November is a busy month for us. We have our anniversary, my birthday and Olivia's birthday. Throw in the Thanksgiving holiday and the start of Christmas shopping, and we keep pretty busy.
This November is going to start off weird, though. Did I mention that my husband is leaving the country for two weeks? To go to Greece? No? I didn't? Hmmm...
You see, my husband works as a development officer for an educational institution. Part of his job includes efforts to stay connected with alumni and keep them feeling all warm and fuzzy about their school because, you know, that's how you get them to open their wallets.
So, every couple of years they plan this big alumni tour to some foreign country. He has to go as chaperone and basically make sure everyone gets on the bus and no one has a coronary.
It's not as glamorous as it sounds. Especially when you factor in the fact that some of the alumni and donors who can afford to take such a trip are, well, elderly. And then you drive them to all sorts of historic sites that weren't built for the mobility-impaired. Steps and cobblestones and buildings that are accessible only to those who can negotiate both. And hills...don't forget the hills. That are lined with cobblestones, mind you. Not ideal for people with recent knee replacements.
Such was the case a few years ago, when my husband had to spend much of a day in an Italian hospital with one of his travelers. He was the chaperone, after all. I think he also had a couple on the same trip whose wallets were stolen on a bus in Rome. A lot of headache.
Still, this trip was one we HAD been hoping to attend together (he as chaperone, and me as a tag-along to enjoy the ride). That was the plan, anyway, when he scheduled it more than a year and a half ago. He even asked my input on trip dates. We had hoped to celebrate our fourth anniversary on this trip.
Of course, the unexpected happened. A few months after the trip was scheduled, we met a birthmother, and a couple months after that we were parents. Life has changed. Never mind the fact that my portion of the trip (his is free) no longer fits into our budget. More important is the fact that we have a wee one at home who expects to see her Mommy on a regular basis. And she DOESN'T travel well.
We had considered leaving Olivia with family for two weeks and pulling money from savings to make the trip happen as we had planned. But it just wasn't realistic, financially or logistically. I'm sure Olivia would have been fine with my parents for two weeks. I'm just not sure that I am ready for that.
And so, my husband leaves on Monday for New York. On Tuesday his group flies out of New York for Greece. They will be gone for two weeks. November 4-14. (Yes, he already voted.) The trip includes a three-day Aegean Sea cruise (and yes, I am most jealous of that. I LOVE cruises). He won't actually be HOME until the 16th because of travel. Two full weeks.
But here's the kicker. He's going to be gone for our anniversary (6th) AND Olivia's birthday (12th). Luckily, she's too young to realize it's her actual birthday and we can celebrate later.
The benefit of him being away for these important events, though, is that we can both expect nice Greece gifts upon Daddy's return. And my birthday (21st) follows shortly after he gets back, so we can celebrate EVERYTHING then. Gotta look at the bright side, right?