It’s been quite some time since my last post, in fact, nearly a month because Coraline will be turning one THIS WEEK.

How did this happen, a full year gone by in a blink of an eye? So much has changed, and I’ll save further nostalgia and blathering on about the time warp of  parenting on Coraline’s one year post.

I have actually had a rather lot of time on my hands the past two and a half weeks since I was let go from my job. I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to write much about it until it was final, but here we are.

Ice wine festivalMy next entry was going to be about our plans to finish off our basement; plans that we were literally going to sign off on the day that I was laid off. Or position was eliminated. My career services coach, provided generously by my former employer, says that “laid off” has negative connotations and that I should use the terms “position elimination due to cost reduction and restructuring”. Which is true, but a mouthful.

Thankfully, our contractor for our basement is a very old friend of Brian’s who is perfectly willing (and has plenty of work without us) to move us into fall, by which point I should be securely into a new position elsewhere. Although I am still incredibly bummed by the delay! Not to mention bummed at the lack of a job, of course.

I am on severance payments right now, and again my former employer has been generous in that regard in comparison to folks from other companies I have heard of. Generous, though, is not a job, and a few things changed for us including a $300 increase per month in health insurance on Brian’s paycheck in comparison to what we had from mine.

But don’t spend much time feeling sorry for us or myself. I am experiencing quite a bit of an ego hit myself, but for our family, we are not hurting financially or even emotionally in general at this moment. These kinds of decisions surrounding finances and family life are never fun to have, but aside from my pride, Brian is really enjoying my being able to pick up and drop of kids from daycare.

How have I been spending this time? We have continued to send the kids to daycare, because we are not ready to pull them out entirely and we have to pay anyway unless we wanted to set up a part time schedule. But quite honestly, we strongly feel and hope that I will not be out of work for long. We have not considered me as a stay at home mom at this point. I envision several more years in the future a potential part time job for me so I might work on photography more and allow us the freedom from having before or after school care, but at this moment we are happy with our choice.

So my time to myself has been spent working on organizing photos and moving them. I messed up when I created our iPhoto library when we first got our Mac, and this project has been on my mind for a long time. Basically, I was duplicating photos on the very same drive (which certainly isn’t a good back up strategy and has no benefits).

I freed up over 100GB on our drive and in the process organized and labeled family members in EVERY SINGLE digital photo we have (not including scanned family historical photos). From 2002 on, here’s where we’re at:

– 4 iPhoto Libraries totaling 34,603 photos tagged from: 4 or more phones and 5 cameras we have owned, plus numerous shared photos
– 1,874 photos of Sasha
– 2,424 photos of Coraline
– 3,833 photos with me, from 2002 to present
– 4,591 photos with Brian, from 2002 to present
– 11,328 photos of Jameson (obviously I didn’t know how to delete)
– Over 7,400 labeled as a favorite photo
– 66 photos of all 4 us humans
– Just 2 photos of all 5 of us with Sasha

With that project complete, which literally was like a job for 8 hours a day for a week or more, I have turned my attention to things that forever get put on the back-burner like renewing my passport, ordering Jameson’s birth certificate (we only ordered Coraline’s oddly enough), running outside whenever it was nice enough to do so (oh I am feeling the lack of a treadmill which I used to have access to at work!), cleaning the floors and actually catching up laundry, having lunch with friends, and working on Coraline’s party.

In a couple weeks, I’ll be heading to my parents for a visit with the kids and am pulling kids out of daycare a few times this week for various things. All in all, my time is very well spent and filled to the brim. It is great to be able to do things I have always talked about doing and never found the time to. I am hoping to finish Coraline’s digital scrapbook and catch up on both kids’ baby books. Maybe I’ll even get to our 2013 family photo book.

I have had some trouble sleeping and frequently have to turn away from bitter thoughts which invade whenever I’m feeling sorry for myself. But mostly I’m okay, even good. I’m sure, like Coraline’s first year, that it won’t be long before I look back on this time of freedom with nostalgia as well.

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