What comes first?

Ok, so operation "find a new job" is underway.  I am relieved to have hubby on board and we have come up with a tentative plan on how to proceed.  I mean, a really loose idea that could change any moment.  Problem is, now we have sooooo many options its almost terrifying.

We have determined we will probably have to move.  There really aren't any viable options in our current city.  That, coupled with other factors, has led us to search out relocation options.  Here is our wish list:

  1. Close to family.  Both our parents are 3-4 hours away.  We would like to be closer, maybe in the middle?  Or in the same town as one set?  Our parents are only going to get older and it is a priority for us to be close enough to provide care for them.  Plus, there is the free baby-sitting.....
  2. Large-er size city.  I am a city girl at heart, I like being close to shopping, entertainment, good schools, etc.  I want an easy commute.  Plus, hubby may eventually go back to work and we need job opportunities close by for him and me if I need to change again....
  3. Better schools for the kiddos.  They aren't *horrible* here, but need to be at least as good if not a better opportunity for the kids.
  4. Laws and regulations governing my current job are ridiculous.  Those vary from state to state and even if I find another job in another city within the current state, I'll still have to deal with the frustrating laws and consequences.  I don't intentionally break the law, but I feel the ones out there are making it difficult to focus on the people I am here to help.  Instead, I'm more often forced to spend the majority of my time on those that are trying to skirt the system and abuse medications.  I just want to help people, not be a cop/detective/shrink.
And that's it.  See, its really not that specific, so there are plenty of options.  We've pretty much narrowed it down to Charlotte, Greensboro, or Raleigh.  The next part is where I am having the most difficulty.  I need a job.  We don't want to move until A is done with school.  So that puts us to June.  I need to get licensed in NC before I can get a job.  Plus, we need to sell our house. Timing the logistics of all those things is daunting.  So what do I do first?  Getting a new license can take a few months, so obviously I need to get started on that.  But should I start applying for other jobs even though my license isn't completed?  Isn't it understood that I will have an active license in the state I am to work?  Should I just add that to the cover letter?  I don't think we will put our house on the market until I have a job offer; to me that makes the most sense.  I don't want the house to sell before we move and not have a place to live before A finishes the school year.  I could just try to transfer with my current company and then find a new job once we move.  Then, we could just plan on moving this summer and the kids settled before a new school year.  But I really don't like my current position.  See where I am torn?  Plus, I'm not telling anyone I work with of my plans.  Not until I have something more concrete planned out.  Does that make sense?  I should give them more than two weeks notice, especially if I am transferring within the company, but I don't think they need 6 months.

It helps to write it all out.  I realize most of you reading probably don't care one way or another.  Its a lot to think about, especially since the decisions I make affect more people than just me.  Last time we moved, we just had to worry about finding a new place to rent.  I transferred within the same company and we were renting to begin with.  We had to pay rent for two places for two to three months, but we were able to budget for that.  Now, we have to add in selling a house, finding a new house, plus figuring out schools, in addition to a new job.  My mind is spinning.

The good news is that I'm excited.  My job is slightly more tolerable since I *think* I have an end in sight.  I love to dream and I'm dreaming of a new, better life.  I know I need to be thankful for the life that's right in front of me, but I am eager to make it better for my family.  Honestly, I haven't been that happy since moving here.  And for the first time in three years, I have hope that may change.



Today, its been nine years.

There isn't anyone else I would rather spend that much time with.  We've only been apart and handful of times.

I love you.  I don't want to imagine those nine years any other way than by your side.



Oscar came into our lives on Sept 20, 2013.  He was an unexpected surprise, but just what our family needed at that time.

The month leading up to Oscar's arrival was VERY eventful.  A had started school and the evaluation process to get her qualified for speech services.  She also began asking for an "orange kitty".  Whenever we would visit a pet store, she always wanted to look at the cats for adoption, specifically looking for an orange one.  While taking our other cat,  Coco, to the vet for her check up, I inquired about rescue cats.  They said they would call if an orange kitten was turned in to them.

The week prior to Oscar was very trying.  A's school had called and emailed.  She was refusing to eat her lunch at school.  She was reported to be disruptive in class, the school wanted her evaluated for Autism.  We had heard enough.  My husband went to school to observe the class, teacher, etc.  It was not pretty.  Our daughter was separated from the other students.  Her desk placement did allow her to view the teacher.  The other students shunned her.  She was completely unlike her self, did not eat, did not play, sought ways to leave the room.  She had checked out.  It was devastating for my husband to watch.  We were both in agony, because we knew our daughter did not have the speech and language  capacity to tell us what was happening.  She couldn't say the kids were mean, or she couldn't see the teacher.  She didn't know how to ask for help.  She did not return to school the next day.  We made an appointment with our pediatrician to seek more guidance and drafted a letter to withdraw her from school.  My husband and I were sick.  We felt we failed our daughter as parents.

The morning of the 20th, we took A to the doctor.  We briefly explained what had been going on over the last few months and wanted her opinion.  We received a referral to a developmental pediatrician and hope that we may get answers.  We left optimistic.  While we were out, the Vet's office called.  Someone had brought in an abandoned orange kitten.  It needed a home, were we interested?  Well, of course!  We drove down to take a look.  A and I went in to check out the kitten.  And oh-mi-gosh, my child was beside herself with glee!  "An orange keetee!" she cried. There is no way she could smile any wider.  I about cried myself.  After the emotional week, here was my daughter, still full of joy and excitement.  We took the little orange kitty home, and A chose the name Oscar.  She loves him and he tolerates her.  September 20 was also my birthday, so in a way, the joy he brings my Princess is my birthday gift.

Funny how I wrote this a few days ago, and now Oscar hasn't come home in 24 hours.  He usually doesn't stray to far, but we had a really warm day and didn't think too much of it.  Now a cold front is coming through and we are starting to get worried.  We've done the walk around the neighborhood calling for him a few times.  Keep him in your prayers because I know A would be devastated if he doesn't come home.


Resolution? Goals? Self Help Promises?

I don't really like New Year Resolutions.  To me, they conjure up images of empty promises and failure. I'm not sure why I feel that way, I've sensed it since I was a child. Therefore, I never really make resolutions as I don't want to set myself up for failure.

I believe I need to remedy this ideology.  Setting goals and ways of attaining them is part of my identity.  I love to make lists and check off tasks.  I enjoy the sense of accomplishment.  It only makes sense that I should identify specific goals (nothing lofty) with a plan in place to achieve them.  Writing them down is my first step, along with publishing them.  Even if no one reads this, there is that possibility, and thus the motivation factor of someone else knowing besides me.  Does that sound like I'm trying to blackmail myself? Anyway...onto the meat.

Financial:  Pay off the credit card.  Ok, so this is a goal revisited.  We have been working on paying off the debt for a few years now.  We've come a long way, but the last few months we've been carrying a credit card balance again.  I'd like to have this done in 6 months.  We will focus on our cash budget system again ( it really helps! especially with saving!)  Once the credit card is done, we will focus on the car payment.  Then only two more hefty student loans.  I feel that we will never have my student loans done!

Blogging:  I aim to blog twice per month.  Instead of online shopping maybe I can write a few posts.  The more often I write, the more the words seem to flow.  The more time between posts and my daily life seems insignificant, destroying my desire to write.

Personal:  Take more pictures, and not just on my iPhone.  We have a nice camera, however, it rarely got used last year.  Since we always had our iPhones, we rarely found the time to dig out the bulky camera.  However, when it came time to make our yearbook, I didn't have enough high quality pictures.  I'd also like to learn more about the settings on our camera, so I'm more confident in my ability.  Plus, it would be nice to have well-lit, in-focus images the majority of the time.

Personal:  Increase my physical activity.  Do something outside three times per week.  Ideally, I'd like to get the kids involved, but I think I will start with myself first.  We have a dog that is always up for a walk, I can ride my bike, or I can escape to walk alone.

House: Paint the entryway.  Hire someone to paint the high stuff.  Participate in the Cure at Apartment Therapy and set more goals for the house based on that experience.

Work:  I'm not sure about this one.  Either I need another job, or I need to come to terms with the one I have. I had a trial period of working less hours last fall and that will become permanent at the end of January.  I've always wanted to work less and I'm fortunate to have this opportunity.  I really hope it brightens my outlook for my current situation.  However, I am really unhappy with my job and there aren't really any better prospects close by.  Moving would be a drastic option and a hard sell to my family.  This is an area I need to intensely pray about.

Spiritual:  Find a church home for the family.  Seriously.

Hmmm, I suppose that's a good start?  Perhaps I should set a reminder on my calendar to check in on these in a month or so and see how its going?  I feel I run the risk of forgetting once I hit post...


2014 begins....

Wow, its been quite a year.  I've barely blogged, yet life has been full.  I have missed blogging, nevertheless, I am always able to come up with an excuse.

The last year has been an eventful one, although its painfully obvious I haven't documented it.  Here's a recap:

January: tried to blog, failed miserably. Also, I cut my hair, from middle of my back to bob length!

February: started working solely at one store.  I love having a set schedule, but the 12 hour days are hard on the body and soul.  The pharmacy isn't overtly hectic and I am able to form relationships with my patients.  It takes a while, but by the end of the year I experience some really sweet bonds.  Who knew some of these customers had something to teach me and help me out personally as well.

March: my Princess turned five!  My brother and sister-in-law visited!

April:  we got a dog, I think.  Maybe we got him in March.  Anyway, his name is Duncan and he is a Collie.  We got him for two reasons, Hubby has always wanted a dog and I promised we could get one once we moved to South Carolina, owned a house, and had a fenced in yard.  Also, because Princess is terrified of dogs and we wanted to help her overcome it.

May:  I can't think of anything terribly eventful.  I did yardwork?  Went to the beach.

June: Princess graduated from Preschool! Also, traded our Versa in for a Forrester.  A tiny car felt smaller with two kiddos and a growing dog.  And Hubby got a sun roof, its the small things, right?  Oh, and Chipotle came to Myrtle Beach!

July:  Hubby turned 31.  Family trip to Greensboro to visit the in-laws and more beach time.  I worked on house projects (painting living room, spray painting coffee table, you know, fun stuff)  Pay off a student loan!

August:  This month was difficult.  Princess started Kindergarten.  We chose to send her to a Catholic school, but that didn't turn out to be a good fit.  We knew she had a speech delay, but didn't realize how severe until school started.  Cue lots of emotions, testing, questions, fears, etc.

September: Evaluations continue for A.  I reduce my hours at work.  We eventually pull her out of school after a morning observation.  It was a parents nightmare.  Thank God my husband and I are a united front with our children, I don't know what I would do without him.  I may blog more about this, as I can't go into much detail here.  I also turn 32.  We also adopt a cat, Oscar.  Its another story worth its own post.

October:  We continue to homeschool and have A evaluated to see what her special needs are, if any.  Luckily, we have some counsel from one of my patients who is a retired teacher.  God really looks out for us.  Kiddos dress up at Superman for Halloween.  Both of them. Another haircut and color change. Sometimes your outward appearance it the only thing you can change in your life.

November: Handsome turns four!  He is obsessed with dinosaurs and sharks and cars.  A's evaluations are complete.  We decided to keep her in preschool for another year and enroll her in a Child Development Preschool in our district.  She receives Speech Education at school and turns into another child.  She blossoms.  Spend Thanksgiving at my Parents house.  Breathe a sigh of relief.

December:  Its a whirlwind of a month.  Finally settle into a school routine with A and see steady improvement.  We still have a ways to go, but know we are on the right track.  Enjoy vacation time from work and tackle a few more house improvements (more painting, room re-arranging)  We celebrate Christmas twice and my children are beyond blessed, spoiled?  I might need to place limits on gifts, seriously.

This year my children were my blessing and my pain.  Parenting is more difficult with each passing year, yet still holds great rewards.  Some days they are the only thing that keeps me going.

A enjoyed riding her bike in the neighborhood.  We had some special times, riding just the two of us.  It was the first experience I had of enjoying something together and not just doing some for her enjoyment.  She loves Duncan and Oscar.  She also enjoys drawing, dressing as a Princess, and playing video games.

H has lived the year of the dinosaur.  He has watched some many documentaries on Netflix he sometimes speaks with a British accent.  We have to remind him he is a little boy and boys don't growl or crawl on the ground.  He also loves sharks and race cars.  He also is learning to ride a bike and enjoys riding with Daddy and Duncan.

2013 has been a roller coaster of a year.  I can't imagine what 2014 will hold.