Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pretty as a Picture - Necklace Storage

I've seen lots of ideas in the Blog-World for jewelry storage, and have been really wanting to try the picture frame necklace holder.  I started with this large picture frame from the thrift store:

"Peacock" is the new hot color right now, and I'm loving it.... 
It took one coat of primer and two coats of spray paint.

I added small cup-hooks that I found at Menard's, and a strip of burlap to hang it from.

I'm LOVING the color...

And here it is on the wall in my craft room!  :)
I've hung necklaces I've made, two necklaces from my friend at Jen Creates,
one my hubby & kids gave me, one from my friend Jill, and one from Premier Designs.  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have a LICENSE!

YAY!  It's Official....my "new venture" is ready to begin!  My family and close friends know what I've been working on since June 15th - but now I'm ready to share my news with the rest of the WORLD.....haha....or at least whoever reads this post, and hopefully most of Cloud County....

I am now a Licensed Kansas REAL ESTATE AGENT!

I don't know what the exact "trigger" was that made me finally decide to take this leap....but here's how I "got there."  I've been interested in pursuing a real estate career since I was in my early twenties.  I admired from afar, the well respected agents in our community.  As a young person with a young family - I was always afraid to take that leap into this field.  It is, after all, not exactly "secure" income at times.  I also thought there seemed to be more than enough agents in our small community to fill the need.  So, I plugged away at my "real job" as my love of property grew.  The start of shows like "Property Virgins," "Designed to Sell," "Sell This House," and "Income Property" has really fueled my love of real estate these past several years. 

We had only used a Realtor once before in any of our previous property sales/purchases.  We purchased our first home at a real estate auction a couple of months after we got married.  It was tiny, but it worked well for a young couple just starting out in life.  A couple years later, we came upon a home that had gone into foreclosure (we did actually have a Realtor show us that home).  It needed a lot of work, but it was mostly cosmetic and we were up for the challenge.  We were SO excited to make this larger house a "home" were we could raise a family.  We kept our first home as a rental for about a year, and then someone offered to buy it from us - so we went ahead and sold it. 

Fast forward and trying to make a long story short.....we found another house we wanted to purchase, but had an unfortunate experience with a Realtor (again, trying to spare the details).  We sold our second home ourselves, and were left with no home to purchase.  We considered building at that time, but with our son's first birthday coming soon, we decided to buy the home we are currently in from the owners who had it "For Sale by Owner."  So, again, we hadn't had much experience using a Realtor other than for the purchase of our second home, and the unfortunate experience we did have.....was frustrating.

So, that brings us to last fall.  We looked at a few houses, thought about building again, thought about putting our home on the market....and then chickened out for the winter.  When Spring came, we came across a couple more houses that we really liked.  We're really just looking for an extra bedroom for guests/my crafts, and MORE garage space for James' wrecker for when he gets called out during the cold winter nights.  We were afraid that with our home being a little more expensive this time...it would be harder to find a buyer ourselves.  So, after having met with a few different realtors that showed us some different homes....we decided to put our home on the market with the realtor that we felt was the most ambitious. 

God has a plan for us all, and after watching two homes that we both really liked sell to other families while our home has yet to receive an offer....as well as now not being able to find a home that we feel best suites our needs....AND, not being quite ready to build....it feels like this might not be the right time to sell our home.  And that's okay.  James and I are honest, trust-worthy people.  We keep our word, and we are finishing out our current real estate contract.  After all, you never know....there may still be someone who is ready to make our house their home. 

So, where does this leave us now?  Well, we still live in a beautiful home for which we are very thankful and feel very blessed.  I feel that I have learned a lot of "life lessons" through our personal experiences with Real Estate Companies and Agents, and I have gained a lot of knowledge about the laws and ethics of real estate through my education these last couple of months.  I have joined an agency that I feel I will fit in comfortably with, and I am SO excited to get started! 

As far as the shop goes.....James and I purchased Budreau Muffler, Automotive & Tow from Ben & Julia Budreau in October 2007.  From the months of planning in advance, and ever since that big day - this business has become a huge part of our lives.  We overcame adversity in those first few months as we were surrounded by rumors of "how we did it," and nearly four years later are still working very hard and doing quite well with our amazing customers and awesome staff.  In fact, part of the reason I am able to pursue this dream of becoming a real estate agent is because my husband and also our service advisor have been SO supportive.  They do a wonderful job at the shop so that I don't have to be worried when I'm away.

I talked in my last blog post about being hurt by others and things that they said.  It happened when we bought our shop, and it has already happened before I even got my license in the mail as I venture into this new industry.  I don't know why some people say the things that they do.  I don't know why some people believe the things those people say about others.  I do know who I am, and how I got to this point.  I've spared several unpleasant details because I don't think it's appropriate to air others' mistakes....so I've simply tried to discuss myself.  I wouldn't be where I am today, with the family I have, the business that we have, and the friends and community relationships that I value - if I wasn't an honest, trust-worthy, hard-working person.  So, again I'll thank God, my family, my close friends, and those in the community who have helped me become the person I am today, who have stood beside me along the way, and who have defended my family.

That being said, I will actually still be working at the shop during the day.  I am able to leave the office to show property or meet with clients, and am certainly available in the evenings and on weekends.  The agency that I am licensed with is Thummel Real Estate and Auction, LLC.  They are located on 6th street right next to Kristy's Restaurant.  The office is open in the afternoons, and Kelly is super friendly and helpful.  My cell number is 785-243-5221 for anyone that would like to go "House Hunting" with me, or would like to list their property for sale.

And, as always.....if you have any questions about me.....just ask!  Please & Thank You!!  :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where Did July Go?

I've been having trouble sleeping lately.  I haven't been able to shut my mind off.  I lie in bed and my head just thinks and thinks and thinks....about our shop, about our children, about my projects, about my new venture (details of said venture to come soon)....I can't turn the thoughts OFF.  There have been some wonderful things happening this last 4-6 weeks, and also a couple things that have been bothering me.  It really does help me to "write them down" to help get them off my mind.  That's when I realized I hadn't done a blog post in over a month.....so I'm hoping this will help!  :)

I turned 30 last month!  I've never really been concerned about it.  I'm very blessed with my family, husband, children, friends, home, business, etc...  In fact, I'm probably happier and feel more accomplished now than I ever have been.  So 30 is pretty darn good.  While I'm not so much concerned with numbers....I don't necessarily love those little lines that seem to be showing up around my eyes.  Thankfully, Mary Kay makes some stuff to help with that.  Did I mention I started selling Mary Kay back in April?  I met an amazing consultant at the Spring Fling Craft Bazaar that I hosted.  I had a party because I'd been wanting to take better care of my skin instead of using a mis-matched variety of "stuff."  There was a lot of stuff I wanted, and it was a lot cheaper for me to just become a consultant than buy it all outright.  So, now I order whenever I need to and keep a little bit on hand of the products I know my friends and family use.

Braxton turned 7 last month!  :)  That kid is growing so fast.  He's so fun, energetic, athletic, creative, and full of personality.  He loves skateboarding, playing with friends, singing/dancing to rap music, and playing golf.  His favorite food is steak - and he can eat more of it than me.  His favorite color is red, followed closely by orange (Tony Stewart's current and former race car colors).  He played baseball this summer, and plans to play Soccer instead of flag football this fall, and wrestling this winter.

Keely has had a great summer.  She did great with swimming lessons, and also LOVED gymnastics.  She'll be starting at a new preschool a week from tomorrow, and she's SO excited.  She's also planning to do gymnastics throughout the school year.  She's such the little "mini me" sometimes....and I love it.  She has also become more of a daddy's girl lately - which is great.  She wants to ride with Daddy on the mower, and go with him if he's just running some errands here in town.  He has a hard time telling her no when she wants to go ...which is so cute. 

So, on to more stuff with me.  We've been busy at the shop - which is great.  But with all businesses there are some struggles.  I think communication is sometimes one of our struggles.  James and I have been talking a lot about that lately, and trying to work towards some solutions.  We're grateful for the team we have at our shop, and look forward to making some improvements to better serve our growing customer base.

And....here's the thing that's been bothering me the most.  James found out a couple days ago that someone had made the comment that James and I were liers and couldn't be trusted.  This person made the comment to someone that is actually a good friend of James'.  I don't know if that person didn't realize that - but nonetheless, it was said.  Thankfully, our friend corrected the person about the accusation - and even the example that the person had given.  It still hurt though, really bad.  It has weighed heavily on my heart the last few days. 

I can not recall a time in my life when I've ever been called a lier (except maybe by my brother when we were little??).  James and I are both very honest people.  We've actually been complimented on that trait multiple times in our automotive business.  For example, if someone comes in to have their car aligned, and we discover that an alignment will not fix their problem - we tell them, and don't align their car - or charge them for it.  I'm not going to go so far to say that a little white lie has never left my lips.  I don't like hurting people's feelings - so I'll smile and tell you I like your haircut or your shirt - even if I don't particularly care for it - I confess (except with my Mom, we're pretty blunt with each other...lol).

As a business owner, it's not exactly a good thing to have someone in your community making accusations against you - however false they may be.  I've been worried about it, but I've prayed for peace and forgiveness not only for those who may be upset with us in some way - but also for strength so that we may forgive those who have hurt us. 

I often times go out of my way to be nice, caring, thoughtful, and appreciative towards others.  That's actually one of the reasons I love facebook.  I'm not always good at initiating face-to-face contact - but I LOVE being able to slip someone a quick message.  Whether it be a "Happy Birthday" or "I hope you feel better soon" - it's a great way to show someone you're thinking about them, and that you care.  I'll keep doing that - even to those who have hurt me.  I'm not good at confrontations....but I also will only take so much.  So, I'll pray some more that this too shall pass - and if not, I'll take that next step and have those conversations that no one really likes to have.

James and I aren't perfect.  We've made mistakes, and as humans we will continue to make them.  I believe you are not defined by the mistakes you make, but by how you correct them.  We treat people with the utmost respect.  We are honest, hard-working, and caring people.....and I'm thankful that our family and close friends know that about us, and are willing to help correct any misunderstandings that others may have about that.

As a final note - and I've said this to MANY people - if you have a question or concern about me, my husband, or our life....Just ASK!  I'm very open and honest about pretty much everything.  Living in a small town - I know there will always be rumors (do you remember some of them from when we bought our business??!!).  It's okay.  I know my family and close friends know the truth.  For anyone who doesn't - again, just ask and I'll tell you.