Almost half a year ago, we all said goodbye looking like this.
Two parents, one teenager, and a couple kids.
Wow have things changed!
My husband has come home from deployment twice to new babies in the house.
I promise this homecoming will be the biggest adjustment coming home to two teenagers and a tween. Life is drastically different from July 2016!
When the Marine last saw us, we were Pokemon obsessed. We spent the first month of deployment maxing out our data collecting pokeballs and battling gyms. Looking back, it was overkill but we were staying sane. Six months later, we aren't even sure if people still play PokemonGo.
We certainly don't.
In the beginning, the beach was another big source of entertainment. It's local, the weather was perfect, and the boys couldn't get enough.
We started to get a little braver and travel a little further from home.
We went to Fort Fisher Aquarium.
We rode a ferry for the first time.
We took a ghost walk in Wilmington.
We braved an even scarier Hurricane Matthew, which was an experience! Not as bad as expected but not a big fan of high wind and no electricity in the middle of the night.
We did have to pick up the yard which was a complete hassle. We have a very big yard with lots of trees! Which my husband thinks is important because he is never here to mow it...or pick up after hurricanes 😡 So, in September, the Marine was very very lucky we didn't not move back to California.
Post Hurricane Matthew with the Atlantic Ocean acting like nothing happened.
We travelled out of state too :) Can't forget about those trips that made me feel like Super Woman!
Then we did other things which don't seem as important but probably meant more. We began to make friends, be social, and enjoy our new home.
I even went off on my own now and then.
And when we got sad or lonely for our Marine, we made our own little escapes.
To the zoo on Veteran's Day
And to Iowa at Christmas.
And now here we (actually just me) are, cleaning, grocery shopping, and getting my hair did for the big Homecoming.
I hate deployment. It isn't fun. I promise. But you always grow and you always find you are stronger than you thought you would be. And you make these memories that you laugh about or roll your eyes over years down the road.
This is not glamorous. This is not ideal. But it's our life. And now we get the sweet reward of Homecoming!