Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Selling Stuff: Thoughts on ebay & Craig’s List April 29, 2013

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:51 pm

I honestly don’t remember how long it has been since Jeremy started selling stuff on eBay. It’s been months now, many months. It started with Jeremy’s dream to upgrade a few of his toys. How do you afford new toys? Sell the old ones! My husband diligently sorted through our garage and our “stuff” in order to find things that might no longer have value to us, but maybe they will to someone else. It’s amazing the random things we’ve sold. I don’t know how many times I looked at Jeremy and told him that no one would what that item that I assumed is junk… And of course, it sold! It’s mind blowing really! Our home office desk has been and still is covered in items that are listed on eBay or waiting to be listed. It’s been quite the project, but in a lot of ways it has paid off. Our flooring project in February was paid for by the eBay fund. If people are looking for a way to make some extra cash, I recommend eBay! The nice thing about eBay is that all your interactions on done through a computer. There is no meeting up with people. You simple ship your items and you never have to interact in person. Well, if you have shipped as many items as us, you do interact a lot with the Post Office. Jeremy has become quite well known in our small town Post Office. I think they are just as amazed as me by the amount of stuff my hubby has sold.

I have now turned to Craig’s List to sell a few furniture pieces. We are in the process of clearing space in our house and Craig’s List seemed like the way to go for furniture. eBay is good for small items that fit in boxes, not ottomans. There is a night and day difference for me when comes to eBay and Craig’s List. I know it’s not possible, but I wish Craig’s List could be a lot more like eBay. On eBay, you can track how many people view your listing, but you usually don’t get notified on anything until someone places a bid – which means the item will sell! That is a good feeling! On Craig’s List people can contact you, ask questions, seem interested and then never get back to you. I get all excited at each inquiry and I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mean anything is going happen. I also don’t like the fact that you have to meet up with people to sell items on Craig’s List. Maybe I’ve heard too many stories about Craig’s List killers, but meeting up with a stranger to exchange goods and money feels creepy to me. Of course, I always take my tall husband (who smiles too much to be intimating…), but at least he doesn’t look easy to beat up.

This is my second week of listing items on Craig’s List. Lowering the price each week can get a little disheartening, but I’m motivated! This Saturday we sold two nightstands from our guest room. I’ve gotten inquiries about our computer desk and a set of ottomans we have listed. Here’s hoping that the inquiries lead to sales. It’s an interesting process parting with your stuff. It’s a process I usually enjoy. There is a rush when that item sells and more space is made in my home. It’s been a worthwhile process. I had no idea how far it would lead us, but I’m glad my hubby got the bright idea so many months ago. The great thing about selling stuff is that it goes against the mentality that more is better. Instead of getting new stuff and keeping the old stuff, this process has allowed us to part with items before we replace them with new items. In a world where people have to have storage units to house the items that no longer fit in their homes, I want to manage my space well. If I don’t have room then I don’t need it or I need to clear space by paring down what I do have. I think it’s healthy to give as you get. I know it’s been good for us!

 

T-Shirt Designer! April 28, 2013

Filed under: Getting Creative,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:50 pm

As you know, I have many skills! *Wink* Now I can add T-Shirt Designer to the list. For our upcoming family trip to Hawaii, my mom had requested that we make matching t-shirts with our Hawaiian names on the back of them. I volunteered for the job, but I’m not sure why I did! It can be stressful trying to come up with something everyone will like! The funny thing about the shirts is picking the color was probably the hardest part. At one point, gray was our leading contender and I was floored that the Vitzthum clan would want to head to Hawaii looking like little Washington rain clouds! Since blue was the second runner up, my sister and I veto gray and went with a heather blue. It’s not bright and tropical, but we won’t look like a rain cloud, so I think that is a win. The shirt arrived earlier than expected last week so I had my mom pick them up so they wouldn’t be outside my house while I was away. Today my mom brought me Jeremy and I’s shirts and I have to say that they turned out better than I expected. I used CustomInk and it was very easy to use. They have a selection of clip art and graphics that I used for the front of the shirt. For the back, I listed everyone’s Hawaiian name and t-shirt size so the right name got on the right sized shirt. It’s was fairly simple and I’m happy with the results. I figured out everyone’s Hawaiian names using an app I had downloaded on my iPhone. Everyone has such cool sounding names – expect for me. Amy translates to Ame. Wow. What a difference! Jeremy translates to Kelemi! Even my dog has a cooler Hawaiian name than me. Toby translates to Kopi! Note: my dog didn’t get a t-shirt and no, he is not going to Hawaii. I guess I need to be thankful for my simple name even if it’s not that interesting in Hawaiian. Here is a glance at the shirts! Maybe in a few months you’ll see a picture of us actually wearing them in Maui! We’ll see!

Hawaii - Front

Amy = Ame

Jeremy = Kelemi

 

A Retreat and A Conference April 26, 2013

The last seven days have been a bit of a whirlwind for me. The weekend was spent in Seaside, OR for our annual church ladies retreat. I got home on Sunday afternoon and repacked my suitcase so I could take off early Monday morning for Coeur d’Alene, ID. Our pastoral team attended our network’s Annual Conference there. While I don’t want this to be a pregnancy blog, it’s hard not to mention how being pregnant played into these two trips. First off, people treat you differently when you’re pregnant. Going away to the beach with 90 ladies made for a few awkward moments for me. Everyone means well, but I had some crazy moments. It’s hard to not feel like yourself and then to not be treated like yourself. Overall, the biggest downside for me was that I didn’t have enough energy to keep up with the schedules and the hopping from retreat to conference was just a little too much. Lucky for me, I have no plans for today! It’s been a total recovery day! I’m staying in my pajamas and catching up on recorded TV shows. Of course, I’m doing laundry, but I’m letting the house wait until tomorrow.

A Gray Weekend at the Beach!

A Gray Weekend at the Beach!

Starting off with ladies retreat, the theme this year was “Dare to be:____”. The purpose was to fill in the blank with whatever you felt that the Lord was laying on your heart. I was really stressed about filling in this blank, because honestly I had no clue what I was going to put there and at the end of the conference you were supposed to turn in a card with the blank filled in. My perfectionist side knew I had to come up with something because just like a homework assignment I couldn’t leave it empty. I had joked with a friend that I should put dare to be a mom. It was just a joke but then I found myself being pressured to put that answer, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want a word that would put me in a box. I’m a little tired of being put in boxes. It’s too hard to define me by one aspect of my life. It’s too multi-layered. After a lot of thinking and praying, I came up with this: Dare to be defined by God alone. It was perfect! I have been feeling the weight of my many roles lately and wondering how I’m going to add “mother” to the mix. It was overwhelming me. I decided that I’m done being labeled. I’m done trying to fit into boxes. I’m done trying to be one thing or another. I’m ready to just let the Lord speak to me and have his love define my life. To him, I am more than I what I can offer people. Seriously, let that sentence sink in, I am more than what I can offer people! I live my life thinking about how I can serve my church, serve my family, serve my husband, serve my friends, and now serve this little life growing inside me. But who am I apart from these things? When it’s just me and Jesus? I needed to be taken back to that base level relationship where I am just me. Being just me is okay with God. He loves me and made me this way. He wants a relationship with me because I am his special creation – no other reason! It’s time to make things simple.

A Sunny Week on the Lake!

Annual Conference was held in Coeur d’Alene, ID this year which is a beautiful lake side city I visited over a decade ago and loved. I was so excited to return there! The only downside is that the conference was held all day and then the evenings were filled with dinners out. By the time dinner was over it was usually between 8-9pm and I had been going for 12+ hours. All I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and go to bed.  This conference could have happened anywhere because I didn’t really do much in Coeur d’Alene besides attend the conference, eat and sleep. I was so tired after the late nights at the ladies retreat and the long days, that I was a bump on a log most of the time. Darn pregnancy energy level.  Annual Conference is meant to inspire pastors and propel them forward in ministry. This year was hard on me. As everyone is dreaming of plowing forward in ministry, I’m contemplating scaling back so I can raise a family. I still plan on being involved in ministry -I’ll continue to teach and lead beside Jeremy, but I also plan letting some things go. My biggest fear is that our child will feel second place to our jobs and I don’t want them to hate the church and hate God as a result of that. I want to be intentional to put my family first. Honestly, I don’t know how that looks yet. I’m not sure what things will work for our family and what won’t. All I know is that my life is going to look different. It was hard in an environment where everyone is pushing forward to know that I’m going to be pulling back. There can be some guilt that comes with that. Logically I know that raising a family is an extremely spiritual endeavor and that I’m going to be more accountable for raising my kids than leading a ministry. My head and my heart struggled with priorities and where I am going and what my life is going to look like.

I could have gone into detail about the weather and the hotel rooms and the food we ate, but I thought I would get to the heart of the matter. This week away brought up more within me than I expected. It was rough stuff at times as I processed, prayed and sought the Lord for direction in my life. I wasn’t a social butterfly,which I felt bad about, but this year is different. I’m in a different spot and my life is going to keep changing in ways that I can’t even expect or imagine. There is nothing wrong with where I am at and I know that many ladies have been in my place trying to figure out that same balance and wondering how they can do it all. I’m realizing that I probably won’t be be able to do it all, but that is okay. As I let myself be defined by God alone, I have a feeling that there is going to be amazing freedom to just me! I’m excited for that! Praying I can walk in that daily and let go of all the other definitions and expectations!

 

Bread & Wine By Shauna Niequist April 16, 2013

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 7:45 pm

As expected, I flew through Bread & Wine. This whole book was about food and preparing food for the ones you love and dinner parties and living life around the table, about nourishing our bodies and  our relationships and our souls. I think the reason I love Shauna so much is because is so different from me. She mentioned that she grew up in a ministry household where the home was sanctuary from the busy world. Her home life was quiet and always wished it could have been a little louder, even though she understood quiet was what her parents needed. I can relate because I feel like my home is my sanctuary. It’s my quiet in a  busy, hectic ministry life. Instead of opening my home to people, I tend to recover in my home and recharge my batteries.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t connect to the idea of nourishing people through food and through relationship. I believe the table is a very valuable place and it is often missing in our fast paced American lives. I love family dinners. I dream of feeding my own family someday and sitting around our dining room and talking about the day. In someways I find that 1950’s housewife role ideal. Clean the house, take care of the kids, make dinner and feed the family. I like the sound of that.

Let’s be honest, I have little to no cooking skills. I’ve tried a few things, but really I’m not a cook. Shauna includes recipes at the end of almost every chapter and I couldn’t help but notice how brave she is with food. Her palette is more refined (in some ways… she admits to loving fake cheese). I’m more of a comfort food kind of a girl. I like simple pasta and burritos and macaroni & cheese and pizza. I’m not really into bacon wrapped dates or salads with feta cheese crumbles. Her recipes sounded interesting, but I’m not sure I would make a lot of them. The enchiladas sounded good and Sarah Bessy made them and agrees. Shauna’s blueberry crisp recipe that she got from her mom also sounded like something I would make.

The hardest part about reading this book was I had the flu part of the time while I  was reading it. It made the food portions sounds less tasty, but the great thing about this book is it about so much more than food. Shauna writes with such honesty about her relationships. Her tales of miscarriage and high risk pregnancy are gut-wrenching. Her closeness to her family and core friends is touching. She shares about her marriage and raising her boys. She writes about her crazy schedule and how the world can flip upside down sometimes. I love these essays because they speak such life to me. They are heartfelt and authentic and they move me to tears. She is so extroverted that I know we could never be alike, but I would love to have her as a friend. Who wouldn’t love someone who cooks all the time and throws awesome baby showers and makes care packages for new moms that include lots of good food. As I was reading this I was thinking about how I could really use a friend like her in a couple months (less than 6 now…).

This book inspires me. It inspires me to step out of my comfort zone and into my kitchen more. It inspires me to share my table with the ones I love. It also reminds me that the Shaunas of the world are there to throw dinner parties and the Amys of the world are here for quiet sanctuaries. We are all different and that is okay. I can learn a lot from people that are different than me and I can love them for what they bring to the table. Any book by Shauna Niequist is a must read in my opinion and her new book is no exception!

 

Tulip Adventures April 14, 2013

Filed under: Family Time,Recollections — Amy Scott @ 2:44 pm

Yesterday was an adventure. Jeremy, Toby and I hopped in the car for a long drive to see fields upon fields of tulips. Now tulips happen to be one of my favorite flowers, but this was also special because as a kid I would spend my spring breaks visiting family and seeing these same fields of tulips. Visiting the Tulip Festival was always a happy childhood memory for me and every year Jeremy and I talk about heading up for it. This year we finally decided to make it happen. In hindsight, we should have probably gone on a better day weather-wise, not on a weekend and not with the dog. Toby was very good, but we didn’t stop at any of the show gardens because we didn’t want to leave him parked in a very full parking lot barking his head off. He is a great rider, but he doesn’t like to be left alone. We ended up doing a driving tour of most of the fields. We got out to take a few pictures at one field. Oh my – the mud was deep! Good thing we packed our boots! Our stop at the tulip field was short because an angry sheriff was yelling at people who had parked too close to the road. Our vehicle was parked fine, but we didn’t want to take any chances with this guy so we got back in the car as quick as we could. It was a nice break in the weather at the that point and we were able to get a few pictures up close. I thought I would share a few pictures from our day trip with you! Enjoy!

Toby's 1st drive through Seattle

Toby’s 1st drive through Seattle

Drive by!

Drive by!

Up Close!

Up Close!

Us!

Us!

Love the color!

Love the color!

Daffodils!

Daffodils!

 

 

Good Bye 1st Trimester, Hello 2nd! April 13, 2013

Filed under: Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 7:05 am

My first trimester is now finished! Can I get an “amen” or a “hallelujah”? I’m really hoping that with the end of this trimester I will start to feel more like myself. I’m praying for energy to return and morning sickness to leave. We’ll see. I think it’s starting to fade, but time will tell.

We had our third doctor’s appointment at the beginning of the month. It was exciting to hear the baby’s heartbeat and to know that all is going well there.  At our next doctor’s appointment we’ll be right at the mark where you can find out the gender. Usually they wait closer to 20 weeks, but our doctor has agreed to give us a sneak peek. Hopefully we’ll know if we’re having a girl or a boy in less than a month. If the baby is shy then it will most likely be our next appointment in June that we find out.

The 1st Baby Item!

The 1st Baby Item!

We’ve started to get the house ready. Our guestroom will become the nursery so we have a few things to clear out before we can start moving stuff in. I have emptied the closet in the guestroom. I rearranged everything into different closets or into under the bed storage in our room. It feels good to have at least one part of the room cleared. We’ll be selling most of the furniture on Craig’s list. We probably won’t do any shopping before Hawaii since we’ll want some funds on that trip. Right now pre-Hawaii is clear the room and post-Hawaii is refill the room.

A small collection of baby related items has started around our house. We have already received a bib and a couple of  baby books.  We purchased a baby name book and it’s been entertaining to see all the options out there. I’ve gone through it with a highlighter and marked the names I like. I’m sure once we know the gender our discussions on baby names will become a little more serious. I also purchased “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. It’s been interesting to flip through as well.  So far no purchases have been made by Jeremy and me for the actual little one. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’m sure that will change quickly!

That’s about it in the baby news department. I can tell that the little one is growing and I’m sure that soon it will be more than obvious that I am expecting. I did go shopping this month for some looser tops and I have started using the belly bands that allow you to wear your pre-pregnancy pants unbuttoned. It’s taking some getting used to, but I want to make my wardrobe stretch as much as possible before I start buying actual maternity clothes.

I’ll keep you posted as we know more. Especially the extra special gender news! Hopefully that announcement is right around the corner!

 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain April 12, 2013

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:19 pm
Good Reads!

Good Reads!

I was really excited to get my hands on this book. I tried to place a hold on it at the library and I discovered that I was 45th in line. What a wait! Lucky for me, I have a friend and mentor who allowed me to borrow her copy. Thanks, Vicki!

Wow, let me tell you after all the hype surrounding this book, I found it a lot harder to read than I expected. It’s really good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just so full of research and data that at times it can feel a bit like reading a textbook. Nothing wrong with that! It’s just not a book you fly through. Each page has some serious weight behind it.

I’ve long known that I am an introvert and I do love reading books that validate my wiring. Especially in church culture, there is a strong emphasis of extrovertism being the “ideal” leader. It’s been freeing, the more I read and the more I get comfortable in my own skin, to know God made me this way and he will use me this way. I don’t have to be something I’m not. Yes, at church I can tend to put on an extroverted mindset, especially in a classroom environment. However, if you were to watch me in the office throughout the week, you would see my introverted tendencies. Also my schedule screams that I’m an introvert. I have lots of down time in my life and I need it in order to be with people. When I am constantly on the go and always up front, I get really burnt out, really fast.

I think my favorite paragraph in the book was  in the conclusion. Let me share some of Cain’s closing words with you:

“Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you might enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socializing with everyone else. Relationship make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.”

I love that paragraph because most people assume that introverts don’t like people or avoid people. This is not true. I love people very much. The relationships I have in my life are extremely important to me. My friendships run deep. I may only have a handful of close friends on this planet, but that doesn’t matter to me because I agree that quality matters over quantity. Overall this books a good read and very insightful. I understand why introverts have really raised the banner over this book and made it so well known.

As a side note, my copy of Shauna Niequist’s newest book, Bread & Wine, arrived today just as I was finishing Quiet. Shauna’s writing has moved me so much in the last year. She has become an instant favorite for me.  I am so excited that this book arrived early! Originally I thought it would arrive right before I left on a week of ministry conferences. I would rather be alone with a good book than social in a crowd any day so I was worried about the tension of wanting to be with my book when I should really be with people. Now I can totally devour this book before leaving and not worry a bit about looking anti-social! Hurray! Happy dance!