My regular/day job sees me working in an office 30 minutes away from home. That job is finished April 30th, and I will be working from home again (YAY!), come May 1st. It’s been a rough couple of years for us, as my husband works in our small town and, (because he is awesome, and) he’s dealt with all of the extra-curricular activities. I talked about this in my last post, but some interesting developments have happened since then.
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with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
My husband went on an overnight fishing/camping trip with his brother on Sunday night. He’s earned it, for sure. He balances full-time work with Daddy Daycare, which means that he often heads into the office after dinner and works into the night. He also has a wife that goes off to events like BlogHer and leaves him at home to run the ship.
While I am more than happy for him to go away and have a break, there’s something about being alone on an acreage that strikes fear into my heart. I can walk the streets of New York with friends late at night but being the only adult in charge of three smalls, while situated in the buttpoke of nowhere freaks me the heck out. We have two dogs, one large, one with a large bark, so that helps, but. I am a woman and as much as I work out, I would be no match for a strong man or anyone with a weapon.
Last week was the annual BlogHer conference and it was held in San Diego, California. It was my fourth BlogHer and my first extended stay in San Diego. (I spent about twelve hours there at a friend’s house three years ago, but didn’t see the downtown area.) We stayed at a beautiful hotel, right on the ocean, within walking distance of the Gaslamp district. I missed my husband and kids, of course, but I had a fabulous time seeing old friends and meeting new ones and just enjoying myself.
As happens every year, the long day of travel home wears on me. Not just physically but emotionally. Once the conference is over I just want to be HOME. And, thankfully, I made it home safely.
It is no secret that while I love living in the sticks, I also love that I can drive to the closest town in ten minutes and the closest city in twenty-five minutes. If I need a “big city” fix, one is less than an hour away. When it comes to traveling, I LOVE going to really big cities. Vancouver (my old home), San Francisco, Chicago, New York (I’ll be in San Diego in two weeks (!) for my fourth BlogHer).
It is also no secret that my husband hates big cities. He is the happiest when he drives down some old forestry road in order to fish or hunt, or if he is on a mountain top riding his snowmobile. He would live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere if it were at all feasible.
Luckily for us, our acreage in the mountains gives us the space that we both love and the access to amenities that keeps us (me) sane. Also luckily for us is that we’ve found a family vacation spot that makes us both (and our kids) happy.
Cannon Beach, Oregon.
We arrived yesterday for two nights in Portland, Oregon (We love Portland! And Powell’s books!) and then we’ll be spending four nights at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. We left the heat of our desert climate for the cool breeze of the ocean and we are (more than) OK with that. We’ll be away from the responsibilities of home, we’ll be running on the beach, we’ll be staying up late watching movies and reading and we’ll be sleeping in every morning. It’s been a particularly busy two months in our house and having this vacation booked has helped us push through.
How about you? Where do you go to get away?
My husband doesn’t go away overnight very often but between the occasional work conference and snowmobiling or camping weekend with his friends, there are a number of days a year where the kids and I are left home alone. Now that they’re out of the baby stage it’s not the wrangling of the three of them into bed that concerns me the most - it’s the fact that he’s traveling away from us.
Something could go WRONG. He could crash the truck! Or be caught in an avalanche! Or tip his fishing boat! And as for us back home, the BOOGEY MAN might show up. We have two dogs, which simultaneously puts me at ease (One of them is HUGE) and freaks me out (WHAT ARE THEY BARKING AT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?).
I don’t sleep well when he’s gone and am generally a bundle of nerves the entire time. It’s awesome.
(He was gone last night and by some miracle of miracles I actually had an…okay sleep. It likely had something to do with the fact that I have been running on fumes lately, but still. I don’t feel like a zombie today.)
How about you? How do you fare when you’re home alone?
My husband and I are currently in Anaheim, California with our family. Why Anaheim? Because DISNEYLAND is here, that’s why. (I know that you know that Disneyland is in Anaheim and that I know that Disneyland is in Anaheim but I needed an intro to this topic, so here we are.)
We scored the deal of all deals and booked six nights in Anaheim, including five days at Disneyland (for the price of three!) and one day at Universal Studios. The days have been long and by the end of the day we are done. Done, done, DONE. Walking for twelve or more hours a day in the fresh air will do that to a person. Or five people, as it were.
Despite our utter exhaustion at the end of the day, once the kids have gone to sleep we stay up to have some grown-up time. During the day we’re constantly bombarded by, “Mom!” and “Dad!” followed by random statements/questions/facts. We’re balancing out pairing up with kids on rides and figuring out meals and who takes who to the restroom and figuring out what comes next.
We don’t get any uninterrupted time to talk. At all. Ever.
When the kids are passed out (approximately three seconds after we tuck them in) we talk about our day, discuss what our plans are for the next day and then curl up and watch mindless TV. (The Bachelor, anyone?)
We’re looking forward to having a proper Date Night once we get back home but as we don’t have regular household chores and responsibilities to tend to, the few hours we grab each night to hang out sans children has been pretty great.
How do you find alone time while on a family vacation?
This week marks the annual BlogHer conference where beings such as I, who like to talk to people inside of the computer, come together in the real world to meet and to mingle and to have fun. This year, the conference is being held in New York City, a place that I have always dreamed of going to and that my husband has no interest in visiting whatsoever. He not only refused to join me, he insisted I go for an entire week to get the most out of my experience.
I ran into an acquaintance that I had not seen in awhile and she said, “I hear you’re going away on your own AGAIN”. Her tone was not one that I would consider positive or encouraging or anything but condescending. I immediately jumped to my own defense and explained that my husband didn’t want to come and how he has fishing/hunting/snowmobiling trips lined up during the fall and winter and it will be his turn to get away from home.
As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I have taken our three kids on a family vacation. We had originally thought that a vacation to Mexico would be great but then we looked at the cost and, no. We asked the kids what they wanted to do and they yelled in unison, “WE WANT TO GO TO VANCOUVER!”
They wanted to go to the Zoo, and to the Aquarium, and to Science World. I’m not sure if I’ve explained it adequately here but my husband is not what you would call a “social person”. He is not anti-social, per se, but too many crowds and whatnot and he gets a little bit grumpy. This isn’t a knock against him; it something that we both acknowledge and joke about.
The cool thing is, he puts a brave face on for the kids. He weaves his way through the unending crowds and shares the “ooohs” and “aaaaahs” with them. It is only I who hears the true complaints. I can’t really blame him, though. I mean, even a social creature such as I am wants to chest bump the idiot who is blocking the entryway to the building because they can’t decide which MAP they want.
The next leg of our trip involves the rental of a cottage that sits only two blocks from Cannon Beach. Our days will consist of sitting on the beach, eating meals and sitting on the beach some more. It’s a rough life, really.
I have to admit that he city vibe gets me going. I love it and I feed off of it. My husband, not so much. But even I, the city lover, is excited to get off the map and retreat to the ocean.
How about you? What is your idea of a vacation? Big city or remote location?
I mentioned a few weeks back that my husband and I were about to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Last Thursday (May 20th) was the Big Day. We spent the bulk of it en route to the destination we had chosen to celebrate this momentous occasion: Las Vegas.
Neither of us had ever been and we spent our days walking (and walking and WALKING) and taking in the sights. Many photos were taken, many meals were enjoyed, many memories were made. We’ve been home less than a day, so the high of a getaway is still fresh.
I’ve mentioned it before but my husband and I have been known to take separate vacations. One time I wrote about it, I had a commenter question the strength of my marriage and wonder how posting about separate vacations was supposed to strengthen a commitment. I was a little taken aback as anyone who knows my husband and I know that we not only work hard at our marriage, we truly do enjoy spending time together. I read article over at Divine Caroline titled, “Separate Vacations Don’t Have To Mean Divorce” that echo my thoughts on the subject and so I feel safe enough to bring the topic up again.