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.