The First Day of the New Year!

Hey there girls.  Today is officially 2017!  What?!  Happy New Year to you all!  Last night was not at all glamorous for us.  My husband, the UPSer, had to work and didn’t get home until after 6pm.  I wasn’t too  happy about that.  I mean, he just worked all peak season, giving them our Saturday’s.  Why take this one from us too?  My husband is salaried as a supervisor.  In a way this is nice, in a way this is NOT nice.  Yesterday, our center was trying to cut costs.  So they told all the unsalaried sups to stay home…so that they could work the salaried sups and not have to pay them extra.  In my core I want to scream.  This screams abuse.  I mean, you’re forcing someone to work their weekend and NOT pay them extra?  Is there something wrong here?  Anyways, enough of that venting.  Back to our unglamorous new years eve.  😉  I text him asking him his ETA (a.k.a. “estimated time of arrival”).  Anyone else use driver speak when texting? lol.  He tells me he is finally on his way and proceeds to ask if I need anything from the store and what I’d like for dinner.  I told him anything I didn’t have to cook!  I’ve been cooking all week long, on double duty…and I am done come the weekend!  No more cooking!!  Thinking he’d bring home pizza or burgers from Five Guys, he comes home loaded down with grocery bags and proceeds to pour me a beer…and start frying up some steak in our iron skillet.  My hard working guy comes home…and cooks for me!!  Thank YOU!  There were no candles lit and our four kids were chowing down with us but it was romantic and sweet of him to want to serve me in this way.  After dinner, he put all four baby bundles of joy in bed for me and lastly, we went to bed!

How about you guys?  Did you go to any parties or lay low like we did, exhausted from the years work?

So how will we start this new year?  It’s always loaded with zest and hope for something better than the previous.  We’re stuck wondering maybe this year will be easier.  In all honestly, it probably won’t…life is hard and each year brings its new trials…but still it’s exciting nonetheless.  Will this be the year my husband gets promoted to manager?  Will this be the year we can actually buy a house?  Will this be the year we pay off all debt?  Will this be the year…?

Hoping you all are well and that your weekends are blessed with rest, and peace and some good quality down time with your UPSer.  Happy New Year to you all!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy NEW year!

Peak is done!!  Somehow, we have made it through all the crazy.  Somehow we are now on the flip side of the late nights, long hours, tired and hungry husbands, lonely date nights with ourselves….it’s over!!  My  husband had to work Christmas Eve.  It was a rainy day, foggy and warm…which led to an intersection crash for one of his drivers.  Poooo.  Some careless person ran a red light and grazed one my husbands driver’s trucks.  He last driver came in by 4:45 (could have been worse and thank goodness it wasn’t!) and he was home to us by 6pm.  Just in time for dinner and presents with my side of the family.  It was dark out, and I heard the rumble of his engine pull up.  The kids and I squealed and ran for the door, so anxious and excited to see him.  We waited anxiously has he turned his engine off and walked up to the door and we ALL ran for hugs.  I was holding back tears.  Just SO thankful to have him home and the realization that we made it through peak hit me hard.  All the crazy emotions of the holidays culminated and welled up inside me, flowing out through my eyes.  No one else cried and perhaps some of my family thought I was maybe just a tad over reacting.  I just can’t say enough HOW MUCH I MISSED HIM!!!  We sat down for dinner and then grabbed a spot on the couch and just enjoyed one another’s company.  His presence is the only gift I really cared about. Forget all the material things…my husband IS my heart.  Amazing how that happens huh?  So ladies…MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Happy New Year!!  I hope you are all enjoying your extra day off and getting good quality time with your UPSer.  Looking forward to a day off for New Years too.  😀  Cheers to us to making it through.  See ya later Peak!!

 

The Wives

Ladies, I can’t tell you enough how much I am blessed when you find my blog and you leave your comments saying how encouraged you are to have found this.  My heart sings.  That is why I am here.  This blog was created for you.  Not my own personal gain, but just to be a place you can maybe find encouragement.  One week out until Christmas is here.  One more week of this crazy.  This week may indeed be the craziest as people ship last minute to get presents under trees.  Hang in there!!  My husband has been working six days straight for the past month.  This is NOT easy and it is wearing on us.  Lets be honest, we never see each other except for brief moments of him scarfing his late night dinner down and then we both pass out in bed.  I wake up when his alarm goes off at 5:15 in the morning. I see him stagger around fishing for his uniform.  He goes downstairs and leaves for work.  Seems like I only see him in the dark! Can you relate??  I have been so tired!!  The kids miss their daddy.  My five year old always asks for daddy to come tuck him in when he gets home, but my sweet five year old never notices daddy’s kisses on his forehead because its so late at night, my little boy is always sleeping.  Sometimes I worry the impact this will have on them.  We all seem to have our own “father hungers”…will this create one in them?  I always keep things simple and tell them their daddy loves them and longs to be with them and as soon as he’s done working he’ll be with them.  I do not vent about UPS in front of them.  I do not complain about my hard wifely work in front of them.  I do not want them feeling the negativity I do.  One thing I DO do is lift that up to God.  “God protect them, mold them, shape them to search after You.”  He is our real father and He too is preparing a place for us.   I know God sees me and hears my complaints and feels my heart pangs and yearnings for my husband to be home.  For some reason he has put me here in this role, as the UPS wife, supporting THIS man, raising this family.  So here I must be.  Waiting.  Trusting.

Yesterday (Saturday) my husband was at work.  I’ve kinda learned to expect he’ll be home late and much later than I’d like him to be.  So it was a nice surprise when he called me telling me he was coming home early and going to take a nap!  What?!  “Did your manager let you off?!”  Wow!!  Home he comes and as he pulls up in to the drive way my one year old squeals with delight, banging on the window..SO EXCITED to see daddy for the first time in a week!!  And my heart sings again.  I treasure these little moments in my heart.  So here it is Sunday morning and I am wide awake at 6:45 because I’m so accustomed to being up early with the kids.  A is still sleeping.  We have this day together!!  I can’t wait to just…be.  Happy weekend, ladies.  I hope for what it’s worth you are all enjoying what time you do have off (because you’ve been working all week too) and that your family times are fulfilling and everything you’ve hoped they would be.  Keep your heads up!  Wash those browns, pack those lunches…maybe sneak in special treats for him in his lunch box.  One more week and YES, they get the day after Christmas OFF!!

 

Just one day

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you ladies!  I didn’t post much because we were busy and I was spending the time enjoy family and the time off A had with us.  We spent that day visiting his parents and just enjoying feasting, eating, being merry, sipping wine and warm drinks and before we knew it the day was over, the sun had set, and we were on our way back home again and he was in prep mode to work the day after Thanksgiving.  I found myself alone again.  Then Saturday came and he had to go in to work AGAIN.  Left at 6am and didn’t return till 13 hours later when it was dark.  All my other friends and family members were enjoying their extra day off and their long weekend with husbands home and families all together.  Me?  Alone, cooking and cleaning just like every other day.  It’s hard to not get jealous!  It’s hard to not be bitter when you see others being together and you’re not.  It’s extra hard when friends and family know you are alone, but don’t give any extra words of thoughtfulness or encouragement.  This is my bitter side.  Welcome. The struggle is SO real.  Thanks UPS for taking so much from our men and leaving our family time for next to nothing.  So here it is Sunday and it’s the first day he hasn’t been at work all day.  This is peak and our center will be working 6 days a week from now till whenever peak slows down something in mid January.  I should be prepared for it right?  I should be used to this life 10  years later.  Nope.  Not sure it will ever be easy or I’ll ever get used to it.

Amidst all that I am Thankful.  Yes I am thankful  he has a job (like so many people will tell you..”at least be thankful he has a job”).  I am thankful for these brief interludes between all the crazy that our family is together and that even when we are apart we love each other and hold each other so dearly in each other’s hearts.  I am thankful that he works hard and as quickly as he can to come home to ME.  I am thankful we are partners in this life.  Thinking of all you ladies this weekend and hope you are hanging in there!  Please tell me how you are coping!

 

When we do get that time…

Today my girls had their Fall violin recital.  For Anya this was her first time.  For Grace this was her second time.  They did so well and I’m so proud of them, especially Anya because I knew she was nervous.  Her little cheeks blushed red as soon as we entered the auditorium.  And I know what she was feeling…I remember feeling the same way about my concerts as a girl!  But she did it!  She was the first one to go and she did so much better than I had been anticipating.  My mom was able to come see them play and that blessed my heart.  But what touched me the most was that  my  husband was with us.  He’s dispatching tomorrow which means he was in bed early, but the recital was early enough that he could come with us.  Please understand.  He does not get to do things like this often.  During the week he’s gone, working and coming late and it’s me by myself taking the kids to their various appointments and practices.  It felt SO good to do something as a WHOLE family.   All of us together, driving together, watching together, participating together.  Having him there to hold my fidgety youngest one so I could take pictures was one of a kind.  Do other wives who have husbands around more often take it all for granted?  It was such a blessing.  And I certainly count such blessings and think back on them during the hard times.  I hope you all have had a good weekend.  Welcome back to life again during the week.  Hope you’re hanging in there.

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What to think about?

Today was just one of those days.  We began the morning with our school lesson.  We learned about the parts of the sun and the phases of the moon.  We conjugated our first conjugation pluperfect tense in Latin, we sang our timeline starting with Byzantine Emperor Justinian.  We worked on our addition and subtraction, multiplication and division families and we copied our spelling words.  It took me all of three to four hours to get it all done with them.  Things flowed in a timely and smooth manner.  And for this I am grateful.  My kids are learning.  They are learning far more than what I ever did and all without even pushing them too hard.  They play their violins, their tin whistles, my girls have learned to crochet.  Leo can write his name (he’s four).  Anya is reading quicker and learner special sounds (she’s my visual learner), and Grace is whizzing her math facts.  I’m not sure how we’ve gotten here.  I remember holding my oldest as a baby and the thought of schooling her seemed so far in the distance that I hardly bothered to really think about how I would approach it.  Now we are in it full force.  Leo will be in Kindergarten next year and that will put me with three kids in school at once.  I used to have anxiety over it.  I used to fret and wonder how in the world do you school multiple subjects and multiple grades AT. THE.SAME.TIME?!  We read together, for Grace sometimes it’s review for her (can never do any harm) then the others can quietly work on a particular worksheet or coloring project while I steal away to give Grace her more in depth study.  Somehow I’m doing it.  And really…it’s just taking one step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  You basically walk around with blinders on…don’t compare yourself to what others are doing or teaching their kids, don’t think too far in to the future as to what your schedule should be or the timeline you should be on.  Are they getting it? Great, schools finished…if not…take a break and come back to it.  It’s really just as simple as that.  Not saying every day is a walk in the park. Sometimes I want to scream!  But again, today was just one of those days.

One of those days where I felt good about life on my own.  I say that in jest…I’m not really “on my own” as I have a wonderful family and support system at the ready.  But my husband is absent a lot.  Not because he chooses to be, just simply his hours are long and grueling.  It was one of those days that I didn’t want to rebel against the system and swear I’d call my husband’s manager and tell him what I think for real…(ever feel like doing that?).  Yet my poor husband comes home tired, weary, worn out, sick and running a fever.  He managed to actually eat dinner with us (a later dinner because I was struggling to get it all cooked with a whiny and cranky toddler hanging on me), prayed with the kids to tuck them in, and changed Tobias’s diaper.  It’s these little tasks where I look at him and think, superman.  “Thanks so much for changing his diaper, you didn’t have to!”  I bring him some cough syrup and he climbs into bed.  Thankful, yet always prayerful that somehow this will get better.  That somehow he won’t always be so run down.  That somehow he’ll have more time with the kids.  That magically maybe we’ll have a holiday season that is joyful and restful.  And I just have to keep thinking those positive hopes.  Because that’s what they are.  Hope.

I think we, the wives, have to choose to think on the good.  Really. (Not saying I always do because most of the time I don’t).  What happens when we dwell on the negative?  It starts to permeate everything.  I’m grumpy, now I’m annoyed the kids are noisy.  I’m irritable, so now I’m not thankful for the time I do have, and the things I am able to do.  I’m lonely, so now I want to run and hide in a hole and weep a deep sorrowful pity party.    A singer I love said it so well,  “Did you really have a bad day?  Or did you just have a bad five minutes and then milked it for the rest of the day?”  Thanks Toby Mac.  Speaking life into my heart.  Most of the time…that one thought…that one task that went wrong…someone was rude to you…what ever it was…we dwell on things.  We shouldn’t.  Let me leave it at this:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

The End.

Please feel free to comment!

 

Where I am now

img_6298I remember growing up in the country, down a little gravel road, with horses and cows for neighbors.  I’m sure working for UPS was so different back then than it is now.  I often find myself wondering what these guys did before the days of Ebay and Amazon?  Was life more enjoyable?  Did they get home at more accommodating hours?  Have dinners with their families?  We had a little Chihuahua.  Black and white, tea cup size.  She was tiny!  I’d hear her bark, see her take off down the driveway and look out the window and sure enough, would see the UPS  man drive past.  My mom would always curse as he’d come barreling down the road and say he was driving way too fast and that one day, so help her, if he ran over our dog…haha!

That makes me chuckle now.  I had no idea back then that I’d find myself married to the UPS man.  That I’d understand why he was in such a hurry.  That his life is hectic and rushed and that the clock does not give any grace or mercy if he fails to deliver a package on time.  Here I am now and I laugh at the thought of my little dog chasing after him in his big brown truck and wondering how he didn’t manage to run over her?!  Quick as he was driving, our UPS man was always safe.  I marvel at these guys.  They train and train and train.  They are hammered and drummed their safety skills, the five seeing habits, the laws of lifting and loading, of always backing first.  Don’t leave your truck running when you park it, turn your flashers on.  Never ever make a left turn if you can help it!  They go to bed repeating those things!  Even so much that me his wife knows what they are!  I find myself backing first in to parking lots (we drive a huge Yukon XL…basically a package car).  Clearing my intersections…wait three seconds after the light turns green before you proceed!  I figure they make me a safer driver anyway…after all I am carrying far more precious cargo.  My four children.  All these years later, I am not the little girl in the country.  I am a grown woman, again living down a little country gravel road, raising my children and it is my husband in the UPS truck.

My husband is what you call an on-car-delivery supervisor.  He has one of the two groups of drivers in our little center hub.   It’s a small outlying center, and because it’s so small, it’s staffed equivocally.  Bare bones is what I’d call it.  Just enough people to keep it running and nothing more.  This constantly frustrates me.  Someone goes on vacation and my husband is always the man who covers for that guy out.  Someone’s sick?  Call on him.  Another sup isn’t toting his fair share of the load…call on my man to help him fix it and do it right.  ARG!  This week, he’s be covering for the pre-load sup.  He’s found many flaws and errors that our particular pre-load sup was allowing to slip under the table. As a result, the misloads are through the roof.  Guess who gets to run those misloads?  Yep, my husband.  Thanks so much!  Sometimes I find myself wishing I could come into work with “A” (I will refer to my husband as “A” because that is the first initial of his name.)  and wanting to give everyone a motivational speech.  “Drivers and supervisors and managers, UNITE!  Let’s keep each others best interest in mind…help each other, work for each other, so that we can all go home at the end of the day to out families!”  Sounds nice doesn’t it?  I wish!

This week has been SO hard because of these odd hours my husband is working.  Literally, he gets up at 2am…goes into work by 3am…and isn’t home till after 5:30pm.  We celebrated our ninth anniversary yesterday…or didn’t.  He came home so late all he could do was eat dinner and go to bed before waking up at 2am again.  Usually I find myself coping…but this week was not so easy. My kids were sick.  Throwing up during the day, coughing and fevers by night.  It was me waking up to help them during the night.  Turn the shower on to steam up the bath room so that my littlest one could breathe.  My husband was MIA.  This is an all too common story.  Mommy at home, working hard with no real help.

So I find myself here.  Writing this blog.  Because perhaps you too have found yourself at the end of a very tiring week, with no husband to help you with the kids, basically a single parent, ending your week and wondering, “what just happened?!”  Be encouraged dear UPS wife.  You aren’t alone.  Yes, there are those of us out there who know the struggle you go through.  Where am I now?  Right here, willing to support this dear man I’m married too.  Who forgives my faults even those moments when I break and am not happy with life…but he loves me and I love him.  I am no longer that bystander girl watching the UPS man drive down the road.  I am his wife.  I care for him.  I have an intimate understanding of his life.  I am the UPSer’s wife…such a unique roll that I play.  That we play.  Take a moment and just respect yourself for that role.  He lives and thrives because of your respect and care for him.  That’s it ladies.  That’s what I am here for.  I want to encourage the wives…”wives, UNITE!”

” My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:2-3

“We love because He first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

 

 

 

Browning Up

How many people do you know who know what that means?  Misloads, peak season, diads, conference calls, 05ing?   Your man wakes up early, scarfs his breakfast down and rushes out the door.  He comes home 12 plus hours later tired and hungry, sometimes overheated, sometimes freezing cold, sometimes damp and wet. Your man is out in the elements.  I want to encourage all us wives this peak season.  Help your men brown up!   They can’t do it without you.  They need our support, our love, and our unwavering dedication to running the home front.  Working wives have it a bit harder.  You will need to make that much more self-disciplined effort to support your man.  Why?  We fell in love with them.  We took vows to love honor and respect.  We now must act out those vows and hold ourselves accountable.  This world of UPS can run more smoothly if we already have the mindset to be servants to them.  Get those uniforms washed and pressed.  Have them hanging and socks accounted for where he can easily find them.  Feed him when he comes home…a warm meal that says, “I love you and I respect the work you are doing for me.”  If we ourselves have the mindset to serve and support first, you will find he automatically respects and will be thankful for you.  Think of it as a crazy cycle.  I know your tired, dear UPS wife.  I know you feel run down too.  I know you’re angry that his hours are atrocious.  I know a lot of times you feel like a single parent and you’re all on your own and that very few friends and family really understand what you are going through.  I know that come the holiday season you feel depressed instead of happy.  You see other families spending cherished time together and somehow you find yourself alone.  I’m here to tell you I understand. I’m in the trenches with you.  So ladies, put your “browns” on.  Brown up with your man.  Make this season different by not letting the fear, anger, depression and loneliness overwhelm your hearts.  Choose to reject those thoughts that are so temptingly awaiting the door to your mind.  Choose joy instead, choose love, choose to think positive amidst the negativity.  Will you brown up with me this season?