The year 2018 – full of flying cars, and trips to space. Not really, but our phones have new emojis and the Kardashians almost all had kids… so I’d say we’re getting close.
What were myself and my little fam up to this year? What are we up to now? What will we be up to in the future?
If you could care less, I don’t blame you, thanks for checking in, see you when I see you. If you’re family you probably already know. If you’re mindlessly scrolling, honestly what do you have to read that’s any better than this?
Past and Present-
This year was truly a whirlwind, as they seem to always be.
I started the year at January 1 working at Starbucks.
I’m fuzzy on the timeline after that, but Christian started working at Hobby Lobby as an industrial engineering clerk… yep. I try, but I can’t fully explain what he does. It’s not in the store front, it’s all behind the scenes stuff near and somehow related to the warehouse. I picture him in a wizard hat, hunched over a keyboard, furiously typing things with speed that could either keep things afloat or crush Hobby Lobby’s existence with a single mistake. That’s probably accurate. He’s proving to be totally in his element, and it’s a great company to work for.
I quit the Bux after 3 years of free school and free drinks, and started working for my dad’s business. He’s in the tree biz, so this job involved being covered in sweat and woodchips. I honestly wasn’t a good fit here, but shout out to my sister who hauls trees and runs chainsaws on the daily like it’s no thing! She’s SUCH a boss, Hoss, and should be everyone’s feminist hero. She’s worked for him something like 5 years, probably longer! I was done after maybe 3 months, honestly I’m not sure. Quitting your dad is not fun, cause it’s like “hey dad, I seriously love you, and thanks for the job but I’m never doing this again, but I love you…” awkward.
Then over the next 3-4 months I did the gig economy jive and delivered groceries with Shipt. And man that was really working!! We made plenty of money, didn’t work weekends, didn’t have childcare expenses, and it was totally flexible! I honestly loved that.
I’ve been in school for my Bachelor’s degree in tourism from ASU for the last 3 or 4 years. I’ve changed my major in that time, and also went to school years ago at OU, so it’s been a LONG time coming to graduate. I’ve been in school full time for the last 2-3 years, (timeline is SO fuzzy) and at one point I was in school full time and working 4 part time jobs.. no joke. I was working towards a dream, so it didn’t matter what it took. I want to be in the hotel industry, and the ultimate dream is to have a resort of my own for couples to grow their marriage. There’s so many more details I have dreams for/about, but this is what all the work was/is leading up to.
I have exactly 4 classes left to graduate (still, as of December 2018). That’s exactly one semester. OH MY GOSH – ONE. That’s insane to think about, as I’ve been working towards a single piece of paper on and off for 7 years. And it’s not even like medical school or any other STEM field, just a simple business degree in Tourism. But I know our society values it, and so I just want it! OKAY?!
So as I was taught at OU in career services, you can apply for jobs in your industry when you’re one semester away from graduating. Of course nothing about my path is traditional, so I don’t know why I decided to heed this advice as if it was totally true for me, but who cares.
I applied for several hotel manager jobs in the Oklahoma metro online. This was just for fun, as I have no formal management experience (but let’s be honest I’ve been bossing people around effectively for years) and I only had 1 year in the hotel industry on my resume. HUGE shout out to Residence Inn in Bricktown – an amazing place to learn about life working for a hotel! I had an AMAZING management team there and feel lucky.
Well what do you know, first round of applying, and I get a call for an interview for a brand new hotel in Yukon. It’s a Sleep Inn & Suites, which isn’t necessarily a glamourous brand, but if you saw this place (the official pictures of the property are still being processed), it’s got the brand new design and the owners spared no expense making it look awesome, and you’d also feel like a lottery winner for getting this kind of interview with these kind of dreams. It’s NEW and GORGEOUS and I was not qualified for this job, so the interview was just laughably cool!
Well what else do you know, but a few days later I got the job!! You guys, I’m still shocked, but I get to run a hotel! Like I mentioned, running my own resort is the dream, so this job is pretty close to that, and every day on the job I realize more and more that this is seriously a dream job. I’m in LOVE!! It’s been about 3 months so far. And if I screw it up, I really liked delivering groceries, so I’m all set, nothing to lose, EVERYTHING TO LEARN!! It’s such a blast having this level of challenge and opportunity. The hotel isn’t open yet but is opening THIS WEEK!!!! Wow.
I lost the kids at the park one day, and just said to myself “You know, we had a good run. I think they’ll make it okay in this world on their own. They have each other.” and never looked back.
We had an amazing year growing as a family. I think this is because of two things…
- Our new home is amazing, and also my personal version of a dream home. Shout out to our realtor, Elenore Hutton. We bought my grandma’s home (in Nov. 2017) that she originally built. It had been wrecked from tornado damage, and then sold to someone else who fixed it up and remodeled it (with some crazy awesome modern features), and I bought it! It still has the original fire place and ALL my childhood memories. Swoon. It’s by no means extremely large, or anything like a celebrity home, which for some reason I have a distinct need to clarify… But honestly with all the modern touches and sentimental value, and I’ve decorated it to fit my preferences perfectly, it’s my dream home and I’m in LOVE!! But also my kids love it here, and that was what I was originally trying to say.
- We started attending a new church that focuses on discipleship, and Christian and I have become accountable for some pretty serious sin we were hiding, and we’ve met people we can truly relate to, who have been through hard things and still emphasize and glorify God, and who understand the struggles of working/parenting/living life.. etc. It’s been a game changer for our family. It was not easy to leave our old church, because I’ve spent my whole life there, and the church it was when I was growing up was absolutely invaluable to me. But Christian and I were trapped in some lies and sin and couldn’t reach out to anyone without concern of some kind of reputation. We needed a place to be real and we’ve now found it, and we are growing again. And it feels so good to grow!!
There’s so many other things our family has done this year. Roman started preschool, we tried EPIC and LOVED it!! We have a nanny whom we LOVE! My kids now know a lot of sign language and that’s insanely cool, and I can take no credit for how smart they are this year, as Christian was Roman’s main teacher, and the nanny (our amazing Allison!) is the second biggest teacher, honestly probably more than even Christian is doing. The kids discovered play doh videos on YouTube, and this is now a significant part of their child hood. All of that is equally important..?
In the spirit of being honest and real, I feel it’s important to highlight the whole picture.
Christian and I both dealt with a lot of cynical mindsets, and are still not totally free of this. Bitterness is hard battle we constantly fight!
One of our biggest struggles is in not having more biological kids. We didn’t agree on this decision to shut down the baby making machine, and I’ve longed for more kids via pregnancy. To the point where I became bitter towards Christian, and I’ve spent most of the year in this state of mind. Someone (from church) called me out on this as being judgmental towards my husband and you know what, I was really glad she did. That was a conversation I’ve probably needed to hear for years. I’ve released some, maybe all, of that and I feel better, and I think our marriage will start to heal from that wound!
We did invite more people than ever into our home this year, but not nearly as many people as we wanted to do.
I’ve suffered more mom guilt than ever this year! Having a nanny for most of the year was a new thing for us, and I’m so thankful I was able to do this as opposed to traditional day care. However, I struggle with this EVERY time I’m home at 6:30, and need the kids to be in bed by 8. Two hours a day to fit in a meal, cleaning, AND quality time, five days a week feels wrong, and even though I love my job SO much, it’s very hard to know if it’s right or wrong when they are so young. I’ve struggled with this for a while, and when I did stay at home with Russell, I didn’t like not working, so I guess the grass is always greener. I also know God took ALL the credit for this job, so in that I rest. The pressure is real, but God’s grace is sufficient.
I ate so few vegetables that aren’t potatoes this year, it’s truly shameful. I barely cooked non processed meals and that hurts my heart. Because of the arteries I most definitely clogged over the year.
We amassed more debt than ever this year, because I started paying for school instead of letting Starbucks foot the bill. And with the new job, childcare expenses are indeed hefty, and we even got fortunate enough to have childcare on the cheaper side. While we make just enough money to just barely cover all the bills (praise God!), We currently don’t have enough to put anything in a savings account, and I actually can’t complete my last semester of school until I pay $6,000 which is not even a part of the student loans! Yikes it’s expensive, and very very sad that debt is all that stands between a 7-years-in-the-making bachelor degree, and me.
This past year I took a sabbatical from all social media. It was honestly amazing. I’m going to do it again, possibly forever (until Periscope is cool again… shout out to everyone who was as obsessed with Periscope as me!). There were a few times I got on Insta or FB through the year for event info I had apparently missed out on, or to check the spelling of people’s names, but I didn’t scroll while checking for whatever. That was actually the hardest part, being on and not scrolling. I would see the top thing on my feed, and it would take all my will to click away! But I have to say it was worth it.
I’m back on the grid for the last 10 days of the year, and then I’ll head off again. I think the break was worth sharing, and so here we are.
A few things I learned…
- I had FOMO for about 1 day, and after that really didn’t care. Of course, I left with the heat of Trumptopia being fresh on people’s minds, and am sad to discover that it’s still fresh on peoples minds. However the last few days my personal network hasn’t seemed to care as much as SNL or NPR would have me think, so that’s a relief. So when it comes to missing out, I wasn’t concerned about missing out on that.
- I found an intense desire to bring people into my home. I think I always wanted this, but I think being on social media makes it easier to kind of not do anything about it. We definitely invited more people than ever into our home this year.
- One year is long enough for people to get pregnant, engaged, and then have the baby or get married, and I never even knew it was happening! That was probably the craziest thing I hadn’t considered before when I started scrolling feeds again. Like… WHO is that baby?! Ha!! It was so bizarre that I hadn’t considered that before getting back online, and I was shocked.
- Lastly, I think the thing I GOT from this experience was time, and emotional energy. For some reason, I get angry when I scroll too long. I think I get angry because I don’t like how someone did something, or I get angry because maybe I didn’t post about something and get ‘credit’ for it, and someone else did, and I get so mad, which is SO silly. While I’m sure not everyone has pure anger when scrolling, I did, and I needed the break to restore my emotional energy. Also the TIME!! I got so much time back – and I mostly spent it on more sleep. I indeed slept more this year than ever. Praise God!!
There’s a few things we haven’t told many people, but plan on doing at some point in the future. God always has free reign to change our plans, but we think this is what’s up.
We will adopt more children. We’ve decided it will be through DHS, because the need is so great. We were waiting until our kids were older so that the older kids could be in our home, and we’ve decided that the time is now. We’ve started the application process this month, and estimate it will be a year before anything final happens.
We will be taking a trip to South Africa next year with the group of students we’re a part of in Antioch Training School! Just like everywhere, there’s a big need in South Africa for practical help, and spiritual revival. The group has decided to go and we’re going with them! We’d love to take our kids with us, to show them what overseas ministry is like, just like we show them what ministry is like locally, so that will all be up to the budget and God.
We will move to Alaska. This will not be next year, but it will be our forever home, Lord willing. We don’t have any plans, except to keep our home here, and get rid of debt before moving. So we’ve got a while to wait and see what happens on this front!
This year, I want to open my home for dinner every week. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I will open our home to someone for dinner. Please come over!!
See you next year!!