I don't know if many know, but in January, our family said, "goodbye" to my husband while he went overseas on an unaccompanied hardship assignment. The children and I put our belongings in storage and moved in with my parents so the children could be closer to family during this transition.
Usually when my husband goes away, I go crazy taking photos, but I never scrap the time that he's away. It's too painful to scrap the photos because he isn't there to see them. Or it's too painful to scrap the photos after he comes home, because I remember how much I missed him and become a sad, depressed woman. I tried scrapping current photos while he was gone the last time, but every time I scrapped the photos, I felt guilty and ended up in tears!
This time around, it's been four months since he's been gone. Over the weekend, I missed my husband so much that I started looking through the photos that I've taken since he's been gone, or the week he left. As I was looking at the photos, I kept thinking to myself, "oh I love that photo" and before I knew it, I had about 20-photos that I wanted to scrap. So instead of just taking photos to store on my hard drive and feel guilty about scrapping them, I sat down this weekend and scrapped two different photos, which in a way was major therapy for me. Yes, I cried. Yes, I miss my husband, but somehow scrapping these layouts don't make me miss him so much and I can start to look forward to the day he comes home next year!
These photos were taken at Reagan National Airport. After a crazy day, my husband's flight was finally secured and we had the timeframe of when we had to say goodbye. We asked at the USO if they could get the family in at the gate to spend time with him, but they were unable to help us. So we asked at the reservation desk. Normally, they allow one person back at the gate, but because we were a family of five, they were more hesitant. My daughters started crying and that's when the man behind the counter handed us four tickers that allowed us to wait at the gate until my husband boarded his flight! We waited about two hours before they finally called my husband's plane. Saying goodbye, with a baby, was really hard! He had no idea what was going on, but knowing how much he'd grow in the year that my husband was going away, really made it difficult. The girls, really struggled to keep their composure so that Daddy wasn't sad before he left. Once he left, the kids and I stayed at the gate, waiting for his plane to take off. The kids were standing at the window when the man behind the counter, the one who allowed us to go to the gate, came and said, "if you wave, the pilots might wave back." The kids waved and sure enough the pilots waved while they were checking their engines! It was really neat. About 20-minutes later, the plane taxied and we watched it take off. That moment, was probably the hardest moment in my mother-years. Immediately, I had two hysterical girls and a toddler screaming, "Daddy". It took me another 20-minutes to calm them all down with the help of the gate clerk and the man behind the counter. The drive from DC to PA was a long drive, filled with the occasional crying of a child
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If you look closely to the background of the layout, you'll see an airplane blended in the background. That is my husband's plane taking off and heading towards Jacksonville!!
Fast forward to the end of April when I picked my husband up from the Philadelphia Airport to surprise my children that their daddy had come home for a short visit! His flight came in at midnight and we didn't get home until closer to 2am. As soon as my husband came in to our bedroom, the dog barked and growled not sure of who I brought home! Once he realized who it was, he was so excited to see my husband. I really wish I had captured their reunion on video!!
The following morning, my husband hid in our bedroom while I told the three children that we were going to make birthday pancakes for our middle, who's birthday was the next day. The girls reluctantly came downstairs and were a little aggravated that I was going to take photos and video them making their own breakfast, when normally I make them breakfast. It was at that time, my husband entered the kitchen saying, "hey, what's for breakfast"
This moment, I did video and uploaded to YouTube, so the family and friends could see the children's reaction, which was priceless!! You can view their reaction here:
**please turn down your volume as my middle cries almost the entire video**
A month prior to my husband coming home, my middle had been having nightmares that Daddy came home and when she woke up he was gone. So when he actually came in the room, she started crying because she thought it was another nightmare. I don't know if you can hear, or understand her, but she keeps screaming, "this isn't a dream" and then she asks, "is this a dream?" She thought for sure she was going to wake up and he'd be gone. She really couldn't believe he was right there, standing before her in person and not in dream!!
So this weekend, along with scrapping my husband's departure, I had to scrap his visit home, which while it was a very short visit, we did a lot during his time home. Sadly, he's back at his duty station but we are now counting down the days until he comes home!!
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