It feels like things have been in a whirlwind around here lately; time, has especially been flying. Where to begin . . .
About two weeks ago now, I led music for a ton of kids during a week of vacation Bible school at our church. We did the "Power Lab" Theme by Group Publishing, and it was a lot of fun. I'm sorry I'm going to miss dressing up like a pirate for the Veggie Pirate theme our church back in RI is doing, but it was still fun dressing up like a scientist and getting more experience. I definitely see this as a niche for me. The director wants me to do it every year, and even though I don't like to get stuck doing the same thing every time, just in case God has different plans, I can definitely see that I am needed and helpful in this area. I love music and I love large groups of kids (in small doses). :)
At the end of that week, Will took me to a Navy Surface Warfare Ball at the Norfolk downtown Marriott hotel. It was beautiful, and my second Navy event there. Will was sweet enough to let me get a new dress for the occasion and even wanted to go with me to pick it out. He loves dressing me up! :) Anyway, I ended up picking out a black, strapless, long Jessica McClintock dress. I wore huge chandelier earrings and gold, rhinestone studed shoes (from a previous dressy engagement). It was fun to get all dressed up. We ended up meeting some people at our table that were from Katy, TX, where we got married. It turns out that Will attended a Bible study in high school one summer with the dad of the lady we met. In fact, we found out later that her dad remembered Will. It's such a small world.
It's also always humbling to go to these events because you meet so many people who have sacrificed so much in service to our country ... so many deployments, losses, years of devotion and it makes me feel very insignificant in the big picture. I know Will is going to deploy later and we'll do our time (much shorter than many), but so far, it's been a much easier road for us than most.
Then, a few days later, Will's older brother, Robert, came to visit us for 10 days. He leaves tomorrow and has had a lot of time playing with his two nephews. I think he'll need a vacation from this vacation though since the boys kept him going so much!
Will has been very busy the last few weeks gearing up for a set of big inspections on his ship. He has had to learn a new ship and fix a lot of leftover mistakes in a very short time and I'm so proud of him and all the work he's been doing to help and really lead, the ship to pass it's inspections. He's really enjoying being back in the fleet again instead of in a classroom as he has been for so long. This is really an answer to prayer for me because I was really afraid he would not enjoy it because his last ship because so frustrating for him. When he's happy and productive at his job, the repercussions on our family are positive and that is a blessing and as many of you know, life in the military does not always provide the best work environment.
In other news, I'm starting to deal with working up for the deployment in emotional phases. I'll go through a depressed/fearful "I can't do this" phase, then a cool/collected "It'll be fine, we have a schedule ready" phase, and on to a very determined/conquering "Let's DO this" phase. I'm sure all of them (and there are probably more) are very natural and normal to go through, so I'm trying to take it in stride and weather each one as it comes. (see, I'm in the cool/collected phase right now) :) I'm also sure I'll add more as deployment comes ... such as the griping/complaining phase, the "I need to rip up/destroy something" phase (also known as the "maybe it's time to exercise and release some aggression" phase) followed by the "I REAAALLY miss my husband" phase (I hope you can read between the lines on that one because I'm not going to elaborate). Anyway, it's sure to be a roller coaster. Maybe now is the time to find a counselor to see once a week just to make sure I'm sane after October. Now is also the time to e-mail friends and family asking anyone to is interested to come visit and HELP me. What I really want is to hire a live in nanny to cook, clean and only watch the kids when I've had enough. It's odd, I'm not afraid of the alone time, I'm worried about all the time I'll have to spend with the kids. They are such a handful, and I've been thinking that it might be better to get a job for my sanity than to stay at home with them morning, noon and night. I need to be the best mom for them that I can be whatever the short term cost. If things get too overwhelming, I've just said I'll move to TX and rent a small furnished apartment for awhile near Will's parents so they can help. (shhhh they don't know yet) :) but I don't think it will come to that. I really do hope that once we settle into our pre-school, afternoon, evening, YMCA, and weekly babysitter routine, things can work.
Now to figure out small, healthy, kid friendly meals since I won't be cooking for Will for awhile. The kids are so picky and my favorite dinner food is cereal (even though it doesn't happen often) so between the three of us, I hope things don't break down to pizza and chicken nuggets every night. They won't even eat mac 'n' cheese, but one loves broccoli and both love corn. Weird. They also occasionally eat ham sandwiches with "salad" (that's lettuce). :) Time to break out the kids cookbook and make food look like smiley faces and animals. :) I would continue cooking "normal" meals in smaller quantities, but the kids so seldom eat dinner these days (no, they haven't had a snack beforehand) and they don't beg for food in the evenings either. I guess they're just filling up at lunch. Who knows. I do know that they're ready to eat in the morning. :) I'm sure it's just a phase, they'll start growing again soon and appetites will probably take off.
In other news, we're still trying to figure out what renovations we want to do to the house before October. My biggies are new bathrooms and new floors. Will wants to do an addition. I don't want to deal with it while he's gone so I think that will wait. Again, we'll see.
So much more to say ... this post is too long already, goodnight.