Well, this past week was anything but boring! 🙂 It was so eventful, in fact, that I didn’t have time or energy to get this post written on Sunday, like I usually do! 🙂
On Tuesday, we said goodbye to Jesse for 13 days.
It was a bittersweet goodbye. We’re so glad he gets this opportunity to travel to Israel with our pastors and a group from our church! I’m happy I get to “hold down the fort” (as he has done so many times!) so that he can go!
But since he’s so involved in our every day life — especially now that he’s home full-time — he’s left a HUGE hole in his absence.
Just juggling the essentials of what Jesse does (almost all the kids’ activities, half the cooking, most of the errands, and at least half of the home responsibilities) + what I do + being as available for the kids as I can possibly be has kept me plenty busy.
But there were some other things that kept me busy, too…
(I look super tired here… because I was! :))
I LOST MY PHONE the day after he left!!!
I had it in the car when I picked the kids up from school. I had it a few blocks away from our house.
When I got home, we were taking backpacks and things in the house and I noticed there were maggots crawling on the floor of the back seat of my car.
Queue the complete GROSS OUT emoticon and me going into full-on, crazy car-cleaning mode.
When I was convinced all maggots had been 150% evicted from the car, I ran inside to bring a few things in and got distracted for a few minutes with kid stuff.
A few minutes later I went out to get my phone the rest of the stuff from the car.
And POOF, the phone was gone.
We tore the car apart. We went through every article of everything that had been in the car. I retraced my steps multiple times. I went through every room in the house. I went through the car again. And again.
I went through all the trash cans and the outside dumpster. I went though the fridge and freezers. (I was desperate!!)
No phone. Nada. Nothing.
I began to panic as I rarely ever lose anything… and the last thing I wanted to lose while Jesse was gone was my connection to him and all the numbers saved on my phone.
It was scary and unnerving and stressful — especially because there’s an issue with my iMessage password so it doesn’t work for texting from my computer AND because Find My iPhone said that my phone was offline (it had been fully charged and on).
But here’s what I learned: I am way too dependent upon my phone and upon my husband. God allowed me to not have either to rely upon because He wanted to remind me to trust fully in Him, put on my big girl pants, and deal with this situation. It was good for me and I realized that I am more capable than I believe myself to be.
In addition I learned that: you should not rely upon your husband to know some of your passwords, you should backup your iPhone more often than once every 64 weeks (!!!), and that paying for phone insurance was a really, really good deal!
(I have to say HUGE props to Asurion — the company my phone was insured with. They were incredible to work with and, once I had filled out all the paperwork and Jesse faxed in what he needed to from Israel, I was able to get a new phone overnighted to my doorstep in less than 24 hours. And it was a fraction of what it would have cost for me to go buy a brand-new phone!
This weekend, I chaperoned an overnight retreat for my 5th & 6th grade class at church. There were 50+ kids at the retreat and it was quite the adventure!
Our day and a half was filled with: Outdoor games (in the morning cold!!), 9-square in the air, Gaga ball, string art, worship, preaching, small group sharing times, getting to pray with so many girls as they shared and poured their hearts out, s’mores, and rock-climbing.
(All three kids attempted the rock climbing wall and both girls made it to the top and Silas made it halfway! Swipe through the pictures here to see all three of them!)
Can I just say how proud I am of my kids? Silas got to go to the retreat since Jesse was gone. He was such a trooper… Playing the games right along with the older kids, staying by my side for a long, long time while I was praying with someone or talking with someone or helping lead small group… and he never complained about the long day or the fact that he was ready to go play or be done!
Both girls made me so proud today, too. As I’ve alluded to online, the last few months have been especially stretching for me as a mom as my girls walk into puberty. They are growing and changing and asking hard questions and challenging me and struggling with hormones and trying to navigate a lot of new and unknown in their lives.
I’ve felt inadequate. I’ve messed up. I’ve wondered how on earth to respond when faced with new situations, new questions, and new attitudes. And there are days when I’ve wondered if all the work and time and effort that goes into parenting is really worth it.
But then there are days like this weekend when I see my daughters — separately and completely on their own — sitting next to a girl who is crying, with their arm around her, just loving on her and being with her. I see their incredibly tender hearts for the lonely, the hurting, the left out, the wounded… and I’m just humbled and grateful.
I’ve taken your advice on my Instagram to lower the standards and give myself grace while Jesse’s been gone, so in addition to calling cereal a legit meal, I’ve also given myself permission to not do all the house cleaning I usually do (it will still be there waiting when Jesse gets back!), to wear a baseball cap instead of fixing my hair, to buy more convenience foods, to hand off more projects to my team, to only exercise for 15-20 minutes per day, and to watch more shows with my kids (we watched and entire season of The Amazing Race this week!)
We miss Daddy something fierce, but we’re making fun memories, we’re working together to get things done, I’m focusing on one day at a time, and trying not to think about how many days are left or what all I need to tackle without Jesse here in the coming week.
Oh and one of the best parts of Jesse being gone? We’re having a Slumber Party in my room every night! Everyone — including me! — is sleeping better that way!!
Jesse comes back in 6 days and we can hardly wait. In the mean time, if you want to follow along with our adventure in his absence, you can follow me on Instagram.
P.S. This experience has taught me so much and reminded me to be so grateful that I have a wonderful husband who usually shoulders so much of the load. I think of all of the single moms and dads. The military spouses. The women whose husbands travel like this really regularly. And those of you who have spouses who work incredibly long hours or who are (for some reason or another) not a support. And I can’t imagine how you do this all the time. Truly. Wow!
Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!