The Last Week and a Half

It's just been one of those weeks (and a half) that have got to me. It started out innocent enough. In that first snow, a couple of weeks ago we had some gravel come up and crack the windshield of our van. So Monday (10th) we went to get the glass repaired. While we waited we went and walked around the Chickamauga Dam. It was pretty but getting cold.

"Supposedly" there was another snow round coming. But it's Georgia, and it had already snowed once, so it would probably just rain a lot, right? Just in case, when Matt went to work he took enough clothes for the week. Also, his grandmother had been in hospice and not doing well, so he also took his suit in case he had to leave from Atlanta and drive to be with his dad (in Vidalia, GA).

So when the snow started the boys and I got out of all our "snowed in" activities out and ready to go.

And it actually started snowing! I was talking to my mom and complaining about how I don't like playing in the snow and both boys were begging to. That's Matt's thing, but he was stuck in Atlanta. So, my mom sent Luke and Carly over to my house on the four-wheeler (we live less than 5 minutes apart). Within an hour, all my family had come to my house to play in the snow. We live on a huge hill so it's the perfect sledding zone. The problem is, we live on a hill so I am stuck here when it snows/ices. Thankfully my dad and Angie's husband had 4-wheel drive trucks and were able to make it up and down the hill to our house.

So Luke took Levi sledding while we waited for everyone else to arrive.

Again, I'm not a huge fan of snow so I went out once and slid down the hill and then retreated back inside. Thankfully, Noah isn't a fan of the snow either, so he was my excuse.

After awhile in the front yard, we all moved to the screened in back porch and watched all the kids take turns snow boarding down the hill in our back yard.

After a full morning of playing in the snow, Levi kept telling me he wasn't tired and didn't need a nap. He couldn't even finish 30 minutes of Daniel Tiger before he was knocked out.

All that playing in the snow and there was still a good 2" left in our yard. I made dinner and thought about how this would all be over soon. I was supposed to go into work, but they were closing all the pharmacies early due to weather so I didn't have to go in. That afternoon it started snowing, again and did not stop until the next morning.

It snowed another 8" overnight! It was unbelievable and our house looked like a winter wonderland!

So, beautiful, BUT I was supposed to work again today, from 11-7. I usually work two days a week, but of course I was scheduled for three back to back days, all right when bad weather hit. I had parked the van out by the road before the snow originally started, but there was 8" on the road as well. And our county doesn't salt neighborhoods. Sooo....

I found out the pharmacy wasn't opening until 12pm, and it wasn't busy so I wasn't in a rush, but I still had to go. So, after digging in 30 minute increments, 3 different times, I finally made a dent. But it was very "southern" snow digging. We have no snow shovel so I was basically sweeping snow with a regular, pointed end shovel. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. After my hour and a half of digging I was finally able to gun the van enough to get it going. I put the kids in the car and took them to mom's and went to work. It's lame, but I was so proud of myself for digging out of the snow, like a freakin' pioneer woman!

When I dropped the boys off at mom's I also left all of our stuff for us to spend the night. I knew by the time I got off work all of the snow/slush/ice was going to freeze and I wouldn't be able to get back out and go to work again Friday morning. Mom called me while I was at work and said that my dad and Luke had shoveled my entire driveway for me so we could sleep at our house, in our own beds. That was so thoughtful, and I know had to be a ton of work!

Matt got home around 2am Friday morning. He woke me up to let me know his grandmother had passed away Thursday night around 11:30. So, I went to work Friday morning (8-6:30), left work and went straight to Costco. After being in the house for a week, we were  out of everything! Milk, dog food, crackers, vegetables, everything. Saturday morning we got up at 3am and left the house at 4 to get to Vidalia for the funeral. It's a 5 1/2 hour drive so we got there early enough to spend time with Matt's parents in their hotel room.

Despite the difficult traveling and emotional conditions, the boys did amazing! After the funeral we piled back in the van and drove back the 5 1/2 hours to Ringgold that same day. We stopped at the huge Bass Pro shop in Macon and Ikea in Atlanta on the way home to get the boys out of the car to burn some of their energy off. Needless to say, we were glad to be back in our beds!

We were both beyond exhausted after the past week, and only getting four hours of sleep Friday night, so we took turns driving and sleeping. Here is Matt sleeping with his tie over his face to keep out the sun.

Sunday was church, trips to Target, Aldi, and Sams to get the rest of the groceries, and then to the park/walking trail to get some family time in. The boys loved getting out and walking around, picking up all kinds of sticks and throwing rocks in the creek.

These two boys trying to climb a tree. Adorable and frightening, all at once.

I worked Monday and Tuesday (yesterday). Matt texted me at work Tuesday night saying that Levi had started throwing up. 14 times later we had to admit it wasn't candy from his Valentines party at school that day, but the stomach bug had hit us. I came home from an 11 hour shift last night and swept and mopped all the floors and wiped down all the hard surfaces with bleach spray. Poor Matt had been cleaning up vomit for the last five hours and still managed to get all the dishes done and the living room picked up! I'm not sure how he did all of that!

We went to bed at midnight, and was awoken at 2am by Noah's screams. The second Morris was down. 

Two kids in, we have our middle of the night vomit routine down. We both go in, I pick up the kid and immediately start changing clothes, wiping them clean with a wash cloth, clean clothes, and take them to the living room where we camp out the rest of the night. Matt strips the bed and throws all associated stuffed animals and blankets in the washing machine. Noah and I spent the rest of the night rocking back and forth across the living room.

During that time, in the early hours of this morning, I just kept thinking about this week. It's been hard in different ways, being alone with the boys, all week without Matt, Matt losing his grandmother and grieving, me working so much during a time when we are all stressed out anyway, and some other things we are dealing with. It's just  a heavy time.

As I was reviewing all of this, thinking about NOW the stomach bug, I just kept thinking how thankful I am for Matthew. Seven years ago when we were engaged and about to be married I loved him for how nice he was, cute, funny, etc. Here we are now, living in the trenches of a life that is marked by chaos and I am so thankful for our partnership that has developed and grown  over these years. Even when we aren't getting along, or one or the other is stressed beyond belief, or when we can't even be together due to weather, we are still on the same team. Still fighting for the same thing, still working together. That love I felt for him when we were engaged has grown and changed in such beautiful ways. THIS man that I now love, I love not for the big bouquets and constant showering of gifts, and happy blissful moments I thought marriage would be filled with. I love him for how he cares for our boys, how he cried with me, and held me, during the miscarriage, I love him for how he explained to Levi the death of his grandmother and what that meant, about the beauty of heaven and being with Jesus. For cleaning up all the vomit (and more) while I was at work and he was home with both boys. I love him for our synchronized "middle of the night vomit reaction" we now have, for the fights that I feel secure in while we're having them, because I know they will pass. For today when I was barely keeping my eyes open and he says "I've got this, you need to sleep, go."

 Some of the (unmarried, young) techs were asking me about our Valentine's plans last week. Well, we went to the Terminal for dinner and used a giftcard for a movie the weekend before valentine's day. That was it. They all looked disappointed, "Oh, so y'all don't do gifts?" And I should have told them everything I've just written. But I just said something about we're not big into Hallmark holidays or something like that. 

I guess the point is, it HAS been a very hard, exhausting week. I am tired, but it's different now, tired but not frustrated or hopeless. We have changed as we've had kids, and had to learn to adapt. We've changed in our marriage, how we relate to one another, as we work together instead of trying to do more, or complaining about how the other isn't doing enough. We've changed in the amount of grace we extend to ourselves and our kids, especially in weeks like this. We've changed in that we are not striving to be the person at work who is there the most, who never calls in, and works around the clock, we are striving to love God, love one another, and love our boys. And in that order, no matter what happens, we will be ok.


Danelle said...

amen to all of the above! remember when we were sitting on my couch in our 1 bed/1 bath apt in B'ham and talking about how hard it can be to love our men and our own sinful, yucky flesh getting in the way? Thank the Lord that we have matured by His grace. Love ya'll. Glad you had some fun in the snow.

Grace said...

You did have a few hard weeks there! So thankful that things have become normal again.

Marriage certainly does become better over time...definitely less Hallmark and much more real. But somehow real is better!