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Monday, January 10, 2011


Liz is the brilliant face behind a belle, a bean & a chicago dog, where she shares her adventures with her two adorable daughters, (self proclaimed) metrosexual husband, yummy sounding recipes that even I could attempt and musings on life in general. Her writing is straight forward, witty and always leaves me wanting more.

I am proud to say that Liz is also my fairy blogmother and has advised me on several blogging quandaries with an ease and candor that I respect.

She has to be one of the busiest and most dedicated bloggers in the blogosphere. On top of all the writing she does, I rarely visit a blog that she hasn't already been to and left a heartfelt comment.

Everyone loves Liz, but if for some reason you aren't already following her on Facebook, Twitter (she tweets a lot!!), her BBCD Blog Frog Community, or Our Mommyhood, you must be living under a rock or have terrible Internet access and need to right away!

I am happy to have Liz here today and so, without further adieu, here what "normal" looks like in her home.


I'm so honored to be posting at Letters For Lucas today, though I was even more honored the day Tonya asked me to be her fairy blogmother!

When Tonya and I were talking about this guest post, she asked me about my "Normal." It's kinda funny that she chose that topic because it's something my husband and I talk a lot about.

He and I moved states away from all our family and friends, and everything we knew, over 7 years ago. We hadn't been married even 2 years when he accepted his first outside sales position, so all the "life accomplishments" you do as a married couple pretty much began after our relocation.

Like, our first (and second and third) home.

Two babies.

And countless new jobs and promotions.

Right from the start, our Normal wasn't typical.

Another big part of our Normal is that my husband works out of the home. All the time. As in, there is no physical building nor company location within 500 miles of us.

A lot of people's minds are truly boggled by this, and I'm not sure why. Though once they seem to process this abnormal bit of information, the next question is always, "How is it having your husband around the house all day, every day?"

I usually giggle and say, "It's a good thing we like each other, because we certainly do spend a LOT of time together!"

He and I are both creatures of habit, which I find to be a good thing. Plus, kids thrive with routine. Since I'm home with them all day, every day, our family routine definitely helps me with the kid wrangling. And working out of the home takes a LOT of discipline, so routine is helpful to his productivity and success, too.

Our routine nature and his working out of the home also means that all he has to do is catch a whiff of what's cooking, glance at the clock to see if it's 5 or so, and walk downstairs so we can eat dinner as a family.

Again, not very Normal.

I completely realize that we have some unique benefits with our current set-up. But with all the good come sacrifices, too, like relocation and being a part-time single mom when he's on the road overnight for work.

So, I guess my Normal could be summed up as this:

-Moved away
-Husband works out of the home
-Husband travels overnight for work
-Dinner at 5

It would be hard for me to imagine what life would be like if Craig suddenly had an office job or if I began working full-time, just like other people can't imagine having their spouse around the house all day or picking up their lives and moving like we have.

And I totally get that.

And respect that.

Because we each have our own Normal.

What is your Normal like? Would you change your Normal?

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Blogger cooperl788 said...

I love this. Jeremy and my "normal" day-to-day is actually pretty normal. He works outside the home from 8-5, gets home in time for dinner, I stay home with Georgia. But it's not normal by comparison of all our friends because I stay home and we live over 3000 miles away from our extended families. I think normal is what you make of it.

January 10, 2011 at 3:51 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Thanks for having me, my fairy blogkid!

January 10, 2011 at 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, the joys of moving. I picked up my whole life and followed a man I wasn't even married to eight hours away from anything I had ever known. Once we got married people didn't think I was quite as crazy anymore. But then five years later we had to move again for his job. Starting my life over TWICE has not been easy and I totally know what you mean about it not being the "norm" I hear that all the time too.
My husband works from home on occassion, when there is too much snow or ice for him to make his commute and those days are AWFUL for us. Glad you guys have the routine and personalities to handle it. I know that not everyone does (ME!).

January 10, 2011 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

So jealous Liz is your fairy blogmother.. She's awesome. And those girls of her really are the cutest. Well, at least the 2nd & 3rd cutest girls. Ahem.

Normal is subjective, I think. It's what you get used to & what works for your own family. Also? The older I get & the more I believe that dysfunctional really is the only normalcy in families.

January 10, 2011 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Liz is a fantastic choice for fairy blogmother - she does seem to be everywhere in the blogosphere!

January 10, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Poppy said...

I get that everybody's normal is different and obviously your routine works for the two of you because you obviously have a great thing going. What I don't get is the sharing pink razors in the shower!

January 10, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Shell said...

You're so right that all of us have our own normal. I live in a military town so normal for a lot of people here is having a husband gone for long amounts of therefore, I'm not "allowed" to complain if my husband is gone for a week. But, that's MY normal.

January 10, 2011 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Such a timely post, I was just having a conversation with a friend who cannot wrap her head around the fact that I get up at 5am to work out but it's my normal!

January 10, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

I love how you summed up your normal. DH and I would probably strangle each other if we were in the same space 24 hours a day. We are definitely an opposites attract kind of couple. Which is awesome - in less than all-day doses. :)

January 10, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger CityMom2 said...

Your normal sounds pretty good to me. I would have loved to be a SAHM.

Recent years DH has worked 6-7 days/week, we never planned on him being home bc his business is open late. he's almost "in the way" if he comes home early. In fact, with the boys gone, my normal is getting a bit lonely.
Yours sounds nice. Good for you.

January 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Craig works from home?!? How have I never caught that before!?!?

Well, my normal looks quite a bit different. My hub's office is only a mile away from home (and he can see the ocean along his entire commute and from his office itself), but he spends much too much time there. We do, however, insist on family dinners at 6:30 every night. Of course, he then often commutes right back to that office. He also travels a ton -- gone all this week and most of next. I often feel like a single SAHM which is why I stay at home -- one working attorney is enough for any family.

January 10, 2011 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

My normal is living in my father-in-law's house since his brain hemmorage last year. He has a very poor memory and does little more than lay in bed most of the day (refuses to get up, even for Christmas), comes down for dinner and watches TV til midnight or so. He was terribly negative and stubborn prior to his illness, and that's just been amplified.

DH stays home with his dad and I work. Sort of the reverse of what you usually see. We have to find a babysitter for him when we go out which sucks - no one exactly looks forward to it. We hope to get a nurse in during the day as soon as we can - at least DH can get out of the house then!

We're trying to build our own "normal" day by day.

January 10, 2011 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

It's so funny now one person's normal can be another person's weird (no, I don't mean your weird!). I just think it's cool that "normal" means something different to everybody...for the most part.

January 10, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous The Sweetest said...

We eat at 5, too, because my little boy is always hungry, and because I am a geriatric stuck in a nearing-40 body. Husband is never there for dinner because he works late, often coming home after son has gone to bed.

January 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

How cool to see one of my favorites over here guesting at another favorite!

Liz, when my kids were younger, hubs always worked from home doing outside sales, too. From the beginning of our marriage (before kids) up until about 5 years ago he was either just down the hall OR out of town. When my son was little we lived in a pretty small condo, too, but it was perfect for us! We enjoy being around each other, and we just taught our kids "Daddy's working" so they wouldn't disturb him in the office.

But I also respected that he was working, and did my own thing. It worked that way for 17 years, and then he was transferred into the local office! But even now, his office is only 4 miles from home. Our "normal" is dinner's on the table around 6:30, and he's almost always home to eat with us before we finish.

I love hearing how other people make their lives work out for them! All different, and all "normal" in their own way!

January 10, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Gigi said...

I think if you had something big change, you'd just roll with the punches. That's what people who move a lot do - they adapt easily.

I had 8 years of my husband working from home with me and i am happy he leaves for an office now.

how do you get away with so much blogging and social media with him there? :)

January 10, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger KLZ said...

Your normal also includes your husband caring about his weight which I'm jealous of.

Psa my husbands not fat.yet. But he recently told menus intends to be

January 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Anonymous julie said...

Our normal is different every day. I wish we had a better routine, but our kids do karate and their classes are at different times each night.

And depending on the homework load, we sometimes eat before or after. And my husband has STRANGE eating requirements (I think yours does, too, as I recall) so Bill doesn't/can't always eat when or what we're eating.

Still. We're happy. As clams. Which none of us eats.

So cheers to happy. Which is more important than "normal" any day...

January 10, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger angela said...

Our normal changes depending on how busy my husband is at work. The kids and I do basically the same thing every day, including dinner around 6:30 and then bedtime routine. The best days are the ones when Ryan is home in time for dinner/bed!

(And what a great fairy blogmother!)

January 10, 2011 at 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Yuliya said...

I would absolutely love it if my husband worked from home...or you know if neither of us had to work, that would really be ideal...
Awesome that you two can do that!

January 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I think I'm still trying to figure out what my "normal" life should be like... Maybe that's the thing, maybe we never actually figure that out. Maybe we just live our lives and somewhere in there, we come to the realization that how we are living is our "normal"... Who knows?

January 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM  

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