Well, what a year. What a crazy, unpredictable year. Things seemed pretty rough there for awhile, but somehow, in some way, everything is working out. It is hard to complain, because you always know that so many other people have it much, much harder. I know that the stress of my is nothing compared to what many other people, people I know and love, have to go through on a day-to-day basis. So I do feel guilt and shame for complaining. Regardless though, even with that perspective in mind, obstacles can seem hard to overcome.
It all started about a year and half ago when we found out that we were pregnant. Again. This definitely wasn't a bad thing, I can't imagine my life without my amazing little Walter,but it was a... surprise. Then, the house market really began to scare us, and our townhouse started to feel smaller and smaller with the prospect of adding a third baby to our brood... So, we sold it. But, it sold fast. That's a good thing, right? Well... I repeat: It sold fast. Really, really fast. So fast, that within 7 days of being listed, we had accepted an offer. We had to move fast too, therefore, not giving us much time to find somewhere else to live. We ended up finding a very tiny 3 bedroom rental house near where Josh worked. During this time we also decided that we could no longer afford daycare, if we were going to have to put three children in. And so, our crazy life began.
Last December when the semester ended I started staying home during the days with the kids, but, still had to work for obvious financial reasons when the spring semester started up. Starting in January I taught in early mornings, evenings and online- somehow teaching 6 three credit classes while being a stay at home mommy. During this time I also gave birth to Wally about 3 weeks after classes started, took one week off, and then went back to teaching the remaining 14 weeks of the spring semester while staying home with the three kiddos all day (at that time the three kids were aged 3 and under). I have to say that honestly, I am not sure how long I could have done that. I planned to do it for a couple of years, at least, but wow. If you know me, you know I am not happy unless I am busy and working hard. But, basically having 2 full time jobs at once is ridiculous, especially while trying to nurse a young infant who also needs to get up several times a night. Josh was (and is) an amazing best friend, dad and husband, and helped as much as he could, even staying home in the mornings and then working later in the evening to make it all work out. And somehow, it did all work out fine. We managed.
That was a very stressful time though. Exhausting in fact. But we got through it. And as always happens, life kept moving forward... More recently, the opportunity to purchase a home came up around the same time as our one year lease expired. That worked out perfectly and we were thrilled. Great rates, good deal... Our summer was better, we had a nice home to look forward to.
Then, something very unexpectedly wonderful happened. In mid June a full time position surprisingly opened up at one of my colleges, KCKCC. I applied, interviewed and somehow got it! Now I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive at first, the kids and I were just starting to get our routine figured out. But long term, this was an opportunity that I just could not pass up, for my personal and professional growth, as well as for the security this position gives my family.
A huge goal of mine was to teach full time at one institution, rather than try to balance 3 different schools simultaneously just to make ends meet. And I wanted to do this before having to adjunct for more than 10 years. And, I did it after 7.
This past week I reported back to work for prep and professional development, as full time faculty have to do, I set up my office, and am ready for whatever is next. After teaching full time as a part time teacher (if that makes sense) I appreciate everything I have recently earned. I feel like I put in my time and really deserve this. And, I only have to teach 5 classes to maintain my contract! Daycare is working out, the older two kids will go to the preschool on campus while I teach, and with Wally we are doing nanny share with a friend and her kids.
Over the years I have applied, interviewed and not gotten countless jobs, in both teaching and in the business industry. I seem to almost always become a finalist, but just don't end up getting the position. I had been thinking a lot about why that was happening. And, as it turns out, this position at KCKCC was the one that was meant to be.
I will say though, that staying home with the kids these last 9 months has been great in many regards. I am lucky to work in a craft that does allow me long holidays and even longer breaks between semesters when I do not report to work. So I do, and will continue, to get a lot of time home with the kids. But, staying home with them all the time, although sometimes drove me bananas, was amazing. Gus transitioned into a boy during this time. Hazel went from being a toddling toddler to a little lady. Wally changed the most, from literally being an appendage of me, to a smiling, happy, chubby, chubby (yes I wrote that twice), baby boy- who is almost crawling by the way (I am so worried I will miss that First!). I will miss seeing all of these changes in each of them every day.
So, life is moving forward. Just when I think the book is wrapping up, another chapter of life begins. Although I need to refocus my faith commitment and church attendance lately, God must be a forgiving God because He has put so many great things before me. A loving husband, three amazing young children, a safe home, a good job, and some wonderful friends and family. I am so thankful and am looking forward to everything else that has been placed in my future path.