Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home for the Holidays

This morning at church we sang the song Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin.  As I sang the lyrics, "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord" I couldn't help but get choked up.

For the last seven years Nathan and I have been waiting on the Lord.  In many ways.

Okay, I have to back up now... let me start at the beginning of this story.

A few months after Nathan and I were married, we decided to purchase our first home.  We were so excited to become homeowners at the tender age of 23.  We felt like we were making such a smart and sound investment.  

Unfortunately, we purchased a one bedroom condo.

The next year, we were pregnant with Beau.

Two years to the date of purchasing our home {we needed to avoid Capital Gains taxes, after all}, we sold it and moved into an apartment.  Beau was 5 months old.  I had quit working to be a SAHM, and Nathan was in the middle of switching careers, so needless to say... we were a little uncertain of our income.  We thought we would just rent for a year, until we were in a more stable place, and then purchase our next home.   

Enter the Real Estate Boom of the Century.
Four and a half years later we moved out of that apartment, but we were in debt and still not in a position to purchase another home.  So we found another rental.

Please be clear that I am not complaining.  We loved our little apartment, and enjoyed our time there... but we wanted space for Beau to ride his bike and friends for him to play with.  We love our current home.  Love.  We have amazing neighbors, including my sister and her family.  We have a nice little yard, a garage, and an office for me... all things we didn't have in the apartment.  

But we have longed for a place that was ours to call home.  A place where we could paint the walls, plant a garden, and know that we were there to stay.

For the last seven years Nathan has kept a watchful eye on the MLS.  He could tell you about any and every house in our city that was on the market.  But the time has never been right.

Then a couple of months ago he found a house on a friend's street that seemed like a really good fit for us.  Unfortunately, it was a short sale, and the multiple offers {including ours} are still being considered by the bank.

But since we had gone to the trouble of getting ourselves pre-qualified, and realized that we finally may be in the position to buy a home, we decided to look at a few others.

We were able to qualify for a loan, and decided to take some money out of Nathan's 401K for the 3.5% down payment that we would need.  

Then we found an AMAZING, too-good-to-be-true FHA loan with a 2.75% interest rate.  

Then, we found our dream home.

We put in a very low offer, thinking the owners were going to shut us down super quick.

But they didn't.

Instead, they countered back an hour later at a price that was very close to the amount that we had agreed was our max.  So we countered back.

Then we waited.  Again.

Late that evening they came back with their best and final offer... the exact price that Nathan and I had agreed on.  We just stared at each other in disbelief, really feeling like God had just wrapped up our dream home in a beautiful shiny bow and said, "this is for you, my children."

This last Friday afternoon we closed escrow.


I have been hesitant to share this information, for fear that someone out there will misunderstand our situation and send me another nasty note.  But I cannot miss this opportunity to sing the praises of our Lord, who once again has so faithfully and generously provided for our family.

But just in case there are some people out there that feel the need to chastise me for holding a fundraiser for our adoption, and then announcing that we have purchased a home... let me just save you the time by telling you that nothing you can say will make me doubt this gift from God.  And... a few things:

1.  Nathan and I both agreed that there was no other explanation for us finding and being able to purchase this home than that God had very clearly laid it in our hands.  

2.  As I said, we were able to take money out of Nathan's 401K for our down payment, so we have not had to take a single dollar out of our checking account.

3.  My amazing friend that is paying for our adoption is well aware of our purchasing this home, and makes no judgment because she knows us, she knows our situation, and she knows that we now have a bedroom for that sweet little baby that we will very soon be bringing home. 

This year has been beyond overwhelming to us in so many ways.  We have seen the fruit of God's faithful providence in our lives, and now see purpose in seven long and painful years.

This season, at a time when we are remembering that God loved us so much that He sent us His son, we come before our almighty Savior so humbly grateful for the amazing year to come... a new home, a busy business, and a long-awaited baby on the way.

Now, if it will just stop raining long enough for us to move our stuff the 7/10 of a mile down the road... that would be great!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts from MAAY Customers

The other day I got an order for a journal.  The woman ordering it, was getting it for her niece to use as a prayer journal.  I thought that was such a lovely idea.  But even more lovely was the note that she asked me to include in the package.  It said:

"Use this journal to write down the things that inspire you and the countless ways God has blessed you.  As you continue to grow as a woman, remember there is no Testimony without the Test."

I am tearing up again just thinking about how true those words are.  

I am thankful for the trials that I have experienced in my life, because they have given me the opportunity to share God's glorious faithfulness with others. 

On that note... I have some {big news} to share soon.  It's probably not what you think.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 days is 9 days too many

My husband is home.  All is right with the world.

He has been gone for the last 10 days on a fly-fishing trip with his father.  We knew when this trip was planned that it was going to be the absolute worst time for him to be gone... but when your dad offers to pay for a 10 day luxury fly-fishing trip to New Zealand... you go!

Beau and I did not like it.

It is the longest that Nathan and I have been apart since we got married, and the longest that he and Beau have ever been apart.  

It kind of sucked.

Not that I didn't totally respect them already, but I have a whole new respect for military wives, single moms, and women whose husband's travel for work. 

I like having my husband at home.

Now he is home.  I am happy.  I'm not letting him go anywhere for a while.  

{Please remind me of this posting, when need be.}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Boutique at Oso Grande

If you are in the area... come see us today at the

Oso Grande Holiday Boutique
at Oso Grande Elementary School in Ladera Ranch

12:30pm to 4:30pm
{although keep in mind that school gets out at 1:05pm, and you won't be able to get into the parking lot anywhere close to that time}

Mention that you are blog follower and we will give you 10% off your order placed today at the boutique only.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Did you know that last Saturday was Small Business Saturday

Well I found out on Small Business Saturday that one of my favorite small businesses is closing.  




There is a darling little gift boutique in my home town called Confetti.  They carry fantastic gift items and lots of personalized things {which we know I love}, including my calendars.

I have often wondered how they have managed to stay in business, knowing that the rent in our town is outrageous.  It seemed that with the economy in its current state... it was only a matter of time.

Well, it looks like time ran out.

My heart aches a little for Confetti, and for all the Small Business Owners that are having dreams squashed across America.

So please think about where you are making your holiday purchases this year.  I greatly admire those of you have that taken the Handmade Pledge and trying to go 100% handmade this season.

While I would love to commit to 100%, I just don't think Nathan would appreciate a hand-sewn work shirt to wear to his suit-and-tie office environment.

But I am definitely making an effort, and shopping with my fellow home-business owners whenever possible.

I hope you will too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Twice in a Day!

Whoa... look at me!  No blogging for nine days, and then two in one day.  Watch out world.

I have never shopped on Black Friday.  I find the whole idea ridiculous, overwhelming, and thoroughly unappealing.

But this year, with every store trying to beat the next to opening... I seriously considered Target at 4am.

Then I reconsidered.

Anyway, for my brothers and sisters out there that would rather enjoy a leftover chicken sandwich than fight with some crazed bargain hunter over a pair of pink fuzzy earmuffs that for some reason seem like a must-have at 4am... I am bringing Black Friday to your computer!  And it's lasting til Sunday.


From now until Sunday, November 28th at midnight PST
Save 10% off all orders from Much Ado About You

You can save 10% on this:


or this:


or these:


Bookmarks make a great gift for your favorite reader!


Tell someone you really care by getting them a personalized gift.

Personalized says... I thought ahead.  I knew you would like this.

Just enter the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

Remember, this sale only lasts until Sunday, so don't delay.  This is your last chance to save on Much Ado About You purchases before Christmas.

We are guaranteeing all orders placed before December 1st to ship by December 15th.

December 1st is the last day to place an order for Christmas delivery.

Now. Go. Shop.

9 Days

It has been nine days since I last blogged.

Right after I posted my last blog, Mego's husband called me and asked if he could fly me out to Denver for the weekend to surprise Mego for her birthday.  

Who could say no to a free weekend away from the insanity, spending time with your bff, and getting to read an entire book???

So, in the last nine days I have:

Celebrated Beau's football team, who made it to the playoffs and lost in a heart-wrenching triple overtime {and am now not sure how I will ever survive being a High School Football Mom}

{Cupcakes, of course, courtesy of Once Upon a Cupcake}

Helped at Beau's Thanksgiving Feast at school


Flown to Denver
Participated in a, shall we say interesting Craft Fair


where we mostly sat here:

{I don't know why I can't get this picture to rotate, but you get the idea.}

Visited the "beach" with Cora


Read two entire books {oh, how I love Francine Rivers}


Tried desperately to catch up on a mounting stack of orders

Gone to see Tangled with my family

and

Hosted my very first Thanksgiving Dinner

So there's the breakdown. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Busyness

If you are wondering why I have been sparse with my blogging lately, it's because Much Ado About You is currently experiencing our busiest. season. ever.

Last December, our highest sales month of all time, we sold 120 calendars.

This month, as of today, with only half of the month behind us, we have sold 135 calendars!

That is why I have not had time to blog.
It is also why I have not had time to do laundry, clean up the house, put away dishes,  unpack from The Queen Bee Market {more on that later}, or finishing putting up the Christmas decorations that Nathan and Beau started while I was gone.

I've been busy.

We released the new line one month ago, and we are now sold out of 5 out of the 24 designs:






If one of these is the one you had your heart set on... you should have bought it already!  Just kidding.  What I was really going to say was that we may end up with a few more... we just went through all of our pending orders yesterday, and based on our highly sophisticated counting system... we believe we are sold out.

Now I am going back to bed because Nathan is home sick and kept me up most of the night with his moaning.  {Fever of 103... no good.}  So, goodnight.  Zzzzzzzzz.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Once Upon a Cupcake Giveaway!!!

My friend Kelly from Once Upon a Cupcake is having her first ever giveaway!  She is making these darling cupcake toppers, that can be shipped anywhere in the US.  


One dozen of these bad boys could be yours!

Check out Kelly's blog to enter.  Also, become a follower because you will definitely want to be updated on all the amazing things she does with fondant and icing.  Amazing.

And in case you were wondering... her cupcakes are to die for.  I am not a sweets person.  I am a chips and salsa kind of girl.  But I crave Kelly's cupcakes.  Crave.  They are yummilicious.  If you have any excuse for ordering cupcakes, you should order them from her.  You won't regret it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Queen Bee

The Queen Bee Market is finally here!!! WOO HOOOOO!

After the week I have had... I am SO looking forward to getting away with three of my favorite gals, and having a fantastic weekend in San Diego!

If you are in the area, come visit us.  This is going to be an amazing handmade market, and a great place to check off most of  your Christmas list.


Tell me you follow my blog and I will give you
$5 off your order of $40 or more 
{good for purchases at the Queen Bee Market only}.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Silence

Sorry for the silence this week.  It has been a very trying week.
One with high highs and low lows.

It has made me keenly aware of the fact that knee jerk reactions are usually not Emmy at her best, that I have amazingly loyal friends and customers, that perception does not always match reality, and that expectations can disappoint.

It has made me grateful for loyal and loving friends, family that picks me up and backs me up, and a church that I adore and appreciate.
It has renewed my passion for my business, prepared me for the future, and reminded me that growing a business will be full of painful lessons.

But mostly it has made me grateful for God's abundant provision and amazing blessings over my family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Football

Today I am thankful for football.

Can you believe that???

Beau has played golf, soccer, and t-ball, and been on the swim team, and I have enjoyed cheering him on at all those sports.

But today I almost passed out screaming for the Ladera 49ers... and we're going to the playoffs!!!


Today I got really excited for high school football.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Time for Thanksgiving

I have to admit... Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday.
Don't get me wrong... I love the food.
I am a big fan of food.
Especially any meal that includes gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.  But to me, Thanksgiving is just the speed bump you have to go over on the way from Halloween to Christmas.

Now, don't get me wrong again... I do not love all things Halloween either.  I am not a fan of witches and spider webs and scary movies.  I am however a fan of the Annual Blakely Chili Dinner and Trick or Treating Night.  We have all the neighbors over, we eat yummy chili {without beans, of course}, and we head out into the thing of beauty that is Ladera Ranch on Halloween night.

Christmas... that is my favorite.  For many reasons, but starting with the birth of our Savior.
The day after Halloween I start listening to Christmas music.  {I am listening to Silent Night sung by Martina McBride as we speak.}  I go from Halloween to Christmas.

Thanksgiving often gets brushed under the rug for me.  I am not a fan of fall colors, and I do not own any Thanksgiving decorations {except one very cute "Thankful" sign that I purchased years ago from Joy's Hope}.

I was just on Facebook and saw that a friend of mine had on her status: "is beginning a month of daily thankfulness" and I thought that sounded like a great idea!  This Thanksgiving I have much to be thankful for.
So starting today I am beginning a Month of Thankfulness on my blog.

Today I am thankful for sisters-in-law that I love.

One of my sisters-in-law came down today to be Beau's Beary Special Guest for his Beary Special Person week in his classroom.


Aunt Jackie came and read Beau's class a story, and made the year of a certain 7 year old who thinks she hung the moon.
Is it legal to marry an Aunt of no blood relation?  Even if she is already married to your Uncle?


Sorry for the out of focus picture.  Dang iPhone.