Sunday, November 4, 2012

100th 3rd

When I first moved to Ohio, several things baffled me.  I don't know why, but I've been thinking about it for a while now.  And I've been thinking that I'd really like to make a layout about some of the weird differences there are in the different places I've lived.  That thought is brewing.

Close to the top of the list will be Fifth Third Bank.  You don't have to be Math Girl to know that that just doesn't makes sense.  It took me a while to settle in, and since I'm not one to socialize it took me several months before I was finally able to ask someone about the bank's name without looking like a blithering idiot.  Turns out it came from the bank mergers of the Fifth National Bank of Cincinnati and the Third National Bank of Cincinnati.  I guess that makes sense, but 12½ years later it still makes me screw up my face when I drive past their branches.

So 100th 3rd?  Well, today is a semi big day around here.  This is my 100th post and the third anniversary of my blog.  I suppose that it's not really that big of a deal, but it is to me, sort of.  I started this blog when my life was in the midst of some big changes.  In the June of 2009 my ex-husband lots his job.  The economy was still in the throes of what no one wanted to label a recession.  He was unemployed for a total of 11 months.  In September he came to me and asked if I would move into his house with our kids so he could move in with his brother in Pennsylvania and work at his hedge fund company.  He had hopes that he could learn a new line of work, get out of the manufacturing industry and tread water until selling his house made more sense.  Naturally, the idea of getting to be the full time mom to my kids was something I jumped at. But the rest?  Live in my ex-husband's house? Weird. At best.  My nearly 100 mile daily round trip commute to a job that I didn't like? Expensive.  And heading into winter? With my crappy car? Dangerous. And little things like the fact that I had just signed a one year lease with my apartment complex and they wouldn't let me out.  And of course, there's also a relationship to consider.  How crappy a girlfriend are you when you say "Listen. Really dig you. But I'm gonna move into my ex-husband's house"?  As luck would have it, that may have been a mixed blessing for a number of reasons.  But that it is a whole other, really long, way too personal post. That's not going to happen.  But it has a happy ending, so the details aren't that important...

But I said yes and I moved. And I felt like a stranger with my kids for quite some time.  It's not that I didn't see them a lot when they lived with their dad, it's just that they had an entirely different routine at Dad's house than at Mom's apartment. And they were at "home" - I was the one in a strange land.  And dear God, did it feel strange.  Which is weird - it was filled with furniture and kitchenware and linens that I had purchased, but was no longer "mine." I felt like I was trespassing. I had to ask where things were, and I confined myself to my bedroom, the kitchen and the laundry room.

As luck would have it, I scored a new job, back in the camera industry - back where I felt comfortable and in my element.  It was closer to home - 20 miles away.  The boss was (is) fantastic. Accommodating, understanding, flexible.  I couldn't ask for a better work situation than what I have right now.  Lest I ever sound disgruntled, please know: I am not.  I feel lucky and blessed every day.  Oh please. Not every day....but most days. ;)

It took some time, everything settled into place.  I'd be lying if I said there weren't times that things still feel...weird.  Like, it's hard to explain this.  So a lot of time, I avoid talking about personal things with people who aren't already in "the know."  But on the whole, it's been wonderful.  I love that the kids are always HOME.  I leave on the weekends and spend time with Kerig, and Dad comes home - no more packing them up and disrupting their schedules.  I like cooking for them, and - oddly - doing their laundry and sending them to school in clothes that haven't been sitting crumpled in a laundry basket for a week.  I like over-seeing their homework, and even dishing out chores. I love being the mom, and I take that role seriously.  When I left, I asked their dad to keep them - he made more money, he had a 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday job. I didn't. It was in their best interest. But getting this chance to be with them has been a blessing.  For me, and I think, for them.

So this blog has seen me through a lot.  I started this shortly after I moved in his house. After the kids went to bed I'd be in my room.  Computer, internet, books...and still very bored.  I needed some kind of creative "thing" and I needed to give my head something to do.  I've been a fair weather friend, to be sure. But in my defense, it's been quite a ride. I've added more to my plate, and given my brain plenty to keep it occupied.  I've branched out in the house, and taken over the dining room and made it my scrap room.  But the blog has been a creative outlet, a way to share, a source of free therapy, a way to communicate my undying love for my Silhouette...

So...Happy Anniversary to me!

And because no blog post is complete without a picture, he's a REALLY old picture of Kerig and I.  Thanks, friend, for always being there for me, for graciously taking the back seat when necessary and being my rock. I think you're the best.

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