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Is it possible for Army families to plan?
Military spouse
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Finally, our summer vacation has been planned. I’m quickly learning that making plans as a civilian and making plans as a military dependent are two very different things.
Four months ago, I was aiming for a weeklong vacation in Ireland, followed by a couple of days to visit our families in Iowa. Now, it seems we’ll be spending the majority of our vacation in Iowa, with just a few days in San Francisco to cure the travel bug my husband seems to have caught. How life has changed.
Four months ago, I’d had no idea that our tentative travel dates would find me in the fourth month of pregnancy or that the “morning” sickness that everyone said would pass after the first trimester would still be holding on with all its might. I had no idea that my husband’s leave wouldn’t be approved until just a few weeks beforehand and that the cost of airline tickets would rocket way out of our budget’s reach.
Looking back, it all seems silly and presumptuous. I’m sure I could have asked any military spouse if they thought my vacation would work out as planned, and they wouldn’t have hesitated to laugh. No, leave time doesn’t generally go perfectly, but it usually works out.
Now, I’ll get to show off my pregnant belly — the one that’s finally starting to look like there’s a baby inside, not like I just took a couple trips too many to the buffet table — to our families, something I suspect they’ll enjoy far more than Irish souvenirs. Our trip to San Francisco will allow my husband to see his childhood best friend graduate from college, along with the godson he hasn’t been able to visit in years now. We’ll celebrate our anniversary by spending three nights in the cabins where we honeymooned.
Really, I’ve never been much for planning. My husband is the one who totes around his itinerary in his Blackberry, the one who sets three alarms just in case one or two decides not to work. I’m the one who says, “Eh, let’s wing it.”
In this particular instance, and in our lifestyle, I think it’s important to have a little of both.

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