Thursday, June 28, 2012

the one with the God of peace

One of our pastors shared this at our staff prayer this week and it has really stuck with me. He challenged us to lift up our requests in prayer using only this Scripture. It was so good to root all of my requests and praises in what God has done for us through Jesus on the cross - and to meditate again on the truth that everything we do should be ultimately motivated by Christ's glory, not our own glory, comfort, or happiness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the one touring our house o' dreams

Welcome to a virtual tour of our new home! I'm excited to finally show you all the rooms and share what we are excited about and LOVE about the house the Lord has blessed us with.

Our home is a 1959 Partial Brick home. It's ranch style, with a basement. It's on a little over 1/3 acre of land, and backs up to a private entrance to the Raleigh Greenway. 

The front of our beautiful home!
We love the (somewhat overgrown) daisies, trees, and plants. I love the rain barrel! One day we hope to add a front porch so that we can interact with our neighbors more.

I LOVE our mailbox :) it's so old-fashioned and personal. 

Also LOVE our lamp post. Hello Narnia.

Sweet little birdhouse on one of my favorite trees in our front yard.

Backing up

The right side of our lot has lots of plants. We'd like to one day dig some of these up to add a little extra driveway space.

When you walk in, you enter through the beautiful, cheerful, naturally lit sunroom!
Love: the vaulted ceilings, all the hooks (mudroom-esque), 2 doors and 5 windows, ceiling fan, surprisingly big/useful space. 

Looking from the living room into the sunroom.

The living room! Love: the BIG windows (!), the wall color (was planning to paint this room gray but I'm really loving the blue), the gorgeous hardwoods, big/open feeling.

The dining room. Love: All the windows/natural light, bay window (we are building a window seat!), perfect size, dimmer light switch :)

Looking from the dining room into the kitchen

The kitchen! Love: gas stove (!!), beautiful white cabinets, old stained glass window cabinet, butcher block counter top (that little square), gray walls, leads to the deck, cute pantry, chalkboard door.

The hallway to the bedrooms/office/basement

Little nook outside the three bedrooms - see that square on the ceiling? That's an original house fan that homes used to use to cool off their entire home. We've heard it's AWESOME. Obviously it doesn't work still but we want to get it fixed because it's such a cool older home feature.

Master Bedroom. Love: ceiling fans in every bedroom, cute old fashioned shutter blinds, deceptively large closets, hardwoods, attached bathroom.

Master bath (it's pink!! :) ). Love: the shower head is tall enough from Rob, great light, the smaller sink is making me be very tidy, having our own bathroom, linen closet.

The office. Love: the color (actually only Rob loves the color...), plenty of natural light, potential to make over the already existing desk, manly ceiling fan, a place for all our papers finally.

Guest bedroom. (This is going to be my pretty room!)

Cutest hall closet. We actually have three hall closets but this one's the cutest.

Back yard!! Love: all the green!, big new deck, so much space, all the critters (so far: 2 frogs, cardinals, squirrels, other birds, and lightening bugs!), private access to the greenway, a shed, so much potential!

Basement!! Love: all the unused/unfinished space, groovy floor, that red carpet (jk), surprising amount of natural light, potential!

Guest bathroom. Love: having another full bathroom, cute little white cabinet, made alot of the space, potential.

Thanks for stopping by! We are so grateful for our first little house o' dreams!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the one on moving day!

On Saturday, about fifteen family members and friends helped us move all of our stuff from the apartment to our new home. What a blessing! We are incredibly lucky to have so many people who love & support us so selflessly. 

Before everyone got there, I took some last photos of our first home together. We will miss this place!

Sunroom all packed up

Living room

Living room


Master bath

Master closet!

Kitchen chaos

We got coffe & doughnuts for when people got there. We believe in saying thank you with lots of sugar and caffeine :) Then we started loading up this big guy...

That's a big truck, y'all...

We may or may not have gotten some tips from family members that we may need to start downsizing :)

The first half of the moving process went so smoothly! Mom helped me inside the apartment making sure we packed everything up (good thing we opened that armoire one more time...) and taking out all the nails/screws/etc. Sarah Jane ran point on organizing and loading up the Uhaul - she's so good at that. And the guys kept us laughing and did all the heavy lifting :) They were such hard workers - it was amazing. We finished in less than an hour and a half! Seriously record time. Then we made our way to the new home...

After a quick gatorade break, we unloaded everything from the truck and cars in about an hour! It was crazy. I am so thankful for all the help. We were finished unloading by 11am - way better than I had hoped for.

We called Mellow Mushroom to order pizza as soon as they opened (11am) so everyone just hung around and relaxed while we waited for the food. Becca and the boys came to see the house (and brought us dinner!) and Dave & his sweet Graham came to help too (very impressive with Lauren being out of town - definitely a super-dad we missed you, Lauren!!) I loved having the kids running around playing together!

Becca also took all these thankful she documented the day for us!

Coley Bear loved our deck :)

Our sweet little chalkboard in the kitchen!

Patrick and Finley. Fin was so great when he got there - he really really wanted to help us move! Such a sweet boy.

Kicking back. Dad Shields, Claude, and Jay

The heroes with the pizza!!

Love this one :)

Exhausted and hungry! Me & Sarah

Cole loves his nanny

Praying over our new home!

Lunchtime. (I love Graham's face in this picture! He LOVED playing with Fin & was so sweet)

Everyone left after lunch to finish their Saturdays...but Sarah and Mom were awesome and stayed for a couple hours to help me unpack the kitchen. I am SO thankful! I would still be unpacking it today if they hadn't helped me. It was really fun because they also helped me unpack my first kitchen at our apartment! Love it. Will also stayed and helped Rob put our bed together - what a trooper!

After they left, we crashed hard. We ended up just laying on the recently-assembled couch and watched Iron Man on tv. It was so nice to just sit and be still.

After a little rest, we cleaned off the table & dining room and sat down to eat our delicious dinner that Becca & Pat brought us for our first night. So thoughtful and awesome!

We finished the day with some sweet time with Jay & Elizabeth. They came over to hang out with us and take a study break - they are taking the bar exam in about a month! It was so wonderful to hang out with them, and celebrate their recent engagement. It was a great way to spend our first night in our new home.

Thank you Jesus for such a smooth day of moving! And thank you also to: Mom & Dad Keegan, Dad Shields, Claude, Sarah, Patrick, Becca, Kier, Will, Finley, Cole, Jay, Dave, Graham, Emmanuel & the kids from Neighbor-to-Neighbor. We couldn't have done it without y'all!

Monday, June 25, 2012

the one where it's closing time

Friday was one of the best days I've ever had. I woke up early and it felt just like Christmas morning. I just couldn't wait to start the day.

We were still a little worried that something would fall through with our closing. We've heard so many stories from friends about how something came up last minute that delayed their closing appointment. But the Lord was so gracious to us and everything could not have gone more smoothly! It was just the best day.

First, we went to the bank to make the largest withdrawal of our lives :) It was a VERY large check. It was actually extremely exciting to get out that much money and reach our goal.

Feeling like ballers holding the check

Next, we went to the walkthrough where I got A TON of before pictures of our home :) (Sharing later this week!)

And then it was the most exciting step...going to our closing appointment! We had a dear friend from the Summit (Darin Meece) as our closing attorney. It was so fun to have him there and a big relief knowing that we had someone we knew and trusted walking us through the process.

After signing about 1 million pages (approximately)... we walked out proud homeowners!! We were so excited that Rob actually did some heel-clicks in the parking lot as we walked out :)

Here we are with our beautiful key!

We had some time to kill before the craziness of the afternoon we decided on a celebratory lunch at Red Robin! It was so great to sit and relax and be giddy over being homeowners! Celebratory burgers are awesome :)

Then we headed to the house to snap some quick pics before everybody got there....

Rob loves him some candid photos...

Happy homeowners!

Then the chaos began. Check out our schedule...

It was so fun!! Since Rob had to leave and go pick up the truck and someone needed to stay at the house, Kier & Will came to keep me company and help me prepare for moving the next day. 

All the cars in front of our house at the same time! :)

My two favorite parts of the afternoon were:
1. Getting our house deep cleaned! It was so great to get it all cleaned up before we moved in. It smelled wonderful!
2. Meeting our mailman! He labeled our mailbox and was so nice. He wrote the most adorable note above our names "Good Names: Robert Shields & Nicole Shields". Haha! Maybe it's some kind of postal code? We take it as a compliment.

That pretty much wraps up closing day! Coming up... the moving party!