Over the 8 1/2 years that Nate has worked in retail I have steadily grown to dislike any and all holidays. While most everyone else is enjoying some extended time off from work and hanging out with family or friends, my holidays don't look much different than any other day of the week. There's no extended time with family since Nate works just about every holiday. There's no long weekend for us. He might get one day off over the holiday weekend but never the whole thing. Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far the hardest for me to get through. Not only is scheduling time with Nate's family difficult but Nate is not allowed any vacation time AT ALL from Thanksgiving through New Years. So I struggle with getting through holidays (almost any holiday at this point) and since we now have kids I struggle even more.
Growing up we'd travel to visit family for different holidays. Holidays were a time to spend with extended family. Both sides of the family. Even though we didn't live near any family, my parents tried to vary which side of the family we spent time with so that we could build relationships with both sides of the family and not just one side. I can remember spending the 4th of July with family in Missouri, Thanksgiving and Christmas in Pennsylvania, or having family visit us in Kansas. Building relationships with both sides of the family was important.
It is so different now. Most holidays it is just us and Nate's parents (and I'm not saying that's bad because his parents are awesome!). But I want my girls to be able to spend various holidays with cousins or uncles and aunts and not just Christmas if we're lucky. I want my girls to have the chance to get to know their cousins and uncles and aunts and not just know of them through pictures.
Part of me would much rather be living on the other side of the world where I knew that I couldn't spend holidays with family. Living here and being so close yet so far from all our family (but Nate's parents) and being restricted by Nate's schedule stinks.
Since April Nate has been seeking a transfer with the company he works for. We're trying to get out to Oregon, but so far it hasn't worked out. I don't know (or understand) what God's plan for our family is. Our long term plans to live in another country have not worked and now we're pursing other options. However, Nate continues to pursue open doors but those doors keep closing. So I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated with Nate's schedule. I'm frustrated with not being able to spend any holidays with my family. I'm frustrated with not understanding where God is trying to lead us.
So I'm sure this is not the type of 4th of July post you expected to read from me but this is our reality. This year there won't be any fire works or grilling out or time with family. Nate spent the day at work. The girls refused to nap and went to bed early. I'm sure I'll continue to struggle with holidays but I do hope that with time I am able to figure out how to make the various holidays special for our girls.
These are just some random pictures from the past few days.
Sanaa "fixing" her toy.
Layla's first experience with play-doh. She saw Sanaa playing with it and threw a tantrum because she wanted in on the action as well. Anything her big sis does she needs to do as well.
Sanaa went to a princess birthday party this weekend. She came home and dressed Keldorn up with the jewelry and princess crown she got at the party. He's such a patient cat!
My new coffee mug Nate got me while he was in CA. It's perfect since I'm not a morning person!