Well, the cat is out of the bag (on the professional front), so I feel I can finally share it here: Chris will be starting a new job in August!
About a month ago we stepped into a whirlwind. Chris came home the day before we were supposed to start vacation and said he had been told that the owners of the company were interested in selling and his job would be "questionable" after the holidays. If you have ever experienced job loss, undesired relocation, or something similar, I'm sure you can relate to the situation. A million questions go through your mind: "Should we wait it out and look for a job closer to the end of the year?", "If we are going to have to move, when should we sell our house?", "Oh no! Where will I put our Christmas tree if we are in an apartment?!?!?". I know that this sounds silly and like a major overreaction, but these were honestly some of the thoughts that went through my mind within the first five minutes of Chris telling me.
And then there are the home projects we had been wanting to do. We decided to put everything on hold until we knew if we would be staying or not. So that awesome patio furniture I bought before we expanded the patio has just been chilling in our grass. Classy, I know.
Chris and I decided to go ahead and take our vacation. We thought about using the time off to job hunt, but I had really been looking forward to some time with Chris (Mom was keeping Rachel for us for the first time). We were gone for 4 days, and had a really nice time. And we had plenty to talk about on our 11 hr drive! The following week Chris had the unpleasant task of visiting each location in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska to visit with managers about the new situation. At the end of the week was our family reunion, and I am positive I couldn't count the number of times Chris got asked, "So, how's the job going?" Um. Not good, folks.
Then a crazy thing happened. Someone who used to be Chris's office-mate in graduate school called and basically said, "Hi Chris! I know you have a job, but for some reason I thought of you today. A banker in Edmond wants to hire someone with a masters in AgEcon ASAP. I wasn't interested, but for some reason I gave them your info." Well we all know that "some reason" was a direct answer to my 88 year old grandmother's prayer for us to find a new job. I'm pretty sure she knows how to pull some strings! :)
All of this big long story to say I have a new empathy for people who have lost their jobs. I never really felt badly for people in this situation before; I always thought ok, go find a new one! But it's so unsettling. And even though it was just 5 weeks from the day we found out about Chris's current job until we received this new offer, life seemed to be completely on hold in that short time. No matter how much you try to plan your life, sometime God has other plans for us. And I am actually thankful for the reminder that He is in control, and not me.
Now that all of this is settled, I'm very excited about the new job. I think Chris will like the work (aka challenge) and I know I will like the much more family-friendly hours. Now we are just waiting for the 100+ degree weather to pass so we can think about that patio again. :)