Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Raccoons in the Shower

I feel like it's been forever since I blogged but I guess it's only been a few days!  Hubby Blue worked his last night shift over the weekend.  With two hours left to go, he made his first felony arrest!  From the initial stop to the car chase to the near-collision to the foot chase, the whole story sounded crazy exciting and full of adrenaline when he told it, and as I've said before, I could totally tell how happy he is.  HOWEVER!  Between all the transporting and paperwork and whatnot, he had to work 4 hours past the end of his shift!  Let this be a lesson to me to always be prepared for HB to work more hours beyond his schedule.  I could see how this could be irritating if we had plans to do something, but experiences like this are what he signed up for.  He's always wanting to "catch the bad guy" and I guess he definitely did this time.

Hubby Blue switched to evenings starting today, and I am still totally on edge!  Last night, I had a dream that I found a raccoon under our bed.  In the dream, Hubby Blue was in the shower so I went into the bathroom, screaming about finding this raccoon!  Obviously!  And what did I find?  Another raccoon, only this one was half-cat too, and HB was trying to trap it in the shower because he thought it was funny we had a raccoon in our house...?!?!?  In the dream (I feel like I need to keep saying "in the dream" if you might be confused and think this was really happening in my life), I was panicked about how these raccoons got into our house and WHAT would I do if I came home from work when HB wasn't here and they got in again???  CAN YOU TELL I AM ON THE EDGE???  I feel like I am living my life in constant fear of the next bizzaro thing that might happen to me.  I might possibly need some counseling. :)

Anyways, I have spent the evening on my own.  Well, not entirely accurate.  I went to the gym for about an hour and then talked to my really awesome friend (she knows who she is!) for a while and the night has actually flown by!  I had big plans for crafting tonight, but maybe tomorrow?  Tomorrow is Halloween and my mom is coming over and we ARE going to be scrapbooking!  Being that it's Halloween and this holiday tends to bring out the crazies, I really didn't want to be answering the door all night for trick-or-treaters and be home alone.  So, it'll be nice to have the company.

When I left for work this morning and knew that HB would be leaving for his work day around lunch and that he would be getting home after I go to bed, I pretty much said, "I'll see you on Saturday!"  Sounds dramatic, but we really probably won't have much time together, if any, between now and Saturday.  I'm sure I'll have much more to say about this evening shift in the coming days because I have a feeling it will be just as hard as the night shift was.  The night shift was hard because I had to get used to sleeping alone.  I think evenings will be hard because we'll never be awake and at home at the same times.  I asked Hubby Blue to email me before he goes into work so I'll have something to read from him when I get home and he thought I was a littttttttle crazy. :)  But I really meant it!  I plan on emailing Hubby Blue tonight before I go to bed.  If marriage is all about communication but we can't communicate normally, how are we supposed to make this work?  I had a pretty great day today...a little boy I've been working with all school year, who tested at a 0.0 reading level back in August was re-tested today and came out at...1.0.  That's like, a whole year's worth of progress in two months.  It's the kind of thing that I would tell him if we had the whole evening to catch up on each other's days.  Since we'll only have a few minutes (and maybe not even that?  I don't really know yet), that's the kind of thing that I'd probably leave out but really want to share.  Like I've said before, I guess we'll get used to this and figure out a way to make it work, but it'll take some time.  Other police wifeys out do you handle it when you and your hubby are on completely opposite schedules?

Ah well.  Here's hoping there are no more raccoons under my bed. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

How'd We Get HERE?!

Have you ever been driving somewhere in the car and all of a sudden you look around and say to yourself, "How'd I get here???"

Sometimes, that's kind of how I feel about our life as a police family!  Last night, kind of out of nowhere, Hubby Blue said to me, "You know, I really don't think I would have been happy working in a museum."

Allow me to explain.

Hubby Blue and I met a little over six years ago.  I was a senior in college, and he was three days out of the Army.  Hubby Blue grew up in the town where I was going to school, so he had just gotten back and was living at home.  When we first met, Hubby Blue told me his plan was to go to college, get a bachelor's degree and then a PhD in archaeology or anthropology and eventually work in a museum.  I didn't know it at the time, but he'd actually known since high school that what he really wanted to be was a cop; however, a back injury he sustained in the military made him pretty sure he'd have to give up that dream.

About nine months after we started dating, he started at a community college, went there for a year, and then transferred to a four-year university.  He was using veteran benefits to get his degree and had to pick a major that would lead to a specific career, so he somehow ended up in education.  Now that was never in his plan.  He knew it, I knew it, other people knew it, but he also didn't have any other plans, so I think we all tried to convince ourselves and him that he'd make a great teacher.  Looking back on it, he would have been miserable as a teacher!  Luckily, he got out of that and ended up just majoring in history.  We got married when he was about halfway done with his degree, but he still didn't have a real definite plan.  (I guess we thought we'd just live on love? :)  If I am anything, I am a planner, so when I think back on that time, I don't actually know how I was able to get married without having a better idea of where our life was heading.  Maybe I don't give myself enough credit...perhaps I AM learning to let go of some things!

So, as we were talking last night, I started going backwards through all the time leading up to Hubby Blue's getting hired.  I got back as far as summer 2011, which was when he applied for this job.  As far as I could remember, I was pretty sure he wasn't thinking of being a cop when we got married in summer 2010, so when did he make that decision?  He thinks it was sometime around January 2011, but who knows.

Anyway, so at one point in this conversation, I said, teasingly, of course, "So if you didn't really decide you wanted to be a cop until six months after we got married, then I really didn't know what I was getting myself into!"  To which Hubby Blue replied, "Any regrets?"

I honestly answered no, not one.  If Hubby Blue had stayed with his original plan of wanting to work in a museum, who knows where we'd be living, if he'd even be working at all, if he'd really be happy.  It's crazy, but only four weeks into working the streets, and I can already tell this is who HB is supposed to be and this is what HB is supposed to be doing.

When I say that I really didn't know what I was getting into, I'm referring to the stresses of being a police family.  A couple months ago, we went to a seminar for law enforcement families where we learned all the statistics associated with law enforcement families, the most notable being that over 75% of LEO marriages don't last.  That really shook me, and when it was over, I (only half seriously) told Hubby Blue it was a good thing we were already married...because if I heard those statistics when we were just dating, I probably would have seriously thought twice about getting into this!  I also heard plenty about officer suicides, abusive relationships, alcohol abuse...the ugly side of things, the side you don't really hear about unless you're living it.  Scary, sad stuff.

On the other hand, I also felt that I could look over at my hubby and think of all that we've already weathered in our relationship.  At least, that's what keeps me from worrying about the 75% divorce rate.  It's still not easy to get over.  I've said before that I wish someone could just look at our relationship and say, "You're going to be fine because you have this in your marriage...or you already do this," but we don't have someone like that!  We have a solid foundation and a commitment to each other that pre-dates any police job he may have.  I'm sure this job will change my husband, but really, what are we if we're not changing?  Can't we all expect the person we married to change?

My only hope is that the changes that happen to my husband and me are for good.  I hope that we can take the stress of being a police family and use it to strengthen our marriage and lean on each other more.  I hope that someday we can take what we learn and use it to raise our future children better than we would have otherwise.  I hope that we can be a support system to other police families.

I wish I remembered exactly how we got here, but I also wonder why I don't exactly remember that.  I wonder if I would have worried more (more than I already did) or if I would have second-guessed everything that lead us here.  I suppose all that really matters is remembering that it was a long journey and that it's ended up being a pretty good thing.  Don't they say that it doesn't really matter what happens to you because what really matters is how you react to it?  As for me, today I am choosing to react bravely, courageously, and faithfully.  "I have set the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 16:8).

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Hooray!!!  Tonight is Hubby Blue's last night shift of FTO!  I am seriously so excited for him to be home for the night this coming week.  This schedule has been crazy, and I know these last four weeks have just been a taste of what's sure to come once he's done with training.  Last weekend HB decided he'd had enough of this "stay up all night on days off" thing and said he was going to sleep when I slept on his days off.  Well, he was scheduled to be off on Thursday night, but when he got home on Thursday morning, for some reason he could only sleep two hours.  I lovingly said it was good if he was tired because then he'd be able to fall asleep at a normal time!  Anyway, he was awake from 11:00 am on that day, and when I was falling asleep and ready for bed at 10:00 pm, oddly, he was bouncing off the walls.  On two hours of sleep.  And that's when he said THIS:

"I feel like I have 1,000 hamsters running around in my body."

I could not stop laughing.  Oh well, so much for sleeping normally!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guess Who Said It...

Hubby Blue is a cop.  Wifey Blue is a teacher.  Guess who said it this week...

"I need to take off my vomit shoes before I come in the house."
"Your own or someone else's?"
"Someone else's.  I stepped in it."

"I looked down and I could see three lice crawling around on this girl's head.  Then my head itched all day."
"Do you want me to check your head?"

Sometimes, it's like being a cop and being a teacher are KINDA the same thing! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Having Faith

"I have set the LORD always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." -Psalm 16:8

The last three weeks have certainly been difficult ones.  I am not so self-involved as to say or think that this is "the hardest thing in the world" or that thousands of police wives have not also survived this.  But the night Hubby Blue stepped out of the house and went on his first night shift, our lives changed in a big way.

This is not to say that I don't love being married to a cop!  I love that the man I married is selfless and giving; I love knowing that I won't ever need to call 911 in case of a crime because I live with 911!  I love that my husband can protect me.  And, yes, I'll admit, I sometimes even love the uniform!  BUT, I am not now or nor have I ever been good at dealing with change.  And three weeks ago, my lifestyle was pretty much turned on end.  For the two years we've been married, HB and I shared a very "normal" lifestyle.  He was still a student and I am a teacher, so we had every weekend off together and we even had some common time off in the summers.

Now, we work at opposite times of the day, and we rarely have any of the same days off.  Our time together is now SO precious to me that I refuse to give up any of it.  I can't sleep when HB is working - I still haven't figured out if it's the anxiety over his safety or the anxiety of being home alone in an unfamiliar house or both - and I can hardly sleep even when he is home.  I have bad dreams almost every night, and I wake up all the time.  I have been exhausted for three weeks!

Hubby jokes about my "crazy eyes" when I get really stressed out.  One time he told me he felt like "a mouse in a mousetrap factory" because he had to "tiptoe around you or I'll set you off."  Now there's a man who can make me laugh when I feel like I'm going insane!  I am pretty calm most of the time...but set me off and I prettttty much go off the deep end.  These days, I feel less patience with the kids I teach, I went off on a stranger on facebook over some negative comments about police officers (facebook-fighting is really not something I ever do, but get me exhausted and overwhelmed enough, and apparently I become a mother bear defending her cub), and then the icing on the cake was getting rear-ended on my way home from the grocery store yesterday.

There was absolutely no damage to my car, and the other girl didn't even get out of her truck to see if there was any damage to hers.  The last time I was in a car accident, I was 20 years old and I had kind of driven into the side of a building (no biggie, let's not get into THAT story) so there was really no question the police (...and TV news vans and city building engineers and ambulances) had to be called.  But a minor fender-bender that wasn't my fault?  Never happened to me.  Since there was no damage, the girl gave me her phone number but I felt comfortable just going our separate ways.  I called Hubby right after it happened and he lost it.  "You need to get her insurance information!  What if she blames you for something later!  You're supposed to call the police!  You just left the scene of an accident!"  Hubby Blue has always been so laid-back about things like this so I was really taken aback by this reaction.  I, in turn, flipped out at him.  I told him he was always "policing" me (he never polices me), that I always feel like I'm doing things wrong (he never makes me feel like I do anything wrong), and THEN it really happened.  My psychotic break.  (I don't actually know what that looks like.  This is just my best guess?)  You know that Mr. Rogers song "What do you do with the mad that you feel?"  If you don't know, go google it right now.  I'll wait. ...  I didn't have any clay or dough in the house, and I can't think of any friends who would play tag with me, sooooo I punched a pillow.  Then I paced back and forth, wringing my hands, pretty much going batshit crazy.  Finally Hubby Blue came over and hugged me until I stopped and got it together, but I just felt totally overwhelmed.  I had said things I really didn't mean, and overall I just felt really, really awful for losing it like that.  My exhaustion doesn't help, but I think it finally hit me that this change has been really hard for me.

And then I went to church this morning.  I don't know how it happens, but sometimes I get there and I see or hear something that is exactly what I need right at that moment in my life.  There it was, at the top of the announcements,

"I have set the LORD always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." -Psalm 16:8.

It occurred to me that all this time, I have been praying for God to keep Hubby Blue safe from harm, but I have not been asking God to help me through this too.  I thought I could do it on my own, I thought that knowing Hubby was happy would be enough to carry me through, I thought Hubby was the only one who needed God's protection through all this.  I'd forgotten that the Lord is walking right beside me, ready to carry me when I need it (like I probably needed it yesterday), and I have not been seeing it.  I need to remember that all the support in the world from friends and family and even from Hubby Blue means nothing if I don't trust the plan that God has for us.  I have always believed that things happen according to God's reasons: He brought Hubby Blue and me into each other's lives for a reason, He sent us to live where we live for a reason, He put me in my job for a reason, and He put Hubby Blue into police work for a reason.

I may not love the night shift, but I do love the Lord, and from here on out, I will be working much harder to trust in Him.  With God at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

11 Things I Could Be Doing While Hubby Works Instead of Watching TV

Earlier tonight, I went out to the garage when Hubby was leaving for work and noticed a huge bag of bird seed I'd purchased (When?  Who knows?  Maybe sometime last in like 14 months ago...what can I say?  Sometimes I have the attention span of a fly).  That, and the phone conversation I had with my mom earlier today about what I was going to do tonight when Hubby went to work* got me thinking.

What could I be doing besides watching TV every night?  Weeknights when I have to go to work the next day are one thing, but on a Saturday night?  Since I am too afraid to leave the house alone and then come back and sleep here (let's not talk about the night Hubby forgot an important binder at home and I had to take it to him) staying in, I thought I should make a list of things to do on my own.  So, here goes!

1. Make peanut butter & pine cone bird feeders.  Naturally, this idea was inspired by the bag of birdseed in the garage.  I love feeling accomplished and I love using things up.  Hubby Blue and I moved this past summer, and after moving waaaaaay too much crap from our old house to the house we live in now and sorting through boxes for WEEKS, I am in love with the idea of using things up.  This might be a little kid-ish, but how much would the birds in my yard love me?

2. Clean house.  This is a given.  Who doesn't need to clean house?  Then again, who seriously likes cleaning house?  I appreciate a clean house, but I also appreciate sitting on the couch.  Not such a great option, but a possibility.

3. Scrapbook.  Anything.  I've got a drawer full of scrapbook paper upstairs and half a dozen unfinished scrapbooks started...I have ideas to start one for Hubby with academy pictures, graduation pictures, the start of his career, one of our first two married years in our old house, one of our wedding...which was two years ago...yeah, I've got big plans.

4. Use my donut maker.  I was walking through a store about a month ago and saw they had these Babycakes appliances on sale...cupcake makers, mini pie makers, cake pop makers, waffle stick makers, and of course, donut makers.  I'm a big fan of donuts; actually I'm a big fan of all those things, but I can make all those things a lot easier than I can make donuts.  Side note: Hubby Blue came home from a night shift a couple weeks (days?  these weeks are running together) ago with half a dozen donuts and you'd have thought he brought me a diamond ring.  He says I'm like a fat person trapped in a skinny person's body.  As much as I'd really enjoy making donuts every night, that's probably not such a good thing for my health.  But maybe.

5. Laundry.  This goes along with the cleaning idea.  Zero fun, but necessary.  Ugh.

6. Read.  I've got a whole bunch of Kindle books to work on and at least three education journals I subscribe to.  This is tough to do when I'm already tired (which I am, all the time...more on that later), but I do enjoy it!  However, reading means I need quiet, and quiet kind of creeps me out when I'm home alone.

7. Pinterest projects.  Ohhhh myyyyy goshhhhh this is a big one.  I discovered Pinterest almost a year ago and to date, I have...1,499 pins.  Yikes.  I might need a Pinterest support group.  If I tried one idea every day it would take me over FOUR years to get through them all!  Finishing Pinterest projects that have already been started (like I said...attention span of a fly) would also fit in this category.

8. Learn to sew.  If there's one place where I'm pretty sure I've disappointed my mom, it's HERE.  My mom made the best Halloween costumes known to man (seriously, you should have seen my bunny costume), and I don't even know how to turn ON a sewing machine.  Hubby Blue actually does know how to use a one so we do have a sewing machine, but I'm pretty sure he knows I'll break it if I just look at it.  Even so, I still really want to learn how to use it.

9. Prep meals for the rest of the week.  I actually did a little of this tonight.  Well, I cut up some bell peppers for my lunches.  There's probably room for improvement?

10. Research ways to get rid of box elder bugs.  These little things that look a lot like lightning bugs but are most definitely not are taking over our house!  We had this problem the first fall we lived in our last house but we thought it was because we lived in the country.  They.  Were.  Everywhere.  It was so gross.  I don't know what he did or how he did it, but HB dealt with it and they were gone for good.  Now, we live in a town but they are still all over the place.  Ugh, I hate them.  We had fruit flies a few weeks ago and I figured out how to get rid of them...there must be a solution for box elder bugs.

11. Blog more.  If I'm realizing anything about my life as a police wife, it's that I desperately need community with other police wives.  I need to connect with people who understand what this life is like, and I think this could be a good forum for that.  So I definitely need to learn more about blogging and spend more time doing it!

*That conversation went like this: What are you going to do tonight?  I don't know, probably watch TV, just like every night?

On Schedules


Earlier this week, I had to cancel some plans with friends.  I made these plans two weeks ago, when Hubby Blue was supposed to be on evenings and working Fridays.  As I mentioned, it was like I blinked and his schedule changed.  He's still working nights and Fridays are the only part of the regular weekend he has off.

When I told my friends I wouldn't be able to make it on Friday because that was HB's day off and that we hardly get to see each other these days, I got this question:

"He's working nights now, huh?"
<Yes, yes he is.>
"So doesn't he sleep all day and you have all night together...?"

No, actually it doesn't really work like that.

HB sleeps until 1:00 or 2:00 (if he's lucky), he's awake when I get home from work at about 4:30 or 5:00, and then he goes to sleep again from about 5:30 to 7:30.  We eat a quick dinner before or after his pre-shift nap (sometimes together, but more often not), and he leaves for work by 8:15.  Call me crazy, but at least a few days a week I try to get in some kind of a workout when I get home from work, and when it's nice out like it still is this time of year, I prefer to run outside, which I can't do in the dark.

So what gives?  Should I expect HB to skip the nap and then be falling asleep all night?  He's in a career where he needs to be at his best and totally alert 100% of the time; his life depends on it.  Sorry to sound so dramatic, butttttt it's kind of true.  So, no, I'm not going to ask him to give up sleeping.

We tried to make plans with a group of couples a few weeks ago.  We used to all live within an hour of each other but in the last few months we've gotten much more spread out.  Due to HB's schedule and other non-negotiables on other couples' schedules, we only had two days out of three months to pick from.  Neither date worked for one of the couples, so we just won't see them for who knows how long.  We tried to make other plans with another couple on a Friday night because it was the only weekend day HB had off.  The other couple couldn't come because they're just too tired on Fridays after work.  I get that, but our only option was a Friday.  If we can't hang out on Friday, then we can't hang out at all.

(We need police friends.)

It's difficult for other people to understand the schedule we're on now, and that is frustrating to me.  Again with the drama (I'm good for that), but I feel like this: the schedule is part of the job, the job is part (a BIG part) of Hubby Blue, so if you can't or won't at least try to try to be flexible with us, EVER, you must not care that much about seeing us.  I realize our friends didn't sign up for this the way Hubby Blue did, but it's his job.  Sorry 'bout it! :)

ON THE OTHER HAND, it really, really makes me appreciate the people who are willing to change their plans for us.  When people accept and work around this crazy schedule, it tells me they are good friends.  Those are the friends I am most grateful for these days.  And during what's sure to be a challenging time in our life, those are most definitely the people I want to surround myself with.

*Side note: Hubby Blue and I had an awesome Friday night together on his day off...we had a fantastic dinner out, we rented the movie Bridesmaids (hilarious) and just got to spend some time talking and being together.  I love the feeling of TIME!  I don't feel like I have to cram all the topics and questions I need to discuss with him into one long "heyIneedtoaskyouaboutthisthisandthiscanwetalkaboutitnow??"sentence before he rushes out the door or heads up to bed to nap.  So, suffice it to say, I know I made the right choice in cancelling my plans and spending the night with Hubby Blue.  He will always, always come first, every time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On waking up in the middle of the night

Ever since Hubby Blue started working the night shift two and a half weeks ago, I have not slept well.

Two years of sleeping next to someone has gotten me conditioned to expecting that someone to be there!  Now, every night, I'd guess I wake up at least four times.  Sometimes it's a bad dream, sometimes it's just nothing.  I even wake up when HB is right next to me...which isn't often because even on his "days" (which are really nights) off he tries to stay on the same sleep cycle.  The last time he was home and slept like a "normal person," as he said, I dreamt he was having a stroke and no one was helping him.  We were with all these people from the police academy and I kept telling them something was wrong with him but everyone said he was fine.  Ugh.  I actually woke him up and made him tell me he was okay!  "See, wifey, I'm moving both my arms, I'm fine." ...Um, what?!  Where do these dreams come from?  I had another bad one last night but had forgotten it by the time I got out of bed for the day.  I guess that's good, but do you ever wish you could remember dreams so you could deal with them and try to analyze them?  Maybe I'm just weird like that.

Anyway, since about the second night Hubby Blue was working, I got this thought in my head that when I wake up for no reason, that it's because God is waking me up to pray for him.  Call me crazy!!!  The first night this happened to me, it was about 5:30 am, and when I told HB, he said he was in the station at 5:30 and he kind of laughed at me...liiiiike the crazy person I am.  I said, "Well, I don't care, I prayed for you anyway," and we kind of joked about it.  Last night, though, was a different story!

I woke up at exactly 4:00 am.  When you're a teacher and you're not a morning person, every minute of sleep is precious...I know it was 4:00 am because I immediately looked at the clock!  I was just about to drift back to sleep when the thought hit me...PRAY!  Does this sound as goofy to you as it does to me?  Actually, I don't think it's that goofy, but I'm pretty sure HB does. :)  I asked God to keep him safe and I went back to sleep.

6:45 am...HB gets home.  He proceeds to tell me all about his night, how they had to move a roadkill deer off the road and he PICKED IT UP (my Hubby Blue is not a small man), how they had a few traffic stops, and then how they got a call for a well-being check.  I won't go into details, but long story short, they thought there was a chance of this actually being a set-up.  He tells me the whole story, about how they walked up to the house ready for action, etc etc etc.

"WHAT?!" I scream.
Hubby laughs, grins just like the cat that caught the canary, and I can tell he loves telling me this story.
"What time was this?!?!" I shout.
"3:50!  God woke me up to pray for you.  At 4:00!  And I did.  And you came home safe to me."

Done and done.  Hubby laughed, but I'd say with a pretty fair amount of certainty...point made, case closed. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Night Shift Blues

Two weeks.  Hubby Blue has been on the job for two weeks...well, two weeks tomorrow, anyway.  Two weeks that feels like an eternity!  Just kidding...well, sort of.

Two weeks ago, I was worried out of my mind when HB left for his first night shift.
Two weeks ago, I was pretty scared myself of staying home alone at night.
Two weeks ago, Hubby Blue was supposed to be on nights for one week and then switch to evenings for a few weeks.
Two weeks ago, I said that if I could always just remember that he was happy doing this job, I could handle anything.

Tonight, I felt a lot less worried more comfortable as HB left for his shift.
Tonight, I feel a lot less scared of staying home alone.
Tonight was supposed to be the start of HB's weekend...

I read on some other police wife's blog or in some police wife's book that she'd learned to stop making plans on her husband's days off because his schedule changed so frequently.  I found that hard to understand and also knew I didn't want to live my life like that, without making any plans ever, but like everything else, that too happened to us, and it happened after only ONE week on the job!  It actually worked out in our favor, as Hubby Blue was supposed to work the night of a wedding we'd been invited to, and with the change, he now got to stay for the whole reception, instead of leaving after dinner.  That was an amazing surprise and I was so grateful to have him there.  However, the change in schedule also meant he'd have to continue working nights instead of switching to days.

I guess he and I both need to get used to the night shift (because very likely this is the shift he'll be on come Christmas), but it is much, much harder than we both anticipated.  On paper, it doesn't look that bad--he works when I sleep, I work when he sleeps, we see each other at the end of my work day and at the beginning of his.  So in that sense, this shift is not all bad because we do have those waking hours together.  But I definitely miss going to bed and waking up with this wonderful man I married!

It's wearing on both of us, and even though it's only been two weeks, I pretty much had a meltdown earlier this week about it!  I just broke down, reminded him what I'd say about being able to handle this if I just knew he was happy, and asked Hubby to tell me whether he was happy or not.

He said, "I love this job.  I love what I am doing.  I feel like I have a purpose again."

And my heart smiled, just like it did on that police academy graduation day two weeks ago.  How did we wind up being so blessed that we are both in careers that we love...more importantly, we have each other, we have our health, we have wonderful family and friends in our lives, and we have a lifetime of opportunities and experiences ahead of us?  I took a deep breath and said, "Okay.  We can do this."  And we will.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The first "weekend"

It's been a few days since I've's been my hubby's "weekend"!  I am most definitely not getting used to this schedule yet.  For the next 3 months, he's on rotating shifts so he gets to learn everything, but I'm afraid when he gets onto a permanent schedule that if he doesn't have weekends off that we'll never get to do anything together.  How do people deal with this?  Will I have to take days off work?  Will he?  I don't know how families with kids make this work.

One of the first things Hubby Blue said when he got off work last...what day was it?  Tuesday, I guess?  Tuesday morning, when he gets off work, he says, "Hey, did I tell you that Monday is a range day?"  Monday.  Monday as in your day off?!  Ahhhh!!!  Did I not read all about this on every blog, in every book, in everything I read about police jobs?  Training, court, whatever on your days off.  So, yes, Monday, my husband's day off (also a day off for me: thank you, Christopher Columbus), he'll be at the shooting range.  So much for any all-day plans!  It's not the end of the world, it's just sort of surreal that all the things I read about the police family experience (the worry, the schedule, and so on) -- it's all happening to me/us just as other people who have been there said it would.

Wednesday night was sort of like HB's "Saturday" so we went out for dinner and a movie.  For me, it was sort of a nice little mid-week treat!  It was really different to get out in the middle of the week (thank goodness I'm finally at a point where I'm not in grad school or taking extra classes or anything so I actually had the time to go out on a weeknight).........but our choice of movie was NOT stellar.  We saw End of Watch, a police movie, and I won't give away the ending, but let's just say it was basically my worst fears, portrayed on the big screen.  It was a really good movie, but wow.  I cried for a long time after it was over, and what can you say about it?  Other than the fact that HB doesn't work for a department like the LAPD (which is where the characters in this movie worked), there's still the worry that you NEVER know what kinds of crazy, awful things might happen.  A lot of people talk about just having to put your faith in God, but that seems like an awfully easy answer for a really big fear.  I guess I wish I had just one other friend who was also a police wife and could relate to some of these fears I have.  Because right now, it sort of feels like as much as our friends and family are really supportive of Hubby Blue and me, no one quite understands everything.

Anyway, Hubby is working nights this week, and he went back in last night.  This is only the 4th night I've spent alone, EVER (somehow in the two years we've been married, whenever he's been gone, I've managed to either stay somewhere else or have someone else come stay with me...I am crazy), so I'm still not thrilled about it.  I'd been doing laundry all night and left one load going in the washer when I went upstairs to go to bed.  I wasn't up there 10 minutes when I heard a loud noise come from downstairs.  I panicked, remembered Hubby's "I will leave this gun out for you but don't try to clear the house yourself" speech, and called him.  This didn't seem like a "someone's-breaking-in-call-the-police" situation, so I just didn't know what to do!  I told him what had happened, and very calmly, he goes, "Just take the gun and go down and see what it was."  Me.  Pick up the gun.  Walk around the house with it and be prepared to shoot it if someone is in my house!!!  This is why he's the cop in this family.  Things like this never phase him.  Anyway, can you imagine?!  Well, let me just say how proud I was of myself for being able to do exactly that.  It turned out the noise I heard was the bottle of laundry detergent falling off the washing machine, which I'd suspected it might have been in the first place, but still, not the thing you want to hear when you're home alone!  I called him back, told him everything was fine, and went to bed.  Uggghhhhhh when will I get used to this???

Not tonight, that's for sure!  Hubby is working again but I am going to a rehearsal dinner and spending the night at my parents' house.  I am pretty bummed he can't go with me, but such is the way it goes, right?  I am still super proud of him and the career he's chosen, and if this is what makes him happy, then I am still happy too.  We'll survive.  I'll just be praying like crazy for him on his first Friday night on the job!

Until next time,
Wife in Blue

Monday, October 1, 2012

On the second day...

Hubby Blue came home this morning, just as expected...isn't it strange that my first thought in writing this tonight was that I had to mention that?!  Never before had I been so relieved to hear the phone ring just a few minutes after 6:00 am.  I definitely thanked God for keeping him safe all night.  I had told him before he left that he had to remember every.single.thing that happened to him because I wanted to hear ALL about it in the morning!  I got a short synopsis of the night, but he was only here about 10 minutes before I had to leave for work.

I figured HB would sleep all day, and in fact, not hearing from him all day made me sure that when I walked in from work at 4:15, he'd still be sleeping!  But no, my hubby, who sleeps like a rock any day I actually want him to wake up early, claimed he couldn't sleep past noon!  He was still exhausted, and it really made me understand the blog posts I read last night about how people who work the night shift are just constantly tired.  I got a few more stories from the night before, and then I said that's it!  You need to take a nap!  Luckily he was able to. :)

I got a real surprise tonight and HB made dinner for me!  This was a common occurrence in the BPA days...Before the Police Academy.  Days that sometimes lasted 14 hours kind of put a damper on this little treat!  Truthfully, I really didn't mind doing the majority of the cooking and housework, and I actually felt really purposeful that I could help HB in this small way.  I really believe that police work is more of a calling than just a job, and I thought I was doing my part to let HB focus on his training as much as he could.  Anyway, as we were finishing dinner, I was thinking to myself that I was feeling pretty good about him leaving tonight.  Wow, I thought, did I seriously make this transition after only one shift?  Am I really doing this much better?  I was pretty sure I was not nearly as worried, pretty calm, actually looking forward (a TINY bit) to having the quiet time to write some more on this blog... didn't last.

Except that tonight, I think I felt more sadness than worry.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the worry is still there, it's just that tonight I think I felt more sadness...or loneliness?  I'm not really sure what it is.  And I don't want to make it sound for one second like I am not 100% behind Hubby Blue.  Not only do we both know just how blessed he is to HAVE a job (more on that later), but I trust without a doubt that this is the career for him and that he is going to make one hell of a cop.  I really believe that this is where God has put him and that he is going to make a big difference in the world.  I just wish the schedule wasn't so hard.  I am really doing my best to be as un-teary as I can when he leaves, but if you know me, you know that 1) I cry over just about everything and 2) I really, really love Hubby Blue.  I just really miss him while he's gone.

A couple of days ago, we were at the academy graduation party, and I got to talking to the wife of one of the class supervisors.  I asked her what her best advice for another police wife would be, and she told me to find things I enjoy doing by myself.  I'll be able to come up with plenty of things I enjoy doing...the doing it by myself is probably going to be the harder part. goes nothing!