If you had told me that 2014 would be my busiest year yet, I actually WOULD have believed you. Every year has just gotten busier and busier, so I would've just laughed and said "yep, you're probably right." But here's what I wouldn't have believed...
...that we would buy a former elementary school and pour lots of time and money into it. Seriously?! I would've really laughed at you for telling me that one. Why would we do that? We are busy enough already, we don't need another big project like that. To this day, I still can't tell you the exact reason "why" - other than that if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. I can definitely tell you that it was and continues to be a lot of blood, sweat, tears, financial and time investment - and it has absolutely been the love and support from our friends, family, community, and God that has gotten us through all the ups and downs of this ongoing project.
...that we would turn the 1970's addition to the former elementary school into a beautiful event space. What?! I thought we were going to use the old gym for parties, but we had other interest in the gym. So, that led us to take a different approach to the 4000 square foot addition to the school. I'm so proud of what we've done for our community. While we do still find a few things here and there to continue to improve, I love that it is a nice, accommodating space with the added features of the playroom for children, the bridal room, and the additional outdoor space.
...that we would apply for and receive a grant to transform part of the old elementary school into a craft retreat! I'm still waiting for someone to pinch me...for several reasons. The craft retreat has always only been a dream of mine. A dream that looked like renovating an old 2-3 story home - not an old school. A dream that I never actually thought would have the potential of coming true. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that when James and I went through the process of purchasing Budreau Muffler, Auto & Tow - I vowed to never again prepare a business plan!! But...when that is a requirement to apply for a grant to take a big step closer to making a dream a reality, I guess you suck it up and do it! We will be starting on this renovation very soon, so prayers are appreciated for this to all go as smoothly as possible.
...that the old gym would be given new life as a CrossFit facility - but I'm SO glad it did!! The gym at our former elementary school building is no longer available to rent out for parties, but it is so much more now. It is a chance to get your life and your health back. It is a community of trainers and people just like you that want to be strong, healthy, ready and able to take on whatever this crazy world throws at them. It is called 12:11 CrossFit Concordia, and is run by Clint Horinek (not James and Becky Kindel - just FYI). It is great, and I'll share more about my personal experience with it later.
...that is the middle of all of this excitement, my auto immune disease would again rear it's ugly head. Out of sight, out of mind. I had made it 11 months symptom and medication free. I didn't forget about it, but I tried to. I hoped and prayed that I wouldn't have to deal with it again. But, it came back. I didn't ignore it. I had a little pity party, called the specialist, started on the medication to make it go away so I could go on with my life. I was mad though. I still wanted to know why it was happening, and I didn't believe that there was nothing I could do about it.
...that the migraines that I've already been dealing with for several years now, that I did not think could possibly get worse - would prove me so terribly wrong. I've been fighting these for a while now, and I've tried so many things to prevent them...but nothing was working, and they started getting so much worse, mainly in frequency. As in, every 2-3 days. I was struggling, and in pain every.single.day. My chiropractor, and some changes in my diet are helping me turn this around. I will write in more detail about all that at another time.
...that we would MOVE in the middle of all this stressful, busy madness. Seriously?! Now this is just crazy. It's no secret that James and I have been looking for something a little bigger, with a 2-car garage so that he can park inside during the winter and not have to scrape his windows when he gets called out in the middle of the night during a snow storm. We purchased some land a couple years ago and were planning to build, but it became clear that was not the right path for us. So, we sold our land to someone local who was starting a seed business. We then looked at a house that some had purchased and renovated. We liked it, but would have to sell our house first - and I was not willing to put our home on the market right before the holidays. We thought it probably wouldn't work out, but they were willing to purchase our home, so that we could purchase this larger one (essentially, taking ours on trade), so we moved! Literally, right in the middle of the holidays - between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was crazy, but we made it through pretty well. We love it, and are so thankful and grateful about how everything worked out.
So, there it is. We made it through. My kiddos are healthy, happy, and we're all hanging on for the ride of our lives. I'll be posting more later about my migraine situation and my CrossFit experience. 2014 may have been our busiest year yet, but we're on track to make 2015 our best!!