Thursday, October 22, 2009

What drew me home...

Our home in the peaceful and so pretty!


Yes, I know. It's been months and months since I've blogged. Followers may have given up on me. But I haven't completely forgotten I have this thing. I've been a bit...distracted. For instance, since my last post, we moved. Yes, moved. Back to our old house in a completely different state. I'm pretty sure I had just finished unpacking our last box from the move to Arizona, and then everything got boxed up again. I can't believe how much *crap* we have. I don't consider myself a packrat, but perhaps I need to reevaluate that... We did do some purging when we moved in February 2008, but this move happened so fast it was basically just "pack it all and load 'em up." Fortunately, in both cases, the company we work for takes care of the move so we don't have to actually do it ourselves. That would REALLY suck.

So here's how it went down. Hubby and I met many moons ago (coming up on 19 years) in Arizona at the nuke plant there. After a couple years of courtship, we wed. A couple of years after that, he had an opportunity to go permanent at another nuke in the midwest, and so did I. I was not in the least thrilled with the prospect. I love the desert. I love Arizona. I didn't want to leave. But I follow my heart first and so the man and I moved to Missouri.

Shortly after moving, we bought a house. We affectionately refer to it as the "money pit" because it's about 150 years old (at least parts of it) and needed a lot of work. We thought it would be *fun*. Princess here realized she does not like do-it-yourself fixer-uppers. At all. No matter, we thought "five years and out" anyway, so we'd just hunker down and work hard.

In late 1999, we had a baby! It had been 3 years since we'd moved to Missouri. Only two more years left! In late 2001, baby #2 arrived. It had been almost exactly five years, but of course with a newborn we weren't going to be planning on any big moves and there weren't really any job options we were interested in. Ok, we'll stick around a little longer.

A few years later, we found ourselves to be quite settled and content in our little midwest town. The kids had lots of friends, and so did we. We became active in the community and realized how wonderful it is. Then we did some craziness - we completely remodeled a good portion of the house (many of our friends said we built from the inside out...). We designed the kitchen to end all kitchens (for us anyway!) I'll post some pictures a little later, if I don't drop off blogger again. :-)

February 2008: We got our chance to go back home to Arizona. The chief nuclear officer at the plant there, with whom I've worked before, really wanted me to come and help them. I initially said no. They persisted. It was a package deal. The offer was sweet. We ultimately said yes, but it was extremely hard. Security and stability are wickedly important to me, so after almost 12 years, ripping up my roots, even to take me to somewhere familiar, was incredibly difficult. We did it anyway.

The jobs were great. The work was hard, but fulfilling (troubled plants are a lot of fun; stressful, but it's fun to be part of turning things around). But it was too much. I wasn't getting home until 7 or 8 at night. Hubby was working 60-70 hour weeks regularly. It was taking its toll. The kids were not happy. After 7 months, we ended up visiting a counselor, to see what we could do to help them. The little guy's reading got worse. Our oldest's behavior was challenging (which is somewhat to be expected as he enters the tween phase of his life...omg did I just say that???!!!). But we would persevere. Gotta give it a chance, and that means at least a year or more.

The call from the midwest came during the summer. "What would it take to get you back?" they asked my spouse. Now what do we do? It had been almost 18 months and things were not getting better in AZ, but move again? Are you kidding? True to form, I suggested we respectfully decline. Until we started laying out all the facts in plus/delta form. Notwithstanding the fact that the house in Missouri still hadn't sold; two mortgage payments do take their toll. After much heart wrenching discussion, we came to the realization that maybe home is actually in Missouri, and not Arizona after all. The negotiations began. They really wanted hubby back, but I needed to stay at least through September to get the plant through its accreditation (the main reason I was brought there). By the time all was said and done, we agreed on a start date in October for hubby, and January for me. The moving trucks came, and like a flash we were gone.

It's been a little over 3 weeks now, and I'm finally starting to calm down. The main living areas are unpacked and organized, but there are still a zillion boxes in the basement and the garage. Hubby has started work again and has been completely spoiled since I don't go back until January, and he has a homecooked meal ready every night. After all, I hadn't cooked in almost 18 months; I need to make up for lost time!

So now I'm looking for my new normal. The stress that had built up for months and months is starting to release. The kids are rock stars back at school. Everyone we meet tells us how happy they are we came back. This is where we belong.