a month gone by

Or, I should say, flown by.

Holy cow. Where did October go? Give me a big fat fail for my blogging grade. I absolutely did not have a moment of free time to blog. From the time of my last post (exactly one month ago), I had NINETEEN sessions, including a wedding, knocked out another month of my 12-credit-hour school schedule and managed to survive another month of the deployment.

This deployment is passing surprisingly quickly. Wow. Thank goodness. It has been a little bit stressful but, honestly, I haven’t had much time to think about how much it sucks ;) Grady and I are able to “hangout” with Abe on Google+ Hangouts. We’ve found that the connectivity blows Skype out of the water. It takes a bit of getting used to, to navigate to the actual “hangout” itself, but it is worth it. We have not once had dropped service since switching, which is much better than the 3-4 interruptions we were experiencing with Skype. It is really wonderful to be able to chat with Abe so often though Grady still has some difficulty with saying goodbye to daddy at the end of our calls.

I really am hoping to jump back into posting here as the holidays rapidly approach. I’ll have more free time once this semester is over (in one month, one week and one day – not that I’m counting or anything). I am taking a self-imposed photography hiatus until this-coming Spring. I am so thankful that I stay so busy with my little business but at the same time, it has been quite overwhelming this Fall and I am feeling the need to be obligation free for a little while. Destress. Unwind.

More to come!

let’s start counting down.

Today was the big day. It was the last day we got to see our Abram for many, many months.

 

To see that typed out is so, so difficult.

 

This morning, we attended a departure ceremony for Abram and the others deploying alongside him. It seemed much more emotionally charged than the ceremony for the first deployment. The entire time, I looked around at the other families. This unit is packed with families with children ranging from newborns to adults. To see so many families moved to tears, clinging to their mommies or daddies, not wanting to let go… it was rough.

 

Looking at my husband and our little son – that was the hardest.

 

Grady didn’t seem too affected by the ceremony or even our final goodbyes. I feel like my little buddy is a little confused but is otherwise cheerful. I know in the coming weeks and days he will wonder where daddy is and we’ll be endlessly discussing the fact that “daddy is at work” and that we won’t be able to see him for a while. We already look at pictures all the time and I love that he gets so excited to see one of daddy. I wish so badly that he had more of a concept of time so that we could eagerly count down the weeks and months with joy and anticipation together. I’ll have to get creative and figure out a way in which to show him that daddy will be home before we know it.

 

I’m trying my hardest to hold it together in front of him most of the time because I don’t want him to see mommy be too sad. Of course, we will be talking about daddy all the time and I know he is going to has already seen me cry. Several times, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m okay with that. I want him to know and to believe that it’s okay to be sad sometimes. We both miss Abram and we’ll both have our tough days, just as I’m sure Abram will have his tough days. As a military family, we are not immune to the hurt that comes along with separation. It is not something you ever grow used to feeling.

 

In an effort to prevent this post from being too much of a downer (hey, I told you I was going to be honest, didn’t I?), I have some positive news to share! Abram was promoted to Sergeant First Class on Saturday, August 25th. Grady, Sandy (Abe’s mom), Rob (Abe’s step-dad) and I were able to attend the ceremony. Grady and I were able to “pin” Abram with his new rank when he was promoted. It was a great moment. We are so very proud of Abram and what a phenomenal, hardworking man he is. It is fantastic to see him receive recognition for all that he gives to the military.

 

 

To my amazing husband – we are so incredibly proud of you. We miss you. We love you. You are very much the heart of our family and we are thinking of you always while we are apart. I know you have mixed emotions about this deployment, but please know that you are not letting us down in any way. Come home soon, love.

let’s call it an anthem

I am the type of person who is deeply impacted by music. It moves me to my core. When I worship, it’s through music. If I need a good cry, I listen to music. If I’m in a great mood, I roll windows down and crank up the tunes. I feel like music creates a special ambiance for the day to day and it can so impact my mood and spirit.

When I heard “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons, it was a song that I immediately knew would be important to me over the coming months. Specifically, the following lines are the ones which most moved me upon first listen:

“And I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we’ve known
Will blow away with this new sun”

“And I will wait, I will wait for you”

“So I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart”

“Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow”

I have a feeling I will be listening to this one on repeat on those tough days as well as the days when I’m feeling especially tough :) I look forward to jamming out to this song with Abram and Grady once we are reunited as well! “These days of dust which we’ve known will blow away with this new sun.” I’m so looking forward to the rising of that sun.

different

The one word that comes to mind with this deployment, compared to our first deployment when Abe was in Iraq, is “different”.

 

When Abe was in Iraq, it essentially felt as though we were simply in a long distance relationship. Abe and I had been married for two and a half years at that time. I was working full-time in the banking industry, going to school part-time and had a home to keep clean. Other than those things, I had zero responsibility. I could come and go as I pleased. Abe and I would chat for long periods of time without interruption or concern. Of course, I was concerned with Abe’s safety while he was away and I certainly allowed myself to wallow in a deep pit of self pity quite often.

 

Something that was not on my mind was how that first deployment affected the lives of others outside of mine and Abe’s happy couple bubble. I did not have to worry about the tender heart of a precious two-year-old little boy. I did not have to think about how to talk about daddy, attempting to make him very much a part of our day-to-day lives  even while he’s gone, without causing Grady to become upset about not being able to see him. This little boy was not the center of my world during that first deployment. These days, my heart is walking around outside my body wearing a popsicle-stained t-shirt and size 6.5 toddler shoes.

 

During this deployment, my concern isn’t necessarily over the next time I will get to see or speak with Abe, though I do so enjoy connecting with him via text, phone call, Skype, etc. My concern is over this little boy who is missing his daddy all day, every day. While I am so proud of Abe for his service, it hurts me that his service takes him away from our little boy. I know Abe is feeling the same way and while it’s comforting, it makes all of this that much more difficult.

 

After just four days, I am already longing for these 10-or-so months to pass quickly so that my boys can be reunited. Time has a way of moving so quickly through the happy times and not-so-quickly when things are a little more difficult. I’m positive as we settle into a routine, things will speed up a little. Until the day our Abram is home, though, the heart of my little boy will not be whole and mine and Abe’s will be a little bit broken.

and so it begins

Yesterday morning, Grady, Abram and I made the trek up to Stout Field to drop off Abe and his duffel bags. The drive up was pleasant. Grady was happy in the backseat, despite the early wake up, while Abe and I chatted and sipped our coffee for the duration of the drive. Once we made it to our destination, I felt the familiar tug of my heart-strings. Abe held Grady as we walked around looking at the “biiiig frucks!” (as Grady calls them), attempting to stave off the impending goodbyes.

This process is never made easier, despite frequency, despite time. The moment you watch your partner saying goodbye to your child… heartrending. The moment you share the last kiss you’ll share for a while with the one you love… unbearable. These are such bittersweet memories we are making.

We were able to chat via Skype as a family last night and, already, it was so nice to see Abram’s face. He is quite handsome, after all ;) I was unable to hold back the tears as yesterday had been particularly challenging so instead of attempting to choke out a conversation, I watched silently as the tears rolled down my cheeks while Abe and Grady had a little conversation. After saying goodnight, the loneliness was overwhelming so I snuggled up with G and fell asleep while missing Abram.

So the journey has finally begun and I can say without hesitation that this is not going to be easy.

Fortunately, we have so many people out there supporting us through prayer, good vibes, offers to help, etc. I love our little community so very much. I know once we establish our new routine that the months will fly by and Abram will be home with us, where he belongs, before we know it. The knowledge of how fleeting time can be is a great comfort.