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We are now one day past our first month of Matt’s deployment.  The kids and I have enjoyed, and sometimes been challenged by, the past month of what’s felt like a long vacation.  We’ve spent lots of time with family, enjoyed being in beautiful Montana, and stayed pretty darn busy.  Things are slowing down now, getting back to being normal again; people are getting back to work, our living situation has stabilized, and new routines are being formed.  Sometimes when things change or slow down I feel sadness and longing for Matt, and fears come up around being ‘alone’, but after a day my tears subside, I tell the truth about myself and my life, and new possibilities emerge in my mind.  I’m thinking and planning now for how I want to form our daily routine, what I’d like to pursue and work on, what we’d like to work on as we homeschool, and with whom I can create friendships and community.  I’m learning about enjoying my life as it is and being purposeful on my own.

My seven year old, Ashton, truthfully told me she gets annoyed by my “whining” about how much I miss Matt; she says she doesn’t miss him because she knows he’ll be back, he’s not dead and no one is plotting to kill him (on this subject she went on to describe different ways in which someone might attempt to kill him), and she’s so busy with all the eating, playing, reading, drawing, and other things we’ve been doing.  I was a little shocked by her bluntness, but glad for the feedback.  I think she’s right– I do miss him, but I am capable of whining less and enjoying more.

So here’s to living my life as it is.  This summer will continue to be one of discovering possibility.  By the way, the photos are of Ashton with her grandma, Matt’s mom, at one of the many amazing lakes here in the Flathead Valley, Montana.

Matt is doing alright, by the way.  He’s working, practicing on his keyboard, exercising a lot, studying his Navy stuff, and emailing as a form of communication.  He wants packages and has a list of books he wants, so please let me know if you would like to send him something.


Jean - Wow! What a smart seven year old, and so sweet to reassure her mom!

lovely pictures. my sis keeps convincing me to visit montana w/ her for the wkend. she has family there… near billings. the boyfriend and i might just do so. i’m in love w/ the view!

rhonda - LOVE these shots!!!! And I love how honest kids can be hey 🙂 They just tell it like it is! (I think I’d complain A LOT if my hubby was in the army and gone!)

Jenn - You have to admire the way she looks at it. 🙂 I’d be more like you but I love her perspective. Looks like you guys are having a great summer, even if you are minus one.

Naomi - Welcome back! I’m sure it must be so hard to not have your other half there. I know I would be whining a lot too. 🙂 But, the things we can learn from our kids. Sometimes they are wise beyond their years aren’t they? Lovely, lovely photos!

Heather M. - that landscape looks so different from the last beach/water photos you posted. 🙂 i think i’d be too chicken to go in that water because i imagine it is COLD!

i’d be whining a heck of a lot too if i had a spouse who was gone. but kudos to her for telling it like it is and giving you some honest perspective. they sure know how to cut to the chase, don’t they?! here’s hoping you fall into a nice rhythm and enjoy every last bit of your summer and when those hard days do come, they don’t last long.

so nice to have you back on linked!

mailli - So cute! Glad Matts doing good(-: love the photos!-)

janet - I’ve been following your travels on Instagram, Montana looks marvelous. Seems like firstborns are much more outspoken than the others. I think it’s pretty cool that she thought of all that and had the guts to tell it to you. It’s great to have independent children.
If/when you feel the need to whine…you have us. Enjoy those kids!

andrea - SO glad you are back! Nice to see more lovely Montana scenery! 🙂 Looks like the perfect way to spend a summer day in MT.

stacey - These are so lovely, Jessica.

Isn’t it funny how our own kids can put us in our place sometimes? Although I would be a weepy mess if my hubby was gone. Hang in there, friend.

tracy - It is great to see how other people spend their summers. Love these lake photos. We don’t have lakes like this down here in Florida.

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