So I thought it would be interesting for my readers to learn about our family. About 9 years ago Wade and I got married.
We rented an old farmhouse for about a year and a half. The recession of 2008 was during this time, propane and gas prices had gone super high and we felt like we were burning dollar bills to heat the house. We were desperate to move out and bought 3 acres with a tiny 770 square feet mobile home on it. We fixed it up to be liveable and moved in with our 6 month old son. Our plan was to eventually replace the trailer with an actual house. Had we known the housing market was going to drop, we could’ve possibly just waited a little longer, and gotten a much better property deal.
In 2010, my husband Wade made the huge decision to go back to school for a career change. He had decided to become a registered nurse. At the time, he was working for a tree transplanting company, but it was becoming clear his income wasn’t sufficient for our family’s needs and goals. I had already gotten my registered nurse license before we were married and worked part time. However, we wanted working to be optional for me.
It took from August 2010 to May of 2014 for him to graduate with an associate’s degree in nursing. Those were years full of lots of hard work, frustration, and living tightly. We both made several job changes during that time. Both of us had periods where we worked night shift. We also had another child during that time and decided we needed a bigger home. We were unable to put on a modular home like we wanted, so we ended up installing a double-wide mobile home that was double the size of the one we were living in. It wasn’t the best decision we’ve ever made, so now one of our goals is to be able to pay-off that loan and move somewhere else one day.
We were ecstatic when he finally graduated! A lot of hard work went into that diploma! And he was able to do it without any school loans!
Between Federal Pell grants, some state educational financial aid, scholarships, and our money, his education was all paid for on graduation day! We were thankful to have achieved this goal with God’s help. I had tried different money saving techniques I read about on-line, such as extreme couponing, making our own laundry detergent, and buying used from thrift stores and Craigslist, instead of new. He worked as much as he was able, and is great at DIY repairs. I was blessed to find a great-paying job at a surgical center, during the last two years of his degree, when he wasn’t able to work a lot.
Unfortunately, the new grad job market was tight that year. It took 32 job applications for him to even get one call for an interview. Soon after his graduation, I had changed my job status to prn or essentially to “work when I want to and they need me” in non-medical terms. And we found out we were going to have baby #3. So that summer was stressful as well. Since the current trend is a push for RN’s to have their bachelor’s degrees, vs. only an associate’s degree, we decided he had better go back to school right away to improve his chances of getting a job. Fortunately, his first interview resulted in a job on a medical-surgical floor that August. But part of his job hiring contract was his agreement to obtain a bachelor’s degree within 5 years of hire.
We are now almost 9 years into this journey together, with three cute children, and a collection of animals that keeps growing. Wade has one year left to get his BSN, and we have lots of dreams of places to go and projects to complete!
Update July 2017:
Wade received his Bachelor’s in Nursing diploma just two weeks ago! Thanks to the Pell grants, scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursement, most, if not all of the cost of his degree was covered. No student loans, yay! He has also transferred to work in the ICU. I recently needed to quit my job for personal reasons. But with my continued interest in our chickens, we are working toward the possibility of them becoming a business for us.