I'm a teacher who is following her husband where ever his career in the Air Force takes us. We've been through a 6 month seperation for training. We've made a move from the city to a small town in the middle of nowhere. We've adopted a new furbaby. I've found a new job. We've been through a deployment. Through all of this, we've learned to embrace change and all that it brings.
2009 was a challenging year full of ups and downs. It has definately been a year of growth for me. I know that God has made me a much stronger person as a result of all that we have been through. I also know His work is not over. Here's a recap of the year...
January 3-Sent Anthony back to Tech School in his new Trailblazer. Very sad to see him go.
March 19-Anthony graduated Tech School and got to come home. I couldn't be happier.
April 9-My last day teaching 2nd grade. I resigned early so that I could be with Anthony. After teaching that day, I drove to be with my husband.
April 15-We moved into our new home.
June 7-Sampson joined our family.
September 1-Hired to teach Kindergarten, a week after school started.
November 26-Our first Thanksgiving meal cooked at our house. Mom and dad came to visit. Mom might have done most of the cooking.
December 9-Found out Anthony would be deploying in May.
December 18-Sinus surgery #3.
December 24-Celebrated Christmas just the two of us. It was a white Christmas! We had a wonderful time! (blog on that to come later)
December 28-Finally able to go home and see both of our families.
I absolutely LOVE your cupcake courier. I can carry my cupcakes wherever I please, without a mess. But, it is because of you that I cannot decide on regular size red velvet cupcakes or minis. You see, I really want to make minis since after eating a big Christmas meal, most people are too full for a whole cupcake; however, I cannot carry minis in your courier. Now I have to make a decission. Do I make regular sized cupcakes and use my wonderful courier or do I make the minis like I want and deal with a mess?
As I stated a few days ago, Anthony and I will be away from our families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we have come up some our own traditions that we will do this year and I'm so proud of Anthony for doing his best to make me happy throughout the holidays. You see, usually our holiday looks something like this:
Christmas Eve day: Hanging out at my mom and dad's.
Christmas Eve night: Dinner and presents at my dad's mom's house with ALL of his siblings and their families. There are usually about 17 of us there.
Chrismtas Eve at midnight: Candlelight church service with my grandmother or best friend and her family (I have to alternate).
Christmas morning: Open Santa presents with my parents and brother.
Christmas Day: All of my mom's family comes over to my parents' for lunch, presents, and quality time. They usually spend the whole day there.
December 26: Chrismtas with Anthony's family
But this year, here's what we are doing:
Christmas Eve: Anthony comes home around 8, and goes back to sleep. When we get up, open presents.
Brunch at IHOP.
Begin smoking the ham and preparing the sides.
Lupper (Lunch/Supper) just the two of us.
Looking at Christmas lights.
Christmas Day: I think I'm taking food up to the fire station and we are all having a big lunch. But, I'm not sure because these guys have not made any plans.
December 28: Christmas with Anthony's Family
December 29-30: Christmas time with my family.
December 30-January 1: KIMMIE TIME!
So, even though it's not what I'm used too, I still have a lot to be excited about and I still get to see family.
I love when it is finally time to put up the Christmas tree. It's even more special now that I have my own tree and my own ornaments that I get to share with my husband. While it doesn't technically have a theme, I try to stick with red and white/silver ornaments. I also try to find ornaments that have meaning to us. Here are a few of my favorite ornaments:
This was a wedding present we recieved from my mentor teacher a couple years before. Her and her kids always picked out ornaments that had to do with the events of that particular year and she wanted to share the tradition with us.
This is an ornament my best friend Kimmie gave to me. We had many adventures that included wines and wine testing. She found this ornament and thought of me.
Since Anthony LOVES golf and every present he asked for was golf related, I found it only neccesary to get this ornament when I was it.
Things always seem to change with the military. As a firefighter, Anthony works 24 on 24 off, with 72 off in a row every two weeks. Basically, he works 72 hours a week. I've adapted to being home by myself 3 days and nights out of the week though and I think he's got used to working it. But it really stinks for holidays. Since fires don't take vacations, neither does he. And because he's only off 7:30am to 7:30am, we don't get to go home and visit families.
Well, that being said, I was real excited when they got an extra day off for Christmas. That meant, he had 72 hours off before Christmas (22-24th to be exact) and 72 hours off after Christmas. We could spend time with both families. And celebrate with my family during our tradition Christmas Eve dinner. I have been looking forward to it for so long. Well guess what....
Yup, that changed. Some guys got in trouble and they took away their extra day that they got. So, I'm kind of really bummed. I know it's military, and that's how it goes, but ugh! I was fine when I thought I was going to miss it BEFORE you gave us an extra day. But then you got me so excited. Now, I'm so bummed. I don't get how punishing everyone is going to make a difference. It's always the same guys that make the bad choices. Everyone lost their time off. Except the higher up guys, those that are in charge and responsible for other guys! How is my husband supposed to keep these guys from drinking and driving? They already have a number to call to get a ride if you can't drive.
We're going to make the best of it. Atleast we're trying to. What are some things you and your husband do when you can't go be with your family for Christmas?
I was inspired by Kimmie to create special treats for people at work to say thank you for all they do, both for me and for the kids. It took me a while, but I decided on chocolate covered pretzels, white chocolate dipped peppermint sticks, and Christmas tree spritz cookies. Here's how each turned out...
The Chcolate Covered Pretzels
The White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Sticks (an idea I got from Kimmie)
And Christmas Tree Spritz Cookies (Another idea from Kimmie, she used to always make these for me)
Some were gifts by themselves and some I put together in a cute bag or box. I also made some extras for our team Christmas party tomorrow night! I can't wait to share them with everyone tomorrow!
Thank you all for your kind words, support and prayers. I honestly can feel the prayers working. I feel much more at peace about the situation and trust that God will get me through it. I am so glad that I have found so many military wife bloggers that can help me along the way.
I'm very lucky that he will only be gone 4 months. Two and a half of those months will be my summer vacation. I plan to spend most of that time at my parents and do some traveling and catching up with friends. I've decided to try not to think aboout it over the next few months. We have until May together so we can start worrying about things and figuring things out in the spring.
So, Wednesday didn't go well either. It got MUCH worse. We got word today that Anthony will be deploying in May. I know that is part of being a military wife. It's the part I've feared the most. Please pray for us. Pray for peace and strength.
Okay, not really. But that's what Alexander always said when he had a bad day.
I'm having a bad week. I'll recap for you and then I'll move past it all and hope for a happy humpday.
1. Couldn't find my keys for my classroom yesterday. So I was locked out.
2. Stepped on my bag in the floor in my classroom. Rolled my ankle. Fell to the ground. And did something funny to my knee.
3. Drove home from working in freezing drizzle. Yuck!
4. Today, Frankie got into the pantry and found Hershey Kisses. He ate a BUNCH! Half of the package was missing. He only weighs 10 pounds. He got sick.
5. Frankie hid the kisses around the house for later. Sam found them. He too got sick.
6. Anthony had to clean it all up and wasn't happy with me for leaving the pantry door open and the chocolate on the bottom.
7. I think I have pink eye or some other eye infection. My eye hurts. And looks horrible.
8. My favorite teacher across the hall is sick. I sure miss her.
9. My kids are going CRAZY with indoor recess. I wish it would be warm in dry for just a few days.
10. A mother told me she was upset because her son told her that he was getting beat up at school. And I never called her to talk to her about it. By the way, he's twice the size (literally) of most of my kids.
11. I found out my surgery is scheduled for 8am and I have to be there at 7. Too bad Anthony doesn't get home from work until 8.
Okay, pity party is over. Tomorrow is a new day. And only 7 more work days until Christmas break (and surgery). Then I get to see my family and my Kimmie! And I'm so excited about all the Christmas parties coming up. I just love giving gifts!
My kids are CRAZY! First of all, on Tuesday I put up the tree, the tree was up in the school and it was officially December. While my kids have no clue when Christmas is they know it's coming. They come in every day and ask if today is Christmas. Then to top that off, we woke up yesterday to a blanket of snow. That made the kids really excited, but also meant no outdoor recess because it was too cold. So, they are going a bit stir crazy. Enough to really frustrate me.
But then...God reminds me they are just kids. He reminds me that I am a teacher because these kids need me. This morning I took in a snowman that I got last year that lights up and changes colors. Watching my kids when they saw it this morning was such a special moment. They all stopped and just stared in awe. My room was silenet. It was really neat to watch. Then the silence was broke and the craziness returned. But it was such a magical moment.