Hey Everyone! I'm back. It's definitely been too long. Things have been pretty crazy around here. I've been a sloth at writing. What else can I say?
We've recently had a few moments of high adventure that would make for interesting dinner conversation, but other than that not much has transpired since my return from leave. Speaking of...leave was great. A lot of folks have asked how my daughter reacted to seeing me. It went as I suspected....I was a familiar stranger. At first, she didn't know what to think. Quite quickly after that, something clicked for her. She knew she knew me from somewhere, but wasn't quite sure how and why. The bond was still there but she wanted daddy for most everything. As much as I could have internalized that and let it get to me, I didn't. After all, it was to be expected. The first week and a half, when she was upset or tired, she turned to daddy who had comforted and cuddled her for the last 6 months. And, the last week and half, my daughter stuck to me like glue. It was wonderful. So, since my return from leave, I get on the webcam as much as I can. She'll sit for about 10 minutes - that's it. But, in that 10 minutes, she sees me, recognizes me, and waves. She blows kisses, she laughs, and she smiles. This just may work out....
Another joy while I was home on leave is the direct result of my overwhelmingly generous and wonderful family and friends. Because of you all, and through the small foundation that my husband put together, we were able to pass on a wonderful donation to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville. Part of the donation went to Katie's Helping Hand Fund which assists families of children with cancer who are admitted in the hospital. The fund provides meals and other items to families in need, free of charge. The other portion of the donation went to the Champ Dolls Program. A Champ Doll is provided to every child who is admitted to the Children's Hospital so they will never feel alone. Champ Dolls are meant to provide a friendly distraction to a child's anxiety of being in the hospital. These programs make a real difference in people's lives, especially the kids. To my wonderful family and friends, thank you all for your support. I thank you from my heart and I am humbled by your kindness.
For more information on the Champ Doll Program:
For more information on Katie's Helping Hand:
Something else that also went as I suspected....I didn't run at all when I got home. I "meant" to every day!!!! I thought about it but I didn't and let me tell you, I am paying the price. My well meaning friends kept reminding me, "Nobody runs on leave!". Thank goodness for friends. Good friends back you even when they know you just did something completely stupid!!! My scheduled marathon is definitely out of the question at this point. I just put myself back at least 2 months. One would think I'd have this down after 18 years.
For those of you who are interested in Nazia's progress. I am sad to report that when I returned from leave, Nazia was still here on Bagram. Something with the paperwork.....always something with the paperwork. I went to visit a couple days ago, and her brother assured me they are leaving soon. Cross your fingers.
It's quite late here and sleep is a must, but unfortunately, I am wide awake. We just had another Fallen Comrade Ceremony. Sad..so sad. I just can't stress how horrible those ceremonies are. To imagine that right now someone's family is finding out their loved one is gone, it's just horrible. Such a loss... Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers as you go about your day today.
More to follow everyone.....
Terrorism 101: Who is who in the cast of characters?
20 hours ago