Saturday, September 22, 2012

Everything's Bigger in Texas

When Randy and I moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado in 2005, we didn't know much about the state (read: nothing, except that there were mountains, the Broncos, and it was 1800 miles away from the only state I'd ever called home).  We were newly married, after spending the great majority of our relationship in a 'long distance' status.  Soon after moving here, we found out we were expecting our first little one.  The family we wanted to start (eventually) was starting right away.

Learning how to be married, how to live in a new state, how to own our own home, and how to adjust to parenthood presented us with a lot of ups and downs, tears and smiles, sacrifices and opportunities.  Randy and I had to band together to face adversities, lean on one another during times of stress and sadness, and celebrate our happiness as a smaller familial unit than I was used to.  This isn't to say that we haven't made ** friends while living here.  We have enjoyed many holidays (as well as 'regular days') with probably the sweetest and most genuine family to ever grace this planet.  They have truly become our Colorado family, and have been so generous and caring.  I have been blessed to teach in an awesome school in a fantastic community, where I have met some of my absolute dearest and best friends and greatest families. 

And then there's our child care.  We have been so, so fortunate to have had our children cared for by the sweetest people; in-home daily care, occasional care on as-needed basis, pre-school, and now elementary school.  Everyone who has taken care of our children when we were not able to has loved and cared for them dearly, and for that care we are beyond grateful.

Colorado has been an absolutely amazing place to begin our marriage, begin our family, raise our family, and strengthen our marriage through all of the joys (and tears) that come along with three young kids, two dogs, two demanding jobs, and a household.  I honestly can't put into words how happy we have been living in this state.  I'd never pictured calling any place besides Pennsylvania 'home', but my heart has a tender spot for the purple mountains majesty to the west, the amber waves of grain to our east, and the loving circle of friends we've adopted as family over the years.  Colorado definitely has taken over as 'home' in my heart.

But, as one of my favorite icons, Marilyn Monroe has said, "sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together".  

While Colorado has been so, so good to us, the challenge of Randy's obscure schedule has always put an asterisk on our otherwise ideal life.  It's a tough thing to have someone working an on-call schedule in your household.  It is exhausting for the person working the schedule, as well as for the parent who is left behind to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the household.  The fact that the phone can ring at any given moment is a grey cloud hanging overhead the spontaneity of life with young kids.  Scheduling--nearly anything--proves to be a huge challenge.  In general, it's not ideal for family life.  

Which is why we've been looking for a change.  Randy's known for some time that he needs (wants) to get out of the field, chart a different career path, and find other opportunities that will broaden his horizons within the oil and gas field.

Enter GE.  A few weeks back, Randy flew down to Houston for an interview, and came home with a good feeling that things went well.  Soon after, he received news that indeed, things went well, and they were going to make him a formal offer.  We had been discussing the possibility/probability of our family making this giant leap in the southeast direction, so when the offer came in, it didn't take a lot of conversation for his signature to appear on the line.  Thus, the decision to move our family to Texas was made.

I'm not going to lie.  When Randy called me at work to tell me he'd been offered the position, I cried.  Here I was, sitting in my classroom (empty, as my class was in P.E.), looking around at the little desks soon to be filled with the sweet little children who would soon find out that their teacher was moving away.  I was in the place I've been blessed to work for nearly 8 years, where I was able to pursue my passion for a career I'd chosen at the age of 5.  The connection I have with the school community is so rooted, and it is going to be so hard to leave.

But, the opportunities that lay ahead for my husband and are family are so wonderful.  I am so proud of Randy's dedication to making life exponentially better for our children.  His confidence, excitement, and commitment give me such pride and optimism as we face new changes and adjustments in our lives.  We're looking forward to life outside of Houston.  Brynn can't wait to live closer to the beach (Galveston Island), while Raegan is aloof to the situation entirely.  Gavin, well, he's excited for sure, but I think his personality leaves him with a little trepidation at the uncertainty of school/friends/sports.  But, we reassure him, often.  

As for me?  I'm going to spend a little time acclimating our family to the new surroundings and lifestyle before jumping back into the classroom.  The idea of having a short time being away from teaching scares me a little, because I know when I go back, it won't be to a place I've considered a comfort zone for so many years.  But, I'm always up for the challenge, love the idea of meeting new people, and having adventures in my own sort of way (definitely *not* in the way of climbing 14'ers, skiing, and camping, like so many of our fellow Coloradans!).  I'm going to try to get a position in a bakery for the time being, so I can bring some money into the household while pursuing a beloved hobby, and give myself time to learn the area so I can decide what schools/districts I'd like to pursue once I am certified in Texas.  This hiccup in my teaching career will be a small one, but it feels strange because this has been (and still is) my calling.  Somewhere, someone will hire me ;)

So, that's our big family news for now.  We're in for big changes, big adventures, and a bigger house.  Everything's bigger in Texas.

Until next time...bye, y'all!

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