The Nevil’s Go to the San Juan’s!

I feel like I am repeating myself a bit when I say this, but I feel like I’m in a whirlwind! I honestly have to think about what day it is each day. Is it Monday? No? Huh…I’m talking perpetual Saturday mode here in the Nevil house.

It is so WEIRD having Jeremy here. And not just here, but ALWAYS here. I think we all feel like we are in a little bit of a dream state. It’s like those couple of weeks you have together when you have your first born child and you just want to live eternally in happy new family bliss. Yeah…it’s totally like that.

We’ve managed to stay busy with to-do lists.  For the first 2 weeks that Jeremy was home, the Army hogged a lot of that time. But now that leave has begun we have our own lists to complete.

I have tried to have an “anything goes” mentality about things. I won tickets on the Victoria Clipper last week from Spirit 105.3 (the local Christian Radio station). We went on Tuesday, our 8-year wedding anniversary, to the San Juan islands for FREE! It was a long day, but it was so great to be all together.

Chase and I as we left Friday Harbor to go out to look for whales!

We had to get the kids up at 5 am so that we could get down town before 7:45 am when the boat left! They were so exhausted early on in the day. They were real troopers despite us dragging them all over God’s green Earth!

Jeremy and Cooper as we were out looking for whales.

We did however see a lot of whales! The “L” pod, which are the “Resident” Orcas in Pugent Sound, where out and about! They came super close to the boat at one point. In fact, the “Naturalist” on board said that it is highly unusual for them to get that close. They were intentionally interested in the boat and checking us out! I wish I had THAT on camera…but it all happened so fast!

Probably the best still shot we could get of the whales

It was really hard to take a picture of the whales because you never could tell when or where one was going to pop up out of the water. And as soon as they are out they are back down again. They are beautiful and majestic animals though! We learned that the male whales have taller and more straight dorsal fins while the females have shorter and more curved fins. They can identify the whales by the unique white spot that is near their dorsal fin. Each one is like a fingerprint. Some of the whales in the L pod are 100 years old!! We learned so many neat facts about Orcas…it was so very cool.

Here is a quick video to help you get the feel of what we were seeing. It’s small and quick but again, you never know where or when they are going to pop up!

We got home at almost 8:30 pm that day. Whew! It was worth the effort though. We joked that any subsequent children to Cooper and Chase will look at pictures and feel “jipped” that they never got to do anything cool like go whale watching…he he he he he.

We also learned a ton of neat stuff about Pugent Sound, saw baby seals and sea lions, bald eagles, blue heron and so many other fun things-like cruise ships!

I think this is the "Spirit" by Carnival Cruise lines
self portrait!
The Seattle Sky Line

In the end, Jeremy and I agreed that this anniversary is much better than last year’s. 😀 Next for us…our first garage sale…oooohhhhhh-ahhhhh….

P.S. Yes, we are wearing jackets, jeans, etc. in these pictures. It was COLD that morning and until the fog lifted in the afternoon. You never really can put away your long sleeve shirts or jackets and scarves here in good ol’ Washington…you’ll just have to dig them back out!

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When Jeremy Came Home, Part 3

You could feel the excitement in the gym. It felt a little like electricity pulsing through everyone. The soldiers that were in the room to help out/receive the guys coming home started moving quickly and whispering to each other. The Army Band began to warm up and you could just tell that the guys were there.

The Army Band began to play a few songs. This was my cue that it was about to happen! My girlfriends who had already experienced this told me that when the Army Band begins to play, you’ll know it’s starting.

After the Army Band played a few songs, things got kind of blurry for me. I know that a guy got up with his guitar and started singing a song, I’m Free Because Of You (which I can’t find on You Tube). I was straining to hear the lyrics, but the feedback on the mics was so loud that I couldn’t hear what they were. All the sudden, I noticed that the curtain was rising. I am pretty sure at that point I just started to scream. You’ll hear it on the video-along with everyone else who finally realized the curtain that separated the room was going up.

The song finished, the curtain was all the way up, and there they were. Our guys. Home. Safe. For us.

The National Anthem was played, I cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t see Jeremy but I knew it wouldn’t be long. A Colonel got up and gave a short address and then, he dismissed the men to their families. I ran to Jeremy and found him quickly. It was a short jump into his arms. WHEW! We said our hello’s and hugged and hugged and hugged. Chase knew Jeremy instantly and went to him without any hesitation. Thank you Skype! Cooper was a barnacle. He was practically his own velcro patch on Jeremy’s uniform!

Afterwards, we went over to say hello to our small group and give hugs to all around. It was wonderful to have them there with us!

When we left the gym, it wasn’t quite 7 am yet. The sun was up, the birds were singing and the day seemed long already!

Jeremy with all his bags...and Cooper
We kissed a bit
We smiled a lot

After all the festivities, we went out to breakfast…well, after we waited for the restaurant to open anyway. It was a glorious day.

Having him home has been, well, normal. It’s so nice to just be normal. To just be together. Life never stopped for us and our circumstances; it doesn’t work that way. But we enjoyed getting caught up in this moment.  This moment was a beautiful thing.