It’s hard to believe that my last post was back in November. As you may remember, I was feeling overwhelmed and something had to give. I wanted to take some time, lighten the load and see if it was something I missed. It turns out I really did! Even though the blog was on hiatus I was always brainstorming recipes and flavor ideas. Not having a place to share those ideas made me sad so I knew it was time. My husband is helping me find a way to create some time to write and share my thoughts. I am grateful to have a partner that encourage and appreciates my creative side!
You may be wondering what I have been doing. Here are some highlights:
Becoming permanent guardians to our little girl!
Our Little Cupcake came to us a little over a year ago, when she was 9 months old. Of course we fell in love with her immediately. After some emotional months, there was a trial where it was determined we would become permanent guardians. We are thrilled! There are definitely some mixed emotions though. It was sad to think that her biological parents weren’t able to care for her. And while that is the reason she’s come into our lives, I’m still sad that they aren’t there yet. We hope they will still be a part of her life. Being a parent is more than I could have ever imagined. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and being a working mom is a constant struggle. There is a tremendous amount of guilt I feel when I’m at work and it’s tough realizing I am no longer the expert in everything about her. I realize I am so fortunate that my husband can stay home with her, so I at least get pictures of her and he is now the expert. I think I also feel guilty when I’m tired when I get home from a day at work and am occasionally not excited to see her (what kind of mom am I?). I am trying to give myself a break, though, and realize no one is perfect. With that being said I am loving this age. She is starting to say actual words and is so much more expressive now. She knows her Mama and Dada and certainly has her own opinions about things. It’s exciting to see her becoming independent and how quickly she learns things!
She turns 2 in June and I am ready to celebrate.
What’s been your favorite age of your children?
Several business trips
I’ve been working at Holland America Cruise Line since August. I support the Fleet Operations group which is one of the groups responsible for what are called drydocks(the internets say that drydock is too words, but I’m not sure I trust them over you in this case. Your call). These projects are what they sound like. The enormous ship sits on blocks at the dock, dry. It’s a time for a bunch of repairs, maintenance, and other projects to be worked on, without worrying about guests being around. These drydocks are between 8 and 15 days and are in various shipyards around the world, depending on the ship being worked on. A ship goes through a drydock twice every 5 years. There are all kinds of projects that could be worked on during this time like replacing thrusters, engine work, painting inside and out, converting restaurants to a new theme, remodeling staterooms, etc.
Because I support the finances for Fleet Ops, I attend some of these drydocks. There are several people in my group so we try to rotate. I went on my first back in December to Freeport, Bahamas. I know what you’re thinking but stop right there. Even though it was the Bahamas, it was definitely work and not a glamorous vacation. We are cooped upon the ship most of the time. There are outages (water, A/C, etc.) which isn’t fun and the days are often long. That part, along with being away from home for a week or so, is hard. However, there are some great things about the experience. It’s a chance to develop relationships with the people I work with. It also gives me a chance to learn more about our ships and really appreciate what the people I support in do. They are experts and there is no place where that is more apparent than a drydock. It’s truly amazing to see how all of it comes together. At the beginning, everything is ripped apart, carpeting pulled up, pieces of the ship below pulled out. Then on the last few days everything miraculously comes together. New carpeting is revealed, the ship is freshly painted, restaurants are restored and the ship is back ready for guests. The second to the last day, the dock is slowly flooded, so anything on the ship bottom that needs testing can go through those. Once the dock is refilled, the blocks are removed and we float off. We sail overnight to Fort Lauderdale where those of us that don’t work on the ship disembark and the rest of the crew gets the ready quickly to turn it over that same day for guests. That last night was my favorite time on the drydock. You get to actually be out on the water and we left Freeport around sunset which is gorgeous. People also start to relax a bit and things seem a little less stressful.
I went on another trip to Freeport at the beginning of April. This one was slightly easier because I was there less time and I knew what to expect. It was also harder, though, because our Little Cupcake knew more of what was going on so missed me more. It’s tough, but it’s the job.
Tending to my relationship with my husband
Becoming first-time parents was overwhelming at times but I have always been grateful to have Derek right there beside me to go through it with together. We share the good times, like when she says a new word for the first time, or the tiring times like when she cries because we had the nerve to not let her jump off the couch (lol). We’ve both learned a lot and are becoming comfortable in our new roles. I finally feel like we’re “catching our stride”. We are now taking more time for us and are lucky to have grandparents eager to babysit so we can see the occasional movie or go out to dinner without a little one eating off our plates. 😉 It’s important to remember to cultivate our marriage and take time for the two of us.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. I plan on sharing a post twice a week and will probably continue to sprinkle parenthood and non-food-related posts here and there because that is what my life is now.
I’m glad to be back and I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to.