Jason and the sailors on board his ship have done a lot in the nine weeks since the Vinson pulled out of San Diego.
They enjoyed a massive Christmas Eve mail drop and held a burial at sea ceremony to commit the remains of deceased veterans.
They conducted training exercises with the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy.
They made port in Busan, Republic of Korea (aka South Korea) and in Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Jason visited the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Batu Caves.
As Jason mused on Facebook, "First Busan, South Korea then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It's amazing to be able to travel all around the world and visit places I normally wouldn't of my own accord."
Deployment on an aircraft carrier isn't all fun and games in port, of course. Most days are an exhausting combination of double-digit work hours and mandatory trainings and meetings that eat away at precious sleep time. I predict naps in Jason's future.
As for me, I've been busy with the post-holiday work rush, doing our taxes, planning for family visits, sweating it out at the gym, and building my friendship with A and her girls.
This year was the first time I've done taxes on my own, and I thought that it would be a total disaster. Much to my surprise, it was just the opposite--I finished on Friday night without any problems or hysterics, and we're even getting a nice refund. Thanks, TurboTax!
As for the friendship building, here's an example of how close we've become:
I was hanging out at A's house, and I went to the bathroom. When 3-year-old K realized that I had left the room, she came after me and tried to get in. I had locked the door, so she couldn't. She stood outside the door jiggling the handle and demanding to be let in. As soon as I got my pants pulled up I let her in so she could watch me wash my hands. She told me never to close the door again and just leave it cracked like mommy does. She was genuinely upset that she couldn't get in. I was kind of honored... and I probably won't lock her out again.