Today's post is going to be probably my favorite one ever, and I'm not even the one writing it!
My favorite friend of all time, Jessica, is guest posting for me today. We've known each other for about 16-17 years. We homeschooled together, got in trouble together, and have always remained close-even if I haven't lived in the same town as her since I was in 7th grade.
You may remember her famously from this picture:
She was the one who hosted out Hunger Games party!!!
She has quite a different life than most, since she is an Army wife, married to Trey. They have two completely awesome boys-Jack and Jude, and a love for one another that only Jesus could have constructed.
We have so much in common....it's kinda freaky.
Our weddings were redonkulously similar, (we didn't plan a single thing together!), got married the same year, preggers 5 months apart, and a bunch of random things you wouldn't think were very interesting...so trust me on this!
God has used Jessica to bless me in MANY ways, but the biggest has probably been becoming sort of a "mentor" when it comes to being a godly wife. She'll be the first to tell me that I am wrong, and have scripture to back it up. I credit her raw friendship partly to why my marriage has healed and grown in ways I never imagined!
Okay, enough with the back-story flash back, and let's get on with the goods.
Jessica had the most amazing week this week.
How do I know?
Not only is she celebrating her 4 year anniversary, but she is welcoming home her beloved from a 9 month deployment!!!
Isn't that the most exciting thing EVER???
I've been completely giddy this week just knowing their family would finally be united!
She has done the most amazing job holding down the home front while Trey has been off serving our country abroad. (Thanks dude!) Taking care of two littles, without the physical support of your spouse is tough. I don't know it from a spouse side, but I grew up with a grandpa, dad, and step-dad all being in the army. It's a tough life...not so glamorous like the movies.
So here is HER side of things. The preparation of a family reunited.
I can't even begin to explain how special this post is for me.
If you've ever wanted an in-depth view of what goes on for the sake of our freedom-
here ya go.
|Here is their first family photo after being reunited!!! I totally cried!|
What to expect when expecting your military man home.
Taking you through pre-deployment, deployment, and all the way to bringing him home.
First off I should say.. I never thought I would be an Army wife. I always fought against it. Then one Sunday the military man of my dreams walked into the hair salon in which I was working at the time. I was done for from that day on.
Trey was deployed for 7 months when we first met. During that time, we got to know each other and fell in love via snail mail and wartime phone calls.
It was a hard journey, but so fruitful and awesome. God showed me so much in that time. Trey came home from Iraq and six months later we got married! We got pregnant with our fireball Jude August on the honeymoon and the whirlwind of life started a-swirling. Trey left the 82ndAirborne Division and reenlisted to join Civil Affairs. We thought this was the best career choice for us since we still had student loans to pay off and we thought CA would provide a lot of training for when we left the Army for a foreign mission field. Plus, all the schooling would mean he would be on U.S. turf longer! So sure enough, a year after Jude was born we found out we were expecting baby boy #2, sweet Jack Cohen! The best part about this time was that Trey was here for both births and first few months of their lives! It's crazy to think that this is uncommon for military families. Now, I started with all of this because I need you to know I have been through two pregnancies, two all natural deliveries, learning to breastfeed, waking up late at night, developing sleep schedules, food preparation, reading reading and more reading about baby and momma, teaching to walk, talk, potty train, and now we are transitioning into preschool time!
The main word and theme here is TRANSITIONING.
If you have ever been prego you have probably read what to expect when expecting and referenced back to it a million times. In that book, they break down everything you will experience from trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, preparing for a baby, and adjusting to baby and family life.
Trey is currently deployed to Tajikistan and is scheduled home in the next few days!!! AHHH!!
The other day I had my first real "Ok, I am done with this deployment! My baby just needs to come home now," moment. That’s when I realized deployments are a lot like having a baby.
When we first got orders that my husband was definitely deploying I went into emotional freak out mode. I kept thinking, "Oh my gosh I am not ready for this! How will I handle this? How will my family deal? How did this happen? I need to talk to other wives about what I'm going to endure. How do we make it a healthy deployment?" Kind of like finding out you’re knocked up, right?
Time draws near for him to leave and I am in prep mode! We were getting wills, power of attorney, looking at bills, prepping cars to not have a man around, finishing house projects, making him all his special meals...then we got a few last date nights in, packed him up and shipped him off!
First month in and I am an emotional wreck! Not sleeping, always sad, only surviving for my children, haha (not that it is a laughing matter...but I'm just looking back on it). Feeling like no one is there for us. No one really knows what we're going through. I start working out to work off the weird funk. Hanging out with people I know are going through this or have been through it or reading articles of people who have.
The first few months pass and I am ok and feeling like I can do this! Embracing military life for the first time since marrying into it really. I have a handle on this. Domesticated wife and momma of two crazy boys, worship leader, mommy group leader, and all the other hats I wear, were starting to fit just right. I'm loving learning about my husband in a new way from so far away! I'm falling in love even more...if that is possible. Learning who my boys are and what they are about from a different view. Finding myself more at Gods feet. Time is flying now that I'm not freaking out.
Then we get word our due date may have been pushed back. Trey is coming home a few weeks later then expected. Aghhh. Heart breaks...again. Fighting just to fight, venting just to vent.
But that was resolved quickly, and thankfully as of yet, Trey is coming home early! Got to love the Army for this sort of stuff! Talk about a rollercoaster, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much because things can always change! This time, things haven’t changed much though and he is expected to return to us soon!
I relate this stage of deployment to your 9th month of pregnancy in which, you are a few weeks away and everyone keeps saying, "Oh wow you are about to pop! When are you due? You haven’t had that baby yet? My goodness it seems like you’ve been pregnant forever! You have done so well with this pregnancy!" As mommy in this situation you are thinking, "Cleary I haven’t had baby yet. Yes I am about to pop. You're very right, it does feel like forever and thank you, I have tried to seem like I have had it all together the last nine months!" (Though you haven’t seen, and know nothing of my sleepless nights, my prayers, my fears, my trials, the way my children have completely turned on me (haha), being completely alone with people around, feeling so overwhelmed you cant breathe.. On the flip, realizing you are one strong woman, you can manage the crap out of a household and ministry, your love goes crazy distances for your husband, you will do anything to protect and help family, God is greater than any situation and His love is so fierce it pierces through the darkest and loneliest nights. That He sees it all and truly knows and loves me.
So now I am back to prepping! Baby is coming home, must have everything perfect! Buy new outfits to show off my hard work in the gym, clean, organize, set up his office! Emotionally freaking out with these questions: How will it be sleeping in bed with him again? How will we work together again? How will the kids be with him? Our lives are about to be turned upside down yet again! We are hitting the TRANSITION.
I will have to follow up on this once my man is home and we have gone through the transition. I can't help but think if everything else has gone just like 9 months of pregnancy, the bringing home baby stage will probably be what I expect! Thanks for letting me ramble! Hope it all made some sense to you and can potentially help some military wives relate and others to see what to expect.