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!