Monday, December 1, 2008

Feeling Very Thankful

Well, haven't posted in a while, guess I've just been overwhelmed. And now Chirstmas feels like it is racing towards me at break neck speed.

We had a good Thanksgiving weekend: Evan turned 8 months old and is teeting something fierce.

Nathan got to run around and have a lot of fun. The house seems to be well - Evan and James caught Nathan's cold last week. The Vicks trick worked well on Evan and I got him to the doctor for antibiotics before he started coughing so I think he recovered faster than Nathan. I have a lot of Christmas shopping to do and need to finish the Christmas cards/letter so I can get them in the mail before New Years! We ate a ton of food between James's Grandma's house and my Mom's house. And we got most of our Christmas decorations up.

So we have a lot to be thankful for. Most of all, I was able to keep my job. They had to have a layoff at my work because the economy problems have hit us hard, giving is down and so is enrollment. It was a pretty scarey couple of weeks while we waited to see how much could be done with just budget cuts and how many people would have to be let go. It was also a very sad couple of weeks as we watched people we love leave the office for the last time. I am surprised to still have my job and more grateful than words can say. I have loved this job so much since the very first day I started. That's saying a lot. Graphic Design is a fun job. Getting paid to be creative and play with photos all day is amazing to me. But to be able to do it in a good, healthy, not stressful, Christian environment is almost unheard of. I've worked for some real doozies since I graduated college in 1994. An "ad agency" where I was the only designer and the owner was a little bit crazy, new yorker type hippie with big dreams; part-time in a real agency with long hours, no hope for full-time, little money, employees cursed at each other and I got no respect; a printshop where the owner wanted me to do every job in 15 minutes or less cause he charged by the hour, everything was my fault even if it was physically impossible for me to have messed it up, real sweatshop environment where I was expected to be there all the time; a magazine company where the sales manager stood at the time clock and bullied the other departments, the other employees were petty and back biting and I gaged on my first taste html; a crazy publishing company where most employees were stealing from the company in some way, I was doing an insane amount of work, juggling up to 4 200 page magazines at once, management was a joke and any problem with an ad was my fault until the company went bankrupt; and finally a telemarketing company with a crazy gay art director who yelled at everyone, work was slow and they went bankrupt too. It's been a wild ride that ended (for now) at the college - a wonderful place that still seems like a dream. I work with great people who have become more like family than even just friends, I get to do the most creative work I have ever done, people really like me and are so nice to me, it's the least amount of stress I've ever had, I have a nice large office, we get lots of time off, I've been there five years today, and I just plain love being there. I've never had a job where I look forward to going to work and enjoy being there. It has been a wonderful place to be pregnant and have to pump twice. It's often my resting place from our crazy home life now that we have the boys. I can't say enough good stuff about this job and best of all, I get to work for God in a way that really is touching the world. I feel so blessed to be there and now even more blessed to still have my job. Things will be a little sad around the office for a while - lots of good friends will be missed. But we are hopeful that these cuts will make enough of a difference that we won't have to face any more job losses. If we do, I'm really afraid I won't get to stay this time. But it's all in God's hands and I know He's in control. Where ever he wants me to go, I'll be there. But enough about me.

Thanksgiving day was as crazy as always. 19 people packed into James's Grandma's house for lots of food and an insane amout of pies - I think maybe I heard 13 at the last count but I'm not sure. Nathan had a blast and enjoyed everyone. His Great Uncle Tim brought him a slinky (the old fashioned metal kind) and he has loved playing with it all weekend! There was also a crazy mixture of tinker toys in Grandma's back room that become a goldmine of rocket ships.

Nathan also loved the ham. Evan went into the event with a 20 minute nap and got overstimulated way too fast. I wasn't surprised but was disappointed because I wanted him to be able to spend some time with everyone and to get some good photos.

As it was, I spent probably an hour in the back bedroom trying to calm him down. From there we went to the quieter dinner at my parent's house where the boys could run around and play with their toys while we got dinner ready and sat down with Mom and Dad. It was a nice calm end to a busy day.

The rest of the weekend, I struggled with my pumping. Not sure what the problem is but I will be so glad when Evan turns a year old so I can stop!

We pulled out all the Christmas decorations and got the tree up, nativity scene out and a few other items around the house.

It was nice to hear Christams music as Bing Crosby filled the house.

I look forward to years when I can also make Christmas goodies but we were just too busy again this year. Evan wasn't too interested in the tree, which was good. I am hoping he won't try to eat it.

Nathan was very excited and got to put the star on top this year - he was a little too afraid of heights to make it last year.

The cats have started sleeping under the tree too. Hopefully we will be able to get our new lawn decorations up this year - we got some really cute Charlie Brown lighted decorations last year but never put them out.

Now I just have to finish Christmas shopping, get the cards done, ordered and in the mail and maybe clean house a little during my week off. I'm tired already!

This year will be really tight and we've decided we will only buy for the boys and their cousins. I'm sad about that, but it's been a hard year on the savings account - even without the high gas prices that affected us more deeply than I expected it to.

Here's a typical meal scene at our house these days...everyone focused on the TV:


Ruth said...

I LOVE this. I feel like I spent Thanksgiving with you. Since I am one of those laid off, I too feel the mixture of sadness and thankfulness. I loved working there. (Well, not EVERY day, but most days. :) ) I feel a bit lost without a job.

But, back to you....I looked at your photos on Winkflash and read your blog. Your children are VERY wealthy in all the best things of life. When I see your Thanksgiving from a distance, I see important bonds and ties developed between the children and extended family. That is invaluable and goes such a long way in helping them define themselves as they grow up.

Keep it up!

Love you,

Bree said...

It was good to read this post and see your thankfulness during this time of year. I've been so thankful recently to have so much time to be with Jamison. We're seeing a difference in his communication skills and the things he's learning, and I think it's because when I'm home I'm with him, and not glued to my computer working. Your boys are fortunate to have your parents care for them while you guys work.

I'm also thankful for you that you did keep your job - but was sorry to hear about those who lost theirs. The DTS family has been in my prayers in recent weeks. I didn't realize that you had been in such challenging situations does change one's perspective! I will continue to pray for you guys, and those who are looking for new jobs.

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!