We had our vow renewal last week. It was a beautiful ceremony. The church was filled with all those we love. It was hard to look at AJ during our vows, because I don't think you really understand what it is to be married until you have been married 10+ years. It is funny, because I had butterflies right before and seeing him in his white dress uniform pants made me stop in my tracks. I just love that man. I am so blessed to have him in my life. More pictures to come soon!
I realize I haven't been on in awhile. I have wanted to several times over the past few weeks. I really enjoyed the past month and it was great to have some real quality family time. Tomorrow, starts our new realty. AJ leaves to start his training for the deployment. We will get to see him two more times before he goes in country, but when he is home it will just be "vacation". He won't be a real part of our day to day lives for a year. It just hurts my heart. It has been awhile since an actual deployment, and I am not sure I am ready to feel that emptiness again.
Yesterday, he started pulling out the bags. I just sat and cried. I don't like for him to see me upset, but the realty set in. He has been good about packing when I was asleep or when I was doing something else. The bags are not all over the house and the boys are feeling pretty calm about it all. It does help that we have all the holiday hustle and bustle to keep us busy and really Christmas will be here before we know it.
Today is activation day. For the non military person, AJ is officially on active duty for the next 400 days. He will be with us for a few more weeks then will leave to start his training in CA. We are blessed to have him home for Christmas then two more weeks in February before he heads overseas. We have enjoyed having him home the past month working at the drill center and we will continue to enjoy him for a few more weeks. Time is going fast, but I am ready to get things rolling. We have been busily working on Vow Renewal plans and we will do that this weekend with a family blessing. We then will have Thanksgiving for my family in our new house this year. AJ is very excited to do this and can't wait. We just are enjoying having some "normalcy" this month before the storm hits again. I am falling into my new role of being at home more. It has been harder then I thought, but I am so glad that I can be more available for the boys. They sure keep me hopping.
I can not begin to explain the emotions I felt yesterday at my son's school Veteran's program. I had no idea I would be so emotional, but of course something set me off! The 6th grade class did a wonderful Power Point presentation about how we all complain about the things that go wrong here (meetings running late, a cold shower, not getting to go out to eat) and compared them to what soldiers go through. I guess when they talked about soldiers missing out on births of their children and first birthdays, it hit home.
Our whole family was asked to speak. Brayden wanted to stay with his class and sing and Graycen chimed in when he could. I was going to go first, but needed to regroup, so Keegan went. I am still so proud of him going up in front of the whole school without any notes. He just spoke from his heart. When I was sitting with him in the bleachers. I told him I wasn't sure what I was going to say. He said, " Just tell them how you feel." He is so wise beyond his years. He did pause for a minute and got emotional. He later played it off that it was his pause for effect.
AJ did his usual awesome job. I really think he would be a wonderful motivational speaker someday. He just knows how to work a room. The words just came to me as well. The holy spirit guided me and I did speak from my heart. I know we left many with wet eyes and we got many thanks for our sacrifices.
I am looking forward to predeployment family photos tomorrow and vow renewals next week. I also turn 33 this week. Crazy!
AJ and I finally got away for a long weekend! We went to Galena, IL and enjoyed the coziness of the quiet town. We ate and ate, had some of the best wine, enjoyed horseback riding, and finished the weekend with a couples massage. I was spoiled and it was so nice to just enjoy some quiet time with my Marine before all the craziness begins again.
I am trying to get into the swing of being a more stay at home Mom and trying to figure how where to start writing my book. I decided that it is time and this deployment, I will get it done. I have a lot to share and I can't wait.
I got my insurance claim settled for my diamond. I was able to do a little upgrade and can not wait for AJ to put the ring on my finger for our vow renewal! My dress comes in Thursday and everything is falling into place! I am beyond excited to marry my soul mate all over again! AJ was relieved that I get to keep my old setting and let me pick the diamond. That could have been dangerous!