Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Big Day

I am calling it the Big Day because I honestly think I put more time and effort into planning for Gunnar's Infantry graduation than I did for our wedding. I planned every outfit, shoes, lip gloss to match perfectly. I got my hair cut, colored, nails painted, lost 30 pounds and bought super duper cute clothes. I was positively giddy to see him again! Of course it was 89 degrees and 120% humidity and I had to walk up and down hills and through Georgia mud to get to the Turning Blue ceremony but it was all SO WORTH IT! I felt like I was going on a first date again or something. The Turning Blue ceremony is the process in which the soldiers actually become part of the Infantry. There is a lot of Infantry pride with this group and it was actually amazing to see all of them in their spiffy dress uniforms. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a soldier in uniform!

We were able to spend the day together and then Gunnar had to stay in the barracks one last night. The following morning was the formal graduation ceremony at the National Infantry Museum. It was absolutely spectacular. Anyone that didn't get teary during the speeches had to have serious issues. I was really moved by a lot of the things they talked about but mostly the amazing history of the place and how intensely proud I was of Gunnar at that moment. After the ceremony we "hauled the mail" out of Georgia and drove north all day. It was fantastic to just be together again. We've always loved road trips together and this was no different.

The weekend was full of visiting family and celebrating Gus's birthday. We needed to get housing arranged and sent in all the necessary documents as early on Monday as we could. The house we requested had a waitlist of up to 4 weeks and our position on the waitlist was #29 out of 29. This meant that Gunnar would head down to North Carolina on his own and we would move down when the house becomes available.

I got a call on Wednesday that our house is ready and can we be there by 3pm Thursday (today). Ummm no. We arranged for Gunnar to go "move in" on Monday but the poor guy only has a roll of toilet paper and a pillow with him. Why is it that things either take way too long or happen so quickly that I can't possibly be ready in time??

Gunnar made it down to Fort Bragg today in just about 8.5 hours. And most likely he stopped for some reason every hour or at least every other hour. I thought it was a lot farther for some reason but all of the sudden 8.5 hours feels really manageable and not so much like it's the other end of the universe.

We don't have a moving date just yet. I am going to wait to see when Gunnar can get leave time and when I can round up some movers. I am excited to see Gunnar's pics of our new place though!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not cool Army...not cool

Well all fun in the sun has been canceled due to the new info that Gunnar actually only has SEVEN days of leave in between Fort Benning and Fort Bragg. Even though he is not required by his new unit to report for duty until October 23rd, his current unit only granted him seven days of leave. That actually includes graduation day (how day #1 of leave is also graduation day is beyond me) so Gunnar will be leaving for North Carolina mid next week.

I am incredibly disappointed. I had so many fun things planned for our weeks together before we had to move. We were going to go to Oktoberfest, spend our 4th wedding anniversary together, take the kids to the park, go out to a movie...the list goes on and on. Now the scenario has changed so drastically I am really having a hard time processing all of it.

We were planning to move to a house mid-October. Most of the homes have a waitlist and the month of leave would allow for us to move all together when a home becomes available. Instead, Gunnar will need to report for duty next Thursday, stay at some barracks or something similar and then we will move down when a house is ready for us. I thought this was going to be the end of our separation for a while but I was quite wrong. I really need to learn to roll with the punches better because it seems like we'll be getting punched. Often.

To add to our logistical nightmare, we only have one car. We sold Gunnar's late spring since there was really no point to store it all summer. Gunnar will need a car at Fort Bragg - the place is HUGE!!! So I may not have a car here until he can come back to get us.

We have a lot of things to jam into the few days that he will be home. I am driving down this Wednesday, spending the day with him on Thursday and leaving after the graduation ceremony on Friday morning. We are driving to Cincinnati-ish and staying somewhere there Friday night to get up early Saturday morning, drive straight through Columbus up to a big family picnic in the Cleveland area. Then we'll head back to Columbus Saturday afternoon and meet some friends for beers. Sheesh! If that's not enough activity, we are having Gus's 3rd birthday party the next day (Sunday) and having Gunnar's parents out for the day too. It's enough to make my head spin right now. Then we'll have just Monday and Tuesday and he'll be heading to Fort Bragg on Wednesday next week. This is so different from our plans to spend a day at the beach and a month hanging around Ohio.

I am so ready to head down South and pick Gunnar up.