Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I am a very positive person by nature / personality or whatever it may be... But I have been facing some real struggles lately. Not just lately, actually the past few years. It seems like all of these things the past few years have been coming to a head lately, and I just feel overwhelmed by all of these struggles. I want to blog about it, I want to vent, I want to share my ache in my heart, in order that it might relieve some of the pain, and I can feel positive again, but I HATE BLOGGING NEGATIVE CRAP. I've done it in the past, and I already feel like the few blogs I have done are already too much......
So, I am just going to say, I am having a VERY hard time right now. There, you have it. Please be patient with me as I vent a little negativity one more time. It seems like struggles and hardship are just bombarding us from every side. And it DOES dampen my exercise, and take the pep out of my step. And it DOES increase my desire to plunge into bad eating habits to help relieve the stress and sadness.
But I am trying to keep my head up. After being sick last week (and down in the dumps), I didn't exercise or run until Saturday (which probably added to the "blues"). But this week, I am really trying to focus on getting back into my groove.... like FOR REALZ!! No more games!!
I've decided to get back to my old running routine, and getting up earlier in the morning to get my run in. I didn't want to have to do that, but it really just works best. What does NOT work, is leaving my run until the evening!!! After spending a whole day cleaning house, looking after my crazy kids, and taking care of business, it is like a BLACK CLOUD hanging over my head to think I have to go out and get my run in. I hate it. First thing in the morning... that is what works BEST for me.
So, I am working on it. I will NOT give up on myself!!
On a side note, hubby's job is not going that great. I think they are looking for reasons to fire him, since business has not been going well. Well, we could care less about getting let go, since he will be quitting in a matter of months anyway, but it does add stress to his work day, and adds uncertainty to our lives in general..... Just one of the things that has been weighing on my heart lately. Thought I would share.
Can't wait to come home. Plain and simple. I really won't be that sad to say "Good-bye" to Germany in (hopefully) the next several months.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Been upping my running a bit, and it is feelin' FABULOUS!! I'm planning to do some longer runs this week, and shoot for a bit of an "Endurance Week" so to speak - gonna earn me that Christmas dinner!! So, I have been getting myself "moving" & am really enjoying it!!
But the real "Move" I am talking about is my move back to the US of A!!! We now have been given a DATE with US Immigration in Frankfurt!!! YEEEEEAAAAAHHHH!! We will be meeting with them on January 30th! Sooner than I thought! We have been instructed to come prepared to pay the $400 in case that his case is approved.
We do anticipate maybe having problems at this appointment. We didn't follow through with some paperwork after moving to Germany. We thought once his Green Card expired, that would be it. We would just have to reapply, no big deal. WRONG. He got "ordered removed" by an immigration judge in 2010, which may not bode well with us for our interview in January. Although we didn't intentionally commit any fraud, and he did nothing criminal whatsoever, the very fact that he was ordered removed may be enough to determine him "inadmissible." Boo.
If he is determined "inadmissible" in January, we would have to pay a nice little chunk of change for a petition to override that!!! UUUUGGGGHHHH! I hope that is NOT the case!! PLUS, it will take an extra 5-6 months of processing time....
Oh, please, God, NOOOOOOOO! The thought of being here until the fall of 2012 is agonizing! LOL
But if he is approved, which we hope he will be, we will have a 6-month window when we will HAVE to immigrate back to the States. We are already looking at tickets in May 2012!
So, it is still a bit iffy. But at least in just about 5 weeks, we WILL know what the next step is!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Yeah, yesterday sucked. Got into a bit of a heated debate with DH, and was just frustrated, and sad, and lonely..... Those adjectives describe many days lately. But things are better now!! We were able to talk things out. It's all good.
Still, we are facing some very difficult times. Our finances are, well, in shambles right now. We've been struggling ever since we bought this FREAKING MONEY PIT of a house 3 years ago. LOL
As a good friend of mine once said, "Owning a house is for the birds!!"
But we have been ignoring it. We were able to get through some how, but we have not been making smart choices these last few years, and we've been living basically off debt.
ENTER: NEW JOB
The new job hit us a lot harder than we anticipated. We have literally been struggling since October JUST TO BUY GROCERIES! No joke. The only way we were able to buy food in the months of October & November was through selling off anything of value we could think of (My husband & I no longer own bikes, among other things) & financial help from my visiting mother (like she wasn't doing enough for us already!!!).
I have cut out all unnecessary buying... ALL OF IT. I wasn't even a big spender to begin. Even refused to buy things my kids really need, but can somewhat do without - like shoes, hats, clothing and such. I am literally JUST sticking to groceries and needed toiletries right now. It's tough. But really, I am not saying this to complain.... just to paint the picture of where we are at.
Buying Christmas presents for my family is completely out of the question. And I am really ok with that. Christmas to me is about (1) Jesus Christ coming to this world, and (2) celebrating His coming with your family, and having a wonderful time.
Nothing sums it up better than this photo:
I may not be getting anything for Christmas, but I have TONS to be thankful for.
1) a BEAUTIFUL family, wonderful husband, wonderful kids
2) a roof over my head, warm bed to sleep in EVERY NIGHT
3) the fact that we have not ONCE gone hungry, like I'm sure the kids in the left side of that photo have. There have been several times in the past few months when I didn't even know how I was going to pay for our groceries next time I would need to go shopping.... yes, it has been that bad.
4) our health and happiness - I think my kids are the happiest, healthiest kids in the world. =)
5) most importantly to me in this difficult time - the promises from God in His Word that tell me, even though I may go through some tough times, He WILL provide ALL things for us. Maybe not more than we need, but definitely what we need. I'm holding on to those promises with all I've got.
This Christmas may not be as overflowing with gift-giving, but I am determined to make it a wonderful one for my family!! Although I may be having a tough time, I know that there are MANY MANY people in this world who have it FAR worse than my family & I, and through these trials, I have learned to be thankful even for the littlest things!!
Happy Holidays, all you Sparkers!!
Monday, December 12, 2011
The reason for my in my status last week...
Just missing my friends and family back in the US of A.... BIG TIME!! I am REALLY ready to come home. Hubby & I are even more convinced now than before that this IS the right decision for our entire family.
But the waiting, and not knowing when and how everything is going to happen, is KILLING me some days. All I can do is pray and trust that when the time is right, it will all fall into place. Then there are certain aspects about life in Germany that we REALLY dislike!!! For one, the horrible German school system, and how it just does NOT seem to be what's working for my son..... I absolutely do NOT want him starting a new school year here....
No more bites on the house yet. It's discouraging, but to be expected at Christmas time too. Even the real estate agent we had used earlier this year said that Christmas time is usually dead in the housing market.
We are anticipating getting an interview with immigration by the end of February???? Not sure, but hoping it will be before March, based on what we know about the process. If he is approved, he will be granted a Visa (Green Card) right then and there, and we will NEED to leave to the US within 6 months from that time. Which means, if all goes well, we should be back in the US before September.... & we will have to deal with the house with a Plan B if it is not sold by that time....
All in all, I am trying to keep my head up, stay positive, & keep going. Some days are just tougher than others.
My desire to run has been picking up, and I have been noticing how IMPORTANT it is to GET OUT THERE! Even though my 10K was a real killer on Saturday, I was totally pumped on endorphins the rest of the day, and so glad I went through with it. I loved what someone commented on my blog about needing running inspiration - to look at it like I GET to run, not the I HAVE to. That has really helped. Running & exercise is VITAL to me keeping my spirits up, I am sure, especially during this cold, dark, & dreary time of year!
Have a great day, Sparkers!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Wow, that was a real killer today!!! Glad it was just a short race! I looked outside this morning, thinking it looked pretty clear and sunny even, I thought I would take my Vibrams out for their first race debut. Not a good idea. As we got into Hamburg about 45 min away, it was snowing.... HARD!! Too warm to really stick, but still coming down hard and making it quite wet. From just the little distance between the parking lot and the start number pick-up desk, my feet were already freezing. The snow was coming down so hard, we felt like we couldn't even let the kids out of the car. Even though there was a playground right there by the Start Line, none of them had waterproof pants on, so playing outside was a no-go. DH geared up for keeping them entertained in the car for an hour... I was a little nervous about this, and felt sort of guilty, so guilty that I ALMOST had him just take us all home. But then I figured, I had come all the way out there, might as well just do it.
Just before the race, hubby takes this picture, and I almost sure I am asking him, "Are you sure we shouldn't just drive home now?"
We started off, and I already couldn't feel my feet. My Vibrams had soaked through along with the toe socks I had underneath. Seriously... they were completely numb. Why did I want to wear those darn shoes TODAY?? I mean, I have some great Gortex Adidas that are PERFECT for that weather. I was just hoping I didn't step on something really sharp and injure myself, not knowing it until the feeling returned. I felt miserable - couldn't barely see, because the snow kept falling on my glasses, and my breath kept fogging them up, it was cold, my feet were numb.... I kept contemplating breaking off with the 5Kers. But I didn't.
After 3 km, the feeling started returning to my feet!!!! YAAAAY!! But by then, my pants were waterlogged from the knees down. They were heavy, and were sloshing with every step I took. I kept trying to pull them up... but it was too late.
So, I just ran. And I really started having fun with it. I did little intervals to keep me entertained, and the rest of the race went really fast. After 8 km, I gave up trying to dodge the puddles. We had HUGE puddles covering our trail. One girl was stopping to walk and dance around the puddle, and I came blowing past, right down the middle of the puddle and trail!! I didn't give a flyin' flip, cuz I was already soaked!! LOL
Yep, that's right. Take it like a BIG GIRL! And I did! Finished with a big ol' smile on my face too! So glad I didn't drive home without running it. Finished the 10.3K in 57:41. Certainly not my fastest 10K or anything, but I had a great time.
Because I was soaking wet, and had mud splatters all up my back, hubby made me remove my pants before getting in the car. Since we didn't take anything to change into, I had to ride home pants-free! Funny! We had a great time. Kids also did amazingly super in the car too, just hanging out waiting for mommy. =)
We didn't get "bling" for the race, but instead a Lebkuchen Heart (the heart-shaped cookie around my neck). Still cool. And trust me, those things last forever. I found the one I got in 2009 at the same race.
And then there's my muddy rear...
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