On the 5th of July, 2010 we recited our vows and sang The First Noel, a Christmas carol in the heat of a summer day because that was the first song we sang together when she returned from Azerbaijan the previous December.
Pictures shot and cake eaten, we made our way down to Alabama for two months of JAG school before we settled in our permanent home in Wichita. We met friends in Montgomery and took a couple of trips to the beach. Just before we left, she smiled as she said, “I’ll be eating for two for the next nine months.”
But she only ate for two for eight-and-a-half months as Zach came three weeks early. I struggled to get him into the car seat the first time, but we made it home to our Wichita duplex and his waiting nursery full of dad-assembled furniture.
And then he cooed, cried, crawled, and cooed again as we settled into family life and a work, home, work schedule. We went to baseball games and presidential museums. Zach grew fat in eight months. We cut down a Christmas tree, sang The First Noel again, and she told me “I’ll be eating for two for the next eight-and-a-half months.”
Orders came down for Alaska. The ultrasound showed a little girl. And then we celebrated two years. On the 5th of July, 2012. And she sang The First Noel to Zach as he drifted off to sleep.