I cannot believe that Kyle has been gone for two months. It feels like yesterday that I was standing there in the dirt, holding back the tears while I watched those white buses drive away with my husband. I remember walking back across the street to our car, telling myself I was not allowed to cry until I was home. The key wouldn’t turn in the ignition. While trying to frantically get the car to start, I managed to set off the alarm. I wanted to throw up. Instead, I got out and asked one of the marines standing around in the parking lot to please help me start my car. He looked at me like I was insane, but he did help me. I made it back to the house, through the door, and into our foyer before I lost it. I ugly cried until I finally passed out. I slept a couple hours, waking up to talk to Kyle when he was able to connect to wifi throughout his travels. The first month seemed to drag on and on.
I was still living in our home in Twentynine Palms for the first month. Milo and I went on a lot of walks. I babysat a couple times for some friends. I did a lot of cleaning and organizing. I purged some of the junk that we had accumulated over the past several months. I cancelled our cable and cut back on other expenses to help us save up during this deployment. I also enjoyed sleeping in and not having to cook for anyone but myself. Some nights I had cereal, other nights I enjoyed a grilled cheese. It was a nice break from meal planning and elaborate dinners.
Flying home with Milo was probably the most stressful experience of my year to date – aside from saying goodbye to Kyle. I couldn’t sleep at all the night before. My head was completely clouded by horror stories of missing or injured (or worse) pets. In the end, it was a pretty painless endeavor. My friend Steph stayed with me at the airport all the way up to security. Thank goodness for her help – I don’t know how I could have managed without her! Milo didn’t make a single peep the entire day. We arrived safely in Pennsylvania without hitting any crazy road bumps. If I remember correctly, I think Milo may have peed all over my parents’ kitchen floor out of sheer excitement. Considering how many other things could have gone wrong that day, I’ll take a lake of puppy pee any day.
For my first month at home, I mainly focused on soaking up as much family time as I possibly could. My beautiful cousin Jen got married to her high school sweetheart. My dad celebrated a birthday. Our little flower girl Mia (my youngest cousin) had her first holy communion. Our nephew Paul David is slowly warming up to me. He no longer cries when I pick him up, so I’m calling that progress. I’ve visited and reconnected with some friends, too. Our little Milo also turned one! I made him special doggie cupcakes to celebrate (which he inhaled in one bite, much to my horror). I’ve been able to talk to Kyle in some way every single day that he has been gone – either through Facebook messenger or over the phone. We have been so blessed.
I have also recently started working as a receptionist at Avanté on Main! I am so glad to have something to keep me busy! I hated not working for this past year. In late June, I’ll also be nannying for the same family I worked for before getting married. I am so excited to spend time with the boys again! I’m enjoying my free-time now, because later this summer I won’t have much of it!
I’m looking forward to squeezing in some beach trips, summer reading, and more during my time in my hometown. I don’t know when I’ll ever be back here for such a long stretch again. I’m hoping to make the most of it!