Friday, January 4, 2013

370 Days

We did it. Hubster made it back from Afghanistan on New Year's Day. We survived a year-long deployment as a family. The kids didn't kill me, I didn't kill the kids, and Hubs has all of his pieces.

At first, 2012 seemed like it was going to drag on forever. I tried to get into a good routine with the girls, and for the most part it worked. I was terrified at the thought of wrangling two kids on my own, but being a mommy for the second time was a million times easier. I'm not sure why the routine thing didn't click the first time around, but with Baby A it was so easy. Literally clockwork.

January and February were slow. There wasn't much going on other than a weekly trip to Target/Starbucks followed by an hour or more at the soft play area at the mall. We frequented the playground in our neighborhood when the weather was nice. I ran the monthly FRG meetings and spouse get togethers, but other than that mostly kept to myself.

And then February 23 happened. I remember it clearly, almost like it happened just a couple of days ago. I got a phone call at 6:30am from the Rear Commander. I was asleep from being out the night before, so I ignored it. A little while later he called again. I knew something was up but never could have imagined the magnitude of the situation. Less than two months after arriving in Afghanistan, our Company had two KIAs. As my heart sunk, I asked who they were. I knew these two guys. I had seen one wife just a few weeks prior at the FRG meeting. The other wife and I had been emailing back and forth a couple of nights before. From then on, the dynamic and attitude of all of the wives changed. It made the deployment real and it united us.

March to October-ish is a blur. I have no idea where those months went. They just happened. The girls and I made several trips home to Miami. V turned two. I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a date with my best friend (who insisted that I date Hubster in the first place). I turned a quarter-century old. Tons of holidays were celebrated on our own. I learned to sew and started working out. I made friends with strangers. The holiday season and preparing for my husband to come back made November and December fly by.

Honestly, the key to surviving a deployment is just to stay busy. For me, having kids made that easy. Whether you have kids or not, it's not impossible. Take advantage of your FRG and the free military resources that are available. Reach out to other spouses whose Soldiers are also deployed. Volunteering is a rewarding way to get out of the house and make a difference. Get a job or pick up a new hobby. Make that new hobby your job. Three of the wives from the unit got together and started a bow making business. Planning and putting together care packages was a major time-passer for me. MyCAA offers free money for military spouses to take classes.

All in all, a deployment is what you make of it. It doesn't matter if it's four months, nine months, or 15. Like with just about everything else in life, if you face it with a positive attitude, you're going to get positive results. Of course, plenty of crappy things happened, like my car breaking down or household things falling apart. But those issues helped me to grow and learn to overcome challenges.

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  1. The picture is beautiful, such a wonderful family picture. :) Really excited for you.

  2. So excited that your family is reunited together!!! Love the family photo.
    Now get off the blog and get busy mama!!


  3. Positive attitude = Positive results. Super happy that your soldier is home!


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