There are a few things at work here:
1. Landon is paid a nominal salary for the research he will be doing as part of his PhD program. So hooray! We don't have to go into massive debt for grad school. Score one for us.
2. It is EXPENSIVE (read: ridiculously sadistic and problematic for students) to live in Seattle. So I'm going to need a job. And quick.
3. Finding apartments is tough. Really tough. See item #2.
4. Finding daycare is even tougher. See item #2.
I'd been stressing about this to the point where I had a hard time sleeping, have felt physically sick, and have just generally been dwelling on the issue and dedicating an unhealthy amount of time to thinking about it. We have prayed hard and we know that this move is the right thing for our family and for Landon's career. UW is a great school and the projects he'll be working on will be amazing stepping stones. Not to mention our need to get out and explore on our own for awhile. So, even though it's hard (or maybe BECAUSE it's hard?), we're making it happen.
A few months ago, I read an article on my best bud's blog about "thinking big." It changed my perspective and made me rethink how I support my family and what strategies I could find for keeping us out of debt, off government assistance, still able to come home for Christmas and, you know, eat.
I have a few talents. I had forgotten this to some extent when, 3 years ago, I lost my job. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't been through that experience what it does to you. I once heard it compared to a grieving process, and in some ways, that is what it feels like. Sometimes I know I've moved past it, and other times I realize it still affects the way I think and feel about myself. But, after reading Preston's article, and with some encouragement from family and friends, I decided to put some feelers out there.
There is this whole world of talented people who are making money in non conventional ways. Freelance writers and designers, telecommuters, photographers, and daycare providers, just to name a few. Since I have put the word out that I am looking for something a little different, I have had several opportunities crop up. So without further ado, I introduce the new me:
I'm feeling good about this choice for now. I'm thrilled to be planning to stay at home with Walt (in 24 more days!), work 15-20 hours/week, and contribute enough to our finances that we won't be destitute, and we won't be in debt. (yay!) I'm still reeling a little bit, because it kinda sounds too good to be true. But once again, we're praying and pondering - and we're going to make it happen. I'm just really grateful to everyone who's been mentoring me and putting me in contact with the right people - you know who you are, and you are very loved in our family right now. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this continues to be what it has promised to be.