Keeping in touch with Daddy over the miles

Yesterday, Lovebug (my 6 year old daughter) and I said “See ya later” (not goodbye) to my husband as he left to join the Army. He just re-enlisted after serving for 7 years and being out for 13. He signed the paper months ago, but today he actually left. The Army calls it “shipped out”, even though he left on a bus. We’ve had plenty of time to prepare, but it’s still tough when the time finally comes. I can handle it pretty well I think, after all, Hubby and I have been married for 8 years. I know logically that this is temporary and I will see him again. I know our marriage is strong and our love does not lessen with distance. I can even look forward to getting some things done with my free time in the evening. It works differently with kids. Telling them “5 months” might as well be “next week” or “next year”. They don’t have the same grasp on time that we as adults do. No matter how excited Lovebug has been that Daddy is joining the Army, seeing him drive away on a bus brought on a little sadness. Not too much though, because she couldn’t wait to get home and get started on Tip #3 below!

Thankfully, I had done a little research in the months leading up to this and found some great ways to make the transition easier on kids and help the time pass. I’ll tell you what we did, and maybe if you have a husband that travels, or who decides to join the military, you could use these tips!

1) Hubby video recorded himself reading many of her favorite books, so that every night we can watch one (or two) and she still gets her bedtime story from Daddy. I think we ended up with almost 30, so we’ll just cycle through them a few times. Last night we watched two of them and I could see in her eyes and huge smile how much it helped. It was as close to having him here as we can get right now.

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2) He also video recorded a special message just for her that he surprised us with after he left by leaving me directions to it in an email. It was probably less than a minute long, but was filled with love and blessings for her. It’s something she will watch again and again and keep forever, I’m sure. (He did the same for me, and words cannot express how much that meant to me!)

3) The “Daddy Box”! We picked out a special Rubbermaid container, and labeled it “Daddy’s Box” using my Cricut and some vinyl. Anytime Lovebug colors a picture for him, makes a craft for him, or just finds a rock she thinks he would like, she can put it in the box. Once we get his address, we’ll be able to send some of the things to him, of course, but this box is special. We’ll store up these precious items so that when he gets home they can sit down together and go through the box. They’ll spend precious time together as she tells him about each and every thing she put in there. I have no doubt she’ll have a story for each one. Today’s the first day of him being gone, and there is already a special picture in there for him!

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Happy Father’s Day!

What an awesome weekend!!

I am incredibly blessed to be married to my best friend.  He is not only a wonderful husband and partner, he is also an amazing Daddy!  He truly loves being a daddy, and loves spending time with his little girl any chance he gets!

This weekend, we had a special Father’s Day camping trip…right in our living room!  It’s Texas, and it’s hot, so we thought it would be fun to bring it all indoors.  It was a super fun time (and still is, since we’re leaving it up till the end of the day)!

BEFORE & AFTER:

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It was interrupted for a few hours in the middle of the night Friday night/Saturday morning when we had to take Bug to the ER because she was having trouble breathing and we were afraid her throat was closing up.  Turns out, she has croup!  A steroid shot in the bottom (OUCH!), and a cool mist breathing treatment later – she’s much better!  Still a bit sick and tired, but better!  Thankfully, I guess, we gave her Benadryl before heading to the hospital in case it was a weird allergic reaction, so she ended up sleeping through a lot of it (even the S-H-O-T!!) and was able to remain calm the majority of the time.  That was a huge blessing!!


Back to the camping trip…
We played games, did some reading, worked on a wooden puzzle, had fun with glow-in-the-dark sticks, and just enjoyed time as a family!  We ate all our meals in the tent, cooked Pop-Tarts over a camping stove, ate watermelon, and even had our own version of SMORES!  The smores were ‘fondue’ style – dip the marshmallow in melted chocolate chips, then dip in crushed graham crackers – Yum!  All while enjoying the conveniences of air-conditioning, indoor plumbing, and the microwave 🙂

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Hubby even got to sneak in some quiet reading time while Bug and I made breakfast for him.  Chocolate waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon!

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And of course – PRESENTS!  We did them a day early because Bug insisted it was Father’s Day already 🙂
First, an original drawing of Daddy’s favorite animal!

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Then, from Mommy & Bug, a framed collage (click to see it enlarged!)

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Babe,

You are an amazing man, and I am so honored and blessed to call you my husband.  I love looking at our little girl and seeing so much of you in her.  I love seeing how much she loves her Daddy, and I hope and pray that when she grows up she marries someone just like you.  Thank you for loving God, and for loving us, with all your heart!  Thank you for working so hard to care for and provide for our family.  Thank you for always making time for us.  Thank you for working together with me to be the best parents we can be, and always working with me to learn more about how to do so.  Thank you for allowing God to be the 3rd strand in our marriage and for always leading our family in learning more about Him and looking to HIM for guidance.
I look forward to raising Bug with you, to all the experiences & adventures that God will bring us, and to being married to you for the rest of my life!
I love you with all my heart!  Happy Father’s Day, my love!
Love,
Stacy