Thursday, October 30, 2008

14 months and 30 days later

HE IS HOME!!! Let's all do a collective happy dance. This Deployment is O.V.E.R. We made it through! Maybe not as gracefully as we could have, but we made it. 14 months and 30 days is a long time. A very very long time. Almost 65 weeks. 457 days. 10,968 hours. 658,080 (give or take a few) minutes. Around 39,484,800 seconds. That is a LONG time.

14 months and 30 days of mass cooked meals for M, sleeping on cots and bad mattresses, living in extreme heat and nasty cold, dust and rain, sand and mud, seemingly endless missions, successes, losses, learning, meeting amazingly generous and grateful people and partaking of some really awesome Iraqi food.

2 of W's birthdays, 2 of my birthdays, CB's first Christmas and birthday, our 4th anniversary, the first time CB rolled over, crawled and walked all happened while he was away. 2 hospital stays for CB and 1 for W, countless sleepless nights and frustrated tears, dirty diapers, doctor's appointments and timeouts were all missed, some of which I think he is a tiny bit thankful for.

14 months and 30 days of being an incomplete family. 14 months and 30 days that we could have been making memories together. 14 months and 30 days that I had to tell my kids that their daddy was gone so he could help other people. 14 months and 30 days that we did the best we possibly could for our family with what we had, which wasn't much. We did it. He did it. And we will do it again when the time comes. Hopefully not for 14 months and 30 days, but enough time for him to go and do the job that he needs to do to ensure the safety and freedoms that you have.

When you go and vote next week, don't you dare go in there thinking "I know this dude who was over there for 15 months..." We are not a cause and refuse to be one. Yes, it suuuuuuuuuuuuucks and it is far from ideal for a family to go through the stress and danger of a deployment but there is still so much work to be done and pulling them out would make everything they have done pointless. It would be like you working your butt off building a house, only to stop working and move into it before you put a roof and walls up. The foundation is laid, the studs are in, the plumbing is done and the electrical is installed, it just needs the final touches. Let them finish doing their job and then bring them home. As much as you may disagree, we believe that he, and everyone else, were and are there for a reason, which is why we don't want to be a cause. It may not be a reason you agree with but please do not disgrace their job and the work they have done and are doing by voting for someone just so the troops come home ASAP. Vote for someone who has a plan for seeing this through by making responsible and effective choices. Ok, end of the seriousness. Onto the pictures!

Where is he??

There he is!
Picture taken by W

24 comments:

Lanie said...

Jo, I have been following your blog all this time that M. has been gone. (From the ivillage SS board) I wante to tell you and M. thanks for the sacrifice. I cried when I read this. I don't know if I could do what your family has done.

You are a fantastic mom and I love reading your adventures!

Congrats on his return and thank you again!

Lanie

Wilma said...

Yay! I hope he'll get used to life with the family soon. Welcome home M. I'm very very very happy for all of you.

Anonymous said...

I am crying. I am so proud of ALL of you! Mark, thank you for ALL that you have done to ensure my freedom. J, W & CB thank you for allowing us to share those moments that Mark was unable to experience.
JoAnna, I am very proud of you and the strength you have. I know it was not easy for you while Mark was gone. You held your family together and brought your two young children up so beautifully while Mark was gone. If there were medals for wives of soldiers for their sacrifice while their husbands are gone yours would be a gold star.
I love you all and miss you very much, but you are a where you need to be and that is being together as a family. Mom

clanelder said...

YIPPEEEEEEE! Welcome home, Mark!

Hilary said...

Welcome back, Mark!!! You all look so incredibly happy. :)

P.S. I finished the glovies and warmies -- to which address shall I send them? Forgive me if you've sent out your address already and I stupidly lost it.

Francis said...

We are soooooo happy he's home. We are full of smiles and joy. Thanks for the photos! God bless you all (I know He already has) Much love from Alaska.

(fairy) Godmother said...

Welcome home M!!!! Jojo you did such a fabulous job in his absence... you had so much to do in his absence and you did it with grace and dignity!

GINNY said...

AWESOME. I love the pics they are priceless!!!

TaraC said...

Jo, this is the most wonderful news! I hope it is a very long time until his next deployment. Enjoy every second you have together!

karla said...

Yay congrats at M being home! The pics are wonderful Jo. Enjoy your family being together after such a long time.

Nathanael said...

Awesome to hear that M is home. Enjoy watching Sportscenter all the time now. And I can't believe how much hair the kids have now. CB is so cute.

Jean said...

I'm so happy for you all, I've got tears in my eyes!

Marie said...

Welcome home M!!! Have a wonderful time being together again!

Sarah said...

Welcome home M!!

Margaret said...

I am so thrilled for all four of you that M is finally home! You did an amazing job while he was gone and I'm so thankful for him and all of our troops for all of the hard work they do to protect our country. Congratulations!!!! xoxo

Jenni said...

YAY!!He's finally home! I'm so happy for your family! I got all teary eyed just looking at your photos! I KNOW the kiddos have to be SO excited!!!!

kidletsmum said...

I'm so glad he's back! Now you can post some updated pics of those dreamy biceps of his, right?

Anonymous said...

Welcome home Mark! Words escape me in my jubilation. :)
Joanna, Weston, and Clara, would you give him a big hug from us. Kisses for you, too, because we miss you!
Love,
Ruth

Susie said...

YEAH!!! He is so skinny, im sending over a 4 by 4 stat. I love you guys a lot.

The Smith Family said...

Jo,
This is sooo well written. THANK YOU, and THANK YOU to your wonderful husband, too. I know you're not a cause, but I commend you and appreciate every single second of what your family sacrificed and agree with everything you've shared with us. God bless you all and ENJOY being a family of four again..I bet you haven't slept so well in 14 months! Hugs!!!

clanelder said...

What I love about this blog is the happiness that spills all over everyone just knowing that Mark is home safe and that you are all back together again. Your photos say it all. Together you have been and continue to be a real inspiration...and you are each very much loved.

Lorraine said...

Welcome Back Mark! Jo I am so happy for you and your family to be together again. I know that you and your family are not a cause but you truly are an inspiration to us all. Your blog was exactly what I needed to hear today too.

Jenn said...

WHOOO HOO!!!!!! I am so thrilled for you guys. I wish you a smooth and speedy reintigration, and LOTS of time together in the coming years. Way to go, y'all - you did it.

mommy-medic said...

YayyyyyWoohooooo Doing a huge happy dance for you guys! W is a pretty darn photographer for someone 3 feet tall!