The Holiday Season

This Thanksgiving break has flown by!  But it has been a great one.  It’s given me a chance to continue recuperating, to work on Christmas gifts (shhh!), and to relax while spending time with family.  I usually need a good excuse to relax, and this Thanksgiving has been one of them.  Although, I did make myself visit the gym today and I have done some work on the 2 envelope projects I have going.  I’d rather work some now and get ahead, than be scrambling at the last minute as I always do!

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving Day:

Me with Grammie

All the cousins with our grandma at the dinner gathering: Zachary, me, Grammie, Sadie, Abby, and Jordan

Me with Abby (sister) and like-a-sister cousin, Sadie (on my left). We call them “The Twins.” :)

Aunt Deb and Grammie cutting the pumpkin pake (cross between a pie and cake) and the gluten and dairy-free pumpkin pie. I made the latter and it turned out deliciously!

It was a wonderful day!

I ended up doing some Black Friday shopping with my sister and two cousins who are her age…we woke up at 8am and hit several stores at the mall.  Things were more crowded than usual but not CRAZY.  I went Black Friday shopping with Abby and my mom at midnight last year and I absolutely HATED it!  I am a night owl, but the idea of standing in line at Best Buy at 2am is NOT my idea of fun.  We met up with Sadie and Aunt Deb at the Starbucks in Target, and I was literally falling asleep sitting at the table.  Looking back, I was probably feeling a bit down because The Warrior was in Afghanistan and I was really missing him, more than I wanted to admit.  (We had been together for Thanksgiving the year prior.)  In the early hours of last Thanksgiving, exactly one year from today, I wrote in my deployment journal:

“Right now it’s 12:20pm in Afghanistan.  I wonder what [The Warrior] is doing right now…if they are given a day off, or at least a light work day.  [His brother] said they should serve a (nasty) Thanksgiving meal.  Tonight I put together what I have for [The Warrior’s] Christmas box.  I have a few more things for it, like Drew Estate cigars, soup, and a recordable Christmas card, that I need to buy, but I should be able to send it by Saturday. : )  I can’t wait till he gets it!”

Today I stopped by another store to buy more DIY stuff for Christmas gifts, and in the car I was listening to our local Christian music radio station.  They just began playing Christmas music, and if there’s one thing I absolutely love about Christmas (besides the real Reason) it’s the music.  I despise it when stores start playing it BEFORE Thanksgiving, but after Thanksgiving is over, bring it on!  KLTY 94.9FM has a nice selection of songs, from traditional favorites by Bing Crosby to new songs by current Christian artists.  As I neared the plaza of the store, a song came on that I first heard last year, and it really hit home with The Warrior being deployed.  I thought that I wouldn’t be affected emotionally by it this year…after all, he’s safely home and will be celebrating Christmas with his entire family, for the first time since 2009.  But as soon as it began it made me all choked up.  As a life-long musician, music has a powerful effect on me and does a great job of stirring up emotions.  It made me remember how last holiday season was, how thankful I am that things turned out well, and also how last year won’t be the last Christmas we’re apart and he’s in a combat zone.  Please take a few minutes to watch and listen to the song:

For anyone who has had a loved one deployed during Christmas, you will totally feel the deep emotions of this.  And if you haven’t had that experience, I hope this gives you a taste of what we feel as military families.  It’s a mix of bittersweetness, knowing that our loved one is in danger, but at the same time, SO very proud of what he is doing and our hearts bursting with love.  As tough as things can be, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything, not even 100% guaranteed security.  That’s not what life is about, being 100% secured in earthly things.  What assured me during deployment was being secure in God’s love and The Warrior’s love, and that is what will continue to assure me in future combat tours.  If we are married by next Christmas, it would be AWESOME to spend the holiday together!  I cannot wait for that moment.  But since nothing is for certain in the military, he could be deployed again next Christmas…only God knows.  I don’t want to count on our first married Christmas equaling being together physically.  Being a military family means looking beyond yourself and sacrificing for the good of the country.  Someone has got to step up to the plate, and I’m glad that The Warrior made that decision and that I get to be beside him in this journey.

~Malori~

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