How do you do it? What can you do to make it special?
I've thought about this a lot! Over the last four years our Marine has missed almost every holiday and birthday and special event, so trying to make them special while his away has become almost like a hobby. There are a lot of things you can do to keep the deployed person still involved in holidays and special events. It just takes a little ingenuity and creativity!
Here are a few of the things we've done while Kevin is away to make him feel like he is still involved:
Make care packages that are themed around a particular holiday or special event.
Make a care package with games and questionnaires and other things that involve him somehow responding to us with a letter, phone call, etc.
Get on the webcam AND the phone. We did this for Anthony's third birthday. He got to see/hear Anthony blow out his candles and open his presents. It was pretty fun.
Letters letters letters. We don't realize how special letter writing is until we receive one from someone. It's so personal, and so special to have someones words and thoughts on paper to keep forever. Email is great! But letters are better! And no matter if you've talked on the phone with someone ten minutes ago, it's still the highlight of the day to receive something so special in the mail. It really shows that you care!
Take lots of pictures. Post them on a blog, send them in a letter, put them in a album and send it as a present. Pictures are fun to take, and people enjoy looking at them. There are so many things that deployed daddys and mommys would miss if it weren't for pictures.
Make videos. With the internet being so fantastic these days you can email videos and post them on the web. It's a great way to capture those special moments so the deployed person can view them over and over and be able to say "It was so cool when you (enter event)!"
If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear about them!
For Valentines day this year Kevin made a call and set up a spa treatment for me. How nice is that?! I can't wait!
We're also celebrating our 7th year together this month. Come May we'll have been married 3 years, almost all of which he's been gone for! It's been a challenge, but one well worth it. It's hard to believe that the years have flown by so quickly. We've definitely had anything but a dull time together:) Can't wait to see what the future holds for us.