6 weeks ago, we were told we were moving to El Paso that week...well, that plan changed, and the date got moved back to mid-December, so I pretty much pushed the whole "moving issue" aside and went on with my merry life. Well, it is now mid-December. Annnd where did the last 6 weeks go? I'm not really sure, so I'm going to try and recap them to remind myself!
Let's start with some of life's constants...class at Auburn continued, and I went to my last college class ever last Wednesday-I was thrilled. Still waiting to hear if I have to take the final this week; keeping my fingers crossed that the answer is 'no'!
Dana, Anica, and I ran in the Soldier Half-Marathon here on post on Nov. 13-we had so much fun! It was unseasonably cold that morning (it only got out of the 70's last week!), and we couldn't find Anica, so Dana and I were literally the last people to start the race! We eventually found her though around mile 3, which was good! About 2 miles in, we had to run up this pretty steep, long hill. Well, even though we trained on hills, we weren't looking forward to running up this one! But we didn't dare to stop, because they put drill sargeants on the hill, who were yelling things like "Stay Motivated!" "Keep running!" "Do not stop!" as we ran up the hill. Dana and I died laughing and didn't stop running! It was hilarious. The race went by pretty fast; we clocked a fast few hours, running about 7 miles in the first hour, which was awesome! We slowed down a bit the last 6, bringing us in to finish around 2:03--we were happy about that! Somehow during these races you get to about mile 7 or 8, and you start to think, "Wait, I'm at mile 8?! I've run 8 miles already?! This is crazy!" But they are so much fun and it's so nice to have people to run with! We talked and laughed the whole time!
After the race, I came home and showered off because Lindsay and Allen came up to visit for the day! I made sure to make up the calories I burned off that day by pigging out on tailgate food while watching the MSU/Alabama game! (I think...can't remember if that's who we played that weekend...) We showed Linds and Allen around Benning and had such a great time catching up with them. I'm going to miss having them so close to us when we get out to Bliss!
The next weekend, we trekked over to Starkville for our last home game for who knows how long! We had so much fun; almost all of the old crew was there! Allen and Lindsay, Matt and Leigh, Paul, Mark and Caroline, and all the younger siblings! We had a blast tailgating, catching up, and of course, getting very little sleep. It was such an exciting game, even though we lost! I lost my voice I screamed so much during the game!
After coming back from Starkville, Brian and I stayed in Benning until Wednesday (Brian had to work) and got home Wednesday night. We stayed with my family on Wednesay (my mom's birthday!) and Thursday night and with his family on Friday and Saturday night. It was so wonderful to go home and to get to see both families; I really enjoyed that. We caught up with family and a lot of old friends, which was such a great uplift for us! And we managed not to overeat on Thanksgiving...amazing, since we ate two Thanksgiving dinners! We played a lot of games, saw some movies, and went hiking as well as knocked out some Christmas shopping, which was a plus! But no Black Friday for me...slept in instead :)
Things started to wind down after Thanksgiving; my class finished up, and I'm almost finished with ESL classes. Our last teaching day is Thursday, and on Monday we're having a Christmas party, which I think will be fun! I did do quite a bit of subbing the week before Thanksgiving and had quite a few interesting experiences...did I mention I had two kids named Sean Paul and Shakira? Yeah, it was sort of difficult to call them that all day without smiling to myself...poor kids. Imagine having that name for your whole life...
Family related news: Clay and Lindsay have made some great progress on the wedding and I can't wait for it to get here! Linds picked some gorgeous dresses, from none other than my favorite J.Crew--and they're maroon! Emily got accepted into a summer abroad program at Clemson and is now going to INDIA this summer! I am jealous! And finally, Paige and Eric made the Huntsville Times with their epic deer hunt over Thanksgiving break! Paige came home with 3--she beat all the boys!
This past Thursday-Saturday, the Kisers and Arants came to visit us! Nathan is home on R&R from Afghanistan, and they wanted to get together while he was home. They've been in Mississippi so they drove over on Thursday morning to come see us. We had a great time together catching up, showing Shellaine around Benning and where Nathan lived while he was here for BOLC, watching football, eating, and relaxing! Shellaine, Lindsay, and I also got some shopping accomplished, which was exciting :) It was really nice to spend some time with all of them, especially before we move out West!
Speaking of moving out West, we are in the process of leaving Benning. Brian started "out-processing" today, and will take anywhere from 3-10 days to complete. It's a bunch of paperwork, running around, and contacting different people before you can leave any post. While he's been doing that, I've been cleaning house, organizing our stuff, and getting it ready to be packed. The Army is moving us out there, so I'm purging through some of our stuff and trying to categorize it so that I don't have dishes, sheets, and books all in the same box! Since the Army is pretty volatile with timelines, we won't know our Christmas plans until they are upon us...I'm a little bummed about this because we can't set up a Christmas tree this year since we're in the middle of moving. We probably won't get one either while we're out in Texas, because they don't grow Christmas trees out there...I guess for the first time in my life I'm going to have to buy a fake Christmas tree. Or maybe I'll just buy a cactus. I could hang ornaments off of the little prickles...All about getting a little creative!
It's been a crazy last few weeks and I know the next few will be just as hectic! But it's been a fun mixture of friends, family, and exciting experiences. It's been a good reminder to be thankful for the intangible things in life, as well as a lesson in being flexible and patient. I hope you all are off to a wonderful Christmas and holiday season--I'm living vicariously through your Christmas decorations and trees! One day soon you can sit with me, sip hot chocolate (or a margarita), and admire my ornament-adorned cactus... :) Love and blessings!