...The name of the blog, that is, but I'll get to that in a bit. I get the "blog-slacker" award for not updating in a month...but a big thank-you to all of you who consistently write in yours, because I love reading about/seeing your life unfold, even with all the miles between us!
So the month of October has been a busy one! Brian had his cumulative field exercise where they had to assault and take over a village. The allowed the wives to come watch and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. Lots of loud noises, simulation explosions of bombs, artillery shells, and mortars...pretty cool. Their company XO (executive officer) stayed with us on top of a building and explained everything to us; their movements, why they were doing what they were doing, and the final objective: to take the building we were standing on! And they succeeded :) Way to go Charlie Rock! Pictures are on Facebook if you want to see. We don't look so cute because we had to be at the buses at 5 AM, which means ponytail + no makeup = not cute. After spending about a week cleaning weapons, Brian and his classmates graduated last Thursday and finally got to put on their blue Infantry cord. Those pictures are also on Facebook...
On Oct. 14, I flew to Baltimore, Maryland to visit some of my best friends! These are girls I went through life/high school with and we've stayed close ever since. Katie lives and goes to school in Baltimore and they convienently had a half-marathon in the fall--perfection. I've always wanted to run a half-marathon in the fall! So Lydia, Sarah, and I flew up to Baltimore and we spent the weekend eating amazing food, running, and catching up, all while climbing 4 flights of stairs to get to Katie's apartment. After a half-marathon that's all on asphalt/concrete, 4 flights of stairs kills your quads/knees. It was such a fun trip and I want to do it again...now. We spent Saturday after the race at Inner Harbor, sitting on a pier and enjoying the beautiful day! Sarah and I ran the half-marathon together and it was perfect weather; about 70-75 degrees and a nice breeze! We even got a suntan from our running tops! We did deem that Baltimore had a terrible finish line...it was extremely chaotic and the race officials/policemen were not very helpful in terms of pointing you in the right direction! They should basically put us in charge. Duh. But it was an incredible, much-needed trip and it only made me miss them more!
October also (finally) brought around my substitute teacher confirmation. It only took 7 weeks and no updates, but hey, I'm finally allowed to be a sub for the schools on post-whoo hoo!
Auburn class is going well-still enjoying the content, classmates, and my teacher! My ESL classes are also going well; I usually have between 5-12 students each time and we've finally moved off of the verb "to be" and are into new and exciting things like the present progressive tense! (For non-grammarians, that's verbs ending in -ing...) They are truly great students and I really enjoy teaching them.
This past weekend we had a really great time hanging out with friends! Saturday morning Dana, Hannah, and I ran a "Cross Country 10K", and let me tell you, it was truly cross country style! The first 5K was not--easy, on grass/pavement, and we came across the clock at a pretty respectable time, considering I haven't run a 5K since high school! And then...the "cross-country" part started. The last 5K was basically all sand. Yes, loose, beach-like sand! And it was washed out, so you really had to watch your step. Needless to say, we had to slow down! Dana placed 4th in our age group and Hannah and I came in 7th and 8th! Pretty exciting! We went out for Mexican food afterwards which was incredible. That night we had them over as well as our friends Kristy and Kevin for football and a fire outside! The boys watched football while the girls ate dinner, made smores, and talked outside all night long! It was a great day!
Now onto our latest news...Brian was supposed to go to Ranger School this Sunday. Ranger School is a 61 day "school" designed in three phases: forest, mountain, and swamp. Each phase is 3 weeks long, and you can fail or be recycled (start the phase over) at basically any time. It's a comprehensive school to test leadership, physicality, tactical knowledge, and various other components while being under a large amount of stress. Ranger School students typically get about 1-2 hours of sleep a night (or none) and run on about 1-2 meals a day (or none). It is supposed to be worse than any combat situation you'll ever come across. Oh, and I don't see him except once, for 8 hours, during the entire 61 days. But we can write letters :)
Now, having said that, we have discovered that Brian is now not going to Ranger School on Sunday, which means that we're on orders to move to El Paso (Ft. Bliss)...next Wednesday. Ha! Talk about completely being caught off-guard! We knew that if he didn't get a Ranger School slot for October, then he would probably get one for January. We were led to believe that he'd most likely stay here, doing details and odd jobs for the holding company. We knew there was an ever-so-slight chance we could go to Bliss, but honestly, we both sort of dismissed it because A) we thought he'd be going to Ranger school, and B) because if he didn't go to Ranger school, we figured they keep us here. WRONG...So, hence how the blog title is coming true: we are PCS'ing (Permanent Change of Station) NEXT WEEK! Yes, I am still a little in shock/denial. I have really come to love Ft. Benning and I feel like we're are finally getting settled into a routine/commitments. We've traveled a lot the past 3 months so we've been out of town most weekends, but I was really excited about these upcoming months because I thought we would get into a more "normal" lifestyle. I've taken on some newer commitments (substitute teaching, and I also just started working with First Pres-Columbus- youth group 2 weeks ago) and I was excited about getting more involved within those areas. Just goes to show that your plan isn't always the plan that's going to happen! I've gotten some really wonderful encouragement from friends and family and that has made this so much easier--so thank you! It's not that I didn't expect this...I just didn't expect this until May! I think the hardest thing will be to leave my friends--it is amazing how quickly we have grown close over the past 4 months. I guess that's what you have to do though! Thankfully I get to take two of them to El Paso with me, since their husbands are also stationed there! So here goes to step 2 in this grand adventure...the Lord has reminded me, especially through the words of my friends, that his plan is sovereign and that it is also perfect; therefore while this may not make sense to us, there is a purpose behind it, even if we don't see it. These past few months have really been a struggle with trust and I feel like this is just another exercise in learning to trust fully and wholly in Him. But praise the Lord, because He is good! While I've struggled with trusting Him I've also seen firsthand the many blessing He's poured so lavishly upon us, and I know His faithfulness will remain, even in red, dry El Paso.
Speaking of El Paso...there is practically no grass. And the trees look kind of strange...But mom reminded me: I can decorate a cactus for Christmas. And that has always been a dream of mine. (Not really, but it's about to become one...)
Our mission this week: Keep our chin up, and pack some boxes!
It may be awhile before you hear from us...I mean, it only takes 23 hours and 24 minutes to get there!