We got Brandon's orders today!
We, being newbies, thought the orders would tell us when to show up at Brandon's assignment. We knew that he might have to report the day after graduation, or that we might have some leave time. So we made hypothetical plans based on either possibility, and figured the orders would dictate which set of plans we went with. Instead, we have options. I'm kind of stunned-- happily so.
But the problem with options is that we have to make a decision and live with the consequences. Use some of his leave now and regret it later when we want some time off and don't have it to take? Report immediately and regret it later because things are so busy with his job that he isn't granted leave when we want it?
Of course, the real reason I'm obsessing over this decision is because it's our last day in Kansas City and obsessing over leave distracts me from all the packing/cleaning I need to do. I think I'm fighting "the end" a little bit. I'm one big walking contradiction-- as ready as I am to say goodbye to travel nursing and move on to bigger and better things, there is a part of me that is really resisting the change. I'm so thankful for travel nursing, and how it allowed us to see the country and grow as a couple. I read some of my old blog posts from some of our "rougher" seasons of traveling, and it made me laugh. . . because when I look back on those times, I don't remember those parts of it. I don't think back on crappy apartments, broken appliances, plywood mattresses, miserable road trips, crazy neighbors, broken contracts and bad coworkers.
No, I remember other moments. . .
I remember the excitement of the first time we saw the signs for the Appalachian trail, the joy of walking hand in hand and smelling the sea air in California, and the delightful shivers of fear when we saw our first bear in Montana. I remember dragging Brandon horseback riding and the way he smelled like sweet grass after. I remember going on our first train ride and tagging behind Brandon for hours as he took pictures of every. single. train. in the museum.
I remember the heaviness we felt in the Holocaust museum and the pure delight of the Smithsonian. I remember the feel of the cobblestone sidewalks in Alexandria, and the way Brandon had to steady me as I tried to navigate them in stiletto heels on our 2nd anniversary.
I remember the strong sulfur smell in Yellowstone, and how excited Brandon was to see Old Faithful for the first time. I remember being holed up for days in a Wyoming hotel room during our first blizzard.
I remember snuggling on the couch with Brandon and watching all six seasons of Lost in six months, attempting to make tamales without a recipe or any idea of what was even in them, chasing the dogs around their favorite dog park, snapping pictures of every state we visited, driving three hours just to spend an hour at the beach and eat real Maryland crabcakes, sharing a kiss by the Grand Canyon, making a Christmas tree out of leftover scrapbook paper, and roasting marshmallows by our own private campfire in the mountains.
It hasn't always been easy, but the last three years have been amazing. In many ways, it's been like an extended honeymoon-- you know, except for that whole work thing. We're ready for something more permanent. . . and hopefully, to add a few children to the mix.
It's time to move on, but part of me will always miss this.