Friday, June 29, 2012

This year...

About a year ago I started my recovery journey.  Sean was in treatment and I headed off, over the 4th of July weekend, for four days of Family Group - which turned out to be, for me, basically Al Anon boot camp.  I met some wonderful people and wonder frequently about many of them and what their year has been like.  We were taught to always say our closing prayer while standing with our left foot forward in honor of all those "left behind" and still suffering in their disease.  I did that tonight at the close of my weekly meeting, as I usually do, and remembered. 

This year, we are just ending our "girls week", at home alone while Sean enjoys his annual fishing trip in Canada.  It's been a good week - not too remarkable - and we are so looking forward to his arrival back home tomorrow night.  I am reminded that for all the things I'd like to do better in our relationship, his is still the only lap I have ever thrown myself, when I just need to be held; and his is still the embrace I know will always be there for me; and he is the one person I always know will have my back.  I miss him and am so glad that he and I are walking our recovery path together.

I am also very grateful for the "we" program that is Al Anon for me.  I often tell myself that I don't fit in, or that others don't understand me, and I recognize it for the defense mechanism that it is.  And I know that in all the ways that matter, I am part of the larger community that is Al Anon - and the fact that my story is different in some ways is part of the Higher Power of the program actually adds to the program.  We are all different and yet we are all so much the same. 

It's been a good year and there is another good year ahead. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My weekend was marvelous!

I had such a great weekend.  It is always a good thing when I get to cut out early on a Friday, and I did that last Friday - leaving at noon to start my weekend.  Sean was leaving for his annual fishing trip in Canada, so he was excited, and the girls and I were heading back to my hometown area for the weekend. 

To start things off this social weekend, we stopped at Subway to pick up sandwiches for supper later at the lake.  My niece's friend was working and the only patron in the store was my former basketball coach.  I laughed and had a good time chatting with both of them.

That night, we went out to the lake cabin where my friends were staying - that wonderful family from the anniversary party last weekend.  My girls got to play in the lake with the other kids tearing around, and I got to chat with my high school friend who now lives in Sweden.  It was lovely and a beautiful night at the lake.  There weren't even mosquitoes to speak of, until the sun went down.  It was awesome. 

Saturday morning, we were driving to my mother's hometown to meet a bunch of my family at the cemetery, where we were meeting to bury my uncle's ashes.  He died in Memphis around Christmas, and his sons came up from Tennessee to inter him with my grandparents.  But before we left, I went to the grocery store to pick up soda and ice and ran into a good guy friend and his two boys - hadn't seen him in several years, so that was a surprise treat. 

My sister and I car pooled to Pipestone for the burial.  It was a gorgeous day and a happy occasion to see everyone, while at the same time a poignant goodbye to my uncle.  We had a picnic afterwards, which was interesting, since this group of about 15 adults and 15 kids is roughly 50% alpha dogs when it comes to planning and organizing.  Picture a herd of sheep with a half dozen sheepdogs, all with a different idea of where those sheep should be, and the other half dozen sheepdogs muttering their own opinions but fighting their own urge to herd the sheep.  Somehow, all the sheep were fed and no stragglers were lost.

Afterwards we took the kids to the Pipestone National Monument.  If you ever have a few hours in southwestern Minnesota, it is really something to see.  You think it's all just random prairie and then there are these gorgeous cliffs and quarries just hidden out there, with a creek and waterfall too.  Gorgeous!

And then back to the hometown area where the remaining cousins (and my mom and uncle) gathered at a local establishment on Green Lake for supper and more smart talk.  It was a great location (thanks, it was this sheepdog's suggestion) and about eight of us hung out until after dark, catching up and hopefully starting planning discussions for another family reunion. 

I was laughing by Saturday night, wondering who else I'd see out of the blue.  Well, as it turned out, it was one of my daughters' very first daycare teachers!  I saw this young lady out on the patio at the restaurant and thought she looked familiar.  Asked my sister if she knew her, which would rule in or rule out anyone from our hometown, and she did not.  Then the light bulb went off and I walked up and asked her if I knew her from Loving Arms daycare - and I was right!  The bummer was that my cousin's husband had just taken all our kids back to the hotel to swim, but happily enough, they had just come outside to say goodbye to everyone and she had seen them and recognized them, though she didn't think I'd remember her, so she didn't say anything.  Funny enough, my husband and I had just been talking about this daycare teacher (Stacy) and her sister who also was a teacher there, only about two weeks ago, and were trying to remember Stacy's name.  I was tickled to have talked to her.

It was a lovely weekend of catching up and seeing old friends and extended family.  I left with a smile on my face and a great feeling of reconnection. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


I have wallowed in my share of angst over the years - as evidenced in this blog and to anyone who has ever known me for more than 20 minutes.  And then, when I realize I'm wallowing again, I then have the angst of trying to accept the earlier angst versus feeling guilty for it.  Or, on really special occasions, I morph right into the "but no-one understands me!" drama that can last for eons.

As I was tossing around ideas just now, since I haven't written a post in several days, I re-visited a couple others I'd pondering over the past several days - I was gone again last weekend so spent time on the weekend planning future posts in my head, you know how that goes!  I'd had this whole dramatic series planned in my head, analyzing the great TEDx talk that Elan Morgan gave about self-doubt and using it to move yourself forward (and it's a great great video - go to her blog and check it out, you will LOVE it) ... but then I realized that much of my thoughts her talk ended up being of the "but no-one understands me!" type and I rolled my eyes and realized what a drama queen I was being.  Which then squelched all possible post-writing out of my head initially.

Until I thought of another drama queen in my life - my 9 year old daughter.  Oh my Lord, can that girl flip herself out about anything.  Huge crocodile tears over a thunderstorm watch on TV, or panic attacks over the possibility of shark attack (keep in mind we live in Minnesota, where sharks are rare), or the latest tragedy - the mosquito swarms we've had so far this year that, I grant you, are the worst in my memory, but the girl seems to think they are going to carry her off.  We frequently discuss the uselessness of unnecessary drama and it hit me tonight that I am doing the exact same thing!  There is so much b.s. spiraling my brain - I know it is largely just there to keep me stuck and not moving forward (internal messages about what I can't do or shouldn't do or shouldn't have to do, you know the kind). 

So next time I'm all in my pity party world - I'm going to use the same words I use with my daughter to knock some sense into myself.  What are the odds of someone understanding you if you don't open up your mouth and actually share what's going on inside you?  About the same odds of a shark attack in Minnesota, dumbass. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's raining, it's pouring...

and yes, the old man is snoring ... and I can't sleep.  Storms again tonight - more dumping rain on our water logged and mosquito swarmed land.  My nine year old was only awake twice, anxiety over the thunder and lightning.  The seven year old was stressing last evening about the flash flood watch notices on the TV, asking when the flood was coming. 

Hubs came to bed last night, telling me that we had a water leak - water dripping out of the kitchen light fixture.  I must have been really tired, because I fell asleep anyway, but I woke up about 2 a.m. pondering that water leak, which led to pondering the holes in our siding which already cause me anxiety about the potential for pest infestation (squirrels, bats, bees, and who knows what else), and now I can worry about moisture and mold and leaks and collapsing ceilings.

So I finally got up at 3 a.m.  Wiped up more puddles on the floor in the kitchen, emptied the bucket, and admired the water stains on the kitchen ceiling.  Sigh. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

My weekend

I had a really marvelous weekend.  It was nothing special, but did include some time with my family, my godfather/uncle, and seeing familiar faces both at our former church and at a 50th anniversary party.  My husband looks at me a little funny, and my grumpy-old-man dad can't even fathom how I can have enjoyed myself as much as I did.

But the thing that is sticking with me is the phenomenon of people who are just magnetic and can make anyone feel like part of the family - you know those people?  It is a magical thing when you meet someone and you just know that you and everyone else would just do anything to remain in their inner circle.  The couple having the 50th anniversary party are like that, only better.  I've met some of those magnetic people before and have had to learn to accept they are sort of that "friends for a season" type of friend, and they move on in life away from me.  But this family, who have been family friends of my parents and us for about 30 years, is better because once you are "part of the family", you are always part of the family.  Warmly received whenever you can be together.  They have five children and I was particular friends with the three older daughters who were all in school and sports with me (the other two were a bit younger).  This family had virtually nothing material, and yet if I (and probably any number of other kids in our small town) could have moved into their house and just been adopted into one of them, I'd have done it in a heartbeat.  They (the parents) are the kindest, warmest, openest people I've ever met and their kids have grown into so much the same kind of people.  What a wonderful afternoon, to be spent catching up with my friends, and hearing stories and seeing pictures of Marlyn and Ildiko's 50+ years together, and talking to so many familiar faces. 

I asked Sean on the way home what it is about people that make them so ... whatever it is ... and he agreed he knew what I meant about this family and he could only say that some people just have "it".  I would love to have a home where friends and family know they can come and where they will be warmly welcomed and valued and enjoyed, and that the concept of "just pull up a chair" is perfectly acceptable.  These folks live on a corner in my hometown, with a big yard and garden, and if you see their lights are on, or people are out in the yard, you know you are always welcome to join them no matter what is going on.  And there is always a warm teapot ...

So I come away from my weekend with a renewed sense of happiness, having renewed my acquaintances and friendships, and maybe create a goal for myself to do what I can do to make myself more of that kind of person.  I have a warm heart, extra chairs, and I my Keurig can double for a warm teapot, now to figure out what I can do about the stuff in between! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

We're away for the weekend, so this post is coming to you from the Country Inn & Suites in my parents' hometown.  I went to high school nearby and lived in this town for six or seven years before we moved to our current home, so visiting here does feeling like being "back home" and it's nice to hang for the weekend.  It is especially nice to have reached a point where I can feel no guilt about booking a hotel - give us some space (and a pool!) and give my parents some space. 

A few months I wrote a post about my dad (here) and then last week I saw a writing suggestion to write something about what you learned from your dad.  Well, let me just say that my dad was full of rules and slogans growing up - all the musts and shoulds you can imagine.  And while I have been a mouthy and questioning person since birth, I think I managed to quell much of it for years.  But long about my 30s, I really got over all that "should" stuff.  It is difficult to guilt me into much of anything now.  Oh I still do a lot of the same stuff, but I do it because I want to, because I want to be part of this bigger thing called family and hometown and community - I don't do it because anyone else will look at me funny if I don't.

As for my dad, in my 30s I moved to the town where they live and saw my folks a lot.  We went to the same church and sang in the same church choir.  And my dad was totally naughty and disrespectful at choir rehearsal - talking and not paying attention.  If I had done that in my childhood and been caught by my dad (and I was a few times), I would have been dragged out by my ear and lectured for what felt like days.  And so, being the good oppositional child I was raised to be, I would turn around at choir rehearsal and hiss at him "show some respect!" and when he would complain about this or that at church I would shrug and say "you get out of it what you put into it"...and he would sputter and glare at me, but what could he say since those were his own words coming back to haunt him!  Good fun, particularly since I seem to have inherited all my dad's crotchety genes! 

But the Number One Life Lesson I learned from my dad is what I mentioned in the earlier post - when I had my car accident in 1985 and totalled his car:  who gives a goddamn about the car, what is important is whether my loved one is OK.  I joke sometimes that the only real lessons that get through to me are the ones delivered with a 2x4 like a car accident - but let's talk about a clear lesson about priorities in life.  If your kids and loved ones are OK, then life is good.  The rest will sort itself out. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I am grateful every day that you is still here to hug and harass and mutter about. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

He baked a cake!

I came home from work yesterday and found that my husband had baked a cake!  He got his one year medallion at his home meeting last night and baked a cake to take along.  Just two weeks ago, the girls wanted to make a pan of some rice krispie bar type treat and he gamely gave it a go.  I asked him if he had ever made anything like that before - nope.  So I asked him about the cake - ever done that before?  Nope.  I think he was a little proud of himself!  In the past, he'd just buy treats at the grocery store ... I have to wonder what has come over him.  He just shrugged when I asked.  It makes me smile, whatever it is. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's a Gift

This summer, my husband is not working.  At least he is not employed outside the home.  He hasn't been working for a year, as of yesterday.  I think we sort of coasted through the school year - with both kids gone for eight hours a day and many evening activities.  Summer hung out there like a big "oh my hannah, what are we going to do with that?"

I know that it has only been a week, but it is a gift.  What a great experience for Sean and for the girls - to have the ability for the first time to send the kids to community ed classes or summer school, and to look forward to afternoons with various activities!  I tried to help out with some organization - for instance, on the weekend we plan out lunches for the week and make sure we have the needed items on hand, so it is easy (and so that fast food doesn't seem any "easier").  We also have a chore list and the girls were really good about getting things done, and even learning to do new things like their laundry or loading the dishwasher.  We even made a list of "exercise" activities they should try to do every week, and we have a list of possible afternoon activities like the library or the beach or the park or local county museums for those days when they need to get out of the house.  Everyone has really had a great reaction to using all these ideas to live through the "no screens before 4 p.m." rule.  They even maintain the no screens rule on the weekends and we're all learning what other things one can do when not staring at the television or a computer screen! 

Today, Sean posted on Facebook that he covered the kids with bug spray (the mosquitoes are just thick and vicious right now) and gave them a hose - they are making mud in the front yard.  Good for them all!   Yesterday, they were on the trampoline with a sprinkler on under it - they came in covered with water, dead mosquitoes, sweat and schmuck from the trees and leaves and grass - and they ball out there for well over an hour.  Summer vacation should include plenty of time to get muddy, shouldn't it? 

This may be the only summer in their lives when these girls have the chance to just screw around at home, between various activities - Sean will be back to work by the end of the year I'm sure - and hope that he and the kids both look back fondly on this as a grand adventure! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

My heart is smiling

My kids - ages 9 and 7.5 - have never had any interest in the telephone.  They rarely talk on the phone, even when we try to get them to talk to grandparents, etc., they almost never call anyone, and never ever do they try to answer the phone.  Today I had a voice mail from my elder daughter at work (a first!) and when I called back she answered ... all to tell me that the little white things we saw on the milkweek plants several days ago, and thought might be eggs, were eggs and now we have a few more monarch caterpillars in our container!  AAAAAANNNNDDD, in her excited words "one of the caterpillars has gotten so fat, I thought it was a .... a .... well I don't know what I thought it was but it is really really fat!"  That call simply made my day. 

Jordan and I are pretty proud of ourselves because I read something about finding monarch eggs and then nurturing the caterpillars, and that night we went looking at milkweed plants and found leaves with the aforementioned "little white things" and also found two plants with the teeniest little striped monarch caterpillars I ever saw.  So we made a little home for them and are waiting to see if we get chrysalises and ultimately monarch butterflies too! 

One year ago...

It was a Friday - June 10, 2012 about 4:20 p.m. to be exact - when my secretary came back to my office with a note (I think I was on the phone) from some person, saying he needed me to call him back emergently.  No mention of why or about whom... I kept on with my other business and ten minutes later she was back again, same person on the line, now sounding panicky.  So I took the call.

He informed me that was a counselor of some kind and he had my husband in his office as an employee crisis client, and Sean had disclosed that he had relapsed and was in need of detox.  This poor counselor - I don't think he knew squat about addiction and just kept telling me Sean needed to go to detox.  I was aware that our local detox unit had recently closed and the counselor's plan for Sean to "go to detox" would mean getting him into a van in the next 15 minutes for the unit in the Twin Cities, which Sean was unwilling to do.  The counselor's other solution was that I come and get him and deal with it.  He very much wanted me to let him off the hook of figuring out the solution to the problem at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. 

Since I work 40 minutes away and their office was supposed to close at 4:30, his next suggestion was that Sean drive home and meet me there to "figure it out".  That suggestion met with my informing him that he would be aiding and abetting a DUI (which is against the law in Minnesota) by letting my stoned husband get behind the wheel.  And I couldn't for the life of me understand why this counselor just wanted to have us figure it out and wasn't making any calls himself (beyond the call to detox).  This was not a problem-solving situation for him, I guess, it was a "get this guy out of my office so I can go home" situation.

And thus kicked off a pretty ... shall we call it "busy" ... summer for me.  My 40 minute drive home that afternoon included a fair amount of cursing on my part, and phone calls with Sean and my sister and my parents.  Picked up Sean, picked up the kids, packed some emergency bags, met my sister to let her take my kids, and headed off for somewhere with Sean.  Once the kids were handled, my head cleared enough for me to realize that a traditional detox unit wasn't going to work for Sean (opiate withdrawal is nothing to mess with and can be life-threatening), so instead we went to the ER.  Thankfully the folks there were helpful and there was no question that he was going to be admitted, and by midnight or so, he was checked in.  I was so angry that I don't think I even talked to Sean for most of the evening, but at the same time I really wanted him to be safe.  And there is humor to be found, particularly when your brain is completely overwhelmed, in the ridiculous things people say.  One example of that is ER doctors, who you'd think would be kind of used to the crazy stuff people do and the unbelieveable amounts of crap people ingest when they are in the grip of addiction.  The doctors would ask Sean how much he was taking a day, or how much he'd had that day, and when he answered they would try to argue with him that he was exaggerating or miscalculating the dosage ... to which I'd usually interject helpfully "he's a pharmacist, trust him!"

It was an ugly weekend for Sean.  In a way, I was glad to see him so sick - I'm sure there were some thoughts of "serves you right" but also it makes me feel like it would dissuade anyone from relapsing ever again.  The following Tuesday, I drove Sean to Hazelden, where he remained for 90 days.  He missed the entire summer, he missed my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party and my friend's wedding, he missed Brooke's birthday and the kids' first day of school.  Every Sunday but one, for three months, the girls and I made the eight hour round trip to see him, spending 3-4 hours visiting.  It was a long summer. 

And how here we are a year later.  I would have to say we've come a long way since that Friday afternoon a year ago.  Sean is still clean and starting to even take on a somewhat positive outlook on life.  I am still feeling the relief I was given, first at Family Group and later through Al Anon and just recovery as a whole.  As I have been putting this post together, I'm finding a list of things I've learned that might begin to sum it up...
  • It is OK to not have it all figured out right now.  It is OK to work on the issues today presents and leave the worry about tomorrow for tomorrow.  Didn't Scarlett O'Hara say something like that in Gone With the Wind?
  • It is OK to leave him be and let him figure it out.  This is still somewhat of a tricky one for me, since so much of what one person does in a family affects the rest of the family ... but overall, we each need to follow our own path, in our own time, and while I can try to be supportive and "there", I can't walk him down his path.
  • I can do it alone if I have to.  That sounds a bit cold and callous, but 90 days of single parenthood taught me that I can do it, and more or less do it well, even by myself.  I'm not choosing that for my family and am glad to not have to do it alone, but I give myself a lot of credit for it.
  • Addiction is everywhere and touches everyone.  And the more open you are about your experience, the more you find support and find that you can give support to others even just by acknowledging it.
  • Recovery has opened my eyes to my own need to reach and grow ... far beyond dealing with the effects of addiction in my life.  And it has also freed me in large part from my guilt over not doing it all right now.  "Progress, not perfection" is a pretty good slogan for summing that up.  I am trying hard to move forward in life, every day, so that I become more and more of the person I feel inside me.
  • I realize how much internal work, really positive, healthy steps forward, I've taken over the years, in terms of accepting myself and my past, and in terms of accepting others.  Oh I'm not perfect by a long shot, but I really admire my own ability to reflect and change myself over the years.  I am so pleased with who I am - even as I move forward into what I believe is an even better me.
  • I still have a long way to go in dealing with some of my character flaws.  I have some pretty incredible road blocks when it comes to certain forms of communication and certain relationships.  And as I identify these character flaws (Step 4 for you recovery folk) and think about being "entirely ready" to have my Higher Power remove them (Step 6 - right?  I don't have my book in front of me), I realize that "entirely ready" means "entirely ready" - as in, actually moving my feet to walking the path toward resolving those flaws.  In recent weeks, that path has shown itself to me, laid out in a nice little yellow brick road in front of me, and I know it goes to good places.  And yet my feet remain solidly in the courtyard of Munchkin Land, unwilling to put my toe on that first piece of the road.  It's all about my sense of control, baby.  I have to be willing to give it UP and step on that road ... and yet, as I said before, I have learned that when I am ready, I will.  And I'm taking deep breaths and accepting that I can't beat myself up about not being ready when I don't even really know what is holding me back.  Relax and let it ride ... and someday soon, I think, my feet will start moving and away I'll go.
It's been a good year.  And that call back on June 10, 2011, while it made me sad and angry and frustrated and hurt, also freed both Sean and me from a pretty serious bind we were in,  And thankfully that call came when Sean was safe and hadn't hurt anyone or himself, before something much worse happened.  His relapse, as rough as it was, allowed us an opportunity to become better people - for our own selves, for our kids, and for each other.  I'm proud of both of us for the work we put in over the past year.  I am optimistic for the future.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Once I was free
But I longed to be bound
By children
By a husband
By a "job that matters"

And my wish came true,
I have the children
I have the husband
I have a "job that matters"

Beyond that,
I have family and community
I have personal satisfaction
I have security
I have respect

But I'm still longing
And something is missing
How can you go looking
when you don't know what
   you're looking for?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Where are my superhero powers when I need them? And other random thoughts.

I don't like to blog about my work, but suffice it to say that I am feeling like a Regular Joe, thrown into a job for Superman lately.  I am not without some skills but the things I'm facing seem to require superpowers and I'm feeling extremely inadequate trying to make do.  It's hard and it's draining and I find myself wishing desperately for something to give.

 On a happier note, the "no screens from 8-4" rule has been upheld for 2 days so far.  I truly think, if we stick to our guns (and by "we", I mean Sean, since he's the one at home with the kids), the habit will be formed and everyone will be happier.  I am particularly thrilled that Sean has also followed the rule and the family room TV remains off as well.  I am very encouraged with the summer vacation routine so far.

I am not really up to speed on social networking.  I do have Facebook - for personal contacts, but no link to my blog there - and have both a Twitter account and a LinkedIn account.  I rarely post anything on Twitter, though I am amused by following certain celebs and what they write about and do follow a few bloggers too, and I never do anything with LinkedIn.  Does anyone know what LinkedIn is even for?  As best I can tell, other than listing your name and basic bio information, anything else costs money.  Why in the world would anyone pay for LinkedIn?

I spent a lot of time thinking about folks with struggles on my walk with the dog this morning.  I'm sure I don't even remember everyone I've read about in the last couple weeks that has some new stuff going on in their life, but I used my 20 minutes to send up some thoughts and caring to them as I walked.  And I came away with my usual reactions - appreciating just how lucky I am. 

And now it's time to put on my Superman suit and head to work, to beat my head against a wall for what I hope is a short, default hearing.  Lucky for me today, once it is over, I get to leave for the day since Sean has some appointments out of town. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I laughed out loud...

After adopting him as a stray about a year and a half ago, our half-witted cat Harry has been bolting for any open door he sees for a couple months now.  This is new behavior for him this year.  I am fairly certain that Harry couldn't find his way to the front yard from the backyard - he's that dumb.  But since he is declawed and really clueless, I do chase him down and plop him back in the house instead of just letting him do his thing and hope for the best.  Normally, he does one of two things - he either tears around the house for the backyard and the bushes or, more frequently, he runs over toward the front door and then lays down on the sidewalk until you pick him up.

Today he bolted out as we were leaving to run some errands.  He headed for the sidewalk this time, and had just started to lay down when he saw two squirrels in the yard and he was off like a shot after them!  I had never seen him do anything like it!  He was about 7 feet off the ground, up the tree after them, before his momentum ran out and he realized he had no front claws and had no idea how to use his back claws ... and so, gravity being what it is, down he came.  He stood frozen at the base of the tree, staring at those fat squirrels, who were barking at him like crazy!  I was actually a little leery of approaching the tree to fetch the cat, since mad squirrels are nothing to mess with and they were making such a racket.  And I laughed and laughed.  Unfortunately, no-one else had come out of the garage with me, so I was the only one to enjoy the spectacle and the others just had to be satisfied with my telling them what happened.

Reminded me of my former cat, Cricket, who was an indoor/outdoor cat when I lived in Seattle.  I had this little backyard with a wooden fence, and Cricket loved to walk along it.  One day, as I watched from the window, she was backing down the fence for some reason, right toward a squirrel, who didn't seem to see her either.  And Cricket actually bumped right into the squirrel - they both went straight up on contact, and both shot off in opposite directions just like cartoon characters.  I laughed awfully hard that day too - Cricket was a very proud cat and she did not appreciate my reaction.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I love my sister!

First trip to my hometown area of the month - 2 more to go.  This was just a quickie - chance to spend a little quality time with my sister and nieces, and lend a little moral support to my parents who had a moving sale/garage sale, in preparation for what they hope will be a move from their home of the last 20 years to a condo on the golf course across town.  We picked a gorgeous day to hang out and had a great day.  It is so re-charging for me to hang with my sister, particularly when we don't have any big things going on.  I'm so excited that I'll be seeing her for good chunks of time on three weekends this month. 

Tomorrow we have to map out the kids week at home.  Focus on outdoor activities and avoiding screen-time.  I'm hoping that if we have an organized plan for the kids - with a good balance of small chore and other more fun things - life will run smoothly and without a lot of stress for Sean.  I'd like him to enjoy this opportunity of being a SAHD as much as possible, even as he has his eye on going back to work soon. 

And then it's back to the races for another week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Welcome to June!

Today is June 1.  My girls finished school yesterday - can't believe I now have a 2nd and 4th grader!  What a great year they had in school.  How jealous am I (every year) of summer vacation.  My younger daughter asked me the other day "Mommy, when is your last day of work?"  Oh how I wish!

On the other hand, my husband the SAHD is now on full-time daddy duty.  I don't really envy that either.  I'm pretty excited though, because this is the first summer that we've been able to sign the kids up for community ed activities since taxi-dad is one of Sean's SAHD duties.  Brooke gets 2 rounds of summer school this summer, Jordan is taking 3 different community ed courses, and they both can do vacation Bible school at church this year.  And hopefully we can figure out activities and "field trips" and even some math skills time to keep them all busy (and off the electronic screens) this summer. 

But it is always an adjustment for me to get up and get ready for work while everyone else sleeps.  Why oh why did I not become a teacher, so I could have the thrill of "last day of school!!!" and then the anticipation in a few months of "first day of school!!!"  Happy summer vacation everyone!