After months of planning and excitement, it turned out that Jered couldn't make on our family vacation. Opening your own business, in this crappy economy, is time consuming and hard. I have first hand experience to say this with great pleasure- shove it Mr. President, we did this ourselves and it took a lot of HARD work and sacrifice. But I know it will be worth it in the end. I absolutely love how passionate Jered is about the form of chiropractic he does. He loves working with athletes and really anyone, watching them get better and better. It is so rewarding and that is so important. I am so happy he isn't in a job he hates.
The hard part is being content where we are now. I always plan these wonderful things in my head. I had labeled this "The Summer of Fun". I pictured us taking Ela to the zoo, spending two weeks at Aylen Lake, Ontario, taking little day trips here and there in-between opening a business. I have a feeling had I had shared all my plans with Jered he would have quickly informed me of my daydreaming and set my feet back on solid ground. I pictured the four years of sacrifice (there's that word again!), the nights sitting at home alone waiting out storms, power outages, sickness, loneliness, homesickness for my family, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner alone would finally be over. I could just see our new life, there would be so much time! The problem with daydreams is, they hardly ever are reality. Talk to anyone who has a successful business and they didn't get to just play while everything magically fell into place. It took a lot of hard work and time. So, needless to say, we are still stuck in the limbo of getting from here to there. God has reminded me time and time again, just enjoy the ride. Be content where you are. Be thankful for all that you have been blessed with. My heart just wants to always be there, instead of here. Being content is not my thing.
I think God was laughing the day I spent crying when I found out Jered would need to stay home to keep working on the business. We had put so much on this trip, it was like when you say "if we can just make it to here... then we can relax..." We kept saying, once we are at the lake. This was a lot more then a trip, this was a time, the only time, we could spend two weeks worry free away from reality. But reality never let us get there. I hope that helps you understand why this was so emotional for us.
Mom and Dad had generously offered to let Ela and I ride to the lake with them. Anyone who offers to let a preggo lady and a toddler spend 18 hours in a car with them, well, they may just be crazy. My parents must be crazy because I planned to ride up with Mom and Dad have Jered drive up at a later time to join us once things where moving along more smoothly. I will skip the rant on banks and loans and all of that and just say, it is really hard to move forward on anything unless you gots a lot of dollars in the bank and a really really solid credit score which is really hard to do when you've been in school for the past eight years. I digress... so after a lot of tears, fights and more tears, I packed Ela and I up and Jered drove us to my parents house. And so our time away started.
My parents must be saints because my Dad only complained a small amount about the enormous amount of stuff I brought, the many bathroom breaks we took on the trip and some late night crying spats from Ela. All in all, it was a great trip and Ela did fabulous. Any 20-month old who can spend that long in a carseat and not have a major meltdown is doing great! The feeling I get as we drive over the dirt road to our cottage, and you finally get a glimpse of the lake, is one of pure bliss and excitement. I will post another blog on Ela's adventures at Aylen because there are too cute and funny not to! This post is about my selfish self learning some important lessons.
Two weeks into our vacation, I got tired of asking Jered every night when we were on the phone, when are you going to join us? I just knew it wasnt going to happen. Finally he came out and said, it wasn't going to work. Even though I was expecting it, I still cried. I understand there are a hundred million things much much worse then spending five weeks at your family lake house in Canada and being upset because your husband can't join you. To me, at the time, it was a pretty big deal. I just felt like this was the story of our lives. I go, you stay. There was always something that kept him from coming. To me, it felt like just another let down. If you don't know my husband and are just reading this, I am making him sound pretty awful but keep reading. I am just a selfish wife learning everyday who I am in my marriage.
I do need to take a minute to point out how wonderful my family was during the trip. I never needed anything and Ela never needed entertaining. Her aunts, Nana and Papa were always there to help. I really am just so thankful to have parents like I do. We were surrounded by love the entire time.
It was during a conversation with my mom that I started thinking about Jered and what he may be feeling. I took a step back and my heart hurt. I was in my favorite place on earth, with my family, whom I adore, surrounded by love and people loving on us and where was Jered? At home, in boiling hot Atlanta, alone. He had been so excited about fishing, fixing the Bayliner, reading books and spending time with his wife and daughter. He wasn't doing this because he wanted to be working over being with his family. And I felt crushed. It really opened my eyes to my attitude as a wife. I was always looking to Jered to fulfill me. To praise me. To make me happy. And I was never satisfied. I was looking in the wrong place for all of those things. All of the marriage classes, books and all that I read state that a hundred times. It has taken five years and a lot of "why can't you do more!" fights to get to this point. I just felt so broken down and so utterly selfish. It was the be content lesson again.
For Mother's Day, my mom gave me "1000 Gifts" and I have been reading it on and off. But God has really been working in my heart to be thankful this whole trip and I have taken so much away from what I have read. I felt like this vacation was a lesson in thankfulness. I am thankful to have a husband who loves me enough to give me a vacation away from him when he needs me at home. I am thankful to have a vacation home to go to. I am thankful I have the kind of family I do. I am thankful for where I am NOW, not where I am going to be.
Combining the lessons was overwhelming. Really coming to the point of not leaning on Jered so much and also being content was daunting. Knowing what needs to change and how to change are two very different things. I am currently working on being a strong, independent woman of God who is thankful and content. I will be working on this until the day I die. I really am so blessed and have literally no reason to complain. I get how trivial and silly this may seem reading it but somehow, being in the middle of it, was a lot harder. Relationships are so complicated and it is so easy to be self absorbed.
I want to share my 1000 gift and I hope it is okay with Claire, but I am going to copy her and write them down on my blog. It is so easy to get caught up in life and forget how thankful I really am and I truly need to be held accountable. I want to end this insanely long post by telling you what was waiting for us at my parents house.
Being in Canada, I can't use my phone, so once we crossed into New York I was so excited to be able to text Jered. (well BBM because I am still in the bloody blackberry world, oh iPhone 5 please rescue me) He was going to rent a U-Haul at 9am on Sunday and be at my parents house a few hours after we got there. We were trading Nan a double bed for a set of bunk beds for Ela's room. I was getting really irritated because Jered wasn't answering my texts and seemed really distracted on the phone. He claimed he was so tired and went to bed at 9pm. The next morning he didn't really want to talk either. I was starting to get my feelings hurt (still a work in process people!). I called him to let him know we were almost to their house, where was he in the trip? He couldn't talk because he was getting gas. I was starting to feel like he didn't want to talk! Good thing I was working on my attitude and refrained from sending a nasty text because when we pulled into my parents house there was a huge Welcome Home sign and a beautiful silver Sequioa in the driveway. That crazy man had surprised me and was waiting for me. My wonderful sisters Claire and Mary and my BIL Witt had all made a delicious lunch of baked beans, potato salad, burgers, dogs, the whole works. Jered had brought Ela a little surprise, a new Barbie (she had broken hers). We were SO overjoyed to be back together. Claire and Mary told me this was all Jered's idea to welcome us back. I felt so blessed and so happy to be surrounded by all the people I love in one house. So if you were thinking I am married to some overdriven, work is his life man, you would be wrong. Sometimes, I just think i am until I step back and remember how much he loves me and his family. I am thankful for my family man, my husband.