The Hubs turned 30
On July 24th, my hubby hit the big 3-0 mark! We celebrated his birthday the week before by having a cookout at my parents place at the lake with the hubs' friends and family. We had a blast! We swam, busted out the corn hole, watched a movie, and had a great time sitting on the porch reminiscing and cracking jokes.
Last week, the hubs and I took our annual beach trip with his family. The weather couldn't have been more perfect considering it was the first week of August. The temperature stuck around the 80's for the entire week! It was perfect for laying out and soaking up the sun by the pool. Speaking of the pool, Harper loved it just as I thought she would. She also loved the ocean! She loved plopping down in the sand and letting the waves wash over her! I have pictures to prove it and I promise I'll be sharing those at some point!
I mentioned a while back that shortly after Harper was born, I decided to apply for graduate school in order to get my Masters in education. If you're from North Carolina, you're probably aware that this year, our wonderful political leaders decided to no longer reward teachers for continuing education and thus are no longer paying them for Masters and Doctorate degrees after this year unless they are in a position where one is a necessary to complete the job (i.e. principals, counselors, etc). With this new legislature, I was torn about whether or not to complete the program I had been admitted to. After talking with both Kevin and my dad, as well as praying constantly about it, I decided to drop out of the program. The program I was enrolled in had decided to take a fast track and complete a two year program within a year. With this program, the original cost of the program doubled and there was still no guarantee that we'd meet the state's deadlines and graduate in time to receive our Master's pay. With the amount of money it was going to cost, I could pay two years of day care for Harper. That kind of money is just too much to gamble with considering I may or may not receive additional pay! Plus having to fast track the program, I'd have no time for my family, much less myself. And missing out on Harper's first year of life to only make an extra $150 a month just didn't seem worth it. Especially when the hubby can work a day of overtime and make almost twice that. So I've tabled grad school at the moment and have decided that starting next August, I'm going to try to complete my National Board Certification. It'll cost a fraction of the cost of grad school and at this point, it still provides a pay increase for my family. So for now, thats the better option of the two.
Back to Work
In less than two weeks, I'll be returning to work. It's bittersweet to say the least. Before Harper arrived, if you asked me if I wanted to be a stay at home mom, I'd have told you absolutely not. I'd also have filled you in on why that sort of lifestyle wouldn't work for me. But now that Harper has arrived, I'd give you a different story. After being with my daughter every day for the past three months and watching how quickly she changes, I want to stay home and soak up all of her firsts. The reality that most of her firsts will occur at daycare breaks my heart. Just yesterday I was at work getting my classroom ready and trying to get a head start on the new school year, when the hubs calls to tell me Harper rolled over the first time. To say that I was so disappointed that I missed it was an understatement. But the fact of the matter is that I have to work so that we don't have to live on a tight budget. I don't mind working because I truly do love my job. I love entering my classroom each morning and looking at 20+ faces that I've been entrusted to teach. These students aren't just part of my job, they become part of my heart. I also don't mind working because I know I'm helping to provide for my family even if I do only bring home a measly salary. The fact of the matter is, even though I only bring in a little, it's enough to pay for all of Harper's needs and allows for Kevin and I to also purchase our wants and not just our needs. And for that I'm blessed.
I've mentioned before that when Kevin and I purchased our home three years ago the first thing we planned to do was rip down the wallpaper and border that was left in our kitchen. I hate wallpaper and it was the only room in the house that had it. Unfortunately, three years later, it was a project we'd still yet to tackle because frankly, we didn't know where to begin. But last week while we were on vacation, my amazing parents and brother came to my house and ripped it all down. When we returned home, we had bare walls! It was such a nice surprise and I couldn't be more thankful for what my family did. It saved us quite a bit of money that freed us up to do other projects to our home.
So now that our wallpaper is down, our biggest hurdle is behind us and we're officially making some changes to the house. Over the next two weeks, our kitchen, pantry/ laundry room, and our dining room will be getting quite a few updates. In the kitchen, we'll be repainting the ceilings and trim work and Valspar's "Baltimore Orioles" will be placed on the walls. We're also having crown molding installed as well as LED lighting placed under our cabinets. Our pantry is going to be repainted to match the kitchen walls and they'll also be painting the pantry shelf in the same color to help it blend in better. In the dining room, we're having shadow boxes installed to create a more formal atmosphere. To help with that atmosphere, we purchased a new dining room suite! We pick it up today and I couldn't be more excited!
I'll be back in a few weeks to show you the finished results! Plus maybe we'll have our master bathroom completely finished so I can share it as well. I started redecorating it about a month ago and am only missing a few pieces to complete it. It's so hard to find just what you're looking for sometimes! But good things come to those who wait, right?