We're the Guelfis... That's pronounced Well-Fee! So, Guelcome to our blog! Get ready to laugh and smile with us as we share some fun stories from our blessed life!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

BIG NEWS!!! (No, I'm not pregnant.)

In May 2009, I was seven-months pregnant with my oldest son and pretty much jobless. After working in the insurance industry for several years, I was certain that quoting auto insurance and calming down customers after their policies "collapsed" was definitely not for me. Knowing I had very little time to start another career before the new baby arrived, Fernando & I prayed like never before. I guess you could say we were completely winging it, trying not to be overwhelmed with worry as we counted down the days to my due date.

God opened all the right doors, and I was offered a job as a property manager at Seymour Homes Realty, Inc. in Goldsboro. Linda--the owner-- did not laugh in my face when I told her I was due in two months. She also offered to let me bring my new son with me to the office after he was born. "I love babies!" she said. It all seemed too good to be true. 

From my very first day on the job, I was fascinated by real estate. I learned how to process rent payments, communicate with property owners and tenants, coordinate repairs, look up tax cards, list properties for sale, and so many other things that made me realize I had found a career that might actually work for me. It was unpredictable, fast-paced, yet so rewarding to be a part of helping customers find the perfect home for their family. 

Two weeks after giving birth to Enzo, I was back in the office, but this time,  I had a little assistant. I realized it wasn't the most ideal situation to have a baby in the office (nothing says "look how professional I am!" like burping a baby while talking on the phone with a customer), but not a day went by that I wasn't thankful to be able to spend those hours with him. Talk about having the best of both worlds!

Things really got interesting when I threw not one but TWO babies in the mix. I'll never forget the look on Linda's face when I told her I was expecting Baby # 2. She reminded me that we were running a real estate office, not a DAYCARE. She immediately began to make arrangements for me to work from home- she bought me a laptop and had a server set up so I could access my office computer from home. I also finished the real estate class and received my real estate license just a few weeks before giving birth to my second son. 

Working from home had its challenges. Many nights I would stay up into the wee hours of the morning trying to get my work done. I learned how to work quickly (and quietly!) while my babies were asleep. What a privilege it was to be able to work from home and spend those priceless moments with my boys. 

As the boys got older, I was able to be in the office more. Each year, my sales steadily increased, as well as Seymour Homes' rental property portfolio. Although each day brought new challenges, I was beginning to see how rewarding a career in real estate could be. Although I wasn't the official owner of the company, I felt personally invested in it. 

At the end of last year, Linda approached me on a busy afternoon and offered me the opportunity of a lifetime. She asked me if I would be interested in being the new owner of Seymour Homes Realty. After I picked myself up off the floor and made sure she was serious, I told her "YES!" It took us a few months to work everything out, but as of April 23rd of this year, we closed on the sale of the business and made it official. As a rookie small biz owner, I am excited, terrified, cautiously optimistic- to name a few- but I'm also proud to be the owner of such a great, growing company! I know the road before me will be filled with many challenges, but my goal is to not only sell and rent houses, but to build a lasting relationship with each of our customers and to be a positive influence on my community. (I do realize how cheesy that sounds. No, I cannot figure out another way to say it other than: I will work hard & do my best.)

I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL FOREVER to Linda for taking a chance on me and saying, "you're hired!" She has always allowed me to be a mother to my boys first and foremost, and even if I sold a million houses, I could never repay her for that privilege. 

Now with all of that said….. who's going to help keep me in business? :)

For more info about Seymour Homes Realty, please like our Facebook page

Friday, January 2, 2015

5 Things I Want to Leave in 2014

I've been itching to get to my computer all day. A new year has begun, and I am practically brimming with ideas, goals, and dreams for 2015. I feel like the Energizer Bunny after he's consumed a case of Red Bulls. First item on the agenda: get a dust rag and a can of Pledge and go to town on this blog. I can't believe it's been almost a whole year since I've blogged! And I call myself a writer? What a disgrace!

2014 was a whirlwind of change: we rented out our house and moved into my mom's old house; my boys started school for the first time; real estate went crazy; we said goodbye to many dear friends at church; my sweet, dear, precious Grandma went home to Jesus; and plenty of events in between to keep us on our toes knees. As I reflect on everything that happened, I feel almost breathless. Whew! Sometimes I wish we could ask God to let us off the roller coaster and give us a turn on the placid, predictable Lazy River for a year or two. Wouldn't it be grand if we could be assured that only good things would happen in 2015? Although I have no idea how the New Year will pan out, at least I can determine to abandon those things that hinder me from experiencing God in all His fullness and glory. In order to successfully launch into the New Year, I feel God reminding me that a few things shouldn't accompany me. Here are 5 things that I'm determining to leave buried in the dust of 2014:

(1) Negativity 
I recently deactivated my Facebook account for an extended period of time, and once I logged back in, I was overwhelmed with story after story of more bad news: crime, tragic accidents, sickness, disease, heartache. Although social media can be used for much good, I am starting to realize how much negative information our brains and hearts are forced to process when we participate in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I believe having the whole world at our fingertips is making it harder for us to think positively. I want to do my best to avoid negativity in 2015, even if it means reducing my time on social media.

(2) Love of Possessions
I'm not saying that I'm a hoarder… but I do need to remind myself, as the old song says, that I can't take it with me when I go. I especially want to convey this message to my sons. As they grow older, I want them to know they will never find true happiness in things. I realize that this truth must begin with Fernando and me. As their parents, it's up to us to show them how to appreciate their possessions and how to distinguish between "I need" & "I want." May 2015 be the year that materialism moves out of our hearts and home.

(3) Comparison
Compare, compare, compare: I've compared myself, I've compared my husband and sons. I've compared my family, my job, my church, and my friends. I've compared everything from my parenting skills to my Origami Owl necklace. Is there any area of our lives that isn't affected by the bad habit of comparison? I am asking God, even now on January 1st, to remind me to keep my focus on Him when I'm tempted to compare and criticize others.

(4) Apathy
I looked up the definition of apathy so it would stick with me a little better. Apathy is: "absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement." This is a tricky area, because many times, apathy goes unrecognized. Apathy is often not addressed BECAUSE OF apathy. It's probably best described with three words: I don't care. With each passing year, I become more aware of the brevity of life and how important it is to infuse our daily activities with fervor and purpose. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Life is so much more enjoyable when we resolve to leave apathy behind.

(5) Laziness
If you would've told me a few years ago, that one day I'd be resolving to avoid laziness, I'd have punched you in the face. When my sons were babies and toddlers, I barely had time to take a shower. They kept me moving all day, and in the brief moments they napped, I would catch up on my real estate duties. But now my babies are older. They've started school, they've learned how to do many things for themselves, they go to bed earlier, and they don't require the constant supervision that they did when they were *little*. [Insert crying emoji here] Even though I work full-time, I've found myself with a lot more "free time." Pedicure? What's that all about? Lunch with a friend? Yes, please! Grocery shopping alone? Sign me up! I have truly enjoyed having a few more moments to myself throughout the day, but I've also noticed an increased tendency to spend more time on my phone and computer in the afternoon/evening hours (READ: laziness). I am determining now to make a better use of my time in 2015- to stay busy, to not complain when laundry piles up, to work hard, to find ways to run my household more efficiently, to go to bed each night absolutely exhausted from a day well-lived. Time to trash the couch and leave it in 2014! (You do realize I don't mean that literally…)

I am determined that these five things will not be coming with me into the new year. 2015, come what may, will be a productive year lived for the Lord. I want to be busy doing things that matter! I want to roll up my sleeves and work hard for others. I want God's grace and love to be my footprints. Wherever I go in 2015, may His truth be my constant companion.

What bad habits/attitudes would you like to leave in 2014?