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unexpected, family, life, change

Embracing the Unexpected

by Deborah Cruz


unexpected, family, life, change

Last week, the Big Guy had an unexpected job interview. Unexpected because he loves the job he has, it’s his dream job. The past three years have been insanely chaotic for our family. I started this blog, the spring that my husband first had to leave us for a job; my daughters we’re 2 and 4. They are currently, almost 5 and 7. Many of you know the story of our two-year commuter marriage and all the upheaval that has come with that. The moving, the separation, the hurt and finally, the reunion, we have survived as a family. It’s been really hard.

But for the past year and a half he has had his dream job. This is a big deal because isn’t that what we all want? We want to make a living doing something we love and don’t we all want the person we love to be happy? I support him 100%, this is part of the reason why we left the home we have known for the past 7 years and moved in with our in laws, so that our family could be together. We’re not the Rockefellers and three years of transition isn’t cheap.

Unexpected Opportunities

We pay all of our bills and we keep up but we have nothing to show for it. We are essentially homeless living at the mercy of my husband’s parents. But it had to be done, the separation was becoming too much for the girls (truly all of us) to bear. The problem is that no matter what we do to try and move forward, we have our home (that we don’t live in, 2 hours away from where we currently live) that is hanging on our lives like an anchor and it is drowning us. We’ve tried everything; we lowered the price time and time again. It is currently listed $20,000 less than what we paid for it and about $60,000 less than it is valued at and still not one offer (not even a ridiculous one) in three years.

So we struggle on but we make the best of every situation. We always have. My girls are resilient and the Big Guy and I know that as long as we are all together and healthy, we can survive anything together. He is my rock and my girls give us wings to take flight when we are so low that we are looking up to see the bottom of this situation. There are days when all of us just want to quit and go home. It’s hard but we draw strength from one another. What makes it worse is that we only have until June to find a new home. We knew this situation couldn’t go on indefinitely; it’s too much for all of us. It’s not good for the relationships. The family dynamic is askew.

The clock is ticking and there are a lot of changes going on here, so there are days when panic sets in and the Big Guy or myself have a small “Oh my God, what are we going to do?” attack. We breakdown and we carry on. We try not to have these small heart attacks in front of the girls and they know that Mommy and Daddy will take care of everything. No worries. But behind closed doors, in the middle of the night, we worry. There have been nights when I have been frozen with fear trying to come up with a plan to make this all work out as a happily ever after. It’s hard to stay optimistic for 3 years with no movement on your home. The home you love. The one you wish you were still in, living the life you deserve, and hearing your children giggle and laugh instead of being shushed and reprimanded in someone else’s home.

Unexpected Choices

Then, out of the blue, a phone call came. A new job opportunity; one that the Big Guy had before and loved but it wasn’t permanent. Now, it’s permanent and it may bring with it the possibility of buying our home so that we can move forward with our lives, as well as, a lot of wonderful benefits and job security in a not secure economy. But that will mean that my Ella will start second grade in yet another school, number 4. Our lives have been in transition since she started preschool. This poor kid has been the new kid every year.

Moving would mean leaving behind family. All of my brothers live in this city too. It means starting over, again, alone. But maybe that’s what we need, time to be a normal family again. A family who lives in the same house and has a yard to play in, neighbors to befriend.  I want a home where toys are on shelves and toy boxes and not in packing boxes and in storage; a place my girls can be themselves. My girls are amazing. Somehow we have managed to raise two little girls who will go and do whatever we decide, because they know that as long as we are all together and healthy, life is good and we are blessed.

Unexpected Blessings

I don’t know what to wish for anymore. Do I want the new job in Iowa to buy our house and move us away from all of our family? Do I want our house to sell and to take a loss and take a $20,000 check to closing so that we can buy a smaller home where we are now? Truly, I wish I could go home and hit reboot on the last 3 years and make everything OK for my little girls but that’s not a possibility. So, I will keep praying that God will guide me. I know that everything happens for a reason and maybe Iowa is where we are supposed to be and the unexpected job interview is what was supposed to happen all along.


Have you ever had to make a choice that you knew would alter the entire rest of your life? What was it? How did you handle the unexpected?

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Nancy 2012/04/25 - 10:44 am

Oh my. I can’t relate to your specific circumstances, but I feel your pain nonetheless. We’re faced with some big decisions in the next little while and I have been praying for guidance to the “right” thing. Deep down, I think I know what that is, but it’s so scary and it could put us into a tailspin if I can’t make it successful. My husband was just offered a new contract yesterday, so you’re post hits on good timing to help me. Thank you. But, like my blog is called, Life Takes Over. Sometimes you just gotta run ragged and try to keep up. I’ll pray for you and for the right decision. 🙂

Elaine Griffin 2012/04/25 - 11:10 am

Well, hmmm. I can’t think of anything really unexpected that has happened. I probably just jinxed it. Unexpected scares me. I always feel like it would be bad. But unexpected good is great!
I’m rambling because I’m trying to find the right words to say, but I can’t.
Maybe this. It sounds like this might be a really good opportunity for your family. Perhaps getting nearer to financial security is worth being further from your family?
I know it’s hard to be away. My family lives very, very far. But, technology helps bridge that gap.
Good luck – it sounds like it won’t be an easy decision!

Corey Feldman 2012/04/25 - 1:33 pm

Good luck on his interview! I am sure it will work out the way it is supposed to. It seems like there is a lot of love and a lot of support, what more can we ask for from life.

Megan 2012/04/25 - 1:39 pm

Ever heard that story about the drowning man who refused the helicopter, etc., that came to rescue him because he said that God would save him and when he died he asked God why he didn’t save him and God said I sent you a helicopter, etc.? That job is your helicopter.

You get the albatross of a home off of your neck, your husband gets a job he loves and you all get to reboot. There is always sacrifice involved, but you need to look at the scenario that gives the most good.

And remember, happy parents make happy kids.

Good luck.

Shell 2012/04/25 - 7:43 pm

I hope that you are able to make the right decision!

We’ve had to do this with various moves, too. It’s hard, but ultimately, the right thing for us.

Galit Breen 2012/04/26 - 7:59 am

Ohmygoodness you, that’s so very much on your plate.

(Thinking of you.)

Cindi 2012/04/26 - 9:26 am

When in doubt, pray it out. Pray for a CLEAR answer that if this is of God, let it be known and felt loud and clear. Praying for you! 🙂

Lady goo goo gaga 2012/04/26 - 8:38 pm

Oh jeez, hopefully it all works out!!! And kids are resilient!!!

Kelly Reiner 2012/05/02 - 12:07 am

One of the most frustrating things about life for me is when you do make it to those situations where you are faced with a choice, but you know it will alter the outcome of your lives, but with no way to know which is the right decision. I suppose that is the joy and frustration of life – I guess I don’t always like it.


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