Friday, May 11, 2007

New Blog and Family Update

Hello family and friends!

As you know, we have been looking for some time for a new employer for Chris. His days with Safeway were shortened when we realized late last year that Chris' career with them was not going to be using his talents to their full potential. Chris recently accepted a position as a Store Coach (in training) for Super K Centers--the K-Marts that have added a full grocery section to their stores.

We had been discussing some options for some time, but right after the first of the year, he got serious about finding new employment. It was sparked, interestingly enough, by phone calls from potential employers that had viewed his resume that he had posted to three years ago when Safeway picked him up. Well, after several unsolicited contacts, we decided that we needed to update his resume and begin seriously seeking some offers. You would never believe it, but while renewing his contacts at Wal-Mart, he was contacted by Winn-Dixie (a grocery chain in Florida), Home Depot (who wanted us to relocate to Gallup, NM--dead center in the middle of nowhere), and several others. He also contacted Target, Circuit City, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, and others. Some nibbled, some grabbed the bait, and some swam off to other waters.

When he telephone interviewed with K-Mart for a Store Director ("manager") position, it became evident immediately that he was overqualified for what they needed, and the interviewer suggested that he should consider discussing a District Manager position, and so the interview was set up. Chris did a little homework before the face-to-face interview with Sears Holding Company (they own K-Mart now) executives, and he pulled no punches telling them how they could get more business into the stores, what could be done from a merchandising standpoint to improve the appearance (and sales!) of the stores, etc. The team interviewing him appeared to enjoy his feedback, and were very excited to offer him a position. One thing remained a hold-up from making the offer official: he had to pass a background check. Now, Chris' legal name is John, and since he goes by both, they had to run two very common name-checks, and it took a little while longer than we would have hoped to get the official go-ahead.

Here's the kicker: in order to accept the position (heck, before they even ran the aforementioned background check), he had to sign an acceptance of willingness to relocate. This was a really tough part for us, because the girls (and we!) have quite a life and roots put down here in Colorado. We can't bear the thought of being away from the kids for any length of time, so it was a really difficult decision to make because we knew we would have them either during school or during summers. We knew back when he started looking for jobs that it was a very real possibility, given his skillset, that we would be relocated. We had discussed it with each other and with God, and Chris also discussed it at length with his parents. I also discussed it with Mom, and we talked about what happens with the kids when you can't have them around all the time. She told me exactly what I needed to hear, even it if will be difficult to accept: whatever happens, it will be okay. Chris and I keep thanking God that He is the one in control and that He knows what the final outcome will be--heck, there's a very outside chance that we will be able to stay in Colorado! If we don't, we don't have the first clue as to where they might send us--maybe Chicago or Detroit, maybe the Carolinas... We just don't know.

Meanwhile, we broke the news to the girls last Thursday, and needless to say, there were tears and fears, questions and qualms. Either way (whether they go with us or stay here with their Mom), Kaitlyn and Lauren both will be going to a new school next year, because their Mom lives in a different school district than they are currently enrolled. You know, it wasn't just yesterday that I was 14 or 12, but I do remember some of what it was like; these girls are having a really tough time--we knew they would. We took that into consideration, and have asked them to examine the possibilities and try to figure out what they would like to do. Immediately, they both wanted to stay here and go to school locally--the social little butterflies that they are can't even begin to imagine not being here where their friends are. They both claim that it's very hard for them to make friends, which isn't true but they feel that way in light of being in a place where they don't know anybody (yet!). They're also thinking that since they definitely have to go to a new school next year, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to go with Dad & Dani--that way, when they come to visit their Mom in the summer, they can catch up with their old friends. Sheesh--summers would be horrible if they didn't know anybody! Anyway, I would ask for all your prayers as we move forward with this new part of our lives, and decisions are made that will affect our whole family.

Finally, Chris leaves SUNDAY (May 13) for Chicago to begin his training. He'll be rubbing shoulders with the company execs in Chicago, and going through some classes to indoctrinate him into the Super K mindset. He will be gone except for a couple of weekends until the end of June. We have decided that we are going to sell our house, whether we stay in Colorado or not, so we need to get it on the market. Gee, I wish we had had more time in this place--I sure love the house and the location, but I guess God has other plans for us.

Chris will be home in Colorado for Kristin's graduation (!) on June 2nd, and then back also for Father's Day. I will be trying to scoop up some work and take it with me, and hopefully join him for a week in Chicago. Lauren has said that she would like to go on that trip--sounds like we might be able to work something out, so we're praying for that.

I will write more on the kids next time--I gotta get back to work now. Lunch is almost over--and my boss (uh, that would be me) is such a slave-driver!

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