On July 1st, Mr. Man and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. It is hard to believe that we have been married for that long.
We started our journey in the small town of Hackberry, LA. 7 days later, we were off to Texas to start our life in the military. Mr. Man had already been in for a year, and I had only been graduated from high school for 1 month. To top it off, I was only 17 years old. We moved into our first apartment together, then 6 months later we had saved up to buy our first family home. We moved into a nice 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. Two months later, we found out that Mr. Man would be deploying for 6 months. He deployed July 2008, and at his 5 month mark we received orders to our first overseas base. He came home home 2.5 months later, which made his 6 month deployment more like 7.5 months. I quit my job within the next 2 months of him returning to prepare for our move. We moved August 2009.
In August 2009, we entered the culture of England and embraced it. We spent 4 years there. Upon arriving, Mr. Man received orders for a 30 day TDY to Romania. Mr. Man deployed out of England twice. In 2010, he went to Afghanistan for 4 months. In 2011, he went to Korea for 4 months. We also had our first child, A, there - April 5, 2011. We also began traveling as a family while in England. We have been to Italy, Vatican City, Brussels, Germany, France, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. In May of 2012, we received out of cycle orders to Aviano, Italy. Upon preparing for our move, we took 3 weeks of leave to travel home to see family and friends before making our journey to Italy.
For the first time in 4 years, we went home to see family before heading to Italy. We spent 3 weeks there traveling around seeing as much of our family and friends as possible. We flew back to England to pick up our car that we drove to Italy. 3 days on the road about 5-7 hours per day. We traveled through England, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, and Italy. We made it to Italy in the middle of September 2012. I was 22 weeks pregnant with Baby E. We immediately began our search for a home. We met a wonderful lady, saw some beautiful houses, and moved into our Italian home in the middle of October 2012. On February 4, 2013 first thing in the morning, I went in to labor and Baby E was born. Here we are are 5 months after the birth of Baby E and A is two and a half years old. Mr. Man is preparing for his first TDY out of Italy. He will be going to Poland for several weeks.
This life, this journey has been an amazing one. One that I would never take for granted. One that has shown me who I am, how strong I can be, and where I want my life (both present and future). It has given me hope, determination, dedication, tough love, and even stubbornness. It has given me pride and joy for so many things. Most people do not understand our life and our lifestyle, but we have learned to accept and respect that - just as we accept and respect their chosen life. So many people ask how we do it and why we do it, while others think it's a walk in the park with how much we can travel and do things. It isn't an easy life, but it definitely one I can only imagine having.