Today I want to get real with you all. This life in Europe is a dream come true, yes. I have gotten to see and experience so many things I dreamed of, and so many more that I didn’t even know about before coming here. I feel personally blessed to have been able to live abroad for these nearly 4 years. But it is also a struggle every single day. My heart is breaking for Brock. He misses his daddy so much he cries for him saying between the tears “I want daddy to come home”. In many ways Brock is flourishing here, but as of lately has been regressing and I can only attribute it to his heartache. As a mother that kills me.
Fil has been gone quite a bit over these 4 years. Gratefully, nowhere dangerous, but away is still away. This latest 2 month mission has him on the night shift so Brock barely gets the chance to video call with him and it is taking its toll. So today we tried something new, hopefully it helps. I dug through the craft drawers and pulled out the supplies to make a calendar. Brock helped by putting one sticker on each calendar page. I gave him tons of stickers to choose from. He passed over the Batman, Cars & thumbs up stickers and only used the heart stickers. Are you crying yet?
So while yes, we make the best of our opportunity here, it is with great pain. I still owe you all a view of Alsace, France from this summer, but today I just couldn’t go there. I needed to put this down. You can see on the calendar that Daddy comes home in 22 days, just in time for Halloween. Shortly after that he will go back and we will have one final countdown calendar for his next return. I suppose after that our countdown will be for our days left in Europe. They are limited. No travel has been confirmed yet, but we will be flying to New Jersey in December to spend the holidays with family. I am adamant about that. Our expected travel date is very close to Christmas, and I was clear to Fil that Brock and I would fly ahead… Brock is at the perfect age for the magic of Christmas and I won’t let an Army move ruin that for him.
The next phase of our move we are still talking about. We are expecting that Fil will have to report to Alaska in February, and not expecting our household goods (aka everything we own that we don’t take on the plane with us) till Easter. – That is just a guess on my part, but when our household goods were packed on Halloween in Virginia we didn’t get them till Jan.9 in Germany so it’s an educated guess—So the question we are faced with is do the 3 of us go and live in a temporary setting (a hotel) during that time in the below zero temperatures, or do Brock and I stay in NJ until spring. It will be too cold to fly our dog Poppy to Alaska in February with us so if we were to stay in NJ that eliminates the need to find a temporary home for her.
Choosing to spend 3 months apart is something I feel like only military families would ever have to face. We get so used to being apart that we are actually willing to discuss the option. It is so hard to tell which choice is the right one. All I do know is that if we were moving in the Spring/Summer we wouldn’t even be considering it. I could go on and explain all the pros/cons to each decision but they are even. We shall see how it all plays out. For now I am focusing on throwing an epic Halloween party.
This year Brock is so excited he asks everyday if it’s Halloween yet, and if we can “make a Halloween”. So far we have made cheesecloth ghosts which are hanging in the dining room, mummy candle holders, and diet be damned pumpkin cookies. Our Halloween party will be just great I know it. But it also is probably the last party I will host with our German family, and that is also getting too real…
He is at the perfect age to absorb all the magic of holidays. All I can do is make this Halloween the best for him and to enjoy one of the last holidays with our German family. Speaking of magic, Brock and I had a little distraction at Disneyland Paris a couple weeks ago and it was amazing. We met so many characters, and went on ALL the rides. He begged to wait in the lines to meet the characters and I gladly obliged. He was just absolutely consumed with joy and wonder. He loved every second of being there, and I just felt lucky and blessed that I was able to treat him to it and share in the magic. This was our second trip there, so I won’t go into too many details, but I will say that this time we stayed in a Disney hotel with a special Marvel package and it was worth every extra cent. You can read my first blog about Disneyland Paris HERE, and you can view our photos HERE.
So yes, Europe has been a blessing, but don’t let that fool you. I don’t mean to complain, it’s just been one of those weeks. Sometimes I wonder how this has become my life but the thought is quickly turned off by the pride and love I feel for Fil. We live on a balance beam, we have incredible opportunities and adventures, and we also have heartache. It is just a fact of military life, and that’s ok. Personally, it helps to be real about it. So thanks for listening, and wish us luck with our quickly approaching epic move.
Hopefully in the next few days I will be feeling better, and ready to walk with you in Alsace—one of the most beautiful, storybook-like places I have experienced in Europe. For now I will leave you with a short video at the end of this blog to put you in the mood… On the way to Disneyland we stopped at one of my favorite monthly antique markets in Metz. I made some epic purchases and crossed a big one off of our wish list, a gramophone.
I purchased a travel version that tucks away into a hard suitcase, perfect for carrying out to a field for a lovely picnic. I picked though a box of disks and selected 11. A few rumba’s, a polka, and a handful of ones that I liked the French title of. It needed a little work, so I mailed it off to an expert in the UK (only took 3 days) and just received it back this morning. I am in heaven and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you are interested, the gramophone was produced in Belgium in the 1920/30’s and all the disks were made in France. (this is not the same video I posted on Facebook so if you liked that be sure to watch this longer one, and don’t mind Brock at the end, he stubbed his toe)
— à bientôt