February 14th, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!