Summer of Steph {Steph Update} | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

July 25, 2012

Summer of Steph {Steph Update}

When I first started this blog, I didn't have a general direction. I knew I wanted to post on a regular basis. I wanted to post recipes (which I do), I wanted to post about parenting, (which I do), I wanted to post on things local (which I do sometimes). And I wanted to post a bit about me.

And I've gotten away from that.

Not sure why. Maybe I just don't find my life so terribly interesting that it's worth sharing about on a regular basis, lest you be ZzzzzzzzZZzzzzzz.


But as a blog reader, though, I like knowing who is behind the witty words, the fun tutorials, the to-die-for recipes. I like connecting on a more personal level, even if it's just Yep. Not much happening here. I showered today.  

Because that's life. And despite what the robots would like you to think, bloggers are, in fact, real people. 

So yeah. Hey. How are you?

I shared a bit over the last year that last Summer kicked our butts. Like, a lot. Hubby is a teacher, and does not get paid over the summer.  And while we scrimped and saved to make ends meet in the Summer (with him working a part time job), ends were. not. met. Like, mid-way through July we were riding a ferry from Delaware to New Jersey to make our way home (in a fun way) from visiting my Dad, and an email notifies my phone (yes, even in the middle of the ocean) that we were terribly overdrawn on our negative account. GULP!

The better part of our summer was spent frustrated and scared. We had no idea where the money would come to pay our bills, what would happen if we didn't. Hubby and I blew up at each other a lot because we were so on edge. Couple that with rising costs of living, the unexpectedness of our air conditioner breaking, and a 7 month old who kept me from getting a full nights sleep, I was a hot mess (pun intended). It just seemed unfair. I was grateful for having a roof over my head, but it was frightening to think even that was in question. 

We made it through the Summer with the help of family, and then faced a Fall of (unsuccessfully) digging ourselves out of very deep hole. It is a lonely and helpless feeling to go to bed every night anxious about what tomorrow would bring (punch you in the face with, is more like it). As a parent, having the ownership of your home in question, the ability to pay for the groceries or energy bill uncertain, is absolutely heart-wrenching. 

There were times that we came 2 seconds away from signing off on a foreclosure with our bank, final notices on unpaid bills. Each time we panicked, yet somehow survived. Not easily. But we kept pushing through. In time, a few part-time jobs came our way as blessings.  Our friends and family were so supportive, even though we tried to be quiet about our struggles.  This economy is hard for so many, and I know what we experienced was 1/100th of what many are facing. So my heart goes out to them.

In the Spring, the tides started to change. I found myself (happily) busy with several freelance jobs, a few social media jobs, all which allowed me to be home with my kids (while doing something I REALLY like doing). We looked to the Summer with less reluctance, despite being quite sure we didn't have the money to make it through the Summer even with us both working.  I was nervous that this Summer would be awful: that we would have more misfortunes, more bad surprises, and not enough money.

This Summer, though, has been a nice turnaround from last Summer. We've saved enough, and in combination with both Hubby and I working various part-time jobs, we can enjoy the Summer. We can look ahead to the next year and consider plans for possibly moving. We can enjoy a bottle of wine once in a while.  We can take our kids to the zoo without wondering if it mean sacrificing next week's grocery money.  We can go to bed at night not fearing what the dawn will bring.

And I can finally breathe

It felt like I haven't been able to fully breathe for a year. It's hard to breathe when you are anxious and scared. But I'm starting to breathe easier. And though I would not want to go through last year all over again, I've learned a lot. I've come to appreciate all the hard work Hubby does. I appreciate the miraculous emails or phone calls that bear good news of opportunity (and learn to not be afraid to hope or expect them from time to time). I know a little better what matters, what does not. And I can leave this season excited for what is to come.

I'm not sure what tomorrow is going to bring. A small part of me welcomes tomorrow tentatively, with my eyes squinted shut and my hands held out bracing for the worst. And a larger part of me hopes for a greater adventure than today brought.  I don't want to live life afraid, so I'm trying to learn the practice of living in the moment and accepting my circumstances. 

I'm still pretty bad at this.

But we're all works in progress, right? :)

How has your Summer been? Your year? 
In what way are you working on (or need to work on) 
living in the moment and accepting your circumstances?


  1. This summer has been quite a struggle for my family and I, as I deal with child support and custody issues with my ex-husband. Financially, having to pay for an attorney, all while he pays no support for his 4 children, has really put a huge strain financially and emotionally on our entire family. Hoping that by this time next year, we too will be in a better place. Congratulations for overcoming your financial woes. It is certainly a sign of the times, and a part of the economic uncertainty of this country. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Steph, thank you so much for sharing this! Although this past year was not necessarily fraught financially, I can certainly relate to the roller coaster of emotions. My first year of teaching basically consumed me, which took its toll on both me and my marriage. This spring, I found out I was pregnant, my grandmother passed away, and we lost our sweet puppy to a mysterious illness. Honestly, I have never been more thankful for this season of REST, especially since my life will never be the same once our little man arrives this fall...

  3. this summer has been crazy busy. I definitely stepped up my blogging game and threw myself into it harder than ever. It's paying off both in good and bad. Good is I've met you girls, bad is I'm stupid busy:)


Hey! Share a thought or two - I'd love to hear from you! ~ Steph

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