Today marks exactly one month that we've owned our new home. One amazingly expensive month of crapping out $1000 bills like they were growing on our non-existent money trees.
Though as the boxes become fewer and the dust begins to settle, we are able to look around our new house and basque in the culmination of the adventures and sacrifices we've made for this nomadic lifestyle.
As a Foreign Service Family, we have the opportunity to lead one exciting life. Raising our kids overseas. Traveling to places that they will be reading about in history books. Building relationships that will last a lifetime.
We feel very blessed.
I have spent many months thinking about my experiences over the last year. Trying to find a way to articulate the challenges, as well as, the tribulations of our year apart. A recap of sorts where I tie it all up with a pretty little bow.
But the reality is ... my words fail me.
When your spouse leaves on an unaccompanied tour you go into it with the Guerrilla Mindset, "Get in. Do your tour. And get out."
By the first R&R you're angrily saying, "Never again".
As you hit the half-way point. The holiday season. Your second R&R you lighten up a bit and admit that, "You can suck it up for a year."
And when you see each other on your final R&R, with less than three months to go, the tears are few and the excitement high. You realize that, dare I say it, "It wasn't as bad as you anticipated."
If I've learned anything at all in my years as a Foreign Service spouse, there are no absolutes. And what you once said you'd NEVER do ... you find yourself doing not once, but twice.
As many of you know, Matthew's job here in Washington D.C. is a one-year tour.
After thoughtful deliberation, starting way back at the beginning of this year, we have made the decision for Matt to do one more unaccompanied tour.
Next summer, Matt will be heading out once again to serve as of the Regional Security Officers in Afghanistan.
And the kids and I will be staying here. Remaining here in our new house. With our support system already in place.
Lest people criticize, I understand this is not for everybody. We are making a calculated investment for our future, and what it means to Matt career, as well as our financial security. It's not that he has a compelling desire to be separated from his family. It's obviously a gamble. But, we're optimistic that it's going to pay off down the road.
We have decided to refrain from telling the kids for awhile due to their inability to comprehend time. For now we'll just enjoy the year. And the moments we share together while making plans for our future...