Life has thrown us some curve balls in the last year and a half. I've really missed blogging and think about getting to it all the time. I suppose today is the day.
Ruby is almost 5 and Elvis almost 3. The changes in their physicality and personality are too numerous to list...see for yourself!
The Austin Fam, December 2010
A year and a half in review...The beginning of 2010 brought my
setting up my photography business's Facebook page which automatically set me up for a personal one. It sucked me in. The allure of "keeping up" with every single person I have ever known grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. But now with all of the things that have happened to our family in the last few months I've realized that I need to focus more on MY FAMILY than everyone else's. I tried to keep a paper journal for my kids, but that lasted all of two weeks at a time sporadically for about 6 months. I was really dedicated to this blog for a while and hope to be so again. Big changes came in July of last year when we needed a boost in income so I reentered the workforce (at a starting position and wage in the only industry that I feel comfortable just slipping into...the service industry...a whole vault of other stories for other times). That first job was short lived until I got a position in November at Whole Foods. In August we welcomed a new addition to the Austin family. Alex's sister, Jenny, got married to Frank whom she met just before my last post. It is a romantic story that rivals mine and Alex's. They met at LAX helping one another find their connecting flight (the same one...they were on their way back from Italy to San Francisco). They are happy as pie now living in beautiful Switzerland! Past a haze of working through and living through the holiday season we ended up on the other side in one piece. Getting frustrated with our house not selling (it has been on the market since August of last year because due to the financial climate our "transitional" neighborhood was making the opposite transition it was geared up for when we bought) we got the biggest shock to our family life in April. On April 1 (yep, April fools day) at around 10 in the morning a stray bullet flew through the kids' room missing Ruby by only feet. Even with the shock and fear I was sure God had shined a white light on us all. I had been in that spot only minutes before and all experience said Elvis should have been right there when it happened. You see, Ruby was on the potty. The bullet hit the vanity mirror above the sink. Usually when Ruby is on the potty, Elvis is at the sink playing in the water. But that day, he wasn't! Thank the LORD! Gun shots heard at night can be ignored or explained off to other causes. A stray bullet through your children's room cannot! We were packing up my car and my mom's van while the police were still at the house. We've been living with her since. We are still paying our mortgage, keeping our utilities on so as not to look too desperate, and spending more money on gas than we had ever intended (my mom lives 30 miles out of the city and work). Since then we have been trying to get a leg up: Cleaning out and fixing up the house on days we can find the time, struggling to retain some normalcy for the little ones (it's been hard), searching for options to get us out of this mess. As much as the kids love being with their Honey and Nana so much, this just isn't ideal. I'm not even going to touch on my recent medical woes in this post. So, as you can read it's been a crazy more than a year. I wish I had been documenting it! I think blogging is so much more personal and cathartic than stupid Facebook. FB has it's place, but I've been going overboard with it to the point of having it be my only sense of connection to the world at large. I have more to say than the occasional status update and I know it it more fulfilling on my side to write like this (writing about my family keeps me more plugged into my family). Maybe it's more fulfilling for you to read the "rest of the story".
Other things of note since I last wrote:
-I watched through my camera lens as friends and family got married..I started shooting WEDDINGS!
-I made a some new amazing friends that I will have for a lifetime!
-Last summer was the summer of Art Night every Wed with the Amanda and Scott who are now the VonSteads (formerly Vaughn and Stead...awesome, huh?)...Amanda proclaimed when we first met "we are going to be friends" and we haven't looked back since. We've watched them get married, been among the first to know they were pregnant, and encouraged them to go for their dreams. They are moving to Oregon in two weeks for amazing opportunities for the both of them. We will miss them so much, but know that their future is so bright & we'll find a way to be a part of it!
-Even though I've been shooting weddings...my photography has really slacked off since I started working. I'm a stay at home mom with a part time job (sounds easy in theory, but it really sucks)...it is so hard that I can't seem to find time to do much photography in between all of my responsibilities. I will, someday!
-Ruby started school in August, but we pulled her out a few weeks later. I've since joined the board of the school (it is our church's school) to help pull it out of it's slump. It has been really exciting being able to use my love of research and writing toward a goal that is so much bigger than just me. I love the way I feel when I use my mind to solve such complex problems...the politics of it all have been really frustrating, but we seem to be getting past that so we can get some real work done...school starts in a few weeks! I've also made a few great friends along the way...bonus!
-We've been regular church goers and Sunday School attendees for the past 2 years. It is so amazing to have built such a great community around us at church. It is refreshing to have people who like us for who we are and are open to our views. We love our Sunday School class, they are our soft place to fall at least once a week...everybody needs that! They are surely friends for a lifetime! ALEX chose our current study..pretty amazing for a guy that never wanted to go in the first place!
-Ruby has had 2 dance recitals. She's a pro now! She'll be starting her third year of dance in August and Elvis will be starting his first. I'm hoping to get Ruby started with soccer this year, too!
I know I am missing at least a year's worth of details. There is no way I could go back over it all. I'm going to try and start fresh, get it all out there for my kids to see when they want a family history. Come along on our journey for whatever reason. You can laugh with us, cry with us, and feel like you aren't alone! It's a crazy life for my little tribe!