Exactly a year ago today Marshall deployed for Kabul, Afghanistan. It's been a crazy, scary, often times sad and life-changing year, but today I finally get to go pick the boy up at the airport for good! Can you believe it?!?!? As everyone has said "Gosh, it's gone by so fast!", it hasn't for me. At times it may have seemed like I stayed so busy that I wonder where the year went, but it also dragged on, especially the past few weeks awaiting final word on his return. I'm stoked to get him and start living our lives together again (wedding planning NEEDS him!) but I'm also nervous! I haven't seen him since his two weeks of R&R in October, so I'm antsy! The boy still gives me butterflies. Having him gone has been difficult but has sincerely strengthened our relationship x 100. One really doesn't know the importance of communication in a relationship until they have to do it via a 9 hour time difference and Skype! I've found amazing things out about myself in the past year, and have learned to never take our relationship for granted. With risk of sounding crazy or selfish, I'm still going to say this: I've had to restructure my life this year and focus on "me". Doing things for myself, doing things with friends, doing things alone (like the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows premiere, I went solo AND bought myself a cocktail!). It's kind of scary knowing that I will have to restructure again and it will be back to do things together, not just me anymore, because I have gotten used to it. I will be incredibly grateful to have him back, knowing that he is safe and sound (unless he is riding that motorcycle, then it's back to worrying again!) and so happy to hear his jokes ringing through my apartment. Not to mention someone to watch the dogs when Mommy just needs a break. ;) However I can't say that I have missed the blares of ESPN coming from the ridiculous surround sound I argued I didn't need. I can never give him enough credit for being so self-less and honorable in joining the Army, something he always said he "felt the need to do, to serve his country" and am so proud of the things he has accomplished and the man he has become. I see him helping others, not once complaining about the conditions in Afghanistan for crying out loud, and I admire his strength and courage. Marshall genuinely makes me a better person, I look up to him. Okay, I'm crying now. I can't WAIT to hug that muscley man and zip him back to Charlotte for the night, pups in tow! (He demanded I bring the dogs to base when I got him. See. I told you he loves the dogs more than me. ;))
Love you, Sweets! Champagne awaits you a la casa de Alpha Mill.
One of my favorite photos of him. While in basic training he got a disposable camera (GASP!) and took some photos around base then sent it to me to develop. It was like CHRISTMAS! Who knew the boy was so creative? ;)
Date night during his R&R This about sums us up. He's hilarious & keeps me laughing every five seconds. But more importantly? He thinks I'm funny...not just funny lookin'!
One of our engagement photos from April of last year, before he deployed. He's my protector. Taken by Mike Smith of Ash Imagery.