Sunday, December 4, 2011

Special Powers

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound ... we know you've got one. What's your 2011 superpower?

For those of you going what the what ... stop. Think about it for a moment: what have you learned that you can do better than anyone you know this year? What can you do that no one else can? Don't be shy!

Okay, so once again I needed some help from my husband on this one. What would be my super power? Sometimes I feel like other people can see ME more clearly than I can see myself :) His first suggestion had to do with becoming a mom 3 times in a 24 month period, but I liked his second suggestion more.

So my super power for 2011, was motivating my husband to pass the CPA exam :) As I have explained on here before, the CPA exam has been a 3 year battle for my poor husband. The last 3 years have been the craziest and busiest years for us which doesn't help when someone in the household needs lots of time set aside to study. Originally we had hoped to have Peter done with the exam before Malachi came home. When we got on the plane to fly to Ethiopia, Peter had 2 passed exams and 2 pending exams. So our hope was that he was actually done, but that wasn't how it worked out. So then the goal was to be done by the time Eli was born. Peter scheduled what would hopefully be his last exam for around a month before Eli's birth. Well, as things happened he actually had to take that exam 3 days after Eli was born. Going into a big exam with very little sleep in the last 3 days, no study time, and concern about your sick child do not make for the best exam day. But hey, we had already paid for it and there was no point in him not trying. Amazingly he actually came pretty close to passing it :)

the months that followed held a few more exam attempts before we came into the summer. Over the course of the last 3 years we had put A LOT of money into this exam and we were finding ourselves in a position where it was just not looking like we would be able to afford too many more exam attempts. Much less, we now had 2 children and there just wasn't time for Peter to continue to take these tests. He had 2 exams with passing credit, but one of those would be losing credit at the end of August and that would drain even more money and time from our family. It was time for us to have a huge sit down discussion and make some hard decisions. First off, we HAD to set a deadline for the exam. We could not continue on forever with this over our family. We were both feeling a huge amount of stress over this silly exam and we either needed to conquer it or put it behind us. So the first thing we did was set a deadline where we would put the exam behind us for good if it wasn't passed.

The second big thing we discussed, is we did not want to end this thing without a fight! We had invested 3 years into this thing and ultimately we wanted to end it with a victory! But we only had 2 months before Peter lost exam credit and we did not want to retake that exam if we didn't have to. A 2 month time frame to pass 2 tests was going to be no easy task! So we had to buckle down. Being married to an aspiring CPA is not the easiest thing in the world easy. His study schedule would affect all of us in the house! I would have to take on more responsibility. We set a super aggressive schedule that pretty much had Peter scheduling every moment he was home for the next 2 months. Sure, 2 months goes pretty fast, but it was still very difficult for all of us. Peter had really hit the burnout point by the end of August and I had been dealing with the peak of morning sickness and pregnancy fatigue, trying to keep the home together while he studied.

So there you have it! I pushed Peter (but in a loving way) to get through the exam. I supported him by giving him the time to study as he needed to do. And because of the sacrifices be both made, we were able to celebrate together that awesome day when I checked the mail and saw his congratulation letter :) We conquered the evil that is the CPA exam together :)