Friday, January 4, 2013

Two More Weeks With Daddy

Well, our last 2 week visit to Matt is coming to an end.  There were some amazing parts, and some not so great moments.  The not so great moments included a dragging week of the flu, complete with every unfortunate symptom.  Matt and the Panda were spared, thank God!

We arrived in FL and took a day to recover.  Then we had a great time at Universal Studios.  The Puppy was finally tall enough to ride most things, and the Penguin has become quite the brave roller coaster rider.

We had an amazing Christmas Eve with friends of Matt from work.  We were strangers to this family, but they had that amazing gift of hospitality that makes company feel so welcome.  They included us in their Christmas traditions and it was a wonderful night!  The kids got to do Christmas crackers, and pulled them apart and wore their crowns for dinner.  They even made our Christmas day special by sending us home with gifts of board games, which is just what we needed for fun in Matt's apartment.

We played with our big Christmas present, the Kinect, and our board games all day Christmas day.  Then, Christmas night, the illness began.  The Puppy went first, then the Penguin and I, and last the Bunny.  It was ugly.  As much as I feel bad that we spent most of our visit with Matt totally sick, I am also thankful that he was here.  The Puppy and I would have had a hysterical trip to the ER without sensible, calm dad.  Every time the Puppy woke up, I shoved the bucket in front of him.  The second night of illness (which was my 3rd night without sleep because the Panda had a night terror and then the Puppy got sick), the Puppy coughed over the bucket and when he was done, the bucket was filled with blood.  I started to freak out.  Adrenaline surged.  Matt came out, laughed at my heroic flight toward the hospital with "dying Puppy", and told me it was a nosebleed.  Then Matt and the Puppy watched me roll on the floor with inappropriate laughter.  The Puppy asked, "What's wrong with mommy?"  Matt just laughed and put him back to bed.  Probably didn't help that my fever had started....  :)

And so a week passed...  we had a nice day at Busch Gardens once all the fevers were gone.  The Penguin's new found love of serious coasters increased.  The boys and I were glad there are lots of animals to see at Busch Gardens.  We also visited Heritage Village yesterday, which is a settlement with interpreters about life here in central FL in the mid 1800's.  It was fun to see many old things- non-electric lawn mowers, washer/ringers, ice cream machines, ice boxes, carpet sweepers, stoves, etc.  The homes that are on site are beautiful.  The House of Seven Gables shows how the wealthy lived, and it is a mansion sized work of art.  The Log Cabin showed how the "middle class" lived- it belonged to a mom of 11 who became a midwife during the pre-Civil War and war time.  She ended up with 30 children to foster, since she took children whose mothers died giving birth.  The Penguin was thrilled that the interpreter here was spinning wool with a wheel.

As we leave for home tomorrow, I am SO glad that in 10 weeks, this deployment will be over.  I'm also glad that Matt feels like he has made a difference in the job he's doing and likes it.  I'm glad that the next time we see him, it will be at HOME!  (or maybe Norfolk... but still....)  I am really looking forward to another visit with our wonderful "family friends" in Jax.  For someone who didn't have any sisters, I have been blessed with so many amazing friends who are as good as sisters.

Here's what the great thing about the military life is.  Old friends who "get it".  Civilian old friends who also get it and are willing to walk through it with you and open their homes to you.  New friends who take in a family of strangers for Christmas and just bless them.  Nothing can make a deployment feel "worth it" to me- a year is too long to be apart, and it has been very hard for the kids.  These things make it special and bearable, though.

I am not looking forward to that drive.  But I can do it one last time.  I get home late Sunday night, and life starts full force on Monday.  I'm not sure I'm going to make it.  Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!

I also realize that being sick caused me to take almost no pictures of this visit.  :(


  1. Aw, I'm glad you are feeling better and got to spend time altogether again! I was married to a sailor before we had children. I can only imagine how difficult it can be at times. I'm sure you're looking forward to that homecoming! Happy New Year!

  2. Sorry to hear about the sickness. The nosebleed might have fooled me, too! And it's great to hear about how well your friends and acquaintances help out, giving you a wonderfully extended family.

  3. Sounds like a great visit even with illness. Everyone, including the Timmons, miss you all at TKD. See you soon.