Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reunited and it feels so good!

HE'S HOME!!!!!!

After a very long 9 months our little family is back together again! It's been a month now, but it feels like he never even left, we picked up right where we left off and this past month has flown by.  I wasn't sure he would get home on time since his flight leaving Afghanistan was delayed by 2 days, but he's here! This homecoming was a lot different than the last one 2 years ago. It was VERY small and there was less waiting. After our experience with the first deployment, he took his phone with him this time and kept me updated on where he was so I wouldn't have to wait on base for him for hours.

Once he got back, he had a 4 day weekend then went back to work for 5 days just to go to some classes before leave.  My mom came down to visit that Saturday and left Sunday just to see Jon. It rained all weekend and that next week. I met him on base during a break between classes to go to the gym, he said his final class wouldn't be long............oh but it was. I was left just roaming for about an hour in the PX and had this bright idea that we were going to randomly go to the beach so I bought the cheapest bathing suits and towels I could find and told him to meet me at the beach for the first sunny day we had. 

With all this rain, of course our dog had to go roll in the mud puddles every single day, and then whine when we would hose him down afterwards...

After his 5 days of classes, we went up to Maryland for 2 days to take Rocky to my mom's house so she could watch him while we were gone on post deployment leave. Luckily, the Cardinals were in town and we watched them play the Orioles! It was a HOT 1pm game.

Post Deployment Leave:

We decided to drive and visit his parents since we just went on a big vacation 5 months ago. First stop- Brandon, Mississippi to visit Jon's dad, step mom, & their 3 little rascals.  I've never been to Mississippi, so I was excited! We actually went during a cold front and it was only in the 80's-90's. 

4 year old selfies

We spent 1 night in New Orleans and all I have to say is we are definitely going to have to visit again.

We didn't stay here, I just like the clarinet

Beignets for breakfast

Our next stop was Jonesboro, Arkansas to visit Jon's mom and his grandparents. 

Next, we stopped in Nashville for a night on our way back home.  This is another place I HAVE to go back to. I LOVED it!!  Every place we walked by had a live band!

After Nashville, we headed to Maryland to pick up Rocky and then came back home to Jacksonville. Looks like we'll be staying here at least till early next year. We have extra bedrooms and are taking reservations now ;) haha but really come visit us!!! :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Care Packages

So deployment is coming to an end and the only thing I'm sad about is that means no more creating care packages! So, this post will be dedicated to the ones I made :) This deployment, my husband traveled to may different countries & when he finally settled in Afghanistan, he had a PX he could go to unlike last deployment, so I didn't send him many, only for special occasions, or if he just wanted some extra monster.  P.S. you're not supposed to send liquids in USPS but I always do. I take the monster out of the boxes and put them into ziplock bags just incase they were to explode (but they never did) & do not write that you have it in there on the customs form!

The first one that I sent him was literally RIGHT after he left so the decorating was minimal, but I took effort into what was actually included in the package. It was for Thanksgiving. Inside was Turkey Jerky for turkey, canned yams with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, potato chips for potatoes, sweet tea mix, stuffing, oatmeal pies & pudding for desert, dip because they don't sell it in Europe, and a letter. Then I found some cool looking tape for the outside so it would set it apart from the other boxes.

Next, I sent out a Christmas package.  I decorated the inside of the box with wrapping paper and some tinsel.  I included inside some monster, a stocking, candy canes, chocolates, gum, reindeer ears, nuts, a Christmas card, and a hickory farms sausage and cheese package (which they LOVED). I put what I could into the stocking and I wrapped everything else like presents with tissue paper.

The next one I sent him was baseball themed with a lot of snacks in it for patrols.  I found a box full of individually packaged peanuts that would fit in his pockets for patrols, a lot of beef jerky, and some quick foods like mac & cheese, tuna fish w/ crackers, and pop tarts for when he was on watch or just hungry late at night and nothing was open.  I decorated the box with his favorite team, St Louis Cardinals, put a little banner that he could hang in his room, and included a few photos of us at all of the baseball games we have been to.

I was able to fit more than this in the box.

This next package, he never received and it was just a randomly decorated one that I actually found on Pinterest.  They changed their mailing address after I sent this out so it got returned to me and it was beat up, this package took too much time to make so I told him I would send him this picture of it because I wasn't spending my time doing it again lol.

I sent out this package for our 1 year wedding anniversary, which is paper!  He wasn't supposed to come home anytime soon after our anniversary, so I sent him a slice of our wedding cake in a mason jar. I also sent a cookie cake in a jar (instead of cake in a jar) because he LOVES cookies and not cake.  Since it was June in Afghanistan, once the cake got there, the icing had melted and made the cake very sweet, but we were still able to eat it together over Skype (which is in another one of my blog posts) Anyways, I sealed both of the mason jars, put labels on them, and wrapped them in a lot of bubble wrap. On one flap of the box I included photos of our first year of marriage, which wasn't a lot since we only got to spend 4.5 months of it together.  As for paper gifts, I got him a book, and shutter fly desk calendar with photos of us to help him count down the days, and some NICE toilet paper haha. I gave two things that weren't paper, some headphones that he's been asking for this whole deployment and a USB that had a ton of music and some more photos on it. I wrapped everything up and put some random pieces of paper in the box just to fill it up and be funny.

The last package I made was for 4th of July, and I'm pretty crazy about this holiday.  Everything I put in this package had red, white, and blue on it.  I put some small flags and I found red, white, and blue glow sticks and put a few in there.


The care packages during my husband's first deployment weren't as good as this go around but here is one that I liked and didn't send him one like it this time since we had R&R during St. Patrick's Day. I'm Irish and also LOVE St. Patty's Day.  I covered monster cans with bud light stickers which I took right off of bud light bottles that were used the night before lol but I used the lime ones because they are green. I also tried out candy sushi since he loves sushi (& yes I know it has nothing to do with St. Patty's Day).