March 2015, days (or perhaps even the day) after Tm’s return from his 7 month+ deployment. We went for a walk to the river and took some pictures. It was cold and Evie chowed down on raspberries and pirate booty. She wore the hat I made her.
February is such a great month for countdowns. Especially coming out of the longest damn month of the year no matter what anyone says, January (31 days of post-holiday dreariness, no thank you). Getting to February was one of the last big goals of this deployment, and I can’t believe we’ve made it! I can’t give details of his return due to OPSEC and what we’ll call military flexibility, but I can say that it’s coming fairly soon. Soon enough for us to get excited, but far enough away that we’re still counting down. We’re to the point where when people say ‘it will be over before you know it!’ I no longer want to punch them in the face.
This deployment has been full of artificial targets I’ve imposed to try and get us through and make the time go more quickly. Just make it to fall. Just make it through our Missouri trip. Just make it through the holidays. Just make it through long, cold, gray January. With each one, I trick my brain into thinking that if we just make it through xyz, the rest will fly by (this is a damn lie, but it seems to work). Except now that we’re in February, it finally feels true.
I’m so proud of how we’ve been managing, but honestly the previous months have felt like we’re just keeping our heads down and putting one foot in front of the other every day. Making sure we’re both fed and watered every night is a remarkable feat. We bathe once in a while. Sometimes when I get a wild hair, I take out the trash or go grocery shopping. Really we’re just keeping it together until my buddy comes back.
Now that it’s February, we’re still in a holding pattern, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can start quietly making plans for family dinners and weekend getaways and catching up on Downton Abbey. It will be a long, slow process of readjustment, but we’re so ready to get started.
I seem to be averaging about two posts per year. As I was reading through the past couple of years’ worth of writing and pictures, I expected to cringe as you do when reading an old journal. But instead, I loved it. I love seeing the things I felt strongly enough about to share, and what I had to say about them.
2014 Wrap Up
This year has been a blur of hard things and wonderful things and some more hard things. When we moved out to Oregon over three years ago now, the fear in the back of my mind which would probably never happen but wouldn’t it suck? was that we would move across the country away from everyone who loved us, we would have a kid, and then Tim would get deployed. Leaving me with said kid and no support. You can see where this is going.
Tim has been away more than he’s been home this year. It has been, as my ever-so-tactful grandmother would have put it, an experience.
One of the hardest things has been finding a balance between trying to stay positive and holding space for myself to feel what I feel. Enjoying the moment while acknowledging that the moment is HARD. Not wanting to wish time away, but being ok with wishing time away once in a while. Basically, trying not to lose it.
Hat’s off to single parents everywhere (not that I call myself a single parent). Evie is all the things I want her to be – wicked smart, confident, feisty, outspoken, daring, assertive. It’s just that sometimes I don’t want her to be all those things at bath time when I’m spent and exhausted and she decides she wants to jump on all the bubbles but I can’t help and how dare I try to rinse her hair I’m a monster and did I mention her favorite beverage is warm bubbly bath water?
But then sometimes when I ask for a hug she will run at me and throw her arms around my neck and say “luh you so much, mama.” So it evens out.
We are fine, we are making it work. Evie is an amazing little person and watching her grow and learn blows me away daily. We have both made friends this year, and we’ve had fun and tried new things. We have traveled around Eugene, to the coast, Davis, Cincinnati, mid-Missouri. We love each other fiercely.
I’ve been inspired this year by many women I know only from afar through their words. These women bare their souls through their beautiful writing. I’m not ready to bare my soul, but I think I’m ready to bare just a little more. A little patch of shoulder skin, maybe. That means telling more stories, even if they’re not perfect (whatever that even means for me). Maybe digging into my drafts folder and brushing off the dust and hitting ‘publish’ on something. Remembering that writing and taking pictures and sharing on this blog make me happy, and making time for it.