Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (…in other words, I’ll be seeing you…)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen Michele’s post and Sandy’s post about moving on from blogging. Saying goodbye. Making changes. I love both of those women, and am so glad that I will be able to stay in touch with them through Facebook. Coincidentally, their posts came at a time when I was trying to figure out what to do with my own little place in the book blogging world. My life has undergone so many changes in the past two years, and the biggest is coming on April 1st.

After 18 years as a stay-at-home, and sometimes work-at-home, mom, I am re-entering the work force. This is a huge big deal, in spite of the fact that this is a job I am completely comfortable with and that is only twelve hours a week away from the house. But to me, this signals an enormous sea change in our family’s home life. I have absolutely loved being a stay-at-home mom. Don’t get me wrong – there were days when I wanted to duct tape the kids to the wall, or shuttle them off to school so I could sit on the couch and read. No matter what choice you make for your family, even if you are certain it is the best choice for you personally, there are times of doubt and questioning. But there have also been sweet, sweet days: watching that spark of amazement in each child’s eyes as they sounded out their first words; cuddling up on the couch with piles of picture books; exploring science in the most messy ways possible; my one-year-old playing with math manipulatives while I teach his older sister about numbers. As the kids have gotten older, the scenes have changed. The picture books have become novels (hours and hours of reading aloud – my favorite memory of all!); the science experiments have gotten more sophisticated; the math has gotten harder (argh – algebra and geometry!); the conversations have become deeper and more meaningful. I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it for the extra money that would have been available had I worked outside the home.

But huge changes are on our horizon. Natalie will graduate in June – with both her high school diploma and an AAS Degree in General Business! She will be starting a Pharmacy Technician program the following spring. Noah will be entering Running Start in the fall, God willing. I will be down to only two boys to school; and can easily work our schedule around a twelve-hour work week. I am blessed that the perfect job was dropped right into my lap. Our church secretary is retiring after twenty years. Twenty years! I have been filling in for her occasionally since last summer, and began training in earnest the past month or two. I could not mention this in public however, until the church board approved me as secretary – and more importantly, as treasurer. I will work Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Our new pastor is firmly established now, and I know that he will be easy and fun to work with. And so our homeschool schedule will be turned topsy-turvy, with the kids doing their independent work in the morning, and us doing our joint work in the afternoons. The boys will also be learning more housework skills – a fact that they are thoroughly thrilled about, I can assure you. 😉

As I am looking forward to this new season, I am realizing that I need to let go of some things in order to keep myself from being overwhelmed. I know that many of you work full time and are involved parents, and so are probably rolling your eyes a bit at the idea of me being anxious about working twelve hours a week – but I know myself, and change has never been my strong suit. 🙂 As I have looked at the things I spend my time doing, I have discovered the things that I am unwilling to let go of – and also the things that I can say goodbye to. Blogging is one of the latter. I have been toying with changing things up anyway: I stopped accepting review copies; came up with a new title; had Kevin start working on a design. But as time goes on, I have found that I’m not excited about it. It really is time to just let go.

I started blogging here at Books and Movies six years ago, in April of 2009. I have so loved my time in the book blogging community, and the friendships I have gained. Thank you to all of you who have enhanced my life in so many ways: the reading recommendations, the encouragement through health issues, the prayers and concern for Natalie during her Crohn’s summer. I am blessed to have shared this part of my life with you. I pray that you will all be blessed in the coming years. See you on Facebook! (If we are not already friends, feel free to friend me: Carrie Shannon Kitzmiller.)

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20 Responses to Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (…in other words, I’ll be seeing you…)

  1. Beth Hoffman says:

    Congratulations on beginning a new chapter in your Life Book! I’m blessed that you came into my life and have enjoyed bantering with you about books. Thank you for all your kind support, Carrie. I wish you and yours the best, and I’ll see you on Facebook for certain!

  2. Kev says:

    While we didn’t home school, my wife was a sahm/wahm for several years. She too started back into the work world as a church secretary part-time, but was very apprehensive about going back to work. She went from that, to a full time job, to a full time job she did from home, to a full time job that moved us across the country. Life has a funny way of working out for you, if you trust that God has a plan for you and let Him lead you.

  3. Michele says:

    I understand how life changes lead to blogging changes. I don’t think blogs were ever meant to be permanent features in our lives. Like most things, they come into our lives at the right time and come to an end at the right time. And hopefully, during the time that they last, they serve a good purpose both for the writer and the audience. I hope it served a wonderful purpose for you because I know your blog has served a wonderful purpose for your audience over the years. 🙂 It will be missed. But I’m happy to know that you won’t be missed because we all get to keep in touch with you via other mediums. I’m so happy to have met you through our blogging efforts. I wouldn’t have changed that for anything! I wish you and your family every happiness.

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I am so excited for you! I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 11 years, and I cannot imagine working 12 hours a week on top of everything else that I do. It feels crazy to say that when other people do 40+ but it’s what you get used to. I agree that it just felt like the right time. Please stay in touch!

  5. BermudaOnion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    Good luck to you! You will be missed!

  6. Chrisbookarama
    Twitter: Chrisbookarama

    First of all, congrats to Natalie! And congrats to you on the new job!

    I also got back into the workforce after being a stay at home mom for 10 years. Blogging has definitely taken a back seat. It is hard to keep up. We can’t do it all. I’m not ready to let it go but you have to do what’s right for you. You’ll be missed but I totally understand.

    Good luck!

  7. irene says:

    Congratulations, hope all works out for you, we’ll miss you here in the book blogging world. Exciting times.

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m going to miss you!! Please don’t be a stranger even though I don’t hang out on Facebook. I wish you all the happiness and luck on your new job and whatever the future holds for you. Drop me a line and let me know how you are faring every once in a while!

  9. Alyce
    Twitter: athomewithbooks

    Good luck on your new job! As a stay-at-home mom of 14 years I completely understand how even a part time job seems like a big deal. I was planning to start working this last fall, but then my son had some health issues and now it’s looking like it won’t be until at least next fall. I just figure that with taking a job and with my blog, I will know when it is the right time. That is fantastic that the right opportunity came your way at the right time!

  10. you’ll be missed, but so much good luck!

  11. I read this last night but didn’t want to respond too quickly and now I don’t know exactly what to say. As someone who works a part-time job himself, and doesn’t have children who homeschool, though, I think I understand a little, a very little, as sometimes even I don’t know if I have enough time for this blogging thing, even at once a week. However for now, it’s something I still enjoy, especially connecting somewhere other than Facebook. That said, I am glad we will be able to remain friends there and I look forward to continue following you and your family in your journey. Even now I know this isn’t exactly what I want to write either, but for now, it will have to do. Later, I will revise it on Facebook. 🙂

  12. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    How exciting to be changing — but I will miss this space. Hope you’re on Twitter every once in a while

  13. Kailana says:

    Good luck! I will miss seeing you around, Carrie, but there is a season for everything and it all eventually must come to an end.

  14. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I plan to respond to each of you individually by e-mail in the next few days, as time allows.

  15. JoAnn @Lakeside Musing
    Twitter: lakesidemusing

    I’m sorry to see you go, Carrie, but as they say, to everything there is a season. Best of luck in this new phase of life!

  16. Sheila (Book Journey)
    Twitter: bookjourney

    Ahhhh you will be missed, but sounds like exciting things on the horizon! I wish you the ebst in everything!!!

  17. Trisha says:

    I will miss you around here! But I’m definitely friending you on Facebook. 🙂 Trisha Carter Dandurand

  18. Susan says:

    See you Carrie. I really enjoyed your blog and reviews. I wish you all the best in your new job and the year ahead. I hope you have a blast

  19. Heidenkind says:

    Good luck at your new job, Carrie-it sounds perfect! And trust me, if you really want to blog, you will find the time. But even if you don’t, it sounds like things are looking really promising for you.

  20. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly

    I’m so late on this! I knew you were counting down until the start of your new job and trying to figure out how to go about doing everything. Hey if you have to give up blogging, so be it. 🙂 I know this is exciting and scary, but you’re going to kick butt! Please keep us all updated on Facebook about anything and everything. Congratulations and good luck!