25 Years: Year 17, 09 – 10

Note: computer died while adding photos to post. I will finish in AM. In the meantime, enjoy the story.

The beginning of our 17th year was all about Dylan. He had appendicitis and needed an emergency appendectomy. My goodness! We had never done anything in an emergency, other than some stitches. I stayed in the hospital with Dylan and John hung out until visiting hours were over and then he went home. This was the day before Thanksgiving by the way. No one had come to visit that year (thank goodness). 

Dylan was released on Thanksgiving and we went to Wendi and Jesse’s for as long as Dylan could last. 

We didn’t know it yet, but this would be John’s last Christmas party with his work. We always enjoyed the parties, and the bonuses. But this year the boys were finally old enough to leave in the hotel room while we were at the party, and then the next morning we went to the Houston Zoo. (We like Zoos, can you tell?)

That Christmas we went to Illinois. We celebrated Eric’s 11th birthday there at Northgate. You know he’s had birthday celebrations two of the nostalgic Galesburg locations: Northgate and Happy Jo’s (twice). John didn’t come home with us that year. He had to work all the way up to Christmas Eve. So we skyped on Alec’s first computer. That was 2009. I also believe this was the year they received their first Xbox 360. That definitely changed things at the house.

This is the year I feel I bonded with Becca for the first time. I take full credit for her makeup obsession. 

In January, we picked out/up Stanley. Eric had rallied hard for a cat during our trip home. So we went. Stanley wasn’t a year old yet, but he was an older kitten for sure. He was also pretty sick. I adored him immediately. It took John a little longer, but he came around. 

The spring of 2010 was pretty busy. Alec had soccer, and by this point, he was playing with Crossfire. Crossfire was family to Alec and John. Eric and Dylan were both playing, and I was managing Dylan’s team. We did celebrate Dylan’s birthday, and build legos. 

In March, I went to Philadelphia for work. This time, Mom joined me. I met up with Erin for the first time since high school. And I presented at NSTA. I was also running again and was proud to run the streets of Philly.

John turned 40 at the end of March.  

In May, I had to go to Las Vegas to help with some curriculum alignment pieces. It was just a day trip and I flew home to get the younger two boys and drive to Illinois. Cecilia was graduating from X-ray Tech school, and we were going. 

At Cecilia’s party, I never even made it inside. I started on my way to the party to drop off the first load, and someone met me part way and took the items. On my way back for the rest, I slipped on the stairs at the hotel and broke my ankle. 

My Aunt Jonna found me and got Dad. He and Mike carried me to the car and Dad took me to the hospital. So much for that party. The kids had fun, and Karen ended up taking them during the extra time there.

For me, this was a turning point. What can you do with a broken ankle? 

John couldn’t come get me. First of all, Alec was in the middle of a soccer tournament. Second of all, he couldn’t get out of work. I was angry with him over this for a long time. Much longer than I should have been. My mom came to the rescue and drove me and the boys home. We flew her home.

Eric graduated from Elementary school that year (5th grade). John bought him his first pimp suit. 

The kids were home for the summer again. Things were getting complicated because Alec could go to the pool by himself but he wasn’t old enough to take them. And Alec was pretty social. I went when I could because it was a great way to exercise that ankle. At this point, my life was all about physical therapy…and World Cup soccer. Can’t forget about that! Ha!

I also changed jobs. My boss finally retired and I wasn’t ready for his position yet. Fortunately, I could transition to Professional Development and help with the new virtual team. This meant attending the summer meeting, and yippee, I was able to bring the kids for a night. John had gone home to Illinois for a reason we can’t put our finger on (other than just not getting along).

Before school started, Leslye and I took a trip to visit mom. It’s a rarity I go to visit family without the kids. I think this was my reciprocation trip for his July trip to IL.

By the time school started, I was out of the boot and walking. I was also delivering some training with the Austin school district. Customers were going to start taking more of my time.

John was still with the geotechnical company. He was getting really unhappy. He had been promoted, but there wasn’t a ton of support from home office and his staff was having their own personal issues. 

I believe we started sitting on the board for soccer this year, although I could be off by a year.

Amazingly that fall I won something. I never win anything! I guess the Universe felt bad about the ankle business. I won 2 VIP 3-day passes to ACL (Austin City Limits) from one of the local radio stations. The first night I took my neighbor. The next two days, John and I went. We even won hotel accommodations. It was pretty cool. Our neighbors took us to lunch that Sunday at the Four Seasons. It was a nice weekend, and I think we barely fought.

It wasn’t long after that Dad came for a visit. He was in between jobs, so he decided to come down. While he was here, John quit his job. You’ll recall, I’m already angry with him over the ankle. This was a tipping point for me because here’s a man who would give anything to have a job (getting ready to do stock at Kmart) and John just quits his. Without another job! (breathe in…1…2…3…4…5…exhale)

Remember my boss who once said she didn’t like her husband for a whole year. This was when I really started to understand what she meant. Unfortunately, I didn’t handle it well at all. I let it fester, and I’m sure I lashed out at inappropriate times. I know I wasted his entire last paycheck. God, I was a selfish brat. 

The photos below are of John playing Risk with the boys. 

I don’t know if our anniversary was right at Thanksgiving that year or not. I’m pretty sure it was. I took the kids home though and he stayed here. 

The Bellamy family was on very shaky ground. We were both angry. How would we fix it? How long would it take? How do we keep it together?

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