Sunday, January 8, 2017

Longest Involuntary & Cheapest Stay-cation EVER

Well this blog post has been a long time coming! I really do look at our family blog as a family history and I try include the good, the bad and sometimes the just plain ugly. In the beginning on October Jon was told he was being laid off from his position as general manager of the Spanish Fork store at Verizon. He was on a little staycation at the time because he had been working crazy hours and received the news via phone while I was at the DMV renewing my drivers license with Benson and Jaxson was at school. He was informed that although corporate had decided to eliminate the districts's floating managers positions (a manager that "helps" other stores and the district manager) about a year prior they were done waiting for positions (open store manager positions) to transition their more experienced, tenured managers (the floating manager was seen as somewhat of a promotion during its time, even though some of the floating managers weren't good store managers, they had just been with the company for a really long time) so they were letting go of one store manager in every district that had not been able to transition their floating manager to that point. Unfortunately that included Jon's district. The part that was extremely hard to swallow was Jon's boss could not/would not give him answer as to why he was selected out of the 6 managers in his district to be let go. Jon's store at that point was number one in the district and top five in the region. He had received numerous awards as a store manager in addition to his store receiving many awards for their performance. And mind you this store was struggling before Jon received the offer to work there. While we were never able to get a straight answer out of his boss, he was told he had 30 more days with the company (his final day being November 4th) and would receive a small severance package that included health insurance for a designated amount of time. That news did provide some comfort in a time where we felt like our world was completely shaken up. Jon has been with Verizon for eight years. He started a couple of months before we got married, started as a sales rep, then an assistant manager and finally a general manager. So really it's all we've know. Jon thought he would continue to work his way up and retire with them and if he ever left it would be on his terms. It is pretty hard to get fired from Verizon (tons of documentation of mistakes, intentional malfeasances,  warnings, coachings for mistakes, etc.....which Jon had none in his file) , but as we discovered it's not very hard to be laid off and they don't have to tell you why you were chosen in any terms that matter. The only answer Jon received is he ranked in the bottom of the algorithm they created to determine rankings, yet his store was first.....super weird! Moving on! The next month was spent searching out contacts, sending resumes, growing as a family in uncertainty and was a lot! During the first couple of weeks, Jon interviewed and was offered a job with Verizon.....but in Dallas, Texas. Woof! Yes, we had talked about moving to Texas but not in the middle of the school year (in which Jax is thriving at his new school. We love his teacher....she gets him! And sometimes he is a hard cookie to get) and super unexpectedly. We talked a lot about offer to move (they would include a relocation package and white glove moving service but no severance package). We had decided I would stay behind with the kids till at least January if not till spring! Basically we had decided to take the job. But I kept getting a gut feeling. We could take Jon losing his job in two different ways. One, it was our time to move to Texas and continue on with Jon's journey in Verizon. Two, it was Jon's chance to look beyond Verizon and see if somewhere else in Utah would be a better fit. I expressed my feelings to Jon and we decided together it was time to fully walk away from a company who at the end of the day didn't truly value what he brought to the table. And it was VERY scary to walk away from the comfort of what we've always know. So the search continued on......and on and on and on. He thought he was going to have offer from another company (he had about 3 meet and greets in addition to 3 interviews) but they unfortunately they had a hiring freeze put in place the beginning of December. During that time he was also interviewing with Comcast to do business to business sales. After 4 interviews with them he was offered the job!!!! HALLELUJAH! During the last three months we have learned a lot as a family. First and foremost, we never walk alone in the challenges in life. We know we were blessed, guided, and loved during out time of hardships, strife and tears. Second, our family is everything! I love my husband so much. I have seen him at his most vulnerable, most strong, most determined, most broken, etc. these past three months. I have only grown to love him more (even though we've been up each other's butts and drove each other crazy a little bit for the past two months!). And lastly, I have so much love and empathy for those that go through a job loss. It is SCARY! Especially with small children. I have fought to find my faith over fear but I'm telling you right now that's been rough thing to do. And once again my earthly challenge to find and utilize my patience was yet again tested. Watching Jon go through interview after interview and time everything took drove me bonkers. Needless to say it has been a learning journey that we have now lovingly dubbed, the backhanded blessing. We do believe this will be the best move for our family and for Jon and his career but we know our growing pains are not over. Tomorrow Jon starts his new job and I could not be more proud of him! I know he is really excited to back out there and show them what he's got (even though he knows the first month is probably just going to be a lot of training!). I am just super grateful for all the effort, time, blood, sweat, tears he has put in and will continue to put in for our family. Okay now I'm just rambling :). Hopefully we get to move on to the next chapter in our life soon (which terrifies me just as much.....a third child and all things infertility related). Wish us luck! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Babies Don't Keep, 12 Months of Benson

Oh my word! My sweet and fire-y Benson is one year old and it's killing me!!! This has definitely been the fastest year ever! It has been filled with many amazing memories and milestones for our boy. I have especially loved seeing my boys together and seeing their relationship grow and bloom. They are turning into the best of friends and the best of enemies ;). It's hilarious and exhausting to watch but I am loving it so incredibly much!!! It has also been amazing to see Benson and Jon together as well. They have the sweetest relationship and their adoration is mutual and adorable. But I'm not going to lie.....I'm a little selfish because more than anything I have loved developing my own relationship with my baby boy. He is sweet joy and happiness. He seriously has a light to him that's hard to explain. Man I love our boy, Benson the Red. He is our miracle baby and the gratitude I feel for him in my life and our family is unexplainable. He came at the exact moment he was supposed to and our whole extended family and our little family was blessed as a result. 

Here is a little more about our boy.....
- He loves to drive little cars around (and especially loves shopping carts with steering wheels.....those are his jam!) 
- He is crawling everywhere and is getting so fast! He definitely prefers carpet and rugs to the wood floor. He likes cozy, comfy on his knees. 
- He is doing so much better pulling himself up on furniture and toys and it's so cute to see himself so proud
- He is still a CRAPPY sleeper. He is usually up twice a night (once if I am really lucky!) and he's killing me! I guess it's better than the 3-4 times he used to get up. 
- He loves to wave, clap, shake his head no 
- He is still super ticklish with his chin being his through the roof tickle spot
- He says whoah, yeah,  no, mom and dad
- He loves to wrestle the couch, couch cushions and pillows. It's seriously hilarious. 
- He loves to unload any basket, bag and/or bin he can get his hands on 
 - he always takes his left sock and left shoe
- We are thinking he is going to be a lefty but we will have to wait see. 
- He is still rocking the copper red hair and blue eyes with the sweetest face on earth. Looking very much like his dad (handsome little devil). 
- He likes to put stuff away.....he is totally his mother's son
- He loves to be outside and gets the biggest smile on his face when you take him into the great outdoors......even if it's just the front porch or back yard. 
- He still loves to read books, might be his favorite daily activity but usually likes to do it before bedtime the most. He loves sitting in the brown rocker chair with mom and read a STACK of books.....seriously a STACK every night. I love reading with him. He makes the sweetest expressions, loves turning the pages and definitely has his favorites ("Duck & Goose", "One Fish, Two Fish", all flap books, "You Are My Sunshine", anything by Caroline Jane Church). 
- He has some major stranger danger but will usually crack a smile and even sometimes a giggle when you give his cheeks a little squeeze (& then he's happy, happy, happy). 
- He gets beyond mad when you don't let him hold everything you are shopping for. Like screaming bloody murder mad. 
- He still hates when I leave the room by as long as he can see me he is content to play and hang out 
- He is getting quite adventurous in the bath, moving around, soaking the walls with his splashing 
- He hates being told NO and pretty much cries every timmom tells him no
-He still loves Mickey the most and it's pretty dang cute....especially when I make his Mickey stuff animal dance and sing
- He has one solo tooth on the bottom and I love it!!! (Thankfully he has not bit me!) 
- He has best little chubby thighs and face cheeks and is skinny boy everywhere else and his cheeker dimples are to die for
- He loves his binkie at night and naps but tries to steal it all day 
- He cries when Jon aka Dad leaves the house and does the cutest happy dance when he comes home
- He adores his brother above all and looks for him when he gets up from his nap or when we get in the car to do errands
- He attacks his crib lovies every chance he can get
- He does the cutest little lip pop 
- He loves when people imitate him. He gets the biggest smile on his face. 
- He adores kids, especially his cousins! 
- He loves food but gets bored very easily and wants different foods all the time. He usually rejects any kind of puree including apple sauce right now 
- He still loves singing and will usually stop what he's doing to watch a person sing 
- He is obsessed with animals with dogs and bunnies being his favorite. But if he sees a dog he will almost cries he gets so excited. Then he tries to grab and take the dog home. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever. 
- He has started to walk a little on his knees (not on his feet yet)and has started to do the cutest little shuffle with them and barely started taking steps holding onto things
- He started to unload all the shelves in the playroom and that's super fun......NOT
- He loves exploring, especially the hallway
- He loves to squeeze his binky while he nurses and I'm just grateful it's not my boob he's squeezing anymore
- He makes the sweetest "o" expression still and mixes it in with his surprise face
- He can destroy a stack of books in .5 seconds
- He blows kisses and gives high 5's and I adore it!!!!
- Sometimes if you ask him if he's going to be nice, he will shake his head's hysterical
- He loves to pet the owl on the quilt my mom made for him that hangs in his room
- If you tell him you are going to get him, he gets so excited 
- He thinks it's super funny to drop food off his highchair. He will watch you, watch him drop stuff off the highchair...he's a stinker!
I'm sure there are million other things I'm forgetting 

Jaxson at 12 Months

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tooth Fairy!!!!!!!

After we got home from hanging out at the cabin, Jon was getting Jax ready for bed. He had a wiggly tooth for a few weeks and was pretty anxious about getting it out. After brushing his teeth, Jon checked the tooth just to make sure it wouldn't come out in his sleep and out it popped.....ugh....the Tooth Fairy was NOT ready for that. Needless to say we had a very, very, very excited boy! He was pretty much jumping off any surface he could to tell me his tooth came out and now the Tooth Fairy was going to visit and bring him a surprise. Thankfully the Tooth Fairy had dropped off her special door, a pillow to put the tooth in and a book about trying to catch her. Jax was thrilled! After he went to bed the Tooth Fairy tracked down a special prize (a sparkly $2 bill, carried in by a special McQueen car) and left it with a receipt for taking the tooth. When he woke up we had a pretty happy boy and he loved all the magic that came with his tooth coming out. 
My baby is too little to lose a tooth! Ahhhhhh make time slow down! NO MORE growing up :). 
The special door and pillow from the Tooth Fairy.
The Tooth Fairy's special surprise! 
(Update: 12/15/16: After a few people said he was little young to lose a tooth (he just turned 5) I got a little worried that maybe he did hit his mouth and he lost the tooth from trauma. But low and behold our mister is getting his first permanent tooth in as we speak :). He was a super late teether (like 2 teeth at 12 months) so it was a surprise to us as well! Go you buddy!