Putting Family First

Tonight I enjoyed the first Sunday since October with the boys and Blake. You see, when Blake took his latest job to be a restaurant chef, the trade-off was that three nights during the week and all weekend he’d be working. To say it has been tough would be an understatement. But, the life as the wife of a chef is just that – it’s tough. Many times you take a back seat to a career that is long hours, fast-paced and high-stress. Nine years ago when we met, Blake worked in a kitchen, and so I knew what I signed up for when we started dating, when we got engaged and when we married. Before we had kids, it was lonely, but manageable. Now that we have two boys, it can be downright exhausting to do so much of it on my own. And while I haven’t always shown as much support as I should, when he took this job the first of November last year, I finally became the supportive wife that I always wanted / tried (and failed) to be.

And then a couple of weeks ago, Blake came to me and said he was re-prioritizing his life. He told me that he no longer wanted to pursue a career that kept him away from his family. He told me he wanted to quit his job. And while I can imagine that this sort of news could be stressful, I was truly overjoyed. Because while I would have never tried to make Blake quit doing what he loved, there have been many times that I secretly wished he had a career that kept him home more. I worried about the future when the boys play sports and Blake wouldn’t be there for games; or weeknight homework, or school plays, or the countless other wonderful experiences of being parents that he would miss. And so here I was, getting my prayers answered. While I always knew deep down that the boys and I were Blake’s first priority, the fact that he was choosing us, without being made to, was the ultimate affirmation.

So what does this mean… we’re not sure yet. In the short-term, Blake is still working for the same restaurant, but in a role that has him working days and home on Sundays.  We’re excited to be exploring opportunities outside of the restaurant business and I know there are great things ahead for him. And I know that he is looking forward to a life with more balance – me too.

So today, on our first Sunday spent as a family in four months, we went to the park together, we had a picnic together, we ate dinner together, did the bathtime and the bedtime routines together.  It was perfect. I am so thankful to have a husband who has the courage to go against the grain, do what is uncomfortable and unconventional and just stop. Stop a successful career for something far more important. For us. I love you, babe.

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What do you want for dinner?

What do you want for dinner?  It’s a pretty simple question.  One asked with good intentions of wanting to feed my family something that they would like to eat.  My husband, bless his heart, can never seem to give me a real answer.

Me: Babe, what would you like for dinner?

Blake: I don’t care.

Me: No really, what do you want?

Blake: It doesn’t matter.

Me: I know it doesn’t matter, but what would you like to eat?

Blake: Anything you want to make.

Me: What is your favorite thing that I make?

Blake: I like it all.

Me: If we were at a restaurant, and you had to pick something off the menu, what would you pick?

Blake: I don’t know.

OMG!!!

So since asking my husband gets me nowhere, I’ve started asking Brogan.

Me: Hey buddy, what do you want for dinner?

Brogan: Umm… umm…

Me: Do you want chicken, or salmon, or pasta?

Brogan: Umm, I think I don’t want nuffin for dinner.

Me: Nothing, really?

Brogan: No, not tonight. I just want a cupcake.

It’s just maddening.  How can such a simple question be so hard to answer?  On the bright side, my boys (Blake included) are not picky eaters. I suppose, if I was searching for a silver lining, it’d be that it’s better to have un-picky eaters who can’t make a decision than picky eaters who will only eat a couple of things.  But that sort of logic is beside the point – the non-answer answers are driving me batty!

Blake and Brogan

So I’m holding out hope for Beckett.  He’ll tell me what he wants for dinner. When he can talk, of course.

You’re Inspiring a Blog Post

So I have a new saying in my house – you’re inspiring a blog post.  My latest remark to the things my boys (husband included) do that make me shake my head.  It came out naturally the other night when my husband Blake asked me if I’d seen his cell phone. I told him it was upstairs on my nightstand. Fast forward an hour or so and I asked him if he found his phone. His response – it’s not on your nightstand.  A couple of things to know here… 1) I have a photographic memory and 2) Blake has established a reputation for not being able to find things that are right in front of him.  I mean to tell you that if something isn’t front and center, bouncing around with a spotlight on it, he can’t find it. No lie.  So I was naturally skeptical. I followed him upstairs to investigate the situation and what do I find? His cell phone, on my nightstand, underneath a clear plastic bag. My immediate response to him? You’re inspiring a blog post.

Jess and Blake Caricature

Ever since I started this blog a couple of weeks ago, I look at my day-to-day life determining what is story-worthy.  It’s been a refreshing experience. Sometimes I have to really think about it, and sometimes I’m handed little gems like that. Thank you honey.  I began my blogging journey very open to wherever the inspiration took me. I honestly thought it would be more about food with occasional anecdotes about the kids.  So far it’s been the opposite.  A couple of contributing factors – I’ve had a lot of thoughts on the adventures of parenting floating in my head for a while, and this blog provided the platform for me to articulate them. Secondly, while I do cook most nights, it’s not always blog-worthy.  It is hard to cook a real meal when you have a screamer hanging on to your leg.  So weekday food experiments may be hard to come by.  Who knows where this thing will go. I have no idea how often I’ll post – it probably won’t be consistent. One thing I do know is that it will always be authentic. If I don’t have anything genuine to post, I just won’t post. Thank you to everyone who has given such positive feedback – this has been a great outlet so far!