Friday, May 13, 2016

a secret and some big news

I have been waiting what seems like forever to write and share this post. But for many reasons, have had to refrain until now. Not any more though! I've been keeping a really big secret and have been bursting to share. This is news we have been so excited about and can finally spill the beans ... Landon has a job! A real, full time, professional, paying job. He recently just signed a contract for a position at a university in Kansas!

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. I am thrilled and am so proud of him and all he has done to get to this point and to get a job! This position is just an affirmation that he is following God's calling on his [our] life for him to pursue his PhD and ultimately become a professor. While he has a signed contract, he won't actually be starting until next year and he'll spend this summer and the upcoming school year working hard on finishing his PhD and dissertation. He's always been such a hard worker and he devotes himself fully to his work and research. I know that Kansas is going to be getting the best professor out there and am just so thankful for this opportunity for him [and our family].

The process of getting to this point has been a long one to say the least. Back in October he applied to an opening, a few weeks later he was contacted to do a phone interview. A few weeks after that, he was called back to see if he would be willing to fly out for a second, in person, interview. Um... yes please! We found out about the call back for an interview right before Christmas - it was one of the best gifts! The beginning of February he flew out for a three day long interview. Three day interview. Can you even imagine? From the moment his flight landed in Kansas he was essentially interviewing. Over dinner, over breakfast, meetings, presentations, though lunch, coffee breaks, walking around campus. He stared each morning bright and early and went until late at night, meeting people, presenting his work, and himself as the best candidate for the job. The department head sent him an itinerary for his interview, each hour was allotted to one thing or another: a meeting with the department head, a meeting with the hiring committee, a presentation... He spent weeks preparing for the interview, from getting new suits and shoes, to working on his presentation, practicing his presentation [it's super impressive and smart sounding!], learning about the hiring committee before hand, reading about the staff and department at the university. He spent weeks to prepare.

Then he flew off to Kansas and I prayed non-stop from the moment I dropped him off at the airport [though if I'm being honest - from the moment he submitted his application/had the phone interview/found out about the call back interview] until he received an offer - and had a signed the contract.

Each night while he was gone he called me and talked about how great the interview seemed to be going and about how wonderful everyone he'd met with had been. So we hoped and prayed. A lot.

It's really challenging to find a job in academia. Finding any job is a challenge, but there are so few openings for professors which makes it even more challenging than other jobs. Even though he'll be more educated than before, actually getting hired for a job as a professor is such a difficult thing to do. There aren't many openings and for the few openings there are, there are hundreds and hundreds of applicants. The applicants are then narrowed down to ten or so and then phone interviews begin. They're narrowed down even more after that to just three or so for an interview on campus. And then the hiring committee chooses one applicant. Landon was their one.

Praise the Lord.

I truly couldn't be more proud of him or more thankful for this opportunity. It's so exciting to know where we'll be heading next and where, more likely than not, we'll be spending the rest of our lives. I'm anxious for this next year to pass so we can move and finally be settled. But at the same time, I'm trying to enjoy each day we have here because I know this is a very special time in our lives and before long will be a distant memory. But I'm so ready to be done here... 

In my excitement about moving [in a year or so], I've already started looking at houses and our options when it comes to housing: building, buying new, fixing up a house. There are so many factors to consider, and it's exciting to know that the house we do end up buying could very likely be [and hopefully will be] our forever home. I've moved from place to place ever since I was a little girl and one thing I am so looking forward to is being settled and having a home - hanging pictures on the walls, hosting friends and family, watching our boys grow and have their friends over, loving, learning, laughing, crying, and knowing that our boys will come home from to college [better be the one their daddy teaches at, hello faculty student discount] to visit us in that same home. That's my dream at least. Even though I've only been able to visit there once, it seems like such a sweet little town and the perfect place to raise a family.

I know there is still a lot of work Landon has to finish before we move and that once we move he'll be a new kind of busy as he's working as a professor [!!!]. Even still, I'm so very excited about what is to come and about what this next year will look like. I'm excited for him and his career as a professor, I know the staff at the university is eager to have him and they have already been more than accommodating in every way possible. They allowed a return visit so he could negotiate in person and so I could go with him and see the town. They set up meetings with a realtor for both visits [which makes it so real!]. They gave him everything he asked for and more in his start up package. They were always quick to respond to his emails and questions and their responses showed their excitement to have him as a part of their department.

God has answered our prayers in big ways making it evident to us that this is what we should be doing. The whole time he's given sign after sign that it was this university and not the other one he interviewed at [because he had another interview at a different university!]. I couldn't be more excited for him or for us as a family.


Callie said...

Yay, I'm so happy for you guys and your family! You'll be closer to me when you move too. ;-)

Jillian said...

Congrats to you both as this is a huge achievement that I know took sacrifices and hard work from you both! Excited for you!!!!

Amy said...

Hannah! That is so exciting! CONGRATULATIONS! Such a huge weight lifted off all your shoulders. I would be sooooo antsy for this next year to pass. I guess my question is why a whole year? I know it will go fast, but that is a long time. I hope you guys get to celebrate this weekend!

Mackenzie Oakley said...

Welcome to the sunflower state! ;) We're in the suburbs of Kansas City (on the ks side) and love it! Are you near here or another city? Feel free to email me if you have questions or will be visiting! :)

Jessica (The Newly) said...

Oh, sweet girl! What AMAZING news! Such an answer to prayers for sure! I am so very excited for you. The next year will pass quickly, and I am sure you will be so busy scouting houses and preparing, that it will seem like the time will slip right on by and before you know it, you will be moving. I can't wait for the day in which B will be done with residency, be able to accept a position somewhere and we can start enjoying the fruits of ALL of this labor that we have put into this educational journey. I know you understand it (at least to a degree) as Landon's road to this point has been a long one. But it's definitely a sacrifice on the whole family for sure, so congrats to all of you!!!

Alisha said...

Ahh!! That is such amazing news!! I am so happy for your family. Such a blessing in your lives!

Laura said...

Eeek!!! This is so exciting, Hannah! What a good gift. Enjoy the planning and the fun!

kelseylynae said...

oh my goodness! congrats! Can you email me where you'll be? we may be close! ish.