He’s home!

He’s home!  He came home two days early!  Two bonus days with my soldier!  Goodness, it feels good to have him home!  

I’ve slept through the night for two straight nights!  My heart rate has decreased.  My stress level is near zero and I just feel so HAPPY!  

It’s over!  The long deployment that seemed it would never end is over!

He’s coming home!

He should be home next month!  It’s almost over, this long deployment!  I cannot even begin to describe the relief that I am feeling knowing that my soldier is almost home!  

I told the kiddos to make lists of what they want to do with Daddy when he gets here.  I told them we couldn’t do everything right away, but that we will work through their lists.  My husband still won’t be home full-time for a while.  His job is going to be complicated this year and he will be doing a lot of traveling, but he will be here for weekends, birthdays, and Christmas!  All of the things that he missed last year!  I’m so excited!!!

15 years

Its been fifteen years since the day that I met my husband, my soulmate!  I cannot believe it has been that long and yet it feels longer.  I am so looking forward to him coming home next month and getting to spend time with him!  I don’t want much, just to sit next to him, hold his hand, hear his voice (not through the phone) and wake up beside him each and every day!  I can’t wait!  I feel extremely lucky and blessed that I am married to my best friend, and that after all of this time, I still really like him and want to be around him!  I guess long deployments and military assignments are good for one thing.  They sure do make you realize how much you love and miss somebody when they’re gone.  I cannot wait til he’s home! 

I’m Tired

I’m really really tired!  I’ve been a “geographically single” parent for eleven months now and I’m exhausted.  I’m tired of being completely responsible for everyone and everything all by myself.  I want my husband back!  I want to relax.  I want a full night’s rest.  I want to be able to fully and completely let go and let him take care of me for a few days. I know he wants to be here!  It won’t be much longer.  In a few days we’ll be at the one month count down.  I can hardly wait!  The kids can hardly wait!  We are so ready to have our soldier home!!!

We got approval for our June vacation!

We’re planning a beautiful, private beach, 3 pool resort type of vacation for when my soldier returns from deployment. Having foster children means that we can’t just leave the state whenever we like no matter if the next state over is only an hour away. We have to get permission first. So, when I found the PERFECT resort for our family, that had everything we were looking for in a vacation spot AND they had a unit available during the month after my soldier gets back, I was so excited! But, I needed to get permission first because the resort is a state away.

Well, today I got the email I was waiting for! We have permission to take our ENTIRE family on a vacation of a lifetime! I am so happy! I really want/need this vacation after this deployment, but I was NOT willing to go without our babies! So, the supportive email today from DHR, stating that our family has permission to take our babies across state lines was an answer to my prayers!!!

My mind was playing tricks on me.

We were at church tonight, the kids and I. After it was over and I was trying to get them to move a little bit faster I said, “Come on you guys! We need to hurry up, let’s go… Don’t you want to get home to see…” And there I stood, frozen. I almost said, “to see Daddy.” I really did have the picture in my mind of him sitting at home after work, waiting on us to get home, so he could help me put the babies into a bath and help the big kids with homework. Only thing is, he isn’t at home. He’s thousands of miles away and it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Stupid mind!

I try…

I really try to remain positive and most of the time I do!  I plan fun things for the kids and I to do.  I spend my mornings getting us ready for our fun filled days and I spend my nights cleaning up from them.  I make sure we have “down time” and time to relax.  We’ve spent almost every holiday since our solider has been gone doing really very “normal” holiday activities, so that we don’t all mope around feeling sorry for ourselves that he is gone.

Today, New Year’s Eve I planned to have friends over.  I planned to eat pizza from our very favorite pizza place, I got party hats, blow horns to make tons of noise, and sparkling apple cider to toast with at midnight.  Only thing is… I’m sad.  I want to be with my soldier.  I want him here.  We’ve lived apart for over 7 months and I’m tired of it.  I want him back.  I want to cuddle with him tonight and kiss him at midnight.  We’ve been apart for 4 out of 13 New Year’s Eves since we’ve been married.  I know that is pretty good odds, but seriously, I am just missing him tonight.  I miss his laugh, his scent, his voice, his touch, his presence in the house… I just miss him.

So, 2015 I’m excited and happy that you are here!  This year will bring my reunion with my solider!  We will spend more months together this year than last and that is something to be very thankful for!

Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve

I did it! I didn’t think I could, but I did! I handled Christmas Eve all by myself with five kids and no family within 2,000 miles! I didn’t cry! I didn’t fuss! I put on my big girl panties and made a very special, never to forget day for my five sweet children! Yes, our soldier daddy is deployed and yes, that stinks, but it’s Christmas and we won’t get another one for another 365 days! So, Merry Merry Christmas Eve 2014 everyone! From our family to your family, God bless you!!!

My List

Remember when I wrote that blog post a couple months back about 44 things to do while my soldier is gone?  Well, today I re-read the blog post and guess what?  My soldier has been gone only 1/3 of the time that he will be gone and yet my kiddos and I have already done 22 of the 44 things that we planned on doing!  That’s half!  How awesome is that?  So, yay for us!

We went to the drive-in.  Um, CRAZY NIGHT!  But, seriously I am SO glad that we did that!  We may have been the loudest truck there with my five kiddos switching seats every ten seconds and calling, “Pass the popcorn,” loud enough for the entire drive-in to hear us, but it was a BLAST!

We visited the beach!  SO GLAD WE DID THAT TOO!  I love the beach, it is my happy place!  My sister-in-law came to visit and we took five kiddos, two chairs, five buckets and shovels, snacks, drinks, diapers, towels, shoes, toys, and a camera to the beach and made it out alive and still ready to do it again someday!  Success!

I teach my daughter’s Girl’s In Action class at church almost every Wednesday night and LOVE IT!  Being with her and her friends and teaching them about missions is a joy!

I’ve taken the babies on walks at the park, watched my oldest play soccer and basketball, taken tons of photos of everything we do and so much more!  I even signed my son up for drum lessons and that wasn’t even on the list!

So, three months down, six more months to go and only 22 more things to check off my list and then my soldier will be home!

A soldier’s last trip home.

There is something about a tragedy that brings people together. I haven’t talked to so many Army friends in one day in a long time. We all reconnected again today talking about our fellow soldier and his family. We talked about memories and times together and made sure we all knew how much each of us meant to each other. Many of us have husbands and sons currently still over there in Afghanistan and we all shared our fears and our hopes that nobody else will have to die before this whole deployment is over! Our friend made the ultimate sacrifice and he will never be forgotten!

My friend’s brave soldier will be making his last trip home very soon and some of our friends currently serving in Afghanistan will be with him for different parts of that journey. He will be honored and remembered. They will carry him out of a country so filled with hate and war. It warms my heart that he will NOT be alone for this last ride home.