Thursday, May 27, 2010

We're Off! ( ... almost)

The suitcases are almost packed (i.e.the clothes are piled on top of my bed).  The Van is ready to be loaded (i.e. stuffed with as many items from inside 57 that we can possibly fit into it ... and then we'll try to cram just a little more! I thought about taking a photo of it to post.  Do you remember that commercial where the baby is in his crib and the parents are getting ready to go somewhere and so they are taking everything out of the nursery to the point where the only remaining thing is the baby and the crib? Well, that is us times five.  It's crazy and a bit alarming and so I opted to leave the photo out:)!).  Yes, we are finishing getting ready and hoping to take off this afternoon for our annual trek to SC.
Below is Olivia from last years trek.  
I look at this photo and I am reminded of how much changes in just one year! 

 I dug up and email I sent out after our trip last year and decided to post it.  I guess you could say it was a blog entry without a blog:).  It is a great reminder to me of how God always provides perfectly and abundantly.  We were without Richard last year.  Thankful to have him this year.  Makes this trip all the more special!

As I write, I think of how experiencing life as an Army wife during wartime has really made me pause whenever this weekend comes around.  Although the saying can be cliche' and is overused at this point, my thoughts and my prayers really do go out to all of those military families who are without their hero this weekend.  It has been beyond difficult to have had Richard gone so much, but he has always returned, and I am thankful ... so. so thankful for that.

So if I would have had a blog last year, the below would have been the post.  
Blessings to all of you this weekend.  Enjoy the time off.  Enjoy the sales.  Enjoy the first days at your local pool!  But please remember we are still a nation at war.  Please remember to pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.  Pray for our leaders, and pray for peace.

Memorial Day 2009

The girls and I made our first trip without Richard to the annual Davenport Olympics this weekend.  We left Friday afternoon for a 3-3.5 hour drive to Richard's Dad's house in Campobello, SC.  It was not the easiest trying to finish some school, clean house, take care of little ones and pack all at the same time.  I almost backed out three times.  But after the last attempt to stay home, Patterson couldn't hold it in and started balling, so I sucked it up, got in my "Army of One" mode and off the 6 of us went.  After the first 2 hours we had only gone 40 miles.  Our bad start had not improved.  However, we made it and all of the sanity we lost earlier that day was quickly recovered when I drove up, opened the doors to the van and everyone but Olivia ran as fast as they could to hug dogs and people and play barefoot on the grass tennis court.  There is nothing like fresh country air, grass between your toes and lots of space to run to cure whatever ails you!  

The first trip Richard and I ever made together (15 years ago!!!) was here.  His dad had not yet built on this property, but I remember visiting it.  We've been through a lot of crazy times over the years, but this has always been a favorite escape for us.  With all of the variables, it has been a wonderful "constant."  It was emotional being there without him.  It was not a memory that I wanted to make.  In one of my irresponsible Army Wife moments I realized I was without my phone.  I had left it in the van and so I walked out to get it.  It was late and dark and even in the overcast night, the stars were countless.  I thought of Richard.  He never forgets to look at the stars.  I smiled to myself as I realized that he it was still night in Kuwait.  I was in SC in the country ... Richard, in the middle of the dessert (which he has said is like "being on the moon ... dusty, no trees ... sand and rocks everywhere you look").  I knew he had the night shift, so I knew he was awake too.  Both of us so far apart, but both of us under a starry sky.  I knew that he was noticing those stars, too!  Of course tears came to my eyes, but they were not only tears of sadness ... many were of joy and thankfulness for the many blessings God has given me.  I was thankful for Richard.  I was thankful for stars.  I was thankful for the tough times that make the good times even sweeter.  I was thankful for a God who not only has me in His hands, but who has picked me up ( I certainly wouldn't have climbed up there myself! ), kept me there and promises never to let me fall.  

I am thankful today for our wonderful country and for all of the men and women who have died in the name of America.  I am thankful for the families who loved them and who miss them everyday.  I am especially thoughtful this year of the countless wives just like me who are "holding down the fort" the best they can while their husbands are away.  I am appreciative of everyone else who surrounds these families and loves them like their own during this time.   

Hope you are all doing great!  

Cary and Bridget, thank you for this weekend!!  Uncle John and Aunt Judy, we love you SO MUCH.   Jason and Emily, you are so sweet and so blessed:).  Jennifer and Jaythan we missed you:(.  Adrienne and Toby, you are CRAZY with the training!  One day I'm gonna get that vacuum decal for my van and no Ironman decal will ever be able to compare:)!  You just wait!  Ha Ha Ha!!!  

Love you all!

To God be the Glory,

Mary Katharine 

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