Tag: happiness

The Bliss of Days Off

Image Source: Cheryl McCain Photography

I’m in that place where I”m so thankful Mr. Brickie is working and I’m beyond thankful and happy he’s working a boatload of overtime every week for the forseeable future.

It has been a kind of crazy transition around here a we all try to find our place in this new world with (seemingly) no end.

But it’s Saturday evening and that means a night where we an all relax because he doesn’t have to go to work in the morning. The one day of the week I don’t have to set my alarm for 4:30am to make sure he’s up for work because you can never have too many redundancy alarms!

I have the makings for biscuits and gravy (from scratch, natch <– I kill me, lol) that I’m going to make in the morning and I have the fixins for lasagna for dinner and we are going to light a fire in the backyard tomorrow night and roast marshmallows. Let’s be honest, lunch will probably be peanut butter and jelly. I have my domestic limits. 

Sundays are the family’s day to recharge and reconnect. To enjoy each other’s company instead of marking time waiting for daddy to get home. I know we will get used to him being gone and our everyday play and coloring and video games and reading won’t always be passing time until he gets home but that’s what it is now, and I just want to honor that he is such a solid part of our lives as both a husband and father that it takes us weeks to transition from him being off for the winter to him being gone so much.

We miss him. He misses us. When we all finally see each other we’re worn out and tired. Everyone wants to just be done for the day.

Tomorrow – I hope – will be amazing and calm. Tonight we are going out to dinner with a birthday gift I’ve been holding on to. You guessed it, it’s a restaurant gift card! The girls will be out of the house and having a fancy dining experience and I can sit next to my husband at a table no where near a screen where he won’t be looking at his phone to try and catch up on everything he missed while he was working.

I’m really looking forward to it.

For now? I have to make sure they put away their clothes so we can actually get out of the house and get on with our wonderful night!


Just Another Sappy Date Night Story


In case you haven’t picked it up from the title up there, this is kind of a sappy story. It is also a perfect representation of how random things happen in our lives. Not just in bad ways that lead to disappointment. This is the positive side of how things work out for us in ways I can never predict.

We Had A Date Night!

Here is how date nights happen in the Brickie household.

We find out a friend is having a birthday party. We both want to go. After sacrificing a small animal to a pagan god (KIDDING) we make phone calls and pray someone will watch the kids. Thanks to the not-really-sacrificed animal my in-laws are free and able to watch the girls for a solid five hours on the night in question! We are going to a birthday party!

We find out Thursday the party has been cancelled for reasons beyond the birthday girl’s control. Boo, hiss.

We have a sitter and five hours on a Saturday Night… DATE NIGHT!

Now we panic because instead of the cost of a bottle of tasty vodka we have to figure out if we have it in the budget for both of us to eat food. We have a TGIFriday’s coupon but we really want to kick it up a notch. We decide we just aren’t in a place where we can kick it up a notch and are resigned to going to a chain and really we aren’t resigned we are happy because we haven’t been out together without the kids since New Year’s Eve.

Saturday morning we are happy and getting excited about being grownups out together being in love. We get two emails and manage to sell two pretty large things on Craigslist Saturday afternoon and take it as a sign we are supposed to go someplace a notch above a regular chain restaurant we had been perfectly happy with and almost convinced ourselves we really wanted.

I let Mr. Brickie pick the restaurant because I normally pick and I was feeling all nice so I was like, “Where you want to go, boo?” and he was all, “Mmmmm beer.” So we went to Rock Bottom Brewery. We shared a beer flight (shown in that pic above) and shared one big beer and he had shrimp and lobster enchiladas and I had fish and chips and we laughed and talked and had the best time just reconnecting and being two people remembering how awesome the other one is. The whole time not worrying because those two things we sold on Craigslist that paid for dinner were things we thought would never sell, so we celebrated that stuff being out of our house as much as we were celebrating each other.

Really, it was bliss.

Moments like that, the ones that happen so randomly, are the ones that keep us fueled for the day after day worry and disappointment. The nights where we smile and laugh and remember what an amazing team we are? Those are the ones I remember when I’m frustrated and tired and don’t want to do one more article/survey/story. He keeps me going with our inside jokes and overdone footsie-playing under the table ending in both of us laughing so hard our sides hurt.

He picked up the kids on time and they were happy and the 4yo ended up falling asleep on the couch while fighting not to leave because she wanted to play, “Just one more game…” He came home and told me everything that happened and how happy they were and what a great time they had. Icing on the date night cake, right?

My mom used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.”

Mr. Brickie is still worth the “richer and poorer” I promised eleven years ago. I have no idea how that’s possible, but there it is.


Christmas Party Time


We are in such a weird position right now.

I know how it feels to no money and no hope for the future. That’s something that has happened every few years since I’ve been married. It’s why Mr. Brickie and I sat down and made a plan to choose a long-term career rather than another jobby-job that anyone could fill. It was a quest that took over a year of solid research and asking pretty much everyone – including random strangers – questions about what they did for a living, how they liked it, and if they would choose it again if given the chance.

Then it took another year from applying for the job to actually get hired. We understood there would be some serious sacrifices and steps backward in order to move forward once and for all.

Sacrificing for a long-term purpose is new for me and I’m still not comfortable with the feelings it dredges up just wanting everything to go faster, faster until we are finally in the okay place.

For now, still solidly in the sacrifice and struggle portion of the program, we apply for government assistance for food and gas and electricity. At the same time we have health, dental, and vision insurance that is paid for through the dues and the benefits program of the job. Well, paid for as long as he works enough hours or we have to pay the difference, but he’s worked enough this quarter to get next quarter’s insurance, so we’re safe for now. (I just realized that not working means we’re going to have another five hundred dollar or so bill for insurance that will be due at the end of February for the quarter of insurance after that one. Thank you for reminding me, blog, I’ll go write that down…)

We are broke but going to a holiday party today where the kids will get gifts – labeled with their names – and see Santa and have a great time.

I am thankful that we are a different kind of broke. That we have some of the perks of the middle class like holiday parties and insurance.

That these perks are reminders that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That our sacrifices this time were not for nothing.

This time it’s actually going to work out. If I know nothing else about Mr. Brickie it’s that he has a great work ethic. So much so we had to get him into a job where the promotions are automatic based on skill and time worked. He’s not a political worker, he doesn’t schmooze or angle for promotions. He thinks his work should speak for itself. This job is perfect for him.

Oh, and maybe it seems silly that the gifts being labelled is such a big deal to me. It is. There was one year we were so poor the kids’ gifts came from the food pantry and the school and those gifts were the kind it’s difficult to be thankful for because they weren’t age appropriate and in one case didn’t fit at all. I appreciated them but it took effort and my unflagging Christmas spirit to make it happen. These are going to be age-appropriate gifts (because they asked the age of each child to do so) and they will be just for them. To me, it’s a whole different ballgame than a big stack of presents that get handed out to everyone.

Maybe I’m just taking my special moments where I can regardless of their actual specialness.

I’m okay with that.