This morning as I looked at our very busy May calendar, it dawned on me that it has been just over a year since our first military homecoming. Jake’s first deployment ended mid-April 2014, and by this time last year we were beach-bumming on some white sand in the Dominican Republic trying to catch our breath and pretend the last six months hadn’t happened (Take me back to that, please).
Our homecoming was bittersweet. I was obviously looking forward to having him home, but his ship was already scheduled to leave again just a few weeks later, and they would be gone for three more months. It was hard to open up again knowing it was for so short a time. Jake and I had a few laughs over his homecoming brief where they reminded the guys that it takes about 6 weeks to adjust to being home again: “Good thing we’re only home for four?” Those few weeks, though hectic, were still a huge blessing. Jake had missed Kai’s first steps, first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthday, so to see him with Kai on his lap reading a book was a slice of heaven for me after 6 months of just FaceTime. Since I never wrote much about our first homecoming when it happened, here are some of the photos my amazing friend Bree Vasquez took:
It’s a little mind-boggling thinking about all the adventures that happened and all the life changes that have rushed into our lives since that homecoming day…
1. We got to spend a week in the Dominican Republic (sans baby!) during Jake’s leave period.
2. This happened!
(This announcement always makes me smile now- our baby was so overdue that he ended up being born in March instead of February…)
3. I got to fly to Oahu to visit the handsome husband while his ship was in port for RIMPAC.
4. Our Little became a two year old.
Warning: The throwing of Mickey Mouse parties at 8 months pregnant is NOT recommended. You want to see Mickey Mouse this year for your birthday? We will take you to Disneyland. Everyone is happy :)
5. One month before the baby was due to arrive, we moved (from a two bedroom to a three bedroom so we could have a spare room for visitors). Also not recommended…but in this case it was worth it!
6. And most importantly…THIS happened.
Honestly, even looking back, it still feels like Jake just came home; like I blinked and all this happened. Our lives will never go back to the way they were before the year that followed the ship pulling back into its homeport, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.