Three more hours until Phillip is home.
I think... if this wasn't the end of all the travel insanity? I'd be out of my mind. Single parenting feels like the norm. Totally taking care of the house and making all the domesticky decisions on my own is the norm. Making decisions about the kids without consulting Phillip? The norm. Collapsing on the couch after I've put the kids to bed and dragging myself to bed ten minutes later? Very much the norm. I am actually worried about what it will be like to live together again. I hope that doesn't sound TOO dramatic, I mean, it's not like we're a military family and he's been deployed for 12 months. But I 1) most definitely did not sign up for this and 2) hate that it feels NORMAL! What will it be like to have that fifth person around again?! This is not the way I want things to be. I can't believe what the last three months have been like. If he wasn't quitting I'd be SO ANGRY.
Honestly, even if he wasn't starting a completely new job, the end would probably be near. A super huge project is going live, everything happens in Atlanta, and things keep getting pushed back, but still, next year if he were still working there, it most likely wouldn't be travel at this level. At least he has a job. At least I get to do what I want to do. I didn't have to go to New Orleans for five days. Get over yourself, Self.
But that's what we've been telling ourselves for a while now, that this is just a little aberration and things will even out an go back to normal. Except: this IS the new normal. I was talking to Liz last night and she said something like "you just went straight from grad school to business trips" and I was all YEAH I DID! I don't want to throw myself a huge pity party here or anything, but I usually err on the side of Not Acknowledging When Things Have Been Crazy And/Or Hard and it's GOOD for me to say: Dude. This has been mildly unpleasant.
That said... Maybe it was the five days away with internet friends, maybe it was knowing that the end is near, maybe it was God giving me a little badly needed grace, maybe I just tried to be a grown up for once, but I've been surprised at how easy the last two weeks have been. Even the last two days, with Jack at home instead of in kindergarten - I'm really having FUN with these kids. Sure, they're still bickering and making giant messes and wanting three meals a day, but I've, like, PLAYED with them. We've made a serious amount of cookies.* We've read stories and made crafts and you guys I HATE doing crafts. We've laughed a LOT. We've had FUN.
And wow, I love my husband. I mean, that's sort of required. But in the same way I've sort of been kept from freaking out on him, I feel like he's been kept from stressing out on me and needing more than I feel like I can give. I came home from NOLA talking about all the people I was going to visit - on my own, for days at a time, with money in our savings account - and he was all, "Yeah, you really should do that." He's the one who told me I should go volunteer for a week at this crazy missions conference in St. Louis. I just feel so lucky.
I did not start this post thinking, "I will write about what I'm thankful for!" But it appears that I did. I'm thankful for my 100%-supportive-of-my-extracurriculars husband. My silly kids. My sweet baby. Our filthy house and Jack's school and two sets of grandparents who never say no to watching our kids.
His last day is tomorrow. There's a bottle of champagne in the fridge for when he gets home. I may decide he needs to take me shopping for diamonds in the evening, as thanks for my wifely sacrifices. Or maybe we'll just watch four straight episodes of Homeland, go to bed early, and enjoy having to do absolutely nothing for Thanksgiving at his parents' house.
I am REALLY thankful I have this place to write it all out, and continually yet happily mystified that people read it.
Easy Toffee Bars
Cranberry Bliss Bars
English Jam Bars
Red & Green Thumbprints
Salted Caramel Thumbprints
Sugar Cookies (not yet decorated)