Saturday, May 29, 2010

The new house

So did I mention we've moved? We got tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop with the old house and the mortgage, so we found a nice little house to rent.

That pic was taken back when we got a little unexpected spring snow.

Bonuses to the new house:

~Smaller, so our utility bills are lower
~Zoned for a different elementary school, one that should be better with Julian's ADHD
~A fenced back yard!
~Closer to daycare, closer to work for me, and not too much farther for Brian
~Closer to church
~The ice cream man comes through our neighborhood
~Within walking distance of a park with a good playground

Downsides to the new house:

~Smaller, so we're REALLY having to get rid of a lot of stuff. We've been making many a trip to Goodwill and Manna House to donate things. We're still moving some things from the old house, and we're going to be getting rid of some of the things we brought, thinking we'd keep, because we just don't have the room for them. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it's just a challenge for me - I am the queen of stuff, especially kitchen stuff.

One thing I do know: Moving is a pain. Moving with two kids is a bigger pain. Moving piecemeal with two kids is an even bigger pain still. Next time we move, it will all be packed and sorted and ready to go on the truck, even if we're just going ten miles across town like we did this time.

We're hopeful that this will be a good move for us, though. I'd like to see us here at least three years, so that Julian can finish out his elementary years in the same school, and Rhys won't have started elementary yet. But that remains to be seen. For now, we're all moved out and trying to wind things up with the old house. Personally, I'm looking forward to having a weekend where nothing major has to be cleaned, packed, or moved!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So much to write about, I really don't know where to start!

Lots has been going on since I really took time to blog last. I'll think of things I'd like to talk about during the day (while I'm at work and can't get to my blog), but by the time I get home, either I forget or I'm just too tired to make the effort. That's pretty sad!

Speaking of work, let's start there. I'm not real happy at my current job - it's a field I've landed in due to career choices that seemed like good ideas at the time, and it's not where I think I want to be. I work in an industry that's been dinged a lot by the federal government lately, and that's kind of scary, because who knows what "interventions" they may decide on in the future and how that might affect jobs. There continue to be murmurings that more layoffs may be possible, and we're told that we really need to step it up (this when we've already taken on a lot more responsibility from other departments within the company, we're working short-handed, and we're learning several different new systems at the same time). I'm already stressed, both by work and by things going on in my life outside of work, and this just adds to it. I'm the main breadwinner for our family (my husband is working full-time, loves his job, but I make more) and I carry the insurance for our boys, so it's not like I can just chuck it if I can't take it anymore.

I'm not averse to changing directions entirely - I'm considering several things I think I could do and be good at. The thing is, they all seem to require more education, and our budget just doesn't have an extra few thousand dollars in it for me to throw at education. I've got a law degree, but I'm not cut out to practice law, and I've been out of the practice of law so long, I'm not sure I'd even get a second glance for any "traditional" legal position.

I would love, love, love something where I can work from home, have more flexibility with my family. There was a time in my life when I thought I'd never get married, never have kids. Now I have a wonderful family, and it's killing me that I can't do for them like I wish I could. It kills me to not be able to be there for my kids like my mom was for me. My older son was sick earlier this year, and had to stay home for several days. I had to tell him that no, I wouldn't be the one staying home with him because I had to go to work, I didn't have time to take off, dad will be home with you. I can't stand missing field trips and parties and volunteer opportunities at school. And I'll have to go through it all again with my younger son as he gets older unless something changes in a big way.

It doesn't help that my mom stayed home after they adopted me and kept an immaculate house and put hot meals on the table every day in addition to being there for most everything I did. I'm doing good if I get breakfast at all, and if it's a good day, there will be Pop-Tarts in the house so my older son can eat one in the car on the way to school. And logically I know that with me working full-time, I can't do all that she did. I just hate it that the situation is such that I'll probably never have the chance to do for my family like she did for hers.

I hate my schedule. I hate that most days I have to wake my kids up before the sun is up to get them to where they need to be. I hate that by the time I get home, my baby is getting tired and cranky, and it's a challenge to get dinner and bath in before he's a raging grump. And some nights it takes so long to get dinner on the table that he's screaming all the way through it while we try to bolt down our meals so that we can take care of him.

I'm not cut out for corporate America. I don't give a rat's patoot about dressing up in a suit for work and wearing heels and moving up the ladder, having a schmancy job with a schmancy title and a big corner office. Do. Not. Care. I want to have a job that gives me some flexibility in my schedule, pays me enough to meet my family's needs, and where I occasionally hear that yes, I am doing a good job instead of just hearing about all the things I do wrong. I honestly don't even care if there's room for advancement, as long as it's something I can stick with for the long term (and if it gives me flexibility for family, I think I could stick with most anything). If I could go back in time, I'd tell my college-age self to steer clear of law school, stick it out with a science major or go into computers, and maybe have a shot at doing something I enjoy that might be a little more flexible.

It feels like I'm missing out on the most important things in my life, the most important people in my life, and I feel powerless to stop it or change it or make it better. I hate that.

I pray about this. Daily. Hourly. All the time. I'm sure I've made choices in life (choices in my education, my career) where I didn't truly seek God's will or didn't pay attention when He told me which way I should go, and I've ended up here as the result of some of those choices. I'm just praying that I haven't gotten myself into a position where God is going to leave me for a while, and if I am meant to be here even longer, I hope it's not God's way of telling me, "See, you should have talked to Me first, you didn't, and so now I'm just going to let you stew for a while." If God wants me elsewhere, I'm praying that He'll open a door and soon. If it means I need more education/certification, I'm glad to do it if He'll provide the resources, because I sure can't dig out money for any education on my own, not with what I have now. If it means I just need to wait until the right opportunity comes along, then I need the stamina to bear up here, especially on days like today where it feels well nigh unbearable. I know we may never know God's reasons for doing things one way or the other, but I sure wish I knew why He's kept me here for nearly six years now, and I wish I had an inkling of how much longer He might keep me here, and for what purpose. It might make those unbearable days a little bit easier.

If you, dear reader, could spare a prayer, I'd appreciate it. If God wants me to stay where I am (which He's clearly wanted for the last six years, as I'm sure there are days, weeks and months where I stayed only by His grace), then He needs to give me strength to do my job to the best of my abilities, and if He wants me somewhere else, He needs to open a door and point me toward it and work that all out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Body image, blessings and God's love

I've had a lot of things going on in my life the past few years that haven't been exactly fun to deal with, and some days it's really easy for me to get down and to forget to count my blessings. So....

There was a discussion about body image on a board I frequent. One poster made the point that a healthy body image is one where we honor God foremost, eating right and exercising, but not to excess.

And this got me to thinking. I'm certainly nowhere near my ideal weight. I've tried more weight loss plans than I care to think about, and there's no nice way around it, I'm fat. When I started thinking about the body image discussion, I thought, wow, I'm really not doing a good job of honoring God by the way I take care of my body.

And that got me around to the blessing part. I'm not perfect, not by a long shot. I don't always succeed at honoring God in all areas of my life. My dress size will attest to that. And yet, in spite of my imperfections, He loves me so much that He sent His son to die on a cross and give me the gift of eternal life.

For God so loved the world (that includes me! Lisa!) that He sent His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. --John 3:16

Even with all the messy things this world can throw at me, I am blessed indeed.