First of all, I would like to apologize for the excessive tardiness of this post. When Ashley returned, we weren't even sure if this blog was necessary, but we have decided to keep it going, and keep it more current. Sorry for the delay.
On this Saturday evening we are resting together in Lancaster County. We’ve spent the past three weeks together again, spending time with families at home and on vacation in our favorite places (mountains and the beach). We recognize that we’ve taken an extended hiatus from blogging. This is partly due to travel, but mostly due to the transient nature of our life during these moments. Our job searching and considerations for homes new to us is still very broad and, while bearing no fruit, is calling us to go forward with patience. In the meantime, we still have friends and family to see. These joys help during the times of frustration.
Ashley and Bear made the flight from Mongolia to Pittsburgh, via Osaka and San Francisco, without delay or undue difficulty. Upon arrival, both were thankful to reunite with Justin and warm, comfortable beds. In the last weeks in Ulaanbaatar, Ashley had ample time to meet with friends and savor those times. For her last culinary experience a Mongolian friend taught her how to access the nuts/seeds of a pinecone. These pinecones are collected from Mongolian forests, boiled, dried, and readily available on the streets of the city for a healthy, albeit time-consuming, snack.
From Justin’s perspective, the return of Ashley (and Bear) was very exciting. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve the day before they returned. I couldn’t sleep….I got to the airport early and was incredibly happy to see them. The transition to being a whole family again has been fairly smooth. We have had many private, deep discussions trying to gain perspective about our situations and trying to figure out where to go on from here. In my opinion, we are in a very good place (marriage-wise). With regards to living situations, we are essentially nomads between our parents’ homes. They have been very gracious with us. As Ashley mentioned above, the job hunt has not been productive. However, I’ve been very picky about where I send my resume (job and location). I’ve had a few interviews, but no job offers. Nowadays, people apply to jobs online, with no human interaction. Unfortunately, applicants aren’t contacted or updated unless they are selected for an interview or follow-up. So, for most of the jobs that I’ve applied for, I have not had any responses. This is particularly frustrating because I’ve only applied for jobs for which I am qualified for (perhaps even over-qualified in a few instances). Ashley is very open to living almost anywhere in the US (except the south), so she is letting me take the lead. There are an abundance of PT jobs across the country, so we aren’t worried about her finding something. If I continue to be unsuccessful, then she will take the lead and I will just try to find something close to industrial engineering/business analysis in whatever area she is able to find a job. Searching for a job is almost a full-time job…..