So when Alta and Mila were puking the day before - I pretty much assumed that I must have a wicked step mother somewhere that gave me puking kids instead of locking me in the tower...
Alas, my little mice prevailed - and as my kids had a quick turnaround - I realized I was in fact going to the ball. This led to a mad scramble to assemble my outfit - because to my disbelief, my dress NEVER CAME. It still hasn't arrived. I ordered it at the end of March... from Nordstroms. It should have been here...
So the night before, Crystal and I descended on Julie's house (think of Julie as your fairy Godmother - and you really won't be too far off)... and we made due with what we had. I should have taken pictures of my options.... because then at least you'd be laughing with me. Being a Mormon, trying to fit into other people's gowns, and then covering up what needs to be covered, left me looking more like Lord of the Rings meets Grandma for option 1, or like I could have been on an episode of Sisterwives (going to the ball special edition) for option 2. Thankfully Julie and Crystal talked me into wearing things I already owned (option 3), and then trying to dress it up to be formal enough for the occasion. At least it fit, and was comfortable.
Julie worked wonders for Crystal too - she put sleeves on her dress!
This is Crystal and Sara. Both go to my church, and I was lucky enough to have a fun weekend with these ladies. Check out the pleating on Crystal's sleeves! Julie... did some bipity bopity boo on that for sure!
Anyhow, the point is - I could have let that stop me from going. And I didn't. I'm so glad I didn't. Did I feel like I was Cinderella? Meh.... not so much. But I had a great time sharing in the joy of celebrating my husband, his career, and our journey together.
One of the things about the ball that I loved, was the realization of how many people I know here. Jaren kept saying - "How do you know all of these people?" and "You know more people than I do!" Which is true. I did!
I owe a huge chunk of that to this girl! Krystle. Krystle and I have been friends since Alabama. And to say that I was comforted by the knowledge that coming to Korea meant I would be reunited with this girl is the understatement of the year!
Krystle is one of those friends where the friendship is easy. Being in her presence feels like your with your sister. You can be totally yourself. You can talk, or not talk. You can ugly cry. You can laugh with snorts. You can forget to call. Doesn't matter - because she offers her love unconditionally. She also radiates with her love for God, and reminds me of the power He gives us. She is truly one of my favorite things about Korea. She has taught me so much about being an Army wife, and the gift that it can bring. She has shared with me her love of Korea, and has helped me get the foothold I needed to feel safe in this process. I only hope to be able to pay that forward someday. Oh, did I mention she did all of this living an hour and a half away? She doesn't make excuses for anything - and I love that about her. Anyhow, back to my point. Krystle introduced me to her group of friends, and of course most of them were at the ball.. so it was a wonderful evening amongst friends old and new!
It had been far too long since I'd eaten at a formal occasion, and had to mentally process "which fork first..." Yeah, you know it's been to long if you have to think about that.
My favorite part of the evening though, was sharing in the celebration of being a part of the Army. Love it AND hate it sometimes. But it is good to be reminded of the mission, the sacrifice, the dedication, the camaraderie, and the importance of what we are doing. Jaren and I are a team. While I don't take on my husband's rank or anything, I know that we are doing this together. So I found myself teary eyed more than once to remember the sacrifices that have been made to get here. The friends we have lost. The friends that we have watched lose their loved ones. The separations and deployments endured. Those that continue to deploy. Those that continue to send off their loved ones...
And while some may focus on the craziness that sometimes ensues after the formal portion ends. I just loved sharing in the spirit of the evening. I am proud of my husband. I am proud of his job. He has an awesome mission with his medevac unit. I am proud of my children and their resiliency. And hey, if I'm honest - I'm proud of myself. This hasn't been an easy journey, but we are doing it with as much optimism and faith as we can muster.