The outfits are laid out. The floors are mopped. The fridge is stocked. Pantry filled with your favorite goodies. I bought you new socks, underwear, and undershirts. Yet this all does not feel real. Throughout this deployment I’ve had to close off some emotions. This is how I stay “strong” throughout the deployment. I don’t ponder on the things I miss about you or the moments you will miss. I just choose to be joyful. Because I’ve trained myself to do that, it’s hard for me to come back to the reality that you will be making our family whole again. The last time we were face to face was eight months ago. I was barely showing with our second daughter. In eight months our daughter Grace has grown from a baby who could barely say Mommy but liked to call everyone “Daddy” to speaking almost full sentences. In eight months I went from barely being pregnant, to being very pregnant, to dancing my way to having our smiley little Chloe, to raising two kids on my own (which is no joke). The past eight months I’ve grown to appreciate you as my husband, even more. I miss our pillow talks (although I do most of the talking), the same passion we have with chocolate cake and pizza, our long runs, movie nights, dance parties with Grace. I miss you dragging me out of bed to go to church and holding my hand as we sing to God together. There are a lot of things I missed while you were gone. I miss seeing Grace’s face light up when you come home from work and the moment where she runs into your arms.
I haven’t cried this whole time about missing you. But tonight I’m writing this letter to you with tears welling up in my eyes. Because I have missed you the past 8 months so incredibly much and to think of all that has happened leaves me slightly numb inside. Our family grew from 3 to 4 while you were gone. Grace has grown from a baby to a kid. God has taught me to appreciate you, every single day. I cannot wait to be the wife you deserve and for us to walk this “life” together in person 🙂 As we run into your arms soon, I will remember all that we have endured and all that we have learned. Steven, we love you so incredibly much.
Photographs by Jessica McAndrews Photography, Hillary Paige Photography, Colie Photos, Rachel Fitzgerald Photography