Friday, June 28, 2013

This morning I woke up to an email from my dear friend who was checking in with me after reading THIS post. She asked me to share all of the details with her that I haven't shared yet. So I wrote her back and I thought I'd post it here for the record. 

Honestly, I'm really struggling. My kids are a nightmare. They are bored to death. The age difference and personality differences between Jakob and Caleb make for almost constant conflict. The absolute only time there isn't conflict is if they are in front of a screen or the very rare times they play nicely together. They miss their grandparents terribly. But I can tell they actually don't realize that they miss them. They don't talk about them very often. But when they do they talk about the good times with them and that they miss them. But it took them 6 months to start expressing how they felt about Leif being gone when he moved to Flagstaff for school. The kids are lonely. They didn't get to their friends houses very often. But they did occasionally and they always knew they were there. And with daily visits and time from their grandparents their needs were met and so were mine. Here, there are no friends. 

I have a lot of family here. But everyone is extremely busy and living their own struggles and journey. My parents have been in North Carolina visiting Heather for the last three weeks or so. Before they left we saw them or talked to them every day. They helped us move in. But that was still juggled between all that they needed to get done in their own lives, which is a lot. They work with my aunt and uncle with all of their businesses. My dad works on the computer and marketing and my mom is helping with designing and landscaping for the new ranch that Bruce and Chris bought. They are working on fixing it up as a reception center and family gathering place to rent out.  You really just have to be around my parents to understand why it causes stress to be with them. I don't really have the energy to get into writing it right now. Let's just say there is a lot of Love towards us, but along with it there is always a personal agenda. Something they need, want, or expect from us in return. It has been that way my entire life. So it's not unexpected. But it's very very hard. Mostly because I have so little to give back and Leif is so busy with work and keeping up our little world that he can only fit so much in for them. 

I was the one that ended up in the hospital this time. Thursday night I found myself violently ill and in the bathroom with what felt like labor. I was seriously wondering if I was having a miscarriage. Ends up that I wasn't. But the bowel movement had a lot of blood. I was able to sleep that night but I woke up very sick and weak and still bleeding. So, long story short, I ended up going into the ER. From there I was admitted for the next few days. The bleeding stopped and I had a colonoscopy. We're still waiting for test results. Either way my guts were really inflamed and sick. So I've been working on trying to get them feeling better and waiting for test results. So it's just one more thing added to my other health struggles with no answers. While I was in the hospital my parents were on vacation. Not their fault. My brother and his wife watched the boys over night for us. And Karin and her husband helped one of the other days. The struggle with my parents and my health is that my mom refuses to internalize the reality of how sick I really am and how hard it is to function in the day. She can give her opinions and prescriptions. But she resists actively helping where I really need it. Which is playing with my kids and helping me meet my family's needs. Again. expected, but hard. 

And then there's housing. We are staying in the Ranch house right now on my Uncle's ranch. It is beautiful! We asked him if we could pay rent and he told us to just pay utilities. So that is a blessing. But they are hoping to sell their big house and move in to the Ranch house ASAP. So this isn't long term. Also, it takes Leif over an hour one way to get to work. So it has to be a short term stay.  We came out here with the understanding that we were a shoe in for a mortgage. Unfortunately, now we find out that our student loans have to be added to the total debt and our debt to income ratio is unacceptable for a zero down mortgage. This was a sad hard blow. So now we're right back at the beginning and looking for a rental in Springfield. 

And employment. Luckily, Leif is a Great Nurse!! So his job security is a blessing! But the pay is disappointing. Especially because rent costs more then what a mortgage would have cost each month. And now we have medical bills in addition to our other bills. So money never seems to be an easy thing!!:( 

So, one has to ask, Did we make a mistake by coming out here? Nah. We had to move on from where we were at. The only struggle that wouldn't be in our life otherwise is being away from Leif's family. But we needed to be on our own for a while. Stretch our wings. It's just hard :(.

So, that's the nitty gritty of our life. Thank you so much for asking!! I really needed a listening ear today.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weary Traveler

Tonight I feel like a weary traveler.  I have so much to be grateful for. Yet so much is weighing me down. I haven't written here for so long. I know my blog has been calling to me for a long time. But I'm sad to say that headaches have limited my writing time and I was also hesitant to talk about everything pressing. But I've decided to just write here without concern. I need one place where I can write my story without fear of offence. One place to just think things through.

It's not easy living close to my parents again. I knew it would be challenging. It hasn't been worse then expected. But not easier either. I feel very alone even though I am surrounded by family. I miss Leif's family. Their unconditional love. I miss my boys' relationship with them. I cry whenevr I let myself think about it. It makes me want to scream!

Planning our future is by far the biggest laugh of my adult life! This past month has taken me straight back to the year of 2006 (the year we lost our twins) and frankly, it has scared me! There are so many similarities. Leif graduates from school and sets out to start a good career and the "great prospects for financial security" suddenly become out of reach again. Health crisis', Hospital stays, being stuck in the crisis and having to depend on my family for help only to have them on vacation. All of these things are things that happened back then. Why can't we just take off and move forward without restraint?

We came out here completely assured that we would be approved for a mortgage. Now we find out that our student loans count against us. Seriously, if that is considered, we won't ever get a mortgage. Now we have to rent. Since my hospital stay I can't feel much peace about going anywhere. I have no idea why. I've actually felt better about apartments then houses. That's surprising!! But I don't want to have to worry that we're disturbing the neighbors. But what if we find great neighbors in the same complex? And apartments have a lot of conveniences. But they have very little privacy and nowhere for the kids to just go out and play in their yard.

I really hate to think of myself as someone who feels the need to go "ward shopping" but I'm afraid that's what I would like to do. Really, I just feel such a need to make some good connections out here that I feel like I need to have the choices set out before I have a clue where to start to decide to live. We all need friends. Especially the kids and I. And we all need good opportunities to serve and become involved in the ward. Yet, I need to feel valued by the ward as well.

I have to readjust to Leif working full time again. Leif is a very committed person. He pours his mind and heart into his duty completely. So when he is at work and school for a string of a few days, he is there completely and it is hard for him to switch gears when he gets home. That is hard and feels lonely sometimes for me. But when he is home for a stretch, he is home and all is well in the world. I just have to understand this, be Grateful, and adjust. Luckily his schedule is an average of a few days at work, a few days off of work.

Well, it's late and I need to get to sleep. I need to carry my baby back up the stairs to bed. And Pray that he doesn't come down again!! But it's good to be back to writing and thinking things out again.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Always Remember: Expectations and Reality

I've had this thought floating through my mind and heart for quite a while now and decided to finally share.
Always Remember Series
Always Remember that your expectations of something or someone will usually be far grander then the reality of things. Grab on to the grand in the reality and love it!
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