Nothing is more important than support during a military deployment for those left behind at home. Whether it's someone cooking you a meal (thank you to my church family for the kind offer and meal!) or the friend willing to watch your little ones whenever they can (Vanessa has been a Godsend!) or grabbing lunch with a few girlfriends (and all the kiddos that now accompany us!) anything helps when your better half is away. Yes, Loving Husband has been away for a while now - he's nearly ready to be home now and we couldn't be more thrilled!
It's been a very trying time. Not because the duration was long - 2 months this time - but more because I swear he left and we all got sick and stayed that way. I coughed for 46 days straight before I finally felt better. So if deployments aren't hard enough - having everyone in the house sick just is brutal! It limits playdates (aka mommy socialization with ADULTS!) it limits sleep, it limits breaks. Needless to say it's been a very long two months. Nights are the loneliest - I get the kids in bed and then its crickets. That's where friends come in handy! Vanessa has come over for girl's night in since there's no babysitter for girl's night out...
I have to say I have some of the greatest friends in the world. My friend Mo has been 'around' daily online chatting with me - a pretty standard routine for her and I on a non-deployment schedule, but she's been ever so kind to endure my whining, complaining, mini-meltdowns regarding whatever ;) and she repeatedly expressed desire to come help me if she could only afford another trip. She was just here for New Years. She even looked up to have dinner delivered to me as a surprise during one of my 'dark' weeks.
Becky scheduled a visit for her and Ben in February only a few weeks after Loving Husband left on his mission. She caught us at a good time in between the major portions of our illnesses. I believe since the beginning of February we've had three decent colds that have come through here. It was so great to see her. Sadly her Ben had his first bad cold begin while he was here so there was a lot of sitting at home and playing here. Becky was able to be here to see my baptized! I was so thankful for that, because even though my husband missed that important event in my Christian walk - it was so nice to have a friend that has been with me on my Christian journey these past two+ decades to be there to witness the joyous time.
My friend Carrie also made a very purposeful trip to come to the NW to help me out and hang out with me and she was a HUGE help. She not only was simply here to chat with, hang out with, drink wine with, but also was such a help giving me a free afternoon and being quite the baby whisperer on two occasions getting Mae down for a nap. The Monday she watched Mae was the first time in six weeks of Loving Husband being gone that I had an afternoon to myself for FUN. Vanessa has watched both kids for me, but it was so that I could go to the doctor to get a chest xray... not exactly the spa type relaxation (although equally as appreciated, certainly!) We had a lot of fun and did a lot of shopping. Now I know why she hasn't visited the NW in a few years... we can't afford it! :) She also helped me build my new kitchen island and we got buff lifting the 150lb granite counter top ... and together we had a good laugh at our problem solving skills.
Support is so important when a loved one is away, and while I was able to talk to LH nearly every day it is hardly the same and so I am so thankful that friends from afar were so supportive and worked around their own busy schedules to really help us out - because when Becky and Carrie came to visit so did their little ones and oh boy how much for my kids had with their 'cousins' :) Aiden absolutely loves having house guests - especially little ones he can play with. I loved seeing some of my favorite people for multiple days in a row! And now I'm on the final countdown to seeing my favorite person of all, my husband! Hurry home, my love!