Oh, hey there. Forgive me as I dust off the cobwebs for this blog of mine.
If you've been following along for any amount of time, you know a few things: I'm pregnant, hubby/daddy is away temporarily, and a whole lot of changes have occurred and are upon us. We're basically in an entire year of transition, both behind and before us.
DJ has officially been away for Basic Training with the US Army for 7 weeks, which means Nora and I hop on a plane and get to spend a couple days with him in just 3 weeks! A lot of people have been a little confused as to what our timeline is for being officially reunited, and honestly we are too ;) but the short answer is, either late November or early December. I'll break it all down:
DJ is currently in BCT (basic combat training) until the first week of July when he graduates, and we get to spend a few days with him out on the East Coast. During this time, our only communication has been through letters. We both receive each other's about a week or two after they're sent and only get them once a week. He was able to make two short calls thanks to his platoon winning a shooting competition, which was seriously the best day ever. After graduation I'll then drive him about 3 hours south to where he will spend the next 4 (or more) months at AIT (advanced individual training [job schooling]). During this time we will actually be able to communicate via phones (text, calls, FaceTime) when he's not training, which will be AMAZING.
When he gets to AIT, there's no for-sure time when he will receive his first duty station orders. It could be as soon as he arrives, a month into it, or right before he finishes. There's just no way of knowing. When he gets his first duty station orders, that's where the Army will move us. The location is what depends on our time of moving. The Army will pay for every bit of the moving process (apparently, they will even do the packing!), but only when there's orders. So, unless his orders arrive early in AIT and happen to be near where he will be, we likely won't be moving until right after baby number two is born. If his orders are going to be taking us somewhere far, or not near his AIT, then we will stay put until he's done. When he's done, he comes home for two weeks, just checking into his recruiters office. But basically just really good and long-overdue quality time together. Typically during/after these two weeks is when we would move, but I'll be really close to my due date. So it all just depends on when he's done (which depends on if he's able to begin his training immediately upon arrival... sometimes it's delayed like a month). It's a lot to take in. It's a whole lot to pray about.
How am I feeling about everything?
Oh gosh. I've asked DJ in a few letters how he's feeling; if he feels we made the right decision or if he regrets anything, and he's still very confident we did the right thing at the right time (and he's the one dealing with some seriously crazy stuff over there), so I am too. His main concern was our well-being. We've never had healthcare and we struggled so badly with living paycheck to paycheck. He's starting as an E1 so pay is certainly nothing great, but the other benefits are unmatched. Plus, my husband is doing what he's been wanting to do for as long as I've known him. We both knew he'd regret it one day if he never went for it. So I'm really proud to say he gets to live out his dream right now.
But just because we're confident we made the right decision in joining the military life, doesn't change that it's really hard right now. It doesn't change that I'm having to muster up strength daily that I literally didn't know I had. It doesn't change that being apart from each other SUUUUUCCKKKKKSSSSSS. But God didn't tell us it would be easy. No one did. We never went into it thinking it would be easy... but just because we made the choice, and we knew it would be hard, doesn't invalidate my feelings about having to solo-parent while growing another person and being apart from my husband. It's crazy hard.
I also never imagined my life to look this way. I honestly thought we'd be in that last apartment for a couple years. We both thought DJ would land a job with the State, and we'd settle in the area for quite a bit until we could afford to buy a house in our dream neighborhood. It's weird to think we're apart for the majority of this entire year. It's weird to think I'm a single mama, living in a tiny apartment... while pregnant... but my husband is across the country learning to serve and fight and do things I just never really imagined. It's all so crazy to me.
If I'm being honest, I'm often finding myself lost in my day, just trying to keep up. I miss being so close with the Lord and reading my bible and other books by habit, daily. You don't realize how much your spouse really does help until they're not there anymore. I don't have breaks... I'm not complaining, but going from having a very hands-on husband/father to doing literally every single thing myself (while pregnant)... it's seriously exhausting. My dishes pile up way faster than they used to, my trash doesn't get taken out as soon as it should, and I lay down in bed almost immediately after I put Nora down, just because I end up wiped out. I say all this to ask: where do you single mamas find that balance? I know you're out there. Or military-wife mamas. How do you do it all? I'm feeling lost and often feel like I'm falling short of patience, peace and health. Would love to hear your experiences and how you manage it all! I'm not type A at all, which doesn't help... haha. But I'd love some tips with not feeling like a failure at the end of each day when my kitchen is a disaster and the clothes *still aren't put away.
So much love to you all. Seriously. This is a hard journey to walk, and those who've gone before me, and are doing it now - sending you lots of hugs!