Raising A Glass!

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Do you know what day it is today? It is an important anniversary. Yes, Happy One Year Anniversary Of Getting Fired, Mullins Family!
After I wrote my New Year’s post about facing our fears in 2011, I thought I was done referencing the last year and all of the craziness that it held. But I have spent all day thinking about what happened on January 18th, 2011.
How a person really, genuinely, tried to ruin our lives. How cruel she was, and how delighted she was to send a young, vulnerable, exhausted family packing, right after we had poured all we had into getting to Germany. It was such a battle for us to not give her the power to ruin our lives.
That day when Jeff came home, his liaison from our agency came with him, and baby sat Amelia so we could go out to dinner and talk. We felt sick, disappointed, and bewildered. We had to sit down and hash out our worst case scenario, and also talk about our best case scenario.
Honestly, both of those happened last year, but the thing that I keep marveling over today is where we are right now, just one year later. Jeff has a better job now, and loves it exponentially more than the one he left. We were able to visit friends and family in the States. We live in a wonderful city, in a beautiful, interesting country, where travel all over Europe is even easier than from Germany. Amelia is going to be starting at a really amazing Montessori school in a couple weeks (more on that later.) I am taking (and loving) pottery classes, and spent the morning walking around my sweet new city, chatting with my butcher around the corner, and running into friendly neighbors on my way home. Once again, we love our house, and are more settled into it than we were when we left ours in Germany.
We are living a wonderful life here, and because Jeff’s work environment is so good, our collective quality of life is much higher here than it was in Germany. So, to the lady that made it all happen, we raise our glasses and drink to you! We forgive you! We wish you well, and that you will be loved so deeply and effectively that grace will overwhelm you, and you will be able to improve other peoples’ lives on purpose in the future.
Happy Anniversary!

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37 Responses to Raising A Glass!

  1. Great Scott January 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    So thrilled for you all Ariana. As they say, sometimes when a door closes, a window opens. And in your case, the view from the window is FABULOUS! You all deserve it! xoxo

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks, Sarah! We sure had no idea how it would turn out, but -yes- we are enjoying the view!

  2. Jenny January 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    What a beautiful way to look at it! In this case, happiness is the sweetest form of revenge.

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Jenny, I do sometimes wonder what she would think if she knew she’d given us an upgrade…

  3. Chelsey January 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    An inspiring story! So happy for you!

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you Chelsey!

  4. greatdanasworkshop January 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Yea!!! How awesome!

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Yes, and I’m glad I got to see you this summer too, Dana!

  5. Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport January 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    I love this! I love that such joy has come from momentary misery. Cheers to that!

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      Kristen, I will definitely drink to “blessings in disguise.” We are learning to expect and look for good things, regardless of how things may appear.

  6. Andrew January 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    That is such a great attitude to have to be able to thank someone for doing something awful to you. I’m so happy that you guys landed well even after a while of bouncing about. Come a long way since “meeting” you doing a guest post on GT. 🙂 Hope this year is an up year as well.


  7. Ariana January 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Hi Andrew,thanks for your well wishes, and for letting me hash out our plan of attack on your blog last year! It is absolutely crazy all that can happen in a short period of time. We are really thankful for how it’s all turned out!

  8. Michelle January 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Cheers to all of you who have endured a year of uncertainty and challenging times…you have such a strong faith and a great perspective on life! I’m so happy to hear that you are enjoying your new found love with your place and the wonderful things that embrace you daily! On a side note, glad the package arrived safely to you and that you have enjoyed the chocolates! Whenever you have the cravings for them, just let me know and I’d be happy to send some to you! Cheers! Xoxo

    • Ariana January 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thank you Michelle! It has definitely helped to know that we have people all over who care about what happens to our family, and have been there to encourage us. Your package was such a mental boost for me! Thanks again!

    • Michelle January 19, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      I just read my comment again and the first sentence came out wrong… I didn’t mean to say cheers that you endured those trying times. Sorry!

    • Ariana January 19, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Oh, I didn’t read anything wrong there, Michelle– just encouragement!

  9. Jen January 19, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    You are marvelous! I love that you have been able to take what could have been a soul-crushing experience, and turned it into something wonderful. I can completely understand loving your new home; I grew up in and around Lakenheath (
    Air Force brat), and those were the best years of my life. The more you integrate yourself into the area, the more at home you will feel. I love the photos you are posting, they make me miss my other “home”. Cheers to you and your family, may this year turn out to be the best for you all yet!

  10. Ariana January 19, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Thanks Jen! I can absolutely see why you loved it here, it is such a cool part of the world. We are so thankful to have landed here, even if the ride was rough!

  11. Walter January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Its good to see that you feel good now …and life goes on ..best greetings to Jeff and of course to Amelia.

    • Ariana January 19, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you, Walter! As good as life is in England, we still wish you were our neighbor!

  12. Anonymous January 19, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I’m so happy to hear you and your family are doing well although no matter what you’re up against you always seem to find the good in any circumstance and anyone. I can somewhat understand what you went through last year. Several years ago my husband and I experienced the lost of a job (out of the blue) just two weeks after moving cross-country and purchasing a new home. I think I was numb for a month. And yes our story also included the “mean” co-worker, I just couldn’t get over how someone would want to destroy another person. But in hindsight going through that rough spot taught us a lot and made our faith even stronger….and that I’m thankful for the most. I may not know everything you went through but I can understand how you felt and you handled last year with a lot of grace and class. Take care. Robinlee

  13. Ariana January 19, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Robinlee, it is always encouraging to hear about similar experiences that others have had. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have JUST moved and bought a house– YIKES!! And yet, you survived and now know that you were had the resources to get through it. I think life is just like this sometimes, and we need testing opportunities to see just how strong we are! Thank you for following along with us, and for sharing your experiences as well.

  14. Grandma Seelye January 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! On reading your story I couldn’t help but think of Joseph and his response to his brothers….”you meant it for evil but God meant it for good”.You are responding well in forgiving her. PTL

    • Ariana January 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Thank you Grandma. Forgiveness good and freeing for the soul!

  15. Happy Homemaker UK February 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    I remember reading your story last year – it really stuck with me. I think it is an example of us not being able to see the whole picture until later down the road – and what a great view you have now! I’m so happy for you all. (we love Montessori, btw).
    Thank you for joining Post Of The Month Club – it is great to have you there! XOL

    • Ariana February 7, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      Yes, I have to say it’s been a pretty humbling experience overall, realizing that we don’t always know what is best for us. It has definitely helped us develop our trust in God and the world around us!

  16. ShackelMom February 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    A wonderful post! Thanks for revisiting it! I was thinking how we prayed you could stay there, thinking it would be best, but the prayer for the best was answered! I am so grateful to God’s goodness! You live is SUCH a lovely place, and I am thrilled for you! 🙂

    • Ariana Mullins February 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      Yes, our life is good and we are so thankful for where we have landed– and that we survived the process of getting here. You can never truly look at a situation and decide whether it’s good or bad– you just have to wait it out with faith and grace, and find the goodness.

  17. Anonymous February 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Your toast was perfection! Susan G.

  18. Anonymous February 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I cried reading this post. I am new-ish to your blog and didn’t know about last year. I can’t even write (yet) about what had happened to us in terms of my fight to save my job. I honestly, truly believed that we’d be on the streets, in a shelter etc if I lost my job. I just couldn’t see how it could work. I’ve been a single mother (and therefore financially responsible) for my family for years. Two years ago, I had four children, a husband struggling to find work, and another baby on the way. We could really not make ends meet, no matter how I crunched the numbers. Yes, the “boss” was sadistic and took joy in trying to ruin me. I lost friends – who felt despite ten years of great reviews, I MUST not be a good teacher if I’m getting bad reviews now… (friends I’d known dearly, been in our wedding) I wanted to quit this job with all my heart, but I wanted to save my family more. I prayed and prayed and the stress we went through was insane. I started bleeding (while pregnant) and nearly lost the baby. At the end of the year, I asked for a year off. I was sure we’d be losing our house. We didn’t. I knew we had an amount we would be short each month. Somehow, we made it through the year. At the end of the year, we did our taxes and found we’d overpaid. The amount of overage was exactly, to the number, what we had needed each month. (I cut costs to the bone. We’ve given up our cell phones, TV, sold a truck, turn the heat off etc.) I’ve never been happier and yet I struggle to get past my feelings about that dark time. I know God set us free to grant me my dreams – the dream I’d had since I have been a little girl (I just wanted to be a mom.) Your story – thank you so much for sharing. I needed to hear that. I know God nudged me out of the nest so I could be happy. I wasn’t, and was too afraid to ever make the changes I needed to make.

    • Ariana Mullins February 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Thank you so much for telling your story of intense struggle. That sounds incredibly painful and frightening, and I am sorry for the stress you endured. Still, I am glad you came out to be in the place you always wanted, but were unable to reach before. My hope for you is that you can gradually heal from all of that stress, and articulate your experience in whatever way you need to in order to fully process it. I am wishing you well on your journey, appreciative that you shared your story here!

  19. Anonymous February 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    (Sorry – in case that doesn’t make sense – I was a single mom, then married and had more kids.)


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