Monday, April 26, 2010

Our whirlwind life lately!

I haven't actually blogged in so long. Life has been quite busy, but I thought I should put up a synopsis of some of what's been going on with us. First of all, for 6 months of the past year we have had relatives staying with us at our old house. First was Mike's cousin who needs some help and Mike helped to get into his own apartment with a room mate through DMR so that was a good ending, and second was Mike's brother and his family. This was a very trying time for us, though we tried to do the right thing, we had some trial through it all.

My husband was a salesman for a heating and cooling company for over 2 years. He had gone to a few different states for training at various times including Texas, Illinois and Georgia. When he was in Georgia, he fell in love with the center there, the area and the hospitality of the people. From that time on, he had the idea we would move there.

Eventually, he talked to different friends he had made from different states in the company, and a friend down in GA helped him to get down there. Mike had his interviews and the plans were set for him to start work there in Jan. We were semi-packed since November, and 3/4 packed right after Christmas. The date was moved up a few times so the date was reset to Jan 25th to start work down there.

We found a gorgeous 5 bedroom house that we were approved for in a nice neighborhood. I was excited to be living in the bible belt and where homeschooling is quite popular, therefore there would be even more available to us! All we were waiting for was the funds to come in from the company for moving expenses. We waited and waited and wondered why they hadn't arrived and how on earth he could start work without them. Therefore we couldn't secure the house or the utilities at that time. Then one day, 10 days before our moving date, some higher ups in the company called Mike and offered him a general management position. My hubby is good at what he does and I think it makes sense that the district didn't want to lose him. You would have expected us to have been excited, a promotion is such a big deal! However, the new location was to be Buffalo, NY and not only that, but Mike was *supposed* to have been promoted before, only for the company to TOTALLY drop the ball, so we did not at all trust them.

Back in the summer, Mike was supposed to be interviewing for a GM position, and headed down to PA to interview for that. Come to find out, the DM was thinking of him more for a DSM position (district sales manager) which means he would have to travel 5 days a week! That is a step back for us, not forward, and the pay was also. My husband is very good at what he does and made a decent income, what was hard was that since he was ONLY commission with no base salary it came in spurts. We certainly didn't want a pay cut for a positon with TONS more responsibility and taking him out of our home for 2/3 of the year. NOT. COOL. AT. ALL. At this first interview the DM was selling him on the DSM position, and Mike, wanting to get his foot in the management door was seriously considering it.

Mike then had his second interview with some people in Long Island, NY. It well also and they mentioned how they thought he would get good as a GM. Music to our ears!! A few days later, Mike received an email saying Congrats into the GM program, along with a schedule for 9 weeks of training in TX. Wonderful! We were so happy, celebrating, and telling everyone! Mike felt relief, and knew from that moment on that he didn't want the DSM position at all.

You would think that would have been the beginning of a new life for us. HOWEVER, a couple days later when he met with his DM, he was expecting his DM would congratulate him but insstead he was told that it was a 'mistake' and that they are asking him to not take the class etc,... We were devestated! We were hurt and felt betrayed. Mike stayed professional though, said no thank you to the DSM offer, and fixed it in his mind to be happy as a salesman if that's what was going to be. And he did.

His center had a lot of problems which made doing his job difficult. There wasn't team work, and he couldn't trust others to do their jobs which resulted in him working mega hours doing both his job, and checking up on others since his name as a salesman was on the line. Mike is no complainer, he tries to solve problems and the at the time current managment didn't want to consider his ideas, and it was a frustrating environment. It was during this time he put in to transfer to GA. He got approval from his boss, and from his DM. And there we were waiting for the funds. It was 10 days before when we were supposed to move when the call came in to offer him a GM position. You can now understand why we were worried and not trusting. Wondering if this was simply to thwart his moving or what, but not wanting to believe that. Then on top of that, Georgia to upstate NY! Sun to snow! Oh boy what a decision!! Then, this is what he had always wanted, to be in managment.......

We thought about it for not long at all, knew he had to take the position, yet we were feeling so deflated. Not a normal reaction at all when receiving a promomtion, is it? So, ten days before moving we accepted, and put aside our plans to move to one state, in favor of moving to another. Soon we found out that the position wasn't his quite yet as it had sounded, but he had to interview for it, down in TX. It was policy. Are. You. Kidding. Me?!. He as assured that unless he dropped the ball that the position was his. He was being reccomended by certain people which meant a pretty much guarantee he would hold the position. We did not expect that. So for 2 weeks, which seemed like forever and a day we waited. Finally after him sending another E-mail stating that we have given our notice to our landlord and were supposed to already have been moved out and all the other reasons why we have to move and have postponed it due to this position offer, he got an interview date. He flew down, met and interviewed ALL DAY with six different big guys at corporate, which went very well. Soon thereafter, he was told the position was his. However we had to wait longer still because they had to move the guy that was currently there to a new center, so there was some logistics and timing that had to be figured in.

Finally the day came when he had a start date mid-Febuary, and we found a house in a town half hour from where he'd be working in a little hill town, where there were tons of hills, horses and snowmobiles. We found an 8 bedroom to rent, which had a creek running thru the far back of the yard and a good size established garden, which was a plus to me! We traveled here to see it, and signed a lease the next day, leaving our deposit. YAY right? Wrong! A week and few days later, we get an Email from owners saying that their own move had fallen through, and they were backing out of our lease and returning our deposit. I was crushed! How could this happen? Where would we go now? It was hard to find that house, a house with at least 4 bedrooms that would accept my two cats and little dog.

It was a very trying time. I thought we were so blessed with this job and this house and now nothing was certain. AGAIN. If God had a plan I surely couldn't see it. I just prayed and prayed that we would find a suitable house in a safe to live area, somewhere my adolescent boy couldn't find trouble every direction he looked which seemed to be the way it would be if forced to live in the heart of the city.

Mike came out to NY to work and stayed in a hotel while we stayed in MA for 3 weeks. While he was out here he was able to look for houses easily after work. There were only 3 houses that had 4-5 bedrooms and accepted pets. The first one was out of our budget, in a nice area, but I hated the house and it was too much money anyhow. The second one, I did not see, but Mike did. It was a viable option and in our budget. The third house was a house we would have never though to look into on our own, yet our realtor had it come up as an option fitting our needs. When we drove up to the house, I was amazed because all along the road, as far as the eyes could see was Lake Erie. It was a huge expanse, almost like the ocean, it stretched as far as the eyes could see, and was covered with snow, looking like a endless white plain. The outside of the house was impressive enough. When we walked up to it, I jokingly said "ok we'll take it" and laughed before even going inside. When we walked through the house we got very excited, oohing and ahhing. I later facebooked "I just saw the most beautiful house I have ever laid eyes on or stepped inside. So beautiful I could have cried. I almost imagined some Jane Austen characters bustling by." Everything, right down to the antique fixtures screamed my name, as if the place were built FOR ME. I also thought the place was way out of our league. I didn't really expect anything to come of it. I totally felt detached emotionally because of my belief, which was a good thing because I am really sick of the emotional roller coaster rides I usually take with everything. Come to find out it was OURS to rent!!!!!! What a wonderful blessing to us. I am totally THRILLED that the first place fell through even though I was devestated at that time.

This is the view from our enclosed front porch this morning, this was shot thru two layers of glass windows:

Mike is learning the position, and having to work late at times to just keep his head above water, because of course that wonderful 9 weeks training in TX doesn't happen again until THIS fall, so he is learning a lot of it the hard way. WHEW! I am confident all will work out and we get to enjoy this beautiful house and lake for 2 years. My two older children are in safe and wonderful school systems, and my 3 youngest continue in their homeschooling ventures. I even met a new friend here at the second homeschooling group I attended. She has been such a blessing to me, has given me so much info on groups, the cooperative we are now attending, things to do, places to shop....I really don't know what I would have done without her, she is a joy to know. I coudln't be happier right now. So that is where we are now. Let's see what comes next....

In 2008-2009 school year, my son was in 5th grade and we were really really struggling with our district to get him into a special placement to address his needs. I prayed and prayed and prayed for this placement for Mike. They fought us tooth and nail and refused to budge. Agreeing would have cost the district money. Then the year ended and he went to middle school for the 2009-2010 year, which we are still currently in. The placement here was better, but there were still issues. We loved his teachers here though, and the experience was such a relief compared to the elementary school experience with this son.

We moved here in March, and after looking over my son's IEP, our current district called and spoke to his teachers back home. They decided to give him an out of district placement, a private school placement at that, EXACTLY what we had been fighting for in MA and been refused. WE didn't even ask!!! It was handed to us!! ANSWERED PRAYER! With everything that had been going on with the job situation, the incredile ups and downs, I was so focused on that, that ashamedly it took a little bit of settling in to realize that this was answered prayer. No it didn't happen immediately, it took a year, yet it happened so seamlessly and easily when the time was right. Just had to share!! PRAISE GOD!

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