Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby on the first day of Kindergarten, 7/24/08

Happy, Happy Birthday to my beautiful Abby. She turned 6 yesterday. I can't believe it, my baby is 6! (This post is a day late because we had visitors arrive from the Mainland and after settling them in and having birthday cake, it was bedtime...)

Just yesterday she was a smiling baby, a precocious toddler, an amazingly smart pre-schooler, and now she's preparing to enter the first grade. Where do the years go?

Abby is a child that we never expected to have (although I thank God everyday for bringing her to us). They say that military families who spend time in Germany come home with either (1) a cuckoo clock, (2) a schrank - a big wall unit like an entertainment center, or (3) a baby. In 2001, we came home from Germany with #1, so we assumed we were done expanding the family.

Then September 11 happened. We lived in Ohio, not near a military community, but Jon's job with the Army Reserves got busier and busier. As he assisted units to prepare for deployment to Iraq and Afganistan, he was taken away from home more and more, for longer and longer stretches of time.

In September 2002, he came home for literally one night between units. And that night we were blessed with Abby.

Abby is a remarkable child. Like our other 2, she is kind, compassionate, funny, smart, and beautiful.

She is also the "baby". The last child to enter the family.

We still cuddle every day, and I am thankful for the moments that she climbs onto my lap and hugs me tight. Because, I've seen with her sisters that children grow up. And, though they still love you fiercely, the days of snuggling change to hugs, smiles, and text messages. I am grateful that she is still small enough to be carried to bed, and put up on my shoulders as we navigate the mall or climb DiamondHead crater.

Someday she too will be a teenager, with her own agenda and no time for snuggling.

For now she is my cuddle partner. Lucky for me, she will always be my baby, my Abby.

I love you, Abby. You have completed the family, and I am so blessed to be your mom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's June, and that means vacation!

OK, so I am up late. Really, really late. I am waiting for a work process to finish (and I don't think it's going to end well.) So, while my other computer tries to do what it needs to do, I thought I would post an entry.

Not much going on at Casa Heffner lately. I have been working a crapload of overtime. Seventeen hours last week and seven already this week. It is draining. Mentally, physically, psychologically. I'm not as young as I'd like to think I am, and it's tough staying up all night, staring at a computer screen and/or listening to a conference call. My workday started at 4 am yesterday (well, still today for me), and I'm still tied to the computer.

Don't get me wrong. I really like my job. I am just nearing the stages of burnout. We used to have 5 people on the team. Now we're down to 3 (not by our choice), and we've all basically doubled our workload.

On top of that, my company is reorganizing and that means big, big changes. To protect myself, and not say more than I should, I'll just leave it at that. For now. Just say a prayer. I like my job, and don't want it to change.

On the homefront, Jon is home. It's a blessing. I miss him when he's away. And he's away a LOT. Abby's 6th birthday is in a week. The teacher stopped me today to tell me that Abby wrote in her daily journal about her dance recital last month and that she was nervous but loves ballet. My baby wrote that! The teacher said she had goose bumps from Abby's entry. These kids are so smart, and they're growing right before my eyes. Alex graduates from 5th grade, and officially becomes a middle-schooler in 2 weeks. What happened? These kids were just babies, and now they are independent, strong, confident children. And Alissa, well, she is a typical teenager on summer break - bored, sleeps til noon, and breathtaking. She is funny and smart and so pretty. These girls are my everything. They are why I slave away at a job that doesn't appreciate me. They are why I do my best everyday, to be a good wife, mom, and a good Tiffany.

Jon said in passing at a graduation party this weekend - "This will be us in 3 years." Can it be? We'll have a high school graduate in 3 years. And a new Bobcat in the family. I am secretly thrilled that ALissa wants to go to Ohio U. It is one of my favorite places in the world, and the idea that she might go there and make her own memories has me bursting with pride.

Well, the process on my other computer finished, but not as I hoped. (I feared that.) Better get to bed because I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be paged at 4:00 am for the 3rd day in a row. (4:00 am is less than 4 hours away from right now.)

Thank goodness I have some time off coming soon. I need a nice, long nap!

Talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

They've moved on...

So, you remember that I posted a while back that some dear friends of ours received orders to move off-island? Some of you guessed who it was, and you were right.

Well, this past Saturday Jay and Lucie moved back to Canada. (For Jay: CA-NA-...)

It wasn't as hard that day as I expected. I expected a lot of waterworks. I think that I held in my emotions, for fear of a complete mental breakdown. I didn't cry that day.

But, since then, as I drive by their empty house several times a day, and see the open shades and darkness (because I know the house is empty, and they're not coming back), I am flooded with emotion. I miss them. I miss knowing they are down the street, ready for a barbecue, a laugh, a movie, an '80s Night.

No more knocks on the door, no more calls from My Imperial Leader down the street. Instead, the calls will be coming from across the ocean.

Moving sucks. It's hard, stressful, complicated, unknown, and very discombobulated.

But it sucks more when you are the one(s) left behind.

I know that Jay and Lucie will always be in our lives, and in our hearts. I have no doubt that we will see them in person again.

But not for a long time.

Jay and Lucie, in case there's any doubt: The Heffners love you very much. We miss you already. You will ALWAYS have a place in my heart. Saturday was not goodbye. It was "Until next time..."

Your Paiaha Ohana misses you.