So most people know the saying "Tell God your plans and watch him sit back and laugh." right? Well, at this point, add Army into that as well.
We're at reenlistment time, and a few months ago, Mark decided that he was ready to be done with the Army, finishing his contract this November. So we started that process (there are required classes for soldiers to take prior to ETS) and were working out as many details as we could this far out. We were excited (and terrified, I won't lie) and our families were excited that we'd be coming back home too.
Enter the Army (and God, too, really) when Mark finds out that he's come down on assignment. Location? Ft. Polk, LA. I just had to laugh. Seriously, we're the ball in a game of ping pong! The wrench in the works of this is that he now can't just quietly finish his contract. If he chose to decline the assignment (that requires a 2 year minimum reenlistment), his ETS date (last day in the Army) would be moved from November to July, which is when we would be moving if he accepted the assignment and reenlisted. We are NOT prepared to move up our move that quickly, because while his last day in the Army would be in July, he has terminal leave of about 60-70 days to take, so we'd be leaving in May! Um, that's right around the bloomin' corner! Talk about scary. So, we talked, weighed options, thought about it all, and he has decided that the best course for our family is to reenlist. I won't lie, I'm happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because even with as crazy as the government is, it's still a more stable financial situation than getting out would be. Mark used to love his job, then got a little burnt out, but is starting to get the love back, so I'm happy that he's happy at work (most of the time ;) ). I'm disappointed because I was REALLY looking forward to living in the same area as our family again. FaceTime is great, but it doesn't replace really being together. At least we HAVE FaceTime for the kids to get to know their extended family!
I do feel bad for Munchkin, as we had told her we were moving to Texas around her birthday (since she now knows when that is, and will proudly tell you!), and she is SO excited about it all. Bursting her little bubble by telling her that we're moving to Louisiana instead will be hard, but we're already making plans to make sure we get some quality time with the family.
One plan that hasn't changed is we are not taking the most direct route (again...) and we're snaking our way down the west coast with a little stop at a special place called Disneyland! Thanks to their generous military discount on tickets and hotel, we're making one of Munchkin's dreams come true and visiting the princess castle. Now, granted, the park she REALLY wants to go to is Walt Disney World in Florida, but that's just not in the cards! We'll get her there someday. There was even a Disneyland special on the travel channel a few weeks ago and she saw bits of that and got super excited--and so did Lil Man--Cars land anyone?!? So at least we have a super bright spot about halfway through the trip!
I know that July will be here before we know it and I've got the moving butterflies, but I know that in the end it will work out like it always has and we'll grow where we're planted again. I won't say I'm thrilled to be going back to Ft. Polk, but again, we'll make the best of it.