Tag Archives: husband

When Your Husband Hunts Out of State

4 Oct

About a year and a half ago, I posted the saga of the most horrible week of my pregnancy with Annabelle, which happened while Travis was traveling for work. There was another saga that happened about a year ago while Travis was hunting out of state, which I never told on the blog. Until now.

img_1156It was October, aka the beginning of hunting season. Travis and most of his family had gone elk hunting in Colorado for a week. The girls and I had stayed back, since having a 2.5-year-old and a 6-month-old in a wall tent for a week would be an extreme form of torture. We had just been up to Bemidji to visit Travis’ sister, Carolyn, who had also opted to not go elk hunting. After a long day of driving (two hours both ways), shopping at Hobby Lobby for bridal shower decorations, and eating dinner at Applebee’s (during which Emma spilled her entire water all over me and Annabelle swiftly knocked her full container of yogurt to the ground), the girls and I were heading back home in the dark.

Everything was going fine. I was staying awake, the girls were content… oh and did I mention that I had the dogs along too? They had spent the day socializing with Carolyn’s two dogs, and were worn out too.

But then Annabelle started crying.

And she kept crying.

We were almost an hour from home, and in the middle of NOWHERE driving on a two-lane highway with no shoulders at night on a Sunday. The nearest gas station was 30 minutes away. Travis’ parents lived only about 15 minutes away, but in the opposite direction as our house and they were in Colorado with Travis.

I hoped Annabelle would stop crying on her own… but five minutes passed. Then 10. Which doesn’t sound like much but when your baby is screaming in the backseat, it feels like an ETERNITY. I started looking for places to pull over, thinking maybe if I just nursed her a bit, she’d be content enough to make it home without crying the whole way.

But it was pitch black outside so I couldn’t see any of the pull-outs soon enough to slow down for them. Finally, I saw a sign for an intersection with a county road. Perfect. I’d be able to drive slow enough on that road to find a spot to pull over.

I turned down the county road and there was a wide grassy shoulder that seemed to be pretty level and even. It didn’t seem to be a road that had much traffic on it, so a ways from the highway intersection, I started slowing down and pulled over onto the grass.

WHAM!

I didn’t understand what had happened right away because it was so unexpected. All I heard was a loud noise and saw that my car was all of a sudden at a very odd angle and I was looking at what looked like corn stalks out my windshield.

Panic surged through me, but I couldn’t panic because I was the lone adult with two kids and two dogs out in the middle of NOWHERE. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” I started repeating. My hands were shaking as I started trying to think logically about what was happening.

My car has fallen in some kind of a hole. My first idea was to try to back the car out. I put the car in reverse and gunned it a little, but the only effect was to make my car lean over even more precariously, and make me panic even more about completely tipping over into the field.

Ok, Plan B. I would call a towtruck. Where’s my phone? Where’s my phone? Oh yeah, Emma’s playing games on it. I pleaded with her to give it back to me. She probably heard the fear in my voice because she didn’t fight me on it.

Then I realized, It’s late on a Sunday night and I’m in the middle of EFFIN NOWHERE! Who is going to help me at this hour? No one local, that’s for sure. My brain was scrambling and all I could think was, What’s that acronym for car assistance? AARP? That doesn’t sound right... I googled “car towing” and discovered, Oh yeah, AAA. But when I tried calling the 800 number, it assumed I was in Colorado because of my cell phone number, and I didn’t have the mental wherewithal to figure out how to switch it. So screw that.

Plan C. Call Travis. Maybe he could help me think because now I was on the verge of tears and FREAKING OUT. But Travis didn’t answer. Dangit! I can’t call my parents because my mom will freak out even more than I am. Who else is with Travis? My mother-in-law Beth. She didn’t answer either. Double dangit! I called my brother-in-law Matthew. He answered. FINALLY! I tried to sound somewhat normal as I asked to talk to Travis. When Travis got on the line, though, I completely lost it. I started crying and babbling on about how I drove off the road and fell in a hole and couldn’t get out and I was so scared and I was in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

Travis’ first words back to me were, “Are the girls still alive?”

Ok, maybe I should’ve led with that. “Yes, they are. We’re all fine.”

As I was talking with Travis, I decided that I should probably get out of the car to see what was really going on. I discovered that my front passenger tire fell in a hole up to the bumper, and my rear driver side tire was completely off the road by about 18 inches.

Holy crap.

I’m sure I told Travis what I was seeing. I’m sure he suggested calling a towtruck or something along those lines. But after being on the phone with Travis not even five minutes, a man driving a pickup truck happened to turn down the county road I was on. Not only did he not hit me even though I was standing in the middle of the road, he slowed down to ask if I was ok. I sobbed that I wasn’t, and then asked if he could pull me out. He said, Yes, he could. As he got his chains out and set up, I told Travis about Pickup Man and said I’d call him back.

The man told me to get in my car, put it in reverse, and to gun it and turn the wheel when he said to. I did exactly that and in less than a minute, my car was back on the solid ground of the gravel road. I thanked the man profusely for saving us, and briefly thought about paying him, but I didn’t have any cash, and my brain was fried from stress. He looked my car over and said that amazingly, he didn’t see any damage. Then he warned me to not stop on the shoulder of back-country roads anymore, because they weren’t safe. I know that now, I thought.

Hands still shaking, I got back in my car, put my car in drive, and traveled a little farther down the county road before completing a 20-point turn to head east back to the highway. I passed Pickup Man, who was continuing west. I said a prayer of thanks to God, for the man who helped me (God knew who he was), and for God’s provision of a person, driving a pickup, with chains, who knew how to use them, to be there right then. From the time I drove in the hole to the time I was pulled out was probably only about 15 minutes.

After getting back out on the highway, I called Travis to tell him I was out of the hole, there was no damage to the car, and I was on my way home. Hallelujah! Oh, and I’m never stopping on a country road EVER. AGAIN.

A few weeks later, we were headed back up to Travis’ parents’ house for deer hunting. Travis was curious to see where “the incident” happened. In the broad light of day, we could see that the hole I drove into was really a culvert, and what I had thought was a cornfield was really a swamp. img_1155Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. And it only happens when Travis is out of town.

Thankfully, his hunting trip this year has been much less eventful… So far. ::knock on wood::

Celebrating 9 Years

10 Jun

Travis and I celebrated 9 years of marriage on May 19, which fell on a Thursday this year. The day of, we went out to eat at Culver’s for lunch and then stopped by Home Depot to buy some annuals they had on sale. (Pretty exciting, huh?)

The weekend following our anniversary, Travis’ parents came down to our house and watched the girls for us so we could spend the day being tourists in our own town. (We would’ve loved to get away somewhere overnight but because Annabelle is still nursing, teething, and won’t take a bottle, we decided against it. Baby steps. She’ll get there eventually.)

Both Travis and I love ourselves a good garage sale, so Saturday morning, we headed out garage sale-ing. We weren’t overly impressed with the selection at the sales we went to, but we found some stuff to buy — books, picture frames, a Nemo sprinkler and Spongebob fishing rod, a small basketball, a few clothes, etc. Nothing we were really hoping to find, but it was fun nonetheless.

A full morning of garage sales worked up quite the appetite so we hit up Zorbaz on Gull Lake for lunch. It was very hot and bright out on the patio, but once we snagged a table under an umbrella, it was quite pleasant. Their BBQ chicken pizza is delicious.IMG_20160521_135145

After lunch, we headed over to Pirate’s Cove for some mini golf. It was HOT out there–I think it was probably 90 degrees and 70% humidity. We Minnesotans are kind of wusses when it comes to heat. But it was fun nonetheless. I got 2 or 3 holes-in-one (Travis got one too) but also had a few holes that took me 6+ strokes, so Travis ended up winning by about 10 strokes (he always does, so nothing new there). We decided that we hadn’t been mini-golfing since I was pregnant with Emma.IMG_20160521_211757

Travis had a craving for ice cream from Dairy Queen after that so we got mini blizzards and took them to a nearby park where we walked on a bike path through the woods. It was still pretty darn hot though, and I was getting tired (all those garage sales took it out of me!), so we cut our walk short, and decided that if we were going to take our boat out to do some fishing and still make it to a movie that night, we needed to do it.

So we went home, Travis talked to his parents while I nursed Annabelle (Emma was napping), we hooked up the boat, and launched it just a few miles from our house on the Crow Wing River. Travis fished while I read a book (Not Who I Imagined by Margot Starbuck) and we chatted. Right before we left, a couple of river otters poked their heads out of the water and growled at us. Then one of them swam closer and popped out of the water just about 10 feet from our boat. It was really cool! We see wildlife all the time where we live, but river otters were a first!

After we pulled our boat out of the water, we brought it back to the house and quickly snuck out undetected to go see The Jungle Book in the theater. It was good! We both enjoyed it, and liked the ending in that version better than the one in the Disney movie. We got home from the movie around 9 pm, put the girls to bed, and crashed. It was a very fun, busy, tiring day!

Sunday, we left the girls at home while we went to church for small group and the worship service. After eating lunch at Erbert’s and Gerbert’s, we stopped by Menards for a few things (where we actually ended up running into Travis’ parents with the girls–they were there buying seeds for their garden). Then we all headed home for naps and yardwork. That evening, we went to a potluck picnic with our small group from church. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.13221091_10154541162696664_1927563454665897256_n

Worth Repeating {5/19/16}

19 May

In honor of my 9th wedding anniversary, I edited a post from the archives. It’s still as true today as it was then. God gets all the credit and glory for my marriage. Hope you enjoy it.

worth_repeating

Originally posted February 24, 2012

 

 

There was a time in our marriage when Travis and I pretty much went our own ways on the weekends. We asked each other, “What are your plans for this weekend?” and both did our own things.

But in September 2011, things changed.

We still ran the same errands on the weekends. But we ran them together. Yes, it meant things took longer. And that we spent time doing things that weren’t our first pick (grocery shopping for him, Home Depot browsing for me). But we were together. And we were having FUN!

We also went on one impromptu date each weekend – which gave us time to talk, laugh and enjoy one another.

And those things made something else happen.

When Travis came home from work, instead of giving him a slight head nod and a “Hey beads” while I continued making dinner or changed out of my running clothes, I’d intentionally stop what I was doing and go hug and kiss him hello. He was happier because I was talking his love language. I was happier because I actually wanted to hug and kiss him (which sadly, hadn’t always been the case).

When I talked to him on the phone, I enjoyed hearing his voice.

When he smiled and his eyes crinkled, I felt so in love with him.

We laughed over well-timed movie line quotes and inside jokes.

We watched the dogs frolic from our kitchen window, silently daring them to jump the fence.

When Travis mused aloud about Roth IRAs and whether or not he should take the new job, instead of rolling my eyes, ignoring him, or lamenting that we’ve already talked about this, I listened and offered him my advice…again.

Travis would ask me to come look at, or help him with something, and I didn’t get frustrated.

Travis wanted to buy a ridiculously expensive antelope hunting tag and I didn’t demand the same amount of money to spend on myself.

I won a pool table competition and instead of running out to buy a new shirt with my $30, I offered to take Travis out to lunch.

The best part about all of this? 

I did none of it. It all happened organically, by the grace of God. I honestly look back at all this and think, How did this happen? I surely did not cause this! This is not MY handiwork!

God did this. And He did it by inspiring my obedience in one little thing: painting our front door brick red. I hated that door. Oh, how I hated it. I painted it once, 3 coats of painstaking strokes. Only to have the beautiful red paint peel off in my hands as I removed the painter’s tape. The door remained white for at least another a month. It took me that long to get over being angry.

Finally, at Travis’ request, I tackled it once again, this time armed with primer. I still remember standing in the hallway next to our kitchen, glaring at the door. I did. not. want. to paint the door again. I was done with it. But out of a desire to serve my husband by helping with a house project, I did it. And I swear, that was a turning point in the way I thought about our marriage.

Things only got better from there. Yes, we still had disagreements and tension from time to time. But it was no longer the door-slamming, fruit-throwing, cuss-word-yelling that our marriage my responses once were (Travis has not resorted to my form of temper tantrums).

Which proves that I, unfortunately, do not have any marriage advice. Because I could not have written this story. God’s ideas are always infinitely better than mine, though often harder to understand. Why did it take me almost 5 years of marriage to get to that place? Why did God bless me with my husband, though I abused him for so long? Why am I still learning these same lessons in different contexts after almost a decade of marriage? I don’t know.

But I do know that the best advice for anything is: Get to know God. The real God of the Bible. Jesus, who died for your sins. He is amazing. And He is the only answer you ever need.

That is not just a trite saying. I don’t say that flippantly. I say it with the full force of my being and my heart behind it. I say it as I look back on 5 years of hating the wife I was and wanting to throw in the towel, and another 4 years of still falling short of who I want to be. I believe that God has the power to redeem and glorify any marriage, even ones that have been torn apart by infidelity, loss or deceit. Because this God – He ransomed us from our sins. He has granted us eternal life. Surely He can do ALL things!

Put Him to the test. Ask Him to do amazing things in your marriage. Stay alert to the ways He works in your life. He will stun you.

Though I am dry and barren

By grace this love springs forth

Love for You and Your kingdom

Joy in Your glory Lord

All Grace Abounding

27 Oct

IMG_20151013_151122On my way to the grocery store while Travis was in Colorado for eight days elk hunting, I realized that sadly, his being gone actually didn’t feel that much different than his being home (in terms of how much I do taking care of the house and girls). He’s been working so much that it feels somewhat odd when he’s not working; when weekends are spent doing non-work things, like hanging out, running errands, chipping away at projects; when I actually see my husband for more than an hour or two at a time.

His work schedule has been so crazy for the last I-can’t-even-remember-how-long that instead of waiting for Travis to go do fun stuff like the zoo, corn maze, and pumpkin patch, I’ve just started doing those things without him. I’ve stopped expecting him to get off work at a certain time. I’ve (mostly) stopped hoping he’ll spend time with us in the evening. I’m still disappointed when Travis mentions that he has to work for a few hours, especially on weekends, but overall, I’ve adjusted my expectations to be that Travis won’t be hanging out with us.

Do I think that that’s the ideal way to handle this situation? No. I believe strongly in the importance of a husband and father spending quality time with his wife and kids, so I will fight against Travis’ absence being a long-term normal thing. But let me tell you, adjusting my expectations in this way has been a heck of a lot easier – on both me and my marriage – than feeling constant disappointment and unrealized hopes. Doing fun things with my girls and staying busy helps me cope with the ache of a heart that craves more time with my husband.

Travis doesn’t like working this much. He would cut his hours back to a simple 40 in a heartbeat if he could. He’d take more vacation days if he could. He’d be thrilled to spend his evenings and weekends with me and the girls instead of clocking hours in his office (which we’ve nicknamed the Chateau D’if) if he could. “Things are crazy right now, but they should get better soon” has been the echoing refrain of this past year.

But I’m starting to think through the possibility of things not getting better soon, the possibility of this being the reality of our lives for the foreseeable future. (Because that is a very real possibility.) It would be easy to let this situation drift indeterminably while optimistically thinking it’s temporary and have it end up altering what we consider to be our “normal” – that we’d get used to doing things without daddy and it’d no longer feel strange for him to not be there. Indifference to his absence would replace our hope for things to change.

Often, it takes the possibility of a situation not being temporary to make us realize how challenging the circumstance actually is. It’s like, as long as the spark of hope remains that you’re almost to the other side of the trial, you can stay strong and keep trucking. But once you realize that “the other side” might be a long way away, that spark of hope dies and you give up.

It reminds me of Florence Chadwick, the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways. In 1952, she attempted to swim from Catalina Island to mainland California. She had been swimming 15 hours, was physically and emotionally exhausted, and ended up quitting only 800 meters (1/2 mile) from shore (which to any seasoned swimmer is practically nothing!). “All I could see was the fog. I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it,” she said the next day at a news conference. {source}

Like Florence, I often stop swimming because I can’t see the end. I’m stubborn and determined so I survive for a while by hunkering down and gritting my teeth through trials, willing myself to stay strong until it’s over. “Just get through this. It’ll get better.” But rarely do I make it to the finish line before my resolve gives out. The tipping point is almost always caused by something that, on its own, is small and inconsequential – but added to the heap of stress, fear and pain that has been brimming underneath the surface of my life, it’s the last straw. The dam breaks. A flood of pent-up emotions comes rushing out.

But just like the rainbow that appeared when the waters receded after the great flood of Noah’s time, each flood of my own emotions brings with it with the blessed awareness that once again, I’ve been trying to survive life on my own strength. As seeing the shoreline would’ve most likely given Florence the influx of strength and motivation she needed to persevere, so also seeing the big picture will also strengthen and motivate me.

IMG_20151013_150936

What is the big picture? Surely it is not that this trial of Travis’ working so much will come to an end sometime – because that is not certain. Rather, the big picture that gives me hope is that God is sufficient in all things. His sufficiency in being, and providing, everything I need is the way through this trial, and any trial for that matter. For those who work multiple jobs, make minimum wage and still scrape by, this stress of working is a constant reality. But we all find joy in trying circumstances the same way: by looking to God.

Jesus says:

“The thief [of this world] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)

Joy in God amidst earthly strife is possible – Jesus says it is. He tells us to trust Him, abide in His love for us, and focus on the end – He has already overcome the world. We cannot see the end ourselves; we are stuck swimming in the fog. But God sees the end. And it is by banking on His future promises and His current provision of grace and strength that we can persevere and not give up.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:8)

The apostle Paul knew what it was like to persevere in the face of trials. In 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, he writes, “We put no obstacles in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”

In chapter 11, he continues, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.” (v. 24-28)

“For we do not want you to ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8-9)

“But [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12: 9-10

Paul welcomed his trials and hardships as opportunities for him to learn and live out dependence on Christ. As anyone who has been pushed past their capacity or strength knows, that’s often what it takes to break our attempts at self-sufficiency and get us down on our knees before God. In that spirit, I am trying to fight against my natural tendency to grit my teeth through this and instead, embrace this as another opportunity for learning how to live fully in a trying circumstance, trusting God to use it in our lives for our good and His glory.

So Travis and I have been discussing, “If this is our reality for the foreseeable future, what changes do we need to make to live well right now?” Not surprisingly, the changes we are trying to make address the issues that have caused the most problems between us:

1. Communicate in a helpful way.

When Travis has to work in the evening and I am disappointed, I have often expressed that disappointment as anger – because frankly, I’m mad he has to work. But not mad at him, just at the situation. However, he perceives my anger as being directed at him because he is, after all, the one who has to work. The helpful way to communicate my disappointment (according to the man himself) would be to say, “I understand you have to work, but I’m disappointed we can’t hang out.” Duly noted.

To Travis’ credit, he has done a pretty good job (after learning the hard way) of letting me know about his additional work demands a day or two in advance. It helps me to know what to expect. When I have time to process, I can respond better than I can when the situation is sprung upon me at the last minute.

2. Have family time free from the 3 P’s: phones, projects and the paper.

This one is mostly for me, because one of my love languages is quality time. Since we don’t have as much time together as a family as we want, we need to maximize the time we do have. And in my opinion, it just isn’t quality time when the whole family is doing their own thing. Our biggest distractions are our phones, the newspaper and “small, quick” house projects. So, from the time that Travis gets off work to the time that Annabelle goes to bed (which is usually 1-2 hours), those distractions are off-limits.

3. Prioritize date nights.

This is something we’ve (I’ve) been lax about because it’s my job to find a babysitter and I just haven’t put the time or effort into it. But now that Annabelle is 7 months old and can eat some solid food, we wouldn’t have to bring her along, so it would be a true date night! That would be awesome. I need to get my butt in gear and work on this. Our goal is one date night every month.

4. Be generous, but realistic.

There have been numerous good or fun things that we’ve had to say no to because they would have just stretched us too thin. It’s definitely a balancing act to know how much to serve and help out, or when to enjoy time with friends, and when you need to pull back and focus on your own family – but it’s a balance worth striving for. My natural tendency in hardship is to focus all my resources on myself and my family – because in my selfishness, my problems seem the biggest – but that kind of self-preservation usually just ends up magnifying the problem. It nurtures my soul to serve and love others, even when I’m experiencing a hard situation.

This also applies to my marriage. Hunting is an annual sore subject for us, just because it takes so much time – there’s packing, setting up stands, sighting in guns, target practice, traveling, then the actual hunting, and if they’re successful, meat butchering. The selfish part of me thinks that it’s just more time spent away from me and the girls for a “stupid hobby.” But the loving part of me knows that my husband loves hunting and since he spends the majority of his time providing for his family, he could use some time to relax and recharge doing something that je really enjoys (and almost his whole family hunts so it’s also time spent with them).

More and more, I am learning that the balance I need in life is only achievable through the power of the Holy Spirit. As a mere human, I am only capable of swinging from one extreme to another. In this case, from staking my heart on my expectations and demanding my own way to leaving expectations behind in a wake of indifference and cold-heartedness. But with the Spirit’s power and presence, I can continue desiring more time with my husband without that hope smothering our marriage, and I can be content with the time we do have together without losing hope that that time will increase. That balance is possible only when I am staking my heart first and foremost on God. God alone is sufficient in all things.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency [or contentment] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

A Weekend Sans Emma

4 Aug

It occurred to me earlier this summer that we haven’t been taking full advantage of having grandparents so close by. So we scheduled a weekend of Emma staying at Travis’ parents’ house, while we enjoyed more than a few minutes of being able to “get stuff done.”

We were already up in Nevis after the storm so Friday night, we headed home and after getting food put back in our refrigerator and freezer, the car unloaded, some laundry started, and Annabelle to bed, we vegged a bit and headed to bed ourselves.

Saturday morning, we headed out garage sale-ing. Both Travis and I love going to garage sales but Emma, being the toddler tornado that she is, makes it challenging (though we did take her along the other 2 times we went out this summer). We found some good stuff – I bought a handful of picture frames for the photo collage I want to hang up someday in our living room. I also found some fall/winter clothes for Emma, some craft supplies, a running vest for $1 (CW-X brand!), a scarf and some flip flops. Travis’ purchase of the day was a small table saw for $30, with an extension cord and long-handled window squeegee thrown in for free.

11709747_974299285933727_5463841966979453255_o

After our shopping spree, we ate lunch and then Travis did stuff in the garage and yard while I nursed Annabelle and got our house back in order after hosting the reunion and being gone for a week.

That night, we went out for dinner at Jake’s across from Gull Lake.

wpid-img_20150718_202421.jpgWe sat out on the patio and it was a little chilly, but our food was amazing. I had lobster and shrimp tacos and they were the best ones I’ve had since first eating them in San Diego. Mmmm… Travis ate half of a small chicken, which he said was delicious.

Sunday morning, we got up bright and early to go for a hike in Crow Wing State Park before church. Well, rookie mistake – we both forgot to bring bug spray. We lasted about one minute before deciding to bag it for the morning. Instead, we went to church, ate lunch and then headed back to the state park. The trail was actually mostly in the shade and there was a light breeze, so the hike wasn’t as hot as we had feared. There were still bugs but we didn’t get bit after putting bug spray on. We learned a lot about the history of the town Crow Wing and the dogs enjoyed getting out. Annabelle slept through the whole thing.

wpid-20150719_134603.jpg wpid-20150719_141215.jpg

20150719_132812 20150719_132824 20150719_134629 20150719_134941 20150719_134944 20150719_140044 20150719_140059 20150719_141049 20150719_141154 20150719_141448

After our hike, I nursed Annabelle while Travis went out and worked on the car. When I was done nursing, I brought Annabelle and her bouncy seat out to the garage and she watched Travis change the oil while I went on a bike ride. When I got back, Emma was back from her weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. We talked with Travis’ mom for a bit and then she headed out. I can’t remember what we did that night, but I’m sure it was some variation on eating dinner, playing outside in the driveway or on the swingset, and then the bedtime routine antics. Travis and I had a great weekend, and it was a good mix between fun and productivity. Can’t wait to do it again!

Father’s Day 2015

23 Jun

For Father’s Day this year, I let Travis sleep in while I got up with the girls. (He let me sleep in on Saturday.) Once Travis got up and made coffee, I made him eggs and bacon for breakfast — but I tried to do too much at one time so I burnt the first round of eggs.

We made it to church for the second service. Afterward, we made an impromptu decision to pack up a lunch and have a picnic at the beach in the Gull Lake Recreation Area. It was such a fun time! I forgot my phone so I have no pictures (fail), but Emma loved playing in the sand. She was also brave enough to wade out in the water up to her waist, and then let Travis carry her into deeper water. She loved pointing out all the boats on the water, and watching the other kids playing at the beach (that girl has no personal bubble).

By the time we left, it was a quarter to 3 so Emma was exhausted. She passed out on our way home. Annabelle was a champ too — she enjoys being outside.

While all 3 of us girls napped, Travis finished installing our in-ground dog fence by cutting a line through our driveway, inserting the cable and re-sealing the crack. (Hey, he chose to do that!)

He had been planning to go fishing that evening, but I wasn’t feeling the greatest so he agreed to take a rain check and stay back to help me with the girls. That’s why he’s such a great husband and father! We were both still pretty full from lunch, so he just made macaroni & cheese, mainly for Emma. I had entertained the thought of grilling steaks (one of Trav’s favorites) but sometimes things don’t go beyond thoughts. (Actually, that happens quite a bit lately.)

All in all, it was a really fun family day. And Travis will get his fishing in later this week!

When Your Husband Travels for Work

11 Mar

Like Murphy’s Law, it seems that the Law of Your Husband Traveling is that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Back in February, Emma and I were playing in the basement on the second night of Travis’ 4-day work trip. She went around the corner where the stairs are. Being pregnant-lazy, I didn’t follow. Thirty seconds later, I hear her tumbling down the stairs. I race over to her and luckily she’s ok, just scared. Momma is not ok however. That quick movement made my pelvis and hips hate me. If I was moving at a turtle pace before, I was now moving at the speed of a beached whale. Luckily, the pain went away after a few days. Later that night, Emma slipped in the bathtub and bit her tongue, but thankfully it wasn’t bad enough to need medical attention.

Last week, right after our babymoon, Travis went out of town for a work trip. 5 nights, 6 days. Sunday night, I ate a couple of Tums before bed (which I do a lot these days) and hit the sack. A few minutes later, I felt like I was going to explode on both ends. Thankfully, that lasted for only about 10 minutes, I did some business and felt better enough to go back to bed instead of sit in the bathroom. But I couldn’t lay down without feeling awful so I watched an episode of Parenthood and then I could at least recline enough to sleep.

Monday, I still felt off but good enough to venture out to MOPS. (Whenever sickness prevents me and Emma from going to our normally scheduled activities, the week DRAGS by.) I felt mostly fine all day until nighttime came.  I was so miserable that night, I literally got up and drank a cup of coffee at 12:30 to see if it would get things moving, then took a shower and watched a couple episodes of Parenthood. When I finally did get to sleep, it was propped up against the wall in bed.

Tuesday, I had my prenatal appt and my doctor said it didn’t sound like anything to ‘fix’. Since Emma was at daycare and I felt awful, I spent the whole day on the couch. Then Tuesday night happened, which I will elaborate on shortly.

Wednesday, after talking with my mom, I started to think my problem might be acid reflux and not constipation. So I started avoiding trigger foods (citrus, tomatoes, caffeine) and by the end of the day, I was feeling significantly better. Thursday, I felt fine. Acid reflux is a nasty thing!

So Tuesday night. Ugh. I had just fed Emma dinner and was going to give her a bath right after I took the dogs out to go to the bathroom. But somehow, I
got locked out of the house — with Emma locked inside. After unsuccessfully trying to coach Emma to unlock the door (it’s a latch on the knob) and checking for a key in the garage and front door area, I started sobbing and decided my only option was to run to the neighbors’ house to use their phone, even though it meant leaving Emma, who I could hear was crying on the other side of the door. Of course it had to also be the day that we got 6 inches of snow and I was only wearing loafers. Luckily Travis had left a jacket in the garage or I wouldn’t have had one of those either!

Imagine a woman 35 weeks pregnant waddle-running in 10 degrees through snowy, icy roads and down 2 driveways that haven’t been plowed. That was me.

Luckily, my neighbor was home. I called Travis first to ask if we had any spare keys hidden. Nope. They were all in the house. He suggested calling 911 and having the fire dept come out. So that’s what I did. I didn’t want to spend time researching locksmiths. My wonderful neighbor loaded up her 8-month pregnant self and 3-year-old son to drive me back to my house.

When we got back, I went to the front door where we have a window and pounded on it to get Emma to at least come where I could see her. But she wouldn’t. I could hear her screaming hysterically and that made me cry even harder. I decided to head back to the door between the kitchen and garage (where Emma was). I took one step down the front stairs and ended up on my tailbone. I just kneeled in the snow for a few minutes, bawling and thinking,  “Could this night get ANY worse? Please let the baby be ok. OMG, this is so painful. And I’m cold. Travis is never traveling EVER AGAIN!”

The fire dept showed up around 5 minutes later but it felt like an eternity. They tried picking the lock but ended up using an axe between the door and jamb to open the door. Little Emma was fine — shaken up but not hurt. It seemed like she got over the trauma as soon as I picked her up.

Wednesday, I went to the hospital to be monitored just to make sure baby was ok. I wasn’t concerned since I had felt the baby move plenty since my fall but better to be on the safe side. Everything checked out.

Thankfully, the rest of the week was uneventful. I was so happy when Travis finally got home!

He traveled again this past Monday just for a (19 hour) day. Emma had developed a cold over the weekend and had very labored breathing so I took her to the doctor. They prescribed an albuterol nebulizer 3x a day, antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection, and steroids for inflammation. Poor girl! I swear, every time I’ve taken Emma to the doctor for being sick, Travis has been out of town.

Now you can see why I’m scared to have a newborn to take care of too, right? Travis is done traveling for the next couple of months though. It’ll be nice to have him at home.