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One Week Down

Phew. I’m not going to lie. The past few days have been pretty exhausting. Not only because my partner- in- helping- with- bedtime is missing, but also because when he leaves I cram as much as I possibly can into each day and hope that it makes the time go by much quicker. This has proven true and the time – thankfully – has been moving by pretty quickly. Adam has now been gone one week and I am thankful we are one week down into the count down of quite a few more.

A few ways we have been spending our days lately:

Coffee Dates: I host a weekly coffee date at my place and really enjoy the adult conversation. It is definitely something I look forward to each and every week.

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Fun at the local Mall: A local mall of ours has an arcade area that we frequent. The main reason is for Brooklyn to ride the Thomas the Train ride, but she has recently expanded to the carousel as well as the ball pit (when mommy lets her – pit of germs, anyone?). It’s a lot of fun and the mall is pretty close by, so we like to hit it up when the weather isn’t so nice out or we just need to get out of the house.

Bible Study//Fellowship with friends: Our current study is coming to a close which makes me sad but also so very thankful for our wonderful bible study and all the many blessings these ladies have been to me. I hope we continue to meet, even if it’s just to hang out because I truly love getting to see these ladies on a weekly basis.

Outdoor playing: this never gets old. Thankfully, my girls absolutely love getting to play outside and I do as well, so we are spending as much time as we can outdoors when the weather permits. One thing our base has are plenty of different parks so we usually test them all out throughout the week. Scarlett is slowly becoming such a wandering and running toddler and it’s so much fun to see. I sent Adam a video of her playing outdoors the other day and he can tell she has grown up in just this past week alone.  

Preparing for our up-coming move: I’ve been sorting through and organizing our things slowly but surely in preparation for our move in September/October. In thinking about it as a big picture, it stresses me out with all the work that needs to get done. I’m trying to do bit by bit each week in hopes of it not being as much of a big project in the end. I can always hope, right?

Kid-swaps: my friend, who lives just two floors above us, suggested swapping kids once a week so we can get in a workout with out needing to take them along. Such a great idea! It’s free, the kiddos can play together, and it gives us each a little peace and quiet. I’m all for it and loving it.

Planning for a wonderful visitor: my best friend from childhood is coming in a week and I could not be more excited! I’m starting to plan some fun things we can do together and just really looking forward to having someone here to spend time with and get to hang out with again. It’s been two years since I’ve last seen her and that is two years too long, if you ask me!

Skype dates: keeping up with family and friends as much as we can!

So, while we miss Adam so much it hurts sometimes, we are trying to pass this separation with as many things as we can do. If you’re someone whose spouse leaves for a while at a time, what do you do to pass the time?

 

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The Picture of Deployment

I’m standing at the curb, holding a squirming one-year-old with one arm while trying to push the uncooperative stroller seating my two-year-old up onto the sidewalk with the other. I’m sweating profusely and silently cursing the stroller, hot sun beating down on me, and my daughter’s decision that she didn’t want to walk anymore and now needed to ride in the stroller which meant carrying my youngest daughter. {Even though she was the one who, while walking out of our apartment, informed me that she wanted to walk to the store and persuaded me to take the single stroller for only Scarlett to ride in.}

My friend happened to come upon me after multiple attempts to coax the stroller up onto the sidewalk and said in one simple declaration: “That is the picture of deployment right there.”

I couldn’t agree more. A frustrated and tired mom, having carried her child for over a half mile {unnecessarily, mind you}, who just wants to make it back home to make dinner for the girls, give them baths, put them down for bed, and have a couple hours to herself before getting broken sleep and starting it all over again tomorrow. Only to be repeated for months.

Being a “single” mom and a military spouse is not glamorous. It’s hard work. Day in and day out. Oh, how thankful I am that this is our last deployment this sea tour before we move back to the States and get a much needed break. I’m counting down the days.

There was a glimpse today of peace and quiet, one tiny redeeming part of my day. I went to the salon to get my hair cut and colored. It was a glorious two hours all to myself. I kind of felt bad that I wasn’t my chatty self with the stylist but I was basking in the fact that I didn’t need to reply yes, honey or stop doing that a thousand times. It was wonderful.

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Some days, we look for any little break we can get. Hopefully this deployment will go quickly.

 

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Soaking It All In

The dread of another deployment is looming.

The bags are starting to be packed. Wills and powers of attorney renewed. His favorite foods are  slowly disappearing from our pantry shelves. The simple things of everyday life are gradually changing.

I’m not a newbie when it comes to deployment. I’ve put in my time from being away from my husband. Deployments will never get easier as each one comes up, but my ability to handle and process it – the emotional and mental toll – just might be getting a little better each time.

I notice my bedtime shifts back later and later in the closing weeks before they leave, trying to hold on to and enjoy these last snippets of time together before he’s gone again. I’ve started to plan things, especially those first few weeks after his departure, to keep busy. I find busy-ness is the key to a successful shift of Daddy home then Daddy gone.

I’ve begun talking with our two-year-old, trying to prep her for the separation from the most important man in her life – her Daddy, buddy, and best friend. We’ve been watching Talk, Listen, Connect more recently. She’s a strong little girl and I know this time away from Daddy will only strengthen my relationship with her. Thankfully, her sister Scarlett is only a year old and will most likely not be affected in the same way, as she can’t really understand time and the concept of separation just yet.

While this deployment will be similar in that Adam is gone from us, it also brings a bit of excitement for us seeing as it’s our last one before we move onto our shore tour. We simply cannot wait to move from Japan to the land we know as home, where Adam will be around much more and get to experience the true every day life for a few years.

So, if I’m not around as much over the next little while, you understand why. We’re soaking up and enjoying as much time as we can with my husband, our little girls’ Daddy, before that good-bye comes again much too soon.

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Our homecoming last November. We are already counting down the days to this years’ homecoming!

 

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Two.

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We are down to two more days until Adam is here! Unless you have done long separations with your loved one, it’s hard to describe the feelings involved with a homecoming. Granted, this time he wasn’t even gone a full month, but to be quite honest, some of the feelings are just the same as the homecomings of his 6 month long deployments.

Excitement. Anxiousness. Happiness. Joy.

I’m beyond excited, as is Brooklyn, to have Adam back with us again. It’s really hard to live my life playing the roles of two people, yet only having the human ability to be one. We are not designed to be both a mom and a dad to our little ones. Thankfully, God has given me the strength to at least attempt this while Adam is away from us. At first there are more hard days than easy while we are all adjusting. But, life continues to go on and we need to move on with it.

Adam is personally flying a jet back from Australia. He’ll be in the cockpit between 8-9 hours by himself. Yes, I’m nervous. Yes, I know he’s capable, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling anxious. I’ll be praying a lot on Tuesday for his safety.

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I’m so ready to hear the jets approaching the base, seeing them flying in formation overhead and knowing that my husband is flying in one of those. I’m getting all tingly just thinking of it. The look of pure joy and happiness on Brooklyn’s face when she sees her daddy climb out of his plane about does me in every time. Her silent pride of her daddy is something so special. For both her and Adam.

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So, on that note, I’m going to take a few days break from the blog. I have an apartment to clean, fridge to stock, camera to prepare, and homecoming outfits to lay out.

 

*all photos taken by Teena Hester from our homecoming last year

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Help with Deployment {for kids}

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Having a deploying husband who is away from us for six months every year {for this three year tour} makes it very difficult for our two-year-old to understand why Daddy leaves so much. Adam left last week for training in Australia until the end of March and while it’s not as long of a time as his deployments, it still affects our lives here at home.

Yesterday, my friend gave me this deployment kit created by Sesame Street and we just watched it for the first time. I absolutely love it. It talks to Brooklyn on her own level and she can relate to Elmo as his Daddy leaves for a while as well. It also talks with real families that have their daddies or mommies in the armed forces that deploy. The parents and children give ideas on how they deal with the separations and how exciting it is for a homecoming. They deal with the range of feelings children go through {on a very elementary level} which makes it nice for Brooklyn to see she’s not alone.

If you have a deploying husband or wife with young children {or deal with a separation for any reason!}, I very much suggest this deployment kit! It comes with two DVD’s, a magazine for parents, and a children’s activity poster.

Check out the Sesame Street link here with more talk, listen, connecting ideas! It even has a link to receive a kit for FREE from Military OneSource! See the website for the link. {I didn’t receive mine this way, so I’m not sure the steps to get it, but it’s worth a try!}

What are some of your ideas to help your children get through deployments?

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