Two years ago today, I was in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales walking down the aisle to marry my husband and, according to recent research I just read, I shouldn’t be happy (because I married after the age of 27 years) BUT I am…
As with most weddings, we certainly had our pre-wedding and wedding day dramas however when I look back on that day, I remember being really happy. Other than a certain relative being in attendance, I wouldn’t change anything about that day.
Daryl and I were thinking back over the past 2 years only last night. We got the giggles because it has felt a lot longer than it has been due to the many things we have accomplished in the last 2 years. Here is a quick summary of what we have been up to…
We were married on 8th May 2010, 2 days later we returned to Darwin where we were living at the time and 2 days after that, we went on our honeymoon for 3 weeks. We generally had a good time but HATED the cruise we went on in the Mediterranean. We discovered that cruising on an Italian owned ship was not for us. That said company partially sunk one of its boats on a few months ago. I digress…
Upon returning from our honeymoon, it was confirmed that Daryl was going to Afghanistan from September AND that we were being posted to Papua New Guinea in the following January. So the planning for both trips began- Daryl planned for Afghanistan and I planned for PNG.
In August, I decided to bite the bullet and enrol in the teaching diploma I had been thinking about on and off for a few years. I began my teaching placement within weeks and juggled that, Daryl going away and an operation on my hand all in the space of 6 weeks.
I enjoyed Christmas with the ‘Abandoned Wives Club’ members- a club a few of us wives left behind while our husbands did their thing in Afghanistan. The name was all tongue in cheek of course and we just used it as an excuse to get together every week. We formed a great support network and would often warn each other out if we had gotten wind of bad news from the ‘ghan’ so that we wouldn’t be sitting at home crying in the shower for no reason. We often held our breaths when we heard some bad news- it was a mix of joy that it wasn’t you that was getting the knock on the door with great sadness thrown in for the wife or parents who were getting the bad news. So I’m off topic again…
Daryl returned on 29th December to enjoy a few days rest and to pack up our house before we set off for a whirlwind trip to Melbourne and then back to Darwin to say goodbye to our lovely dog Axel and board the plane for PNG.
We arrived in PNG on 17th January 2011. We thought we might try to have a baby that year but after being incredibly overwhelmed with inductions, security briefings, and being hit with daily scenes of poverty, we thought we better wait and see before we launched into that. On 19th January 2011, I found out I was pregnant… our play it safe plan went out the window and we started preparing for a baby.
After 2 weeks in our house in PNG, we were told that our accommodation was not suitable for a child and so we moved once again to a different compound- luckily our household effects had not arrived yet.
In May last year, Daryl was sent on a 5 week course back in Australia and I went to Los Angeles to catch up with my sister rather than sit in a compound on my own the whole time. I should add here that my 20 week scan was due the day after our wedding anniversary and we expected to be apart for both events due to the Defence Force having Daryl on this course. I arrived in Canberra for my scan to find him waiting at the bottom of the escalator in baggage collection with a diamond and sapphire ring. What a start to anniversary celebrations and we had discussed only ever doing the old traditional gifts like paper for the first anniversary. Here I was planning to give him personalised letterhead and he went and got me a diamond and sapphire ring AND surprised me with his visit to Canberra for our scans and anniversary!
When we returned to PNG, I spent another 2 weeks there before flying out to Queenstown, New Zealand to attend our Richard and Julia Trembath A.K.A. Jichard’s wedding. We arrived home with 3 weeks to spare before my final flight back to Canberra as a childless woman.
On 16th September 2011, we welcomed our Baby Girl into our lives and the control of my bladder once again. Six weeks later, we were back in PNG and another 8 weeks after that we celebrated Christmas in Melbourne and Canberra (at last minute).
On January 26th, 2012, we were woken by an early phonecall to tell us to limit our movements around Port Moresby as there was a mutiny. Some renegade soldiers had taken over the military and were demanding changes in the government. So we have even survived a mutiny… a pretty uneventful one, but a mutiny nevertheless 🙂
So here we are today, celebrating what feels a lot longer than 2 years of marriage but an incredibly enjoyable 2 years of marriage. What a ride it has been!