Friday, January 21, 2011

A simple Friday

My usual Friday plans have been interrupted by the "light dusting" of snow we were to receive.  Apparently, in Indiana weatherman parlance, "light dusting" means "huddle inside your house for warmth".  So, instead I am making more bread and we've got PBS Kids on the television for Little Guy. 

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to become more organized and manage time and money better.  The rapidly changing schedule is making it more important than ever to do so.  This month, I am working a split shift.  I teach one class in the morning and one class at night.  The week after next, however, my schedule changes for the next month.  I'll teach mornings and afternoons, leaving my evenings free.  I've been teaching nights for so long now, I'm not going to know what to do with myself.  Big Guy will get to be home during the day with our little monkey. 

If we can keep up the work we've been doing, we can survive just fine.  Big Guy and I need to take an opportunity to sit down and figure out a plan for the next few months, like what we'll do if I don't get two classes.  I've got a plan to save up money so that when the break hits, I'll be able to transfer over money to cover it.  Things may be tight and sort of complicated, but luckily we have the communication skills to figure it out. 

We're still looking at getting out of our current rental and, at this point, I am so done living here.  I'm sure some of it is just basic impatience on my part, but living here has not been the best experience.  This place had a purpose when we moved in, but that purpose has long since passed, and it's time for us to move to our new chapter of life.  Our life has changed so much since we moved in that our needs in a place have changed as well.  We're also not under pressure to move, which is a pleasant change.  We have been looking for a good place to live, price-wise and also life-wise.

We're not going to be able to get the perfect place, but we'll be able to find something that will serve us well.  And right now, Big Guy and I are in agreement that everything happens for a reason.  Hopefully the purpose of all of this will become apparent soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marriage: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As Singing Through The Rain points out: being married isn't easy.  Big Guy and I have been told that we are "retarded for each other".  We snuggle, we kiss, we do almost everything together.  We are very much in love and it takes work to keep us that way. 

Back after Little Guy was born, our communication issues began to catch up with us.  We realized rather rapidly that if we wanted our marriage to succeed and, more importantly, survive, we needed help.  So we got it.  We spent nearly a year in therapy learning to communicate better, learning tips and tricks to keep us on track, and in the end it was worth it.  We both recognize the benefits that our therapy gave us.  Our communication improved drastically and we began to recognize the ineffective ways we approached each other and dealt with problems. 

This became immensely important when step-family issues reared their ugly heads.  Had there been any cracks in our relationship, they would have turned into gaping holes when the shit hit the fan.  We managed to survive and are still doing really well.  But, it is a process of working at it every day and we try really hard to keep things good. 

One of the keys, I believe, is working at it so that it doesn't seem like work.  Like any job, regular maintenance can make things go smoothly.  So, we go to bed together each night and cuddle before we fall asleep.  We flirt with each other on a regular basis.  We make it a point to find things we both like to do.  We also tend to make decisions based on who needs the most right now.  This month, I've needed a lot of support as I worked the split shift.  He's been pretty good about working with me and not complaining.  This weekend, it shifted as he came down with a nasty cold and I took care of him. 

Do we still fight?  Oh yes.  Our fights tend not to last long though.  Again, I attribute that to improved communication.  Some days are worse than others, some days we stumble in our practices, but we both agree that our marriage is important and worth working at. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Game Day

Today is game day in the Kitten household.  We have friends coming over and I am preparing a rather hearty meal in order to feed the fam and anyone else who chooses to eat.  Game day is always fun despite the nerdiness that generally ensues.  

Big Guy has been running a “GURPS” game for the group.  I apparently managed to cement my nerdiness by commenting that I preferred the GURPS magic system to D&D.  *shrug* It just makes more sense.  Admittedly, it can be a pain to deal with, but magic shouldn’t be easy.  We’ve gone through our fair share of characters already in the game.  

Dinner to go along with game is pot roast, homemade bread and mashed potatoes.  A warm and filling meal to go with the snow-laden day.  I actually began cooking the pot roast last night.  Chopped the carrots and potatoes, seasoned the roast and stuck it in the crock pot to cook on low for 12 hours.  It smells delicious.  I woke up a few times throughout the night and smelled it.

The bread is shamelessly stolen from Oregon Cottage, who shamelessly stole and adapted it from the easy artisan bread in five minutes.  I slightly adapted it myself, mixing the dough in a gallon sized ziplock bag for easy fridge storage.  I think I also may have added less flour than the recipe called for, but I ran out of flour.  I popped it in the oven today and worried because it was definitely more liquidy than the pictures on the website.  I had visions of a flat, black, almost bread.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It puffed up and looks BEAUTIFUL.  Seriously, if the bread tastes half as good as it looks, I am excited.  

The mashed taters will come from a box, but that is because one of our friends prefers boxed, instant taters to homemade.  Meh, whatever makes him happy. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year!

My New Year's Resolution is to get back into writing regularly.  I know I need to narrow that goal down a little more and figure out exactly what "regularly" means, but for now I accept that I need to write more.  It's something I need to do, it's something that is important to me, and it's going to eventually give me what I want from it IF I put the effort into it. 

That's not to say that my hiatus hasn't been entirely unexpected.  Life, they say, is what happens when you're busy making other plans.  After the failure to get the commune off the ground, Big Guy and I continued with our plans to get out of where we were, even going so far as to look at purchasing a house in the country.  (My heart still breaks that we didn't get that house.)  However, while we were doing that, Big Guy got fired from his company AGAIN.  This was the second time in two years they had decided they didn't need him and booted him out the door.  I told him that if they asked him to come back again, not only was he to say no, but HELL NO. 

So, around the middle of November, we went from a two-parent working household to a two parent, one worker household.  Don't worry, I've engaged him in slave labor in my name and we got a LOT of help from friends and family over the holiday season as things attempted to sort themselves out.  I would like, at some point, to have an extended period of financial peace.  I think we've earned it over the past 8 years. 

Figuring out where to go from here is going ot be tricky.  He's submitting apps and resumes and I've suggested a few things, but we're unsure where or when things will shift.  We've been down this road before though.  This time he doesn't have an insane CS amount hanging over his head.  Now, it's slightly more reasonable and if the ex comes charging after him for more money, since he's jobless. I can't imagine they would raise it. 

We're also buckling down on expenses.  Christmas was stress inducing.  But the love and assistance of family and friends made it the best Christmas ever.  No matter what religion you believe in, it's easy to recognize a blessing when you see it.  I was also lucky enough to get a second class to teach this month, despite it being a split shift.  So, while I am exhausted, I am also bringing in money. 

Things will work out, I have faith in that.  Everything happens for a reason and the change in Big Guy's Job situation will undoubtedly lead to something better.  Now if it would just hurry up and arrive.