As happens with Army life, we may have to move. Because of this, we had to temporarily close our home to new foster placements. We had to put a hault on our plans to hopefully adopt again soon. Now, we wait. Will we indeed be moving next spring? Where will the Army send us?
One thing is FOR SURE. I am praising GOD that Baby Girl is our’s always and forever! I NEVER would have left this state without her! Now, that isn’t even a worry! She goes where we go!
He left again this morning. We had ten full days with him. I am so happy he was home for Middle Girl’s birthday, the 4th of July, and our annual foster family pool party. But, this morning he packed up and left to go “back to work.” From now until he comes home again, I will have to answer my precious Baby Girl’s persistent, “where’s Daddy?” My answer every single time is, “he’s at work.” She must hate “work.” It takes him away from her. When he calls, she says, “Daddy, I want you to come to my house!” It breaks his heart. We have been doing this dance of deployment for a year and then long-distance daddy for yet another year. We have had breaks. He came home for a four month long Army school. He was here for Christmas and just took ten days leave to be home for a chunk of the summer, but all in all, we are separated a lot more than we are together. Modern technology is nice. We talk constantly and our kids can FaceTime him, but it’s not like having him here. It’s lonely.
The first year he was gone, he was deployed. That year people asked “how are you doing?” They were concerned. They made a point to invite us to things and called or texted to say they were praying for us. This past year, there were no invites. No extra calls or texts. After all, he’s in the states. It’s just like every other family with a dad who’s job takes him away from home. This is our new “normal.” But, it’s lonely.
It might not be our “normal” for much longer. He is working at getting a job here. It will be so nice to wake up next to him again, for the kids to have him at their games again, and for help with the house and yard. I pray for that day to be soon! Maybe before Christmas! Until then, I’ll put on my big girl panties. I’ll throw myself into raising our four precious kiddos. And maybe, just maybe by Christmas life won’t be so lonely.
There is just something about a Dad! My children’s father is pretty awesome! He is a teacher by nature and although each of our children respond to his instruction differently, he can teach them most things WAY better than I can. I do well with making sure they say “thank you” and “please.” I do well with the girls and making sure they talk sweet and play nice. I encourage my boys and am their biggest fan, but their Dad is the teacher.
Today, he taught our Middle Girl to ride a bike. Nine years old and now she rides a two-wheeler. It wasn’t for a lack of me trying to help her perfect this skill. While Daddy was deployed overseas we had many a lesson. It didn’t help and none of the skills stuck. Today, about an hour after pumping up her tires on her new bike, he had her riding all over the street. She’s a pro!
There is just something about a Dad!
We’ve done “long distance daddy,” for a week so far this time around and things are going great. It’s the first time that I can actually say with certainty that I haven’t really hated life at all this past week. Most “first weeks” are filled with anxiety and things going wrong, but this time around it has been peaceful and happy for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, life with six kids under fourteen is no picnic in the park, but it is a pizza party at the arcade. Crazy, loud, fun and exhausting! Life is good!
Our Army Daddy leaves again in a week. He isn’t going overseas this time, so that is a bonus, but he will still be far away.
He’s packed. He’s doing all of those “around the house chores” that mostly daddies do. He is painting, fixing, and doing the things that use big fun power tools! He is so handy and for that I am very greatful!
We will miss our full time daddy! It has been so nice to have him home full time for three whole months! Life is so much nicer when daddy is around, but he has a job and it takes him away. I’m just greatful we have had this time together as a family to connect and bond. He has played catch in the front yard, danced in the living room and watched basketball and soccer games. It has been glorious!
We’re back to long distance daddy in just one week. It will be tough, but we’ll get through! We’ve done it for two years come this May. We’re not pros by any means, but it’s our “normal” now.
For the next twelve months our family will be on a new journey. We will be living life and loving each other over sometimes long distances. My solider is home from his deployment, but he will still be taken away from home for many months at a time due to trainings and duties he must perform away from where our family lives. We will see him MUCH more often, but many bedtime hugs and soccer games will be missed. As I said goodbye to him this morning after 12 glorious days all together under the same roof, I cried. I love him! I really actually like him! I need him! He is my partner in this life and it makes it so difficult to say goodbye, but I must stay strong! We have twelve months to go. We just started this. Today is day one of our new journey.
I’m really really tired! I’ve been a “geographically single” parent for eleven months now and I’m exhausted. I’m tired of being completely responsible for everyone and everything all by myself. I want my husband back! I want to relax. I want a full night’s rest. I want to be able to fully and completely let go and let him take care of me for a few days. I know he wants to be here! It won’t be much longer. In a few days we’ll be at the one month count down. I can hardly wait! The kids can hardly wait! We are so ready to have our soldier home!!!
I really try to remain positive and most of the time I do! I plan fun things for the kids and I to do. I spend my mornings getting us ready for our fun filled days and I spend my nights cleaning up from them. I make sure we have “down time” and time to relax. We’ve spent almost every holiday since our solider has been gone doing really very “normal” holiday activities, so that we don’t all mope around feeling sorry for ourselves that he is gone.
Today, New Year’s Eve I planned to have friends over. I planned to eat pizza from our very favorite pizza place, I got party hats, blow horns to make tons of noise, and sparkling apple cider to toast with at midnight. Only thing is… I’m sad. I want to be with my soldier. I want him here. We’ve lived apart for over 7 months and I’m tired of it. I want him back. I want to cuddle with him tonight and kiss him at midnight. We’ve been apart for 4 out of 13 New Year’s Eves since we’ve been married. I know that is pretty good odds, but seriously, I am just missing him tonight. I miss his laugh, his scent, his voice, his touch, his presence in the house… I just miss him.
So, 2015 I’m excited and happy that you are here! This year will bring my reunion with my solider! We will spend more months together this year than last and that is something to be very thankful for!
Happy New Year!
Remember when I wrote that blog post a couple months back about 44 things to do while my soldier is gone? Well, today I re-read the blog post and guess what? My soldier has been gone only 1/3 of the time that he will be gone and yet my kiddos and I have already done 22 of the 44 things that we planned on doing! That’s half! How awesome is that? So, yay for us!
We went to the drive-in. Um, CRAZY NIGHT! But, seriously I am SO glad that we did that! We may have been the loudest truck there with my five kiddos switching seats every ten seconds and calling, “Pass the popcorn,” loud enough for the entire drive-in to hear us, but it was a BLAST!
We visited the beach! SO GLAD WE DID THAT TOO! I love the beach, it is my happy place! My sister-in-law came to visit and we took five kiddos, two chairs, five buckets and shovels, snacks, drinks, diapers, towels, shoes, toys, and a camera to the beach and made it out alive and still ready to do it again someday! Success!
I teach my daughter’s Girl’s In Action class at church almost every Wednesday night and LOVE IT! Being with her and her friends and teaching them about missions is a joy!
I’ve taken the babies on walks at the park, watched my oldest play soccer and basketball, taken tons of photos of everything we do and so much more! I even signed my son up for drum lessons and that wasn’t even on the list!
So, three months down, six more months to go and only 22 more things to check off my list and then my soldier will be home!
There is something about a tragedy that brings people together. I haven’t talked to so many Army friends in one day in a long time. We all reconnected again today talking about our fellow soldier and his family. We talked about memories and times together and made sure we all knew how much each of us meant to each other. Many of us have husbands and sons currently still over there in Afghanistan and we all shared our fears and our hopes that nobody else will have to die before this whole deployment is over! Our friend made the ultimate sacrifice and he will never be forgotten!
My friend’s brave soldier will be making his last trip home very soon and some of our friends currently serving in Afghanistan will be with him for different parts of that journey. He will be honored and remembered. They will carry him out of a country so filled with hate and war. It warms my heart that he will NOT be alone for this last ride home.