Monday, April 21, 2008

18 Days with My Soldier

The 18 days we had with my soldier was amazing. Not only for the kids but for my husband and I too. I fell in love with him all over again. I cherished every second I had with him. I held his hand any chance I got. I hugged and kissed him all day everyday. It felt like we were in our own reality and now I am back to some life I don't recognize. Yes we go on with our lives but my life seems at a stand still with him gone. Like how do you keep going day to day when your life in is Iraq. You don't just keep going. You don't just suck it up and take it on chin. You don't. You hurt. You cry. You scream at how unfair deployments are. You ache. You struggle to cope with handling everything on your own. Even the simplest things sometimes seems so big. I am not depressed and well hell if I am then I will let that takes it course until I feel better. I realized a lot while my husband was home with us. I realized that the Army the way it is now is not for our family. War and deployments are not for us. I decided I want my soldier out of the Army and no re-enlist for Alaska. I decided having him home and safe is way more important than anything the Army can offer him. Iraq is not worth my husband dying for. The kids need their daddy and need him with them 365 days a year. No more deployments, fields, trianing, long hours working to prepare for Iraq. We are finished this tour. We will stay put where we are, which is here in Spokane where I grew up and love. The kids will not be uprooted and have to say goodbye to daddy again for another 15 months. We will be totally great without the Army and I will have my husband and the kids will have their daddy. Wow I was making this blog all about our adventures while daddy was here and it turned into something different. Babe if your reading this, NO RE-ENLISTING no matter how much money they offer you 20,000 or 30,000 say NO NO NO NO! Finish your damn 11 months and come home-FOR GOOD!

I picked up daddy from the airport and he said he wanted to surprise the kids. I dropped him off down by our mailboxes and I came into the house like I was just out shopping. The doorbell rang and my son answered the door. Daddy was there and my son was in shock. My sons face was priceless. The kids hugged and kissed daddy and my son said he was never letting go. lol and he meant it. He held unto my hubby's neck forever. The kids were so happy to see daddy. It was awesome seeing their little faces light up. So after a few days of just being family we had my sisters family over for a lasagna dinner. It just happen to also be their 18 year anniversary. Can you imagine 18 years together-AWESOME! After finishing up with dinner we all sat down for a fun game of mad gabs. It was boys against girls and I am happy to say that the girls won. Mad gabs is def a fun game to play when you have a big group of people together. And with an aussie and southerner listening to them say the sentences has us rolling on the floor laughing. I love playing that game. Here is a brief descraipiton of the game: It's the game that has everyone speaking a strange language called Mad Gab! Read a group of simple words aloud, like "Yore Luke Ink Hood". Did you "hear" the answer? Try saying them again. Sound familiar? Quick, the timer's ticking! Did you hear yourself say "You're Looking Good"? You and your teammates have two minutes to sound out three puzzles. The faster you guess, the more you score! Enjoy the new bonus score feature; guess all three puzzles, and earn bonus points, as indicated by the timer. Miss a card and the other team can steal the point!OK, the timer is set, the card flipper is loaded and everyone's ready for a laugh riot! Just remember: when it comes to scoring points, it's not what you say, it's what you hear! We had a blast with my sisters family over for dinner and game. I sure do miss those nights. 


So bright an early the next day we headed off to my mothers house. We rented a dogde caravan for a week and had it all loaded. Everyone woke up and piled into the van. Our first stop[[of course]] was Starbucks. Here is a picture of hubby's and I very first coffee together EVER! I was so excited. Instead of just ordering one coffee for me he ordered two of them.....it was music to my ears. I wasn't sure he was really drinking coffee yet but I was after seeing him down his caramel latte =) I don't know why this made me so happy. I guess because we are sharing something together. Anyway that is the picture of our very first coffee together, I even have it on our fridge. LOL. Babe I can't wait to have another coffee with you when you get home.
 

Along the way to my moms we made a few pit stops. Since we were driving the White Pass way this time we stopped off at a gorgeous view of the Columbia River[[AMAZING]] I am not sure what this pit stop was called but the views were breath taking and of course I snapped a ton of pictures. Here is one from almost the edge of the mountain. There were informational stones of how the water craved this and what it was used for. The kids loved it. It totally made me think that this is a very small version of what the Grand Canyon might look like. And makes me want to go to see the Grand Canyons even more now.-----Can you say ROAD TRIP! After pit stopping here we just sorta had a boring drive through dessert and Yakima. But once we got through Yakima we entered White Pass and OMG can you say amazing. This was not my first time driving through this because as kid we would drive from Spokane to Tacoma to see my grandparents. But I don't ever remember being awake to see White Pass before. So both my husband and I were like OMG this is gorgeous. And right than and there we decided road trips to grandma's house will be driven through White Pass only, even if it takes a few hours longer to get their. It is so worth it! Half of the river was still frozen and there was still a ton of snow in the pass. It was so breath taking. I has wished some of the view stops were open. Most of them were snowed in so we could not stop to take pictures. I took most of the pictures right from my seat in the van. My husbands camera takes the most amazing pictures.


Finally got to my mother's house. It was a very long day in the van with all the kids and our daughters boyfriend from Australia. But we settled into bed and woke up the next day to head out to Long Beach. Long Beach Peninsula is aptly named, for at 28 miles, it is the longest natural beach in the United States. 

Since Brett[[Miranda's boyfriend]] has not seen our wonderful beaches we thought Long beach would be the best one to show him. And it just happen to be an ok day to take him. We stopped off at the Light House Inn for lunch. Walked the boardwalk, which is a long stretch that follows the beach. Got into the town and did all the touristy things. Of course we had to buy SALT WATER TAFFY. That is always a must for our family. If at Long beach you have to buy taffy. It is so good! And for all of you that ever get stationed at Ft.Lewis this is a MUST see while living here. The beaches are amazing. After Long Beach we went to Cape Disappointment Light House. It was so beautiful. I took tons of pictures. Cape Disappointment is a large headland forming the northern portion of the mouth of the Columbia River, as it opens to the Pacific Ocean. Most members of the Corps of Discovery arrived in this area where they were first able to glimpse the ocean on November 15, 1805, and set up a base camp near Chinook Point.
 

Spent the next few days spending it with the grandparents. Grandma showed the kids how to crotchet, my son was getting frustrated because he could not get the hang of it but he refused to give up and kept trying until he got it. Grandma thought this would be a good outlet to help them stay relaxed and calm. Plus they could learn how to make a few things for themselves like hats and scarfs. Emmy tried but did not get the hang of it. But it is ok because we will be traveling over the mountain this summer quite a few times and the kids can practice with grandma. He was very determined to learn this. My mom a nice goodbye dinner for us. The night before we left grandma's she made a very nice dinner. And bright and early the next day before we left for our long drive home grandpa got up early and made the kids home made elephant ears. They were so yummy. It is something I am going to start doing every Sunday for the kids. Make them elephant ears. Thanks dad it is a new family tradition I am starting.
 

The trip was just as beautiful as the one there. I snapped a ton more pictures of the mountains and water. That way when daddy got back to Iraq he would have hundreds of pictures of Wa to look at and remember. All he has to look at in Iraq is SAND SAND SAND. All those pictures should help keep his spirits up till he makes it home. We took the kids bowling. We spent the entire day at River Front here in Spokane. It was one of the best family days ever. The kids had blast and mommy and daddy had a blast too. We rode the train. The merry go round. Watched an IMAX movie about the Alps. Rode some carnival rides. Ate lunch at the Olive Garden. Walked over and saw the water fall. It was so gorgeous. Spent time playing guitar hero with daddy. Even though he never did get the hang of using the guitar. He would use the controller. But never the less we had a blast playing it as a family. And daddy and I beat guitar hero3 on co-op. And babe I still have not beaten any of those songs solo. I need you here to help me. LOL. Before daddy left we bought the kids a wii. So of course we had fun playing bowling. We love to bowl and well swinging our arms on the wii was a BLAST. Babe I am getting better at it so watch out. When you get home I will out bowl you on the wii-woohoo!
 

So now daddy is gone. Has made it back to hell. Still has 11 months to go before he gets out. And babe you are getting OUT. Your life is the most important thing to me. So no more Army and no more DEPLOYMENTS. We love and miss you daddy so much. We can't wait for you to come home. We will be thinking about you always and we will be counting the days until you come home. Stay safe and keep your head down. Love always and forever plus one day.

Loves and Hugs-Bree

posted by Bree

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