The following post was written on Tuesday morning. I am just getting Internet access now to post it.
Our cabin is breathtaking. We took the room upstairs which is graced by windows nearly floor to ceiling. The boys are nestled in the master bedroom under the stairs.
I wish I could say I awoke to the light streaming in on a beautifully clear day. But truth be told, for one, it was raining. And for two, my congested husband was the one who woke me up. Snoring. Again. He only snores when he is sick. And he’s got quite the head cold right now. Oh, and my internal clock is set to central time. So sleeping in and waking with the sunlight isn’t something that is coming easily right now.
But all that aside, the cabin is incredible. Simple. Quaint. Unbelievably peaceful. Everything you need but not overly luxurious. Nestled in the woods, a deck overlooking the water. No computer or television. Just a simple retreat. There is a walkway that leads down to the beach and our host left us all the fixins for s'mores to be enjoyed in the fire pit down below. We are hoping we can do that this evening.
We couldn’t do the fire pit last night as we spent the evening with my cousin Ryan and his new wife Briana. They live in Portland, Oregon and so we met up in Olympia, a bit north for them and a bit south for us. We had dinner at a Red Robin (never been to one of those before but it was a great place -- a nice family-friendly atmosphere) and then concluded our evening at a play area near in the mall across the street so the boys could entertain themselves and we could talk a bit more.
I didn’t grow up knowing my cousin Ryan extremely well. Many of my cousins came and visited us in Florida with my grandparents each summer while I was growing up, but, well, there were fourteen of them and so not all of them had the opportunity to make the visit before they were teenagers and running in their own directions when summertime rolled around. Ryan’s older brother Jeremy came one year, but he never made the trip. Briana and I have connected online, however, during their months of engagement and subsequent wedding. She reads the blog and we touch base on Facebook every now and then. While we had never met, I can see why we have gotten along so well via technology. The conversation was easy and fun, and I know if we lived closer, I think the two of us would be good friends. She is a beautiful person, both inside and out. Easy going and easy to talk to. Ryan is currently finishing up college and even playing basketball for the small Christian college he attends. Briana is working at David’s Bridal and beginning her career as a midwife. (How cool to help with weddings and births!) We had a wonderful evening and even managed a picture in the parking lot as we were leaving. Joia, you would have been so proud of my effort.
We plan to just relax around the cabin throughout the day today. There’s no Internet access, so I am casually typing this on our laptop while sitting on the sofa and staring out through the glass doors down to the water. So peaceful. Everyone else is asleep. I’ve got a blanket over my legs and am enjoying the sound of the rain on the skylights above me and the birds waking outside. A wonderful retreat.
Tomorrow we will head out and finally get to see Jeff, Bobbie, Paige, Brooke, Matthew, Robert, and Scrubs’ pal Deuce, who I am sure will be incredibly disappointed when he can smell Scrubs on us but can’t see his ol’ buddy in person.
For those of you who don’t remember, Jeff and Bobbie lived around the corner from us during our first two years on Eglin AFB. Our dogs actually brought us together as on a walk one evening shortly after they moved in a few months before Isaac’s arrival, Scrubs spotted Deuce and the two began a romp in their front yard. For the next year and a half, I walked over with first Scrubs and then Scrubs and Isaac and then Scrubs, Isaac, and Elijah to take advantage of their home right on the Bay and enjoy some great Christian fellowship and friendship. Scrubs and Deuce would play off-leash while Bobbie and I chatted under the huge pine trees.
Bobbie’s two daughters were just reaching babysitting age. They would often show up at my house when boredom struck to sit and play with Isaac or take Scrubs over to play at the Bay. Her two young sons loved to make the boys laugh and get down and play with them. In fact it was their youngest son Matthew that coined Isaac “Chubba-chubba,” a nickname that stuck until he wasn’t so Chubba-chubba anymore.
When I went into labor with Elijah, Bobbie helped get our mothers on Base while we were in the hospital. She actually joined my mother and mother-in-law in the birthing room during my three hours of pushing and was part of the three-person-prayer team when things got very tense right after Elijah was born.
Their move to Washington with the military last summer was incredibly hard for me. I think it was the first time that I wasn’t the person doing the leaving but watching someone else leave. It was so painful to see them go. They were my support system – the people I knew I could lean on when I became overwhelmed by the new life I was living.
But God knows best, and just as they left, we started the babysitting co-op, and I got to know Brittny across the street on a more personal level. He always takes care of our needs, and I still had the support I so desperately needed despite losing these great friends.
All that said, I am so excited to get to see them again tomorrow. We are going to spend quite a few days with them. How wonderful it will be to reconnect. And as always, more details to come. I promise.