Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Year in Review

In 9 days we will reach our 1 year mark since my husband left for deployment. You don't realize just how long a year really is until you're smack dab in it, waiting for your companion/partner to return. He has missed A LOT! I have learned A LOT! The number one thing I have learned is that if it came down to it, I know I can survive on my own. Single parenthood is not fun or easy, but I think I have succeeded. All 3 kids are still alive and relatively healthy. That is the goal, isn't it? The dog stays on his bed all day, but he seems to be ok. The yard has about 18 different grasses and weeds growing in it with a bunch of bare spots where the dirt shows through, but the kids still enjoy it. I continue to mow it every 1-2 weeks. The van smells like something died in it, and for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is, where it is, or how to get rid of it, but the oil is changed, the tires are full of air, the tank is full of gas, and from the outside, no one would know any better. The oven sets off the smoke alarm every time I bake something (and I don't burn the food!), but I have the speed of Super Woman when it comes to turning it off before the fire department is alerted. His side of the bed is covered in clean laundry, but I know exactly what articles of clothing are in that pile. Easy retrieval is essential in the morning rush to get dressed. In his absence, he has missed 3 1/2 months of Maddy wearing full casts on her legs, countless trips to Nashville to see her orthopedist, 7 months of her wearing a brace 23 hours a day, 1 1/2 months of her wearing the brace only while sleeping, several physical therapy appointments across town, her first birthday, and every celebratory milestone she has hit along the way. For Hunter he has missed a 4 hour trip to the ER to get 5 stitches in the head, countless ear infections, surgery to have his tonsils removed and tubes put in his ears (with a horribly painful recovery, I might add), numerous nightmares, his 3rd birthday,  impressive temper tantrums, and all of the potty training (which I thought would never be done! Go me!). For Tally he missed all of pre-k, riding the bus to and from school for the first time, learning how to read and write, 2 dance recitals, 3 loose teeth (so far!), her 5th birthday, and it appears that he will miss her very first day of kindergarten. During his absence I endured a painful abdominal hernia repair surgery with a lengthy recovery and was forced to hire a full time nanny for a month just to survive. I backed my van into the neighbor's parked car. A bird flew into our house. Squirrels took over the attic. I handled Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and the 4th of July without him. I conquered 2 LONG trips to NC to see family (thanks to the help of family who rode with me!). And he missed my [insert # here] birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary. As we enter the last week of our year without him, I cannot help but look back at everything we have accomplished and be proud. I could not have done it without the help of fabulous family, amazing friends, wonderful babysitters, and helpful neighbors. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. I can only hope that he fits back in without a hitch and does not feel like a stranger in his own home. One thing is for sure... we will welcome him back with open arms!