Friday, September 27, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
His gift for me? A journal that he wrote in every day for the last year. Every day he wrote about the things that he loves. Most of them were about things I've done, but many of them were things the girls have done. It was quite a feat - writing every day for an entire year - but the result was magical.
With the layoff, floods, down-sizing, etc... I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and some of it has taken me by surprise. I really feel like Michael and I have made great strides this year in defining our priorities and living life to stay in alignment with them. So some of the thoughts that have come to mind in the recent weeks have taken me by surprise. Here are some, in no particular order:
In reading his journal there were a few references to how much Michael loves my blog and how we're documenting the things we love about parenthood, and how the little stories brighten his day and help him stay focused. In reading these entries, I was hit with the feeling of "Oh yeah! I love writing in my blog and I haven't been doing a good job of that lately." I've been a bit ho-hum on the whole parenting front. I wonder if the two are related. In trying to accomplish so many other things, the blog has kind of suffered for it. I really feel like that needs to change back.
Had you asked me a couple months ago what I would do if I was laid off, I would have said I'd jump all-in into the Beachbody coaching business. It would be, and is, so rewarding to help people reach their fitness and health goals, while attacking a real honest world-wide problem. So, it came as a surprise to me that when presented with the opportunity to do just that, I don't want to. I feel strongly that I'm not ready to give up my engineering background just yet. The engineering world has not seen the last of me!
Additionally, Michael has been more and more stressed by the business. What used to be the REASON he was able to improve his outlook on life and his priorities, now has become a hinder on those very same things. He has a family history of anxiety and mental break-down issues, and has started to feel some of those symptoms of anxiety for no apparent reason, other than it appears to happen when thinking and stressing about the coaching business. It's not worth it to us to risk going down that stress path. So, we are probably going to give up the coaching business all together.
We've spoken about what he would do with his time and we've come up with a few options that will really focus on the family AND his engineering career. So I am pretty excited about that. He is in a good place and feels like Beachbody and the people we've met deserve the credit for that, but it just got to a point where it was having the opposite effect on our lives than it was intended to do.
So that leaves the gnomes... I love the gnomes and their magical effects on me. I will be focusing on my gnomes again and that makes my heart sing.
As for my career, like I said... the engineering world hasn't seen the end of me. Wish me luck!
As for life in general, we've had a really big pull on our hearts to simplify. It's something we've been thinking for quite some time. I think it started when we visited my pen pal in Germany and saw how incredibly simple she lived her life. In a place that was smaller than my living room / kitchen area, she had everything she needed. Instead of it feeling crammed like we expected, it felt relaxing. It made us realize how cluttered our lives have been, even though we felt like we have done a pretty good job of living below our means. We won't go to the same extreme as what Katya lives. After all, this is America, where we simply have TONS of space that Europe does not.
But we do have a significant pull on our hearts to down-size and simplify our lives. As such, we're putting the house on the market. Once it sells, we will move into a smaller place (currently our house is 3,000 sq ft w/ 5 bedrooms and lots of extra space, and we're thinking we need 2,000 sq ft w/ 3 bedrooms and a place to exercise). We will take the remainder of our equity and use it to purchase another rental investment property. There is something about the concept of having a little place that is full of things I love that appeals to me. In our current home, the mode of operation is "We have space to fill, so we need to buy something for that corner." Instead, I want to live in the mode of "I only have so much space, so let's be sure everything in it is exactly what I want." Instead of filling the empty space with more stuff, I want to fill the space with cherished belongings.
Am I weird?
Maybe. But sometimes that's the conclusion that comes out of a major soul-searching session like the one I am still processing.
(A few minutes pass and Ellie obviously forgets that plan...)
Ellie: Let's go over here and watch the show!
Addie: NO! I am the bride. I AM the show!!!
Luckily we're ok and relatively unaffected. Ellie's school was severely damaged so she'll be attending a YMCA camp for a few weeks. Not ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, we're lucky.
I have to say that my girls were pretty awesome when the floods happened. I doubt they really understood what was happening but I tried to show them pictures to keep them updated. I LOVED that upon hearing what happened, the first thing to Ellie's mind was if her best friend Brynn was safe. She insisted we send Brynn's family a message to find out. Of all the people to be concerned about, it goes to show how strong their friendship still is if Brynn is the first person Ellie thinks of.
My thoughts go out to those who were less fortunate than we were, but that goes for people even beyond the reach of the floods.
Mommy: Are you surprised at what the baby bunny wanted to be?
Ellie: No. I want to be a mommy when I grow up!
Mommy: I think that's a great idea, but you know what's really exciting?
Mommy: You can be a mommy AND something else. You can be a mommy AND a vet!
Ellie: Like you're an engineer AND a mommy!
Addie: And the tooth fairy!
Mommy: Ellie, if we're at the continental divide, can you guess where the water goes from here?
Addie: (interrupting any chance for Ellie to answer) DOWN!!!
Can't argue there.
That being said, sometimes her pride stretches the concept of science....
Addie: Mommy, did you know that Nana is Daddy's mommy and Grandpa Lou is Daddy's daddy?
Mommy: I did know that.
Addie: And Mommy, did you know that Nana once thought that Grandpa Lou was her pince but den she changed her mind? And now Grandpa is her pince! Just like in Shrek, right?
Mommy: That's right.
Addie: Did you know I understand how she did that?
Mommy: I'm glad you do!
Addie: Mommy, is that called science???
Hmm... I suppose in a way it is. Psychology at it's finest, right?
Thursday, September 05, 2013
How fortunate I must feel if when told I am being laid off, the first thing through my mind is "oh crap! I hope John's job is safe. He is the only income provider for his family. What about Mark? He just bought a new house and is a bit house poor." How fortunate I feel knowing that my first thought was NOT "omg how are we going to pay the bills? " or "how will we manage? "
I am fortunate even if turned up side down.