Thursday, January 17, 2013

To The Hubs...

Dear Hubs,

Six years ago we had just moved into our first apartment together.  You were 22 and I was 18.  We were just a couple of kids in love.  The next day you were off work, and we had an extra $93.  We decided to head to the County and get married.  We got up, tripped over boxes, dug out clothes, got Bones dressed, ate some cereal--most likely Fruity Pebbles--loaded up in the Blazer and we were off. 

The wait wasn't long once we got there.  The Justice had an incredibly thick Spanish accent and I couldn't understand a word she was saying.  I mumbled through what I thought were vows, and when she stopped talking I took it as my cue and just blurted out "I do".  We signed our paperwork, paid the county, and that was that.  We were legally married.  We went to the base, got me and Bones into the military systems, got my ID, and went to the beach.  I made Hamburger Helper for dinner. All in all, aside from the getting married thing it was a fairly normal day.

I know sometimes marriages get mundane.  Sort of stale.  Full of boring, normal days.  Cleaning, appointments, raising kids, taking out the trash, walking the dog, bills, dinners.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  When you're young and naive you think "love will get us through!"...but the truth of the matter is marriage is hard.  It takes work.  And not the 50/50 takes the 120/120 kind.  I'm blessed to have married someone who truly give it his all. 

I want to tell you something I probably don't say near often enough.  I LOVE being your wife.  I am amazingly blessed to share in your triumphs and fails.  I am proud to be your wife.  You're an incredibly selfless man, often sacrificing things you'd like so others can have more.  You're one of the kindest, most helpful people on the planet.  You're an incredible husband and a wonderful father. 

You've supported me through all my schemes, even when I know you think they're dumb.  You encouraged me to go to school, so I did.  For Medical Assisting. And teaching. And Paralegal. And Accounting.  You encouraged me to keep trying, and were okay with me quitting when we realized it truly wasn't my forte (passing out COLD in phlebotomy class, anyone?).  When I suggested making food from scratch, you looked terrified (what was it you used to say?  I could burn a pot of boiling water?) but encouraged me.  When I started making laundry detergent and other miscellaneous things, you encouraged me--aside from the time you thought I made mustard gas and you ran out of the house...hahaha!  You don't make me feel bad for getting fat, or owning a thousand unused workout programs which really gives me no excuse.  I'm a pretty terrible housekeeper and you seem to tolerate that well.  You have been supportive of homeschooling the kids (and even become somewhat of a homeschool advocate!), though you completely disagreed with it in the beginning.  You've let me grow, and find myself...and I appreciate that!

6 years isn't that long in the grand scheme of things...but we've accomplished a lot in that time.  We've moved 5 times.  We've lived in 3 states and 2 countries.  We had a baby.  We made an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking choice regarding our future family.  We found God again.  We bought a car (and paid off 2 cars!)...and 5 months later put it in storage to buy another car.  We've fought, a LOT.  We've made up a lot.  We've redecorated the house a few dozen times.  We've dealt with loss.  We've gotten through health scares, and marital problems, and familial problems.  You've forgiven me for some BIG mistakes.  We've gotten through a lot...  You are absolutely my rock.  I don't know how I'd get through my days without you.

When we first got married, many people told us we were too young.  That there was no way it would last.  A tiny piece of me believed them.  Look around us at this broken, shattered world.  It would be easy to throw in the towel and justify our quitting.  Know what though?  I'm thankful we got married so young!  We've grown up together.  We've grown into each other.  And in the end, God willing...we will have had more time together.  I can see us in 50 years in our rocking chairs on the porch...laughing about all the things that seem so important now.  You're worth fighting for Mister.  We may be young...well, I am anyway.  You're getting old!  ;)

I know our marriage isn't perfect, but it's ours.  I am so blessed to have this time with you.  I love you more each day...and I still get butterflies.

Love you most!  Happy Anniversary!  <3 p="p">

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ch-ch-changes (in which I ramble. A lot.) my usual fashion it's been MONTHS since I've blogged here.  Let me clear the dust and spiderwebs to sit for a spell.  :)

In August we were on a homeschool field trip when I got a phone call from The Hubs.  He had some news for me that he knew I was NOT going to like.  We had orders to move...which actually had me ecstatic (I loathed Wright Patt).  However, the orders were to move to Japan.  When he said that I busrt into tears. In front of about 30 kids, 10 moms, and a guy licking petrified dinosaur doo-doo...I absolutely lost it.  ((When we were first married I was adamant with The Hubs that I was absolutely not moving overseas.  Ever.  And if he ever got orders to Japan, it was not going to happen.  Japan was the LAST place on earth I wanted to move.)) 

Every time we had moved in the states we were given an abundance of time to prepare.  I know what to do during a CONUS move.  That's easy-peasy.  This was the first time we had ever received overseas orders.  I was positive that something was going to happen and they'd fall through, but I decided to go through the motions anyway.  I posted on Facebook to see if anyone knew what to do or had any advice for me.  Almost immediately I had answers and a lot of my fears were alleviated.  One new friend walked me through pretty much every step of the way... I don't know what I would have done without her.

The next couple months were an absolute whirlwind of activity.  At the beginning the military member only gets a RIP, which is like temporary orders.  They can't get actual orders until this HUGE checklist of things is accomplished.  You can't secure housing at your new base, schedule movers, or any of that important stuff until you have actual hard copy, in your hand orders.  We had medical clearances, figuring out shipments, selling a car, finding a new home for our dog, getting passports, and a million other things to do which we had never done before.  The kids were cleared with no problems, but mine took forever.  I am on Synthroid for my thyroid and that caused a few headaches, and hit a few snags due to seeking "mental" help when I was really stressed after having KK.  It eventually all sorted out though.  We finally had our medical clearing with the board at Wright Patt and they approved us and sent our stuff off to Misawa.  It took them a little bit, but we were finally cleared.

When you move stateside, you have one shipment.  What the movers leave behind, you can take yourself and it all works out.  With moving to Japan, we had to have 3 shipments...and we couldn't bring our car.  The brand new car we JUST bought in May.  Also, moving from our HUGE 2 stor- 3BR-2.5Bath-2 Car garage + storage shed-house in Ohio to a fairly small 3BR tower apartment-with NO storage in Japan was going to be quite the feat.  We went through everything.  EVRYTHING.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much JUNK we donated/threw away.  We searched forever for a buyer for our van and finally sold it for almost exactly what we needed to pay it off.

We got everything figured out for the shipments.  Had our unaccompanied baggage (ships ahead of you with some essentials) packed one week, and our household goods (everything else) and storage (everything you can't won't take with you) packed the next week.  Our house got very empty very fast!  There were several mishaps with the movers as well, but as with everything else it worked itself out.  We got our passports in the mail 2 days before we were scheduled to leave Dayton.  Then I got really sick and had to go to the doctor.  Turned out I had bronchitis.  The Hubs insited we pay to have someone clean the house (if you've never moved out of military housing, you're lucky!  That requirement list is NO joke!) for us.  I fought it at first, but he won in the end.

We signed out of our house and headed to the hotel on base.  We stayed there a few nights and headed out of Dayton as soon as The Hubs had outprocessed the base.  We were almost out of Dayton when we realized I had left the passports at the hotel that morning (Hey!  I've never had to worry about them before!  haha).  We had to turn around to get them and wound up staying another night in Dayton.  We finally got on the road and spent a month with family in Oklahoma.  The Hubs had to fly to CA for training and arrived back in OK the day before we had to head to ILL to drop our car off for storage.  He had a LONG weekend!

The furthest the kids and I have ever flown before (When Bones was 4 and KK was 4 months!) was from Tampa to Tulsa.  We had to get on the plane in St Louis MO and fly to Seattle WA (4 hours)...then wander around the airport for about 10 hours until our flight was ready to board at 6am...and board another plane in Seattle and fly straight to Misawa.  I am terrified of flying, and terrified of water.  Bones and KK kept asking me all sorts of questions about what to do if the plane crashed, which did nothing to help my fears!  We left Seattle around 730am Pacific time and landed in Misawa around 10am Japan time.  We were in the air for around 9/10 was a LONG flight.

So see, this time I had a good excuse for not updating!  :D

We've been here in Misawa for just over a month now, and had several adventures so far.  Can't wait to tell y'all about them!  For now though, konbanwa!