I had to take a break from my PCS Purgatory posts. I will get back to that soon.
I am planning on changing my blog picture and design soon. It's time. The picture that is on my banner at the top of this blog page is years old! Years, can you believe that? I'm not sure what has been holding me back, but it's long overdue. So, this evening I was browsing through pictures, trying to find a new one or two to use in my header. I wasn't successful and didn't find anything that caught my eye. What I did find (yes, I really need to spend more time organizing my digital photos) was a bunch of other precious pictures. I found the picture that you see above in the banner of this page -- and all of the other pictures that were taken on that day.
These pictures were taken in the Fall of 2006. I can't believe they are almost three years old! They were taken by my good friend, Delphine. I was just getting to know her at the time. We volunteered together at our kids' school. She was artistic and had a good eye and was willing to come with me and my family (along with her awesome camera) and do a "photo shoot". I knew she would be able to translate my vision of my family photos into something wonderful.
This year, I wanted family photos that were different than our usual studio shots. And Delphine was so willing to help me out! You know, that's something that amazes me about military wives. We get to a new base. We don't know anyone. But we're willing to jump in, meet people, reach out our hands, open up our hearts, and do nice things for each other.
I was so very fortunate that during the four years that we lived in Montgomery -- while we were at Maxwell AFB -- that I was able to make so many great friends. Friends like Delphine.
I look at these pictures now and feel so blessed! Blessed that months after meeting me and my family, she was willing to tag along with us as we walked and talked, as we goofed around and spent family time...willing to document it. Our lives. Us being us.
These pictures are some of my most favorite and treasured. And looking at them not only makes me miss the south, that base, the city of Montgomery...
but it makes me miss so much more.
I loved where I was at in my life in Montgomery. I had a wonderful group of friends that uplifted me and helped me to grow! I had a supportive and inspirational church family.
I liked how I had my house decorated and organized. I loved my yard. I enjoyed my neighbors. I loved the school the kids were going to and the friends they had. We loved the activities they were involved in...their swim team, their scout troop, their ball league.
So, lately, during this whole moving mess -- I've been irked by something. Something was said to me about this move that just crawled under my skin. It was said that this move is for "our convenience". I don't think anything else has gotten to me more then when I was told that.
Now, are we moving because of my husband's career; is this move going to be beneficial to him in that way? Why, yes, it is. It's that very career and sacrifices that we, military families make, that help to ensure freedoms...even for those people who think our life is convenient.
Will we get to Japan and have great experiences there? Well, I sure do hope so! Will we have wonderful opportunities and make new, wonderful friends? I'm sure we will! Because we have to. That's a part of this military life that we live. But, that doesn't mean that it's easy. It doesn't mean it's always by choice. And in my opinion, it is never "convenient".
It's not convenient to explain to your children why we have to constantly move on. They get it, they try to understand...and we try our best to continue to be a close-knit family so that reality isn't as hard for them to endure. But it's still not convenient.
Literally packing up a house in Alabama and moving it to Japan -- yeah, soooo not convenient. The logistics of what to take, what to leave, what to give away...what to pack for the plane, how to even get all of us (kids, dog, 12 pieces of luggage) on the plane. Yep, you got it, not convenient.
But here's the thing. Even though it's not convenient, we do it willingly. With an adventurous spirit and an eager attitude. Because we are optimistic and we try to make the best of the opportunities (good, bad, or ugly) that this military life throws our way. How else would we handle it? Kicking and screaming the whole way because Japan isn't where we wanted to go? Nope. Because that wouldn't do anybody any good -- we have to go to Japan. So we make the decision to do it willingly. However, willingly is different than convenient.
Saying those goodbyes to our church, neighbors, classmates and teachers, sports teams, scout troops, and all the good friends we made? Good friends like Delphine? I'd say that is by far the most difficult thing about the military way of life. Because goodbye's are not convenient.