Christmas was great. My mom bought me a Wii & DH got me a Wii fit (meanwhile I got him the PS3 Move) - so we've been fitting in more exercise that way.
I'd really like to get back in the habit of working out. Studying for the CPA exam sort of squashed my workout habits and I should really get back in shape.
I realize that in preparing to work outside the house, DH and I are going to have to do a lot of pre-planning and making sure we stay to a schedule from now on. If I wake up at 5am, workout, shower, do my hair, makeup, get dressed, and eat - that is already an hour and a half. I was actually surprised it wasn't longer because I have really long hair that I blow dry and sometimes flat iron if I decide I want to style my stick straight hair into a more wavy look (My stylist recently showed me that trick... it was completely counter-intuitive for me to use a flat iron to CURL my hair).
Fit in time to get four kids ready for school, eat breakfast, clean their rooms, and clean up the kitchen afterwards and be out the door at 7 - I wonder how chaotic it might be if we don't establish a schedule.
Even coming home. Making sure homework is done, dinner is made, kitchen is cleaned, lunches for the next day are made, 4 kids are showered and ready to be in bed around 8-9 pm considering we get home at 6... that's a lot to accomplish in 2-3 hours.
Going out to eat isn't an option so it's looking like the best way to save money and time is to pre-plan. Maybe on Sundays when DH is doing laundry, I can be busy pre-planning/making the dinners for the week and the kids can pre-make their lunches and stick their sandwiches in the freezer till they need them.
DH and I used to make a lot of the Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner recipes... it was actually a nice bonding time for us to make dinner together - so we may get back in the habit of doing that.
Christmas was great. My mom bought me a Wii & DH got me a Wii fit (meanwhile I got him the PS3 Move) - so we've been fitting in more exercise that way.
I'm feeling really optimistic about this job change. Some people want to telecommute - I realize I want a clear separation between work and home. For six years that line has been blurred & I'm far too easily distracted if I'm trying to potty train while also attempting to hold a conference call or training session.
Since I'll only be home in the evenings and weekends now, we cut back on our internet to a slower speed, reduced our phone bill, reduced our plan with our DVD rental service, cancelled other subscriptions... so we should be saving around $64/month.
I'm hoping that this means when I am home... I will be able to enjoy that time with family and focus on them more.
The kids... I think this will be beneficial for them too. They have a before/after school program that they can go to & field trips on days that I have to work but they don't have school. The youngest, our 2 year old, is excited to go to daycare. She loves being around other kids and I know she gets bored during the day when it's just her and me.
The new job - I'm excited about. I actually get my own office, not some cubicle. An office with a door and a window that faces the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
But anyhow, I do hope this is a positive change... for my professional and personal life. Professionally it gets me closer to my CPA license... personally, I hope it helps the family in the above mentioned ways.
Aside from that, DH goes back to work Monday. He had been sick the past week so we didn't get to do much. This year we are actually getting each other Christmas gifts, and I liked that. For a long time we've told each other "Oh, we can't afford it" or put each other off... but this year is a little different. We aren't being extravagant but I told him I want us to get each other stuff & be thoughtful of one another.
So after further research, I've pretty much concluded that getting my CPA license in Nevada is just not going to happen. I'd have to log 4,200 hours at a public accounting firm with 1000 attestation hours (700 of which need to come from auditing).
Why will that not happen? Location being among the first, CPA firms in the area where I live are not hiring, and what part time work I can pick up in the next 2 1/2 years we are here will not equal 4,200 hours.
And I'm not entirely sure where we'll be stationed next. But we're rooting for Hawaii or California.
I'm already a CPA exam candidate in Virginia and in that state you only need one year of general accounting experience with the experience verified by a CPA. Theoretically, I don't even need to be supervised by a CPA - but simply have the experience form verified by a CPA holder.
My goal has always been to get my CPA license by the time I'm 30. Which will be next year.
If I work for one year at the new company, I'll be supervised by a CPA, and will be 30 1/2. If I can get my new employer to sign my experience form, I'll at least be able to meet my deadline before I turn 31.
After that, I'm wondering if I can then apply for a reciprocity license in California or whatever other state.
I'm not entirely sure - but getting my CPA license is important and I always said my deadline was when I was 30. So that's probably why I don't really care which state I'm licensed in... just that I'm licensed and can be licensed in the next state we move to.
So that's my thoughts for how I can possibly achieve my goal. CPA license by the time I'm 30... I don't know if it will happen but I think I'll probably be among very few military wives & teen moms to achieve that. There is a stat that says less than 2% of teen moms graduate by the time they are 30... so having my CPA license would be huge to me.
I just don't know if, given all the state laws/regulations/rules, and the constraints I live with as a military wife & mom of four - that my goal is still possible. But I'm trying.
I went to the interview at the other firm but it just wasn't what I would be interested in. They are promoting their admin person internally to be a Staff Accountant so they changed their needs from wanting an Accountant to wanting someone to start in Admin & work their way up.
But it was a nice interview, no false pretenses and at the very least I made a good impression with the CPA so in the event I run into him in the future, I'll have left a positive impression.
When I got home, I immediately called the other company letting them know I was accepting their job offer.
It was a busy day. Talked to my supervisor, the CFO, and registered the kids for childcare. The plan is I'll drop the kids off and DH will pick them up. This way if I need to stay late for work, I can.
I hope this all works out and it's a positive move. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any anxiety about whether this will work out or not. But I have to stay positive. Most importantly, I have DH's support in this.
Looks like I start January 10th and in the meantime there is the background check.
Honestly, the only thing I'm concerned about is - my credit card. I still owe $7K on it, and we have the other two houses with one HELOC. We have great credit... but our debt is high so I'm sure it may make them ask why I have 2 homes, a HELOC, and a $7K CC bill.
Either way, I'm hoping everything goes well with the background check. What would usually prevent someone from getting the job in the background check process?
Well the insurance group administrator offered me the accounting position for the salary I requested - $50K. Which is a huge jump from my $33K currently but when you factor in the added childcare and expenses to work outside the house - I'm about $200 in the negative in comparison. We can still make ends meet, but it's a $200/month loss compared to my current job. So I may ask my current job if I can go part-time or work on a consulting basis for the next few months to help ease the transition for them & for me.
However, childcare expenses will continue to go down as DD #3 becomes potty trained and then eventually starts school. In the meantime, this gets me into accounting and establishes a new salary baseline for me that allows me to grow.
I'm thinking very likely that I'll accept the position. I have an interview with a firm an our away tomorrow but the commute is my biggest drawback from the position. The job offer, meanwhile, is only 30 minutes away.
But anyhow, so DH and I are trying to work out the details for work and everything. I told the HR person that I would get back to her tomorrow with an answer.
I wonder if maybe I should have negotiated a higher salary since there are no options for bonuses, just annual reviews - but on the flip side, maybe once I have more experience under my belt THEN I'll be able to negotiate a salary. $50K to start as an accountant with no official accounting experience doesn't seem too bad. Plus, the benefits are better than my current company.
So it may be $200 less/month but I think this will be a good long-term move.
Finished a 2nd interview with a private insurance company. I'd be the accountant managing 10-13 self-insured groups. I'm one of 4 applicants for 2 positions there. I told the Director of Operations there the only thing holding me back from the position is that it isn't public accounting, but if I can network with other CPAs to get the auditing hours I need - and I can still get my license. We can hopefully work something out. It's in both of our best interests if I have my CPA license anyway.
They were encouraging to helping out since their CPA firm sends people their way a lot and they have a lot of CPAs internally that they can send me out there if need be.
Interview tomorrow in another town as well. But the commute is an hour so I would like to avoid it if possible. But we'll see.
Keeping fingers crossed. I really like the insurance administrator company.... I know I'll be challenged there.
In the meantime, the local CPA guy who owns a small firm here - he gave one of his auditors my name & I'm going to be helping her out do an audit for an HOA (sending out confirmations, analytical procedures, and reviewing internal controls). Nice part with that firm is that I can do a lot of it remotely, plus it is a good networking opportunity.
Still no job in public accounting.... still with my current company, just had my review and for the 4th year... still no raise despite another stellar review. The excuse this time was that although I've taken on a LOT in the past year and improved a lot of processes, I need to get into marketing and account management to get a raise. The company just doesn't value accountants - which is no surprise, I knew that all along.
Out of desperation I emailed the nearest public accounting firm and told him that I'd be willing to volunteer my expertise on a part-time basis to gain experience since everybody seems to want experience.
He wrote back instantly.
DH wasn't thrilled, still isn't. And of course, I would rather have a paid position - but even a $50K salary is a paycut compared to a $33K salary that doesn't have to pay childcare for 4 kids... at least volunteering gives me more control over my hours.
I've been applying to other accountant jobs. Have an interview with an insurance administrator company that is looking for an accountant. I'd be interviewing with the HR Director, CFO, and Director of Ops. It isn't public accounting, but it gets me closer to my goal.
I'm meeting with the nearest CPA firm on Thursday.
and I had also applied to another CPA firm in the next town that I'm following up on.
I'm also taking CPE courses that I can find for free. So far I've taken 20 CPE credits on Quickbooks, Lacerte, and ProSeries. I have 15 more to go and then I need to find 5 more to meet my goal.
Nice thing with my current job is that it is easy... so finding the time to fit in CPEs is not challenging.
The other thing I wonder about it salary... is $50K as a salary requirement low? high? average? for someone with no experience but has a master's in accounting and passed the CPA exam? I see all sorts of salary numbers ranging from $40K to $60K
But anyhow. Things are doing well.... just trying to find a solution to the job front. There is no growth in my current position and will never be... I know where I want to be. Work with a public firm and then in 10 years either be a partner, start my own firm, or get into consulting. The cornerstone of my career would be centered around technology and how accountants & business owners respond to its changing environment.
So we'll see. The strategy for 2011 is to get a paid position, but if I can't... I'll do whatever I can to stay current and gain experience in the meantime.
On a more personal note, I'm excited that my husband takes vacation starting Thursday... we celebrate our 11th anniversary this month.
I've submitted the application to put my son in an online virtual academy (charter school). It's extremely daunting for me... doing so means "Yes, this means you cannot find a job in public accounting for at least one year."
But on the other hand, I feel strongly compelled to do this for my kids.
With my son, the 1st grader, there are no other opportunities for him till he gets to 2nd grade. He's already testing at mid-year but because other kids don't have the foundation he has, he has to be held back till they catch up.
I'm sorry - I did not spend $8000 over two years to send him to preschool to make sure he could read so he could wait for the neighbor's kid down the street to recognize the words "a" and "at".
The state has a virtual academy that uses a K12 curriculum that I'm familiar with. When we lived in Virginia, there was a Navy SEAL's wife who lived down the street and used that program for her girls. The oldest was homeschooled for a little bit and was able to skip a grade & then be placed in the city's "gifted" middle school after that. All of her kids are very smart so I know the curriculum is good.
It's always just been making that leap to homeschool/virtual academy that has held me back. But I showed the kids' the state rankings in education... How Virginia was a +8.31 and Nevada is a -11. I've been teaching them integers and showed them that the difference is almost 20 pts.
My sister also recently graduated from the school system so I asked her what her thoughts were. And she told me if our mom could have afforded private school, she would have wanted that because she wanted to be challenged but instead got passed along... and because of that she feels like she got cheated out of an education.
She got straight A's in high school and yet SOMEHOW still had to take remedial English when she got to college.
Me, I went to so many different schools between Hawaii, Nevada, and Michigan that I remained flexible wherever I went. But I DO remember writing an article during my senior year in journalism about how I was appalled that Hawaii was teaching material in their senior year that I learned during my sophomore year in Michigan.
And I know it hasn't gotten better in the 10 years since I graduated.
But anyhow, back to DS, if he's just sitting in class bored - it's not really something that makes me feel good either. From what I understand with the K12 program for grades K-8, it should take about 4-5 hours a day. Considering that I get up at 5:30 in the morning and work with the kids when they get home from 3:30 to 5:30 everyday, I'm sure I can fit in 4-5 hours during the day and still work from home. Then in a year, I'll re-evaluate.
I'm 100% certain I want to do this for my son... would also want to do this for my second daughter but with my working from home, I don't want to take on more than I can handle. I've never homeschooled before, could I really teach 2 kids at once?
My oldest daughter is one that I think I'll just continue to supplement her education & when she gets to high school look into private school. She is very headstrong and I cannot teach her, it would just cause bitterness between her and I. But my middle daughter & son, I could likely succeed in doing so.
The program is 100% free, the school even provides a computer, printer/scanner, and there is teacher support. So hopefully this can work.
Again though, it is daunting to come to the realization that by doing this - I am fully committing myself to not pursuing my dream of being a CPA for one year.
Oh well, I'm sure when the time is right - something will come up. But if I let my kids' education fail, that'll weigh much heavier on me than anything else. In the meantime I'll just try to find volunteer opportunities & what not... one day I will find my niche.
Till then, I need to make sure my kids stay up to the standards we first established for them. DD #2 wants to be a vet & go to Cornell, DD#1 wants to be a Marine Biologist, and DS wants to be in the Criminal Justice field like his uncle & grandfather.... but it's DD #2 that has me the most motivated to make sure she has a stable foundation to fulfill her dream cause I know Cornell won't be cheap or easy, but it's the #1 vet school in the country.
And yes, should she change her dream that is completely okay too....
I did the finances for September last night and sat there wondering "How are we doing financially better here than when we lived in the home we owned?" Especially when the rentals are operating at a loss.
I'll never be able to figure it out. But once we pay off DH's car and my credit card, things will really be relaxed compared to what we are used to. Right now it looks like we'll have $1500 left over after September bills. I'm also saving $60/week for emergencies that I didn't include in that amount. To put that into perspective, we are used to a couple hundred left over.
ALTHOUGH, once you figure in DH's ticket, that he might need his tire fixed, and our current fight with the HOA on our old house about CLEANING the roof (not that we are against it, but I don't want to risk damage to the roof for mild rain staining)... we may be back to what we are used to.
So depending if we need to clean the roof or not, how much DH's ticket, and if he needs a new tire or it just needs to be patched... we'll see.
However, with paying off my card (I pay $283/month - not the minimum, just the amount I like to pay) and DH's car ($475/mo) - things should be more and more relaxed.
This weekend we also went out on a date... sort of. We went to a wedding. But it was nice, DH and I had a blast and got to really hit it off with another couple because we had similar interests and likes.
So all in all, besides the whole economy situation (and occasional family issues), I'm starting to really like it here.
NOW, if only I could find a job in public accounting but all the firms around here aren't hiring. I'm not sure how much time I have before my CPA exam expires but if I can't find anything soon, I'm going to talk to my CFO if he is fine with me going down to part-time or I can adjust my work schedule so I can volunteer my time SOMEWHERE so I can get the experience I need.
I don't think he'd be opposed to it. He'd probably prefer it instead of my leaving. Our work doesn't have a provision for part-time work, but with the value I've brought to the company & having earned a reputation for one of the company's "A" players - I'm sure we could figure something out, even if it was considered like "Consulting" for the next couple years.
With the CPA exam.
I'm so relieved... now I just need to find a job.
I think all in all my interview went well with the 3 managers but I think if I messed up anywhere it was with the partner. Hopefully not too terribly.
The partner did spend 20 minutes talking with me and the 3 managers talked to me for about 40 minutes. Talking with the managers went great. There was some laughter so the mood was relaxed & I think the one manager liked that I was able to clearly define the deficiencies I saw on the volunteer audit that I did. But they are interviewing 2 other people who are just coming from a firm when we talked about retention in other firms being high (He said "We just interviewed two other people coming from a firm that turns over its entire staff every 2 years) although he did say they were short staffed and looking to add someone in 2-3 months.
I don't know... I'll drive myself nuts if I over-analyze the situation. Main thing is... I'M DONE WITH THE CPA EXAM!
I've got one thing out of the way, now just need to find a job. I think I'm going to go ahead and call some of the firms I sent resumes out to today.
I have my interview scheduled and I have to admit, I'm incredibly nervous. I've thought out the main ideas that I want to convey and can rehearse them just fine in my head, but I want to know how I respond to someone else asking the question.
So, my best friend has generously agreed to do a mock interview with me today. I also printed out copies of my resume, researched the names of the partners, their background, and what they currently do... I think the only thing I'm missing is printing out a copy of my transcripts but that's not something I imagine will be of interest until they know they want to hire me or not.
What I really want to convey is that I'm an ambitious individual who is resourceful and results-oriented, with the biggest selling point that I'd be a low investment for the firm with my MSA and passing 3 of the 4 parts of the CPA exam.
Weaknesses? I would focus on my lack of real-life experience in public accounting but I work to address that by taking volunteer positions and maintaining professional affiliations.
I just hope I don't crumble during any of the actual questions. I'm not sure of the format of the interview, just that the interviewer said "It can be difficult getting everyone together." So does that mean I should expect to also meet with the partners of the firm? Either way I made a point to memorize the partners' names, what they do, and their background/specialties.
Think I'm prepared?
In the meantime, I'm also waiting to find out the results of the BEC portion of the CPA exam. If I pass that means I'll be DONE with the CPA exam and just need to get the experience & ethics exam taken care of.
Dh and I also went to our second counseling session last night too. However, since we have to bring the kids (no sitter) we take turns talking to him. The therapist was funny when he said "Couples who are happily married turn towards each other more often than unhappily married couples & I could tell from the small exchange between you two that you both really like each other."
Left me thinking... Jeez, if WE think our arguments are unbearable/unlivable what do the majority of married people put up with? Even during our worst times DH and I have always been close.
My top firm pick called last night to schedule an interview but I was busy making dinner at the time. So I'm going to call them back today.
I'm nervous as ever. My interviewing skills aren't as fine-tuned as I'd like. Although I've always received a job offer from any company I've interviewed with since I graduated college... I've been with my current job for 6 years, so I haven't really had a need to regularly interview. When I did interview for an internal position with the company (which is my position now), I was given the book "TopGrading" so I could become familiar with the interview process of my company.
I stayed up till midnight last night re-reading interview books that I had purchased awhile ago. Some feel outdated because they were created in the wake of the Worldcom & Enron scandal so occasionally I read statements like "The overall outlook for the economy is strong..."
Ahem, yeah - if we only knew then what we knew now.
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the interviewer will like me. This is my top pick, and I'd hate to mess up on an interview with the firm I really like.
Yet I really do think they'll give me the best exposure to accounting that I need in my career to become a leader in the CPA profession. Reviewing the backgrounds of the partners, looking at the different types of industries they serve... and knowing they have a solid infrastructure to support their staff through effective leadership, mentorship, and guidance - I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't want to work there aside from the hours.
But I'm going into this knowing that the hours are going to be something I NEED to put in if I'm ever going to get where I want to be in my career. Not to mention, accounting/auditing is my passion - it doesn't feel like work if I'm doing what I love. Hence, the staying up to midnight researching the firm and other things to help me put my best foot forward when I meet with them.
I also plan to print out a list of my references, but my biggest struggle is - I have professional references, I can EASILY get 5 or 6, but they are at my current company and I don't want to alert my job to my potential departure until I actually have an offer in hand. So I wonder if I explain that, if they'll understand & having academic references would be okay for now.
My current job does know that at some point I'll likely leave. The CFO and I have had this discussion a couple of times... he has even told me that because of growth limitations here, and to get the experience I want for where I want to be, I'll need to find that at a firm BUT until I'm ready to do that, they are happy to have me where I am.
Still yet, I don't want to let them know the time is potentially here until I actually have an offer in hand because that may affect whether or not I'm handed certain upcoming projects... and if I don't get an offer from this firm, I don't want to have lost an opportunity in my current job.
So here's hoping. I really want this.
And it really wasn't so bad. Of course I say that now & who knows how the score will really turn out, but I'm optimistic.
DH took the kids to Hot August nights while I took the 2 hour test and I have to say I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders - at least till I know whether I passed or not.
But anyhow, on the job hunt, I still haven't heard back from my #1 firm pick so I printed out 5 more resumes and redid the cover letters to personalize them to each firm I was applying to and got those printed out to be mailed on Monday.
I'll likely call the firm again on Monday or Tuesday just to follow up on the status of my resume. I'm sure the partners are probably busy just getting back from vacation, so I'm not sweating it too much. I think it helps being employed while I'm job hunting, otherwise I probably wouldn't be so relaxed.
Aside from that, it feels like everything is coming together. I did a presentation for my job regarding our accounting process & ways we can improve - and I got stellar feedback from the head of the IT Department and the CFO, so that was encouraging & made my day. Although, it still isn't enough to make me want to stay... at the end of it, that whole "No raise in the past 3-4 years while I've improved company processes and continued my education" still weighs on me heavily.
Besides, as I keep telling myself... staying at my current job would be like getting my law degree & passing the bar but not ever using it. I have a lot more to offer (and a lot that I'm interested in learning) that I know this is the right move... but I won't look forward to leaving the people I work with.
Dh asked me what I'm going to fill my time with now that I'm no longer studying for the exam... I told him I think I may take up reading more, being more aggressive on the job hunt, or... I could always find a hobby. I like lots of things, bike riding, horseback riding, and just lots of things in general... the plus side is... there is also LOTS of stuff to do in this area.
We're really liking it here... and it helps being close to family. My sister took the older kids on Thursday for a "girl's day out" and that was really nice. In September, my Mom will probably be back in town for a little while so we can meet up. And I'm finally getting around to calling my brother to see how he's doing... he's still an 8 hour drive away but at least it's within a day's drive now so we can get together.
There have even been a few times DH & I have talked about staying here if we end up liking it here. Hawaii is still a dream, but things are more affordable out here and spread out.... and DH is really loving the small town atmosphere. So who knows... I know it's entirely premature to start thinking we'll stay here & retire here, but it's not out of the question because we are quickly liking it here.
We went to the largest nearest base yesterday, that was a long drive. But we needed to do it. DH had to get his dress blues & we had to update the kids' healthcare insurance.
I had been on Standard in the old region because I hated seeing military docs & that was the only way I could see a civilian doctor. However, while we were there, the benefits advisor told me that since we moved I could be put back on Prime so I didn't have to pay anything for my healthcare.
Fantastic! Out here I have to see a civilian doctor anyway, so might as well have it be for free than worry about co-pays.
But I'll likely have at least one or two co-pays. I got an infection yesterday that I needed to be seen for but the health insurance even with co-pays and deductibles are still much better than most.
I remember standing in Walgreens yesterday as another lady came up to the counter & the pharmacist said $38.02 and she responded "That's it?" with a pleasantly surprised look on her face. Me? I felt amazed and at the same time grateful for my $3 per Rx.
I'm stressed enough trying to think about all these expenses we have...
$500 deductible to fix DH's car
My van had $310 of work done to it, but we need to take it back cause the back brakes are squealing
$400 for DH's dress blues
$250+ for a good radar detector for DH's long drives on the highway everyday. We were looking at the cheaper ones but several had bad reviews because they didn't give enough notice to the driver.
And not "bad" (actually good) but DH wants to do something for my birthday which he said should be around $250. But... he's going to take a more active role in the finances. We did talk about post-poning it though but DD #1's birthday is a week after mine so we have to figure something else then too.
But all in all things are coming together slowly. Tomorrow we should get our stuff finally. No more sleeping on an air mattress & eating on the floor w/paper plates. Once we get our scanner we just need to submit the receipts to the moving company for necessities we purchased & they'll reimburse us for them. We didn't use the entire $500 they said they would reimburse us up to but we're getting by and that is what counts.
We're finally in Nevada & have been for a few days but this move has NOT been going right in the least and that is aside from the personal issues DH & I have had.
Because of the personal problems & a huge fight DH and I had... I didn't take my business test. At that point the fight was so dire that he told me I had to deal with the movers that morning because he wasn't. Long story short, in June... I had emotionally checked out after finding out the additional info. He was gone, I couldn't talk to him about it (or didn't think I could), and some other guy came into my life to distract me from everything. For the first time in 4 years, it was nice to be complimented and not criticized for every movement I did.
When DH came back, I was already starting to fall for this other guy. Then one day (the night before my exam) he confronted me about something that I thought was nothing, he demanded full disclosure and I thought "Hey, WTF? I NEVER got that opportunity or chance." He took off & I left and went to the other guy's house. Meanwhile DH kept sending me berating messages that we were getting a divorce, we were over, etc, etc... so I turned my cell phone off after burying my head in my hands and crying... and spent the night at the other guy's house.
So the next morning, I didn't take my exam. DH and I had a long talk. Then we got a phone call that the truck driver for our move died the night before. So the moving company came anyway and packed our stuff.
We left Virginia on the 3rd, stayed in Missouri for a week. All the while at that point I was considering leaving DH. I'm not the "type" to cheat. DH knows that too. I had put up with so much from him that Charleston really was my breaking point, finding his emails soliciting other people for NSA sex finally made me check out. And once I'm checked out, I'm done.
And once met with the realization of everything, DH crumbled before me. I wasn't expecting that, I was expecting him to be done & finally walk away for good. But he knows he pushed me to where I am/was. Years of anger, criticizing me, and berating me finally took its toll. I know I'm still responsible for what I did, but it does take two to make a marriage fail.
But because of everything, he told me he wants to change, he wants to go to counseling, and he wants us to work on us and make us stronger than we've ever been. And he is trying, more than I've ever seen him try. I've never seen him cry so much & he told me that the pain he felt about losing me was the worst pain he's ever felt in his life.
I still have my own stuff I need to work though... I'm still very bitter & sometimes very angry and resentful. Even now, as he demands to see this or that... I can't help but think "I never got that choice."
In one of our recent conversations, I told him... I just want him to "get it". To get the sacrifices I made for him, not to hear how he's made sacrifices too in order to make me feel like we're in competition. A simple thank you for following him around the U.S., a compliment, a reminder of how/why he loves me would have prevented so much.
So we're working on things. I have been in touch with a counselor and we'll be going TOGETHER once we get settled.
That leads me to the actual move. DH's car hit a tire and needs to be fixed. We have insurance looking at it but we'll probably have to pay out of pocket because it's less than the deductible. My car needed the oil changed, filter changed, tires rotated, new front brakes, and then the rotors got warped from the mountains.
When we moved into our rental, we were surprised to find it didn't come with a fridge. So we bought a clearance fridge from Best Buy for the soonest available date. That was $2200 we weren't expecting.
The Navy also messed up our pay. The admin lady who put in DH's paperwork only had it set up to pay for him even though we were funded for the whole family. So the Master Chief got involved because personnel was telling us we'd have to wait till he checked in the month of August to get reimbursed. Well, that was $6K we were out and fronting on credit cards and wasn't going to work.
So we got that all worked out, got the money and we'll be okay.
But then the movers called and told us we won't get our stuff till the 23rd at the earliest. So we are living in an empty house with nothing but our suitcases & a desktop computer so I can still work.
The good news is the moving company is going to give us up to $500 to reimburse us for necessities that we need till we get our stuff.
So all in all a crazy month. I did reschedule my exam for the first Saturday in August. But yeah, a lot has been going on.
DH has been back for awhile now and we've been getting things ready for the move.
It all came to a head last night as we stayed up till 3 am talking. My telling him my needs and what I need out of the marriage, him telling me what he needs, where we went wrong, etc.
But the conversation did not go well.
There was no fighting... just a lot of silence in between tough statements.
As I told him what I needed, I heard in response "I'm just not like that and I'm not going to be okay with you going out and talking to other people (male or female) because you say I'm emotionally unavailable."
I felt stabbed in the stomach. For so many years, I've sacrificed my career and my dreams to support him. Always believing that if he was happy, he'd watch out for me too and I would be happy.
I could have been a CPA years ago in '04, but I held off the exam because we didn't know where we were going to be stationed and by that time the rules changed to 150 credit hours. So off to get my master's degree I went.
I don't even know why he's with me anymore. I feel like I'm always criticized and not his type. Whether its my brown eyes, my 2nd toe being longer than my big toe, or how my eyes squint when I'm full out laughing... it's all stuff he picks on me. Then to criticize every action I do in the house to how I make spaghetti, the amount of paper towels I use... and nothing positive in between.... I think I've reached my limit.
So I emailed him today and told him, I'm crushed. That what he just did to me was like telling me he needed sex in our marriage & I was unwilling to bend or compromise and he was not allowed to seek that elsewhere. That if he wasn't willing to deal with that HE would be responsible for us separating.
Crushed because it wasn't infidelity, trust, or lies to do us in. Ultimately it would be the unwilling to bend and make the other partner happy because "That's just not who I am"
I'm not in any rush to throw in the towel to our marriage. But if things are not better by September we can file for divorce and try to seek out the happiness we both want in life. If things work out, then either way we end up happy.
But I'm just tired... this isn't what I would have imagined for my life, but I have to come to terms with the fact that he's not comforting, reassuring, or even nurturing. He could give me anything I wanted in terms of possessions, but really all I want is to feel loved, adored, and appreciated. I'm going after my own career, I can take care of myself - I just wanted a partner in my life.
So we'll see what happens. We're still moving and plans are still on schedule. Either way, I just need to promise myself to find happiness. At least if I walk away now, I'll know what went wrong.
Remember when I took the Regulation Exam and said "If I pass it'll be a miracle"?
Well, I passed - with the same score as I got in Financial.
That leaves just the Business exam
I have to say I'm VERY excited to be 75% of the way through passing the CPA exam.
I'm not taking the Business exam lightly though because I've been EXTREMELY distracted this month, emotionally and just being my usual busy self. But the test is on 7/1 so I'm just going to cross my fingers that I pass it on the first time too. I'll be extremely thrilled if I can pass all four parts on the first time cause my Accounting Dept Head said only 10% of people pass on the first try and seemed like he was discouraging when I told him my plans.
But on that note, he's a great professor. I think he just didn't want me setting my hopes too high only to get dashed.
The more and more I think about life... I begin to think success depends on who you know, not always what you know. As long as you have the aptitude, who you know makes a huge difference.
I've been calling around the new area for quite some time trying to find a rental that would be suitable for our family. No luck. When I mention I have pets, no luck.
But in my back pocket, I had contacted a realtor months ago. Knowing our full situation she contacted some of the property management companies in the area. She managed to get me a lead in to a house not on the market yet for rent, but the timing would be perfect.
3 bedroom with a den, area we wanted, seems perfect.
So I called the guy, told him we had pets, our situation, etc. Conversation was like a complete 180 from the ones I had done when I cold-called the property management companies myself without the lead in.
I sent an application in today. Dh and I looked at the GoogleMaps picture of the house, the builder's floorplan, and similar homes for sale online with the exact same floorplan. I'm not buying it, so I'm less picky. I've rented several times site-unseen and never had any problems because I thoroughly do my research beforehand.
I'm hoping we get approved. Our debt is my only concern but the military will give DH a housing allowance of $1638 and the rent at the new place is only $1200 which would cover utilities as well.
I did leave a note explaining the high credit card balances but also included documentation that we've never been late on any payments, our rental is occupied till 6/2011, both jobs are secure, and we have our current property listed for $2100/mo.
We'd also be willing to do an allotment with the landlord. Also included copies of our bank statements showing that aside from the debt we do have $10K in savings for emergencies.
So hopefully all works out. I really can't afford to take much time off to house hunt & 3 bedrooms with a den or a 4 bedroom that accept pets are hard to come by. Probably why I really want this place, I know that our only other option would really be to get a 3 bedroom and be squished.
On the other side of things. I ended up signing with our current property manager after all. I told her I wasn't agreeable to the vacancy fee because it felt like a conflict of interest, she also waived the renewal fee. So the only fees I'm responsible for are similar to what I already have with our other rental but a $50/yr admin fee. I'm fine with that.
The other guy was supposed to come over today but I called him & let him know that I ended up signing with our original agent since we were able to come to an agreement. Painless... everyone understood... all was great.
I still wonder why situations like this cause me anxiety sometimes? I probably care too much what people think.
Anyhow, cause for the rush was Memorial Day weekend. My property manager has several clients flying in from out of town that she'd like to show the property to & this is a big weekend for finding tenants.
Now just need to find the right tenant.
I just got my result back - 84!
So that at least gives me motivation to tackle BEC and not get too let down from REG.
I think all those auditing classes with our Department Head really paid off. =)
Ugh! Talk about a blow to my self-confidence.
If I pass, I think it will be a miracle. My first testlet was okay, I can calculate basis and deductions just fine.
But the second testlet was more business law and although many will think they know business law (Like I thought I did)... the examiners throw odd questions in there to trick you.
I actually found a few that I knew were thrown in as "distractors" for anyone not reading everything WORD FOR WORD would misunderstand the question & get it wrong.
The communication tabs that I had to write were okay. I knew them, in fact I think one of them was a "test" for BEC's business law simulation that they are going to implement in 2011.
But I did not know the simulation tabs. I struggled on those to the point I finally just had to tell myself "Look, you obviously don't know this as well as you thought... hopefully you at least got SOME of it right."
So we'll see... but I'm not counting on passing. I left FAR and AUD feeling like I did "okay"... and I passed FAR (waiting on AUD).... REG? OMG... talk about a blow to your self-confidence.
So, on to studying for BEC. Hopefully I passed AUD so I'll only need to take REG again. Just got to keep going.
Taking Regulation today... I think I have the tax stuff down for individuals, corporations, and partnerships. Business law and estates are kind of iffy.
What is tripping me up on business law is commercial paper & negotiability. I keep reading it and thinking WHO DOES THAT? Who take a check from someone, gives it to someone else, who then gives it to someone else, then forges a signature, and gives it to someone else?
Agency laws though, I think I have down simply because of my personal experience with my rental property and such.
So we'll see.
Either way, my biggest motivator to do well on this test is that I do not like/want my job anymore.
I know, I know... I should be thankful to HAVE a job, but when I'm getting "Job opening" notices left and right from my college, I can't help but feel like the market REALLY isn't that bad. Maybe I could be wrong, either way - I see more openings out there and everyday I'm just like "Ugh! I want to leave my current job and actually do what I love/enjoy."
The goal is to start a new job in Aug/Sept... always has been, but that still doesn't make the interim period easier. I like the people I work with, but am tired of feeling underpaid for my qualifications & there is no growth potential.
DH asked why I didn't leave my current job once I graduated & I told him I didn't want to start a new job here knowing we'd be moving & figured this would be a good opportunity to get the CPA exam under my belt so I can start a new job without that added pressure.
Even if I don't pass Regulation this time around, as long as I pass by Aug 2011, I won't have to retake any sections. But even if I don't pass, once we move to Nevada, I'll be applying ASAP to firms in the area.
There is one I'm really interested in, but I need someone to review my resume. I guess I could send it to my college's career management center & make an appointment to do a mock interview, just to make sure I am well prepared to get the job that I want at a firm I'm interested.
Biggest thing I'm wanting out of a firm is that they do auditing work. In Nevada it looks like there are 2 separate types of CPA licenses, and the main one requires auditing experience. So that's the type of firm I plan to go for.
I hope I won't have a problem finding a job. I can get a letter of reference from our CFO at my current company & the Accounting Department Head at my current college (which is an AACSB Accounting program). But navigating the job market in an entirely new area is interesting.
But I make friends easily so hopefully my networking skills can be put to good use. =)
The vet sent my cat home with me last night hoping I'd be able to get him to eat. But he won't eat or drink... I've never seen him like this before. He's drooling, keeps his tongue out, he looks miserable.
I've tried giving him water with a syringe, letting him rest, and upon the breeder's suggestion... pumpkin. But he just hides in rooms that he otherwise normally would not go, he just wants to be alone. He threw up last night too, which the vet said any amount of vomit would be concerning.
I'm going to take him to the vet one more time and if they say surgery is the only option, we're going to put him to sleep.
The surgery would just be too risky, he's been through too much at this point. So much could go wrong and I could still lose him. He still has barium in his stomach and if that leaks into the abdominal cavity, he could even die from that. He might not even be able to come out of anesthesia. The list goes on... and I've exhausted all my other options.
DH and I talked at length about this. He loves the cat but he doesn't want to do anything to potentially jeopardize our future to save him. Which is entirely logical of him and I know where he's coming from there.
We don't know what is going to happen with our orders... our life after July is a black hole.
But I'm sad nonetheless. He's my first cat and my first pet to die. All my other pets growing up, we either moved or something and I had to find another home for them or they disappeared one day (outside cats). But this cat, he's the first pet I've had that has been with us since he was a baby and till his death.
I'm praying for better news at the vet's... but after spending the night with him last night, I'd have to expect a miracle to think I'll be coming home with a cat who will return to the playful, social cat I knew.
I picked up the dog from the boarder's today and I have to say the difference between the boarder's and the vet's is like night & day.
The vet charges $20/night for boarding, the boarder's is $36/night. But I have to tell you - that extra $16/night is WELL WORTH it.
The vet only took him out 2 times a day. He was left there for a week while we were in Hawaii & when I came back, he had rubbed the fur on his nose off because he was left alone for so long.
The boarder's make it a point to give the dogs treats & lots of playtime. They are given 4-6 potty breaks every day along with nice bedding to sleep on.
I did get our dog groomed while there & that cost $65 but the boarding was $108 for the 15th-18th.
Yet when I got him back, he was happy and had not rubbed his nose raw. He's not an overly emotional dog that gets separation anxiety so I know it doesn't take much to make him happy.
I was just so pleased. I debated about spending more, but after my experience at the vet's in October - I was determined to give this place a shot despite their higher price tag. I have to say it was money well spent.
The drive down to Charleston wasn't too bad. Have to admit, for someone like me.... a West Coast girl (or more so Hawaii, but I'm partial to the Western states) - I've ALWAYS said I've never had a desire to go to the South. Don't know why, just never have. When I found out we may be moving to Louisiana/Mississippi - I was soooo upset.
I really wasn't expecting to enjoy Charleston but it was nice. The whole Southern hospitality thing grows on you & is pretty apparent. Lots of people I know consider where we are "The South" but I don't really view it that way.
We visited a plantation, walked around downtown, visited an ice cream shop & played mini-golf with the kids.
I think all in all, I spent about $75 driving down there. We packed sandwiches for lunch on the drive down. Then that first night we ate at Applebees for about $57. The next day, DH paid for the plantation tour & parking ($42), I paid for lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill ($25), then we were so full after Moe's that for "dinner" we just went to a local ice cream shop. The kids each had smalls while DH, myself, and the baby shared a banana split for $18. After that, because I paid for Applebees & Moes and was still around $25 away from being "even" with DH... we went to play mini-golf for $30.
This morning we just ate breakfast at the hotel.
On the drive back, I spent $39 on gas and I have just under a quarter of a tank left. DH gave me $40 this morning from his per diem for lunch for the kids, but it only cost $19.50 so I still have some left over.
However, when we got home - I didn't have anything in the refrigerator so we went to the grocery store and spent $60 for the week.
Tomorrow I have to pick up the dog and I'm estimating that will be $70 for the grooming (Already paid the $108 for his boarding).
So all in all, I'm totaling at $483... So we stayed in budget after all!
Have to say, it was well worth it. I really enjoyed it, we don't really get away too often and even though it was just for a day - we made the most out of it.
Hotel = Free
Food = Breakfasts are covered (at hotel), lunch and dinner for 2 nights (so maybe $100?)
Dog boarding = $175 (with grooming)
Gas = $120
So its turning out mildly more expensive than I anticipated at around $395 already. But I don't plan on doing any shopping or anything.
DH will have some money on him from his per diem. Still waiting on the check from the government for the last trip he took.
The dog boarding... I wish I could cut that out. But we don't have any friends who could take him and last time I boarded him at the vet's, he came back a week later with the hair on his nose rubbed off. Clearly he had been left alone much longer than he should have. So this time I picked a boarding kennel which is 2x the price - but hopefully my dog will have a better experience.
So anyhow, if I can get this trip down to under $500 - I'll be happy. That gives me around $100 of wiggle room for incidentals.
Kids are excited, they want to bring all their toys and I keep reminding them we'll only be there a few days.
My recovery from surgery is still going well. They have a pool at the hotel so I need to call the doc just to make sure its okay to go in. I'm 2 weeks post-op so although I don't think there should be a problem, I want to be on the safe side.
I woke up to a rustling in the kitchen and three happy kids bringing me some toast with an apple & DH a bowl of cereal.
It got some grape jelly on my white bed spread but who care... its Mother's Day... no matter what my kids did I would have to be grateful for the effort. They are only 9, 8, and 5.
After I came downstairs they had gotten the 2 year old up, the 9 year old changed her with Daddy (this is nothing new) and she had my 2 year old sign the card. Very cute... all homemade.
They don't want me doing any chores today and although generous of them to think that, the grape jelly on the floor for their beautiful breakfast kept calling to me so I cleaned the kitchen while they were upstairs cleaning their rooms. Maybe we'll make cheesecake or something together later.
Most of all, I was glad they thought of DH too. I think instead of mother's/father's day... parents should get two days out of the year where their kids celebrate them. How awesome would that be?!?!
Although, I'm sure if you don't have a partner who is as helpful (at least when he is around) as mine... you may feel differently. But with as wonderful as mine is to do a lot of the things the "Mom" usually does, I think he deserves some credit too for picking up some extra slack to keep me sane with 4 kids and his military lifestyle.
Aside from all this, my real treat comes next weekend when we go down to Charleston. I also have exactly 2 weeks to study for Regulation & I must admit... my surgery put a damper on my studying.... I haven't really studied in awhile. But I think it was probably needed because I was getting REALLY burnt out.
So I plan to hit the books full fledge this week and next (taking a minor break for the trip) and taking it on May 23rd.
On that note, for mother's day... I think I'm going to call my Aunt. She isn't a mom but she's been like a 2nd mom to me & my siblings whether she likes it or not. I know she likes the title of being unencumbered by responsibilities... but how can you deny the fact that she should be celebrated on a day like mother's day when she's been a steady maternal force more so than your own mother?
I'll probably call my mom too, I didn't last year. We have a complicated relationship that rarely delves anything into anything more than the basics. She didn't know about my surgery till Thursday and she doesn't know what type it was. My Aunt, she knew about it, why, and we are much closer.
I guess thats the reward for consistent nurturing that you provide to the future generations of the world... when they grow up & think of you on "Mother's Day" or "Father's Day"... will they think of you & smile? Or will they think of someone else who wasn't their parent, but was there for them like theirs should have been?
I hope my kids continue to think of me on mother's day and smile.
As for Father's day... there is no one else that I think of when I think of father's day which I think speaks volumes as to the kind of Dad I had.
I'm very tempted to give up at times... convincing myself that you just can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
Then I remind myself the person I'm trying to help is 9... soon to be 10.
Maybe it would just be easier on ME to give up. But there is one resounding difference I see in the success in children vs those that end up on the streets or in jail... and that difference is, even when they gave up on themselves - no one gave up on them.
I've been staying up till 10 pm some night with DD #1 helping her with her math homework, drilling her, coaching her, and struggling. I'm trying so hard and she never seems to get it.
I reiterate how education is SO important in life. And yet, today she forgets her math homework for the umpteenth time in a row.
I want to give up... so badly. When I have three other kids who are engaged in learning and want to learn and this ONE child seems hell bent on trying to get bad grades just because.
She's not dumb... she's not. She took her practice Standard Of Learning tests yesterday and got a 95% in reading and a 50% in math.
Parenting is hard, especially when it feels like the kid you're trying to parent feels completely fine with failing. But I'm not... its my role as a parent to care, to always care, and if I have to drag her kicking and screaming she will graduate high school and I will do everything in my power at that point to say I tried to do everything I could to help her succeed.
I wish I knew what to do, what to say to make this easier on her. I wish she didn't think I was the enemy. She's so moody sometimes. I had a nice conversation with DD #2 about vet school (she wants to go to Cornell, at least right now) and we were talking about goals. I could tell this talk was upsetting DD #1 as she walked ahead of us stomping. But we weren't mentioning DD #1 at all, I was just fostering DD #2's dreams. They all know if they do well in college I'll help pay for as much as I can.
I don't know what to do... some days I feel lost. Days where the night before I spent 3 ours helping her with math homework despite being on pain meds because DH is "horrible at math and can't do fractions himself" (So apparently a mom with a Masters in Accounting and on pain meds is better than a sober dad with an Associates degree teaching 4th grade fractions). Then emailing the teacher asking if there are any tutoring resources at the school.
I'm lost... and I want to give up. And the only thing that keeps me from giving up is that I know once I do give up... that's the fate I leave to my daughter. A fate of hating math & never understanding it... as much as trying may feel like hitting my head against a brick wall, right now its the only thing that gives me hope that DD #1 might succeed later in life.
Its amazing how different a weekend of rest can make things. I'm beginning to feel absolutely wonderful. Things still look a little scary down there but I have a strong feeling that once I'm completely healed I'll be happy with the results.
I don't think I've slept that much since before I had kids. It was WONDERFUL and DH was absolutely fabulous. He's not the doting type either, but I really lucked out with him. He takes care of the kids without any problem and doesn't nag me to do anything while I'm passed out on the couch.
Even this morning, in between working, I laid down on the couch and said "If I'm not up by 11 am, please wake me up - I have to prep for a call at noon". During that "naptime" I could hear in the background DD #3 attempting to take off her diaper and telling DH about it. After a few more moments I could smell why she was trying to do so.
Some men I know would call their wives and wake them up than to change a poopy diaper. But I could hear that he didn't even attempt to bother me.
So I'm feeling much better. Still have a lot more healing to do but I'm starting to get my energy back and feeling back to my old self.
Well, surgery went well. I was fully awake for the procedure (local anesthesia) but I'm in a bit of pain. I'm on painkillers, antibiotics, and valium but I have mixed feelings about the painkillers. They kill my appetite and make me feel sick, hence I throw up.
The day of the surgery I threw up 3 times, I didn't take any yesterday but I was feeling the pain, so I took painkillers today and threw up again.
Aside from that I've been putting ice on the area a lot. Need to keep telling myself its going to look ugly for awhile. And this wasn't even cosmetic, it was to gain relief from the daily discomfort - but it would be nice to not look deformed once I'm done healing. Yet I'm sure once the swelling goes down I'll like the results.
So I'm healing, but functioning. Trying my best to take it easy but we had to take DS to his soccer game today. I'm walking a lot slower than usual but I'm getting around.
Kids don't really know what happened, just that I'm sore & I've told the older ones that when I had DD #1, something went wrong - the doctors never fixed it, so then with the other three kids it just made things worse.
None of this was cosmetic or elective, not when everyday tasks become an issue where you can't even where jeans without being in discomfort. Oh the things we go through as women to become mothers. Simply finding a qualified doc to do the procedure seemed to be an endeavor.
DH has been a gem making dinner & taking care of me. I really can't praise him enough. And none of this was for him, he kept telling me I was fine & he didn't understand why I needed the surgery. I love him but had to also remind him to take his ego down a notch, I'd never consider surgery for him... I love and respect who I am too much to do something to myself just for the sake of someone else.
Anyhow, in other news...
He took the van in on Friday cause the brakes were making funny noises. It was a good thing too because there was a recall on the van. They fixed it and it was all covered under warranty, now it stops as good as our '09 Civic.
We also mailed our computers to Gazelle.com today to get recycled & paid for the two laptops.
But I should get going, I really shouldn't be sitting too much and I feel light-headed if I'm up too much.
It was very last minute but I called the doctor today and told them my dilemma about trying to plan the procedure around my husband's military schedule. He's on leave right now & she had a last minute cancellation so they got me in for tomorrow around noon.
I transferred the money from savings and paid in cash. $1300 doesn't seem like a lot when it means having to no longer be in discomfort. I've been trying to hold off on the procedure, I really have, but its become a daily annoyance. I only recently got the courage to follow through when a friend of mine who had a similar problem got the procedure done with success.
It was tough explaining the last minute procedure as a reason to be out tomorrow afternoon to work. I simply just explained that I was seeing a specialist. The department boss didn't press me, but when my main boss asked if I was okay I told her "Yeah, I'm okay - just some mommy problems". Which I guess could mean anything from a problem with my kids or what not.
I didn't tell anyone I was having surgery, its a quick procedure under local anesthesia where I should be home within a few hours.
Hope all ends well. I'm nervous, but I know because its outpatient and relatively low risk - it should be fine.
I also scheduled my Regulation exam today for the 7th. I think I have a shot of doing okay, although I realize I may be pressing my luck if I'm also including 2 days of being on painkillers as part of my "review" study plan.
Hopefully I don't have to be on the painkillers that long. When I had my breast augmentation I was off of them by day 2 & that seems far more invasive than the surgery tomorrow.
But I anticipate the recovery to be much less than when I got a breast augmentation. I guess I'll see how I feel tomorrow & if so then I can reschedule for $35, but I really want to get this out of the way while DH is still on leave. Knowing the military something would come up if he wasn't on leave & I'd have to go through the same mess like I did with Auditing.
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