Life lately has been interesing here in the Koeppel household. February 13th, Chris came home with his unit from Iraq. It was a great day, one I'd been waiting anxiously for from the moment he left us in April 2009. This deployment was fairly drama free, this time I was armed with knowledge and an idea of what to expect with his deployment. This time I knew in advance, unlike his first deployment which came suddenly and without much warning. This time I had three children to divert my attention instead of only one child, that alone was enough to keep my mind from going to obvious worst case scenarios that run through a mom & wife's mind when she would rather it not go there at all.
Chris made it home with minimal damage physically, but a slightly bruised ego and a chip on his shoulder because of some events that occurred during this deployment. Sarah and Elizabeth ran instantly to him, but Beka held back a bit until she got accustomed to him and realized that yes, he was Daddy and no he wasn't going to disappear anytime soon. Once she adapted, she became all about Daddy and sitting with him. I think it almost became a contest between Lizzie and Beka on who could sit on Daddy's lap and get his attention. Chris loved it. It was nice to have several weeks to adjust to him being home and we began planning for our trip to Florida during Spring Break.
The only thing that marred his homecoming was that Ted, Chris' stepdad was not doing well. Ted had suffered from numerous health issues for many years and my only prayer was that Chris wouldn't come home to have to attend a funeral. He didn't, instead Ted passed away Tuesday March 9, 2010 in the early morning. Chris, his brother Andy, Andy's wife, and Mary were with him as he went to meet the Lord. He will be missed very much. I am so glad the girls got to see him one more time in October when we went to see him before his health became much worse, that isn't how I wanted them to remember him. Mary and family said their fairwells on Friday and then Chris and Mary packed so they could come and join the girls with us in Florida.
The girls and I loaded up and left for Florida on Thursday March 11, 2010 and took our time getting to Orlando. We arrived w/o much incident (0kay, okay, I got a speeding ticket in Georgia) and enjoyed the climate change as we got further south. Sunday evening we arrived at the Grand Lake Resorts and that evening I picked up Mary and Chris from the airport in Orlando. Thank goodness for the Magellan - it proved very helpful while trying to find the airport. So we went home and rested up and enjoyed a quiet Monday after a very stressful week prior to our vacation.
I love that Mary got to come with us, she needed a break and I think the girls needed to see her. When she got to the condo, Elizabeth tried to comfort her, in her own way. She told Grandma how much she missed Grandpa and he was with Jesus now and had two legs (Ted was an amputee) and would never be sick again. It was very sweet, of course, these are the things I talked to her about when I told her that Grandpa Ted had passed away. She is still struggling with his death, we know this due to comments she's made to Chris and I recently.
All in all, we had a good vacation, we took the girls to the beach, they got to go to Disneyworld. We all got mouse ears. Chris, Sarah, Elizabeth & I all went to Epcot one day and got to see their neat stuff and Chris was able to eat German cuisine at the Oktoberfest buffet at Epcot. All in all, our vacation was nice, although I'm not sure how restful.
These are just a few of the things going on here at home. There is more but those are other blogs completely. I will try to become better about blogging now that things have settled down more here at home. I hope you all have a good week.
God Bless you all,