Aug 25, 2008

Please keep your hands and feet inside until the ride comes to a full and complete stop

As seasons in our lives are about to change it is easy to slide one foot out the door. Surely I am not alone in this. The last few weeks of class, the last days on a job, the day after Thanksgiving -when although it is still technically fall you are digging out the decorations for Christmas. It is that state where you are still physically present in one reality but slowly and steadily heading toward another.
I am notorious for "checking out" of my current life upon receiving orders for our new duty station. Looking back at every place Matt and I have moved away from, I can distinctly recall myself severing ties much earlier than necessary. I think I just started looking ahead to what I was moving toward, not really realizing what I was missing in the place where I was.
Although this was my style in the past, I am declaring that it will not be the case this year. Psalm 118:24 proclaims "THIS is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it". The word "made" is translated as "sanctified as a season never to be forgotten". I find such beauty in that definition. This day, this time, this year that I have left in Northern Virginia is sanctified as a season never to be forgotten! God has blessed us tremendously here and I am looking forward to what else He has planned for us in this season of our life.
My hands and feet are securely planted here and will remain here until the time comes to leave - but that is sad and I don't want to talk about that anymore.
Rejoice in the day God has sanctified for you!

Aug 20, 2008

New Blog

I'd like to direct your attention to my new blog Geschichtenerzahlin! The blog is dedicated to all things related to our upcoming move to Germany. I'll be posting information that I find out regarding where we will be living, travel destinations, and the ever-so-important availability dates for staying at the Hernandez Hostel!

I plan to post a few times a month or as I find new information. Don't count on daily postings - it probably isn't going to happen. The blog will serve as a source of information for you, family members and friends, and be a great way for me to do something constructive with the information I come across. You can see when the blog was updated last under my blogroll.

I'll continue to post my daily musings on this blog and keep our shutterfly photo site updated. You can follow Our Latest Photos link to the shutterfly site and use the password "ourphotos".

genießen = enjoy!

Aug 16, 2008

Things I learned on Vacation

I learned some things on vacation. Some were new insights, others just reminders of things I already new. Here they are:
If the situation arises it is possible for my family of four and a wetsuit to shower in 10 minutes or less. We had 4 dirty people, a wetsuit, and 4 quarters. At Van Damme State Park 4 quarters buys you a 10 minute shower. Much to my amazement Matt cleaned the wetsuit, we all showered and washed our hair, and I shaved my legs with a few seconds to spare.
I am blessed to be married to a wonderful supportive husband who selflessly agreed to send the boys and I out to the West Coast for 7 weeks. While he was left in Virginia for 5 of those weeks, he took care of the garden, kept the house clean (or at least cleaned it before he joined us in CA) and was very understanding when I couldn't talk to him on the phone because I was busy playing at a waterpark, bowling in Canada, on the jetski, camping, or any of the other activities I took part in. I am reminded of how much Matt loves me and wants me to be happy.
I can go 7 weeks without watching TV. I know the TV was turned on on occasion but I didn't watch any of my favorite shows, the morning news, and only a few movies, and I never turned the TV on. I'm not a TV junkie but I was really surprised when I looked back over the summer and realized I never sat down to watch TV.
My boys need a fenced in backyard. Every house we stayed at had a fenced in or naturally secluded back yard. Every morning the boys would get up and head outside in the backyard to play. Many times they were still in their jammies and didn't eat breakfast yet! It was so nice for them to have the freedom to play and explore outside in their own safe space.
I was also reminded of how blessed I am to have the family I do. Matt's mom's family, his dad's family, and my family are all very different from eachother and are all so very special to us. Matt and I are both so lucky to get along really well with our inlaws and truly be loved and accepted in each other's family.
Some other things I learned were; I miss the type of church I grew up in, my kids are California through and through even though they never lived there, it is really nice not to have traffic like we do here in VA, my family is cool enough to include my best friends in family functions, my best friends are cool enough to join me at my family's house, I CAN run 6 miles on the road - in the heat - and not pass out, and I love my VA friend-family and missed them a lot while I was gone.
And finally, the last thing I learned on this vacation was where we are moving to next when our time here in Virginia is up. Matt called me just a few days before he flew out to CA to tell me the news. We have in our hands and RFO (request for orders - or the closest thing to a promise that the Army will ever give you!) to report to Germany on or before July 31st 2009. I am so excited about what that adventure will bring to our lives and at the same time really glad that we will be here in Virginia for almost another year!

Aug 13, 2008

Coming home

"Home" is one of those words that is spelled the same but has multiple meanings. Home can be my parents house in California, California in general, this building I live in now, or anywhere in between that I have once lived.
When I left Virginia for California I said "I'm going home for the summer". And when I was leaving California I referred to my status as "going home to VA". I was sad to leave my family in California, I really had an amazing summer, but I was also happy to be coming back to my life in Virginia. After a very long day of travel I walked into my house and sighed, it is good to be home.
It felt great to go through the piles of junk mail to find party invitations, school registration information, valuable coupons, and cards from friends. It was especially wonderful to come home to a new gallon of milk, oven ready meal, bread, peach cobbler and cookies left at the house by our dear friends Rachael and Ryan. The cat was snuggly, the flowers in full bloom, and the bed just as comfy as I remember!
The boys sat in their rooms for hours as old toys were new again and they found their favorite things that were missed for the past 7 weeks.
We are still adjusting to the time difference, the quietness in the house, and things being different. Eli cried and cried tonight because his "bed just didn't feel right" and he said he wanted to go back to the bed he slept in at my mom's house. The boys have slept together for the past few months, so being alone in their rooms is a little upsetting to them.
The bags are unpacked, the laundry is done as ever, the house clean, and I'm ready to return to life as usual in the morning! OK, probably not tomorrow but definitely the next day!

Going to God's house

Tonight Gabriel asked me if we could go to God's house. Before I got into a deep discussion about "going to be with Jesus", I paused and waited to see what he would say next.
Gabriel said "I want to go to God's house and sleep with him so I won't be scared".
Maybe I'm just tired and emotional, but it was so beautiful to my ears. At nearly 4 he knows who he needs to go to for rest.
I then explained that God was with him in our house and he doesn't need to be afraid.

Aug 11, 2008

to the tune of the mickey mouse theme song. . . .

so now its time to say goodbye to our friends and family . . .
Wow. It has been an amazing 7 weeks. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to spend this summer with my family out here on the west coast. It was a summer filled with laughter, fun, and memories to last forever. I can't believe we packed everything we did this summer in just 7 weeks.
The bags are packed and waiting in the hall to be loaded into the car in the morning, we said our tearful "goodbyes", and will make our way back to VA in the next 24 hours.
There are no other words but "what an amazing summer"!

Aug 2, 2008

Together Again!

Matt arrived in California this week!  After 5 weeks of hanging out back in Virginia while the boys and I were on vacation, he finally joined the party.  The boys were so excited to see him!  However, they had to fight off my nieces who were equally excited to get attention from their super-uncle.
Matt's arrival reunited our family and kicked off a very busy two week schedule.  We started by visiting with Matt's mom, step-dad, sisters and uncles,  then we will transition to my family for a few days and we'll be off to Van Damm to camp for about a week and catch up with Matt's dad and the gang up there.
Over the past 5 weeks my plans were very flexible and I tried not to schedule much of anything.  It goes against my vacation nature, but it was so nice to just fly by the seat of my pants for awhile.  Now that Matt is here we are scheduled, fitting in multiple events each day, and making the most off our time here.  We are packing in a lot off fun activities, trying to see as many people as possible, and will take the time to breathe when we get back home!
The boys and I miss all of our friends back in Va, and look forward to catching up and enjoying the last few weeks of summer when we get back home.