For the past couple of months, we had been waiting to hear if the Army would be moving us again this summer. We’ve kept this information to ourselves for the most part because there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the potential move. Well – the wait is over. It’s official. Orders are in hand as of today – the Army is sending us back to the Washington D.C. area this summer. As in less than a month.
We were expecting to be in San Antonio for longer than one year so it is a little bit of a shock to be leaving so soon but we’re excited to be going back to the nation’s capital. Of all the places we’ve lived, it has felt the most like home, which is a rare feeling for many military families. We likely won’t be there this time around for longer than a year or two so we will be sure to soak up everything that we weren’t able to do during our previous stint there and revisit favorite spots.
Nats Park, 2013
Great Falls Park, 2014
Washington Monument, 2015
It’s been no secret that Texas isn’t my favorite place. I don’t hate it – the state has many lovely things to offer but our time here has only further proved that this Michigan-born, Arizona-raised, Pennsylvania-bred girl is not meant to live in the Lone Star state for the rest of her life. And that is okay.
So we’re moving. Again.
And we have less than 30 days to make it happen.
Let’s do this!
We’ve been in Georgia for the past week. Our plan all along was for the kids and I to spend as much of the summer away from Texas as possible visiting family and friends on the east coast with Clay flying back and forth in-between TDYs and such. A curveball was thrown our way (more on that later) so our plans were altered slightly but we still managed to get to the lake for the July 4th weekend.
Throughout my adolescence, I would watch reruns of Designing Women on Lifetime. The exploits of Julia Sugarbaker and Co. were my only tie to Georgia until my parents moved from mushroom capital of the world to the land of peaches during my senior year of college. While we always enjoy visiting my parents, this area is not home – it is simply where my parents live. In fact, I often feel like a stranger in a strange land while in the South, despite having spent four wonderful years at Clemson University.
Not that I am complaining – we always enjoy being on the lake when visiting my parents. We took a sunset cruise on the 4th and were able to watch fireworks on the water.
We took the kids kayaking and determined that they’re now officially old enough for us to break our personal kayaks out of storage and start taking kayaking trips as a family. Shortly after, we had to take Clay to the airport and finish the rest of our time in Georgia without our favorite guy.
We’ve spent time fishing off the dock.
We’ve shimmied across logs in the woods.
We’ve seen a Jimmy Buffet cover band perform in the local town square.
We’ve had early morning rides on the jet skis and paddle boat.
And we’ve spent countless hours in the pool.
So while I still may feel like a stranger in a strange land when visiting this part of the country, I’m thankful that my parents have a place where our kids can spend their days in swimsuits, be around extended family, and enjoy the outdoors. Because it’s summer.
When we learned that our first child was a boy, John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) was often on repeat in my head as we participated in all the soon-to-be-parents rituals in preparation for our son. There is one line in particular that has stood out since I first discovered The Beatles and their subsequent solo work at the age of 10 – “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon was certainly not the first to put such a sentiment into words (the phrase can be traced back to multiple works in the first half of the 20th century) and variations will continue to be seen on Pinterest and Facebook and heard through a variety of mediums.
Clay and I have long subscribed to the idea that the key to success is flexibility. While we have an extremely rough outline of what we’d like the next five-to-ten years to look like, we’re not married to these so-called plans and fully embrace what curveballs may come our way. And now that we’re entrenched in our thirties, we find ourselves balancing the responsibilities of middle-age and parenthood with a carefree-attitude that makes life a hell of a lot more fun. Which is why we probably find ourselves maxing our IRA contributions and enjoying (more often than not) a not-so-balanced dinner of queso and craft beer.I’ve been given a lot of thought lately to what I want out of life. Perhaps it’s because I’m watching those around me deal with the heartache and struggles of divorce, illness, and death. Or perhaps I’m becoming more comfortable with myself and embracing the woman I am and dismissing those who don’t ‘get’ me. Either way, taking advantage of precious time has never felt so urgent or necessary as it does today. And from what I am told, the feeling only intensifies with each passing year.
I don’t want to get lost in the minutiae – I’m terrified of drowning in the meaningless details that won’t matter one year/five years/ten years from now. I’m more aware than ever that tangible items rarely bring me lasting joy (my iPhone 7 plus is an exception – the camera is that amazing). I don’t want to obsess about countertops, square footage, matching appliances or whether my car has leather seats or not. I simply want to be around the people I love the most soaking in both the quiet and loud moments that will forever be woven into our story.
Additionally, I’ve learned over the years that I am at my best when I am not too comfortable. I love being in new situations that are slightly overwhelming at first. That’s probably why I don’t mind moving as often as we do at the whim of Uncle Sam. It’s okay to not want to settle down in one particular area and put down roots. We may feel that urge later on but until then, we’ll just see where the Army decides to send us and make the most of our time in an area that we likely wouldn’t choose to live ourselves. Sure – there are places we’ve liked more than others but we always leave with a deeper appreciation of a population that is far more complicated than perceived stereotypes.
Oh – and another thing that makes me happy? My husband in uniform. 🙂
So we will continue to happily not make many plans and embrace the unpredictability of this life. As long as we’re together, we can take on anything because we’re stronger together than apart. Add in our children and #teamhuffman is unstoppable. May we continue to laugh even when we want to cry and appreciate the incredible gift of experiencing life together. And may we find ourselves too busy embracing life instead of making plans.