Military families know that weddings don’t always get to happen on our idealized timelines, and we also know that having our families together in the same place at the same time is something to celebrate. That’s why this weekend has been really special for my husband and I.
Nick and I knew that we wanted to be married prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, so like so many military couples before us, we had a very small, intimate ceremony less than 30 days before he deployed. That was almost a year ago, and I hadn’t been together with my parents, brother and Nick in the same place since. This weekend they all traveled to meet us in Arizona for a welcome home and wedding reception my in-laws hosted for us in their Arizona home. For the first time, I met some of my husband’s childhood teammates and friends, and we were both able to spend time with people who are important either to his family. The further into our military marriage we grow, the more those rare occasions when are friends and family are together will mean to us.
Our marriage isn’t the only thing we’re celebrating this weekend — we’re celebrating his safe return home from Afghanistan, too. From the start of March 2012 through the end of November 2012, Nick was far from home, and I busied myself with a project I called, “Running Through Deployment”. In 9 months I ran 19 races, including seven half marathons. I also made it my goal to run a full marathon to celebrate Nick’s safe return to the states.
The marathon begins at 7:50 tomorrow morning, so if you read this on Sunday between 8 and noon or so, please send some energy and positivity my way! “Running Through Deployment” has been an incredible journey, and it has left me much stronger than I started. I’m running tomorrow for my husband, for his deployment, and for the other spouses out there who’ve wondered, “can I do this?” when times have been tough while their soldier, sailor, airmen, or Marine was serving on a mission. The answer, friends, is, “yes, you can”.