Anchors Aweigh


Military Mondays: 4 Facts About A Naval Aviation Homecoming

This past week was homecoming week for so many of my friends, and in military life, there really is nothing better than homecoming! Deployments are long, hard, and emotionally exhausting, but making it to homecoming is the sweetest victory. All homecomings are a little different, but I've been to 4 homecomings on the Naval aviation side, so I thought I'd share 4 little known facts to expect with this type of homecoming. 

1. The air wing gets home before the boat

All of the planes fly home a few days ahead of the boat, which is awesome for two reasons: you get your loved one back that much sooner, and you don't have to share homecoming with 4,000 other people. Each squadron flies back separately to their hangar where their loved ones are eagerly waiting their return. It's more intimate, and deployment is a couple of days shorter... can't complain about that!

2. Homecomings are fast

I attended my first homecoming to support one of my friends, and I could not believe how quick it was! As soon as the planes landed, the hangar was cleared out in 20 minutes. This makes sense when you think about it. If your spouse had been gone for 7 months, would you want to sit around making small talk with your friends? Nope. You'd get the heck out of dodge, and that's exactly what everyone does. 

3. It's a waiting game

If you're in the military, you're familiar with the term "hurry up and wait". That, my friends, is homecoming in a nutshell. You arrive an hour before the planes are supposed to land to make sure you don't miss it, and then you end up waiting around a while to account for any number of unforeseen delays. For my homecoming, we found out while we were waiting that one plane was on their way back, and the other was stuck on the ship with maintenance issues. I got lucky, and Parker was on that first plane. The people with loved ones on the second plane ended up having to wait another 3 hours that day. For most homecomings that I have been to, the planes do not land right when they are supposed to. 

4. It's better than your wedding day

Okay, so this is an opinion, not a fact. I loved my wedding day, but there is something so special about standing in the hangar knowing your husband is just minutes from landing. After months and months of waiting, tears, and prayers, this journey is finally coming to an end. It's a huge feeling of pride and accomplishment standing there knowing that you did it. You did something a lot of people honestly couldn't do, and that "I did it" feeling was better than my wedding day. The jitters, anxiety, and butterflies you feel? Those are probably the same as your wedding day, but they are definitely there!

Congratulations to everyone finishing deployment on the USS Bush. So grateful for a safe homecoming for all!

All photos courtesy of Kimber Wassenberg

Six Months of Parenting: Check!

Somehow, we are officially 6 months into this parenting gig! I think every parent says this, but how in the world did the time go so quickly? Didn't I just have him in the hospital?? Time doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, but I can look back on the last 6 months and be so, so thankful that it went the way that it did.

Our first 6 months were by no means perfect, and we had hard days just like any parents, but I can honestly say I wouldn't change a single thing. When I think back on our first 6 months, three things come to the forefront of my mind...

1. Breastfeeding

Months 0-3 can best be summed up in one word: breastfeeding. I opened up on the topic in this post, but to sum up, breastfeeding was so hard for me those first few months. It hurt. A lot. Like, really a lot. The most common question I got during those first few months was "How is he sleeping?". I'd always say "Forget sleeping! Kid sleeps like a champ. Now let's talk about the real struggle... breastfeeding!". It just sort of consumed everything I did those first few months, and if it hadn't been for breastfeeding, those first few months would have pretty darn easy. We are blessed with an easy baby, and after month 3, breastfeeding got much easier too!

2. Coparenting

If I am being honest, which I always try to be, this has been HARD. I didn't expect Parker and me to struggle with coparenting. We were both raised in Christian homes and have the same values. Easy peasy, right? Nope. Ultimately, we are different people who both have different ways of looking at things. We can both be pretty thickheaded, and throw in sleep-deprived and overly passionate about this new little baby (both me), and it has been tricky. We have learned that open communication is key, and we are doing much better at meeting in the middle and seeing the other one's point of view. It hasn't been easy though, that's for sure! #realtalk

3. Everyday joy

The joy. Parenthood can be hard, but it bring so much joy. I didn't realize it was possible to love another human being this much. I'm just obsessed with him and hang on his every grin, giggle, and expression. From the newborn days of just sitting on the couch snuggling this perfect little baby, to the midnight feedings that I honestly looked forward to because I missed him, he has brought me so much joy. Now that he is out of the newborn stage, he is babbling and laughing, and it just never gets old. Oh parenthood, you bring your own unique set of challenges but you bring more joy than I ever thought possible. 

Six months down, the rest of our lives to go! So thankful to be on this crazy parenting journey. I wouldn't trade a single second. Now, if anyone can figure out how to slow time down, be a dear and let me know. 


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