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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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.