I have wanted to update this for a bit, but just haven't gotten around to it. So, here's a nutshell with a few reflections to share.
In June we left Texas since we were still getting paid from Aaron's compensation package. (They make it sound like a sweet deal with that title and all you "get" with it, but it's really just to glaze over the fact that you lost your job unexpectedly from their mistakes... yes, I'm still bitter and yes, I am still choosing to ignore it instead of deal with it. But at least I recognize it, right??) So we could travel and have a "vacation" without worrying about a paycheck for a bit.
We visited and stayed with a few of Aaron's students along the way in Houston and New Orleans. We were able to visit the French Quarter, which was new for both of us. After a LONG 15 hour drive that was meant to be 12, with a 3 month old and a 2 year old, as well as some marital strife, we finally made it to SW Florida.
We were intending to stay for 3 weeks and then travel up to NC for a few weeks, and finally back to Kentucky to pick up where we left off when this Texas job swept us off our feet. After our shorter then expected tumble head over heals, here we were, bruised from the fall, in SW Florida. Clueless and bitter. We began to see how someone else's mistake was really going to effect us in full force. So much was given up to go in the beginning. We'd have so much more accomplished with Aaron's school if we never went. But how were we to know. Looking back, if we had known it was only going to be a year, we don't know if we would have even gone.... but we don't know that we wouldn't have either. It would have been an entirely different mindset to know up front I guess.
So, after a handful of weeks, we chose to stay in Florida. It's the first time we chose to live somewhere with no real "reason" as to why we were there. I can't begin to express the things we talked about, struggles we tried to work through, feelings and emotions drawn out. All while living with family in cramped spaces, trying to keep the appearance of having it all together in this step. It exhausts me to think about again. I don't think I even know fully what Aaron was going through/dealing with during that time. He was trying to keep from piling more on me, and I was trying to do the same with my feelings and emotions. Yes, it was a lot. It's also why I haven't updated in a bit. I just haven't wanted to think about what our summer looked like for us.
We went back and forth with our decision up until the day we put our first months rent and deposit down on our new place. We just didn't have any strong, good reasons to be anywhere. I had to start working at a day care to help until Aaron found a reliable job. Again, I can't express the emotions this brought out. I enjoyed the work and talking to adults during the day, but I struggled with the girls being in daycare, even though they were in the same building as me. It was bitter sweet as most would say about being a working mom. But God took care of us and after a few months I was able to stop working and stay home again. God has provided through Aaron's job and I have been able to nanny a few days a week for a little extra.
We've lived in our new place for 2 months now. I think we are finally "settled" in. Or at least close. I still get frustrated that we can't just unpack everything and live here with the mentality that we are here to invest and stay for a bit. At the same time, it's hard to live with that mentality when we don't want to be here for a while.
I struggle some with wanting to just be the normal family that doesn't have to think about how much work or effort we are willing to put into moving in because it's just temporary. I don't want to wonder when the next opportunity may come along and we do this all over again. And yet, maybe that opportunity will finally be the one that we can settle in for a while. If that's the case, bring it on! I'm ready! I'm torn between how much we invest here and now, and knowing we just don't know how long this will be for. I don't want to do all this again, and yet, I am expecting it to come at any minute. It prevents me from giving 100% in either direction.
I knew this would be an issue. I knew I would hold back. But I am trying.
I still see effects of someone else's mistakes. Little things overlooked, realized and "fixed" in the best interest of those who made the mistake to begin with. Yes, I am still bitter. When I think about them and where they are all at now, I know they brushed their hands clean and kept operating as though it had never happened. Taking as short a moment as they needed to adjust to their new way of operating. Most didn't blink and eye. They won't know or understand the emotional and mental issues brought out for us. They don't have to know it, so why would they try. I wish they could feel as Aaron did about himself and his abilities, just for a moment. I wish they could experience it so they could do things differently for the next guy they put out. (which I can say knowing they eventually will, since we were not the only ones at this time either.)
No. I'm not going to deal with it yet, so don't encourage me to.
So here we are.
On a lighter note, I really like our new place. It's very open and spacious, and we have a real working fireplace! Of course, we won't need it near as much as I would like for this time of year, but that's ok too. Fall hasn't arrived here yet, and it won't, which makes me a little sad and "home sick". Not really home sick though. Just makes me think a lot about how it "should" feel right now, which is discerned based on memories of things we did this time of year in the weather we "should" be having right now. And I'm so very excited for Thanksgiving.
It's a busy month for me and I'm a little overwhelmed at some deadlines coming up in a matter of days, but we will get there. Even if goals are not achieved. I can't help but feel as though they MUST be met though. As though these accomplishments will prove that something has been productive. Something has value during this season. I need something to have value and productivity where we are at right now. I just do. Even if they are just stupid personal goals and motivations to try something. If they aren't met, no one is going to know but me anyway.
But, I will know. I guess that's the point of personal goals. My OCD perfectionistic self will know. How in the world did a youngest child end up with so much First born traits?! It is my stumbling block and the thorn in my flesh.
Madison is more and more verbal every day... literally. Some of the things she says are incredible. She's just about 2 1/2 and she has yet to go through "terrible twos". She's a very sweet and polite little girl who usually uses her manners. We have our melt downs and tantrums, but nothing I would describe as "terrible". Nor is it all the time. And we can usually have pretty descent talks about them. She absolutely loves anything girly! I love watching her pretend with her dolls and little house with the kitchen. She's pretty incredible. She loves music like no child I have ever seen, but she always has. She plays on the drums after church a lot and can actually keep a beat. She has never just sat there and beat on the drums just to beat on them. She's actually tried to play them, and even adds some singing now and then. I'm pretty sure we are going to have a musician of some sort with her.
Eden is a few days shy of 7 months and she began sitting from laying down on her own 3 weeks ago, before she could sit without support. But she mastered that within a few days and 4 days after that began crawling and pulling up to her knees on the same day. This past week she has been pulling up to her feet and just yesterday started walking her feet in to thing. I'm pretty sure she will be taking solo steps by Christmas. It's insane how much she has learned in the last 3 weeks. She's still as bald as can be and looks way to young to be crawling. We are certain she is going to be super advanced and athletic. She is a mover and a go getter!
Madison is now in a toddler bed as of this week, and loves it. She was in her crib with the one side off, so it was pretty much a big girl bed anyway, but now we are able to put Eden in the crib, which is nice. Eden still refuses to sleep through the night. We've literally tried every trick in the book. She insists on two feedings minimum. 7 months of this is exhausting!! We are hoping to really work on this, but then again, we have been for months and I'm running out of ideas!
We also have a new dog named Daisy. She's a sweet King charleston Cavalier. She's a pretty dog and loves to be right next to you all the time. She's good with the girls and lets them play around with her. She does bark a bit, but we are working on it. She didn't use to beg for food at all, but Madison has been sure to reverse that! We are really trying to work on that now, as she's getting bold enough to snatch food (gently) right from Madison's hands, since she's on her level.
I am really enjoying being home with my girls. I am enjoying watching them grow and change. I'm really REALLY excited that tomorrow is Halloween, mostly because it marks the start of the holiday season to me. And I absolutely LOVE this time of year. I'm pretty excited to have it to look forward to and I can't wait to make it as special as I can. Our family deserves something special, and I really want to pour all I can into making it just that. I know it may mean more to me then to the rest of my family, but they can't argue when they will get to enjoy it too!
Tidbits of Us
- I am the wife of an amazing man, seeking hard after God's will for his family, and the mother of 3 beautiful little girls and a 4th baby lost in pregnancy, who all pull at my heartstrings continually. Life has been a whirlwind since our wedding in 2008, including seminary, adventures in camp ministry, missions in Kosovo, and countless moves and God's fingerprints are throughout it all. We are blessed and encouraged that He is equipping us continually for the ministry ahead and pray we are great stewards to all he has entrusted to us, in family, friends, ministry, finances, and of course, the gospel.