It feels like spring is all around us. The peas are coming up out of the ground and starting their ascent. The strawberries are stretching up towards the warm sun and have numerous flowers opening up. The raspberries buds have unfurled and new raspberry shoots are poking up all over the place in the garden where they aren't supposed to be. The fruit tree flowers are mostly past up in the orchard, and the two apples down in the garden where spring comes a bit later are set to open soon. The fresh slate that is the springtime garden is starting to be committed to growing different things - onions in over there and across there, beans and corn to go in soon up there and down past there, the potatoes there and there, and the squash plants to go in past them down over there. This year's future in the garden is beginning to have a guided path that I'm liking quite a lot. Three years in to gardening here and the weeding, the estimating of plant quantities, and the ratios of the different plants is all so much easier and seems way simpler than even last year. In fact I'm almost thinking I might need to expand the garden next spring because its been so easy to handle this year so far.
Other aspects of our lives are starting to have a better defined path as well. First there's the rental, with it sold, we now know that we'll be staying in our current home, and without payments and improvements on the rental, we'll have a bit more disposable income consistently with which to pay the mortgage off early, fix the house up, put up some fencing, or plant some more fruit trees. Less options about where we'll live, but more options within the house & location that we would have chosen hands down anyways. It's been so nice to feel that much more settled and permanent in our home, and its been exciting to start working a little more seriously on our exact fence locations, talking more definitively about surveying the property to get a good topo layer in AutoCad to play around with pasture layouts and barn locations, and thinking more about finishing some projects inside the house including the spare bedroom and sunporch plans.
The other, previously not mentioned on the blog, item that has really changed this spring is my husband's job situation. I think I've alluded several times to the crap-tacular work environment he's been forced to put up with off and on for at least the past year, and likely longer than that. Well that all should change next month - he's accepted a position with a department a bit further away, and given in his notice with his current employer. Tomorrow is in fact his last shift. We still have to go through all his gear and paperwork at home, likely tomorrow morning before he starts work, and come up with the pile that belongs to work vs us, but we're so very close to having that door shut and a new and amazing one open in front of him.
We knew about a year ago that he couldn't stay long term with his current department. I can't go into the details, but early last spring things were really quite bad. The situation seemed to stabilize over the late spring and early summer, but then things deteriorated again in the fall. After looking in to other options off and on, and meanwhile hoping that the situation would resolve itself on its own, about a month ago an opportunity came up with this new department and my husband jumped for it with both arms wide open. I'm so proud of him for sticking with the old situation - understanding that his family needed that paycheck and health insurance, and that he wanted to be a police officer more than he wanted out of the crappy situation. But I'm also proud of him for knowing when it was time to cut his losses and leave a town & valley he loves working in, with some really great people that he will dearly miss, for a better job experience.
He'll have a couple months of training day shifts, then at least a couple more months of day shifts, so I'm looking forward to him being home 7 evenings a week so we can put Little M to bed together. For the first couple months we'll also have one day a week off together, which is fairly unheard of for us, and especially in the summertime! I know that it typically takes me at least a month to get used to our new schedule when his changes, so I know that the next 4 months will be a little unsettled and I likely will have to find new ways to find my down time if he's home every evening, but I'm so glad we'll have a day off together, and that he's going to a department where he will be appreciated, treated with respect, allowed to grow as an officer, and overall be able to love his job.
It's funny, we've had so many hard times in the past couple of years, a lot to do with his job. I'm sure the future will bring more drama, more hard times, and more upheaval - futures always do - but I really can't help but be grateful - there were times when life was hard, sure, but we got through it, and more than got through it even. Overall, we've had a great family life in the past couple of years, and the hardship that could have torn us apart has forged us together in ways we might never have if it hadn't of been for these hard times. I can't help but be grateful that we have had these hard times, because of the strong foundation it's given us in our marriage. And as we go forward into this oh-so-promising and exciting future, I can only hope that we keep allowing the bad to help us be stronger and better.
Months back, before the latest fiasco's began with his job, before the offer on our house, before the new job application went in, we had scheduled our flights to a belated & childless honeymoon to Hawaii. We leave in a couple weeks. A month after the rental closed, mere weeks after my husband accepted this new job & gave notice on his current one, and a few days before he starts the new job. How sweet is that?! Baring more complications in the next couple weeks (let's knock on wood, shall we?), we'll go on vacation with only one house & mortgage, with a new promising & exciting job to come back to, and with the crazy situation here a bit more distant since it won't be happening in his department any more. To say we're excited is just the tip of the iceberg!
My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who knowingly or unknowingly have provided us with support, be it through crossed fingers, prayers, or well wishes in the past months - we've been through this cycle with my husband's work before through the last couple springs, but this time it was so much easier, in part because we had all of you standing with us this time. So have a happy weekend folks, cause we sure will be!