~Life continued on~
Our " new normal" meant Richard attended a local college part-time during the day, and worked at the post office at night. I grew used to our schedule, and kept very busy at home with our sweet little boys!
We traded off babysitting with Richard's siblings once a month, and discovered that dates were wonderful!! Every married couple with children needs dates!!!! :)
~After one year of college, Richard began CLEP-ing out of general college courses, then eventually heard about an online school (Excelsior college). Even with attending college the cyber non-traditional way, we could see that his schooling was going to be a very long road. Many times Richard grew discouraged that the light at the end of the tunnel was so far away, so far out of his reach.
~When Antonin was 4 months old, Richard & I left the church group he had grown up in. After visiting several churches in the area, we found that church hunting was not an easy task. Antonin was a clingy baby and would cry and scream every time I left him in the church's nurseries. I was constantly paged to the nursery, and grew tired of accompanying Richard -since I couldn't enjoy the services anyway! I often stayed at home with Antonin, while Richard & Caleb checked out churches. Once we settled on one place to attend, I joined in with Antonin, hoping he'd eventually grow used to being in the nursery.
~ During the time of church searching, I attended a MOPS group ("Moms of Preschoolers"). I was immensely blessed to be able to set aside church searches and spend time with other ladies. I could talk with them about my children's latest development or latest parenting issues, without church topics ever arising. I felt SO refreshed!!! :) :) :)
~After attending an Evangelical Free church for awhile, Richard made the decision that our family would continue to attend regularly. With this decision came relief that I could begin volunteering my time or signing up for various events. Richard & I hosted a 6-8 week Bible study in our home, and volunteered to help on the nursery rotation. How wonderful to be needed again and serve others!! :) I felt like a FREE bird!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) : ) : )
~By the way, our family relationships remained intact; Richard's family eventually changed churches too.