Saturday, March 24, 2012

Groovin' on...

Now that we have finally made some progress on our Deployment Countdown and the homecoming date "seems" to be as certain as Navy-certain gets, I think the kids and I have finally gotten into the deployment groove.  We all still miss Paul every day, but maybe the missing him is starting to be the norm.  We know that each night we go to bed is one less night of blowing kisses to him in the air, and every morning we wake up is one morning closer to the morning we get to put on our homecoming outfits and go pick him up at the squadron.  So we are groovin'; I feel like I am growing through this experience.  Groovin' and growing is good for this Momma's soul.

Perhaps the groove is feeling pretty good since we just had two very special visitors in the last month.  Paul's mom was out here for a week and when I say "Paul's mom" I mean "The Laundry Queen."  No kidding.  First time since Paul left in December that ALL of our clothes were clean.  Dishes were cleaned and unloaded from the dishwasher BEFORE a whole other load of dirty dishes piled up on the counter.  I kind of forgot those things were possible.  In fact, Paul's mom did something even more impossible... or even more important... she gave me room to breathe, to play with the kids, and brought my enthusiasm for motherhood way way WAY up.  Enthusiasm is good for this Momma's soul.

Our other special visitor was my childhood neighbor.  We've known eachother since I was 6 1/2.  We played Barbies, kick-the-can, and volleyball together.  We lived nextdoor to each other and, for one summer, in the same apartment together.  Her visit was a bunch of fun and totally, completely comfortable.  Stacy helped the kids and I plant one of our neighborhood's garden boxes.  We planted a bunch of herbs, strawberries (per Matthew's request), and wild flowers.  We also planted a few flower boxes for our backyard - "red flowers" (per Grace's request).  We watched a terrible movie and laughed all the way through it.  We went to the gym two mornings in a row and laughed all the way through both of those mornings.  Laughter is definitely good for this Momma's soul.

To top off all my soul nourishment, I got to spend this afternoon with a dear friend, her husband, and their tiny, perfect, completely adorable 2-day-old baby boy.  Oh sweet Heaven, is he cute!  Sweet baby smell, tiny little teeney diaper butt, cute little baby yawns, and those wonderous eyes peaking out and blinking and blinking are good for this Momma(who will not be having another tiny miracle of her own)'s soul.

So here we are on a Saturday night, watching a movie, and having a "camp out" in the family room.  The kids and I are groovin' and I am feeling like my soul is ready for the next 4 months... or at least 4 weeks, when my mom visits!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It Is What It Is... and It Won't Be What It Was Supposed To Be

I really really don't like the saying "It is what it is." My dad says it a lot.  My husband says it a lot.  It seems to be the man's verbal version of a shoulder shrug.  I would prefer if we could discuss "it." What is "it"? How does "it" make you feel? Why is "it" happening? What can we do to change "it"? If "it" isn't going to go away, how can we best deal with "it?"  See..... there's soooooo much to talk about!  It is what it is.... and then some, thank you very much.

BUT.... alas, it is what it is.  Paul's 4 1/2 month deployment has been extended (again) to 8 months. WHAT?! Remember, how I wrote before he left that this deployment was a "short" one?  Yeah, not really anymore.  "It" is shorter than some... but now kind of longer than most. Lame.

So here I am, 9 days after finding out that we have not 2 months left, but 6 months.  (It's weird to be 2 1/2 months into a 4 month deployment and know that you have 6 months left... "it" is odd math.)  Nevertheless, I'm sitting here telling myself it is what it is.  I've been sad, very very sad; I've been mad; I've been lonely and frustrated and defeated.  Now it is time to accept it, embrace it, and move on.

In order to accept "it" I've had very little work to do. When the Navy has your husband out in the middle of an ocean on a great big gray boat and then tells you they aren't letting him come home until they are good and ready, there's not much for a girl to do.  You can't really say "No!  I do not accept this information." So, I accepted it. Begrudgingly. It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Next came the task of embracing "it."  This one has taken about a week or so.  I'm not sure I've exactly embraced it fully, but I'm getting there.  I have a pretty solid faith in God and His plan for me and my family.  I know that God knows what is going on and I know He knows how I feel about it.  I know that there are many people at our church praying for our family during this deployment and I know those prayers are making a difference.  I can feel them making a difference!  A lot of people say that everything happens for a reason, but I'm not sure how I feel about that in this situation.  I can see this situation for what "it" is... other aircraft carriers are needing maintenance, other countries are acting goofy, my husband is in the military.  So I'm not sure if God has a bigger, deeper reason for this, but I do know that "it" will strengthen my relationship with Him because I absolutely cannot get through the tough days and nights without a good amount of prayers.  This one is so much bigger than me.  It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Lastly, the time has come to move on.  I have taken down our countdown calendar.  I have (sort of) stopped looking for my homecoming outfit.  Sitting around and thinking about what the countdown should be is not helpful and won't make my real countdown go any faster, so I had to stop doing that.  I'm moving on.  I bought myself tickets to see Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw (WOOOOHOOOO)... which I thought would be a fun concert to see with Paul, but now know it will be a fun concert to see with friends.  I am planning a weekend escape to Vegas with some of my Navy friends... we will be coming from California, Washington, Maryland, and Virginia.  You know you're a Navy wife when.  I broke the news to the kids that Daddy won't be home until after the summer is over.   It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Accepting "it" required me to mentally be okay with the information; embracing "it" required me to find some emotional and spiritual peace with the information; and moving on is still requiring me to be active and physically make the choice to not sit around and mope or worry or feel defeated.

I'm pretty sure my husband and my dad can just say "it is what it is," and they don't need to blog about all of it, but what can I say..... it is what it is.
Our previous countdown calendar... after the news of the first extention.  It's now in the trash (except for the pictures).