Hi friends! I'm finally posting another update, and I am including pictures of one thing I've been working on to prove that I've actually been quite busy this summer. Enjoy :)
Cards for Curtis! A week before he left, I started imagining what I'd do for writing letters to him every night. I pictured fun little doodles and quotes on notecards. The day he left, I went and got a few art supplies - watercolors, colored pencils, and sharpies, then went crazy. Since then, I've made an original card for every day. That's 80ish cards...yeah, it's taken up a little time, but proven to be therapeutic and a great way to encourage both of us. I can't promise that I can do this every deployment, but for now, I still have plenty of ideas. :)
Not going to lie, a lot of ideas came from Pinterest, and I've tweaked some a little to make my own. It's been a long time since I've done so much artsy stuff, and it feels so good to get back into it!
Well, somehow we have made it almost 8 weeks through this time of separation! I am so excited for September to get here, but I have to say I feel guilty wishing for it. I've always loved summer, and while I love fall too it's always a little sad when school/obligations/routines kick back into gear. This year, seeing back to school things on the shelves and the words "pumpkin spice latte" appearing in ads is making me grossly excited. I'm all about relishing life and that each day is a gift, but there's nothing wrong with some eager anticipation for the next time I see my love. :)
By the way, I've never even had anything pumpkin spice. Last year, Curtis and I went out to get BOGO pumpkin spice lattes, and ended up falling in love with a puppy. Who we brought home 2 days later. That "cheap date" idea ended up to be our most expensive. Love ya, Charlotte. ;)
Last I wrote was on our anniversary. The day was as good as any day could be while we're apart. We talked on the phone the day before, we emailed back and forth all day, I received letters in the mail, and I saw pictures of him posted online! All these things have been my favorite things to look forward to this summer! Then I also had my family keeping me company and showering me with love, my grandparents stopped by for a visit, and received many happy wishes from friends. It was a great day, and I felt strengthened and refreshed and ready to take on the next 6 weeks.
Reaching the halfway point was both a relief, yet the end still felt (and feels) so far away. I compare it to swimming across the ocean. When you reach the halfway point, you can celebrate all you want, but I realize we still have to go through the same amount of time that we already endured, and you have to keep swimming. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... The only time that having 6 weeks left so much less was when we had no idea where we'd be living at the end of them. We weren't even sure which state we'd be in. That feeling was stressful for someone like me who likes to have life planned out, yet I kept reminding myself at least we'll be together!! And I knew that's all that matters.
But last week, we finally got the exciting news of where we go next...Drum roll please! We're going back to Arizona for a few more months! We are SO excited about it! Last May when we left, we were both thinking and kind of hoping that they would move us right along to the next thing after training. We just wanted to keep going and knock it all out, one thing at a time. But after being apart, we both realized that every week we had in between is a week we get to spend together, and it delays the next inevitable time of separation. We will have about 4 months in between now, and we both think that's a perfect amount of time to relax, get caught up, and have some more adventures before moving and beginning the next thing. So come this December, we get to make another cross country move, from one warm and gorgeous climate to another! Until then, we'll be relishing another few months in a state we love and know so well. :)
I'm very thankful for all the ways we've grown together through this time. There have been bad days for both of us, ones where we just want to throw in the towel and be done with this, but God has given us both strength and hope to press on and live day-to-day. I have loved getting to know Curtis better through his written letters and emails. I love all the reflecting we've been able to do on our love and life together. I love how we've grown stronger in our faith and closer to God as we experience the trial, and continue to learn from each other's discoveries. Even though we aren't experiencing life side-by-side right now, we are both still very involved and invested in each other's lives. In distance, we are far apart, but in our hearts and minds, we've never been closer. We're still counting down the days when we can close the gap and be together again.
It's so hard to believe that at one time, my countdown said 82. I can't imagine or even remember how we managed that, but now that we're here, the excitement is building and it'll be so worth it the moment we see each other again! I know that there will be many other times through this that we'll have to be apart. This is kind of just the preparation for what is to come. I know that we'll face this a lot and we'll both learn how to function without having each other there all the time. I know one thing for sure though, is that I don't want to get used to it. I don't want this to ever be something that is normal or just happens - "oh yeah, my husband and I are separated half a year, no biggie!" I want it to be a big deal, and I want to miss him and think of him and long for him every day that he's gone. I believe it's normal and healthy and that all that comes from God. Every deployment will be a trial for us, and I pray that we will always see it as that and that we will "consider it pure joy" and learn something new from each one - learn something more in our faith, and in our marriage.
That's all for now! Ok, so I really do still enjoy writing little updates, but I have to say I'm REALLY looking forward to the ones I'll publish in a month. But that's just me. ;)
Today, I had another Military Wife milestone - I mailed my very first care package! Come back later next week for the details - Curtis is able to access my blog sometimes, so I can't give away any spoilers! (Love you babe. ;))