The past 2 years have been pretty difficult for my family. We have moved 3 times, my kids have attended school in 4 different states and my husband has changed jobs 4 times (twice by force due to layoffs). His last stint of unemployment lasted for nine. very. long. months.
During this time I was never more appreciative of being self-employed with a career that is completely portable. I can work anywhere that has wifi. No matter where we moved I was able to set up my computer and get back to work almost immediately. Because of my work we were able to just barely keep our head above water.
We had many, many trials and tribulations the past 2 years. It seemed like every time we made a tiny bit of progress something would happen and we would be knocked down further than we were before. But within all these setbacks and disappointments we had some really amazing adventures. Things we never would have been able to experience if my husband hadn't lost his job.
When we moved to Williamsburg we found a house that met all our needs and would accept 3 dogs, and as luck would have it, the neighborhood was filled with children.
Because of a bonus from a client, we were able to purchase season passes to Busch Gardens and went all the time–we totally got our money's worth! Some nights when the girls were particularly good, we would go for the last couple of hours that the park was open and ride a few rides before watching the fireworks.
The girls were able to play soccer (the ones that wanted to) and they went to a weekly church group with our neighbor's kids (a family with 9 children!).
We were able to take a day trip to Virginia Beach with a good family friend and couldn't have had better weather if we had ordered it ourselves!
Not to mention all the fun little extras we discovered like riding the free Jamestown-Scotland Ferry over the James River to go pick strawberries, taking a haunted hayride at Halloween, and walking around Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas Time.
When we moved to Huntsville we found a beautiful house to rent in a great neighborhood with lots of kids, and amazing schools. Every child in the Huntsville school system received a laptop (except for kindergarteners and first graders–they all had an iPad to use in the classroom). There were incredible field trips to Nature's Classroom, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Space camp!
We met some really wonderful friends and when my husband lost his job just 6 months after moving there, the community treated us with compassion and generosity. We were touched by the kindness shown to us.
While we were in AL I met one of my best friends for the first time face-to-face (we have been working together virtually for several years) and she introduced us to geocaching.
We took up hiking in the mountains and found geocaches all over.
I took the family on their first-ever trail ride and everyone had the most fun riding the horses through the mountain trail.
It was really hard for me to leave Huntsville. We had to say goodbye to some wonderful friends. Our hearts were touched and lives were changed for the better by meeting these special people. I cried the entire week of our move.
Now that we are beginning to settle in to our new home and I look back, it's not the struggles that I remember, and believe me there were a lot!
I remember the positive things, the fun family activities we did together while my husband wasn't working, the picnics at the playground, the hikes on Monte Sano Mountain, the treasures we found while geocaching, and the friends we made along the way.
The blessings that showed up, right when we needed them most. I am thankful for all our blessings, especially the ones disguised as struggles, because without them we wouldn't be where we are today.