Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thankful for These Six Weeks...

On November 23, when my husband "pulled a muscle" in his side and the pain would not go away, it swelled up and he began vomiting, I panicked.  I had never dealt with anything like that before and there were a lot of things that went through my mind, not the least of which was how much I love this man.

I am so thankful that my dad was home, that he had not gone to the city with my mom.
I am grateful to have the kind of dad that when I called him late at night and said, "I am bringing Jason to the hospital-" without me saying another word, my dad said, 
"I will meet you there.  And, Therese, everything is going to be okay."

I am thankful that my dad sat in the emergency waiting room with my girls for hours until it was determined that Jason was not going home anytime soon and I would wait with him and my dad would take the girls back to his house.  I am grateful that my dad kept the girls for days while I went back and forth to the hospital.

I am thankful for the doctors and nurses that diagnosed Jason with an incarcerated hernia and the surgeon who did emergency surgery on a holiday weekend.

I am thankful for the Morphine that kept my husband comfortable.

I am really thankful for the ultrasound technician who made us laugh hysterically at 2am when we were so tense and scared and nervous.

I am thankful to God who made all of this happen at a time when a person who has been a significant part of my life since I was born and was so special and close to me was slipping away...I was so afraid that I would lose it.  And I didn't.  I couldn't.  God saw to that.

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I grew up with the Women's Movement.  In college, I identified myself as a feminist.  I took a lot of Women's Studies classes.  I never thought I would ever rely on a man to support me.  Then I had a baby and my desire and need to stay home with her was stronger than anything I had ever known...and we took the risk and Jason is our primary breadwinner.  It's a scary position.  What if that breadwinner gets sick?  what if they can't work?  what if they lose their job?  I don't want to get political, but this is why I need to think outside my own life on issues such as unemployment, health care and disability...there but for the grace of God....

I am thankful that Jason's company continued to pay a portion of our insurance and we only had to pay our portion.

I am thankful for our excellent insurance coverage.  We had only ever used insurance for childbirth and doctor visits and I was nervous about how much we would have to pay out of pocket for surgery and it was really not nearly what I feared it would be.

I am thankful that we have 6 months living expenses in savings.
SO thankful for that and SO determined to put back what we took out!

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I am thankful that our family had embraced a "mostly meatless" diet this past summer.

Food is an area where we spent a lot of money.  Jason and I both like to cook and we feel quality ingredients make a big difference.  We like to try different cuisines and hunt around specialty stores for ingredients.  We like to eat healthy.

Fortunately, we like beans and were already used to preparing dishes with dried beans.  (We use dried beans because of certain contaminants in the canning process; PLUS a 1 lb. bag of dried beans can feed a family of four for at least 3 meals).  We discovered some new recipes, such as white bean and kale stew with potatoes, lentil and escarole soup, black bean and sweet potato burritos and chick pea stew with spinach and tomatoes.  

As a child, I could not handle the texture of eggs without vomiting.  As an adult, I learned that adding vegetables and cheese to eggs in the form of omelets or frittatas or quiche allowed me to enjoy this non-meat protein source.  We enjoyed California omelets, and frittatas and quiches made with broccoli or asparagus or tomatoes or spinach.  Eggs are another inexpensive protein source.

Another new to-die-for fave: Irish Nachos--this is what would happen if potato skins and nachos got married and had a baby!

Jason has been passionate about baking bread for a few years now.
He had time to perfect this passion.
One thing about his passion...every time he would bake bread, he would say, "Next time, I am going to..." but next time would be weeks or months later and he would forget what he said he was going to do differently.  Having six weeks off, he was able to bake bread every single blessed day and remembered all his little tweaks so he could get his crumb & his crust to perfection!
My Grandpa used to bake bapka for holidays.  No one in our family has done that since my Grandpa passed away ten years ago.  Jason asked my Grandma for the recipe and baked my Grandpa's bapka for Christmas.  So thankful for that gift this Christmas.

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In many, many ways these last six weeks were like a 

We went on a lot of field trips.
I am thankful that Jason had time to pursue some of his passions, such as bread baking and guitar playing and photography.
I am thankful for silly, fun moments as a family.
Although Jason always makes the girls and I a priority, Jason works hard for our family, sometimes that means long hours or travel, sometimes that means he is not around a lot.  
I am thankful for Jason being part of Allie getting her first orthodontic appliance.
I am thankful that he got to meet her {super sweet and hilariously funny} orthodontist who is starting to feel like part of the family!
I am thankful that Jason got this time with the girls, to be silly, to get to know them, to influence them.
I am thankful for "Family Game Night" in the middle of the afternoon, silly Gangnam style dances at midnight and hours spent together as a family.

I am not going to lie.
There were times where it was challenging having another adult in the house.  
We all have our ways of doing things, ways we like to have things done.
But, for the most part, it was really nice having Jason here every day.

I am thankful to have woken up to coffee with Jason every morning.
I am thankful for running errands with Jason every day--or just having him run the errands so I could lounge in bed with a book!
I am thankful for the laundry and housework Jason helped out with--I have not done laundry in six weeks!
I am thankful for Jason picking up the pieces when I spent the day crying or would just randomly burst into tears.  I am SO, SO thankful for him being here to hold me and to tell me that my uncle will always be with us, he will always live in our heart and we will see him again one day.

I am thankful for how much Jason helped with homeschooling--seriously, he is so much more laid back and his mind just works like a homeschooler, he is the homeschool parent I strive to be!  More than once I thought i should go find a job that could support us and leave the homeschooling to him!
 I am so, so, so, so THANKFUL 

It was like being on a six week long vacation.

Monday is gonna be difficult!

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Homegrown Learners