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Yeah yeah...I know. Where the heck have we been?! Well, I could tell you every depressing detail of the past 9 months but if I did that, it would be days before I got anything posted. So in lieu of spilling my guts and making excuses, I will just try to catch up as quickly as I can.

Looking at the last post I see that I had just lost my job but was eagerly awaiting news from some good prospects. Let's just sum that up - they never happened. In fact, on Monday, 9 months after losing my job, I will finally start a new job that is paying me almost what I was making last August. In the middle of those 9 months were 3 full months of excruciating job hunting - which brought nothing. A desperate attempt to have money for Christmas by applying for and obtaining a retail job at Nordstrom which equated to 2 full months of working on my feet for 8 hours a day, on a commission only basis, selling men's suits. I don't think I have ever seen blisters like the ones I was sporting during this bleak period. Oh, and two days ago, almost 4 months after quitting this job at Nordstrom, I finally lost the big toenail on my right foot, which died about 3 weeks into my job there. I am definitely NOT cut out for the retail business.

The peril's of working retail during Christmas
Right around the first of February, I accepted a temp job at the University of Utah and quit the Nordstrom job. Even though it was through the temp service, the job was for a long enough period of time that I thought it might be a good "foot in the door" to a permanent job at the University. I started working as the Executive Assistant to the Chair of the Neurology Department at the School of Medicine. Turns out it was a good move, even though the pay was pretty insulting. So, Monday I start as an Executive Assistant to a Doctor at the Moran Eye Center, also still with the School of Medicine at the University of Utah.  I have benefits again, pretty decent wages, and the best part is 50% off tuition for me and my kids! Guess I will be going for that Masters Degree soon!

We did finally move from student housing during the first week of December. It snowed the day we moved, which was just another splendid facet of the 9 month hole I was in. But, we are in an actual house, with TWO bathrooms - Hallelujah - and a fantastic kitchen. I couldn't be happier unless I actually owned the house. day.

Goodbye to our teeny tiny, cinder block student apartments
We live right below this trail - a beautiful hike with my kids
From the mountain above our home
Ian turned 12 in October, which is nuts. Evan and Addison both had a birthday in April with Evan turning 11 and Addison turning 7 - Holy cow. They are growing up so fast, I can barely keep up.

Ian''s Birthday at the Olive Garden
Addie and Evan's birthday at Hollywood Connection
Evan and Addison's birthday
They have spent this year involved in Up With Kids (theater group) and Addison has also been taking ballet. I rejoined my writing group in January, something I just couldn't bring myself to do for quite a while due to my situation. There is something sad about only writing depressing material, hence the reason for my blog hiatus. But, being back has refreshed my brain and reconnected me with people that I respect and enjoy spending time with. And, best of all, I finally feel able to do the things that bring me the most joy again!

My budding actor's after their theater group play performance
Addison with Ms. Laurie, her ballet teacher
My tiny dancer

All in all, there wasn't much to catch up on I guess. Life kind of stopped for a while there and I just did my best to muddle through it. I have to admit that there were some pretty dark days and a lot of pity parties being thrown on my behalf. The first six months of 2012 were so fabulous and I was so full of hope, looking forward to a bright future etc. etc....then it just came crashing down around me. I'm sure I am not the first person to go through it but I pray to God that I don't have to do it again anytime soon.  For the first time since September, I am finally breathing again...cautiously.

Here are a couple of pictures that highlight happier times during the past nine months (clearly out of order) :

Halloween trick-or-treating with Soren and Jude

Thanksgiving in Reno with my parents and uncle Jeff (not pictured) and Dooley the big ole' dog.


Addison's First grade program

Evan's 5th grade Great Americans program as Neil Armstrong

Easter Morning

At the Bee's game with their dad

My dates to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert with Alfie Boe!

Our Christmas tree, put up during the second week of December and the week after moving in to our new house

Christmas Eve

Worst winter in 17 years...cant remember getting this much snow - at least not as an adult.

Addison's as Mama Bear in her 1st grade Literacy Fair play

Hot chocolate after shoveling 2 feet of snow off the driveway

Addison sang "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables during theater group

Mother's Day 2013 in the mountains

My handsome Ian - on Valentines Day 2013

Sweet Evan - on Valentines Day 2013

Shopping at the mall with my girl

Growing girl

This post first appeared on The Shannon Family, please read the originial post: here

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