Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day.  Tomorrow, the Hubs and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We got married young, the summer between our Junior and Senior year in college.  We were both 21.  We felt it fitting to mark our 10 year anniversary with this decision.

The past 10 years have been nothing short of exciting and to say we’ve both grown immensely would be an understatment.  We’ve had opportunities to do some amazing things, we’ve taken some great vacations and we’ve been through some serious rough patches, albeit very recently.  The majority of the past 10 years has been nothing short of amazing.  I don’t really have much to complain about.  But there’s been something missing.  There’s always been something missing.  Tonight, the sun will set on the life we’ve known for the better part of those 10 years.  The sun will go down, for good, on a seemingly predictable and safe future.  The sun will rise tomorrow marking not only a new day, but a whole new life for us.  One that we both believe has been in the works for a very long time, but only began to reveal itself to us over the last 18 months or so.  The Hubs will be resigning his current position which he’s held for close to 4 years.  He’ll be leaving the employer he’s been with for almost 8 years.  It’s a HUGE step.  He has not and will not be accepting a position with another employer.  He will be delving in, full force, going balls to the wall to make his small company a success.  Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new era.  I will continue my role as a stay at home mom, raising our 2 girls until the time is right for me to launch a small business of my own.  We won’t have any income coming in (until he starts making money on his own) and will be living off money that we have saved over the past 3 years.  Money that we couldn’t have saved if it hadn’t been for Dave Ramsey’s class, Financial Peace University, almost 3 years ago which I was firmly against.  I’m so very thankful for my husband’s gentle but firm stance that we needed to attend this class; he was aware of my sensitivity to the subject of money, but never relented.  It has changed the course of our lives.  We didn’t know what we were saving for, we were simply…saving.  There have been several big-ticket items we’ve wanted to purchase recently yet neither of us could pull the trigger.  I’m thankful for gut feelings and discretion and wisdom.  We’ve created and agreed to a budget that will allow this savings to carry us for many months and give him ample time to ramp-up his business.  If, at the end of the agreed upon time, the business is not performing as we desire, he will then seek full-time employment elsewhere.  In the mean-time he’ll be self-employed.

There is, of course, a certain amount of nervousness to all of this.  I keep telling myself there would be something wrong with the person that WASN’T nervous.  If you say it out loud, what we’re doing, it sounds crazy.  Truthfully though, we’ve looked at this every way possible.  Multiple times.  This is not a decision we’ve come to easily nor has the decision been made light-heartedly.  We have also sought the counsel of many people we respect in our lives.  We recognize the many sacrifices it will require.  If we want to make a go at this, this is how it has to be.  All in.  No questions.  One job and only one job.  He can’t make it work on a part-time basis.  Not with his travel schedule and the demands of his current position.  Not to mention he’s been increasingly unhappy in his current position and while he didn’t do anything wrong (it’s on permanent record with the company that he’s in no way violating company policy) by starting a business on the side, his current manager was less than thrilled when she learned about it.  There are also many signs his current division is in trouble.  All signs point to this being the right call.  While the seed for entrepreneurship was planted long, long ago, we started to see its growth while on vacation last summer, after the twins died.  If it hadn’t been for them dying, I’m about 99% sure we wouldn’t be where we are now.

So this is my last post as the wife of a traveling salesman.  As the stay at home mom while my husband brings home the bacon.  Going forward, it will be a joint effort to make this ship sail.  Granted, he’ll do most of the heavy lifting, but I’m sure I’ll be needed somewhere.  And before too long, I’m hoping to start my own thing that’s been in the works.  I know this isn’t true, but this really feels like my first experience with true faith.  I don’t know what’s on the other side…the unknown has always been scary to me.  But there’s something nudging me forward, something telling me to press on and to stay the course, and amidst all the nervousness, I recognize a peaceful feeling telling me this is the right move.  Although it’s often shrouded in the fear.  I’ve accepted the fact that even though this is the right move, it may not turn out how we want, but that’s not for us to decide.  All we can do is act and work our tails off.  To the life I’d grown too comfortable in yet provided me with so much to be thankful for I’d like to say, “Thanks.  It’s been an awesome ride.  I’ve had ups.  I’ve had downs.  I’ve had more ups than I’ve had downs.  I’ve made lots of mistakes, some of which were fun and I’ve grown into a woman who would be unrecognizable to the young bride I was 10 years ago.  I’m thankful, for it all, but I’m ready to move on.  To see what’s on the other side.  I’m ready to close the curtain and see what happens next.”

I’ll see you all on the other side.

xoxo,

B

 WMFlorida 2009 013

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Here’s a conversation I never thought I’d have…

First, a pregnancy update.  I had my 36 week check-up yesterday (even though I won’t technically be 36 weeks until tomorrow) and I’m very thankful that my doc was able to confirm Baby C is finally head down.  It looks as though I’m able to table my concerns about a scheduled c-section due to a breech baby.  Weekly internal exams started yesterday and I’ve made basically no progress and Baby C is still riding high…which I kind of knew based on the butt and occasional foot in my ribcage.  I go back again next Friday, which is the same appointment with A I learned I was already 3 cm dilated.  We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days.  While I’d like for Baby C to bake as long as she needs to, I’ll be thrilled with some amount of progress at my next appointment.

The Hubs’ travel schedule has been INSANE.  Even he says so.  He was home Monday and Tuesday though and he came home from work Monday night with flowers for me and A.  He got A a potted Hyacinth plant that smells wonderful.  It’s in her room now, but we’ll put it in the ground eventually and I’ll do my best to keep it alive.  For me, he layed a dozen dark pink/light pink roses in my lap.  I was lounging in bed when he got home…no big surprise there.  After a few minutes he said, “My only request is that you take 2 of the roses and…” then he gestured to the top of our chest of drawers where the urn containing the twins’ ashes sits amongst our wedding photos.  I was speechless for a few minutes.  And I was surprised…which is almost impossible to do.  The fact that he even had to think about getting flowers for the twins is heartbreaking, yet, at the same time, why wouldn’t he think to get ALL his girls flowers on Valentine’s Day?  The whole conversation caught me off guard and made me equally sad and proud at the same time.  On one hand, there’s the realization there is no ending to the twins’ story.  There will always be Christmas, Valentine’s Day, their birthday…days that are special and meaningful to us where we want to honor their memory and the part they’ve played (and will continue to play) in our lives.  And I was immensely proud to be married to a man who is so very thoughtful and unafraid to show his love and devotion to ALL his children, even those that didn’t join our family in the way we had intended.  It made my heart swell; one of those “I think I just fell in love with you all over again” moments.  And if that wasn’t enough emotion for one evening, A pipes up and says, “I sure wish Baby C had a flower.”  Oh, the logic and the love of a 3-year-old.  And so, of my 12 roses, 2 are in a vase in our bedroom for Megyn and Whitney, 1 is in a vase for Baby C in her room and the remaining 9 are in a vase on the kitchen table.  And I’m okay with that.

twins' flowers

Megyn and Whitney's roses

c's flower

Baby C's rose, waiting for her in her room.

a's flowers

A's flowers

I’m starting to believe…

No, not in Tim Tebow.  I was already a believer in Tebow…but I digress.

I’m starting to believe these fortune cookie fortunes are more than just coincidence.  Now, I’m a smart person.  I know these fortunes are mass-produced and randomly stuck into fortune cookies, shipped all over the world and there is no rhyme or reason to who gets what.  But I dunno, I kind of like believing in a higher power that works through something as simple as a fortune cookie to remind people to stay on track; stay the course…to remind them of their goals and dreams.  After my last post about my New Year’s fortune, Hubs finally opened his this weekend.  Now, if you’ve been following along at all, you know that the Hubs and I have some big plans.  That’s why his fortune kind of gave me goosebumps.

fortune 2

If you’re interested…here’s the long version of why this particular fortune is so cool.

I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today.  Hubs’ travel schedule has been fairly light since about Thanksgiving.  He’s traveled some, but not much.  He’s also had quite a bit of time off work and we’ve spent a lot of time together as a family.  He left today on the first trip of MANY over the next month and a half.  I knew it was coming and I understand why he has to put in so much travel right now, but it’s still hard.  It’s always hardest to have him leave when he’s been home for a while.  It takes me some time to re-adjust to being alone.  In addition, I’m feeling slightly anxious about adding a new baby.  I’ve treated this pregnancy as an after thought much of the time.  Partly out of fear, partly out of necessity since I have another child to care for.  We’ve been working like crazy to get A moved into her new room.  It’s coming together but still isn’t done and in the process I’ve completely destroyed the nursery.  Just walking past the room makes me nervous because it’s in SUCH disarray.  Not that Baby C will care what her room looks like, but I’d really like for it to be done before she gets here.

I’m starting to experience some sadness about A not being an only child anymore too.  I don’t think that helps my feelings regarding the heavy travel schedule; it just adds to my desire to have my family home.  Together, and close by.  I keep trying to tell myself giving her a sibling is an awesome gift, but I’m not sure I can fathom life with more than just her.  I’m not worried about loving another child, or having room in my heart for another child, I just find myself unable to grasp the concept of another child in this house.  The logistics are mind-boggling.  It’s been just me and A for so long, I know so much about her and I am able to devote so much of myself to her.  I know that just won’t be possible once Baby C gets here and it makes me sad.  I wish it didn’t, it feels like I’m doing Baby C a disservice and she’s not even here yet.  Makes me want to really dig in and savor these last weeks with just A.

I find myself worrying about silly things.  Getting upset about situations that haven’t even come to fruition.  I’m feeling fearful about the safety of Hubs and A…given the events that play out in my head you’d think I watch too much Lifetime TV, but I don’t.  Not at all actually.  I know it’s the hormones, but it makes me feel like a crazy person.  I’m doing better believing that Baby C will make a safe arrival, but I still have moments of sheer panic that send me running walking quickly usually kind of limping (since my feet and legs constantly fall asleep) for a glass of water or frantically tapping my belly to get some movement out of her.  As we start to make strides towards ACTUALLY getting our home ready for another baby I can’t help but wonder, what if?  I put off doing pretty much anything until after Christmas.  I just wasn’t confident enough to get anything started.  I fully believe tragedy can strike again.  I had such a hard time ordering my glider last week.  The last time I placed an order for furniture, I had to send my mom to the store the next day to un-order said furniture.  To top it all off, I have more contractions each day than I care to admit.  I know they’re normal.  I know they don’t “mean” anything.  But it’s still nerve-wracking.  I never had early contractions with A, so this is fairly new territory.  I plan to mention it to my doc at my appointment on Friday.  I’ll be 32 weeks.  I’m aware that if Baby C were to show up now, her chances of survival are very good, but we’d obviously be dealing with a long stint in the NICU.  I’d like to avoid it and I just keep telling myself, despite the daily contractions, she’s not coming until March.

On a lighter note, since it’s Tuesday, and I pretty much ALWAYS go to Target on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I had to laugh at my purchases today.  1 box of mac and cheese for A.  1 box of shells and cheese for me.  1 frozen cheese pizza for us to share.  1 box of individual deep dish cheese pizzas for me.  1 bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.  And 1 box of maxi pads for, uh, various reasons.  I was embarrassed as I checked out.  I’m still slightly embarrassed, but only slightly.

Holiday Travel

Ugh. The Hubs just hit the road for a last-minute trip out of town. I’ve tried not to complain too much about his travel since it’s an integral part of his job, but this trip has really rubbed me the wrong way. The past 2 jobs he’s had, have, for the most part, had the days around the Holidays blacked-out for vacation. It really sucks that we’ve never, and I mean never, since we’ve been married, been able to have a week off work at Thanksgiving or extended time off around Christmas. It just hasn’t worked out and that’s something I hope will change as life goes on. Instead of allowing a bunch of vacation, his boss requested that Hubs and his other counterparts from around the country fly to Minnesota tonight for an in-person pow wow tomorrow; and return home late tomorrow evening. It’s absurd. The meeting agenda that was presented when she requested they all leave their families during a holiday week has now drastically changed. What Hubs was originally viewing as a good opportunity for discussion before the beginning of the year (albeit bad timing) has now turned into a seemingly complete waste of time and soooooooo not worth his time away from home. Had this trip been scheduled for actual work, it still would have bummed me out, but since it’s turned into an opportunity for management to do a little more micro-managing, I’m left going…W.T.F. I mean, really, if it’s so important to not allow vacation during this time of the year, why in the world is it appropriate to drag your entire sales force to Minnesota…taking them completely out of commission for a day and half, bumping up against a holiday? It has just REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. I think it shows a major flaw in his management team and it shows a complete disregard for the work/life balance of a traveling sales team. I realize they didn’t ask my opinion, and I’m sure they have really good reasons for doing it RIGHT NOW but it really sucks for those of us left on the home front reading facebook and twitter updates about everyone else enjoying time with their friends and family. I guess the good news is that when he finally gets home tomorrow night, he’s off Wednesday and Friday. I say “I guess” because we’re traveling (with the little one, and all her stuff), staying with family (SHUDDER), I’m told I have a birthday in there somewhere (that will be completely over-shadowed and treated as an afterthought), and I don’t think those 3 days are going to be particularly enjoyable…but that’s another post for another day.

PS: I’m doing a very poor job of “managing” this household right now; and I’m reminded of it constantly.

PPS: I’ve lost all control.  3 dogs for sale.  Or, better yet, 3 dogs – take them and I’ll pay you; I’ll pay you well.

PPPS: Pretty sure my agenda for the remainder of the day, tonight and tomorrow will include shopping, movie watching and maybe some cooking making.  Oh yeah, and laundry, packing, house-cleaning…all those pesky little details.  Damn, I’d almost forgotten I still have to prepare for the trip out of town.  Le sigh.

The past few days

It’s been a strange few days around here.  We spent a long 4th of July weekend out of town and that seems like ages ago.  In actuality, we’ve been home less than a week.  You see, the Hubs was actually working in town this week, wahoo!  Except, the week has gone about like all the others when he’s home in that we cram entirely too much into those precious days and he leaves town feeling exhausted and drained and I’m left alone feeling like I just can’t catch my breath.  The strange part is that it doesn’t feel like we actually plan all that much.  It just…happens.  Things I normally handle myself with little to no input from the Hubs instantly become life-changing decisions that require numerous, in-depth discussions.  I sometimes find myself wondering how I manage on my own at all!  Even I recognize my psychopathic tendencies.  Let’s take this weekend for example.  Here was the schedule:  Friday night included an overnight stay of my sister and her new (very serious) boy toy.  The Hubs hadn’t yet met him and well, his stamp of approval was needed.  Saturday was reserved for routine lawn maintenance and a birthday party which I knew we would be late for due to nap schedules (I’m a Nap Nazi).  Sunday meant church and a tentative plan to meet a girlfriend and her kiddos for some swimming.  Sounds simple, right?  RIGHT?  Let me tell you how it ACTUALLY went down.  It will leave you breathless and exhausted too.

Friday

The Hubs usually gets home early on Fridays, and finishes up his day in our home office.  It’s a nice end to a week when he’s generally been on the road.  It feels like we’re able to ease into the weekend.  Except this past Friday when he didn’t leave the office until almost 5.  I’d spent the day preparing for our guests and was feeling edgy since I kept expecting the doorbell to ring.  It didn’t.  Until 6:30.  And they had offered to bring steaks.  Great, except when they showed up at 6:30 (instead of 3ish, like we had discussed) the steak was still frozen.  THE STEAK WAS STILL FROZEN.  After a little calculation I realized we wouldn’t be eating until roughly 8:30.  My child was now wired (given her new guests) and hungry.  And she went to bed late.  So now I’m pissy and tired.  I was ready to thrown in the towel, head to bed and leave them to fend for themselves.  But I didn’t.  I made it until midnight before I bailed on the beer drinking party taking place on our patio.

Saturday

I got up before 7 on Saturday and tried to keep the kid quiet since we had guests that had no intention of getting up before 7.  Too bad.  I made a yummy breakfast (hello french toast!) and we had a really nice morning.  I finally got them packed up and  ushered out of my house around 10am.  It was about this point I decided I needed a few things from Target.  I do this a lot.  And I actually really enjoy running a few errands on the weekends with the Hubs and A in tow.  And since we don’t have enough unfinished projects on our home improvement list, we decided our outdoor faucets needed replacing so a trip to Lowes was also put on the agenda.  You see, our outdoor faucets were installed around, oh say, the same time the dinosaurs walked the earth.  The were rusted and the hose never attached properly leaving water spraying embarrassingly every direction whenever the hose was turned on.  Plus, one of the faucets was dripping incessantly and needed to be replaced anyways.  No home improvement project we’ve ever done has been easy, simple or straight forward.  NOT ONE.  So, Target, Lowes, back home for A’s nap.  The birthday party we were supposed to attend was from 1-4.  I was hoping to leave our house around 2:30 or so after A’s nap.  Hubs went outside to change out faucets.  Now, you have to turn off the water to the house before you do this, so we had the water off at about 12:00 that day.  Faucet 1 was a breeze.  No issues, beautiful new faucet and no leaky hose, yay!!!  Faucet 2…not so much.  To make a long story short; due to some rust and corrosion and a lot of twisting and turning by the Hubs, a pipe busted, broke, whatever you want to call it.  When the water was turned back on, it was pouring out from underneath the foundation on our front porch, flooded our master closet and a good chunk of our bedroom.  I had just, just told A we were going to a birthday party and it broke my heart to have to tell her we couldn’t make it.  A frantic call was made to our plumber (that we’re on a first name basis with) who agreed to come by in a few hours.  But we had to leave the water off until then.  Repairs were finally complete around 8 that evening.  We then had to clean out the closet, remove the carpet and padding to let it dry, and pull back a good chunk of the carpet and padding in our room to let it dry.  We still don’t have the carpet replaced in our closet…that’s already on the list for this coming Saturday.  Replacing outdoor faucets should not be this complicated.  Or expensive.

Sunday

We got up a little early on Sunday with the intention of going to breakfast before church.  It actually worked!  And we had a nice time, made it to church on time and everything.  Came home, put A down for her nap and did some stuff around the house.  The only plans for the day were the yard work (that didn’t get done Saturday thanks to a pipe explosion and flooding) and maybe some swimming.  Our room was still a disaster and the carpet still wasn’t dry so we couldn’t do anything about the mess.  We made plans to meet my friend around 3 thinking we’d swim for a few hours and be home in time for dinner and yard work.  Well, friend didn’t show up until 4 (WHAT?!) and we ended up not leaving until close to 8.  We had a wonderful time, but no time for yard work.  After we get home, get A fed and into bed it’s almost 9…and Hubs still has to replace the (now dry) carpet in our bedroom.  Sigh.  Never a break.  Never a relaxing moment.

So, Monday morning Hubs left the house around 7 to make it across the Metroplex for an early meeting.  Worked a full day and didn’t get home until after 5.  He then spent the evening doing the yard work that didn’t get done over the weekend.  He came inside about 9 where I was finishing up his laundry so he’d have clothes to pack.  You see, he boards a plane this afternoon to San Francisco and won’t be back until almost midnight on Thursday.  He finished packing around 11 last night.

So, you see?  Are you tired yet?  It always seems to happen like this.  An innocent, normal few days (with a few fun things sprinkled in) turned into an exhausting whirlwind of events.  It happens ALL.THE.TIME.  The thought that scares me about this is that it seems we do better apart than together.  That Hubs being gone is the normal and when he’s home it’s abnormal.  That we function better as a family when he’s gone than when he’s home.  On one hand that helps us be successful (as a family) since his current job requires extensive travel.  On the other hand, it seems that we need to make some SERIOUS adjustments when he is home so we don’t feel so over-whelmed.

Managing the Home Front

It’s Monday. Another week on the road for the Hubs. I sat him down yesterday and was honest with him about my current struggles having a traveling husband. Before everything happened with the twins I prided myself on being a stay at home mom with a traveling husband. I wore it as a badge of honor that I was not only willing to be by myself but I did a pretty good job by myself too. I missed him, sure, and it’s definitely easier to wrangle a toddler and 3 dogs with an extra set of hands, but I did pretty well on my own. I even did a pretty good job of keeping his leaving and returns as seamless as possible. In order for a traveling husband (or wife) to work, it can’t be a huge ordeal every time he/she comes or goes.

Fast forward a few months: now my emotional resolve as a stay at home mom with a traveling husband has been beaten within an inch of its life. I’m struggling. I’m struggling with a lot of things right now, this is just a big one since it’s such a huge part of our lives. I feel like every time he leaves, a part of my heart and soul goes with him. I guess maybe that’s a good thing – it speakes to the depth of our relationship. But, the other side of that is that I don’t feel like I’m functioning at full capacity while he’s gone, and that makes my job here on the home front quite difficult. So we talked yesterday, he’s aware of my feelings, concerns and struggles. We both agree this isn’t the time to be making any decisions…we’re still fragile and emotionally weak, really not the best time to be making big, life decisions. The truth is, even though he travels, his job offer lots of perks that we enjoy. Time off, flexibility, we benefit from frequent flyer miles and rewards programs at hotels and such. Also, he’s compensated nicely. His job, while challenging, allows me to stay at home and we don’t really sacrifice that much in the way of lifestyle. And it feels like we’re working towards something. Like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I really can’t put my finger on it, but it almost seems like we’re on a trip, or maybe running a race, and there IS a finish line to cross at the end of this job. There is a prize, reward, whatever you want to call it to be working towards. So today I’m moving forward, comforted that Hubs is happy with his job, but more than willing to make a change if it gets to be too much for me and our family. I’m thankful for a husband that is willing to sit down and listen to me whine about another thing (it’s a never-ending list of things) that has changed/been affected by losing the girls. I’m also so thankful for a husband and father that takes his role as the head of our family so seriously. I’m thankful today that even in the midst of uncertainty he wants to grow our family and doesn’t feel the need to wait until things are more stable. We’re getting really, really, really close to the point of trying for another baby. I’m hoping a little distraction is all I need to get me functioning normally, well, my new normal anyways. I’m also hoping that distraction is in the form of 2 little lines very, very soon.