Sunday, January 14, 2018

Date night, Christmas, and other stuff

With two months left until we move back to the other side of the world, flights are booked, movers are scheduled, and house-hunting is underway. We hope to have some happy news to share on that front very soon, maybe after Tim's trip later this month. It's a work/house-hunting trip to California, Virginia and North Carolina. And although the kids and I have been on our own for a whole lot longer than three weeks, I am just a wee bit daunted at the prospect. I'm just trying to keep in mind that we can definitely spare him, especially if it's a productive and fruitful trip that will benefit us all.

In the meantime, maybe it's time for some updates -- nothing exciting.

First off, something that gave me a good laugh recently. I was at the playground, and when my friend Becky came out her door and headed over, I thought she might be coming to chat. But she was there to call her kids inside because she had somewhere to be, and she wanted them to go inside with the babysitter first. Becky's husband Mark and Tim go back a long way, to Iraq in 2003.

Becky got frustrated when it seemed her kids weren't responding to her request, and said, "I can't corral my two kids; I don't know how you do it with four!" "Me neither," I said. She said to one of them, "I'm counting to 3, you'd better get over here." As four-year-old Maggie came running over, Becky said to me, "Of course I'd probably be just as overwhelmed with one." I said, "It's true. However many you have, it's too many." Then little Maggie piped up, "YOU have too many, Brady!"

Well, then.😆

Tim and I had a date night last night. We finally found a babysitter we love, of course within weeks of having to say goodbye. She just turned 12, took a babysitting course, and last month Joey was her first little charge after her eight-year-old brother. She lives on our street and walked to our door with her cute bag full of activities and a clipboard with a little questionnaire for me to fill out with stuff like, 'Where will you be?' 'Should I put him to bed and if so, when?' I was very impressed and Joey took to her right away, wanting to show her all his toys and books. Her mom texted later, telling me how much Elizabeth had enjoyed watching Joey.

This time we left the whole crew with her and went out to dinner. It was a three-mile round-trip walk and we went to a nice sushi place that Tim picked out, not one of the 'fast food' type sushi places we typically go to. I loved the walk at sunset on the water with the chilly weather we've been having, the delicious food and the uninterrupted conversation. I get why people do date nights! I'm putting another one on the calendar for next month.

On the way home I reminisced about our "date nights in" in North Carolina when the kids were really little, and how that wouldn't be possible anymore unless we wanted to wait till 10 to eat.
Maybe next month we'll be eating outside?
Backing up a bit, here are some pictures from Christmas. We had a nice, quiet one with just us. Early in the day on Christmas Eve, Tim humored Delaney, taking her on an adventurous little drive through the crazy Okinawa roads to a dog shelter in the middle of nowhere, so that she could volunteer walking the dogs. The surrounding roads were not pedestrian friendly at all, not somewhere Tim would have wanted to be walking under any circumstances.
One cool thing about living overseas is how gifts kept trickling in throughout the 12 days of Christmas, helping us to remember that there are 12 days. It wasn't always apparent to me who the gift was from, so for anyone we didn't thank, know that we are grateful for whatever you sent. We love you and miss you all.

We have some exciting things on the horizon, but for now I am soaking up the bug-free Okinawa winter and enjoying this lull before things get crazy again.