Jason’s been home about six weeks now.
I think we’re settling back into normal. Well, what’s normal about it, anyway? We went from him never being home, to him being on a month’s worth of leave, so he’s home all the time. I far prefer the latter. So when Jason’s leave coincided with the kid’s winter break, we knew we had to get out.
We wanted somewhere peaceful, where we could relax and just have fun with the family… somewhere with…
So we chose the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Sure, it’s February, and winter, and slightly chilly. But when you’re stationed up at Fort Drum, by the time February comes around, you’re just ready to go anywhere that doesn’t require a snow shovel to get the mail. So we load up and head south.
Now generally, I love road trips. That’s actually where my best plot ideas come from. Jason drives, and my mind just wanders. It’s glorious. And for the first few hours, it’s all:
The kids are mellow with their movies/kindles/DS/anything to keep them quiet things, and our Little Miss happily naps away while mom and dad rock out to crazy 90’s tune in the front seat:
But then there’s rumbles from the back seat, the boys start at it with one another, and our road trip goes to:
And 12 total hours of driving later
We’re there. The wake up the next morning? Totally and completely worth it. I step out onto the deck, and fall head-over-heels in love with the Outer Banks.
That is seriously the view off our deck.
What next? Nothing. Everything. We spend our first day as lazy beach bums, and I watch our kids play.
And at breakfast time, Jason explains that real men cook.
And it’s serious business, this cooking of breakfast for mama.
And cook, they do.
The one crazy thing about the timing? Well, FULL MEASURES released five days before we left, which means I had to work a wee bit. So after I finish writing the post for USA Today (how cool is that to say?), I look over to see Jason playing go-fish with the boys.
We don’t just stay in all week, of course. We take the kids to Cape Hattaras, to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
And we find their inner swashbucklers. 😉
Because Every little
boy should get a chance
to be a pirate, right?
Our Princess Pumpkin gets in there too, but we’re not allowed to show you her face, so you’ll just have to imagine oodles of cuteness and a ounce of “why are you sticking me in here,” on her little face.
Of course we have to see the Cape Hattaras Light House, the tallest brick light house in North America.
Oh, and if you want to fall in love all over again? Just watch your husband fall for your newest addition. 😉 There’s something incredibly sexy about a hot guy with a baby. 😉
We take them to the seashore. And for about an hour…. they stop fighting.
And once we got back to the beach house? Well, we take them to the beach in our very own back yard.
We visit the aquarium on Roanoke, and our big Captain America lights up like a Christmas tree, explaining what was special about each fish. Apparently to make a moody ten year-old happy, you just need an aquarium. We’re looking at having one installed at the house. (totally kidding.)
We search for the lost colonists at Roanoke, where the boys realize that mama is just a bit of a history dork. Luckily, Jason is used to me hauling him random historical places. 😉
We take the kids to their first 3D movie. That 80’s lego guy? Totally my childhood.
We explore Kitty Hawk, where Jason celebrates his not-so-inner aviator, and the boys race up and down the first flight markers, beating Orville’s first flight time.
But what was it about for me? Just being with our family, together, in a place where we could enjoy being whole again. We actually did get a couple full family photos, but since Little Miss’ face is in them (of course), you’ll have to use your imagination. =) We spend our last day on the beach, together, soaking up the sun and the feeling of just… being.
Oh, and I realized just how heavy our little Iron Man has gotten. 😉
And you know what else we did? Amid the “Awh, YUCK!” comments from the peanut gallery? Oh yeah, a ton of THIS:
Because a 9 month-long deployment leaves you with a HUGE kiss void to be filled, and there’s nothing I miss more in a deployment than his kisses. Sigh.
So we left, we came home. And as we pulled out of the Outer Banks, well, Jason and I were both a little:
So we stopped and asked our little community manager if they had time shares to purchase (because we LOVE it there), and the answer. Sure… but you have to wait for someone to die for an ocean-front unit to come available for purchase.
Right. So we’ll pray that everyone who owns their weeks lives long and prosperous lives, and we’ll search out another community. But one thing is for sure: that peace we were looking for? We found it. We had a fabulous family vacation . We had each other. We’re in love with the Outer Banks, and found the place we want our kids to grow up vacationing at every year.
He’s been home 6 weeks. We’ve settled in, we’ve gotten out, and we’re ready for real life to kick in. Well, as crazy as real life keeps going around here. And as I sit here typing, he’s next to me, and that peace I feel on vacation? It’s here in this room because he’s my little slice of heaven, my zen.
Yeah, I could get used to this.