This has been the craziest... season, I'll call it, at the Barkel residence!! Crazy, stressful, confusing, busy, cold.... Jordan was gone for over 4 months where he was only home for 3 days each week but 2 or his 3 days 'off'', he was then working full days at his parents' home which he completely remodeled. His only day off, which was Sunday, wasn't exactly a peaceful one because we tried to cram one weeks worth of 'family time' into one afternoon and evening. All the while, I would be making lunches and dinners for him for the 4 days he would be away from us, the kids would be clobbering him for attention, and Jordan would be on this countdown to when he'd have to leave for Lansing again (at 4am).
During the week while he was gone, the kids and I did really well. We had a few meltdowns in that time from the kids and myself but overall, I know that the ongoing prayers from my friends carried us through. We also worked during the week and weekends at mom and dad's house and this may be the first time in history that our kids have complained about going 'to grandpa and grandma's house again.' However, Jordan had the toughest time of us all, I believe. He was cramming 45 hours into 4 days and then working at least 24 hours between Friday and Saturday. He struggled and the weight of it was felt on us all.
But now we are on the other side of this! We see a happy Jordan once again! I think just by looking at him I can see the burden beginning to lighten. We are trying to re-establish 'normal'. He's still gone at night working at the house, but now we eat dinner together and he's been able to tuck the kids into bed occasionally.
So we decided to celebrate Jordan's 'homecoming'!! We surprised the kids with a weekend at a hotel with a pool! I love how clueless kids can be. We got to the hotel and Natalie was the only one who inquired about where we were. Before we could answer, she told us all that this must be 'social studies'! We still have no clue what she was thinking of! Each of them, without question, carried a bag with their clothes in it and Jordan and I had our arms full of stuff. Still no questions! Once we walked in the hotel they could smell the pool and that's when the gig was up! They were elated! We swam, ate pizza, swam some more, and played a game while watching a movie before they finally went to bed after 10:00. Emmy and Charlie cuddled on the floor together. The next morning, we swam again and the kids didn't stop until 15 minutes before checkout. Great times!
Now the snow has been melting, the temps are rising! We are almost out of this season of winter and excessive work. We made it! And our hearts are happy to be seeing more sunshine and Jordan.