It’s been a busy month since our last What’s up Fagans? Friday post.
1. Josh has been working full-time as a test evaluator, and working extra hours every single day, and even once on a Saturday. Because my husband is amazing (duh!) he was officially promoted to a Team Lead only after 7 working days. In fact, they pegged him for a team lead on day one. As a Team Lead he makes check sets, keeps his team on task, and oversees a lot of “fun” details. He’s grading less papers and earning an additional $1.25 an hour! It’s a huge blessing that Josh has this job at this time, got the promotion, and is getting extra hours and overtime, even if he seems to absolutely hate it. The commute in rush hour traffic means 45 minutes to get to work and 45 minutes to get home, where it should only be 30 minutes. Apparently, it’s the stressful commute that kills his good mood for his family. But, this money means that we will have an easier time paying for moving expenses next month, putting down a deposit for an apartment, and setting up shop in Texas, as well as paying for college expenses. Hang in there Josh! We love you!
2. So, because I am no longer the wife of a graduate student with a very flexible and open schedule, I have been managing just about everything else around the house, including my least favorite: cooking dinner. However, it has forced me to actually get back to meal planning, which has meant we’ve generally been spending much less on groceries, as I’m trying to use up items in our cupboards before the move. I don’t have a huge list of go-to recipes, and we’ve often had the same meals each week, doing a “Meatless Tuesday” and homemade (or store bought) pizzas on Fridays.
3. Since I quit working as a test evaluator, I’ve been putting in a lot more time into the blog, and I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities and lots of sponsored posts in the last month. I’m grateful for the revenue I’ve been making from the blog. In fact, as unglamorous as it is, we were able to apply all of my blog income from this year toward four new tires for our Honda. I am very grateful that we had the money and didn’t have to go into credit card debt (again), or cleared out all of our savings, which is what likely would have happened, only a year ago. God is blessing us for sure.
4. In preparing to move, we’ve been selling a bunch of stuff via Craigslist. I’ve also been tossing items as I go, taking a couple trips past the Goodwill. It’s been nice to not only get rid of stuff but make a little extra cash. There are already several boxes stacked up in Michael’s room. We sold a lot of items from his room too – book cases, baby swing, books, changing table, and glider and ottoman. We also sold the girls bunk beds last Saturday! It was a big decision (which I may write about in the future either here or on HDYDI) but we don’t really plan on buying a replacement double mattress (we the twin mattresses with the bunk beds) until after we move. And they just put a hole in the inflatable mattress they’ve been sleeping on for the last week. Consequences, girls. If you jump off your little table onto your mattress, even though Mom and Dad have told you 20 times not to, you just might have to sleep on the floor for the next month….
5. And no. We don’t know when we’ll be moving. We so wish we could just pack up and get on with the next phase of our life. We are really in this limbo stage right now and it’s not super fun. But, we don’t even have a place to live yet. We’re still apartment hunting. But apartment hunting from over 1000 miles away is not exactly an easy, smooth process. We’ve been trying to apply for this new complex for over a month and are frustrated that despite my numerous calls and emails she still hasn’t processed the application. Needless to say, we’re still looking around.
6. Each week we’ve been going to play group. Most Tuesday nights I get out with the ladies. Most Wednesday nights Josh heads out to geek it up and play Magic: The Gathering. And on the weekends we’ve been trying to have some fun. We also signed the girls up for the summer reading program at the library and have been better about reading more to them lately.
7. I started participating in my church’s 100 Days to Read the Book of Mormon challenge. I joined late, just starting on where we were, and then there was a week I didn’t read ANY thing, but I am almost caught back up, thanks in part to the built-in catch-up days in the schedule, but mostly to my read-a-thons on Sundays, and reading a little both first thing in the morning, and before bed. It has been so great to be reading my scriptures much more intently. I intend to write a much more thorough post about some new insights I’ve been having lately about scripture reading, prayer, and life.
8. Our family went camping! And we forgot to bring our camera. Lame! I’m still waiting to get some pictures from friends who took pictures of my daughters catching fish and shooting a shotgun. We had a great camping trip. The last time we went camping was when the girls were only 6 months old! So, this was their first real memory of camping and they had an amazing time and loved every. single. minute. of it! As soon as we had set up the tent they were saying they were tired and ready to go to bed… because they wanted to be in the tent! We set up the pack n’ play for Michael inside the small tent, put one daughter on either side of it, and then Josh and I slept on the other half of our tent. It was definitely a tight squeeze. We may have to get a bigger tent for our next trip, especially if it’s another 3-4 years away. So, despite having to make up for the lost sleep that night (due to barking dogs, a train passing through, and babies crying into the night) it was a great adventure. Oh, and there wasn’t running water, so we all had to do our business in a bucket or the woods and drink well water. My girls are real campers!
9. I had a blog workshop this week thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. I learned all about food photography from Lindsay of Pinch of Yum. While I am decidedly not a foodie (see point 2 above), I do take product photos fairly regularly now and am still learning how to better use my DSLR camera. Plus, it was fun to see my Indiana Women Bloggers friends, eat a yummy lunch thanks to Jimmy Johns, and do a little cheese tasting (I skipped the wine tasting… I’m Mormon. I don’t drink). We also learned about cheese making from a brand new local creamery – Tulip Tree Creamery – as well as the new Murray’s cheese shops opening up inside of Krogers nationwide (another reason to love Kroger, right?). All the cheese goodness made me remember my wonderful Wisconsin home.
10. Josh had his 34th birthday! And I planned a surprise birthday party for him too! Unfortunately, someone ruined the surprise element, and some people we wanted there couldn’t come, so we ended up cancelling the party, and just hanging out with Josh’s friend Seth who came up from Bloomington. We went out to eat and enjoyed catching up with him.
11. We enjoyed a fun Memorial Day as well. We partied with some friends and the kids played on a slip n’ slide and threw some water balloons around.
12. The girls and I also went and hung out with my blog friend Jill and her friend where she had set up a pool and a “splash pad” in her own backyard. I really love summer, even with all the rain lately.
13. I really love my kids. Even though 4 year olds are crazy challenging at times as well as a baby who’s only words are “Dad” and “Hi” I adore them. I am very lucky to hang out with them every day. I enjoy the many fun times we have. They are just so wonderful. Michael sleeps through the night, takes two naps a day, eats up a storm, especially blueberries, and love being held by mom or playing with his sisters. But he whines and squawks when he needs something. Lisa is a beautiful, charming girl who can be pretty needy and disobedient, and extremely loud and rude. Alison is a smiley, happy, funny girl who can throw a fit like a champ, especially when its time leave, locking herself in a bedroom at someone’s house to prove she doesn’t want to go. I love them both dearly. They love movies and playing outside. On a good day they’ll play outside for two hours, mostly just in our backyard with the neighbors. They are currently getting into everything around the house and love making a mess in the bathrooms. My three kids definitely keep me busy and very entertained. I love being their mom!
Have a great weekend everyone!