Friday, December 13, 2013

New Normal

Well, I didn't wait as long this time.  I knew I had it in me.  I also have a new job, which honestly gives me a little more free time in my day.  Any of you working moms out there know what I mean by this.  Being at home with the kids was 24/7, non stop.  At a job there are times during the day that you have a few minutes to sit back and just breathe (or blog). 

So, as I just mentioned I was offered and accepted the position at NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC).  I'm currently working 5 days a week on campus.  It's a little different schedule than I anticipated and will change at some point but I chose to do this so that I could have shorter days vs. longer days to allow for a day or 2 at home.  The campus goes to a 4 day week in May so I anticipate working 5 days a week until then.  My boss is about as laid back and flexible as can be.  I've arrived between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning and he is fine with that.  As long as the work is done I'm pretty free to come and go.  Such a change from my previous job.  I actually sent Luke a text today that said "FYI I LOVE MY JOB".  It just hit me today that I made the right choice and I have noticed that I'm a happier person and a happier mommy which is the most important thing to me.  Plus, the paycheck really doesn't hurt either! We plan to use this extra money to pay off our student loans.  It's so exciting to know that in a year or so we will be debt free (not including our mortgage)!  Debt Free!  We didn't imagine we'd be saying that so early in our post grad school lives and I don't want to jinx us, but that is the plan.

I started the week of Thanksgiving so I only had a 3 day week.  Perfect timing to get us all used to a new routine.  My second and third weeks of work were also 3 day weeks thanks to a nice ice and snow storm that closed campus for 4 days!  So all in all this has been a pretty easy transition into our new normal.  I got my first paycheck today and it seemed just a little wrong to get paid considering I still haven't worked a full week! 

William and Clara are adjusting wonderfully.  William is excited to get up and go to school and play with his friends each morning.  If you ask him what his friends names are he will tell you Elsie, Chase and Thomas.  I have no clue if these people exist or if he is just telling me something to get me to stop asking :)  Clara is still an incredibly easy going little lady.  She gives the teacher a big smile every morning when I drop her off and has a smile ready for me when I pick her up.  She still doesn't love the bottle and has days that she eats great and days that she is ready to eat non stop when we get home.  I know as she gets older and we can begin supplementing with food and she gets more and more comfortable with the bottle that this will work itself out.  I realize that food is till probably about 2 months off but it's definitely on my radar.  Anyway, she is really making this so easy on me, and for that I am SO thankful!

Enjoy a few pictures from Clara's 3 month photo shoot :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Been Awhile.....

So, I lied.  I said I was back and then it was a year + before I returned.  Please insert an appropriate excuse here and don't judge.  I hope this return is more permanent but I really shouldn't make promises right now.  When I last posted we were preparing to celebrate William's 1st birthday, my oh my how things have changed in the past year!  William is now 2 and has a 2 month old little sister.  Let's do a quick recap of the past year and then we can move on to the real reason for my return......

1st birthday fun...

I'll summarize each month with a picture to catch us up...
October 2012 - watching Cowboy football in Ft. Smith with Becky and Jared
November 2012 - Thanksgiving in KS
December 2012 - William got to share his secret with family
January 2013 - Visiting family in KS
March 2013 - trip to Tanganika Park in Wichita with Emory and Bristyl
April 2013 - Aunt Mary and Uncle Andy get married!
May 2013 - Trip to KS for baby Elsie's birth
June 2013 - hanging out with Lauren and Bristyl at Gma and Gpa's
July 2013 - trip to Branson with the Raleigh Family
  July 2013 - Family Staycation at the Simmering Ranch
August 2013 - Clara Jean Simmering makes her grand entrance into the world
 September 2013 - Lots of cuddling with sister
September 2013 - William turns 2, we celebrated in Hesston with a hay rack ride and family time
 October 2013 - Painted pumpkins with Jacob and Rachel and we've continued to watch sister grow and grow!

So there you have it, and quick run through of the the last year.  I'll maybe get around to details about a few of the more major milestones we had during the year but I'm not sure when that will happen, so this will have to do for the time being.

Now, on to the sad truth.  I didn't honestly return to start blogging again.  I came to read a post I had written in December of 2011.  Here's the post I wrote about returning to work when William was 10 weeks old.  I've been thinking about returning to work for a LONG time now and Luke and I have come to an agreement that it may be the best decision for our family.  I went back to work last spring for 2 months to help out at a CPA firm during busy season.  I worked 30 hours a week and sent William to a great daycare near our house.  He loved it and cried when April 15 rolled around and he didn't get to go anymore.  I loved it, I got to interact with other adults on a regular basis, had a reason to shower and get dressed up each day and it gave me that accomplished feeling that I personally need from an external source.  

Now that Clara is here I struggle with this decision.  There are days I can't imagine being away from her and then there are those days when I know that a few hours apart would do our relationship some good.  Long story short I have an interview for a job that would be about as perfect as it can get.  It's at the community college here in Bentonville and would be 3 or 4 days in the office, working for an incredibly flexible boss. The best part is that it is a 2 year position, so if I go and decide it isn't for us I can resign or ride it out for 2 years, or if I love it I can be on the look out for something more permanent during the 2 year period.  I know that everyone I talk to says that guilt is just a feeling moms have to deal with and so I'm trying not to let it put a damper on my excitement.  I know that many of my mommy role models were/are working moms and that really helps me with this decision.  I know that each family has different situations and different needs and I think that for us as a unit it is best if I take this time for myself.  I've not discussed this with may people, it's so hard to not feel judged, my parent, sisters and Luke have all been super supportive and I hope that if all goes well and I do decide to go back that I can have the support and understanding of all of my important people.  Rereading my own post from 2 years ago what exactly what I needed today, it reminded me how I felt after returning to work post William and I just hope that I feel the same way this time around!

AH, that's enough on that subject for now.  I really do hope to be better about writing this all down.  I realized today just how therapeutic it can be to write it down and also to go back and read my thoughts on a subject!

Until next time!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


HI!  I'm back!  I know, it has been 9 months and for that I'm so sorry.  However, I have been a bit busy.  We have made some major changes over the past 9 months and they have all worked out great and we've ended up in a great position.

Since I last wrote I've....

  • gone back to work, loved it.  Getting to see my friends 5 days a week was AWESOME. I worked with the best group of people in the world. 
  • got a new niece!  Bristyl Kate Roulhac is PERFECT and was born Friday April 13th.  1 day before our niece Emory celebrated her 1st birthday!  We are so lucky to have the 2 most beautiful little ladies in the world to call our own (or to atleast share with their parents)!
  • hated my new boss, learned to hate work and eventually was able to resign!!
  • moved to Bentonville, AR.  Luke got a job with WalMart and he LOVES it!
  • bought a home, sold a home
  • went on Raleigh family vacation, a girls beach trip and have taken several trips to Hesston now that we are closer!
  • celebrated Luke's graduation.  He is officially DR SIMMERING!!
  • done so many other things I can't even remember, being a stay at home mom has kept me hopping.

So as you can see I haven't had much time to keep everyone up to date.  But, I'm back!  William is celebrating his birthday tomorrow and I am going to do a better job of keeping you all in the loop!  Now, to catch you up here are a few pictures to bridge the gap from my last post in DECEMBER!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Love, Life, Work and William

Ok, it's time I sit down and right some real words, coherent sentences about mommy hood.

I feel like the past week has really given me some perspective on life.  Last Wednesday I returned to work full time.  This was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things I have done in my 26 years of life.  

Let's first talk about why it was hard :

I think that sums it up.  
I had to leave my little man with an almost stranger for an entire day!  His happiness is the most important thing to me and I worried about how this new person would handle him.  Would she know to give him gripe water if he was gassy, would she even know if he was gassy.  Would she know that he likes to rock for awhile before going down for a nap.  How would she know if he was hungry, mad, dirty?! On and on and on....  I worried constantly about what could go wrong.  You get the picture.  Trusting someone else to care for my baby was hard.  I had been his care provider for 10 weeks and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to share that role, let alone be away from my boy for 8 hours at a time!

And now, let's discuss why returning to work was a good thing:

Once again it's this little guy!  He really does make everything better.  I know that sounds crazy, how could leaving him with a sitter make my day better?  William makes working so much more meaningful than it ever was before.  My time seems more valuable now, my first weekend home with him was probably the best I've ever had.  Each second I get to spend with him I cherish even more than I did when I was his sole care provider.  I didn't realize it was possible to love my time with him more than I already did.  I spent all weekend and every evening for the past week soaking up my little man.  I spend 8 hours a day showing off pictures and bragging about how amazing my baby is and I really wouldn't trade our situation for anything in the world.  I have lots of friends and family that choose to stay home with their little ones and I have great respect for them.  I did it for 10 weeks and wouldn't give that time back for anything.  However, for me returning to work gave me such a sense of pride and accomplishment.  I grew up in a home with 2 working parents, and I think that I am a strong independent woman today because of the example that my mom provided for me.  I want that for William.  I want him to see that a woman is more than just a care taker.  I want him to know that before his daddy went to work full-time it was mommy that supported the family.  I want William to grow up with a strong female presence in his life, I want him to respect me and his future spouse for our hard work and determination.  I want William to know that the things he has in life didn't come without a price and that I would do anything to give him the best!

I also want him to know that his daddy works just as hard as mommy.  He puts in more time and energy working multiple jobs, while being a full time student to provide for our family.

None of this would be possible if it wasn't for miss Allison.  Luke and I have been blessed with the most amazing woman.  She has opened her home to our little man.  He is the only baby she keeps and he gets to spend all day being loved on by her and her 2 boys.  Allison keeps me updated with texts throughout the day and I know that without her updates I would go a little crazy.  I thought that trusting another person to care for William would be impossible but I've found a person that I trust, she is raising adorable little boys herself and getting to see William enjoy her and her boys each morning when we drop him off melts my heart!!

Yesterday when I dropped him off and handed him to Allison he gave her a big ole grin and I knew once again that I was doing the right thing!  

Plus - she made us cookies and sent them home with William on Monday.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't in our agreement but there are NO complaints from me!

Today is Wednesday, William's short day with miss Allison and since Luke is in the middle of his comprehensive exams I get to bring my little man to work with me for a few hours this afternoon and  you have NO idea how excited I am to show him off!!

So, long story short.  For me returning to work has been a blessing.  I know it doesn't work that way for everyone and I'm sure someday when we can afford it I may even cut back my work hours, but I do feel at this moment very happy with my decision and that is more than I was asking for just a few short weeks ago!

Have a wonderful last few days of the week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Month 2 in Pictures

Because I'm going back to work tomorrow and I don't feel like doing much else but cuddling with my sweet little man I'll update you on month 2 with pictures.  And, don't pretend to be hurt or offended! I know that's all you care about anyway!

cutest pumpkin ever

6 weeks old with grammy

look at those cheeks
showing off my skills - you can"t tell but he has a firm hold on the ring on the toy! 

checking out uncle Phil

cheering for the Pokes with Mims

trying to keep up

we played HARD!

Williams favorite place to nap!
game time

nap time

we get lots and lots of tummy time

helping dad clean

playing with aunt Mary

favorite time of the day for the Simmering family!  William takes over our bed every morning while daddy gets ready for work
trying out my table and chair from Papa

more tummy time

can't even believe it's been 2 month!!!!