>Roll with the changes.

>Aaron has been working at Cat since February of this year. Thursday the company announced that they are laying off over 800 workers at the engine production plant. Unfortunately, this lay-off affects Aaron. February 23 will be his last day, and we’ve been a little stressed out but still at peace about our further job prospects. He could collect unemployment or go back to school full-time, but we’re looking into a secure job for him. I can literally get a job anywhere I go, being a certified teacher and having a BA, but for him it’s a little more difficult, especially in manufacturing, which is where he has experience.

This news comes in the midst of other unfortunate events – his grandparents’ house burned down just a couple weeks ago. His sister-in-law’s father has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. However, despite the unfortunate events, we have been still strong in our faith and amazed by the overwhelming sense of peace.

Needless to say, I no longer suffer from “baby fever”. It’s easy to want a child when so many people I know are having them! For them, it is their time. We are so young still (I am 22, he is 24) and so we have plenty of time.

We are weighing our options and hope to keep everyone up-to-date about our next steps! Despite whatever our plans may be, I still plan on beginning my Master’s in Teacher Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The program is totally online, so it can go wherever I go. I am taking out loans, but I might as well do this now before we have children.

This coming week is so busy with visiting and spending time with family. Looking forward to it!

>Honduras.

>About Honduras…

We were gone for a week, August 5-12. We visited an orphanage in La Ceiba, which is right on the Caribbean coast. We were able to spend some very quality time with kids from ages 1 to 21. It was amazing, and hopefully we’ll be able to afford to go back next year for a vacation/honeymoon to the Bay Islands, right off the coast of Honduras.

I have starting teaching high school Spanish, and although it’s only my second day, I love it! The staff is great, the kids are great… it will be a great year.

-Elizabeth

>Life has been busy, of course. Last Friday was my (Elizabeth’s) last day working at Yankee Candle. I worked in my classroom this week getting everything cleaned out… I ended up with eight BOXES of junk. Not measly shoe boxes, mind you. Aaron came and helped me on Tuesday, which was awesome. I ended up finishing everything and actually meeting some students on Wednesday. There was registration for the district at my building, so of course there were students roaming the school, even past the “Do Not Cross” tape. *Sigh* Adolescents. Gotta love ’em.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been married almost three months. It’s been great, though. Our apartment is finally starting to feel like home to me. I’m proud of it… especially when it’s clean. 🙂 We actually just cleaned the whole place in preparation for our trip to Honduras. We leave on TUESDAY!

We’re hoping to add a new member to our family soon… a Beagle by the name of Shiloh. We’ll be adopting him from a family at church that just doesn’t have ample room for him anymore. I’m excited… I really miss having a dog.

We’re both planning on going back to school in the spring – Aaron’s going to start finishing his Bachelor’s, and I’ve been accepted to Bradley’s school counseling program for my MA. We were very excited when we filed our FAFSAs and our “expected family contribution” for both of us combined was only $1000. Ah, the joys of being married AND both being in school at the same time.

Today, Saturday, we spent the whole day together. It’s been really nice, and now Aaron doesn’t have to go back to work until the day after we get back. I go back the 14th, and then I have my first day with the kids (that’s what I call them, haha) on the 18th.

Have a great night,

Elizabeth

>Life as newlyweds!

>

Life has been stressful, wonderful, rewarding… all at once! The wedding and ceremony were beautiful and everything went smoothly. We were given a one-night-stay at Stoney Creek Inn in East Peoria from the ladies I work with in the church coffee shop. We were at the hotel by 3pm, and we went to dinner at Jonah’s, a really nice seafood restaurant. We also took a stroll on the riverfront. It was perfect in more ways than one. 😉

We’ve obviously gone back to work since then. I quit Sylvan a week before the wedding since I got promoted at Yankee to an assistant manager (there are four of us… not sure why). Money has been really tight, as we knew it would be in these summer months before I start teaching. But God has provided thus far, and I really believe we needed this to humble us. Not because we were haughty or greedy, but just to “keep it real” and remind us Who we belong to.

Aaron’s job has been going well. He works full-time, 40 hours, and a few times during the week he picks up a few 12-hour days. When I’m home on those days, it gets kind of lonely. However, the alone time has been good for my soul and mind and keeps me in check. I occupy my time with cooking and cleaning, of course, and even though this is an apartment, there’s a lot to clean! I’ve been trying my hand at cooking, usually just using whatever we have. Aaron is satisfied so that’s good!

We’re very excited for our first trip out of the country together, and on missions no less, to Honduras. We’ll definitely post pictures on our return (we’re going in the beginning of August).

I’ve been having some major baby fever lately. I got to see our four-month-old niece this weekend, and that didn’t help matters any. Also, we’re taking care of our other two nieces and nephew while my brother- and sister-in-law are out of town with their church. Again, not helping matters. Aaron jokes and says that one quick look at the checkbook put us in our place. So true. I don’t know how people do it.

So what about kids? Our goal is to wait until we buy a house to start a family. By that time, we’ll be more mature (hopefully, haha) and more financially stable – hopefully we can afford for me to either stay at home or work just part time. I’m excited for when we do have children, though. Aaron will be a great dad. They will have a big happy loving family and lots of cousins to play with. It’ll be fun times. Though I’m not sure where we’ll have to have our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners…

…but that’s a topic for another time.

Good night,

Mrs. W. 🙂 [Weird.]

>For those of you who follow (not sure how many of you there are), lots of exciting things are happening in the next few weeks.

Aaron and I signed our lease this weekend and we get keys on Friday the 9th. I’m moving in first, and I am excited to have my own space. My car is full of boxes… it’s an interesting feeling, finally moving out after seventeen years of living in my bedroom.

Aaron and I are going to have a private ceremony at the courthouse on May 16th, just eleven days from now! We want to move in together, but we want to do it “right”. Also, he now has health/dental insurance through Cat, and as soon as I graduate (May 17th), my parents’ insurance kicks me off. With my luck, and also just to be practical, I can’t go over a month without health insurance.

The wedding and reception are still in place. It’ll be a fun time!

I graduate in less than two weeks… the day after we get married. 🙂

I got a part-time job working at Yankee Candle at Grand Prairie. I will supplement that with working at Sylvan Learning Center. My last day at County Market is on Mother’s Day.

Needless to say, we’ve been so blessed that everything is falling into place so well. Wish us luck as we move ahead with our plans!

>On my way…

>Here you go with some updates… Aaron’s full-time at Cat, now, with full benefits, paid vacation, all the goodies. We found an apartment in north Peoria, a great location for us since we still want to be able to easily visit our families but also need to be closer to our jobs.

We don’t want to move in together before we get married; however, the parents have no problem with it. In fact, my parents encourage it. It’s just not our style. So we’ve decided to tie the knot at the courthouse towards the middle of May with just our parents present and then have our church wedding the day we’ve been planning: June 21.

It’s not only for moving-in reasons, but financial reasons. If we wait until June 21 to get married, there will be a lapse in my health insurance. I’m not sure if the company kicks me off the day I graduate or if there’s a grace period. Regardless, we’re getting married the day before graduation. We are not going on a honeymoon; instead, we are going to Honduras on a trip with our church. WAY excited about that!

I found a job at the new-ish mall in Peoria for the summer and the upcoming school year. I will also continue working at Sylvan. Hopefully between both jobs our budget will stay the same.

I’m really excited to move out… one week from Friday!!

>Um, wow. LOTS has changed since my last post. First of all, I’m home sick today from school and therefore I actually have TIME to post.

Aaron’s working in Mossville now, at CAT. He’s making good money and I think he’s enjoying what he’s doing.

I’m five weeks away from my last day of student teaching. We just finished spring break. Crazy!

Now we have only two and a half months until the weddin’… how did THAT happen?

We’re going to look at a house for rent in a couple weeks. Woohoo! I get to move in first, ha.