My husband is currently making his squishy “I am determined not to wake up yet face” while he reaches out and blindly puts his hand on my arm to make sure I’m still here beside him, he then lets out a sigh and falls back to sleep. We are FINALLY together, and although we are almost always within arms reach of each other, we are constantly reminding ourselves that the other one is there, to stay. I don’t have to fly home in a week, he is not about to be sent away somewhere. This is not Skype. We’re here. Together. This is permanent.
Let’s rewind (since I often get in trouble for not documenting important things like reunions) and I’ll tell you what we’ve been up to the past week, there were a few unexpected surprises.
SATURDAY (Dec 29)
4 am wake up call to catch my flight to Dallas. We’ve scheduled it so that J and I get into the same terminal, on the same airline, 15 minutes apart… so something is bound to mess this up.
As I’m putting on my coat and getting ready to leave my phone rings. Well my mom’s phone rings, I’d given it to her the night before, no Canadian phones in ‘Merca. J is on the other line, he should be somewhere over the Atlantic right now, this is not good. “Hey babe, my flights been delayed until tonight, I’ll get into Dallas tomorrow.”
My internal countdown flips back from 0 to 1. 1 more day.
I head to the airport and catch my first of three flights… Ottawa to Toronto.
And then my second …
which sat on the runway waiting to be de-iced for 2 hours before heading to Kansas City…
where there was still a little bit of snow… but much more of a warm looking brown. 🙂 From there I flew to Dallas…
J’s dad met me with a sign. 😀 I love him already. And for the record he knew what I looked like, we’ve talked on Skype and facebook a ton.
So Dad was there, but unfortunately my bag was not. The nice fellow at baggage claim explained it this way: “Did you go to Chicago?” No. “You’re bag did… it will be here in 5 hours.”
And it was. I am now the biggest fan of American Airlines. They were my favourite flight of the day (wifi on the plane!) and had the best customer service ever.
We all stayed in Dallas that night and waited to pick up J in the morning.
SUNDAY went kind of like this…
There were WAY more reunions than this but I don’t have any more pictures. J’s entire family, and best friend came to see us and later we got together with even more family at J’s aunt and uncles.
Favourite moment of the day #1: J sneaking up on me in the airport and kissing my face.
Favourite moment of the day #2: J and Brad (best friend) jumping up and down giddily because they were back together. (boys.)
MONDAY we got a new car!!!
J’s brother sold it to us. It’s our new baby, we love it and it makes us feel super fancy! J likes to show people how he can walk up to it and it unlocks, and he backs up as often as possible to show off the reverse camera on the display. We’re nerds.
Oh, we also got phones on Monday!! YAY. … and it was New Years… there were fireworks… I covered my ears.
TUESDAY-FRIDAY we’ve been doing a lot of hanging out this week. We’re staying at J’s mom’s where he grew up. He’s been showing me his town (which is basically the set of Friday Night Lights), and I’ve been checking things off my Texas must-do list.
BBQ … check.
Boots … check.
Camo … check.
Sunset pic … check.
BIG Texas sky ………….. le sigh …………. check.
What can I say… I love it here.
Now we’re getting into wedding week. so there will be much more to share! Get ready… its gonna be fun!!
10 weeks in Virginia was always on the books for J, but for me it is a pretty recent change of plans… as in plans which were changed last week. J will be living at Fort Lee during the week, but seeing him every weekend is way better then being in Florida by myself for 10 weeks. I couldn’t be happier about getting to see J more often and Virginia seems like it will be a much easier adjustment then moving directly to Florida (we can, after all, drive there from Canada in 1 day). So, when we got J’s orders (his paper work from the Army that tells us where we are to report next) we immediately started searching for an apartment.
Our criteria was fairly basic; safe, clean, close to amenities, laundry on site, until we got to … furnished. Since we will only be there 3 months, and can’t really move that much stuff across international borders pulling it behind our vehicle, we figure furnished is the best way to go. We compared extended stay hotels, but furnished apartments are way more affordable and give me things like… a kitchen with an oven. 🙂 Luckily, adding “furnished” greatly reduced our options and after a few long distance phone calls we made a decision.
Oh but just for fun, check out this apartment I found mid search.
Ok, so this is what we chose instead (it’s not furnished in picture because the furnished part was optional).
Isn’t it pretty!
It’s in an old warehouse, there are lots nearby since the town was big into Tobacco back in the day…. you don’t think it will smell like cigarettes do you? Ya you’re right, probably not.
Ok that’s it for now I’m praying our actual unit will have those huge windows!! Bed time – tomorrow is moving L’s stuff to storage day!! YAY lol goodnight.
Petersburg Virginia! We just signed the lease today for our short stay (sorry for the rhyme) at Fort Lee. I found this video while doing a little research on our new home town and it charmed me. I can’t wait to explore!!
Ok I’m starting to freak out now! My living room is strewn with half filled boxes, theres a cooking show on TV, a turkey in the oven (it was on sale I couldn’t resist), AND my husband is in this tiny little screen while I type this sorting though everything in his (soon to be departed) room in Germany.
But, for the moment, I’m going to try to focus long enough to fill everyone in on what is about to happen in our lives. There’s a lot so I’ve been trying to figure out how to break it down and here it is: Today will focus on the BIG PICTURE (it’s so big it needs all caps), then, in the next week and a half, I’ll break down each part with more details… deal? Deal.
Time out he’s doing some kind of air guitar thing now…
… and we’re back. (J is super distracting!)
Ok, BIG PICTURE time!
Stage 1: Preparation Now to December 23
I’ve finished work (yay) and packing is mostly done (unless you ask my mom). My little brother (who is no longer little – just how I differentiate between my lil bro and my big bro) is coming Friday to help me put everything in storage.
J’s stuff is being packed up tomorrow which means no more Skype until I see him in Texas!
Stage 2: CHRISTMAS!!! December 24 t0 26
I’m heading home for the holidays with Mom and my lil bro. We will have Christmas morning with both of my brothers and my big bro’s wife, plus mom of course. Then Nana & Papa’s Christmas that night. On Boxing Day (Canadian holiday & day after Christmas for all you ‘mercans out there) we have 2 more family Christmases before mom and I have to drive back to Ottawa. It’s a lot in 2 days but always worth it to spend time with family – especially when I’m about to move so far away from them!
J will be in Germany for Christmas 😦 but his step mom did hang up stockings for each of us in Texas anyway.
Stage 3: TEXAS December 29 to January 13
J and I found a way to get us both into DFW 15 minutes apart (in theory), and on the same airline too! We’re hoping this will make finding each other without cell phones easier… we will let you know how that goes.
We will be spending about a week and a half with J’s family and getting ready for our Texas wedding on January 12th.
Stage 4: Road Trip! January 13 to January 22
After getting a new vehicle in Texas we’re going to break it in by driving 1478 miles to Canada. Google maps says this should take about 22 hours so I think we can make it happen in 9 days.
Oh, we also need to stop in Toronto and Ottawa to pick up my things from storage/my uncle’s house before heading up north for the wedding.
Stage 5: Canada… in January January 23-27
We will arrive a few days before the wedding in order to help get everything ready and to acclimatize J. (I know he’s been in Germany so it’s close but… not quite the same) The wedding will be on January 26th, and then we need to leave immediately after breakfast the next day and drive 12 hours to…
Stage 6: Virginia January 28-April 22
What’s this? A new twist on our already staggeringly complicated explanation to the question “so where are you moving?” Yes that’s right, we will now both be spending 3 months in beautiful Petersburg, VA (more details to come for sure). The original plan was for J to go to VA for 10 weeks while I settled in in Florida, but now we’re both going! I’m excited because of the history of the area and the opportunity to discover the hidden gems in a new city, oh and to be closer to my husband… 🙂
Stage 7: Florida April 23-November ?
Finally! The last stage (for now) is Florida. I will be so happy to be somewhere long enough to unpack for a little while and get (somewhat) settled in. We will be at Eglin Air Force Base which is located in north west Florida, near Pensacola. And J assures me that, no, we will not be cheering for the Gators anytime soon. (We are officially Razorbacks fans).
Ok, time to go check my turkey. I promise more info on each stage and hope this will help clarify the madness that is the next 11 months of our lives.
I’m so excited to get back to blogging and keeping in touch with all y’all while we set off on this great adventure!
Ok it’s probably been more then 10 weeks since my last post, but that’s not what I’m talking about. My maid-of-honor Alyssa texted me the other day to remind me that there are only 10 weeks left until I see my handsome husband again!! Can you believe it!?
I have been counting down the months for a while now, and to be honest all I think about right now is wedding planning (there is a lot to do – who knew). 10 weeks sounds pretty good to me. That is until I was walking in to work yesterday and I realized something. 10 weeks until J comes home also means I only have 10 more weeks to live in Canada!
I hadn’t thought about it like that before and now I feel like I have so much (more) to do, and WAY so little time. I feel like I suddenly need to soak up as much Canadianness as possible before I move to a place that has bayous.
So now is your time to chime in; if you had only 10 weeks left in Canada, what would you do?
Big changes are abounding and I think I should start this post by thanking everyone who has supported my latest bout of crazy – you know who you are, and I love you all!
Now on to the BIG NEWS!!
The weddings are being moved to JANUARY!!!
It’s a big change. June/July was still so far away, and even when I did any planning, I felt like it was way to early to do anything serious. So, I just tried my best to pace myself. Not now! January is 4 months away and there is lots to be done; thus prompting the wedding part of my brain to suddenly put itself into overdrive.
Why the change?
Well, as everyone here knows, J is in the military and is currently stationed in Germany. You also know that we are planning to move to Florida, and that we planned the weddings next summer to happen after that move. If you’ve been reading long enough, or have ever known a soldier or their family, you know that nothing is ever certain when it comes to making plans. (See Trip Planning, Un-Planning, and Re-Planning: Army Life) And now I feel like I should make a flow chart for setting the dates for these weddings… its been a journey! Ok well maybe just a list of reasons then:
1. the weddings were while J would be training in one of the toughest army schools out there
2. we had no idea if he would be away for either weekend (just figured we’d hope and pray)
3. we recently found out J comes home a month and a half before school starts (HUGE SMILE!!!)
4. we will probably never have this much notice for that much time off EVER AGAIN
So I decided, in order to de-stress my husband about missing his own weddings, I would move them up to when we KNOW he can be there and can even help out with them.
My mom is also excited that I will be living with her right up to the weddings now so she gets to help with all the fun stuff!
This does mean that they will be even smaller, close family and friends affairs. More than they even were before, but we’re happy with that. Less people will be traveling between the two, but thats ok too. We are most excited to have more quality time to spend with the people we love (especially the ones we haven’t “met” yet)!
I did say my wedding brain is in over drive right? Here’s what I did yesterday after deciding to change the dates:
– decided on new dates with J
– contacted our venues/photographers to see if the new dates would work (they do)
– came up with winterized wedding plans (everything was going to be outside, and peach, that doesn’t really work in -40 weather)
– redesigned my save-the-date cards (drew new ones, scanned them, made em pretty & wintery)
– J started a list of all the songs we like for the wedding and even looked up what parts of a wedding need music …
J: we could play that song during the recessional
L: ya that works ….. how do you know what a recessional is? gasp! YOU GOOGLED!!
J: I googled.
(I love him!)
Oh and I also printed the save-the-date cards, website cards, envelopes, and redesigned the wedding website. J says I don’t need to do everything in 1 day… I chose to ignore him.
Kissing my husband is most definitely my absolute most favourite thing in the world. No question. So of course the very first thing I did when I entered the arrivals area walk straight into his arms and lay a big smooch on his handsome face!
Kinda like this. But, to be honest, this was 2 days later… and yes I was still kissing his face! Eeeeeee! So CUTE!
It was just 630 am Germany time so I was very happy to see a Starbucks directly across the street from the hotel, (and the menu was even in English… kind of). I was pretty wired and talking very loud for, well Europe, but mostly for 630 in the morning, so I went outside while J grabbed our drinks. Mmmmmm cold coffee beverage!
Luckily, the hotel…
yes, THAT hotel! 🙂 Luckily, it had a room available for us so we didn’t have to wait until 2pm to sleep. (Yes, I slept. I swear!) Ok stop giggling. I can hear you!
They had my favourite thing on the menu, flammkuchen (thin crispy pizza-ish). YUM!
The weather all weekend was beautiful. Perfect for wandering around and enjoying the sunshine! I even got a bit of a tan. So there losers… I did go outside! :p
Ps. you’re not losers… I love you all!
It was a great weekend! Ready for the recap? Ok here goes.
I got to the airport super early with my pretty bag and breakfast shake. When J and I were booking my tickets we didn’t know which name to use since my passport is still in my maiden name but the rest of my I.D. is in my married name. So we put both. Turns out using my maiden name works better because it matches my passport so they changed it for me and I was good to go.
I flew on a tiny little plane from Ottawa to Philadelphia. Where it turned out to be cloudy. I love flying into new places though and seeing the sights from the plane. Philly had lots of harbours full of busy ships, and we even flew over eagles stadium! I can’t wait for football season!
Ok enough with Philly, on to GERMANY!
After a long flight, I woke up to the most amazing sunrise!
And as I ate my breakfast… the european coast appeared.
Oh and guess what happened next?! I’ll give you a hint… it involves kissing in an airport! (shocking!) Ok more tomorrow!