Sunday, August 10, 2014

Life Changes & New Adventures Part 2

Oh my goodness… I'm giddy as a school girl and can't contain my excitement any longer!!!!

I am holding in my hand a confirmation letter of employment. As if picking up and moving to a new state wasn't enough excitement, I had to add to the party and get a new job. But not just any job. My dream job!! I am officially an associate editor for Bead&Button Magazine. Oh my goodness, that felt amazing to write. And, as an added cherry on top, I will also have the pleasure of working with Kalmbach's Wirework magazine.

Tomorrow morning, I report for my first day on the job!!! I will be part-time until the kids start school on September 2 and then I will convert to full-time. I wonder if I will be able to sleep tonight.

The process all started during our chaotic transition of moving and throwing our lives into what felt like a tornado. I couldn't help myself and felt compelled to also keep an eye on Kalmbach Publishing's website for job opportunities. I knew that we were moving to Bead&Button country and the idea of working for them was something I could only imagine. Then one day in June before we made the move, I saw it. Destiny was mine. There bold as could be was the posting for associate editor for Bead&Button. My heart raced and the stars aligned. I told myself after the move I would give myself a few weeks to get unpacked and settled and then, I had to get my resume together and go after that job. It seemed to good to be true.

My journey as a bead maker and jewelry designer has brought me down so many expanding pathways that continualy has added layer upon layer of experiences and exposure to the editing and publishing world. The timing seems perfect. This has been a year of changes and fresh new starts. Embracing this vision and striving to bloom where I have been planted, has brought me on this new journey and new career path. It's the perfect opportunity to help grow new roots and make new friends and associations which will only strenghten the feeling of being able to call Milwaukee home. The thought of going to an office and being able to be involved with all things bead and jewelry related is …. well lets just say I keep pinching myself!

To answer your next question, I will be knocking my personal artistry down to a hobby level. I am sure I will still want to create and make beads when I have the opportunity. When I do, I will continue to use Etsy as my storefront. My first priority right now is getting acclimated and submerged in my new job and helping the kids continue to adjust and settle in their new environment. I can't express how wonderful it feels to finally be back on a path where I can envision our lives more than just a few weeks in advance. It has been an incredibly rough year and the thought that I can start to see our future in greater detail feels very settling and comforting. No more hibernating and to that all I can say is YAY!! as that sums it all up in the fastest and simplest terms.


Life Changes and New Adventures Part 1

I just read through my last post in April and wow am amazed at how just a few short months has brought so many life changes. I could write an in depth book but will just do the highlighted version.

June was a total blur. The kids got out of school and off to Disney World we went for a trip with my parents, brother and his family, my aunt and uncle from PA, and my cousin and her family. There were 18 of us and it was a wonderful week.

Doing Disney with style...

Then back home to an unhappy reality for 3 days before the  packing and moving company arrived and insert the image of the Clamppetts from the Beverly Hillbillies and we were off on our merry (ok, I will be the first to admit. It wasn't super merry as we were leaving our lives, families, friends and everything behind to travel to the unknown) way. But we have all entered into this new adventure with positive thoughts and attitudes and have been embracing Milwaukee with complete and utter grandeur.

I must say that I owe Milwaukee an apology. The summer weather is just amazing and we are loving being surrounded by water. Hubby moved up here in January to start his new job while the boys and I stayed behind so they could finish school. They had one of the worst winters ever, and I only came up once in February and it was freezing, dreary, and lets face it… just plain miserable. My only previous exposure to the city was my yearly pilgrimage to the Bead and Button show that is held downtown. Which that on its own of course is amazing, but the thought of leaving everything we love and cherish behind was beyond painful. My mind couldn't wrap itself around the city. I would look at homes for sale on-line but had no idea of the area and what to expect. But… May came along and I flew up for the week to go house hunting and found "the" house that hubby had no choice but to buy. lol….  

So when we pulled up to our new home, I knew I would love the house and was excited to show the kids as this was their first time in their new city. Sadly, our oldest stayed behind for a month with my parents so he could finish up the summer swim team season. So we were one kiddo short and that was really tough also. Oh, btw… my middle child says I am not allowed to use the word "kiddo" but I figured he isn't reading this so I'm going to use it without repercussion from him:-)

So since the move, we have devoured and explored the city with a passion. Concentrating on getting the kids acclimated and exposed to all the great things here. We keep them busy and go on lots of adventures to help the transition. Keegan arrived about 3 weeks ago and the family is now finally together. I was really worried about him as this was a tough move on him leaving all of his friends behind but he is doing wonderful. I'm so proud of all the boys. They are doing much better than I ever expected and trying to make the best of the situation they were placed in. We have been so busy getting settled and acclimating the kids that my studio/workshop is still sitting in boxes. I have dug through some of them looking for random items here and there but hubby still needs to wire me up a dedicated circuit for my kiln. That is the last piece of the puzzle for getting settled into the house. 

It feels like we have been on vacation ever since we moved here. It has been a lot of fun and it feels amazing to be back together as a family. If only it were warmer and if only there were palm trees, I could pretend we were in Florida. I even hear and see sea gulls when I'm in the parking lot at Target. I still find that so cool. 

Connor caught the big one!

Then to break up the transition, both big boys had their best buds fly up to stay for the week and that was perfect timing for them. It was the best week and very uplifting. As a mother, watching the kids leave their friends behind is just heart breaking. Seeing them reunited gave me a warm feeling and I was so grateful to their families for letting them come for the week.

The boys getting ready to Kayaking at the lake which is about 10 min. away from our house.

A jaunt down to downtown Chicago which is about 2 hours away.

We also celebrated Keegan's big 16 birthday while their friends were here. Not a car but he was happy none the less. 

An afternoon at Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan downtown which is about 20 min from the house. Caiden by the way is standing up inside that sand hole. lol

Opening night of the WI state fair. Wow, is all I have to say. They know how to do a carnival in style. 

I kept trying to talk hubby into winning me a Despicable Me unicorn. They were soooo cute and fluffy…. I told him as a high school girl, our priorities were set around having a boyfriend that could win big carnival prizes. His reply was that is why he got a good job so he could just buy me one. Then he promptly pulled out his phone and saw he could buy one on Amazon for $10….

Last weekend I drove all the kids back to St. Louis and we spent almost a week there reconnecting with friends. I think I was just as busy as the kids were seeing everyone. It was a great week and one that brought another huge life change upcoming adventure for me…..

Stayed tuned for Part 2…..

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wondering where I have been?

Yea, I've been wondering the same thing. To make a long story short, as it would read like the perfect script for a reality tv series, we are moving to Milwaukee, WI. Hubby accepted a job with Harley Davidson in December and has been living up there since early January. The boys and I have stayed behind so they could finish the school year.

Needless to say all of this has involved more stresses, fear, and anxiety, with hope all thrown in the mix than I care to relate. I just packed up my workshop in January and shut everything down until after we move. Life has been super crazy and hectic and it just seemed easier to eliminate as many factors that I was capable of in order to cope in the best way possible.

I will be house hunting soon and then it will feel really real. Wish me luck as the market is hot there and the good ones go as soon as they are listed which puts us at a disadvantage. We will be putting our house on the market in a week or so (insert tears:-). It will be listed as soon as the new kitchen granite countertops get installed. Grrrr..... isn't that just typical? I have wanted granite ever since we have lived here. Now that we are moving, we are getting them..... In my mind was thinking we needed to do a total kitchen renovation before getting granite. Sigh, so at least I will get to enjoy it for a month before we move. Oh well, the next house will either have granite or hubby is gonna have to buy it as a prerequisite treat for moving. lol

That is just a brief update of what is going on. I can now say that I've become an expert house painter and house fixer upper. I hope to become a full time bead maker again once we are settled.