Monday, April 28, 2014

Catch-up

I will try to do some catch-up for the long time that it has been since I have posted.  We'll start with early 2013.  In January, Chris got a job at Thomson Reuters as an Operations Management Trainee (OMT). It is a two-year program throughout the manufacturing part of Thomson Reuters where the trainee goes through each area of book manufacturing (everything from supplies to bindery to printing to shipping) and gets an idea of how the plant works. From there, if they are deemed to be a good fit, they are given a management/supervisory position.  This was a great relief, as previously Chris has been working at Cummins NPower which was not only a long drive (in White Bear Lake, MN, whereas Thomson Reuters is about a 3 mile drive) but was also a tedious and difficult job.  The job was a lot of work but very rewarding. He had a mentor to help along the way, and at the end of each section of management he gave a presentation about the department, what he had learned, etc.

Sophia turned 1 on May 2, 2013. We had a sweet little birthday party with Minnie Mouse decorations and a Minnie Mouse smash cake. Sophia was dressed in a Tutu that I had made for her and had a lot of fun eating cake and playing with new toys. It was hard to believe when she turned 1, and is even harder to believe that she turns 2 on Friday. I couldn't ask for a sweeter daughter. She is such a considerate little girl and is always a joy to spend time with.

January through the end of May, I did the last half of my externship. I went from working 4-10 hour days to 5-10 hour days every week so that I could get enough hours in before my supervisor went on maternity leave in June. There were some difficulties, and I felt as though I was hardly able to see Chris and Sophia, but it was for such a short time period that time absolutely flew by.  It is the primary reason that I got out of the habit of blogging...there just was not enough time... but I need to get back into the habit! Sophia started at an in-home daycare, the name of which I cannot remember off of the top of my head because it is in French. The lady who runs the daycare is incredibly sweet. We were her first child, and she and her children were (and are) just absolutely so sweet to Sophia. They have been a lot of fun to be with.  Following the end of my externship (the last day of which was my 25th birthday, May 31, 2013) I was formally awarded my Doctorate degree in Audiology. I got my state License and my ASHA CCCs. Park Nicollet hired me as an audiologist (!) and I have loved working there. I started in June 24, 2013. I can't believe I have been working there for 10 months now. Time really is flying.  I work part-time (3 10-hour days per week) and I love the schedule. It gives me a lot of time to spend with Sophia, as well as spending time practicing.  Lately, my coworker has been on maternity leave so I have been working an extra day every other week. It doesn't sound like much more, but it is amazing how much more exhausting it is to work that extra day. I have only one week left of that and then I am back to my regular schedule!

Our fifth anniversary was on August 2nd, 2013. Hard to believe that 5 years had gone by already. We went to a Weird Al Concert for our anniversary (not Chris' idea...but he played along). We previously went to a Weird Al book signing in July. It was a Weird Al-filled year!

On a more serious note, our very dear friend Micah Morris passed away on August 10, 2013 in a motorcycle accident. It is still hard to believe he is gone. There are still times that I want to give him a phone call and hear him say "Katie Pitts!" in only the way Micah Morris said it.

In October, 2013 we went on a cruise with Chris' parents. What a blast! We had put Sophia in swimming lessons over the summer and it was absolutely worth it. She had a blast swimming in the ocean. We went to a private island belonging to Royal Caribbean, then to St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Sophia had a lot of fun playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean - she really did do very well for her age. She also had a lot of fun at the dinners, and she discovered jello. I went SCUBA diving (which was a first, and probably a last). I had a lot of fun, but the dive master I went with tried to hand me some type of sea crab that looked remarkably like a giant spider (yeah, right... Like I'm going to hold that). I also went on a jet ski for the first time. Pretty amazing what you can get away with outside of the U.S. - we pretty much just paid our $40, signed our life away, and were able to go away on the jet ski for half an hour. There was even a little red warning light and the guy who loaned us the jet ski told us to just press the reset button when it went off (I tried not to think about what it could possibly mean).

Around Thanksgiving time, we found out we were pregnant with our second child! I was thrilled. I was baby hungry about 2 minutes after Sophia turned 1. We managed to keep it secret until Christmas, where we announced it to our families with an ornament that had two kids on it, the first one said "Sophia", and by the second one it said "07-28-14". I was amazed we kept it secret that long. I think we were about 9 or 10 weeks along at Christmas time. We found out that we are expecting a baby girl, and have picked the name Heidi Olivia for her. I think Sophia will really enjoy having a sister. She loves playing with her dolls, rocking them and changing them and singing to them and dancing with them.  That date happens to be my Dad's 60th Birthday!! What timing :) And 07/26 is Chris' 30th birthday - it is a big year for birthdays!

Also around Thanksgiving, we sold our house. We had had it on the market since June and were hoping to sell it to pay off some debt. (School, credit cards, all of it had built up to be outside of our comfort zone). It was such a blessing to sell it. We have been living with Chris' parents in the meantime; they have been incredibly generous in opening up their house to us, and it has provided us an opportunity to make some big payments where we would otherwise have still been in some trouble. Such a God thing...but what isn't?

At Christmas we went to Tucson for a week. It was great! Chris was able to road bike everyday that we were there, which was just a nice break from the ridiculous cold.  It was one of those winters in Minnesota that felt like it never ended. And, in fact, it hasn't ended...because we are supposed to get snow over the next two days (and it is April 29th and 30th!!). *Sigh*.  It was wonderful to see everybody, even though I did only get to see Andrew for a day.  We spent some time with my grandparents, both aunts and uncles, and all of the cousins. Sophia had a lot of fun, though she did end up with a fever and sick for the last couple of days.

In February, Chris was given a supervisory position, as a Supply Chain Supervisor. He had been working in that department as an intern since his mentor left the state for a different job in September, and was awarded the position formally. It was much sooner than normally happens during the OMT role, and he was not able to complete all of the roles that an OMT usually does so he will be spending some time rotating part-time through different departments. However, the supervisory role has been a great job, both challenging and rewarding, and has kept Chris very busy.  In addition, Chris is working on finishing up his MATS degree through Bethel Seminary and is taking a course this Spring and is planning to take his final two courses in the Summer and Fall of this year to complete his degree.

About a month ago, there was finally enough snow melted that we could see some grass. I was taking Sophia out of the car and I set her on the ground to walk inside. She looked at the grass, pointed at it, and asked me "What's that?" Ha. Only in Minnesota do you have a child asking you what grass is because it has been THAT LONG since they have seen it.

Also about a month ago, we purchased a new car for Chris. We were originally planning to wait until the summer to purchase, but bought it slightly earlier than we planned.  He was driving his 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, which was just falling apart. There was rust everywhere, a giant oil leak, a panel missing, and it was just getting worn out. That, and having a two-door car is difficult enough with one car seat. Having a two-door car with two car seats? No. Way.  He now has his "dream car" - a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. It's a lovely dark brown color. Sophia likes the Jeep just as much as her daddy, and will usually ask to ride in the Jeep if she sees it.  She has also started to really enjoy playing "socca ball" outside, and will ask just about everyday if we can go play soccer ball outside. Unfortunately, the weather has cooperated approximately twice this year. Hopefully we will get some good outside playing time before another baby comes...but the way the weather is going there will probably still be snow on the ground when I am giving birth.

This Friday, Sophia is turning 2.  We are hoping to have a nice, small party with some friends and family to celebrate. I will be about 27 weeks pregnant, and have to admit that this year the party did not get as much thought as last year. It has been a tiring year!

I am looking forward to upcoming events and will try to be much better about keeping the blog updated. God has been so good to our family this year, and I am looking forward to what He has in store for us next.


Oh the lengths you will go...

It has been about a year and a half since I posted... I think it is time I start posting again.

I have heard stories about parents going to extreme lengths for an infant or a toddler's favorite play thing. I don't think my own parents will let me forget that my dad went dumpster diving looking for my favorite teddy bear (when it was in the dryer all along).

Today, it was pouring rain. I needed to run to the grocery store, so Sophia and I went to Target. It was too windy to use my umbrella, so we ran inside. By the time we were done shopping, the rain had doubled up so that by the time I got back to the car we both looked like wet rats. Soaking hair, etc. I buckled her into the car seat as fast as I could, shoved the groceries in the car, ran the cart back to the stall, and go.  Sophia spends a majority of the car ride eating some goldfish crackers that I fished out of my purse, and then when we are about two minutes from home she tells me "pigbear, I drop it".  She says this often when we are driving, because she will drop (intentionally or accidentally) her bear and then hope we can get it. Usually it is out of reach. Since I do not not immediately see the bear, I tell Sophia to wait until we get home to get the bear. I pull into the garage, empty the groceries into the house, and go out to the car to get Sophia. I almost have her fully unbuckled when I realize that 'pigbear' is nowhere to be seen. Great. I run into the house and frantically check the grocery bags hoping that it landed in one of those... then it hits me. I have a very vivid picture in my head of that bear stuck in the grocery cart when we were in the store, and I have a feeling that I did not remove said bear when we got into the car because I was focused on getting out of the rain. Oh no.  I buckle her back into the car, the rain still has not let up in the least, and we head back to the grocery store. The whole ride back I am just praying that the bear is still in the same place in the cart, and that the carts haven't been collected yet. I pull into the parking lot and drive up next to the cart return stall and there it is. Squished in the cart I can see a pink bear, soaking wet. I grab the bear and hand it to Sophia (who informs me that the bear is wet and asks me to hold onto it for her), so relieved. Words cannot express my relief. Though, Chris has told me that he wouldn't have done the same, because she does have other 'pigbears'... however, this is the original. Whew. And it was really sweet to hear her say "Thank you, Mommy" once we had retrieved the bear.  Thanking God for the little things in life :)

Update 10/28/14: 6 months later, she will still hold up her pigbear and say to me "pigbear was wet at the store".  This was apparently very traumatic for her.