I had a low-key day on Saturday, spending time at my friend A's house watching movies, decorating gingerbread cookies, and enjoying a huge dinner. I don't know what we were thinking making so much food--I must have a week's worth of leftovers!
There was only one moment that made both of us almost lose it, when her daughter K got upset and started wailing about missing her daddy. It's nearly impossible to keep a lid on our emotions when the little ones let theirs out, but we managed, and the moment passed. I'll tell you, though, I have to steel myself when K's bottom lip starts to wobble because I know what's coming. It's heartbreaking, and she's not even my kid.
Jason seems to have had a decent day, and the care packages I sent to him arrived just in the nick of time (as part of a nearly 60,000-pound cargo drop), according to his daily e-mail:
Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying your necklace. I received both of the packages that you sent.And here's what he told my mom:
With all of the packages I’ll be receiving, everyone in my shop will be jealous! Ha! It’s nice to feel loved, supported and appreciated.
We did get to have a special Christmas dinner. It was mashed potatoes, corn, string beans, steak and ham. They also had sugar cookies that looked like gingerbread men and cake. On top of that, [an admiral] and all of the chiefs were the ones serving the food. It was awfully nice for an admiral to take time out of his day to serve us. I shared the brownies with the guys on my shift, and they all really liked them.
As a ship, we're "making do" with what we have for Christmas. We're still working and training, but there are still little things going on to help lighten the mood. It doesn't work for everyone, though. Some people would rather not be reminded that it's Christmas. It can be depressing for some. The way I look at it is this: you can't help the fact that you're deployed, so you might as well make the best of it. There's no sense in bringing everyone around you down. Our enemies don't care that it's Christmas. They wish it didn't exist. Someone has to make these sacrifices to protect our nation. As luck would have it, I'm one of the 5,000 people chosen to make this sacrifice.Deep thoughts, man, deep thoughts.
But let's not get too serious. As it turns out, the admiral isn't the only one who put in some face time. They had a visit from an even bigger VIP: