90% Complete

I was jamming along with Queensryche, Lady Gaga and Linkin Park yesterday at the gym. Upon reaching the 3.5 mile point (yes!) on the elliptical, a message popped up "90% complete". It was good timing. I had my eye on the bored two-year-old escaping once again from the gated play area. It occurred to me: This deployment for all of us is 90% complete as well ("YES!"). I started thinking about all of the little jobs around the house that I wanted to get done before he gets home and how I was going to make time to get them done while still keeping up with the kids' activities. As anxiety set in, I began pondering, "Who has had the easier job?".

Allen left in early May for a fun-filled summer opportunity with promises of lots of heat and sand should a sand castle building desire strike him. He has not had an eventful summer and often refers to his days as being similar to those of "Groundhog Day". I wish that he had been able to see more of the Middle East-the landscape and its people.

We have managed fairly well here at home. Sleepovers, friends, Vacation Bible School, fests, and picnics have filled our days. We have also kept busy with family visiting and glorious trips to Paris, Garmisch/Austria, Luxembourg, Riems, Trier, and Bernkastel-Kues. I feel somewhat guilty that he was not able to join us, but knowing that this is our last full summer in Europe...we needed to see some places!

It is hard being the only parent. It seems to be a time when everything breaks....or needs to be cleaned out...or up. I've had to be the "bug manager". I've had to get a part changed on the van and change out headlight bulbs. I've taken out the trash/recycle items.....mowed the grass that was knee high. I've cleaned out storage containers and still *sigh* need to clean out more before we pack up next summer. I've wiped noses and taken care of summer coughs. I've read books, helped with homework, colored Lightening McQueen pages and cleaned up Play-doh. But, I've been able to get the hugs, the kisses, the early morning wake ups....and don't forget the spilled cereal......

So, yes, I have definitely had the harder part physically to take care of five children and a house-and myself. However, I have been with them for all of the glorious summer events, smiles...and trips.

I have the memories.

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