It's been nearly a month since Willy was laid off and it took about 3 weeks for the first unemployment check to finally arrive in our mailbox so those first three weeks were pretty frightening and nerve-wracking as we watched our bank account having stuff going out but nothing coming back in. But now that we even have that fraction of Willy's previous income arriving weekly in our mailbox we feel like we can stay afloat. That and the generosity of friends who've treated us to an evening out for sweet treats, friends who invited our family over for dinner one Sunday night, a friend who bought goggles for my boys so their eyes wouldn't have to suffer from the over-chlorination of the pool where they're taking swim lessons (yay for free Parks & Recs programs!!), a dance teacher who generously offered to allow Brady to continue coming to class but froze our account so we wouldn't have to make payments for now, a church welfare program unmatched by any that I've ever heard of that is keeping food on our table, and above all else? A massive amount of praying going on! We feel so supported and comforted because of all the prayers our family and friends are offering on our behalf. Despite the stress that you can imagine, we mostly feel very well looked-after and cared for and we know that Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and is blessing us.
Willy has impressed a lot of people over the years and has done some great networking at various industry events and through work in general. He's got contacts all over the country and has felt a lot of support from his colleagues. While we haven't aggressively sought employment on the mainland yet, Willy has been blessed through his contacts with a few bits of freelance type work and has some potential short-term contract work coming up as well.
He also has one very solid potential employment opportunity here locally that we're hoping to hear more about in the next couple of weeks. The position they're hiring for is a new one at the company and because a major part of their work is a large government project they have a lot of hoops to jump through before they can offer anyone the job. So the interviewing and hiring process is a little slow going and there's still a bit of unknown as far as whether the job would provide an income adequate for our family here in Hawaii, but we're pretty confident that because Willy is the perfectly matched candidate for the position there's a very real chance an offer will be made in the next couple of weeks. If that opportunity doesn't become a reality Willy will start aggressively seeking employment on the mainland, and any decisions we have will be approached with a lot of prayer because we know Heavenly Father has a plan for us, whether it's for us to stay put at least a while longer or for us to move on to the next adventure.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about the idea of leaving Hawaii. I'm sure it's clear that I've pretty much given Hawaii my heart. I feel like after those first few months of adjusting to life in the islands, the islands got inside me and have just become a part of who I am. I know I was meant to be here, at least for this short time (if not longer). I don't want to leave Hawaii and each time I think about it too seriously I get pretty emotional. When I imagine flying away from the islands with a one-way ticket it makes me want to just curl up and cry. BUT! I've had moments of imagining what new adventures might lie in store for our family and I've felt peaceful and even a bit excited about experiencing something entirely new to us in a new location. The only thing I've told Willy is that if we have to leave Hawaii I want it to be with a destination full of new exciting experiences for us. A place that will feel sort of adventurous the way coming to Hawaii felt for us when we came here.
We're trying hard to just keep some semblance of normalcy during this crazy time. The kids are all in school, Brady and Toby just started swim lessons again through the Parks & Rec department and Molly and I started back up in the Parents & Tots program (also through Parks & Rec). Molly and I continue to dance hula. Willy is still making his bike riding a priority despite not doing it to commute right now. He even just did the killer 40+ mile ride from Laie to home in Ewa Beach after we went to the temple last week. He's a machine :)
In addition to the routine things we've had a few fun diversions and experiences in the last few weeks. I turned 39 on the 12th of January and have been diligently working on my fitness and health as I start what will surely be a speedy year as I approach 40 (gulp). I participated in my first official 5K experience (which was technically a 5+ K since they had to reroute us slightly due to construction so it was about 1/2 mile longer than normal LOL). It was on the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe and was called "King of the Hill" due to the humongous radar hill we had to climb in the middle of the race. It was an amazing experience (I blogged about it HERE on my weight loss blog and would love for you to read about it if you haven't already) and I'm getting really excited for my February race experience which will be the Great Aloha Run (thanks to my amazing friend Michelle for encouraging me to run a race with her each month and another amazing friend Kristi who "sponsored" me and paid my race entrance fee!!!). I'm also hosting a fun weight loss competition on my weight loss blog which is proving to be an AWESOME experience! It's keeping me busy, for sure!
Willy and I took a lovely morning trip to Hanauma Bay during his "time off" and as a family we've had considerably more time to spend together. Most of the time that's a great thing hehehe. Like today? Today we skateboarded, biked and played together after school as an entire family for a good while. It was awesome.
Life in general? Pretty darn awesome.
So we're surviving! And even thriving in some aspects. It will be a HUGE relief to have a consistent income again of course and we're hopeful that that will arrive sooner than later, but our update at this point is that life is absolutely a-okay. We're a-okay. We're being watched over and protected and we feel the prayers of love and support. We're hopeful that we'll have good news to share on the job front in the near future. Thank you for continuing to pray for us! It means more to us than I can express in words! Mahalo!