The winds of change are soooooo unexpected I have learned, and life is just a give and take with your plans. It's so funny how, the minute Rickey and I started dating, our "plans" honestly seemed to fly out of the window and what we wanted and desired for quickly flew the coop. But soon, we realized that what we initially "wanted and desired for" wasn't half as great and amazing as what God put behind door numbers 1, 2 and 3. You've read the blogs about Rick and baseball with the cardinals. You know how our little hearts were devastated when it was over, but how God blessed us with a coaching job at Delta State, a recent degree and graduation, and satisfaction in the fact that the first door closed but brought abouding opportunity. Recently, Rick seemed like he was just spinning in different directions with teaching, work, and baseball. He gave it so much of himself and seemed to be wearing thin, so his graduation was a day that I know he was READY for! On Saturday, December 11th, my precious Rickey Craig graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Education and he proudly walked across the stage while his even more proud family looked on :) It was a fabulous fabulous day and well deserved for him. It seemed that it was the final culmination of what started with seasons of baseball and stress in Johnson City, let downs and heartbreaks, coaching and learning how to be a student again, coaching and learning how to be a teacher which was new, overwhelming sense of "how can I accomplish all of this", and last- his feeling of "I just accomplished all that". I am pretty dang proud.
That being said, my Rick is a fellow that has skills he doesnt realize. Not only is he intelligent and creative, FARRRRRRRR beyond what he gives himself credit, but he is a go-getter and isnt one to stand around. A week before Rickey's graduation, we happened to stumble upon a job opportunity in a town that we honestly didnt know existed. So, being the investigative person I am, I was able to look a little more into it and find a phone number to call to get more details on the position itself.... And to make a VERY long story somewhat short- that one phone call with Rickey and Principal Twiggs led to two phone interviews two days later, and us traveling down to the coast after his graduation on Sunday to interview first thing Monday morning in person. I sat in the car during his interview for almost 2 hours and thought to myself, "man, what in the world is going on????" and I quickly realized that what was going on- was going to be something that would change our lives forever. Rickey walked out of the interview, feeling confident and saying the school would get back to him in the next few days. We decided to hit the downtown area for a little lunch and before we knew it, Principal Twiggs was at our table during lunch offering us a JOB. In a flash right before my eyes, I watched Rickey - my precious husband and my new little graduate- confidently shake this man's hand (whom we've just met TODAY and spoke with for a week) and ever so professionally nod his head and accept. And our whirlwind journey has officially begun....
WE ARE MOVING TO OCEAN SPRINGS!
It's exciting, a little scary, a bit more nervewracking, and more and more amazing every single second that I think about it. Its a change from our original plan- and our family and friends are on board so that helps- but we quickly realized, by looking at our history, that our plan IS NOT OUR OWN. This job, this journey, and this trip that we are about to take was planned out for Rickey and myself in our marriage way before we were ever Rickey or Lacey. And we have come to the realization that here on this earth, we are vessels, that are being used to follow His plan and God's will for us. With that acceptance, I think Rickey shook Mr. Twigs hand in confidence and knew that he was ready, I was ready, and WE were ready for such an exciting ride. :)
So the town- its absolutely precious. At work, my coworkers like to call me the "free spirit". I have a hard time watching scary movies, I hate seeing deer hunters kill animals on sunday morning delta television, and I am always feeling "creative" or care free. Others at work say I live in a "Polly Anna" kinda world and, honestly, that suits me just right. The town that we are moving to, reminds them of ME. :) Its a sleepy beach town, about 6 miles from Biloxi, MS just across the Biloxi Bridge and 20 Minutes to Gulfport, MS. It's got everything that we could possibly want as well. Rickey's job at Ocean Springs Middle School is to teach History to 6th and 8th grade students. His school is a Blue Ribbon American school, in a 6A school district, with unlimited resources and funding. The Baseball and Athletic programs are stellar and he looks forward to being able to learn new aspects of coaching at a large high school in MS. They have a wresting team (when was the last time you saw a high school with a wrestling team? Circa 1992 Saved By the Bell at Bayside High perhaps??) and a Lacrosse team, which Mr. Twiggs is already trying to coerce Rick into helping coach this.. Ocean Springs has many hospitals, universities, 100 restaurants (you know I love this), art galleries, famous Potters- which I am destined to live in since I am obsessed with pottery right now, 30 art galleries, and access to the MS Gulf Coast beaches and casinos. They love festivals- and seem to celebrate anything and everything they can, every month, and any available weekend. And the best part is we are 80 miles to New Orleans and 75 miles to Baton Rouge to see our family :) We can go have dinner on a WEEKDAY now!
I have some pics posted of our new little hometown for you to see. Rickey has gone to Ocean Springs today to sign his official contract and see his classroom, as well as scout out a few more places to live and meet with our realtor. Lots of fun and exciting blogs to come- get ready to read! :)
Lots of love,
Ocean Springs Park- Open Beach.. Hello Backyard.
This is the Marina where the boats like to dock.
This is the HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELD! how nuts is it?
Another Festival (antique cars- Rick is obsessed) and hanging out at Lovelace Drugs (like Turnages in WV)
I had to add this one- pic of the remains of the Biloxi bridge connecting OS to Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina hit. The Bridge has been rebuilt since then, but they left a large section of the old, damaged bridge as a reminder of how horrible Katrina really was to the MS Gulf Coast.
This is ONE building (I think science building maybe) for the OS High School. It's bigger than my entire high school and its ONE BUILDING.
Little more of the downtown area. I like the street signs :)