What mommies do after everyone else has gone to bed.
So many good things have happened since I last posted!
Let me give a brief summary of what happened since my last post. Yes, we did end up moving out of our apartment in Missouri to my in-laws’ backwoods house in Arkansas. I was sad in general about leaving the place we had called home for the last two years – Columbia, Missouri, is a beautiful place where everyone should spend at least one day – but it seemed extremely unfair that we were leaving it to live in someone else’s house. Then! Oh, you’re going to laugh at this part: THEN when we moved in, we found out that my in-laws were dealing with a flea problem. Yep, Mark’s sister and brother-in-law brought their dogs with them only days before, and the dogs were covered in fleas. His sister admitted that they had fleas at their house recently, but the brother-in-law swore up and down that they didn’t come from his dogs, no siree. That’s just how he is. But anyway, at this point I was certain that the universe had it out for me and my family and that we would never be happy again.
After a few days we left my in-laws’ house and moved in with my parents. Husband and son had a bite or two, but I was covered in them. Attracting bugs that leave itchy bites is kind of my mundane super power. For once, I was glad for this because that meant Conrad didn’t get eaten up by fleas. Anyway, at some point during all of this, Mark had an interview at a small school about an hour from our parents. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly excited. The principal had already conducted all of the interviews a week before (so I assumed he already made his decision, and was just meeting with him because of some obligation) and it was a school that was slightly smaller than the school he worked at before. The goal of the master’s degree was to be able to get somewhere bigger and better than what we left behind! Plus, since none of the other small schools hired him, I was sure that this place wouldn’t either. He was probably out of their price range. So the three of us went to this small school that I was almost certain was wasting his time, and I made faces like this whenever the principal talked:
Not to his face, of course. Anyway, he showed us around the campus, and it was actually a pretty nice place. The facilities were a lot nicer than what he had before. And unlike the last job, where he was building a band and a choir program from scratch, this place already had established programs in place. They were small, sure, but that wasn’t too big of a deal. Mark is good at growing programs.
A week later, we were getting ready to go on a family vacation with my family. Another job just popped up around our hometown, and I was trying to get Mark to apply for it before we left town for vacation. He was running errands around town, so he called me while he was out and said he didn’t think he would be applying for it. I tried to hold in my anger while I said, “Well, if you really think that’s wise, then -” and he cut me off to say, “Because I’ll be pretty busy with my OTHER JOB!” That small school wanted to hire him!
Then we needed to find a house to live in. I’ll skip over all the tedious bits and just say that there was a house that we knew about since the beginning of the job hunt, but I kept skipping over it because it was pretty small (not quite 1100 square feet.) Eventually though, I got talked into checking it out, and even though it is small, it is laid out well and it would keep us from trying to “fill up all that space.” Plus, the people who own it are letting us rent it until we get money saved up to purchase it. We moved in the Saturday before school started and life has been fantastic. And we just got the internet set up there!
The main thing that I learned while this situation was playing out is that I need to be patient. The other jobs that Mark applied for may not have been as good of a fit as this one is. For instance, there was a job that he applied for that I really thought he was going to get. It was an assistant director position at a larger (but still small) school in the northern part of the state. A good friend of mine is the choir director at that school, and I have another friend there who is a stay-at-home mom and I was already planning playdates in my mind for our kids. However, the head director was not a great person. He put down his kids and just emitted an aura of unpleasantness. The school took forever to make a decision, which should have been another clue to me that this wasn’t where we wanted to end up. Days after the “job filled” post went up on the job board site we were using, the head band director’s name popped up … saying he filled a job at another school. So now the assistant was the head and there were very few days left to find a new assistant director before pre-school band rehearsals started up. If Mark had been thrown into that situation, he would have been incredibly stressed out trying to play catch-up before school started. Then there was the house that we ended up getting. It had been there from the very beginning. It looked nice in the pictures, but I was put off by the square-footage. “I need at least 1500 and two bathrooms,” I would say. And yeah, having more square feet would have been nice, but all the ones that were big enough were on the upper edge of our price range, and were very old so they needed some fixing up. This one needs a few things done to it (the back yard is missing a section of fencing, the carpets need replacing in the three bedrooms, and I want the exterior doors re-keyed so they all open with the same key) but we could sell it as it if we had to. I would have liked to have another bathroom, or at least a half bath, but I think that could be added in the future if we decide to stay there for a while.
We love where we’re living now, and Mark is really happy with his job. The way I saw our lives ending up is nothing like how it turned out, but I couldn’t be more satisfied.
Get ready for regular posting to return in October!