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We’ve been doing this a little more often than I like…waiting for Jack at the airport.

This time of year, a lot of Jack’s work trips are all clustered together. He’s gone a week, back a few days, then leaves for the next conference or visit to a military base or meeting with a customer, over and over and over. While we manage to survive, it often involves a lot of bribery  to keep the kids from having meltdowns. Sometimes, it’s to keep me from having a meltdown. Single parenting in all its forms is difficult. There are a few silver linings to Jack’s trips, like how excited everyone is to see Jack again. Having him home after he’s been gone is a poignant reminder that we’re better together.

I love it when the kids read to each other in the car, especially when it involves silly voices.
It’s so much more fun when we’re swinging outside together, taking turns being the pusher, and screaming our heads off when it’s our turn to ride.

Even when your big sister pushes you a tad too hard, and you go flying off, resulting in a good portion of your nose getting sanded off in the dirt. Still, better together.

Way to photobomb, Henry. 😂
Same goes for when it comes time to harvest things from the garden. When the veggies and fruits come rolling in, they come in fast. That means we have to do things quickly–it’s all hands on deck so that little as possible goes to waste.
Picking off the Brussels sprouts to eat and go in the freezer.

Most of the time, the kids are willing participants and think working alongside each other is quite amusing. It makes my job go quicker when the manpower is multiplied.

Prepping pumpkin puree for Thanksgiving.
Whether it’s fixing fencing together…
…or getting up in a tree…
Woody wondering what the heck the kids are doing.
…splitting logs…
…or stacking them, we’re better together.
In case anyone thinks we don’t bicker, scream, cry, name call, shout, eye roll, sass, argue, or otherwise are rude to each other, we do. Even with all those shortcomings and trip-ups, we still prefer sticking together. I mean, is there a greater sign of solidarity than wearing crazy socks together so one person doesn’t feel awkward? I don’t think so.
Those are cray-cray socks.

In the good and the bad (and the times we have to run to the car in the rain together), we are better together.

While Jack has been gone, I’ve done my best to stay positive and see the silver linings (namely, I can feed the kids cereal for dinner and no one complains, I can stay up late and write to my heart’s content, and there’s no one scoffing about my choice of cheesy romance movies…otherwise, Jack being gone really does suck) and a lot of times, I’m rewarded with some seemingly small but surprisingly memorable moments together. Hanging out with the kids, commiserating together about how much we miss dad, and laughing together while we take pictures and videos to send to him.
Getting ready for bed. Sort of.

Then on those days between Jack’s trips, we try to make the most of his time back home with us. He catches up on repairs, leads out on having fun, and sends me off on my own to have time to recenter without a child interrupting.

Things won’t always be this way–everyone won’t always be together under one roof but while we are, we’ll enjoy it to the fullest.
Out for an autumn stroll.


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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