Thursday, April 4, 2013


I'm sitting here misty eyed right now because my husband loves me even when I screw up so badly.
We got our tax return early last week. It was long awaited and desperately needed. We had talked about the things we intended to do with it, and it wasn't going to go nearly as far as we wanted it to. But things have been so tight for so long, and retail therapy is such a very real thing for me...
I spent $600 in three days.
You guys, that's so much. And it was on well-deserved things! Much of which you could even put in the "need" category for the family. A few things for the kitchen, an Easter outfit for Drake and myself (on clearance, at an outlet store), Easter basket goodies (and I don't believe in buying 99 cent toys - if you are going to get them something, better to get one or two things that will last than 10 things they will never play with), some groceries... I don't know. I can't even tell you where it all went. Oh, I went to lunch with a friend, too.
And that's the problem. I can so easily justify any of it. And in a different situation, no one would judge me for purchasing the things I did. They weren't extravagant.
But our budget is extremely tight. Justin is the only earner in our family right now, and we just bought a house last summer. Between that, the astronomical price of gas for Justin's huge commutes, and our other monthly bills... well, that's all there is. And then there's the house that is still very much a construction zone. And several buttons on my computer have stopped working and it threatens to crash daily. And Drake still doesn't have a crib. And, and, and.
And so the tax return had very specific tasks to accomplish. And I messed it up.
And I knew it. And my heart sank and my face reddened once my husband knew it. I could see he was upset - angry, even. This isn't the first time I've messed up like this. I don't know how he puts up with me.
Most of it was un-returnable. There was nothing I could do to fix it. So I took my application to our favorite local bar/restaurant - desperate to be able to tell my husband I was going to help. (So far, I haven't heard from them.) And I made sure not to spend another cent.
That's why, when I ran out of my prescription, I didn't say anything. Not because he would have said no. He would never say no. But because he's already stressed and it isn't fair.
He just found out that I've been out for three days. And he's sad at me for not saying anything. And I'm sad at myself for creating this whole mess.
Why can't I break this cycle? Please tell me someone else out there has struggled with compulsive spending and found a way to break the habit (not just started making more money so you could afford your spending... that may not be an option for me).
Lord, help. I want to be a better wife than this. My husband so deserves it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

playing dirty

There are literally a dozen other posts I should be writing - ones I've been intending to write for weeks, or even months. But right now I can't resist the urge to show you these pictures and to tell you about my son's first experience playing in his very own back yard.
Yes, last summer I laid him on blankets in the grass and he rolled around, but this toddler of mine is a whole different human. He's really experiencing things now.
So far this Spring, our adventures had been limited to the front yard, which is unfenced and small. Mostly I corral him in and away from the road and he gets angry and the whole thing lasts about ten minutes. We've been doing this because - and this is embarrassing - there was dog poop littering every square inch of the back yard. It was a mine field of varying levels of decaying shit. Yuck.
Today I spent nearly three hours in the back yard during Drake's first nap picking up poop, trash, and sticks and then raking the entire thing (I am going to be so sore tomorrow!). All so that Drake could play in his back yard (and so that I wouldn't gag when I looked out my back window). It was so worth it.
I mean, do you see that kid's smile? He played hard. Running after balls and throwing rocks and digging in the dirt and splashing in the dog's water bucket. He got good and dirty in his brand new 'clean' back yard.
He had his very first strip-before-you-go-inside experience.
Welcome to your childhood, Son. Soon enough we will be hosing you off in the back yard from the messes you make on your outdoor adventures. But I promise to be right there with you. Anyone who knows your Momma well knows that she's always loved to play in the mud.