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Friday, July 27, 2012

Lewis Family Update at last

I just realized today that it has been over 11 months since I have updated our Lewis Family Blog. So much has happened in that time span so here goes...

All of the prayer requests that I listed in our last post have been answered. We were able to get the apartment in Indiana that we really wanted, a friend paid for our entire move out of the kindness of his heart, and our move went successfully. We have lived in Indiana for 11 months today. It is amazing to me the things that have transpired since we have lived here. The day we drove our U-haul into Indiana, my little sister gave birth to my second niece Madelyn. It has been such a joy to have been here her entire life. We were able to attend our first persimmon festival as Indiana residents but that is when things really went crazy.

My mom fell at the festival and broke her hip which was about one month into our time of living in Indiana. We hadn't even unpacked our boxes yet. My mom immediately had a corrective surgery and was put into a nursing facility for rehabilitation for two months. That was a very stressful and difficult time. During her stay at the nursing facility, my sisters and I got her moved to a handicapped accessible apartment in my apartment complex. When she was released in November, we had Thanksgiving at my house and found out that my sister Hilliary was pregnant with her second child. We were so excited...another baby to spoil!

Around Christmas time, my little sister found out VERY unexpectedly that she was pregnant with her third child and we started preparing to have 5 nieces and nephews total. Technically we have 6 but my nephew Isaiah passed away in 2007. We celebrated Anthony's 31st birthday with a big birthday party at our house with some of our closest friends and my family. We celebrated Christmas by having dinner and presents at our house and watching the kids at their house open presents. It was a great Christmas back home for me!

The new year was one of changes for us as we started in February fasting and praying about having a child of our own. We decided to fast from red meat and from secular music and pray about the things that surround children for us including healing over our loss, health changes for me, and just the process of conceiving and how difficult that has been for us. This journey has been enlightening to say the very least. We both feel like we have received heart healing and peace that passes our understanding.

In May we celebrated my nephew Shawn turning 3 and started a new family business with Scentsy. That has been a great thing for us as we are making extra income but we run the business together which means we don't have more time apart. We have been very profitable with Scentsy so we were able to pay off our car which was a huge burden off of us. We are excited about paying off more debts and working toward owning a house in the next few years.

In June, our nephew Johnny was born and he is now 4 weeks old and precious as can be. Yesterday our niece, Everleigh was born and since she has only been here for a day, I don't know much but that she is perfect! My second nephew and my third niece! So exciting. We have been taking each of the older kids (Shawn & Kaylea) once every couple of weeks for dates with us and they are enjoying that personal time and we sure are too!

In a couple of days, Anthony and I will celebrate 4 years married and I will celebrate 32 years of life. We are celebrating so many other things lately too and that is special. Thanks for stopping in and I'll try to update more often.

Anthony, Erica & Nika

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Moves I never imagined.

The last time I wrote in our family blog was over 6 months ago. As you know from my previous post, Anthony and I were putting a time line of 6 months on our stay in California and if nothing in our lives changed, we were choosing to move to a more financially appropriate location. Well, here we are and we have news....As of the last week of August, Anthony and I will no longer reside in California. Before you all ask, why in the world would you move away from California? I will give you the run down.

When I, personally, moved here almost 9 years ago, it was with the intention to complete my Bachelor's degree. When I finished my Bachelor's Degree, I prayed that if God wanted me to stay in California, he would get me an incredible job and I would stay and complete my Masters Degree as well. Before I even graduated, I was offered a job as a Nanny in Newport Beach and it was a deluxe job. I had free room and board in a gorgeous house and neighborhood and got paid on top of that and it was only about 7 miles from the school I wanted to go to for my Graduate work. Needless to say, I stayed!

I met Anthony in the summer of 2006 and started Graduate School in the fall of 2006. Thank God I stayed! Grad School was three years and I worked as a nanny for 4 years so in 2009 I graduated with my Masters and Anthony and I got married in 2008. At that point, I just assumed I would live in California the rest of my life since I married a California native and we had gotten a place.

Many of you know that Anthony and I have had a very difficult couple of years with losing our first child and Anthony losing his job at AT&T in February of 2010. We had to move out of our apartment in February of 2011 due to the expenses of the unemployment of the previous year if we wanted any hope of getting back on our feet. We moved into a guesthouse of a friend's and have been living there since. Now onto when things changed.

Anthony has been working for Starbucks for almost a year and really likes the job but as you can imagine, it is not really a great paying job when you start and in California you need a pretty great paying job to survive, much less thrive. I have been working anywhere from 2-5 jobs since Anthony lost his and I am worn out. We really do want a child someday and with me working this hard just to survive, it doesn't look likely. Although I have no problem helping out and working (as that is why I got an education) working 3 jobs is really difficult on my health and well being and certainly doesn't support me getting in good health for conception.

Since these things are all true, Anthony and I have been praying so hard about our decision to move. We visited Indiana in May of this year to see our nephew Shawn turn two. Anthony has been to Indiana various times and has always enjoyed himself and just a few years ago we tossed out the idea of possibly living in Indiana someday. The kids really made that a possibility for us since I do want to watch my nieces and nephew grow up. This visit seemed to be of a different caliber. Anthony and I both came back to California with the mindset that it was completely the right thing to move to Indiana.

When we got back, we made the decision that we would just throw lines out for jobs, apartments, etc... and if things began to work out that we would know that our decision was sound. Anthony called the Bedford, Indiana Starbucks first and it turned out that they had a position opening in September for a full time spot. Anthony would definitely need a full time spot. Within just a few weeks of managers speaking on the phone and Anthony following up, he was offered this position sight unseen and will start on September 5th.

We are still waiting to hear back on the apartment we have applied for and we are still trying to figure out how to afford moving all of our belongings, hence Anthony is painting houses to try to gather that money up but it is official. We will be living in Indiana by the end of August. We would really appreciate your prayers as we move and adjust to a new place, climate, and lifestyle and if you could pray for me to be able to get into the mental health field out there fairly easy that would be fantastic. Our main prayer requests are these:

1. That we would be approved for the apartment we have applied for

2. Provision for our deposit and first months rent as we close up bills here and move there.

3. Provision for the moving truck, gas, food, and lodging for the trip across the United States

4. Adjusting to our new home in Indiana

5. Job for me

6. Overall, that Indiana helps us get back on our feet, pay down debts from the unemployment, and eventually have a baby and buy a home!

Thank you so much everyone and feel free to email me with any questions. For those of you who are my California friends, you will be missed. For those of my Indiana friends, can't wait to pick up where we left off.


The Lewis'

Friday, December 31, 2010

Moving out and hopefully moving on

Hello everyone, I thought that New Years Eve was a great time to update the Lewis Family Blog. 2011 is certainly going to look different for us and hopefully look a lot better.

Anthony and I are moving out of our apartment this month. We are going to be living somewhere else by Feb. 1st. We have been offered the opportunity to rent a guest house from a friend for a much cheaper price than we are paying and it will include rent/utilities/cable/internet so it's going to be better for our budget. We are going to miss our apartment a lot as it was our first married place and we have lived here for over 3 years.

We are also looking at it as an opportunity to get on our feet and try to figure out the next step. As of right now, Anthony is the only one making any REAL money since I am doing tutoring, a few clients, and a new business venture which I will talk about later in the post. Since this is true, we are saying that in six months, if nothing has changed we are going to be moving out of the state of California and to somewhere more affordable. We realize that this opens up a whole new host of issues like finding a home and jobs somewhere else but almost anywhere is cheaper than here.

It has been a very discouraging and difficult year and we are just hoping for some new things on the horizon.

As for my business venture, I have recently started selling Avon. I grew up around Avon products and really like them so this was an obvious choice for me to do something to bring in a little extra cash. I just started so I don't know how I will do at it yet but we shall see.

If you want to check out products, go to my

Avon Website.

and you can buy directly online and it will ship wherever you are. If you are more local and want me to deliver products, give me a call and we will do that! I am looking to build a customer base and do well so this can supplement me trying to build my career.

Anthony is still at Starbucks and really continues to like it and grow. We are hoping he will grow in the company and climb the ranks or find something more financially profitable if nothing else.

Please keep us in your prayers for the new year and we will be praying for you as well

Love from our family to yours,

Anthony & Erica Lewis

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Venti with whip please!

Hi everyone, I hope this post finds you doing well and that all of your Thanksgiving plans are coming together. I figured it was time to update the Lewis Family Blog. Anthony and I are doing well although our circumstances have stayed pretty much the same. Anthony has been working at Starbucks ™ for two months now and really loves working there. He started out Part time at about 20 hours a week and now is up to 30 so that is certainly an improvement. He is really good at it and has learned quickly. It is a vast difference in income than AT&T as you might have guessed but to be honest, the happiness and lack of stress in his face is worth the change to me.

As for me, I am finishing up my first semester as an Adjunct Professor. I have really loved teaching Grad Psych and it really helped cement my knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral therapy. I am really lucky to have had really great students and we will be finishing up the last few weeks of classes after Thanksgiving. I will really miss teaching them! I am looking for more teaching jobs because I really enjoyed doing that. I am still working in Private Practice therapy, however, it is a pretty slow progression to full time right now. I am working on my marketing plan and trying to get my name into places that may help me build clients. I am also doing some tutoring of students on the side to make some extra money. It has really been a life saver to us lately. I really love tutoring/teaching so I always feel very fulfilled doing this.

Since things have been so difficult lately financially I have started looking around for full time jobs and have applied to about 30 in the mental health field. It is very difficult to get a job right now but I will forge ahead to help pay our bills. We have really had a hard time for about a year and half but God has been good and provided through it all. We have amazing friends/family praying for us and helping us through so we are incredibly grateful.

As we come closer to Christmas, that means that we have had our kitty cat Nika for a year on December 26th. We have really enjoyed her and appreciate that we have such a good natured, sweet pet. She is doing well and we have found that she loves house guests so we are looking forward to having my family out next summer possibly.

Anthony and I have a niece and a nephew and are really enjoying seeing them grow up. Shawn turned 1 year old on May 12th and Kaylea turned a year old on October 2nd. They are such a joy and are both doing well. We also have been named God parents for Anthony's friend Wolf's little girl Jasmine. She is also pretty darn precious. We are incredibly lucky to have such beautiful babies in our lives.

Speaking of babies, we are NOT pregnant and are not going to tell people when we are "trying" again and probably won't tell anyone we are pregnant until we get to a safe place where we know a gender. We are doing this for obvious reasons and very much appreciate everyone's understanding and support in that. We are doing well considering though and working on health concerns in the mean time.

Overall, we are incredibly blessed and doing well. We appreciate all of your prayers and concerns over the last several months. Please keep us in prayer as we are making a very huge decision in February of 2011 and we will keep you posted.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Lewis Family to your Family!

Anthony & Erica :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The roller coaster of jobs.

Everything has been very interesting in our house for the last, oh let's say, 6-7 months. The last few months of AT&T were absolutely grueling and once Anthony got let go it was more about the journey with unemployment. He took a job with ADT and it ended up that the company he worked for was incredibly shady and wasn't paying him for his commissions and we found out that the unemployment would not honor it due to it being an "independent contractor" job as opposed to a W-2 job. Needless to say it was very frustrating to have to go back on the Unemployment docket and for Anthony to not be employed.

Due to this happening, I took it upon myself to begin searching for another way to bring income into the house. I started teaching on August 31st with Vanguard and have really been enjoying that. The journey has already been very interesting and I have grown to appreciate my professors far more than I already did. I love teaching and found that I really excel at things that are administrative or organizational. Either way, I really love the students and love teaching Cog B.

I also started tutoring in my spare time. I almost laughed as I typed "Spare time." I also really enjoy this job as it is minimal work for me and maximum benefits. It pays well for the time it requires and I get to help kids understand things and find their way in school. Currently I have one client that is consistent and I am tutoring him in Math/English. I love the teaching aspect and that it doesn't require a whole lot of my time.

I am still taking clients in private practice but that is slow going. I find that it is really hard to get out there and get noticed so recently I have started to amp up my marketing. I need to get hours and get going on licensure so it would be good to get a full case load. There is also the aspect of really needing the money.

Anthony was recently hired to work part time for Starbucks in Stanton, California and he really likes it thus far. He has been there about 3 weeks and is starting to learn the coffee biz. Ideally we would love for him to move to full time and begin to climb the ladder because we are just not sure what God is doing. It has been very frustrating to go from AT&T with good pay and benefits to Starbucks which is a good company to work for but really low pay and they do have benefits for Part time which is a huge plus.

Please keep us in your prayers for knowing God's will in all of this and standing through it and being patient for what is supposed to happen.

We love you all and are praying for your journeys in life as well.

The Lewis Family

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lewis Family Update July 2010

Hey everyone. I hope this blog finds you doing well and enjoying health, happiness, and love! We are doing well although the last five months have been brutal. Anthony was let go from AT&T in February and until this last week, he has been unemployed. We are so blessed because we had three months of expenses in the bank, it happened near tax time, and we have people who have really helped us out over the months. We really appreciate all of you who have been praying, helping, and offering to help. It has been tremendous to know how loved and supported we are.

Thursday of last week Anthony started his new job with ADT security systems. It is a sales job so we are certainly concerned about the stability of paychecks and the possibility of it not being a fit for Anthony. So far, he seems to really like it and feel confident about his abilities. He just finished the training part and is now on his own daily to do the job. I am very proud of Anthony on how diligent he was in finding a job over the months and how gracefully he got through it. No one feels good unemployed for five months and my husband was a trooper over all. I am also very proud of him for working so hard for us everyday no matter the circumstances.

Things with me are going well. My client caseload is picking up lately and I am beginning to really specialize in Depression/Grief which is something I am pretty passionate about. I start teaching in a Masters Program for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Fall (specifically August 30th) and I am super excited to start that out. I have always wanted to teach on the college level as well as do therapy so this is a dream coming to fruition. Also, another dream has taken shape as I have been encouraged to write a book. I have been working on that and I am really anxious to see how that turns out. It seems like such a huge dream but steady work on it will make it a reality I am sure.

I went to Indiana in May for a week to see my nephew turn 1 year old. It was absolutely fantastic to be there for his birthday and get to spend time with both he and my niece Kaylea (who is 9 months old.) Here they are because a really good aunt always brags....

Here is my precious nephew Shawn Christopher (14 months)

And my beautiful niece Kaylea (9 months)

Aren't they absolutely precious. Kaylea will turn a year old in October and we are praying that finances allow me to see her on her birthday as well. It's so hard to be so far away from them. Anthony has not even gotten the chance to meet them in person yet so we are praying he will get that chance soon!

Please keep us in prayer for the next few weeks of adjustment to the new job and that Anthony will be successful and God's will overall will be done!

Thanks for stopping in and checking on us!


The Lewis Family (written by Erica)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cheap dates

So, as promised I am updating how Anthony and I are living below our means and still enjoying life. I am maybe the biggest dork in the world when it comes to saving money. I subscribe to every saving money blog there is. I also subscribe to tons of newsletters for various products, restraurants, companies, etc... This has proven very beneficial for us. We have done various things with these things that we could not have done otherwise. Last night was no exception.

As mentioned a number of times, I love overpriced coffee drinks. Starbucks is my beverage of choice but I only get to go there about once/twice a week on giftcards that I have accumulated and I seriously budget for times when I am not using a giftcard. Well...because my nerdiness/thriftiness I had a coupon yesterday for buy one get one free drinks at Peet's Coffee and Tea and we went last night and got coffee for $1.95 for both us and then browsed the book store (one of my favorite pasttimes). We looked through a book that interested us both and read passages to each other. A few hours of wonderful time with my awesome husband and for the bargain price of $1.95 and we got to as Anthony stated "join the living!" Priceless!

We have gotten to do so many other things due to my constant upkeep on newsletters, coupons, blogs etc... like free dinner at Chick-Fil-A for various promotions, free breakfast at Ikea, Free admission to museums on certain promotion days, etc... I am glad that I keep my eyes open. Here are a few of my favorites so that you can enjoy the benefits of them as well.

"Money Saving Mom

"Coupon Geek

Have a lovely day and enjoy a "cheap date" with your honey!