Happy Valentine's Day


Six weeks in and I think some of the loneliness and frustration of being away from Kates and Phoebe has taken hold …

You could say my feelings are amplified today because it’s Valentine’s Day, but I’ve never been one to get overly lovey-dovey on this day. Sure, I’ll do the greeting card thing; maybe we’ll have a special dinner. But -- at the risk of sounding corny -- I prefer to express my affection for loved ones all-year round.

Last year, Kates and I spent Valentine’s Day doing our taxes -- although I’ll remember Valentine’s Day 2009 most as the day Phoebe started crawling.

Today, it didn’t dawn on me that it was Valentine’s Day until the pastor mentioned it in church. The highlight of my Valentine’s Day this year will be attending a celebration this afternoon for our national championship football team.

Our Skype chats remain a fixture of our nightly routines, but doing it every night might be causing Skype’s shine to tarnish a bit. The background noise that sometimes clouds the connection gets so bad it sounds like an airplane is flying just a few feet over the house. And then there’s this pinging that sounds like we’re aboard a submarine … Still, I have to remember: It’s better than having to hold a phone to my ear, and at least I can see them.

Still, just the sight of them can frustrate … When I catch the twinkle in their eyes, I feel my heart melting and all I want to do is rush in and squeeze them. Instead, the only thing I can do is smile at my computer screen.

And I’m helpless when it comes to aiding with the household chores. Now Kates must take out the trash, and clean the dirty dishes each night -- in addition to filling Phoebe’s needs. Every time she complains about it, I only feel guilty about taking this new job.

The first month, we dealt with it … but things are getting increasingly tougher and frustrating as time passes.

The last couple weeks Kates and Phoebe have been dealing with illnesses, and I was frustrated I couldn’t be with them to care for them and help around the house.

Keeping our finances in check has been a test in patience. Now we’re managing two bank accounts and having to keep each other updated on the activity associated with both of them.

I keep trying to tell myself that we'll look back at all of this in a year and laugh. But right now, I'm not so sure.

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