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November 2010
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February 2011

The rollercoaster

        Gentle readers, life here at the Grouchy house has been a wee bit - ah - unpredictable lately.  Granted, a certain level of inconsistency is normal, but the last few weeks have been more like going from the merry-go-round to the worst rollercoaster in the park.  On a full stomach.   Yeah, that much fun.

        For some time hubby has been looking for a different job.  He's been pretty unhappy in his current position, but (as you all know) the economy hasn't been very job-hunt-friendly.  Still,  we figured if we just kept at it, sooner or later something would pop up.  And sure enough, our efforts were rewarded.  In fact, it was a little freaky - hubby had two offers that were really good, and a couple other places still knocking on the door.  One of the offers was from his current company, but another division.  The other was from a different company in a different industry.   After a LOT of thought, prayer, and discussion, we decided to go with the offer from his present employer.  There were a number of financial advantages for us in staying with the same company, and we felt they were significant enough that we couldn't pass them up.    The decision was made and we started planning to move to Missouri.

        Now, mind you, we were pretty confident that this was going to be a good thing.  The company has disappointed us in the past (long story), but things were looking really good for this move.  Until this past Tuesday morning, when they called my sweet husband and said "Um, yeah, that job offer?  We're taking it back. "   Yes, really.    We were both just stunned.   That is not  kosher, you know?   We'd declined the other offer just to stay with the company, and they pull THIS on us?  We were expecting a kiss, and instead got a slap in the face.    Actually, I wasn't just stunned, I was furious.   So when hubby said "Should I call the other place and see if they'd still consider me?"  I really didn't have to think twice before saying yes.

        So he called, and his contact there agreed to do the rounds and see if everyone was still interested.   By that evening we knew that there was a possibility, but that was all.   To make the day better, our kids went out to the store and on the way home slid off the road into a snowbank - and then couldn't get through to us for help.  A couple of the men from church wound up going and pulling them out (thanks again, Ben and Ted!).   We all went to bed exhausted and overwhelmed.

        Wednesday, though - Wednesday was good.  By that evening Jon had an offer in hand that made us very happy.  He sent his acceptance,  they started the ball rolling, and just like that everything changed.   We're still a little bewildered by the whole chain of events, but our feeling is that God knows waaaaaaay more than we do, and somehow this is all for the best.   Jon is really excited about the job - it's going to be a much better fit for him.   Plus, now we're moving to South Carolina, which is much warmer than Missouri!  We have contacts in the area already, and it's much closer to Jon's parents and older brother, which will be wonderful.   It's also just a few hours away from some of my relatives, so I'm looking forward to visiting them as well.  

        So, that's been the rollercoaster ride this last few weeks!  I think we're past the worst of the crazy now, but I'm sure there will still be some ups and downs.  And I am so looking forward to being warm.....


It's a love-hate relationship

    I love purses.  I have a ton of them, and I'm always looking for  more.  The problem is, I also hate purses, and I wish I didn't have any.  

    Okay, I know those are two completely contradictory statements.  Stick with me for a minute here.  On one hand, I do love  purses.  The design options are endless and they serve a practical purpose.  Finding a cute purse is a little adrenaline rush, not to mention a great conversation starter in a doctor's waiting room.   You can find purses in any size or color imaginable, so if you want a purse for every outfit, it's absolutely possible.   Purses are fun.

    Unfortunately, purses are a pain.  I don't like carrying around the extra weight (carrying myself is enough, thank you).  Stuff always migrates to the bottom of the purse, no matter how little you carry or how carefully you organize.  Finding a purse that is comfortable to carry is a never-ending quest....some handles are too short, some too long, some slide off your shoulder.  Some purses have so many pockets that you can't remember where you put anything; some don't have any pockets, so everything is jumbled together.

    In an ideal world, I wouldn't really need a purse, but if I wanted to use one I'd have a super-cute one just waiting.   I'd really rather just stick whatever I need in a pocket and head out the door, but that's not always an option.  Sometimes I need to carry more than I can fit in my pockets.  Sometimes I have to wear something that doesn't have pockets.    So I'm stuck with a purse. 

    To deal with this, I'm constantly searching for the perfect purse.   I check out department stores, garage sales, thrift stores, you name it.  I've even made my own a time or two.   Some of my finds have worked quite well - in fact, my favorite so far was a $2.97 steal at the local Salvation Army store!   Others have been less successful - for example, the organizer purse that was so unwieldy that I carried it once and dumped it in the bottom of the closet.   My purse stash is constantly being rotated, like produce at the supermarket - out with the old, in with the new. 

    So what do I do?  What I've been doing, I suppose - keep looking for the perfect purse,  and using what I have in the meantime.   In fact, I think I have a pattern for a funky wool felt number floating around somewhere.....hmmm......okay, off I go!


Another one bites the dust*

    Hard to believe that 2010 is over, isn't it?  Okay, maybe not so hard....more of a relief, to tell the truth.  This past year has been tough for a lot of people.  I'm hoping and praying that 2011 will be better. 

    When I sat down to write this post, I really didn't know what to say.  I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, so that wasn't going to happen.  Rehashing this past year was a possibility, but honestly, a lot of what happened this year was painful one way or another, and I'd really rather leave it behind.   Since I don't want to speculate overmuch on the future, or obsess about the past,  what does that leave me?  I guess right now, this minute.

    Right now, as I look at my life, it's really pretty good.  I'm married to the man of my dreams, and even after lots of years and lots of trials, we still love being together.   We have three great kids who make us very proud.  Our families are loving and supportive, and our friends are funny and encouraging.  We have a warm house, plenty to eat,  and even some extra to share.  And the puppy is finally learning to go potty outside instead of under the piano.   What more could anyone ask for? 

    So as we enter this new year, my prayer for myself - and all of you - is this: May we always remember the blessings we have right now, this minute.  Dream about the future, learn from the past, but take joy in the present, because that's where we live: right now.  God bless you all in 2011.