Monday, January 13, 2014

A year of transition....

At the beginning of the year, people reflect... regroup... resolve to complete certain things.

I have mulled over some things, but have not shouted from the roof-top of some great change that will be made.  However on Monday - the 6th (a week ago), I found out that I would be losing my job.  I had 2 days to transition everything over [dump on] one of my few colleagues who remain at the company and that would be it.  Done.  Bam!

I've never been laid off.  I've always left jobs.  I knew it would be coming, but I thought maybe at the end of January upon completing a major deadline.  (that still seemed "far" away)

Nope.  Not enough money in payroll next pay period.  6 more people had to be cut immediately.  It's pretty sad.  I worked for a good company until they were acquired by a computer software company that ran it into the ground.  Almost 80% of the workforce at the 94-year old company I worked for has been let go over the past 18 months.

I have really started reflecting on what it is that I want to do work-wise and family-wise.  Ideally, I would still be working and we'd have the adoption paid off.  That would make this transition a little more comfortable.  I feel like we would have a little more flexibility and freedom.  But, this is not "my" plan.  I have to let go and see where this takes me. 

I resolve to find the "RIGHT" fit for me and for our family in this next chapter, enjoy spending more time with the kids, taking better care of myself physically / spiritually / mentally, AND feel good about what is in store.

~~~ Alternatively ~~~

Todd turned in notice at his current position the same day that I was let go!  He has been planning this for a little while - of course.  A couple of guys he used to work with approached him about joining their new firm.  They are covered up with work and need help.

Clients and some of their consultants have been planting the seed about bringing Todd on board -- and that's just what they did!  He has a couple more weeks to finish up some work at his current job, but do stay tuned, as there will likely be some good stuff to come / good stuff to post.

He is very excited about going to a more progressive place to work.  Work in an environment that is fun.  Where he enjoys going into work because he likes the people and the projects.

I'm excited for him!

Other exciting news:  Just before guests arrived for soup night, Isabella took 4-5 unassisted steps, then fell.  A little later, took a couple more to share with the guests. 

I'm sure the next blog post will report that we have a full-fledged toddler.  (sniff sniff!) 

Here she is with a doll that my friend Cindy's mom gave her.  Isabella knew exactly what to do with the bottle (after trying it out herself, of course)!!

Monday and Tuesday of last week also brought extremely cold weather.  Below freezing for several days in a row.  Schools across the northern part of the state were closed.  Not due to snow (some had ice)... but because buses could not make their routes due to an additive that the school districts did not have to help prevent the diesel fuel from turning into sludge.  This is when I received my news.  This is also the point when Mercer was bouncing off the walls.  Surprisingly, it was not from this large lollipop that he received at a birthday party a couple of days prior.  (had to take a pic for him so he could see his tongue)  The allure of the lollipop did not last long.  After some licks, it ended up in the 'fridge then eventually into the trash.  He's never asked for it again.


A fun thing that Mercer and I were able to do together:  go to a science program at his school.  They were discussing air flow / air currents.  The experiments used a hair dryer to blow ping-pong balls in the air... a leaf blower to levitate beach balls... a smoke machine and a popper thingy to shoot the smoke to see where air flows go.  The leaf blower made another appearance to send strands of toilet paper sailing across the auditorium and children running frantically to gather it.  Also, the last "trick" done was using a leaf blower to create a sort of (crudely-built) hover craft that kids - and later even an adult - could ride on!

Sounds like we need to get a powerful leaf blower and start doing some tricks.  Mercer had a fantastic time.  (Seen here in the tie-dye shirt - which looks like that lollipop - on the floor right up front.)

Mercer started basketball this weekend.  (1/2 hour of practice + 1/2 hour scrimmage with another team immediately after).  It's pretty low-key, but just our pace!  He scored two goals in this first scrimmage.  Of course he was travelling like crazy.  The coach said "whatever" -- "the kids will get the hang of it later."  Mercer knew how to dribble last year.  He was the only kid who did so.  Now, he gets the ball.  Runs with the ball.  Shoots!

The most important part:  he had fun. 

I'll end with the lyrics of a Nina Simone song that have been going through my head the past week:

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me...

And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

I'm feeling good


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A quick Happy New Year!

What?!  another blog post so quickly after the last one?!

Over the course of last year, I've been writing down things that make me smile.  They're supposed to go into a "smile jar" and read them on New Year's day.  I've only managed to jot them down in a computer file and there was no formal pulling-of-the-paper out of a jar.

But - I've captured a bit of the things that made me smile in 2013

- night of the Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights - Mercer singing to Isabella
-Isabella sleeping through the night
Kids playing steel drums @ M's baseball opening day
"her smile makes my day."  quote from Todd on  3.24

3.26 cooking with Mercer -- pounding dough and smashing ritz

Mercer's excitement at his Kindergarten teddy bear tour

4.9.13 - saw my first inch worm of the season. 

Pick head up, drop, smile.  Pick head up, drop, smile (over and over again - 4.10.13)  (Isabella's first "game")
Things that Mercer says backwards:  "wash mouth" and "got for."

4.15 Isabella blowing raspberries in the car.. So hard
Mercer saying about new shoes…. "Look at the bottoms.  They make me run fast."
Mercer saying "you smell like my grandma" (to our friend Shelli)
Asparagus pee
Mercer crouching down on the floor and blowing a kiss under the door to the other side where his sister was sleeping.  
"music time" with Mercer

Isabella laughing so hard, she toots
"her smile lights up the room" - Todd said on vacation
"flying" to an address on Google Earth
Mercer:  "hey I have a good idea" followed by some activity such as going for a walk, a hike, bike ride, etc.  
Isabella & mommy "giggle-fest" for about 15 minutes - couldn't stop!
Sitting on porch swing w/ Isabella while sweet-smelling gardenias in bloom
Catching fireflies with Mercer
Pinwheels spinning
Isabella twirling her hair while feeding on bottle
Mercer's response to what was your favorite thing about vacation, beach, splash party…. "Everything!"
Isabella stopping mid-course in whatever she is doing to stop, watch her hand move
Mercer putting on a cat-in-the-hat puppet show for me & Isabella
Todd & mercer playing baseball @ the park
Looking at Mercer's frog costume photo and looking at Isabella's ladybug costume photo
Todd being so involved in the kid's lives
Mercer's voice going up an octave when talking to Isabella
Mercer and Todd holding hands during apple picking
Isabella holding up her arm and upturned hand, saying "eh!"
Isabella's baby giggle.  Isabella's baby "snicker."
Watching Isabella fall asleep while rocking her.  Eyelids getting heavier and heavier…
Looking across the hall at the print in the bathroom that we bought in Barcelona while rocking Isabella to sleep
Isabella saying uh-oh THEN dropping an object on the ground
Mercer singing Happy Birthday to Thanksgiving.
Isabella grabbing something soft (doll, blanket, teddy bear) and pressing it against her face.  Snuggler!
Mercer & cousin Katlin baking cookies.  "OK - time to eat more chocolate chips."  He stuck with it!
"Kit Cat" when Isabella sees a puppy dog (stuffed animal or real)
Mercer calling Rose Marie a "Sore Lizard" when playing cards
Isabella slapping Rose Marie in the face (sounds bad, but was pretty funny even to RM)
When Mercer prays and says he is thankful for mommy, daddy, and Isabella.
Mercer singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus" during Christmas.
Isabella taking her doll's bottles and trying to drink out of them.

The thought of how lucky we are to have such a beautiful, blessed family!