Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Happy

Hola! Thanks for the sweet comments on my last post! I am so glad I wrote it so I can remember this big change in our lives and how the Lord got us through it.

So things are great. Like really REALLY great right now. I have the new job to look forward to and I am pretty much done with my old job. So I am spending my last few days at home spoiling the kiddos rotten. Don't feel one bit guilty about it either :)!

We just bought a new car. I changed company cars in November and lost my trusty van to a little car. Booooooooo! It has been tough with three kids In a car, but we managed without losing anyone. We had to buy a vehicle with my new job so we took the opportunity to get a big we got a used Yukon Denali. Cue me doing the happy dance!!!!

So we are having a ball in our new ride, cruising :). I love these kids...even more at a distance in the third row seat...just kidding...kind of :)...

Cue the iPhone pics:

Bree drug that chair over to the swing and climbed in all by herself :)

The new wheels

My ball player :)

Snow cones after school :)))))

Hanging out the sunroof

Owen looking for his buddy next door :)

Happy is as happy does :)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 16, 2011

The New Adventures of Rachel Brown

So, big things are happening for me, all thanks to the Lord!  Over the last few months, I have been on an emotional roller coaster in regards to my career.  If you are still interested in reading, here we go up reallllllll slow, get ready to throw your hands up :)...........

Quick recap of my work history:  I started working in this sales industry when I was 18.  I was on a fast track and kicking butt and taking names.  Fast forward to March 2003 - BAM, pregnant!  We decided that I needed to keep working, but from home.  Ever since then and 2 jobs later, I have been able to work from home with all three babies and it has truly been a blessing.  So let's fast forward to now. 

As I have enjoyed working from home and being there for my babies, it has been an adventure.  At times, it has been incredibly difficult to manage both sides of my life.  With that has come so much stress to be the best in everything.  I strive to be the best mother and wife as well as be perfect in my career.  Needless to say, that is near impossible, much less when your career is in the same home where the wife and mother should be.  I started really praying specifically about the situation for guidance to handle it, and have confidence that I can. 

To my surprise, things did not get better working from home.  In fact, my job pretty much fell apart.  To spare you the details, I realized that I needed to make a change and find a new company for which to work.  The rough part, work from home jobs are far and few between.  I was finally realizing, my prayers were being answered, just not the way I planned.  One month ago, I started aggressively looking for a new job, a job back in the office.

Now, I say that like it was an easy decision to make.  It blows my mind every time I realize how God answers my prayers.  I know I should not be surprised and I working on that, but I am just so grateful.  I really struggled with many thoughts of going back in the office.

Am I good Mom for doing this?
What will I miss?
Am I good Mom for doing this?
Is the money worth the sacrifice?
Am I good Mom for doing this?
What will the kids think?
Am I good Mom for doing this?
What will their teachers think? Other Moms?
Am I good Mom for doing this?

Catch a trend :).  I was worried.  I knew that it was the best thing for me and my family for me to go in the office.  If you are asking "Why in the world would she give up working from home?".  My answer: Have you ever tried being on a conference call with a kid yelling in the background "Mama, please come wipe me!"?  or Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom to get a phone call in with your VP?  or Have you ever worked on an important presentation with a baby in your lap wiping Cheetos on your laptop and your shirt?  True stories.  All these are funny, but there are also serious times when I am beyond stressed. When I have had my hands full with kids and I have an important meeting coming up and I have not prepared.  Other times, when you actually feel guilty for having your kids around while you work.  Or when I think I can do everything with them and end up neglecting work and THEN working until midnight.  Or when I am beyond stressed and taking it out on my kids and Shane.  It has been tough.  Still a HUGE blessing, but tough. I would not trade any of this for the world, seriously.  Not even the wipe me instances...

I hope you are not throwing up on the roller coaster now...

Even though the Lord was literally punching me in the gut telling me find a new job in the office, I was worried.  Stupid, stupid.  So I prayed HARD that I would find a job with a small Team, relaxed office, and most of all they would GET that I have kids and they are my treasures.  I prayed many specific things, even prayed that I work for a Christian manager, and threw in there that I would love if they went to Cross Church like us.  I started applying and one job came up immediately,

I went to the interview and it went great.  It was everything I was looking for, but just a few things.  The church thing was not there, but I felt that was a long shot anyways.  I knew they liked me and I liked them.  It looked very promising.  I was so happy that the Lord answered my prayers so quickly. 

I got a call that afternoon about another job.

I almost didn't go on the interview.  I knew that I wanted the other role, but I decided I should not turn it down and went.  Before I went to the interview, I parked and prayed as I always do.  But I prayed very specifically this time.  I prayed that He give me real signs if I needed to move forward with the first job that I felt was a sure thing and a good fit for me and the family.  I prayed that if this other job was the right thing, that he show me even bigger signs that it is.  I was not messing around.  Moms cannot mess around.  There are butts to wipe and Cheetos stains.

So I went to the interview and let me tell you, it was unbelievable!! The Lord had all but put it in bright red lights in their conference room "RACHEL'S NEW OFFICE".  I was floored. I loved everything about it and was soooooo excited.  The thing that I had not really prayed for was a job that helped my career.  I was so worried about taking care of the kids and being there, that I neglected me and my career path. This role was a challenging and exciting job that would challenge and keep me interested everyday.  PLUS, the hiring manager was a great Christian gentlemen, and seemed so laid back.  Now, I had to think. 

So long story short, I ended up going to NJ that same week with the other company.  They told me they were going to make me an offer the next day.  It was a great day of interviews and I was struggling.  They were so nice and I felt that it would be a good fit for me, but dream job #2 was still in the back of my mind.  My struggle was that they were moving so fast and I did not feel that I could leave an offer on the table when I didn't know how fast the better job could move.  I once again, prayed, begged, the Lord for help.  I needed answers.  I needed to know the next time I saw this other job if I should leave the offer that was already out there.  I needed even brighter red lights.  When I came home, the next day, I met with job #2 and told them I would have an offer by EOB.  I had another round of phenomenal interviews.  I found out then that they loved me as much as I loved them.  As I told him that I really wanted the job and I felt that I was meant to have it, he told me "This is definitely a God thing.  We never move this fast and we should have an offer for you next week."  I almost cried right then and there.  I didn't.  The Lord will SHOCK YOU!!!!

After traveling to Chicago this week, meeting an executive, and seeing one of the home offices, I finished my interviews with this company.  I turned down the other offer.  The very next day, I received the offer for the other job and accepted an hour later.  I cried then. It took me less than a month to find the perfect job.  Thank you Lord!

Now here we are today and I start my new dream job, back in the office in 2 weeks.  I am doing the same line of work, just on a more Senior level and leading a huge new initiative for the Company.  If you would have asked me 4 months ago that I would be this excited, I would have called you a crazy.  The Lord has worked on me, even through other people, preparing me for a huge change in our lives.  Shane has been very supportive and is so excited for me.  My mom is stepping up and taking on the courageous role of taking care of the monkeys full time (God Bless Nonna!) and my bestest friend Boni has been there telling me I can do it.  (Another reason God put her in my life, He knew I would need another "working from an office Mama" to get me through this).  I am actually really looking forward to going back in the office.  The thought of being able to separate the two lives, makes me almost as happy as buying a new purse. Almost :).   Speaking of, this change has brought on shopping, new work clothes shopping. Already bought a fabulous new red dress for my first day!  I digress....

So, May 31st, I go back in the office after 8 years and start this new adventure.  I am ready.  Mom is ready and armed to handle the three musketeers. Shane is ready to step up even more and help with the kids.  I am armed with the Lord's help to keep me from having any major breakdowns.  I think the red dress will help too :)

Please keep us in your prayers!!! This little bit won't miss times like this picture, like her Mama will.  Taken today in the car line, waiting to pick up sissy :)

Girl's Day with our BESTIES

We had a great weekend!  Saturday morning, we loaded up with Boni, Tara and our oldest girls, Claire and Emma.  Sunday was Emma's birthday and Boni wanted to celebrate by taking Emma and Claire to Tulsa, eat a fun lunch, shop and get Emma's ears pierced!  One of the great things about me and Boni is that our oldest babies are the same and age and are best friends too!!!!  These two are so cute together and have so much fun.  They giggle and talk together and it is hilarious! 

As true testament to how similar me and Boni are, we picked out the same outfits for our girls to wear :)!  Once we realized it, we knew that the girls would love it and they would be easy to spot in the mall.  Of course, they loved it and it made for great pictures :)...

We ate lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, shopped, got Emma's ear pierced, and even let the girls get feather extensions :)....many pictures below...because Tara is awesome :)...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Run Owen, RUN!

We are crazy busy this week! The sad thing it is only Tuesday night, blah! When I mentioned to Shane how crazy this week will be, he replies "we are always crazy!l"...true but I am sure it aggravated me...the same way it does when he makes that weird sound in his throat, but I digress...;)...back to crazy busy week...

In addition to the usual dance schedule and Tball, Owen is in football camp at school Mon-Wed, after school until 530. Now, watching a 4.5 year old at a football camp of kids up to upper elementary, is quite hilarious. I stayed and watched today, while Bree slept, Claire did homework, and I worked on my laptop. When Claire and I weren't laughing so hard we were crying at O running around, tackling other boys, and in his own little world, I wanted to run out there and run for him when he was trying so hard to keep up with the big boys (Owen was one of the youngest there). His little legs just weren't fast enough, but I was so proud that he never stopped!! My big boy is growing up!!!

I know those last two are hard to see but he is the one in white shorts and a red shirt. I let him pick out some new ball playing clothes today at Academy (he calls it the "A place" :)) He chose a pair of white and a pair of black shorts. I didn't fight it, but once he ran on the field, I could see his spiderman undies through his shorts from my car :)!

After football, he had a Tball game. I felt so bad for him but he did great! He usually only has games on Saturdays so I was not prepared. In other words, Owen smelled like maple syrup tonight from the breakfast after his game last Saturday morning :).

I have been super busy with work lately too. This morning, I was getting the younger two across the street to mom's house. This is a hilarious picture of Bree, in her pajamas, with her Prada :), walking to Nonna's...

Tomorrow is even crazier and I have to take a day trip to Chicago...going to be insane! Thanks for the prayers last week and please keep raising them up!! Very very soon I will fill y'all in!!!

Now time to sleep...riiigghhtt!!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 9, 2011

New lovely lady in the family...

No new babies here, not even a dog.  Just clearing that up...

We have a niece!! My sweet and gorg sister in law, Brooke had a baby last month!  Bailey Elizabeth is our new angel!!  We love her bunches and love motherhood on Brooke, she is doing so well and is a natural! Last Saturday, we really Tara :) threw her a ladies luncheon in honor of Bailey and Brooke.  It was so much fun and I personally think we should have luncheons every Saturday morning :)...Tara out did herself as usual and it was absolutely fabulous! Go check out her blog to get all the details, but here are some pics of the "Bailey & Co" lunch :)...

Today, Brooke and Bailey are on their way back to Houston for the summer :(((((...we were sad to see them go and will miss them terribly!!! Love them so much!!!!!