I can't sleep. Another deployment is upon us. We knew well in advance that Mike was set to leave in the beginning of 2015, but not now. No, this one was a complete surprise. We went on for a couple of weeks as if nothing was different; as if no preparations needed to be made. As the time drew nearer and demands of his work took center stage, we decided it was time to make the "mental adjustment." We talked to the kids, cried, hugged, and then hugged some more. We reassured ourselves that "we have done this before and can do it again." But my voice felt a little shaky saying those words this time. Of course we can do it, but I knew this would be a tough one. Truth is, I didn't want to do this one. I felt like a child folding my arms wanting to petition these change of plans. It wouldn't do any good.
It's tough being the Mommy and having to be strong and encouraging for your children, but also being a wife knowing how deeply you're going to miss your other half.
We decided that since there was no getting around things, we should make plans for a mini-vacation and have some fun. We rented a cabin and headed to Callaway Gardens. We would spend Friday going to see the Fantasy In Lights and have our Thanksgiving there. Staying in cabins are probably our most favorite things to do when we want to get away.
The lights were fantastic, but the best part was being all bundled up in the back of Mike's truck, eating popcorn and drinking way to much hot chocolate!!
My little snuggle bugs.
Our handsome and selfless driver!
Saturday, Mike and all the kiddos did a ropes course. I loved, loved, loved watching everyone be so brave!
The little girls did the "saplings course." They had no idea what that meant, other than they got to wear cool gear.
Victoria was very precise and did awesome!
Ethan...well he was out to conquer the world with his speed.
Our evening was concluded with more hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows, and a family game of Quelf. If you have never played that game, I strongly recommend you purchase it. Truly, it's crazy fun and wickedly hilarious!
Sunday was going to be the grand finale of our trip...our Thanksgiving feast.
We had packed everything we needed to make all of our traditional favorites; pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, and of course the turkey!!
In our family, everyone pitches in and makes one dish. Since the kitchen was a bit smaller than ours at home, we took turns getting things put together.
Addie Pie made the macaroni and cheese...and you would never guess that she tasted it!! Silly girl.
Kaitlyn made our pumpkin pies, which were delicious!
Aaaaand our turkey. I've found that it is impossible for us to go on any type of vacation without having some type of unexpected adventure. This was no exception.
After heating up the oil, Mike discovered hot oil was dripping into the flames.
Yup, the valve was broken. Mike tried everything he could to fix it, but just couldn't safely do it.
I won't write down every single attempt that was made, I'll just go ahead and say...
after driving a total of 60 miles looking for another cooker/replacement valve, we decided it was best to pack up our seasoned bird and head home.