you have done wonders! How amazing for you :) Happy Arrive-aversary and here's to many more happy celebrations!


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