December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As I look back on the year coming quickly to an end, I realize there have been many ups and downs, and some bumps and turns, some skids, some nicks, some stitches, some laughs, some cries, some travels, some incomes, some job changes, some life changes, some lessons learned, some lessons taught, some friends made, some love returned, and some very many blessings received. Overall, its been an interesting, long, but yet fast year. So hard to believe that next year is next weekend.

For many we sent out our little Christmas Picture card, with no note attached. Never been a huge fan of the "brag" letter, but have come to see them less as bragging but more as in focusing on the blessings of the year. So I spared you a letter in the mail, but find that I need to write.  Can't guarantee this will be short...it really has been a long year.

Before Christmas a year ago, I started applying for jobs in the area. Though I had been working at the restaurant 2-3 days a week, I wasn't taking home a paycheck, and it was getting impossible to for us to survive as a family, with out an income.

I was hired on in house keeping at McKay Dee hospital. Surprisingly, besides feeling looked down on by many of the staff, and never being called "corrine" only housekeeper, I enjoyed the work. It felt good to get in and clean and see things done. And I loved visiting with the patients, especially since I covered mostly the post partum floor. I worked forty plus hours a week. I left around 6 am, five days a week, when I'd hurry home to have Eric run up to the restaurant, three of those days, since I worked Monday's which the restaurant was closed. Then I worked weekends too.  I went from January to May, not going to our church, first time in my life missing that much church. Fortunately for me, they held church services at the hospital which most of the time I was able to attend on my break.

Anyway in April, after women's conference I felt strongly that I needed to find other work. But didn't know what to do. Was hoping to get benefits and had worked the 3 months, but for some reason nothing happened for me there. And somehow I caught up with a gal from our Ward who had just opened a day care, and needed a director. We spoke and I mentioned my degree and that I should be able to qualify as one. Things seemed to fall into place, and I was able to give my two week notice and join Little Seed Childcare as a director. 

This surely helped with the summer, the kids were able to go with me and Eric was able to be at the restaurant full time again.

In May Eric started getting calls from people in Hawaii about Hart (his previous employer) winning the bid to do the Hawaiian elections again. He passed the numbers on to Hart, and mentioned that if they needed any help, he'd be glad to help out. He didn't fit in the budget and we assumed it just wouldn't happen. Then in June he got a call saying that they really couldn't do the project with out him. So he was assigned to start working in Maui in August.  He was to travel back and forth. To be able to spend some time with the family and be there at the restaurant.

Kids went back to school in August, making life a little more complicated. Seemed like life got a little busier I guess. And I didn't have any of them signed up for extra curricular activities either.  Two our third child started kindergarten, and T-Rex started going to preschool three days a week. Hard to believe my little babies spend so much time away from me. They are growing up so fast. G and Bee, are in 4th and 2nd. All doing really well for the most part. Two and T-Rex are still doing some adjusting. Who am I kidding, Two has a "hard time sitting still and paying attention" and has earned her own desk to help with distractions. And T-Rex doesn't always want to go, but he is still just three and little.

Anyway In mid August, Eric's partner offered to buy his partnership out. We decided it would be best for us, and put that in motion. Everything wasn't finalized til mid September, however, sometime in there, Hart offered Eric a "promotion" moving him from Maui to Oahu again, and from manning just the Maui elections to the whole state. And not able to travel back and forth. It was such a blessing. It was kind of "funny" timing. Because it literally happened a few days after agreeing to a buyout.

Since Eric was going to be there from End of August to the End of November, we decided to take the family out in October for a two week family vacation. Even though Eric worked the whole time, we had fun, and it was the first time in over a year and a half that our family felt "normal" and that we were able to spend quality time together.

As part of his deal, I was able to go out and spend a week, well five days, with Eric on the island of Maui, oh how I fell in love, not just with Eric but with the island of Maui. If I could I think I'd pack the family up and move there. So peaceful and beautiful.

After I left, Eric finished up work there and flew home the weekend before Thanksgiving. He has been home around a month, and still searching for work. I pray that something will come soon for us.

I am grateful for my job, as it has helped with some of the bills. However, with running kids here and there, and school pick ups and drop offs, and sicknesses and injuries, I don't get to work as many hours as I could use.

Speaking of injuries and illness, all but Two have had stitches this year!  Bee on Easter Sunday, while I was at work, fell on her scooter, and the handle bar went through her head, 7 stitches. T-Rex was playing on a slide at the pool, and slipped and split his chin open, he only got 5.  Then G-Man two weeks ago was shutting his bedroom window, while his hand slipped through and broke the glass, another 7 stitches. He had an injury a week later, splitting his eye lid open pretty good, he decided he didn't want stitches, and with out insurance we kind of agreed, I put some sterie strips and its healed pretty good.

Speaking of eyes, Bee joined the glasses wearing group this year as well! I feel so bad that it took us so long to discover that one, as with Two who started wearing them in preschool, and G-Man in kindergarten, her being in second seemed a little late. She was really struggling with reading, I thought an educational delay of some kind. Then she started putting on Two's glasses to read and seemed to improve. Anyway finally took her to have her eyes checked and the poor girl can hardly see! Her reading as gone from just basic sight word books to chapter books in a matter of weeks. She is actually doing really well in school as well. She received a school wide award for belonging, helping others belong.

The kids have held up a little better than me this year, I think. Though it hasn't been easy on them, with me working, with Eric pretty much absent the last while, and then traveling, which with him in Hawaii they didn't notice a difference, if that says anything about how much he was around.

It has been so nice to have him around this month, the kids seem to be a bit happier, but we do seem to have to work out some kinks that life has thrown us, just getting back into a routine.

The other night we were having dinner. Something we have been able to do more of lately, and like normal, everyone was talking at once, and Two took her usual stance, standing on her chair talking, trying to get everyone's attention. It was noisy and I was going crazy. So I told them all to catch a bubble. They did including Eric. For some reason the bubble face Eric was making made T-Rex start laughing hard. Then we all started laughing. And we spun into the "my name is chubby" cheek smashed, can you smile through that chub stuff, and I started laughing so hard, I was crying. The kids were laughing, we were laughing. And G said "this is what family dinners should always be like."  And I agree. I realized that it has been a long time, since I have laughed so hard with my family or with anyone. And feel like I have finally found my laugh again.

We truly have been blessed, and continue to be blessed. Just really waiting for that one special blessing of a great job, career for Eric.  So if anyone knows anyone that is hiring please pass them our way! 


pecas said...

Corrine Merry Christmas and happy new year! it has been a great blessing to reconnect over the phone with you!!! after we get tax return i will take the 24 days challenge!!! lots of love and keep it up!

McCulloch Moments said...

What a year! I'm glad you are laughing again, you have a great laugh!

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