The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Twelve.

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I still remember the first time I saw you. You didn’t know I was out in the audience at your improv comedy show. But I was there, a brand new freshman at college, still 17 years old. I thought you were really cute. And you made me laugh. I loved that.

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As we got to know each other that year, I told my mom and dad little snippets about you. I called you “Cute Luke” when I was talking to my parents.

“Yeah, I’m going to marry Cute Luke someday,” I said once, jokingly.

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If I didn’t believe in the sovereignty of our great God, I would say that I got really lucky when you asked me to date you…and later, to marry you.

I know there are other girls out there that thought they were marrying quality Christian guys, only to later discover they married creeps. But not me. I thought I was marrying a pretty great Christian guy, only to later discover I married a really, really, really amazing and wonderful Christian man.

We weren’t much older than kids when we started dating. But despite our young ages, you had character – a strong work ethic, a desire to serve in the church, goals for your life…And you loved Jesus, with your whole heart.

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As we’ve grown older and more mature, you’ve been sanctified and refined. You’ve allowed difficult circumstances in life to draw you closer to Jesus and make you more like Him.

You still make me laugh with your silliness and antics and ridiculousness…and yet at the end of the day, you treat me like something precious.

I don’t deserve you.

But I promise to love you. Every day. No matter what. Just like I promised 12 years ago.

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Happy anniversary, Love.

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(These beautiful images were taken by our dear friends at DaveTree Photography.)

Rumley Renovation: The Process, Part 2

We simply could not have done this project without the help of some really talented, generous friends. I can’t express my thankfulness for them!

Like my brother-in-law Karl, who helped us build (i.e. built himself, while we did really important things like sanding rough edges and vacuuming up the sawdust) two beautiful, custom vanities for our bathrooms.

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They even fit into the back of our van…Of course, we had to pawn off some kids into Alonna’s car for the trip home…but it worked! :-)

And our friend Rusty. He helped us cut can lights into the main floor and relocate some electrical boxes. He probably did other things, too, that I don’t even remember. :-) He’s super handy to have around. And I can’t tell you how much I love that we now have lights in our main floor living room. (I will never understand why people build houses without ceiling lights!)

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I could give you the long list of people who we’re indebted to for their help, but I won’t. Suffice it to know that we have a really amazing group of people in our lives.

I’m going to take credit for all of the wallpaper removal. My friend Dana gave me the hint to use Windex to soften the glue, and then I scraped it off with a little putty knife. Upside: it developed my arm muscles.

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When the demolition was done, our friend Jason retrimmed the entire house. All of it. Every single piece of trim was touched by his hands (and his saw). Every door was hung by him. He did a great job.

Then our friend Terry used his mad paint-spraying skills to spray all that trim, as well as the closets, doors, and ceilings. He saved us countless hours of hand-painting those things.

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(See how sneaky I had to be to get pictures of our friends?) :-)

Next, I painted all of the walls. My sister-in-law Emily and friend Sommer painted the upstairs bathroom. Otherwise, my arms were busy gaining more muscles.

Here’s Emily: :-)
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“Slow and steady wins the race.” That’s my motto for painting. It takes forever, but the results are worth it!

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Our friend Dave was our go-to for the plumbing challenges we had…like setting new toilets, new sinks, etc.

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And though we are not handy people, Luke installed nearly all of the vinyl flooring himself! (Our friend Craig helped, and I helped as well.)

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There was more…Oh, so much more that happened in the renovation process. If you ever want to hear it, just come over for coffee. :-)

In the next post, the pictures will speak for themselves. I can’t wait to show you the end results!

Baby Boy

I don’t know what I was doing a year ago tonight. My calendar from November 7, 2014 is empty. My Facebook had no posts that day.

I had no idea that it was the day you would enter the world.

That makes me immensely sad.

And immeasurably happy.

Daddy and I were done having babies. We made sure of it. But we told God, “God, if you want us to have more babies, you have to make it happen. And we’ll trust You.”

What we meant was, “If you get us pregnant, it will be an outright miracle, and we’ll keep the baby (of course).”

What He did was send us YOU.

This is the first picture I ever saw of you, when you were two days old:
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You were so tiny.

My heart said, “That is my son.”

My head freaked out. And argued with God. And freaked out some more. And prayed a lot. And finally…eventually…talked to Daddy about it.

Miss Dana took such good care of you. She was your first foster mama, and she spent hours and hours and hours loving you when you cried all night long every night. She loved you. She still does.

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We did lots of paperwork and got fingerprinted and had doctors make sure we’re healthy enough to parent and had a social worker come over and ask us lots of questions. We did these things (and more) so that you could come live with us, and we could be your Mommy and Daddy instead of your babysitters.

The day you came home to stay was a really big day for our family. I cried many tears of joy that day.

Sometimes people tell me that Daddy and I are such wonderful people for bringing you into our family. But you know what? It’s not true. It’s not about us.

It’s about GOD. HE is wonderful for bringing you to us. YOU are a delightful, amazing little boy, and you bring joy and laughter into our home every single day.

Your brothers and sisters and Mommy and Daddy all delight to see your smile, and the way you are mimicking so many things right now, and your sweet little high-stepped walking (with help). We love to hear your laugh and help you discover new things about the world God made.

I’ll admit it’s hard sometimes…like when you still get up nearly every night, crying. In the middle of the night. At 12 months of age. That’s hard. I like sleep.

It’s hard when I think about your biological mom who should be enjoying your sweet self, if it wasn’t for all the dadblasted brokenness in the world.

It’s hard when I think about the racial tensions we might someday face because of your beautiful brown skin.

But it’s all worth it. It’s more than worth it.

I can’t imagine our world without you, little one.

Happy 1st birthday.

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May we have many, many more birthdays to celebrate TOGETHER.

I love you,
Mommy

Rumley Renovation: The Process, Part 1

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We walked into our newly purchased home after receiving the keys at close…and there was an odor. It smelled.

Musty. Dirty. Possibly cigarette-smokey.

So our very first order of business (besides letting in some fresh air) was to pull out the flooring. Stinkiness likes to live in flooring…and I could hardly wait to get rid of that stank.

The kids were very helpful on the demolition part of this project. Caleb pulled up most of the carpet / pad himself, and the kids were huge helpers removing all the other flooring as well.

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The first snag we ran into was that the flooring was run under the cabinets in the kitchen. That made removing it a little challenging. That’s the difference between remodeling and building new…more surprises.

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I got to swing a sledgehammer for the first time in my life. Boy was it cathartic to make holes in that closet drywall. :-) We removed all of the drywall from that closet below, and then our friend Jason removed the studs for us.

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See the Pack n Play below? That was Baby Boy’s safe haven in the midst of construction. He didn’t love spending time in there, but he was deposited there when the older kiddos got tired of playing in the yard with him.

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Next you can see our first garage-full of junk. Yes, I said first.

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More to come…soon! 😉

Rumley Renovation: The Befores

You might remember that we sold our house this past spring and moved into an apartment for the summer. We survived apartment living, and really loved having a pool to enjoy for the summer.

Thankfully, God provided a house for us right in the area that we love. We are back amongst our people, and we’re really happy about that.

The house itself, however, was a bit of a fixer-upper. And we are not handy people.

When we walked through the home the first time, we said to ourselves, “It just needs some paint and new flooring; no big deal.”

HA.

In reality, the only things we *didn’t* replace were the existing drywall, the kitchen cabinets, most windows, and the shower. We tore out and replaced all of the flooring, trim, closet shelving (2 small closets were exceptions), bathroom vanities and toilets, 1 window, and all of the doors. We also knocked out a closet and widened an opening between two rooms. Oh, and we rearranged cabinets to make a peninsula in the kitchen, and replaced the countertops.

Whew.

If we’d known how much work it would be, I’m not sure we would have attempted it.

But here we are, 2+ months after close, and *almost* all of the work is done. We have some small projects left to do, but we have moved in and we’re going to finish up as we go.

Today I want to share the “before” pictures with you, so you can experience the transformation with us.

Enjoy! :-)

The kitchen before - white cabinets, copper hardware, black laminate countertop and backsplash, oak laminate floor, limited counter space

The kitchen before – white cabinets, copper hardware, black laminate countertop and backsplash, oak laminate floor, limited counter space

Living room before - updated laminate floors, white trim, large coat closet (on wall not pictured)

Living room before – updated laminate floors, white trim, large coat closet (on wall not pictured)

Stairs before - 1/2 story up and 1/2 story down - very worn and dirty carpet on the stairs

Stairs before – 1/2 story up and 1/2 story down – very worn and dirty carpet on the stairs

1/2 bath before - blue paint, wood trim, old vanity and apartment-style vanity lights, and the infamous wallpaper border

1/2 bath before – blue paint, wood trim, old vanity and apartment-style vanity lights, and the infamous wallpaper border (not pictured)

4th bedroom before - wood trim, planet wallpaper borders (plural), and little tiny glow-in-the-dark planets all over the stinking ceiling

4th bedroom before – wood trim, planet wallpaper borders (plural), and little tiny glow-in-the-dark planets all over the stinking ceiling

Full bath before - stick-on-tile floor, old painted vanity with green top, old school vanity lights

Full bath before – stick-on-tile floor, old painted vanity with green top, old school vanity lights

Master bedroom before - most notably, purple walls....but also the gigantic painting of a naked lady on the wall (not pictured) that mercifully moved with the previous owner

Master bedroom before – most notably, purple walls….but also the gigantic painting of a naked lady on the wall (not pictured) that mercifully moved with the previous owner

Bedroom #2 before - wood trim and verrrrrry old navy blue carpet

Bedroom #2 before – wood trim and verrrrrry old navy blue carpet

Bedroom #3 before - white painted trim and a different kind of stick-on flooring; also, the inside of the closet was painted the color of the walls (not my favorite)

Bedroom #3 before – white painted trim and a different kind of stick-on flooring; also, the inside of the closet was painted the color of the walls (not my favorite)

Dining area before - not much to see!  :-)

Dining area before – not much to see! :-)

Those were all taken with Luke’s phone, so no pretty lens blur…but you get the idea.

Stay tuned for many more pictures of the process and the end result!

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