The Deployment Diary

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas

Last year's Christmas had a rather large dark cloud hanging over it. Just a few weeks before, we found out his unit was already slotted to head back to Iraq even though they'd just returned from a year tour four months prior. I felt like we'd barely gotten him home when worrying about the upcoming deployment began.

I was so thankful to have him home for the holidays, but the Christmas without him the year before still felt so fresh. Knowing he'd be gone for the next Christmas made even the tiniest detail bittersweet.

God truly blessed us this year, though. He wasn't deployed and we were able to spend Christmas together. The only rule? NO extended family were invited ;). It was just the four of us and it was absolutely the best Christmas we've had since leaving Alaska. We were able to enjoy a stress-free, no extended family drama, Christmas. It could not have been any more perfect.

He didn't take leave this year. He wanted to save it in case he does decide to retire. With the half-day schedule and four day long weekends, we've been able to spend so much time together, which has been the best gift I've ever received.

Christmas morning was magical. Being together to see our two little ones' faces light up when they saw Santa had been here. Daughter showing little guy the empty plate of cookies, the empty glass of milk and then reading the thank you note from Santa to just doesn't get any better than that.

Santa brought little guy a battery powered four-wheeler and daughter a keyboard. They received lots of other gifts from Santa, but those were the big ones. Daughter and little guy have had the best time riding that four-wheeler. Husband and I have had just as great a time watching the fearless duo. The keyboard has seen some action as well, but its appeal wears off quickly for Mom who must listen to the artists' budding creativity ;). It could be worse though. Santa could have brought drums lol!

As I sit here tonight with our children safely tucked in bed upstairs, husband sleeping in his new cushy recliner next to me, our big dog sleeping on her dog pillow in front of the TV, fluffy cat sleeping soundly on the couch, the wild cat sleeping with our little guy upstairs and the Christmas tree still sparkling for a few more nights, I cannot help but to pause once again and thank God. Thank Him for not only allowing us to spend this Christmas season together as a family, but also for blessing me with a happy, loving and special marriage to a wonderful man, two beautiful, smart and loving children and our four legged family members. We have such a happy, loving home - and it is everything and more than I dreamed and wished for as a child.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. May your New Year be filled with love, laughter and much happiness.

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