Home sweet florida home

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Lets start this post by saying that the home we currently own is absolutely the home that God wanted us to buy. There are so many reasons that we feel this way but we will start at the beginning to give you the whole story, because its a good one.

So here we go!

When we decided to humor the idea of buying a home we weren’t really committed to the process, see these days its not common to buy when you are as young as we are and they don’t really educate you on what buying a home looks like when you’re in high school so we went in pretty skeptical. For the most part when Dean and I are on the fence of a big life decision we try to leave it up to God to guide us so we don’t do something he doesn’t want.(we also hate making decisions so we always let Him take that stress) plus, Gods plan always blesses us WAY more than our own.

The way this works for us we have found is that if we are moving in the right direction things sort of fall into place, however, if we are veering off the right path God seems to put up a roadblock at EVERY turn (which we are always grateful for!) So we decided that this shouldn’t be any different. We came up with a list of what we wanted and what we needed in a home and if those needs weren’t met then we weren’t supposed to buy. A much easier concept for us to accept as opposed to the realtors we had worked with who thought we were crazy. Sorry guys!

So in May we decided to bite the bullet and start a search and hoped God would pave a way for us! What we discovered however was that finding the perfect house is HARD! Surprised? HA so were we! But unlike a normal home search we needed to find a house that wouldn’t be our forever home, just a temporary one. Within two months we had put multiple offers on homes that either ended up having issues once we got to the inspection, or just rejected our offer outright. God seemed to be telling us that he was not thrilled with this path and we were definitely feeling discouraged. Dean and I sat down and talked about our options because we needed to be closer to base but were feeling that buying was not happening for us and decided to start looking at rentals again. At this point we were halfway through July and Deans brothers and sister in law (Alyssa) were at our house visiting. We saw a rental listing posted by a fellow coasties friend who is a south florida realtor and called to see if it was still available. We had met this woman before once at a friends party and so when she told us the rental was taken we asked if she had anything else. Once she found out we had been looking to buy previously she decided right then and there that she was going to find us a house. (meanwhile Dean and I rolled our eyes because we didn’t think anyone could find us what we wanted) but we humored her. I sent her a few listings Alyssa and I had found the next day and she sent me some back. One home I sent her had only been on the market for 24 hours and I told her, this is it, I want it. So she called the owner and OF COURSE there were more than 10 offers on the house and people offering over the listing price. I couldn’t stop thinking about this house so Alyssa and I decided I needed a break from all of the stress and she took me shopping. While we were searching the racks at TJ Maxx Joelle called me and said “If you want this house I can get it for you, but you need to come and see it right now.” So of course Alyssa and I ran out to the car to pick up the guys at home and off we went to see this house. I was a nutcase the entire drive and I told Dean that if this wasn’t it that I was done looking because it was too much for me. We arrived at the house and I walked through the front door and did a lap throughout the house in about a minute and thirty seconds. Yup, I wanted it. I told Joelle and she walked us through our next steps.

In the weeks following EVERY single detail fell into place. All of our needs, so many of our wants, and a realtor who literally FOUGHT for us. She took all of the stress and made it her mission to make us happy. There is no doubt in our minds that God placed this home in our laps. We prayed for weeks for him to provide a home that he wanted us in, and for him to reveal that to us and he PROVIDED in ways we never could have imagined. Our home is beautiful, and the layout is so well setup for the girls to run and play and have space. It is cozy but spacious and THE LAUNDRY IS NOT IN THE GARAGE WHICH MEANS NO LIZARDS. Praise God Y’all!

You see, even though we had to endure a season of uncertainty and waiting, God came through in a way we never imagined and blessed us with more than we asked for. I will be the first to say that my level of patience is not something to brag about and sometimes a huge stumbling block for me. Hopefully I can learn from this experience that Gods timing is always better than mine, and brings exactly what I need when I don’t even know what that is.

We are praying that God blesses our home so much and uses it to his glory.

And to all of our family and friends who encouraged us during this process we are SO GRATEFUL for you and the love you have sent us! We can’t wait to have visitors!

And last but not least we would like to send a special shout out to our realtor who is AMAZING. Dean and I can not stop singing her praises because she works so hard and was a true blessing in this process. She is driven, inspired, and so passionate about her job and for that I will recommend her to anyone and everyone. Joelle WE LOVE YOU! ( Find her info below and let her know we sent you!)

 

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15

Joelle Eisner

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joelleeisner@majesticrealtyllc.com

Majestic Realty LLC

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5219086

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Where are you from?

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When people find out we are new to the area, their first question is always “Where are you from?” Normally this wouldn’t be a difficult question, but military life is very nomadic. This makes the question harder to answer without completely confusing whoever asked us.

I usually have to lay out our entire history in a few minutes just so they can understand. Even then it can be overwhelming for civilians, which to be honest, is understandable. Then we will get one of two reactions; a blank stare or a look of “Woah, that’s intense.”

We were born and raised in Maryland. Which means we are Old Bay eating, crab loving, singing “OH” during the national anthem Marylanders who love our home state. Then we started this life of constant relocation and it changed everything. I always thought that I would move around and yearn for time back in my home state but I started to fall in love with these different places which was so confusing to me. I felt like I was betraying my roots and I shouldn’t love these places nearly as much. It took me a long time to realize that moving around could be amazing. I could let myself love and appreciate each new home for all of the things God gave us when we lived there. He has continuously blessed us in each place with exactly what we needed at that time.

When we moved to Cohasset, on the south shore of Boston, it was my first time not living at home. Dean and I waited to move in together until we were married and after he left for bootcamp. So for the first couple months of married life I was still in my parents house. Our first move was a big adjustment for me so I was constantly praying for God to bring me company, friendships, a church etc. He answered this in a huge way by leading us to a church where the youth pastor and his wife became incredible friends of ours. When I moved to Holly Springs, outside of Raleigh North Carolina, to be with friends while Dean was at training school God placed two jobs right in my lap. Jobs that came with friends and family who were an amazing support system while Dean was gone. This group of people filled my life with Jesus and encouragement in a time I was desperate to soak that in.

I never expected these places. I never knew you could love a town, or a city or miss everything that comes with it. Miss a cup of coffee that you can’t get anywhere else, or a drive down a beach covered in snow, a table surrounded by family laughing and picking crabs, a dish from a restaurant you don’t have the luxury of stopping in whenever you have a craving for steak tips or a smore in a jar. These are things you don’t know you will miss because you’ve never had to miss them when you live in one place. These are things that make your home a home.

This is why answering the question “Where are you from?” is so difficult. So many places become home that really none of them are. You start to realize that home is your husband, and your dogs, and soon your children. Home is your telephone because it connects you to the places you no longer can love close up.

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A lot of the time this is a frustrating situation because starting over means your new place isn’t home yet. I always have trouble initially because leaving the people and the places I love is incredibly hard for me. I am someone who will invest my whole self where we live and that is SO HARD. I love people so fiercely that when I leave I feel an ache in my heart that can be overwhelming. Loving Jesus gives me the ability to have that ache because it means that I am lucky enough to have so many people in my life to love. So many amazing memories with people who become family. I treasure these people and as hard as it is to lose everything you have, God gives our family the ability to have it multiple times and to grow our family in a way most people can’t. For that I will call my family blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

Madison

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When you choose to take on this lifestyle there are a lot of things that come with it. Something most people will never understand is that your definition of family changes. Family is no longer defined by blood but by the people who invest in your life. These are the people who stay in touch no matter how long its been since you have been “home”, the ones who ask how you are even when everything seems fine, and the ones who show up.

What I’ve come to learn is that next to my immediate family, military wives are quick to take on this role. I was skeptical at first but I think I speak for all of us when I say that it only takes one to change your mind, and maybe even change your life.

For me her name is Madison.

At our first duty station I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed  and ready for married military life. Before I had even arrived she had scoped me out. Seeing that I was transferring on a Facebook page she messaged me letting me know that she was excited to have a new friend and would love to meet up with me for lunch after I got settled. She will be the first to tell you that we are an unlikely pair. Madison was 20, married with a 1 year old (Reese), pregnant with another on the way (Rhett) and at this time babies were not even on my radar. I thought she was crazy and she thought I was strange. At any other time we probably would have crossed paths and continued on with our lives without ever thinking twice but God had a much bigger plan in mind for us.

Within the next few months we would make the 2 hour drive to each others homes every few weeks when our husbands were both gone and we slowly discovered how similar we were. I am convinced that what solidified our bond so fast was our love of Jesus and our mutual obsession for the Bachelor #SeanandCatherineforever. She would bring Reese to my house and I would bring Luna to hers, eventually I acquired a pack-n-play and she added a doggie crate to her decor. We would stay up late and watch movies, talk about where we our dream stations were and share our love for Jesus.

In normal military tradition when things go haywire or there is an emergency your husband is never home. I swear it happens EVERY time just ask any military spouse.(cue every military spouses “amen” here). So last year when Luna became incredibly sick of course Dean was on duty. Luna was and continues to be an incredible source of emotional support for me when Dean is away and I never knew I could love a dog in that way so when the vet told me that she needed surgery or she wouldn’t make it I was crushed. I had never been away from her before so driving home alone was awful. When Dean didn’t answer his phone my next call was Madison. I needed a friend and she was just that. She was there for me in one of the saddest moments of my life and i’ll never forget that.

Within the next month she was getting closer and closer to her due date and so the trips came to a weekly basis where I stayed for longer periods of time just in case! I even remember when her contractions started to come closer together and more intense because Luna wouldn’t leave her side. Luna even followed her into the bathroom when she had to pee.

THEN on March 11th at 8:22am while I was feeding Reese breakfast MY GODSON Rhett Acker Wilson was born!

 

 

When I brought Reese to the hospital to meet up with Madison and Cole I was so overwhelmed and proud of her and to this day I’m so glad I was able to be apart of Rhetts birthday.

God is sometimes funny in his plans, but its amazing to me how he knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Madison was the exact friend I needed in ways I never could have predicted. Still to this day she is a constant reminder to me that family is not defined by blood.

Most people know this but in addition to her accomplishments as a wife, a mother, daughter, and friend, she has also overcome a diagnosis of Leukemia once and she will do it again. In the midst of this sickness her faith is unwavering, and though she is the one with a worldly weight on her shoulders I am the one who is growing in my faith watching her live a life after Jesus, one full of immense strength and optimism. Im so grateful to have this example of joy in my life, and SO blessed that my godson has such a fighter for a mom. Even when her schedule is packed with doctors visits and kids to take care of she is constantly calling to check up on me. She always asks about my kids (dogs are kids right?), wants to know how Dean is adjusting to his new job and filling me in on how she’s feeling blessed that day. Have I mentioned how incredible she is? The ONLY time I have seen her southern sass come out was when her mom told her she was going to cook all paleo meals for her and she had to give up string cheese and chicken nuggets and she STILL called me to tell me that she felt guilty about being mad at her. [side note: Tracy you are amazing, no wonder Maddie is such a great mom]

Im looking forward to the day when this cancer is just a whisper of her story and we are sipping cocktails in the sun celebrating each others victories and laughing about how fun life is with our husbands.

“For I know the plans I have for you, ‘declares the Lord’, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

To donate to Madisons Cancer fund choose any of the following links

To shop through her Stella and Dot fundraiser

http://www.stelladot.com/ts/p9wf6

To shop through her silent auction

https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/25218/auctions/30020

To shop through her t-shirt fundraiser or to donate

https://www.booster.com/miracles-for-madisonwilson?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=mobile-campaign-page-share&utm_medium=social&ref=facebook_social_mobile-campaign-page-share&utm_content=miracles-for-madisonwilson

 

Thoughts on Florida

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The Coast Guard is really amazing at making sure that families are taken care of. Surprisingly when I meet new people at my station they ask me “How is your wife doing down here?” At first I was shocked they were concerned about this, but then I realized they were genuinely curious about how she was adjusting.

Kathleen had a bit of a culture shock when we arrived, and by a “bit” I mean a huge shock. She has never been to Florida, even for vacation so I was super excited to see her experience so many firsts. During our first week here while we were house hunting I was secretly writing down things she was saying to me. Now when people ask how she’s adjusting I usually add one of her “sayings” into my answer.

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Wife.

“I bet oranges are so cheap down here”

“Its SOOO flat here. There are no hills…”

“The palms on the trees look like they are stapled on, don’t you think?”

“I really only like the tall palm trees, they look really clean and sophisticated.”

“Weather here is so nice”

“The grass looks fake…”

“Florida is so odd, Its like another country that I don’t understand yet.”

“What is that?!? Is that a lizard???”

(Kathleen would like it noted that lizards/iguanas in southern florida are GIANT and terrifying and any human in their right mind would want to cry when they see them)

I love that she didn’t know I was writing these things down when she was talking. I look forward to watching her continually experience “firsts” down here

 

Move to Florida part 2

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When we started looking for houses we quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be as easy as it has been in the past. We were stuck with choosing between picking a not so nice home in a decent neighborhood or choosing a lovely home in an area that did not look so safe. This was difficult because we were a bit out of our element as neither of us had spent nearly any time at all in South Florida and to be honest it is a whole different world down here. After 6 days and nearly 60 apartments/townhouse/homes we finally decided on a townhouse in an awesome community that even has its own doggie park for the baby!

Some of the things we encountered in the “scarier” homes made us laugh so hard that we nearly lost it. At one point it looked so bleak that we were joking about living in our car.

Our biggest dilemma was that we wanted a house so that the baby could have a yard to play in but we just couldn’t get anything in a safe area that we liked, and we didn’t see anything SO incredible that we were willing to give that up.

When we drove into our new complex we loved that it was in a beautiful area and was very mellow. The women in the office told us to bring Luna in with us and they had a field day with her. When we found out they had their own park for her to play in we were sold!

This was definitely a stressful time for us but we can honestly say we are so psyched about our new home and we can’t wait for all our friends and family to come visit and enjoy the sunshine as much as we are!

A special shout out to anyone and everyone who prayed for us during this time, Especially my mom for praying BOLDLY! We are so grateful for all of you!

THE BURTONS HAVE A HOME!

 

-Kathleen would like it noted that as stressful as this whole dilemma was she did not cry once.

Move to Florida part 1

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So we have officially arrived in Florida and it has been one crazy trip so far.  We are so grateful for all of the support our families have given us and for the prayers that have been sent our way.

Monday started like any other Burton road trip, late…. Its not our fault! We are just very laid back and sometimes that means that things happen in a bit of a wild way. Our goal was to leave around 10am and we rolled out of the driveway shortly after at 1:30pm. Oops.

We made it to our first destination in Holly Springs North Carolina that evening to stay with our friends and were fed a delicious dinner followed by some fun games before we went to bed. We spent the next day catching up with friends and revisiting our favorite spots. We woke up Wednesday and Luna was extremely sick. We planned to leave that morning but had to take a detour to the vets office to find out that Luna was a bit stressed out and had some severe gas. Yikes! They put her on some nausea meds and we packed up and headed out!

We arrived in Jacksonville, FL that evening around 10 to our hotel and went right to bed. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe before we left on our last leg of the trip. (insert Kathleen’s amazement of palm trees here). Thursday we arrived in south Florida and it was SO WARM! Luna was so excited about the windows rolling down that she probably ate a dozen bugs. Once we checked into our hotel in Miami we grabbed some dinner and started really diving into the house hunt online. This part is a lengthy process but thats what these moves require so we have to stay focused.

 

 

 

Red Henn Photography

We are so excited to share with you our photos we had done in North Carolina. We are also SO excited to share a glowing review of the photographer that we worked with in Holly Springs. (You can find her on her website, Facebook, and Instagram all links at the bottom of the post!)

Rachel Hennessy of Red Henn Photography truly blew us away. You can tell this is such a natural talent of hers. She is professional, fun, and made us feel so comfortable. It was really a pleasure to see her do something she is so passionate about and so excellent at. We are so excited to have photos of Dean with his new title on his uniform. We HIGHLY recommend her and will most likely fly her to us wherever we are located whenever we have a family milestone we want captured.

So to Rachel (and her assistant James!) THANK YOU for capturing such an exciting time for our family. We are so grateful for your talent.

http://www.redhennphotography.com

https://www.facebook.com/RedHennPhotography/?fref=ts