Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

December 30...the end of another year.  Almost!

I've never been much for journaling, and this is my first blog, so I've never actually looked back at the end of a year to review my goals.  I guess I saw people do it last year so that was why I wrote down all my goals on this blog a year ago.  Looking back at, if I couldn't look around me and see all that I accomplished INSTEAD, I'd probably feel kinda bad about how incomplete last year's goal list is!

I had planned to read at least 16 books (I read about 8), finish our honeymoon scrapbook (I think I made 2 pages), travel to Africa (what?!), read the entire Bible (I got through about a quarter), and exercise 5 days a week (I probably averaged 5 days a month, ugh)


We bought a HOUSE, people.  And not just any house!  A house that was a "fixer-upper" (or disaster) in every sense of the word.  And then we moved into this house, still in various states of disrepair (who needs more than one working bathroom?), and then I got a new JOB.  Teaching preschool.  SPECIAL ED preschool.

So I am not going to beat myself up for not reading as much or not scrapbooking because I scrubbed walls, windows, and floors...I carried out rolls of carpeting and sheets of wet drywall...I painted every single wall of this 2200 square foot house...I ripped up 700 square feet of hardwood flooring and then prepped it to be installed in our home...I sanded said floor and re-polyurethaned it...I learned how to install drywall...I ripped out bushes and planted new ones...I pulled out ceilings...I refinished stairs...I painted every square foot of baseboard and window and door casing...I tiled three bathrooms and a laundry room...and then I packed and moved every single thing we own!  We had help moving, yes, but all those house construction projects...I largely did myself (and with my mom).  And I pretty much did them every single day of my summer vacation while Hubby Blue was at work.  So no, I really can't feel bad about not having time to read or scrapbook.  A trip to Africa costs money, all of which was lovingly poured into our home, and you want to talk about exercise?  I got all the exercise I could dream of laboring over this house.  And then I got a job that is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.  And sometimes requires 10 or 12 hours a day.

It blows my mind to think about where Hubby Blue and I were a year ago.  He was still on FTO and we were struggling with living where we lived.  Far from his job and far away from family and friends. I think by this point last year we knew we were going to move closer to his job, but I don't think we'd made up our minds to buy a house.  We seemed like we were going to be perennial renters and then THIS!  I knew I'd have to leave my job if we moved, but I don't know that I'd really thought that through.  I think we knew we could survive on just Hubby's income but I always figured I'd get a job pretty easily.  I didn't, and I needed God's providence to put me right where I ended a preschool classroom where the teacher had resigned and walked out with about two hours' notice.  I never thought I'd want to teach preschool ever again after my first experience in preschool seven years ago, but it was the perfect fit for many reasons.

This blog suffered due to all the time I put into rehabbing our house.  I also feel like I went through a rather dark time after we moved in.  It's a little too raw to explain yet, but I felt like anything I would have written would have been too negative.  Being a cop's wife has been hard, and I've felt less than stellar about it a lot of times.  I spent a lot of time just waiting.  Waiting for "when this is going to get better or easier," waiting for this or that to happen, waiting for days we have off together.  I am still grasping this, but I'm starting to realize that I really need to be waiting upon the Lord...

I'm going to end today by saying that maybe I'll blog more in 2014...maybe I won't.  Maybe I'll be back with my goals for the new year...maybe I won't.  Maybe I'll start a new blog...maybe I won't.  Maybe I'll post about being a LEO wife...maybe I'll post about other things.  The way I see year, new possibilities.  Am I right?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why I Haven't Blogged in 3 Months

Well, it's been almost 3 months since I've blogged, but I have decided to end this hiatus!  As you might recall, our heroine was becoming quite the DIYer when we last met, and that definitely continued!  I honestly cannot believe how much I've learned in the last 5 months and how much has changed around here.  We finally moved, got a whole lot closer to Hubby Blue's department, I never got a full-time teaching job but did start tutoring and subbing, and the house remodeling continues.  Hubby Blue and I are going through one of the most trying times of our relationship, but I'll save that for another post...maybe.  In the meantime, I thought I would share some before and after pictures of our new home and let the pictures do the talking.  I wish I had better angles, and I should also mention these aren't all the most up-to-date and uploading pictures to this blog is a pain in the butt, but when we get a little more unpacked, I'll take some new ones!  Enjoy!

Kitchen before
Kitchen after

Family room before
Family room after...not such a good angle but you get the idea!

Foyer before 
Foyer after...there's hardwood floor under all that floor covering!

Upstairs loft and hallway before 

Just the hallway, no loft, and before carpet, but the after!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I had an interview yesterday.  It went fine, pretty much your standard interview, I guess.  I wasn't super nervous, which surprised me because I almost always am, but I think it's that I've now been a teacher for 6 years and feel like I can answer most questions and talk about most scenarios off the top of my head because I've experienced so many of them.  Anyway, I felt like it went well, not super, but good.  However, this morning, my school secretary called me into the office as I was passing by and told me the school had just called asking to speak to my principal.

Only...yesterday, I decided I didn't really want the job.

For one thing, it took me exactly 36 minutes to get to our new house from the interview.  That's a longer drive than I have now, and like the situation we're in now, it's the opposite direction from Hubby Blue's work.  It was either country roads (much more deserted ones than what I drive now) or the downtown section of another town...meaning bad traffic, two-lane driving, and potential horrors in winter.  For another thing, it was a position in which I'd be the reading specialist for 4th and/or 5th grade students - not my favorite age.  I love the little ones, and even though my current 5th graders have grown on me, they've never been my favorite part of the day.

But then there's my emotional reasons for not wanting this job.  Or potentially ANY full-time job.  Hubby Blue has been on his shift for almost 3 months now, and I'd say we're in a pretty solid routine...of never, ever seeing each other.  We can literally go 4 days and not see each other awake once.  We can go 5 days not talking more than 30 minutes a day.  And then on one of Hubby Blue's days off, I'm at work all day.  When I come home from work in the afternoons by myself, I pretty much waste a couple hours on facebook, pinterest, and blog-reading.  I make dinner for both of us, eat it, clean it up, and put Hubby Blue's plate in the refrigerator.  I watch TV.  Sometimes, if I'm super motivated, I do laundry or go running or vacuum or something.  Once in a while, I'll read.  Pretty much, I hate every day!  We came thisclose to adopting a husky over the weekend (that's a whole other story...HB found it in a park while he was working, took it to animal control, and then asked me if we could adopt it) because I am so incredibly lonely all.the.time.  We didn't, but only because I did some research and found out that huskies are not your average dog.  I just didn't think I could handle a dog that jumps over and digs under know, the fence we don't even have because WE'RE NOT PREPARED TO BE DOG OWNERS YET.  Between all the time I've been putting in at the new house to get it ready to move into, I knew a dog was the last thing we needed right now, but I am so desperate for some company at night.

Anyway, excuse my tangent, because this post was supposed to be about my interview!  The police schedule and the teacher schedule just don't mix in our house.  We have zero time to talk about anything, be it housework, bills, how our money gets spent or not spent, what to make for dinner, what we did at work that day, anything.  I'm sick of it.  And while we're talking about housework, I do about 90% of it.  Hubby Blue will sometimes help out if I leave a list, but I don't have time to make a list all the time, so pretty much I just do it myself.  I'm tired of living this way where I work and do the majority of the housework too.

I understand my husband has a stressful job.  If that means he can't or doesn't see the loads of laundry needing folding or the growing stack of mail to be sorted or the clutter all over the place or the dishes in the sink (sidebar: HB did, in fact, unload and load the dishwasher today), so be it.  But I don't want to be dealing with all those things AND a full-time job.  This is not what "pulling on the oars together" means to me.

People don't get it.  Why should I give up my career for my husband's?  Why can't we both work at what we're passionate about?  Well, for one thing, I don't feel nearly as passionate about teaching as I used to.  And for another, maybe I have to give up my career to have a happier life.  You know that saying about how when you're dying, your job won't be there holding your hand but your family and friends will be?  When Hubby Blue started this job, we said that if it came down to it, it would be better for me to not work than for us to lose our marriage.  I still believe that.

Last night, Hubby Blue and I talked on the phone after he got off work, and he commented that the summer was going to be so nice because we could be on the same schedule.  I could stay up for him to get home, sleep later, just be together more.  And I replied that yes, our life does indeed seem to be much better when I'm on breaks from school.  So if our life is good and we're happy when I'm not going to a teaching job, then why am I going to go be unhappy for the other nine months of the year?

I feel like if we had kids, this would be a no-brainer.  I would be a stay-at-home mom, and my job would be raising our children and taking care of our house.  But I feel harder to justify this change in careers since it's just us.  I don't even know why I'm having such a hard time anyway, because it's not like I'd just do nothing.  I'd just be working a little less...traditionally.  Like I figured I'd substitute teach, and I'll be doing some work online, and maybe I'd tutor.  Or get really good at sewing and sell stuff on etsy.  I don't really know.  But I feel like there are options!!  That still doesn't make it less of a scary decision.

Any other police wives without kids out there who don't work?  How did you make that choice?  Are you happy with it?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's Been Awhile...

I've been so bad at blogging, you guys.  I apologize.  Really, I do.  I probably have to apologize to myself too, since the whole purpose of this blog was to document my life as a police wife...and I haven't really been doing that.

So, let me think about what's been going on lately.

  • Ummm, I celebrated Mother's Day weekend by pounding nails out of hardwood flooring with my lovely mother-in-law for six hours on a Saturday...and then ACTUALLY celebrated with her and my own mom and the rest of our families with brunch prepared by yours truly on Sunday.  I am so lucky to have two such amazing mothers in my life.  Don't know what I'd do without them.
  • The weekend after that, I went to our new house on a Friday after school and was SO EMBARRASSED by the grass weeds that make up our yard.  Seriously, I wanted to apologize to the neighbors.  Every other yard is meticulously manicured, and ours looks like a vacant parking lot.  A couple of them had warned us the yard was full of weeds, but we definitely did not appreciate it until spring was in full swing.  We probably need to buy stock in weed killer.
  • I spent some more time pounding nails out of flooring with my mom...and realized that that day we pulled up all the flooring was actually probably the EASY part of this job.
  • I spent two full days at the house painting and priming, cleaning, pulling up carpet tacks, and patching drywall holes.  Yep, I learned how to patch drywall holes!  I am pretty proud of my work.  I even used a POWER TOOL.  Incredible, I know.
  • My brother is getting married in September (I think I've mentioned this) so I've been working on some shower details for the happy couple.  I love being creative like that.
  • I gave my official resignation at work. :(  That was a super sad day...but the more progress we make on the house, the more excited I am to move and the less sad I feel about work.
  • Hubby Blue's schedule is driving us crazy.  He's still working 2-10, so we pretty much never see each other.  Well, that's not entirely true, because I guess I see him sleeping when I wake up in the morning, and I guess he sees me sleeping when he gets home.  But we don't really talk.  Like...ever.  Unless it's a Sunday.  Sometimes he's able to call me during his shift, but sometimes he's just really busy.  At least that's what I assume?  I've taken to texting him about stuff because I don't want to bother him while he's working or sleeping, but it really bugs me when my texts never get answered.  Or emails.  Or notes that I leave on the kitchen table.  Nontraditional means of communication is apparently not something we're so good at.  So I'm a pretty moody person by the time Friday rolls around.
  • Packing is a common theme in my life these days.  I'm packing up my house so we can move, my personal stuff at work because I'm quitting, and my whole classroom because the school is closing!  Remember how I said I should invest in weed killer?  I should probably include packing tape and boxes too.

So that's a brief recap!  Probably when the school year is over I'll get to posting some pictures of the house progress and my little projects!  What have you all been up to?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Craziest Idea Ever?

This past weekend, my mom and I did one of the craziest things we've ever done...all while Hubby Blue was busy saving someone's life.

This is mostly a story about home repair and one gigantic DIY project, but the fact that my hubby is a police officer plays into it slightly.  Plus, I think this story gives you some idea of just how crazy I am, and it's partly just funny, so here goes!

I, with my mom's help, pulled up 750 square feet of hardwood flooring.  No, that's not a typo.

My mom and I have done a lot of crazy things (like rolling a solid concrete 200-pound birdbath out of an estate sale and through the snow one year...walking 26.2 miles of a breast cancer walk without any preparation or training whatsoever...sifting through bin upon bin of candy just to pick out the pink pieces for the pink candy buffet I just had to have at our wedding...snorkeling in Mexico when one of us can't swim, ahem...crafting loads of fabric-covered Christmas ornaments and lining them up all over my house a few years ago...), but THIS, this is probably the craziest thing yet.

A couple of months ago, my mom made me aware of a little phenomenon known affectionately in our house now as a "demolition sale."  This amazing event takes place in a house that is about to be demolished or totally remodeled.  A company comes in, prices everything that's of value, and "budget-savvy people" (read: poor, cheap, or on-the-hunt-for-a-bargain!) like myself line up at the door, race inside at 9:00 am, and run around grabbing tags off things like chandeliers, light fixtures, towel bars, sinks, and hardwood flooring like it's a freaking shopping spree.  You then take your tags to the man at the cash box, he adds up what you've bought, you pay (cash only), and then you get to work removing what you bought.  I went to one in this big, beautiful old house a couple months ago and scored an amazing chandelier for $90 (I found almost the exact same one at Home Depot for close to $400), some bathroom accessories like towel bars and toilet paper holders, and some great light fixtures.  It was great.

Well, at these demolition sales, they sell EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, out of the house, including the hardwood floors.  I had heard of this before, that it's possible to remove hardwood flooring without damaging it and then install it again in another house.  When I realized I could buy oak flooring for 40 cents a square foot (and that Home Depot sells it for around 4 DOLLARS a square foot), I was all over that.  I googled it, watched some videos online, and this past Saturday, showed up at a demolition sale with my crow bar, my brother's truck and my mom!

I'll back up and explain that I asked Hubby Blue what he thought about this, and he said he was onboard...except that he works Saturdays.  I was pretty sure I could handle this on my own (the video makes it look so easy after all!), so he gave me his blessing and I was off.

So my mom and I walk into this house that is crawling with construction-type workers, and we announce that we're here for the floor!  The guy at the cash box asks where our tools are and how we're going to get it home and my mom explains, like a boss, that WE have a truck.  We later wished we had acted like idiots and told him we were going to put it in the trunk of our car.  Anyway, my dad stopped in to look it all over, reassure me it was a good buy, and get me started with some cuts along the edges. There were 3 bedrooms and a living room (like I said, 750 square feet), so we started in a bedroom because the living room was pretty occupied.

We got right to work and started pulling up pieces of flooring from the first bedroom and felt like it was going pretty fast!  And not that difficult!  Various people stopped in to watch or comment that "this is a really big job" and "wow, that's a lot of work," (really?) or ask how our knees were holding up, or gawk at whether we'd really be able to do this.  Anyway, we finished the first room at about 10:30 and we thought we were doing pretty awesome!  It's only 10:30!  We moved onto the second bedroom and again, we did pretty good!  I whacked myself in the head pretty good in that bedroom and still have the bump to show for it.  My mom told me to slow down and take a break, but there was no stopping me!  Had to keep moving!  Had to keep pulling floor!  We continued, finished that up and decided to try the hallway coming out of the first room.

This was the scene of injury #2!  I was trying to get a piece out and put my finger under a board when suddenly I dropped it, trapping my finger underneath.  I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO LOSE MY FINGER.  I thought clearly enough to get my finger out, but then...I THOUGHT MY NAIL WAS GOING TO FALL OFF.  I had a nasty cut annnnnd no band-aids.  I was bleeding pretty bad, so I decided I was going to need to go buy some neosporin and band-aids.  I took a 15 minute break to find a grocery store, and by now it was lunchtime and I was pretty hungry...but there was no time to stop!  (Do you sense my craziness yet?)  I got back, and it was time to attack bedroom #3.  We got in here and realized my dad had cut all along the one side of the room because of where he thought the floor had started (hardwood floor is laid down in one direction and the pieces all fit together tongue-and-groove style.  You have to pull it up in the same direction.)...but it was the wrong side.  So, here, we had to pull the trim off the wall first, hack away at the first few rows until we could get going, and THEN start removing good pieces.  We got through about 2/3 of the room when I looked at the time, knowing we only had until 3:00 to get all this wood up and out.  We stopped there and decided to start the living room.

We got out to the living room and again, realized that the cut side was the wrong side of the room.  So again, we removed the trim and got the first few rows out before we could get going.  This room was twice as big as any of the bedrooms, so it was a lot slower going, plus, there was this other bozo trying to take out some built-in cabinets in the corners who kept asking if he was in our way (yes) and could he borrow our crowbars (no).  Just kidding about that - the borrowing part. :)  Hubby Blue called me for the first time that day at this point, at which time I informed him that my mom was SUCH a rockstar that she was going to have a permanent bedroom in our house.  He didn't really get it, but seriously.  He kept asking me how it was going, and I just kept saying, Jessie Spano-style, "I have no time!  There's not enough time!  I have to go!!!"

Anyway, time is ticking by and we're moving faster and faster, and our pile of wood is growing bigger and bigger, and my mom and I looked at each other and said, "I don't think all this wood is going to fit in the truck."  We started carrying some of it outside, and sure enough, it was never going to fit.  We finished pulling up the floor in the living room, during which time, the man running this sale asked me where my husband was.  I explained he was at work, but not what KIND of work, and he joked that it was REAL convenient that he was working!  I just sort of laughed and kept going, thinking, if only you knew...

So we finished pulling up the flooring in the living room, got it all outside, and piled it rather haphazardly into the truck.  We realized that it was piled SO high that it was in danger of spilling over the edges, but thankfully, my brother is the boy-scout type and is always prepared with straps he keeps in his truck.  So we strapped those puppies down, using the rusty nails (good thing I got my tetanus shot last year) that were still in the boards to keep the straps in place.  I know, I know...doesn't make much sense when you're using the straps to hold down the boards but also using the boards to hold the straps.  I don't want to hear it.

It was now 3:15, and the sale-man had given us until 3:30 to finish.  He wasn't going to be there on Sunday but said we could come back on Monday to get the rest.  Keep in mind everything we pulled out in the bedrooms was still in the bedrooms.  We were worried he wouldn't actually show up on Monday and that, um, there could be a wrecking ball crashing in on all my beautiful wood on Monday, so we carried two rooms-worth out onto the front lawn and left it there.  We'd have to make a second trip.  Who know 750 square feet of flooring would take up so much room?!?

So we've got all these long pieces of hardwood floor sticking out of the bed of the truck in every direction when we start out on the trek home.  My parents' house was only about 20 minutes away, but when you're going 20 miles per hour, it takes a lot longer.  The icing on the cake was when I had to jump out at a stoplight on a very busy intersection to push all the pieces back in and make sure nothing was about to fall out.  Bizarre, I tell you.  It's a good thing Hubby Blue wasn't there to tell me how unsafe this was.

So we're pretty exhausted at this point, dreading the fact that we still have to go back for the second load that is still on the front lawn, when I checked my text messages.  Hubby Blue had just sent me this: "Just did CPR on a woman.  She's still alive."  Melt my heart, why don't you!  I was justttttt about getting angry that I was killing myself pulling out this floor by myself, but Hubby Blue was saving someone's life!  Hubby Blue is exactly the kind of cop I'd want to show up if I was having an emergency - he's just that good.

Anyway, we got back to my parents' house, unloaded the wood into a monstrous pile in their garage, took about a 15 minute break, and headed back to the demolition sale.  By this point, the whole house had cleared out, so we backed the truck way up to the pile in the yard and proceeded to load up the rest. A few minutes into the job, two kids, maybe ages 4 and 6, come up to the house next door and look at us curiously.  Yes, kids, the circus has indeed come to town.  Then, they decided to SIT DOWN on some patio bricks and WATCH US.  Oh my gooodness, it was hilarious/embarrassing.  Their mother showed up a little later and hurried them into the house and shut the garage door, as if to say, "Come along, kids, those are what we call 'poor people.'  We go to the store to buy OUR flooring.  Don't hang around the gypsies, and close the door so they don't steal any of our stuff.  And go give that old lady a quarter and maybe this can of soup."  It didn't help that, simply by chance, my mom and I had both worn jeans and orange t-shirts...kind of like we had a uniform.  We were like a crew...dressed conveniently in jail-bird orange.

Our second load was packed much more carefully and securely because we were actually going to head out to MY new house with it.  We made it all the way out there without incident, unloaded it into the garage (thank goodness it was almost dark...I didn't want to deal with questions from new neighbors about what the HECK we were doing), and called it a day.  And here I had planned on being able to paint and wash walls that afternoon.  Think I over-planned my day a little?

It was 8:00 by the time all was said and done, 9:00 by the time we got done eating dinner (the first real meal I'd had since 7:00 that morning)...we'd worked for a full 12 hours.  My mom is seriously one-in-a-million.  Don't know WHAT I'd do without her and can't think of anyone else who would have helped me out like that.  I owe her BIG TIME!

But back to the back-breaking work this all was...what for?!?  I'll admit, I read more than one facebook status that day about drinking mint juleps and watching the Kentucky Derby and wondered if I was living my life right!  My mom and I really killed ourselves working that day (and I think there's a lot more hard work where that came from), but I think I'll be happy with the end result.  I was able to get all that hardwood floor for a mere $260.  To buy that much flooring brand new would have been in the $3000 range, so I felt it was a good buy!  I feel a certain amount of pride in doing things like this, being smart with our money, and accomplishing such a huge task.  Plus, salvaging it means that it won't just be thrown away with the rest of the demolished house.  I wasn't so sure the next day when I had to start pounding the rusty nails out of it...but I'll have to get back to you on that part.

So, crazy?  Yes.  Craziest idea ever?  We'll see...there's still a lot of work to be done at our new house!  You never know what kind of trouble my mom and I will find next...  BUT, all I can think that we better have one BEAUTIFUL floor for this. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Hello there, lovelies!  It's been a whirlwind few weeks around here.  There have been so many things I've wanted to blog about lately but just not enough hours in the day to get it all done!  So I'll start here:

I told my principal I was resigning.  And it.  Was.  Awful.

Ever since we started talking about moving, and especially since we started looking at houses, I knew the conversation would be horrible.  And it definitely was!  It's hard to explain because I'm pretty sure most people don't work in the kind of place I work in.  My co-workers are more like a family than just co-workers.  I've never worked with a bunch of women who get along better than these women do, and I've worked in a lot of schools.  So, first of all, people outside don't really understand quite how hard it is to leave.  I told my principal that I had to leave because of my husband's job, that we had to move closer, and that I was doing it for him.  She told me to do it for myself, too.  Which of course, I am, but it's more like, I'm doing it for myself by way of him.  It will be wonderful to be closer to my family again (only 40 minutes away!), but my teacher friends here have become some of the best friends I could ask for.  I feel like everyone I was friends with before getting married and moving out here is so...busy.  I call and email and try to keep in touch, and it takes weeks before I hear back, if ever.  It's like I moved away and everyone moved on and forgot about me!  Which happens, I get it, but I just thought I would be coming back and feel like nothing had changed.  That's unrealistic, I know, but it took me time to make such good friends here, and as soon as I have them, I'm leaving again.

Anyway, that was a tangent, so where was I?  Not only do people outside my school life not understand why it was so hard to leave, but people IN my school life, my co-workers and friends, don't understand why I need to leave.  I told one of my best school friends that we were officially moving, and we had this tearful, heartfelt conversation about why we're making this move, how hard the last year has been, how we just need to make a change because we were not doing well with the schedule we keep where Hubby Blue and I are like two ships passing in the night...and she asked if there was any chance that he could change careers.  WHAT?  When I tried to explain how much he loves this and that this is really his calling, blah blah blah, she asked if our life would always be like this, in terms of schedules.  Like would he have to miss our future kids' baseball games and school events?  And of course, I said, yeah, probably.  She just couldn't understand why I'd put up with that.

And then there have been the other people who I've tried to explain why we're moving.  My husband works in ******** and we live in ******** and the commute is just too far because he's making the drive in the middle of the night half the time.  And then there's the nights he has to work late and be in court at 10:00 am the next day.  And we never see each other.  And there's this, and that, and this...  I never feel like it's an acceptable explanation, but it bothers me that I can't make people understand.

Our school district made a last minute decision to close the school I work in next year anyway, though. YIKES!  It totally came out of nowhere, and it's been devastating.  It's made my leaving a little easier, as I'm leaving a school that won't even exist next year.  When I think about it that way, it would have been crazy for me to insist to Hubby Blue that we stay here when I wouldn't even know what or where I'd be teaching.

Speaking of teaching, I feel so conflicted every day about what to do next year.  I'm applying for teaching jobs that are within a 30-minute drive of our new house, but I'm so unsure if that's the right decision.  I mean, Hubby Blue is always complaining about how we don't have a normal life anymore and that he just wants to see each other like we used to.  And no matter which shift he's on, we're not going to have a "normal life," or anything resembling our old "normal" if I have to be at work at 8:00 am.  There's part of me that really mourns the idea of leaving teaching because it's been so much a part of how I identify myself.  But there's another part of me that fears that my life and our marriage will continue to degrade if I put us through another year of this.  Life's too short to be unhappy, and I fear that our opposite schedules is what makes us unhappy.  I already feel like we've lost a year of happiness and contentment this year...I don't want to do it again.

Anyway, the new house is keeping us busier than EVER!  We did in fact get pretty much everything ripped out  the first weekend.  My parents, my brother, and my future sister-in-law all came to help us that first day, and we got a ton more disgusting carpeting, no more filthy kitchen cabinets, no more doors, no more trim (on the first floor anyway), no more kitchen/foyer flooring, no more light fixtures!  It was amazing how just taking all that stuff out actually made the house feel cleaner.  We also met a bunch of neighbors, who were so excited that someone is finally going to be living there again.  The second weekend, we went to look at new kitchen cabinets...and let me tell you how excited I am!  I can't WAIT to get them in!  We are going to have so much cabinet and counter space, I can hardly stand it.  Coming out of the teeny tiny kitchen we have right now, I'm not sure I'll know what to do with all the extra room!  The other day, I scrubbed the dining room walls...for about 6 hours.  And we're not talking about a huge room, either.  I don't know what these previous owners ate or did in this house, but these walls were GROSS.  I think it was grease, but who knows.  All I know is it involved massive amounts of TSP and several brillo pads.  I'll have to tell you all about it another day...

I've been so excited about the house stuff that I've actually brought some little projects home with me so I can work on them during the week!  I took all the shiny gold doorknobs off the doors we ripped out and spray painted them!  I'm not sure how they'll hold up, but they're a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze color now, and I'm loving them.  I'll have to tell you about that later too.  I'm currently scrubbing the old light switch and outlet covers because, guess what, they were disgusting too.

Yesterday was the first day of May, and I've decided to really concentrate on being healthier this month.  (I may or may not have consumed an entire row of Oreos on the day of my wall-washing fiasco.  And more than one donut on the day they made our school-closing official.  And several bottles of wine leading up to my resignation-conversation.)  So, yesterday, I decided to start this 100-push-up plan (I could do 8 good ones, so I'm in "level 2"...that made me feel a little better about myself, ha), start consistently running again (I started out with a route in mind, but then I started wondering how far I could go before I couldn't go anymore...I figured I could do an hour.  Well, I ran for 38 minutes before I felt like I really couldn't go anymore), and work on abs again (I did 51 crunches in a minute).  My goal is to just really focus on one week at a time for the month of May.  I hope this makes me a little more accountable. :)

So I guess that's my police wife life in a nutshell!  I know this was super long.  I hope to have some house updates and pictures next week.  'Til then!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We're Homeowners!

Well...we did it!  Hubby Blue and I officially became homeowners yesterday. :)

Even though it felt a little surreal after the closing was over and we were standing in our new house together, this has also been a long time coming.  More than three years ago, before we were even married, I had really, really wanted to buy a house.  I thought that's just what you were supposed to do. But our lives were in such a state of flux that it really wasn't the wisest idea at the time.  So we waited.  And rented.  And rented again.  And rented for a third year.  It was really hard watching all my friends buy houses just before they'd get married, knowing that financially we could be buying a house too, but we just weren't settled enough in careers and whatnot.  It was also just frustrating knowing that we had to move all the time.  Having to update our address over and over.  Never feeling like you could get really comfortable somewhere because it wasn't going to be forever.

But is!  Or at least, it could be.  We could live in this house forever if we had to or wanted to, which is a pretty nice feeling.  And it's also a good feeling knowing that buying this house was a goal we worked towards together and accomplished together.  We've built this life together.  I like that.

So shall I tell you about the house???

Where to begin...?  Well, if you can picture the filthiest, dirtiest house you've ever seen, and then picture what would be might be able to get an idea of what we bought!  Yay!  Haha.  But seriously, it is filthy (I'll tell you what we were thinking in a second).  The scary part is, the first time we looked at it, Hubby Blue said he's actually seen worse when he's been on calls.  I just can't imagine anyone living that way.  Yuck.  Anyway, it's your typical two-story house, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, laundry, two-car garage, three bedrooms upstairs, a first floor bathroom and two upstairs, and this great big beautiful loft that overlooks the family room.  We could actually turn that into a fourth bedroom someday, but I think we're going to leave it as it is right now.  But let's get back to the filth and disrepair, shall we?  There are several holes in the drywall in places...sometimes it looks just like someone kicked a hole in the wall.  The railings on the stairs are caked in black grime.  The kitchen cabinets and the stair risers look like someone took a water gun full of chocolate syrup and just went to town.  I'm pretty sure there is macaroni and cheese still left on the kitchen ceiling.  Half the kitchen floor has been ripped up.  One of the drawer fronts on the kitchen cabinets is missing.  There is creepy stuff written all over the walls of one of the bedrooms - when the termite inspector walked through the house he advised us to "get some clergy up in here" and promptly got himself outside!  We're missing window screens.  The basement is partially finished, but you wouldn't want to leave it the way it is anyway.  There are three rooms walled off that all lead into each other one after the next, and they look like the walls in A Beautiful Mind.  LOTS of weird writing there.  Ironically, the laundry room is probably the cleanest room in the house - probably because they never used it?

So, if you can picture this filthy, dirty house, hopefully you're assuming we got an amazing deal on it, because we did!  It was obviously a foreclosure, and we paid waaaaaaaaay under what the rest of the neighborhood is going for.  But, we chose to do it this way instead of buying something that was already livable because we wanted to be able to comfortably afford it (and be able to sell it if we had to) AND make things just the way we wanted them.  We're both willing to put our blood, sweat and tears into it (I'm hoping there will be more tears than blood...), and Hubby Blue and both our dads are pretty handy.  Plus I figure I'm pretty smart too.  I bet I can google how to fix drywall holes, right? :)  One of the sweetest parts was when Hubby Blue told me he never thought we'd be able to live in this town "because cops just can't afford to live there."  Stick with me, honey, I'll find us a bargain we can't pass up. :)

We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're both excited.  For now.  Check back with me in a few weeks.  Ha.  Just kidding - sort of!  The plan for this weekend is to rip everything out - carpet, the rest of the kitchen floor, old doors, trim, kitchen cabinets, maybe some of that creepy drywall in the basement...we'll see what we have time for and how much we can fit in the dumpster I ordered!  I know I'll be grateful for all that overtime Hubby Blue has been working when he's able to take a couple Saturdays off here and there.  So thank you for your kind messages on my last blog post!  I'll check back in in a couple of days, and maybe even have a picture or two.  Wish us luck!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Some BIG News!

I should start this post by first explaining that I am NOT, under any circumstances whatsoever, a country girl.  No sir!  I am definitely a city girl, and the last three years of country living have been more than enough for me.  When Hubby Blue and I got married, we moved into this little rental house in this country town no one had ever heard of...because it was semi-halfway between Hubby Blue's university and my new job.  (I applied for and accepted said job because it was within a 90-mile radius of Hubby Blue's school, and I was pretty desperate for a job.  That's another story for another day.)

Anyway, moving out to the country was a novelty for a while, and I felt like I could legitimately appreciate country music, pancake breakfasts and steak fry dinners, and tractor pulls.  After awhile, though, I realized it took at least 30 minutes to get ANYWHERE.  Grocery shopping was at least a half-day event.  Want to go out for dinner or grab a drink?  You can go to the town bar...or the town bar.  Want to go to church on Sunday?  I hope you're either Methodist or Lutheran.  Need to talk to the police because people are driving through your front yard every other Friday?  Better wait until 9:00...the police are only on duty at night.  It got old...and fast.  But we stuck it out two years, and finally Hubby Blue graduated and got his police job, so we moved 30 minutes closer to my job, into a fairly sizable town, thinking we were moving to the promised land!

Long story short...this is not the promised land.  It's still pretty "country," and we're actually farther from most of our friends and my side of the family.  Hubby Blue is farther from work, and we live in a tinier house than when we first got married, so most of the time it feels like our stuff is caving in on us!  And, oh, did I mention the snakes?  We live two blocks from a river, so people acted like I was the crazy one for being, um, SHOCKED when I found a dead snake in our house.

So, I was driving home from work today on the same old country roads as usual* when a little (I assume it was little) rock hit my windshield with a SMACK.  It startled me, for sure, but it didn't appear to have done any damage, so I continued on my merry way.  I went to the gym directly from work, took a class, and came out an hour later TO A HUGE CRACK IN MY WINDSHIELD.  "Huge" might be an exaggeration, but it's definitely about as long as my hand.  Talk about something I DON'T need right now.  The aggravating part about this is that the saaaaame exact thing happened to Hubby Blue's windshield last summer.  He was picking up our moving truck (so we could move from the country to the pseudo-country...meaning "bigger town but still surrounded by lots and lots of country") when something came flying at his windshield and shattered it.  UGH.  Does this happen in the country all the time?  BECAUSE I'M SICK OF IT! comes the big news............


This has been the hardest thing to not blog about, but I didn't want to say anything until it was more of a sure thing.  It's something Hubby Blue and I have been talking about for months because of how hard his schedule is, how far we live from his department, how we have so few friends here, how we spend so much on gas, how we are really not digging the small-town lifestyle anymore, and how I haven't been super happy in my job for a while now.  It also was not in our plan to be buying a house at this point, but after a lotttttttt of thought and talking and praying, we decided to take the plunge.  We've been renters for almost three years now, and we're both eager to put down some roots.  I know it's risky to buy a house before Hubby Blue's probation is over, but it's also risky to buy a house before you're a tenured teacher, and I know people who do that all the time.  Whether you're a teacher or a banker or a businessperson or a lawyer...I guess it's always a risk, but I hope this one pays off.  So, come this summer, we'll be moving to a town that is about 15 minutes from Hubby Blue's department.  And there are plenty of stores and restaurants and interstates nearby.  It's still a teensy bit country (because Hubby Blue is definitely NOT a city person) but hopefully it will feel like a much better fit than where we are now.

Anyway, we are closing next week - yikes!!!  It's been one of the most stressful processes we've gone through, and I'll blog more about it in time.  And I'll blog more about the house itself because there is lots to tell about that too!  But for now, I'm just hoping we can make it through two more months with our windshields intact. :)

*I guess technically it's not a country road.  It's a state highway, but any two-lane highway is a country road in my book.  Country livin' was fun for a while, but this city girl misses her interstates something fierce.

Friday, April 5, 2013


I recently learned how to use Hubby Blue's our sewing machine!  I've mentioned before that I never learned how to sew, even though my mom is like, the best sew-er (I first wrote that without the hyphen...and no, my mom is not a sewer, ha) ever.  I took an online class a few weeks ago and learned a lot, but what really got me going was the apron kit I picked up at Walmart!  It sat in a box for months, and finally, I just decided to figure it out!  I didn't really figure it out by myself...Hubby Blue tried to teach me and got really I asked my mom.  Anyway, I've gotten a lot better since then, and I can't wait until the day we live in a town with an actual fabric store so I can try sewing projects more often!

In the meantime...Hubby Blue...wait for it...asked me to...fix his police pants!!!


He had two pairs with rips in them, and he said he didn't mind taking them in somewhere to get them fixed but that he knew that would cost more money, so did I want to try fixing them?  I wanted to say, Hubby Blue, you just need to stop chasing bad guys and then your pants won't rip...but let's be honest.  That'll never happen.

So, I put off trying to fix these pants my entire spring break, and finally, today, I decided to give it a try.    I think they turned out pretty well, actually, but the best part was Hubby Blue's reaction:

"Hey!  You can't even see where they were ripped!  Thanks!  I really liked this pair!"

Yeah, you can just call me a domestic QUEEN these days. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Face to Face

Argh, I hate when technology doesn't do what you think it did!  I thought this posted a couple days ago, but obviously it didn't!  Enjoy!

Ahhh...March 17th and I've only posted once this month!  Sorry about that!  Hubby Blue's schedule puts him home around 11:00 every night, which is nice because in theory, it's early enough that I can usually stay awake long enough to say hello to him before going to bed, but in reality, the combination of staying up that late and waking up at least once every night because he's either gotten into or out of bed...has me exhausted.  At least, I think that's why I'm so tired.  It sure would be a relief anyway!  I went to the doctor and she said it could be anemia...or diabetes...or my thyroid...or a PARASITE.  Good grief.  I may need to get out of teaching.

Anyways, this topic has been on my heart a lot lately because it's come to the surface so often lately.  In the last month or so, I feel like my husband's career has put us face-to-face with all the worst of society, and it's got me down. I remember hearing about this at the police family seminar we went to when Hubby Blue was in the academy and how he was going to get so cynical and untrusting of everyone and everything and how I'd still feel like the world was safe and good and I was supposed to be the link to the 97% of society that is good and normal since he'd be dealing with mostly the bad 3%. At first, I could really see this happening.  My hubby DID become very untrusting of strangers and I WAS trying to be the one to help him relax a little.  Hubby Blue has always been skeptical of people, but I still had a hard time understanding the change in him.

Now, though, he tells me about what he deals with on an almost daily basis, and I start to hate the world.  I get so fed up and disgusted with the society we live in.  I want to know how people can possibly do the awful things they do to other people.  I want to cry for every victim and slap every abuser.  I question how we'll ever send our kids to school or let them drive a car or go away to college. I'm sure most parents deal with these anxieties, but I just have a feeling it will be worse for us.

What makes it worse for me is that I work in a high-poverty school where my students' families have frequent interactions with the police, likely for a lot of the awful things my husband describes when he comes home after work.  That's not even all of it though: plenty of other kids come from homes where the police aren't being called on a daily basis, but they're living in filthy conditions, without clean clothes or food to eat or beds to sleep in.  My heart breaks for these kids...the ones I know and love and also the ones I don't know.

What I'm trying to say is this: my job and my husband's job have put us so close to some of the lowest, saddest, most terrible aspects of life, and it's draining me.  It's sucking the happy out of me.  It's changing me, and not in a good way.  I notice that I am angrier these days.  I feel hopeless.  I know this is what my husband is called to do, but how do I manage it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Overheard in my police wife life

This afternoon, my Hubby Blue called me just as my work day was ending.

"Hi, wifey.  Two things.  First, do you mind if I hold over until 2:00?"
(This would be 2:00 AM...and yes, I do kind of mind because I like when you come home at 11:00 but I know it's important to you to take lots of overtime shifts so it's fine!)
"And the other thing, I had another shooting today.  I shot a raccoon.  It was acting really weird, just sitting in the middle of the road, not moving, and there was liquid coming from it's mouth."
"Aw, poor thing."
"Yeah, I used my rifle."
"Why did you use the rifle?"
"Because I didn't want to get close to it!  I don't want to catch rabies!  And then I had to take it in to get tested."
"You touched it?!?"
"Well, I had gloves on."

I share a classroom with another teacher, and as soon as I hung up, I had this awkward feeling that it's not exactly normal to use the phrase "Why did you use the rifle?" in a conversation.  In what relationship is that acceptable?!?  So I quickly explained to her that my husband shot a RACCOON and not, say, a person or something.  She laughed and said she understood, but STILL.

Sidebar: I only questioned my hubby's use of the rifle because the last time he shot something (a deer), he used his handgun.  Now, if there's one way I think I have surprised my husband in our almost 3 years of marriage and almost 7 years of being together, it's my vastly improved knowledge and comfort about firearms.  Is it weird that I know which firearm is the most normal one to be used in this type of situation?  I think yes.  The other night, Hubby Blue worked an overnight shift, and as he was leaving, when I asked him where "MY gun" was and why MY gun wasn't out of the safe and then had to take out, load, and holster MY gun by myself, I think his heart swelled with pride a little bit.  I used to think it was weird that my husband slept with a gun next to him...and now I do it myself.  Also...weird?  I think 95% of the population would say yes, but since when was being married to a cop ever normal?!?

Anyway, Hubby Blue said he was a little outside of town when he shot this raccoon, but in my mind, I picture him (expert marksman that he is) in the middle of a neighborhood, laying on the ground, setting up his scope and taking out this unsuspecting raccoon with one good, clean shot straight to its head.  It's not pretty or happy or warm and fuzzy, but think of all the lives he saved: dogs, cats, children, the husband, the hero!

Dear God, who have I become?!?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Teacher Police Wife

This year for Christmas, Hubby Blue got me a necklace that says, "Police Wife."  It has a little blue stone with it and another charm with his badge number on it.  I wear it almost every day with another necklace he got for me before we were even engaged, but usually it's tucked into my shirt or underneath a scarf (I live in scarves all winter...if it was acceptable, I'd wear a hat and gloves too).  Apparently, though, a student in my school, a 5th-grade girl, saw it the other day.  Today she said to me, just out of the blue while we were standing in the hall, "Yesterday I saw your necklace said 'Police Wife.'  Is your husband a police officer?"

"Yep," I replied.

She and the girl next to her looked at each other with huge eyes and pretty much shrieked.  "Ooooh!!!  Dang, that must be scary!!!" they both yelled.

How do I respond to that?  Six years of teaching has given me a little bit of practice at maintaining my composure in a lot of different scenarios, but inside I was really caught off guard.  All I could say was, "Not, it's really not," but then I had to stop myself.  The school I teach in is 80% low-income.  More often than not, my students' parents are the kind of people my Hubby Blue is out arresting as I type this.  My students don't see police officers as the good, strong, safe, self-sacrificing, respectable people I do.  To my students, the police are the people who take mommy and daddy away, put them in jail, ransack their homes looking for drugs, take away their driver's licenses, and on and on and on.  I can't pull out the books about police officers and how "good" they are because it totally contradicts what they know and believe.  I can't open my mouth and get too passionate (they're only kids, after all) and say too much when my kids start getting agitated and go off on tangents about how bad the police are.  I know they are just kids but it is so sad to hear their viewpoints and realize their beliefs are so rooted in where they come from that nothing I say will change their minds.  And that I really don't have time to change their minds.  I've got objectives to meet and standards to teach!

Anyway, I just found that little exchange interesting.  I'm curious to know how any other kid would react to the information that Mrs. Blue is married to a police officer...but I've been in smalltown America so long I can't even begin to guess.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday Night Excitement

"Hey, wifey, how's your night going?"
"I'm writing messages with magnetic letters on our refrigerator.  How do you think my night is going?"

I can handle most nights of the week when my Hubby Blue is working, but Friday nights are the worst.  It's the end of the work week for me, I'm excited to be off for two days, I just want to relax with my hubby...and I come home to an empty house.  So, it's not that I had nothing better to do, but I spent this Friday night a little different than usual.

I might need more hobbies.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hubby Blue and I celebrated our 7th Valentine's Day together this past week, and thanks to him having Thursdays off, we actually got to celebrate it that day!  I don't know how we've lucked out so far for him to have off (even the Hallmark holidays!), but I'm sure that'll start to change soon. :)

HB had made reservations for us at a steakhouse in town, so we enjoyed a way-too-expensive dinner and the most conversation we've had in weeks (months?).  (Sidebar: we were awkwardly sitting at a table right next to another couple who started arguing halfway through their dinner, and the husband eventually got up and walked out.  Being the cop he is, Hubby Blue whispers under his breath, "That'll be a domestic later.")  It kind of felt bizarre that we had that much time to talk without distractions, and then it felt weird that it felt weird.  Does that make sense?  We've gotten so used to never seeing each other and talking so little, that it almost felt unreal that we had so much time to spend together.  I also realized that it helps us to get OUT of the house on his nights off so that we actually spend the time paying attention to each other instead of the TV.

No doubt about it, being a cop and being married to one is hard.  It's almost more than I can think about when I realize that there is no end in sight to my husband's crazy schedule; this is our life.  I appreciate the suggestions to see a counselor or therapist to learn how to deal with it if we can just get enough time off together to do that. :)  I kid, I kid!  I can't remember if we were at dinner or if it was the night before, but Hubby Blue whined to me at one point on his last two days off that one day he missed me so much that he "just wanted to throw up all over his squad car" so he could come home sick and be with me.  It's kind of pathetic and a little sad but also kind of hilarious and sweet in a weird sort of way.  Neither one of us was prepared for this life when we said, "I do," and it's proving to be the hardest test of our marriage yet.

That being said, I have faith that we will come through the challenges we're facing right now and have a stronger marriage because of it.  I'm not quite sure how, but we'll make it.  I am still probably the proudest LEO wife out there, and I intend to stay that way for a long, long time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I know I've been neglecting this blog lately, but honestly, I feel like there just hasn't been much to say in a long time!  Actually, that probably makes it sound like we're (I'm) doing better than we are.  I just felt like if I wrote anything, it would be all complaining.  And I didn't want this to become just a place for me to complain.  I do enough of that in real life. :)

Hubby Blue is still on the shift where we don't see each other, except he did have to switch to nights this week.  This really has been rotten because it pretty much seems to take him at least a week to adjust to staying up all night, so he's just tired all the time or trying to catch up on sleep.  And after this week of adjusting...he'll have to go back to the other shift.  I feel so bad for him on days like today when he works until 6:00 am and has court at 10:00 am...and days like tomorrow, when he'll work until 6:00 am and have court at 1:00 pm.  We live too far away for him to come home and sleep, so the poor guy has to do crazy things like sleep in his car.  Just kidding...almost. :)

So, I don't know.  Does this sound like complaining, or am I just telling it like it is?  I'm not sure.  At first when I would blog about things and read other blogs, it sort of helped me feel like I wasn't alone when I was having a hard time with my hubby's schedule.  But now I'm feeling like it was more of a "misery loves company" thing.  I guess I'm just at another point where it doesn't matter to me that other people are going through the same things I am...I'm still just as bummed that I never see my husband!

I will say, though, that I started going to a Bible study tonight, and I think it will be a really good thing for me.  It's a Beth Moore lecture series on the book of Deuteronomy, and the whole theme is that God will bring you out (of the "wilderness") in order to bring you in (to your "promised land")...basically, that if you feel like you are wandering or feel like things are pointless, you need to have faith that there is a purpose to your life and that the time to see what God is pointing you towards is NOW.  If I can be totally and extremely real here, I will admit that there have been moments in the last 4 months where I have really questioned what the "point" is of being married to a person I never see.  I believe my Hubby Blue has had the same thoughts.  Now, I completely and totally love my husband and we are 100% committed to each other and we refuse to become one of the statistics, as far as police families go.  But it has been clear to me for quite a long time now that we cannot go on living the way we do.  We have to make a change in our lifestyle if our marriage is going to thrive, not just survive.  So I am hoping that this Bible study will give me the insight and the courage to discover how and what needs to change.

In the meantime, we're surviving.  I'm just holding out for the end of my school year and hoping that having my days off will mean we have more time to be a normal couple.  If I think a little bit more short-term, Hubby Blue's department will change shifts in March, so maybe he'll get on a different one then too.  Time will tell!  Until then, please forgive my lack of blogging. :)  I'll post as often as I can!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Don't Shoot the Keurig

We were standing in the kitchen together, talking, Hubby Blue and me.  He gave me a hug, when suddenly his head snapped to the left.

"What was that?" Hubby whispered.

I hadn't heard it.

"'s just the Keurig.  Good thing I didn't just shoot the Keurig."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Marriage is Not About Sleepovers

If you're on Pinterest, you might have seen this quote: "Marriage is getting to have a sleepover with your best friend every single night of the week."  Now, I don't mean to sound bitchy, but that quote bugs me so much.

Pardon me for saying this if you were someone who thought that was cute, but I can't think of a much more immature way to think about marriage.  I sure hope the person who said it didn't mean that being married is only about having sleepovers every night, but as a police officer's wife, my first thought when I read that was that marriage is not at all about having sleepovers every night.  In fact, some days, marriage isn't even about being together all the time either.

No, for us, marriage is so much more than sleepovers and togetherness.  Marriage is complete and total support for your partner.  Marriage is sacrifice.  Marriage is waking up in the middle of the night so your spouse can tell you about his shift.  Marriage is a pretty severe eye twitch (and getting worse!) because you can never quite rest easy when your partner is on the streets.  Marriage is pulling on the oars together when times are tough.  Marriage is listening to each other.  Marriage is give and take.

Marriage is sometimes just letting the other person cry or scream or stomp or rant.  Marriage is putting your partner's needs above your own.  Marriage is picking up the slack for the other person when they just can't quite make it all the way.  Marriage is a lunch left for your spouse in the refrigerator every single day, even when making it makes you late for work!  Marriage is about making your spouse's life a little easier.  Marriage is driving down the street like a bat out of hell to take your spouse his duty belt, his training manual, his coffee mug because he forgot it, he doesn't have time to turn around, and he'll be in big trouble if he doesn't have it.

Marriage is saying a prayer every single time your spouse leaves home that he will come home safely.  Marriage is praying with all your might that you will see him again in 8 or 10 or 12 hours.  Marriage is encouraging each other in all things...that you can accomplish something, that things will work out, that life will get easier.  Marriage is neglecting the whole world if it means prioritizing your partner.  Marriage is taking your spouse's side against the rest of the world.  Marriage is being the proudest person in the room, clapping the loudest, smiling the widest, when your spouse graduates from college...and then from the academy.  Marriage is standing beside your husband when he's sworn in, silently swearing to support him and love him and encourage him in his career.  Marriage is believing in each other, even when you don't believe in yourself.

Marriage is saying I love you for you, with all your flaws, all your imperfections, and all your downfalls.  Marriage is saying I will always love you, no matter what.  Marriage is saying I forgive you, even when you spend all our money on police gear!  Marriage is creating a life together.  Marriage is dreaming and hoping for the future together.  Marriage is trust.  Marriage is mutual respect for each other.  Marriage is saying I understand.  Marriage is sleeping alone so your partner can fulfill a dream.  Marriage is nights alone because you are married to a police officer, and crime doesn't just happen between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Marriage is hard, marriage is messy, and marriage is tough.  But marriage is also beautiful, marriage is also a blessing, and marriage is also a privilege.  Marriage is not about having sleepovers every single night of the week.  Dare I say it...if you think marriage is just about having sleepovers with your best friend, I think you're missing out.  No, I do not need to sleep next to my husband every night to know that ours is a marriage that's going to last.  I am a cop's wife, and I'll take my beautiful, messy marriage over a marriage built on sleepovers any day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Post for my Hubby :)

This post is for Hubby Blue, who told me tonight that he misses my blogging. :)

The truth is, I haven't much felt like blogging AT ALL lately.  I deal with some serious winter blues every year and can't motivate myself to do much of anything.  I've experienced this seasonal sadness for many years but never actually noticed it in myself as much as my hubby noticed it in me after we were married.  The first winter, he would sit me in front of a sunny window with a space heater pointed at me and made sure I took my vitamin D religiously.  That helped a lot, but now that we're going through our third married winter and I spend most of my time alone, it's hitting me a lot harder this year.  Before, Hubby Blue was always home when I was home, and even if I couldn't make myself get up to do anything, at least I could just sit in the same room with him and be comforted by having another person nearby!  Sitting around the house alone every night (okay, only 5 nights a week) is pretty lonely though.  I know it would probably help to exercise daily and continue eating healthy, but honestly it's hard to do either of those things when you just feel so blah.  I was doing great with my resolution to work out 5 days a week up until this week, and I've slacked a lot on eating less processed food.  Our meals are still very unprocessed and healthy, but I'm caving into all the food people bring into the teacher's lounge a lot more often.  Ugh, not good.

This is just a phase, and I know I'll get through it just like everything else.  We have some pretty busy weekends coming up, including this one.  Some friends we haven't seen in months are visiting this weekend.  Hubby Blue used some of his comp time and took Saturday off so we could be normal, social people for a day, and that will be really nice.  I also have a lot of things to look forward to in February, like a Bible study, a "knife skills" class (I signed up for this one-night class after obliviously cutting my fingers twice in two days with our super-sharp kitchen knives) at our local community college, an online sewing class, a night out with some of my work friends, brunch and a play with my mom, my brother and his girlfriend, and a wine and cheese night with some friends I went to high school with.  My mom has also been fantastic and visited me on nights when Hubby Blue was working twice in about four days.  I really have the best mom ever, and I seriously wish we lived closer.  Maybe someday soon we will.  (Here's hoping.)  It's also a good thing I started this Bible reading plan this year.  Reading the Bible on a daily basis has really made me feel more in tune with the Lord lately.  I feel like it's been my calm in the storm more often than not.  I apologize if anyone was counting on my Sunday updates (even though I only did them like twice), but again, just couldn't make myself write a blog post!  I switched tactics anyway, as I found I was forgetting too much of what I was reading by jumping to a different book everyday.  My mom and I are kind of doing this together, and we both enjoyed Job, so we switched to Job and will finish that in the next week and a half.  I'm finding there is a lot to think about when you read about Job's faith, and I also never realized how poetic that book is.  The writing is so eloquent and beautiful.

Thankfully, January is almost over.  Does anyone else feel like this is the longest month of the whole year?!?  January being over means we're one month closer to March, which means Hubby Blue will go onto a new shift...hallelujah!  I never thought I'd say this...but I actually miss the night shift!  I even might say I kinda miss the afternoon shift when Hubby Blue would get home at 11:00 pm instead of 3:00 am!  Yeah, neither one was ideal, but they were better than this one.  Hopefully March will also mean warmer weather and the end of my blah feelings!  That being said, please accept my apologies for my longer-than-usual absence!  If it's cold where you are, stay warm!  And if it's warm where you lucky duck, don't rub it in. :)  Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Big 'Ol Pile of Shift Work

Back when Hubby Blue and I were just dating, there was a time in our relationship when he worked as a part-time police dispatcher for the community college he was attending.  He rotated shifts every weekend, going through the rotation of 7-3, 3-11, and 11-7.  This was the year 2007...the same year Kenny Chesney came out with his single, "Shiftwork."  I came to HATE that song, because it reminded me that my boyfriend had a shiftwork job which prevented me from spending time with him on the weekends!  Little did I know that just 6 short years later...I would still hate that song!

I haven't blogged in a few days because...I just haven't felt like it.  I don't know why exactly.  Too much to get done, maybe?  Hubby Blue is now done with FTO and like I said before, he works from 6:00 at night until 2:00 in the morning.  I'm trying not to think about how challenging a schedule it is because a) there's nothing I can do about it and b) I'm doing my very best to support my hubby.  HB has Wednesdays and Thursdays off, so when I really look at the week as a whole, I'm only dealing with being alone on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.  Yes, I'm alone Saturday and Sunday nights, but at least we're home together during the day.

The worst part about this shift is that we have little to no time to communicate.  We might have 10 minutes over my lunch period or 15 minutes while I'm driving from work to my exercise class and Hubby Blue is driving to work, but for the most part, we haven't really talked since Sunday afternoon.  I can deal with being alone all night, but what I can't really deal with is the feeling of not being married for 3 days out of the week.  I'm not used to having to make a list of topics I need to discuss with my husband 3 days from now because we don't have time to talk the same day.  I'm not crazy about the fact that if I forget to bring something up on my husband's weekend, oh well, I just need to wait until the next weekend.  I know we just need to figure this out, and I know it'll just take time.  This feels like this is yet another adjustment after a long 6 months of adjustments and re-adjustments!  I should be used to this by now, no?! :)

The other thing I'm struggling with is SLEEPING!  Hubby Blue gets home between 2:45 and 3:00 am, and every.single.night I wake up either when he comes in, or right before.  It's like I have my own internal alarm clock or something.  Usually I fall back asleep, so even though I'm not getting 7 or 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep, I'm still getting almost enough hours.  It's not ideal, but what was even worse this morning was that HB came home at 2:45, I woke up...and I never fell back asleep.  I might have dozed a little, but I was basically awake until I watched the clock change to 5:45 and my alarm went off.  Needless to say, it was a tough day (and of course, as luck would have it, it was also my day for my principal to observe my teaching.  Just lovely.)

So, tonight I'm going to bed early, and I think I'm going to try something a little drastic next week!  I'm going to...wait for it...go to bed at 7:00 and just get up at 3:00 in the morning to start my day!  HA.  Is that not bizarre or what?  Who does that?  Who gets up at 3:00 am if they don't have to?!  NOBODY, that's who.  I don't know if I'll actually follow through...but it's a thought!

Let's just hope this shift work can eventually take us to the beach to have a beer by the edge of the sea and this round-a-clock place.  And we'll drink our money away.  And party 7-3, 3-11, 11-7.

(You can google the lyrics. :))

Sunday, January 13, 2013


As of 2:00 am this morning, Hubby Blue will be DONE WITH FTO!!!

Words cannot even express how excited I am for him or how proud.  This has been a long three and a half months, for sure.  It feels like the academy was ages ago.  I have learned so much about what being his wife means, and even though I know I have a lot more to learn, I think I'm off to a good start.  It's funny how much your perspective can change in just a few months.  When I think back on what I thought marriage was all about 3 months ago, or even 6 months ago or a year ago, gosh, it's come to mean so much more than I realized then.  Sometimes I wonder how my perspective on marriage would have been different if Hubby Blue was already a cop before we got married, but I guess it doesn't really matter either.

Starting tomorrow, which is really today, Hubby Blue will be on the power shift, which is the 6:00 pm to 2:00 am shift.  This will probably last until they change shifts in March, but who knows.  His days off will be in the middle of the week, unfortunately, so we'll be jumping right into a police life routine!  I'm hopeful we'll get into some sort of pattern of doing something fun together on those nights he has off (and that I'll get better at remembering to leave him to-do lists!).  And that I'll find a way to get enough sleep since I inevitably wake up halfway through the night when Hubby Blue comes in.  It's just so nice to finally be able to think about possibly planning ahead.  FTO, with all the schedule changes that were sometimes only happening a day in advance, was exhausting.  I'm so glad we're going to be done with this.

Hubby Blue working power shift tonight meant I went to my school Christmas party solo tonight.  (I really didn't mind this actually.  He went to the party with me the first year I taught there, and it was pretty dull for him.  Not that the party was dull.  Oh, no.  Teachers, in general, are a pretty crazy breed in my opinion.  Maybe it's that we spend our days turning everything into song with small children rather than conversing with adults or maybe it's that we live in constant fear of head lice and projectile vomit or maybe it's just that we spend 80% of our day herding cats managing 25 or more little people who would all be running in 25 different directions if you let them.  But elementary teachers tend to be some of the craziest people I know.  Party.  Animals.  Let me tell ya.)  Anyway, I went to this party with just some other teachers who live in my town, and I had a really fun time.  Earlier this week, another teacher said she'd also be coming without her husband, "because he has to work nights.  Yeah, it's just the luck of the draw.  They switch off between days and nights."  I, seeing she appeared to feel bad about this, and being the empathetic person I am, rushed to reassure her that I was in the same boat and that my husband also works nights so he would not be coming.  Then I actually thought to myself how awful that must be to have to switch off like that and never get into a normal sleep schedule.  But now,  I'm going to stop right here and tell you, if your husband is not a cop, do not tell a cop's wife that your husband works nights if he doesn't actually work NIGHTS.  This girl's husband showed up at 9:00, so I'm gonna guess he must not ACTUALLY work nights.  I know, I know, you're not supposed to compare your marriage to someone else's (at all, really, but especially not if the person isn't a cop).  Even though it kind of drives me crazy, I guess I'm just going to take this as a reminder that I should remember that someone else is always fighting a harder battle than I am.

Anyways, now that we'll be in the same routine every week, I'm really excited to plan how to spend my time alone.  I'd much rather have Hubby Blue around, but if he can't be, then I ought to at least make the best of it!  I'm hoping to take a few fun classes offered at the community college (soap making, anyone?  Glass blowing?  Hahahaha) and make a plan for getting things accomplished at home every week, whether it be making time to work on that scrapbook I mentioned, sewing, cleaning and cooking, or just reading.  Or playing Rosetta Stone (yes, playing: I'll write about that another day soon :))  I'm feeling very optimistic, which is a lot more than I could say three months ago.

So in the meantime, I've got some things to accomplish tonight!  I'm trying to wait up 2 more hours for Hubby Blue to get home so we can have a celebratory drink together.  Cheers!  Here's to the future!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Would You Rather: 2nd Edition

This is another one of those "would you rather" posts...would you rather have to handcuff a naked man, or would you rather find out that one of your students was sent home from school with scabies, just hours after you'd helped him wash his filthy hands?

Obviously, the naked man story belongs to Hubby Blue (and that's another story for another time) and the scabies story belongs to me, but seriously, how did we BOTH end up in careers like this?!  Sometimes I feel like we should write a book about our combined experiences.  I, for one, was certainly not aware of the job hazards associated with being a teacher.  I mean, lice, yes, that's a given (though apparently it's a lot more common for teachers to catch lice from their students than I realized...I still pride myself on being lice-free my entire life).  But SCABIES???  I didn't even know what scabies were until today when I googled it.  And that in "young children, the head, neck, shoulders, palms, and soles are involved."  PALMS, people!!!  PALMS!!!  Remember that I helped him wash his hands?!?

So, I don't know...naked man or scabies...this is a really hard one.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Lesson

Tonight, while I write this, Hubby Blue is in the middle of his very first night in a squad car by himself.

AHHHHH!!!  Just kidding. :)  But in all seriousness, I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for him all day.  He was so excited, though, that I can't help but be excited for him.  He's so close to the end of FTO...we can taste it.  I just wish it wasn't this particular shift.  I would have loved to wait up for him and hear allllll about it...but I can't very well stay up until 2:00 am this morning AND be bright and cheery for the kiddos tomorrow morning.  I did take some advice that one of you dear readers left in the comments a couple days ago, and we prayed together before I left for work since I wouldn't be seeing him before he had to leave.  It seems to have helped.  That, and staying on top of my Bible reading plan (!) too.  I read some good Psalms tonight that were very calming.

I really need to get better at leaving Hubby Blue lists though.  I nearly made myself late for work this morning chopping up meat and veggies for a crock pot stew and TOLD (not wrote down!) Hubby Blue to put it all in the crock pot at about 10:30 so he could eat before leaving, and then just to leave it on warm for me.  I also TOLD him I needed the storage bins from above the rafters in the garage to put all the Christmas stuff away (don't judge...we still have our Christmas tree up...and it's actually smelling as Christmas-y as ever right now).  I shouldn't be surprised because I know how much better Hubby Blue does with a list but...let's just say I had French toast for dinner and our tree is still decorated.  Oh well.  There's always tomorrow!  (It's kind of like how when Hubby Blue gets off work for his "weekend," he needs to spend pretty much the whole first day decompressing...when Hubby Blue goes back to work, I need to spend the first night by myself being lazy...ha. :))

Anyway, when I got home at 6:00 tonight, my first reaction to no dinner and no storage bins was, pretty naturally, extreeeeeeme annoyance.  I was thisclose to firing off an angry text message to Hubby Blue about both things when, thankfully, I caught myself.  Something inside me was just nagging at me to remember that this was really not that big of a deal.  My husband was literally just starting his shift, his first solo shift, and he needed to be fully present and focused on his situation - at least that's how I would like to imagine him so that he comes home safe.  How selfish would it have been of me to text him with some petty complaint?  No, I decided, this is not the time; it can wait.

And I'm glad I did wait.  I love me some French toast, and I never get to have breakfast for dinner when Hubby Blue is home!  It gave me time to relax and remember not to sweat the small stuff.  I started the crock pot anyway, and we'll just eat it tomorrow.  No big deal, right?!  Right.  Most of the time we think technology is such a great thing, with all the convenience it provides...and yet it could also have done a lot of damage to a relationship in the few seconds it takes to type out a text message.  (I'm pretty sure I only say this because I just watched an episode of Dateline about going on a "digital diet" or "digital detox" but still.  Scary and sad.)

As one final note, Hubby Blue did give me a surprise call (he rarely is able to call while he's working), and he is LOVING tonight.  I am just so proud of him and so happy that he is so happy.  The man who once thought he'd only find happiness as a machine gunner in the infantry...has arrived.  I think he's finally there again. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back to School

Tomorrow morning I will head back to work after two long weeks off!  It feels like it's been forever since I've done my job, and I think I might have forgotten how to do it a little bit...just kidding!  But seriously, I do feel like I've been off school for a long, long time. And I'm not sure how I feel about going back!  On the one hand, the routine will be good for me.  On the other hand, I just feel like I'm so good at being a housewife!  I was gone from home for three days, and while I was having a nice time visiting friends, having a spa day with my mom, and looking at wedding dresses with my future sister-in-law, Hubby Blue was here at home, "barely surviving," as he told me.  It really warmed my heart when he told me he realized how much he depends on me!  Like I said before, I hadn't been thinking much past New Year's Eve the last time we went grocery shopping, and Hubby Blue said he was pretty hungry while I was gone.  Poor Hubby! :)

I did really good at keeping on top of my Bible reading this week.  It was interesting to read more of the Old Testament, and I feel like I will learn a lot by doing this.  I'm hoping I can keep up with it when I go back to work.  Actually I hope I can keep up with all my resolutions when I go back to work.  I so enjoyed my time off with all this extra time to read and cook and sew (I learned how to sew!) and organize and craft.  Anyway,  if anyone is joining me in my Bible reading, here's what I'm reading this week!:

Sunday (today): Romans 3-4
Monday: Genesis 4-7
Tuesday: Joshua 6-10
Wednesday: Psalm 3-5
Thursday: Job 3-4
Friday: Isaiah 7-11
Saturday: Matthew 3-4

I hope you have a great week, and I REALLY hope Hubby Blue has a great week.  He's nearing the end of FTO, and I can't tell you how excited I'm going to be.  He's on the 6pm-2am shift this week so I know we won't see each other much...but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Read Food Friday: I NEED A ROUTINE!

If I said one thing about my last two weeks on break, it's that we had NO routine, and it's kind of driving me crazy!  I found it especially difficult to plan for meals because we had so many holidays going on.  Hubby Blue's schedule was also slightly up in the air, and it just seemed like I never knew when we'd be home together, when I'd be home alone, if anyone was coming to visit us/me.  I felt like half the time I was ready to make a lunch for Hubby Blue, he'd tell me at the last minute he didn't need one because there was going to be food at the department.  Okay, maybe that happened once or twice, but still. :)

I'm not even going to try to post receipt totals here because it's been so crazy around here that I don't even know where they are...actually, I'm not even at home right now!  I'm visiting my family for a few days, so this is really just an update to tell you probably the most important and exciting news about this real food thing...

I FOUND REAL POLENTA!!!  (now I just need to cook it)

It only took driving to a bigger grocery store about 30 minutes away!  You'd never know that it, too, is also a small town.  Funny story: we were there to mostly pick up some things for our New Year's Eve dinner and we were stopped in the produce section.  I saw they had pomelos, (pummelos is showing up as incorrect, but I think that's how our store labeled them?) and I asked HB if he wanted another one since we liked it the last time we tried one.  He agreed, and then he started looking at these "Asian pears."  He wanted to try them so he picked up one...then another.  "Umm...those are $3.50 each you know," I said.  "But what if we like them so much that we each want one?" Hubby Blue cried.  "But they're $3.50 EACH!!!"  And then I stopped myself.  Why was I stopping him from buying produce?!?  Anyway, we bought two. :)

Here's another little story for you to illustrate just what kind of crazy person that Hubby Blue is married to.  Being the teacher that I am, I used to like to write notes to Hubby Blue and put them in his lunch.  I NEVER do this now because Hubby Blue would KILL me if someone from work saw one of them.  BUT.  One day this week, I packed him a little bag of carrot sticks (because I didn't feel like eating the whole container of them myself) and wrote on the bag, "Please eat promised!" because he really had promised to eat some earlier in the week.  And he did! now, flash forward a day.  Hubby Blue has not been getting a can of soda in his lunches for a while because, well, for a while it just wasn't in the budget, but now, because it's not "real food."  We had a case of pop at our house, though, so I decided I was going to be reallllll generous and give him one of the cans one day.  Because I am so thoughtful and special, I got out my permanent marker and wrote "TREAT" on the top of the can.  You know, just in case he didn't figure out that this was not going to be a regular thing, it was a TREAT.  Yeah...he came home and told me never to do that again.  Sorrrrrry, Hubby Blue! :)

So, yes, I don't know how much we spent on groceries, but it was a lot, and it's barely gotten us through the week.  I don't know's like I wasn't thinking we'd have to eat in 2013 or something. When I was home earlier this week I was pretty much surviving on bulgur and carrots.  Ugh.  Hubby Blue's been such a good sport to eat so many carrot sticks this week since we totally ran out of fresh fruit a few days ago.  So needless to say, I think getting back into a routine next week will be a good thing.  Not so sure I am ready to go back to school...but it's not like I have much of a choice!  And I'm choosing to be happy, remember?!?  Ahhh...New Year's Resolutions... seemed like a good idea at the time, right? :)