Army Wives Series: The First Good-bye and Watching the News

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last Real Army Wives series post, so where were we?

Oh, yes, Alan and I were engaged. The Army was starting to encroach on my plans and change my life. Hahahahahaha Oh boy, did I have no idea what was ahead or what!

Behind? You can catch up here with part 1, part 2,and the others weren’t exactly part of the story, per se, so we are really only on part 3 here.

Probably 99% of military couples plan their wedding date around a deployment, a move, a temporary duty assignment, or training.

For us, it was Officer Basic Course and my own college graduation. We could plan it for December or January, which was unstable because we were brand new to the military and didn’t know if that would work out…

Or we could plan the big day for August, exactly when Alan had about 10 days of leave between assignments.

So we went with the August plan.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Picture of a picture….Yes, we got married before digital photography was big…Funny story….A guest that we didn’t know caught the bouquet. She said, “Wow! I don’t even know her!” So Alyson, Alan’s cousin, snatched it up. That makes me smile.

The first good-bye

I said good-bye to Alan around May 30 that year. He was off to Ft. Lewis, Washington, and I was headed down to my parents’ house to spend the summer working, planning the wedding, and taking Genetics via distance learning.

This was our first ever attempt at a long distance relationship. Two whole months–which sounds laughable NOW.

But, oh! The drama!

You would have thought it was World War II, rather than…..Tacoma. We hugged and kissed, and made speeches, and it actually makes me roll my eyes and shake my head now to even think about it. Gracious.

Two months of separation between Alan’s commissioning and the wedding.

But that was nothing.

Once we got married, in August, we celebrated with a honeymoon to Jamaica, and then we drove from Alabama to Oklahoma to settle him into his BOQ. (Batchelor Officer’s Quarters)

I rode out there with him, spent a day there, and then I flew back to Alabama to finish my own degree, at the University of Alabama.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Yep. That was another 4 months of separation.

I don’t even think it’s that uncommon for military couples to spend the first months of their marriage apart. This has been a common theme throughout millenia of military couples.

As a newlywed 21-year-old young woman, it was agonizing.

How many times did I contemplate throwing it all out the window and moving to Oklahoma with my lieutenant? So many times! I could finish my degree anywhere, any time, why bother with all this? Ugh.

But my husband truly loved me, and was always looking out not only for his best interest, but for mine as well. Alan would not hear of me throwing away my degree only 4 months from completion.

Transferring to another college would have put all those credits at risk. I’d worked hard on this degree, and we both decided it would be best for me to stick it out and finish that last semester at UA.

…Even if I felt like I was the only married lady on campus. Actually, I wasn’t the only one, but I WAS the only married gal still working as a Resident Assistant, living alone, in the freshman girls’ residence hall, Tutwiler.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

My 3 closest friends junior and senior year: That’s me, Jennings, Leigh, and Chrisynda

But I was with my friends, and that made it doable. How many times have my friends kept me sane over all these years? Two things, y’all, there were two things that always got me through these obstacles.

  1. My faith in my heavenly Father. He’s seen me through too much for me to ever doubt Him.
  2. The support of my friends and family.

Around that time, speculation began to circulate about the possibility of war with Iraq.

It was the fall of 2002. We had troops in Afghanistan, not in Iraq, but the news kept building. I remember the day Chrisynda came to my room to tell me to turn on my t.v.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Chrisynda and me, 2002

Chrisynda was one of my best friends, a tallish, slender brunette with straight shoulder-length hair, and a positive attitude. She was the Alan of my friends: super responsible, practical, level-headed, beautiful, kind, caring, and fun, but always well-balanced.

She’s just one of those people who seems to know things. She was the friend who would keep my favorite snack in her room. She’d come to my room with a Walmart bag containing batteries because she knew that if she wanted to watch t.v. in my room, someone would need to put batteries in my remote control. April did not have money to spare for batteries. For Guthrie’s fried chicken tenders? Yes, I had money for that. For batteries? Never.

I remember Chrisynda came into my room, and she probably brought food with her too, and she turned on the news. It is permanently lodged in my brain how she asked me about the Iraq news.

“Did you see this Iraq stuff?”

I muttered something about avoiding all that news and hoping it wouldn’t happen. I like to live happily in denial.

“Ehh…I’m pretty sure we’re going, April. It’s happening. Do you think Alan will go?” She was so polite, but she leveled the facts with me that I don’t think anyone else wanted to talk about.

Time stood still. Wait. What? I gotta start watching the news? The news….the news…

The news was suddenly intruding into my life. It was more than a channel to flip past. What we were seeing on t.v. was affecting me directly. It had always affected me, whether I realized it or not, but now I was in the front of the line of dominoes!!

Ever since, I’ve never been able to form a non-partial opinion on anything politically related. I always think, “Wait. How will this affect me? Or this friend, or my parents, or my children?”

Some people remain objective much better than I do, but I cannot do it.

So there we were…..young newlyweds…we’d been apart for 6 months, with short breaks in between, and now there was talk of war with Iraq.

The questions swirled around me, but what could I do? How could I know anything?

All a person can do in any situation at all is to put one foot in front of the other. Do the next thing. What needs to be done today? Do that. How do I stay spiritually and physically fit to handle all this? Do that too.

Pray. Hope. Love. Cling to the good. Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and life went on.

Army wives series the first good-bye and watching the news

Come back next Monday for the next installment!

Every Monday: a new installment of The Real Army Wives blog series on storiesofourboys.com

 

 


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The Real Army Wives #1: Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I was supposed to get up at 7:30 to be at work at 8:30 that morning, but I overslept, such a typical college student I was…Instead, I woke up at 9:10am for my 10am Anatomy and Physiology class. I had put off my shower long enough that it was non-negotiable that morning.

You see, I was a junior at the University of Alabama, and I had the hard-earned privilege of a private room, thanks to my job as a resident assistant in the largest freshman dormitory on campus, Tutwiler Hall.

I had my radio on while I was getting ready. Before I got into the shower, the D.J. mentioned that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center (north tower).

I paused in consternation. “What!? Weird.” That was puzzling, but I went ahead and took my shower.

The thing I will never forget is that moment when I got out of the shower, and I had my towel wrapped around me like a dress, and the man on the radio told us about the 2nd airplane hitting the other tower (south tower).

I immediately sat down.

“Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa. Wait. What? What is happening?”

I listened intently. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to turn on my t.v. to watch coverage of this. It’s like I was stuck in 1930, listening to my personal stereo. I suppose I was too shocked to think anything at all besides, “What is happening?? Are we at war? What will happen next??”

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

My Fall 2001 Journal.

They didn’t have much more information to give us that morning. What could they say? Unsure what else to do, I went about my normal routine.  I put my clothes on in a daze and walked the half-mile to my anatomy class, hoping to hear some reassuring words or just more information, from my professor.

Instead, I entered what felt like the Twilight Zone. Seemingly, no one in my class had any idea that it had happened. Probably they didn’t. The professor certainly didn’t know. He taught class as usual, and I absorbed absolutely nothing that Dr. Graham said.

Have you ever felt like you knew the world was ending, and no one around you had a clue?

And you start to wonder if you misunderstood? That one hour, on 9/11/01, I felt that way, which is funny because I was normally the one who was notorious for not being up on current events. Watching the news wasn’t my thing. I’ve always been more of a bookworm than a t.v. person.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I arrived to my 11am class, Psychology Research Methods, and the professor marched in and canceled class. Finally! I didn’t imagine all of this! I’m not crazy. This really did happen. Now I was free to talk about it.

There was a resident on my floor, named Stacy, who was from New York City. I had a burning urgency in my chest to get ahold of her. I left her notes on her door, I looked for her, I called her, and I prayed and hoped her parents didn’t work at the Towers.

She found me that afternoon and reassured me that all of her folks were present and accounted for. It wasn’t easy back then. This was 2001. Most of us did not have cell phones, and the regular lines were jammed with so many people calling that I heard reports that it was hard to get a call through.

Stacy told me this story:

“My parents are good. Everyone is fine. Even my aunt! This is incredible because this is the 2nd time my aunt has been rescued from harm in the towers. My aunt works in the WTC, but she had gone across the street to get coffee this morning. She saw the crash happen from a window and went straight home from there. My aunt is a faithful prayer warrior, and she says God has protected her, and it was not her time to go yet. She was spared once before, during the 1993 WTC bombing. She happened to be at home sick with the flu that day.”

Then Stacy went home to New York City to be with her people for the rest of that week. It was just as well. She didn’t miss anything.

The world stood still that week. 

Airplanes were grounded. Ball games were canceled. Tests were postponed. Candles were lit everywhere. You couldn’t walk a mile on campus without running across candles or a group of praying people.

I’ll never forget holding hands in a giant circle on the University of Alabama quad. There must have been 100 or more of us, both teachers and students. There were Jews, Christians, and agnostics all standing there praying together, between classes. We sang hymns too, though I don’t recall which ones. It was an empowering thing to be a part of.

In my journal that day, I wrote that “What worries me is–what if more awaits for tomorrow–or next week.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

My actual journal entry. Yes, you can laugh at me about the Pentagon bomb, but it was early, and I didn’t have all the facts straight yet.

I was only 20 years old at the time. I was a full-time student with 2 part-time jobs. Alan was just a guy in a group of friends that I ate lunch with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

After 9/11, I looked at Alan differently.

On Wednesdays, the ROTC cadets wore their uniforms all day long, so the day after 9/11, I saw Alan in his uniform at lunch. Alan was the top ranking cadet at Alabama. He was an impressive looking young soon-to-be-officer in the United States Army, standing at 6 foot 3, 225 pounds, in his size 15 combat boots. Alan has a strong jaw line and an air of authority and strength about him, but once you get to know him you realize that he is also exceedingly kind, reasonable, disciplined, and even funny.

I asked him how he felt about all this.

Alan was so business-like and serious in his response to my question.  He said matter-of-factly, “We are always ready to go to war and defend this country, to keep Americans safe and defend our freedom. Always ready.”

“You’re not worried? This will affect you directly. You aren’t afraid?”

“No. This is what we train for. I can’t wait to go.”

Maybe that was the day I started to like him, though I didn’t know it at the time. At the very least, it was the day I began to deeply respect him.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

a Crimson White clipping I saved from those days after 9/11

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How September 11 would affect us

The already married military spouses knew they would soon be called upon to make humongous sacrifices.

As we watched all the sacrifices that the firemen, policemen, and rescue workers were making on 9/11 and the time following, we held our breath with them. We cried for them.

How could I know that someday my children and I would make sacrifices too, and that so many families would give all?

When you are enduring hardships for your country, like sending your husband overseas for months on end, over and over again, you need a good reason for that. 9/11 is always the reason I remind myself of.

When Daddy misses a whole year of birthdays….that’s for 9/11.

When I ate my 1 year anniversary wedding cake alone…..9/11.

When Christmas feels lonely……..9/11.

When I had to shepherd my son through the confusing and scary seizures and testing for epilepsy without my husband there to share the burden…….9/11.

And I remember what Alan said in 2001. It held true for all of these years, though no one ever wants war. War is a horrible thing, but on that day the terrorists attacked us first. They left us no choice.

“We are always ready to go to war and defend this country, to keep Americans safe and defend our freedom. Always ready,” and I am proud to be the flip-flops back home, supporting the boots on the ground overseas.

Every Monday: a new installment of The Real Army Wives blog series on storiesofourboys.com

This is just the beginning of my series of The Real Army Wives, stories from the home front of the War on Terrorism. 

I hope you will join us next week, Monday, May 21, for the next installment, Marrying the Lieutenant.

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Were you already a military spouse or have a compelling 9/11 story to tell? I’d love to share it on Storiesofourboys.com. Please send your submission to april@storiesofourboys.com. Feel free to just send me your article or just your idea to see if it fits in with what I have planned. Thank you!

 

 

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When Alan gets home from New Jersey tonight

This hilarious blogger tells it like it is about parenting when your spouse is out of town. SO TRUE

Remember how I said that Alan wasn’t going on any business trips in December?

Of course, I was wrong. This week turned out to be New Jersey week. You might think that a 14 year Army wife veteran such as myself would not sweat short business trips. I’ve been through more than one year-long deployment, several months-long assignments or deployments, and too many short trips to count.

You might even think that I should be so tough as to enjoy a little extra free time or nights off from cooking dinner, or some other crazy thing that might have held true 12 years ago before we had kids, but that is not the case at all at this point.

Women are always joking about the husband not being able to handle all the kids by themselves. Well, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I am the mother, and I can’t even handle all this by myself.

Me when Alan is here:

Celiac-friendly melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. They were WONDERFUL!!!

“We are having roast and potatoes for dinner. Go wash your hands.”

Me when Alan is not here:
“What? Oh, you’re hungry? You need supper. Right. Supper…supper…supper…Hold on. I’m pretty sure there’s some frozen chicken fingers in here somewhere…AHA!!  Yes! Frozen chicken strips. There are only 5 in the bag, so one for each of us, and after that you can have cereal.”

When Alan is out of town, cereal is pretty much my answer to all of life’s problems.

School snack?

Cereal.

Breakfast?
Cereal.

Supper?

Well, we talked about that already. Frozen chicken and cereal.

I am obviously NOT going to be piling four boys up in the car and going out to eat or cooking mega meals or going to the grocery store.

Actually, my brain doesn’t even seem to work as well when Alan’s gone. It throws me off. It’s like I’m an earth with only a South Pole and no North.

Do you know what I missed this week?  I missed the way Alan takes care of us when it rains.

Alan is the person who always cleans the backyard before it rains.

If you don’t know what I mean, you must not let your children play in the backyard and just leave their stuff any old way out there, and you probably don’t have four boys. I feel like that’s my ultimate excuse for all of my failings in life. Four boys. Sorry.

So this week it rained for the first time in forever, and apparently our smallest fry had left his tennis shoes and socks out by the trampoline, unbeknownst to me.

Day 1:

“Where are his shoes, where are his shoes????” as I frantically search the house, the car, suitcases from last weekend, everything. I made him just ride in the car without shoes.

Day 2:

“I don’t understand where his shoes are!!!” I searched frantically through the house and the car again. Then I suddenly spotted them through my back door: out in the rain, the POURING rain. Rain day #2, in fact, along with not one, not two, but like four little white socks littered around the trampoline.

I actually had to take him somewhere, so I gave up and put a pair of shoes that’s a size too big for him that I was saving for him to grow into. I bought them for Daniel, but they were too skinny for Dan’s feet, which made them perfect for J.D.

This wasn’t a total loss because the new shoes actually fit him well, and he’s happy with them.

The downside: the old shoes are still laying outside by the trampoline, soaking wet, even now. Let me rush right out there in the cold and wet and get those…right…

Go ahead, shake your head. I know. This is my act, y’all. This is it.

I have no pride left.

Like none. Now whenever Alan lets me know that he’s leaving, I schedule a grandparent to come and stay with us to help out for at least one of the nights of his trip. This week it was my mom who came. I try to trade out between the grandmas so we don’t wear them out. Ha! (Thank you so much, Nana and Nonna!!!!)

There you have it, why I can never have an unbiased opinion about any national military event. I’m affected too directly. Not in a big hurry to get rid of Alan.

See, he’s not just any husband. The man is a machine. I spend most of my energy waiting on John David hand and foot, wiping his bottom, cheauffering kids, cleaning bathrooms, feeding them, and refereeing arguments.

Alan uses his energy to declutter. That man can pick up a full on tornado room in 5 minutes and make it look like Good Housekeeping. He also does laundry and washes pans. Oh! And he finds missing stuff!!

Plus, it’s just lonely, parenting alone, especially in a new place.

Alan gets home in 5 hours now. I only have to make it 5 more hours.

Only 1 hurdle left: I’m supposed to take the kids to Wednesday night church supper and AWANA by myself. I had to quit choir because every single trip crosses a Wednesday night, and there’s no way I’m coming home that late with 4 boys, all wound up from AWANA, to get ready for bed. Really the only reason I still even go to AWANA when Alan isn’t here is that I already skipped it so many times that Daniel is behind the other kids on his badges, and you know if Daniel is behind on something that it’s my fault, and it kills him to not have those badges on his vest. Sooooooo… we are all sucking it up and going tonight so Daniel can say his verse, get his badge, and then I promised them we can all go straight home.

Then I just have to get through bath and bedtime, and I don’t suppose I should let the little ones skip that yet again tonight….

I asked my doctor if I should try vitamins to see if that could help me have more energy to handle this gargantuan job, but my docs never take me seriously about this. They always say, “Well, but you have four boys……that’s why you’re tired.”

My doctor actually said that she thought vitamins would be bad for me since my blood work is good. I don’t know how to get more energy!

Stress, man! What an exhausting job! Do any of you dread your spouse leaving town as much as I do??? What tricks do you do to get through it?

I fantasize sometimes. Like this:

When Alan gets home from New Jersey,

–I am going to finish ALL my Christmas shopping–ALONE.

–I am going to take a bath, and lock the door.

–I am going to go for a hike, ALONE.

–I am going to check into a hotel, right down the street and SLEEP…..and watch t.v.—whatever I want to watch!!!!—and eat snacks in bed!!

–I just want Alan to take all 4 kids away for a weekend to anywhere, and I’m going to clean this house……oh who am I kidding, I’d end up writing and working on my blog anyway!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

 

 

 

The Best Dam Trip We’ve Ever Taken

 

hoover dam

Hoover Dam, the 2nd tallest dam in America, but probably the best known.  (The tallest one, in case that made you as curious as it made me, is the Oroville Dam in Oroville, California, east of Sacramento.)

This trip was all for Alan. I was all, “Why waste our time in southern Nevada and California? It’s out of the way, and I have zero interest in seeing Vegas. Casinos and showgirls? Sorry. Not our scene.”

Alan was all, “What!!  The Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel!! ” And then he said a whole bunch of stuff about the dam–I had no idea what he was talking about, really. Engineering: also not my scene. Alan talks about civil engineering frequently, actually, and that’s why it took us so long to go from friends to more than friends. 😉 ha! Love you, Alan!

I do occasionally TRY to be a good wife, though. (Hey, give me a little credit: I did bear him several children, in spite of my repeated nightmare deliveries.)

And like a good wife, I can admit when I’m wrong.

I was wrong.

The dam was not blah blah blah. We even went on the TOUR of the POWER PLANT of the dam, and I just knew that I would fall asleep. There was really no way out of it. I totally had Alan talked out of doing it, but then the lady at the ticket booth talked us into it with our big $2 discount, simply because Alan is military.  (But just to clarify, there’s really nothing that ‘simple’ about being in the military. If you want our discount, you would have to do things like live in the Iraqi desert for a year at a time. It’s 130 degrees there, ya’ll. Do you still want the $2 discounts?)  Ha!! Me neither! I won’t even stay outside if it goes over 100 degrees! When I was a high schooler, getting calls from military recruiters, I simply laughed, explained to them that I was too prissy for the Navy/Army/whatever, and hung up the phone. 😉

Before I knew it, I was in the dam tour line, patiently waiting to learn all about the dam power plant. 😉

April, the reluctant tourist

April, the reluctant tourist

First came the movie. No problem. I love movies. Yes, there was a lot of blah blah blah, but ALSO it was fascinating!!  And they had actual footage of the dam being built, which made it so much easier to understand. I learned a ton!

Alan was so excited, when halfway through the film, I said a completely serious, “Wow!”

That really made his day!

After the movie, they took us through the power plant of the dam. It really wasn’t so bad. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long, and it all made Alan so happy.

 

nevada3

The Hoover Dam provides power for parts of Arizona, Nevada, and California. Plus it provides those states with water.

Do you know what it is that makes the Hoover Dam amazing??  Before we went, I thought it would be what it looked like. I thought, “Oh, people think it’s amazing because it’s gigantic.” No, that’s not it. It’s amazing because of what it accomplishes.

Here is what I learned:

-Before the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River caused a lot of trouble for everyone in its path. It caused flooding, and it was just a treacherous river.

-The Dam pretty much tamed the monstrous Colorado River.

-It controlled the flow of the water, and prevents flooding.

-The dam brings water to California, Nevada, and Arizona, and after driving through these states, let me tell you: they need water super badly!!

-The dam brings electricity to those states too.

-This makes those states habitable, really. Have you seen the Southwest? A whole lot of what we saw in those states was beautiful, but it was also dry, and some of it is comparable to the vast, dry mountains of Afghanistan.

-It’s a clean energy source. Isn’t that nice! No smog or nuclear fallout coming from the Hoover Dam.

how-it-works diagram. I sort of understood some of this, and I am okay with that. If you'd like to know more, just ask Alan.

how-it-works diagram. I sort of understood some of this, and I am okay with that. If you’d like to know more, just ask Alan.

hydro-electric pumps--or something like that

hydro-electric pumps–or something like that

Also, you do not want to touch that coppery railing--totally burned my arm!

Also, you do NOT want to touch that coppery railing–totally burned my arm!

-It’s also a marvel that all of those states and Congress could work together and get the Dam to come together. Imagine today’s Congress accomplishing that. They did an amazing job, and that’s why they later named it after Hoover, who worked so hard to orchestrate this ‘engineering marvel’.

-Oh, and by the way, even the parking deck outside the thing looks like a feat in itself.

-Lake Mead is a BEAUTIFUL blue.

IMG_3617_Fotor

 

 

IMG_3621_Fotor

This cute young couple had their picture made standing on the Nevada/Arizona border

-The area is experiencing a 13 year drought. They said the problem is that Colorado hasn’t had enough snow to melt into the river. I am going to pray for these people and their drought. The water in the river is insanely low right now. Won’t you join me in praying for rain for these folks?

IMG_3625_Fotor

We drove into Nevada on that bridge. It had barriers up, so you can’t see the dam if you’re driving. If I had known how high up this bridge was, i would have been a little bit chicken!

-Apparently, I’ve been pronouncing Nevada all wrong. The second syllable is pronounced “a” as in “apple” not “o” as in “ostrich”…according to our tour guide.

-While we were at the dam, that’s when I saw a sudden …fashion shift. Suddenly, there were more young people, and they didn’t seem to think that covering up was something to bother with. I get it. It’s the desert, and it was over 100 degrees. We have that problem in the south too, and we do wear as little clothing as we can, while still looking decent. These girls just didn’t bother with the whole ‘looking decent’ part.

Also a good rule of thumb, my sweet, young friends: If your shorts are so short, that you cannot wear regular underwear, because they are longer than your shorts, then save those shorts for your house. They are not for public wear. It’s getting hard to tell the hookers from the not-hookers, just sayin’.

-Okay, one last thought on the Hoover Dam, totally unrelated to fashion choices:  I love, love, love how man is able to cultivate the earth to make it work better for all of us. God made man–and when I say man–I do mean mankind (both men and women)–in his image. We are intelligent and can do wonderful things.

Nature left to itself tends toward disorder, out of control rivers, no electricity, and no pretty little tidy gardens. That is why the idea that man just spontaneously formed, without a creator is ludicrous. Have you ever seen a garden left untended? The weeds and grasses quickly choke out the beauty that was there. Creation itself testifies to the creator, and it is our job to take care of that creation.

IMG_3618_Fotor

 

 

 

East Coast to West Coast in Only 6 Weeks!

working hard

planning, planning, planning!

So much has happened this past week.  Once our military orders arrived, all systems are GO, GO, GO!  You know all those stereotypes about men?  You know what I’m talking about:  “When men are sick they lay down, but women keep working,” and other such derogatory thoughts our society has attached to our males?

Well, let me tell you, Alan blows all those negative sexist remarks out of the water.  That’s right.  I said sexist.  Everyone’s so quick to call female stereotypes ‘sexist,’ but making fun of men is perfectly okay.  What’s up with that? Maybe you haven’t noticed.  I certainly have.  Being the wife of a high type-A, thorough planner like Alan, plus being the mother of four little boys, makes me a little more sensitive to the negative things our society likes to say about our men.

My husband, sick as a dog, plus recovering from surgery, has gotten more done in the day he got ‘request for orders’ than most healthy people could accomplish in a week’s worth of time. Alan, you are AMAZING!!!

Want to know his secret?  This is how he got this move plan running so quickly:

1.  Before he even secured the orders, he got me the smartphone I wanted, complete with synchronized Google Calendars.  This is my Mother’s Day gift.  I love it.  I used up my whole data plan in two days.  Oops.  There’s a learning curve to these things! But with this phone, I can be a touch more organized.

2. He sat down with me and even managed to get my UNDIVIDED attention to discuss EVERY DETAIL of our moving plan.  You name it, it is planned for on the calendar.

My undivided attention is about impossible to attain! I am never doing less than two things at once, and I’m often doing more than that.  C’mon, ya’ll, there are four little boys here!

3.  He went down to the orders office armed with a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts.  Plus, he’d dropped by and schmoozed with those ladies in advance.  Ha! Good job, Alan!

4. He went straight from the orders office to setting up the shipment of household goods. He whipped out the Google Calendar and managed to get the exact dates we had planned for.  Success!!!

windowCaleb

 

5. On Saturday, we had our Yard Sale!!  We got rid of tons of junk this weekend!  But actually, I may never do a yard sale again:  sunburn, people wanting to buy all of my stuff for $1, and Daniel playing tug-of-war with kids that were buying the toys he really never plays with.  No thank you!  Never again.

Everything is running like clock work! At least I can claim the Yard Sale accomplishment as my own.  Remember “The Great Clean Out”?  I have gone through almost every drawer and cabinet, so I’ll be taking credit for that part.  : )

 

When we rolled into DC, 5 years ago, it was just Alan, me, Joshua, and Caleb.

 

….and I was 10 pounds heavier…deployment weight.  Can any other military wives relate to the deployment weight??  What causes that?  Ugh!

But look how cute the boys were:

Awww!  That was back when they let ME pick out their clothes.

And we’re leaving the D.C. area as a slightly larger group:

bestEasterphoto14

How far we have come!

I can’t believe we’re only 6 weeks out from our biggest move yet!

Here are a few quotes from our crazy week:

It was POURING RAIN the other day, and I had to get all of the children into the car.  As I was buckling Joshua in, he said, “Mom, I will buckle Daniel in so you don’t have to keep standing out in the rain.”

*heart melting in my soaking wet spot*

: )  Thank you, Joshua, and that’s why you’re the one we’re going to send to college. ; )  (I’m just kidding.  Caleb often voluntarily unbuckles Daniel for me, so he will get to go to college too. Yes, that’s what you go by!!!)

*****

and bringing the funny as usual….

Caleb walked into the kitchen and said, “Whatever you do, do NOT talk to the toilet.”

“Why not?” I asked him.

“Because, it copies you.”

Daniel immediately ran to the toilet and started shouting into it.

Just another day in the House O’ Boys!

 

 

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