Sunday, April 28, 2013


I just got accidentally sucked into looking back through a bunch of old posts.  There goes an hour of my life...  Isn't it great what a trip down memory lane can do for your spirit?!  So fun.  We are in the midst of planning a camping trip for Memorial Day weekend, so it was fun to look at last year's trip and remember how relaxed and fun that it was :)

I have a lot to look forward to this spring and summer.  A LOT.  Steve's sister and her family are moving in next door in two weeks.  TWO WEEKS!  How lucky am I to have family and good friends right next door?  In the past year since Dave (Steve's brother) and his wife Christie left for Montana, (they used to live next door) it has been WAY LONELIER out here.  So I am really looking forward to Jenny and Haakon moving into D&C's house for a few years while they build.  We also have 3 camping trips planned for summer, a graduation party, a lake party, and birthday parties.  Phew.  But I also planned in at least 2 weekends a month to stay home.  Last summer I think we had maybe 2 free weekends in 4 months.  It was just too much for us to do.  So I am saying no to things this year, for my sanity and my kids, and staying home a lot more.  I am not very good at that work/life balance thing... I want to do all the things that everyone else is doing... but it's pretty hard to pack that into weekends.  So I am making a concentrated effort to have more downtime this summer.

I am glad to have things to look forward to because this spring is a slog.  A long, uphill at times, slog.  Full of beautiful and fun moments, but still a hard row to hoe.  Steve is working SO much out of town, which as all small business owners can agree, it's a good thing to be working.  Bills will be paid, cars will be fixed, credit card balances will be reduced and stress in a marriage over money is way reduced.  But... it also comes with a lot of alone time for me.  A lot of 1:2 with the kids.  A lot working all day and nights of of parenting by myself.  And this parenting gig is HARD.  Not for the faint of heart.  Especially with a potty-training two year old...  I sometimes think to myself -- will I ever sleep a full un-interrupted 7 hours again?  I know you other moms know how that feels...  Usually by Fridays the exhaustion has set in.  Thank the good Lord for weekends and days of rest.

My new job is going alright...  not quite what I expected in some ways, very very humbling in some ways, and good and satisfying in other ways.  It has allowed me already to take care of my family better by reducing my workload, which is such a blessing.  I actually work a 40 hour week (not 50+) and have a half hour of "me" time during lunch each day.  Good stuff.  It makes living life actually possibly when Steve is gone for weeks at a time.  On the flip side, this job has seriously has knocked my pride down by reducing my responsibility levels...  Some days it just feels like I took a demotion, for the same amount of pay.  I should be happy about that right?  Less responsibility?  Same pay?  But somehow I miss being in charge, miss being a "point person", miss the respect that goes along with all that.  Which for a woman who has had to claw my way up in my job through throngs of men... is just not fun.  I hate having to prove myself all over again.  But pride is not something I want to control me in a work environment, so at this point I will just do my work to the best of my abilities, and hope that my particularly stronger skills are able to be better utilized in the future. I do realize that it's only been 6 weeks.  6 short weeks.  I have plenty of time to gain everyone's respect and make new friends.  So for now, I'll slog through the spring, enjoying all the good moments (there are a lot!) and look forward to all the fun things we've planned.

So happy I actually got one post up in the month of April!

A shoulder ride from big brother

My handsome hubby at work in New Jersey

These kids LOVE tractor rides with their daddy!

Steve and my dad cut down a ginormous tree in the yard.  100+ year old Douglas Fir.  I felt a little bit like a tree killer... except there are 4 more just like it about 20 feet away :)

This kid has NW style down pat...

I told Olaf "hug your brother for the photo".  He semi-complied.  He's hiding a ninja hiking stick with his left hand.

I worked on a baby quilt for my dear friend Ariyl :)

Trying to get an Easter photo at my folks' house

We did it!

Helpers with new jobs.

My first pair of Keens.  I love them.


Kendra Renae said...

The quilt is beautiful!!

jennifer said...

Thanks lovely sister.

gina said...

i love your new keens! Keens are my FAVORITE! i feel like the people at Keen are the only people in the world who understand me. ok, maybe not. but their shoes actually fit my feet. :)
i have felt like a tree killer before. but then i planted 5 trees, and it made me feel better. but then, i have to pull out the little baby trees in the yard, and then i feel like a tree killer again. so, now i'm looking for new homes for all the baby trees i find. :)
i miss being in charge at work too! i miss being the project manager and telling people what to do. now i'm just the lowly engineer reviewing drawings and creating requirements documents. ah, well, you are right though, the stress level and time consumption is definitely better - and for the same pay! i love that part!
good for you - to save weekends for downtime! awesome.

jennifer said...

Thanks Gina! I admit I am usually turned off with the big rubber toe on keens... so I was super excited to find a pair without it ha ha! My boys pretty much live in their keens too :) We did plant two more trees... and chopped down a ponderosa pine too. So I figure I am pretty much even in that regard.