Real Estate Information

Fresh from our Blog

Blog

Displaying blog entries 151-160 of 164

Jennifer's Journal - March 2013

by Jennifer Beightol

My name is Jennifer Beightol. I am the Listing Coordinator here at The DeLois Smith All Star Team, Realtors. Like many of you, my husband and I are not originally from Hattiesburg. It has been nearly thirteen years since we made the decision to move to Hattiesburg. We wanted our daughter to have the opportunity to grow up in the same type of environment that we had grown up in. You know that wholesome “Walton’s-like”… life centers around family, church, community and oh yea … Ike Godsey’s Store… type of environment.


Definitely not the fast paced work around the clock environment we were living in Atlanta. So we packed the truck, loaded the van and moved ourselves and our five year old to Hattiesburg. It was a difficult transition at first, especially for the five year old who wondered where the rest of the mall was. But, I am pleased to report we adapted and for the most part have been very happy with the move.


Hattiesburg delivered! Family was a big reason for our move to Hattiesburg. It was very important to us that our daughter be raised around her extended family….to have that connection. At the time of our move my husband’s immediate family had also relocated to the “Burg” from Waynesboro. Now we were no longer the only Beightol’s in town. It was a wonderful change to be able to have Sunday lunch with family again. We found an amazing church. I am still often awed by their caring, goodness and generosity.


Ours is just one of the churches in Hattiesburg… there are many… filled with wonderful people doing wonderful things. I am proud and humbled to say we have been warmly invited to worship with quite a few of them. The church truly is a cornerstone of life in Hattiesburg.


The people of Hattiesburg treat you like a neighbor. This is never more evident than in the wake of disaster. Following the tornado of February 10, so many members of the community came together to help people they never met take those first steps back to normal. That is just the way things are in the “Burg”. Oh yea… I can’t forget… Ike Godsey’s Store – well Hickman’s and Kress Department Store might be a thing of the past …and the Mom and Pop curb stores of our youth might not be exactly what they once were… but the children have their hang-outs and gentlemen still get together for coffee and conversation. So as far as achieving that goal of a “Waltons-like” environment for our daughter to grow up in…Hattiesburg may not be Walton’s Mountain… but it is a pretty great place to raise a family.

Adam's Thoughts - March 2013

by Adam Watkins

We greet March with thankfulness! Given the “Mississippi Miracle” or “Hattiesburg Miracle” that our community experienced on February 10th, we can’t help but be thankful! As we consider the miles of damage created by the EF-4 tornado that traveled through Oak Grove, Hattiesburg, Petal, and surrounding areas, the more thankful we become. Personally, I’m awestruck at the simultaneous manifestation of God’s power and God’s protection. The fact that there were no casualties amidst utter devastation is quite a miracle indeed! Especially when you consider that the tornado glazed by Forrest General Hospital and over several churches (on a Sunday) as well as a university where students were largely out of town because of a holiday.


In fact, several of our team members were actually hosting nearly two dozen open houses that afternoon during our monthly Tour of Homes - all within the general path of the tornado. We had team members criss-crossing the area between tour locations as the tornado sliced through the community. There were a lot of phone calls and text messages made to assure everyone’s safety. We praise God for His protection, and we stand ready to serve our neighborhoods as we recover. We know we can do this because we’ve done it before. Our Katrina experience taught us a lot of lessons that we can apply here, and we intend to combine that experience with our resolve to forge ahead!


In spite of all these events, we see the beginnings of sustained improvements within our local real estate market. The first 50 days of this year are pointing to a trend of increased market activity. Year-over-year data from the Hattiesburg Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows the number of homes under contract, homes sold, and sales volume to be up 54%, 6%, and 11% respectively. These increases are offset to some degree as our level of supply remains elevated, with a 1% increase in homes actively on the market over the same time period last year. Prices in most price ranges also appear to have stabilized. How long this trend will last depends on a multitude of factors, as you can imagine. These factors include long term interest rates, the financial impacts on employers of the new health care legislation, and the employment climate of the Hattiesburg Metro area. Regardless of these unknowns, we certainly welcome the improvements.


We do recognize, however, that to hundreds upon hundreds of our community members and families, market trends and market improvements are not nearly as important as putting the pieces of their lives back in place. These families are experiencing a tremendous sense of loss as they grapple with the destruction of their homes, businesses, and places of employment - and for some - as they recover from any injuries they sustained. It has been heart-warming to witness our churches and volunteer organizations sweep in and offer aid with efficiency and tremendous support. These volunteers are a part of what makes our area a special place to live. We’re dedicated to being a part of that support system. Almost immediately following the February 10th events, we began receiving phone calls and requests to assist those in need of housing - whether rental or purchase. We’ve even had some investors step in and purchase properties that are suitable for storm victims to lease as they begin to pick up the pieces of their lives. We can’t help but be inspired by these community helpers, and are honored to join them.


One of our client couples had a particularly touching reaction to these events - I’ll call them Jim and Jane. Jim and Jane have the benefit of life experience, having lived in their Hattiesburg home for many, many years. After the events of February 10th, they were faced with the overwhelming loss of their home, and the widespread devastation of their neighborhood. They needed a “new place” to start again, and we are grateful to have been able to help them find that new place. As they stepped out of the elevator on their way to leave our office, Jane said, “Well Jim, let’s go start the rest of our lives.” Her words weren’t filled with bitterness or resentment. Instead, they were filled with a sense of wonder and resolve. How inspiring and humbling! We have a tremendous responsibility to the Jims and Janes out there, and we are ready to fulfill that responsibility. Please don’t hesitate to call on our team. We are anxious to help you and/or your loved ones “start the rest of [your] lives” just like Jim and Jane.


Moving forward…


Adam & The Team

Life of Balance

by Jerron Carney

The New Year is in full swing, school is back in session, and the resolutions are at the top of our priority list. What is on your agenda for 2013 - Eating healthier, more exercise, losing weight, living on a budget?


It’s so easy to come out of the gate with much passion to conquer what we so desperately desire. But more often than not, when we give ourselves to something new and exciting, we forget some necessary ingredients to a balanced life. I have found this to be true in my own life. Trying to balance life between church, work, family & friends – I often find the pendulum leaning toward my hobbies and personal interests rather than the things that truly matter most in life. Life just seems to find a way to get out of balance.


Being new to the real estate industry, it has taken much time and energy to begin this new phase of my life. Rules, regulations, clients, new listings, closings, and the list continues to grow. While I am enjoying every second, I have been forced to guard against burnout and fatigue. The last time I checked, there are still 24 hours in a day. Too many times, in my own life, there are items not checked off at the end of the day; and it’s very easy to stress out when these responsibilities are not met. However, we must always remember to keep everything in balance. Balance is different for all us, but it’s of utmost importance that we each find our own, and stick with it. Time is precious – Do not take it for granted. It’s a lot like land, they are not making any more of it.


To put this all in perspective, I’m reminded of what a wise old gentlemen once told me, “Son, keep the main thing the main thing.” In other words, set your priorities and keep it all in balance.

Staying on Our Toes in 2013!

by DeLois Smith

Over the course of my 40 year real estate career right here in The Pine Belt, I have learned that we need to continually ask ourselves: What can we do better? In the wake of a less-than-stellar-period for us – ’09, ’10, ’11, and ’12 – we cannot rest on our laurels, even though we can see some signs of improvement locally, as well as nationally. The market is changing; our customers and clients are changing; and we, too, need to be refining and retooling.


Currently, two members of our support team, Jennifer Beightol and Andrew Bird, client care and listing specialist, are giving up their weekends to participate in a locally offered real estate licensing class in order to improve their services to our clients.


Elizabeth Liggett, our team closing coordinator, continues to lead in offering All Star Access in early February. All Star Access is a custom built, online communications system for our clients. This system provides buyers and sellers a 24/7 online system to access their transaction progress.


Adam Watkins is closing in on the last six months of his MBA at Tulane while starting January 2013 off with $1.3 million in production – quite an amazing feat.


Buyer Specialist, Wendy Gay, has made an impressive business plan for her clients for 2013. Wendy is enthusiastically following her plan daily with the professional assistance of a brilliant national real estate trainer, Brian Buffini. We can’t wait to see the results of Wendy’s strategic focus.


Congratulations to Buyer Specialist, Linda Seifert, for producing the highest single residential sale in the City of Hattiesburg, the 2nd highest in the area market for this January.


It’s been a while since we’ve been able to kick off a new year on an optimistic note, but 2013 stands to be a year for housing where the positives finally outweigh the negative. Of course, the jury is still out on the fiscal cliff along with potential housing policy changes. Despite the policy and economic changes we may face this year, here are my predictions that will most impact our local housing market in the coming months:


• Inventory Reductions
• Local investor confidence
• Return of move-up buyers
• Growing international consumer base
• Increase in new home construction


Two more predictions I really want to include, but do not yet see: 1.) Increasing activity in the high-end of the market, and 2.) Rising home values. We can put these on the “hopeful list”, maybe the 2nd quarter will provide more evidence.


For any of you who have a need to buy up or down because of family need changes or have a family member who needs a home or you could benefit from a single or multi-family investment, RIGHT NOW is the time to buy. Do not wait for rates to rise and investing to decrease!


Our team has loved the opportunity to serve 38 successful buyers or seller transactions this January with $6.5 million in volume. The diversity in age was from early 20’s-80’s. We have recently served families from China, India, Russia, Taiwan, S. Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, California, New York, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippians.


Thanks for your many kind and generous notes and comments about our team service to you and your family and friends. You warm our hearts and encourage us daily. AND WE PLEDGE to you that we will focus on “Staying on Our Toes” in 2013 to continue to add value to you and your family.


Gratefully your Realtors,


Delois & Team

Meet Debra

by Debra Pace

Hello, or as we say in Texas….Howdy! I am Debra K. Pace, the new kid with The All Star Team. I would describe myself as a hard working country girl who is down to earth and approachable by everyone. I left a great career with The Federal Bureau of Prisons to follow my husband to Hattiesburg.

At the Bureau, you were considered to be Federal Law Enforcement with a mandatory retirement at 57! YES, I walked away from that wonderful benefit for the love of my husband! There was not a facility close by for me to transfer to, so it forced me to step out of my comfort zone. In Bryan/College Station, Texas, I had met a Realtor named Cherry Ruffino who had a very motivating story of working her way out of a Safeway Cashier job to the largest producing Real Estate Agent in that area. I remember telling my friend Nancy Jo that I wanted to do that. Although she encouraged me, there was no way I could walk away from a solid career for such an uncertain sales job. Shortly after moving to Hattiesburg, Sharon Register hired me as her Assistant. After a few months, I could see that I could go out on my own and took the leap of faith. I was an Independent agent with Realty Executives for four years, surrounded by great people. I’ll talk more about my decision to move later, but for now, let me introduce my family.


My husband is Alan Pace, we have been married since 1985, and I love him to the moon and back. We both grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, attending the same school. His grandfather was one of the first chicken growers in the area and his dad followed in his footsteps, they always told Alan to get on the other side of the desk, not to be a chicken grower. He came home one day to say he joined the Army and of course, his first duty station was in Schweinfurt Germany. After 5 years, he realized that furthering his education would enable him to provide for his family more than the Army. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin, then onto University of Arkansas for his Master’s Degree course work. He began his poultry career with Sanderson Farms and worked for them for 14 years. He is now with Tyson Foods with the same position, but unfortunately, it took him to North Carolina. Our motto is “we will do what we have to do to get our kids out of college debt free”. Seeing my husband every two weeks is not what I had envisioned for myself at this age, but hopefully the kids will appreciate it one day. God blessed us with two wonderful children who are transitioning to the adult world as we speak.


Kaleb Pace is known as a humble and great guy. He graduated this year from USM. Some of you may know him from Anatomies Fitness Center; he has worked there for six years, currently the Director of the Youth Center. I love going places with him to watch kids run up to him for big hugs in stores or restaurants. He doesn’t realize it, but I think his calling is to be a Youth Minister or something kid related. I’m looking forward for him to be out on his own to gain that independence.


Our beautiful daughter is Lauren Pace, and she is currently a junior at USM, and I say currently a junior, because it seems that she changes her major every semester. The kids put too much pressure on themselves, thinking they have to have a career path right now. I feel they should concentrate on enjoying the college experience and know the career path will come later and probably change a few times. If Lauren had it her way, she would be a Socialite. A few months ago, she was hired by Mugshots as a waitress and she absolutely loves it because she gets to meet so many people. She is the girl that is full of life on campus, loving her sorority sisters at Chi Omega with all of her heart, and all the new friends that she has met along the way. We are so proud of both of our children.


Now that you have met my family, you may be yawning by now because we do not live an exciting lifestyle. Let me close by saying that I am so thankful to Adam and Delois for not giving up on me for the past couple of years and for believing in my abilities to contribute to her incredible team. We have talked about me joining them for awhile, but I was so intimidated by their success, I was afraid that I would not fit in, and worried what my peers would think. I made the decision to join them right before the National Realtors Convention held in November, and when I left them in Orlando to drive home by myself; I had the clarity that I had been praying for. All of their clients and all of our peers need to know that behind the hustle and bustle of the business scene, they really are like family. They put God first, always starting the meetings with prayer request and giving HIM the praise that only HE is worthy of receiving. They run a well-oiled machine; each person has their place in the mechanics of making this model work. They make me want to be a better person and better agent. I do not regret making the move to this team; my only regret is not doing it sooner.


My clients need to know that I will still provide the same great service they are accustomed to receiving from me, and any new clients that I receive need to be prepared to be blown away by my attention to their needs, and work ethic. My close clients refer to me as “passionate about this business”, so call me, let’s buy or sell something together!

Adam's Thoughts - January 2013

by Adam Watkins

Well, another Christmas and New Year’s Day is in the books! We hope your celebrations were filled with happiness and enriched with new memories. Our family enjoyed the additions of several little ones that enjoyed their first celebrations with us. This is a special time in our family, and we’re doing our best to build special traditions and experiences for these new souls. We feel more blessed than ever, even if we are a bit weary. Simultaneously, we think of those who, for the first time, experienced this season without a loved one(s). Most of us have experienced such a loss, and cherish those memories that we were able make. May God bless your home and family in 2013!


Your All Star Team spent much of 2012 growing to meet the demands of our present market. We’ve solidified our support staff team to handle client care, marketing, and closing and listing management with increased expertise. And, we’ve also grown our agent base to better serve our growing clients as well as niche markets that we’re developing and exploring.


Jerron Carney has joined our team specializing in Marion County properties. As a Marion County native, he’s deeply connected to the area through his work as Associate Pastor of Woodlawn Church. Jerron’s wife, Holly, teaches nursing at PRCC, and they have two children. Please keep our team and Jerron in mind the next time you or someone you know has a property in Marion County to sell or purchase.


As Hattiesburg has grown westward, the movement between Columbia and West Hattiesburg has increased. We can now offer our clients in-depth knowledge of the Marion County community with the addition of Jerron.
Another exciting addition occurred in December when Debra Pace joined our ranks. Debra has developed a proven track record in Greater Hattiesburg real estate since beginning her career here several years ago. Over the years, we’ve had dozens of opportunities to work with Debra as a co-op agent and have felt for some time that she would be an excellent addition to our agent team. Debra joined us in November at the National Association of REALTORS Convention in Orlando where she received additional training and the opportunity to enjoy our team culture. She officially began working as a team member the first of December and will be representing both sellers and buyers on a full-time basis. Her husband, Allen, works in the poultry industry, and they have two Golden Eagles – a son who’s recently graduated and a daughter who is currently a student at USM. Debra is one of our contributors to this month’s Star Chat. I hope you’ll check out her entry to this month’s edition.


So together, our team greets 2013 with as much enthusiasm as we can remember. We’re committed to serving you and anyone you know through the best service and marketing plan delivered by the best equipped and prepared team members available. We’re never too busy for your referrals, so please call us, find us online on Facebook and Twitter, or stop us in the grocery store. We’re eager to serve and thankful for your trust!


May 2013 be the best year yet!


Adam & Team

The DeLois Smith All Star Team, Realtors® just returned from the National Association of Realtors Convention where 18,054 Realtors were in attendance. Throughout the four days in Orlando, they attended many informative lectures and discussions regarding real estate and the housing industry. One of the most interesting events attended on opening day was the Economic Forum. Lawrence Yun, PhD; Chief Economist of the NAR and Mark Vitner; Managing Director and Senior Economist of Wells Fargo presided over the meeting. It was generally agreed that inflation would remain low through 2013 and 2014. As inflation plays a major role in determining interest rates, this is great news for anyone looking to buy a home because interest rates will also remain historically very low. It is generally agreed that housing demand is up, sales are up, and available inventory is down. All of this means that although we have been in a strong buyer’s market, the pendulum is swinging more to the middle between buyers and sellers as inventory declines.

Therefore, there’s no time like the present to sell a home. It was also stressed that with a fair amount of continuing market uncertainty, the rental market continues to be an excellent area for investors to concentrate. The housing recovery will be slow so long as the job market remains weak. Washington remains indecisive, but change is coming. One concern voiced throughout the convention was the pending implementation of the Dodd-Frank legislation and the effect it will have on the mortgage industry. Another major concern is home mortgage interest deductions and how they will be affected as a part of the overall anticipated revamping of the tax codes. “The DeLois Smith Team returned from Orlando recharged and with valuable knowledge and insight as to how to succeed in building our business. Our investment in sending so many of our team members to Orlando is needed due to the complexity of today’s real estate market,” said Associate Broker Adam Watkins. “Our commitment to our clients and community is for our team members to obtain the highest level of educational enrichment possible.” Team members attending the convention in Orlando were: Adam Watkins, DeLois Smith, Lavon Smith, Brenda Blackwell, Linda Seifert, Dennis Baum, Wendy Gay, Jerron Carney, Jennifer Beightol, Andrew Bird, Josh Bellew, and our newest team member, Debra Pace.

About Andrew - October 2012

by Andrew Bird

I first moved to Mississippi from New Orleans when I was fifteen. My mother had enough of living in the city, and knew that land and houses were cheaper across the state line. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of moving in the middle of High School. I was starting to break into a good social scene, I was becoming comfortable with moving around the city independently, and I was learning to become a real local. The last thing that I wanted to do was to move out to the country!
Though Picayune, MS, is less than an hour from New Orleans, it felt like another world. I recall meeting our first landlord, an older gentleman native to Picayune, and not being able to understand a word he said since his accent was so thick. I felt like such an outsider. My accent, my upbringing (my parents are not from the region), my interests, were all foreign and I rejected the local customs. I told myself that I only had three years of high school to get through, and then I could leave Mississippi for good, and go far away forever.
Well, after high school, I didn’t get very far – about an hour north on the interstate to Hattiesburg. My thought was to make a pit stop there to get my degree, and then leave the state with a bang! I’ll admit that I didn’t think much of Hattiesburg when I first arrived. All I knew was William Carey University, where I lived on campus and took classes, and Hardy Street going to Hwy 98, which to me looked like one long strip mall, with nothing interesting or charming about it. I knew that it was going to be a long four years.
It wasn’t until the following summer, when I got a job waiting tables downtown at the Oaks Café, that I discovered that there was far more to Hattiesburg than I first realized. There were several little antique shops, several great music venues, a book store, and more, all locally owned and developed. All of a sudden, Hattiesburg became far more livable to me. That being said, I was still unable to feel at home in Mississippi.
After I graduated from college, I finally had my chance to get out, and I took it! The long awaited flight was finally at hand. I was giddy with excitement, relishing the opportunity to explore new lands, new people, to find my place! I spent the next year and a half traveling and living over seas, working in café’s and hotels. And as excited as I was to be out traveling, I invariably became homesick. But homesick for where? I had spent my time in Mississippi not accepting it as my home, but by that time I had spent a great number of my formative years in South Mississippi. I became homesick for Hattiesburg, and Mississippi as a whole.
What I came to realize was that I was even more of a stranger in another place. I had lived in MS for so long and even longer in the South. I realized that though I don’t quite fit the stereotype I am for all intensive purposes a Southerner. Despite what I thought, I had to realize that culturally speaking I have been greatly influenced by the South and its many charms. I realized that I was missing more than just my friends and family, Leatha’s BBQ, the Thirsty Hippo, Hoyt Tanner’s Hot Dog stand, pecan pie, and the rest of Southern Living’s recipe book. I was missing Mississippi. I was missing home.
A friend of mine, a local transplant from Austria, told me once that one can live anywhere so long as they have these three things: A good friend, a good café, and a good drug dealer. My friend was paraphrasing from Sigmund Feud, so that may explain the last part. This quote has stuck with me for a long time. Obviously, I take the final part in that quote to be open for interpretation. I suppose that it can be anything that provides recreation, whether that is golf, hunting, music, or anything else. When I returned to Mississippi last December, I was overjoyed. I had finally come home after 10 years of being a stranger.

Scott's Scoop - October 2012

by Scott Holmes

Transforming a home into a Green Home can add value to a property, making it more desirable for environmentally-conscious buyers and reducing overall energy bills. Currently our market may be focused on home pricing vs. added benefits, so many of these improvements should be weighed for your specific objectives for short and long term cost returns. But going forward, more folks are and will continue making wiser choices to reduce monthly energy costs. By making a few updates and quick fixes, such as adding energy saving light bulbs, appliances, and high-efficiency water heaters, sellers can add both enticing new features and legitimate value to a home. Here’s a few places to get started.
Add a Green Home Energy Tracker – Keep track of energy output of individual appliances and electronics for between $20 and $50 or have a home-monitoring device installed for around $250, which will track overall electrical usage and provide real-time feedback on energy consumption and waste. A large variety of in-home energy trackers and monitors are currently available on the market, and new technology is syncing them with devices like smartphones and tablets.
Update the Lighting with LED and CFL Bulbs – A single ENERGY STAR light bulb can save as much as $6 per year in electricity cost, and a CFL light bulb can save $50 over a traditional incandescent bulb in its lifetime. In addition, the maintenance of changing light bulbs will be greatly reduced, and the overall consumed energy can be reduced by as much as 75 percent.
Update the Exterior with a Rain Barrel – To reduce water usage for watering lawns and irrigating plants and gardens, rain barrels are an affordable green solution that can be purchased for under $100. Not only is this an affordable way to help the planet, it can reduce overall water bills.
Big Green Updates to Homes
Go with Low-Flow Bathrooms - Low-flow toilets and showerheads can reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent, and modern versions see almost no reductions in water pressure. The upfront cost of buying and installing new bathroom fixtures is well worth the value these efficient toilets and showers can add to a home.
Install Tankless Water Heaters – Because they don’t store water and reheat it consistently, tankless heaters can save up to 50 percent on a hot water bill. Even better, with a tankless water heater homeowners will never be without hot water, since the coils of a tankless heater warm the water as it passes through the system. This means no more coordinating laundry and dishwashing, or timing out showers for the family.
Update the Kitchen and Utilize ENERGY STAR Appliances – The upfront cost for ENERGY STAR appliances will soon be mitigated by energy savings, since these appliances use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy.
The above benefits were taken from the National Association of Realtors website. Please speak with a Realtor at our office to discuss how any of these could improvements could help you!

Adam's Thoughts - October 2012

by Adam Watkins

Sometimes I get a little jealous of my team members who make entries into this “journal” that we call Star Chat each month. Each of them have contributed some unique and compelling insights into their lives. After all, this is a business about relationships, and I look forward each month to reading what my team member shares with us and improving my relationship with them. DeLois and I usually spend our entries commenting on present market conditions, growth in our team, changes in our business, events we’re planning, or community events. When I was considering my entry for this month’s Star Chat, though, I had no doubt it would take on a different complexion that I hope you’ll be able to appreciate since it concerns the birth of our second daughter, Hannah Lois, on September 11th.

I frequently make the joke around the office that I’m waiting for us (our team and my family) to make our reality show debut on one of the prominent (or obscure) cable networks. In fact, I believe Wendy Gay, one of our talented Buyer Specialists, alluded to this ongoing joke in one of her recent Star Chat writings. Our team works very hard, but sometimes you just have to step back and chuckle a little (or a lot) at the events of our days. Maybe you can relate. It’s easy to take yourself too seriously in this business, so it’s healthy to laugh and keep things in balance. And, honestly, in our case, truth can be much more entertaining than fiction. I start imagining how funny all of this house selling and family life would be if someone were just watching it, and I catch myself feeling a little like Jim Halpert from NBC’s The Office, searching for the cameras.

Monday, September 10th at 11:26 p.m. was one of those moments that would have certainly made for great TV! Amelia and I learned in January that we were expecting our second child. We were excited and overwhelmed! Overwhelmed because the Watkinses really know how to create a lot of work and excitement. (Amelia would likely blame most of this on me, but she’s a mighty fine accomplice.) In addition to a new pregnancy, a 3-year-old, and more than full-time careers, we also decided it was a good time for me to begin an Executive MBA program at Tulane University as well as making our fifth house move in as many years by late Summer. (We’re done with house moving for a while, and this time I mean it!) Without the pregnancy, there was plenty of material for the cameras to catch. Fast forward to the evening of September 10th, and you’d find us successfully moved, half of an MBA under our belts, a 3 1/2-year-old sound asleep in her room, and me coming in late that evening from showing homes to some friends of ours. Amelia had been experiencing early signs of labor all day, but nothing consistent. In spite of this, I decided I could still squeeze in showing some houses that evening before dark, and before you scold me, Amelia also encouraged me to proceed as planned and keep the phone handy.

When I got home, things appeared pretty much the same: sporadic and widely spaced contractions and a great deal of discomfort. We decided to settle in bed for the night and see what happened. Then at 11:26 labor accelerated from 0 to 100 mph! And accelerated is no understatement. Let’s just say that my quiet and reserved Amelia was anything but quiet, and for good reason! I quickly called our Aunt June and my Mom to ask one of them to come to our house since we were becoming very aware that we did not have the time to pack up Abigail and take her to one of their homes. We quickly loaded into the car and waited. They arrived between 11:40 and 11:45 p.m. as Amelia and I raced to the hospital. Hazard lights on. Speeding. Calling Labor and Delivery to tell them we were on our way. The contractions grew so closely together you could not easily determine when one started and another stopped, and Amelia began saying aloud that she didn’t know if we would make it. I kept assuring her that we would make it to the hospital; we would get there! The thought of delivering the baby myself was a terrifying thought. We literally “wheeled” into the labor and delivery entrance at Forrest General right around midnight.

Things were moving so quickly, and there seemed to be no time to spare. I flung my car door open and helped Amelia out of the car. I didn’t even think to turn off the car, close the door, or lock it. There it sat, ready for someone to drive it away if they wished, and I couldn’t have cared less. Amelia wouldn’t even pause for a wheelchair - we stumbled down the hallway and finally reached Labor and Delivery. Bless the poor soul who began feeding paperwork and disclosures to a redhead in the advanced stages of labor. There were no nurses or doctors in sight. Just the sweet lady in charge of registration who was quickly becoming overwhelmed by all of this drama. Amelia struggled to sign the disclosures, and the lady behind the counter began frantically calling for the nurses and doctor as well as assigning Amelia to a room. In the very brief break between contractions, Amelia “encouraged” me to go park the car! I managed to do that and get back to find Amelia in a room just as they were hooking up the heart monitor for Hannah.

The time was 12:06 a.m. Initially, it seems the nurses didn’t completely understand how very close the delivery was, but quickly learned that we had only a few more minutes and rushed to assemble all the necessary “hardware” for the delivery. Dr. Glaze arrived shortly around 12:15 a.m., and at 12:19 a.m., a healthy Hannah Lois Watkins was born - all 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and 21 inches of her. If you calculate the time of all these events, you’ll quickly discover that delivery was 54 minutes from when advanced labor began; about 35 minutes from when we left our home; and only 13 minutes from when Amelia was placed in a room! We very literally almost did not make it! Had this occurred in the middle of the day, traffic would have surely prevented us from doing so. We are so thankful to God for this blessing and for once again taking care of our needs up to the very minute. We give Him the glory for that! I always brag on how efficient Amelia is at everything she does, but if there is a next time, I’m hoping we’re slightly less efficient. Thirteen minutes is a bit quicker than this daddy was expecting.

As the adrenaline began to wear off, I couldn’t help but remember all of the 80’s sitcoms I watched as a child where the father dramatically, frantically, and clumsily raced to get his very “vocal” wife to the hospital in just the nick of time for delivery. Not knowing very much about that entire process as a little boy, I asked my mom if that’s how it really happened. She would always assure me, “No, no. That’s not real. They’re being dramatic for television.” As it turns out, she’s wasn’t entirely wrong. The nurses at FGH quickly told us that rushed delivery events such as ours were very rare. For the Watkinses, though, it was very real. And, given the 54 minutes total that it took, it’s custom designed for a single one-hour episode of this reality show of life that we live everyday, a blessed and full life for which we thank God. Hope you enjoy these photos of Hannah and her super “Big Sister,” Abigail. Thank you for your words of support, encouragement, and good will! Thank you for allowing our family to serve yours again and again! Our best, always. Adam & Team

Displaying blog entries 151-160 of 164

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.