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Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Ho-Hum Catch Up Post

Over the past few months our lives have been quite busy and exciting. On February 9th we closed on our brand new built home here in Roswell, NM. Unfortunately, we are still in a lease until May 1st on our rental so double bills for a few months. YUCK!! I was at first quite irritated that Mark would not budge on the 3 car garage to save us a little money, but I must admit it has come in handy for storing our crap. We still have some things to unpack and I am slowly getting things decorated, but it will all come together eventually. Mark is still working for Devon in Artesia. The company has decided for the time being to lay down all of their rigs so that is always a scary proposition when you represent the drilling department. In February the company laid off 1000 employees due to the commodity price. Mark was spared this round and has been transferred over to supporting production until the rigs go back in the air. He is really enjoying his job. Kai is a busy pre-teen. Between friends, dance, dance, and Church we hardly ever see her. This past week we got a letter that invited Kai to join the National Junior Honor Society. You have to maintain a 3.5 g.p.a and show honor and respect towards your fellow students. We are so very proud of her. Jakob is busy being his usual Jakob self. He decided to take up golf and so on Tuesdays he has lessons at the golf course. Mark, of course, is pleased with that decision. He is hoping to play soccer in the fall. The kids definitely keep us on our toes and some days I totally understand why the wild animals eat their young!! If you would have told us that a year ago we would've moved to Roswell and actually like it we would have called you a liar. However, we have really adjusted well. Mark has a great job, the kids and us have awesome friends, our Church family is fabulous, and our home is almost perfect for us! I'd say all in all that life here in the southwest is pretty enjoyable!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Days You Can't Forget

Well we have been here in Roswell since the end of May but it doesn't seem like that long since we have been having to spend so much time in Lubbock. There are days that just come so clearly to my mind. The day Mark proposed (2-14-02), our wedding day (7-12-02), my kids birthdays (5-22-03 and 9-16-08), the day we found out we had serious problems with my pregnancy (5-22-08), the day I lost my first grandparent to death (11-05-07) you get it, I'm REALLY good at dates. Well add another to the list: August 22, 2015. That was the night that I got the call that my mother had been hit by an intoxicated driver. My sister called me around 11pm as I was settling into bed and told me not to freak out but that our mom had been in a bad car wreck and rushed to the hospital. The next few hours were spent on the phone talking to my sister and dad trying to get as many details about what was going on. The next morning I had to call my friend Beth and explain to her what was going on and ask if she could teach the lesson at church that I was supposed to give since we were heading to Lubbock. As I walked into the hospital that morning I immediately wanted to cry. My mom was so broken and bruised. She had fractured to vertebrae in her neck, had a blood clot in a main artery in her neck, severe bruising of the lungs, and also was having difficulty breathing. For the next month or so we found ourselves in Lubbock on the weekends in order to help out with things around the house and to help give my dad and sister some relief. Mom is doing so much better now. She still has broken bones and can not drive but the bruises are disappearing but at least we are on the road to recovery. I can not express the gratitude I have to my Heavenly Father for sparing my mother. If she had been in her little sports car instead of a big SUV we would have for sure been planning a funeral. I also can not even begin to thank all the family and friends that stepped up to the plate and offered prayers, food, cleaning, phone calls, Facebook messages, and visits. Your love for our family means the world to us. As I have told my family and friends before, 2015 has been the year of suck for us but we are looking forward to putting it behind us and moving onto a better 2016.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Day I'll Never Forget

I have debated for awhile if I was actually going to post about what all has been going on the last couple of months in our lives. Without fail a small inner voice in me told me that I needed to because it would be cathartic in a way. So please forgive me if I start rambling on and use some "colorful" language at times. I am not going to bash anyone or anything. However, if you know me at all, you know exactly what has transpired, how ugly it got, and how I really feel about things. This is just a post to express my feelings and let the general public know what has been going on. On February 19th Mark and all of the employees of Marathon Oil Company received an email from the CEO stating that due to falling oil prices the company would be instituting a reduction in workforce of about 10%, or roughly 350 people. The email stated that those laid off would be treated with dignity and respect and that they hoped the lay offs would be done quickly as to not interfere with the work schedule to much. Mark assumed and actually believed that his job was safe since we had just been transferred to Oklahoma 8 months prior to that. I, unfortunately, have a sixth sense where I can sense doom and had a feeling that he would be losing his job in the near future. The day that the email was sent out many of Mark's friends and co-workers in Houston were let go. From what we were told the number of people let go that day was around 150-200 and it was NOT done with any type of dignity or respect. The weekend came and went and even Monday blew by without a sound from the ivory tower. Then word came done that the Mid-Continent Asset would be hit on Tuesday, the 24th. February 24th is a day I will never forget. The kids had a snow day from a winter storm that had come through on Monday. Mark went to work fully expecting to see some more of his co-workers let go but still confident that he would be fine. At approximately 8:20 that morning I got the dreaded call from Mark. He had lost his job and was being escorted out the building. There it was, almost 10 years with a company and it was all over in a matter of five minutes. Mark came home and immediately changed his clothes and went to bed. I had never seen my husband so defeated. He was PISSED and yet sad at the same time. He just didn't understand how he could have done everything asked of him because he was told that it would help his career, in spite of how it effected his family, only to have this happen. It broke my heart and I just wanted to make his pain go away. Kai came in our room and asked why her daddy was home from work so soon. I knew that I had to tell the kids something so I gathered myself up and went into the living room. Telling my small children that their daddy no longer worked for Marathon was the hardest thing that I had ever had to do. I cried and promised them that no matter what happens both of their parents loved them and that they did not need to worry about anything. The rest of the day was a blur between family and close friends being told about what went down and us trying to figure out what our next plan would be. Mark decided that his next job would be to find the next job. We agreed to keep life as normal as possible for the children and just try to keep a sense of humor about the situation. Even though I agreed to put on a brave front I did have a moment of weakness when I woke up that first night to use the restroom and found myself laying on my closet floor in the fetal position weeping. The next morning Mark woke up just in time to take Jakob to school with me and run some errands. By mid-morning Mark was scouring the internet looking for any opportunities that were available to him. We knew that we had an advantage over some other people because we were willing to relocate anywhere and we would even look for opportunities outside of oil and gas. Over the next two weeks Mark applied for over 60 jobs. His philosophy was to cast his net as far and wide as he could and then see what fish would bite. It didn't take long. Within a couple of days Mark had initial phone interviews with a few companies. In fact he even had a couple of face to face interviews by Spring Break. While on Spring Break in Lubbock Mark got a call from a company offering him a HES Manager position in North Dakota. The package they offered him was amazing. More money, a truck, monthly housing allowance, and full relocation benefits. The offer was too good to pass up. Do we take it or wait for something else? We were torn because no other offers had been made. A little while later Mark got a call from Devon energy to come into their OKC office for an interview. On a Thursday afternoon Mark went to the corporate office for his interview with Devon and on the next day Mark got the call that he got the job, but the job was in New Mexico. Their offer was more money (but not as much as North Dakota), a truck, and full relocation benefits. We now had two awesome offers on the table and needed to make the best decision for our family. We chose to take the position with Devon Energy and relocate our family to New Mexico. Mark started work with Devon on April 20th and the kids and I will eventually join him there once they finish up school here in Oklahoma. We are excited for this new adventure and know that God had a hand in all of this. We have learned through this whole ordeal who are real friends are what family members really care. We also learned that you may not understand everything that happens in your life but God knows exactly what your life looks like in the future and He will not fail you if you just stop and listen to Him and let Him be in charge and guide you.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas 2014

"Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand."-The Grinch Who Stole Christmas This was our very first Christmas here in Oklahoma and I must admit it was a little bit different then Christmases past. Sometime in October I got a call from Mark's mom asking if my parents were coming to Oklahoma for Christmas. When I told her that they weren't she asked if her and my father-in-law could come and spend the holidays with us. Of course they could! That night I told Mark and the kids that Tutu and Poppa would be coming for Christmas and they all got so excited. Mark hasn't spent Christmas with his parents in years, not to mention hadn't seen them in 6 months, so I knew he was looking forward to the visit. I tried my hardest to make Christmas special for Mark, the kids, and my in-laws by decorating the house (inside and out), cooking meals and treats, the reading of the Christmas story in The Bible, an afternoon of shopping and a movie, celebrating Mark's birthday, and other small things. The only two hiccups to Christmas in Oklahoma was us having to explain to Kai the truth about Santa and the snow we got on the day Mark's parents were to leave to head home. (They made it home but it just took ALOT longer than expected). The day after Mark's parents left we loaded up our car and headed to Lubbock to spend the rest of the Christmas break with my parents. Upon arrival we were able to have a small gift exchange which included my sister's family. My parents were so filled with happiness having all of their grandkids and kids together opening gifts. (The last time that happened Kaden, our nephew, was 4. He is 13 now). The next day my mom, sister, and Granny all met for lunch at a cute sandwich shop called Manna, which is becoming a habit every time I am in Lubbock. After lunch my mom and I had plenty of errands to run because the next morning we would be heading to Ruidoso to spend the rest of our vacation. West Texas and Eastern New Mexico got a pretty good snow/ice storm the night before and morning of our trip. Needless to say, a 4 hour drive to Ruidodo turned into a 9 hour drive due to road conditions and closures. Once we made it to Ruidoso we had a fabulous time with my parents. There was skiing, snow tubing, a game tournament, deer watching, football game watching, and even a little gambling. The only hiccups to this trip were the drive there and Mark getting our car stuck in a ditch the night before we headed home. Even though this Christmas was a little different I'm glad for it. I got to spend some time with the most important people in my life, remind my children about the true meaning of the holiday, and just relax and have fun. The Whos in "The Grinch" have it right, Christmas Day is in our grasp and long as we have hands to clasp. Heart to heart and hand in hand. It doesn't really matter the amount of gifts given or received, as long as you are with the ones you love the most you will always have a great Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

No Kai, There Really Isn't A Santa Claus

This past Friday night Mark and I went out to finish up the rest of the Christmas presents for Kai and Jakob. As we laid the gifts out on the bed to decide what would be from us and what should come from Santa Claus we came to a starling realization: This would be the year that Kai would need to learn that her parents were Santa. With Jakob getting about 3x as many gifts as Kai we were scared that Kai would think she wasn't as good as her brother or that her momma and daddy loved her less. So it was decided, one of us would have to gently explain to Kai whom Santa Claus really was. On Saturday morning while we were getting ready to go run some errands I called Kai into our bedroom and began to tell her the truth. I first let he read a letter that I found on Pinterest that tells a child who Santa really is. After she finished reading the letter, Kai looked up from the computer with tears in her eyes. I knew that I had just destroyed her belief in everything and her heart, and mine, slowly broke together. Trying to recover from what I just inflicted upon my eldest child I explained to Kai that Santa is real in that he represents hope, happiness, and love, which is exactly how her daddy and I felt about her and Jakob. I also explained the reason why we thought it was best that she knew ahead of time (the gift ratio). After our talk she told me that she understood why she needed to be told the truth but that she was sad because her childhood had been ruined that morning. I guess what I am trying to get at is that no one ever tells you how to handle situations like this when you have a child of your own, you just have to kind of go with the ebbs and flows of parenthood and make it up as you go. You will have big wins like first steps, honor rolls in school, and band concerts. You will also experience many lows like illness, their first heartbreak from a boy/girl, and yes even having to tell them that there is not really a Santa Claus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Who Am I?

There is a commercial on Facebook that shows a mirror that random women look into at the mall and instead of images being seen the women see words like brave, powerful, and beautiful. Another commercial I have seen shows women getting onto a scale and intend of their weight they see words of encouragement as well. So how does this relate to what I wanted to write about? Lately I have been thinking about the way that I see myself versus the way that others see me. When looking through magazines, watching television, listening to current music, and even people watching at the local mall or grocery store women are hit with images of what women are supposed to look like. If national pop culture is any indication than all women would be a size 0 to 6, be at least 5 feet 5 inches, have long hair that is done at all times, wear perfect make-up (even when going to the gym or cleaning house), and be submissive to men. So all of this has got me pretty down on myself because if you know me I really don't fit into any of those categories. I am certainly not even close to a size 0-6, my hair is short and kinky curly, I only wear make-up if going to church or out with friends or the hubby, I am on the taller side for women, and I am far from submissive to my man. In order to get a more realistic view of myself I asked my family how they see me. Some words that came to their minds were selfless, caring, loving, honest (bluntly honest), sexy, cuddly, fun, soft, curly hair, nice feet, organized, forgiving, and compassionate. After reading over these characteristics I noticed that very few of them were physical traits. My family looks beyond the outer crust of me and really sees the inner me, faults and all. So what does this all mean? It means that we as women need to stop looking at pop culture to define who we are and to stop being so down on ourselves and instead really look into the good qualities of ourselves. I will keep this list of qualities that my family made close to my heart and reference them whenever I am starting to doubt myself.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Onto Greener Acres

"Oklahoma is the place to be. Farming living is the life for me" maybe not so much. Oklahoma is great but we are by no means farmers. So why dis I start my post with the theme song from Green Acres? Well, a couple of months ago Mark accepted a position with his company in Oklahoma City. His official start date was July 7, 2014 however, due to circumstances with our home in Pearland (stupid drywall), the kids and I lived at my parents home in Lubbock while Mark lived in between San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Now why was Mark having to split time between San Antonio and Oklahoma? Well due to Mark accepting a temporary assignment in San Antonio for 3 months and then the permanent transfer to Oklahoma City he has had to shuffle in between locales. This year has been rough on our family for many reasons including the fact that our family hasn't been under the same roof for almost half the year! Even with the challenges that we faced we endured to the end and now hopefully we can reap the rewards. We know that God has blessed our family with this opportunity in Oklahoma and we look forward to the many adventures that Oklahoma has to offer for the Hurst family.