Friday, March 6, 2015

The New Job

This post is hard to write, because, where do I even begin? In my mind, the steps leading up to this decision started months, even 2 years ago. I wont go back and give all the details, but I will start the story about 8 months ago. Ryan had been working for Okland Construction for over 8 years and was feeling burnt out, tired, frustrated and ready to find something new. After months of working 80-100 hours a week, we knew enough was enough and it was time to move on. After months of fasting and prayer we knew that the right thing for him to do was to quit.  We had purchased a pool franchise about a year earlier, and with the growth that it was getting, it was hard for Ryan's partner to do it single handedly. So the decision was made to put all our eggs in the ASP (America's Swimming Pool Company) basket and move forward. So in June of 2014 Ryan said goodbye to Okland and commercial construction. It was the hardest thing we have done as a married couple. Ryan loves construction and is very talented in it, but he felt that it was time to put his family first and do something that would enable him to have a little more time at home.
Being small business owners has its own challenges and we experienced all of them. I'm not sure Ryan worked any less hours, he was just at home for half of them! Lots of late nights of accounting and long days in the sun, but the kids got to see Ryan more than they had in years. Ryan loved being his own boss and the flexibility of owing your own business.
In October/November the business was doing a lot of full backyard remodels and Ryan was starting to step away from the pool side of the business and do more with his personal contractors license. He set up his own business, Arcadia Building Co., and he was feeling the desire to do what he's good at- construction. He was starting to get lots of business doing small commercial work and even started the planning stages of 2 custom homes. With all this new work, we were looking for a way to get out of ASP and focus on building Arcadia. In December, right before Christmas Ryan got in touch with a friend, Bret Woods, who was moving his family to Italy to build the Rome temple. Bret works for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they became friends working together on the Gilbert temple. Ryan jokingly told Bret, "if you need help in Rome, let me know!"
Within a week, Okland contacted Ryan and asked him if he would come back to Okland if they sent him to Rome. I guess the Church asked some of the contractors who had done work for them in the past, if they had any employees who would fit what they were looking for in Rome.
Within days from that phone call, Bret called Ryan and asked him if he would be interested in going to Rome. He of course said YES! and told Bret about Okland contacting about the same thing.
So here's the dilemma- we want to go to Italy badly, but what is the best way to get the job? Through Okland? On our own, independently through Arcadia?
Ryan decided to meet with Okland and see what their offer would be. After that meeting, he felt sick.  It didn't feel right and he was reminded of all the reasons he left Okland. We both had anxiety for days. Lots and lots of prayers for direction. After about a week, Ryan got a call from Bret, asking if he'd come to Salt Lake City for an interview with the LDS church directly. That call was on a Friday and the interview was the next Wednesday. I had so much anxiety. I couldn't sleep. It felt like Christmas Eve for a week. You cant help but get excited and get your hopes up and then talk yourself down, so you're not disappointed if it doesn't pan out. Then the woman in me starts planning the move, anticipating all the changes, and what I'd need to do to make it happen. Again, lots of prayers and fasting.
When Wednesday finally came, I couldnt do anything to calm the anxiety. I waited anxiously by my phone for any word from Ryan. As we communicated through the day, he told me about the meetings he had, and that he felt good about them. To me - that was HUGE. Ryan was calm and peaceful- which was complete opposite of how he felt when he had the meeting with Okland.
At the end of the day, they told him they'd let him know the next day whether or not he got the job.
Thursday was another day full of anxiety. Finally about 2 pm we got the call that he got the job and we were moving to ROME!! Ryan was being hired as an independent contractor to help with the construction of the Rome Italy temple.
WHAT?!! This does not happen people. Especially to us. We thought building the Gilbert temple was a once in a lifetime opportunity (which it was), but to be given this opportunity is beyond description. It just felt right. It made everything else clear. It gave us the opportunity to cut ties with ASP and get Ryan back into what he loves, construction. This is his dream job. You know how you talk about your dream job- well, he finally got it. Now he can be in construction, and use all his knowledge and talents, but he is not the contractor. He is not the one with his feet being held to the fire. He works for the owner as a construction consultant and helps them coordinate with the contractor.
I can only express gratitude for this amazing opportunity, for me and especially for my kids. It leads me to think, 'of all the people in the world who would die for this opportunity, why us?' And realize that The Lord has stuff in store for ALL of us to do while we are there. I firmly believe where much is given, much is required. I have been given much and I too must give. I am ready and willing to do whatever the Lord asks of me. Not to say that it's not hard. The last two months have been HARD. (that'll be the next post) But we can do hard. I'm not scared, I'm ready. I know moving and living in a foreign county is going to be HARD. Exciting? Yes. But excitement only gets you so far. I know it will be hard, and there will be weeks and months ahead where I will say to myself, 'what the heck am I doing?' But I'm ready. The best things in life are not easy.
So here we go. Off to Italy. Lets do this.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I know this is a little late, but I still need to get this posted. It seems like I get around to things a week after I think I'll have time to get it done.
This year I had all these high hopes of doing cute things with the kids for Thanksgiving and doing activities that would teach them the importance of being grateful. I wanted to do something for Family Home Evening the Monday before Thanksgiving, but Ryan ended up buying me a new suburban (a post on that next) that day. Then Tuesday was too busy, so late Wednesday night before we put the kids to bed we did our Thankful Turkey. Although it was kinda a last minute hodge-podge thing, I really feel and felt very grateful for many things. Some of these things ended up on our turkey, like a good job, my wonderful husband, temples, the Gospel, family ect- but I felt there was so much more than that. I do feel especially grateful that Ryan has a good job. At times it feels like the money is super tight and how are we gonna make it with 4 kids, but it all seems to work out in the end. We always have enough for what we need. Especially at this time where so many are struggling or don't even have a job, we are so blessed to have what we have. I am grateful that I have a husband who works so hard for our family, and I know that what we have is a result of his hard work.
I am really grateful for my kids. At times they drive me nuts, but they are teaching me so much about what life is about. They bring out the best and the worst in me and help me to see my faults and how to make them better.
I am truly grateful for my life and all that the Lord has given me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Month

Can't believe it's been one month already. He is starting to sleep better at night ( one 5 hour stretch!) and I am starting to feel like maybe I can handle life. Maybe.
Sunday November 4th

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kids Are Cute

Recently Kate and Clark have been all into writing things and learning how to spell and sound stuff out, so naturally I get notes for different things ALL the time. They are constantly drawing us pictures and giving us gifts of their art. And while I would love to keep them all, I just can't. With all the papers and crafts that come home from school, I would have a mountain of papers if I kept it all. But a few days ago Clark gave me a note that I just had to keep. 
It says, "Mom and Dad, when I grow up I will still love you."
Clark is such a sweet loving boy. He is always telling us how much he loves us and even prays that we will know how much he loves us. He writes me "love" notes all the time and for some reason this one stuck with me and I felt like I needed to keep it. He is such an example of unconditional love. I can get mad and yell and be a terrible Mom and just minutes later he'll ask for a hug and tell me he loves me. I learn from him how important it is to show and vocalize love for each other. That wasn't very common in my house growing up- so this is something I am learning to do myself. 
How grateful I am for such great kids who teach me more than I teach them. 


Halloween Day with everyone in their "Halloween outfits".
Kate and Clark were not allowed to dress up for school. 
Halloween is usually a pretty big deal for me. In years passed I have prided myself on making the kids' costumes match, but this year I just did not have the mental or physical energy to try. I let the kids decide what they wanted to be ( not that I didn't let them have a say in years passed, it was more like, "Hey wouldn't it be cool if you were....... for Halloween this year?") and bought the costumes way back in September. I knew that with a newborn baby and Kate and Clarks birthday the week before, I wouldn't even have the time to go look for costumes.
Bumblebee from Transformers

I found matching 'fairy' costume for Kate and Charly.
Charly devouring a cupcake at my Mom's Halloween party

They got to dress up in their costumes for my Mom's Halloween party the Friday before Halloween and then Halloween night, we Trick-or-Treated in Ryan's Mom's neighborhood. Ryan's good friend, Chris, came into town and wanted to take his kids around the ol neighborhood- so I guess I can take back that huge bag of candy I bought from Costco- seeing as we didn't hand out anything at our house this year.

A few years ago we started the "Pumpkin Fairy" to help us get rid of all the candy after Halloween- as my kids don't need that much sugar and I get sick of having their Trick or Treat buckets hanging around till New Years. The way it works is the kids get to have a few days to gorge themselves on candy and then the night that the Pumpkin Fairy comes, they put their buckets outside their door and during the night the Pumpkin Fairy trades all their candy for some kind of prize. This year Kate got the new Tinkerbell movie and Clark got a remote control car. I usually don't do such big prizes- it's usually a movie from the $5 bucket at Walmart- but again - with no energy I just sent Ryan to the store and told him to get what they wanted.
I did head to Walmart the day after Halloween and scored on 50% off costumes, and am happy to report that the kids will be matching next year!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kate and Clark turn 6!

It hardly seems possible that it's been 6 years since Kate and Clark were born. I must admit I don't remember much from that day, or even the first 6 months of their lives. (it was all I could do to survive) But I am so grateful to be their Mom. They really are such sweet, loving kids, and I'm lucky to have them.
Ryan and I joke that kids are like pancakes, and you always burn the first one - or in our case, the first two! I'm glad they have each other to get through our "learning curve" of parenting. 
Clark is becoming quite the little helper to Ryan. He is always there to help Ryan with his Saturday projects- complete with lots of trips to Home Depot and of course Circle K to get sodas. He loves kindergarten and making new friends. He likes having a little brother and already loves to tease little sister Charly. He loves to play- especially with friends. It's all about having boys to play with.( He says he gets tired of playing with girls- aka- Kate) He got to play on a T-ball team this spring and is currently on a soccer team.

Kate is every definition of girl. Loves to wear makeup, paint her fingernails, wear skirts and just look cute. She is a big help to me, and plays very well with little sister Charly. She too loves kindergarten and her teacher Mrs. Miller. She even got a little teary eyed telling me that Mrs. Miller was going to be gone for two days and she was going to have a substitute. She is a peacemaker. She will always do what it takes to make everyone happy. She is in her 3rd year of dance and started tap this year too. 

We celebrated their birthday by letting them choose the restaurant for dinner- and they chose Olive Garden. They both love the little personal pizzas. We were so full after dinner, we didn't even stop for dessert! Grandma and Grandpa came over to give them presents and watch them open presents from Ryan and I. Kate got Squinkies (She's been begging for them for awhile) a bike and helmet, a new coloring book, new shoes and a crayon caddy I made for her. Clark got a spiderman helicopter, IronMan action figure, new bike and helmet, coloring book and crayon caddy. 
Since I just had a baby, we didn't throw them a birthday party, but celebrated their birthday with my family at my Mom's Halloween party last Saturday. 

We are lucky to have these two great kids in our family. They have brought much joy into our life over the last six years. It's fun to see them grow up, and see their little personalities come out.  I hope they don't grow up too fast and quit wanting us around. We love you Kate and Clark!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Splash

I can't remember how long ago, Ryan and I started a 'star chart' with Kate and Clark as a way of tracking bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. They have a certain amount of stars, and they loose them for being mean, talking back, hitting ect., and they earn them back with either good behavior or extra chores. The incentive is that every Saturday they get to do something special with Ryan. Sometimes its big things like going to a movie, on a lunch date or a special event, or it can be small like just going to Sonic for an ice cream cone.
Yesterday, the 'special thing' was the Pumpkin Splash at Brimhall Pool, and because Ryan has been Mr. Mom for the last 2 weeks, I gave him a break and took the kids myself.
I need to take a minute and say something about how incredible Ryan has been since I had baby Jay. He has taken all three kids to Clarks soccer games for 3 Saturdays in a row, taken them all to church by himself and the first week I was home, he stayed home from work and did EVERYTHING. Laundry, dishes, chores, diapers, baths, made breakfast and lunch, took the kids to do fun things and took care of me on top of it all! This last week he had to go back to work and has still been a big help to me when he gets home, even after a 12 hour or more day. He really is amazing and I'm lucky to have him.

So here are some of the fun things the kids got to do at the pool yesterday: pick out a pumpkin out of the pool, play carnival games, decorate their pumpkin, get their face painted and best of all- swim in October!