It's hard to believe that we're 4 months into this deployment and its time for R&R already. As I get the house ready and make sure his favorite foods are stocked, I find myself thinking back to our two previous R&Rs.
Our first R&R during OIF 1, was interesting to say the least. He had been deployed for 8 months and we had barely spoken because of the poor communication systems. I was 13 weeks pregnant when he deployed and had a 6 week old when he came home. I was still dealing with post-partum issues and was a size 16. When he came home, it wasn't our home, but my parents home. He was exhausted and destressing. While we enjoyed our time together, we had both changed so much in those 8 months, both physically and mentally. It was not what either of us had envisioned, but we made the best of it. Scott later told me that I had gained so much weight it was like coming home to a whole different woman. In many ways I was.
Now fastforward four years to our second deployment. He came home 6 months after he left. We were both excited. I went and picked him up at the airport and then came home and surprised the girls. They had no idea he was coming home. The look on their faces was priceless. The first few days were great, but then life set in. A month before I won a free night in a local hotel so we had planned to use it while Scott's parents were visiting. Of course Scott and his dad were trying to fix some fence posts that had fallen down. In the process of that, they hit a pipe in the sprinkler system. By the time they finished it all, Scott had thrown his back out. We ended up cancelling our night alone. A couple of days after that my last living grandparent passed away, so I had to fly to New York for a couple of days. He had to fly back to Iraq about 36 hours after I flew home. Nothing went the way we thought it would. So while he was home and it was good to have him with us, it was not the relaxing "vacation" we thought it would be.
So now, as we are only days away from our third R&R, I can only wonder what this one will hold. I'm not making any honey-do lists and I'm trying to keep from having any expectations and I think he's doing the same thing. He hasn't said anything about lawn work or fixing things. Maybe the third time will be the charm!