Saturday, January 24, 2009

reintegration: week 2: a few bumps

so we made it through another week of reintegrating. and well, to be honest, it seems like we're nearly back to where we were when aaron deployed the sunday after thanksgiving in 2007. well, cayman is bigger and we live in a different house and aaron isn't preparing to deploy. but as far as everything else, most things are back to our normal.

i have noticed one difference though. just as they say we all change during the course of a deployment, i've noticed our changes. there are the physical changes, but there are also the personality changes. not necessarily bad, but different. i've noticed in myself that i'm more blunt and more easily to question someone's commonsense. in aaron, i've noticed that he gets frustrated more easily and that he's impatient about certain things.

however, these changes are good. they are helping us grow together and stronger. sure, this week we've had our bumps, neither one of us wanting to hurt the other's feelings ended doing just that in the end, but we're growing from it. and that's what's important. and i feel that God gives us those changes and those moments to help us grow. and many times, those changes, those moments are just what we need to answer those prayers we've been asking for.

ps, i love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow

Monday, January 12, 2009

reintegration: week one: complete

so it's been a week since aaron made his way physically back into our everyday routine. it's been great to fall asleep at night next to him and wake up next to him every morning (morning breath and all). and despite the fact that cayman has regressed and now refuses to eat in his highchair when aaron eats at the table with us (now i feed cayman prior to us eating and cayman just sits at the table and nibbles on what's left of his dinner), things are going well.

the first night home cayman let aaron give him his bedtime bath and from then on, that's been aaron's job each night. we both get cayman ready for bed, dad reads a story and then it's off to sleep (week two is filled with night weaning).

as far as the daytime, aaron has commented many times how amazed he is at all the things i do from the time cayman gets up until i myself hit the bed. he's commented several times that he's exhausted and needs a nap just to keep up! ha!

it has left me feeling slightly jealous. not of aaron's exact situation this past year, i wouldn't wish a warzone on anyone. but, the week prior to his return, aaron was stuck at the airport, nothing to do but make his own schedule. grant it, he had to sleep in a giant tent on a cot, but he was able to come and go as he pleased, sleep when and as long as he wanted. and of that, i'm jealous.

i think he's sensed that i'm getting tired from doubling my homewife workload, i'm no longer just taking care of our toddler, but helping my husband reintegrate to everyday life and making sure the things he needs are ready when he needs them. so, my hero spoiled me and made dinner the other night! and he cleans the kitchen after dinner. they're little things, but my jerry is showing his inner jerry (see previous post)!

but, as on overall, i must say, week one has gone way better then i could ever have imagined! definitely a blessing from God!

ps, i love you!

Friday, January 9, 2009

follow the yellow ribbon home

my cellphone rang about 9:48 in the morning on monday, january 5th. the ringtone, something familiar: there's no combination of words i could put on the back of a postcard, no song i could sing but for your heart i could try... oh my gosh! it's him! from his cellphone! he has to be somewhere in the united states!

i answered with the lovey-doveyiest 'i love you' i think i have ever let come from my body. but, i kept the excitement to a minimum. this could be the call of 'hunnie, i'm in the usa, but we're stranded because of weather' or this could be the phone call of 'hunnie, what's for dinner? i'll be home in time to eat with y'all tonight!' well, it was the later of the two! my hero, my husband was in minniapolis and on his way home, finally!

i kept busy until the last hour before we were suppose to head to the gym to partake of the homecoming festivities... it was the longest hour of my life, it seemed. but, it passed and then came the call, 'hunnie, we're loading the buses and heading for you! see you in an hour!' the phone calls just kept getting better that day!

we made our way to the gym, and lucky for us, we got there just before the crowds poured in! perfect parking upfront and great seats in the bleachers (there was no way we, my wiggly toddler, and i were going to sit on the floor in folding chairs, too much temptation for him to take off and make a run for daddy). i had one of my good mommy friends come up and take pictures for us (her husband had gotten in the week prior, so she knew what to expect and i did too, this was my second deployment, but this was our first large redeployment ceremony). we watched the slide show for what seemed like forever and then it came...

one the two large projection screens they showed our soldiers disembarking the plane and making their way down the stairs as they were greeted by the post commander at the airport. we looked and looked and looked (and we found jamey)but couldn't see aaron. i figured i had missed him while dealing with our wiggly toddler. didn't matter. as long as he came through those gym doors, i didn't need to see him on some screen.

the doors opened, the music started and then came the screams and happy tears! i searched every face the soldiers entered. nope, not him, nah, geez, i know he called me from our airport, is that him, nope... OH MY GOSH CAYMAN! IT's DADDY! and there he was, my hero, my husband, my rock, my best friend, my other half. we were just moments away from being complete again!

after the national anthem and invocation and the commander's speech which seemed to carry on forever, they were dismissed. i had made a deal with aaron, since he's all of 6'3" and i'm a stunning 5', cayman and i would stay put on the bleachers and let him come to us. boy, i've never seen him move so fast through a crowd!

the initial kiss was the best ever... one i've waited 408 days for! and cayman didn't seem to mind that mommy and daddy had a moment. cayman himself was apprehensive at first, having to scan aaron, making sure it really was him, the guy from the computer, the guy from the pictures, the guy from the bedtime stories, the voice on the phone and the voice in his build-a-bear. and once he knew it was really him, and slowly mad ehis way to aaron.

after gathering up aaron's gear, we made our way home, as a family. i had him drive and told him, 'follow the yellow ribbons home.' and that he did, all the way to our house, our home. dinner was great! and cayman had warmed up so much to aaron that he even let him give him his bath! and then it was mommy and daddy time!

ps, i love you and i'm so glad you're home, to stay!

Monday, January 5, 2009

just sitting and waiting and

giddy as all get out! so, i got the call this morning from aaron! he had finally made it home, to at least minneapolis! and now, as i'm typing this, he's en route home! well, to in processing and then home!

i'm beside myself! i've been waiting for the butterflies and giddines to really set in. and i'm glad to report, they are in full force!

everything is ready! house cleaned, towels and sheets washed and fluffed, homecoming sign and ribbons hung, car cleaned, favorite carrot cake baked and cooling, homecoming outfit on, cayman napping, and now just waiting! i even have our hokie build-a-bear and our cards for aaron in the car already along with our little american flags. i'm seriously ready!

i can't thank all of you enough for all your support and prayers! keep them going for our loved ones that are still over there serving us and protecting us and building a better future. and for those of you still counting weeks, your time will come too! remember, as aaron always reminded me, it's only a few months out of a lifetime!

ps, i love you and i'm so glad you're finally home!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

it all may be coming to an end, or at least put on hold

so i got the call, well actually texts, this morning at 5am! who in their right mind wakes up a mother of a toddler and the wife of a deployed soldier? oh, her husband does to tell her that he's coming home, soon, very soon!

and so, i wanted to give you all a fair heads up and let you know that i am not neglecting y'all. hopefully after tomorrow night i will no longer sleep in our bed alone! hopefully after tomorrow, my evenings will be packed with cuddling, snuggling, back rubs, and so on. so, i must say, this is all coming to an end, well rather, i'm putting y'all on hold, for a while. but i will check back from time-to-time.

so, with that, i must confess and tell you how hard it is to watch everyone else's soldier come home and know that it's still days until yours come home. but, i have found that being able to carefreely prepare for aaron's homecoming has been rather nice. cayman and i made our big grocery shopping trip already. we had the car washed. we hung up the yellow ribbons (follow the yellow ribbon home). the bed sheets have been washed. the towels are in the dryer. all that's left is one last good cleaning of the house and the inside of the car, cayman's homecoming shirt and to make the carrot cake. oh and hang out our 'welcome home' banner. not too much for the last 30 something hours! it's all in the game of keeping busy!

thank you avid readers for all your support and prayers! hopefully i'll have some awesome homecoming pictures to post, soon, very soon!

ps, i love you