05 October 2011

Hard Choices

Justin was approached around the 16th of September with a job offer with Cold Water Creek by his head hunter. That same day I was busy saying that I was done with my house and ready for a change. Justin told me about the job offer on Monday after considering it personally for a weekend. We spent the next while stewing over the opportunity. Justin had a 1.5 hour phone interview then was invited to come out to Sandpoint, ID for an interview. We ended up taking the whole family out for the interview so we could see the town.

We drove down to Denver early Thursday morning for our flight to Spokane, WA. Amelia is sooooo loopy when we wake her up for special trips like this or going to Utah. She entertains us for a couple hours with her random observations and comments. The logistics of moving through an airport were a bit more complicated this time! The last time I flew Amelia was 18 months old! Add two kids and the growing pile of luggage and carseats make the airport more exciting. Justin dropped Amelia, Everett, and I off at the terminal while he parked the van with Phillip. I nursed the baby while we waited. Then bathroom breaks. We headed to check-in and go through security. Phew, I was sweating by the time we got through. There was sufficient time to grab some lunch before boarding. I totally expected Phillip to be running down the aisles naked, stealing snacks, and kicking shins during the flight. I hardly heard a peep from him! Justin and Phillip sat 7 rows back from Amelia, Everett, and I. When we landed Amelia yelled over and over, "Dad, we landed, can you hear me?" She got some chuckles for that. The lady in front of Phillip cursed a bit after, I guess Phillip played with his tray a bit too much. I think he did awesome. We grabbed a rental car that was barely wide enough for three carseats. I wedged the infant seat in while Justin and I pulled the other two carseats apart. Amelia was a little distressed that we weren't getting into our own van. Explaining distances and travel is a bit challenging! After a 1.5 hour drive we drove into our hotel. It is so nice to be closer to two large cities (Coeur D'Alene and Spokane).

Our hotel sat on the banks of lake Pend Orielle (said ponderay), literally! Our room opened out onto a cute little beach and pier. We drove around a bit after resting and exploring the hotel. I found a cute little pizzeria for dinner. We met with one of the Bishop's there in Sandpoint after dinner. We enjoyed asking questions in a laid back setting. The Bowcut family in our ward moved from Sandpoint to Sidney about 18 months ago. We spent last Sunday evening with them hearing all about the area and Cold Water Creek, where Bruce used to work.

Justin interviewed from 8:30 to 3:30 pm. While he was busy the kids and I drove around with a Real Estate Agent checking out the town. Sandpoint has about the same population as Sidney but is a resort town, a hub for about 20,000 people, and is surrounded by other small towns so it has a totally different feel than Sidney. Throw in lots of pine trees, a gorgeous lake, mountains and more stores for the general idea. The kids lasted about an hour. We went back to the hotel for some downtime. Phillip discovered he fit in the coffee table drawers. His most favorite part of the hotel was....drum roll... the toilet. It had an auto function and button. He was fascinated with the button and probably flushed the toilet over 100 times in less than two days. I drove almost to Canada after lunch so the kids could get a nap. Phillip became attached to a bag of pretzels, which he also used as a pillow.

Sleeping with Phillip was an interesting experience. Our room had two king beds. I took the wiggle worm for bed duty. The first night he fell asleep after 30 minutes of adjusting his sheets, his monkey, and playing with his diaper. He insisted on falling asleep with his hand down the back of his diaper. The second night he was plain hyper. He jumped all over the bed for a good 30 minutes then commenced to adjust his monkey and talk to it. I was trying so hard not to laugh as I watched him interact with his monkey. They had a great conversation about who knows what.

We took the kids to visit City Beach after Justin finished with his interviews. He said the interviews went well! The beach was a great end to our stressful day. The beach has a gorgeous view of the lake. A little replica of the Statue of Liberty stands on the end of a pier. Across the way a million pine trees tower over the shore. Little sail boats floated by as the kids played and played in the water and sand. It felt a little surreal to be wading at the beach in October. We had dinner at a Mexican place with Mark Haley and his family. Phillip made an amazing recipe with his food much to the kid's delight.

Early the next day we were back on the road for our trip back to Sidney. We missed most of conference but still felt a measure of peace as we traveled home. I really thought we would know what to do after our visit. We both feel torn between two choices, each with measurable pros and cons. Now we are waiting for an offer from the company. Justin may need to travel back for one more interview with the CFO since he was out on business. The biggest pros: Cold Water is offering more money, Justin is comfortable and happy with Cabela's. Cons: Cold Water Creek is not doing so well but the President of the company is giving his all to restore it, with Cabela's they probably will not offer a raise. Who knows! Anything could happen at this point in time.

This afternoon we finally heard back from Cold Water Creek. Our final decision is that we are staying here in Sidney. With all the current financial challenges facing Cold Water Creek staying where we are seems to be the best option right now. It was FUN to have a free vacation on someone else's tab. I still cannot get over how gorgeous the scenery is up there. We are both glad to finally have an answer and be done with all the stress. Phew!