Jun 12, 2012

Miracle on Wheels

What a relief.  Two VERY miracle-affirming things happened in our family yesterday.  I was starting to wonder- and I know I risk getting struck by lightening here - if our pleas for divine guidance and help were being ignored.  As is always the case, when you feel really, really low and then something really wonderful happens, there is this immense sense of relief and then a little guilt that you ever doubted.  With all of the hard things I've gone through in my life, I have always ended up in a better place than where I started.  So why must I forget that every.single.time. the going-gets-tough?  Well, today, for what it's worth, I am a believer again.  The rough situation we are in is not over yet, but I feel like I've been "thrown a bone" to get me through for a while.  Thank heaven (literally!).

Miracle #1:  Cory got an official letter from the United States Department of State. The letter stated that he has officially passed the medical and security clearances and is now on the foreign service officer register.  This is a very, very big deal!  From start to finish, the process took eight months and it is a toughie all around.  I am so pleased with Cory, his tenacity, smarts, and awesomeness!  Now we just wait for an assignment, which could mean up to 18 months of more waiting, but what matters now is no more tests, no more interviews, no more essays, no more FBI guys watching us with binoculars (at least as far as we know).  Phew.

Second miracle:  Way back in July, Cory's car was totaled.  A car that was paid for, was too much to repair, and one that we couldn't afford to replace due to him losing his job around the same time.  Between using Kim and Rob's scooter (thank you SO MUCH you guys) and sharing a car, we've made it through these 10 months.  But not being able to transport your kids on a scooter and/or riding to work on a scooter and arriving in a professional/timely manner is limiting.  Sharing a car is hard under the best of circumstances, and we are not in the best of circumstances.  We just needed another car.

Our funds are limited, of course.  Last week I remembered that I had some money saved away in a bank account that we don't use much.  $3000.  What kind of car can you get with $3000.  Not much, but that is what we had to work with. We looked at a few cars this weekend and any that were worth buying sold pretty quickly.  And even those cars needed more work than we were prepared - or could afford - to take on.  Pretty depressing.  But yesterday, I just happened to check KSL.com on my phone during dinner.  A car popped up that was $2500 under blue book, was below our budget, was beautiful inside and out, and was actually an older version of a car we've always dreamed of having.  Seemed too good to be true.  We raced over to see it.  Turns out the seller had another buyer who had just left to get some cash to buy it.  We offered a little more (still way under the value) and the seller basically told us he liked us more and it was ours.  I can only imagine how irrate that first buyer was when he got back, but it is clear that heaven was smiling on us and we got that break we needed.  That car is a miracle on wheels - it IS too good to be true.  Today it is ours and we've got that little shot-in-the-arm we needed. 

Bottom line moral of the "two miracles in one day:" we are not stranded on a desert island!  We are not alone. We've got some help up there.  It will all be okay.  I believe in miracles.  I am full of gratitude.  Thank thee, dear Father.

Apr 27, 2012

Our future?

It's been a long time.  Today I just want to post something about what's been on my my mind for the last 7 months.  Cory was let go from Franklin Covey in September and has been looking for a job ever since.  I've gone back to work more hours and between that, unemployment, selling stocks, using our savings, and a tax refund, we seem to be - miraculously - making it.  At least financially.

But the last 7 months have been a huge emotional and mental stress.  What does the future hold for our family?  What's next?  As time goes on I question, is anything next?  Seems like this is a never ending trial.  We are getting too accustomed to our current arrangement - by necessity - but none of us are happy.  It's awful.

Years ago I learned about a career in the Foreign Service from a friend at work.  When I heard about it, I knew instantly that Cory would L-O-V-E it.  I told him about it then, but due to graduate school, his job, lack of inertia, whatever, it didn't go any further.  It just sounded very interesting at the time.

In September, when Cory's job was ending, he figured, what the heck, I'll take the Foreign Service Officer Exam.  It's a hard test that many people study many months for.  He took it in October and passed.  He was invited to the next step of the qualification process, which was to submit 10 personal narratives about his work experience, philosophy, etc.  This was due in November and sure enough, in February, we found out he passed.  Then it was on to Washington D.C. in March for a day long interview/oral assessment with a panel of judges.  Sure enough, he passed this too.

So what started as an appealing thought, then a whim, then a possibility, is now a very distinct reality for Cory and our family.  I can't believe it.  This very well could be our future.  We are undergoing security and medical clearance at the moment, which could take who knows how much longer.  If we all pass (yes, all, including our kids ;) Cory will be put on the Foreign Service register and wait for his call to a training class.  The very earliest this would happen is September.  We would ship off to Washington DC and after a period of months, we would move to live somewhere else in the big wide world.  My husband, a diplomat.  Me, a lost wife raising a family all over the world.  Did I already say I can't believe this is happening?

Many people have wondered and questioned and asked me about it.  If you are curious, here is a good summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Service.

So, dear friend and reader, this is your job:  if we move away, if our life changes dramatically in this way, you will now have a FREE place to stay when you visit us in one of 256 exciting and exotic locations around the world!  It will be a new place every 2-5 years so now you will have a vacation to look forward to every 2-5 years!  Start saving your frequent flyer miles because I'm going to need a steady stream of visitors to get me through!  I am serious.  I don't care if you were once my worst enemy or we are just "hi" friends - it won't matter - I will want/need you to visit! 

And between now and then, please forgive me if you see me periodically sucking my thumb or crawled up into the fetal position.  I'm doing my best.

Nov 1, 2011

October

Random snapshots up the canyon after professional family pictures.




Tommy as Charlie Brown.





The Rodeo Queen. I KNEW those sparkly Vocal Ensemble earrings would come in handy one day!





Trick-R-Treating with Abby and Hallie




Popeye and Olive Oil. Cory looks great! He even won an award at the costume party! When choosing my costume I forgot one important detail: Olive Oil looks like a broom with a head. My body is not-so-broom-like. Oh well, when it's Halloween I've seen people proudly prance around in stuff that they will regret (when they sober up). At least I can say, "I am wearing this and I don't even drink."


Happy Halloween!!!

Night night.





Oct 25, 2011

Favorite Toy

Be bop boogie to the sit-in-spin soundtrack.

video

Oct 10, 2011

It's a GOAL!




Her first goal. High five with dad/coach. Team member jumping up in the background. Other kid not feeling too good. Busath photographer on site taking pictures. PERFECT!

Sep 10, 2011

How I Roll

Another mass update from me. I can't even imagine that I once had time to nurture this blog. I would actually sit and think of clever things to say. I would futz around with getting the pictures just right. It was a labor of love. Now I barely have time to throw things on it. That's how my life is these days. It's how I roll. And that is why I can never have a pet.

Here is a picture of Grandpa Brad with two of his grandsons. We were all excited to take a picture of this cause Tommy and Josh are wearing matching outfits. I have to tell you that because from this picture you would never know that they were wearing matching outfits. Grandpa Brad looks like he has been wrestling two little boys and is gritting his teeth for this to be over. And that is how it really did roll.


Mollie is learning to ride a two-wheeler. This is her old bike, she got a new one for her birthday. We had to get a classic "dad teaching daughter to ride a bike" pic. She is almost ready to roll on her own.


I love these two handsome rollers. We had a nice picnic at Liberty Park in August.


The sole reason for including this pic is to highlight Tommy's roly-poly legs. They are like squishy marshmallows. YUM!



Butterfly in the sky!



After a nice night at Liberty Park



It's been a tricky month for us. Cory lost his job due to restructuring at Franklin Covey and totalled his car in the same week. We are so grateful to Kim and Rob who are lending us their scooter in the meantime! Mollie and Cory go on nightly rides together. I think Mollie's pink cowgirl boots make this picture perfect.


Mollie turned 5 and wanted a Mermaid costume for her birthday REALLY bad. She got the crown and the shoes too! See all of those sequins? They are ALL OVER MY house now! I even found one in Tommy's diaper.



Perfect cake for a 5 year celebration!


Tommy is 5 1/2 months in this pic and just about ready to crawl. He gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth and then lunges. He is ready to roll!






I neve realized before I had two kids how they would bond with each other. Even with a 4 1/2 year difference in age. Tommy smiles and laughs at Molie like no one else. Mollie loves to talk and ready stories to Tom. It's the best! They love each other a lot.





Mollie started kindergarten on August 31. She was so excited! I was so sad! We live far enough away to ride the bus and she wanted to do it the first day. So I sent her on the bus and then followed the bus in my car because I just. couldn't. let. go. yet.


Here are three of her sweet ward friends who are in her class: Quinn, Grace, and Emily



I didn't know that there was a bus stop at the top of our street, so I was waiting another street over for Mollie to get off the bus after school. Mollie, being kind of smarter than her mom, saw our street and just hopped off and walked to our house. She went in the back door and finding me not home, sat on the porch until the mailman walked by. He found her crying and wondering if her mom was "dead." He called the school and waited with her until I got home. In the meantime, I met her bus at another stop, saw all the other cute kids get off and pretty much wet my pants when there was no Mollie. I walked to her friends house and Mollie wasn't there either. Thanks to my friend lending me her car and watching Tommy, I sped home to find Mollie and we were reunited. Now that it's over and I have officially written it down, I can never talk about this again!

We went to Lake Powell with some friends over Labor Day and had a great time. Mollie went waterskiing for the first time and got up on skiis! Cory and I were on the houseboat and watched the boat go by with a little blonde speck on the horizon. It was Mollie holding a rope with one hand and waving with the other. Oh, how I wish I had my camera! It was darling - thanks to our friend Tim for teaching her how!


Cory let Mollie and some of the girls cover him with mud. Eeww.





Tommy got buried in the sand.



I love this picture because it says so much. There were 14 little kids on this trip and Tommy was the youngest. He pretty much got mauled by all of them. At first he was Mr. Friendly, but by the end of the trip, when a kid came within 5 feet, he screamed like a monkey. Here he is getting buried in the sand and by the look on his face...well, you can guess what he is thinking.



LOVES!



And finally, the vegetable stand. Our garden has been great this year and Mollie and Cory got this big idea to have a vegetable stand. I don't know if Cory or Mollie was more excited. Cory was worried that he'd have enough vegetables ("Julie, what if someone wants kale? I don't have any kale!") Utimately, it was Mollie's project so she and I spent an afternoon this week trying to sell vegetables. We put a sign out on Parley's Way and set up this table in our yard. We only had one customer, Grandma Mary. She paid for some vegetables and Mollie gave her change. I think Grandma Mary actually made money on the deal ;) Mollie was so excited and every time a car would drive by she would get things all ready: open and close her cash register a few times, sift through the tomatoes, sit up a little taller in her chair. Unfortunately, our neighbors only waved and smiled and kept on going. Mollie took it okay when I decided to be her customer and spend $5 on three grape tomatoes and a zuchinni. But seriously people! Are your hearts made of stone? Did you not notice a cute little kid smiling for all she was worth? She was working so hard and trying so hard it about broke my heart. I vow to NEVER drive by a lemonade stand again without buying something, circling back and buying a second round. Heartless, cruel world! I would buy anything from this cute thing! She was okay though and had fun, so I guess that counts as success!



And that brings us up to date.

Jul 7, 2011

Bee Dee and Bubbers

Nicknames are the best. Mollie is Bee Dee as in, "look at that tiny little bee dee baby!" and Tommy is Bubbers as in, "He's got the strong! He's so squishy! It's a good day to be a bubbers!" One day they will loathe this. I don't care. I could talk crazy baby talk all day long when I think of my little kiddles. I am pretty sure I will still want to do it when they are at least 20.

Here are some pics taken in June and July

Chillin like villians


Mollie's first soccer stint


Sleeping Beauties (sometimes we refer to them as Stinkin Beauties, too)




This kid is SO easy to smile. Once you make eye contact it's insta smile.





My favorites enjoying the swing at the cabin






Sharing a good laugh




Tommy's blessing day (July 3rd). Don't they both look so handsome?




Grandma Jackie with Bubbers. Lil cousin Zander is in the background.





Grandma Mary





Grandpa Brad. Tommy's middle name is Bradford after him.







Pretty strong kid. Already wants to sit up and getting pretty good at it, too. Is that head being held up by those cheeks? I am pretty sure they are.


Apr 19, 2011

Pics that make my heart smile.