Well, I have not been doing much on my blog recently, but that is because I was a little bit busy getting ready for this deployment-- trying to savor as much family time as possible before he left. But now we have said our goodbyes, it has officially begun, and I am ready to settle into deployment mode. Don't get me wrong--I hate deployments as much as the next person! But I think the most stressful part is the few weeks leading up to deployment. You may or may not have an exact flight date, but you know it is coming. You keep thinking of all the things you want to do together, places to take the kids, projects around the house, and so on... and it all has to happen NOW. And while I am focused on all the home/family/paperwork/maintenance things, he is focusing on gear/packing/relaxing. It can be a difficult time for any couple. Once he finally leaves, you can breathe, and begin to settle into that lovely deployment routine.
We were very blessed to actually have a leave block before this deployment, and we took our first family vacation! We had considered visiting family, but he only had a week off, and it was a lot of driving. So we opted instead to just take the kids with us and spend a few days in Myrtle Beach, which is only 2 hours away. We had an amazing time!!!! We were right on the ocean, and the hotel had multiple pools, splash areas, slides, and lazy rivers that kept the kids busy every morning. In the afternoons they took naps and we got to relax, watch TV, and cuddle together listening to the ocean. We also had a BLAST going to Medieval times! Ahhh, so many smiles and good times that week!
It was the perfect thing to take my mind off deployment and just enjoy being a family for a few days. I felt closer to him than I had in a long time--probably because I wasn't distracted by cooking and housework, and he wasn't distracted by work, friends, or video games. We will definitely do something similar when he returns!
So yes, he's gone now, but we have tons of great memories to savor, and I hope that will be enough to keep us strong during the next 7 months!