Thursday, February 27, 2014

How are things going for me?

People always ask me how it's going being back in the workforce. I have to remind people that I still worked when I was home with Joel. I just didn't work a traditional 9-5, but I digress. Well, working outside of the home again has been the biggest blessing for our family.

We were able to stay afloat for most of the time while I was home with Joely, but we never really had room for extras. We had to abandon some of our home improvement projects, we weren't able to save, and we couldn't pay off debts as quickly as we used to. However, we did do some remodeling and we were able to buy a new-to-us car. However, my paychecks weren't steady and in the summer I lost some contracts (and walked away from a horrible writing job) which really rocked us financially. Now, we're working to rebuild our financial security. We have money for extras and we're doing some small DIY home improvement projects.

I have a job that makes me feel like I'm making a difference in the world. I'm able to use my creativity to craft appealing, interesting presentations. I'm able to tap into my curiosity to research, analyze and evaluate various programs. I'm also able to interact directly with youth which is a huge bonus!

Modern Family
When Murad and I first married this was the life I envisioned for us. We get up every morning and help each other get ourselves and Joely ready for school. We balance brushing our teeth, reading, eating, and dressing to get out of the door by 7:30am. Our evenings are spent cooking, watching movies, doing laundry, and playing in the yard when weather permits. We're balancing pediatrician appointments, late night meetings, last minute emergencies, etc. Our life is beautiful chaos.

We probably never would've thought to send Joely to school at two, and honestly, I kind of wanted to steer away from Montessori. It always sounded pretentious to me. I planned to stay home with Joely and send him to his sitter part-time and to the little Lutheran pre-school around the corner a couple of mornings a week. I'm very thankful that this worked out. He loves going to school and I'm so thankful he is able to attend a diverse school with children of all ethnicities. Growing up, my schools were pretty homogeneous until I got to middle school. I was always the only or one of a few black or mixed kids in my school. Joel is learning so much, and I really don't think we'd be this far in potty-training if he went anywhere else.

I think the only Campbell folks not benefiting from me being at work are our dogs. Poor Sam and Maya spend more time at home and go on less walks. Fortunately, I have summers off, so I'll be able to walk them then. Of course, it'll be hotter than Hades when that happens. Oh, well.

That's how things are going for us in the Soup Kitchen. All's good now that Mama is a working again!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wonderful Husband

My husband and son went out of town this weekend to visit my stepdaughter. Last night, he told me that he just wanted to give me a break from taking care Of them. He said, "I hope you didn't miss us. I really wanted you to relax." Relax I did! I feel rejuvenated and ready to take care of my little family. It's so nice having a husband who recognizes all you do to make the house a home, raise the children and love and support the husband. It's refreshing to have someone who recognizes when you need a break. It's also nice to have a husband who can take care of his child all on his own. He knows Joely as well as me. He also did a good job of giving Abby the attention she needs and foster a brother/sister relationship between the two. I love that when he comes home, he ecstatic to see and hold me. I'm one lucky gal! I love my wonderful husband!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy New Year, Folks!

2013 has come and gone! While it was a great year, I'm more than ready for 2014! Well, good thing! It's here!
This weekend is a little weird for me. My husband and son are on a road trip. Yep! A father/son road trip. They're stopping at my parents' house tonight and then heading to western Kansas to visit my stepdaughter, Abby. We were able to spend Christmas with Abby and her family this year. Since our spring is pretty hectic, Murad and Joely decided to make a trip to see her again now. She's having a hard time again. They just moved (again)to a different small town in Kansas. I think this makes move #5 for the 2013-14 school year. We talked to Abby about possibly living with her grandmother permanently (we'd love for her to come live with us, but Texas might be too far from her family for her), but Abby extremely loyal to her mom and doesn't want to abandon her at this time. We're respecting her wishes, and offering support when we can.

So, this weekend, they're gone and I'm up late looking through photos from 2013. I like the quiet and having a clean home, but I miss my boys. Fortunately, I have my furry-babies to keep me company.

I've almost got Joel's playroom complete. I need to paint it, but I'm really impressed with how it all turned out. The great thing is that he loves it! He loves to play ball in there, watch TV and color. The room is pretty relaxing. I find myself watching TV in there after he goes to bed. We're kind of preparing the room for him. We're hoping, if it's God's will, that we'll have another baby soon. Joely will then move out of the nursery and into the playroom (big boy room). For now, we're content with the playing purpose of the room. We're actually pretty content with our family too. If we add to it, even better. If not, we're a happy bunch of three (or five if you count Sampson & Maya).

Murad and I refrained from making New Year's resolutions, but we did vow to better ourselves. I'm working with the Plano Environmental Committee to become a volunteer. We're also looking for a way to take a Spanish class. Murad actually suggested it, and I'm totally excited to do something just the two of us. We kind of let those moments get by us in 2012. We were better about scheduling date nights in 2013, but for 2014 we wanna do more activities together. Plus, if we learn Spanish, it'll help us in our jobs. It'll also help Joely. He only gets Spanish once a week at his school, so we're hoping to support and expand it at home. We're also hoping to find a new church home. We're looking for a more open, accepting and service oriented church.

This post would not be complete without an update on our little man! Joely is constantly flourishing. His language is developing daily. Today he saw some lights twinkling far behind a field and he goes, "fireflies!" It was just a cell tower in the distance, but he didn't know. He also likes to point to his favorite Jayhawk shirt. When he says it, he can't pronounce his R's very well. "Mama, it's Jayhawk shit!" So, so funny. Right now he's going through a sports phase. He wants to carry a ball wherever he goes. He's either kicking, throwing or bouncing a ball (he calls basketball "BB-ball"). He also loves to draw pictures for us. One of his favorite activities is cleaning. I wanna see if I can get him a little kitchen set as he likes to point out the fruits and vegetables as I cook. We're working at potty training still. Apparently, he goes regularly at school, but he's not so good about going at home. We decided against moving him up the 3 class until he's pottying at home and school regularly. I think my favorite thing right now are Joely's hugs and kisses. Some days he'll look at me and go, "mommy hug." Then he leans over and gives me the biggest hug. Thinking about those hugs right now makes me miss him even more. Monday will arrive soon and I'll be back to motherhood. I tried to soak up as many hugs as I could before he left, but it's. just. not. enough.