A word on the kitties, since I can't just dismiss it in passing-- Sylvester was 19 I think. When I was 8, our previous cat Midnight had run away and probably been eaten by a coyote. I was incredibly upset. I kept praying she would come back, but honestly, when you're subjected to "kitty cat diaper" by 4 obnoxious children, why would you come back? I remember crying again on the way to school one morning and my mom told me if I didn't stop crying about the cat we wouldn't get another one. So I tried to move on. Shortly thereafter, Sylvester showed up on our doorstep, a kitten probably tossed out of a car window and abandoned on our street. He was so young he was barely weaned. He used to suck on our earlobes. He immediately stole our hearts and we kept him. And no more kitty cat diapers...
When Sylvester was about 3, we got two other kittens, Piper and Skipper. Piper was rehomed with another family a few years ago, where I like to imagine he still lives a fat, happy life with his new kitty friend. Skipper lately had been getting thinner and thinner and showed signs of being ill. Sylvester had serious anxiety, was going blind, and could barely walk at times from arthritis in his hips.
Since they were best friends, we decided the kitties had to go together if they were going to be put down. I decided I wanted to go with my mom to do it. Also, since they were going to be buried in the yard, we decided we needed to plant something with them. I went to the nursery and bought a honeysuckle plant before the appointment with the vet that afternoon. Then we headed out.
The vet did a checkup on both cats, and we discovered that Skipper's liver and/or kidneys were failing, and for all the discomfort Sylvester obviously was in, he was in better shape than Skipper. She just had a much better attitude I guess? Haha. Anyway, we asked to be present when they went to sleep, so we were able to do that. It was very solemn and my mom and I were both crying pretty hard. It was easier to see Skipper go than Sylvester, since she already looked like a skeleton. Sylvester has been a very dear friend and companion to us all over the years. He's truly one of the best pets I've ever known.
We placed them with their arms around each other, because they always used to sleep together like that, and buried them beneath the honeysuckle.
...Well, that was more than I intended to write about the cats, but I guess I needed to. It's hard to lose pets.
Anyway, so during this time, Sam was, going off of the recommendation from the lady in Houston, applying at every Houston-area school district for any and all open SpEd positions. He didn't get any bites on any of them. And then, halfway through June, he got an email inviting him to the HISD job fair! Since they'd be conducting interviews there and Sam always does much better in person than over email or just as a resume, we sent him down to Houston again.
While he was there, he interviewed with a couple schools, and while he was in line for another, one of the principals he'd just met pulled him out of line and offered him a job on the spot, so he took it!
She then told him he needed to be in training by the 26th of July. So, we started planning our move just three weeks out! It was truly a whirlwind of an event. We were overjoyed, giddy, terrified, nervous, scared, excited, everything!
The fact that people were friendly when we visited, that there was good Tex Mex (my fav), that it smelled like Fallbrook at night, that it was nearer the ocean (such as it is), that it didn't snow in winter, that it was diverse, they paid teachers more, and there were a lot of things within driving distance that would be fun to check out-- all these things convinced me we could give Houston a shot. And so we went for it.