Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sometimes it's the BIG things..

Graham and I often make big life changes all at once, like when I graduated from grad school, got a job, and moved up to the Puget Sound area from Portland all in one month. We also bought a house, moved to a new area, Graham started his career, and he had to move to Virginia all in another month's time.

Now, I've been thinking about building a home for almost a year now, when I saw land for sale in our area.. so this wasn't really a rash decision by any means. But now, we are building our home, we closed on our construction loan, and I got a new job! Woohoo!

To my followers that don't know my life story, I started on the path to becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD) 15 years ago in college. A lady from my hometown who was an RD tried to convince me not to be an RD: low pay, no respect, people and doctors don't listen to you, blah blah. I said, I don't care.. and away I went. And then I started working as an RD, and I thought to myself, I should've listened.. Really, being a Dietitian isn't a horrible job. But after a while, money can be a motivating factor to get a better paying job/career.

So, I started working to getting certifications to improve my skills and up my pay. In October 2012, I took a test to become a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC), which covered my continuing education credits for 5 years and got me a 75 cent/hr raise. It is nice having the extra letters behind my name, but they mean nothing to anybody other than Dietitians (although other medical professionals can get their CNSC credentials too). Then in August of 2015, I decided to bite the bullet and take a test to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). I thought it'd be better to study for the exam when I planned to get pregnant compared to after having 2 kids. I'm so glad I took (and passed) the exam when I did because it would've been insane to study with a baby. I got a $1.50/hr raise with my CDE, which was partially my motivation to taking the exam.

Another motive for taking the exam was increasing my skills and improving my ability to get hired somewhere else. As a clinical dietitian in a hospital, I have to work weekends and holidays, which BLOWS. I've worked at least 3 Christmas days in the hospital. Also, outpatient dietitians and CDE's make more money. When I was in college and bright-eyed, money didn't mean a thing, but now.. it does.

When we initially looked at how much house we could afford, I did several analyses on building a house in 1, 2, or 4 years. We initially decided on waiting 2 years, but then we had to jump the gun to save $30K on the base home price. So, we didn't have as much money to put down as we would've liked. Also, we had to reduce our sale price of our home by $11K for the roof and need for outdoor painting. Lastly, we did not plan on having to pay PMI on our construction loan. So, we kind of overextended ourselves on our monthly loan amount.. and things were going to be TIGHT in the upcoming home building months.

And then, I heard there was a CDE job opening in a bigger city closer to our house, which would pay more. I know several people who work there, so I had some insider details. I went through 2 interviews that went well, and they offered the job to me a few days after. And guess what.. the increase in pay will be enough to cover the increased expenses for the construction loan. We really have been so blessed, and I'm excited at the new prospects and experiences my job will bring.

We look forward to more big changes in our lives: new house, new job, and air conditioning (it has been HOT and awful here in Seattle this week).

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