Monday, May 13, 2013

Pre-Deployment Family Photos

Sorry about that last post.
Depressed much?

I try to keep this blog as honest and true to myself as possible, but I still have yet to find that perfect balance between what is too much and what is not enough
... as far as content, that is.

But the fact of the matter is that this is my life now -- pregnancy and deployment. And as much as I can  post another movie review or another fabulous DIY tutorial, my blog wouldn't be my blog if I didn't share myself with it. My struggles in finding my place in this world. My true feelings about "going for broke" in life. So yeah, you'll keep seeing those kinds of posts now and again.

But this post is not one of them.

This post has pictures!

One thing I wanted to make sure we did as a family before Jobi left was to take family photos. No way was I going to let him go off on his grand adventure without leaving photos of himself behind for the kids. Sure, we have Skype and what not, but we don't really have photos of him with the kids, and in case anything happens, I want them to see that their father loves them, that they love their father, and that we truly are a family.

I'm beyond grateful for Marianna Ah Quin who took our photos. Because the kids are still small, there aren't any pics where all of them are looking at the camera at once. But these pretty much portray my little family accurately: from my Jobi's military haircut, to the clothes that Blondie picked out herself. Here are only a few:

I love this one!

And Chip's crying never ends.....

Daddy's little girl -- Almonds' best friend

My studs

My favorite

And our happy family... never mind that we all look a little funny.
 I know my kids are gonna love these. And I hope that Jobi will too -- especially while he'll be so far away, and since we'll be adding one more before he returns.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

As He Prepares to Leave

Everyone has their battles. Everyone has things that are difficult to do, even if they are easy for other people. Before it all began, I didn't think I would have a problem. I had even looked forward to the idea, thinking of all the possibilities that would be open to me once these situations arise.

I'm talking about deployment.

In the 6 years that my Jobi has been in the military, he has not seen deployment once. Yes, he's been to BCT/AIT, LDAC, and BOLC, but not an actual deployment. Where it's a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of I-can't-tell-you. Where he won't be able to call me until whenever-the-heck-he-can. Where his mission is to something-I-don't-know, and he's going to who-knows-where. This is his first time, and so this is my first time.

And I'm not ready.

I'm not ready to send our bossy little Almonds off to kindergarten this year without him by my side. I'm not ready to make the day-long grocery and household shopping trips across island with Chip screaming in the back, by myself. I'm not ready to give birth to #4 while he watches via Skype. I'm not ready to pay the bills, register the car, fix the fridge, and kill the giant cockroaches. I'm not ready to spend more sleepless nights with anywhere from one to four kids needing to be held, rocked, bathed, fed, sang to, read to, or anything-else-to-get-them-to-sleep. And I'm certainly not ready to spend the hundredth night in a row sleeping alone.

Almonds and Blondie cried the other night. And when I say cried, I mean wailed. I sang them songs; I read them stories; I spoke kind and loving words for what seemed like days. Then I just sat next to them and cried too. Because I knew why they were inconsolable. And it hurt. Their dad isn't deployed yet, but he hasn't come home since post-mobilization began, and they know something's up. This time, "Army work" is different. And they don't like it. Not any more than I do. Not at all. 

So yeah, of all the things I anticipated about being a military wife, I did not expect to hate deployment so much. I did not expect I would cry every night for a month, even while he's home. I especially didn't expect I would dread doing the mundane, laborious things that my husband usually takes care of. Before marriage, I never had a problem with paperwork, money issues, car stuff, household repairs, or shopping with the kids. (I always hated killing giant bugs though -- let's not get ahead of ourselves.) But now, I am a massive stress case. These things have been swirling around me and I can barely keep my balance. But it's too late -- he's already "gone," and so I'm the man of my house now. If I had a choice, I'd fall asleep and wake up when he comes home. But I have no choice. I take it back -- I made my choice. I chose to marry this man. And now I must make another choice: to be strong, or not to be strong. (Wow, that wasn't cliche at all.)

I know I have help. My siblings are the best, and my children adore their family. My friends are just a phone call away (which I suck at, just to let y'all know). This town has lots of great things me and the kids can be involved in, and I'm kinda excited about that. And I know that if we just keep moving, the time will indeed pass. It's my mantra for the rest of this year: Just Keep Moving. And when me and the girls wanna cry for our "Daddy," we will stop and cry. And then we will get up and keep moving. I can't stop too long or I will stay there, and that's no good for anybody. Especially not my children, who need their mother so badly.

So as he prepares to leave, I prepare to stay. To be present. To be lonely, but never alone. To move, and to keep moving. This is my battle, and I'm scared to death.

But I'm gonna win.