Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Blog Started "I am only half crazy"

My blogging has stopped being about my life as a stay at home mom, and a pilot's wife. My husband use to work in the Middle East for 5 weeks at at time, and was home for 4 weeks before he went back. When I started this blog I was new to being a mother and new to being at home full time. Now I have two kids, AD is 4, and KD is almost 7. And my husband is home pretty much every night with his new job. So, I feel like life is pretty normal... my husband just happens to be a pilot! :) I also work full time now.

I started running in 2011, and then this blog turned into a running blog. And then I was posting thoughts from a Christian perspective, as I learned lessons during my runs, and through the grieving of my brother and my mother. (Those stories are still on this blog, July 2009 and July 2011. But I moved the running focused stories to the other blog.)

So... I have moved. If you still wish to read what I have to say about life, running, my faith, grief etc. you can visit me at my I Am Only Half Crazy blog.

If you want to read about life as a SAHM, and a being a Pilot's wife please feel free to browse around. I will keep it up. It may still help others to have these stories posted somewhere.

And thank you, to those of you who have followed me on this journey.

Take care! God bless!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

News from June

My last post I mentioned that we were waiting for JD to finally start his new job. As of June 15, 2013 the company that hired him back in November 2012 finally got off the ground (quite literally). We were both so very happy! He hadn't worked since October 2011. We had enough money saved to glide through 5 months. The following months we lived mostly on the line of credit we had left on our credit cards, and then after those were maxed out we lived on the kindness of family and friends and our church family as they offered us money to pay our mortgage, our bills, and for food. In January 2013 I finally took a part time job to try and plug up the rupturing artery of our finances. Of course part time at $10.50 per hour wasn't going to do much, but at least it helped buy food and gas for the car. We still had to get help with the bills and the mortgage. Its amazing we didn't lose our house! In fact, in November 2012 we started to ask our bank for assistance in modifying our home loan. That effort failed after several attempts and at this point we have given up trying anymore.

After almost a year at the part time, $10.50 per hour, job I looked for a full time job with better pay. I was hoping to be moved into a full time position at that job, but when a spot opened up that I was qualified for the store manager transferred a buddy of his to the store and gave her that position I wanted. So, I decided not to wait around anymore. I found another part time job, but with better pay and a promise from my new boss that she would never work me less than 29 hours per week.  (My current job was in the midst of a change to make all part time positions only 22 hours per week.) She also said that a full time spot would be opening up soon. After only a couple months at that new job I was made full time. I was greatly relieved to have finally achieved full time. That was in May 2013, and then finally June 2013 my husband found out his job would be starting. The light at the end of the tunnel finally was headed our way.

JD found great satisfaction and joy working for his new company, something he rarely had in past jobs. I was envious of him. My workplace was stressful and a lot of favoritism was rampant in that job, just as it was in my previous job. Again I was overlooked for a position because a buddy of the manager was promoted over me (the woman who hired me quit due to this new manager's treatment of her). This person was not qualified for the job, I pushed against the decision and was pegged as a "drama" maker. I just wanted the person to be evaluated on merit, education and experience. I didn't even care if I was the one who got the job. I mainly wanted someone qualified to do the job, even if it wasn't me they chose. Even after I gave up pushing for this to be looked into I was being targeted by the store manager and this new, unqualified, department manager over me. I was very stressed, so stressed I lost 7 pounds in two months! Not that I mind losing the weight, but it kind of freaked me out that I had lost so much so quickly without dieting or exercising. The only thing I have been doing is running one to two times per week. I had to stop boot camp because of the financial cost. I was eating junk food even, and I still lost weight.

I started sending out resumes, 1 to 4 per day. One day I was so stressed out and so upset that I sent 16 out in one day! I was desperate to get out of there! But on the other hand I wanted to go to a place where I would be happy and would stay for a while. So, even though I was desperate I wanted to be smart about where I applied and where I would finally choose to work. I got one interview, and I didn't get the job, but I didn't think I wanted to work there anyways. So, that worked out in the end. I got calls and emails for sales positions in areas outside of my field, and I wasn't interested. I finally got an interview with a company that has a stellar reputation and I was excited. It was for a VERY entry level position, and even the manager asked me why I would want to take a step back in my career like that. For me it was a no brainer, they pay better, the hours are better, I would have weekends off, the company has a great reputation in the Interior Design Industry (I have a BA degree in Interior Design), the employees have stayed around for decades (which speaks volumes), and I know that opportunities for advancement would be there for many years to come. I wouldn't be stuck in the entry level position forever, and besides that I didn't mind working my way from the bottom up. I enjoy working hard and being part of a team environment and helping the company and people I work with thrive and be successful. No job is too small. Change a light bulb? No problem. Cut tile for samples? No problem. Make coffee for clients? No problem. Nothing they said the job would entail scared me off or made me feel like it was beneath me.

I started my new job on September 3, 2013. Its only been two weeks and I am already loving it here! I believe that I will be happy at my new place for many years to come. No more job hopping because of poor management and favoritism. I believe I will be promoted based on hard work, experience and knowledge. I am making $475 more per month at my new job, and I will do whatever they want me to do for that kind of raise!! Haha... I really don't have any issues with manual labor. I am exhausted at the end of my day, but that is good. I am busy, never bored, and maybe burning a few calories while I am running around. Bonus! Nothing I am doing is overly difficult to do. So its kind of fun! I think I need to take advantage of that aspect, because If I get promoted one day that may not be there so much (the "easy" part). I told my new bosses in the interview that if I decided to take the job that I decided I won't be bothering them to promote me, as long as I am being paid fairly and I enjoy my workplace I will stick around until there is a place to promote me into. Until then I will be content, even if it is an entry level position. I told them this because the previous gal they hired quit after 90 days and they said they do not want to hire anyone that won't stick around for at least a couple years.

A lot of drama at my old job I have spared you by not blogging about it... I don't even want to write about it. It is over. I vented to my husband and my friends and I got through it. I am glad I am in a better situation, my husband is employed, my MIL watches the kids when we both work, and our financial situation should be turning around very soon. Praise the Lord!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A newer new job... for me

JD still doesn't have a job... Well, he has a job offer that he accepted, but he isn't getting paid yet.  The company is a new start up commuter airline and they are waiting for the FAA to approve their certificate.  This may take some time. JD took the job offer in November and we are still waiting for a training date.  In the mean time I left my job at Home Depot for a better paying job at a place called Floor and Decor.  I am a design consultant and am back in my realm as an interior designer.  Although its not full remodeling, I get to help people put together ideas for bathroom tile designs, flooring for the whole house, and backsplash designs for the kitchen.  The store is all hard surface flooring products, nothing else.  It feels good to be in a position that allows me to use my creative talents. 

Although my new job pays better it doesn't pay all the bills.  We have been relying on financial gifts from friends and family, and right now we are able to use our tax refund to take care of our current house mortgage payment and some bills.  I am really hoping that JD's job will start in the next 60 days.  He does have another potential job in the near future working for his Dad, but that is a new start up company as well.  In fact, we are thinking his Dad's new business and the flying job will end up starting up at the same time.  So he will have two jobs to choose from!

In other news my brother's wife, the brother who passed away from cancer, she passed away just before Christmas from the SAME type of cancer he died from! Talk about a weird coincidence.  I am really sad to see her go. She was such a sweet lady.  I never got to meet up with her again after Paul died, and my daughter KD was really looking forward to hanging out with her Auntie Ruth again.  She lived up in Northern California, so we never had the time to get up there to see her.  She had told us a couple times she was coming down to Southern California to visit her son, but then we never saw her.  I wonder if it was hard for her to keep in communication with me due to the fact that I was her deceased husband's sister. Maybe I reminded her of him too much or something.  I am sad I didn't get to hang out with her again before she died. 

Also, just a few months before Ruth passed away my Step Mother passed away.  I didn't always get along with her, but she meant a lot to my Dad and I really feel for him. I know he misses her greatly and there is a hole in his heart right now.  After my Step Mother dying and then Ruth dying I am done with family members dying! Good grief! I wonder some times, "Who's next?!"  I hope this is the end of it for a while.  I don't think I could take anymore!

For more positive news I just recently finished my third 1/2 marathon!  February 2013 I ran the third one and got my "Beach Cities Challenge" medal.  You have to run the OC 1/2, the Long Beach 1/2, and the Surf City 1/2 consecutively to qualify.  I was sick for two weeks before this last race so I hadn't been running, and after mile 6 my right knee started hurting and I had to walk until mile 9.  Then I started slowly jogging again and ran all the way straight to the end, mile 13.1!  It took me 3 hours this time, it took me 2 hrs 28 min the previous two times.  But I was just happy to complete the race and finish the challenge!  Now I am dreaming about running a FULL marathon!!  I started up a running day on Thursdays and am recruiting other women to run with me and prepare for either a full or half marathon too.  I joined two women's running clubs and am talking to all my girlfriends who run at all on their own, hoping to make a nice sized running group out of them.  It would be nice to have friends to train with.  I trained for all my 1/2 marathons pretty much all on my own.  Only occasionally did I have someone to run with. 

My goal is to run a full marathon this time next year, at the Surf City Marathon in February 2014.  I figured that would be long enough to work up my mileage and get use to running 18 miles (gulp!)... or even 20! A full marathon is 26.2 miles long, but you generally only work your way up to 18 or 20 miles at most before the big event.  I hear the last 6 miles are the most difficult.  I bet!!  I feel like I am crazy for wanting to even try, but it feels good to go for a goal that is so big.  I know I will feel awesome once I conquer it!  And I think my brother Paul would be amazed and proud of me that I did that.  I think he is already proud of me for finishing the Beach Cities Challenge.  (I never was much of an athlete or very sporty while he was alive. Paul was a rock climber, a very intense rock climber.) 

I would like to actually complete the Beach Cities Challenge again.  I would start with the Long Beach 1/2, do the Surf City full, and end with the OC 1/2 in 2014.  As long as Jason gets a job by this summer I can do it.  It takes money to sign up for those events, and right now I don't have the money to pay for them.  I got friends to sponsor the last two 1/2 marathons, so I didn't have to pay for them.  That was awesome of them to help me out like that.  When I do my full I want to ask people to sponsor me by donating to the Stand Up to Cancer foundation and dedicate my run to Paul. I think that would be cool.  Especially if I got a good sized group to run with me and we all raised money for the foundation and ran in his honor. Wouldn't that be awesome? 

Well, that's my long over due update for now.  I hope to share more often in the future.  Take care!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Job Drama

Since my last post I got a part time job at Home Depot.  So I have been a little too busy to write.  JD is still looking for a job, any job, any where in the USA.  Yes, he is still looking for a flying job, but we aren't ruling out jobs outside his profession.  Unfortunately no one wants to hire a pilot to bag groceries or do data entry.  On the bright side I have a job.

I use to work at Home Depot, so I am just going back to what I did before.  I am going to be going full time soon.  I started 3 months ago thinking that part time would be all I want to do or all I would be able to do.  But since JD is still out of a job I think going full time would be good for us.  I enjoy working again, but I don't enjoy being away from my family.  And the extra time off that I have from work I have a lot to do, so even my time off I don't see my family that much.

Right now I am working on a mural at my church for the preschool room.  When I have a day off I go work out at my boot camp and then I go to the church and paint until dinner.  JD and the kids come bring me lunch and hang out for a couple hours until nap time.  Sometimes I go paint after lunch, but then I lose some valuable time that I need to put in on the mural.

JD does have a prospect for a job, he is on the top of the list.  But if he gets the job we will be moving out of state.  That will be interesting.  We shall see what happens.  I am not sure I am ready to leave the cushy lifestyle of Orange County California.  I must admit I am spoiled living here.  I have my boot camp, my half marathons (I finished my first half marathon May 6th and I want to do more).  I have my family, friends, church, and my job.  Not to mention all the restaurants and things around here to do... including the beach and the mountains only a short distance away.  Not to mention good weather 345 days out of the year, pretty much.

But, as I said, we shall see... you never know what God has up his sleave.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Job

JD didn't end up putting out the money for training.  We both ended up feeling uncomfortable with going into debt for a job that we weren't even sure he would get much flying out of.  The work could be good or it could be sparse.  Not knowing for sure made it hard to commit to our previous decsion to do the training.

JD now has a job offer for a charter company.  He is going to do an interview with them and go from there.  The biggest down side is that there are no health benefits and I need the coverage.  So I will be applying for a part time job that has benefits.  I would rather not work, but if I have to work I would rather it be part time than full.  With this new job JD would be making enough that I only need to work part time, praise God.

So here we are on the cusp of another chapter in our life and careers.  I will update you again once things are finalized.  I am just happy he finally has a job offer that is in the states and pays well enough.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello Again

I don't know if anyone will start reading my blog again, but I figured I would try to update everyone and keep posting at least once a month.

My husband is about to go to training and pay thousands of dollars out his own pocket to get current on his certificates for certain planes.  He is doing this in hopes that a company he applied to work for can use him for flights.  This company gets calls from people with private planes than need a pilot to fly for them for a few days, or whatever the need is, and then the company calls pilots from a database they have.  JD would be in their database and would hopefully get enough calls to merit paying for his own training.  We are putting his training on a 0% interest credit card and we are hoping he gets to fly 12 to 15 days a month.  Then he will be able to support our household and make monthly payments towards the training bill.

I didn't end up going to work part time after all.  JD didn't want me to start doing that until we absolutely needed me to.  For the past few months we have been living off his end of service pay.  As of February that runs out, however, so hopefully this new gig will pan out for us.  Or he will have to go with plan B and call a friend of the family that owns a car dealership and see if he can work for him.  That would be quite a change!

Its been nice having JD home full time for the past few months.  I am not looking forward to having to go days without him.  I wish he could find a job that brings him home every night for dinner and to put the kids to bed.  He has been cooking dinner for us all every night, he says he enjoys doing that.  So now I've been spoiled and don't look forward to handling that on my own.  I don't cook hot meals for myself when he is gone.  The kids don't eat what we eat, they eat chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese... so I usually make a salad or a sandwich or a frozen lean cuisine dinner for myself.  Not exactly exciting stuff.

Oh well, I guess my perfect life bubble is about to end soon.  I am not happy about it.  But that is life.  Someone has to work to have a house and feed the family.  And someone needs to watch the kids and take care of them.  Just have to suck it up and dig in my heals.  I've done it before... for 35 days at a time, I can do it again.  Hopefully this time it will only be a couple days or a week or two max at a time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Changes... BIG changes

My husband is going to be quitting his job soon... in about a week. That means he may no longer be a pilot. He is open to doing other jobs and being home more. He may fly here and there some as a contractor pilot, but we don't know for sure if that's going to open up for him as an opportunity. We are going out on a leap of faith that he will find a new job before his end of service pay runs out, and that will be in about four months.
The last time he was home I had wanted him to quit, but then he couldn't find a new job to transition over to. My husband made the point that at least he had a job and it pays well. I agreed that quitting seemed irrational and not the prudent thing to do. So I let him go back to work for 5 weeks... again. Then during this rotation he informed me he would only be home for 3 weeks when he got back and then gone again for 6 weeks because he would be going to recurrent training the week before his work rotation started again. I just didn't see how I could handle 6 weeks, especially after only getting him home for 3 in stead of 4 weeks. My ability to hold it together while he is gone is dwindling. I am lonely and depressed. I miss my husband, I don't like being alone at night while the kids are sleeping. I miss having him around. I am depressed by the daily routine of kids: wake them up, feed them, play with them or take the older one to school, feed them, give them a nap, wake them up, take them to lessons or on errands, feed them, bath time, book time, bed time REPEAT. The routine depresses me, I don't like it.
It hasn't always been this way for me but over this past year it seems every rotation my husband leaves it gets worse. And I kind of feel bad for doing this... but I told him that sometimes I think, "How can I get out of this? Where could I go?" Because sometimes I feel like running away from my life. I'm not really going to leave my children or my husband, its just a feeling. But again, you never know where the breaking point is and perhaps I am capable of doing something like that. I, of course, want to take action before that point comes. And having my husband come home and not work for 5 or 6 weeks at a time is part of taking that action. 

When my husband heard my musings it concerned him.  I don't blame him.  I made it seem like I was leaving him.  He said he didn't want to lose me to another man and he didn't want to lose his family.  So that did make him decide pretty quickly that he needed to quit.  I told him a few times that I wasn't actually going to leave him for another man.  He said he knows that.  But I sure did scare the guy!  Poor guy.  Either way, he needs to come home and not leave me alone anymore.  I am too lonely for that to keep happening.  I need my husband.
It will be stressful for us to have to look for jobs. I am going to have to work part time and he is going to have to figure out how to make ends meet with a lesser paying job. We do have high hopes that his Dad will be starting up a business soon. JD's Dad has been trying to get funding for his business for a while now, it seems like he is almost there... but we still don't have the actual money to say it's a done deal and to rely on. Once the money comes then JD will be hired to work for his Dad and we will be fine financially. But, in the mean time... as we wait for JD's Dad's business to start up, we both will need to find work.
So, I guess this means I may not be a pilot's wife anymore. But that is fine with me. And JD is ready to be done too. He has been stressed out with this job for more than a year now. It's wearing on him too. The time away from his family, living out of hotels and no home cooked meals, away from his friends and all comforts of American living. Then there is the way his company runs things, not good. Sometimes you can put up with all those things I listed when you work for a great company that treats you well. That is not the case here.
So, I guess wish us luck and say a prayer. This is going to be interesting.