Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Year

For me the title of today's post is emotionally packed. Bill has officially been home for one full year since our last deployment. I was flipping through pictures tonight when I came across our homecoming and tears started rolling down my face. Both of my boys (ages 4 and 2) have been through two deployments makes me all the more thankful for their connection with their daddy. Bill has missed half of Will's life already and for Jack it's been even more. I'm always amazed when I hear other people say they are on their 9th or 10th. We are still at the beginning of this adventure.

I wanted to re-share these pictures with you today for a few reasons. First, to take a moment and thank the family and friends who have been on this journey with us, who support and pray for us. Who mowed the lawn, hung Christmas lights, and sat with me the first night in the hospital with Jack so I wouldn't be alone. You all have been God's hands and feet to our family and your love and generosity make me cry at the very thought of it. Secondly, I have several dear dear friends that are about to embark on yet another deployment. Even though the miles separate us now, I pray for you daily and can promise I'm a plane flight away should the need arise. You women are my sisters and I love you. And finally, if you know a military family or even see the tell tale haircut while you're out in town take a moment to speak to them. I cannot tell you what it means to them or the families to know that random people care. Whenever my mom is traveling she goes out of her way to pay for a cup of coffee in the Starbucks line at the airport or thank the ones in uniform sitting at the gate and I couldn't be more proud of her. Little acts make big ripples in this community.

And since I know that I have a few military readers out there some old and some new, I thought I'd share with you my top sources for surviving thriving through a deployment. If you have any others feel free to share the links!
Daddy Dolls: I thought it was weird at first but I can't tell you what a source of comfort these are to my kids.
Daddy Quilts: This is a free service and one that is close to my heart. What a wonderful way to use your quilting talent.
SpeakSake: I did this for Bill when he missed Christmas for the second time in a row. Family, friends, college roommates, people who barely knew him called and left voicemails filled with well wishes, silly songs their kids sang, prayers, stories and so much love. He received it all on a CD and it meant everything to him that holiday.
United Through Reading: My boys loved seeing their daddy on the T.V. Will would touch his face on the screen, run and get the same book out of his toy bin and sit there for the whole story. I can't say enough good things about this program. Bill suggested I put this one on here. It is completely unaffiliated with the military but worked well to our advantage and it was free! You assign your email a phone number (military emails work) and then you can call that number and leave messages night or day. Simply sign into your email and open your mail and listen to your loved ones. This is how he first heard Jack cry in the delivery room :) This is an excellent tool for boat deployments, since skype and calls are very few and far between. Obviously the deployed spouse benefits from hearing the messages but I loved that it made him feel only a phone call away.


  1. I thought the dols were a little strange myself,but the kid's here all really love them.
    ko, if you ever get stationed at the Air Station or PI in Beaufort, SC I hope I can take you and your beautiful family to lunch and show you around. :)

  2. Thank you Ko! Thank you to your boys. Thank you to your husband, for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country, for my family. We are forever grateful. Also, thanks for the links. My family and I have been looking for ways to help military families and knowing that a military family supports these makes me feel very good about contributing to them.

  3. i am teary. missing births and are a strong woman and i am so grateful for good men like your husband. thanks for the links...and i consider YOU a resource, my dear. for inspiration and thoughts on a life well lived!

  4. Happy one year home! :) The pictures are beautiful.

  5. Oh how I remember this day! It was such a happy day! I was beyond thrilled for you guys and I am overjoyed at the thought of knowing he's been home for a whole year this time :) I love you friend and you truly inspire and bring out the good in people! Pray for you daily! Miss you and the boys!

  6. Hi Kristin,
    "Thank you" seems so inadequate to express my thanks to you, your husband, and little boys for all you have done serving our country. Our son-in-law was deployed for a year and wounded 3 times the first 5 months. My daughter and granddaughter lived with us that year, so I have seen how stressful the whole thing can be. But we knew the Lord was with him on the much as He was with us here at home. We took comfort in that.
    Thanks for a blog that's a blessing and an encouragement for other military wives.
    And btw, I'm your newest follower.
    Many blessings!

  7. This one made me cry. So glad you get some time together for a while. You all need each other. Your sacrifices are appreciated by a grateful nation, and me.