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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why does God think I'm so strong?

I've always told people, and truly believed, that God would never give me more than I could handle in times of trial.  And that He always knows how long we can bear the trials for.  And so today, I wish He didn't believe that my family and me are so strong.  We've been through some pretty difficult financial times in the last couple years.  Along the way we've had blessings at just the right time.  I felt like we were really making progress by getting to our "forever home".  But as I start to look around, I feel as though we may have made a huge mistake.  There's much work to be done on this house, and not much money to do it.  I slacked off a bit last month, believing Jon would be paid for track and that check didn't come in.  We'll get that money, just not until next month.  We had to pull from saving a little to pay the credit card in full.  It will be close this month after needing a new tire for me and a new headlight assembly for Jon.  Things we literally could not avoid paying for.  And of course the usual payments for car registration don't help things this month.  We thought the washer was done over the weekend, but thank God it started back up again and seems fine.  With the terrible storms last night, though, we have leaks inside the house.  We're pretty sure it's related to water entering a vent in one spot.  But then I looked up and noticed a water mark on the ceiling.  Now, I could be imagining this, but I don't think it was there before.  I also think it grew throughout the afternoon, when it wasn't even raining.  I've drawn on the ends and will take another look in the morning.  But it seems we will need to replace the roof, and we don't have $10k to do that.  We will get one more estimate.  I really would like to have it done properly, which would also mean new gutters and soffits at the same time.  But with no major change in income, I'm not really comfortable committing to lay that much out when we know there are also other repairs (plumbing) on the near horizon.

A decision regarding my full time position has been delayed.  Due to the tragedy in Boston, flights were messed up for the VP, and final interviews were then delayed.  It looks like I won't hear until some time next week.  Jon had an interview today as well.  It would be a good raise ($12k), but not as big as other places he's interviewed.

I continue to be torn about whether I want this full time position at this time in life.  The money would be great and the mental stimulation was be awesome.  I've been feeling somewhat stuck lately and am certainly ready for a new challenge.  I think I could perform the job very well, possibly better than they would anticipate since I am very efficient with my time and great with technology.  They know me well and should have a solid idea of my abilities since I've been with the company for 5.5 years, and 4.5 years in some type of management role.  But, then there's James.  He deserves to have me full time until he reaches kindergarten.  I love the type of kid Carolyn is turning out to be.  Yes, I'd like it if she would stop getting up at night.  But she won't be 10 and getting out of bed just to be tucked in again.  She's a terrific little girl that excels in everything she tries, and I like to think I had something to do with that.  I know James isn't the same kid.  But if I'm honest with myself, I think he'd miss something by being put in preschool during the week.  I know he won't have Carolyn home to play with in the mornings.  But she'll be home before noon.  By the time she's picked up the bus, we'll have time to get him to an activity and home, he'll barely miss her.  He likes having time to just play around the house too.  If I send him to preschool, he'll miss that time.  I was just thinking that a great schedule for him next year would be 2 activities, library, a day with me at home, and then a day with Jon's dad or out at some fun activity or another day at home depending on how he's feeling.  I was just telling his swim teacher today how I don't think kids this age really learn anything but bad habits from each other.  And I do believe that.  Am I just convincing myself of this so I'll be less disappointed if I don't get the job?  Or do I really feel this way?  I'm not sure I'll ever really know.  Tough spot to be in right now.

Dear God, you know what we can handle.  I feel like I'm at my breaking point.  I'm waiting for your blessings to come pouring in our family right now, but I feel like I'm barely above the water.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Turning 5 today!

Dear Carolyn,
Today you turned 5 years old.  It's hard for me to imagine that it's really been 5 years.  But then it's also hard to remember life before you arrived.  It's amazing to watch you grow and learn new things every day.  You are developing into a wonderful little girl, and I love that you are quickly picking up on the important things in life.

It's been awesome to watch you learn to read in the last couple months.  You already have well over 400 sight words and can spell at least 100 of them.  You can do many math problems and love to do science experiments.  It's fun to read with/to you about the presidents and different science topics.  Your love for learning is contagious and breeds an attitude of love for books within our home.  Your energy when you run around the house, splash in the pool, climb at the park, or swing at gymnastics knows no bounds.  It has been amazing to see you learn so many athletic skills in such a short amount of time.

You have quickly learned what's most important in life - spending time with those you love.  It's a joy to watch you play with your brother and see how close the two of you are.  I hope you maintain that relationship as you grow older and have different interests.  I appreciate that you tolerate his desire to do everything you do.  It's a sign of how much he loves having you as a big sister.  You're doing a great job showing him excellent manners.  Seeing how excited you were about every present yesterday and your eagerness to give each person a giant hug and say thank you immediately was fantastic.  I could tell you really appreciated the time each person put into choosing your gifts.  Seeing you spend time with each person who came yesterday was fun too.  It's fun to have a lot of people share your life and enjoy playing with you.

You bring a lot of joy and energy into our house, and I thank God every day he brought you to me and Dad.  I hope as you go off to school in a couple months that the foundation we've provided you will serve you well.  I will continue to enjoy watching you grow and learn new things.  And I will continue to be here for you, forever.  You'll likely hear many new things once you start school, and I hope you know you can always come home and ask me or Dad questions about what you heard.  Keep doing what you're doing, sweetie, because it's really working.  When you meet some harder obstacles, know we'll always be here to help you out. 

Love always,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

So many possibilities

I haven't written in a while, and things have been crazy.  Easter was last weekend and we had a nice family celebration with both sides of the family.  Jon was back to work last week and had 2 meets.  I was surprised with a full time job posting and interview.  I locked us out of the house and so we replaced the locks as we had been intending.  But today was a calmer day and we had a great afternoon at the park.

In an attempt to calm my mind, and thinking it was a warm day (it was chilly), we headed to the park this afternoon.  Both kids enjoyed the swinging, climbing, and sliding.  A group of kids were there and they played follow the leader with them for a while.  Once those kids left, we played with our kids as the leaders.  I followed James and Jon followed Carolyn.  They both seemed to really like being in charge, and everyone got some great exercise out of it.  I'll definitely be pulling this idea out when there aren't other kids to play with at the park.  It's always awesome and amazing to me how well James and Carolyn play together and with other kids.  I also commented to Jon today that I love that our kids do not need electronics to keep them occupied.  When we got home, the kids and Jon read about James Madison and Monroe while I started dinner.  After dinner, the kids went into their playroom and played nicely together.  I suspect we'll get some good sleep from them tonight as well.

Jon is of course anxiously awaiting a call from HS where he interviewed over spring break.  Other openings have popped up, or are anticipated soon, which gives him hope to escape his current school.  He just feels very beaten down and that he's not able to service kids appropriately.

Unexpectedly, about 10 days ago I received an email regarding a full time science manager position with my current company.  I submitted my cover letter and resume, hoping to get an interview.  I interviewed this last Thursday and now I sit and wait about another 10 days to see if I'm chosen.  Of course, I have mixed feelings about the position.  It's perfect, everything I would hope for, but not perfect timing.  I never envisioned going full time again until James started first grade - so 3 more years.  But this is too good of a position to pass up, especially after I found out it pays ~$60k - to work at home!  It could even give us the option of Jon taking a year of parental leave while still coaching.  We would end up having a higher total income if he even just kept his track position.  Plus our expenses would shrink without his commute.  In the meantime, we'd hope for another opening.  But that all depends on whether he finds another position this year.

There are just many possibilities of where our lives could lead right now.  And the good news is that we should have a pretty firm grasp on where we're headed by the end of the month.  We have been blessed with some amazing things over the years and pray that God continues to pour out his blessings in the coming weeks.  I'm not sure what the plan is for our family, but I anxiously await the results.

Ready for another crazy week with Carolyn turning 5 next Sunday.  It's hard to believe so much has happened since she was born.  But when I sit with her, it's hard to believe she's truly only 5.  I look forward to continuing watching her develop as well.