For the first time in my life, I flew cross-country alone. I left my Nashville home to spend time in Mountain Home Idaho. I know, I know. Why trade the bustling city life of Nashville Tennessee for potato country? The answer is quite simple. It all comes down to two words. My family.
Mountain Home has a population hovering around 20,000 people. What you may not expect is that approximately 15,000 of those people live on base. Native to Mountain Home is a United States Air Force base. That’s what got me here. Well pretty much. Here’s why…
My uncle, Jason, is an Airman. Currently he is deployed to Qatar. I’m proud of his willingness to serve and for all the things he does for his family. Unfortunately this means that he is nearly a world away from his wife and his kiddos. My aunt Amy, and cousins miss him dearly but they all know that he will be home as soon as he can. Put in perspective that my aunt and cousins only miss one person, but my uncle misses all three. It’s hard, but families are forever. So a short deployment is better than a long one!
Jason left to serve his deployment shortly after the Christmas holidays. If all things go as scheduled, he’ll be reunited with my lovely aunt just in time for their wedding anniversary mid May. Fingers crossed that all goes well!
Amy and Jason have a real life fairytale love, complete with castles. So you can imagine how hard it is for these two to be apart for any length of time especially almost half a year! Throw two toddlers into the mix and an already rough situation just got a wee bit harder.
Evie is a little over 2, and she is absolutely one of the smartest kids ever. Ender is just about 16 months old and he is one of the strongest little guys I’ve ever met. And I may be biased being family and all, but it’s true. Ever had a 2-year-old count to 14, list every color known to mankind just about, list off 72 different animals AND quote the entire script to Tangled, Frozen and Turbo? Well Evie can do all of the above. And Ender?! The kid can lift up bags of potatoes (hardy har har IDAHO potatoes!), climb up on things nearly twice his height, and have a serious tug of war with you and just about win. Needless to say, these children are definite angels but also a lot of work. However, all totally worth me traveling the 1900 miles from home to come see.
Considering I still haven’t found the perfect job after graduating college at the end of last year, I figured I’d put this newly found time on my hands to good use. So I’m here to do anything at all to make life a little easier for Amy. Diapers, naps, baths, cleaning, laundry, I’m here to do anything needed. Even if that means being here so that Amy has another adult in the house to talk to. I absolutely love being here to help my family in anyway possible. What I didn’t expect was how much this trip would help me. I’ve found beauty in absolutely all of it. In just spending time with two wonderful toddlers and an amazing aunt and in everything Idaho is.
Idaho is mainly desert, big surprise I know, but still it’s a very gorgeous desert. Sprinkled with mountains and A LOT of tumbleweed. Seriously though, it’s exactly what you would expect to see in an old Western movie. But other than the occasional tumbleweed blowing out right in front of you, there are more things than just tumbleweeds and potatoes.
For example, one of the coolest sights I saw after arriving took place one morning right after an amazing thunderstorm. The temperatures had dropped just enough so that when it rained, it capped the mountains in snow. We were driving into town to run some errands when I looked out the window and saw a graceful cloud fall. It seriously mesmerized me. It literally looked like a waterfall in sky only it was made out of clouds. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Or rather, just like Evie and Ender when they get popsicles.
Then another day Amy took me up some windy roads and before I knew it we were at a lookout where you could see the mountains, majestic and stunning. Photos didn’t even do them justice. I spent a while there just observing it all. The mountains here are definitely bigger than the ones back home, that’s for sure.
All these things helped me finally realized that there’s always something beautiful to find. Whether it is out the window of the car, or in the face of a beautiful child. It does the soul good to just slow down and take time to appreciate the little things. Or instead of wasting time stressing about landing your dream job, putting that energy into something more productive. Even if it took traveling 1900 miles to realize that the world won’t end when things don’t go as planned but rather give yourself a whole new start.