Flash back to two years ago - a week after we arrived back from our big Family Reunion out west Daniel was called up by the Army Reserves with only 6 weeks notice. We survived being apart and I survived giving childbirth without him and dealing with a newborn on my own.
DEJA VU!! This time it has been a month since we returned from our big Reunion vacation. Daniel was called Monday evening. He is being deployed October 1st, back to Iraq where he will join the 345th Combat Support Hospital for a 3 month tour. We expect his return somewhere around the 10th of January.
It is certainly NOT ideal but I KNOW this time will be better than the last. For one, I'm not pregnant and I won't have a newborn. Two, my parents will be living with us from October 3rd until they leave on their mission on Nov. 10th. That should make the first month fly by although it will make it that much harder to say goodbye to them. Third, I have Emily and Jeremy nearby and they are super helpful.
I'm sad that we'll miss so many holidays - Halloween, Piper's birthday (that's 2 out of 3 now)Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years but I'm glad that I don't have kids in sports this season. I'm glad the kids will be in school and we'll be on a schedule. Holidays do make the time pass quicker - don't they?... I hope.
The thing I think will be the hardest will be Sunday mornings. We have church at 8:30 am. Right now I usually get my shower and do my hair and make-up while Dan wakes the kids up and makes them fried eggs. Then when I'm ready we get the girls dressed and run out the door (the boys can do themselves luckily). I'm not sure the kids will be getting fried eggs any longer and with my new calling as Primary President - I think Sundays will be really hard!!!
The thing I am happiest about is that Dan will do all his studying for the upcoming board examination in Iraq. It was awful last year when he studied ALL the time. It was hard because he was in the house (basement) or at the hospital library and yet we NEVER saw him and I couldn't count on his help with anything. I hope he comes home so well studied that he doesn't have much left to look over before the mid-Febuary test. The bad thing is that he won't be able to take any more review courses, which he had planned for Nov, so he's studying all on his own.
If any of you want to update your family photos for his "Family" album or send him a new note to take along - he would welcome that. Please keep him and his safety in your prayers until his safe arrival home. You could keep the rest of us in your prayers as well :)