Another Beginning :: Day 1

Here we are again at the beginning of another deployment, another journey. Jeremy left on the 2nd to Camp Atterbury, Indiana for a week of last minute preparation for a year in Afghanistan. He leaves Friday. 

Jeremy's last deployment to Iraq was cut short after just four months in theater. While we were very excited for his return, we also knew this meant more to come. After a few months home he got the next offer for Afghanistan. First he would spend 4 weeks, which turned into 4 months, in Huntsville, Alabama training. We were fortunate to be able to visit him toward the end of his time there, and lucked out that it was only a 6 hour journey to my dad's in Florida where we spent most of our time. 

After Huntsville we had no idea how long he would be home. Weekly conferences over the phone left all of the contractors anxiously awaiting the news of who would leave and when. After nearly four glorious weeks together, his name got called and our time was up. 

So much motivation, adventure, togetherness, and love when into those few weeks. So many new memories, stories, tears, and laughter left us wanting so much more and dreading the fateful trip to the airport. The day came and while I feel stronger as this is has been the fourth trip he's taken in the last few years, Alyx has taken it much harder. 

I thought that by keeping myself busy I'd be able to focus less on Jeremy's missing presence and more on goals, fun, and time with my friends and family. I didn't realize that just because I'm busy doesn't mean that Alyx and Kate are busy too, even though they're usually along for the ride with me. After an emotional day for him, I expressed my concern to Jeremy about the best way to approach this. 

I'm beyond thankful that we communicate well and are quick to find solutions when needed. So we've added a few new goals to our list and we hope to find some relief in the void where Jeremy belongs.

 Kate wanted absolutely nothing to do with taking pictures. She wanted to crawl and play before bed.

She's been really good at using the few sign language signs we've taught her to communicate, and oh does it make life so much easier! She's very expressive and it's wonderful to see her learn, understand, and develop. Tonight during her bath she learned to use her hands to splash the water, not just her feet. She looked up at me, eyes lit up, and splashed away!

Giving one of her "baby" a kiss :). 

The bond and laughter they share never ceases to amaze me! 

Giving her big teddy bear a hug.  

Kate was crawling between Alyx and I so fast while baby babbling, it was so funny. I held the camera up trying to get her to cheese. I can't get enough of her!