Deployment and Hiatus

My last post was a little over two months ago and it was written just after I had arrived at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. To say a lot has changed since then would be an understatement. While I have been extremely busy since I got here, even sometimes working over the weekends (mostly self-induced), part of why I have not written is because it is likely going to be my last post for quite a while (pending the few I have in the hopper). As was always a possibility in my profession, I am going to deploy soon, and will not have the time, connectivity, or material to write while overseas.

Starfleet Academy shirt, Assault Pack, and PT shoes… wow.
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The Calkins Family’s Arizona Farewell Tour

“All good things must come to an end.” Unfortunate proverb, but so very true. Being in the military, it is only a matter of time before you have to move to a different duty station. Thankfully, through the Assignment Interactive Module (AIM) marketplace, we will always have choices in where we go next, but it still means that we have to leave Fort Huachuca. And, make no mistake, we have had a great time here. Before we left though, Elaina, Gabriella, and I wanted to make sure we did all the things that made our posting in Southeast Arizona so memorable.

Niñas. Niñas made it memorable. And giant, realistic dinosaurs.
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The Calkins Family vs. the AIM Marketplace

As stated in previous posts, the last two months have involved me working towards choosing and securing our next duty station, and it has been busy for me and little stressful on all of us. It involved me staying up late researching and writing emails, spending far too much time on the computer (which the girls did not like), and growing very concerned that we were not going to get an assignment that we wanted. Thankfully, everything worked out in the end, but we are all a little exhausted from the experience.

One of my Small Group Leaders has a Doctorate in Memes… so his work will be featured heavily here.
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A Sleepover, A Marathon, and a Lost Tooth

This was another fun yet busy weekend for Team Calkins (last weekend we spent in Phoenix, which I will post about later). As much as I talk about needing to take a step back and relax, it is just not something that we do. To quote Russell from Up, “Adventure is out there!;” we are not going to find it sitting at home, especially in the time of COVID (who’s impact we continue to manage very well). So the girls had a sleepover at their friend’s house while I ran a marathon. Sounds like a pretty good time for them.

Having the girls waiting at the finish line was all the motivation I needed
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Taking Care of Dad

As every parent knows, most of the time it is us taking care of our children. Whether it is cooking meals, drawing them a bath, or getting another Band-Aid for that minor (possibly invisible) scrape, a vast majority of our lives involves taking care of our kids. Every now and then though, they might have to return the favor. This has pretty much been the case for the last month, as I have been either broken or tired, and the girls have stepped up when I needed it most. Here is to the girls taking care of Dad.

Pancakes, Coffee, and March Madness help too, just not as much.
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“Hunting the Good Stuff”

During this time of uncertainty, sometimes it is really tough to think positive.  But we must carry on and try to find the silver lining in all this.  In the Army, we call this “Hunting the Good Stuff.”  In essence, you may be in a bad situation, but try your best to look on the bright side.  And we do, because that is how the Calkins Family does it.

I got served the same food right after this picture was taken (and I ate all of it, I swear!)
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Night of Extraordinary Lights Holiday Village

There is no shortage of things to do around the holidays.  Unfortunately for us, any activity, especially one in Tucson, takes away from preparing for the girls’ grandparents to arrive on Christmas week.  Thankfully, Fort Huachuca has plenty of holiday events.  And when one of the biggest of the season is literally a block from our house, there is really no excuse not to grab the girls and join in on the fun.

The girls started off the Christmas season by each eating an untoasted marshmallow from the S’mores station… absolute sacrilege.
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Trunk or Treating

It is time for the annual Trunk or Treat at Fort Huachuca.  Given how much candy they got last year from the event, you just knew the girls would want to participate.  Time to suit up in your costume of choice, grab your candy bag, and get ready to wait in line for an hour in almost freezing temperatures!

And crime fighting, of course.  There is always the possibility of that.
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Company Bowling Night

As a single parent, sometimes you just want to talk to other adults outside of work.  I mean, I absolutely adore my kids, but the conversations with a six- and four-year old can be somewhat limited.  So when we were given the chance to attend my unit’s bowling night, I was more than happy to show up and support the event.

And so were the girls!
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The Girls Promoting Me to Major

So everyone knows by now that my daughters and I do everything together.  Baking involves having my trusty frosting testers available.  Hiking means more than just walking in the wilderness, in that one girl is usually on my shoulders and the other is in a carrier backpack.  And a nice, quiet trip to the zoo involves me answering endless questions on why animals look and act the way they do.  It is the way our family works and I love it.  So why would my big promotion be any different?

And yes, I did pick out their outfits.
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