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And Our Lives Will Never Be the Same…….

Here’s a little background…

Jonathan has always been a fantastic problem solver, eager to learn, takes correction as an opportunity, and leads others in a wonderful way.  I’ve always seen great potential in him, and have and always will want the most for him.  He loves and always will love Aerospace.  His deepest desire is  to start up and own his own aerospace company.  In the mean time, he has worked for Boeing and Bell Helicopter, while also getting his MBA, Engineering masters, and Helicopter Pilot rating in the Army National Guard.  Yes, he’s very good at program management, but we both have felt that even then, it’s not his ultimate dream.  We’ve tried other avenues (interviewed other companies)to keep open to possible career opportunities, to launch him in his dream path, but we left interviews feeling like the job wasn’t a good fit on either or both ends.  Jonathan has had his ups and downs throughout his career, but most of the time he has been held back, overlooked, and undervalued.  Often he would have insight, but refrained from sharing at work because it wasn’t his jurisdiction.  Often others would get credit for his work, and he’d quietly accept it since he’s only doing what they are paying him to do.  He has seen the frustrations of large companys and their slow processes, but wasn’t in the position to solve the problems.  We have felt stuck in a way, feeling that there is something more for Jonathan, but we haven’t been finding anything to get us out of this rut.  It’s not good to have a husband come home everyday, and know that he hasn’t used all that he has to offer.  Jonathan has been very good at staying positive, though he has sunk in discouragement from time to time.  Remember that I said he’s good at problem solving?  Well, when he can’t use up that talent at work, he brings it home and wants to solve problems in the home (whether something is broken, the room layout isn’t quite right, or a framed picture is needed), in his kids (why don’t these kids just listen and not complain???), and yes, his wife, too.  Not quite a dream for a family that has sensitivities.  Saturdays would be more of a dread for me, because it would be about projects and work.  It would often be about Jonathan making sure the whole family is on the same page and work together.  That is very difficult to do with 4 children and a wife that all have different needs and desires. I wished that Saturdays would be more for fun stuff.  I have realized for a long time that sometimes Jonathan’s job and myself, just cannot supply all of Jonathan’s needs and I need help.  I have been on my knees in my closet several times, saying to Heavenly Father “What is your plan with your son?  Bell and I cannot do it all, he needs more”, or “You need to do something with him, because Bell and I are not cutting it”.  Then I’d rise up, and move on with the day, because Heavenly Father wants us to get to work.  I knew that we’ve been trying to keep our minds open to opportunities, just in case Heavenly Father might point us somewhere we haven’t thought of before.  I knew at some point, there would be something…eventually.

For a few years, Jonathan has been wanting to take a utah trip.  I’ve avoided it because of the long drive and Duke being so young.  Finally we decided to take the trip this past summer.  My whole family would be together in UT, which we haven’t all been together in years.  Then Jonathan’s side would have a reunion up in Idaho, which we also drove up to, from UT.  We knew it was going to be A LOT of driving, so we wanted to break up our drive up there into 2 days.  We’ve thought of staying in a hotel, but Jonathan realized that his old friend just moved to colorado.  He decided to see if we could stay with his friend and family for a weekend, then we’d continue our drive north.  It all worked out, and we were able to stay there and have a great time.  Jonathan’s friend, Chris Musso, is a consultant at McKinsey and has been for about 8 years or so.  I was impressed by his wife, for being such a supportive wife, strong in taking care of their 5 kids all week every week except for weekends when Chris comes home.  Jonathan and Chris went out a few times, just them, and Jonathan told me Chris encouraged him to work for McKinsey because he’d be great at it.  Jonathan responded that he wouldn’t get in and shrugged it off.  That night (Jonathan told me the next day) Jonathan barely slept, awake thinking about the possibility of working for McKinsey.  It seemed so bright for him to think about.  Even when Jonathan brought it up to me later, I didn’t take it that seriously because it wasn’t aerospace.  

When we came home from our trip, we didn’t talk about it for about 2 months.  It didn’t even cross my mind.  Jonathan started to bring it up again in Oct., and has been talking about it over the phone with Chris.  As we decided to investigate this possible career, I’ve found that if Jonathan wants his own company some day, working for McKinsey is a huge way to do just that.  1/3rd of CEOs come from consulting backgrounds, and most ex-McKinseys start up their own companies.  McKinsey is also the #1 consulting firm in the world and very very difficult to get into.  Once you get McKinsey on your resume, you can pretty much do whatever you want in your career life.  Plus, Jonathan would be PAID for his advice and problem solving skills!  At McKinsey, it is a requirement to say what you think if you feel someone else is wrong, because it is in the best interest of the client.  How perfect is that for Jonathan???  We became so bright and alert about this, and dove into preparing for those interviews.  Jonathan’s friend, Chris, sent in Jonathan’s resume and the next day he was contacted by a recruiter.  Jonathan spent a lot of hours reading, audio-booking, and practicing (about 1 1/2, to 2 months).  Let me tell you, Jonathan and I barely had any contention (we’ve had plenty before…believe me) during this time, because we were focused, united, and we knew that we couldn’t afford to have contention if we are going to make this happen.  Even with just that, it was a blessing in our marriage.  I was pretty anxious/excited and wished that we could just interview and get it over with.  I wanted to know, but I knew we needed to prepare well and do it right.  My parents came into town for Thanksgiving and that was  such a help.  It helped me be a little more distracted and I loved being with them.  Then Jonathan’s phone interviews started.  Jonathan did so incredibly well!  (they were case-interviews: a simulation of a company problem and  Jonathan had to break it down into questions to figure out what the core problem was).  Some of the things Jonathan did were rarely seen by interviewers and they were very impressed.  Since he passed his phone interviews with “flying colors”, he was then invited for on-sight interviews in their Chicago office.  There would be 4 interviews.  Jonathan did great on them all, but we were still unsure what the decision would be.  I was feeling like I was going to have an emotional seizure, because we didn’t know yet.  As Jonathan got off of the phone with me and he was walking out of the Chicago office after interviews, one of the interviewers called and graciously said that they’d love to welcome Jonathan to the firm if he wanted!  Jonathan called me right away to share the news!   I was and am still so grateful for knowing so quickly, because I feel like I would break down in tears all weekend (the interviews were on a Friday), waiting to find out until Monday.  I cried in huge gratitude several times, thanking Heavenly Father for answering our prayers and being aware of our needs/wants.  I realized that those prayers that I made in my closet were listened to and heard.  

Since the interviews (Dec. 6th), we haven’t told Jonathan’s work yet, so it’s been very difficult to not say anything to his coworkers.  It’s a little funny, that there has been a lot of leadership turnover at work lately, and that’s one of the issues that’s brought up in meetings.  Jonathan would feel awkward sitting in those meetings, because he knew that he’d be leaving, too.  (He’s the test lead for a brand new helicopter).  Today he should be giving his 2 weeks notice, so it feels relieving.  Last night Jonathan called it his Declaration of Independence.  He starts at McKinsey Jan. 31st.

I know it will be challenging to not see Jonathan during the week, but we will still have the weekends.  We decided that weekends will be mostly focused on resting, playing with the kids and dates.  We have to relish that time, so now I don’t think I’ll be resenting our Saturdays anymore:)  It will be the highlight of my week, a Holiday for all of us.  Some might think that having Jonathan be gone could strain our marriage.  I say, yes it might, but it also could strengthen our marriage.  Having my husband fully utilized is a huge gift, and having our saturdays be more fun and relaxed-based is a wonderful blessing to our family.  

My husband will be using and stretching his mind at full capacity!  He has always had extra leftover, but now, not so much.  This goes a long with our patriarchal blessings so so much!  It’s a no-brainer and we have to do this!  I will do whatever it takes to get him used, so if it means not seeing him during the week, so be it.  We were concerned that it will be extra hard for Ella and Duke, but my sister pointed out that maybe they’ll grow closer to the Lord?  That gives me comfort, and I have hope that this will bring us all closer to together and the Lord.  

This is a huge game-changer in our family.  HUGE.  We’ve needed this type of thing, searched and searched and now have found it because of our mindful and loving Heavenly Father.  He is such a good dad.

 

Superman Jams—-a poem for Duke

You came into this world with nothin’ on your back
just me looking at you, and you looking back
your eyes are like glass, so new and bright
Everything you see, seems so right

I can’t help myself, I gotta be close
I put down the broom, I put down those clothes
We giggle so deep, warm in my arm
I’m like a sponge, soaking in your charm

As if you have a glow, from fairy dust
I hope I get a portion, lighten me it must
We play games, just you and I know
the secrets we keep, as if you’re my beau

Superman jams, belly button peeking through
spaghetti face, messy mitts of goo
I don’t care for the extra work, this time won’t last
diaper baby crazy, takin’ off like a blast

touching fingertips, sweet curling lips
your arms around my neck, legs on my hips
I hold you so tight, like you’re going away
packing your bags, I beg you to stay

Hoping I don’t waste, I’ll take what I can get
the time I use with you will have no regret
I’ll keep gazing and holding, ‘til my back gives way
You’re my baby now, my baby today

“Today Was Interesting With the Kids” An Archived Experience

Okay, I was rummaging around my old journals (I have about 10, beginning at my 7th grade year) in hopes of finding some good stories to go with my talk that I gave a few weeks ago in church.  It was on raising children.  Boy do I have a lot of stories!  One in particular (no, I didn’t use any of my journal entries.  Some people may not like my honesty/being real in my journals, ha!) really made me laugh (and grimace)!  I cannot believe I really went through as much as I did!  I’m going to share it, straight from my book, so please just appreciate my ability in keeping it real.  We all try to be the best parents we can be to our little ones, but we are human at the same time:)  And a little background before I begin, we were all at Ft. Rucker for Jonathan’s helicopter pilot training.  We were staying in their guest lodging, sort of like a hotel.  Sam was 2 1/2, Max was 2 months.

Dear World  June 3, 2004

…Today was interesting with the kids.  Max had his dr. appt. so I was hurrying to shower and get ready after coming home from our daily walk.  The maid came in as she always does each day to clean and give clean towels.  I had to change Max and Sammy ran out the door.  I told Sam to stay here but of course he didn’t.  I managed to rustle everything together and I left, with Max in my arm and holding his car seat and bag.  I was walking all over the building to find Sam.  No sign of him.  Meanwhile, Max begins to cry and wail for food.  I decided to walk across the parking lot to the car, load up, and then drive around to find Sam.  As I was walking in the lot, an army woman in her truck was driving passed the lot on the road going by.  She slowed and said “Are you looking for a little boy?” and she pointed down the road behind her.  I looked over and I saw a little head running across the street to the swimming pool.  I was yelling out for him, so mad that he ran across the street without holding hands and then for not listening to me when I said to come to me.  I got across the road, and got to him by the pool entrance.  I was so mad that he ran across the road.  I gave him a small swat on the leg and took him to the car (during this time Max is wailing).  I loaded Sam in and he began to complain about poop that he had.  Great.  I said “too bad.”  I just had to feed Max right then and then finally go to the hospital.  I didn’t want to be late.  I fed Max, and we drove to the hospital.  In the parking lot there I changed Sam’s huge goopy pooh that took a million wipes.  Finally I finished and we got inside.  Sam was pretty good during the appt.  Then we had to wait at the hosp. pharmacy.  Tons of people and our number to be served was forever away.  We sat a while and Sam was pretty good staying near, but then about 15 to 20 min. into it he took off down a forever hallway.  I was stuck between all our stuff and Max in his seat and Sam down the end of a super long hallway.  A lady said she’d watch my babe while I got Sam.  So nice.  So bugged at Sam.  I decided to leave after I got Sam. {forget those lousy meds, right?}  Then when we were getting out of the car to our room, Sam wouldn’t come out.  He just wanted to play in the car.  He wouldn’t listen when I said to get out.  I yanked him out and I told him he had to listen to me!  We got inside.  Things were fine for a little bit.  Then he made a mess with his ABC flash cards.  I was lovingly telling him to pick them up.  He loves to test me.  He wouldn’t.  He was just being sassy and would crumple them up.  I got so mad, I gave him a give hard pinch on his arm.  He began to cry and started to pick them all up.  He finally listened and I told him that he needed to listen to me.  He said, “okay” through his tears.  I really hate hurting him, but nothing else gets to him!  Hurting him is always a last resort.  Jonathan doesn’t like doing it either.  Then when we watched the helicopters {this is later in the day at the helicopter landing/training field} he listened pretty decently to stay close to me in the grass by the parking lot.  Finally.  Whew.

 

Oh my.  It’s amazing how much you learn in life just by everyday experiences.  My Sammy is the sweetest 11 yr old out there!  He is so thoughtful and still hugs and kisses me!  LOVE HIM!

Peaceful Life

My life is pretty peaceful.  Jonathan made a personal discovery that we don’t have to wait until we are on vacation to relax and do fun things.  We can do that while we are at home, too.  I thought that was wonderful of him to think of that on his own, since a lot of our time is spent on getting projects done or having stress because projects aren’t completed (whether it’s because there isn’t enough time, or family needs/personalities prevent it).  Personally, I need some family fun or Kim freedom.  If projects are the focus on a Saturday, I feel like I want to sleep all day since the thought wears me out.  Saturdays have been a huge issue for us for a very very long long long time.  I would NOT look forward to them.  I would get a gross feeling in my gut.  I knew that once I would wake up Saturday morning, there would be projects waiting for me and kids to juggle in between.  I have this belief that Saturdays are a day to get things done, like cleaning, organizing, fixing, maybe a project here and there.  BUT I also have a belief in balance, and a need to feel free and do fun things.  Those fun things may include me getting away and shop, or work on a painting/crafty thing.  It may include me baking if the feeling strikes.  Saturdays should include some freedom for everyone.  I know I get some freedom while I have just Duke during the week, but lets be honest.  I still juggle his naps and feedings, which interrupt my time doing other things.  When Jonathan is around to watch the sweet little babe, I never have to worry about getting home soon enough from a store to get Duke to bed.  So, the last few Saturdays has been more fun and relaxed.  Yes, we still do cleaning and organizing, but the stress of projects is not there.  The urgency is non-existent.  This has lightened my load tremendously, and I don’t wake up Saturday mornings with my stress glad quivering and telling me “if I don’t quickly jump into painting or building something, then I’ll be ruining the day”.  Labor Day was amazing.  We decided that we weren’t going to use up the day finishing up our master shower.  We were going to have breakfast at the lake and Kayak around with the kids.  What????  I loved it.  We weren’t using one of our vacation days on the house.  Not only that, Jonathan was happy not doing projects.  He wanted to focus on fun vacationy things to do, and put off the projects at home.  Please know that I absolutely look up to Jonathan’s desire to make things beautiful.  In fact, I give him full credit for how lovely our home looks.  He really has an eye for beautifying things and encourages us to improve it, to make our home more enjoyable.  If it weren’t for him, we’d still be living with nasty carpets.  I just want a balance, and to be assured that all of our needs are cared about.  Once I’m assured, it’ll inspire me to want to get some unfinished projects done.  

As for little Duke Duke, he is pure joy from heaven.  Words cannot express the love and brightness he adds to our lives.  I really mean OUR lives, including the kids.  I know it, because right when the kids get home from school they go straight to Duke.  If Sammy is getting ready for school in the morning and Duke makes his first noise in his crib, Sammy will immediately stop what he’s doing and go get his baby brother.  Their faces light up when they play with him and hold him.  It’s this spiritual glow they have.  Duke has been nothing but fun and sweetness in this house.  I love him so much and I can’t believe that we almost didn’t have him.  For so long I was afraid of another baby.  I was worried that I would be worn out taking care of a bunch of kids.  I didn’t think I had it in me to juggle everyone.  But we came toward peace as the kids grew older and my capacity grew wider.  I wasn’t chasing any toddlers.  No one was in diapers or teething or throwing up on the floor.  They were all old enough to take care of themselves and to even HELP!  Sammy has been babysitting for a few months now!  Of course we put Duke down to bed first, since I don’t want Sam to be taking care of Duke while we are gone.  This has been a huge milestone in Jonathan and I’s married life.  Now I can fully enjoy my baby boy and being a mother to all of them.  When Jonathan goes away on a trip, I’m not falling apart.  I’m collected and stable.  It’s a wonderful feeling that I can be a more supportive wife like I hoped I would be, instead of always needing breaks.  To all young mothers out there, it gets better!  Of course there are other challenging phases, but the diapers and the tantrums and teething and constant chasing will fade away.  I’m still going through the fading, but just through the tail end of it.  

I feel so blessed with this peace in my life.  Good night.

Summer Days

I don’t really have anything new to say, other than we are in summer and all of the kids are home.  It’s been good, but really laid back.  My biggest challenge these days is keeping the kids entertained/structured.  Not that I’m really bending over backwards with charts, crafts, and games of charades.  It’s actually chores and hanging around.  I’m not going to force myself to be someone I’m not, and that’s a structured, perfectly-manicured-toe-nails type of homemakin’ gal.  It’s tough not having our neighborhood friends home to play with during the day, along with Duke needing his naps.  If I take him out during the day to the pool or somewhere else, he’ll end up cat-napping in his car seat on the way home.  He’ll wake up once we get home, and then I’ll need to take care of my sweet baby even more.  Not really a break for me, especially when I rely on one of his naps for my own napping time.  So, I decided that the trip to the pool is better after Duke’s last nap, 4:30-7.   

I feel like whenever I get a chance to write on this thing, I’m so tired that I feel like I’m writing incredibly boring.  I really can be creative, I just don’t have it in me right now.

Looks like my sister and her kids are heading up to Iowa for all of July!  It wasn’t in the plans for her, but her husband’s recent news that he needs to go away for 2 months brought her to that decision.  I don’t blame her.  Who wants to stay home alone in Puerto Rico in the summer with all of the kids for that long?  So, of course I want to jump right in and spend that time in Iowa with her.  Last year we did it, and though it did get quite chaotic with all of the kids, it still was really nice to laugh together and not care if our kids looked shaggy while digging in a ditch looking for frogs.  I love that we are so similar.  Neither of us are high maintenance.  Actually the opposite.  We admit when we’re tired, we admit the kids can be annoying sometimes, we laugh off things and don’t have to wear make-up every time we leave the house.  I love that we both see nerds as being awesome, because we ARE nerds!  I love being able to talk to her about anything, and she will never judge me.  She will only encourage me.  I am so glad I don’t have another sister, because I would not be able to share Nikki.

I’m so tired.  bye.

Funny Poem

So Jonathan decided last night, that he’d pull out old photos and keep sakes to organize and pack them better.  One of the bins was my stuff from high school.  Not only were there pictures, but there were a lot of drawings and poems I made.  There were a few years in high school and into college that I was extremely alone.  My high school was very small (grades 7-12 shared the same one-hallway building), making my graduating class 57.  I felt so crowded in my lame stereotype that was established long ago in elementary.  Everybody knew everyone and everything.  My closest brother and my only sister went away on missions, my two oldest brothers moved away, leaving me with my parents and a younger brother that actually had a social life.  I have always took to drawing, for as long as I can remember.  It has been my escape in a sense.  I also began making random poems to express my feelings.  I found this one that just cracks me up.  I was EXTREMELY bored!

Boredom 

I’m so bored, what can I do?

I could pick the lint out of my dirty shoe!

That’s too much fun, compared to the state I’m in

I’m so bored, I could play with my chin!

I watch a bug scurry along the floor

I follow it, but I hit the door!

Then a dust particle floats in the air

I begin to watch it, but it landed in my hair!

I then think to eat a toasted bun

But then I realize “that would be too much fun!”

So I put it down and think once more

“What could be boring to do, maybe I’ll do a chore!”

I look out my room, and guess what I’ve seen?

Nothing is a mess, everything is clean!

What can I do?  I’m bored out of my mind

There’s nothing I CAN do, there’s nothing I can find!

Nothing can compare to what stage I’m in

I’m so bored, It would be too much fun to play with my chin!

I try to get sick, so I can just lay all week.

This would pass time, and I wouldn’t feel like a geek.

Anything would be too fun, even being sick

Nothing can compare, not even playing with a stick!

Raising Arizona

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Okay, I feel like I’m that chick on Raising Arizona, where she first holds the baby they kidnapped and starts balling and saying “I love him so much!”.  I really do love Duke so much, and when I look at him and realize that all of my other kids were that age at one point, too, I look at them with a lot of love as well.  I have so much love for all of my kids.  My boys are turning into more of my boyfriends, laughing  with each other, and my daughter is turning more into my sisterhood bond.  

I finally reached a major milestone.  I broke over a week ago and decided that Duke was going to stay in his crib, upstairs in his own room, and learn to sleep better.  OH MY GOODNESS!  I don’t know how long or how often he woke up crying, but I slept so much better.  I’ve been getting up only once to feed him (I don’t dare let him sleep the whole night without eating) and then I conk back out until the morning.  Hallelujah!  I think he’s sleeping a lot longer in the night, since every so often I’ll check the monitor and find no crying.  PLUS, he’s sleeping a lot better during the day.  2 hr stretches at more predictable times!  Oh so wonderful!  THEN I decided that exercise needed to move up on the priorities, so I went to the gym for the first time in 3 months last Sat..  I got to go to a spin class and all of the memories came flooding back.  I also ran on the treadmill yesterday, so here we go with my exercise regimen!  

This is my last month of kids in school, before summer.  I really want to take advantage…but what really would I do differently?  I’m already doing what I love (playing and taking care of the Duke man, cooking, maybe a nap, and some cleaning in peace!).  I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing with an extra big smile.

I’m off to work on Jonathan’s anniversary present…although I worry that I won’t finish it in time for Friday.