Saturday, November 26, 2011

I could get used to this.

Six years ago, I spent my first Thanksgiving as a newlywed baking with a girlfriend in the first tiny apartment that my husband and I rented. 
Pretty sure we didn't make a turkey, so I'm not sure what she's carving!

Then I spent my first Christmas as a newlywed back in Ohio with my parents, with only a brief phone call from my husband who was floating somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean.  I enjoyed an email on New Year's eve, but I made big plans to celebrate our first Valentine's day together when he finally returned.  It's been hit or miss, in the six years since that first Christmas, if he's home for any particular holiday or family celebration.  I knew, or at least I thought I understood, what I was getting myself into when I married a man in the Coast Guard.  I've shared holidays with friends, taken in stray non-rates for holidays, moved 600 miles on Christmas Eve, but thankfully I've never been alone.  It's been an adventure for sure!

This past summer, Ryan transferred to a land-based billet where he doesn't stand duty.  This is a first for us, a first for him, and quite a treat, after 10 years of boats and standing watch, sometimes every other day/night.  He's been home for birthdays and holidays, and barring some sort of national disaster, he should be home for all the holidays for the next thee years.  It's likely he'll be present when our third child is born, and even have some time off to help me recover and adjust to life with three boys.  While this is considered standard in the civilian world, it's a total luxury for active duty. 

So for our Thanksgiving, we decided to relax and celebrate, just the four of us.  The boys and I baked pies in the morning, and then they watched football with Ryan while I made a roasted chicken, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes.  I even made gravy from scratch, with no lumps.  I'm a veritable Suzy-homemaker.  

 I meant to take a picture BEFORE we started serving....

Pete decorated the pie- that's a gingerbread man and hearts on Daddy's cherry pie.

Please note: there aren't even cracks in my beautiful pumpkin pie.
I could get used to this, and what's even worse, I will get used to this, only to be left behind in three years when Ryan goes back to sea.  It is the Coast Guard, it is a sea-going service, and what's even worse (or maybe better) it's what Ryan loves to do.  He enjoy his time on the boat, out in the middle of the ocean.  While some Coasties try for a station or other land jobs, Ryan would spend all his tours on a boat if he could.  So I'll just enjoy my three year break, full-well knowing that I'll be left behind in three years to begin celebrating all our holidays a week, or a month or a few months late again. 

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