Monday, August 12, 2013

Big Changes



I took a spontaneous blog vacation last week.  There were about 100 million things going on, and I had a lot on my mind with not a lot of sleep to back it up.  I think it's necessary to step away from everything now and then...to reevaluate, to rest, and to be inspired.  

We're also gearing up for some big changes over here.  Noel is starting law school this fall (today is his first day of orientation.)  We've thought and prayed and prayed some more about this decision, and although it's going to be a tough 3 years ahead, we are excited about the long term benefits of this decision.

As I mentioned previously, we tried to sell our house to move a little bit closer, but it just didn't work out.  I'm not exactly sure why it didn't, but I'm at peace with it now.  For 6 months I was on pins and needles trying to keep our home perfect (and it was), and that made me borderline insane.  The pressure is finally gone, and I'm ready to move on to the next phase of life.

Me and the babes won't be seeing a lot of Noel for the next few years...but fortunately his job has prepped us for that.  We're also going to be living on an even tighter budget than before, so that's going to be an even bigger challenge.

So, if you have any advice on law school, being a spouse to a law student (I've already found a few bloggers who are in my situation...yay blog world!), living on a super, super tight budget, or anything else, I would love to hear it!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Missed everyone last week!

45 comments :

Annie said...

That is definitely a lot of change...but so exciting, and it sounds like you guys are embracing it which is awesome! Congrats to Noel on law school :) And how cute are the boys with their little desks?!

Annie
The Other Side of Gray

Veronica and Daniel said...

WOW! That is a lot of change! How exciting :) Advise...hmmm...I can remember my mom being the Queen of finding fun, FREE activities for my brother and I to do when my dad was away on business trips. And this was before the internet ;) Keeping busy always helped us to miss him less and there are tons of free events/activities to help you stay with in your budget. 3 years will fly by :) Good Luck!!

Katie Skelley said...

My cousin did this in her first few years of marriage and as I watched her navigate I was in awe at how she rolled with the punches. The only advice that I have is try to be flexible and focus on the long term and just make the moments count with the munchkins. I firmly believe that it is not quantity but quality time that is important. Exciting stuff!

Head to Toe Chic said...

I'm so excited for Noel! It will be a change but it's definitely worth it in the end!! I'm sorry about the house, but I know that was so stressful.

Amy Shaughnessy said...

We missed you last week! I was wondering where you went. That is so exciting! I know it will be a lot of work but you guys can do it. And I have friends who either stay at home w/ their babies or their hubby goes back to school and they make it work.

Amy


Fashion and Beauty Finds

Helene said...

this is such an exciting and stressful time but I am sure this will work out for the best! My dad got his PhD when I was about 10 and my sisters were 3. We lived in Dallas and he went to school in Louisiana and would commute back and forth every other weekend. It was hard but very worth it.

hailey stoner said...

On a selfish note I missed you last week! On another note exciting changes happening at your place. I wish you all the best. I know the feeling of having a very tight budget and the one thing I would suggest is have a list handy of free or pretty cheap activities for you and the kids. It always helped if I felt like I needed to leave the house to have "safe" places to go! The park, if the zoo is close we love having a family pass there, worth the money for us, my kids love the mall too. We walk around get a soft pretzel and people watch for awhile. I would wish you luck but you don't really need it. I known you can do this!

Hailey

hailey stoner said...

On a selfish note I missed you last week! On another note exciting changes happening at your place. I wish you all the best. I know the feeling of having a very tight budget and the one thing I would suggest is have a list handy of free or pretty cheap activities for you and the kids. It always helped if I felt like I needed to leave the house to have "safe" places to go! The park, if the zoo is close we love having a family pass there, worth the money for us, my kids love the mall too. We walk around get a soft pretzel and people watch for awhile. I would wish you luck but you don't really need it. I known you can do this!

Hailey

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

I totally understand having your house on the market for 6 months and being on pins and needles to keep it up. We did that last year and our house never sold either. We eventually decided just to take it off the market and now that we are expecting we are glad that we know this will be our baby's home for at least the first 6 months of its life. Everything will come in time.

Colleen said...

Exciting! I went to law school before I got married so my situation is different but you guys will manage just fine. Is he going to be working while he goes?

Emily said...

how exciting for Noel! And you and the boys!! You're already 3 steps ahead but going into the process with a positive attitude.

Hallie Oceanside said...

That is so exciting for your husband and your family! My husband is headed back to school full time next Monday and we are prepping down and preparing for a long year, but we are SUPER excited for how our lives will be when everything is completed!

I wish you guys the BEST :):)

TheTinyHeart said...

Wow, that is definitely exciting news! I'm sure it's going to take a lot of adjusting but in the end it will be so worth it!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
Rad Market Giveaway!

Jennifer Durham said...

My best friend's husband went to law school a few years ago. They lived in Hickory and he went (during the week) to NC Central in Durham while bunking with her parents in Raleigh. She handled the 2 kids(at the time - one was a newborn and she worked full time in another town) in Hickory during the week. It can be done, and you can do it no problem! xoxo

Kayla Peveler said...

YOU, my dear, are SUPER MOM! No joke. Love you TONS and so proud of you.

Caroline said...

Missed you last week (although I disappeared off the web as well, ha the reprieve was nice)... wishing you guys the best through these changes in the time ahead. I haven't experienced a very similar situation, but I find that in most situations - communication is key! Sending prayers for support (and sanity!) your way!

Heidi said...

Congrats on your husband going back to school! It's rough, but really worth it. We've made it through one year of grad school and have one year to go. Definitely be flexible because he'll be really busy and will have things pulling him in many directions all at once.

Having a house on the market is not fun when it's not selling. That happened to us and now we just rent it out.

I am addicted to Groupon and Living Social deals and try to justify dinners out when I get a good deal on one. :) They also have tons of fun family activities.
Thinking of y'all! :)

jess.walker said...

There's definitely a time and season for everything. I am so glad I'll be back in NC to help you go through this time. You can always count on me to watch the boys or bake you treats when things get tough. I love you sister!

Jessica said...

First I have to say this: I love reading your blog and I missed it last week. But it is for the good. I know this can be stressful but I am sure you are surrounded by your family, friends, and, of course, your husband. Congrats to him!
I also decided to study law besides my carreer. It is not easy but I always find time for my friends and family.

Rebekah @ Living && Learning said...

We have always lived on a pretty tight budget in the name of getting out of debt, but we're due with our first child in October and I'm returning to school for my Masters in January. So, just know, you're not alone in the very tight budget world!

Jennie said...

Lots of stuff going on fir sure, glad you where able to step back for a week and enjoy the time with your family! Enjoy all the little moments you will have with them over the next few years and just keep focusing on the long term benefits =)

Alexa said...

I'm so excited for you and your family during this time of changes and new beginnings, but definitely thinking of you, as you smartly already know there are bound to be imperfect times ahead. Keep your chin up, pretty friend! You're a wonderful wife and mother, and I know your entire family will only grow through this experience!

Best of luck to Noel over the next three years!

RoselyC said...

Good luck on everything. It's been 7 months since I have seen my husband (he is currently working on a different country) so I know how hard it is to be apart. But for me spending time with my son and concentrating on him has been what has kept me sane. That and lots of texting and video chats with hubby :)

Kristen said...

I'm so glad the house selling craziness is over!! We were on a super tight budget for a year and a half after Wesley got laid off a few years ago. I got really into coupons for groceries, and pretty much planned our meals around what was on sale for that week! I know these next three years are going to fly by!

Katie said...

that is exciting!! good luck to noel on his first day. and good luck to you as you get used to the change!

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said...

I know you are going to do so well and just get even craftier, I can not wait to see!

xx
Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Megan said...

Wow, that's exciting! Congrats to your husband! Similarly, my husband just got a job with Verizon, so he'll be gone a lot more than I'm used to. That just means we have to make the most of the time we do have!

Carlie said...

Congratulations on the decision! That is a bummer you can't live closer. One thing I've liked to do is be involved as much as I can in the activities the school puts on for family/spouse/significant others. It helps me to get to know the people my husband sees every day and feel a part of the whole thing.

still being [molly] said...

oh man ashley that is a big change!! i am glad that you got a little "break" last week to refresh yourself. i'll definitely be praying for y'all during this time!!

Niki Caron said...

One of my close high school friends' husband went to law school soon after they got married and although it was tough, it actually brought them much closer as a family because they learned to appreciate the little things a lot more. :) Congrats to Noel and that is wonderful that he's taking such a big step in life! Everything will work out just as it's meant to (which is wonderful)!

Talisha Reupena said...

I sure did miss you and your wonderful posts. Glad that the decisions you two have made are putting you at ease and giving you peace. You really are amazing!

Chelsea Mac said...

I am working on the embracing change myself! Good luck to you and your beautiful family as you take this next step. Cheers doll!!!

Kirsten Wiemer said...

while neither of us are in law school, i do know about living on a tight budget.
this summer we were both interning, i wasn't getting paid and ryan was being paid $12 an hour.
living somewhere like utah that would be less crazy, however in the bay area the average rent for people like us is around $1500, not only that but we had to pay for my schooling and moving up here.
if you need any tips holla at me girl.

K

Misty B said...

You are so creative, you can totally use that to stretch a budget! And I totally agree about blog breaks. I just took one too and it felt so good. I feel like I have new, fresh perspective. :)

Catherine Bailey said...

I totally feel you on the whole house thing. Our house is on the market and I feel like a crazy person the majority of the time because you just never know when someone might want to see it and so I'm constantly putting things away, making the bed, etc. And CONGRATS to your husband! I went to law school and it definitely is very time consuming. Feel free to ask any questions you may have! I wasn't married during that time but I was dating my now husband. I bet he'd have more advice than me, of course, but I'll do my best!

Rebecca said...

Yay! I'm glad you found some bloggers that are in your same situation. I remember when my husband and I were both in school at the same time, and it was hard to not see each other very much. That is so exciting for your family! It's going to be tough, but so worth ti!

Lauren said...

As a spouse to a former law student now lawyer...I'd say the first year is the hardest for him because he's learning what it's all about and hardest for you because its all so new to him therefore he will need to study longer hours. Second year was much better Bc he had some confidence that be could do it (without studying 24/7 and neglecting the family) and third year was the best Bc he will finally get to choose all his classes therefore doing what he's interested in and you'll have him around a lot more (mentally and physically). So if you both make it through the first year you're golden. Then there's studying for the Bar which is its own monster but you have a long time before that! All in all it flew by fast and I'm glad we did it! Where's he going to school? Tell Noel to talk to Joel if he had any questions about anything!

rooth said...

Congrats with Noel on law school! I'm sure it's going to seem like a very long time now but it'll just fly by

Sarah said...

Congrats to Noel! We've lived through the law school thing (long distance at that, even though we weren't married yet). Honestly it can reallllly stink some times, but you can and will get through it! I think it's important to stay positive for them and work in little fun dinners or quick dates for everyone's sanity. And lots of highlighters ;)

The Golden Girls said...

Definitely a lot of changes. Sometimes we all need a little break from our blogs! Hugs from Cali! xx The Golden Girls

smk053078 said...

You guys can do it!!!! This season and chapter of your life will only make you guys stronger!! Tight budgets make us appreciate things more and time apart makes our hearts grow fonder! Praying for you and your sweet family!!

Nicole | Pharr Away said...

You have so, so much going on, Ashley, bless your heart! It sucks that the house didn't sell but I'm glad that you no longer have to deal with the stress of it. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason! And congrats to Noel on law school! Although this will be a challenge, I'm certain you guys will come out even stronger!

Lastly, having lived on a very tight budget since I've become a SAHM and I can agree with Shannon in that it definitely makes you more appreciative. Obviously everyone's situation is different; however, seriously plan out your budget knowing where every single cent will go. Cook/eat at home as much as you possibly can (including packing lunches and such for Noel when he's on campus) and depending on your situation if there is any money available now that you can throw towards paying something off or getting ahead then do it (for example, right before I left work we used a big portion of our savings to pay off our cars so that we wouldn't have any car payments and paid our mortgage a few months in advance (just for rainy day purposes so we'd always be ahead just in case). Doing things such as this truly helped us out tremendously!

Continue to pray about everything and you'll be just fine :)!!!

YUMMommy said...

Sorry to hear about the house not selling. Kudos to Noel for heading to law school. My baby brother is studying law and it does take a lot of dedication and sacrifice. I'm praying that all goes well.

We're on a tight budget and we've started couponing, cut back on eating out and eliminated unnecessary spending. The free section on Craigslist has become my friend. You'd be amazed at the things you can find on there. I know you guys are going to survive this phrase, so hang in there!

B said...

How exciting for him! I went to law school and for part of it dated someone in law school. I think the most important thing to remember is that it isn't permanent. Noel will be under a lot of pressure and I am sure you will do a great job supporting him. If you ever need someone to vent to about how awful law school is, I am here! Also, if Noel has any questions, I'd be happy to try to help :)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Hi friend! Finally catching up on everything I've missed over the past couple of weeks while we had all our Italy craziness going on. Hooray for new life changes. Sounds like this is going to be an interesting new chapter in you guys' life!

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