Except that we don't exactly know when "halfway" is. Which is different from every other deployment. Because we don't know for sure that the Iraqi government is going to stick to a 31 December deadline and we don't know for sure if the U.S. will send troops home from Iraq or just shift them over to Kuwait, we don't really know how long the deployment will last. Probably less than the typical 400 days. But how much less? There's no telling...which, admittedly, at times makes me want to sit on the kitchen floor and bang my head with a ladle. But as Army Dad has taught me, I hope for the best, but expect the worst.
The best possible outcome would be a November Homecoming. It would be about 6 weeks after I last saw Neal in Paris and just enough time to scoot back to the house, deep clean it, and prepare a week's worth of meals like I had been cooking for the past year (and not, as he probably suspects, playing Wheel of Restaurants for 10 months). Worst case? February. Which would be a 400-day deployment and, unless he was stop-lossed, the longest his tour could possibly be. And if you believe everything the government tells you, stop-loss no longer occurs.
Either way, we crossed the half-way point on July 21. I was knee-deep in townhouse brick on the 21st and completely missed the significance. And now I'm on the downhill slide.
When I sat down this afternoon and realized how close to November we actually are (and if you haven't noticed that the end of the year is justaroundthecorner, then head to a craft store where Christmas has thrown up in at least 5 aisles), I started to think about my Deployment To-Do List (and consequently, the fact that I had never quite gotten around to blogging the list).
Janet over at We Four Explorers has just seen her husband off for another year-long deployment and decided to create a list of books that she would like to read in his absence. We are all in agreement that compiling any sort of list will help the time pass. Putting your time and energy into checking things off will make the time at least march, if not fly.
So, here is my list of what I wanted to accomplish this year. I have about 4 months to finish it up. And if there are items left uncrossed? Well, that's OK too. I didn't get around to learning how to pair food and wine last deployment, but Neal and I are enjoying that to-do together.
Fix the townhouse brick - whatever that means.(at the sake of my sanity, but whatever. It's done.)
- Re-learn French
- Cook a whole chicken (unless there is removal of innerds involved. Then I'm out.)
- Blog about the deployment
Get those last 25 lbsoff my ever-expanding ass (14 down...9 to go) Try the PaleoDiet for at least 6 months (off and on for 6 months now and really love it. Especially the "on" part.) Workout everyday(or at least 5 days/week) (or at least 2 days/week...or at least twice a month. Quit judging me.)
- Read The Hunger Games series
Launch the business website Get the business logo redesigned Spend a week in NYC
- Create a line of jewelry from upcycled materials (read: yard sale mania every Saturday)
- Master my sangria recipe (I know, disappointing. You'd think this would be the first item I tackled.)
Keep a plant alive for more than a month(related: thank God for the hardiness of rosemary.)
- Check out the historic homes in Macon
- Go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings
Plan a romantic and uberly awesome R&R with Captain Handsome
- Practice my grill skillz
- Visit friends in Chicago
Decorate the guest bathroom in KY with sweet little photos from NYC
- Finish the wedding scrapbook
- Find a church
- Read the growing stack of non-Nook books...including Paula Deen's autobiography and Jen Lancaster's new one and Kartography
Watch "Castle" from start to finish Watch "Grey's Anatomy"from start to finish (I'm a little over half way. I really should not have waited until like season 7 to start).
- Learn how to make my own mayonnaise
- Go through my digital photos and delete the ones I don't want to keep forever and ever
- Create some sort of water concoction that I won't mind drinking instead of diet soda when I'm pregnant
- Make a huge stack of greeting cards so that I can stop buying them all the time