Monday, February 23, 2015

Houston Now

As word is getting out, I figured it was time to make an official statement. What better place than my official blog. :-)

We have had so many changes in the last year; much like spinning in a whirlwind. A whirlwind that dropped us in Houston but never stopped circling! And it is picking up speed yet again!

Here are the bullet points for a short version of this post-
* The oil industry took a nose dive.
*Ed is actively seeking employment opportunities.
*Mason is moving back to Pflugerville to return to Hendrickson.
*We terminated the contract on the house build.

The long story-
A few weeks ago, as gas prices fell and the price of a barrel of oil tanked, the worst happened. Lay-offs began all across the industry, Halliburton included!

So far two rounds of lay-offs have occurred at Halliburton.  Ed has not been effected yet but as it is in the business world, no one is safe. So we wait nervously to see what happens each week. While we wait, Ed is applying all over the US even looking at possible jobs in the defense industry from which he just left. We have been assured more lay-offs are coming and that the oil industry will be hurting for the next 18 to 24 months. Sigh.

While we would love to go back to the Austin area, the jobs just aren't there right now which is why we moved in the first place. But other states are looking promising. He has applied for positions in Arizona and Colorado, so far. He has already had a phone interview with Raytheon in Arizona and expects to be brought in for a face to face interview soon. Dallas is another possibility. So we wait to see how that will all shake out. We may end up staying here or we may leave. It all depends on the job. At least we have this rental house until the end of June. After that, who knows?

With all the uncertainty, we had to make two big decisions concerning Mason and the new house.

First, Mason. Mason left Hendrickson willingly and began this school year in a great school that was double the size. The band was double the size too. And although he made a few friends and landed in the top band at Klein Oak, he never really connected to the band or directors. So, when the choice sheets came out for the following year, he filled it out leaving off band. My heart broke! My boy who LOVES band with 100% heart and soul was going to walk away from it. Crushing.

Ed and I decided, without his knowledge, to send him to live with my mom. Back to Pflugerville, so he could return to his school with his friends, his school loyalty, and his beloved band. We set the wheels in motion and recently told him. You should have seen his surprised and smiling face. He said, "I never thought you would let me go back." We didn't either. But sometimes you have to make adjustments. And in this case, we are doing this so that Mason can thrive instead of just survive as he has been doing since the move to Houston.

We will be officially moving Mason over spring break. He will live with Mom and Roger. He will finish out the last 9 weeks of this school year and then his senior year as a Hawk. We are extremely lucky that Mom lives in the right place to allow him to return to HHS. And we are ever so grateful to the McMinn-Reyna family and the Tremewen family who are his "back-up Pflugerville families." Not only are they great people in general, they are making themselves and their homes available to Mason for any reason at any time. That is HUGE to us. Plus, with so many friends in the neighborhood, we will have "eyes" on him all the time.

The house. Man, were we excited about the new house we were building! We loved the trees we had saved on the lot. (I called them "my babies.") We loved the floor plan. We made trips out to see it bi-weekly, stayed on top of the progress, and met with the superintendent constantly. This was the Limbaugh Dream House 3.0 being built exactly and specifically as we wanted it. But when the first round of lay-offs hit, we got nervous. What would happen if we bought this house and then Ed was laid-off? It wouldn't be pretty. So we agonized for a few weeks on what to do. In the end, flooded with tears and utter sadness, we made the decision to walk away. It was not made easily nor was it made lightly. We stood to lose all the money we had put down. Gulp! However, with the help of a good realtor, we were fortunate to be able to negotiate with the builder to get all of our money back, minus a $250 administrative fee. That took out a little of the sting.

So what happens next? We don't know. We will be taking things one week at a time, I suppose. Ed is calling this an adventure. Maybe he is right.

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