Homecoming Happened!

After a long 178 days (who was counting?), and watching our tiny 3 week old he left turn into a giggly, dramatic 6.5 month old over FaceTime, my husband finally came home last Friday!

This homecoming was both much smoother, and much more nerve wracking than the last. The last deployment we went through was longer, with less communication, but this one- this one, a tiny little human we made was in the middle of it. This one hurt more and kept me busier and made me wish more than once it was over yesterday.

Last homecoming happened in the morning/afternoon- which would have been lovely for this homecoming because my drama king baby is happiest in the morning. It seems the Corps caught word of how convenient this would be for me, and decided to have homecoming take place at night. In the dark. After bedtime 😅 I told my husband “follow the sound of meltdowns, missed naps, and past bedtime- that’s where you’ll find us.”

True to form, while my son behaved ALL DAY LONG, and had me thinking wow, today is gonna be a good day. Tonight will be fine, about 30 minutes before we were getting ready to leave the house, meltdown mode engaged. I walked into the bathroom and he commenced to screaming and rolling around on my bed as though he had been dunked in liquid fire. Fantastic, right? All through getting dressed, having our friends meet us at my house, getting into the car seat, and driving to the grinder, my child was in hysterics.

As I opened the hatch of my car to get his stroller out, his wails pierced the air and my friend said, “is that my kid?”

“No, it’s mine.”

*she opens the back of her car and releases the the sounds of her own child’s tantrum*

“Oh, look at that. It’s both our kids.”

And that’s how homecoming went.

I kid, I kid. (Though the above actually happened)

We met our respective photographers, laughed with friends we hadn’t seen all deployment, and waited anxiously as the night got darker, children got antsier, and jackets got pulled tighter as it got colder.

About 2.5 hours after our initial arrival (and I’ll have you know, I waited longer than most wives before heading down there), we finally watched Fox Co. return home.

My husband found us, and if last homecoming had made my heart happy, this one filled my heart to bursting.

To watch a father and son meet for the {second}first time is something truly, wonderfully both heart wrenching and lovely.

I was so, so worried that Ev wouldn’t want anything to do with Rick. After all, he’d only ever had him physically in his life for 21 days, half of which were spent in the hospital due to some mysterious infection I came down with postpartum.

It seemed my worries were unfounded though, and FaceTime had done its job- Ev reached for his daddy and smiled and laughed and made me want to cry tears of happiness (I didn’t though, because my makeup looked great and I wasn’t about to ruin it).

You know that feeling of completeness, of absolute contentment?

You don’t realize how much you miss it during deployment. You forget how empty you feel when you feel that way everyday.

But when you experience the homecoming- after the anxiety, after the wanting to puke, after the worry and wondering- when it’s happening, all of that goes away, and all you’re left with is that overwhelming feeling of contentment and wholeness.

We went home, I put Ev to bed, Rick walked the dog (our neighbors who moved in while he was gone were very confused by his presence 😂), and for the first time in nearly 6 months we went to bed together, instead of me by myself with my phone on the pillow as we talked to one another.

The next morning, the 3 of us lounged around in bed, Ev reveling in the reality of Dad being home, and as I laid there watching them, all I could do was smile and wonder I don’t think I ever saw us here. Even after all those years of dating, two years of marriage, I never imagined how good having this family would feel.

Watching your husband be a father will make you fall more in love than you thought possible, and when he takes the baby so you can sleep for an hour and a half longer, you’ll love him even more than that.

It’s been almost a week, and we’ve fallen into our same old, same old. Granted, there’s a baby now- so we eat dinner later, get up earlier- but other than that, it’s the same. Ev and I have another accomplice on our Target trips, I have another set of hands, I’m back in the gym, Rick has gone back to work, and it’s as though my child has morphed into someone different overnight. There must be something about having both parents home, because I literally just wrote this while my child was awake and playing independently (this never happens, ever).

We’ll be back in Texas to visit next month, so if you want to see us, HMU. After that, we’ll be preparing for our cross country move and the next adventure!

XOXO,

Em.

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One Month Down on #2

We’re one full month into deployment number two and to be honest…

It’s been a lot easier than I thought. (I’ve probably jinxed myself now, but oh well.)

The first 3 weeks were spent in California, just me and little Ev. I can’t say it was the easiest thing, doing the mom thing all by myself, but it definitely could’ve been harder. I survived the first bout of cluster feeding- which, just so you know, felt like it would never end. I think that was the hardest part, the continuous nursing and never sleeping and trying really hard not to feel like a terrible mom when he cried because I had to put him down to shower, or eat, or feed the animals and there was no one else to hold him.

But it did end! And my happy baby was back and sleeping well again and my sanity was restored (for now).

Then we got on a plane and flew almost 2,000 miles to Texas, where we’re spending the holidays. I was totally preparing myself to be that tired looking mom with the newborn who screams the whole plane ride while getting a mix of sympathetic and annoyed looks. However, my kiddo slept the entire way basically, and take off and landing didn’t seem to bother him a bit.

We’ve been in Texas for about a week now and are simply enjoying being home. Ev may not have been born here in the greatest state, but he got here as fast as he could 😉

It’s nice to be back in our little town, but it’s strange to see all the changes. There wasn’t a restaurant there when I left almost 2 years ago, and that store stands where there used to be an empty lot. I find myself having to plug addresses into my GPS because I’ve forgotten which exit to take, or making a few wrong turns before remembering which street I actually need to get to.

But while my town is different, and I don’t have a key to the front door anymore, and my old room has become a guest room, there’s still that overwhelming sense of “ah, home.”

It’s nice to feel at home again, even if it’s just a short while. I’ve got a house in California, but without my husband in it, it doesn’t always feel like home. Home is wherever he is, and right now, he’s a little out of reach. So being back in my mom’s house, back in the bedroom I spent my high school years in, back in the town where you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know, it’s a nice feeling. It’s nice to walk into your old nail salon and have them be excited to see you and the new baby, and it’s SO nice to be near an H-E-B, and a Whataburger, and be able to pick up a pint of Bluebell.

Ev is almost 2 months old now and there’s such a strange feeling when you look at his age in days. Currently he’s 52 days old, and that’s such a short time. I’m amazed at how young he is and how he’s only been on the outside for just 7+ weeks, and yet I feel like he’s always been here.

Isn’t it awesome how God knows what you need before you do?

After last November, I didn’t think I needed or wanted a baby. Not then, anyway. And now, I don’t know what I’d be doing without him. He’s the best distraction from lonely nights, and his grin or the way he tries to talk makes my heart happy when I’m missing my other half. I don’t know if I’d be handing this deployment as well as I think I am if I didn’t have him.

That being said, I still miss my husband. A lot. It makes me sad that he’s missing so many firsts with Ev, and I worry about what our family dynamic will be like when he comes home.

What I loved most about him right before he left, though, was that while he was figuring out how to be a daddy, he didn’t forget (or let me forget) that he was my husband, either.

He was changing diapers and snuggling with Ev on the couch while I cleaned or showered, and he was still reminding me that we’re more than parents, too. He stopped me in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner one night and kissed me for more than 2 seconds, and when I asked, “what was that for?” (because at 2 weeks postpartum, no kiss is leading anywhere 😂), he looked at me and said, “I just hadn’t kissed you like I loved you a lot in a while.”

I miss him for moments like that, too, because he’s more than just a daddy to Ev; he’s my best friend, my partner in basically everything.

Having a few moments to myself is few and far between right now, and when I find one, like now, while Everett is sleeping, it’s when I have time to be a little sad. Because deployment is sad, and hard, no matter how well you’re handling it or how distracted you are.

And just like I said over a year ago during deployment number one: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay for me to have bad days every now and then, especially now that I’ve got someone other than my dog depending on me. It’s okay for me to not be able to smile at people one day and then be able to feel like I’m kicking deployment’s ass the next. It’s okay to feel the things I feel, as long as I get up and dust myself off the next day.

So, we’re one month down with several more to go, and here’s hoping that they fly by.

XOXO,

Em.

Baby #1, Deployment #2, and My Sanity 

It’s been awhile 😉

Obviously, I’ve been very busy- I had a baby, after all. I’ll probably blog our birth story sometime soon(ish) when I have time, but for now, you get this one. 

We’re on day 4 of deployment #2, and that means day 4 of mom-only parenting. Surprisingly, right now, it’s easier than I anticipated. But we have our challeneges. 

Deployments get easier, that much is true. While it’s never a good feeling watching your husband walk away for the last time in several months, it feels a lot less soul-crushing the second time around. This time, send off was very different. Last year, we were freshly married, 18 and 20 years old, all alone and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary as hell. I didn’t know what to expect, he couldn’t tell me because he didn’t know either, and I’ll just say that San Diego harbor will forever be ruined for me after watching that ship sail away. 

This time, we woke up in our bed, in our house. We drove the familiar road to the grinder, we spent our last few hours in our car. There were no tears as we said goodbye. Just the feeling of, “let’s get this over with”. And honestly, even though it’s only day 4, and you know I’ll have some bad days, I’m doing really good. 

The solo parenting? Also easier than I thought. Ev’s a month old come Saturday, so he’s in the throes of cluster feeding thanks to growth spurts- which means he’s attached to my boobs 22 hours out of the day it feels like (breastfeeding as a write this). That makes it hard to keep up with housework or cooking, but he usually sleeps really well; 6-7 hour stretches throughout the night, which means I’m at least getting some sleep, too, after doing the housework I don’t get to do during the day.

My sanity? I mean, that’s always on the verge. I’ve had one mini-meltdown, a car ride of frustration (but it worked, baby went to sleep), and one night of sharing my bed with a 3 week old so I could get some sleep. All that considered, I still feel like I’m doing okay. Well, more than okay. Okay is just surviving. I plan on thriving during this deployment. 

We go back to visit Texas and have everyone meet Everett in just over 2 weeks, and when we come back to California, we’ll be halfway through deployment. Until then, we’re just rockin’ and rollin’. 

XOXO, 

Em. 

Holidays, and How to Get Through Them 

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years… 

Everyone does holidays a little differently. Some people refuse to decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, and then you have people like me…I’ve been listening to Christmas music for two weeks, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and my house is covered in Christmas decorations I got from Hobby Lobby because they were 50% off. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, ya know? 

And it’s the most wonderful time of the year, because for the first time in what feels like a long time, I’m not playing the guessing game of “is he coming home this year? Did he get leave? Was it approved?”, and I’m also not wondering how to navigate the holidays without upsetting one side of the family or the other. Instead, we’re buying a Christmas tree and ornaments and dressing our pets up as Santa Claus and giving them ugly sweaters, there’s a wreath on the front door of our house, and I’m wondering if Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners will be edible, or if we’ll end up eating peanut butter sandwiches that night. And even though I’m stressing out about things like dinner and pies and Christmas presents and whether or not my dogs ugly sweater is on correctly, I’m so very grateful that I’m getting to celebrate our first Thanksgiving, and second Christmas and New Years married and together, in our home, with our fur children who are more spoiled than probably your kids. (Sorry not sorry).

But for the long time I’ve waited for these moments, I still remember the way it felt when the holidays came around and I wasn’t sure if Rick would be there, and all I dealt with was the questions of “is he coming home? What do you mean you don’t know? What’s leave; how does that work? Why can’t he just buy a plane ticket and come home?” 

So for the SEVERAL wonderful ladies I know or have the pleasure of a Facebook acquaintance with, that have to deal with this this year…girl, I am so sorry.  I was lucky enough that all we missed together was one Thanksgiving, but trust me, I understand the amount of stress, annoyance, and sometimes just plain loneliness that the holidays bring with them, now that it’s getting colder (maybe not so much in Texas, but a girl can hope), and light festivals are happening and you feel like you’ve got no one to go with because you’re not sure if he’s even coming home. 

So here are my tips and tricks for getting through the holidays until he’s on a plane on his way back to you:

  1. Forget about it. Don’t stress about the “what if he doesn’t come home” aspect. Just decorate your tree, make your favorite pie, buy a bottle of wine…you know, whatever gets ya through the night.
  2. Ignore the people. I know, I’m so rude. Who cares? Honestly, you can only hear, “Oh, that must be so hard,” and “I’m so sorry for you” like twice before it gets annoying and you want to punch some sweet old lady who only means well. She’ll forget all about it and you shouldn’t waste any time being upset over it. Cut Grandma some slack.
  3. Plan for the best case scenario! Don’t be a sourpuss the entire holiday season until he’s on his way home for a measly 96! Look up fun things to do around your area for the holidays, like ice skating, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Festival of Lights in Dickinson…sorry, you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.
  4. Don’t forget, he’s not the only person in your life. I know, I know. He’s the best. Maybe the most important. You love him the most. (Sorry, Mom.) But while you’re waiting on word from him, don’t forget to show the people around you that you love spending the holidays with them, too. Don’t be lackluster in family traditions just because you’re sad. Love the people you’re with, even if he’s not there. 

Something else, that I think is just as important, even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to just the holiday season:

It. Is. Okay. To. Be. Sad. A lot of the time, people say “cheer up” so often, we begin to feel like it’s a crime to be unhappy. I know I did, during that first month of deployment. But you know what? Your soul mate is somewhere other than near you. You deal with time zone differences, being in different countries, reaching milestones alone, and so much more. You are so very entitled to every single emotion that your situation brings you, even if all of those emotions aren’t positive. Don’t you dare let anyone devalue your emotions. This is your experience, and feeling it is all part of the journey.

What if he doesn’t get to come home?

I’m sorry. I really, really, am because I know that sucks. But you know what? Make a cute Thanksgiving/Christmas care package. Be corny with it; that’s half the fun. Think of starting traditions that you don’t necessarily have to be together to partake in. Those will come in handy during the dreaded deployments, where he’s bound to miss at least one major holiday at least once. Don’t let yourself be sad for the entire season. Go to the Festival of Lights, and FaceTime him. Skype on Christmas morning. Send him a letter on why you’re thankful for him. 

This life is hard, and sometimes, it’s really lonely, too. It’s okay to be disappointed, and it’s okay to be happy, too. I hope all your guys come home, ladies. I promise, the wait is worth it. I know it’s hard right now, but in a little while, you’ll be together for the holidays wondering if the cat’s Santa costume is too tight.

And for the people who ask all the questions: for the love of all that is holy, STOP.  Thanks

Also, for your viewing enjoyment, Anna Kendrick, showing how we all feel during this busy time:

“Is he coming home”

“Do you know what day he has to go back?”

“Are you going to stay here, or over there?”

“What will y’all be doing?”

“Are you sad? Am I asking too many questions? Is that a bottle of wine? Did you just drink that whole thing?”

Merry Christmas, y’all! 

Xoxo,

Em. 

Homecoming Happiness! 

Well, after 211 LONG days, deployment is O-V-E-R! Rest assured, I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I flipflopped between frantically cleaning the house and plopping on the couch for Glee and SAMCRO marathons. But in the end, it didn’t matter that I had cleaned out the fridge or scrubbed the sinks in the bathroom. What mattered was that my other half is back home, and I no longer feel like half a person. I got the best nights sleep I’ve had in 7 months. 

People say a lot of things during deployment. And you know what? None of it matters. People said, “Oh wow, it went by so fast!” HA. HA. HA.That’s hilarious. No, it didn’t. Every single day was really, really long. Is it finally over? Yes. But was it easy? NO. 

People said, “I don’t know how you could do it, I’d go crazy.” Lol at y’all, because I did go crazy. But I didn’t really have a choice. It’s not like I knew I could do this. I only did it because it was the only thing I could do. 

People said lots of things. But you want to know why none of it mattered? Because it’s 10:45 in the morning, my husband is asleep in our bed again, and I’m happier than I’ve been since we got married.

Leftovers don’t last as long. I have to buy FrostedFlakes when I go grocery shopping. My fridge has Dr. Pepper in it now, and at 2230, he’s eating a second dinner because midrats. But there’s a warm body on the other side of the bed, with the dog in between us. There’s someone to eat dinner with. There’s the comfort that comes with knowing that I’m not all alone in the middle of the night. 

I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. And I’m sure I’ll say that multiple times. But it’s true, right now. Thank goodness deployment is over. Now let’s get started on the work up for deployment #2. 

Xoxo, 

Em.  

I’m Down, and I Can’t Get Up. 

The past few days, I can’t even begin to explain. I haven’t been able to sleep well in 4 nights. I can’t eat more than a little bit without feeling sick. I got out of bed yesterday and decided, “I’ve got this. I will be productive. I’m going to clean, or cook, or do something.” What did I do all day? 

Took the dog for a few walks. Put my phone on do not disturb, sat on my couch and basically just cried all day. Why? Multiple reasons I suppose, not all of which I can go into, because it’s no ones business. But mostly because I’m lonely, and I’m nervous, and I’m scared. Homecoming is closer than it was before, and it makes you wonder: am I going to know the person who’s coming home? 

The person I’ve grown up with, have celebrated holidays and birthdays with, the person who has held my hand on the dark days; is that the person who’s coming back? Or is he someone else entirely, now? When someone is gone, you notice all the little things they stop doing, the things they’ve always done. And there’s a lot. Am I going to just fall back into the swing of things, or am I going to have to fall in love with someone new? 

I wonder about the what ifs. What if the new person in my best friend’s body isn’t as in love with me as my best friend used to be? What if all the things he used to like about me drive him nuts now? What if I can’t stand him? People change and love prevails, blah blah blah, I know. But just because I know that if those things happened, we would make it work, doesn’t mean that they aren’t scary. 

I turned my phone off because I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to hear “don’t be silly” or “it’ll be fine”. What do you know? Have you done this? Have you laid in bed and said, “Dear God, please, don’t have him be someone entirely new.” And even if you have done this, honestly, I don’t want to hear it right now. I want to cry and be miserable for a while. 

That’s another prop of having your own house. Crying quietly isn’t a thing anymore. If I want to cry loudly and have hiccuping sobs, I can. And it’s so great. Very cathartic. 

To all the people calling and texting that I’m not answering: I’m fine. Just please leave me alone. I’m sad and I’m over deployment and I just want to have quiet for a little while. That’s all. 

I’m down, and I can’t get up, but then again, I don’t really want to. 

Xoxo, 

Em. 

California Living, Texas Roots. 

Well, it’s been two weeks since moving in as of yesterday! I can’t believe I’ve been on my own and independent and living in my own house for two weeks. I won’t lie, it’s different. 

Everything is different here. People don’t understand what I mean when I say, “no, you’ve never had good Mexican food” or “no, really, I promise, your barbecue is not good.” I mean, they don’t even cook the same. I had to order my spices! I also got told that eating red meat would kill me. My response? “If I die, give me a good steak first.” 

I’ve ordered Bluebonnet seeds to plant in my flowerbeds, because I miss home, and who doesn’t like the flower of the greatest state in the nation? Thank goodness, in the midst of all the California strangeness, I found Katelyn (and also a Raising Cane’s). She lives down the street, and she’s from Texas, too. She understands what I mean when I say y’all, and I swear she got just as excited as me when I gave her a bottle of Nature’s Seasoning. I’m an awkward person. No, really. Making friends is a daunting task in this state of unfriendliness. But I’m glad I found a woman who misses Tex-Mex as much as I do, who also likes to make pot roast in the crock pot all day, who goes to the gym with me and blogs and loves history and is down for driving around wherever because #housewifelife. 

The best part is the fact that she loves Jesus, too. I will always believe that God puts people in my life for a reason, and I’m so terribly lucky He brought a friend into my life that will go explore new churches with me. 

My person, Mary ❤️, is now only 2 hours away instead of 21, and I get to see her for my birthday next Saturday and we’re going to San Diego, for which I am very excited. 

All in all, I’m enjoying California. The weather is gorgeous, except I miss the rain. The traffic is terrible, it’s true, but it’s bearable when you’ve got a fun shotgun rider (I also really appreciate the fact that she knows the lyrics to the old school Miranda Lambert that’s in my car). My house is only a semi mess right now, but I promise I’m slowly cleaning it. 

Also, another great thing is having hometown friends down the road. So glad Spencer is still in Pendleton for at least the rest of summer! I didn’t realize how much I missed home until he was over at the house, but even then, having someone you went to school with right down the road makes the homesick hurt less. 

I’m loving making my house my home. I love putting up pictures and making it look as though we’ve been here a while (this is achieved by my clothes on the floor). We’re in the homestretch of deployment, we’re in the double digits, and it somehow feels like each day is passing more slowly than the last. But my Nana is coming to visit in a little bit, and then my friend Yenette is also coming to visit. I’m forcing myself to get back in the gym. I’m forcing myself to clean my house. I am almost finished. I am almost at the finish line. I am almost there. 

I will not let deployment beat me, in the last few months. I will not let the loneliness cripple me. I will not allow myself to be defeated in spirit, when I have such a wonderful support group. I will come through this trial simply a better version of myself, and you will all be shocked at how you will not hear from me for two weeks once he comes home. #sorrynotsorry. 

California is different, it’s true. 

Blame it all on my roots, I’ve showed up in boots. 

Xoxo, 

Em. 

Where is Home?

Started on emptying my storage unit today… And when I got home, I sat on the couch and looked around. The place that’s been my home for 14 years is about to be someplace I come back to for the holidays. The bedroom my mama redecorated for my 13th birthday won’t be mine anymore. The backyard hasn’t seen a swing set or trampoline in YEARS, but it’s where I had mine. That fireplace has been cold more often than its been warm, but I remember when a fire was lit in it. This is the home where we argued, laughed, loved, lost, and wondered if we were gonna make it. People have walked in and out of that front door, and some have made a lasting impact on who I am. 

This house has seen me cry, seen me figure out what love really was, seen me slam doors and think I knew better than my mama, seen me argue for the sake of arguing. This house became my home when I thought I had lost my home. 

In a few weeks, I’m striking out to make a new house a home. A little earlier than I wanted, and if I said I wasn’t scared I’d be lying. I’m terrified. I don’t know the first thing about living alone, and I’m about to do it for 3 months. 

How do I make it a place full of laughter and inappropriate dinner conversation without my mama and my sister? How do I make it a place full of love without my Nana and my Poppy? How do I decide to arrange the furniture without my mother saying, “Not that way”, in my ear, and then doing it herself anyway? How do I do anything without my family right down the road? My inlaws, my dad and stepmom, my sisters and brother, all the people who have always helped me? 

I don’t know. But I do know that this is what people do. They grow up and get married and move into their own houses and they make their own homes. 

This house has seen me learn all sorts of lessons. But it taught me the most important one: 

Home is not a place. It is not a house, or a state, or a small town. 

Home is people. Home is your mom saying, “mmm, tasty”, after the first bite of almost every meal. Home is going to the gym and doing crafty things with your mother in law. Home is your father in law stepping up and saying, “don’t worry about it. We’re going to figure it out,” when he doesn’t have to. Home is spending time with your dad and stepmom and your siblings. Home is making fun of the way your mom cleans the house with your sister. Home is knowing I can call my Nana everyday, and I know she’ll answer, and we can talk about everything and nothing all at the same time. Home is having people around you to help you up when you’ve fallen down. Home is laughing when you want to cry because they’re telling awful jokes. 

And that’s not going to change, even though I’m moving 1,500 miles away. Because my home, home? He’s in the desert somewhere, and when he gets back… I’m going to be whole again. And there will be less sleepless nights, and more arguments, and I will probably end up hating to cook dinner. But home is where the heart is. And I’m not entirely sure where mine’s at right now, but when he’s back… We’re going to have a place for home to grow. 

To my mama, my D.A.D., my dad, my MIL&FIL, my stepmom, my Natalie, Lance, Haleigh, and Preslie, my Nana and my Poppy…and to all the people who I couldn’t possibly list due to the crazy length this post would be…

THANK YOU. 

You all have taught me different things, all have helped when I needed it, all have called and asked how I was, all have been no more than a call away, or sometimes a hallway away. Thank you. 

This is a new chapter in life, and I’m not the one writing it. I’m in for the ride just like y’all. 

Home is where the heart is, and a piece of mine will always be here in the Lonestar State. 

XOXO, 

Em. 

Here’s To You, Lonely. 

Maybe they warned you. Maybe they said “this is going to be hard.” Maybe someone somewhere along the way cautioned you against this kind of life, this kind of marriage or relationship. 

And you did it anyway. Call it stubbornness, call it determination, call it love. Call it what you will, you dove headfirst or tiptoed carefully into or perhaps tripped ungracefully into this life. 

So, here’s to you, lonely. 

Here’s to the sleepless nights. You read about them, you prepared yourself as best as you could. And it still wasn’t enough on that very first night alone, was it? You cried miserably until you gave yourself a headache just like the rest of us. Here’s to making it through the sleepless nights, one night at a time. 

Here’s to making friends with women you’ve met on Facebook, or in the airport. I get it. When Ricky went to bootcamp, all the girls whose men were in India had a Facebook group. And that’s how I met the people who I call when the sleepless nights get to be too much. The day Ricky deployed, I met a woman in the airport who was flying in to visit her Marine for Valentine’s Day. And she made a point to text me and see how I was doing months into this deployment, when everyone around me had seemed to stop caring. Here’s to best friends, no matter where you made them. 

Here’s to sucking it up. Ouch. Just this phrase sets my teeth on edge and puts me in a mood. Don’t tell me to suck it up. But honestly, if you tell YOURSELF to suck it up, it’s okay. It’s hard. Don’t ever deny that this life is hard, because it is. Don’t diminish this trial by acting as though it’s easy. But you find the strength to get through the days and countdown to homecomings and keep on going. Here’s to never giving up, and always keeping on. 

Here’s to falling in love with yourself. What? What I mean is: when you’re with your SO 24/7, you see all the things about that person to love. When you’re alone, you have to look at yourself. And some wives get into a rut and see all the things they hate about themselves. But why? Deployment can make you sad. But it can also make you fall in love with yourself. You learn that sometimes your hair doesn’t cooperate, and it looks okay that way. You learn that sometimes, you run out of makeup and hey. I don’t look half bad. You learn that you are stronger than you thought, and if you’re like me, the phrase “I AM AWESOME. I AM KICKING DEPLOYMENT’S BUTT,” is what gets you out of bed sometimes. Here’s to loving who you are, when you’re all alone. 

Here’s to being lonely. Oh, it sucks. You miss things like coffee in the morning, or watching TV together. You miss reading your favorite book while he plays games on his phone in bed. You miss the little things, the big things, and all the normal things in between. But, hey. Look at you. You’re doing just fine, and you’re going to get through it. One day closer. 

You’re a kind of superwoman, you know. So good for you, darling. 

Here’s to you, Lonely.

Keep kicking deployment’s butt. 

XOXO, 

Em. 

I Miss What Now?!

I’m a little more than halfway through deployment. (Today makes 4 months, for those who are interested in knowing.) and it’s 0045, and I’m re-binge watching The Walking Dead because I’ve seen basically everything else. 

And laying here on the couch, wondering how much longer I can go without crying, I’m struck dumb by the things I miss. I didn’t even know it was possible to miss these things about a person. 

1.) 3 AM you. I miss rolling over and having intense conversations we hardly remember in the morning. 3 AM you wants to know my thoughts and dreams and make plans with me. And I miss that, when 3 AM rolls around, and I roll over, and there’s no one there. 

2.) Knowing where you are. That’s silly, and sounds kind of creepy, I know. But when I only have a generalization, a country, not a location…I worry. I am a professional worrier. And I miss not worrying. 

3.) The way you think Whataburger is fine to eat 3 times a day. It’s not. When you’re home, by the time you leave, I can’t stand in a Whataburger without being nauseous. I can’t believe I miss this. 

4.) Not feeling alone. I know there’s people. They say “call me”. They offer to hang out. But it’s different. I miss knowing that I’ve got you for everything. Every bump on this roller coaster, every twist in the road… I miss not feeling like I’m doing everything alone. 

5.) Laughter. No one, no one, can make me laugh like you can. And I feel like it’s been such a long time since I’ve had a good laugh. I miss your jokes. I miss the cheesy pickup lines you tell me at night before I go to sleep. (As if you don’t already have me.) 

I thought I knew what missing someone felt like. I thought I knew what sleeping alone was like. I thought, I thought, I thought… And now I know. It’s waking up at 3 AM and wanting to make plans you won’t follow through, but having no one to make plans with. It’s staying up all night hoping to hear from you. It’s driving past Whataburger and remembering all those mornings eating breakfast in the parking lot. It’s knowing you have someone to talk to when you leave work, for a certainty, and not hoping you’re gonna catch them before the time change means one of you is asleep. It’s telling cheesy jokes and stupid pick up lines and laughing and being happy. It’s being asleep at 0045 next to each other, and complaining about getting up for work. 

I thought I knew what missing you felt like, 7 months ago when all we had were Skype dates and phone calls. 

But now I know, because now we have less than that. I miss you with a deep, dull ache that resonates all the way to my bones. I miss your voice most of all. But I miss everything about you all the time. 
XOXO, 

Em.