Begin Again

I don’t even know how I’m going to get y’all caught up on the awesomeness that has been my last week, but I will try my best.

FIRST…yes, I remembered to wear a sweatshirt to blog today no thanks to any reminders from my friends who read this blog…LOL

Life is about to make some HUGE changes for me. The hearing we had in July was FINALLY ruled on. The judge has changed the custody arrangement to give me 50% parenting time!! WOO HOO. I have to admit, it’s not ALL good though. My boys go to school in a town 22 miles from where I was able to find housing when I was forced to move out in April. I am responsible for transportation on the weeks they are in my care (one week at mom’s, one week and dad’s is the new arrangement).

So for those days I will have to drive 22 miles to take them to school, 22 miles back to town to go to work and then make that trip again at the end of the day to pick them up. This is not going to be easy on me or our budget. Right now I drive a mini-van. I am looking at selling it and getting a more economical vehicle just for the increased mileage. It’s just the boys and I for now, we don’t need a mini-van.

Their father is, shall I say, less than enthused about this new arrangement. No…he is PISSED. Not only does he lose the power over me of deciding when and where I see my children, he knows that Bubba will become much more defiant while he is at dad’s because I encourage him to speak up for himself and for what he believes is right. It’s easy to ‘beat’ that out of a child when they only get reinforcements for 2 days out of 14. When it’s 50/50 there could be trouble.

Bum already says he just wants to go to school in my town (unfortunately he has no say and for ‘right now’ I am not pushing the issue until a few more kinks are finalized).

The ex also has to pay me $1500 in alimony (for the first three months I was out of the house). He is not impressed with this either. I have no idea when this money will show up but I DO know that it will be a great big help with the increased expenses of having the boys for 7 days instead of 2.

The kids are excited to be able to attend church one more night each week (the Monday evening service). They are also excited that they now have access to things such as Boy Scouts, 4-h, AWANA, tae-kwon-do, and many other activities not available in their dad’s town.

I imagine that Bum will be wanting to  spend more and more time at my house and eventually free enough to request to not to return to his dad’s for the week days. I also believe that Dad, having no more control over the situation, will allow this to happen and eventually walk out on his boys. He did the same thing when his first ex-wife moved out of town with the children from his first marriage. He used the distance (22 miles) as an excuse to not be involved in their daily lives.

He has voiced his concern a number of times since the order came to light on Friday about how awful this is going to be for the boys…how tough it was going to be on me. Ya, like that’s EVER been his concern. My willingness to put these children ahead of everything else in my life only reflects back to him his own shortcomings as far as parenting them.

I’m not a super mom…just a mom who will move heaven and earth (and super sleepy boys at 0715) to be able to spend even a few extra evening hours with them. I am willing to cut out all my extra spending (even considering reducing my bowling commitment, maybe only bowling every other week or less) just to get ahead of the budget once I get back to work.

The change also comes at a time when both boys have birthday’s coming up (Bum in November, Bubba in December) plus Christmas so the budget is gonna be a challenge to say the least. Bubba is looking forward to being an integral part of financial planning. He loves that kind of thing. He loves setting goals and meeting them ahead of schedule. He has already learned the rewards of budgeting and planning. I love that kid’s brain!!

As far as the bunk beds donated to the boys…THEY CAME WITH MATTRESSES!!! I almost cried when the man dropped them off to our home. Super happy little men to sleep in actual beds for the first time at mom’s house. For their birthday’s I will be buying them each new bedding for their beds and donating our gently used items to the local woman’s shelter.

So much more going on, the job, the kids, the church, my friends…and it’s all good.

The boyfriend is safe and busier than you (or I) can imagine. Communication blackouts are more frequent lately for whatever reason and there are days that is hard on me. He is not surprised at the order and sees it as a stepping stone to the boys being with me full time by the time this divorce is final. I believe this as well…but my heart is a little more guarded about saying that out loud.

My laptop part may no longer be available so I am without a computer at home until further notice. Far from the top of my list of priorities…but it will be on the wish list the boys and I work on when we start our new budget!! I have not seen The Boyfriend for a month now and I won’t lie, it’s TOUGH. I send him pictures of the boys and I and the things we do…a taste of home I guess I see it as. We’ll be fine, we didn’t come this far for nothing. He still has more than six months on this deployment and although time has been going pretty fast, there are still days that take weeks to get through.

My heart is full, and happy. Change is tough, it’s hard, it’s challenging, and it’s exciting.

More Change

This last couple of weeks have been extremely taxing. My divorce trial was postponed (for the second time), I quit my job (which I used to absolutely love), I attended Wildland Fire Fighter training (and although as fun as anything I’ve ever done it was physically tough work).

Just as things settled down The Boyfriend gives me the news he’s been holding on to for a week or so. His deployment has been extended by two months. At first I thought I was going to absolutely break down, then I just wanted to puke. A few conversations and a good night of sleep and I’m better.

He told me that he did not expect me to wait for him. Our relationship is new and he understands how hard this is. Immediately I told him things would be fine, I knew this was a possibility and that it changes nothing. The more I thought about his ‘offer’ it hurt my feelings. Does he think I am so shallow that an extension would send me running? I’m guessing he was only trying to save himself from being hurt by suggesting I don’t have to wait. I wonder if he’s just never had somebody tell him he’s worth the wait. I made sure I did.

The truth is, I enjoy waiting for him. I have comfort knowing I can bring him comfort during his deployment. It gives me a sense of value knowing after a long day of work I can make him smile. I can take his mind off the fact that he is 8000 miles from home.

The Lunch Lady and I have talked several times about how long the wait is and there are still so many variables. She and I joked that maybe now the divorce will be final before he comes home (although neither one of us are going to hold our breath). He could come home sooner, he could be extended again. It is what it is.

I told The Boyfriend that the length of his deployment didn’t change anything except our trip to Mexico…and gives me more time to save for it so we can go as soon as he gets home. It’s not all bad…sure it still has days where it’s not easy, but he’s worth it. As long as he wants me to, I’ll wait.

For now, I will focus on each day as it comes, and say a prayer for the safe return of him and all the men and women who are deployed. I will no longer try to count down the days because then I am focusing too far in the future. I need to focus on here and now while I look forward to the possibilities. He’ll be home before we know it and this will become a memory.

Take care Hun, we got this…

Are You Kidding Me?

I just asked the boss if we were signing up enough guests for our loyalty program to meet the quota set by our hotel brand. He said we are signing up enough people but what we really need is good reviews. He asked if I had been checking our guest feedback scores from survey’s and I said I hadn’t had access to that information since January when I was demoted.

He pulled up the site with our guest feedback and it is TERRIBLE. I am embarrassed to even associate myself as working here. We had a small ‘increase’ in scores through the summer months, but a tiny increase from crap…is still crap.

So he tells me that I need to talk to “my buddies” and get them to send us positive reviews. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You treat me like crap, you complain that I am “too personal” with the guests, you try to put the blame on me for things you either don’t know how to do or just plain refuse to do, you couldn’t care any less than you already do about the people who stay here and you want me to do the same, yet you want me to ask these people to send us positive reviews based on my friendship with them? I don’t think so.

When you have a company that stays with you four nights a week for months at a time, you get to know them. People who were guests become friends. I don’t use my friends; I’m not made that way.

If you want people to leave positive feedback, give them a reason to do so. Looking through the feedback, the complaints are consistent. Instead of sending back sugar-coated, form letters of apology that mean nothing to you, try getting to know your guests and their needs and then work on meeting those needs EVERY TIME. Be present for your guests, be visible. Take pride in your position as manager. Don’t hide behind your ‘partners’ who aren’t here. Make decisions, be proactive, care.

Our guests expect a manager who cares. One guest (who I couldn’t help last night due to my limitations as an associate) was giving me a hard time this morning. He said all we ever used to do was call the Princess and you always took care of us…of everybody. I explained that I no longer had that authority and that it was out of my hands. I explained that although I didn’t have to like it I am expected to conform to it.

There is a new hotel being built right next door. As it gets closer and closer to completion regulars are asking more and more if I am moving over there when it opens. I said I would consider it as an option if it presents itself and overwhelmingly I am told that if I go, they go. That’s a nice shot in the arm. I know they love me, I know they appreciated when I went above and beyond, I know it’s the little things that matter.

 

Difficult Day

Tuesday was a difficult day for me. I did not sleep well on Monday night, which is not common. I NEED my sleep. I am one of those people who cannot function on less than eight or nine hours. I guess I can function, but it’s not pretty.

I am tired, I am hungry, I am lonley. All the things which do their best to run me in to the ditch. I know I am not eating enough, I also know that I am saving every penny so I can afford to stay in the hotel I am staying in. I understand food is a necessity, so is having a roof over my head so I can have a place to bring my boys in two weeks to visit. I also need to have money to feed them when I do have them. Some days I need to choose, and it’s never an easy decision. I eat breakfast at work everyday and then grab a peice of fruit before heading out at the end of the day. This way a handfull of crackers is enough to get me through the night.

I am trying to work more hours without burning myself out. I know I still need time for me, time to process, time to live.

The stress of my current situation is taking a toll on me. My savings are drained, I have to spend at least three more weeks before I can move in to my apartment, and I miss my kids. I know I just saw them, I know I will see them on Thursday when I have the day off work and will be spending the day with Boy 2 at school. None of this calms my mom heart when I am hurting.

I need to remember that this is only a blink of time in the grand scheme of things.; that I am living out some of my worst fears and it’s really not that bad.

This post is extremely random…I appologize for that.