Monday, July 28, 2014

Extension of Me.

Mom/Grandma came to visit last week, and took all three kids home with her on Saturday.

I'm enjoying the break, working extra long hours at work trying to beat deadlines, and spending some time for myself.

But I miss them.

Yea, they drive me crazy...but I miss them.

Today at work they asked me how I was enjoying the time alone...

My response?

I said I was trying to enjoy it...but I missed them so much.

What they replied made me realize how much my children are intertwined in me.

How much they are a part of me. 

They said "Of course you miss them...they are your whole life"

I don't know why I didn't realize it before...

I didn't realize how much my co-workers picked up on this. 

But they are.

They make up the better part of me.

I  do miss them like crazy,

but am taking this time for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Average Day

I have meant to keep up on this blog better than I have. 

I wanted to use it as a journal to someday come back and revisit this place in my heart.  But, through the busy-ness of life, it didn't happen. 

I won't be able to capture the feelings, the emotions that I felt while settling in.  And honestly, maybe I was hiding from reality.  I didn't want to open up and be honest about how hard it was to experience so much change.  I had wanted this for so long, I didn't want to admit that it was hard.

But it was hard.  And it still is hard.  I know that it is right, and I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be.  But it is still hard. 

I have a feeling that normalcy will solve some of this.  Once school begins and we are all in a routine of sorts, the rhythm of life will soon take over and we will feel more settled.

When I talk with friends and family back home, they often ask what fills our days.

I usually leave the house around 7 or 7:30 to catch the bus for work.  A few days a week, I will get on the early bus and am at my desk at 6:45 am.  People who know me laugh when they hear this.  I'm such a night owl...the only time I was ever at my desk at 6:45 am was when I worked night shift. 

Some mornings I will drop the kids off some where and other mornings, someone will pick them up between 8-8:30. 

The past few weeks the kids have had summer camps to attend.  It has added a bit of stress of finding drivers and babysitters, etc.  but it has helped them feel at home and settled in.

Riley is struggling a bit.  It comes and goes and most days it appears like he is doing well.  But I know deep down, he really misses his friends in Rittman.  He was settled, established there and it has been hard for him to uproot.  Thankfully we are close and he is able to stay open with me as we talk things out. 
When we started the remodeling on the house we will be moving in to, he was able to help with some of the demolition work.  It was great to see him working with the men, being treated like one of them.  He coudn't talk about anything else for the next week. 
He has meet quite a few boys his age, and I love to watch them play together.  He really is such a sweet kid, but has had to face so many tough things in his life and some has made him jaded.  I hope in time he can soften and learn to trust more openly. 

Rhianna has spent past 2 weeks (and this week) working on a Summer Musical Theater program.  She has THREE parts (she is ecstatic!) and is helping do the sets with her friend Leah.  It has been great to see her blossom through this. 
She has also buddied up to a friend from church who she calls her 'CT Grandma'.  I call her the little shadow.  Where she is, Rhianna is right behind her.  She helps in the kitchen and does all sorts of fun things.  This summer they are working on teaching Rhianna how to sew and other things that her mom can't do :-) 

Reagan is still Reagan.  His twinkling eyes and ornery grin.  He has a buddy at church who is a year or so younger than him, but they both are the same height with blond hair.  They could melt a stone heart with one little twinkle of their eye and the giggles that come out with every breath. 
There is a creek on back part of the church property here.  They tried to convince me this past Sunday that the Sunday School teacher wanted to have Sunday School there and they were supposed to go down there right away.  *I didn't fall for it but part of me wanted to.

My day?  My day is filled with meetings and writing documents, keeping track of IT questions and updates and documenting business desicions.  I am on a couple comittees, which are fun and break up the day.  I have a great relationship with the leadership of my organization and it makes going to work fun instead of a dreaded task. 
It no longer feels strange to have to hurry to catch the bus or to wait on a noisy city street after work to catch a bus home.  It feels normal and I honestly love it.  15 minutes of down time each way is exactly what this busy mama needs to mentally switch from mom to work mode and then back to mom again.

I'll try and start writing of our fun adventures we have had over the past 3 months.  In the grand scheme of things, it is going great.  We have been welcomed so lovingly into this church family, that daily I am overwhelemed by their willingness to take us in as their own.

My mom is coming tomorrow and spending the week.  Originally it was to work on the house, but our schedule is quickly filling up with other things.  But I think right now, the other things, the time spent together is more important. 

I surprised the kids and told them that Grandma was taking them back to Ohio for a couple weeks.  The kids are doing so well here, but I had promised them that I would take every opportunity to get them back to Ohio, even if it was for a long weekend.  They can't wait to see their cousins and friends.   I have to admit, I'm kinda jealous.

Although...a couple weeks of just 'take care of myself' time sounds rather exciting and needed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Three Months In...

I can't believe its been three months. 

Some days it seems like an eternity ago I said my good byes.

Other days, it seems like yesterday.

We are doing well.  Settling into a routine of sorts.

Work is going great.  Trying to learn everything as quickly as I can.  But there is just so much to learn.  Going from working nights at a hospital to days at an insurance company is a big change.  Thankfully, I have amazing co-workers and a great leadership team that has been so helpful.

The kids are having a blast this summer, but not without ups and downs.  They are meeting and making new friends, spending most days swimming, been to the beach quite a few times, not to mention Six Flags. 

Riley has probably had the hardest time settling in.  He had a lot of friends in Rittman and was established on his sports teams.  He is my kid who thrives on routine.  Its been tough for him, but he seems to be doing better every day.  Last week he was in a flag-football camp.  He enjoyed it, but definitely missed full-tackle.  Hopefully in a few years he can get back on a team and play again.

Rhianna has made quite a few friends and has found a grandma/mom figure who has taken Rhianna under her wing.  The two are inseperable and Rhianna has blossomed with her friendship.  She helps in the kitchen at church as often as possible and is becoming well known for her constant smile.  Rhianna is in a drama club this summer and has three parts in the musical they are putting on.  I can't wait to see her perform for the first time on Friday.

Reagan, my little roll-with-the-punches guy, has fit right in.  He has a couple little friends and has said he loves it here.  I love watching him at church with his little friend, two little blondies bopping around with their eyes twinkling. He was in a Lego/Robot class last week and is in a engineering/building class this coming week.

***
Housing?  We are working on getting into permanent housing.  It has been quite the unexpected journey, but again as so often in my past, I have been exactly where God has wanted me to be.  We are working, with the emense help of others, to remodel a house that we will soon call our own.  I can't wait to be settled into a house that is ours and that is large enough to have company stay with us. 
***

How is it really going?

I wasn't sure how much to write about how I have been feeling.  I have wanted this for so long (21 years!!!) and I know that God wants me here...so why am I feeling what I'm feeling?  I don't know.  But it seems like the more I fight it, the worse it gets.  But I'm homesick.  And oddly enough, not for the things one might think. 

Its the little things that get me.

I miss the secret little hugs my niece would give me.
I miss hearing her little sister giggle in my ear.
I miss my friends at the hospital, and knowing we are all scattered with the closing of the hospital makes it so much harder.
I miss the sounds of the helmets and shoulder pads hitting each other during football practice...knowing this is the time of year that practice and conditining starts. 
I miss stopping into my Grandparents and grabbing a few dozen eggs and chatting with them
I miss my family.

It helps to write this.  It helps to acknowledge that its okay to be lonely.  Its okay to be tired of all things new.  Its okay to cry when I think of everything in Ohio.  It doesn't mean I'm not where I'm supposed to be.  It doesn't mean I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do.  It doesn't mean I'm not happy where I am.  It simply means I have a lot that I love in Ohio, and for that I'm thankful. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life


Life is good.

Busy.

Hectic.

Not completely settled.

But good.

We are adjusting to our routine.

(Just in time for the last day of school this Friday to shake up our routine again)

Work is going great.

Hectic (DEADLINES!!), but good.

School is going well for the kids.  (4 days left!!)

Riley is adjusting as expected.

He is doing great; but trying to get away with things under the name of "I'm adjusting, MOM" :-)

Soon (when I find time), I'll write about the week we spent in Ohio a few weeks ago.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

So God made a farmer...


I love this clip.

No, I'm not a farmer.

But I come from the heart of farmland.

Maybe at one point in my life, I wanted to run from it.

Maybe not so long ago, I didn't think where and how I was raised had affected me at all.

It wasn't until I was offered the job at Travelers and then was told what line of Business I would be supporting.

(I work with a specific line of business and help them work with IT to implement system changes)

When I was told that I would be supporting the Agriculture line of business I had to laugh.

I was moving to work in a big city...to work in farming.

***
It was my second week of work.  I was overwhelmed, tired, frustrated with myself for not learning faster, and just plain exhausted.

I had a short training session scheduled with one of the VP's of Agriculture that I will be working closely with.  At the time of the meeting, I didn't have any ideas of what it was about.  I figured it was how our roles interact, etc.

It was to teach me about farming.

'Bob' is a great guy.  He is nice and so easy to work with.  However, I could almost sense a frustration of sorts when I first walked in the room.  Later, I wondered if it was because he was going to have to teach this girl about farming and probably didn't really have the time to try and explain to a girl what farming was.

He sat down next to me and explained that we cover property and liability, but our specific division doesn't cover production...and that I probably thought that the farmer who milks the cow, puts the milk in the jug.  And that the farmer who grows the grain makes the grain into flour.

I honestly didn't know how to react.

My first thought was: "PEOPLE REALLY THINK THAT???????????"

I honestly didn't know what to do.  Thoughts were swirling around in my head.

Do I respect him and let him go on?

Or do I politely interrupt and tell him the truth?

I honestly don't remember what I said or how I said it.

All I remember was words tumbling out of my mouth and then eventually said:


  • My grandpa was a dairy/chicken farmer
  • My dad managed a farm equipment store
  • My brother in law is a grain farmer
  • And I worked at an orchard for 3 years
  • I grew up in farmland Ohio. 

The look on his face was priceless.

It went from 'I have to tell this chic about farming' to 'WHOOHOO someone who knows something about this topic!'

Our session soon went from 'myths about farming to discussions about risks of crop insurance, Farm Bureau and other such topics.

He had even heard of Wayne County, Ohio.

***

So maybe I'm not really a farmer.

I'm not out working a million hours a week to keep America fed.

But what I am doing is helping to keep the computer system going so that farmers can be insured properly.

That counts towards something, right?

I left Wayne County to get to work in farming.

Life is funny sometimes.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home

Its been a month now.

The first few weeks brought bumps that I didn't expect.

There were the adjustments and unexpected emotions that had to be dealt with.

Then all of a sudden, life seemed normal.

It is home and now feels like home.

I can't begin to describe the peace and contentment that I have.

I am finally home.

I hear many comment  with:

"You did it! You didn't give up even though it took 3 years!"

I have to laugh.

It actually took me 21 years.

I first knew this was home when I was 13.  I finally made it now that I'm 34.

I may have taken the long route, but I made it.

Breathless and shaky-legged ,yes, but home nonetheless.

There are still some obstacles that will have to be hurdled.

We are still looking for permanent housing, which is our only glitch.

Long story...but the house we were going to move into had some issues came up on the landlord's end so the deal fell through. We are staying in a small apartment that is home we look for to settle into.  Right now that is the biggest hurdle, and I have a 'crew' out looking for someplace for us to call home.

I came across this picture tonight and thought it said it perfectly:


We need to be content, but we also shouldn't hold on to things, ideas or concepts.  So often the things we think are exactly what we need end up taking the place of something that God wants to give us that is much better.   

*** 
We head back to Ohio next week to get Riley.  

I haven't seen him since Easter and this mama is rather lonely for her boy.  

(I could say that there is a boy really lonely for his mama, but I don't want to embarrass him!)

Rhianna and Reagan are doing remarkably well.  They have made so many new friends and are doing great in school.  They love their teachers, principal, and the kids in their classes.  

Things couldn't be going better! 

Thanks so much for your love and prayers! 

Please pray for us to find a home and also for Riley as he makes some big adjustments.  

Love you all!!
-j



Saturday, May 17, 2014

'Mom, you look like a widow' and other wonderful compliments!

Reagan was up late with me watching me scroll through Facebook.

He happened to see my cover photo.

Which is this:


He said "Mom.  You look like a widow in that picture!!"

I asked him why he thought I looked like a widow. 

He said it was because I was wearing a scarf over my hair.  

(This picture was taken in February at a Connecticut beach.  It was cold!)

This didn't really make sense so I asked him:

"Do you know what a widow is?"

He said "Yea!!  A widow is a homeless woman"

Uhhh??!!...

This comment came a few hours after Rhianna had asked if I there were cars when I was little.  

"Um, yea..." 

Then asked when she thought cars were invented. 

"1800's?"

I guess that makes me a very old homeless woman. 

*Sigh*  

Oil of Olay wrinkle control sounds like a great investment.   

****
Other than recent the recent setbacks (the ones mentioned above), we are doing wonderfully good here. 

My 3rd week at work proved to be the roughest so far.  I think the newness wore off, but I still didn't feel settled.  My brain would hurt from all the information being shoved into it.  (I'll write soon about what I do along with pictures of the city) 

The next week went much, much smoother and we seem to be settling into a routine.  

We are in the midst of finding/finalizing some permanent housing for us.  We are in a great little apartment temporarily while we take some time to find a house that will work for us. 

Other than the housing search, the kids and I are doing great.  We have made so many wonderful friends and it feels like home here in Connecticut.  

I pinch myself when I think this is all a dream.   It is really is that wonderful. 

All I can say, is to those who read this who are struggling.  Don't give up.  Keep looking to God and keep plugging away.  Someday God will give you all the desires of your heart...in His way and in His time.  When that time comes you will have to pinch yourself too.  

I have so much to write, and will write more soon. 

Thanks for all of your prayers, encouragement and love.  

I couldn't have done this without you.