Let's recap. In January of 2009, Jon started the Fire Academy. This was after a few months of deliberation and a need for him to make a dramatic career change. Thus began a long road for us. While he balanced the Fire Academy and his full time job, he soon became a volunteer fireman with a small local department. As time progressed, he went to school for his EMT Intermediate cert, became a part time fireman with one, and then two stations, and then moved up from a volunteer to part-time with Meeks Bay. And we had a baby for good measure! He was slowly making connections, putting in more and more hours, gaining experience, while at the same time we were pretty regularly exhausted. My job doesn't provide the easiest schedule, so daycare has always been a juggling act for us. This past January, we anxiously wanted him to take the next step, so like jumping from a ledge he left his full time job (so long two incomes!), and started full time paramedic school.
Just before paramedic school began, we received an amazing blessing, which was a very apparent sign that we were on the right track! When not in school three days a week, he has been picking up shifts at one of his various three departments on his off days. We've learned a lot while he's been going through this entire process; this industry is highly competitive, there are always lots of rumors floating around, and you have to work very hard to make something happen. Fire jobs are not handed out like candy on Halloween. No sirree.
This Spring we were given a glimmer of hope. In April (I think?), he applied with a new department being configured in the Reno area. By late May he took their written exam and the next week he was invited back to take the physical test. We waited anxiously for the results. As a vacation in Chicago grew very near we very much feared that we'd have to cancel or change our trip for the in-person interview round. Luckily, he was invited to interview the morning before we flew to Chicago. Oh, and by this time another station was also hiring, so all of the sudden he had two interviews in one day. Right before we left town!
After a turbulent weekend in Illinois (those who were there know!) we landed back at home on Monday afternoon. We anxiously checked his voicemail and messages. Nada. Later that night, while cooking some dinner, we got a call. THE MOST GLORIOUS PHONE CALL that we've possibly every received. We'd waited so long for that call. It was a job offer and he was to start in just one week!
Within the next few days we AMAZINGLY found out that his paramedic school was willing to work with him on allowing him to miss class and make up coursework on the weekends. Two huge blessings in one week. So here we are, in a very different place then a month ago. From the surface everything looks the same, but underneath everything we've wanted for three years has come true.
The next six months will be very challenging for us as Jon will be balancing his new job and managing the remaining hours that he needs to dedicate to his paramedic program but if things continue, he'll be a paramedic by January! And by next Summer, we hope to have some normalcy in our schedules and lives and be enjoying ourselves quite a bit more. We are over the moon. Crazy happy. Challenging schedules are nothing new to us, so we'll face the next six months just thankful that this opportunity has come up. I tell myself that I should never complain again. We have been given so much. We are RIGHT where we want to be.
Regularly throughout this whole process, I've clung to this saying:
It has really stuck with me and been a consistent reminder when we've been tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Which was a lot of the time!
Oh, and you know what else? We get to move forward with SO much now. We've been in a holding pattern until this time came and we are so anxious with everything else we now hope to make happen. Can you say, "time to go house shopping" anyone?
Last week Jon's new department held a badge pinning ceremony. Lots of us packed into the auditorium (Jon is on the far right, standing against the wall).
Nolan could not be contained.
He insistently yelled for "Dada" and waved at him across the room.
And he came prepared with his own helmet. Just in case.
Jon was called up to receive his badge.
Then we were invited up to put Jon's badge on him and take some pictures.
A plaque was presented with photos of all of the firemen
(Jonny is lower/mid right).
Two days later, Jon had his first shift.
After waiting 2 1/2 years for that morning,
it was worthy of a photo.
We are so happy for this change and so happy to move forward.
I have more photos to share of our 4th of July, so hopefully I'll be back soon!