There are so many things I've been wanting to write about lately: I could write about how Bria decided that my Willow Tree figurines were missing faces and took it upon herself to draw them some...with a permanent marker!! When I discovered their new faces, it was one of those moments where I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. Thank goodness for the Mr. Clean magic eraser. It took off a bit of the original paint and left them slightly discolored, but at least it's better than the cartoon faces!
I've also been wanting to blog about the way Chloe somehow finds her way into our bed every morning between 3 and 6 a.m. We rarely notice her come in, and I usually only realize she's there when I am trying to shift my very pregnant self into a more comfortable (ha!) position. And then I discover I have a 3 year old between my legs or burrowed under my pillow. She's great about going to sleep in her own bed, but it never fails that she wakes up in ours. I'm wondering if the new baby coming is maybe the root of it.
And speaking of the new baby, I could also write about the fact that she really is coming any day now...and I'm not really sure if I'm ready. I mean, I'm more than ready to not be pregnant, but I honestly haven't prepared very well for her actual arrival what with all the current upheaval in our lives. Case in point: The last time I went grocery shopping I walked past the baby aisle and realized I don't even have things like diapers and wipes!
But, you see, I can't blog extensively about any of that because WE HAVE NEWS!!!! We've actually had it for a week now, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and update. It's quite a long story, so I'll start from the very beginning (a very good place to start)...
Several weeks ago we drove up to Utah to 1) get out of the heat, 2) attend our mission reunion, and 3) spend the 4th of July with family in a state that actually seems to celebrate it. Our second day there, Joel was golfing with his dad and received a phone call from a community college in Alabama. They wanted to interview him the day after we planned on being back in Arizona. So, we purchased a plane ticket for him to leave the morning after we got home. Then, while we were also in Utah, he was invited to interview for a job in Cedar City, Utah to be the orchestra teacher at the high school and middle school there.
Joel's brother and his family live in Cedar City, so we went down there and spent a couple days. Joel interviewed, and then also contacted the Dean of the Department of Fine Arts at the University there. He mentioned he was being considered for this job and asked if there were any adjunct positions open in trumpet, theory or music history...all of which he is qualified to teach. Amazingly, they needed adjunct faculty in all 3 areas, so that also became a possiblity. Finally, he got a hold of Sara, a woman who is very involved with the Orchestra of Southern Utah, also located in Cedar City. Joel guest conducted for them before several years ago and they really liked him. We knew that their assistant conductor had just quit to go get his doctorate so we thought maybe they would offer the position to Joel if we were to live there. Sara was thrilled to see him and not only offered him that job, but said she would pay him to write grants for the orchestra.
Doors were opening left and right in Cedar City, although we didn't know for sure if he would get the high school job, which was important since that would be the main source of income and benefits for us. We left Cedar feeling good about that and drove off to Arizona.
Joel flew to Alabama the next day to find the Community College located in a super tiny town of about 6,000 people. The college campus consisted of 2 buildings on a lot about as big as our Church building here in Arizona. (They did have a WalMart though, so that's something.) His interview was kind of a comedy of errors...they expected him at 11:00 and his flight left to bring him home at 4:00, but it was a 2 hour drive to the airport. They put him in the library while they were interviewing someone else and totally forgot about him. Finally, they realized what they had done and got to him around 12:30!!! (Luckily, he did make it back to the airport in time for his flight.) The interview itself went really well and he knew they were impressed by his resume and credentials. The worry for him was that he would only be teaching music history and theory, conducting a small choir and the musical theater program which is their main focus. He really wouldn't be doing much with orchestra.
Fast forward to Tuesday, one week ago today. It was the day after his interview in Alabama, and they called him first thing in the morning to offer him the job. The offer was more than we could have hoped for: 66,000 dollars. And they wanted to know by the end of the day. A half an hour later, we got a call from Cedar City offering him the high school job, again at a much higher salary than we thought possible for the job, but it was considerably less than what Alabama was offering us.
To make a long story short (or probably longer, since I tend to do that), we stewed and thought and talked and prayed and called family for advice. We finally decided on Cedar City because of the many Orchestra opportunities. We know that we will not be in the most desirable spot financially, but we had to think of Joel's long term career and what was best for our family. Something about Alabama just didn't feel right, and we couldn't feel good about taking that job no matter how hard we tried.
We are excited and will be moving pretty much as soon as the baby comes. Joel will probably move before I do because of that slight complication, but my mom will be here to help me. And now that the stress of actually finding a job is gone, all the stresses that come with it are here...finding a place to live, moving, dealing with school for Bria, leaving friends, packing...lots of stuff going on. But the important thing is we have a future, and we feel at peace about our decision.