Fort Hood to Fort Polk

Good morning!  I am up and ready for the day while the family gets five more minutes of sleep. I wanted to briefly journal our day in case I don’t end up finding time to write a full blog post about it.  First a picture of my husband loading our U-Haul. There is no way 7 people, a stroller, pack-n-play, and luggage-to-clothe-us-for-months could all fit in our vehicle.  We had a hitch installed on the van and rented a 4×8 covered trailer. It has been a dream! We have never traveled with so much room inside our van! I wish we had learned this trick earlier! Thanks to Matt for hauling HUNDREDS of pounds of our stuff to the car!

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Here’s a quick Army-wife trick that is applicable to all travel. Never go anywhere without a variety of Ziplock bags. To save space, pull them from their boxes and place them in labeled Gallon-sized bags. These these things hold everything from liquids that may spill to random legos I find just before check-out, to keeping socks easy to find in each person’s luggage.  While cleaning the house, I used a gallon-sized baggie to put dirty rags in so that they wouldn’t touch anything while being transported to the hotel.

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Our Pull-away-day was really hard. It was the first time doing so with teens and we all know that the friendships you make in your teen years are truly special. Some last forever, others don’t. But the friendships military kids make are different and deep and filled, from the moment they meet, with the knowledge that, before long, one or the other will be moving. It’s inevitable. And yet the bravery these kids display at making deep friendships in spite of the fact that they know how the story goes is a lesson we adults could learn.  I think Garth Brooks said it well:  “I could have missed the pain – But I’d have to miss the dance…”

Flipping through Instagram while Matt drove gave me insight into how much our kids will be missed by their friends. I’m painfully aware of how much my kids will miss their friends, and how much I will miss mine. The “see-ya-laters” their friends posted as farewells on Instagram were incredibly touching.

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Our hearts are all jumbled up.  Mine, in fact, is quite numb. I know the pain will hit at some point, probably once we’ve gotten the travel part of this adventure behind us, but part of me knows that if I felt the pain of leaving all of these people at once, I wouldn’t be able to function. I’m sort of the conductor of this adventure so I must be able to function. I was very smart, though, in planning this first leg. Because we were traveling east I included a very important stop for our first evening. Being able to see the Adamses was a salve on some pretty painful wounds. We had that to look forward to on the very day we had to leave other amazing friends. We laughed, talked, ate, watched the kids run around with Nerf guns, chased Anna and tried to keep her out of all the things: everyone picked up right where we left off. It was such a joy. I wonder if they know just what seeing them did for our  hearts? I honestly don’t think they can know!

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Your prayers for continued safety as we travel are coveted and appreciated.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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