Leaving on a jetplane

And just like that, Jacob’s gone.

Today came so much faster than expected. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of gathering everything he’ll need for the next two years, from dri fit clothing to sunscreen to his favorite comfort food, gummy bears 🙂 I can’t express how proud I am of Jacob for enrolling in the Peace Corps. I’m sad he is leaving (that is an understatement!) but know that he is such a perfect fit for this job and it will be a life changing experience for both him and all of the people he serves in Guatemala.

5:30 came abruptly this morning after just four hours of sleep. We stayed up late into the night talking and getting our final snuggles in but Jacob hopped right out of bed at 5:30 with the adrenaline of getting ready to go. At 6:15 on the dot, we were out the door to the airport. I drove Jacob in my car and his dad, stepmom, and older sister followed. His mother, brother, and younger sister met us there as well. Check in took all of ten minutes and then it was time for pictures. Here’s the entire Brennan clan:

We were all able to grab coffee together and spend a few more minutes with Jacob since check in was so brisk and the security line was negligible. It was so strange to be just sitting there in the airport, with everyone he loves gathered around him, trying to figure out what to say before he leaves the country for 27 months. Everyone was in good spirits, though, largely because we all know this is the right path for him and are so happy he has this great opportunity.

But of course, he had to leave sometime. We hugged and kissed multiple times and I was able to keep the tears back, though there was a bit of a lump in my throat, but even standing in front of the security gate, this all doesn’t seem real! Jacob’s mom, who is a flight attendant and had security clearance, went through security with him, and he turned around and waved, and that was it.

I stood around with the rest of the family for a little while, trying to digest what just happened, and then there was nothing to do but drive home, one person lighter. Jacob’s mom was kind enough to Jacob’s sisters, his brother Kiernan and his girlfriend Jamie, and myself out to Biscuits for breakfast, which was a great treat after such an early, hectic morning.

I made it through one of those flaky warm biscuits and half of my “Joe’s Scramble” – egg whites, red potatoes, bacon, onion, and spinach topped with parm – before giving up. It was delicious and my belly was at least happy, even if the rest of me was less so!

After brunch, I came home and crashed out for two hours – even after drinking loads of coffee all morning. Four hours of sleep + emotional exhaustion = naptime. I also was delaying the fun process of putting the rest of my possessions from the Brennans’ house into my car, but once up, I couldn’t put it off any longer. Everything of mine, and a few things Jacob had left behind, went into my little Hyundai. I’ve got to run back next Monday to grab my bike and Jacob’s desktop because I didn’t want them with me while I’m moving around this week, but otherwise, I’m moved out. Can’t believe I’m moving… again. It’s the sixth time in three years. Oy vey.

Anyway, I got in a great one hour workout on the elliptical before heading to Jacob’s mom’s for the night. Due to all the last minute errands we had to run and the big family dinner on Sunday, I had no time for exercise, so it felt great to be back in the gym after such heavy eating the last few days.

Since Heidi took us to breakfast this morning, I offered to make dinner. It was a treat for me as well as for her, since I haven’t really had the opportunity to cook much the last several months while we were at Jacob’s dad’s house. One of my favorite go-to meals is a stir fry; it’s pretty difficult to go wrong.

I sauteed chicken, broccoli, snow peas, onion, and broccoli slaw in a little bit of oil on the stove…

While that was going, I made white rice on the stovetop and created a sauce of lite coconut milk and Peanut Butter and Company’s The Heat is On peanut butter by heating them together in the microwave.

While cooking, we cheers-ed to Jacob with some Pyramid Curveball.

And voila! This was perfectly spiced with little to no additions from me, thanks to the special PB. The Curveball paired well with the spicy food and refreshed my mouth after each bite.

Heidi and I wiled away the evening chatting, since we haven’t actually spent that much time together one-on-one, and a few hours later, we reached Jacob at his hotel in Philadelphia! He sounded upbeat and thrilled to hear from us, but tired. His plane from Phoenix –> Philly got rerouted around the St. Louis tornado, which took an extra hour, and the poor kid hadn’t planned for that and so was without adequate food 😦 Once in Philly, he met up with his fellow Peace Corps volunteers and had dinner and drinks but it had been a loooooooong day. We tested out Skype for a bit and then said our second goodbye for the day. He said it could be as long as two weeks before we talk again, since he’s not sure when he’ll get his cell phone in Guatemala and he’s busy tomorrow with orientation before flying out. That will be by far the longest we’ve gone without talking to each other – we’ve probably not gone more than 48 hours without communicating by phone or text for two + years.

All right, this girl is tired. Night night!

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