Thursday, November 01, 2012

the sugar high

First and foremost...



I got your messages. I promise to call you back once I've got a spare moment.


Who's Bob, you ask?

Bob is a great guy that I worked with for years. He retired from the company with whom I'm now employed and every so often, he reads my blog. Whenever he senses that I've had it UP TO HERE and am ready to call it quits ... he will call and remind me about the amazing pension and benefits if I can just hang on for a few more years. (Hence the reason he is calling me, now.)

Charlie and I took Bob camping about 10 years ago (before we'd had children) when Bob was on an extended business trip to California. If I can ever find those pictures from our fateful trip to Julian, I promise I'll post them. Bob + Backpacking tent = Funniest thing ever.


In other news ...  I am so conflicted.

The question is - what working mother isn't?

On the one hand, I want (sometimes, but not all the time) to stay home with my children.

On the other hand, sometimes (but not when I'm in a toxic situation) I love working.

If I didn't love it as much as I do, I would have pulled the plug long ago. There is an incredible satisfaction that comes from putting your skills to action.  And the paycheck, that's just a bonus.  

Then again, my children.

They need me. 

They need me so much. 

What better opportunity to put my skills to work than on my children, the little people that I brought in to this world and will be my greatest legacy long after I'm gone?

Oh but when I'm with them, I sometimes feel like I'm going insane.

Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work. Children. Work.

That's what it's like in my brain.


Why must mothers be so guilt ridden?  Oh, the THINGS that we second guess ourselves over. When I look at Charlie he never seems to dwell on what he did or didn't do.  Honestly, I think a man's "Y" chromosome is for, "Yeah, whatever."

I wonder, if I was with them all the time every day if that would get better?

Would I eventually become immune to that feeling of crazy?


At this moment: life is good here.

Life is great!

Neither Charlie nor I have ANY idea what the future holds and it is incredibly exciting and awesome.

(Someone please remind me of this feeling of elation when it is January and we have no heat and are eating potatoes for the second month straight.) 

Last night we had our second annual 'smores fest in the front yard and it was fantastic. The only thing that was missing was my mom and Jim. 


(Mom and Jim, next year, OK?)

We had hot apple cider and wine. A raging fire to warm our trick-or-treaters.  Plenty of hay bales upon which to sit.  Candy. And of course, 'smores.  By the end of the night, we had no less than 50 people drop by and stay awhile. Including several people who didn't even have children.  They'd heard about our gathering last year, and they didn't want to miss it this year.  And that's how traditions are born.


Here are our little trick-or-treaters: a cheerleader, a cowgirl, Spiderman and a zombie clown.  (But whatever you do, don't tell him he looks like a clown with a cute little red button nose. He's terribly frightening. Nightmare inducing, even.)


Blink. Blink. Long gone are the days I could dress them in adorably coordinated costumes.


These days they insist on being scary and all grown up. 

Too fast, I tell you. 


It goes by so darn fast. 


  1. Something to remember when considering staying home with your kids: the triplets are now in school full time, and Henry is in preschool (I think????) It makes a huge difference to have more free time to yourself through the day.

  2. Hi Jen,
    My name is Patti Capeloto and I stumbled across your blog some time ago. I have never commented on anyone's blog before, but just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your writing style, and that I can really relate to you and your family. (if you fast forward 20 years or so from where you are now :-) ) I am 51 years old, have 4 children: my son is 25, my twin girls are 22 and my baby is 15. I am an electrical engineer, work for a large Aerospace company, and have struggled / juggled the work/ home balance for 25 years. If you ever want to chat our email is You are obviously a smart, beautiful, resourceful, diligent, creative, loving woman and no matter what choice you make you will be successful. I have no answers, as everyone's situation is different. I will say that after paying for 2 private university tuitions, and one public Cal State tuition, I do see the other side and don't regret my choices (most of the time). I have worked part time for years and that helped me, someone who always just wanted to get married and have babies.....the engineer thing came about as a result of my brilliant father's insistence that all of his daughters would have the ability to support themselves, as that is very empowering. Anyway, I am not sure how this got so I talk too much even when I am typing. Best wishes to you from Palos Verdes, California. Patti

    1. Patti - not sure if you're going to see this response, but I'm very appreciative of your thoughtful note. I think the key is balance - and in my experience, the best way to obtain that as a mother with little ones (or, kids at home!) is by working part-time. It's really too much to do full time away from home, when there are full time needs at home, too!

      Your father sounds like a very wise man. That mentality is exactly how I intend to raise our children re: education and ability to support themselves. And hopefully, when our children are older - traditional companies like the one I work for that expect long work hours and presence in the office every day, will be more accepting of various career tracks for parents. Hopefully, they'll also recognize that the most efficient and effective employees, are the ones with the best balance in their lives.

      Take care and thanks again for your note!

  3. Jen, I haven't been to your blog in a LONG while. I lost your link and have just been busy with my own littles. So I'm just now catching up with your latest. So a couple things:

    One: I could see this day coming WAAAAY back when. I knew you'd leave. You just had to get to the point where the pain of staying became greater than your fear of leaving. And I'm relieved for you!

    Two: I quit my job about 28 months ago for similar reason, and chose to stay home full-time. I made about 60% of the household income, so I'd be lying if I told you it's been "fine". Unless your definition of "fine" is "F-ed up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional". Ha!

    Anyways...all that to's been super hard. (Can you say beans? I say it a lot. Because we eat them a lot. Until I found out I have a legume allergy. Ha. God's crazy sense of humor.) And it's been AWESOME. God has done so much friggin' work on my heart and my perspective and my attitude and I'm SO GRATEFUL!

    We are poorer than we've ever been. We're down to one vehicle, we rarely eat out, we've cancelled all extraneous costs like gym memberships and cable and Netflix, etc. My countertops are still pink and our kitchen will likely not ever get remodeled like we want. Our savings is lower than it's ever been. And yet, the simplicity of our lives is very...releasing. Our focus is now on each other. God has taught me to look at HIM for security, not my pocketbook, not a self-made career, not even a husband that is slowly climbing the ranks in his own right...but to HIM.

    Philippians 4:7 has been a scripture I CLING TO. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

    I am excited to see what God does with you over the next few portions of this journey. It's scary as hell. And yet He's got all these details mapped out...He just reveals them slowly, so it forces us to rely on Him. Keep your chin up. He's got this. He's got y'all!

    In the meantime, I'll be praying for you to experience that peace and to be enjoying your family as much as you can.


  4. Wow Andi - it's so great to hear from you, but what a roller coaster you've been on!! I can see myself in everything that you've written and can sense the anxiety and yet, FREEDOM. Good for you - I hope that you continue to grow in your simple life. I just finished reading "The Circle of Simplicity = Return to the Good Life" which has been an incredible. Refreshing - true - and real eye opener regarding, how as a society, have we allowed ourselves to get in to this mess of over abundance and major disconnect from the really important things in life.

    I've got 100% faith that everything that is happening is as exactly as it is meant to be. I'm back to work, although very carefully mapping out our next steps. Honestly, it's taking much longer than I'd like and I'm starting to get impatient. I so want to be enjoying my family NOW more than I do and I know that to really kick start this, I have to overhaul my life. I'm ready to START and yet, it is so scary and unnerving ... and ....!!!!!!

    I feel like a little kid standing on a diving board. I'm going to jump when I count to three. OK, maybe 10. Make it 60. No, no ... make it 100!!

  5. Jen, a couple books I've read that have helped me in this journey:

    "7" by Jen Hatmaker
    "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker

    She is an amazing bible teacher and is so relevant to what you're going through. We get so caught up in the American dream and lose perspective on the gifts that God biblically gives us: Him, our spouses, our children and community. I'll be praying God is clear and vivid in His plans and that you are still enough to hear and see. ;-)