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!