I have done a lot of contemplating this month. It has now been one year since I left my family and job and moved across the world to Germany with Jared as he pursues his career with the US ARMY. During this time, I have experienced many FIRSTS!
- FIRST time living with Jared! After our honeymoon to Park City, Utah, Jared had to go back to Jerome, Idaho, and work for Schwan's for three more weeks. Then he came to Blackfoot and we lived with my parents for three weeks until he left for the ARMY'S Warrior Transition Course and AIT. We have had a blast together! It has been an adjustment at times, but we have loved every minute of our time together. We love to travel, go camping and fishing, go out to eat, play games, and spend time with family and friends. I can't wait to move forward with our life after deployment.
- FIRST experience in Europe! We love the Italian and euro ice cafes! This says a lot coming from a husband that used to sell Schwan’s! One interesting tidbit is that the roads in every market platz (city center) are cobble stone!! It’s kind of weird to drive on. Also, there is some type of FEST going on every weekend in a nearby town. It’s just one more reason to eat yummy food and drink! There is so much to do and see that we already have to start picking and choosing what we will see in the time we have left here.
- FIRST job in a school system. I was very lucky and found a job within the first month of living in Vilseck, Germany. For most people, it takes months. I started working 40 minutes away at Netzaberg Elementary School as a secretary and then transferred to Vilseck Elementary School during Christmas break. It was a great move. Not only do I live less than 5 minutes from work but I no longer have to worry about driving in the ice and snow.
- FIRST time to drive on the autobahn! I'm not sure how much I like it because I'm not a fast driver. It kind of makes me nervous to get into the fast lane to pass others because of how fast some of the cars are going.
- FIRST time seeing an ORANGE frog. Yes, an orange frog! I was out gardening one afternoon and was caught off guard when I saw an orange frog in my flower garden. I had one of my neighbors who had lived in the area for a while come and look at it, and he was just as surprised as I was. I have also never driven down a country road during a rain storm and had frogs jumping across the road. You want to yell at them and tell them to watch before they cross, but they don’t listen. So you just keep driving and hope that you don’t kill too many of them in the process.
- FIRST deployment. Jared left on June 15, 2010, to serve his country in Afghanistan. He's my hero. I love him to death and miss him dearly!! I'm so excited to see him at R&R!
- FIRST time to ever get locked out of my house. I was taking out the trash one hot sunny afternoon after church and the only wind that came up the whole day decided to shut my door. Since our doors automatically lock every time they are shut, I was instantly locked out! Luckily, my neighbor was home and let me borrow her car to go to the Fire department to get a key from them to let me back in my home. However, the Fire department didn't want to give me a key because I didn't have any ID on me. I tried to explain to them that I if I had my ID, I'd also have my keys. They agreed to give me a key as long as I came right back with my ID.
- FIRST time sleeping with my Jared PILLOW! Every night before going to sleep, I always insist on cuddle time with Jared. Cuddling is not something that he thinks must happen every night, but gives me a few minutes to make me happy. During this time, he always asks how I ever slept before he came along. Who knows how I did it, but now my temporary buddy is my Jared PILLOW. I either have the option of holding his hand or turning him over and having his hand on my back!! If you look real close, you will notice that he even has a belly button. Thanks to my good friend Dee Green, she gave me this as a gift when I was struggling and Jared was at AIT. Little did she know, I would use it every night during Jared’s deployment.
I know that there have probably been many more FIRSTS that I haven’t written about, but it was interesting to see that after 32 years of life on earth, there are tons of things that I still haven’t experienced!