Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry Christmas

Our first family Christmas picture <3

Merry Christmas!
Honestly, this has been the hardest Christmas. I’ve tried to stay positive and happy. For the most part it worked, but there was always that little nagging feeling in my heart. I love being around family, my only wish was that all of my family would be here. But this was our year to sacrifice and we have. I am already looking forward to next year. Our firsts for everything!
We were pretty spoiled this year. I can’t wait to finally get our own place again when I can use all of our new stuff and decorate just the way we want =]  It will be so much fun!
Brandon and I got to Skype on my Christmas Eve and his Christmas morning. I always LOVE to see him and hearing him. Unfortunately, everyone else seemed to have the same idea so his internet was a little patchy and it took quite a bit of calls to have a good conversation. In the end we got to open presents and it was great like it always is. We’ve been lucky with the amount that we get to communicate. I can’t imagine how much harder this deployment would be if I couldn’t see him and talk to him at least every other day.
We even took our first family Christmas picture… it took a while for us BOTH to get a good picture! But it worked out in the end. Even though it wasn’t the ideal first Christmas, it sure will be remembered. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What else is out there?

12:01 am marks the beginning of the Winter Solstice. But that's not the only thing happening tonight. No, no! A total lunar eclipse is also taking place tonight. In fact, a total lunar eclipse happening on the morning of the Winter Solstice is very very rare. The last time this took place was in 1638, the next time these two will coincide will be in 2094 (NASA). Needless to say, it's a sight worth staying up for. If only the clouds didn't get in the way. I went out about 12:30 to see what I could see. Unfortunately it wasn't much. We were able to catch a glimpse of a slowly disappearing moon but we weren't lucky enough to see the majestic red/orange colors that were supposed to be present. I decided to go out one more time at about 2 am just to see if anything had cleared and to my great surprise it did! The sky was super clear around the moon and I got to witness the full, glowing red moon in all its glory. I wasn't sure what to expect but it far exceeded what I had planned on. I've seen huge reddish harvest moons that sit on the tops of the mountains many times, each as breath taking as the last but this was different. This moon stood high in the sky for all to see. It glowed with a magnificence that I don't think I've seen anywhere before. Maybe its just because I've had a lot on my mind, and have been doing some thinking tonight but I was taken away with the beauty.
This rare happening that I witnessed tonight brings me into even more deep thinking. 
  • It makes me think of the wonder and the unknown out in space. 
  • I feel special to have witnessed this little piece of history. They say history is happening all around you but sometimes it's not that easy. Even though this isn't a great happening, one that will be retold in our children's children's children history books, in 2094 the news will report this same exact thing and say this hasn't been done since 2010. I plan on being able to turn to my grandchildren as we watch the red moon and tell them of the first time I saw this great happening. Not very many generations will be able to say they witnessed not one but TWO total lunar eclipses, both on Winter Solstice. 
  • It makes me feel so small. Though it also makes  me feel connected to people I don't know, to people all over the world. I'm not the only individual seeing this astronomical beauty. People everywhere are witnessing the same exact moon that I am. So while I turn my gaze star-ward and look out into the deep black depths of space and see the brilliance of the moon, I feel tiny, but knowing that I'm not alone give me the hope that even though I may be just one little person on one little planet in one galaxy of millions, I'll never be alone. 
So many thoughts are pinging around my head. I wish I had the words, the space, and the ability to reign them in and shape them into words that form sentences that flow into stories. What a great breath of fresh air would that be! But as I ponder how to do that , I've realized that maybe, if I found a way to paint the pictures in my mind with my words, I might just be left feeling empty. . I fear not having something inside to latch onto and to feel something is my own. Now I'm not sure which I would rather do, spill my words out onto paper, or bottle them up and savor the jumbled mess inside my head. 

I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to figure out what option eventually wins. Maybe I'll find another escape for the random jumbles but for now I think I will stay with letting them out slowly as more move in. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our December as of today

Wow the first of December has seemed to fall into a black hole somewhere. I can't find it anywhere! But really, its now December 17 and it feels like yesterday was the 1st. This month has been lots of busy and lots of down time.
Finals were this last week and my Fall semester is officially complete! I had a lot of fun working in the elementary and middle school and I feel like I've learned more this past semester than the whole rest of my college career! I am so very very thankful that I decided to teach elementary school. I love it and can't wait to finally get into my own classroom =]

Brandon is doing well. He started in the ER this past week and from what I hear he is liking it though it's long hours and boring a lot of the time. I think it is pretty special how many cool people he is meeting and I like hearing about the things they are doing over-seas for the soldiers. We get to talk a good amount which is probably my favorite part! I know i've said this before and i'll say it again, I LOVE skype and all its amazing abilities (except when it doesn't work)!!

 This Christmas season is a hard one for us.  We wish we could spend it together but everyone has to make some sacrifices, that's what keeps our country the greatest place on the earth! This year it's our turn to make some sacrifices. But we are trying to be positive and we are looking forward to next year.

Peace and Blessings from ours to yours <3

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another busy week has flown by. Not that i'm counting or anything but that makes 5 weeks that we've already put behind us. I find it kind of silly that everyone is talking and preparing for the "holiday madness" and I've come to find that the holidays are more of a relaxing break from the madness of school. Though this year I"m not looking forward to much of the holidays. I'm already looking forward to next year, they will be our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together, ever! I have begun to look at the holiday's for what they really are and should be. They are a time when family's should be pulled tighter. A time when we rejoice in the love we have for each other and the love we have for and get from God. He sent his son so that we might be saved. It might be that I've matured and grown up in the last couple of years and that could be because of the situations that have arose but holidays aren't just about present's and good food anymore, they are worth so much more. My one Christmas wish this year would be that my whole family was home and safe and together this Christmas season but I know even Santa's magic can't make that a reality. So I'm going to have to settle for the next best thing, skyping Christmas morning with Brandon. 

Lately we have gotten to skype a ton! It is always a blessing to see his face and his smile. I love it! There are honestly no words to describe how happy it's made me to be able to see him with my own two eyes and know that he is okay. Brandon had a great Friday night. President Obama and General Petraeus made a surprise visit to the Bagram base and gave a speech to the soldiers. Brandon even got to shake the presidents hand! He was so excited when he was telling me about it! He even snapped a couple of pictures! Besides this unexpected visit things have just been work and down time for him. He is still on a crazy sleep cycle and I hope (for his sake) that things calm down and he get's it back under control!

I finished up my practicum experience at the middle school and I really did enjoy teaching math to the 6th graders. But after having a 2nd grade experience and a 6th grade experience I think I will be headed back to the younger grades. They are just so much fun to be around! Besides that, I'm getting ready for the semester to wind down and that's about it!

God bless you!