August 27, 2012

Back to Real Life

SoldierMan has been home almost a week. I don’t have a fireworks-filled post for you because we’ve pretty much been laying low since he got home, minus a trip to the movies (Expendables 2, wait for the DVD) and a Walmart run or two. That’s how we roll. Which is why I have no pictures to share with you. Sorry.

The puppies have been over the moon to have SoldierMan home. Achilles rarely lets SoldierMan get more than a yard away from him. It’s adorable.

NTC wasn’t all that bad. It’s never great when SoldierMan is gone, of course, and I would much rather have him home than anywhere else. But I was reminded that, as usual, the anticipation is worse than the actual execution. At least, that’s how it is with me. I’m pretty sure I was in more agony the month of July, leading up to NTC, than actually during NTC. It’s probably a countdown thing. Countdowns to “goodbyes” are always worse than countdowns to “hellos.”

Source: via Jack on Pinterest

Think I could teach Achilles to do this?

But we made it. We survived. We more than survived, I think. And that’s my goal. I don’t want to just survive a deployment or even stay in such a grey cloud of busy that it’s one big hazy blur. I’m not knocking anyone else’s style, but even for this last year, the scrapbook is going to be pretty thin. I am ashamed. Though to be fair, SoldierMan has been gone an awful lot of it. And I don’t want 2013 to be an empty scrapbook.

Anyway, I’m off track. The point is, I was able to find ways to enjoy myself while SoldierMan was gone, even if that simply meant a small cup of plain vanilla ice cream and a hot bath at the end of the day. I continued my tradition of handwriting letters to SoldierMan while he was gone. I didn’t mail them, of course, but I think that’s part of how I kept my head. It fools me into feeling like I’m still talking to him, even when I’m not. Also it helps because I have a memory like a sieve and now all the funny puppy stories and random daily news is recorded for us to review whenever we want.

I also know that we had a lot of people praying for us, and even praying for me, which I don’t really think about when he leaves. But I could tell. I really had a very peaceful month, all said and done. Capped off by a very exciting nighttime plane arrival and a dreamy reunion lit by headlights on a grassy field in a light drizzle. I really couldn’t have asked for a better first NTC experience.

And, as much as I know this will kill my mother, it reaffirmed my decision to stay here during the deployment. Not since SoldierMan left for BCT have I really been afraid to be alone. That passed quickly when I woke up the morning after he left and discovered the world was still turning, contrary to my expectations.

And the truth is, I’m not alone here. I really came to know that during NTC. I have my friends and my church and, yes, my puppies. I have plenty of activity to keep me as busy as I want to be, and plenty more I can always add if I want. I have plans to go home for visits and also to travel and visit friends (if they’ll have me ;)) and other goals to accomplish while he’s gone.

Plus, we have a home here. A house with a mortgage, yes, but a life. And honestly, as many ways as I am definitely ready to go back to Oklahoma, I don’t want to go back until it’s for good, with SoldierMan. At least, that’s how I feel this time around. It’s funny, back when all this started I had every intention of moving home during deployments. I couldn’t imagine anything else. Funny ol’ life, isn’t it?

Anyway, this is an object lesson in why I have stopped blogging late at night. My mind runs in all different directions like a pinball machine, and I’m up late enough that I get hungry again. So I’ll just stop here.

NTC: check.


  1. I can completely relate to staying put when your spouse deployed. My whole family wanted me to move but I stood my ground and said no.

  2. Yay! He's home. I remember writing a letter to Dusty every day during Ranger School, and it helped so much. The no communication thing is the hardest part. But it is so good to find things that you enjoy, and good for you for doing that. I had no intentions of going home when Dusty deployed until about a week before he left. And the only reason I went is because I would soon give birth, have three kids 3 and under, and it finally hit me that I would need help in the same house as me. I don't have friends closer than a 10 minute drive away, and all my neighbors speak German. But I won't ever go live at home again. I LOVE the support of my military/church family. And I missed it while I was gone. It is funny what a little experience will do to your perspective. Enjoy your days and nights as a family again! And yes, I totally think you could teach Achilles to do that. ;)

  3. I'm glad NTC wasn't a miserable experience. In retrospect, I probably should have just stayed put during deployment. I thought our best friends slash my only friends would be leaving. When I got to my hometown, I realized how much I missed my coworkers and general lifestyle. While I love my family and spending every day off at the beach, it would have been easier to maintain a sense of normal by not moving back home.

  4. Everyone asked if I was going to go home when my husband deployed too. I was like "uh, no, I have a house full of my stuff, 3 cats, and a baby." Yeah, it was hard sometimes with the family far away but I didn't want to feel like I was living in transient housing (or in my parent's house) for a year.
    Besides, then we'd both be readjusting to life, not only together, but back in our house when he got home. No fun.

  5. It's nice when they come home! I never thought about leaving our home during deployment. I was a grown woman and I didn't need others to take care of me while he was gone. I was fine just visiting!

  6. My mother is so worried about me spending holidays on my own. I've never had a hard time being on my own.

    I do think you need to skype during the deployment, and I can't wait to see how Achilles does with visiting his dear daddy via computer.

  7. I am glad you rocked NTC, you definitely sound strong and I am glad you are enjoying being reunited : )

  8. Good for you! You have exactly the right attitude and will do just fine during deployment.

    By the way, am I one of the people you'll come visit? If so, I will definitely have you! :)

  9. Glad everything went well and more importantly that he is back home!!

  10. I swear the month of NTC went way slower than the 2+ months of this deployment has. I also seriously considered moving home while my husband was away but after visiting home last week I am so glad I stayed here. Glad he is back home!

  11. Glad he's home and that it went well for you! My kids and I stayed with my parents for about 2 months during my husband's deployment, which was nice but I was SO glad to be back home in our life. I love that you hand wrote letters to your husband while he was gone. What a great way to record your thoughts and all the daily events of life while he was away!

  12. I'm so glad he is home! It's just nice having your husband home. lol I definitely get more worked up at the thought of Daniel leaving then when he is actually gone. I stayed put this last deployment and I'm glad I did. I think it definitely made me stronger and the world does keep turning and I think it's good to keep going with it instead of putting your life on hold every time he deploys. Just how I feel. Thanks for linking up with Wendesday Walkabout! I'm glad to have found your blog.


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