Monday, September 13, 2010

School Days

So, the day has finally arrived for my Chimi to start school at Nascar Technical Institute!!! This is the main reason we moved here, so we are super excited for it. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams for this move here.

Orientation was last week and Brian is already way ahead of the game. He was the only one dressed well, he was on time and ready to learn. First week of classes started today. Which means, a 5:30am wake up call, ugh. Luckily my husband is a trooper and takes everything in stride. His schedule is crazy, wake up at 5:30, leave by 6:05, classes start at 6:30 and end at 12:45 then he goes to work from 4-10:30.

It's going to be hard and stressful on our marriage. However, it will make us prioritize what is truly important and make the most of our time together.

So, I am sitting here writing this and waiting for my little school boy to come home and tell me all about it in person. Of course I've gotten updates throughout the day and he says it was great. I'm thankful for all the calls, emails and prayers for this huge step in our lives.

Just a flash back of a fun picture I found, here is Brian in school in 1988 and starting today (he'll probably get embarassed by this, but I think he looks super cute in both pictures!). And yes, the goggles are a part of his uniform :)

Aside from school starting, we had a great weekend. All new furniture for our living room, and our sweet friend, April, was able to fly into Charlotte for all of Sunday to spend a day with us. We had a great lunch together and I just enjoyed some good quality girl time with one of my dear friends. It was wonderful to see her and I miss her dearly!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Change Will Do You Good

We've had a more than average amount of changes in our lives this year. New house, new city, new state, new jobs, new careers, new church and so many more. With all of these things taking place, there need to be a few more. There need to be some lifestyle changes and some changes with how we spend our time.

For the past week or so, I have heard three sermons about how we spend our time and keeping negative influences out of our lives. I need to be more careful about how people influence my emotions and my daily life. I need to spend more time putting my husband before me, putting God first, focusing on myself, and creating a great life for us here.

Brian's starting school in two weeks. Which means, the reason we moved here is finally happening! This kind of scares me though. There's a lot of pressure put on Brian to excel at school, pressure mainly from himself. This is a life changing event for us. While he is in school, he will also be working full time. Which means, our time together is going to be strained. So, I need to make it a priority to put him first and make the most of our time together. Life will be stressful for the next year or so. Money will be tight. Trust in God is key.

That's where the next change needs to come in. I need to learn more to trust God and His plan for us. Trust that bills will get paid, school will exceed Brian's dreams, my job will continue to excel, and our family and friends will be supportive. This is what needs to be done in our lives, once school is done, we both believe our little family will be better off for it.

Putting more time into myself is also something I need to focus on. I need to spend more time in quietness and in prayer. Reading quality books and discovering more things I am passionate about and rediscovering the ones I have let slip. I need to surround myself with positive, uplifting people and take out the negative influences. Work on relationships that are supportive and encouraging. Also, work on my physical health. Get ready to start a family and be the best mom I can be when it is time for that to happen.

Being more focused on these three things are so important. They are essential to our lives here. Being here is sometimes hard for me, I feel lonely and miss my family and friends a lot. So, I need to make those moments with them meaningful and be around people who are supportive and loving of us. We need more friends here that can uplift us as a couple and be a support system for us here too. That's one of my major prayers here lately.

Well, that's my emotional post for the night. It's been an emotional weekend, a good weekend, a stressful and revealing weekend. With my focus more on these three things, I can't wait to see what changes will happen in our lives and marriage!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My grandparents

Since I moved away from Cleveland in 1995, I have realized how much my grandparents mean to me. I grew up living no less than 10 minutes from my mom's parents for most of my childhood. I vividly remember my brother and I go over to Busia and Dziadzia's house after school (Grandma and Grandpa in Polish). Busia would pick us up from school at St. Martin's and we would go to her house, watch the Disney Channel and eat fruit roll ups. The Dziadzia would come home from work and we would all eat dinner together until our parents picked us up. For Christmas, we have carried on their family traditions. We break traditional Polish bread and greet each other, eat wonderful Polish food, Dziadzia says the dinner prayer, Busia coordinates the procession of the baby Jesus, we sing Christmas carols, and share gifts. For Easter we would always have Easter egg hunts in their front yards, they would hide tons of eggs for us kids. I always prayed that they would be able to travel to my wedding when it came time, and two years ago they made the trip down to Georgia. My dziadzia, who is in his 80s, polka danced all night with me, his daughters and other grand daughters. Our friends are still amazed at his stamina!

Busia and Dziadzia couldn't be a more perfect couple. He is sweet, empathetic and funny. She is honest, loving and a natural caretaker. They love each other more than most couples do. They have been married for over 60 years and not a day goes by that I don't pray Brian and I have the same fortune they have. They raised 6 wonderful daughters, have 21 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and many more have married into the family. Dziadzia has a Purple Heart from World War Two. Busia was a stay at home mom, raising their daughters. Dziadzia bakes wonderful treats and homemade breads. Busia cooks fabulous meals where everyone wants the recipes.

My Dad's parents, Grandma and Grandpa, lived about 30 minutes away from us growing up. Grandpa had a stroke before I was born, but that didn't take away his sense of humor or love for the Cleveland Indians. Summer days were filled with Grandpa sitting on his big front porch listening to them on his radio. When Grandma would baby-sit us, she always would take us to McDonald's to get apple pies, a treat we didn't get often. My brother and I remember Grandma peeling potatoes at her kitchen table for every holiday. She makes the best stuffing in the world. Grandpa loved watching his grandkids and he loved laughing with us. Grandma took care of him for years, showing what it means to keep your wedding vows through sickness and in health. Grandpa passed away when I was in high school. He also fought in World War II and shared stories with us. Grandma is a country girl who grew up in West Virginia. She still tells us stories of growing up on the farm. Grandpa's family were coal miners in West Virginia.

Watching people age can be hard and sad at times. I have these remarkable, wonderful people in my life who are having to deal with life and the unfairness of it. They are becoming forgetful, getting frustrated easier, but still taking on life as it is dealt to them. While it is hard for me, I can only imagine what it's like for their children. How do you go about telling your parents they need to move somewhere safer, or they shouldn't drive anymore?

I love all of my grandparents very dearly. Moving here has been a struggle because I realize that my kids may not have what I did growing up by having family so close. But, I am beyond grateful that I did have the opportunity to have them so close to me growing up. I miss them every day and love them more all the time. I cherish my talks with them, and the silly cards my Dziadzia sends me. I love his jokes, my Busia's encouragement, and my Grandma's questions. Simply put, I love them and miss them so, so much...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Friend Factor

The past few weeks have been great. Brian and I were invited to share in our friend's wedding in Atlanta. We felt very privileged to watch two people totally in love start their lives together. While we were in Atlanta, we were able to spend some great time with my parents, lots of friends at the wedding, and even more friends for a lunch in Buckhead. We've had some visitors, which we just love to have. Work is going well, I'm learning more and more, but still sometimes getting stuck on what seems to be so basic to others. Church is great, I really enjoy working with the class I get on Sundays. But, one thing is missing. Friends...

We've been very blessed in our lives with amazing friends, many of whom are like family to us. Unfortunately, they all live in other states, or live in NC but just are not that close to Charlotte. When I met Brian, one of the first things I learned about him was I would have to love his family and friends as much as he did if I was going to be a part of his life forever. Lucky for me, that was easy. Brian has friends as far back as elementary school. They are all married now, and even luckier for me, all of their wives are amazing. When we go to Louisville, it feels like we live there and never miss a beat. When we aren't there, both of us miss everyone. We get to visit a few times a year, and some of them are able to come and visit us throughout the year. Since I only have a brother, I always longed for a sister, some of them are just that to me.

We've shared infertility struggles, weddings, birth celebrations, birthday parties, luaus, 4 Thunders Over Louisville, vacations together, camping trips, new houses, big moves, and so much more just since I have met them.

Our friends from Atlanta are just as wonderful. While we don't have as long of a past with most, the bond is still great. I know I can call any of them up at any time and they would be there for us no matter what. We've shared so many life experiences together that we are all grateful for. Moving away from them was hard, and it put a bit of a strain on these relationships initially, but that got fixed rather quickly.

So, we have great friends all over. But, what I am missing while living in Charlotte, is having those types of friends here. We have met people, hung out with others, shared a few meals together, but I still miss our Louisville and Atlanta friends. I miss they terribly. I know things will change and as we get more involved in church, volunteering and meeting people at work it will get easier and we'll make more friendships. But, nothing will ever replace what we already cherish. Nor do we want to replace what we already share.

Since living here, we've had a good number of people come to visit, and it has been wonderful to know people want to come here to see us. September will bring around another great wedding in Atlanta. In October, we are planning a big weekend here with a group of friends to go to a race. Next February we plan on going up to Louisville for the triplets birthday party. And we could never forget Thunder in April.

While it can get easy sometimes to focus on what we don't have here in Charlotte yet, it's peaceful to know what we do have. We have wonderful friends who we cherish greatly. We've created memories, shared tears, cooked meals, planned trips, watched families grow, and learned to hold close to our hearts the people we hold dear.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm Seven Feet Tall

Brian and I are extremely blessed to have the opportunity to know some families with awesome kids. Until we can have children of our own, we totally enjoy the opportunities to see our friends' kids and watch them grow up. We love getting updates of our friends in Louisville and Atlanta and their families. There is nothing cooler than watching kids grow up! We have been blessed to have so many friends with a desire to raise children and have a family in a Godly way.

On Sundays, I have been volunteering at our church in Waumba land. Waumba Land is an environment for infants to children five years old. The goal of Waumba is to teach the kids that God made them, God loves them and Jesus wants to be their friend forever. It is an amazing program and one of the reasons why we come to this church, so that when we do have kids, we know what kind of environment they will have at church.

This Sunday, I was in charge of my room of 5 year olds for the majority of the time. Kids are so amazing and funny! We learned about Joseph today and his 10 brothers. While they were listening to the story from our storyteller, I was pretty sure than they weren't paying attention to most of it. However, when we got back to our room and talked about it, I was amazed at how much they learned and told me. One of the little girls said she needs to be more like Joseph and learn to forgive her brothers. At the end of class today, we prayed. If you have never watched kids pray, you need to! They are the sweetest, most honest and innocent prayers ever.

So, this past Saturday, Brian and I got to "hang out" with our friends two kids. I say hang out because they are 12 and 9 (Austin and Emily), so they don't really need a baby-sitter, but are at that age where they can't stay alone at night for a long time. We also got to watch their 4 year old cousin, Liam. This was the first time we met Liam, and what a character! All of us had a great time swimming, barbecueing, baking cookies and watching a movie. The best part was engaging in conversations with Liam.

Liam is convinced he is 7 feet tall, is going to be a dolphin, and is the King Of Wipeouts in the pool. Not one person could change his mind on these things. Hanging out with him reminded me what is so great about children. They truly have amazing dreams and nothing can change that! He wants to be a dolphin so he can swim oversees to Germany to visit his Daddy who is in the military. He is the King Of Wipeouts because he can do the best underwater flips in the world. And, he is 7 feet tall and will grow to 40 feet tall because he just believes it. When I put him to bed, we prayed. He led the prayer, which was for his Daddy who is fighting for his freedom in Germany. Liam knew why his dad is gone and what he is doing. He also prayed that he could be a dolphin to swim over and see him.

As a teenager, I went on a retreat focused on having faith like a child. This weekend, with these kids, I saw first hand what it is like to have the faith of a child. To believe in a dream that you want to have come true and not be unwaivered in so amazing and inspiring to see. They have no outside influences that tell them otherwise. They simply know what they want and ask God for it.

The best part of my weekend was having Brian home Saturday, volunteering in Waumba and meeting a 7 feet tall 4 year old and getting to hear his sweet innocent prayers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

6:15 Wake Up Call

My Congratulations Flowers From Katie G!

Tuesday I started my new job with Lash Group as a patient case coordinator. I couldn't be more thankful for this job! Now that I look back on the past few months and think about the frustration that came with job hunting, interviewing, turning down other jobs and being rejected for others I really realize why that all happened. When I was searching, it was hard to understand why I wasn't getting calls back or better offers. There were many times when I asked God why it was things weren't working out yet. And now I know the answer. God was preparing this job for me, he had this perfectly picked out and was just waiting for the time to be right for me to start.

This isn't just any job, it is a job that I am proud to say that I have. A job that I want to tell people about and one where I am excited to go to work. From the first interview with them, I had a feeling that this would be a great fit for me. The people I work with are all so friendly and helpful. We have a workout facility on site, a cafe for breakfast and lunch, kitchens on each floor with soda fountains, great views of both lakes, walking trails to use during lunch time, it's just a great place. Even our dress code is great! We can wear tennis shoes, t-shirts and even jeans if we want. They really strive to make the office culture comfortable and welcoming for everyone involved.

For my first day of work, my awesome husband got up super early on his day off to make me a great breakfast and then I was even more surprised to get to my car and see a card he had written for me. Am I lucky or what?! This was just a great start to my first week at work. It only continued to go uphill from there.

It's been weird adjusting to a work schedule. I am used to going to bed around midnight or later, and then getting up about 7:30. Now, I try to be in bed by 10:30 so I can up at 6:15 so I can have breakfast and be out of the door by 7:45. I get home around 6pm, so even that is great.

While it was difficult at time to wait for this job to be ready for me, I know now that God had it hand picked for me and to benefit our family. It meets all of our needs, and not only that, but it is a happy and healthy work environment for me. It's all we prayed for and so much more. So worth the wait!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebration of Freedom!

With yesterday being the 4th of July, of course freedom was on my mind. Brian and I went to a new church since our regular one was taking a break for the holiday weekend. Boy, did we miss our church! The service we went to yesterday was about the end of the world. Totally not what we were thinking about on the 4th of July! So, after that service, my dad called and told us to listen to our Atlanta church, North Point Community Church and Buckhead Church, to hear our senior pastor there, Andy Stanley. His message was just wonderful and made me even prouder to be an American.

It was a weird holiday for me because it was just Brian and I. This is the first year I have been away from my parents, other than the time my Mom and I were in Mexico on a mission trip. I'm used to taking pictures on the back porch with my family, having a barbecue with them and then all goint to see fireworks. Instead this year, Brian and I enjoyed a holiday to ourselves. We went hiking, to the lake, made a great dinner and went to see fireworks. It was a great first holiday in our new city!

Now it's time for the real world to begin. That's right, my "vacation" from being a working woman is finally over! Tomorrow is my first day at my new job with Lash Group. I haven't gone to work in almost 7 weeks, let along picked out an outfit for work (At my old job, we had uniforms). So, I am a little nervous about picking it out. Oh how I wish we had some more friends here! I could so use the help of another female to pick out the perfect first day outfit.

So, I am exiting this period of freedom from having all the free time I could ever want, to having the responsibility of a job. With this though, comes other types of freedoms and new challenges. Meeting new people, learning a new position, bringing home an income, and making a difference in the lives of the people we work for. I'm pretty sure the drive to work tomorrow will be a little nerve wrecking for me. It's going to be awesome, and it's great to see everything falling into place.

Well, that's enough blogging for now. Time to get back to cooking for the week, today I'm making homemade smashed potato soup and chicken paella, so I can take lunch to work. And, I still need to find that perfect outfit! Say some prayers for a great first day, please!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Knock On The Door

Here's my acceptance letter!

This morning, Brian and I were woken up by the UPS man knocking on our door. What was this special package that woke us up early on our day to sleep in? My offer letter and employment from my new job!!! That's right, on Thursday afternoon, I was offered a job with Lash Group as a Patient Case Coordinator!! When the hiring manager called me to offer the position, she asked if I would need time to think about it. I immediately said no and that I accepted the offer, she laughed because I was so quick with my answer.

While I was on the phone still with the hiring manager, I grabbed my keys and drove to see Brian at work. I didn't want to tell him over the phone, I wanted to see his face when I could tell him that I got the job we had been praying for and that he could start school on time. He was pretty speechless and thrilled! I called my mom at work and the lady that answered the phone screamed, she was so excited for us. My mom kept calling me all day long, yelling into the phone "You finally got a job!" I called a few of our closest friends, Brian's mom and my grandparents who were all simply thrilled for us.

God knew what He was doing all along. Not having to work as soon as we moved here allowed me to get our home in order, learn the area of town better, get involved in volunteering at our church, meet new people, cook dinners for my husband and lots of other things. It allowd me to spend more time with my mom when she came in town also.

So, with this being a holiday weekend, I am going to enjoy these next four days off with my husband and some friends. I'll enjoy this holiday weekend with a sense of peace that finally I have the job we have been praying for and patiently for, well trying to be as patient as possible. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Waiting Game

Waiting patiently is something I am not good at! For Christmas, I'd always try to find where my gifts were hidden, for Easter, I'd peek where the eggs were, even now I try to bypass waiting patiently. However, over the last few years, I've learned more that what God has planned for me is totally worth for. Doesn't mean that I am more patient, just more accepting of the fact that God knows what he is doing and has everything figured out for my life.

One of the main things Brian and I have been waiting for here lately is for me to get the right job. Not just any job, but THE job. The job where people are friendly, work is challenging and enjoyable, benefits are available and where I can help to support our little family. I've been on countless interviews for jobs in Charlotte since we decided to move. I've even had a few job offers, but turned them down after praying about them and realizing that they weren't the right fit for a number of reasons. I've applied for literally hundreds of jobs, called HR departments and hiring managers, utilized any connections I could find, but still haven't been able to nail down the right one. I interviewed for one last week and after I left the interview, I had a gut feeling that I would get the job. I even delivered hand written thank you notes the next day! That was last Friday, I still haven't heard anything. Still waiting....

Another thing we are waiting for is to start a family. We really wanted to get pregnant on our honeymoon or be pregnant for our first anniversary. But, it is now July 1, 2010. Meaning, we have been married for almost 19 months and still have no baby. We've been to different doctors and tried a few infertility treatments. Nothing too serious, but stressful nontheless. But, after we moved here it became obvious to me why we hadn't had a baby yet. We would have never moved if we had a child to take care of now. I would have never moved away from my parents, my brother and our friends in Atlanta. God knew this, he had it planned all along, I just had to realize why it hadn't happened yet to appreciate his reasonings.

Atleast while we wait for these two major things, we are surrounded with wonderful people in our liwes. Brian is so supportive and encouraging and more than I could ask for in a husband. We have multiple friends who have dealt with infertility that are encouraging and great examples to look forward to. Our families are always lending support as often as they can. So, if I have to wait to land the perfect job, and wait to start our family, I can do it!

This feels like the calm before the storm, Brian and I both feel like something wonderful is going to happen soon. Something wonderful happened today, an answer to some prayers that we had no idea how they would get answered, got answered. Just another reason to wait patiently and to wait on God.

I opened my Bible up the other day and this was the first verse that caught my eye
"Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God
your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers." Philippians 4:6

Perfect for any day that has doubt in it

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New City, New State, New Life

Well, we have been living in our new home for about six weeks. Mooresville is absolutely wonderful! We couldn't be happier with the area we chose to live in. We live right by beautiful Lake Norman, we are close to friends, and Brian's school. Our church is a little bit of a drive, but totally worth it. We love the feeling of living in a smaller city, but being so close to Charlotte. There are farmer's markets here every weekend, quaint little towns, drive in movie theatres and good home cooking at all the restaurants. Not only that, but everyone around here is just so nice! Chimi and I have enjoyed seeing new parts of the area as often as we can. Often our date nights include driving around a new part of town and just seeing what is out there. Driving anywhere in Mooresville means you get to drive over Lake Norman, driving over it daily makes us both think we are on vacation because it is so huge and has over 500 miles of shoreline

Don't get me wrong, I miss my family like crazy. My mom came to visit last weekend and we had a blast. It is wonderful to have a mom who fully supports you. We took her all around town, to the lake, outdoor shopping malls, to our new church and lots of cozy little restaurants. We are anxiously awaiting more visitors to come. In fact, a friend from Church is coming this week, Kristin. Her brother lives here and we've been on a few mission trips together. It will be great to have a sense of home for a little bit.

Moving away from all your family and friends really opens your eyes to so many things. It helps you to build a stronger marriage because you rely on each other so much more. Moving away makes you realize what you took for granted before, like clean grocery stores, being close to church and parents. It shows you who your true friends are because those are the friends who call, email and send notes to see how you are doing and make sure you are adjusting well. You learn more about yourself, what you want to change in your life and what you want to stay the same. And, you aren't as afraid to make more changes and to be the change you want to be in life.

Moving is scary, exhilarating, joyous, sad, exciting, challenging and a giant leap of faith. So far, it has been the best decision we have made as a married couple!

Here's a quick look in our apartment, the living room and our bedroom.