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Monday, March 28, 2011

Heartbroken Greece.

I am heartbroken.... And it's my own fault.

My Mom and Andy announced their engagement almost a year ago.... Through l the excitement it was also announced that they would be getting married in Greece... Where Andy's family is from. How could we not be excited?

Hubby has been working his butt off in the field for the last few years, with while year at Suncor North of Fort McMurray. During the busy times it tends to be 24/4 schedule (24 gone 4 home) and in the slower months (ie: Winter) it's been 10/4. We knew that this year we would be having a very good tax return.... So we started to plan for our trip to Greece in September!

We realized quickly that the girls would not be able to attend with us as I could not get over the idea of them missing school right off the bat. Emma will be in Grade 3 (Government testing year) and Zoe in Grade 1 (a HUGE step from Kindergarten!)..... We were lucky enough to be able to work it out with Hubby's parents to come and move into our place while we were in Greece for two weeks.... And it was also working out in our favor that we would have two full days of school with the girls (so we could take them on the first day and such) before we would have to head off on our flights... Yay!

I started arranging the paperwork (the office workers at the school said they would do everything in their power to have the miles of paperwork we fill out every year ready for the first day if not before school started for me to sign and fill out before we left.... That way no one else would have to worry about it while we were gone)..... I knew which programs I could not help with on the school's Parents' Association (which I am the Chair of)... I knew that my Vice Chair would have to run the Annual AGM at the school and started to prep her for that job (not a little task)..... I was on it!

The only thing I struggled with was spending that amount of money on something that our whole family couldn't make it to (Us and the Girls)... But after being reassured by my wonderful Husband that it would all work out, I moved forward with the planning. During all of this I was also still planning our family holiday for December 2011 (they were engaged Spring 2010) which also included all friends and family that wanted to join in (THIS is very important to me as we have not done a 'family' trip anywhere in our entire marriage and it would be our girls first time on a plane!).... Only rule was that it had to be somewhere HOT, and a trip to Toronto for our friends (their blog here) wedding in July! I was sooooo very excited for our "Year of Trips".....

Somewhere in there my Mom and Andy realized that their parents were unable to make it to Greece because of health reasons.... So they decided to throw another wedding (full out!) here at home.... But a themed one (think Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice).... It's going to be lovely! So in August we have the home-based all out wedding and in September there's the Greece wedding (where they will legally sign all the papers and such)....

Dresses for both weddings were being picked, shoes, hair.... And that was just for the Bridal Party! *L*

All was going well (besides the usually bump in planning two weddings and such) until a few months ago when the Hubby had his 'freak out' (but, ya know, a man freak out..... So more of a deeply concerned one)..... I didn't understand, we had been through this (remember my freak out early into the planning??!).... All was promised to work out. We could do this, we had the money lined up..... I don't understand!

All at once my world began to spin..... Hubby and I chatted about it and decided not to 'freak out' about it until we 1) had more information on the full costs of the Greece trip and 2) got our tax return. A mini-meeting was set up with Mom and Andy to discuss the costs.... It didn't look good in our favor... I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel start to get dim....

During the next month Hubby and I started to discuss our options... What would be in our best interest? Where would the money be best spent? How much of our debt could be paid off with it all..... How much of a down payment could be put into a new house..... Etc. It also was brought to my attention that going to Greece might knock out any trips we had planned for the year...

I gave up on looking at dresses and such for the Greece wedding. I lost all hope.

Shortly after losing all hope Hubby gave me a bit of it back... He had been talking to the guys at work and our tax return was starting to sound a lot higher then we (or I at least) had expected.... The light in the tunnel started up again!

I felt good about looking at dresses for Greece again and helping Mom make decisions for the destination again.... And so life went on for a bit....

And then we all got sick. I ended up with Bronchitis and a major sinus infection causing vertigo. Each girl ended up with two different strains of this horrible cold/flu and missed two weeks of school... Hubby, who had been home only for a few days and back at work, ended up coming home after being diagnosed with a lung infection and sinus infection... He missed a week and a half of work. We were very, very ill. My Mom had to come and rescue me while Hubby was still trying to go to work up there.... This whole story is for a whole other blog... But we all were very ill. Thankfully the girls recovered quicker then us, my Mom hung out with us for days straight and took care of everything here while I couldn't focus let alone remember to feed my kids! *L*

Hubby came home right around the time I started to feel slightly human again so I could take care of him.... I was planning our girls Figure Skating Clubs year end Carnival throughout all of this too.... And the weekend after Hubby came home the Carnival happened.... I was sick, exhausted, and still in charge! *L* During my illness I lost all feelings towards Greece, Carnival, etc. and went into survival mode. Thank goodness as I think that's the only way I survived controlling the Carnival dress rehearsal and performance day!

Once Carnival was over and we had a full day to rest, the girls went back to school and Hubby started on our taxes.....

You can imagine my stress. It was the first year in our entire marriage where we had not gone to our tax guy to have them done.... And it was the year that I felt like everything for our upcoming trips was riding on. And then the final result came in.... Our tax return was one of the best that we have ever received... But after paying off some debt we were left with the exact amount that would get us to Greece and pay for our staying there. Now we really had decisions to make. Do we go? It is my Mom's only wedding in her lifetime and it's the one where they're signing the real wedding papers.... But do we not have the money for other responsible things like: Buying a new house; buying newer vehicles; taking a family holiday; having that extra money just in case we have a slow time at work and need to live off of it...??!!

One word: GUILT.

It was a no-win situation either way. People were bound to be hurt, sad, heartbroken, maybe even upset. This sucks.

Please understand that this was not a light decision to make.... Hubby and I had talked about this topic for months.... I had to honestly sit down with myself and decide how I felt about all the situations involved before we did our taxes.... And thankfully I got sick, strange I know to 'thank' for this but..... It gave me the time I needed to start sorting things out in my head. I knew after Hubby did his 'freak out' that I needed to be mature about this decision. I needed to be practical and a Mommy first. I needed to think for our whole family and what would be best for them. After I realized all of that about myself I knew what I had to do. We had to put that money aside and save it. We couldn't go to Greece. We could not see my Mother get married for the one and only time in her life.... We could not take a once-in-a-lifetime trip without the girls.... We just couldn't do it. Once my practical side comes out it's pretty hard to push it aside. I needed to be a 'Mother'. I needed to think for my children's benefits before my 'I wanna have fun and enjoy an amazing trip with my Hubby and see my Mom get married' side of me. I needed to stay home.

I needed to break the news to my Mother and not fall apart while doing it. I needed to be at peace with my decision... Our decision. After much talk, Hubby and I did come to the same conclusions. Neither of us are thrilled about it, but it's what's best for our family. It's heartbreaking.

News was broken to those who needed to know. Sadness happened. Mom realized that she no longer had a photographer (as I was to be it which was a total bonus for my company)... Everyone ended up in the no-win situation.

It's been a week since we realized that we could not go to Greece. 6 days since I broke the news to Mom..... And tonight I broke down. I have tried to be the strong one.... It was our decision, it was the right decision for our family..... Hubby is back up North at work and I'm left here breaking the news. That's our life.... He's working hard to provide for our family, I run things at home, keep the girls active and such.... We made goals before he started working in the field and we're reaching those goals.... We must stay on track....

I went wedding dress shopping with my Mom this week (twice!) and was privileged enough to be there when we found both her Home dress AND her Greece dress! What a wonderful experience that was! I'm so lucky to be able to say that I was a part of that and in a sense, I will be in Greece! (I cried at that dress!)....

But today I realized that I'm going to be lost on September 10th.... What do I do? I'm not in Greece, standing on top of a mountain at a historic monastery watching my Mother, who of all people deserves to be marrying the one and only man who has really captured her heart, marry Andy...

I'll be here. Probably in crappy weather.... Planning the Welcome Back BBQ for the school.

When I force myself to see the bright side of it all (Ha! Right.....) I come up with:

  • Don't have to rush on those school forms

  • Can now run the Welcome Back BBQ for the school. It's no small feat.

  • Get to get the girls into their school routine... Mornings, busing, etc.

  • Don't have to stress about what's happening at the AGM, how it's going for my Vice-Chair, etc. I'll be running it.

  • No longer need Hubby's parents to rush back from NFL where they are for work... They can now take a holiday when their job is done there!

  • Hubby doesn't need to take extra time off work...

  • Get to go on the family vacation as long as I can keep justifying spending ANY extra money on a holiday....

  • And will probably make it out to friends wedding in Toronto.... Again, if only I can get over my guilt of spending any money on a holiday/trip that is not towards Greece.

  • Can now start to seriously plan for the next house step....

  • Have money in the bank 'just in case'....
Even with all the 'pros' today was a hard one. I caught myself daydreaming about what I will do that day.... How awkward this whole situation is.... How it's the right one though... How both Hubby and I are not thrilled about the 'right' decision but both of us know, it's the right one. I broke down while talking to Hubby on Skype.... And I wasn't even talking about the Wedding! How awful is that??!

I'm thankful that this week is Spring Break. I don't have to give my quick explanation to anyone at the school (as all volunteer parents and many teachers knew of our Greece plans!) who asks how the trip plans are coming..... I don't have to think about any of it.... I can just hide in my house, hang with my girls and sleep. And sometimes that's just what the heart needs to survive being broken.... Some time.

*I'm sorry if this sounded like a 'poor me' fest.... It wasn't intended to be. Everyone in the situation is heartbroken. I have been blessed with a very loving and supporting family who understands the challenges of making a huge trip like this... Not once have they said anything negative towards us about our decisions... Instead, they have supported us!


Jesslikesstuff said...

Wow. Tough decision. I'm so sorry you couldn't make the Greece trip work. I completely feel your pain. Well, not to the same extent, but Kevin really wasn't feeling Greece so I had to make my first 'wifely' (lol) compromise and we're taking the honeymoon HE chose (Jamaica). I know it's not teh same but I'm really sad that we won't be doing Greece this year as well. But, I know that you will get to Greece eventually and I know that we will too, so it will all work out in the end for both of us!

I'm sure you and Tyler made the best choice for yourselves and the family, so you should be proud of that.

See you soon ;)


Kristi said...

I hope your heart is feeling better soon! What a painful couple weeks:( I'll try to remember to send you a Valentine's Day card on September 10th.

Apple Box Boutique said...

You chose my dress... I'd be naked on a mountain if you weren't with me in spirit!

We understand how difficult this decision must have been, and we want you to do what you feel is best for the family.

I am sad that you won't get to experience Greece with us, but we will be sure to double up on food and frolic in your honour. And if Skype works in the Cyclades, you may be busy on September 10th after all! OPA!

I should add that we do expect you to have twice as much fun at the Edmonton wedding as you had originally intended. Then all will be right with the world.

I love you... Andy loves you... we love you all and are blessed enough just to have you in our lives.

xoxoxo and our hearts forever,
Mom (and Andy)