Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our New Home: a work in progress!

I am sooooo excited to share this post with you! As I've mentioned, two weeks ago husband and I (and Max!) moved from our home in Nashville to the city of Franklin. We are absolutely loving it so far! This town and community instantly felt like home to us.

When we first got our new position as youth pastors at our church here in Franklin, we knew immediately that we wanted to live in the community that we were ministering to. The only problem was, was that our lease on our home in Nashville didn't come up until August. With the long commute and the gas prices sky rocketing, we really didn't want to wait until then...so we made it a matter of prayer. Then...we were able to negotiate and God provided a way to be released from it! WOO! Prayer answered.

The only thing was, we had to find a new place to live within one month. We looked at tons of apartments and houses and lots of things in between...and everything was either kinda shabby or completely out of our price range. We weren't feeling at peace about anything we looked at. Once we were nearing the halfway mark to when we needed to be out of our Nashville house and we still hadn't found a place, I was beginning to become a little worried and stressed over the matter.

Then, I had a conversation with someone in our church and I asked them to be praying with us to find a home. They then challenged me to write down all the specific things we wanted in a home and pray for those things...and God would work out the price. So, I went home...wrote out my list in my journal of what we would love in a home, and this is what I came up with:

  •  is not an apartment
  • around the same price of what we are currently paying in rent per month (which everything else we were looking at was at least a couple to a few hundred dollars more than our Nashville rent)
  • has 2 bedrooms
  • has at least 1 1/2 baths
  • dishwasher
  • in Franklin (as opposed to a town nearby)
  • nice neighborhood
  • in good condition (clean, etc.)
  • oh, and a fireplace would also be nice :)
The...very...next...day...our pastor and his wife took us driving around Franklin to look at places. And we found our townhome...and it fit every single one of the things on my list! Including the fireplace! :)

God is SO good! 

So...I am very excited to share with you a glimpse into our blessing of a home! These images are our "before" pictures. You will still see boxes...and you will see unpainted walls...and some rooms that aren't even near being organized or settled into. As we continue to settle in and decorate, I hope to share the process with you. :)

Welcome to the Zajas home! We haven't done anything with the front of our townhome yet...so it's nothing too fancy. We're hoping to get a pot of flowers out there along with a new welcome mat (speaking of which...if you know of any cute or unique ones online, please share a link! I can't find one we like anywhere!)

Here is the entryway. Notice the nice hole in the wall behind the door. That's my favorite part in the whole house! (I kid, I kid) We had a minor leak in the pipes in that wall, and the landlord quickly fixed it...but the wall still needs to be patched up. :)

This is the view of our living room as soon as you walk through the front door. See those boxes over there? Yep, behind them is our fireplace! (I've been sooooo tempted to just stick those boxes in a closet so I don't have to look at them. But, Jonathan quickly reminded me that the saying "out of sight, out of mind" really applies to us when it comes to unpacking...or not unpacking boxes). 

My favorite thing about the room so far is our color coded bookshelves. I'll take better photos of them in the after photos...but they're going to work so well with the new vision we have for the room!

Next up, is our little half bath that is right off from the kitchen. We haven't really done anything with it yet, but it serves it's purpose. 

Here is our kitchen/dining room!

One thing I really love about our new kitchen is all the extra cabinet and countertop space we have! We had a large kitchen in our last home, but it hardly had any cabinets or countertop space. This has been amazing! AND we have a pantry, which we didn't have before.

Over to the left (in the picture below) you can see the doors to our laundry closet. I love having the washer and dryer so close by! In our last home, the hookups were in the garage...so doing laundry wasn't as convenient (and it was cold in the winter!) 

Here is our back patio and little patch of lawn that is attached to our kitchen. Jonathan LOVES that he doesn't have to mow anymore! At our last house, we have a HUGE lawn...and it was quite the annoyance to have to take care of. This suits our needs for right now much better. We haven't really had a chance to spend much time out here yet, so it's still very much a work in progress.

Now time to head upstairs. This is our home office/music room. It is by far the least unpacked of all the rooms in the house. We've barely touched it. The perfectionist in me would love to just leave the pictures from this room out, because it looks kinda junky. But this is a good growing experience for me! haha!

Phew, there. I did it! And it actually felt kind of good to share that. I think we all should be less afraid to be a little transparent and share some of the messy imperfections in our lives. None of us are perfect. :)

Here's our upstairs bathroom. It's separated into two rooms...one, the sink room...and two, the toilet and bath/shower room. This bathroom is connected to the hallway and to our master bedroom which is very convenient!

Here's our bedroom! I took these photos on laundry day...so all of our bedding is off. And also, (I'm just gonna be honest) I took down some new artwork and other decor items so that I could get more dramatic "before" photos. We've actually made more progress in this room than what you see here...but you'll just have to wait to see that. Mwah ha ha!

Well, folks, that is our home! I hope you enjoyed the little tour. I can't wait to finish settling in and to show you some fun "after" photos! :) I will definitely keep you posted!

One of the most commonly asked questions we've received since the move is "How does Max like his new house?" And the answer is...he loves it! It's his favorite home we've lived in by far. I think this is mainly due to the fact that it's mostly all carpeted (which we've never really had before), and he really doesn't like hard wood floors. The move itself was rather stressful for Max (and he was quite annoying for a few days), but he's adjusted and is now back to his happy self.

In this picture all he wanted me to do was stop taking pictures and help him get his bed out of his crate! haha.

If you have read this entire post...CONGRATS! It's a long one! You deserve a treat or something...go get yourself a cookie or cupcake. :)

I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Lots of smiles,


Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Hello friends!

Yes, this is me Tiffany. This is not an illusion, and your mind is not playing tricks on you. I am actually writing a blog post. I kid you not!

Yes, I do realize that it has been...*gulp*...over two months since my last post. (yikes!) But in my defense, we have had a LOT going on what with the new position as youth pastors, us moving to Franklin from Nashville, and just life in general. I do realize everyone has a lot going on though, so it really should be no excuse for me. For shame, Tiffany! For shame!

The truth is, I fell behind in blogging. And then catching up seemed almost impossible...so I kept putting it off...and I kept falling even more behind and got overwhelmed...so the only logical thing to do was try and forget I had a blog altogether, right?


Well, I've missed blogging. I've missed documenting our lives and the inspiration that comes from the blogging community. And I've missed you, my handful of readers. :)

So, here I am! I have returned! And I truly hope to not fall off the face of the earth again. That would be sad.

Since it's been so long since my last post, I thought it would only be fair to catch you up by sharing a few phone snapshots (I apologize for the low image quality) from some of the highlights of these past couple months...

Jonathan's sister Julie and her husband had their second baby girl. Natalie Claire! We love our new niece!

I ate my first Gyro (How do YOU pronounce that?), and it was DELICIOUS! The Greek Cafe is now a favorite spot of ours.

I looked at this face a lot. (And he completely stressed over the move...he's a lot better now.)

Celebrated this guy's 26th birthday! WOO HOO!

Said goodbye to our house in Nashville (pictured) and HELLO to Franklin!

I've been experimenting with some new recipes. Like this pasta salad from Pioneer Woman.

Went on little dates with this handsome guy! (Also bought my first Tazo tea lemonade from Starbucks, and it was yummy!

Hung out with our adorable nieces a lot.

Made roasted chicken for the first time. (Seriously, I don't know why I haven't done this before now! It's so easy and delicious!)

My dad and littlest sister came to visit us all the way from Maine! It was soooooo great to see them! :)

And, of course, we've spent lots of time with our amazing Real Life students! (These are only a few of them. This is from our trip to the Fine Arts competition!) This picture makes me happy. Love them all so much!

So, that's just a little of what we've been up to while I've been absent from the blogosphere.

How about you? What's new in your life? Let's catch up! :)

Right now I'm working on a post with images from our new home! We're still unpacking, and it's definitely a work in progress...but I thought it might be nice to show some "before" pics prior to doing lots of decorating and re-organizing. :)

Love and smiles,