We're nearing the end (we hope) of a pretty crazy year, in which:
We moved to Laguna.
I got pregnant.
We moved to South Carolina.
We tried to adjust to the heat, humidity, trees, pollen, pine straw, dialects,
and lack of a Costco nearby.
Brent started his residency program and learned, well... um...
a little bit about oral surgery and not much else.
We learned that the people of South Carolina are WONDERFUL.
We had our first Christmas away from Utah - thanks to Brent's family for visiting us!
We got our first choice of PCS (basically a transfer) to Ft. Lewis, Washington!!!
After carrying a gi-normous baby, and a third c-section,
we finally welcomed Lincoln into the world.
We found out that Brent was being deployed to Iraq.
We adjusted to life with a newborn.
We found out that rather than Iraq (which we greatly preferred),
Brent was being deployed to Afghanistan.
We adjusted to life with three children.
Mercedes learned to read and to rollerblade.
Cooper learned: to talk, his colors, to watch TV, how to count to 15,
to feed himself, to ride a scooter, about trains and tractors and buses, to enjoy nursery,
that he is scared of flies, to sleep in a real bed,
and to be gentle with his baby brother.
We started paying back our student loans (not so much fun).
Lincoln learned: to eat, to put himself to sleep, to smile, to laugh,
to roll from his tummy to his back, to roll from his back to his tummy,
to play with toys, and to scoot.
We lost our "free" cable just in time for summer and "the big switch."
Brent began applying for an Oral Surgery Residency Program.
And now, we're packing up our house and getting ready for the next year.
We're leaving here on July 31st, and heading back out West - yahoo! Brent's mom has graciously offered to drive out with us (since I can't stay awake at the wheel for any substantial length of time). He'll spend a few weeks with us in Utah (where we'll finally have Lincoln's baby blessing), and then leave us with my parents (where we'll be living while he's gone) and report for duty at Ft. Lewis, Washington on August 17th. Mercedes will start first grade on August 20th. Brent will probably join his assigned company in Afghanistan in mid-October. I'm hoping that by that point, we'll be in a routine and things will run a bit more smoothly for us (knock on wood). I'm also hoping that if Brent does get into an Oral Surgery program, we'll get to stay in Washington. One of the six Army programs is there and I'd really like to stay close to family... but I'm getting ahead of myself as usual.
For now, I'm just feeling grateful that we're healthy and happy. The best part of this year has been seeing the kids learn and grow. They are each sweet, loving, obedient, happy children. They love each other fiercely. Mercedes loves to read the scriptures and is excited to get baptized. Cooper practically suffocates Lincoln with kisses on a constant basis. Since school ended, I've been able to read with Mercedes each day during the boys' nap-time. It's been so much fun! I love reading chapter books like Desperaux and Junie B. Jones. Lincoln is literally the most patient baby in the world. He rarely cries, and spends most of his wake-time smiling, laughing, and trying to crawl.
This isn't a great-quality video. I was holding the camera and playing with Link at the same time: