Welcome Home...Again

So it turns out that when your husband takes his carload of crap and then you bring your carload of crap and one of you deploys...2 carloads of crap become one.  Thankfully we had transported a lot of what we needed to store when we came to Kansas for Corbin's appointment with the surgeon in August, but that still left a lot of hubby's things that needed to be stored.  We were cram-packed into this truck this trip.  The last 2 days at the lakehouse, I resigned myself to having no semblance of order whatsoever and took on the mindset of, "GET IT IN THERE."

**Side note**Thanks to this mentality, when I let the 9-year-old be responsible to pack clothes, she forgot the pants...so we all looked like hobos in dirty pants the entire trip because I couldn't find the rest of our clothes.  Rockin' job, eh?

Our first stop was only an hour south of the lakehouse because it was Halloween and we wanted to Trick-or-Treat, so we used the opportunity to visit with a friend one last time.  The kids had a blast and I realized we need to do more "training" for Disney than I had previously expected.  I was WORN OUT after about 45 minutes in that busy mall.

The next day was a power-through day and landed us in Ohio.  That day was very hard emotionally, because as we were driving west toward where hubby was doing pre-deployment training, he was gearing up and eventually flying east.  We may or may not have had a hard time on the phone that day because of my generally crappy attitude.  He texted me sweetness before he got on a plane, though, and let me know we would probably not be able to have any contact for the next 2-4 days.  That day ended up okay because I called our hotel chain and explained the troubles we have with gluten, so they helped me find us a different hotel that would have better choices for us.

The next day was another power-through and we made it to St Louis, where we had the most terrible food experiences of the week.  We didn't even get to eat until 9:30pm (not for lack of trying!) Gluten-free living on the road has got to get easier.  I couldn't find a Super Target to save my life, even with my app!  But, literally the ENTIRE DAY we had skies like this:
Yesterday was our last car day.  We found a local Trader Joes and braved city driving to get some breakfast/lunch and snacks for the day.  It was very much worth the hassle.  We only had 5.5 hours of driving to do, and everyone was actually in really good spirits.  We stopped at the mail facility to pick up our mail, where I found a bunch of bills I wasn't expecting, but we also made it to Whole Foods to pick up the fixins for a simple homemade dinner.  I managed to unload most of the car without too many tears and fix dinner and we all settled in as best we could.
So for those of you wondering, it's actually so simple it's stupid...I brown butter and garlic in a pan while I bring chicken broth (or water) to a boil for noodles.  When it boils, add a bag of frozen or some fresh broccoli florets.  Let it come back to a boil and add the noodles (we found some brown rice & quinoa noodles at TJ's) cooking until al dente.  Drain the broth (or keep it, it's up to you) and add the browned butter.  We add some chicken, too.  It's pretty fast and easy and we all like it a lot with some salt and pepper.

The day ended on a good note with this to "come home" to.
We have lived in some of the very coolest places ever!

Today has been mixed.  This morning was awesome, as a couple of friends let us use their washer and dryer and even left me coffee (they *do* love me!)
This afternoon...not so much.  I had to go to the doctor for some physical issues I've been having lately and they *always* make the patients do the quick psych run down.  I *always* end up getting "sheeted" and having to answer a million questions about my feelings and thoughts and then I *always* have to be asked if I'm going to hurt myself (for the record, NO...I will not) and get referred to a specialist.  I would love to talk to a therapist, really...but the last time I tried the military psych he told me I was a rockstar and most people would have been drowning, so keep up the good work and let him know if I changed my mind about taking meds.  REALLY!?  So no, I don't feel so inclined to head back.

The real problem with the questionnaire is that it makes me realize how hard things ARE.  I mean, yeah, I know, I do live this life afterall, but to just lay it all out there and to score it is a big slap in the face.  I deal because I have to and I'm good at it by anyone's account.  I know how to handle pressure.  But to see it all on a piece of paper and face the reality of what the doctor is thinking when she looks at it is difficult.

By the time we finally got out of there and headed down for the labs she ordered (oh yeah...I was there for physical problems!  I had forgotten) the kids were just OVER it.  I was mad at them at the time, but I can't really blame them.  This is one of the hardest times of their lives, they just spent 3 days in a car and now they get to sit in doctors offices for hours?  Not so fun.  So I wasn't able to get the x-ray she ordered, but I did manage to get the blood drawn. 

On the way home I may have had a meltdown and it may have been pretty ugly.  I have since made up with the kids and we had a really great evening together full of lots of bonding, but something has to give.  I feel as if I'm under a tremendous pressure and I miss my husband desperately. I don't "fit" anywhere because he is deployed, yet he is a government contractor/retired military.  I want community, but I don't want to be social.  Everything seems very *hard* right now.

Per the suggestion of a good friend who talked me down off the "I'm the worst mother on earth" ledge, I am going to make a list of what I got done today.  And tomorrow we will take it one task at a time (please pray, Violet has her autism assessment tomorrow...it's going to be a very long, hard day) and if the kids eat take-out and go to bed without washed hair, as long as there were no mommy melt-downs, I will consider it a success.

Today was a success because:
  • I got to cuddle Corbin before the girls woke up
  • I managed to make breakfast (eggs) and coffee and get everyone dressed and ready to do laundry with minimal fussing
  • We did enough laundry to get us through the next few days
  • We made it to the doctor's office on time
  • I was able to get my blood drawn and UA done
  • I calmed down enough to make it home and called a friend
  • We went for a walk and talked to the property manager and saw lots of animals
  • We dropped daddy's stuff off at storage, repacked the entire thing and got out sheets because we found out today linens are not provided 
  • I actually saved the sheets (okay, so this happened months ago, but I was pretty stoked!  I was not looking forward to buying more)
  • We ate a hot, organic dinner at home(pre-made tamales from Whole Foods, OH.MY.YUM!)
  • The kids all got bathed and lotioned
  • We made the beds
  • We read a story
  • We talked nicely to each other all morning and all evening 
  • The kids went to bed happy and feeling loved
  • I wrote a blog post
We will accept and appreciate any and all prayers.  This is the life we chose and I would choose it again in a minute, but it is still hard and we still need support.  No matter whether you "sign up" to live apart for a year or your spouse leaves, it is still hard.  I would like to encourage everyone reading this to find someone who is living through something hard and just encourage them in some small way.  Offer a cup of coffee and an ear, send over a dinner, tell them the kids look happy or let them use the washing machine, hahaha!  It really doesn't take much to let a person know you SEE them and that they are not alone.  No matter the circumstances that brought them to the hard place, whether they "deserved" or "asked for" it, it's not less hard.  They will likely still struggle after you are finished with your act of kindness, but it may be the only thing that gives them courage to finish the day well.

So this turned into something I didn't intend for it to be, but there it is.  I hope you're having a good night and that you found some encouragement today.


Dawn Yoder said...

I love your honesty, Tara! I can completely relate. Yet, in spite of it all, you got a LOT accomplished, especially the important things like kids going to bed feeling loved ;) Keeping you in my prayers :)

Mary said...

"I want community, but I don't want to be social. "
I so understand this. And I don't know what to do about it. I mean the simple thing is just to say, "Quit being anti-social." lol But, it's just part of who I am. Or is that a lie? I believe a lot of lies too easily I think.