Deployment thoughts

2018 43

Hi friends! Thank you SO, so much for your incredible comments and DMs this week. They made my heart so warm and I hope you know how thankful we are for your support, love, and sharing in our joy. I’ve shared some pretty huge life moments here on the blog, and it means the world to me that you’re here. You feel like a part of our family and I’m filled with gratitude to you all.

This post is just a collection of random thoughts I put together during the past 7 months. It was SO HARD to not write about the deployment since it was a huge part of our life, but thank you for understanding why I chose to keep it off the blog while it was happening. Here’s a little peek into my brain while all of this was going down:

Facetime

– I told him that I was feeling lonely and just missing having him around. A couple of weeks later, a box arrived with a shirt in it that he slept in for a few days. When I brought it up to my face and deeply inhaled his scent, my eyes welled with tears. I “saved” the shirt until I had a really rough day and needed it, and man, I needed it. It felt like the biggest hug.

– Our yard guy is harmless, but so.freaking.nosy. “When’s your husband coming home? Where is he?”  “He’s at work.”   “Yeah, but he’s like not in town, right?”    “No.”   “Wait, but when does he come back? Where is he?”     YOU’RE KILLIN’ ME, SMALLS.

– One of the hardest and weirdest parts about deployment is that you eventually become ok with being alone. It’s great and terribly sad at the same time. The thought of him being here literally feels like a dream come true. Like wait, there’s a person out there who wants to hang out with me every day? And we have a lot of fun together? And he loves our babies, and bathes them, and puts them to sleep at night? Sign me up.

– Dragging the trash can and recycling bin to the curb and back every week is the worst thing ever. We usually don’t have assigned tasks around the house or anything like that (we just do what needs to be done) but the trash? His job.

– When Tom comes home, I’m going to look like a weathered bag. I’m going to emerge like I’m coming out of the Civil War.

– It’s December now, which means he’s been gone almost 6 months. And I actually have a kinda-date for when he’s supposed to be home. It feels like I finally know that there’s a finish line to all of this, which was unimaginable in the early months. I’m starting to feel really excited.

– When I think about how much the girls have changed and grown since he left, it makes me cry a little. They’re so much bigger, funnier, wiser, and look like big kids instead of babies. I’m literally the exact same that I was when he left… but more tired looking, so there ya go.

– The Pilot hasn’t had a hug from someone who loves him in over 6 months, which breaks my heart. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to have the girls hugs and sweetness around me because it’s really helped to get me through this. During the deployment, I haven’t felt sad or sorry for myself. I feel sad for him, and I think he knows that we’re going to make up for lost hug time when he gets here.

– When he’s gone, we eat breakfast for dinner a lot. Also a lot more restaurant meals and microwave mac n’ cheese. I’m strangely looking forward to cooking more consistently when he comes back. (At the same time, it’s SO EASY to just make pancakes, turkey bacon, and fruit for dinner… and the girls actually eat it.)

– I think I’ve written about this in the past, but when he’s gone, one of the hardest things for me is seeing other couples out and about, bickering. I was in Target and overhead another couple arguing about school pickup. I thought to myself, “Don’t you know how lucky you are to live in the same place? To see each other every day? To sleep in the same bed every night?” I would literally do anything to see Tom again in that moment and it just made me feel sad to know others take it for granted.

– We went to Winterhaven to look at the Christmas lights and as usual, we stopped by the Wishing Tree. You can write a wish on a piece of paper and add it to the paper links that surround the tree. You can read Livi’s wish if you want to cry.

Livis wish

-The Pilot shaved his creeper mustache as my Christmas present. #blessed

– We’re starting to get ready for his homecoming and it’s so WEIRD and EXCITING to think that it’s actually almost here. My only concern has been how to cram deployment homecoming signs into my suitcase, but I think we’ll just get the supplies in Valdosta and make them in our hotel room. My other concern is how to make room for his clothes in our closet because I kind of took over the whole thing.

– I was feeling pretty confident about this whole solo parenting thing, even after everything that’s been going on and how crazy busy we’ve been over the holiday season. I couldn’t help but briefly think to myself, “You took care of the kids, and house, and ran a business, and did your thing. I’m proud of you.” Then, P got the flu. It was one of the worst weeks we’ve had in a long time, and I felt so awful for her. It was really challenging taking care of poor P and trying to entertain Liv and protect her from getting sick. I didn’t sleep for 6 nights straight because I just sat up in bed, totally overcome with worry. I felt like I hit a major wall. We only had 2 weeks left of the deployment and I had no clue how I was going to get it together to celebrate Liv’s birthday, throw her a party, and get us all ready to travel across the country. I’m SO THANKFUL we were here in Tucson because madre was able to help during the week of sickness. She took Liv for a couple of nights so she could get out of the house, and took her to Chuck E Cheese after her birthday dinner (P was ready to go home) so she could have some extra fun. She’s a real-life angel. I’ve learned with parenting that you can never feel confident or the least bit smug about anything. Every time I feel like I have my life together, something horrible happens. So I just keep my head down and keep trucking along, embracing the good times and hoping the tough times are over quickly.

– I’ve never looked forward to the show This Is Us so much. During the summer, I was like, “Just make it until This Is Us is back” and then on winter break, I was like, “When This Is Us is back again, you’ll only have a week left!” It helps a lot that this season has been really, really good. I’ve set the strangest little milestones this entire time, which always gave me something to look forward to. For example, I knew the exact day that Crazy Rich Asians would be available to rent on Amazon. It’s the little things. I’ll share some deployment tips in an upcoming posts, but having small milestones along the way makes a huge difference.

– We’re getting ready to pick him up this week… and I feel like the honeymoon and happiness feeling has already started. 🙂

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53 Comments

  1. Liz on January 30, 2019 at 7:26 am

    It’s totally not the same as deployment but my husband works out of town for 28 days then is home 21. I always miss him and I know our girls really struggle. That said sometimes it’s HARD when he’s home, like man, you’re messing up my schedule or that’s not how I do it! Like I’m in survival mode when he’s gone and it’s a shock to our schedule when he’s home. Hoping The pilots transition back is nothing but happiness. Oh and so funny about the yard guy! I always worry our creepy neighbor will bother me when hubby is gone!

    • Sara Harrison on January 30, 2019 at 11:46 am

      For the reasons you listed is why that schedule is harder than deployments. It sucks its so long but you can keep your rhythm for the most part and adjust when he gets home for a year. Back and forth every few weeks is HARD!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      That is ROUGH. You’re a champion. You’re right; it is challenging when you get used to your routine, but then they come and shake it up before leaving again. That’s why TDY season drives me bananas.

  2. Denise on January 30, 2019 at 7:28 am

    These are so vulnerable and sweet. Thanks again for sharing your family with us!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      thank you so much for reading and being here!

  3. Janice O'Kane on January 30, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us, it’s so lovely and encouraging for me to read things like this!

  4. Kristi on January 30, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Thank you for your service as a family! I’m so glad it was just a deployment. When you moved quickly to Tucson I figured that he had deployed but then when you hadn’t mentioned him for a long time I hoped it wasn’t something horrible like a separation by choice. So glad you had your family to help you out! Enjoy your time together as a family!

  5. Stephanie S. on January 30, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts! You are amazing for handling all of that, and thank you so much to the Pilot, to you, the girls, and the rest of your family for your service and sacrifices <3

  6. Kirsten H on January 30, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for posting this! <3 I am a mil wife too and my husband comes back in June. He doesn’t have phone or email so this winter has been tough so far. I can so strongly relate to your comment about getting used to the loneliness/being your own support system but also craving your partner’s company constantly. Also, I think the SAME thing when I see couples out in public. I was in the car with friends the other day and a silly song came on the radio and one of my friends jokingly said “Don’t you miss your husband’s karaoke?”(my husband is very goofy and loves to sing along to the radio). I said “I would give anything to hear him sing right now.” I am glad I found your blog so long ago because posts like this make me remember that I’m not alone and there are so many other mil spouses (or spouses that have to be away from their partner) going through the same thing and surviving. Also, thanks so much for your fit guides too. The HWW fit guide has helped me tremendously and has given me a positive outlet for all the anxious energy from hubby being gone.

  7. meghan on January 30, 2019 at 8:27 am

    thank you for sharing and thank you to you and your family for your service. it is greatly appreciated!

    i have a friend who is going through her husband’s deployment. it is her first time, and she has kids at home as well. was there anything that was helpful that you could share for those of us who can better support someone like yourself or my friend?

    thank you!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      thank you so much!
      that’s really sweet to think about your friend. honestly, back-up with the kiddos and just the chance to go out with friends and be a human made a huge difference. i’d see if you can help her out with the kids in any way, or just let her know you’re there for her if she finds herself in a bind. and just plan time to hang out with her! i’m sure she’ll love that.
      one of the girls from our gym told me that she would watch the kids while i got things packed and ready for our trip. i didn’t end up needing her help, but it meant the world to me that she offered

  8. Karen on January 30, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I feel you on the trash can thing. When my husband was deployed taking the trash out made the reality of his deployment so real. I’m so happy that The Pilot is home safe and sound with you. Thank you and your family for your service.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      i completely agree. it was such a strong reminder that he was gone. and something about lugging them out to the curb is the biggest pain!

  9. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on January 30, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for sharing this!! Gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings inside. You are one incredibly strong wife and mama. When the Pilot is on deployment, how often do you get to chat/FaceTime? xx

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Thankfully they had awesome WiFi so we could chat and send video messages!

  10. Emily on January 30, 2019 at 9:13 am

    First, but thanks to the Pilot for his service! Definitely started to tear up when I saw Olivia’s wish. All three of you ladies should be so proud of yourselves for handling this so well.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you! I’m lucky to have such amazing babies- we kept busy and even though we missed him, we had a ton of fun over the past 7 months

  11. Sam on January 30, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I’d love to see about this from the other side too. It’s not the military, but I also work out of town for months at a time. It’s interesting from the other side, though my situation is very different.

    The hours are grueling. The situation changes every time you blink. You better have rapport with anyone. You could be anywhere. Infrastructure could be wiped out. It’s lonely as anything.

    Glad you have him back!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

      That sounds so intense!!! I definitely think I had the easier job staying home with these two nuggets

  12. Jen on January 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for your family’s sacrifice and for sharing it with us!

    The shirt – omg – that made me a little watery eyed just reading it. I’m fortunate in that my husband doesn’t travel too often for work, so I get him most of the time. But when he’s gone, even just a week feels like eternity. I admire military families so much! <3

  13. Alexis on January 30, 2019 at 10:11 am

    My husband has deployed four times and was a Drill Instructor, so I have been on my own more than I have been with him in the 11 years that we have been married. The distance really does something to a relationship. I always try to think that it makes the heart grow fonder, but after adding two kids to the mix, I think it makes the heart grow used to being alone and doing it all… I have a really hard time when he comes home… accepting help from another person feels weird. I feel like I have to do it all despite having him here and it puts a strain on the relationship. Living so far from family really stresses me out too. Military life is not for the faint of heart.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I think you’re totally right. During our first and second deployments it was really hard for me. After that, you just get used to being alone and doing everything. It’s weird to think that our 4th deployment was easier for me with kids than it was when we didn’t have many responsibilities, but it totally was because you just get used to being alone after so many years.

      • Alexis on January 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

        Same. I enjoy my time when it is just me and the kids. The house stays cleaner and there isn’t as much laundry. lol But it is insanely stressful at the same time. I am glad your hubby is home safe! We always end up with orders a few months after he gets home too which adds a whole new stress level. Four months after my hubby came home last year we moved to San Diego… I know you loved it here, but the traffic… it’s almost as bad as a deployment. lol

        • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

          hahah oh man. every time we talk about missing san diego, the traffic always comes up and we’re like ok don’t miss that

  14. Theresa on January 30, 2019 at 10:16 am

    The trash comment made me LOL. We are in Phoenix, my fiancée is doing an internship in Sahaurita during the week which means he lives down there too. The weekly trash is now my job, on top of everything else here, which is ok but it absolutely annoys me . Such a small task but it’s ONE MORE THING.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

      I literally cursed to myself every week when I had to drag the bins out to the curb and then back to the yard. It’s the worst!

  15. Nicole Kump on January 30, 2019 at 11:06 am

    I definitely can relate on a lot of these especially the lack of hugs. My pilot and I talk about getting 12 meaningful hugs a day but with him gone, we get none for many months, which is sad. People who have their spouse everyday should never take a hug for granted! Great post, Gina! I’m glad he’s home, and I can’t wait to have my guy home someday too!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 11:33 am

      i hope the rest of the time goes by quickly for you. no hugs is so sad! i hope you get 24 a day when he’s home 🙂

  16. Jamie on January 30, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Yes! Breakfast for dinner all the time when my husband was deployed! We all enjoy it and it’s kind of nice to get to eat what you want and not have to have the, “What’s for dinner” conversation. Happy that you have your family whole again!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 11:32 am

      YES! i think we still need to make it weekly thing even with him back. it was so easy and the girls love it 🙂

  17. Reenie on January 30, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Sweetest thing ever: “A couple of weeks later, a box arrived with a shirt in it that he slept in for a few days.”

    … and Livi’s sign.

    Again, thank you The Pilot for your service. Welcome Home…. God Bless

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 11:32 am

      those two things still make me cry all of these months later!
      thank you <3 we're so happy he's home

  18. Leah on January 30, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for sharing! You are one strong mama! So glad he’s back home!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2019 at 11:31 am

      thank you! so so happy to have him back

  19. Jill on January 30, 2019 at 11:45 am

    What a sweet, lovely post. Him sending you his t-shirt and Livi’s sweet wish definitely made me cry. And such a great reminder to appreciate my husband, even we life is tough. Also, I feel you on the trash – that is definitely his job!

  20. Colleen on January 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    These notes are so fun to read (although kind of heartbreaking for obvious reasons) because it’s almost like you’re sharing your journal. Remember Livejournal? haha. Anyway, so happy Pilot is home. My bro is a pilot and has 2 young girls as well (and a wife!) and it can be SO tough. Bravo to all the military families out there, and families of people who have wacky work schedules or how to travel a lot. It can be really difficult.

  21. Rachel on January 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    My husband is about to leave for a 13 month deployment and seeing your happy reunion makes me SO excited for the light at the end of this tunnel. I’m definitely going to be requesting some worn t-shirts…

  22. Nathaly @NathyCure on January 30, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    My husband and I have never been apart for so long. And even though when we had to I ended up creating my own routine, I never got used to sleeping by myself. I clearly remember when he came back home it was so surreal and exciting for me. It was exactly that honeymoon feeling you describe.

    I truly admire how you handled life for 7 months with both of your girls. This post certainly made me cry a little bit as I felt so related. Thank you much for sharing<3

  23. Tracy on January 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    I honestly don’t know how you all do it. You’re all so brave! Thanks to your whole family for your sacrifices. I’ll never take my husband’s presence for granted again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings! Enjoy the honeymoon!!

  24. Janae on January 30, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    This post made me tear up, laugh and it gave me goosebumps. You are amazing and I am so happy he is home now. LOVE YOU!

    • Fitnessista on February 1, 2019 at 11:16 am

      thank you so much, sweet friend. love you!!

  25. Raimie on January 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    So very happy for you guys!! You are such a boss lady even without a deployed husband, so you truly deserve to be proud of yourself after this past season of life! I feel like I’d end up in survival mode, but you can really see that you stepped up/showed up for your girls! I sure hope your return to “normal” involves a spa day for you! 😉

  26. Tori on January 30, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    This makes me thankful my husband didn’t go career. I can’t imagine doing it with kids. And yeah, the trash!! My husband was sick and hospitalized for months this year and I distinctly remember how difficult it was to get my so AND the garbage out. We take those little things for granted. Glad he’s home 🙂

  27. Mayacook on January 31, 2019 at 12:37 am

    WoW 7 montes! Here the deployments are 3 months max….but I have no family around and can have no contact with my husband….so I can totaly relate with your feeling lonely. The only thing that I like is that I feel closer to the kids during these periods…

  28. Kristen on January 31, 2019 at 10:55 am

    You are Superwoman! So much love to you lady. And the trash comment spoke to my soul

    • Fitnessista on February 1, 2019 at 11:16 am

      thank you so much, lovely <3

  29. Caitlyn on January 31, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Just wanted to let you know that you discussing deployment/military life on the blog is greatly appreciated! I’m dating an AF pilot (did not meet him at Starbucks, though!), so it is so helpful to get an idea of what I might be in for long term. Enjoy having him home!

  30. Andrea on January 31, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Oh goodness, we experienced all of this last year! Our guy was gone for 10 months (4 for training and 6 for deployment) but came home to our two little kiddos and I in late August and I could not have said any of this better. Props to all military families out there!

  31. JoVanna on January 31, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    OMG Gina…the trash thing had me laughing. My husband is about to deploy for 9 months and (despite having a 1 a 3 yr old) pulling the dang trash down and back has me cursing under my breath already, mostly because I’m petrified of snakes and we recently PCS’ed to Georgia..where my neighbor told me about the copperhead she found on her trash can. DOH!

    So happy the pilot is home safe and your little family is back together!

    • Fitnessista on February 1, 2019 at 11:16 am

      why does the trash seem so much more challenging then taking care of two children?! it’s literally the worst
      i hope the deployment goes by quickly for you <3

  32. Amy Ramos on February 3, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I had no idea he was deployed for that long.
    So grateful and happy that he is home.
    I can not begin to imagine what it is like but I know it is a mixture of emotions.
    Hope you are enjoying alot of family time!
    xoxo

  33. Emma on February 4, 2019 at 8:36 am

    It must be so hard to have your hubby gone on a deployment! Glad he’s back now.

    I really relate to the Target thing that you mentioned, when you see couples bickering. I lost my Dad a few years ago and a few months after I saw a woman helping her elderly Dad do his food shopping. I had to get out of there, and cried in the car, and I still feel sad if I see things like that now. Strange how such little, seemingly negative/chore like things can trigger that. Like we love them so much we miss even the crappy stuff? xx

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      i’m so sorry to hear about your dad 🙁 yes, it’s weird that negative/chore things can trigger such strong feelings. sending a lot of love to you

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