Our family has been dealing with a lot of changes lately, so I decided our blog needed a face lift to reflect this. I've added and changed a bunch of stuff in the sidebar, chosen a new template, and figured out how to add a customized header. I browsed my favorite free stock photography website for a long time, trying to decide on the kind of photo I wanted. If we were still living in Japan, I would have chosen something with an Oriental flair; if in Portland, a picture of the Cascade mountains, a waterfall, or the rugged Oregon coast would have been cool. However, there just were not that many inspiring pictures of Memphis. So, I finally settled on the above picture of a winding country road. I feel like it is somehow reflective of our lives right now. We are still on a journey. (Memphis is not our final destination.) Our path doesn't stretch out straight in front of us, but twists out of sight through the trees. (We don't know yet where we will be going after this.) And I am learning, slowly, to be content with the journey I am on -- with the winding road, with the unknown, out of sight around the bend.
Anyway... back to the "changes" in our lives.
For one thing, we have a new address! Unpacking and settling into a new home is always a slow (and therefore frustrating) process for us, but we continue to make headway a little bit at a time. Along with the new address come a whole bunch of other new things -- new bank, new doctors, new pharmacist, new driver's licenses, new plates for the car, new insurance company, new phone number (still working on some of these!), and the list goes on...
Rusty is back in school, taking 6 hours (two classes) this semester. Having not taken a class in almost two years, it has taken him some time to "get his groove back." This was made more difficult by the fact that he has also been working long hours at Starbucks, trying to get in enough hours this quarter so we can maintain our benefits eligibility. Now that the quarter is almost over, he will be able to cut back on work so he can focus more on school.
I have faced some big changes as well. I am now a "working mom." (I say that somewhat facetiously, since of course all mothers work.) But, after 18 months of being a stay-at-home mom, I have re-entered the work force. This was not a decision that was made lightly, since both Rusty and I have always been committed to being a one-income family once children came along. However, the "perfect job" was offered to me, and I accepted. No, really: if I am going to work outside the home, this is the ideal situation. I am now working for Freed-Hardeman University as the Secretary in the Memphis Graduate Education Office. My office is right here on campus (where we live), alleviating the need for a second car, and making it possible for me to come home for lunch each day. My boss is extremely flexible and fun to work with; and the work itself is something I enjoy doing. Despite all of that, adjusting to working 32+ hours a week is going to take some time.
Needless to say, Alex has also faced his own set of changes as a result of my new job. He is spending two mornings a week with a baby-sitter, and a full day plus all other afternoons with his daddy. (Luckily, he still takes a pretty long nap in the afternoon, so Rusty can get some studying done!) Being the flexible, easy-going little guy that he is, he seems to be handling all this pretty well so far. In fact, it has probably been harder on Rusty and me than it has on Alex!
And that's what's new with us. Check back next week for some new pictures (I hope).