And here we are now, welcoming Julie back "home" again just six days after Derek left for training for his new army job after being promoted to sergeant! So weird.
Only fortunately, Derek is only away for ten days, not nine months this time. And I won't be having a baby while he's gone. :)
It's been sort of a joke around here about the army seems to just have something against Julie. And not only because he was gone for the first several months when she lived with us, but because he often has army duty when she flys in, flys out, or has a graduation party. For being Danish, she's far more familiar with US Army life than many Americans. (She once told me that attending Derek's basic training graduation was one of the coolest things she experienced in America.)
The kids have been so excited all day. They have each taken turns being Julie and sleeping in her bed. And while we were at Target picking up some last minute Julie-essentials (like fruit loops and sweet tea) they told everybody... EVERY SINGLE PASSER-BYER that Julie was coming. Now, the two high ladies behind us in line were fortunate enough to hear our entire family lineage, our ages, and pretty much everything other than my social security number. What can I say, my kids are enthusiastic and they know no strangers.
The ride home was spent with the kids fussing over whose turn it was to talk while Julie and I started catching up. The déjà vu slipped away at this point as I realized how much she's grown over the past three years (and not just taller!). No longer a 15 year-old living to play basketball... She's now 18 and deciding on college majors and looking for jobs!
I'm looking forward to the fun we'll have over the next couple week... Especially when we head to Chicago next week!!!