June 17, 2014 by Kristi Beth
The Last Year
If you are close to Parker and I, you probably know how crazy the past year of our life has been. If you’re not, let me fill you in on the incredible journey we’ve been on!
June of last year, Parker and I started looking for new jobs. We were both full time employees at Barnes & Noble. We both came to a realization that if we were going to be working 40 hours a week, we could find jobs that would pay us more to do it! We both loved Barnes & Noble, but we knew we could be making more money elsewhere. We were wanting to get ourselves in a better position to start a family, to start working towards the next step we knew we wanted to take as a family.
By July, Parker had already had an interview at Charter, and I had just submitted an application to Starbucks. On the 4th of July, our lives changed forever. We got home late that night after watching the fireworks with friends and hanging out at their house afterwards. I had felt a little “off” all day. I was notorious for being paranoid about getting pregnant, so I had taken my fair share of pregnancy tests in the previous months. But that night was different. That night as I watched the test change, there wasn’t just one line, but two. A faint second line appeared. I sat in shock. We hadn’t planned this. I wanted it desperately, we had many discussions about when, and the only answer we had was “not now, but soon.” I had always felt a twinge of disappointment when the second line never appeared. But this time it did. I gathered my thoughts, pregnancy test in hand I walked into our bedroom, where Parker was laying in bed. “I want to take another test in the morning, but I think I’m pregnant.” He was just as surprised as me, and very skeptical to say the least. If you know Parker, it had nothing to do with not wanting it to be true, but his logical mind needing more proof somehow, because when you’re on birth control, it’s not something you are truly ever expecting, despite the slight possibility. The line was faint enough for me to think a second test was wise, and morning is supposed to be the best time (hormone levels are highest when you first wake up), so the next morning, first thing I did was head to the bathroom. There was no second guessing, that second line was as clear as day now. We were going to be parents.
there it is, the proof our lives were going to change, big time.
We were ecstatic. We knew it was clear direction from God. Our whole marriage to this point, we were constantly in prayer for directions for our lives. What is our next step? What should we be working towards? While we waited for an answer, we just kept plugging away. Working full time, paying our bills, building relationships, and growing in marriage.
the day we found out we were going to be parents
A few days later, I got a call from Starbucks for an interview. My heart sank. I had always wanted to work at Starbucks, but now, knowing I was pregnant, I knew working in a fast-paced environment, that would become increasingly difficult as I became increasingly pregnant, was not the best idea. I still went to the interview, but when the pay she could offer didn’t even match what I was currently making, luckily it was an easy no. A few days later, we were at a wedding and a friend’s mother came over to tell Parker about an opening at her job. She had heard Parker was looking for a new job and LHI, where she worked, was hiring a lot of people for a new position. Parker was already scheduled for a second interview at Charter and felt confident that was the direction God was leading. But as she described the job to him, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, that sounds like something I would really enjoy!” So I decided to pursue it. I found the opening on their website and applied. I heard from them just a couple of days later; they wanted to set up an interview! I almost cancelled on them, I was such a nervous wreck. I was so intimidated by LHI, I knew it was a great company, a nice business, and I didn’t feel qualified.
it was pretty fancy. who wouldn’t be intimidated?
But thankfully, Parker talked me into doing the interview. The day after I interviewed, I had a job offer. Just like that, Parker and I got new jobs that increased our monthly income by about $1,000.
Three months after Parker started working at Charter, he got a call from his brother Tylor. Tylor is the Sales Manager at Dave’s Guitar Shop, and he needed a new employee. Working at Dave’s had been a dream of Parker’s for quite some time. Being so passionate about music, and the incredible success of Dave’s Guitar Shop made it a pretty ideal job for Parker. They were able to offer Parker more money, so after a short period at Charter, Parker started ANOTHER new job. After he made the transition to Dave’s, I remember him asking why Charter even happened if he was just going to leave a few months later. I didn’t think much of it, it was three extra months of significant more pay, that was a good enough reason for me. But God’s plans were more intricate than that. It was all for a much bigger reason than just a better paycheck for a few more months.
In the midst of all the job changes and the pregnancy, we also moved. We weren’t planning on moving. Our lease was up the end of March, and with Timothy due in March, it was not the ideal time to move. We were totally willing to make our one bedroom work for however long we needed. But one morning we got a phone call from our landlord. It was the second call like this we’d received. A complaint. Our upstairs neighbor did not like us very much. He worked nights, so if we made any noise during the day when he was trying to sleep, he complained. Our landlord was very nice and gracious, she admitted she had gotten many complaints but tried to ignore him most of the time, realizing the noise we made was in the middle of the day, not late at night. But she could only ignore him for so long, and informed us we could no longer play music in our apartment. Well, when you have a musician for a husband, that just doesn’t fly. We knew right then we had to move. It was January, and we had a limited amount of time to find a place and move. We decided we wanted to try and move before Timothy’s arrival, and would pay double rent the month of March if we had to. Talking to Parker’s cousin Randi, she mentioned they were looking for a new place and would be moving soon. I knew they had a two bedroom apartment, so I asked her for more information about their place, and when they thought they’d be moving. The timeline seemed to match up with what we were looking for, and the price was only $5 more a month than what we were paying for our 1 bedroom. We knew it was a good option to consider!
Randi and Jeremiah were so gracious and accommodating, they invited us over to check out the place, and communicated with their landlord on our behalf. The landlords are very laid back, and when Randi and Jeremiah told them they had family interested, they told them we could have it if we wanted it! It was pretty amazing how it all came together. Just like that, we knew there was a very good option for us. Other places we looked into didn’t work out, or were outside of our ideal budget, so we were able to move into a 2 bedroom duplex in West Salem. We almost doubled our living space, and we found a used washer and dryer to put in the basement – we no longer had to drag our laundry out to Parker’s parents’ house in Holmen! Our new home is a huge blessing from the Lord. We were willing to stay in a very small space with our new baby, but he created a situation for us that led us to a much bigger home – and I was even able to create a room for Timothy! It was so sweet to prepare a space especially for our bundle on the way.
our sweet boy’s room
We moved in one week before I was due, March 2. Timothy was 9 days late, so we had 2 weeks to unpack before Timothy finally arrived. We couldn’t have timed it that perfect ourselves. It was truly all God’s timing, all God’s planning. And on top of it all, our landlord from our old apartment filled our apartment halfway through March, so we didn’t have to pay March rent there – they used part of our security deposit to cover the couple weeks it was empty, and we got the other half of our deposit back. Praise the Lord!!
this sweet face made it’s late arrival on March 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm.
a peek into our new home
Three months at Dave’s, and Parker got some news that was potentially life changing for our family. The lady who was his boss at Charter was leaving, and the boss of that position wanted Parker to apply. Parker made an incredible impression at Charter in the three months he was there. They LOVED him, and they were very sad when he left. His numbers were the best in the region, in just a mere three months! He left on good terms. It all started to come together – why he even had that job in the first place. Parker applied for the position as soon as it was posted online, and quickly had an interview lined up. When he learned the ballpark of the salary of the position, we were floored.
Parker’s and my heart has always been for me to be a stay at home mom. It is actually the reason I didn’t finish school. Parker and I weren’t even married yet, but we had a conversation about how my desire was to be a stay at home mom – nothing else. So I decided to drop all my classes, because accumulating debt and obtaining a degree for something I would do for maybe a year or two just didn’t seem wise. We knew God was calling us to paths other than school. But that’s another story
Our plan since we found out I was pregnant was for me to find something part time after the baby, and hopefully sometime in the near future I would be able to transition to being home full time. But with this salary, we knew I could stay home full time. No question. It seemed too good to be true. I dare not let myself get too excited, in fear that he would not get the job. Parker is only 21 years old, a position of this magnitude is putting a lot of confidence in him and his abilities. I knew he was more than qualified, and would be stellar in this position, but did Charter see that too? After a second interview, we had a long wait until we finally heard the news. Those three months gave them enough of a glimpse into the incredible hard worker that Parker is, and they knew he was completely capable of tackling this new position. The job was his. Parker called me to tell me the news. I was still on maternity leave, Timothy was in my lap. After we hung up, I cried. I cried and hugged my baby close to me. I was going to be able to stay home full time with my sweet boy. Our hopes for our family were realized.
the door of Parker’s office.. yeah, he has his own OFFICE.
The last year of our life is nothing more than a testament of God’s divine plan and direction for us. Parker didn’t seek out Dave’s, he also didn’t seek out Charter the second time. They sought him out. My man is that good. The LHI job was perfect for me. I loved it, I honestly wish I could have been there for many years before – but God answered our prayers. He gave us direction, and He gave us the resources for me to become a stay at home mom. I went back to work for two weeks – I didn’t feel comfortable not coming back. I felt I owed them two weeks, and I also had insurance costs I wanted to make sure were covered. I went back for two weeks, and then I was done. Now, I get to love on my sweet boy all day long. We aren’t rolling in the dough by any means. It’s not a liberal budget. But it is sufficient for our needs. All of ours bills will be paid, we can save, and can still have a little bit of fun. We. are. blessed. Sure, we could do a lot more with an extra $1600 coming in a month, and Nama would watch him for free. But no amount of money is worth more than spending my days with Timothy. Nothing can replace watching him grow, watching him smile and start to giggle, and start to figure out the world around him. Nothing is worth more than being the one who gets to raise him and help him grow into the type of person we want him to be. And really, what more do you need when you have this little guy to entertain you all day long?
I get to see smile…
I get to keep our house organized, clothes washed, dishes clean (no, not all at once) I love my job. It is so fulfilling. I love being a stay at home mom. I don’t understand why God chose to bless us so hugely. I am so undeserving of His incredible blessings and provision. But I am so thankful. My motto for our life lately has been “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” – lyrics from the hymn of the same name. Our life is overflowing of His blessings. New home, new jobs, new life. He has given us the desires of our hearts. We are thankful. We are blessed. We are loved by our God.