A Force

Ever been overwhelmed? Felt the weight of all your worries, fears and doubts bearing down on you? It’s easy to get burried in those moments, but it’s equally easy to be burried in the good moments.
This month I’m celebrating 15 years at my company and received my certificate today…my first visit to our corporate offices. I took photos with a friend (who was also celebrating an anniversary) with our “Be a force for GOOD” wall and as I was looking through the photos this afternoon, I thought, What a powerful statement!!!!

While I do want to “be a force for good,” I also want to be surrounded by others who are forces for good….and when I take a look, I am.

We could start with the obvious…my amazing family, but that’s the easy way out and they get a lot of blog time already.

So let’s start with the less obvious…my neighbors! When we first moved into the neighborhood, everyone wanted to connected. We have a book club that meets monthly and all the kids are always playing, but the true gems are my more immediate neighbors. The ones that moved in later or with us.  

C moved in the week after us. We refer to each other as house twins, as we have the same style and color, but she is light years ahead of us in interior design. Her home looks amazing in just a few short months and ours looks like we just moved in. The odd thing is we’ve only spoken once….in six months! But our sons play together daily and let me tell you, you can tell a lot from a persons children. E (and his older sister H), are polite, respectful, not afraid of adults and not crazy loud. Isaac started walking home with E a few months ago and C always keeps me updated. I feel like we can really count on each other, even if we aren’t best friends. 

A few houses away is S and her daughter L. L is a crazy loud (but in a fun way) beautiful little girl. She is smart, respectful and can speak her mind. She is a perfect strongwilled match for Isaac. A great positive influence. L definitely gets a lot of her positive energy from her mom. S is so bright and energetic. In addition to being fun to be around and L being a good influence for Isaac, S is always willing to let Isaac come over for a few hours.

In December, the house across the street was finally sold. It took a few months but we soon learned they had a young son (Lynzie’s age, but Isaac’s size) and M is one of those people who has a way of encouraging and motivating people to accomplish goals, be productive and be healthy without judgement. A safe zone. 

In another world, I have others who share these same qualities. I work with amazing people! People who support, people who smile, people who laugh. Intelligent people, productive people, strong, energetic people.

I want to learn from these people. I want to grow and be better than I am. I want these people to see me as a force for good as well. A person they want to be around and learn from.

Myspace

The thing about writing is you have to do it.  You have to MAKE time for it.  Just like anything else that is important – making dinner, working out, spending time with friends and family.  It’s easy to say you are too busy — but am I really?

Lynzie went to the doctor today.  She is in the 35% for height, but a bit smaller on the weight side.  She answered all the doctors questions and the doctor suggested a multivitamin since she eats no veggies and very limited fruit.  I can get onboard with that.  Jury is still out on the doctor…we’ll see.

My sister moved to Alabama last week.  She only had six weeks lead time and when she told me she was moving we had a debate in the house on what states bordered Alabama….no one was 100% correct.  We do not know our southern states, or eastern for that matter.

Today we were going to Skype….but turns out she doesn’t have it on her phone.  I didn’t remember my password and after I logged in I decided I’d change my profile photo and I noticed I had a tag line directing people to Myspace.  WHAT?  Myspace?  Does that even still exist?

So I logged in to Myspace.  Can you believe I could remember that password and I haven’t logged in in years, but I couldn’t remember Skype and I just had to change that a few months ago….does that mean my short-term memory is going?

Myspace is different.  I doubt I’ll hangout there, but I did scroll through all my photos….many of them are also on Facebook, but seeing them in a single stream and scrolling through them is different.  I stopped using Myspace shortly after Isaac was born, so the photos there are pre-kids, while Facebook is overwhelmed with all my children’s photos.

It’s funny how seeing photos of the past can bring such emotions, but hands down, what I feel is happy.  We had good times (still do)!

But it’s also a bit sad….the kids will never meet their Dad’s grandparents….and while they knew my grandparents, they won’t remember them, maybe Mom’s mom, but not Dad’s.  They know my mom, but they will never really know her.  And now with Stacy moved to Alabama, they will know their cousins, but not as well (hopefully better than I knew mine).  It’s a sad reality, but if we wallow in that, we miss out on all the great things around us.

So we spend more time as a family.  We take photos, so that someday I can see again that we were happy (and still are)!

 

Isaac goes to the doctor

I began this blog as a way to document our lives for the kids.  Then the kids came along and I rarely post.  I used to post almost daily an last year I post 5 times!!!  At least I captured the seriously big things….but so many of the little things get missed.  And my writing suffers as a result.

I took Isaac to the doctor for his well care visit the other day.  Our favorite doctor retired and I sure do miss him!  Isaac has always been between the 1%-3% in almost all categories.  As he has gotten older, it’s been closer to the 1%, but the doctor has never been concerned because he was perfectly on his OWN growth pattern.  This doctor comes in and is giving me an update on where he stands and says, “2% for height, we’ll talk about that.”  We spend a lot of time discussing and she plots him and realizes, surprise, surprise, that he is on his own growth curve, just under the typical one.  Talks about why we should be concerned.

She continues on with the exam talking to Isaac about various things.  Meanwhile, he is being busy walking around the room, climbing on the table, you know, being a boy who has been stuck in a classroom all day.  I felt like she was trying to determine if we needed to medicate him.  She asked repeatedly, “but he is doing okay in school?”  YES!!!!!

I felt like our whole parenting style was being pushed and didn’t fit into her box.  Ugh!

Yes, Isaac goes to bed sometimes at 11.  Yes, that’s because he isn’t settling down, but not settling down means he started getting ready for bed at 9:30, did his nebulizer and started reading and then couldn’t stop reading, because you know he enjoyed it, so we had to remind him (while we are doing other things around the house), to get ready for bed, brush his teeth, etc.  And THEN he is finally ready and jumps in our bed, still with his book and wants to read a bit longer.  We give him 5 minutes and that becomes 20.  It’s a struggle to get him to relinquish the book and then he wants to snuggle.  So a quick snuggle (he is seriously in this 5 minute snuggle stage) and he goes to bed.  The not settling down in all in the reading!!!  Yes, he is tired the next day when I drag him out of bed at 8:15, so the next night I’ll try to get him to bed earlier….but NO, he doesn’t need a drug to help him sleep…he just needs to stop reading!

As we are wrapping up her last question to me is, so exactly how concerned are you about his growth?  We already spent 10 minutes on that….I’m NOT!  He is small.  Lynzie is small.  Zach and I are both not tall.  Isaac is on daily nebs.  We see an asthma doctor 4 times a year who we specifically talk to about the growth.  Due to this, I am not worried at this time.  I’ll let you know when I am.

Ugh….we’ll see how Lynzie’s appointment goes tomorrow.  Might have to find a different doc at the practice to go to.

We moved!

I’m still going to try to go back and post on the 2.5 week long road trip, but we’ve jumped another 4ish months and so, we will start here and now.

We closed.  I don’t think I was as excited as I thought I should be.  It’s taken me the last two months to feel like this is home and be happy in it.  Why?  Because when you spend more than you ever imagined you could on a home and watch it be built from the ground up, you expect it to be perfect, or at least hope it is….but then there is the reality….the fact that people are building your house and they are human and you are not in direct contact with anyone actually doing anything on the house and the fact that contractor cut corners when they can..

And then…..you realize your furniture doesn’t fit the home and that decorating is really not your thing.  So yeah, our neighbors across the street moved in a week after us.  They have the same model that we do.  They painted all night the night they closed and have a perfectly decorated and furnished home.  Mine, all white wall (that I HATE) and no decorations or homey things.  It feels almost sterile.  I’ve bought furniture and window covers….but I really need help.  I have no decorating sense, none what-so-ever!

I do love how much space we have….the toys all go back to the same room (even if it is almost always a disaster).

I love the double doors leading to my master suite.

I love my shower….the rainbows when you shower at just the right time in the morning as the sun shines through the windows, the waterfall shower head, the fact that the whole family can fit in the shower if needed and not even touch each other.  Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

I love my kitchen….it has no organization at the moment, I just kinda threw things in cabinets, but I love the island and how so many people can be in it and it still doesn’t make me feel claustrophobic like the old one did.

I love that I can heat only the upstairs or only the downstair, depending on where we are hanging out.

We need to finish the backyard so the mud and dirty that comes in the house is limited, because I’m kind of over dirt.

Where does the time go?

Almost five months has past since my last post.  The quick ….

The house sold in hours.  We left it on the market for 7 days, but the offer we accepted the second offer we received on the first day.  And on April 13, exactly 9.75 years after we signed to buy the house, we sold it.  And that weekend we moved into an apartment.

We are so thankful for the apartment we got.  It was reasonably priced for what we needed.  First floor, on a greenbelt, two bedrooms with a “retreat” on the master that has served as my office.  It is very functional, but we are so looking forward to more space!!! 37 more day!

And that brings me to….our house will be done at the end of August!!!  We close September 3!  We are all so excited!

To help pass the time, we went on a marathon road trip from July 2 to July 18.

We bought a house…

We decided to build a new home.  It will be far bigger than the home we live in now (3200 sq ft vs 1300).  We signed on the dotted line on 02.26 and on Monday (5 days later) we put our house on the market.

We have hardly been home since Monday because there have been so many showings.  So far we have four offers.  We decided to leave it on the market for the weekend and then we’ll make a decision on Monday.

Unfortunately, this means a double move as the new house won’t be ready until September-ish.  Apartments in this area for short-term are expensive.  And we don’t get the garden and yard stuff Zach likes so much.  But we do get a pool for the summer and A/C…both pluses in our world.

It’s a strange time.  Lots going on in my life, my family’s life and my friends lives…it’s going to be a big year.

On the other side of fear…

Remember, on the other side of fear lies FREEDOM. ~Robin Sharma

In my new role I had the chance to take a class taught by associates within our organization in other countries.  A few weeks later, I met one of those instructors (a Canadian) at our National Sales Meeting.  We had a nice conversation and later linked up on linked in.  Which is where he had posted this quote.

It really resonated with me.  I wrote it down in bright neon sharpie and put it on the wall in front of my desk. And now I look at it a million times a day.

Whenever I feel anxiety it stems from fear.  These are some of my big ones:

  • Paying bills
  • Health concerns
  • Uncomfortable discussions
  • Having kids
  • Losing my job
  • Starting a new job
  • Traveling
  • Buying a house

When I face that situation, I get beyond the fear, whether the results are good or bad, the fear is gone. 

The anxiety is gone.  

I’m free!

5AM at the airport

I’m sitting at the airport at 5am on a Monday, waiting for my flight to Philadelphia. I’m going on my second ever business trip. I’m leaving my kids for the first time ever and my husband for only the second time in your almost 11 years of marriage.

In December I interviewed for two internal positions…I was offered both. I spent a miserable few days trying to decide which job to take. They were opposite sides of the coin…the extremes of my old position. One was local and I’d get to work with my old boss. The other was based out of Philly, but I would continue to work from home, with the exception of a few business trips.

You can probably guess which one I chose. I’m pretty darn excited, but I’m also a bit overworked at the moment. You see, I’m still supporting my old position until the 30th. Not only that, but I’m also training the new person. That in and of itself is a lot, but then I’m trying to learn about my new job, new boss and all the new people I’ll be working with. It’s been a bit crazy, but I know it’ll settle.

I have one more trip at the end of the month. Then we are putting the house on the market and moving on up. 2015 is looking to be an interesting year.

Change

Back in October I came to the realization that I was living in fear and it was holding me back.  Specifically in the area of our housing situation.

We bought our house at the peak of housing before the big crash.  We were some of the lucky one who didn’t end up over our head.  We have always been able to afford our mortgage and a bit more.  It’s comfortable.

I don’t like letting people into my finances.  I feel judgement.  I think this stems from my childhood and always feeling judged and like I made the wrong choices.  Before we move on….I don’t know that you could really said I ever made any bad choices – I had good friends, I made good grades, I completed my degree, I avoided debt (with the exception of calculated credit building debt), I married a decent guy (and that’s an EXTREME understatement), I work hard, you get the point…my one mistake might be that I haven’t ever taken any risks.

Anyway, I went to my husband one day and I told him, nothing is going to happen if we don’t DO something.  And so we began DOING something.  We started looking at houses.  We started talking to Realtors.  We got Pre-Approved!   In fact, right when I got let go, we were in the process for sending the final docs to the mortgage broker and were scheduling walk-throughs.  We put the house buying on hold until my job is figured out.

I’ve had two internal interviews.  Both for extremely different positions.  I haven’t been offered either, but the last interview was just a few hours ago.  If I was offered both I don’t know what I would do.  One area, I know a lot of the people I’d work with, but it would require office-time.  The other area, I know the content more and I’d still get to work from home, but it’s a sales position, which means a partial commissions-based pay and I don’t know what that really looks like/feels like, etc. Both would challenge me and both have lots of room for growth, which is great because I feel like I’m slightly maxed out of growth opportunities in my current position.

But there is a downside of staying at the company that is whisking away over 20 employees with no less than 7 years in their current role and replacing them with a few handfuls of folks who will be joining the company at the entry-level, with a very short timeframe for training.  Anyone that remains will “on-call” for any issues that may arise!

I started this talking about a new house.  I think God opened my heart to that change to prepare me for this job change.  We don’t change:

  • We’ve lived here for 9.5 years
  • I’ve been with my employer 13 years
  • Zach has been with his employer for 10 years
  • Zach has driven his car for 10 years
  • I’ve driven my car for 6 years
  • I’ve only ever had 1 bank account….18 years, same bank.

And now I’m living in limbo.  By summer, our lives will look different.  I WILL have a new job.  We HOPE to have a new house.  Isaac will be in full-time school.  Lynzie will be starting preschool.

We are growing.  Growth is uncomfortable, but it’s exciting, it’s freeing and we are ready to tackle this new time in our lives.

When the World Turns Upside Down

On Monday I found out I lost my job.  I actually had a sneaking suspicion on Friday due to an email I got, so I spent the weekend, including my birthday, staring at the wall and holding my kids.  By Monday, when the announcement was made, I was doing better and by Monday evening I could eat again.

Over 20 people lost there jobs in this re-organization.  Almost all of us work from home.  They have decided to centralize our jobs to one location.  It makes sense in my head.  I see where they are going and I’d absolutely prefer to lose my job over no fault of my own, but it sucks.  It sucks to go looking for another job and I don’t think the transition internally is going to go as smoothly as they want.  There are bound to be hiccups and the beginning of the year is one of the most challenging.  The teams I support will suffer the most, but I hope I’ve streamlined and organized things enough that it won’t be as hiccupy as it could be.

I have the option to apply internally.  Which I want to do – the company is kinda in my blood.  Mom worked there from the time I was 5 until I was 16 and then I worked for them when I was 15 for a summer and then full-time when I turned 20 until now with a year break to teach.  The health benefits are great and lets face it, once you’ve been with a company for a while your PTO is far better than when you started out.  I really hope I’m able to find a position internally.

On the other hand, if I don’t, I feel optimistic about where I could end up.  And the severance would be nice.

From here I have to make my resume great.  Apply internally.  Learn to interview (I’ve honestly never really done it).  Practice interviewing internally.  And if by January 30 I haven’t landed a job, I’ll begin the same process out on the world.

It’s scary.  I get anxious.  But I believe God is in this.  God is paving the path, I just need to follow and trust.  We have been blessed for so many years and we are so very thankful for that.