Friday, January 17, 2014

Our 2013 Journey

2013. Quite a year for our little family of 2...

Close to the start of the year, we went to Florida for a wedding. I got to see some of Jed's family, I had never met before. We were able to spend time with Dave and Teresa (for the first time) outside of normal, day-to-day, activities in Virginia Beach.  I loved that. It was so interesting to see family with family too-- they are a bit crazy/quirky ;) I really like them. Also, I met Ariel at Disney World and ate a ridiculous amount of theme park food. A memorable trip, I'd say.

We moved out of the Rieke cottage and into our first apartment in Norfolk at the end of February. I learned a ton about myself and about my new job after getting thrown into the deep end of apartment management and becoming a rarely-leave-home resident manager. Jed began his second year with The Center and made it through another great symposium. It's always exhausting and time consuming, but incredibly rewarding for all his hard work to finally come together.

We made it nearly 6 months at Pleasant Village, which is certainly a miracle in my book. The amount of stress in that position was quite difficult. We absolutely loved our neighborhood and our wonderful summer strolls on the bay, though. We couldn't really make ends meet with the pay and time constraints of the job so... in August we made another change... mostly for sanity's sake and for the sake of our bank account.

Through a strange, and wonderful, turn of events (while we were looking for new housing options in Virginia Beach in August) I heard of another property manager/assistant manager position with my (now) new company. I started at Shoreline on September 1st and, frankly, I couldn't have been placed with a better manager or in a better position. I don't make millions, but I certainly am happy with this job.  I imagine it will turn out to be more of a career.  I would have never guessed that property administration and management would be such a great fit overall.

In the same month as our second move of the year, Jed gained a new boss at The Center. Jed handled the transition incredibly well. Not only did The Center's management change, but many of their goals and visions. It was not an easy adjustment for Jed, who truly loved the Center's previous mission but he has made it through and has done his job very well. He's intelligent and capable and amazing at maintaining a good outlook overall, even when things don't go as planned.

I believe that Jed has learned a lot about himself this past year too.  He helped me through a lot of change and made a lot of hard decisions regarding the family "brand" he wants to create, his career goals, and our living situation. There have been significant disappointments for us this past year, but I truly think we made it through very, very, well. I like being on a team with my Jed.

We may not have graduated or married, bought a house or had little ones in 2013, but our lack of (seemingly) huge or life-altering events or announcements actually shaped us more than some of the bigger things we've accomplished.

Things haven't often been made very clear for us over the past few years of marriage but I'm looking forward to deciphering God's plans in the coming year. One day at a time. We can make it. I'd say 2013 was a great success and much, much, more than an unsettled journey. It's been a really rewarding one.
Happy 2014, Friends and Family. <3

I pray that this new year brings a great deal of heart change and happiness... that your blessings will be incredibly evident, and hardships won't defeat you (especially your spirit) but be taken as an opportunity to learn and grow closer to God --and closer to those you love.

We love you.

<3 Lauren