Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Email

Still working through the hiring process of sealing the deal for a job in corporate America.

Lots of hoops to jump through...taking lots of time.

Email came today that said they were working through the process. 

It just goes slow. 

I am staying realistic...this job is not yet to be claimed as mine.

I am staying positive...things are moving in the right direction.

But my feet are planted firmly on the ground, I'm not making any crazy assumptions. 

I am remembering that corporations can be finicky and this could all drop out from beneath me.

I am letting myself get a little excited...I have worked hard for this. 

I hope this is it.

Finding Beauty

I could not sleep.

The mixture of excitement and anxiety of the unknown future has me restless.

I decided to get out of bed and read old emails.

Unsure of what caused me to do this.

There was one post in particular I longed to read.

In searching for that email, I began to read the correspondences between myself and another.

It was like reading the letters of a long-ago girl written to a confidant.

A girl who had been battered and bruised.

Who was hoping to find beauty.

It was amazing to see the communication evolve into a deep and trusting relationship.

To read the emails of bantering back and forth ~ giving encouragement and advice.

Then finding that email.

Weeping for her pain.

To read the compassion in the responses.

And the belief that there was value under the rubble.

I cried harder.

Reading over the past three years,

And the last few months.

Seeing that I have come so far.

I am unsure what is up ahead.

I trust that  beauty will continue to rise from the ashes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lincoln Museum {Springfield, IL}

This past weekend we took a quick trip to see my friend Michelle who lives in IL (almost into St. Louis).

The last time my kids were there was 4 years ago.  We did the arch and discussed how it would be fun to do the Lincoln Museum when they were a little older.

Somehow 4 years went by and we never made it out.

She called me a few weeks ago and said she came up with the idea of her parents driving the kids and I out. 

With the way things are progressing, I'll soon be 1100 miles away from her instead of 500...I thought this would be a good opportunity to get out and see her before it was too far.

We decided to head out Friday afternoon and then spend Saturday in Springfield at the Lincoln Museum.

I love that my kids are weird and love museums as much as I do :-)

In the main rotunda of the museum, the Lincoln Family stands to greet you:

The Lincoln Family + Riley, Rhianna, Reagan & Ashton. 

Abe was sitting outside his childhood log cabin with a book. 
Riley noticed he was holding a book and commented on the fact they are both book-lovers. 

 There was a child's area called Mary's Attic.  Inside was all kinds of fun things for children of all ages to do.  There was a dress-up area where you could dress up as the Lincolns, different Generals, the Lincoln children, etc. 

Rhianna as Mary Todd Lincoln

Reagan as Abraham Lincoln

Riley as Gen.  Ulysses S. Grant

Of course there had to be a little reading corner. 
It didn't take Riley long to find it.

Rhianna and a dollhouse (I think resembled the Lincoln Home in Springfield)

Kitchen area where you could pretend to cook over a fire. 

Riley noticed on the floor in the center of the main room came to a point with a penny.
We had lunch at Union Station in Springfield. 
I had to laugh when I saw the transit drive by on the city streets.  It said 'Springfield Mass Transit'.  I shouted out "Look, there's a Springfield Massachusetts bus."  Guess we know where my mind is always drifting...
We then drove a few blocks across town to the actual site of the Lincoln home in Springfield.  There were free tours, but you had to wait your turn.  We decided that waiting 3 hours with 5 tired kids on a hot afternoon wasn't the best idea. 
We walked around the little block instead.  A breeze picked up and it was a perfect day for a walk. 
The sidewalks were the old clapboard walks and along each yard was a picket fence.  Definitely nostalgic. 

A woman dressed as Mary Todd Lincoln was walking around.  I asked her if I could have my children's picture taken with her.  Riley was annoyed with me wanting a picture and Ashton was quite taken with her get-up.  It was darling, he couldn't quite stop staring at her, but did for a quick moment for the picture. 
We drove the hour back to SW Illinois and the spent the evening catching up, teaching the kids to play Risk, and having popcorn. 
Sunday we drove to church on the other side of St. Louis and heard wonderful sermons that encouraged me tremendously. 
We left around 3:15 pm (CST) and made it home a little before 1:30 am (EST).
A quick weekend with plenty of car time (just ask my kids :)  but it was nice to spend time with the Rassi's!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

State Motto

Even the state motto {of CT} is telling me I'll be fine.

A friend {she is also a transplant} sent me this link to to check out the state motto:

The motto "Qui Transtulit Sustinet," (He Who Transplanted Still Sustains), has been associated with the various versions of the seal from the creation of the Saybrook Colony Seal. While the origin of the motto is uncertain, the late Charles J. Hoadly, a former State Librarian, suggested in an article entitled "The Public Seal of Connecticut," which appeared in the 1889 edition of the Connecticut State Register and Manual, that we look to the 80th Psalm as a possible source. "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it."
"He who transplanted still sustains"
I think that might have to be written somewhere on the walls of my new home.
Sometimes we need to bloom where we are planted; sometimes we need to be transplanted to bloom to full capacity.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Progress {Job Update}

Just a quick post to update you on the progress. 

I have to keep reminding myself that all of this can fall through and nothing come of it.

But I'm still really excited :-)

Last week I emailed one of the contacts.

She said she had a lot to do and to nudge her next week.


That didn't seem overly exciting.

I was going to wait until mid week to nudge her again.

Then Monday afternoon an email popped up telling me to go to the corporate website and apply for job so and so...if I was interested.

Um. Interested?

Yea I was interested!!!

She said that would get me in their queue and we could move forward from there but I had already covered considerable ground.

She closed the email with  "I'll talk to you soon"

That sounds better than: "I'll be in touch"....right??

Of course, I went to the website as fast as I could and submitted my resume and information.

It's now Wednesday evening and haven't heard anything.

I know 2 days isn't that long.  I know that it all takes time and it all has to go through the process.  I know, I know....

But I'm dying to know what is next.  And when that next step will be.

As I look at the calendar, I wonder what my next month will be.  Will it be waiting? or frantically packing? and finding a place to live? 

I'm trying to enjoy the summer days with my kids knowing that this will probably be the last one where we can have unplanned picnics and friends over (almost daily) doing fun things.

In the meantime I watch my email account like a hawk.

Monday, June 17, 2013

4 Seasons {Family Photos, 3 down, 1 to go}

It started with a trip to Rocky Neck in June of 2010 for a photo shoot at my favorite place.

I had them done as a gift to myself for my 30th.

And to prove to myself that we were okay.  It was 10 months into my journey of being a single-mom and I needed something tangible in my hands to see that we were okay.


Fast forward to October 2011. 

I had been working at an orchard and I can't think of a more beautiful place than to have family pictures taken.


This spring I worked out in the orchard and I noticed the blossoms were extra beautiful this year.  We hadn't had pictures of all of us taken in over a year so I thought this would be a great opportunity. 

I'm going to wait until Winter '14/'15 and do a shoot in the snow to complete the 4 seasons family photo collection.  It seems so far away into the future, but will be here before I know it. 

JUNE 2010


                                                                                         MAY 2013



Friday, June 14, 2013

Introducing: Chinchie the Chinchilla {our mascot}

A few months ago I received a text from a friend: "We are moving and can't take our chinchilla with us.  Would you like him?"

My kids had been begging for a dog and seeing that a dog is completely and totally out of the picture, I did consider the chinchilla.
Riley and Chinchie

I had a chinchilla years ago and they are tons of fun to have.

Very low maintenance, but yet still interacts with you.  {Dog meets goldfish type of pet}

I thought about it for a week or so and then finally relented. 

I have yet to regret doing it.

The kids LOVE their pet but when we travel I can easily give it extra food and throw in a few sticks {they love apple appropriate is that?} and off we go.

Reagan and Chinchie

He had another name and we tried our hardest to keep it that.  But our family is notorious for finding nicknames and Diego soon became Chinchie and it stuck. 

When we come home he comes to the edge of the cage and looks out at us, waiting to be talked to.

Rhianna and Chinchie

Its so cute when the kids' friends come over, he hops on his wheel and runs as fast as he can.  He's rather a show-off.

Hannah (Riley's friend) and Chinchie

Be sure to watch for more tales of Chinchie the Chinchilla!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Resting in His Promises {Psalm 37}

I'm still waiting.

From what I've been told, getting work contracts finalized can take weeks or even months. 

So I wait. 

Monday night, after driving all day, I lay in bed with my Bible.

After a whirlwind weekend like that, the Psalms were calling me.

I make notations (dates, small comments, etc.) in my Bible to remind me in later years of how God provided through scripture.

As I glanced through, I noticed written in pencil above Psalm 37 a date: 2/10. 

I think that was just the beginning stages of when God began to nudge me to pray about moving.

Marked in Psalm 37 was "he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." and "trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."

My eyes fell on a few verses below to "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself"

Only that verse allowed me to sleep Monday night. 

I was restless from the drive.

But mostly restless from excitement and apprehension of the unknown of how fast or slow this job contract would go (or if it would fall through in the end).

Tuesday night, still restless, I grabbed my Bible from the stand {still open to Psalm 37} and looking down I saw "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land"

I'm going to get my highlighter and my pencil and write in the margin all that God has shown me through this Psalm. 

When I'm discouraged and possibly frustrated, I can look back and flip the pages of the Bible and find all different times and occasions where He provided when I was the weakest.

In the meantime, I'm going to rest in His promises and wait.

{and do a bit of organizing for easy packing...just in case, right?  ;-}

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What's the next step?

Had a great weekend.

It was exactly what I needed.

Much more than just the interviews that I had.

I was refreshed and restored and enjoyed my time being 'home'.

Wonderful to the people who are like my family.

Can't wait to be here for good.


Friday ended on a very good note.

Nothing written in stone.

But thing are definitely moving in the right direction.

I have two high-up employees working on getting me in.

I have the 'stamp of approval' from the HR recruiter.

As far as I understand its a matter of logistics and getting me into a position that would allow me to excel. 

It appears to be just a matter of time.


I'm doing my best to stay realistic.

I don't want to be negative and always expect the worst.

Reality is, the bottom could fall out of this and the job contract won't go through.

Reality is, this process could take months.

I'm trying to stay positive and trust that God's timing is really all that matters.

But I know one thing. 

If this job contract goes through it will be worth all the time I waited.

Just waiting to hear the next step.

Friday, June 7, 2013

My brain is oatmeal...

This week has pushed me to the extreme mentally. 

My brain resembles a bowl of cold oatmeal.

And is basically as effective as a cold bowl of oatmeal.


Wednesday I drove the 9 hours east.

Thursday morning I had a networking meeting that ended up into meeting a second person who then later that evening asked me back in to meet with a few more people the next day.

Thursday afternoon I had an interview that was very demanding and tough.

This morning I had a face to face interview at 9.  One at 10.  Phone interview at 11.

Emailing in between to other contacts.

I have other phone interviews to come and possibly will need to come back for more face to face interviews in the next week or so.

It has been an amazing experience and I'm so excited for the opportunities ahead.

I am trying to be realistic and realize that this could all come crashing down around me.  That seems to happen to me frequently.

But I am going to stay positive and continue to work at this.

I'm so excited that I have to pinch myself to remind me that this is real.

I'm realizing that God DOES have good in store for me after all.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I can't be late because I had to chase a chinchilla

This morning I had to be in Akron at 8:30 am to test out of my final credit hours.

7 am is really early to wake up kiddos on their first week of summer vacation.

I was trying to wake up Reagan who was adamant about not getting up.

To help things out Riley brought in Chinchie the chinchilla (more on him later:) to snuggle up to Reagan's cheek to wake him up. 

Usually that's a great idea.

But chinchilla's are frisky little critters and can sometimes get away.

I was on edge about taking these tests anyhow and did not feel like chasing a chinchilla.

"Riley, put Chinchie away.  I can't be late because I had to chase a chinchilla."

Chalk that up as one more sentence I never thought I would say but did.


I've known for quite some time that I had to take these tests.  But between me, you, and the fencepost I was terrified to take them. 

After all, you can't fail something you never attempt.  Right?

I have been handing out excuses why I wasn't taking them.

Some really good ones too.

But the truth is, fear is what kept me from going for it. 

Then with the upcoming interview I thought I should get these tests done.

Only I would take two tests two days before an interview.

Nothing like pressure, right?

Then again, pressure has been the theme of my entire college career...why change that now?


The first test went great.  Or at least it felt great. 

Until I saw the score.


I was absolutely terrified that meant percent.

I somehow walked out to the desk, knees knocking, to tell her I was done.

She asked how I did. 

I was honest and said it felt easy, but I guess I bombed it because it said 60.

She laughed and said "It doesn't mean 60%.  I'm not sure how they score it, but 60 is really good."

Words cannot describe the relief and thankfulness.

I sighed.  Then giggled.  Then floated to cloud 9. 

But only for a moment because I had to move on to test # 2.

While I was waiting for her to get the testing code, I noticed the screen saver on the other computer had a picture of a stunning full moon. 

Nothing calms me down like a picturesque moon.

I smiled.

God is everywhere and in every thing. 

Even on computer screens in the white walled rooms of testing centers.

Half hour later I passed the second test.

I wasn't sure how I would feel.  If I would just walk out feeling normal or excited or relieved or what.

I gathered my things and quick texted my mom who was waiting anxiously at home.

My next move startled me.

I went to text my dad.

I flipped open my phone to begin the text and the realization smacked me in the face. 

He's not there to tell.

I was not expecting that.  I've never texted my dad before...he has been gone 12 years.  There wasn't texting then. 

When the absurdity of my thoughts hit me again I cried harder.

Tears began to stream down my face uncontrollably.

I was not expecting these emotions.

Sadness was the last thing I expected to feel.  I had expected elation.

I stumbled down two flights of stairs and made it outside to text the person  who is closest to a father figure to me. 

It helped.  Sorta. 

When I told mom that I was crying she suggested I stop at the cemetery.

I was not expecting these emotions.

I was planning on excitement and relief. 

Not this. Not body wracking sobs.

I drove to the cemetery and lay in front of his stone mentally shot. 

It felt good.

The sun warmed my cheeks and I peered out at the words "Our Loving Father".

I had to think back to that last note he left.

The one where he told me to straighten out.

I think I have. 

And it felt good to tell him.
By the way, thanks for attending my ceremony.I decided not to go to the UOP ceremony because all my courses were online and I won't know anyone at the Cleveland campus. This post just became my commencement ceremony. 

Thanks so much for showing up and whistling when they called my name ~ I pretended to be embarrassed, but it was fun of you to do that.   By the way, you look great!

On to get that job.

Monday, June 3, 2013


You guys are incredible.

If I pull this interview off without making a complete fool of myself it will only be because of YOU!

Thanks for pointing out its most likely a lunch interview and NOT to order BBQ chicken wings.

Thanks for pointing out that I need to list a weakness and how I compensate for it, not simply how I make it a strength.

Thanks for reminding me to use a napkin and chew with my mouth closed  (if it is a lunch interview)

Thank you for reminding me that I'm determined to succeed.

Thank you for reminding me that I am strong.

Thank you for assuring me God does want good for me.


If you think of it, can you pray for me Thursday morning? 

Even before, I'm sure God won't forget Thursday if you happen to pray Wednesday.

Pray I won't trip or say something totally ridiculous.

Pray HIS will be done.

Pray that if HIS will is not this job that I won't be devastated, mad, irritated, irrational, and angry.

Thanks're the best.