I find myself in disbelief that another year has come and is almost gone. Next thing you know, it will be the holiday season and we will be making our New Year’s resolutions. Acknowledging this simple fact allows me to try to make the most of each day. I do my best to plan outings that I hope will become new family traditions. Traditions provide memories that will last a lifetime. While this duty station may be temporary; the smiles, the laughter, the joy and the quality time spent together should not be.
What does a year in the life of a MilSpouse look like?
Honestly, it looks different depending on where our service member is in their career. If they’re on sea duty, those years can be filled with deployments, workups, early days and long nights. Let’s not forget the months and months and months of checking our emails and looking for our special someone’s message. Or keeping the phone volume on 24/7 in the hopes of not missing a phone call. Planning date nights that consist of attempting to eat the same meal, watching the same show or even working on your individual goals together.
Then there is shore duty, the days are still crazy early, but some are shorter than others, and depending on the command, you even get most of the weekends to spend as a family. Those years are filled with making those everyday memories together. I would dress up and remind my spouse why he comes home to me for date nights. We would attend parent-teacher conferences or pick up the kids from school. The toddlers’ eyes lit up as they saw their daddy’s uniform. Even attending scheduled doctor’s appointments and catching the colds that are going around from daycare and school.
My year has been filled with everyday memory-making moments. You know the kind filled with days spent staring at your kids in awe, the way parents do when we just can’t believe how big they have gotten. Memories of the first day of school, or last day of school, birthday celebrations, first and last days of summer, and so much more. This year we taught my 3-year-old how to ride his big boy bike with training wheels. He and I both had our first real birthday parties surrounded by friends. His party was filled with friends and bounce houses. Mine was spent surrounded by ten of the most amazing women I’ve ever met, and I am so grateful to call them my friends.
We cemented a San Diego family tradition by returning to Gator by the Bay for the second year in celebration of Mother’s Day. I mean how could you go wrong with gator tail, crawfish, BBQ, peach cobbler and powdered sugar covered beignets all in one place? And all of that mouthwatering food is accompanied by amazing music and vendors as far as the eye can see. The spring saw my 18-month-old participate in her very first egg hunt. The summer brought Gemini and Leo seasons. Fall brings festivals, adorable costumes (even the scary ones), and perfect material for dozens and dozens of pictures to be taken. Before I know it, the big holiday season is upon us to round out the year. These days are spent sipping hot chocolate, taking family holiday card photos, three months of changing holiday décor, and the sweet scents of holiday favorites that fill the whole house. Next thing you know you find yourself making your New Year’s resolutions.
Do yourself a favor: Slow down and make everyday memories. That way you’ll never find yourself with a New Year’s resolution to spend “more quality family time” due to not taking advantage of the past. Trust me when I say I know how hard that can be with all the different schedules that fill a home, including deployment schedules, work schedules and kids’ extracurricular activities. Take the time to sprinkle in “strictly” family fun time. The best part of looking back on a year in my life is the smiles that find their way onto my face when I think back on the memories made and precious time spent together.