"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I couldn't do it!

I'm still fighting against the notion of leaving so much undone.  Fighting against choosing to be okay with leaving nearly a year and a half of moments, celebrations, victories & struggles OUT of this blog altogether. It appears I have a choice to make.  I can either: A) leave those weeks and months out ~ maybe indefinitely or B) decide there is just no way to catch up and abandon this poor blog project altogether.

I can't seem to be okay with the latter . . . an important piece of our lives has been missing this past year and a half. Truth be told a LOT of important pieces of our lives have been missing during this past year and a half, pushed aside by the all consuming nature of our strange place and position in life right now. I'm trying, daily, to figure out how to pick up the pieces and make sure the most important ones don't fall away altogether - not an easy task.

As far as our little blog goes. I'm just not willing to abandon the task altogether.  I am so dreadfully far behind on photo albums that this blog is really our only consistent family record ~ and I can't just close the doors on it.  So, in the spirit of Philippians 3:13 (forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead . . . ), I'm going to try to keep things at least a tiny little bit up to date from this point forward.  On your mark, get set, GO!


For those of you who are confused, here's an attempt at the "back story" of the past year and a half.

In May, 2012 we began work camping at Jellystone Park Larkspur.  For the kids and me, it had been our "happy place" throughout the spring, while Kevin applied for jobs all over the country. With each application - our future seemed to teeter a little more on the edge of the great unknown (would a job offer have us moving across town, out of state, out of the country or staying put?)  My little world was feeling the strain of uncertainty.  When we drove down the highway and crossed the railroad tracks onto the campground property, we breathed a collective sigh of relief.  We enjoyed the wide open spaces, the serenity, the goats (who we helped out with when we were able to), and our visits with the staff.  It felt stable and hopeful.

In August (2012), after two months as 'workcampers', God opened the doors for us to assume a long term role at Jellystone.  We moved out of our house and into a small house on the campground property (while juggling new and additional responsibilities at the campground - the combination of the two made for a bit of a crazy time).  During the final week of cleaning out our Castle Rock house, we came home utterly exhausted to find our new (but actually quite old!) house flooded. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the only time we came home to find water welcoming us =/

Throughout the winter, things settled into a little bit of a routine and we enjoyed living in such a peaceful spot, enjoying our cozy little house, seeing deer out the window, stars above, the kids sledding right out back and being part of planning and dreaming about future plans for the campground.  We've enjoyed a taste of what it would be like to run a family business - that the kids can have an active role in. We are far enough "away" to feel like we live in the country, but close enough that the kids are still involved in the same activities that they were previously.  In many ways, it's a perfect place for this season of life.

In April, roles got shifted around again and both of us ended up working FAR more hours than we had been expecting. Our school year limped to a finish as the camping season ramped up and utter insanity set in. April through August have been quite literally a BLUR. I, personally, worked 55+ hrs/wk for most of the summer as the Activities Director . . . and Kevin worked far more, sometimes only coming home to sleep and eat. Our "summer break" was definitely not much of one.

On the positive side, there were parts that were a fun and memorable adventure for all of us. On the negative side, this has been without question one of the most trying seasons of our entire 20 years together. Schedules have been unpredictable at best (difficult for the 'planner' in me), family time was nearly non-existent from April to August, communication strained, expectations muddy, the demands constant, finances and energy stretched far too thin.  Outside relationships & church involvement have been squeezed out of our schedule almost entirely, adding to a great sense of isolation and sadness (especially for me).  A difficult season no doubt . . . and one we don't want to remain in.

Things have shifted again in recent weeks, school has begun again (ready or not!), my work hours have decreased . . . hope is slowly returning.  Our task at this point is to find ways to better manage the demands that lie ahead of us - in a way that restores order and allows us to prioritize and guard family time once again. Right now we don't have a clear sense of our long term plans, but we think they will involve remaining here for a while.