Monday, December 19, 2016

Solitude

by Father Time

A little over a week ago, I loaded up the family, drove to the airport, and drove home alone.  That Saturday morning, I was sending the better half of the group off on their long journey to Taiwan.  The night before, Will was not feeling well and actually threw up in bed.  That was not a good start.  I'll save the details of their adventure for Joyce to recount when she gets back.  So I'll just be sharing random thoughts of man that has suddenly become familyless.
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^^Brave travelers.^^
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^^The last glimpse of the family at Dulles.^^

Now I know they were in store for a long trip, but little did I know that I'd be feeling the stillness of time as well.  Without Joyce and the kids around, my entire weekend was a blur.  With no set meals or bath/bed times, I was just hanging around.  Seriously, I played video games, watched movies, and read books.  All the while I was tracking their agonizingly slow progress.  I fell asleep before they even landed in Tokyo.
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^^Watching that little black plane move was like watching grass grow....in the desert.^^

When I awoke Sunday morning, they were still on their way to Taipei.  Thinking that I should be a little bit more productive that day, I decided to clean the house.  I had given the cleaners a break this month, so I went around the house and scrubbed, dusted, wiped, vacuumed, and did the laundry.  There were still some leftovers from Friday that managed to feed me through Tuesday evening.

The weekdays were good as I had a lot of work on my plate.  A bunch of lunch meetings managed to keep me fed as well.  Then the weekend came again!  I was doubly productive that frigid Saturday.  With the bathrooms all unused, I regrouted and recaulked several of them.  I can't exactly recall right now, but I'm sure I did something else productive, but whatever - I gave myself a pat on the back and rewarded myself with an hour at the shooting range on Sunday.  I still suck with my pistols at 25ft but discovered that I'm pretty decent at 40ft with my buddy's rifle.  After that, I was back home and alone again.  Luckily, the freakish weather had shot temps up from the 20s to the 60s that day, so I was able to give my car a much needed wash.

It's odd really, I never knew how much my daily routine revolved around my wife and kids.  The only semblance of a schedule is the whirr of the Roomba in the kitchen when he goes off at 7pm every nite.  That's usually when we start the bath/bed routine.  Right now, I'm just making things up as I go along.  So I find myself exercising at odd hours, eating randomly or skipping meals altogether.  Work is slower now that the holidays are closer, so I don't even step outside at times.  I definitely miss Joyce and the kids, but I loneliness hasn't really set in - yet.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Photo Dump (November)

I already blogged about the big events (Will's birthday and Kentucky) that happened in November, but here is a photo dump of the little happenings.

11/5: A nice Fall afternoon at Meadowlark Gardens.
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11/8: We took the kids to the polls.
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11/9: A rainy day and they insisted on going back out after we got home from school so they can use their umbrellas.
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11/20: This is how Will texts. 😅😆😇😈😉😊😋😌😍😎😖😔😓😒😜😝😞
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11/22: Thanksgiving lunch at Anna's school. This year we brought Chick-fil-A!
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11/26: Upon returning from Kentucky, we found one of our goldfish died. So the next day, we got a new one. Will got to pick it out (a little white one) and named it Blue Eye. The fish's eyes aren't actually blue anything but Anna has a fish called Pink Eye (eyes really are pink) so Blue Eye it is. (Back story: When Anna got her Pink Eye, we got one for Will too, but it didn't live long (could be because Will dropped the bag, could be something else...?), so we had promised him a new fish once a current fish dies to make room for more.)
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--

One last picture. This is actually from today, 12/9. See this building? I love this building. Because it's where I work and it's THREE minutes away from home. But, today is my last day here. *insert all the sad and crying emojis here* Time really flies. I remember talking about it with coworkers and it seemed so far away, but it's already here. When I come back from Taiwan, I will start my drive to Maryland.
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It's the end of an era....

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmastime!

This kids and I are leaving for Taiwan in five days! Nothing is packed, but I am not sweating it. We will do laundry Thursday night, and all the clean clothes will go into the suitcase instead of the closet. Easy peasy, right? I am excited for Taiwan, but also dreading it, if that makes sense. I am sure it does to all the parents out there ;) Since I will be solo'ing (with help from my parents), I am setting expectations low for this epic journey. We will see what we can, eat what we can, and hopefully make good memories and, most importantly, get back home safely.

So! I am trying to squeeze in some Christmastime fun in the week and half that we are in town this December. First, we put up the kids' Christmas tree. Since we won't be here for the holidays, we only set up the little tree in the family room this year. Luke set up the tree and the kids went at it. The ornaments (all homemade) on the kids' tree haven't changed much since we started it 3 years ago... It's not realistic to add any new ones this year, but maybe next year!
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^^haha, Will.^^

New for us this year is Jingle on Lake Anne...which brings me to this question, isn't it funny how things sound better on paper? Go ahead and click on that link and tell me that you wouldn't want to go too? Well, the "Holiday Arts & Crafts Market" was probably two or three stands, haha. It wasn't a complete loss though -- I mean, the weather was nice, kids enjoyed decorating (and eating) the cookies, and I visited somewhere new. And yes, Santa and his Elves came on a boat and paddle boards. We didn't get our pictures taken with Santa (too much craziness!), though.  
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As promised, we returned to Freeman Store to see Santa this year.
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This is seriously the best place to see Santa if you live in the area. FREE, no crowds, and the store itself is just lovely. We bought a little Virginia wall art :)
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Both kids were a bit shy to talk to Santa, but mustered up the courage for the sake of presents. Santa said Pokémon is very popular this year. Not surprised :)
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I thought we were going to miss seeing Santa this year because of Taiwan, but I am so glad that the date still worked out. Now lets just hope Santa finds us in Taipei!
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Happy Christmasing Everyone!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!