I don’t about you, Fellow Army Wife, but I always feel like deployments have their own seasons. You know, similar to the spring, summer, fall, winter speal, just in it’s own unique order.

There’s the predeployment season, when you’re getting yourself physically and emotionally ready for the long goodbye. As much as you want time to slow down so that you can enjoy that last bit of time together the crazy amount of stuff to do/get done makes time go that much faster and before you know it you’re watching your soldier march away from you and your heart literally feels like it’s been ripped in two. Then stomped on, for good measure.

Then there’s the He’s-Just-Left-And-I-Need-To-Keep-Busy season or phase, whatever you want to call it. Where your single aim is to stay so busy you don’t notice the extra space in your bed from the sheer exhaustion of it all. Where your calendar is filled to the brim with activities, events, get togethers, and all out craziness just so you can get used to a new normal. This is a necessary season because your soldier, on the other side of the world, is probably too busy, too tired, or unable to communicate right away. I always find that second season pretty hard to bear. Thank goodness for battle buddies, I say!

Then, of course, there’s the We’re-In-A-Routine-I-Can-Do-This-A-Year-Isn’t-To-Long-Right?! season. Where you’ve entered a nice routine, you’re keeping busy at a sane pace, instead of the frenzied pace from the prior season, and your new normal, well, begins to feel slightly normal, as abnormal as the whole thing kind of is. We’ve been lucky with this deployment in that we’ve had regular communication, which helps keep me centered, amongst other things.

Then there’s our current season… Pre-R&R season. Oh, the bliss of Rest and Relaxation. Two weeks of perpetual honeymooning, amongst other things. But pre-R&R, in my humble opinion, is horrid. You can’t help looking at the calendar. Those last few weeks before you get to meet him at an airport and say hello in front of a ton of strangers can be somewhat tortuous. Time can be a fickle thing. And during this particular season, sometimes it just plain mocks you, because as close as you are to being with the one you love, you still have so many days to go.

So that’s where we find ourselves of late. Of course, The Boy deals with this much better than I do. Other than occasionally asking how many more days-ish, he keeps busy from sun-up to sun-down and seems to be, thank God, dealing with this deployment like an old pro.

So, as we navigate through this next season expect us to stay a bit busier, because in my Deployment Rule book, the one in my head, staying busy equals sanity on so many levels. And it truly does help the time go by faster.

So, here is a recap of our day, in pictures:

We began the day by rushing to the Bronco Youth Center, about three minutes away, to check out a 4H mobile barn presentation. It was loads of fun and educational. As we thanked the presenter I told him that we had an awesome time (no exaggeration on my end, by the way). To which he laughed and replied that no one had ever said it was that. But it was.

Afterwards we played on the playground and then had a picnic under the trees, because Texas is hot and the ants were out and about.

We came home where I took a two hour nap. Bliss!

Afterwards, the kiddos played with paper while I got the ingredients for dinner ready.

Brooksy put together our meatloaf and Marilyn tackled the sauce and potato salad.

Then the kiddos played with more paper while I set up two art activities: Red, White, and Blue necklaces http://www.mommyteacher123.com/2010/06/redwhite-and-blue-necklaces.html  and 4th of July printmaking http://artwithmrssmith.blogspot.com/2010/06/4th-of-july-printmaking.html .

As a side note, the meatloaf was RIDICULOUS! Here’s the link for that because it was THAT GOOD! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/09/my-favorite-meatloaf/

We enjoyed an indoor picnic while watching a movie. And that, my dear friends, is what I call a good day 😉