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On Monday I took kids to school then enjoyed a Diet Coke with Heath while we watched BYU Sports Nation. It has become one of our traditions. If he is home, we have Diet Coke while BYU Sports Nation is on. If we can’t make it happen in the morning, we have to do it in the afternoon. I used to joke that I hated him for making me love that show. I totally love it! Spencer Linton and Jarom Jordan are hilarious. Jarom has a similar opinion and view of BYU sports. It’s just a fun show.

Unfortunately, that day we couldn’t see the end of the show because I had to take Heath to the BART station. He was on his way to Las Vegas for a Tableau conference. Secretly I was upset that he even had to go. He signed up to go months ago. Then the bank put a freeze on expenses like business trips. Something about the interest rates weren’t doing what they expected so money was tight, or something like that. In the quiet recesses of my heart I was pretty excited. No more trips to check on his team in Minneapolis. The Tableau Conference trip would have to be canceled. I could keep him all to myself for the foreseeable future.

Being the upstanding man he is, Heath asked if his employer would make an exception. Most of the conference had already been paid for and it was too late for a refund. I don’t know if this was a bargaining chip, but Heath hopes to present at the conference next year. He had a lot of reasons why he should go. Networking, learning opportunities, etc.

They bought it.

The trip was still on. I was sad. I know it’s important and all but I’m selfish so I pouted about it. And he still left Monday morning shortly before BYU Sports Nation ended. I came home where the emptiness of my house overwhelmed me. Heath has been working from home so much lately that he has become a permanent fixture. It used to throw off my schedule. Now it is my schedule. I’m used to having him home. To go from seeing him all the time to an entire week of not seeing him at all was somewhat painful.

I puttered around the house. The silence was deafening. I didn’t want to listen to music. I just needed noise. So I turned on the TV and cleaned. The TV has become my escape this week. When I was too stressed out or tired or simply didn’t have enough time to start anything else, I turned on daytime television.

Tuesday was supposed to be the hardest day of the week. I woke up early so I could be ready to hit the ground running after dropping off kids. On the way to taking Parker to school I got a low tire warning. Fantastic. I only had to drive somewhere every single day. If all I had to do was drive kids to school I wouldn’t have worried. But my week was full of driving. That night was Gavin’s Cross Country Awards Banquet. I was not looking forward to it. The venue was far away and I had to find it in the dark. With low tires.

You have to understand, my anxiety with driving is more than just driving. More than just driving on freeways. I don’t pump my own gas unless it’s an emergency. And I have never put air in my tires. Velma likes to give low tire warnings often. I don’t get it. We bought her new tires the last time. Here we are again months later and she still wants more air. Stupid van.

I considered crying to my friends that morning while I visited hoping someone would come with me. I decided to be a mature adult about it and not say anything. Instead I waited to pick up Gwen and Parker from school and ask them for moral support. Parker was funny. When I asked if he wanted to help me with something he got really excited. Then I told him what it was and his brows knit.

Parker: I only know how to take off the caps.
Me: Well, let’s go figure it out together!

Most people like to do things alone. They find their kids to be an extra distraction when they run errands. I have broken out of a lot of anxiety because I hauled my kids with me. It’s weird and I can’t explain why it worked for me but I can do a lot of things that I couldn’t before because my kids were with me.

Off to the gas station we drove. I put in my 75 cents. You would think air is free but apparently not. I love how Heath told me to bring extra quarters in case. Part of my fear with dealing with the low tires on my own is remembering all the times Heath has tried to take care of the problem for me and he says it doesn’t work out. The tires don’t inflate enough or the machine is on the fritz or whatever. That did not make me feel better about my situation but the desire to not drive far on low tires won over my irrational fears. Gwen and Parker followed me around the van taking off tire caps and generally loving that I would let them be out there with me. I filled three tires before the machine timed out. So it cost me another 75 cents to fill the last tire. *eye roll* At least my tires were safe again.

The kids got their homework finished quickly and were watching old Phineas and Ferb cartoons on Netflix. I stared at my phone watching the minutes tick off to 6:00. At 6:00 on the nose we left for the awards banquet. Gavin sat up front with the map and directions I had printed. He was my navigator. I was familiar enough with the directions that it wasn’t too hard to find the movie theater.

There were a few things about the evening that bothered me. I thought it was weird that it was being held at a movie theater that has two full restaurant menus to order from. The food was very pretentious and extremely pricey to be eaten in a theater. That’s how that theater works. There are tables scattered throughout the theater and you dine while enjoying the movie. Very strange if you ask me. I have never been to such a place and really couldn’t imagine how that would work.

The prices were a turn off to me. Especially since they were the theater’s prices. It’s not like we were being asked to pay outrageous prices to boost the team’s funds. The menus boasted about their alcoholic beverages but never mentioned if they even offer soft drinks or even water. Having to go through this night without Heath was extremely taxing to me. But I couldn’t be that mom that said we weren’t going. I wanted to go to see the awards Gavin had earned. He had such a great season.

I was able to arrange a ride home for Gavin. The movie would start at 8:00 pm. Um no. I don’t care that the next day is Late Start Wednesday. That’s too late for my little ones. I was certainly not interested in watching Goonies. Apparently Disney has too many rules and restrictions with their movies so the choices were already limited. The team wanted to watch Goonies. Avalon’s dad drove Gavin home. Parker and Gwen were tired when we left. The awards took longer than planned. The movie started sometime after 8:30.

I have mixed feelings about that banquet. I paid $44 for four hot dogs, four soft drinks, and two baskets of fries. It was the most normal food on the menu. There was even a tip line on the receipt. So $3 went to a tip. I felt stupid tipping for overpriced stadium food but was afraid to be a jerk and not do it. They deliver the food to your table so I guess I did the right thing. It was a crappy tip but they got something. Gavin was mentioned once – for the participation certificate he received. Seriously? I went through all that trouble for something he could have picked up at his leisure in the front office?

The slide show was fun to watch on the big screen. It was also cool to learn that the coach bought a nice championship banner for the school. The 7/8 grade girls won their race at the last meet, which was the first championship win in the last 14 years! Apparently the boys were asking last Wednesday if the girls won and cheered like crazy when it was confirmed that they did. This team is pretty awesome. I have enjoyed watching them grow closer as teammates. It has been an inspiring season. I just can’t believe that Gavin only got a participation certificate.

Wednesday worked out well enough. I went visiting teaching in the morning, shopping after that, received the football tickets, picked up kids, then took Gavin to Scouts that night. Gavin hasn’t been for a month!

Thursday was quite the day. So the kids bathroom is leaking again. Since Heath was going out of town for a week we decided the kids could get clean in our bathroom. Heath would let the landlord know about the problem later. That way I wouldn’t be stuck home alone with my kitchen ceiling ripped up. The handyman will be over sometime today. It’s getting late enough I’m wondering what he will possibly do today.

So the boys were using my shower. Gavin was struggling with the door. Periodically the door sags. It has been fine for a long time and started sagging again after Gavin took his first shower in there. I tried to tighten the screws but it wasn’t working. I told him to lift up on the door handle slightly. I kept hearing the banging of him not being able to open the door. It was driving me crazy. Eventually I heard the water come on and the final bang of the door so I figured he was showering and fine.

I told Parker to get ready for his shower. He went in there and immediately came back. He told me that there was water on the floor from the shower to the toilet. It’s a big bathroom so that is a lot of water on the floor. I was texting with my mom and emailing with the Primary President. Not really the news I needed at that moment. Sure enough there was water everywhere. I didn’t react well. I was exasperated and clearly upset. Gavin finally started talking.

Gavin: There is a problem with your drain.
Me: No there’s not! What are you talking about? What happened?
Gavin: Not the shower drain. The sink.
Me: I know it’s draining slowly but what does that have to do with anything?
Gavin: I turned on the hot water and (sheepishly) left it on while I showered.

We will stop the conversation there. It went downhill fast. I was so mad. I told the boys to turn on the shower and wait a bit before getting in because the hot water takes a minute to come in. I never said to use the sink. Years ago Heath had taught them the trick of turning on the faucet to get hot water. My absent minded professor had used that trick and not noticed the sink filling up quickly, nor did he think to shut off the water before getting in the shower. It’s not like we’re in a drought or anything!

Gwen didn’t want spaghetti for dinner. I was already thinking of going to the store to get stuff for the chicken sandwiches she wanted. I decided to buy something to unclog the sink too. Heath was planning on taking the pipes apart to fix the problem since it was getting that bad. I wasn’t concerned. I was the only one using the sink. I never would have guessed this unfortunate turn of events. I also can’t believe how often we have plumbing issues in this house. I’m just glad that we don’t have to pay for any repairs. There are some benefits to renting.

There was no rest for the weary though. I put a band aid on that problem then I got a text from the Primary President to print a bunch of forms for a newly appointed teacher. I needed the forms that night to give at a Stake special needs training. I’m not very adept at Excel and all the forms had to be updated before I could print. Heath wasn’t home to help me. I was glad he was able to text me how to fix the formatting where needed. That took up a lot of time while the kids did homework. Then I had to make dinner while finishing up laundry before rushing off to the church for the meeting.

I got there a little late and noticed I was the only representative from the ward. I kept looking around and sure enough I didn’t recognize a soul in the chapel. Five minutes later the president and first counselor showed up. It was the three of us for quite some time. We finally saw two other Primary workers had slipped into the back. Five of us. That was it. It was a training on teaching children with special needs. It was supposed to be for any leader or teacher of children under age 12. This involves Primary, Nursery, Cub Scouts, and Activity Day leaders. Five of us showed up. That was disappointing to me because seriously, I had as much reason as anybody to not go. But I trusted that my kids could watch a movie without killing each other in my absence.

The training was fantastic. I was struggling to focus but not because it wasn’t presented well. I just didn’t want to be there. I was mentally exhausted. I really wish that the teachers could have been there to have their minds open to simple tricks and techniques to reach all their students. Even I am guilty of feeling like finishing a lesson is the end of my responsibilities as a Primary teacher and I have a Special Ed degree! Love was the running theme throughout that meeting. Love all the children as God loves them. Help them learn to love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It’s that simple.

This morning I went to a two hour long Primary Presidency meeting. Ugh. I came home to blog while I waited for Heath to come home. The handyman called and that’s when I remembered why I needed to clean my house! I kept thinking that Heath wouldn’t care if he came home to a cluttered house with dishes on the counter. Oh yeah. The handyman was coming over to deal with the leaks. Good heavens. I have lived day to day and each day new things come up that make me live one event to the next. I can’t keep it straight. Right now I can’t wait for Sunday to be over so we can be done with the Primary Program Sacrament Meeting. It’s the last major event for a little bit.

The handyman is here and he is taking down the shower doors in the kids bathroom! Yay! I hate shower doors. I would so much rather have a curtain. The landlord has signed off on it so the handyman is getting us a rod. We just have to get the curtain.

My brain is full and eyes must be burning from reading this. Have a lovely weekend, I will write about smoke and desperation later. Heath and I both described Vegas that way at the same time. I’ll tell those stories later.

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