There are several reasons that I've been MIA from blogdom:
- fear of writing the dreaded big, whiny comeback post when I finally decided it was time to start blogging again.
My last post detailed Rachael's 7th birthday, back in February. Gene had just started his new job with Utz, and was enjoying it, despite the crazy hours that were sure to get better soon.
Thing is, they haven't gotten better. The poor man leaves home at 4 a.m. and we don't usually see him again until 6-ish. The spring semester hasn't yet ended, which means that he doesn't get home until around 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, and the girls don't see him at all that day. Once or twice, he's gotten incredibly lucky on one of his "short" days and gotten home around 3:30 or 4. There's no day off mid-week as he was told when he signed on. And I've learned that his having to work every single Saturday sucks about a million times more than I expected it to.
In theory, we should still see him from about 6-10 (his new bedtime) four nights a week, slightly longer on Saturday, and all day on Sunday. But since he is still in school, and taking two online classes in addition to his Tuesday night class, he has to devote at least a night or two per week to studying, taking quizzes online, and going to the college to take tests. On Sundays, our routine is church-lunch-nap (because he doesn't get enough sleep now, ever, and he's a beast if you insinuate that something could be planned that would maybe interfere with his Sunday afternoon nap.) Sunday evenings usually include his doing more schoolwork and my doing the grocery shopping. We truly see each other in passing most days.
This has meant that I've had to pick up more slack at home than I was previously used to. When it was still cold - through February and March - the job of building a fire in our outdoor furnace and keeping it going through the day fell to me. Learning to build a fire wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. In fact, I've learned to embrace my teensy inner pyromaniac and actually rather enjoy seeing things go up in flames now...within the confines of the furnace, of course. What stunk was never having enough kindling to get the stupid fire started, or enough wood cut that was smallish enough for me to chunk into the furnace, since he didn't have time to cut anything in the evenings. This resulted in our having to buy two loads of already-cut firewood - which really irked our chickens since we have 27 wooded acres from which to find firewood.
He no longer has time to take out the trash. Or check the mail. Or several other menial tasks that I'm quite capable of handling myself. The thing is, when you add any menial task to the kazillion things that a mom already does on a daily basis, it's kind of a pain in the butt. As is never knowing when he may finally get to come home, which makes timing a hot evening meal practically impossible.
Of course, I still have it better than he does...I still get to stay at home with my children, and I don't have to drag my carcass out of bed when it's still dark outside. I don't have to deal with other people all day long unless I choose to do so. I don't get even one day off per week, but even my "work" time is more leisurely.
Still, I hate this. HATE it. Loathe, detest, despise and abhor this. I knew that this job was going to be such a blessing to our family, after years and years of trying to get out of the sawmill where he worked before. I had no idea that it would mean never seeing him, that our children would be sad that Daddy is never home. I don't know how women manage whose husbands are gone - really gone - all the time. I would lose my mind.
But hey...free chips.
Back in February, Rachael participated in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She was so excited and nervous to audition this year, since she auditioned last year and didn't get a part. We were all thrilled when she had a great audition and was cast as one of the evil queen's pet bats (clearly, this was not your traditional telling of the story!) Auditions were held on Valentine's Day - a Monday evening - and the children rehearsed all week before performing in two shows on Saturday. Thankfully, Gene was able to finish up in time to catch the second performance. I couldn't miss either one. :)
I survived my first Girl Scout cookie season...with much encouragement from my troop co-leader and the moms in our troop. I thought it would be so much fun to do the whole thing myself, being my first year as a leader, but I'll definitely be recruiting more help next year. Gene and Rachael attended their second Girl Scout daddy/daughter dance, and she looked just like a little princess. And our troop attended a lock-in at a nearby mall - a dozen girls from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. No one slept until 4 a.m. I didn't sleep at all. And I hope we get to do it again next year. We only have three meetings left before breaking off for summer - as well as a service project, a yard sale, and a trip to a farm with a ropes course and zip line. Our last meeting of the year will be a fairly big to-do, with pizza, sundaes, games, awards for the girls, and the ceremonial "bridging" of some up to the next level of Scouting. I'll cry, but I'll also be happy for the reprieve of summer. Being a troop leader has been so much more time-consuming than I imagined it would be, but also so much more rewarding. I love "my" girls - all 18 of them. 18! After we worried that we may not have the five we needed to start our troop last fall! We just keep growing and growing, and are actually holding two spaces for next fall, which will make us a troop of 20.
In March, I celebrated my first anniversary with Scentsy...with a BIG promotion, thanks to a fundraiser that I landed with an area high school band. They did so well that I was able to write them a check for $1400, and I was promoted two levels, to SuperStar Consultant. The next step up is Director, and I want it. It may take me a while, but that's my goal. I have a great little team of eight going, I still love the products, and the company is one that I'm proud to be associated with...so I'm still "the Scentsy lady."
That wasn't the biggest deal in March, though - I loved celebrating my friend Cathy's 30th birthday with her! I wish I could have made just a huge, spectacular deal out of it, but her party was a lot of fun. (Turning 30 made her even again, while I'm still odd...but I'll be even again before long!) She's such an amazing friend, and such a blessing to me...I've never had a friend quite like her, and I hope to celebrate many more milestone birthdays with her.
And on April 7th, another reason for celebration - our 10th anniversary! That sounds like such a long time, and then like no time at all. I told him when we celebrated our 5th anniversary that if I put up with him for five more years, I'd be needing more diamonds for our 10th anniversary. He didn't disappoint - I got a beautiful new wrap for my engagement ring, and I definitely don't want any more ring on that finger now. Hmm, what idea should I start planting in his head for our 20th...?!
So to recap - I'm tired. Gene isn't here. Rachael is sweet, when she's not being sassy. Milly is still mean, with a side of cuddly. I still need a housekeeper, I spend way too much on gas, and our church conflict has yet to be resolved. Life goes on, even though I'm a little overwhelmed with it.
There's so much more that I could share, but the update will suffice for now. I'll be back soon, with randomness rather than an overview. I miss Pink Saturdays and the Saturday 9, and although the idea of the Wednesday Weigh-in makes me a bit queasy, it's something that I should be doing as well. There was also a giveaway that was left hanging when blogging disappeared entirely from my stream of consciousness...I'll be emailing the store owner soon to see if we can resume that. My apologies to those who entered already.