when life hands you a deployment make goals happen

Whew. This deployment has come and gone. 
Praising Jesus for providing me the courage and strength to embrace the season of separation and to find opportunities to grow as a wife, mother, and woman. 

I made goals. I stayed busy. I was successful. I also failed. I had little sleep. I got sick.I cried A LOT. I fought and overcame depression. I pushed through constant fear and worry. 

It wasn't easy. Not even a for a second. but I knew that if I wasn't proactive and productive about handling this deployment it was going to be a very hard and very stressful few months. 

I changed my mindset the day I dropped Reece off at the airport.

{Now, I'm well aware that not every spouse has the opportunity to delegate an entire day to accomplishing her goals or to go home for the duration of a deployment. Many spouses still work outside of the home and handle many other tasks that require most of their attention.This is just where I happen to be in this season of my life, and how I made the most of it.}

I finished two novels: I took this time to indulge in my hobbies. I didn't necessarily have free time all day with two babies running around but the free time I had, I utilized wisely. I made a goal during the deployment that I would finish a novel. Well, I finished two. I absolutely love to read and I enjoyed afternoon and late night reading sessions over peppermint tea or a cup of coffee. If you all haven't heard of Francine Rivers, check out her books. I absolutely love her, specifically, The Mark of the Lion series. so good. 

I took up a new hobby:  Something that has always been on my list of things I would like to learn, was learning how to sew. My grandpa was always ashamed that I couldn't even sew a button, haha! Well, I had the opportunity for the next 4-5 months to learn how to sew from my grandma! So we did just that! She taught me how to use a sewing machine and with it I made cute coasters and a table runner! She even gave me one of her sewing machines! I think we enjoyed that time we spent together. While the girls napped, she would show me how to cut and stitch and thread a needle, and fill the bobbin! We would drink coffee and chat and it was just the best.

I completed a bible study: this isn't necessarily something new for me as I've been doing studies for years but what was special was doing the study with my Grandma. We would sit on the back porch and answer the discussion questions, take turns reading scripture aloud. It really connected us in a more intimate way and allowed for us to open up to one another. We did the study on The Letter of James, which has always been one of our favorites in the bible. 

I lost 25 lbs: Boy did I put the work in. I had a gym membership right down the road from where we were staying and every day I would take Charlotte with me and drop her off in the day care while I did my workout. Getting in shape was a huge goal for me. Always has been and always will be. I was extremely consistent in my eating habits (ask my family if you felt you needed confirmation, haha!) and for those asking what I did to get in shape. My advice is this: Don't be scared of the gym. Just don't. Yes, it's intimating, but holy cow if you knew how many times I did some stupid things at the gym, you would honestly think this girl just needs to stay home, haha! I mean I've done some incredibly embarrassing stuff. and that's okay. I kept going, I figured it out, I made friends with everyone at the gym! It was an amazing experience. and now that I'm back home, I'm not scared to step foot in the gym. and spoiler alert, I was still nervous stepping foot into the gym at home. I was already in "shape" and still nervous. When I have to move and go to a new gym, i'll probably be nervous there as well, but you adjust and you overcome and get completely comfortable, I promise.

I learned to solo-parent: This was tough. the hardest experience thus far. I grew an incredible amount as a mother. In wonderful ways. I established a bed time routine,discipline, hitting milestones. I handled all doctors appointments, baths, I took care of the girls when not only I was sick, but the girls were sick ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It was horrible. It wasn't just a little 24 hour bug, it lasted a whopping 14 days..yuck.My grandmother instilled some wonderful values during this time as well. I learned a lot from her and applied many, if not all of her discipline techniques she used when she was raising children. Her & I are kindred spirits through and through. 

I spent as much time with my family as I could: I truly did. I miss them already but seeing all of my family for a few months was so wonderful, especially my mom! <3

I enjoyed a wedding: My mother got married y'all. It was a a whole lotta ton of fun, a whole lotta love shared, a whole lotta margaritas, and I gained one awesome step-dad and 3 sisters! like what!. OH, and i'm that super awesome responsible mother who has a diaper bag then never keeps it filled with a change of clothes. So, as were walking to the ceremony Charlotte trips on the asphalt and becomes covered in black from head to toe. I have my littlest, who decided to have an accident and had to go the entire ceremony and through the family pictures, naked. one child looked like she walked out of a coal mine and one was just simply naked at a wedding so there's that. haha. 

I'm very thankful for the Lord and the abundance of love, patience, trials, and growth he showered me with during this experience. He's a loving loving loving God and my faith was truly deepened and strengthed over those months.

now on to the next adventure...