Well, it seems as if summer is breezing by once again. I told Mike earlier today that I want this to be the last summer we fail to make arrangements for some kind of family vacation. I get frustrated because right now it's always a money thing. There is never enough of the stuff around here. We have known for the past few weeks (months actually) that we would all be off from school, work and other obligations from July 13-July 21. Today is July 14, and we are sitting at home staring at one another with no plans and no money to do a darn thing. We chose Mike's vacation days last October or somewhere thereabouts knowing that I would be in summer school for the first part of the kids' summer break. We specifically chose July for one of his vacation weeks just in case we wanted to go somewhere--even if only for a couple of days. Life never eases up, though. Just when I have managed to squirrel away a couple hundred bucks something unexpected happens, like Mike going to the dentist and getting a "snoreguard" mouthpiece custom made. That cost us hundreds of dollars which we are still paying off, and he doesn't even wear the thing. I still have to listen to him snoring at night! This was after the couple hundred dollars out of our pockets for him to have the sleep study done and subsequently to purchase the C-PAP machine for sleep apnea. That worked like a charm, but do you think he uses it? These are the reasons I don't feel the least bit guilty about taking off a weekend or two out of the year to enjoy the scrapbook retreats. Then, Mike decides to take off several days in the pay period just before his vacation knowing that his vacation check is already going to be short because it seems as if it's less than a straight 40-hour/week pay to begin with. We really are dependent upon the extra shifts and overtime he works on a somewhat regular basis (i.e., when he feels like it and/or they are available). All of this is to say, birthday season is upon us (both kids have summer birthdays), and we have nothing to work with. Shannon was trying to be helpful and assist Alisa in planning a slumber party for her birthday which is less than a week away. Unfortunately, it won't be happening this weekend. In my household, broke is broke, and that is what we are at the present moment. Mike is driving around on a wing and a prayer in need of a new set of tires for his vehicle. Alas, this is my life. I try to remember that nothing lasts always, be it good or bad. We won't always be drowning in debt and barely making it financially. I need to take a dose of my own medicine and "keep on the sunny side of life" (that's from a catchy little tune from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" for those of you who aren't familiar with it).
Lani sent me the following e-mail entitled "Embracing Imperfection" just when I needed it most:
When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.
On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"
You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket" keep it in your own."
I am thankful for a husband who eats burnt toast and doesn't complain, for children who are old enough to help out around the house (albeit begrudgingly), for the incredible support of extended family and friends, and for a roof over my head (even if it isn't the organized, tidy sanctuary I would like for it to be). This is my life.
I seem to be a lot less productive when Mike is around, and for better or for worse, he is officially on vacation and will be around for the next 8 days. Although I awoke a bit later than usual (8:30-ish), I got back in my regular routine: pool first, then cleaning out the fridge and gathering the garbage for pick up. I washed dishes from the night before then ran to the grocery store (since I never made it yesterday) to get those few essential staples: fruit, milk, juice, etc. Came home and prepared breakfast: coffee cake, bacon, eggs scrambled with cheese, and juice, all of which was consumed within minutes. More dishes followed. Mike & I mapped out a "round robin" of errands, but I was too exhausted from the heat of the day to think about venturing back out in it. Around 1 p.m. I laid down and told the kids to wake me if I slept past 2:30. Of course, this was the very time all three kids (remember my nephew spent the night) decided to crowd into my office, which is adjacent to my bedroom and cluttered to the point where one is a crowd, and argue over the computer and stumble over stuff all over the floor and work the dog into a barking frenzy. I did manage to nap for about an hour despite the noise. We packed a picnic lunch, grabbed the items that were due at the library and headed out around 3:30. First stop, Mike's credit union to withdraw money, then our credit union to deposit money, then the library. I forgot the mortgage payment so we skipped that stop and headed to Carter Blood Care for Mike to donate blood. The kids and I left him there and ran across the street to Leslie's Pool Supply where we were told the pool water was great, except for the chlorine being a little low. Next stop: Randol Mill Park (at 4:00-ish p.m.) to eat our "picnic lunch" consisting of ham and cheese sandwiches, jalapeno cheddar cheetos, watermelon & granola bars. It was so hot the locusts (aka katydids in Texas) weren't even chirping back and forth like they usually do. When we returned to Carter Blood Care, Mike was done and waiting for us. We returned home, and within minutes young people were splashing in the pool. At 7:30 I began the "time to get out of the pool go inside for dinner" routine. While they were bathing and shampooing hair, I sauteed some zucchini with onion and garlic in olive oil and made a homemade pizza with crescent roll crust, pizza sauce, finely chopped onion, green olives, bell pepper and turkey pepperoni. We supplemented that with lasagne leftover from last night for a complete "Italian feast." We completed our night with dips of ice cream on sugar cones (Mike had his a la mode with the apple pie). The swimming must have done them in because they didn't complain when I told them lights out at 11 p.m. I think all three of them were fast asleep by 11:15. I'm thinking the dinner dishes can wait until tomorrow. I have had a full day and I'm ready for a shower and my cool sheets. Good night all. Until tomorrow...