Sunday, November 21, 2010


Homecoming - just the word is enough to make me smile. And the fact that OUR homecoming is sooner than the expiration date on the Orange Juice I bought this week??? I could burst for joy!

Homecoming is one of the perks of the allows you to re-experience a honeymoon phase. You are just soooooo happy to see your love's face that you don't even notice any funky quirks that drove you up the wall before they left. And it REALLY IS that wonderful!

There is nothing like scanning the sea of faces in uniform pouring off the ship...walking down the pier....looking for the tell-tale foot turn and perfect green eyes to know which person to run to. Then you are enveloped in hugs and kisses and tears that you've held at bay for months.

However marvelous all of the above is....there is a part of homecoming few talk about.

And since I like to talk....I'm gonna fill that void.

At Wrigley Field in our first year of marriage
 Ahh, the joys and craziness of homecoming.....there's this aspect of homecoming that is a ball of nervousness, apprehension, and difficulty. In fact, homecoming can often be MUCH MORE CHALLENGING than the leaving. When the active duty person leaves, all parties have clear responsibilities - he does his job.....and I stay home and take care of everything else. But when they come back....the lines aren't so clear cut. The children have grown...their favorite foods have changed...things have been relocated in the've learned a routine - settled into a groove - that works, and they want to change it.

We've handled our fair share of separations and I thought I'd be honest and just share a few things that we've experienced......

My Love. Many moons ago.
Our first separation occurred when My Love went to Basic Training.....4 1/2 months into our marriage.....and only 12 1/2 months after meeting each other. Yes. I said meeting. Anyway. We had not been apart at all and then he left for Basic for 2 months.....and his communication to me was a total of 2 phone calls and 4 letters. Yes. You read that right. So I was a tad a bit exorbitantly nervous about seeing him at graduation. I was super excited...really, beyond excited....but what word would capture the feeling of anticipation? Overjoyed? Elated? Ecstatic? And petrified. I was scared to death that I would run up to the wrong in-shape-white-guy-with-a-buzz-cut-in-a-uniform and kiss his face. While my new husband looked on in horror. Seriously.  I was kept awake the night before his graduation with nightmares of that exact thing happening.

Thankfully, it didn't.

But that didn't make me worry any less the next time!

Another homecoming was one week before I delivered String Bean....I was about 15 months pregnant. He had been gone almost all of the pregnancy and I worried about recognizing him as the sea of people unloaded off the ship. I don't really know why I worried.....I mean, I was there, the size of a house in a white dress.....he could see me on the pier before the boat docked. Seriously.

He was smart enough not to tell me that until about a year had gone by.
7 months pregnant with String Bean
Being a goofball at my baby shower

There have been the obvious struggles of figuring out a new routine....the unexpected frustrations brought by My Love not knowing where things were kept....the expectation that he would come home and just know what needed to be done.....

Which, for the record, is ALWAYS unrealistic, unreasonable, and ridiculous.

The surprising things that could cause anger - like him not knowing how to pack the diaper bag, or forgetting the foods I was allergic too.....that had only popped up SINCE he left. Everything can seem a bit exaggerated when they finally get home.

Sooooo, here are my tips: prepare, prepare, prepare.

Label things to help them find stuff without having to ask you for every little thing.

Make a check-list for various things - what the kids need in their lunches, what belongs in the diaper bag, normal routine for bed....

Keep your sense of humor.

And keep your perspective in check.....because, although I have been  nervous and there have been growing pains with every homecoming.....

I will never forget standing at the washing machine unloading My Love's sea bag and sobbing.....purely because I could do his laundry - and that meant he was home.
Us. Together. And all is well in the world.

Copyright 2010


  1. so happy that the day is drawing near!!!! I am praying for you so much!!! Can't wait for you two to be together and all well in the world again! :)

  2. YIPPEE!!!! I'm just so excited that Jon will be able to drink the orange juice you bought!!!!

  3. So very true! You develop a routine and are ok...then they come back and they want to keep their routine; you want to keep yours. There is a lot of compromise, that is for sure!

    Italy is our first shore duty assignment since getting married...and the most time we will have spent together without workups, underways, or deployments since we have been married. We've been apart for A school when we got married for 6 weeks, move to VA and he was assigned a deployment the week we arrived. Somehow you learn to "adapt and overcome", which has become my motto as a military spouse. But for now, like you mentioned, I am thankful to have to do his laundry or move a few little things here or there...because that means he is home. And this time, it is for three whole years!!

    So excited for you and the girls that he will be home for some of the holidays and for Landon's debut. I can feel the excitement and nervousness for you...I know the exact feeling all to well! So happy the countdown has begun!!

  4. this brought tears to my eyes. I'm so excited for you and cheer your homecoming. :o) You are very blessed.

  5. Wow, Whitney, thanks for being so honest. I've never been through this (and for that I'm ever so grateful) but I have friends who have... and they could definitely have benefitted from your advice! I am thrilled for you that your love is coming home. Remember this post! You might need to come back & read it after he's been home a couple of days :)

  6. thanks everybody for sharing in the excitement! I seek to be honest in these hopefully you don't think I'm crazy!

  7. Oh, you're not crazy??? Just teasing. Love ya


Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!