Deployment Number Four

And he’s off! Actually, he’s safe and sound at his final destination, so today I’m sharing some big news for our family. Deployment number four is officially underway and we’ve survived two weeks solo! This little blog was actually started during deployment number two when we had Mitchell, and I needed a way to document every little detail while he was away in Afghanistan before he met his boy. This week we dropped Steve off at the airport for the fourth time. This military life seems to fly by, yet I’ve gotten the front row seat to so many of his accomplishments that I’m not quite sure how we’ve fit it all in, all at the same time. Deployments later, I’m still so grateful for this blog, as a way to journal all of our adventures while he’s away. It’s as much of a blessing for our family as it is to be able to share our stories! In some ways, this never gets easier, and in some ways, it really does. For me, all these kids makes it easier for me… but harder for the hubby to say goodbye. I am so, so grateful I have their energetic, needy little selves to make sure I will not be lonely even for a second while he is gone. I know I need them just as much as they need me. As far as deployments go, we have been off the hook for a few years (almost exactly two years, actually), so it was our time. What a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that two years home is more like one year when you count all of the training he leaves for. A month here, six weeks there, two weeks here, another month off training. It adds up and wears us down, so we love each other extra hard when we have the chance.

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He JUST missed her first steps. I think she was waiting until he left to start walking! He missed Mitchell’s birth but he was there for his first steps! He was here for both girls’ births, but missed their first steps. Who knows, maybe he’ll get to see both for a baby someday, ha!

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My little man of the house already stepping up to help. He has grown up so much in these past few months and we are so proud of him.

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Mitchell was the only one who really understood what was happening on some level. Steve walked him out to the flight line to show him the airplane he was flying on before we left. We debated whether to leave them at school and have me drop him off solo, or bring the kids and let them see. I really wanted the kids to see daddy leaving this time, so they can associate him going away with the reason he’ll be gone so long. Who knows if that’s a good or a bad thing, but at least they’ll be able to recall him going away instead of him just disappearing.

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There were a few tears from our little guy, but he was pretty tough. I was pretty tough, except watching Steve say goodbye to the kids. Boy, that isn’t easy.

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And off we drove, daddy dolls in hand, headed to get happy meals to try to cheer us up a little before the drive home. We’re already counting the days until we get to go pick him up – just wish it wasn’t so many!

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We’re pretty bummed that we’re going to missing our favorite guy for things like Mitchell’s 5th birthday, and summer beach days. Easter Sunday. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But we’ve got some big plans and a busy schedule and lots of cuddles to keep us going until we have him back. Thank goodness this is a deployment we’ll be able to keep him up to date with all our happenings at home! And thank goodness for Skype, am I right?

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