On blooming where you’re planted.

“Bloom where you’re planted.”

There is so much I hate about this phrase.  For starters? I’m a terrible gardener.  We’re talking major black-thumb, “look at a plant wrong and it’ll die” status over here.  So plant metaphors just don’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Second? I. Hate. Change.  I can get comfortable, sure. I can adapt, yes.  But once I really do get settled somewhere?  You’d better have a VERY good offer to get me to leave.  

I’ve moved a lot in my life.  Several times with my whole family, and then at the ripe old age of 20 when I married Josh.  So, basically most of my moves occurred with my whole support system.  And moving to be with Josh?  That was change I liked.  It meant getting to be with the man I love, and let’s be honest, it didn’t hurt that Colorado is amazing.  

I’ve been fighting this Texas thing pretty hard though.  It’s no secret that I don’t like it here.  (Seriously, just ask.  I’ll tell you. Maybe I’ll say it more nicely if I don’t know you that well, but the gist is, “this is a hell-hole”.)  I think that if we were going to be here for any actual length of time, I’d put in more effort to liking it.  But at this point we’ve only got 12 (closer to 11, not that I’m counting) more months here.  So I figure there’s no point settling in when we’re just leaving again so soon.  

On the flip side though?  I’m realizing that it’s definitely not the healthiest thing to just try to get through this year on my own.  It makes me cranky.  

So, it’s time for some strategery.  First up: actually attend some of the FRG events.  Lunch drops are easy (potluck lunch with the students in the classroom), but other events?  Anyone who knows me knows that groups of people I don’t know are definitely not my favorite scene.  So, I’m going to try to make it to a play group this month.  (Probably at the Splash Pad, which barely counts but hey, I’m in charge here!) 

Next on the list? I tried to join a MOPS group, but they’re full right now, so I’m on the wait list.  If I’m feeling extra sassy one day I might try the ladies’ bible study at my church… but let’s not hold our breath on that one.   

So, long story short, I have a black thumb and am cranky about change but I’m trying to “bloom” because it’s better than just being cranky for 12(ish) months.  I guess. 

Saturday Night Sanity

There is something about being home with two small children all day, every day that will make you feel like you’ve lost your damn mind. There are only so many toys to play with, activities to do, and TV shows that a two year old can watch. And, as any two year old is wont to do, the “naughty” things are obviously WAY MORE FUN, MOM. (As he is “sweeping” with the broom and knocking things off the counters / hitting me with the handle unintentionally, Liam looks at me and says “I bein’ naughty.” In case I hadn’t noticed.) Exhausting.

There are some weeks where the scheduling doesn’t work out and I don’t get to have the car at all. There’s no outing to break the monotony of “Nope, don’t touch that – Be kind to your brother – stop it. Now. – NO!” Those weeks (like this week) are the hardest. Introvert though I may be, sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone who is, you know, not two. Bonus points if I’m not related to them and/or its a face-to-face conversation. And being home with two kids constantly isn’t the kind of “alone” that recharges an introvert, I’ve discovered.

Enter my sanity-saving Saturday nights, courtesy of my wonderful and kind husband. He insists that I get out of the house after dinner on Saturday nights. He does bedtime with the boys, and I get some blissful time without children attached to my legs. Sometimes I use the time to run some errands. Others, I wander and maybe even buy myself something fun. Or, possibly my favorite, sometimes I go to my happy place (yes, Starbucks. Judge away.) and I read a book, and drink terribly high-point (oh, hey, diet. I’m gonna ignore you for a couple hours and consume what should be my daily allowance for food in one drink alone. Brb.) lattes, and I bask in the feeling like a person again. Not just a mom/wife/cleaning lady… but a person. Who likes books. And has a brain that sometimes produces intelligent thoughts. It is indescribably refreshing, and exactly what I need to face another week of “work”.

So thank goodness for my wonderful husband who recognizes that a few hours alone are what the doctor ordered (or, at least, the {future} PA ordered) to bring me back from my trip on the crazy train.

A disclaimer:
Lest you think that I am drowning in my vale of tears, I definitely find joy and hilarity in both the boys several times a day. It’s just the long-haul that is occasionally overwhelming and makes me feel…blah.

Evidence of said joy-finding::

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Because how dang cute is that?! Liam played his guitar and sang to Brendan, who was a willing and captive audience, and generous with his applause. Melt.

Disclaimer #2::
This is my first attempt at a blog post written and published from my iPad, so let’s hope that it works?

“If you can’t say something nice…”

Whelp.  Here we are.  I’ve had several thoughts / posts rattling around my brain of late, but right alongside them there’s been so much negativity.  The transition from Colorado, friends, job, etc. to Texas, stay at home mom with no car and no friends has been even harder than I anticipated.  And it has made me cranky folks.  So I’ve been taking my advice from Thumper’s mama:

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But!  I really think that the mental outlet of writing could be good for me.  So, we’re focusing on the positives.

Usually on Friday nights, Josh gets home about 6:30 (his normal time on a weeknight) and then we do dinner, put the boys to bed, and then instead of him going off to study like he would Monday – Thursday, we sit down and watch Hell’s Kitchen.  It’s a welcome break for both of us, and we really look forward to it.  Today though, Josh was fried from his week, and the boys and I were also needing to get out of the house.  So, we picked up Jimmy Johns (yummm!) and then went to a park to eat and let Liam play.  It was such a nice evening!  We got home just in time to put the boys to bed and watch Gordon Ramsay yell at people.  A great night, if I do say so myself.  Liam would agree, I’m sure.  And here are the pictures to prove it:

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Enjoying the heck out of his pickle; he wouldn’t even look at the sandwich.

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He LOVES the slide

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He rocked that ladder!

Once more, with feeling!

Today is Josh’s first day of actual class.  Last week was just inprocessing, meeting faculty, and several lectures per day about “if you don’t study, you will FAIL”.

This was Josh’s response to the lectures. Because anyone who thinks they can not study and pass PA school is clearly too dumb to have been accepted to said school.

It’s kind of hard to believe we’re already here.  It feels like it’s been such a long time coming, but somehow also came too quickly.  I’m not sure I’m ready for everything that’s about to be thrown at me.  For the next 16 (really the next 30ish) months, I’m the one who has to keep it all together, mostly by myself. So hooray for that.

Last night was the first taste of how things are going to be — after the boys went to bed, Josh went into his office to start pre-reading and I was alone all night.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I usually love some alone time.  I’m very much an introvert, and need time alone to recharge a bit.  But thinking about that being how things will be for the next 16 months?  Depressing.  I definitely had my cranky pants on, we’ll leave it at that.

This morning though, I woke up and told myself to just get it together.  This is life, this is what we’re committed to right now.  And dang it, I am going to ROCK it.  It’s going to suck, don’t get me wrong, but it’s only 16 months.  For perspective, we’ve already been in this forsaken hell-hole for one month. And that flew by.  We’ve got this.  (More on my feelings about Texas in a later post, I’m sure.)

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So, yeah.  This is me, putting on my big-girl-panties and sucking it up.  For today.  Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an almost-2 year old down the hall alternately hollering “mommy…. daddy… mommy… daddy…” who is about to (scratch that, just did) wake his brother.

New beginnings?

Josh said to me tonight that the good thing about things ending is that it means something new is beginning. It was funny, because I had been thinking about how this ending mirrored a beginning. When I first started my job as an assistant, I remember way too many days of just praying that I could make it to my car before bursting into tears. Some days I made it, but others I wasn’t so lucky. It was overwhelming, I didn’t feel equipped for the job, and I missed the friends I’d worked with before.
Today was my last day working at Compassion. And, like the beginning, I found myself just praying I could hold back the tears until I was safely in my car. (I succeeded.) In the 3.5 years I spent at Compassion, and especially in the 2.5 in my role as assistant, I made so many friends. I not only loved the people I worked with, but I loved the mission. It was my first “real” job, definitely my longest-held job, and I think I’ll be hard-pressed to find another place I love as much as I did working there.
But, we’re moving forward. T minus 10 days ’til truck loading, and I definitely have enough to do between now and then. With packing, cleaning, and last shenanigans (Jamba and Target! Sparkly nail polish!) I doubt I’ll have much time to miss ‘working’. And once we’re settled in the San Antonio area, I am super excited to begin my next ‘job’… Full time mama to two little men under the age of two. I expect to find that being assistant to a department of 60ish people was a breeze compared to wrangling these little guys!

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And then God laughed

Remember that one time when I said I’d never date a guy in the military again?

God had a nice chuckle, and two and a half years later, there I was with a ring on my finger and a military dependent ID in my wallet. But it was ok, because he only had a year left, right? {haha}

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And then they called while we were on our honeymoon / road trip to say “Oh, BTW, you’re deploying in 3 months and we’re stop-lossing you.”

So two years after we got married, he was finally out; still a reservist, but hey that’s no big deal.

And then we fell in love with Colorado and bought a house and figured we’d stay a while … and God giggled some more.

Joshua has been accepted to the Army’s Physician Assistant program, is returning to Active Duty, and we’re moving to San Antonio, TX in April. Oh yeah, Texas, one of the few places on my “I never want to live there” list.

Can you hear the laughter?

While I know that He has a plan for our family, right now I’m still freaking out a little over the idea of what’s in store for us. I guess that the thing I struggle most with letting go of (control freak, here!) is the thing I’m going to be tested on. I know we’ll be in TX for 16 months. After that, the only thing I can know is that God is the one in control and he has a plan and a purpose. And I’m going to stop making definite statements about my future – it only gets me in trouble!

C is for cookie…

Yes, yes I have been watching way too much Sesame Street. It’s my secret weapon for keeping Liam out of trouble while I feed Brendan!

But I’ve had a lot of cookies in my life lately, not just the blue furry monster kind. After not baking for a pretty long time, I’ve been making cookies at least once a week. It’s become a way to feel like myself, someone other/more than a mom and wife. It’s something I can do just for myself that I don’t feel guilty for, because Josh and Liam definitely enjoy the end results!

Baking has been a favorite activity of mine for as long as I can remember. I started out, as many kids do, I’m sure, by helping my mom in the kitchen. I went solo at the ripe old age of 8 years old, informing my mom that I wanted to bake cookies by myself. She assigned my older brother Chris to help / make sure I didn’t do anything crazy. (As I recall he just sat and watched while I made the cookies and cleaned the kitchen… Some help, right?) The rest, as they say, is history. While I am a pretty decent cook, baking is my real passion. If I could convince someone to pay me to bake, I’m fairly certain that’d be my dream job.

Anyways, cookies. Not awesome for losing baby weight, but it turns out, great for helping me not lose my mind.