January started out great. We moved back to Idaho in September of 2013 and lived with my parents until december. So we were finally settled into our own place again. I LOVED our rental. It was a great house and it sat on an acre and the boys had so much room to run around and play. The yard was gorgeous and we spent almost all summer out there. I found a great deal on a swing set that they loved! Damon got a lot of outdoor water toys for his birthday so we played a lot in the little pool and slip and slide. On the side of the house was a big dirt/rock spot that the owner used to use to park his RV. So it was perfect for the boys to go out and dig and play with their trucks. Winter has been a struggle since they are trapped indoors most days!
Anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself! In April, Dan's little brother and sister came to live with us for a month and half to aerate lawns. Dans other sister Brynne and her husband came for a visit, and his parents came a few weeks later for a visit as well. It was so great to have them all come and see us and fill our house with fun and laughter at a time that wasn't great for us! We loved having everyone, staying up late and playing games and watching movies, playing with the boys outside, having bbq's and enjoying the summer.
So Dan has been doing work from home for about a year and a half now. It was kind of a hard transition for me to go from him having a 8-5 to having him home all the time. I really love having him there, but it just kinda threw off my regular routine and it was a hard transition for a while, but now it's great. Dan's first job out of college was with a company who sold online digital goods. He managed accounts for them and gained a lot of great relationships with the people he worked with. When he was let go in January of 2013, he was able to use those contacts to find his job in Austin with Mike Chang. That was a tough environment and so he found something else in the online fitness niche where he could work from home. It's been stressful bouncing from job to job and hitting dead ends with each one, but now that we are settling into his new business, we can look back and see why those things didn't work out. We can see the good that came from each and every job and how it's brought us where we are now. It's been hard, but he wouldn't be able to do what he's doing now without those relationships and contacts and skills he's been learning along the way. The trouble we were having was no one wanted to commit for long periods of time. He was just doing contract work for these people and some would last 6 months, some only 1-3 months. So he was constantly hustling trying to find new people to work for. There were many months with no paychecks, but somehow money always came up and we were ok. But it was so STRESSFUL not knowing what was going to happen the next month. He could wake up to an email or voicemail that would change everything. Sometimes they were good, often bad. People never stuck to their word, and would promise money and not pay leaving us high and dry for months.
During all of this, Dan was trying to get his own business up and running with his business partner. They have been working on their own fitness product since they've both been working in fitness for a while. Dan has always wanted to work for himself. He's always talking about different business ideas and how to make them work. Sometimes it's a little exhausting to me, but I know it's what he really wants! After clickbank, he ran several businesses social media accounts, and he loved being able to work for himself, and it was the perfect job while we were transitioning to something new. So when he started working from home full time, I knew he wanted to give it another shot. He has an amazing business partner and together they are an awesome team. It was a good time for him to give it a shot. and I wanted him to give it everything we had. I didn't want him to try, and look back and wish he would have tried more. So we were somewhat prepared for what could happen financially, but we also thought he would have other work while they were building their brand. When money was tight, there was investor money we could use. Well, eventually investor money ran out and some of what was promised never showed up. So now Dan and his business partner are just focusing on their job now and will pick it back up when the time is right!
It has been such a roller coaster ride! The beginning of the year was going great, and within ONE month everything went bad. And didn't pick back up for months. Then it was decent, then nose dived. Thankfully, through it all, we have grown together and not apart. There were times that we resented each other and have been so panicked about finances and how we were going to make it work. I think there was a good 3-6 months where we were just going through the motions and just seemed to be surviving.
The last 3 months have definitely been the hardest. We've had to rely on friends and family to get us by, which has been incredibly humbling. We have been on welfare, which I only share for this reason...... You know when you're on fb and you see those memes like this....
I used to think a little like this. I used to judge people when they would pull out their food stamp card and buy all kinds of things I couldn't afford. Until I was that lady. I drive a nice car, i have an iphone, I try to dress nice and have my kids dress nice even when i'm just going to walmart. Well let me tell you something, I will never judge people as harshly as I once did. I didn't think I was that bad, but when those shoes were on my feet I didn't like the judgmental stares or when people would say rude things about people on welfare. Everyones situation is different. My husband was trying as hard as he could to find a job, I was looking, we were selling things, we were having to borrow money from people to pay our bills, we had been living in hell for months and it was only getting hotter. Not everyone lives off the government. Not everyone soaks the system. Sometimes you just need HELP. we tried to avoid it as long as we could. We didn't want to have to resort to that, and kept hoping something would come and we would be fine. Well, it didn't. But I will forever be thankful that we had that help. It took more stress off our shoulders than we thought it would. Being able to feed our kids, and have healthcare was such a huge relief!
While all this was going on, I was having issues with my gallbladder and needed it out. I waited all year because we didn't have insurance, but it was just getting worse and worse. Thankfully I was able to have it out, which was a silver lining of being poor we were able to get on medicaid, and then I had complications after and had to stay in the hospital for 3 days. I had a bile leak that my Dr. didn't catch while I was in Surgery. He thinks he cauterized over during surgery. It leaked for 5 days before i went back into the hospital to get it check out. One of those fluke things that's never happened to my Dr. before, and I was lucky enough for it to happen to me! haha it was miserable, but I'm glad I was able to have my surgery and am feeling great now!
I got out of the hospital the day before thanksgiving. My bile leak was healing itself, so I just had to be careful with any physical activity and my diet. Once december hit, life was going to get pretty busy. We had to move out of our rental, we were traveling to Utah for Dan's sisters wedding, and Christmas. Christmas was the biggest weight of them all. What do we get our kids? Our credit cards were almost completely maxed and nothing seemed to be coming through on the job end. Then one day, out of the blue, Dan got a phone call from one of his old clients at Clickbank. Her name's Jennifer Nicole Lee. Jennifer is a big name in the fitness industry and is needing some help with her brand. She remembered Dan and they've kept in touch since he's been gone from clickbank. She has seriously been our angel. She thinks the world of Dan and was desperate to have him on her team. One phone call. That was it. After months and months of being rejected from jobs, not getting interviews, or call backs, this one phone call trumped it all. This is Dan's dream job. The pay is better than anything he was interviewing for, he is using his skillset, he gets to work from home, and gets to travel and gain a lot of new relationships along the way. It still doesn't seem real to me. I've become so bitter towards the world, and I am very cynical. So when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. That has been the way this whole last year has been. But I think we have finally found something that is perfect for Dan and with a team who appreciates him and what he brings to the table. It couldn't have ended the year any better. He is so happy and I am so happy that things have worked out and now we can look back at this crazy year, all our struggles, and see how the Lord has had his hand in our life. Times that I felt so alone and like he wasn't there or aware of us or our situation. Times that I felt like I couldn't take anymore, then we would get hit with something else, something worse. The lessons I have learned, the patience we've had to have....it was all worth it. It's been a long road, but I believe we are on to bigger and better things.
This post has been hard to write, and encompasses some of the things we've been through and emotions we've had. It's a raw post and reveals a lot about our life we haven't wanted anyone to know. But I know when I look back on this year, I will be grateful for the growth, and the lessons that I've learned. I want to be real with people, and not just blog about the good things and make it seem that we live some perfect life like some people do. I now look at the world a little differently and these last 2-3 years have been tough, but this last year is definitely one I will never forget.
2015 is starting off great! and I am hoping it goes smoothly and treats us well so we can recoup from last year! I'm starting into my Bachelors degree next week and am so nervous about doing school with 2 little guys, but am exciting to doing something for me. I want this year to be filled with new adventures, good memories, good friends and family. I just want a simple life. I don't want anything extraordinary or filled with monetary things. I just want to be surrounded by the good things in life that really matter, and the stresses of last year to melt away!