We are on the move again…

I’m sure anyone who knows us is not surprised that the Mitchell’s are moving again, but we are so excited to be moving back home to South Carolina!

The way this whole thing came about is truly a God thing.

We’ve been in Columbus for three years now and the original purpose for this move was to be close to my parents and family down here. When after a year or so of being down here, my parents moved back to Chattanooga, we realized that our dream and reason for being in Columbus was no longer the same.

We still had my sister and Aunt, Uncle and Cousin here, so we weren’t totally alone but we really struggled in finding our place here. We weren’t really drawn to the area…it was the people in it that made us stay.

When I invested and became part owner in a self defense school here a year ago, we felt that this was an anchor to hold us here in Columbus. I loved my job and enjoyed working in the evenings.

But every time we would go back to South Carolina, Chris would say “Man, I really miss being here. Do you think we could move back?” And I would agree…it did feel like coming back home. But I own my own business and I can’t just drop that and move, right?

A turning point came in June when we went to the beach with Chris’ family at Harbor Island. It just felt like home. Being back with Chris’ family and being in South Carolina. That’s when my heart began to want it too.

We talked about it but dismissed it because there really wasn’t a way for me to step away from my job. We took out a loan to invest in it and had to make the payments on it.

Fast forward to August/Sep. We couldn’t get moving back to South Carolina off of our minds. Not only did we miss his family, but we also missed our church and community there. The Clemson/Anderson area is one of our favorite places in the world and we knew that’s where we want to put down roots and raise our family.

So we took a leap of faith and Chris sent out his resume. We didn’t hear anything for awhile which was discouraging but we felt like the Lord wanted us to keep being faithful where we were at and wait for Him.

He got a call from a job recruiter and he said he had some leads on potential jobs that would be a good fit for Chris.

We both kinda freaked out. Although nothing was in stone yet, just the potential of moving made me want to be upfront with my business partners to give them a heads up. We talked about it and it was received…okay. There was no promise of a good buyout but we really didn’t discuss details yet.

I ended up finding someone who wanted to buy my share of the business and I was so excited. This felt like a win-win to me because not only would my loan be covered but we would even make a little…and with our kitchen being completed gutted since July, we needed any extra cash to help cover those costs.

And by him buying me out, it wouldn’t set the self defense school back at all because they wouldn’t have to pay anything.

When I presented the buyout offer to my partners…let’s just say it did not go well. They didn’t want another partner and were not open to letting me out of my contract. They changed my work schedule without my knowledge and more than doubled the prior agreed upon classes I was to teach. When I called them about this they said they wanted “to be fair” and for me to start carrying my weight. I had no power because they had the majority vote and they let me know that. A lot more went on that I don’t feel comfortable going into on here…but it was pretty bad.

I had panic attacks and anxiety attacks because of all of this. One night I was up until 1am unable to stop throwing up or breathe. I kept crying and telling Chris “What do we do?! If you get that job and we move I’ll be in breach of contract and we’ll walk away with a lot of debt!” Chris told me that at this point he didn’t care. He saw how this was affecting me mentally, emotionally and physically.

We tried to negotiate some kind of buyout with them but they barely offered me a third of what my share was worth and none of the money for it would be up front. When things continued to escalate we talked to Chris’ parents and asked for their advice. “Are we stupid if we just walk away and get out of this toxic situation?” Chris’ dad said “Chris there is no price you can put on protecting your wife.” *tears*

So that’s what we did. I walked in there and gave them my share. Gave it to them. We took the hit and for the first time in over a year I have PEACE.

We know God will provide for us and we have no regrets.

(They did try to come back and offer me their original offer (the one that was less than 1/3 and it would only be a tiny check once a month for the next 5 years) but they wanted me to sign another contract that had so many stipulations and a gag order. We didn’t feel comfortable signing that and having any legal ties to them for the future.)

A week or so later after I walked away from my job, Chris got a phone interview for a plant in Greenwood, SC. They then scheduled an in person interview for that Friday. By the next Monday he received a job offer.

Our house is still under construction but the kitchen should be done just in time for us to list the house. I’m very sad I won’t even get to cook a meal in my brand new kitchen, but I know that God worked out that leak and mold issue to end up getting us a new kitchen that will be a huge selling point in our home.

We move in less than two weeks and he starts December 16th!

Everything fell into place and even though it was SO hard how it all happened, God resolved everything that needed to be resolved and took care of it.

I know that even though we aren’t in the best place financially right now that He will continue to provide for and take care of us. It’s been so cool to see His hand in all of this!

So South Carolina friends! We’re coming back to Clemson! We cannot wait to be back home!

A Day In The Life: 2017

So I recently went back and re-read my previous day-in-the-life post and whew! Things have changed since then. And honestly that makes me a little happy. (Ha) I do not miss all of the early feedings and pumping a bazillion times a day!

I thought it would be fun to do a follow up day to compare what has changed and as a way for me to remember this season when it is gone.

So with that being said, here was our day yesterday!

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9:00 am: Get the kids up

Just like my last post talked about, my kids do not not normally sleep this late, but I try not to get them up until 9. We are all battling a cold/stomach virus this week, so they were all actually asleep at 8:30 and started cooing and talking while I was making breakfast.

I give the boys cereal and fruit, and Rhett gets oatmeal. I feed Elliot her food and give her a bottle, then put her in her exersaucer to play (Also keeping her upright while her food settles keeps her from spitting up orange baby food all over the rug. Ha).

I have started playing a Christian playlist on Spotify while we all eat breakfast together and the boys love it! It’s a cheerful way to get the morning started and it warms my heart to see them slowly learning the words.

While the boys finish up eating, I run the vacuum so that Elliot doesn’t get into all of the crumbs they have dropped. It’s a new thing for them not to cry when I vacuum and I am SO thankful! I could never find a good time to do it because it traumatized them when they were awake and then woke them up when they were asleep. Sooooo…dirty floors it was! Ha

9:45 Playtime

We all hang out in the living room and read books, push the walker around/run over baby sister with said walker, and watch a show (Little Baby Bum on Netflix. Two words: life. Saver.).

Eli has a cough, so I try to diffuse some oils to help him with that. Trying to keep him still and rest his little body is a difficult task!

Rhett dropped his toys in the toilet, and that was a first for us. So I put them in the kitchen sink to run through the dishwasher later. While I was cleaning out the toilet, Eli got into the diffuser I mentioned earlier and spilled it. Elliot was screaming during all of this. (Ha)

11:00 make lunch

I make sandwiches for the boys with goldfish and Pediasure for Eli (come on and gain weight baby boy!). I feed Elliot another bottle.

11:30 Chris comes home for lunch

Best part of my day. 🙂

He helps me lay them all down, and then we fix lunch and watch The Office.

12:30-1:30 watch tv

Normally I do something fun, like decorate or work on projects during this time, but since I’m sick, I watched The Office the whole time. (Ha)

1:30 Elliot wakes up

I change her diaper, and let her play on the floor.

2:45 Boys wake up

I fix snacks and drinks and we play and watch a show. It’s a very calm slow day due to them feeling under the weather.

I feed Elliot a bottle and lay her down.

3:45 Lay Eli back down

4:45 Chris gets home

Chris goes into work at 7 at his new job so he is supposed to get to come home at 4, but most days it’s closer to 5 and sometimes 6. He’s a hard worker but I’m a needy wife, so I miss him!

5:00 Make dinner and get Elliot and Eli up

I start making dinner while Chris plays with the kids. Chris feeds Elliot and makes some chicken for the boys since the tacos we are having aren’t very kid friendly. (Ha)

6:00 Clean Up

Chris plays with the kids while I do the dishes and vacuum again. I clean their high chairs and trays to get prepared for the next day.

6:15 Brush the boys teeth

6:30 Bedtime for boys

6:45 Feed Elliot a bottle and lay her down

7:00 Chill with my man until we go to bed around 9:30

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And that was our day! For any of you new moms out there or veteran mom’s who have recently had another child, it’s amazing how quickly the seasons change and yet feel like they last a lifetime!

If you are in the midst of a crazy and chaotic season with your babies, take heart! Although it might not feel like it, they will become more independent and it will get better.

My kids are still very needy and aren’t all that independent, but they are learning! And that encourages me so much! I can’t even imagine a day when they can feed themselves and get in and out of the car by themselves! (Ha) But I know it’s coming!

Looking back on my first day-in-the-life post, I actually saw how far they’ve come. We’ve all changes a lot in just a few months!

So let’s take heart, be encouraged that it won’t always be like this, and scoop up those sweet babies! Let’s savor every season, even the hard ones!

Sidenote: Our daily diaper count went down from 17 to 10. There’s a praise right there!

New Year, New Rhythms.

As I’ve been spending time evaluating this new year and what goals the Lord is showing me and wanting me to work towards, I can’t help but think back on what I posted last year.
While so much is the same…lots of messes and chaos and little people who need me, I can’t help but sigh and say a thank you prayer at how far the Lord has brought me.

Last year, I gave birth to my third child, we listed and sold our home in SC, we moved to Columbus, GA and relocated three times within 6 weeks of being down here.

The Lord provided a beautiful home for us here in Columbus and for the first time in several years I don’t feel like life is “on hold” in anticipation of a big event. Like moving, or having another baby.

So this year I was actually able to set some goals and think through what the Lord has for me this year.

This is my first year using Lara Casey’s #powersheets and I LOVE THEM. For someone like me who always has about 47 different things going on in my head, the Power Sheets helped me to quiet the noise and figure out what matters to me.

So as I was searching my heart and trying to narrow down what 2017 should look like, the Lord kept revealing a common theme for me. My family. My home. My children. My husband.

I felt Him tugging on my heart to be present in my home.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a Starter. I am all about a project. Let’s do it. Let’s plant those seeds, start that ministry, help whoever needs help. Let’s throw some dynamite into the mess and shake things up.

However, I am not so great at finishing things.

I lack endurance in those projects. I get overwhelmed and want to go start something new. I like the adrenaline rush at the beginning.

And yes, I realize this is not a great thing. It’s a huge flaw of mine, and it is something I feel like the Lord is bringing into the light this year. He wants me to endure and to cultivate. He wants me to be faithful.

So my word of the year is nurture.

I love the definition of nurture –

“the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.”

Nurturing doesn’t happen overnight. It is a time consuming process. Sooooo…I ain’t so good at nurturing. (Ha) But the Lord has shown me that marriage and motherhood are the perfect tools He is using to cultivate those things in me.

I thought at the start of this year that my calendar and planner would be full of volunteering at the homeless shelter, crisis pregnancy center, or church. I thought we would most likely lead a bible study of some kind in our home or lead a small group. And these things may happen at some point in the year!

But the Lord has been calming my heart and showing me that when I am busy “doing things for Him,” a lot of times I feel resentment towards the things that get in the way of that…like my children. As my focus goes outward, my frustration grows towards them.

So I feel like this year, for this season, the Lord wants me to nurture my children. He wants me to be present. To listen to the little stories. To read the books. To answer the questions. To sing songs. To change diapers. To teach them about the Lord. To cultivate in their hearts obedience and kindness. To be all in.

He wants me to nurture my marriage. To put down my phone and listen to my husband when he talks to me. To go on dates with Chris. To pray for Chris. To love him to the best of my ability.

So this is what my heart for this year is. To not just plant the seeds, but to water, weed, water again, cultivate and prune the things God is growing in my life. I want to desire and look to the harvest. Knowing that my toil is not in vain in the Lord.

I’d love to hear what the Lord wants for your 2017! Is it a year of planting or growing for you? Comment below or email me some of your goals for this year.

(Note: Please know that I am not saying we should not serve or be involved in church or ministries. Nothing could be further from the truth. And as believers we are called to do these things. However, when I put more priority and importance on those things over my own family, that is where the problem is. And that is what the Lord has shown me I have a tendency to do. Just wanted to clarify. Ha)

Home Sweet Temporary Home

 
It’s been almost a week since we moved to Columbus! At the rate this week has crept by it feels more like a month. (ha) It has been quite the adjustment for our little family, but I think we are starting to find our rhythm as much as we can during this transitional time.

Chris has been really enjoying his new job and loves the people he will be working with. It’s just overwhelming for him at times trying to soak in all of the new information. Like drinking from a fire hose… (ha) I have no doubt he will catch on quickly, lil smarty pants.

I definitely underestimated the difficulty of having three small children in a hotel room. Before we got here I was like “Oh it’ll be a fun adventure! Think of the memories we will make!”

WRONG. More like, let’s hang on and try to survive the next few weeks and hope we all forget them soon. (ha)

There is just NO SPACE.

We are all over each other, all day long. I’m used to trying to get things done with at least one child attached to my leg, but now the space is so small I drag the other two along with me, whether they want to come or not. (you think I’m kidding…)

And with most of them being on different sleep schedules and nap times, its a miracle that any of them get sleep.

I’m thankful there is a small kitchen in here though, it would be SO hard to have to get take-out or haul all of us to a restaurant every night.

I have remind myself of that when our rooms smell continually of hamburger patties and essential oils. (ha)

One of the BEST perks of being here though is having my family 3 minutes down the road. I think we’ve all seen each other every day since we moved here. We had dinner with my cousin and mom last night and the day before my sister came and hung out with us after work.

It’s such a blessing to just do life together. I’ve missed that.

It’s funny how when I was growing up, I so looked forward to being independent and having “my own life.” You know, doing adult things. And now that I’m an adult, all I want is my family back in my life. (ha)

Only 11 days until our apartment is ready…which will have THREE BEDROOMS. (*cue angelic voices singing*) And then we’ll have two months in that until (Lord willing) we find and move into a house.

I am soooo ready to be settled in our new place…I miss decorating and “nesting.” (no I’m not pregnant again, calm down.) But I am trying my hardest to enjoy this time and let the Lord teach me the lessons He wants me to learn.

Goodbye, South Carolina.

Yesterday we made the move from Liberty, South Carolina to Columbus, Georgia. It was such a bittersweet day. The kids were up at 6:30 so the day started early. We had so much to pack up on the trailer and shove into the leftover room in our cars. (ha) We worked non-stop for 3 hours, and finally got everyone fed and loaded up.
 

As I took one last walk through the house, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Memories began to flood my mind. I brought two of my three babies home to this house. I planted my first garden here.

My pregnancy with Eli and all of the worry and complications that came with it happened in this house. We also saw God do the impossible and brought that tiny miracle baby home through our front door. Rhett took his first steps here and Eli spoke his first word.

I stared at my kitchen sink…nothing special at first glance, but I bathed all three of my blessings in it. They each loved to splash and coo and make a mess.

So many Christmases and Thanksgiving with family took place here. Friends’ wedding and baby showers, birthdays and surprise parties. Too many sweet times to count.

While Chris and I were packing up our room one afternoon last week, I got quiet and he noticed I wasn’t okay. (I guess he’s not used to me being quiet. ha) I tried to fight back the tears but as I shared with him all of the memories and good times that were flooding my head, they just kept coming. He told me to let it out and feel all of these feelings.

I know that probably sounds cheesy, but it’s my tendency to shove things down and not deal with them, and they usually come back to haunt me at the worst times. It’s easy for me to just move from one season to the next as quickly as possible, and not deal with all that I am leaving behind.

I tend to want to focus on the good of this new season and avoid the fact that I am leaving behind too many good things to count. I need to grieve the loss and feel the sadness. This is not easy and I can’t just rip it off like a band-aid. It’s not something I can just “get over with.”

I will miss South Carolina. I have loved living here and being near Chris’ family. It is here that they truly became my family and brought that same sense of comfort my own family does. I cry just thinking about not having them down the road.

I will miss our church family. In one of the worst trials of my life, they all embraced Chris and I and loved us through it. I met many of them for the first time while they were bringing meals to my front door. I am dreading the process of finding a new one because CrossPoint was just THAT good. I made so many dear dear friends there, and I miss them already.

And Chris will miss Clemson. Oh how he will miss it. My biggest competition are those Tigers. (ha)

I know that there is a season for everything, and the season of being in South Carolina is over for us right now. But I am SO thankful for the time we had there. What a treasure it was.

Changing Seasons: The Mitchell’s Are On The Move

Just as the sweltering heat of summer is (slowly) fading into crisp autumn, and the green leaves have their first hints of red and yellow, so is our life moving in a new direction.
Chris has accepted a position with Lennox in Columbus, GA and we will be moving down there at the end of this month.

Leaving South Carolina can only be described as bittersweet…I still have no idea how I am going to say goodbye to his family, or our church family here in Clemson. South Carolina has been my home as long as I have been a Mitchell so it seems like the two of them just go together.

I’ve had all of my babies here at the same hospital. I’ve definitely shed some tears as I’ve been decluttering the rooms in our house for the move thinking about all of the memories we’ve made in them. We will be sad to leave this house and our sweet neighbors.

The positive is my parents and Carley, and aunt, uncle, and cousin live in Columbus and I am SO excited to be near them. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like to live near one of my sisters again!! We are going to get into all kinds of trouble.

We are in the works of getting our house listed and up for sale in the next week or so, and are traveling down to Columbus this weekend to try and find our new home.

This is an absolutely crazy month for us, even without the move, so we are a bit stressed out. (Ha) But the Lord has been helping all of the details fall into place. We see His hand in this and are excited about this move.

I am always a little sad whenever seasons change…it’s exciting to welcome the new things, but sad to say goodbye to the good things that were in the old.

Living in South Carolina was good. Having Chris’ family in our daily lives was beyond good. I do not want to say goodbye. BUT I am making sure we find a house with a guest room so they better be coming to visit A LOT. (Hint hint if you’re reading this. ha)

We will no doubt be coming back to visit frequently to see family and go to football games (thanks to my husband ha) so this is definitely not goodbye!

Please be praying for our family as we transition and get all of the details nailed down.

We are so thankful for all of you who have poured into us during our time here. We love you all!