I'm sure that is a question that all of you have been asking yourselves - well probably not but I thought it was a good title for an update post. :)
Well, where do I begin? We have been so crazy busy for the past couple of weeks that I feel like time is either standing still or blowing right by me (not sure which one at this point). But anyway, for the sake of simplicity I will give you the update/lowdown on what us crazy Marlin's have been up to over the past few weeks, in list format.
1. He did it! He did it! ( Or should I say we did it!?) On June 7th Mike graduated for the US Air Force Test Pilot School. What a crazy year it has been! With all of the ups and downs we have faced as individuals, a couple and a family, I do feel like this has been one of the best years of my life. Graduation was definitely a bitter sweet event as we got to celebrate the accomplishments of our husbands, fathers and loved ones but this also was the marking of the time to say good-bye as we move on to our next base and/or job. The friendships that I have made and gained out of this experience are absolutely priceless. I love each and everyone of the girls that helped me to realize how selfless and caring others could be as they took in our families and created one big TPS family. I miss my girlfriends deeply but I know deep down I will get to see each and every one of them again!
2. Disneyland and San Diego! The day after graduation, we headed down to Disneyland with Mike's parents along with his sister and her kids. We spent two days at Disneyland seeing all of the sights and riding all of the age appropriate rides. We ran the kiddos and ourselves raged each day with early starts and late nights with little to no naps. After Disney, we headed down to Carlsbad, CA (just north of San Diego). We spent two days with some beach time and pool time mixed with a little relaxation. We then said our goodbyes to the other Marlin's and headed back up to Edwards to start the pre-movers are coming chaos. We did make a pit stop at my parents house for one last quick visit with my grandmother before we headed on our way.
3. Grandma Anne! Our transition from Disney to San Diego was blessed with a LONG over due visit with my grandmother. All of the Marlin's met my mom, sister and grandmother at a park in Irvine for a chance to let the kids run around and get some energy out before sitting in the car for a while as well as get a chance for my grandmother to meet AJ and Jacob and see Elizabeth all grown up. She was a baby last time she saw her. What an opportunity it was to be able to have four generations in one place at one time!
4. Movers, again! Our packers arrived on the 17th of June and were off to work getting our decorating style to look like it only consisted of corrugated cardboard. They took 2 days to pack us up and thankfully I was able to get the kids in some sort of day care for most of the time. Well the first day wasn't pretty but that is a whole other post! Anyway, they loaded us up on the third day and filled the back end of a truck. I knew we had downsized a bit but didn't think it was quite that much but maybe they were just that efficient! Once everything was out of the house, Mike and I were on crazy house cleaning details that we liked to call the "monster" house inspectors. (The kids like to make up bedtime stories at night....) With spotless light fixtures and mini blinds that you could run a white glove over, we were pretty sure we would pass inspection but were still a little nervous. Anyway, we passed and all was good. Goodbye Edwards - you will be missed, well sort of!
5. Another graduation! The day after we checked out of the base we headed back down to San Diego where my brother was graduating from University of California San Diego with a double major in cognitive science and Italian. Yeah - you guessed it - he is the brilliant one in the family! Love ya, Dave! The graduation itself was quite hot and boring in and amongst the interesting speeches given but we made due with our umbrellas and water. The best part of the whole thing was to be able to spend some time with my whole family before we headed off to the east coast. Congratulations David! You make us all so proud!
6. Hitting the road! After graduation, we hit the road for good. We planned a short day only traveling to Las Vegas but surprisingly enough it took us a full eight hours between pit stops for lunch, bathroom breaks and other random things. We headed to Henderson, NV (southeast side of Vegas) to visit our good friends the Caspers, part of our TPS family. With some good fajitas, flowing margaritas, kids worn out by swimming and a little time on the Wii, we had a wonderful time and it was so nice to see where our friends are moving onto - what a beautiful house! From Vegas we headed to Grand Junction, CO and then onto Longmont, CO. The drives were long and filled with many "are we there yet?"'s but in the end we all made in unscathed.
7. Some time in Colorado! We made it to Longmont, CO on Wednesday and have been having a wonderful time with family. On top of just getting to see everyone we have been privileged to time it with the graduation (yes, I said it - another graduation) of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law from their medical residency at University of Northern Colorado. As family medicine doctors they themselves are now in the mode of moving as they will be moving to western Colorado to be rural doctors. We were also privileged to be here during the in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. How special it is that the whole family was in the same area at the same time for such a wonderful event. It is hard to imagine Mike and I married for 40 years with only a measly 8 under our belt. I only hope we can emulate their love and affection for each other that many years down the road.
8. Family! Every time we come through here I am infinitely jealous of those families that get to live within the same areas of each other. How wonderful it is to see cousins playing in the yard together and know that these people you have around you will love you in all instances.
9. The final leg! We are getting back on the road to finish this trek on the 3rd. We plan on making it to Wichita the first day and spending the 4th in Dallas. We will then head to Moss Point, MS with our final destination being Niceville on the 4th day. We have planned out the trip so that two of the days we are going to have time to do something with the kids to try and alleviate and car cabin fever. (Is that a syndrome?) Anyway, wish us luck on this next adventure on our way to our new home!
So there you have it - a brief synopsis of our lives over the past few weeks. I hope that I will be able to update the blog in the near future as we get settled into our new house and our new lives on the East Coast.