England was a new beginning for our family. We began to laugh again as we would tour local castles and attempt to eat mushy peas. It was amazingly different from being in the United States. So many things that we take for granted they don’t have there, and we had to adapt. The land was beautiful and the people were very friendly. Hailey and I would walk down little country roads into the towns that were built hundreds of years ago. I always had fresh flowers on the kitchen table from a local stand where I could buy them for the cheap price of 35 pence.
Work was frustrating for me for many reasons. We had traveled to England on my orders, which meant that they needed someone of my rank and job skill in the squadron, but because he moved there too and outranked me, he took precedent and got the job on the flight line while they again, stuck me behind a desk. I missed working on planes terribly. I also had to work night shift because they didn’t want us on the same shift. My body never really adapted to sleeping during the day and I stayed in a realm of frustration.
The first year in England was good for our relationship. Being somewhere new and not having any other friends forced us to spend time together again. Funny it seems as soon as a relationship hits a good comfort zone, we try to make it unravel as fast as possible. We did that by adding another child. We never intended to have only one, and with Hailey’s second birthday looming, it was time. It wasn’t long before we found out that we would be expecting another baby. This pregnancy I was ecstatic about from the get go. I was older, more prepared, and the terrifying part of the unknown was no longer a factor.
Active duty parents have to create a plan of what will happen to their children if they are both deployed. After the strain that September 11 had put on our relationship with Hailey, we decided that when I delivered the second baby I would also get out of the military and spend a few years as a stay at home mom. I had my GI Bill and would be able to go to school and be home for our children. It was all figured out.