Monday, December 28, 2015

Homecoming 2015!

After mid-cruise break had come and gone all to quickly, it was time to find some fun to fill our last 7 weeks as we anxiously waited for the deployment to be over. 

Every year around this time there is a week where the wives of each squadron compete in different events and challenges. I had heard about this all summer and being from a very competitive family (yes, I'm talking about the Elkins) I couldn't wait to participate. This very exciting week is called "Badgirl" and the Lady Diamondbacks were ready. 

The week consisted of a field day, a scavenger hunt, and the Lip sync finale. We had the best time and even though we weren't the overall winners, I have some great pictures and memories with some special ladies! 

After a few more girls nights, trips to tokyo, shopping days and baby showers it was time for the first fly ins and for our first deployment to be over. FINALLY! The words I had been waiting to hear...first deployment done. 

Will was still too new to fly off the boat this year so he had to stay behind another week, but I was there to watch all the families be reunited once again! This part will never get old. 

The last week that Will was still on the boat was pretty rough. It was my first Thanksgiving away from home, and without Will around it seemed to be even tougher. I had some other friends that were in the same boat as me being that their husbands weren't home yet either, so a few of us made our own special Thanksgiving dinner and celebrated together. I remember sitting there with them, of course missing Will, but also thinking how lucky and thankful I am to have such amazing women in my life. It would have been so easy for me to be upset or bitter that other women had their husbands home but instead I remembered how thankful I am for so many things in my life like health, love, friends and my family. This experience is teaching me to look at what I do have instead of what I do not. There is so much that I will miss being away from home these 3 years, but there is also so much I will experience and learn at the same time. 

Fast forward to December 3, 2015. 

I woke up feeling like it was Christmas morning. It was finally the day I got to go pick up my husband and be done with 1 out of 3 deployments in Japan. Of course it was a rainy morning with more traffic then you could imagine but the USS Ronald Reagan was finally in my sight. 

Vera Bradley Model

Thank you for your constant support and prayers! We know how loved we are and do not take it for granted. It was a very long year but can't believe the first one is over! 

Next stop...Vietnam and Thailand for a 2 week Christmas Vacation! To say we are excited is an understatement. 

We love you all! 

Caroline and Will