Saying Goodbye to Summer and Welcome Back to my Girls

There is a song stating that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.”  No disrespect to Andy Williams, but I disagree.  For me, the most wonderful time of the year is when the girls return home after summer vacation with their mother.  From Gabriella having her birthday to prepping for their return (the house and car are spotless right now), or to just me smiling and getting that spark of life back again, this is the best part of the year for me.

Someone looks ready to travel…

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Long Time No Update

I think it is pretty safe to say that the last month has been a little rough for all of us.  I am certainly no different.  With a new job, the girls being gone for Spring Break, and the military preparation for COVID-19, the last two weeks in particular have been extremely difficult.  I just wanted to give a quick update to let everyone know that we are doing okay.  If there is anything that the Calkins Family does well, we endure, and tend to make the best of any situation.

Yep, they upgraded to a real trampoline.

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One-Year Anniversary

One year ago, I started this blog for the following reasons:

“The first is to be a productive outlet for my family and myself by highlighting how much fun you can have when you put family first, regardless of your family structure.  The second is to inspire and give hope to other single fathers out there, especially those that are the primary custodians of their children.”

While only other single fathers (or even single mothers, for that matter) can answer if I met my second goal, I can with absolute certainty say that this first goal was a success and it exceeded my expectations.  From our amazing trip to Walt Disney World to our weekly adventures in the greater Sierra Vista metroplex to our lazy days around the house, we are showing day after day what a loving, caring, and fun family looks like.  And if this was not enough, Elaina got recognized at school this week.

“I would like to thank my Dad and my sister, because the Academy has done absolutely nothing for me.”

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Life Sometimes Gets in the Way (or A Brief Update)

Greetings!  As you may have noticed, I have not written anything in almost a month.  While the reports of my writer’s block have been greatly exaggerated, this has just been a very (unexpectedly) busy month for my family.  It all started a few months ago when I got selected for promotion, but did not really kick in until last month when I got accepted into the next level of the military’s education system.  The program, named Intermediate Level Education (Distance Learning, for me), is 18-months of classes, including numerous tests and papers.  As if that was not taking up enough of my time, I got selected to move to a new position, one that will set me up for greater success and mobility within the Army.  This is all great, do not get me wrong, but it also means that I have to study up on all the requirements and responsibilities of this new job, on top of the graduate-level classes I am already taking.  The last bit that was thrown onto my plate was that I have to support a training exercise… in Washington state.  Which means that, according to our parenting plan, the girls have to go back to Texas with their mother for a few weeks… ending only two weeks before they go back there for over two months.  Needless to say, I have been extremely busy and am about to really miss my girls for almost three months.  While I am certainly going to get back to writing, I just wanted to give a brief update that even though we have still been going on our adventures, writing about them has unfortunately taken a back seat to increase in workload.  In essence, I have only had to sacrifice my personal time to ensure than my family is taken care of, which I think is the right answer.  I will try to get a real post out as soon as I get some free time, but at least wanted to give everyone an update on why all the articles that I have been planning have not been forthcoming.  Thanks for understanding.

Cheers!

“Pick the best one… tell them I drew it.”
While these look like depressing pictures, this is really just our morning routine.  The girls say “Let’s do the window!,” and then we say goodbye to each other through all the windows in their classroom.