June has by far been one of the most amazing months for us. I am still trying to find the words for it all, but have come to the conclusion that just may never happen. Go ahead people, take note of this one... Brittney Biddle is struggling for words! Haha. We all know this is a rare thing to happen. Every time I try to find the words, I realize that they don't exist because there is no way to say Thank You for what we are being blessed with. Words aren't strong enough. All I can do is know that once things are calm again, I will give back that much more to the community of veterans and their families.
Today is June 22 and in 22 days our lives have changed so much. Sometime within the first few days of June, we applied for the house in Macon through the Homes on the Homefront program with Operation Homefront. On June 7 we received the call that changed everything for us, that brought us hope in life and lifted so much from our shoulders. We found out that we were the family that has been chosen for a home in Macon, GA. In disbelief we shared many emotions and are still emotional on this. We have been so blessed and many prayers from many people have been answered. On June 8, we began our journey to AL first going to Irondale, AL where we stayed for a few nights in a suite. Kevin, Nic, Bre, and I in one room and Aunt Jeanette, Grandmama, and Caitlin in a room right next to us. We stayed there through June 11, attending our annual summer family reunion. It was so wonderful to see everyone and we missed the ones that were unable to make it. On June 11, the kids left with Grandmama and Aunt Jeanette and headed back to Mena while Kevin and I headed south to Dothan...
While in Dothan, Kevin and I were FINALLY able to have some time of it being just the two of us. That has not happened in years!!! It was so peaceful. We woke up around 8 on Tuesday morning and ate breakfast before heading to Destin, FL. While in Destin, we walked the beach with our feet in the water, checked out a couple stores then drove the coast, heading towards Panama City Beach.
As we drove the coast, there were small towns that we just fell in love with. We stopped in one, Seaside, FL, to get out and stretch and of course to check out the town. It was not crowded, yet there were people all around, busy with their families and walking the town. There were families on bikes passing by. It is such a family oriented place. While we were there, we found a restaurant that had a balcony to eat on that overlooked the ocean. Without a second thought, we decided to eat there at Ben and Ally's. It was so good! We sat on the balcony closest to the ocean. Of course, there was a good amount of beachfront between us and the water, but that didn't matter.
After lunch and a brisk walk on the beach, we drove a short distance further and found ourselves reaching Panama City, which was surprisingly not that busy either. We stopped in an area that no one else was at and walked to the water. We found seashells for the girls and I quickly realized I had a better love for the Destin area! The beach was so much smoother to walk on and cleaner in general. There wasn't the sight of seaweed to the visible eye just by looking into the water while standing on the shore as there was in Panama City on the beach. After picking up shells, which the girls absolutely loved, we drove more into the city and stopped at the first pier we came to. We decided to walk the pier, which was a wonderful idea. I am so glad Kevin was up to walking a small distance and was able to handle people. This never happens to us, so I am so thankful for the amazing day we had. As we were walking the pier, I think we stopped every five feet or so to look over the edge. On the east side of the pier, there really wasn't much going on in the water, but on the west side of it, there were little fish that were all staying near the columns and small sharks that swam in the waters near them, just zipping in and out of waves. At one point, about halfway down the pier, Kevin noticed a man that had just caught one of these sharks and of course without hesitation we found ourselves next to him checking this shark out. This man let Kevin hold the shark and I honestly think, this moment made his day. Kevin is still talking about it. It brings so many smiles to my face to think of the happiness he had that day and the way I was able to catch glimpses of the "old" Kevin. There were still the struggles, apprehension, and pain, but he smiled more that day. After the pier, we headed across the street to Dicks for a drink and ended up ordering crocodile. We have NEVER had that before, but let me tell you, it tasted fabulous!!!
The next couple of days were spent around Dothan, really not doing much. We window shopped, talked, ate out, and spent the much needed quality time that we have not had in so many years. It seems that life has just flown by and we neglected to spend the alone time with each other. Operation Homefront provided us with that, or as Andrea says "With mommy daddy time". Oh it was so needed. We missed the children, but time away is good for everyone every once in awhile.
This trip left us even more excited for our move. Savannah will only be an hour and a half from us, which means that Kevin will be able to spend time shore fishing and I will have time to walk on the beach. It also means that in the upcoming months, our children will be able to see the ocean for the very first time. It's the simple things in life that make me smile the most. It's knowing that my children will now have many wonderful and happy memories in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Often when we think of men and women being injured overseas, we forget about what it does to the family. We forget how much it does to the children. They learn so much from it, but sadly, they also tend to grow up much quicker than other children. With our move and blessings, I want to give them back their childhood. I want them to enjoy life more. They are only small for such a short period of time. I want them to look back in life and think that times may have been hard in our house, but they would do it all over again. I know without a doubt, I would do it all over again to have these crazy four in my life. They complete me and the person I have become.