Well it's only been about six months since the last time I posted! Sorry everyone :-O
Most of you I'm sure know what's been happening, but in case you missed it, here we go!
From my last few posts, you can remember that Judah's mom was diagnosed with end-stage cancer. She had had a major surgery to remove the cancer, but they found that it had metastasized to most of her body so the prognosis was not good. Judah and I were trying to stay in West Virginia as long as we could because we were trying to pay off some debt, but knew that our time was limited. We made the decision to return home the first weekend in October and my father in law called us the day before we left saying our timing was good. There wasn't much time.
So we packed up all our belongings, the guinea pigs, and made our way northwest! We were sad to leave that house, as it had been our first "home" and we had a great summer there. We got stuck for a full day in Illinois because the power steering and something in the engine of the Chevy decided to quit out on us! But we got in late Monday night finally. We got to spend some time with family and that Wednesday night, we said goodbye to Marilyn. She was such a beautiful woman, inside and out, and I wish I could have had more time with her <3
Judah and I were originally going to stay in his brother's trailer, but we simply couldn't afford it, and came back to his dad's house. Since they had had family staying during Marilyn's illness, we didn't have a bedroom in the house, but stayed in the trailer in the outdoor building. It was quite the set up with the guinea pigs and Marilyn's dog, Sam. Needless to say, we didn't need to worry about anyone keeping an eye on the pigs... Sam had it covered ;) :P
Funny story, the night Marilyn passed, I had been down in the basement, where the guinea pigs were staying, helping Judah set up orange safety fencing around their cage because Maple kept jumping out of the cage! Why she was doing that made absolutely no sense, haha, you'd think she would want to stay in the cage, but no! We all went upstairs to say our goodbyes to Marilyn and afterwards, I went back downstairs to check on the guinea pigs. I get down there and Sam was standing IN their cage!!! Boy did I scream and throw a fit! Thankfully he hadn't touched them and everyone was fine, but it became a running joke, "but were the guinea pigs okay?!" Boy, it was one heck of a night...
So yes, it was interesting to say the least to be newly married and dealing with this new situation of living at your in-laws after the loss of a family member. I know Judah and I were meant to be there to help out, and we were glad to do it, but it definitely got tough at times!
The day after my last blog post, I actually decide to sign up and become a Jamberry consultant! I'll get more into that later, but thankfully during this time, I had that business to focus on and keep busy with. It was a lot of fun too because a lot of the girls I knew through Judah became very interested in Jamberry and hosted parties with me, so I got to met a lot of new people as well! It was obvious though that money was a big issue for us so I re-applied to the local Old Navy for a seasonal job. They quickly took me on and with the busy holiday season, I was working several days a week.
It was fun being in Wisconsin for the fall, despite all the life happenings. Judah took me out on the lake in his boat and we went riding on his motorcycle one day. We also went hiking and duck hunting. One weekend we went out with friends to North Dakota for some serious duck and goose hunting. I had a pretty fun time and I know Judah had a blast!
I would go into more detail and share pictures, but honestly, we'd be here all day! Now to the part of the story most of you probably want to hear about...
Around 1:15 AM on Thanksgiving morning I woke up to this alarm going off and really loud banging. I was completely disoriented from sleep and thought "What the heck is Wendy shooting at?!" In my mind, I thought my sister in law had walked back to the house to use the bathroom and came across a pack of coyotes and was now shooting at them with a shotgun! Judah sat up and I asked "are you going to go help her?" and he jumps out of bed, turns on the light, and in the most serious voice I have ever heard him use, he says "baby, get up, get dressed, NOW" I'm still wondering what the heck is going on and drag my feet, and then he says "fire" and it all clicks. Now I can hear the crackling of wood burning and that alarm going off, is the smoke alarm.
We can hear Judah's dad downstairs yelling at us. I could barely even move. Judah is just throwing clothes at me to put on, since come to find out it was 15 below that night. I turn back and black smoke is starting to pour into the room from the ventilation system. Judah grabs my hand and pulls me out onto the landing. Let me tell you. That smoke was hot and it burned! I hadn't had time to put on a sweatshirt yet so I threw it over my face so I could try to breathe. Judah just pulled me down the stairs, where at the foot was a sliding glass door onto the front porch. They had a grate in the floor so the heat from the wood stove in the basement could rise up into the house and flames were just pouring out of that. We could hear my father in law calling for Judah's brother, Zeb, who's bedroom was down in the basement, where the fire was. Judah and I jumped off the front porch and sprinted for the vehicles. We had no shoes. Judah sprinted to the building to get his brother because we didn't even grab our phones. You think if there is a fire "oh i'll grab this and this and that..." No. You will get the heck out.
While Judah was off getting his brother, Lee had made it to the back door and had been yelling to Zeb. I could hear Zeb call back, he was trying to find his way out, but before Judah even made it back, Zeb's voice was gone. Judah was on the phone with 911 explaining Zeb was still inside and that the basement was where the fire started. Judah then helped get Lee away from the house and by then Benji and Wendy had driven their vehicle over to the house. I moved over to their SUV because I had taken the keys for the Chevy into the house the night before by force of habit, so we had no way to start it and it was so cold out.
Lee had started his car and moved it so the headlights were directed towards the windows, but they were just black. The whole house was full of smoke. They couldn't hear Zeb and no one had seen him. By the time the fire department arrived, the entire front side of the house had engulfed in flames. Thankfully Sam, Marilyn's dog, had found his way out, but our poor guinea pigs and Zeb's bird were down in the basement. At this point, with all the fire trucks arriving, Wendy, her three sons, and I drove across the street to Becky's house (Judah's sister).
It was just awful. The entire house was lost - it was entirely made of wood so literally everything burned. In the days that followed we had found random items that managed not to burn, but really nothing could be recovered. To add some icing to the cake, I had taken my wedding rings off that night because we were prepping some bon bons for Thanksgiving dinner, so they were lost in the fire. And no, most policies won't cover fire. It was such an emotional roller coaster. Thanksgiving morning, Wendy took me to Walmart and walking down the aisle I had to think "I don't have this anymore, or this, or wait, that too!" I just about broke down crying in the middle of the store.
But God is an awesome provider. I was absolutely floored by the people who jumped in to help us. We received bags upon bags of clothing. I finally realized then that I had lost about twenty pounds since Judah and I had been married and I didn't even know what size I was! ha! I'm still in disbelief at the people God placed in our lives to help us out in that great time of need.
Our neighbors were incredibly kind to let us come live with us - their twelve year old daughter gave us her room!! But Judah and I knew we had to figure something out. His friend, Seth, was working out in ND and had mentioned to Judah during our hunting trip that the company might be hiring. So Judah told him he'd definitely be interested in a job and the week before Christmas he drove out there to start. The job is checking well sites (making sure tanks aren't overflowing, pump jacks are functioning correctly, etc) and his schedule is eight days on and four days off. His first break was over Christmas so he came back and then I joined him back out there in ND. We found a cute little two bedroom apartment that accepted pets!
Oh should probably explain that. So I was DEVASTATED that we lost the guinea pigs. You guys know from my previous blog posts, they were my babies!! But I happened to be following a local rescue and saw the picture above. My heart melted! Those faces said "we need you" and so I posted on Instagram and Facebook that I would be driving down to the cities to get them! Well... I forgot to ask Judah... He was very unhappy but knew how much I wanted them so he didn't say no, but I definitely need to talk to him next time :) lol And it was tough at first. The whole drive back from picking them up all I could think was "they're not Maple, Brownie, and Cocoa" but with time, I came to love them <3 Oh, they're names are Clover (left) and Ivy (right)! They're sisters :)
Hmmm.. so let's see, we moved out to ND. Found a good place. I transferred to the local Old Navy store here but it quickly became apparent that I did NOT like my job. It was fun during the holidays because it's so busy you could hardly think, but this store was SO slow and my head manager was very unfriendly. Jamberry was going so well that I finally made the decision to quit Old Navy and focus full time on that :) (yes, future blog post, don't worry!) So now I am officially a full time stay at home wife, but this time around I LOVE it! :)
This has been a really great change for us too, now that Judah actually has time off and isn't working 70 hour weeks, we get a ton of time together! Maybe sometimes too much? ;P Just kidding! We're not at that stage yet hehe!
So I hope you enjoyed the quick update and my goal is to be more regular with posting! I have lots more to share with you all :)
Til next time!