Friday, October 18, 2013

New Beginnings!

Four years ago we sold our home and moved into a rental. With the money from the house James started a solar company with 2 others only to have the company taken away from him in a lawsuit the following Spring.  The last of our money was spent on lawyer fees to defend us and to have the lawsuit finally settled. But the hurt and anger are still there. No matter how much I have tried to forgive and forget, it hurts that one of the parties involved hasn't acknowledged any wrong doing.

Anyway, with bills to pay, a son on a mission in Paraguay and 4 children still at home to support, it was getting difficult to make ends meet. James was taking any and every consulting job that he could and still worked on other new company ideas, but without a steady paycheck money was very tight. We had already cancelled gym memberships and satellite tv, we didn't go out to movies or dinner, vacations were out as well.  We were fortunate to have wonderful family and church family that helped pay for Samuel's mission.

Eventually we lost our health insurance, which was scary because Shelby is an Epileptic and takes medicine daily to keep her seizure free.  Right about the time that her last refill was filled I was able to sign the kids up for health insurance with Healthy Families.

In 2011 we were told  by our landlord he was selling the house, we had to move.  Without a steady paycheck and our credit score now suffering because of late payments we were concerned if we would be able to find and be approved for another place to rent. We found another house and were approved just days before we had to be out of the other house.  A month after we moved in, Samuel returned from his mission.

The plan was for Samuel to return to BYU in the Fall. Well, plans change.  He got a job and differed his enrollment until Winter semester.  It ended up being a blessing having him home.  He was a great support to Cameron when he ended up coming home after only a month from his mission.

Meanwhile, James continued to look for a real job, while also pursuing other business ventures.  We were struggling financially still and had to rely on others for help.  We discussed filing for bankruptcy with our Priesthood leaders and family members, but always felt that we would have a job soon and we'd be able to make it on our own.  Plus we didn't want a bankruptcy to hurt our chances of getting a job or a home to rent. But it was always on our minds.

In April of 2012 our landlord called to tell us the owner would be moving back into the house and we had 30 days to be out. I was able to convince the landlord to let us stay at least until the kids got out of school in June. So, on my birthday we moved.  This time we sold a majority of our furniture and put the rest in storage and moved in with James' family in Hollister. Our plan was to be there only 3 months.  Again, plans change.

James was still applying for jobs. It was very frustrating when a recruiter would call him and love his resume, just to have the hiring people say he was overqualified. This happened time and time again.  Thankfully I was offered a job, and since it was for childcare in the family's home I could take Kaelyn with me and still be home for Kendall after school.

In January of this year, Samuel was able to finally go back to BYU and continue his education.  The job that he had here moved with him to Provo, so he is on his own and supporting himself.  I am so proud of him and thankful that he has this opportunity now. 

After applying to well over 200 jobs (just this yr alone), and taking a class to help boost his resume, James got a job in July with a consulting firm, working at Cisco.  We were so excited! Our plan of only living with family for 3 months actually turned into 15 months. We are eternally grateful to them for supporting us for so long. Labor Day weekend we were able to move into our own place.  We had hoped to go back to San Jose, but because of our poor credit we were turned down for the rentals we wanted and were nervous that we wouldn't be approved by anyone.  Then I found a house in Hollister and went and talked to the landlord in person and explained our situation. I guess she took pity on me, she approved us! We are so happy to finally be in a home of our own again.

With James now employed fulltime and our family settled in a new home, we decided we needed to go forward with the bankruptcy. So we went through the process to file chapter 7. Which included a 3+ hrs of an online bankruptcy class.  We went to court on Tuesday. Our debts have now been "discharged".

This was a very difficult decision for us to make. But in the end decided it was in the best interest of our family.  We strongly believe in paying our debts but in our case it wasn't working. We tried our best, we were on hardship programs with our creditors. But we couldn't keep borrowing from family and friends.

We are grateful to all of our family and friends who have helped our family throughout our difficulties.  We are grateful that we have this New Beginning!