Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Months Since Homecoming...

Reintegration :)
...a funny word that military folks use to describe the process one goes through post deployment.
Stephen has been home for exactly two months this coming Monday. I've heard and read that it normally takes about this length of time for couples to completely cycle through the "Honeymoon" and then "Readjustment" stage of deployments. Honestly, I would get nervous as I would read material to prepare for homecoming and how it warned that after the "Honeymoon" stage passed...reality would begin to settle in. Doesn't that just sound depressing? After being apart from Stephen for six months, I was already filled with SO many different emotions about being reunited again that this added to the anxiety! It did increase my prayer life as it consumed most of my thoughts, though. :) However, I knew that this new experience would just be something that we'd have to go through and there wasn't a detailed plan to prepare for it.
Thankfully, we've had a pretty smooth transition for our first deployment. Of course, there was also those moments when it seemed awkward to have meals together, share space, communicate all throughout the day instead of just writing 1 or 2 emails, and remembering to think about what the other person wants/needs presently when normally we did not have to. While we have had some adjustments over the past 2 months, I believe that God has also given us grace to laugh at ourselves and to enjoy each other one day at a time. After managing the house by myself for 6 months, I remember being SO thankful when Stephen automatically took out the trash, changed hard to reach light bulbs (that had been out for 3 months because I couldn't fix them), carried heavy groceries or items that would have taken me a long time to maneuver on my own (especially being so prego), washed dishes, took care of our dog, did laundry, and cooked meals! I have just been in awe and extremely thankful to have my team mate back home again. This deployment gave me a whole new appreciation for Stephen and all the "little" things he does everyday that in the past I may have taken for granted. We've also had the gift of just discovering each other inside and out all over again! How awesome is that? :) I believe that as hard as deployments can be...this must be the "special blessing" that can only come after going through such an experience together. The opportunity to have passion and remembrance of our deep commitment to one another stirred and fanned aflame for 6 months is a great gift indeed.
So..I suppose we're officially graduating from the "Readjustment" stage now. :) I hope to continue to learn and grow in my relationship with Stephen, though! I couldn't have been blessed with a better husband and friend. I'm so grateful for the ministry we get to have to our servicemen, women, and their families. God definitely has been enlarging our hearts for them and I pray that we would not lose sight of our mission.
"Oh Trinity of love and power...our brethren shield in danger's hour...from rock and tempest, fire, and foe...protect them wheresoe'er they go...thus ever more shall rise to Thee...glad hymns of praise on land and sea..."


Above is a picture of the view from the ski resort in Massachusetts that Stephen and I got to stay at over Christmas with the Griffin family. It was beautiful and the small New England town near by reminded me of Bedford Falls from the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." :)

Of course, at the time I was 36 weeks prego (above) and not really able to do much skiing. ;) I did enjoy the time we got to spend with my in-laws as it was the 1st time we were ALL together in several months. My mom and sisters-in-law surprised me with a family baby shower while we were up there. It was super thoughtful and I felt very loved! I'm sure you may have heard about the big snow blizzard that recently hit the northeast and thankfully none of us were stuck in that before we got back to our homes. Our area here in Virginia got about 12-14 inches of snow which shut down the bases and gave Stephen and I more alone time for free! Woo Hoo


We've been getting Tierzah's room ready and anxiously waiting her arrival! I'm 38 weeks prego and definitely "feeling" it. I was not being very smart and decided to scrub our kitchen floor with the burst of energy that I got a couple days ago. Ya...later that evening, I could not walk because of pain in my back/leg and Stephen graciously carried his ginormous wifey up our stairs to bed. :) Ha! So I am trying to be smarter with this new nesting energy. Anyway, every false contraction, kick, jab, or reminder of our coming arrival brings on a wave of emotions! I can't wait to finally hold, cuddle, and kiss our baby girl. It's hard to believe she is already on her way and call us crazy...but we're already praying for Griffin Baby #2. One at a time I suppose, though. ;)
Me cute niece, Eva, made this card for me (below). I think they are very wise words and hopefully I will have applied them by the time I write my next post!