August 31, 2012

I Passed!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I PASSED the CPA exam! I'm so excited and relieved. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I have so much time now! No more studying hanging over my head.

I would like to thank Google for this great image of what an accountant looks like:

Accountants can be cool, I worked with some pretty fun people in Orlando, so there. :)

Anyway, I realized the other day that passing this exam is literally the hardest, biggest thing I've accomplished in my life. It didn't come easily or naturally to me, and I stuck with it until I made it happen. (I would also like to seriously thank the Lord Jesus - because I did not sleep the night before this last exam due to a huge thunderstorm, and I told God that all credit was due to Him if I passed - I was not in a good state of mind!)

Things have always come pretty easily for me. I always made good enough grades in school without studying too hard; I did study, but probably not as much as I should have. I've run several half marathons, and a few years ago I wanted to run a full marathon, just to say I could do it. I didn't train sufficiently, but I made it happen anyway - that was hard, but only for 5 hours. 

This CPA exam thing was on a whole different level, and lasted for 3 years, starting in the Fall of 2009. For 2 years, I took exams and didn't pass them, and I didn't understand what it would take. Then, last summer, my sweet husband suggested that if I didn't pass the next one, maybe I should take a break from the test. For some reason this was the motivation I needed! I knew I was smart enough, and I knew I could pass. By some miracle, I passed that section by 1 point! I realized that it was the hardest I had ever studied for one part, and I only passed by one point, so I better step it up for the next section! The next one I passed with room to spare, and then went on to pass the next two. Once I set my mind to it in July of 2011, it took me one year and one try on each part to pass. I wish I had just set my mind to it back in 2009! But I guarantee you I know that information better than someone who passed the first time - I've studied it for three years!

It feels really good to have worked at something for so long, and to have set a goal and accomplish it. I am notorious for starting things and not finishing them. Or for coming up with great ideas that I want to start, and never even starting. For example: 

It was such a great feeling to set a goal, work hard at it, and see it fulfilled. Now I'm full of ideas of all kinds of goals I want to set for myself! I'm trying to pick just one or two that I can be serious about and actually accomplish (hopefully with a shorter time frame than 3 years). 

August 1, 2012

This Year We Will Be In.....

This year we will be living in....


I did not mean to, but I've abandoned this blog for a few months, and now I'm back! In the meantime, Matt has signed a contract for next year with a team in North France, in the city of Lievin, France. Its a good contract and a step up from last year, so we are excited to see what this year brings! Last year, I said I didn't care if we were in Spain again (because I liked it) or a different country (because I want to see more of Europe). I am really excited about France, though, and especially about the area of Europe we will be in - perfect for traveling! We are really close to England, Belgium and not too far from Germany. Last year we only traveled within Spain, so this year I'm excited to see more of Europe.

Last year was a good experience, but I think this year will be even better, just from an adjusting standpoint. First, we will have a car this year, which will be great! Second, we already have visitors scheduled. Last year, we went all fall with no visitors, and we missed our families a lot! This year we are trying to spread everyone out so we won't be as homesick. Matt's dad is coming in October for his first game, and my sister is coming for Thanksgiving in November! I know it will be so much fun to see both of them not too long after we've been gone. The only way this year will be harder than last year is that neither Matt nor I speak a word of French! (Oui, merci, and that is all....) At least last year Matt could speak Spanish. I've started using a free library program to learn a little bit, so we'll see how that goes. 

I took my (hopefully) last section of the CPA exam yesterday! I saved the most difficult one (FAR - Financial) for the last, and it was a hard test! I'll find out if I passed or not right around the time we leave, so hopefully I passed and I won't have to bring my books with me to France. It would be so unbelievably great to be finished studying. 

Matt's been playing a lot of basketball and training to get ready for France. He played in a Pro-Am tournament in Birmingham last week, and his team won the championship! That was pretty cool, except I didn't get to see him play because I was studying for my test. His family got to see him play though, which they loved. 

Anyway, we are dealing with Visa issues right now, and as soon as we get that figured out we will leave, probably around August 22. That's soon! This summer has flown by, but its been a good one. It's been great to have a summer for the first time in a few years, work some part time jobs, be completely flexible, go on some fun vacations and spend time with our families. We'll be in France until May, and then back to the USA again for another great summer!