Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BIG BIG News for our family!

Back in January I posted about the hard time we were having in Italy, medically. The kids have had asthma flare-ups and problems every single month (at least one child/month has been to the clinic for wheezing/coughing).  So since January, Ron has off and on applied for jobs that would get us back to the mid-west or Texas. Texas isn't very close to family but all of the kids did great medically in San Antonio so it was still on our list. We knew it this economy it might not happen, worst comes to worst and we would have to return to San Antonio in December 2014 and he would go back to work at his old office. Not ideal but not horrible either.

In March, he applied for a position at the Space Center in Houston. This position is a pay grade higher than the one in San Antonio and his current position here. It's also not the same job, but rather in a related field. So when April arrived and along with it was a call for a phone interview, we were excited but didn't get our hopes up. In May when we hadn't heard anything back we assumed he wasn't selected. So imagine our surprise when he got the phone call in June saying that he was their selected candidate and if he wanted the position, it was his!
Even though we went back and forth the entire month of May as to whether this was really something we wanted to do: cut our time here short and move to a city we have never even visited, we realized that in the long term this was best for our family.

See, Ron and I had made a decision years ago...I want to be a stay at home mom (and he loves that) but supporting a family of six on one income isn't always easy. I agreed to move as often as needed if it meant accepting a job he was interested in and that paid more...while our kids were young. Once they were old enough to really make friends I wanted to settle down. So we've moved (a lot in the last 7 years) but he's had great opportunities (overseas assignments are rare as a civilian in his field) and now we're ready to put down roots. This job at the Space Center is one he can see himself in for awhile, he loves that he'll be working for NASA and the pay is good.

Even though it cuts our time in Europe short we think it's for the greater good. If we pass on this opportunity and stay in Italy until December 2014 that means returning to San Antonio, to a job that Ron chose to leave to come here. It's less money than what the job in Houston pays as well and as much as people say 'It's not about the money' when you have one income supporting an entire family, it is sometimes about the money. I don't have a college degree (I withdrew from college classes at the beginning of my junior year when I found out I was pregnant with Ryan. A decision that I do not regret. I love being able to stay home and raise my kids! I was majoring in 'early childhood education' and I kinda do that everyday now so it's worth it to me) so it's not like he could take the lesser paying job and I could go to work; I could get a job but it would be minimum wage and not worth the daycare expense.

So yes, we're giving up on some amazing travel opportunities. Yes, Italy has been amazing for educating the kids about how other people live, the history of other countries and the differences. It's awesome that my 2 year old can tell the difference between the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower and knows she has been to both. But let's be honest my kids are 7 years old down to 2 years old...even if we stay another 18 months, they aren't going to remember much about our time here.

And while I didn't get to do everything I had hoped to, I am leaving without regrets. I have matured so much over the last few years. Twenty-one year old Shannon would have never in a million years even considered MOVING overseas. And I did that. And I realize that while I didn't do everything on my list, I did a lot in 18 months while toting along 4 kiddos. This was a list I made back in November 2011:


  1. I want to see all the touristy Italian icons: leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, Venice, the vineyards, Tuscany, Cinque de Terre, I want to see the works of Van Gogh and Di Vinci.
  2. Travel to Spain, Germany, France, London, Ireland, Croatia and Greece.
  3. Learn how to make authentic Italian foods. Top of the list is lasagna, homemade sauce and real Alfredo...you know, not from a Classico jar.
  4. Become mostly fluent in Italian {after 5 years of Spanish in High School, I'm hoping I'll ''get'' it}
  5. Learn about, sample and drink the wine!
  6. Take the boys to a real soccer futbol game
  7. Become friends with as many locals/neighbors as possible; help give Americans a good name :)
  8. Ride on a Vespa! Preferably on a cobblestone road
  9. Become more open-minded about my food, try new things and encourage the kids to as well.
  10. Remember that we will get homesick. I will wonder if we did the right thing. And remember that this opportunity won't last forever, make the most of it and leave with little regrets. 
and what was done...

  1. I want to see all the touristy Italian icons: leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, Venice, the vineyards, Tuscany, Cinque de Terre, I want to see the works of Van Gogh and Di Vinci.
  2. Travel to Spain, Germany, France, London, Ireland, Croatia and Greece. Also went to Austria and Slovenia.
  3. Learn how to make authentic Italian foods. Top of the list is lasagna, homemade sauce and real Alfredo...you know, not from a Classico jar. *Alfredo doesn't even exist in Italy, ha! And while I haven't learned how to make, I buy the sauces and already made lasagna from the italian grocery...and it is delicious*
  4. Become mostly fluent in Italian {after 5 years of Spanish in High School, I'm hoping I'll ''get'' it} *anyone stationed here will ''get'' this one...high expectations! but I definitely know more now than I did 18 months ago*
  5. Learn about, sample and drink the wine!
  6. Take the boys to a real soccer futbol game
  7. Become friends with as many locals/neighbors as possible; help give Americans a good name :) *We don't really have Italian neighbors but I have made friends with Italians, including the owner of the farm that our milk machine is located*
  8. Ride on a Vespa! Preferably on a cobblestone road
  9. Become more open-minded about my food, try new things and encourage the kids to as well.
  10. Remember that we will get homesick. I will wonder if we did the right thing. And remember that this opportunity won't last forever, make the most of it and leave with little regrets. 

In the long run, this is best. I know that. We will be moving in August...yeah, you read that right. We have less than 45 days left but we do plan to make the most of it. We are planning on going to Slovenia and Croatia over the next 4 day weekend. If it doesn't happen, I won't be upset but if it does that would be wonderful!

Whats really wonderful though, in the grand scheme of things: We'll be able to buy a house and settle down, finally! We'll establish roots and give our children a ''hometown''. And we won't be living in Houston, we'll be in a suburb to the south that has an exemplary rated school district. Europe is amazing but this feels like it's going to be pretty amazing too!

2 comments:

  1. congrats!!! you have to do what is right for your familiy in the long run!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very exciting! Good luck with everything!

    ReplyDelete

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