Life Challenges

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Life has lots of ups and downs that my head spins. Seth and I spent almost three weeks in Ambridge, Pennsylvania to find contractors to work on our investment house. I’ve met contractors from the area who told me they were interested in working on the house and then I never hear from them again. They don’t call me or return my calls/texts…

Finding people to work on this house has been ridiculously difficult! Ugh. Adding to this was the house making strange noises every night; it sounded like a creature (or maybe a ghost) was inside the air vents in the living room, along with other strange noises like when I heard someone (or something) walking in the bedroom above the living room one night when I was alone with my dog Buddy. We left for my friend’s house, but Buddy and her dog, Patches, kept barking at each other, so I took him home. My friend called 911 after I left so they could check the house for people, though I knew they wouldn’t find any. The lack of sleep made Seth and I a little crazy, so we drove back to Texas.

Tonight I called my cousin’s neighbor who works for one of the construction companies who never returned our call (my husband called them). He came two Sundays ago with my cousin Kevin to look at the house with its many projects and gave me prices to complete each project and my soul was filled with comfort.

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New Family Pictures

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Today we finally went to Target for our family photos with the four of us. Seth and Noah have grown so much since December of 2014 and seem to be growing more each day!

Although Jim and I look a bit older, I don’t mind. Too much.

We’ve been through a lot since our last professional picture, so I believe that each new wrinkle has added to my character as I’ve overcome many challenges, and a few that are ongoing. This perspective has helped me remember to love myself.

Investment House

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Jim and Seth are in Pennsylvania again for a few days working on our investment house. Yesterday our kitchen cabinets were delivered, but they did NOT include the two counter tops that I bought back in October.

Ugh.

Home Depot’s special orders and delivery department has been awful. When we lived in Pennsylvania and remodeled our bathroom things seemed to go a lot smoother.

I’m hoping that Jim and Seth will work on the removing the last of the kitchen tiles in the kitchen so they can begin installing the cabinets. They are coming home on Sunday afternoon, and I can’t wait to just enjoy spending Christmas and New Year’s with all of us at home. As much as I love rehabbing this old house, it will be wonderful to spend time together creating Christmas memories and the smell of delicious food as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Millie

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This is my friend Millie. She grew up in Chicago and now lives in Western Pennsylvania, and is a good family friend. Her husband Gary was friends with my dad, and they played golf together with my brother and cousin Kevin. His wife Christine is actually Gary’s niece. Guess that makes us family.

Millie is fun and makes me laugh with her cute sayings, and how she has a voting outfit complete with beads and a scarf to show her patriotism. She’s a talented piano player, and blew my breath away the first time I heard her play! She loves to play cards, and we often play one called Scat, where she always wins all my quarters.

Anyway, I stayed with her this fall when I bought my investment house in Ambridge, and my mom and I will be staying with her again in January as I finish rehabbing the house so I can sell it in the spring, and although I hate when the weather is freezing ( I live in Houston), I’m really looking forward to seeing Millie again.

She’s very blunt and just says whatever she’s thinking, and sometimes when she tells people things they don’t like, such as your kids are acting like brats (she once said told me this, though it was true), they stop talking to her. It makes me sad that she will be alone on Christmas. And today’s Light the World theme is that “Jesus visited the lonely, and so can you,” but since I can’t visit her, I’ll call and let her know we love and miss her.

My Mother-in-law

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My sweet mother-in-law and I in February, 2009 at my son’s 8th birthday party. She died ten months later on December 26th from pancreatic cancer, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.

She is one of the most loving, caring, and understanding women I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. I’m grateful that she’s my husband’s mother, as he inherited her divine nature. If she were on the earth today, she would continue to light the world with her beautiful spirit. It helps to know that she is waiting for us in the Spirit World, and at times I sense her presence in my house, especially when I stay up late.

I knew when I moved to Houston that I’d miss her and asked my husband to take this picture of us to remember this special daughter of God, Mary Louise McFadden.