Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Topsy Turvey!

Things have been INSANE for the Nielson clan.

When I last wrote, I said that my husband and I had decided to move back to Idaho, job or not.

Well, after that post, my husband decided he wanted to be responsible and that we would stay in Vegas if the job in Logan didn't pan out.

Needless to say, we were on pins and needles waiting for them to call.

When they didn't call on Monday after his interview, I started to get nervous. By the end of Tuesday, I was a crying emotional wreck. I was in tears on and off for most of the day and while I was crying I was praying and throwing a 4 year old tantrum to Heavenly Father..."I don't want to be here! Please don't make us stay."  (Don't get me wrong, I love all of the people and friends that I have made in Henderson, I am just not a "big city" girl. I wanted to be home in Idaho with my snow, my mountains, my country farming areas, and most importantly, my family.) Tuesday night, I bitterly accepted that we were likely staying in Vegas. I cried myself quietly to sleep and prayed for faith to accept Heavenly Father's will and apologized for being so stubborn.

Wednesday afternoon, Jeff forwarded an email to me. He had gotten the job!

Thursday and Friday were spent making preparations for our move...some of which I wasn't too fond of  (I'll get to that later...)

The plans were made for Jeff's brother to come Sunday night from Idaho with a trailer for us to load...which meant Friday and Saturday were spent in overwhelming, crazy packing mode. By Sunday afternoon/evening, as we waited for Jeff's brother to arrive we were spent. I was in tears cleaning my kitchen, and realizing that no other cleaning was going to be done before I left...I was feeling VERY overwhelmed and frustrated.

To make matters worse (remember how I said I didn't like some of the plans) I was trying to prepare myself for being separated from Jeff for 2 weeks. Because I knew that I couldn't live in a house with no furniture with 2 babies for 2 weeks, the decision had been made that Jeff would drive us with a load of immediate necessities (like pack and plays for the girls to sleep in, clothes, medication, etc.) and leave us in Preston, ID and then drive back to finish out his 2 weeks of work for JT3... I hate being away from Jeff. I don't sleep well without him next to me to snuggle up next to and he is my partner in parenting. I am fully aware of how much difference his help makes when it comes to taking care of the girls...and I was afraid of him being alone. What if he were in an accident, or got sick and ended up in the hospital? How would I get to him?

Let's just say the Brittany of Sunday, January 20 was a wreck!

To add to my frustration, my brother in law showed up an hour earlier than expected and we had no way to get the word out to our ward members who had said they would help other than Facebook.  We moved most of the stuff down to the trailer without help...me, Jeff, Jeff's brother, and our nephew...it was a long hour. People showed up when things were about done, but it ended up being a good thing they showed up when they did. Jeff's brother said we could fit our beloved couch and ottoman in the trailer...a feat we didn't think would be possible, so we had pending buyers waiting to come pick them up. Fortunately, I had numbers for the buyers so I texted them to let them know that we had changed our minds about selling. They were very understanding and wished us luck in our move.

After about 20 nail biting minutes, they figured out how to get the couch down the stairs. (It was amusing to watch the men at work figuring it out...suggestions such as putting it over the balcony while some of the menfolk stood beneath to catch it were being thrown around when I suggested taking the legs off the couch... which ended up working...)

Of course, this left us with a conundrum. When everyone was gone and Jeff's brother had taken off to head back towards Idaho, we realized that we had been planning on sleeping on our couch while the girls slept in their pack and plays...our only option was to sleep on the floor (or, not sleep on the floor as it turned out for me. My hips started to bruise so I ended up using my pillows to make a make-shift couch and sat up watching old VH1 reality television shows on Hulu... Phillie wasn't liking it much either- she HATES sleeping in her pack and play)

The next morning, I corralled the girls into our old bedroom while Jeff went for breakfast. He came back, we ate, we packed the last of what we needed, waited for the garbage man to arrive and headed to one last appointment with the pediatrician...and then, by 10:30, we were off.

I couldn't help but bubble over with excitement as I realized that this would be the last time I would have to drive on the Las Vegas freeways (unless we decided to go for a vacation...I HATE the traffic on the freeways...white knuckles all the way!)

We arrived in Idaho late Monday night. Faith hadn't eaten and was crying inconsolably. I tried to feed her before I put her to bed, but she just sat in her high chair and cried. Jeff quickly put her pack and play together, we got her into some jammies and put her to bed without dinner. (I made sure she had an extra large sippy of chocolate milk! )

Tuesday morning, Jeff left to head back to Vegas. He said he was going to try to see if they would let him off a week early because he didn't want to be there alone. Thus started the longest 3 days of my life.

Jeff's mom is awesome, but she has adjusted to Jeff's dad being away in North Dakota working in the oil fields by keeping very busy outside the house. Between her workout group and working in Jeff's sister's boutique, I rarely saw her so I was alone...props to single moms. I was ready to curl into a crying ball after 3 days of parenting alone... on top of trying to take care of an almost 5 month old and a 15 month old, I was trying to unpack and get what I could out of my mother in law's way. (Needless to say, I wasn't super successful, but I did manage to organize the boxes downstairs and get them out of the way and only in one half of the family room... that took me ALL DAY on Thursday)

Jeff called on Thursday and said he'd worked it out so that he could come home on Friday! I was so happy I started to cry. I needed him...I needed a snuggle, a kiss, and his support... however, it made the rest of Thursday and all day Friday VERY long days. Jeff had to work for 2 hours on Friday, he worked it out with our property management company to check out of our townhouse that afternoon, and then he hit the road a little earlier than we'd expected. :)

I thought he was going to be home around 10. He called around 9:30 and said that he was in North Logan and my heart skipped a beat! He was almost here. About two minutes later, the door to our room opened, and there he was. He had tricked me...that tricksy hobbit!  We snuggled up for a bit and then Faith woke up. As soon as she realized daddy was home, she refused to go back to sleep...and that week had been so fun as far as sleep and Faith had been concerned since ALL the rest of her teeth had decided to come in at once (some are still working their way through...let's just say she hasn't been as cranky as I would expect her to be with that many teeth coming in at once- we're talking at least 10 teeth coming in at once...- but she has definitely not been her usual easy self.)

So...since Jeff got here, we've been working on doing what we can to get things out of his mom and dad's way as best as we can. Our original plan was to stay here until April when one of Jeff's brother's rentals comes open, but now things are shifting again. My mother in law is lonely with my father in law being gone and has said very emphatically that we are welcome to stay as long as it would take to save up a down payment for a house.

I'm not sure I will want to stay that long, but we will see how it goes. Jeff and I agreed to stay as long as we haven't worn out our welcome...and we've made that clear to my mother in law. I told her that BEFORE it becomes something that irritates her, to please tell us that we need to find a place of our own and we will be happy to do so.

So...here we are... home in Preston, Idaho.

I went shopping with my mother in law on Wednesday last week. It was 38 degrees outside. I had on a light jacket and I was fine...I told her it was just more proof that I hadn't acclimated to weather in Vegas...

Jeff managed to make it back right before a HUGE snowstorm hit and plowed us with over a foot of snow. Needless to say, I am in heaven! I've missed having seasons, and it just seemed odd to have winter with no snow... its funny to be back in Idaho with everyone complaining about winter and how it needs to be over and I'm here thinking how blessed I am to witness it.

Well, here's to the next chapter of life. Jeff is super excited for his new job. He has warned me that he likely won't be able to shut up about it when he gets home. I am working to try to get my photography business up and running and to try to get my voice studio up and running as well...

As always...I will tell you everything as it happens...because I'm awesome like that.

Hugs and Loves until next time Darlings!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Faith in Every Footstep


After a very, VERY hectic New Years and crazy Christmas, my husband and I were forced to make some slightly scary decisions for our little family.

We had a flood in our apartment...thankfully, we have renter's insurance that will cover most of the damages (the jury is still out on how much because we've been told 3 different things by 3 different agents. One said NOTHING would be covered, one said ALL would be covered, and one said that only the damage to the townhouse below us would be covered.... we are just going to let people make claims and let the chips fall where they may. So far, we know that the damages to the townhouse below us were covered.) and after the flood, came the flood...

Our neighborhood, while being a gated community, has progressively been getting a little scarier. Lots of youngsters have moved in (I sound so old right now...youngsters as in single people in their early 20s) and they drive through the neighborhoods of our little gated community like bats out of hell! Well, one of them finally did something REALLY stupid and they rammed their car into the building across the street from us. Looking at the skid marks, if they had turned the wheel the other way, it would have been us having to pack to leave our apartment at 4:30 in the morning because our building wasn't structurally safe to be in instead of our neighbors...after that, we made the tough decision to find a new apartment. We've had issues with the property management company since a few months since we moved in and have had issues getting maintenance done when we've needed it...so we decided it was time...

Well, once we put in our 30 day notice, on a whim, or maybe following some inspiration, Jeff started applying for jobs back "home".  Our Christmas visit had broken our hearts. Poor Faith, who RARELY does the stranger danger thing, was in tears every time an aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent tried to pick her up. Phillie, being smaller, wasn't as affected, but it definitely got us thinking about the fact that our girls are growing up and they don't know their family... as we drove home to try to fix what we could of the flood situation, we talked about our desire to move back (so maybe that is what drove Jeff to apply for other jobs...)

Well, Jeff found several jobs and applied for them. He's had interviews for two of those jobs that he has applied for so far. One in Logan, UT (close to where he grew up in Preston, ID) and one in Idaho Falls, ID (where I grew up...well, for the most part...we moved a lot.) The company in Logan immediately wanted him to come in for an in person interview, but it wasn't working to schedule it since it is a new year and Jeff doesn't have any time off built up...We were serious enough about him wanting the job, though, that we were willing for him to miss out on a day of pay to do the interview...however, I felt prompted to tell Jeff to ask if they would be willing to do a Skype interview instead...and lo and behold, they were willing to do so because he was so qualified for the position.

The phone interview with the company in Idaho Falls went so well that they told him point blank that he was the most qualified candidate they had interviewed and that they were willing to wait until we moved back at the end of the month for him to come in for an in person interview (in essence, they were saying it was his, but he needed to have the in person interview for personnel reasons).  After that interview, our decision was made...

We'd been going back and forth...should we just find a new apartment and keep waiting for Jeff to get his clearance...living in a city we hate (We love the people, we just don't like the "big city"...we miss our mountains, forests and "country areas" with vast acreages of farms), or should we bite the bullet and move back, job or no?

Hearing from two companies that he was highly qualified and desirable for the positions he was applying for kind of cinched it for us....Jeff immediately went to see how many more open positions there were for someone with his degree and training and there were several more that he hadn't applied for yet. We decided that, barring Jeff getting his clearance before he puts in his 2 week notice, which would mean he could actually WORK as opposed to sit in a warehouse all day doing nothing(which is highly unlikely since his case number isn't even up for review yet) we would have some faith and move back, because we know in the long run that this is what will be best for our family. We want to be close to our family, we want our girls to know the people that love them and we definitely don't want a repeat of this Christmas next year with Phillie (because everyone deserves the warmth that a Phillie smile brings into their lives...) We are going to have faith that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that he will help us find the right job and be able to provide for our family.

It may sound pretty dumb that we'd be willing to leave a job that pays $52,000 a year and has amazing benefits...but we've learned that you can't put a price on having family close by...

Since we've made that decision, things have seemed to start to fall into place to make the move easier.  Jeff's Skype interview yesterday went very, very well! It ended with them checking that Jeff was alright with the pay and benefits package they had to offer and today they emailed and asked for his references because in their own words they "feel very good" about yesterday's interview...So, hopefully, God is going to be good to us and we won't have to move back with no job in place.

To those of you that have been praying for my little family as we've been making this decision and as we've been struggling all I can do is say thank you. We have felt your prayers, and I know they have worked. I feel presumptuous to ask you to continue your prayers on our behalf, but we're not out of the woods yet...and we're still trying to figure out a budget that will work given what Jeff would be making at this new job, but we are going to have faith because we know this is what our little family needs.

Its a scary thing to let go and let God take care of things, but it is a beautiful experience to see his blessings in your life as you move forward...even when the decision you make is the scariest choice you could make...

Hugs and loves until next time darlings...