I have talked about my BFF before. I love her to death and she and I have been besties since the young age of 4 – yes, that’s a loooong time (but we’ve both gotten finer with age, of course). She and her husband are partly responsible for where we ended up.
Her family moved back to Ohio so her husband could attend Law School. Sue just received her Nursing License (and she’s one of the best nurse’s out there folks). So she was doing the supportive wife thing by putting her man through school.
Here’s why that matters.
When I got that promotion in 2001, our company was going through a merger. Have ya been through one of those? Well, it is quite the feat with integration, synergies, relocation, yada, yada, yada. I have been extremely fortunate to work under the leadership of some amazing people. My previous managers were always focused on my development. Just doing my current job was never enough for me. I wanted to be ready for the next thing. Because of all that was going on with work, we put our desire for adding to our family on hold for a while so I could focus on career development.
On hold for about a year and a half anyway :) We brought Caleb into our family in January, 2004. Paul was on first shift at this point so it wasn’t too terrible. But, doing the day care drop off for two children at TWO different day care facilities got old fast! Plus, trying to get our oldest ready for Kindergarten. Well, the “fun” never ended! Luckily, I was able to work some flex hours so it was easier to juggle. More companies NEED to do offer flex time. Not just for parents, but for everyone to help with quality of life!!
In the spring of that same year, there were many leadership changes. Many leaders whom I respected a great deal left the company, including the VP of our department. I’m a rather direct person (like you haven’t noticed ;) so I always kind of say it like it is and have no problems confronting people or situations. While I know there were times that “candor” needed some control, it was mostly encouraged within our company. The new “chiefs” that were coming in, well I don’t think they saw it that same way.
I was never reprimanded or anything, but they probably thought I was a mouthy 24-year old. I prefer “spunk” over mouthy :) Truth be told, I could have been knocked down a peg or two.
I am also a believer in working hard. Being in HR was hard sometimes because you saw everything. It’s part of the job, but you can get really disappointed in knowing what happens that others may not see (kind of like what I mentioned in the Blogging Commitment Curve). Knowing all of this “stuff” and the new leadership that was brought into the company, I felt like leaving the company was an option worth exploring.
That exploration turned into a new job opportunity for me. I was ecstatic to get to work with a previous manager I knew from my current company. However, the job was an hour away so we would have to move closer. But, guess what? Our best friends were ALSO moving in that direction! We just followed the path they were heading and ended up building a house on the same street. That is also something we even joked about as young girls! Only in our fantasy, we had a white picket fence. We live in a subdivision that doesn’t allow those. We gotta talk to the HOA Board on that ;)
OK, to get to the finance part of all of this. Selling our home was an entirely different story. This was truly a buyer’s market. We knew that in order to sell our home we would have to take a substantial loss. Luckily, I had been paying the extra payment to our principal so it wasn’t as deep in our pockets, but it was still quite substantial.
We took the loss and sold. We then signed a contract to begin building a new home. We had very little in savings, made nothing on the sale of our home and were trying to think of plans to save for the down payment. Not exactly done in the right order, huh?
While we were building we lived with our friends (for about five months). During that time we were able to save more for our down payment so that was a huge plus. However, the building process in itself was somewhat stressful. I mentioned before how we had like 8 of the top 10 stressors you could go through within a 6-month period. It was tough, but it did make our faith stronger.
Were we ever gonna need God for what was about to hit us next.
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