Since I haven't blogged in a week or so (more maybe?) this blog is likely to just be a jumble of babbling. Sorry about that. I have many, many thoughts swirling around my head, and I'm extremely tired. Fair warning.
So let's talk about me being tired. I can't sleep. I just lay in bed with a million thoughts going around and around. Plus I have this fantastic head cold. Which leads to that little tickle you get in the middle of your throat, and then the coughing. Oh the coughing! It's not actually doing anything except perhaps scratching your throat because you don't have anything to cough up. I toss and turn, thinking and coughing. It's a vicious cycle. And it keeps me up all night long. I usually fall asleep right as my kids decided it's time to wake up. That usually happens around 5ish. I'm pretty sure my kids hate me.
We went to church last Sunday, and as we were about to head out the door to go home, one of the guys from our Sunday school class flagged me down and invited me to lunch with his family and two other families. For those of you who are not Nazarene, you won't understand how we can't go a single Sunday without worship, food, and a good ol' Nazarene nap. We had a great time getting to know a few of the families. One of the couples is from Ohio, and I sense a kinship with Jodi, that only midwest girls can share. Hopefully she felt it, too. Wow that sounded stalkerish. I'm just so excited about this church. Yesterday we had a potluck at church (see - FOOD) and again got to meet and chat with some other families. I just feel like this is where we need to be.
Last night I went to choir practice, and I'm pretty sure that this is one of the things I've been missing big time in my life. There are probably a good many of you who do not know that I love to sing. L-O-V-E to sing. When I was in high school, I was in two performing choirs and I loved every minute of it. I don't think I have the voice to be a soloist, but I can sing in a group with the best of them. I haven't sang regularly for a purpose in a really, really long time. I miss it. When I was in Hawaii, I even looked for like a community adult choir, but never really found anything that looked appealing. Sure, I sing in the shower, in the car, while I'm cleaning, or anywhere else I feel I can get away with it without looking like a fool. But now I can do it with a purpose. It amazed me how much I retained from high school choir. We used to practice, sitting up straight, both feet on the floor. I wasn't familiar with all of the music, but I was still able to catch on, and rather quickly. This is totally my niche in life. And the choir opened me with open arms. Which is huge. Most church choirs, this late into the year, are preparing for the Christmas program. There's only a few short weeks until their program is supposed to go on, so it would probably be frowned upon to have new members start this early. But these guys just said, the more the merrier! Here's a book, here's the CD to learn it, Welcome! It makes me feel even more like we were led here for a reason. We were just going to visit! I had no intentions of finding a church home. I didn't even think we were looking for a church home. But we found one.
As exciting as that is, I have to admit that I'm a little apprehensive. I haven't been a member of a church in a really long time. Last time I was, I was a kid. It feels different as an adult. I can't explain why, it just does. Maybe because, as a kid, we were pretty much told what to believe. Now as an adult, after life and experiences, I have my own set of beliefs. I was talking to a friend of mine about how I was afraid to go back because a lot of what I believe doesn't necessarily match up with the church's beliefs. I mean, can you go to church and still be pro-choice? Can you go if you believe in same-sex marriage? It occurs to me I'm afraid of judgement. I have seen the judgmental christians, and they are vicious and harsh. I can't stand that. (Is THAT a judgment?) But I decided that I would go. If I am judged, that's not on me. I am not there to please other people, I'm there for the kind of relationship I want with God, and if I go with an open heart and mind, then I will learn whatever it is I need to learn.
More random thoughts include......
Chip is leaving for Virginia in January. It's only for 2 months. And it's NOT a deployment. But I'm still dreading it. My kids lately have been driving me crazy. There are days when I count down the hours until he gets home so I can have 5 minutes of peace. I know I'll be fine, and the kids will be fine. I just don't like it. I know he has to do it, and when he does, it means so much for his career. His first look for E7 is next March (2012). But what he really wants to do, is go warrant. For my non-military friends, he wants to be a warrant officer. Warrant officers are the ranks between enlisted and officers. E1-E9 are enlisted ranks, so he'd be above that, but since he doesn't have a degree, he'd be under the rank of officers. It's a little more pay, a LOT more respect, and it will be great for us when he retires.
Do you guys know that he retires from the army in just 7 years? That seems crazy to me! We're already trying to plan it! We're looking at probably going to the Columbia, SC area. Most of Chip's family is in the Carolinas, not to mention some of mine, and then it's only about a day's drive to Indiana, where most of my family is. We also have close friends in NC, so it will be perfect. We figured we'd try to get near Columbia, since all of the kids will still be in the house. We'd still be able to go to the commissary and PX. Plus it's about smack in the middle between his family in Charleston, and our families in Anderson/Fletcher. We've been looking at houses, and are so happy that in what we think would be our price range that we have a lot of options. I think I want an older house that's been mostly updated, with a large yard and lots of trees. They have a lot of newer houses but the lots are smaller and the developments have few trees that look like they were planted when they built the houses. I love big old trees, and the shade they provide. Plus I love the look of the old brick houses. I wouldn't mind doing a little work (painting and such) but I don't want anything that we'll have to completely overhaul. Kitchens will be a deal breaker. We've had some pretty crappy army housing kitchens, and while I know you can sometimes change the floor plan, it's just not something I think we'll want to undertake when we first get out. Painting the kitchen, maybe even replacing cabinets or counter tops, or appliances, those might be doable. But to completely gut any part of the house is not going to do it for me. I guess that's one of the advantages of being in so many houses - we pretty much know what we want and what we don't.
I guess that's enough for today. If you've made it this far, give yourself a cookie.