Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's the small details that matter

So that I don't forget some of my most favorite details of the day...
  • That morning, the kids commenting to Brian that they loved his "fancy" Air Force clothes that he had on.
  • The special star necklace/medals complete with American Flag ribbon that each of the kids wore bearing their name (thanks to Grannie).
  • Listening to the National Anthem.
  • Being able to hug and thank so many loved ones who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.
  • Hearing Marilyn tell someone that the special cake was actually Daddy's "big birthday cake but it was for his other special day, not his birthday."
  • The beautiful backdrop of flags, to include an enormous American Flag.
  • Glancing over to see the kids giving their full attention to the ceremonial speakers & their Daddy standing at attention.
  • The girls' adorable matching dresses.
  • When Thomas leaned over to ask me if I was OK & if those were my "happy" tears?
  • And then moments later realizing that Thomas was wiping away his own happy tears.
  • Hearing the most sincere, honest and heartfelt words come from Brian when he thanked the kids for being so "smart, funny & understanding" over these last 7 years and that he loved them so much.
  • Listening to Brian thank me for standing by him all of these years.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Air Force

Dear AF,
We need to talk.

We have decided to leave you. 

And tomorrow is our last day. This is it.  We're saying goodbye.  We've reached the end.  I say "our" and "we" because Brian and I are a team & we've decided that after these last 23 years, you have changed.  Hell, we've changed too.  And at this point, it's just time to part ways and call it done. 

It hasn't really been one single thing that brought us to this decision - the TDYs, the deployments, the PCSs far away from family, the yearning to put our roots down permanently, & your leadership decisions.  Yes, most certainly your leadership decisions.  It's all these things; not one thing more than the other.

One thing is for certain - I'm beaming with pride as I think about Brian's long decorated career with you.  I know he served you and this great country with complete loyalty and dedication.  Of course, as soon as I say anything of the sorts about how proud I am of him, I'm almost always overcome with emotion - I have a lump in my throat just typing these thoughts & the tears are already beginning to well-up in my eyes. You see, it's sheer pride in my husband that causes this. Patriotic spirit I tell you.

My feelings are mixed as well as all over the map about this milestone that Brian has reached.  Some days hours moments I'm excited about what our life will be like when the boots are off and the uniform is hung up...for good.  In other moments, it's unsettling to know that things won't be the same.  That there is a great sense of uncertainty in our future as retirees.  We won't be on the inside anymore; instead, we will be on the outside of this so called brotherhood. 

I know in the end this is the best choice for us and the kids. We've seen the writing on the wall for quite some time now.  We haven't agreed with many of your decisions despite pressing on & continuing to lead in difficult times.

I will say that we are both appreciative of the traveling opportunities you have given us; the chance to grow stronger and closer as a family despite the distance and separation from each other that we endured over the years; the experience of meeting so many new people that touched our lives & will forever hold a special place in our hearts. 

With all of this said, I need you to know that this is hard. But what will make it easier to swallow and move on is your monthly alimony retirement check you will be sending.  Please ensure it is direct deposited by the 1st of the month.  Don't be late with it either.  Chop-Chop!

We'll see you around.  I'm sure we can still be friends, right?  No hard feelings, OK?

Very Respectfully,
MSgt Heck's spouse

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best part of the start

In asking what their favorite part of their day was today, here is what they each shared:

Thomas - learning the number of the day.  After we found out it was 23, we had to figure out how to get it. My answer was 40-17.

Abby - meeting my new friend McKenzie.

Marilyn - getting my new kite square seat on the sitting rug for story time!


Monday, August 18, 2014

A new school year

Here we are...ready for another school.
One 2nd grader, one Kindergartner, one Preschooler.
How did we get to this point already?
I need life to just slow down. Please!
The kids are ready to start this school year at a new school.
We met teachers on Friday morning, visited classrooms and dropped off all of their
school supplies already.
We are completely ready to rock this year!
I just hope that I do half as good as they I fight back all the tears watching my babies
go to school.

 My crew:
Daddy is in charge for the next few weeks (until he starts life as a civilian) including getting the kiddos up bright and early & getting them off and running in the morning.
Cheers to a great 2014-2015 school year!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Some of my favorites

We were fortunate enough last weekend to have family and friends over to our new house to celebrate Abby's 5th birthday.  Not only did the birthday girl enjoy the cake & presents as well the love that surrounded her, but this Mama also kicked back with two of my most favorite people of all time - my sister, Jen and my amazing friend, Kim.  There really are only a handful of people that I enjoy just sitting around sharing stories, laughing and sipping good drinks without a care in the world (my hubby being another one of course).  This is yet another reason it feels so good to be home back here in Florida - a night with some of my favorites!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Letter to Abby's soon to be kindergarten teacher

Dear Abby's soon-to-be kindergarten teacher,
We are so looking forward to meeting you today.  But before you get to know Abby, there are a few things that I need you to know about her:

This girl loves to learn.  She thrives on learning. Whether it was learning how to walk, learning gymnastics, or learning to count to 50...she is a sponge.  Please help keep that flame alive this year by challenging her, encouraging her, praising her, & guiding her.

Abby has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today.  You may not realize it when you listen to her but it wasn't very long ago that Abby had a profound speech delay.  At a very young age, she had a private speech therapist until just recently and the two of them worked so hard together to make tremendous strides.  Additionally, Abby has had the support of a special education preschool teacher for the last two years who made sure Abby was academically ready for you this year.  It wasn't all that difficult because Abby loves to learn and is extremely bright.  Again, the two of them made a great pair in working together. Today, Abby's speech is on par with every other 5 year old kiddo that is in your class. But know that she climbed a mountain to get there.

Abby is sensitive.  She is a helper and very responsible.  She loves to laugh, to dance, to sing and to just be crazy sometimes.  She is both a little sister and a big sister, so as you can imagine she feels a great responsibility to carry out both roles well.

We are so looking forward to an awesome year with you.
Abby's Mommy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our new neighborhood

Quiet. So quiet.
Older and "established".
Sidewalks everywhere.
A spit away from shopping, restaurants, an Air Force base and the Gulf of Mexico.
Located less than 10 minutes from my school.
Well maintained playground park complete with basketball and tennis courts.
There is even a small lake.
The town's mayor lives here.
A nice, happy-medium driving distant between our mothers.
It appears we are much younger than most of our neighbors.
So many folks have stopped to personally welcome us.
It puts a smile on my face when I pull into our just feels right.

Friday, August 8, 2014

An unpacking update

In my ideal world:
Brian and I would each be off from work for at least 2 weeks to unpack all of our boxes, organize, sort & purge more, decorate rooms, & complete projects.
Home cooked meals would be prepared & served by me to my loving husband and beautiful children.
Moving in to a new house would be as seamless & easy as opening the blinds in your kitchen window to let in the morning sun - easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Oh, and there would be a little fairy who visited in the middle of the night and cleaned bathrooms, the kitchen and washed dishes.

In the real world:
I went back to work even before the moving truck had arrived in Florida.
I took one day off of work to help the day our goods arrived.
I'm gone for about 10 hours per day - that is time away from my loving family, as well as the house where I could be unpacking, organizing & sorting, decorating and throwing away boxes.
Brian has cooked most of the night (which is absolutely delicious), but I'm starting to feel guilty.
There are still many unpacked boxes in the dining room, office, playrooms & bedrooms calling my name.
Nothing has been hung on the wall - in the house, or my office.

Truth be told, I'm so far out of my comfort zone in dealing with a not-put-together-yet house, it's ridiculous.  I'm praying for another productive weekend like last Saturday & Sunday.  At the current rate though, I might have my house put together by the time the kids graduate from high school.

It's just slow...and I'm trying to exercise my patience.