I cannot believe that it has been a year (well, now over a year) since I watched strangers pack up my house, we loaded our two vehicles and made the long drive to Virginia. I was anxious, excited, fearful, optimistic, nervous, etc. I never imagined all of those emotions--and then some--could be felt all at the same time. At the same time I was crying as I drove out of my parent's I was excited about starting a new life in a new place!
So last weekend as I watched Georgia slaughter Auburn (GRRRR!) in the comfort of my living room in Northern Virginia, it occured to me that we had almost passed our one-year anniversary of living here. In fact, my mom was calling me all the way up here last November giving me "updates" of the Auburn-Georgia game. Of course, last year Auburn won but that's a story for another day. I really think my mom was as nervous about our leaving the lovely Southeast as I was and her phone calls were not really to update me on the game but to make sure that her babies were OK. I put on a good face when I'd talk to her. I remember saying, "mom, I can do this. I'm gonna be OK." On the inside I was literally dying. On the outside I was trying not to cry in front of my little daughter who was jam packed in the back of the mini-van with Niblets the Guinea pig and 14 hours worth of Junie B Jones books, movies, coloring books, and toys.
So here I am a year later having survived an earthquake, hurricane and snow in October and haven't packed up an left yet. In fact, I think there may have been a bet out there on just how long it would take me to run home (just kidding!) I have to say that adjusting to life in a (sorta) northern town has been alright. My career has taken a different path than I ever imagined and I am loving every second of it. I am back in school and although 12 hours may have been a bit much to tackle in one semester while working, it's been ok. I have met some of the nicest and kindest people you can imagine and being able to show my little daughter places and culture she may not have otherwise seen is priceless. We have visisted all over DC--toured the White House, the Smithsonians multiple times, toured the National Capital, been up in the Washington Monument twice, seen the Cherry Blossoms, listened to Newt Gingrich speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, been to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, played in the snow, been to the local "tourist sights," and so much more.
I was talking to my daddy earlier today and telling him how excited I am to get to come home during Christmas. He told me that he always thought that when you move away and come home, that "home" seems different to you than when you lived at "home." I disagree on that point. I don't think it really matters where we live, driving in that long driveway of my parents house will always be one of the best feelings in the entire world. Walking in to the sights and smells and hugs of my family will always tantalize my senses more than any cherry blossoms or historical sights. Those of you who have been to my parent's house know exactly what I am talking about :)
Through all of the ups and downs there has not been one day that I ever wondered why I married a soldier. People will say, "you knew what you were getting into when you married him." That is true but yet it's really not. Honestly I didn't know what I was getting into but I was willing to find out.
Last year for Thanksgiving we had moved into our townhouse but were sleeping on air mattresses and sitting in fold up chairs in the living room. We did bring a television up with us in the mini-van so we could watch the Auburn-Alabama game on Friday after Thanksgiving but aside from those few items we were living in a furniture-less house. Now if you ask my husband he will say that we brought alot more with us than the above mentioned items--and we did as I am not a trusting soul when it comes to my treasures (quilts my grandmother made, photos, children's art, etc.) but as far as furniture that is all we had. The movers were not set to come until the Monday after Thanksgiving with our belongings. I was so depressed thinking that we were going to be in this townhouse without furniture on Thanksgiving. I had never in my whole life spent a Thanksgiving away from my parents, grandparents, brother and his family and my oldest daughter. We ended up having a FABULOUS day though. My brother in law and sister in law live in NJ and graciously invited us up to spend Thanksgiving with them. We ended up driving up (I got to cross the Delaware River on the way,) took the train down to NYC, saw the Macy's Parade, and then traveled back up to NJ for a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with family. They worked so hard to make sure it was a very special day as they knew how hard it was for me to be away. This year we are SO excited that they are coming to our house for Thanksgiving. In fact, I cannot wait. It's tough being away from home but having family coming in just a few days makes it just a fun time!!
So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! We are all so very blessed. I am so thankful to have this crazy Army life that I have now. I would not trade these blessings for the world!