Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday mornings don't have to be crazy

The boys have been obsessed with origami-particularly the paper game above^^
This morning before church, Ashton, Weston and Cooper spent some time folding different sizes and colors. 
Perfect Sunday morning activity! 
Nixon and I have been a bit off this weekend, so our Saturday was filled with movies, takeout and naps. Ashton had soccer practice in the morning but that was all that was on the agenda. 
Sunday morning I decided that instead of going to church un-well, or having everyone stay home, that I would send the healthy kids. Church is a 2 minute walk from our house, and I knew that they would be safe and taken care of at church alone. 
I made waffles for breakfast and the boys folded origami in their church clothes. We have 9:00 church but our morning wasn't hurried. 
Ashton helped Cooper with the scripture that he had in Primary (Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.). Weston had the prayer and all went smoothly for them. 
Ashton sent me this text as they were walking home. I was happy to hear that church was good! 
 I peered out the twins' bedroom window and saw 3 handsome boys rounding the corner. Stella ran out of the front door to greet her brothers and I was greeted with hugs and coloring pages from Primary. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Boys, brothers, friends.

What more could boys ask for than an empty lot full of rocks and dirt. I guess the fact that it is right across from our house makes it even better!
The boys played, explored, and excavated for over 2 hours yesterday afternoon. As the sun started to set, I took advantage of grabbing my camera for some more artistic shots.
I guess the better outcome of this story is that they all played together-siblings in their own tribe of imagination. No friends {though friends are always welcome!} just brothers on an adventure to dig to china, find a dinosaur bone and do it all before the sun went down. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

sick days and dinosaurs

This single parent thing is no joke. Luckily, A is almost 11 and is a great babysitter. He has his own cell phone and can stay home with kids when I need him to. 
W called me from school yesterday, his little voice cracking on the other end.
"Mom, I don't feel good".
I could tell he was down for the count so I grabbed my coat and headed to the school. 
When I picked him up, his little cheeks were bright red and he was leaning weakly on the office counter. 
He spent the rest of the day alternating throwing up for sleep and his energy was gone. 
The twins had a late practice so I gratefully left W with A and headed to basketball. 
It was a busy night seeing about a sick kid, showers and bedtime but we made it. 
As I climbed into bed that night, I was so thankful for the ages my kids are at. All independent when I need them to be, but they still need me for necessities. 
W is doing better this morning. He has taken it easy and hopefully is on the mend. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

So far...thoughts on this unaccompanied year.

This blog has been neglected to say the least! Instead of playing catch up (which seems overwhelming) I will just start now to update. I love this blog as a journal and something our kids can look back on. 

The weeks leading up to Tommy's departure in July were distracting to say the least. We said goodbye to Jakarta and left many friends, a school we adored, our nanny and driver who had become family, boarded a plane to fly across the world (with a 4 day stop in Tokyo!), moved into our house and shopped for our new life back in the States.

A car, furniture, phone plans were just a few of the things on our long list of repatriation. Our dog Stella was still in Indonesia awaiting her flight in early July (a headache that needs it's own post).

Soon, we found ourselves helping Tommy prepare himself for his upcoming, let's call it "adventure". Somehow, Tommy has always had the quality trait of not letting his stress and worries show. I don't know how he was able to help get us all set up and squared away-saving all of his checklists undone- and do it so wonderfully.

The days ticked away and Tommy's bags were packed, piles were made of stuff to ship to him and he was as prepared as he could have been to go.
The airport drop-off was as hard. The boys were in tears and Tommy and I tried to hide our own as to help comfort the boys. We sat in our car and watched Tommy's plane fly off into the sky, the boys hanging out of the sunroof frantically waving as if to get their dad's attention.

  I think both Tommy and I were fueled by adrenaline. A mixture of the unknown (and maybe somewhat naive) and new surroundings propelled us through the next few weeks. I registered the boys in a new school and visited the doctor and dentists. Tommy took on a new role at the embassy in Baghdad and was quickly brought up to speed on work there.

We happily welcomed weekends because that meant another week could be ticked off of our countdown. School, homework, sports, games, church and more helped us pass our days. Before we knew it, it was November! The month we got Tommy back. As a family we decided that instead of evenly breaking up the time in-between Tommy's visit,  we would do our longest time first and gradually decrease each stint away. Our first time with him away would be 17 weeks apart, our second 13, our third only 9 and the last stint away just a little more than 6 weeks.

During Tommy's visit, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving. We took the boys to California where we spent time at the beach and of course Disneyland. It was a great visit and we were able to reconnect as a family. Unfortunately for me, Tommy's next departure and time away was staring me in the face the whole visit. It was an impending ordeal that I knew would be harder than the first drop off. I knew that the holidays were coming and he would miss that time. I knew that after 3 straight weeks of having him around was just enough time to get used to him being there. I also knew what to expect and knew that role as a single parent was HARD. 

Once again, our time was up. We made the drive to the airport and sent Tommy off into the sky. This time we didn't watch him fly away. I cried the whole drive home. The lump in my throat was there for a long time. The next few days were slooooooow. Never has time felt so stagnant. We tried to gain back somewhat of our routine but faltered to find a rhythm.

I busied myself with Christmas decorating and shopping. The boys busied themselves with the amusement of the last few weeks of school before Christmas break. We were able to spend all of the break with my family and it was such a needed time. We were distracted by parties, toys, celebrations, movies, treats, games and laughter as we tried to forget that sadly this year, Tommy was in another country. I am so thankful for modern technology and the ability to FaceTime so often.

Now we are 6 weeks into his second time away (and 6 months total into this year!). We have 6 weeks until we get him here again! We are happy and healthy, and thankful for our experience this far. Happy that Tommy is doing so well in his position and proud that he is so good at his job. Although this year is hard, we are extremely thankful for all of our blessings. Before we know it, we will be living in Texas ALL TOGETHER!