Update as of April 1st - Susan got the job!!!!!!!! No foolin'!
Today we met with our real estate agent, and the reality is certainly beginning to set in. We are DOING this! We are moving on... changing our lives... chasing our dreams!
Once we complete our duties for the year at Carroll High School on June 1st, we will be moving to Salt Lake City, UT. Beth has been offered and accepted the position of Senior Writer at Creating Keepsakes Magazine, and yesterday I interviewed (via webcam) for an Associate Creative Editor position at a sister magazine, Paper Crafts, on Friday. The editorial offices are in the same building.
Around the first of the year, we decided to pursue a career change. We both had reached a point where we needed a new challenge, and spurred on by some communications from a couple of unlikely "out of the blue" sources, we felt what we can only describe as a divine nudge to dare to dream. We consulted our pastor (a former high school English teacher), and he also encouraged us forward.
While I steadily worked on my Hall of Fame entry in January, Beth developed her resume and began to research where her skills could be used in a new and challenging career. When Beth asked one of the editors from Creating Keepsakes to be a reference, she indicated that the editor of the magazine would be someone to ask as well. Beth casually joked about whether there was "an opening at a magazine near her?" Well, lo and behold they were finishing interviewing candidates for this Senior Writer position. Move to Utah? No, we couldn't possibly, right? Or could we? She continued the process just because the job was so enticing, and it truly seemed to be the dream job - exactly what she was looking for. They sent her two applicant tests which she completed with flair (in my opinion!), and later she had an hour and a half phone interview with two of the editors
In the midst of the interview, they asked about me and mentioned the other opening! The doors were just opening too conveniently for it to be anything but God-driven! So, I got the info and submitted my resume. As I read through the job listing, I was blown away by how it was all that I would love to do - writing, editing, tracking trends, teaching, presenting, traveling to trade shows. I became seriously giddy considering how utterly FUN it all sounded.
There was a lull for a time - nearly three weeks passed, and we thought that they had passed on us, but then Beth got an e-mail telling her that things were taking a little longer than expected and not to give up on them! And then a day or so later there was a request for a formal application. Meanwhile, I got an e-mail to complete some tests for my application process, and once I completed them, they immediately asked to set up an interview.
Beth received the actual job offer about a week ago, and she begins officially on June 9. Even though I don't know about my job yet (they said I should know in a week or two), we feel that a move of this magnitude would be easier to manage as a team. We have both lived out West separately, but we've never done it TOGETHER!
My interview yesterday was very exciting. I was asked to make a seven minute presentation sharing the most prominent trends of popular culture in color, style, design, and motif that I am seeing, and then tell what I feel are the 8-10 hottest scrapbooking supplies that are on the market. How fun is THAT? I dove right into that and came up with some really great ideas after paging through Lucky, In Style, and Domino. I added more magazines to the mix - Cookie, Modern Dog, Cosmo Girl, and Blueprint to gain a broader scope. In the end, I connected all of the trends to five different personality types - The Romantic, The Minimalist, The Explorer, The Naturalist, and The Diva. Not only did I use the personality types for the trend, I also connected them to the hot scrapbooking tools which I felt included lace, felt flowers, The Big Bite, scallops, chipboard swirls, journaling spots, large pattern patterned papers with saturated colors, and metallic papers and accents. In the end, I asked them which personality type fit me best. I must be an open book. They got it without trying. Which one do YOU think I am? Below are the visuals that I used in the presentation. I think that they turned out pretty cool. Please pray that they call back with a job offer for me, and if I get a call to be a 2008 Hall of Famer, too, that would be pretty cool!
It is very difficult to think of moving so far away from loved ones. We have really grown attached to Fort Wayne and many of the people who surround us, and our incredibly close-knit family is so dear to our hearts. We want to know that our parents will have people to turn to. We will miss jaunts to Chicago and Detroit and Indianapolis and Buffalo and Cincinnati. Our road trips will more likely be to places like Pocatello, Idaho, or Zion National Park. We are sad to leave our little home, but we look forward to what lies ahead. We feel compelled to heed the motto on our refrigerator..."Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase."
The months ahead will be filled with sorting, packing, boxes, and planning. We've already begun to take some steps toward our new life. It is both exhilarating and terrifying, but as a team rooted in faith we are confident that it will all work out for us! While we know that no job is perfect, we are thrilled with the prospect of the new challenges ahead for us. We will miss teaching - the kids, the colleagues, the curriculum, but I have to be honest, I'm pretty pumped about never having to grade another research paper ever again! :)
We ask that you pray for us. Pray that Paper Crafts wants me to be a part of their staff. Pray that our house sells so that we can begin the search for a new place to live in Utah. Pray for our parents who will have children in Syracuse, Salt Lake, and Istanbul. Pray that God keeps opening those doors for us. We are so thankful to have such amazing people in our lives who will keep the prayers coming.
In other news, we enjoyed having our cousin SPC Andrew Harbison spend some time with us last week. He spoke to our English 12 classes about his time in Iraq. We are so proud of him!
And we celebrated a wonderful and Happy Easter with our parents in Amelith. Mom was in the hospital from Palm Sunday until Maundy Thursday due to blockage of a minor artery that left her feeling a little off, so we were glad to help Dad get things back in order at the house and to give Mom the TLC that she needed. By Sunday morning, she was able to make it to the Easter celebration service. I just love this picture that Beth took of Mom with the lily that she and Dad placed on the altar in honor of their 50th anniversary year.