Thursday, June 12, 2014

Time Don't Be Stoppin'

It's been so long since I've blogged that I forgot how to start a new post for a minute, there.  Things have changed a lot over the past couple months, so I haven't had much time to write anything.  Last I wrote, there were a lot of ch-ch-changes coming our way.  I ended up getting that part-time job working for a lawyer as a paralegal and am super excited about it.  It's not glamorous or anything, but I do like helping people and that's what they do there.  So, I've been working there for seven weeks now and am learning something new every day.  I love learning new things but hate that newbie feeling at the same time.  I wish I could answer peoples' questions already, but I know that will come with time.

Hubs had a job change as well - his part-time ministry job.  I keep going back and forth about whether I want to blog about this because I know many that read this blog are my friends from the church home that I've loved and called home since 1998 and it's a fine line to walk to talk about this in open forum.  What I want to say about it is that we were very hurt, like deep-to-the-core, by the events of the past month and are trying to find healing in the midst of it all.  God is good and faithful and just and is still our Shepherd leading us through every step we take (Prov 3:5-6), but it's hard to see past the pain into the next chapter right now.  I miss my church and it's only been two weeks.  It feels like it's been an ETERNITY!  I miss my family and all the kids; the relationships; the support system; the growing together, all of it.  Hubs and I decided that we'd take this next month to take a step back to get some perspective.  I think we need to dig deeper than we have been because we are halfway through this month and I feel no closer to understanding where we are heading or why this is really happening.

I started blogging back in 2011 (on another blog site) as a diary of sorts, where I could just write, unfiltered.  Because nobody knew I had the blog other than Hubs.  Now that I've been writing only on this blog site, I know some people read it and for that I am so grateful, but I feel guarded, just like I do on Facebook.  I don't like complaining because I know that God works for the good of those who love Him and He has my life under control, so when hard stuff comes, I want to still be shining His light and not gripe and groan.  So, I stay guarded and don't write those types of things very often.  So, this blog was supposed to curb some of that.  All that to say, I want to make sure that I keep my original intentions pure in that I don't shield myself because of what my readers may think of me.  I hope that some might find this blog helpful in some way, shape, or form.

In other news, Benji lost his first tooth a few weeks ago! It was really hard to tell that he's missing a tooth because the adult one had grown in almost the whole way by the time it fell out.  He lost his bottom tooth right next to the right incisor.  The "tooth fairy" gave him $1 for that tooth and he was stoked.  He's still looking for something to spend it on, though.

On June 3rd, Benji graduated from Kindergarten.  The really fun thing is that his teach chose him to be one of the two boys that got to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar out loud in front of the parents and he really did a great job. 

Pre-graduation haircut


Benji's Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Soliman








Best Whole Family picture we've gotten in probably 2 years
 That's all the update I have for now, but I will try to write more often.  I actually have to do work at this new job, so I don't have as much time at the computer to just do what I want these days.  Thanks for checking in with me here!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Goals Update - 1st Quarter

Goals update! Since we set the original goals for 2014, things have changed, so inevitably, some of our goals had to change, too.  So, here are the updates and additions of new goals.


1. Finish up Baby Step 2 by the end of the year

At this point, we have my 2013 medical bills (thank you FAI surgeries!), Hubs' student loan, and my student loan left. Current Expected Completion: December - We're planning to save all extra money coming in this year since our income will be somewhat unstable until we get settled into this new situation.  Once we know more how things are going to shake out, we'll be able to start using the money to put into the house and paying off debt as well as saving for our 10-year vow renewal celebration.

2. Organize garage

We need to clean it out once again and set up stations with more buckets. We already have heavy duty shelves all around the garage but we're not using them efficiently. Need to "pinterest" (c'mon, 10 years ago, Google wasn't a verb either...) some ideas. - This is still a definite in the plans; the only problem is that we're in the beginning of April and have only had about 1.75 nice days so far this year.  But, this will get done.  We're also planning on getting a new garage door once the organization part is done so that we can start parking at least one of the vehicles in there again.  It's only been since 2011...

3. Career movement

Hubs is looking for a full-time job that will allow for more family time and we are praying for the opportunity of full-time ministry for him. I would love to start working in the paralegal field. I completed my certification in May and then had surgery, so that had to be put on hold for the moment. My first, concrete, short-term goal is to get involved with the IPA in my area for networking and learning opportunities. - This is where the biggest change is happening.  Due to the difficulties we've had finding a regular babysitter over the past month, our mind-set shifted.  You can read about it here.

4. Read one book per month

I need to create a list of the books I want to read this year but I'm sure I can easily come up with 12. Some fiction, some career, some christian living/family books. - I've done fairly well on this one.  So far this year, I've read Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, and most of Waiting To Be Heard by Amanda Knox.  Hubs and I were teaching a class and putting together curriculum in addition to other things we've been involved with so far this year, so the past month has not given me much time to read.  But, I'm hoping to finish the Knox book and then move on to Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I like autobiographies, can you tell?

Confession Time: In February, we did poorly re: eating out but March was better.  April's budget for eating out is already gone, so we're going to have to start being more intentional in our planning, scheduling, and when we say yes to invites.  We love our friends and family and want to spend more time with them.  But, we'll just have to find ways to do that for free or inexpensively.

I haven't seen the inside of the gym in about seven weeks.  I'm planning to go starting next week, at least twice.  Now that I don't have to get up at 5AM to go, I think I'll have more success.  We are playing volleyball right now and I have been walking a bit more, so I've at least been doing something that resembles exercise.

Thanks for reading!  I'd love to hear how your goals are progressing so far this year.  Let's keep each other accountable!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ch-ch-changes

It's been a while since I've blogged about anything.  I was doing pretty well on my Empty Shelf Challenge but wasn't reading anything worth blogging about.  Just more for entertainment.  We've been remodeling our bathroom for the past month and that'll be wrapped up within the next week. And I will definitely be posting pictures.  This project is long overdue!  Benji has his first loose tooth, Calah's hair has really started to fill in and she has mastered the English language and getting herself changed and dressed (she's crazy!), and Jo has been doing much better with potty accidents and talking without all the whining and fit-throwing to which we've grown accustomed (not fond, accustomed).

But, the biggest change is that after much prayer, thought, planning, we've decided that it was time for me to come home.  My last day of work is next Thursday, April 3rd.  I've been so torn, frustrated, and weary lately.  Balancing work and motherhood is one of the hardest things I've ever done.  And I've done it since Benji was born six years ago.  Full-time, year-round employment.  I'm really excited about what's to come and am trying to prepare myself as much as possible through:

1. Prayer and seeking God's wisdom and guidance
2. Writing a daily/weekly schedule
3. Writing and actually following-through on weekly meal planning
                **As a subset of this, I'm searching for more from-scratch recipes and am planning some diy food projects.
4. Getting the boys time to work on their kindergarten and preschool skills books
5. Looking into preschool options for Jo in the fall
6. Cleaning up the yards and re-cleaning/organizing the garage.  Remember this?  Yeah, it's even worse now.
7. Bringing in some extra income.  I've already been looking for babysitting jobs.  I'm reading up on becoming a licensed in-home daycare provider, but anyone with experience, please share some my way!

Before I was thinking about coming home, I set up a job interview for a part-time paralegal position locally.  It's an entry-level position and it's close to home. Those are very rare and since I don't have any experience yet, just a certificate, I felt like I should keep this interview.  So, next Friday, April 4th, I am interviewing.  So, I could use some prayer warriors on that front because I'm a bit torn and am not sure what I'd do for childcare, which would potentially only be needed a couple hours three days/week thanks to Hubs' mostly-afternoons schedule.

"Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all of your ways, acknowledge HIm, and He will direct your paths" - Prov 3:5-6

We are trusting God in this whole process that He will open doors for things that probably wouldn't have been possible without this change.

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