Sunday, November 29, 2009

Short but sweet

As I start to type, Chris is supposed to be boarding a plane in Atlanta bound for Brunswick... more than 4 hours later than planned. We dropped him off at Lambert STL around 1330 for a 1500 flight that soon became a 1650 flight, which arrived in Atlanta to catch another flight sans pilot. Oops Delta, who forgot to schedule that pilot and had to phone the on-call pilot, who of course lives 2 hours away and has just arrived not so happy to fly the skies. Chris will hopefully be in his barracks in time to sleep an hour or two before breakfast. Sorry honey :(

So as I get into bed, fluffing his pillows and turning off his bedside lamp, I stop to remind myself that he will not be sleeping beside me for another few months. That sucks ~ we can both attest. Thoughout our nearing 15 year marriage, we have spent many nights apart, most courtesy of the US Coast Guard or the Sheriff's Dept and on rare occasion due to my work. I guess I always thought the 8-5,  M-F lifestyle might seem comfortable and have those fringe benefits like sleeping under the same roof every night. But the years Chris did have those hours (I always have), they didn't really make him happy. So that didn't make me happy either.

People have asked many times over the years if I'm okay with his line of work, law enforcement. I love him and his work is a big part of who he is and what makes him tick. Would I love us to be together all the time? Yes. Or at least sleep in the same state (or soon I may say country)? Of course. Would I love not to be a dummy for tactical takedowns? Not to hear "do you know there's a pressure point here?" followed by the paralysis of one of my appendages and his laughter? But I am so proud of who he is and what he does. And what wife would not love being pulled over with lights and sirens on her way to work for her husband's amusement and a good morning kiss? Nothing like a man in uniform... soon to be a suit and a curly earpiece.

So I'm just my usually sappy self, emotionally enduced by the end of a 4 day (tide us over for 30 more) visit from our favorite guy.  We'll take any moments we can get and savor them until the next time.

Our crazy kid!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No, I did not chop down the cherry tree

You know the nauseous feeling you get when you have to hide a secret or just "avoid the truth"? Well I've been carrying it around with me at work since April when Chris accepted the State Dept offer. My work, though not my life's calling, has been a big part of my life for a long time. I take pride in a job well done and enjoy my co-workers also on a personal level. Though the company is larger, my office consists of 6 ladies, our male plant manager and a handful of yard guys and truck drivers in and out all the time. We all get along great and enjoy sharing in everyone's family life conversations at work. And though I don't wake up wishing to head out to work, I don't hate it when I arrive either.

I've only had to try to skirt questioning and embellish where needed since last month, when Chris moved to DC. So I've felt sick on more than one occasion and have tried to mentally keep track of which weekends I say Chris is working. I also have had to hide the fact that I'm a single parent at the moment, sending Ceiba to school everyday and pulling double duty at home. Some days I'm just plain tired or preoccupied.

Well, today I asked for a few minutes in private and spoke to the plant manager about our situation. I hope to leave on very good terms and feel obliged to assist in a smooth transition. Oh sure, I hope they'll miss me when I'm gone and praise my hard work and dedication, blah, blah, blah.

But they've also become good friends, and I don't want to leave anyone hanging. My resignation is not submitted, nor do I have a departure date, but work does know our situation. He was VERY understanding, happy for us and appreciative of the head's up. It'll be on the down low for a few days until they decide what to do, but I feel better already.

I wish sometimes I had an on/off switch for the emotional commitment to work, but fortunately or not, it's inherited. Hopefully it'll pay off in the long run career wise (and good karma). Who knows, I may be exporting cargo from Abidjan or Zanzibar in 10 years.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mama better get on the treadmill..... we're moving to MIAMI!

Chris excitedly called yesterday to confirm our first post- MIAMI!
It'll be a few months before we move down, May-ish to be more precise. Chris still has GA and VA training to complete.

Family and friends are happy about our news and their future vacation locale, especially Jake (nephew, 16 yrs) and Samantha (niece, 18 yrs). I could decipher the excitement when Jake's text back to me said- "that's tyte!". Happy to oblige kiddos! They were only 5 and 7 when they got to visit us at the beach when we lived in Clearwater, while Chris was in the Coast Guard.

We're looking forward to heading back to palm trees and sand.... and working on our Spanish!

Monday, November 9, 2009

And then there was 1....

day until we find out our first assignment. Chris has Flag Day tomorrow, so we are on pins and needles about where we'll be posted after training.

Though there aren't many options (CHI, DC, LA, MIA, NY, SF), there's still anxiety waiting to hear where we'll be spending the next 1-3 years. Very few openings were available in our top 3 cities (MIA, SF, LA), so though we can hope, we aren't terribly optimistic for our choices. Sorry family/friends, you may or may not get to have cheap beach vacations (yet). Washington D.C. is always a likely option for our next post, and probably will continue to be - whether its the first time bidding or the 5th time.

We'll go where the State Department needs us (we hope for the next 15-25 years), but we really hope it starts with an "M" and has palm trees and ocean. Wherever we end up, it will only be for a few years and will be a new experience for all of us! Now we just need the house to sell, ug.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Early Birthday

  On my birthday eve, Wednesday, we happily received a visit from the photographer who shot pics of our family casually at home in IL a few weeks ago. A super FUN present for me! I tend to be a photo nut, and though more sluggish now that I'm a mama, I still enjoy the memories photos envoke more than just about anything else. Flipping through pictures of beautiful vacations, loved ones now gone or just a mess covered favorite kiddo of ours can be the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

As the house is now for sale, we wanted to remember what a beautiful home we had in Illinois. Leaving this house, acreage, greenhouse, creek (sniff, sniff) is one of the hardest things to do. But hey, we have the blueprints and can always build it again. Something tells me after we've lived in Madagascar, Argentina or Myanmar (wishful thinking, aye?) we may not miss this house quite as much. And if we do, I'll just pick a rainy day and sit with the memories.

Whatcha gonna do?

So we are fast learning the timelines given in Chris's line of work are always subject to change. While happy to be told about his school 2 1/2 months in advance, it was hard to pull things together when travel orders weren't issued until less than a week before his report date. A coordinator in DC advised there would be a week of off time between orientation training completion and the start of GA training. This would allow him plenty of time to get home, swap business for casual/workout attire, get the car, see the fam and head down to training. Ahh... nope.

So now we are in the mode of figuring out what will work best logistically. A bit inconvenient for Chris, he will probably fly to IL in December, enjoy a dash of Christmas and then all of us drive the little VW Golf to GA, where we'll visit for another week before coming home sans Papa.

The 3 of us in a Golf for 860 miles in the winter with luggage.... well, an adventure in itself.