my funny Valentines

February 14th, 2012

baker's assistant this is her "eating a chocolate chip" face

We’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day around our house. I’ve always told Troy that I’d rather he buy me a $10 bouquet of flowers on any random day of the year than spend $50 on roses on Valentine’s Day. Restaurants are too crowded on the 14th, and all the good candy is half-off on the 15th.

Then last night Troy came home with the news that he was going to have to stay late at work tonight because of a meeting his bosses are having. He doesn’t have to go to the meeting, mind you; he just has to sit around waiting for it to be done just in case they need him to do something after it’s over. That’s pretty typical of his job right now. We don’t love that aspect of our life, but we’re used to it, sadly. And at least we knew ahead of time that he wouldn’t be home in time for dinner, so we were able to eat at one of our favorite restaurants last night with the girls and call it an early Valentine’s Day dinner.

nom nom apple

Today, Annalie and I made PB&J Valentine Cookies (while Elliora looked cute in her too-big apron and begged chocolate chips) and they are delicious. Later I might try making some Compost Cookies (despite the gross name, the recipe sounds delicious), and after the girls are in bed Troy and I will have a late supper of spicy California rolls and roasted asparagus and Annika‘s baguette drizzled with olive oil, topped with dark chocolate and coarse sea salt, oven-toasted. We’ll probably watch the second half of the BBC production of Sense and Sensibility that features Dan Stevens (the actor who plays Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey!) as Edward Ferrars. Not a bad night, Valentine’s Day or no.

Sunrise on the way to IAH.

I’ve been a little blue lately, thinking about how we were supposed to be moving back to San Diego right now, until our move got pushed back six months. Although we do like being close to some of our friends and family here, and we enjoy taking advantage of the great museums and monuments in D.C., we don’t love living on the East Coast. It’s far away from most of our family and friends, and we just plain like San Diego and are eager to live there again.

The biggest reason we’re ready to leave is the long hours Troy has been spending at his job. We knew when we moved here that it wasn’t going to be a cushy shore job, that there would be periods of time when he’d be working late many nights in a row. And the first year we lived here, that’s what it was: periods of time, with long breaks in between where he was home in time for dinner and for a couple hours before Annalie’s bedtime nearly every day.

For the past year that is not how it’s been. Troy has been working long hours, just barely getting home in time to tuck Annalie in around 8pm most nights. Family dinners are a rare occurrence. We’re all burned out and ready to be done with this phase of our lives.

happy thing: Annalie eating non-spaghetti pasta!

But the fact is, we need to hang in there for another six months. We have reason to hope that the long hours will taper off this summer and things will go back to a more normal schedule. In the meantime, we’re trying to think positive. Being here another six months means we have that much longer to visit our local(ish) friends and family. We have the spring and summer to enjoy the Smithsonian and national monuments. And we have a little more time for visitors, which we always love. And it could be worse; Troy could be deployed on a ship and gone completely for the next six months. So there are many reasons to look on the bright side.

happy thing: vanilla sea salt caramels

Huh. Not sure how this post turned into a rant. Then again, pretty much everything I say these days comes around to this topic of how much I am over Troy’s long hours and how tired we all are and how ready we are to move on. I’m a broken record, a boring broken record. I even annoy myself.

I’ll focus on the good things instead. Like Elliora’s enthusiasm for eating a whole peeled apple, or Annalie eating—and liking!—pasta with eggplant, or the vanilla sea salt caramels Troy brought home for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us to all of you!

family portrait in the hallway

11 Responses to “my funny Valentines”

  1. Ashley says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Also, that first picture made me think “When the heck did Elliora get so big?!!” She looks so grown up :)

  2. bekah says:

    Yikes! Elliora did change in the 4ish weeks since I’ve seen you.

    Glad for my sake that you are here 6 more months. Glad for your sake that you get to leave in 6 more months.

    LOVE the “hair accessories” you and Troy have in the last pic.

    BTW, my mom gave you an untagged shoutout on FB.

  3. JeCaThRe says:

    I gave my husband strict orders not to buy me roses on Valentine’s day because it’s such a racket. I figure we have lots of other days to celebrate instead.

  4. Yara says:

    Ummm… who blew up my toy phone & turned it into a ride on for Elliora? That. Is. Awesome.

    That’s Moty (MOAT-ee)! My mom bought him for Annalie when she was little, and Annalie named him Moty after she saw the episode of Spongebob where he names his boat Boaty. :-)

  5. Michelle says:

    Hang in there and enjoy those museums! But San Diego misses you! :)

    I absolutely love that last pic…Annalie cracks me up!

  6. Erin L. says:

    Hi!! Happy Valentine’s Day to Los Gronberg from Los Lieuallen.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to Los Gronberg from Los Lieuallen.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to Los Gronberg from Los Lieuallen. Sorry, that is me being a broken record too. The light, the light. Keep focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.

  7. Alexandra says:

    Bethany – I also am sending good wishes to you (fellow Downton Abbey/coffee cake in a mug fan) and hope for a beautiful spring (those cherry blossoms are divine in your neck of the woods) that will lift your spirits from this tough time! I’ve been a long time reader of your and SAJ’s blogs and haven’t commented enough to tell you how much I enjoy them (and the strong friendship you two share!). All the best!! -Alexandra

  8. Madge says:

    I know sometimes it’s hard to focus on those positives, but I’m glad that you’re able to do it. I love all the pictures in this post.

    Thanks. One of the MAJOR negatives to us leaving later is that we’re going to miss out on living in CA while you guys are still there. :-( I can’t even think about that or I get really sad, really fast.

  9. a chris says:

    Yep, hang in there! The days are getting longer, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    We don’t do Valentine’s day either, but yesterday F took G (3) and W (6mo) downstairs without waking me up and got them to put handprints in a card for me. I…vacuumed and did laundry. Romantic.

  10. Mrs. Wilson says:

    I love that last photo of you guys! Elliora’s growing SO FAST.

    I would be SO SICK OF IT if Noah was working long hours, too. I cringe when he tells me he has to work only half an hour late. You are such a trooper! I guess the bright side of this is that when you move and he works regular hours, you’ll be stoked at how much time you get to spend together!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.

  11. Kuky says:

    I’m playing catch up reading. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm. In fact I am positive I’m only going to read this post alone though I saw another unread one waiting in my feed reader. But I digress.

    Sorry you’ve been feeling a little blue lately. And you do have wonderful positives to look at. I am particularly envious of what Annalie and Elliora are eating. No, that’s not the right wording. I could eat apple or pasta with eggplant though I don’t really care for eggplant. Ok there I go rambling on again. What was I saying? I think I’m tired. Why am I typing this? Because I am laughing at the silliness of it right now.

    Oh right! Apple and eggplant. I am envious of the fact that they are willing to eat it. It is like pulling teeth to get Isabelle to like something new. I can’t get her to eat any vegetables or fruit.

    And unfortunately she just declared she no longer cares for carrot cupcakes after helping me bake some and seeing me put the carrots in. Which I totally do not get since she’s seen me do it before. Some days I worry that Isabelle will grow up to be one of those people with strange eating habits. Like she’ll only eat pizza as an adult.

    Wow that was an insanely long comment.