if we must part forever,give me but one kind word to think upon and please myself with, while my heart's breaking. - thomas otway

okay, so the quote's a bit dramatic. but that's how i feel right now -- having to leave kansas already is breaking my heart.

it's just not time to part. i'm not done with you yet. can't we just stay together a bit longer...please.

when i think about leaving kansas, i feel so anxious.  i want to in twirl in the fields, run through the corn, pick apples. i feel like there's so much that i want to do. and see. and photograph. i'm just not done!! one year is too short.

yesterday, i took the kids location scouting, for my shoot tomorrow.  and as i drove all around, i thought about how much we have all enjoyed it here.  and how this one-year family adventure that has been so magical almost never happened.

i know military families are probably thinking, don't you feel this way every time you PCS (permanent change of station).

yes, in a way, but i think the shorter the time spent in the location, the stronger the heartbreak.  maybe others would feel the opposite.  i don't know.  i was definitely sad when we left san diego, but after four years, anything not seen, done or accomplished was my own fault. here in kansas, i feel like we just didn't have enough time for a full relationship.

but my memories are many. and i will never forget our time spent here in lansing, kansas -- a place i never dreamed i'd one day live.  and i'm so grateful we did.

thank you kansas for all the fabulous times you brought me and my family this past year. thank you!!

a few shots from our location scouting travels yesterday.  my kids were such troopers, as i drug them all around -- 40-minute drive here, 30-minute drive there, 35-minute drive home.  i promised them that we'll get back to the orchard before we depart -- to play with the dog, cats, chicken and ducks :-)

p.s. don't tell ryder that i showed you this pic.  not sure i have the color quite right yet BUT -- how darn cute is he, with his little farmer's tan and all?  needless to say, temps felt like 100 yesterday, while shooting -- hot, sticky and sweaty...but fun!!

it's definitely true

life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.- bernice johnson reagon yes it's true...we are moving to kansas. together. as a family. complete. whole.  all five of us.  i swear this time.  there's no turning back.  or even looking back.

we'll be leaving san diego around june 18th and arriving in kansas the end of june, making a few stops here and there along the way (providing our carsick dog can tolerate it).

this whole journey has been interesting and i have to say that the support and encouragement from friends...and strangers (via blog comments and emails) has had a huge impact on me. huge! it has helped me see. and feel. and believe.  and i thank you from the bottom of my heart.


i haven't shot much lately. no...i haven't shot at all. a bit paralyzed by life's present chaos.   but i'm thankful.  thankful because most of the time, this paralysis fronts itself as a numbing sensation, rather than a true paralysis. but at times, the paralysis does become so severe, it wakes me at night--unable to breathe or swallow.  while only lasting a couple seconds, when it consumes my body, the seconds seem more like minutes.  and then...the paralysis weens and the numbing resumes.

but this weekend, we are celebrating two birthdays--kiele turning 12 (sleepover party on saturday) and skyler turning 6 (princess party at a salon on sunday)--and i will shoot. i also have a special (girl) date this wednesday and we are going to play....we're going to play with film. and i'm going to shoot something i've had in mind for the beach series. i'm excited to chat. to breathe. to share. to dream. to play.

so here's to breaking this feeling of paralysis, believing in myself and wishing for a helluva adventure in kansas.

dream a dream. wish a wish. set it free. trust your heart. just believe.

preparing for kansas

it's official. steve will be attending command and general staff college, at fort leavenworth KS, as a geo-bachelor.  i took this shot of him today, while he was looking for housing options in KS.

this has been one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make--having our family be apart again, for another year, after having just finished a 7-month deployment. having our family apart by our choice.  this journey of ours has been an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs...frustration and tears, to say the least. one minute we're excitedly ready to put an offer on a house in kansas...the next, i'm in tears and steve is going to kansas by himself.

i have read, re-read and taken to heart every comment, email, suggestion, etc. that others have offered. and i thank you! yesterday, i was able to get a second and third opinion from two special education lawyers--both agreed that the best thing is to ensure that there is no break in kiele's receipt of transcription services. and both agreed that home-schooling kiele for that one year would raise many difficulties, at the school that kiele would attend after kansas. steve also explained our situation to the detailer (the assignment coordinator) and there is no way that his orders can be changed, at this point.

one thing that has been mentioned a few times is asking the kids what they want.  have i done that?  no, i can't say i have.  if this was a normal situation, i would...but it's hard for adults to understand kiele's schooling situation, let alone children (12, 6 and 4 years old).  i also choose not to put that burden on them.  i even struggle with the fact that i don't want kiele to feel that she is breaking up our family because it's for her DHH schooling services, so i am very cautious about what i say and how i say it.  even when discussing things with steve, i shared with him that i don't want him to resent me because of this.  his reply, i would never.  and i don't want kiele's schooling to get screwed up because of a move to KS and it be my fault.

so you can see, it's emotional and complicated. and well...we are the adults/parents and some decisions are ours to make. while i do believe that the input of my children is so important, i think this situation goes beyond what they can completely grasp and/or comprehend.


but the one thing i still struggle with is this--steve contacted the ft leavenworth housing office to inquire about geo-bachelor housing. yes they have it, but for a price--an unfurnished house on base for $1500/month. WHAT THE HELL? oh yes, three guys can room together, but that's still $500/month per guy. and what about furnishings? remember, these guys would all be geo-bachelors, with their families elsewhere.  we have some extra stuff that we'll send with steve (a mattress, a table, a grill, etc.) but still...i just don't get it. in the past (when i was in the air force), geo-bachelors would be given a room with a bed, bathroom, dresser, TV and kitchenette for free (kind of like a dorm room). of course, we get no extra money for being apart. we just have to spend a shitload more, that's all.

and the one thing that might just throw me over the edge is if steve gets to his next assignment, after kansas, and has to deploy right away. if that happens, i very well might have to start taking some prescribed happy drugs. that...would throw me over the edge.


this whole thing is just so damn hard. hard to let go of that dream of being complete, for another year. that dream of having our family together again. i'm working hard to get over the lump in my throat, the knots in my stomach, the tears that randomly well in my eyes, to begin focusing on the positive--we are healthy, we are strong, we will be able to talk daily and hopefully see each other monthly.

mid june, we will drive with steve to kansas, making a family vacation out of the trp. we will hopefully stay with steve for 2-3 weeks. after that, we will hopefully see steve one weekend a month and all holidays. in december, we're thinking that we'll take a kick-ass trip to new zealand (somewhere fantastic) because...damn it, we deserve it.