April 16th

It's April 16th and although I think I should feel light like a weight has been lifted, I feel more like I'm about to drown...like I've been stranded in the middle of a lake, treading water, and now that the boat is in sight, I can't keep my head above water long enough for the boat to get here. Probably a pretty bad analogy, but it's all I could come up with. I had an itch to sit down and blog these thoughts, almost as if it is therapeutic to get them out of my head...we'll see. I think the feeling is a let down of feeling like I've been running on all cylinders and knowing that Tim will be available again as my partner in this venture of parenting, and just living.

I'm hours away from my sister being here, and all I can think is that I don't want to clean anymore, fix anymore, organize anymore. I'm just going to have to reveal that I don't have it all together...my linen closet is not organized, in fact it is down-right messy! The garage floor is covered with recycling, the bedroom that she will be staying in needs to be gutted and it's only 3 years old. I didn't get the slipcovers made for the ugly, dirty purple chairs, I didn't get the other chair reupholstered. I wanted to make an apron for her as a gift and I've only gotten as far as washing the fabric. The flower pots have not been planted with flowers, the flower beds are trashy as the black fabric is torn and sticking up through the random rocks and leftover mulch from last year. that wouldn't be a big deal if it wasn't what welcomes everyone who comes into our house. The bathroom mirrors that were clean two days ago are spotted with water, streaked with soapy fingerprints, the sink full of excess soap, the toilets in need of a good scrubbing again. The floors all need to be scrubbed and vacuumed. I didn't get the carpet shampooed like I wanted to, I'm still trying to get all of the bedding washed again...it was all washed during our episode of everyone being sick. We're making up dance and gymnastics this week, picking up our coop order, going to the doctor, going to the grocery store and running last minute first communion errands, so my time slots to get things done have not been very big ones. This is all frustrating enough. i feel defeated in my quest to have a tidy home, but today, I'm feeling completely defeated, drained, overwhelmed, anxious, like I'm suffocating in my quest to just maintain my family and home.

The root of this all today is likely finances. Isn't it always? that seems to be the one thing that can turn my mood in a hurry. When we moved out here, we were giving it a year trial. after a year, we decided to give it another because the first one went so fast. We're at three years almost exactly now, and I don't feel like we've recovered from the financial hit of getting "started" out here. I think moving back to Lincoln at this point would be a horrible decision, because we don't completely want to and I don't think we could sell our house. those feelings aside, it is just expensive! And what makes it even worse is that we've made decisions that if they were different would help us...like the kids being in school at St. Teresa's in Lincoln. Gas would definitely be less without this commute everyday. Tuition isn't an issue as even with three in school, it is only $175 for each of them a year. Groceries are expensive and heating this house with propane, cooking, heating water and drying clothes with it is expensive too. Then there is just the upkeep...the trees, the grass---keeping the weeds out of it...keeping something running to mow it, the septic system, maintaining vehicles that get a lot of miles driven. AND of course there are the extras...baseball, swimming, gymnastics, dance. That sounds like a lot, but it's spread out over the entire year. We didn't even do soccer, football, theatre, band, boyscouts, preschool!

The suburban needs to be liscenced by the end of the month...that's half a mortgage payment...the mortgage went up because of taxes...our propane bill needs to be zeroed by the end of the month, and the tank was filled twice this billing period, giving us a balance of $800 that needs to be taken care of, with those needing to be paid in cash, there isn't enough left over for church which always is given the first Sunday after the 15th, and at that point, our bank account is already depleted this month. It cost $98 last week when I filled the Suburban and it needs to be filled again. Groceries are about $250 a week, and we really don't eat a lot of unnescessary things. As I "complain" about this all, someone who didn't know us would think, "that's what you get for having 6 kids". I suppose. so, maybe I'm not complaining, just getting my frustrations out before they consume me.

When all the financial woes are expressed, then there is just the fact that even though it hasn't been a terribly busy "busy season", it has been long and I'm really in need of a second parent available on a regular basis. I'm tired of going to the grocery store with all the kids by myself, not getting the mail sorted or replied to, running errands instead of playing at the park with the kids, cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and then cleaning again without feeling like any progress has been made, being the primary care-giver, CEO, CFO, support staff, taxi-service, message taker, keeper, deliverer, chef, strategic planner, etc...all by myself. Yes, apparently this is my pity party blog!

The kicker is that we have a crumpled up trampoline in our back yard due to the high winds yesterday. I'm not sure whether I am mad about this because I should have staked it down to the ground and I didn't, because we just put it up a month ago, (it was the kids' Christmas present from us and Tim's folks...all of the kids...none of them really got anything else because this was a big gift), or because it just adds to the look of trash around our home when we're about to have a house full of guests.

I have given up...I am not going to clean my house anymore. I am going to explain to my sister that this is the season of my life when my house can't be tidy, my kids probably won't be neat, we don't have nice things. I am an organized person...in my head...my desire is to be organized, fit, loving, neat, patient, giving, creative, responsible...I am not currently capable of being all of those things at the same time I guess. I want to have family that is close in proximity during this time of year. I want to have someone that comes willingly to my house to hang out with my kids twice a month to give me the chance to run errands, get groceries, go to the doctor by myself. I want to have a conversation with my husband that doesn't consist of a summary of our finances because we've just blown through our tax return and already don't have anymore money to do a "want to" instead of cover our rears and hope that next year's return will be enough again to pay things off next April. I want to work out more than three times a month. I want my kids to stop running away from me as soon as I ask them to do something and follow the rules because they've heard them 1,000 times. I don't want much do I? This doesn't surprise me, as usually every April 16th or so, this happens as we prepare to readjust to being a complete family again. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a husband in the military, deployed for 6 months at a time. At least I can be pretty certain that tim is coming home every night, or at least every week!

Well, I was right, that was somewhat therapeutic. Maybe Tim won't have to be on the receiving end of it now. It didn't do anything for the messy house, but my sister is pretty wise...maybe she knows me well enough to know that this isn't my desire, but rather the consequence of my bigger desire...that of being a mom of six kids, and I really wouldn't give up the more important of the two. I do have a lot to be thankful for...like the three year old without socks or shoes, bike helmet on, but not buckled, riding back and forth on a two wheel bike with training wheels and so very pleased with himself for being able to do so, and the four year old who is doing the same, minus the helmet, and the six year old that ...well, I think he is simply antagonizing the others, and the 1 year old that is roaming from thing to thing just discovering...I better go wipe that string of snot running down his lip! Things could probably be so much worse. I guess I just never may get those wood floors, or new windows, or new screen door, deck, driveway, sandbox, mulch, bedding plants, chicken coop, carpet, etc, etc. wow...that's a pretty big list! This is God's opportunity for me to practice pateince I guess. :)