Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
~1 Timothy 4:12

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A sight for tired eyes

This just proves there are handsome sights in the desert...

Mike, you just know what I need...thank you! I love you, love you, love you!

The Royal Navy Ball in London

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Conversations with a four year old

Aiden is completely conversational. And in being so, he tends to use these big words that he understands, but takes completely out of context. Take this morning for example (ok, 5 minutes ago):

In talking with the kids about getting a dog, I showed them some pictures on the akc website of certain breeds and they told me which ones they liked. Here's how it went:
A: I like that little dog. He's very available.
Me: Available? What do you mean sweetie?
A: He's available! You know!
Me: Yep, he is available--we might get a dog like this one.
Me: Ok. What?
A: For Tuxie (our cat). He's available.
Me: (totally stumped now). Ok. So he's available for Tuxie. What does that mean A?
A: Dogs chase cats. It's what they dooooo. He's available to chase Tuxie, although he probably wouldn't because he's completed.
Me: Completed? You mean he wouldn't chase Tux because he's finished? (WHAT?!!)
A: Ughhhhh. He's completed Mommy. Like how he runs in races and jumps over things like on that show you watch on tv that you made me watch?! (Note: I don't make him watch anything--once, when I thought he might be interested in something, I lightly suggested he sit down with me and watch it. And he did. And he liked it!)
Me: mean the canine competition on Animal Planet. Riiight. He competed.
A: Yep. He's available and he's completed.

The thing is, I LOVE having conversations with Aiden. He can talk anyone into anything, or he can talk to anyone about anything. He loves people and most of the time enjoys talking, except if he's on the phone. He doesn't dig that, and I think it's because he can't be himself--he's animated and lively and I think he belives the phone takes something away from that quality in him. Still though, he's a riot. He's definitely our talker, our conversationalist, and Devyn is absolutely our entertainer. She communicates best that way, I think...either dancing or picking out a tune on the piano or being her silly self.

Either way, they're both such little blessings. I thank God every day that He made me their mama. Ending with a few sweet pictures of them that I just love...

November 2003 January 2005 July 2007

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ahhh...Spring Break

There is something loverly and wonderful about Spring Break. Just the name alone conjures up images of bunnies chomping merrily on green grass, bluebirds singing while waving happily to the passing sparrow and my neighbors mowing their yards for the first time of 2008. I LOVE SPRING BREAK! While all the above is wonderful and accurate (ok, except for the super chipper birds), there are other things I adore about Spring Break...

1. Sleeping in until 8:15 am and leisurely getting my cinnamon swirl folgers in my favorite coffee cup.
2. Watching cartoons on tv until odd hours in our pjs with Devyn and Aiden.
3. Not wearing makeup for a solid week and not caring!
4. Catching up--for five days--on Days of Our Lives--and then completely losing track again.
5. Cleaning the house at a steady pace--and not in a mad rush.

However, there are things about this Spring Break that are very prevalent:
1. I miss laying my head on Mike's chest while he watches March Madness.
2. I miss watching the spring Red Sox games with him...
3. I miss observing Devyn & Aiden playing soccer with their daddy in the backyard.
4. I miss smelling the grill in use at dusk while Mike fixes the chicken, or steak, or chops. It's not the same when I do it.
5. I miss Mike. I miss him ribbing me about the tv I choose to watch, watching him tucking the kids in at night, and seeing him walk through the garage door in the evening and seeing the kids run to greet him.

I tell Aiden when he asks "how long" that we have to go through Spring and then Summer. Well, it's Spring and we've made it this far! It's a small victory, but one I'm very proud of. In 5 days, we'll have gone the longest apart that we have in 6 years. Six years! Six years ago at this time, Devyn was just starting to call me mama (she mastered "daddy" long before)...we were on the verge of moving to a new country...she was this curly headed little doll who loved banana pudding and squash and apples. She's still that same little doll, but we've added a prince, two different cars, a different home, a cat, we've visited 5 countries and come home.

What a crazy, amazing, severly blessed ride...and I wouldn't have it any other way...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pictures for my hubby

Mike, the kids and I took these tonight...I asked Devyn to take a picture of my hair now that it's a new coiffure (fancy French word, take note), and then they both wanted a picture, and of course Dramatic Devyn had to get in on the action. Enjoy! We love and miss you madly!

The 'do

the beauty

if you look close enough, you can make out the peanut butter


Sometimes I have to remember that life is about breathing. I know that sounds so primary, but at the core of it all, it's just about breathings...taking slow breaths during the happy, wonderful times and just soaking everything in and enjoying it all, and then trying not to hypervenilate during the times when you just want to collapse into a ball and roll into the corner. As women bringing children into the world, we're reminded that everything will go so much easier and less painful if we make a concious decision to breathe, because at times the pain is so great we can't think of anything else. At other times, we're reminded to breathe because we're holding our breath like a little child at Christmas... waiting to rush to the tree and discover all the gifts waiting there. We tear through them without taking a rest, and then at that moment of exhalation when we're through, we look around with complete disbelief, wondering where that time went to and looking forward to it again with desperate anticipation, only to sit in the midst of the letdown.

At this point, I've taken a breath and I'm just submerged in cold water. Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming against the current, struggling to just keep up and other times I'm in the midst of the waterfall, plummeting faster than the water.

I suppose I shouldn't be so dramatic...Easter has been a tough time of year for me for a while now, and especially now that Mike is gone. I've said many times that Mike teaches me how to breathe--to take one moment at a time and not get ahead of myself, and I feel like I'm relearning that lesson every day. I honestly feel myself catching my breath sometimes--it's just gotten that literal. A lot of people have told me they're upset with me for NOT calling them to help. What am I supposed to call them for? The mundane? The everyday? I get that these people want to be helpful and I understand that. They ARE helpful--just by telling me that. In all honesty, I just manage to do the everyday stuff and handle things as they come my way. If I can't handle trying to fix my microwave, if I get too dependent on people, then I think I'll become rather bored. I need challenges to keep me occupied--to keep my mind busy. Mike says he's working a lot because otherwise he'd sleep all the time he's off. That, I understand. You have to keep yourself busy--your mind busy--in order to not lose your mind.

In doing that, I do remind myself to take one step at a time, one day at a time. Today marks 5 weeks and 1 day...I think. 5 weeks, 1 day less...only a lot more to go.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Woodwork...

Why is it that the moment a deployment begins, the cracks in the woodwork appear in the form of everybody needing something...and everyone does not even remotely involve Mike, the kids, or me? There are definitely times I wish I could go back to that deployment when Devyn was 16 months old and there was no one who needed something, other than her. Those were a blissful 4 months, even though I was sick the entire deployment. Now, the phone rings almost all the time...or an email is received...and I welcome the distraction, but at some level, I just want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE! It's not my business...that I love and would welcome anything dealing with that. It's other stuff, science fair stuff (and yeah, that's mandatory--um, hello? she's in second grade), church stuff, and yes, I love doing church stuff, but honestly, I'm just not going to be there every time the door is open. I will be available when my schedule allows it, and if I need to just sit and rest and relax, I'm going to do that. Other things are just going to have to get done when they get done.

What really gets me is the people who expect something who have no clue how a military life, much less a deployment works. I am not available all the time. I have two priorities--Devyn and Aiden. If other things get done along the way,then that's just a bonus. I have 80 billion things to do everyday that just revolve around maintaining our home and children. I honestly just have a lot of things that I'm at the point of not doing that I've volunteered to help for because I can't give what is required. Is that quitting? It may be. And I know that everyone has things that go on every day and that everyone has priorities. I understand that. However, in a lot of cases, I just want to say, "Give me a break". I will do my best and that will have to be good enough. If it's not, then there's nothing I can do.

Ok, vent is officially over. There won't be too much of that. On to less venting, more smiling. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Musings

I don't have a lot to write tonight, so here are some Carrieisms to amuse you with...

1. There are few things in life that good, authentic pasta cannot fix.
2. Crosswords are wonderful, but always better when done with someone you love.
3. Never underestimate the power of good wine, and good coffee.
4. Dessert is overrated.
5. There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women (courtesy of Madeleine Albright and found on my Starbucks cup from today).
6. Disney World IS the happiest place on earth.
7. Thanks to Dancing With The Stars, I now have a thing for Cristian De La Fuente and I don't have a CLUE who that is.
8. Life continues only, I'm convinced, because parents go into their children's bedrooms at night, they see them sleeping and like magic, the little rotten ones have transformed into the sweetest angels, and we parents suddenly have no memory of EVER having a rotten one, because in that moment, that sweet angel has NEVER been rotten.
9. Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate is what the angels eat in Heaven. It's just THAT good.
10. I can now fix a non-working microwave, a broken alarm clock and a constantly running toilet. I am neither electrician or plumber.
11. My favorite two places on earth are both parkbenches; one in Regents Park in London in front of the Boating Lake, and the other in Paris behind Notre Dame in a gated garden.
12. My favorite book is Wuthering Heights.
13. My favorite song is In My Life by The Beatles.
14. My favorite designer...HOW do you pick ONE? Ralph Lauren and Dana Buchman.

Ending tonight...Devyn has a dr's appointment in the morning to take care of the dermatitis above her lip. The poor looks awful, like she's burned it on something-badly. I managed to slough off all the icky skin tonight and coat it in Neosporin Lip Treatment, but that hasn't worked so far...hopefully it will be better by Easter!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One Month Later...

Today marks one month done of this deployment and I can pretty well say that at least on this side of the water, no one is worse for the wear. Of course, we've had our moments, and those we've managed, but all in all, it's been a relatively quick month. In said last month:

I've had two (ONLY!!! two) meltdowns

Devyn has two less teeth in her head (courtesy of pulling them--not from a result of either meltdown)

Aiden's had one haircut

the grass has been mowed

we've been under three tornado watches and one warning

we've gotten a LOT of rain

the cat has thrown up twice

I've STILL not bought a People Magazine, and yes, at this point I'm beginning to twitch ever so lightly

I've watched a LOT of BBC America

I've prayed a LOT more than I normally do

one of our friends has delivered a baby

I just found out that TWO of our couple friends are expecting

and I've never been happier to hear my husband's voice than when he calls.

Mike, if you're reading this, please know how much I love you and how proud I am of you. I miss you endlessly, but the thought of you is never apart from me, nor are the prayers I petition for you. You are the love of my life, my best friend, my Calvin, my partner in crime, my absolute joy in life. Faith, hope, love!

To commemorate this event I'm leaving you with a picture I took about 10 minutes ago (3:15 est). Love you!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A message to someone very special...

There is someone who reads my blog pretty regularly who's had a bit of a rough go of it lately, so for that person, below are some words of wisdom, whatever they're worth...but I do hope they're comforting...

1. You are stronger than you think you are.
2. You have more strength, spirit and resolve than you think you do.
3. People will try to bring you down if they see you succeeding. It does not mean they'll be successful.
4. It depends on how you respond to them and their remarks that determines your success.
5. You are in the position you are currently in to do amazing things--all of which are part of God's plan for you. And they don't, I think, involve basketballs. And even if they do, they'll be amazing basketballs...
6. Those people who are trying to bring you down are in God's plan as well--I fully believe that--in order to refine you and to make you a greater witness for Him.
7. As everything in life, this too shall pass, and all this for now is only temporary.
8. Keep talking to me...I feel closer to you that way and it helps me to be able to help you.

You are such an amazing and incredible person and you inspire me every day, not because of what you do, but because of who you are. Everyone we know is praying for you--for your spiritual and physical strength and well-being and when you're in the depths, you have to hang on to that. You are loved--incredibly and massively loved. I'm leaving you with Scripture tonight that I've prayed for you today...I think it's very fitting right now.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

and this...

But I call to God and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress
and He hears my voice.
He ransoms me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned forever,
will hear them and afflict them--
men who never change their ways
and have no fear of God. (Ps. 55:16-19)

You are loved. Greatly, immensely, loved. I love you more than I could ever communicate to you. Faith, hope and love.

Notes from The Princess

Today was the Princess Brunch at our church...Devyn got dressed in her Royal Finery, dressed her Kit doll in her Royal Finery, and we set out in the Royal Coach (read my Pacifica) and arrived at the Princess Brunch promptly on time. Pancakes were served, along with bacon and juice and a chocolate fountain with PINK marshmallows to all 150 Princesses and their Royal Servants (read: moms)! The Princesses and Servants stuffed theirselves silly, sat back, fat and happy and listened to a story about The True Princess, and then had their Royal Portrait made by the Royal Photographer, who charged only a pesant's wage at $5.00 for a 5x7. Fun was had by all, and we returned home to the castle approximately at 12 o'clock--pm, not midnight, or I may have turned into a pumpkin--and in time for peanut butter sandwiches and grapes for The Prince. Said Princess and Prince are now at the park with the Royal Grandparents and I am revelling in a cup of coffee. Alone. Sweet, sweet joy! Ending with a picture from today--Princess Devyn and Princess Sara.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Three weeks, three days

We've managed that long so far. In some ways I think about it, it's gone very other ways I think "Three weeks? JUST three weeks"? Everyone finds their different way to cope during a deployment. The simplest way is to just find what works, and do it. You learn to fight your battles, and you learn that you're capable of a lot more than you originally thought. Here's a brief list of what's gone down over the past three weeks, and three days:

1. I've played countless games of Magic Kingdom Board Game with Devyn and Aiden.
2. I've found a way to clean my bathtub to sparkling--and if you know me, you know that that was going to be the death of me. It wasn't enough that it was sprayed down with clorox bathroom cleaner everyday. Enter the Black & Decker Scumbuster X-Treme. God bless Black & Decker!
3. The kids and I have taken up playing Clue Jr. at night after dinner.
4. BBC America is the POO! (Meaning good)!
5. I've begun making a concerted effort to eat healthier--carrots for snacks, 100 calorie ice cream sandwiches, etc.
6. Aiden tried spinach for the first time and ate it UP!
7. I done approximately 14 billion loads of laundry...
8. I washed approximately 18,000 loads of dishes...
9. I've not bought one People magazine, and I'm NOT in withdrawal...
10. I've figured out how to fix the microwave that wouldn't cut on when everything else in the house worked (hence, it wasn't just a case of the electricity being out)!
11. I've taken apart an alarm clock circut board and put it back together when two little someones decided they would "see what would happen if they just pushed that button as hard as they could and hold it for THAT long"...and the alarm clock is good as new, thank you very much!
12. I've gone searching through the house looking for whatever "fell" and caused a large thud, only not to find anything at all. Twice.
13. I've Google-Earthed Iraq 14 times showing Aiden where Daddy is.
14. I've spent approximately 8 hours awake in the middle of the night with Aiden.
15. I've put together two "Daddy Books"--photo albums for each of the kids with pictures of Daddy. Both Devyn and Aiden sleep with them under their pillows.
16. I've given Aiden a stuffed giraffe with a picture frame in it's tummy which frames a picture of Aiden and Daddy. The giraffe has been named Zeebee and is never far from Aiden's side.
17. I've spruced up one very loved, very old teddy bear, sewed his ears, given him a new neck ribbon and presented him to Devyn. He was her Daddy's bear, and he's never far from HER side. His name is Teddy.
18. I've gone to sleep, and woken up for 24 days about 8000+ miles away from my sweet husband.
19. I've looked at the sky countless times and wondered what the sky looks like where he is.
20. I've prayed for his safety continuously.
21. I've cried four times.
22. I've thanked God for this opportunity and for us to come out stronger and better for it.
23. I've had the support of people I never thought would say to me "Call us if you need anything" and mean it.
24. I've loved Mike three weeks and three days longer than I did before he left.

24 items for 24 days. I tell the kids every morning, "It's one day closer to Daddy coming home". And today is no different. 24 days down. Only a bit more to go.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

She's a Winner!

Allow me to brag for just a second...both Devyn and Aiden are so special, and I am so blessed to be their mama! We went to Devyn's school's Reflections Award Assembly last night...Sweet Girl had won third place in the contest in the Visual Arts Category for her painting following the theme "I can make a difference by...". Devyn completed the sentence by adding "...helping new students when they arrive at our school". She was very proud of herself, as she should have been, and Aiden was proud of her as well, yelling "YAY Devyn" when she went to receive her medal. I've always said, if these children had humps on their backs, wore bags on their heads, and spit rocks, I would still adore them; not for their accomplishments, but for the little people they are. They always know how to put a smile on my face! Ending with two pictures from last of Devyn receiving her medal, certificate and gift card to Barnes and Noble, and one of my sweeties.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Baby Tooth in a Haystack...

Well, not quite, but it feels that baby girl pulled out her tooth tonight! Her sweet little self went and got all brave on me and told me, "Nope, I can work on it" when I asked her if she wanted me to wiggle it. I read a bedtime story to Aiden (Horton Hears A Who)...LOVE that book...and she came in about 10 minutes later and grinned. Missing a tooth! Super Brave Girl held it in her hand...this little, tiny tooth in her hand...she ran off to grab her Tooth Fairy Box that was on a shelf in her room and came running back into Aiden's room panicked. "Mama! I lost my tooth"!
She had been standing on her bed reaching the Tooth Fairy Box on her shelf and she said the tooth fell from her hand. We spent the next 20 minutes searching for a very tiny white tooth on a very pale taupe colored carpet. No luck. Sweet girl went to bed without the tooth under her pillow. She was sad, but I ensured her that I would find it tomorrow. So, armed with flashlight in hand, I'll be back in there tomorrow morning searching for Baby Girl's tooth. And the Tooth Fairy will visit tonight. Because that's what the Tooth Fairy does!

First day of preschool,

January 2003
She's just growing up too fast!!!! Always my baby girl though!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

High School Memories relived on TV Land

I've been a fan of reality tv since it's very inception...way back with The Real World on MTV in 1993. It's come a long way, baby. I have a whole spewing list of reality tv I watch...most of which Mike just loves. Note sarcasm. He makes that puking face every single time I turn something of the the reality genre on. Of course HE watches reality tv as's just in the form of NCAA Sports, and any soccer game on tv. That's a whole 'nother story though...moving on...

I'm hooked on a new one...High School Reunion on TV Land. Now, I watched the British version of this when we were in the UK. It's add.ic.tive. Gotta love it. It raises the question, would I want to go back and live high school all over again. Um...NO. I know those folks who say high school compiled the best years of their lives. Sad, really, in my humble opinion. What can possibly be good about raging acne, broken hearts, catty, backstabbing friends, stupid boys, insecurity, and all the other WONDERFUL things that came between the ages of 13 and 17? Yeah, seriously, high school just sucked. My mother keeps convincing me I should go back to my high school reunion. I didn't go to the 10 year, and I've got 5 years before I have to choose whether or not to go to my 20 year. The reason I wouldn't go is this: I highly doubt the majority of the people I suffered through high school with have changed much. Some have, and for that, I give them tons of credit. But I do know that a lot of them still live in the same small town and have the same friends that they did in school. There's honestly not a lot of people I would want to see. Maybe 5. 5 out of a graduating class of 173. Wow...

Anyway, I don't have any major revelation based on that siloloquy above...just me going on about thoughts in me Mike would say, "It's all in me 'ead"...

I will end, however, with a list of my favorite reality shows:
Rock of Love (I was really into Poison in high school...please don't tell anyone)!
Top Chef
What Not To Wear
Project Runway
The Real Housewives...
America's Next Top Model
The Millionaire Matchmaker
Flipping Out

I could go on and on...and probably on, but I will say (in hopes to redeem myself) that I am really loving the History Channel right now too...although I guess high school is history as well.
Thank God!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Don Slater, Tornadoes, and 3 am

Last night, after putting the kiddles to bed, this little ticker runs across the bottom of the tv screen and said something like "Tornado Watch until 3 am for the cities of James City County, Smithfield, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach"...etc. Ok, now I will gladly cop to the fact that I probably watched The Wizard of Oz one too many times as a kid. That probably has everything to do with the wretched fear I have of tornadoes. I've never seen a tornado, never been through one, but ANYTHING that comes through town that dictates you have to duck in a bathtub, lower northwest corner of the house with a MATTRESS over your head CANNOT be good. I sat up until about 11:30 watching weather reports, and finally fell asleep with the complete faith that we would be fine...God's hand of protection was, and is over us.

Fast-forward to 1:30 am and this WICKED wind is whipping the house. I literally sat bolt-upright in bed and turned on the tv, only to find Don Slater, one of our weathermen, on tv talking the freaked-out 1:30 am population who were awake at that time through the storm. Thank GOD for Don Slater. I could see the storm moving and knew that it would be out of the area in about an hour. I didn't go back to sleep, but I did relax a bit.

2:30 am and I hear Aiden calling, panicked, "Mommy! I need you Mommy"! This happened the night before and knowing that he probably had a bad dream, I went in to stay with him for a moment. Poor kid was terrified. I brough him into bed with me and he STILL wouldn't settle down. Then, I hear him whisper to me, his voice cracking "Mommy...I hoped my Daddy was here so I could cuddle with him". And now he's really crying. The only thing I could do was pray for him and just hold him and talk to him about how much his Daddy loved him, and that he didn't want to leave, but he had to go for his job and that he'll be back. "How many days Mommy until Daddy comes home "? Oh boy...I told him it would seem like a long time, but that Daddy would be home. He was so upset...I asked him if he wanted to write Daddy a letter to tell him how he felt, and he said yes, so at 3 am, Aiden and I sat in my bed, writing a letter to Daddy. I think that helped Aiden to settle down, and he managed to fall asleep around 3:40 am, and I think I fell asleep around 4:15. A long, tough night, but I'm happy, and relieved to say that no tornadoes touched down, and damage was minimal. Thank you Father, for keeping us safe!

On a funnier note, I am more determined than ever to NEVER live in Kansas, Oklahoma, or Nebraska. Tornado magnets. No thank you!

Closing with a sweet picture of me and my sweet boy, on the Teacup Ride at Disney World last July:
Aiden, and his goofy smile!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Right Royal Monday!

Not a great picture, but Bath, by the River Avon, September 2002

It's so fitting that in this day of deployment, I've found on ABC a 20/20 episode on the Royal Family of Britain. Now, anyone who knows anything about me and the fam, know that Britain, and specifically London, is our second home. Having lived there for a few days shy of 25 months, I can unoquivocally say that place has a special place in my heart like none other. Here's a few things that happened to us in our London:

1. Devyn, at 21 months, hailed a cab on Baker Street. From her stroller. On the way to see the Queen's Golden Jubilee Parade.

2. We were robbed in the middle of the night while we slept.

3. We fell in LOVE with fresh cod and chips, our most favorite being from Seashell of Lisson Grove Fish and Chips, one street over from where we lived. If you want to check it out, you can find it at: It's truly incredible stuff.

4. Mike sat directly behind Prince Charles and Princes William and Harry while at St.Paul's Cathedral for the one-year anniversary service of 9/11. And did NOT bring William home to me. Huh. Something about him (Mike) being in uniform and possibly going to prison.

5. I stood 4 feet from Princess Anne at Royal Ascot Race Course when Mike and I went. A once in a lifetime event, but seriously overpriced. However, the one bet I made, I came out $8.00 richer! Small victories, you know?

6. Our precious, sweet Aiden was born at 10:13 am, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children on Great Portland Street, London, by one Mr. Charles Wright. Yes, Mister. Surgical physicians go by Mister. Teaching dr's go by Professor, GPs, or General Practitioners, by Doctor. I will honestly never have another baby unless it's at the Portland. It was downright amazing.

7. Devyn loved feeding the ducks (as did Mike and I) at the Boating Lake in Regent's Park. That place will always, always have my heart. It's the one place that reminded me of home when we first arrived and I was so very sad, and the place that brought me the greatest sadness when we were leaving after 2 years.

8. It's where we made the most wonderful friends--my Amber, our David and Emma, Devyn's preschool teachers like Shabana and Hema and her first two little friends, Lois and Tabitha.--all our Brits who are so very important to us, and the American friends we made there who thankfully have all stayed in our lives in such a special way.

8. It was on a bus at 10:30 pm, travelling through Kensington that Mike and I made a promise to each other in April, 2002, when we first visited to scout it out (we'd be arriving a short three weeks later for good) that we would do everything we could to make it that we could come back every five years. We want Aiden to be familiar with his homeland (and it really is--he's got a British birth certificate!), and we want Devyn to always have that constant memory of the first place she remembers as home. And Mike and I want always to have that place that is so dear to us in our hearts...the place that brought us together as a couple and as a family.

Sweet Baby Boy, May 2004, looking out at his London, and specifically the trains at Marylebone Train Station, next to our aparment building.

With that promise comes the reality that we are travelling back a little earlier than expected, by God's grace. We'll be arriving in London the Monday before Thanksgiving this year, and we'll be able to stay a week. We are SO excited! I can't wait to visit our church, to see our lovely friends, to take Devyn to her first school, to sit in Regents Park no MATTER how cold it is, to take the kids to Harrod's to see Father Christmas, to do all the things that make it London, and Home, in a sense for us. I can't WAIT to just be us in London again, the way we did then.

In Windsor Castle, January 2004 (Devyn and I)

Devyn and Mike, Warwick Castle
September 2002

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Ok, that is NOT an allusion to how Sunday was...only "bloody" in the British sense! In other words, last night was hard. Mike called on his way out, and knowing that it would be the last time I would talk to him with any regularity, I got pretty emotional, but tried to swallow it so Mike wouldn't hear it and worry. It almost feels like this deployment started last night, even after he's been away for two weeks. I'm taking the day off today--I just need a day to decompress and relax.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sleepy Saturday

Today's been one of those days when I just want to stay in my pajamas all day long. I don't feel like I'm getting enough sleep, and it's starting to wear on me. Of course, there's so much going on with the kids' schedules, I don't really have a chance to do nothing. Both started soccer practice today and unfortunately, both took a ball square in the face. No harm, no foul. They both came out of it with no lasting effects. We went to eat at Friendly's tonight--the kids' pick--not mine! Although I can throw down some ice cream!

Mike called tonight, and things are changing quickly with his location...he shipped back his cell phone tonight because he won't be able to call us for quite a while. I've really gotten accustomed to his 11 pm "goodnight" calls. I'm sorry that I won't have those to look forward to anymore. He said it really hit him tonight that I won't be just a phone call away, and I feel the same way. It's so much harder when I don't hear his voice--when I know that I can't pick up the phone and just leave him a message.

It's starting to really sink in with Aiden, I think. I read tonight in his little journal that he wrote, with Devyn's help, that "I really miss my Daddy, and I worry about him a lot". It breaks my heart that his little mind worries about his daddy--he's only four! He hasn't vocalized it to me, but I know he misses him. I just pray that the Lord will enable me to provide them with what they need until Mike comes home.

I guess I've written enough tonight. Maybe I'll be able to relax a bit.