It's About Me, Praises, The Husband

CAM Consulting/KLM Bookkeeping

So a month ago, I told you about Carl’s job search. At that time, he had turned down a full-time position with SMG and was going to begin working with them as an independent contractor. After doing so, the Finance Director kept after Carl about working with them full-time and Carl kept saying “then come up with more money.” Well, last week, SMG came up with more money! This morning, he begins his permanent, full-time position with them as Accounting Manager. We do lose our NFL retiree medical insurance but SMG actually has even better insurance. So now Carl just has to work with them for 9 years until he reaches 65 :). In case you were wondering, it seems like doors were closing with the other position that he was interested in which was another factor in him accepting this job. Congratulations Carl on your new position!

================================

Occasionally, when I am having a slow week of work, I will look at ads on Craigslist for a one-day a week bookkeeper to add a regular client to my repertoire. I have found two new clients in the past that way (one who was one full day once a week – although it is now down to every other week usually – and one who is one full day once a month). I recently responded to one of those ads and after talking with the owner of a bookkeeping company last week, I have accepted a part-time position with her firm. It will actually be 15-20 hours a week or more! But the pay was too good to pass up and she is my spirit twin…we are both bookkeepers, we are close in age, she has three kids, she was born and raised in Arizona and loves Tucson, she is a professional organizer, etc, etc. Plus, most of the work will still be done from my home, with only the occasional necessity to go to a client’s office. I am going to do that in addition to keeping the 10 clients that I work with on my own, so I’ll be approaching full-time work some/most weeks. So yay for me (I think)!

Side note: When I was discussing the potential new client with my husband, unsure of if I wanted to take on that much more work, he said “what do I have to give you for you to take it? A new used car?” I immediately jumped on the offer (seeing as I’m driving a 16 year old Lexus). So I’m documenting it here. After working for 4-6 months, my husband has promised to replace my vehicle. There’s no going back now, Carl! These are my witnesses.

 

 

Praises, The Husband

CAM Consulting

During his last month with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a coworker referred him to an Accounting Manager job with SMG, the organization that manages the stadium where the Jaguars play, as well as many other venues in the Jacksonville area. SMG is actually a nationwide company that manages venues in most major cities. Their Jacksonville office is at Veteran’s Arena, just down the block from the Jaguar Stadium.

After three interviews with SMG, he was offered the position last week. However, Carl did not feel that the salary was commensurate with his experience so he turned it down.

Plus there are two extenuating circumstances…

  1. Due to an NFL regulation, since Carl worked for the NFL for over 15 years and is currently over 55 years of age, we are eligible for the NFL “early retiree” health insurance plan. What that means is that we can continue to have health insurance at the current rate offered to employees until Carl is eligible for Medicare at 65 as long as he does not become a full-time employee with another company. Our current rate is $260/month for our family (it will go down after Zack ages out of our plan at 26 years)! That’s a hard rate to beat and we hate to give it up. Because if Carl takes a full-time job with another corporation and decides to only work 5-6 more years, we would then have to get private insurance to cover us until Medicare kicked in, which is typically over a thousand dollars a month. We’d really like to find a way to keep our NFL plan until Medicare!
  2. Carl has a lead on an independent contractor position for a job that he is very interested in and thinks he would like very much. However, it will most likely be at least a month before they are ready to start talking specifics and Carl knows more about that job.

And then earlier this week, SMG contacted Carl to see if he would like to work for them as an independent contractor for a few months on a project they have. It was a perfect solution! So Carl is now working full-time for SMG for a few months, which will buy him some time to figure out what he wants to do after that….he’s hoping that he will have more information on that other job or SMG may continue to utilize his services on other projects as well. In any case, we get to continue with our NFL health insurance for now, Carl is working full-time and he has more time to figure out what’s next.

We love the way God answered our prayers and provided for our family in just the way that we needed. God is so good!

 

 

The Husband

April Fool’s Day Non-Joke!

After 15 years with the MN Vikings and not quite 5 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carl’s 20-Year NFL career is coming to a close. Ironically, on April 1st, the Jaguars notified Carl that they will be terminating his position. Finances for the Jaguar Foundation will be absorbed into the team finance department and he is being eliminated.  When I texted our children and my mother on April 1st, all but Kelly (who forgot what day it was) thought that I was pulling an April Fool’s prank on them and didn’t want to believe that it was true. Oh how we wish it were a joke!

He will continue to work until May 1st. And then they will give him 8 weeks severance pay. And then he is out of a job.

It is not a total surprise that this has happened. We have joked that Carl is “semi-retired” and gets a full-time salary for a part-time job. The responsibilities have been minimal and the hours needed to complete the job have been way less than full-time. So despite asking for other responsibilities to assist with the Foundation and trying to get involved in other areas, they have gone in a different direction. It is a bummer but it has been too good to last.

We are trusting in God to bring a new and exciting position to Carl. We are praying that He will open doors and bring new possibilities our way quickly. For now, we are keeping our search in the Jacksonville area. We are not feeling led to explore possibilities in other areas for now but that could always change over time. Please be in prayer for us as Carl begins a job search and figures out what he is going to do next!

The Husband, The Kids, Traveling

Jaguars vs. Dolphins

In honor of Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars versus Miami Dolphins football game, the Jaguars organized an overnight trip to Miami for each employee and one guest, leaving Saturday and returning Sunday night after the game.

008

They chartered some coach buses for the ride down to Miami and put everyone up in a hotel for the night.

011

I would have liked to have gone with Carl but with Anthony and Kameko in town and Kelly and Avram arriving on Sunday, I didn’t want to miss the time away from the kids. So Zack went in my place for some father-son bonding time.

010

There was a welcome reception on Saturday evening after they arrived and pregame tailgating before the game. I’m told Zack ate 5 hotdogs at the tailgating!

012

I’m sure that Zack enjoyed the football game much more than I would have anyways.

013

And besides, it gave me an opportunity to do a thorough cleaning of Zack’s upstairs loft while he was away, since Kelly and Avram will be staying upstairs with him during their visit. I was able to remove all his empty cans, bottles and trash from the couch cushions before they arrived.

006

Oh Zack….when will you stop being such a slob?!?

IMG_0221

 

 

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Tucson Visit

Carl and I just returned from a crazy, hectic weekend in Phoenix, celebrating Anthony’s college graduation and meeting our future daughter-in-law. More on that to come! But first, we were able to head down to one of our favorite places for five nights to spend some time with Aunt Sandy in her beautiful home in Tucson.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (1)

When my mom heard that we were going there before the graduation weekend, she decided to crash the party and come along with us.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (2)

We enjoyed relaxing at Aunt Sandy’s and sharing in cocktails, meals and plenty of games together.

12.18 Aunt Sandy's House (4)

The days were sunny and warm and the evenings were cool, perfect for sitting by the fire each night. Aunt Sandra was thrilled that Carl enjoyed building the tending the fire as much as she does.

Carl and I broke away one morning for a hike in Sabino Canyon, since our trips to Tucson wouldn’t be complete without spending time in the beautiful foothills.

12.11.18 Hiking in Sabino Canyon (10)

We tried a new hike this time, after a 70-year old man told us it was his favorite hike. It was a grueling 1/2 mile uphill climb with panoramic views at the top. At least that’s what I’m told, since I couldn’t make the last 15 minutes.

12.11.18 Hiking in Sabino Canyon (3)

It’s embarrassing to be shown up by a 70-year old.

Sitting in a lounge chair and gorging myself on popcorn at the movie theater was my reward for almost making the entire hike. We saw A Star is Born and enjoyed it.

12.11.18 A Star is Born Movie

Aunt Sandra also took us to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum…a place that we have never been to in all our years of visiting Tucson.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (1)

It was a beautiful walk (or ride) through natural Tucson gardens with exhibits with various native animals.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (4)

I’m not exactly sure how they are native animals to the desert, but we even got to pet and feed some stingrays!

We also enjoyed a lovely lunch break at the museum with these beautiful Prickly Pear cocktails.

12.10.18 Sonora Desert Museum (2)

Thanks for taking us to museum Aunt Sandra!

On our final full day, we enjoyed lunch with my uncle Larry and his wife, Judy and were able to teach them our new favorite card game, 4 Up and 4 Down.

12.12.18 Lunch and Cards with Larry and Judy (2)

It was a great visit in Tucson and I’m so glad that we got to spend time with Aunt Sandra before all the madness in Phoenix. Thank you for a lovely time Aunt Sandra. I hope that Alexa is still keeping you company in Tucson!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah – Day Two

On Friday, we walked to the Historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which has been open in it’s present form since 1912, and had a tour.

Cathedral_of_St._John_the_Baptist_-_Savannah_GA_-_panorama

St. John the Baptist Cathedral (1)

The Cathedral is one of only a few with hand-carved Stations of the Cross (as opposed to paintings or reliefs).

St. John the Baptist Cathedral (4)
It was hard to photograph due to the light pouring in the windows on either side.

The Cathedral is very reminiscent of the grand cathedrals of Europe. It was quite beautiful.

Then we walked to a few more Squares that we had missed the day before. We also came upon the infamous Pirate House, which supposedly housed pirates back in the day and is now a restaurant.

Pirate House

After that, we drove out to nearby Tybee Island to see Fort Pulaski.

Fort Pulaski (1)

We spent several hours at the Fort in the museum, getting a tour and walking the grounds on our own. It was so cool to see the shelling on the outside of the fort from the Union forces during the Civil War.

Fort Pulaski (4)

We learned that although it took 18 years to build the fort, it only took the Union troops 30 hours to breach it and cause the Confederates to surrender the fort. There are many cannon shells still lodged in the fort. This is also one of the only forts that we have ever seen with a filled moat surrounding it.

Fort Pulaski (2)

Our next stop was Wormsloe Historic site to see the beautiful moss-covered live oak drive made famous in the filming of Forrest Gump.

Run Forrest

Here is my photo taken through the gate.

Wormsloe Site (2)

Because sadly, that was as close as we could get.

Wormsloe Site (3)

We didn’t realize that it would be closed by the time we arrived. Darn it.

Wormsloe Site (1)

After another 15,000 steps (or almost 7 miles) of walking, we decided to head on home after successfully exploring Savannah and the surrounding area.

It was a fun time away and I’m glad that we spent time exploring beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah Road Trip – Day One

After some contemplation, Carl and I decided that we didn’t really feel like the 5-1/2 drive back and forth to Santa Rosa Beach, especially now that beach season has passed. So instead, we decided to make the much shorter 2-1/2 hour drive back and forth to Savannah, Georgia, a place that we have yet to visit, for a few days.

We left on Thursday morning, arriving in Savannah at around noon. Armed with a map and walking tour guide, we set out to see the 24 Historic Squares established in the middle of neighborhoods (called wards) in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Squares

It was a lovely sunny and warm-but-not-too-hot day for walking through this lovely, historic district learning about the history of the area and admiring the beautiful homes. At each square we visited, I would pull up the description and read about the history of the square, who it was named for and why they were significant and learn about historic homes surrounding the square. So many grand old homes dating back to the mid-1800’s!

At one square, all the surrounding streets were blocked off by barricades and police cars and we noticed all sorts of heavy equipment and antique props throughout the square.

Movie Set on the Square (1)

Even the cobblestone streets were covered in dirt. We quickly realized that it was being used for a movie set. When we noticed a “City Dog Pound” prop and a semi truck parked nearby with “Disney Buena Vista” on the side, we thought…what live-action film could Disney be making involving dogs?

Movie Set on the Square (3)

Since 101 Dalmatians has already been done, I quickly landed on Lady and the Tramp. Later that day, we talked to a police officer at one of the barricades and he confirmed that I was correct! It was amazing the amount of work and equipment (dozens and dozens of semi trucks parked along the area) needed to film one presumably very small scene of a movie. By the next morning, everything was loaded up and workers were scraping up and sweeping all the dirt from the streets. When you see the live-action Lady and the Tramp movie in a few years, think of us when you see the park scene with the Dog Catcher!

One of our favorite sites on our walk was the old prison.

Prison (1)

It still had some of the original iron doors intact.

Prison (2)

We also enjoyed walking around the historic Colonial Park Cemetery. It was interesting how they had stacked up the old gravestones along the outer walls, assumingly because they no longer could identify where the original gravesites were located.

Cemetary

We walked along the river front, even stopping for ice cream at Leopold’s, where ice cream has been made on site since 1919, as a reward for all of our walking.

Leopold's Ice Cream (1)

After walking back to our hotel and then finding a local pub for dinner (where I had Savannah specialties of Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp and Grits), we headed out and walked around some more at night for a few more hours.

Exploring at Night (1)

When all was said and done, we walked a total of 27,803 steps (or 12.5 miles) on Thursday!

You can believe that we crashed hard when our heads hit the pillow that night!

I’ll tell you about Day Two tomorrow.