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Sandy Spot…. Take Two

December 8, 2009


Wellllp, folks, here we go again.

Late winter. Afghanistan. Thirteen months.

We’re trying to figure out the best way to prepare the boys for deployment this time around. They’re both so much older and more aware. Troy remembers enough about the Iraq deployment to fight tears any time we mention Daddy going away for a while.

Any military moms or moms with similar experience out there? Feel free to toss out suggestions. I’m all ears.

As I type, John’s packing a bag for another globe-trotting experience–a precursor to the real thing coming up in a few months.

But the big news for the three of us left holding down the fort is that, well, the fort itself is moving.

We’re going to take this opportunity to spend a bit over a year living in my Favorite Place on Earth… John’s Colorado hometown. We’ll be within walking distance of his parents’ house and a manageable drive’s distance from my mom in Omaha.

So this Christmas is finding us soaking up every minute even more than usual, being that as soon as it’s over, we’ll be filling and taping boxes.

And gathering up military field gear.

Here we go…

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  1. Julie says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet family! My husband came home from Iraq in Sept and we don’t have children yet, but it was hard enough to handle the deployment on my own! You can do it!! How awesome that you’ll be close to your mom and in-laws! Praying your time left together is special and goes sloooowly and that deployment days fly by! Always know you have your blog military wives ready to support you! :)

    December 9th, 2009 at 4:40 am

  2. LeAnna says:

    We’ll be praying for you ALL – I can’t even imagine! I think it is very wise that you’ll be so close to John’s parents and your Mom! A definite blessing. Aren’t you so glad you have hope in Jesus? It’s such a comfort to know that no matter where the journey takes us, our Lord has already gone before us! Not only that, but He guards our heel and just like with Job, Satan is full aware that He has placed a hedge of protection around us! God bless you, girl!

    December 9th, 2009 at 5:14 am

  3. Becky K. says:

    Good grief, Girl! I am in tears and its not even me!

    Praying that this year is good and that your time near John’s parents is very special!

    Becky K.

    December 9th, 2009 at 6:12 am

  4. julie fink says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this Ashleigh! I remember so vividly my husband traveling for months and months and then a year when the kids were in grade school. It was so hard. So very hard. The only thing that got us through “sanely” is God and a good local church. I’m so thankful for the local church ~ God has used it again and again as a shelter in our time of storms.

    December 9th, 2009 at 6:12 am

  5. Chantel says:

    Not much to say, ‘cept I love you and you know I’m praying for you all. Thinking about you being in Colorado makes me happy. And sad. Cuz I won’t be there, but then… if we do get back to visit , maybe you will be. ;)


    December 9th, 2009 at 6:20 am

  6. Cassandra says:

    I feel for you… :( My brother is being deployed in several months as well. For the third time. I know it’s not the same as a husband leaving for tour. But it still stinks.

    I’m glad you’ll be around family for this deployment! That will help a lot, I am sure.

    Will be praying for you. :)

    December 9th, 2009 at 6:24 am

  7. Christian @ Modobject at Home says:

    Oh Ashleigh… so soon?! My heart hurts for all four of you.

    I think, perhaps, you are doing the wisest thing possible, “moving the fort” so to speak. I expect it will be a comfort and a joy for you and the boys to be close to John’s family while he is away. And, yes, to be closer to your mother… a very good thing, always.

    December 9th, 2009 at 6:44 am

  8. Jen C says:

    Hi Ashleigh,

    I’m a long-time lurker, coming out to say that Amy of In Clothesline Alley (http://inclotheslinealley.blogspot.com/) is an army wife who may be able to help you. Clothesline Alley is now defunct, but she has an active private blog and her email address is visible, if you’d like to contact her.

    Blessings from snowy Canada,

    December 9th, 2009 at 7:44 am

  9. Melissa says:

    Before I read the whole thing, I was going to suggest that you get close to family while he’s gone…and then I read that you’ll be in Colorado, and that’s going to help OH SO VERY MUCH!!!! It’s a blessing your boys are little enough that you can pick up and move them for a year without fooling with school and football practice and their BFFs, etc. And I know it will ease John’s mind knowing that there are people to take good care of you. :o)
    Blessings to you guys in your time together!

    December 9th, 2009 at 8:51 am

  10. Laura says:

    I’m SOOO glad you’ll be close to both your mammas!!! Keep us updated throughout the year… we love you and are with you through this deployment as we were through you last!

    December 9th, 2009 at 9:45 am

  11. Meghan says:

    Facing deployments sure isn’t easy at any age. Our first deployment we had a 1 year old and I was preggers with baby#2. Second deployment I had a 3 year old, 1 year old and preggers with Baby#3. For us, the best thing I was able to do was keep our home life as “normal” as possible. When we talked about daddy being gone I made sure to distinguish between working in Iraq from working when he’s home (far away work and post). I wanted to teach our little ones that we need to be thankful for daddy’s job, even when he’s away. For my ladies, telling them they have pretty clothes and fun toys, a car and yummy food was enough for them to understand. The best advice, by far, is prayer. I had endless conversations with God.
    I’m sure you know from your first deployment there isn’t an easy answer. Take one day at a time and take great comfort in knowing our God will never leave us. God never gives us more than we can handle, and there were many days I had to remind myself of that, and many days God showed me that. Prayers for you all.

    December 9th, 2009 at 9:56 am

  12. Ginger says:

    Praying for you and your family Ashleigh! I am sure it will be nice living closer to your in laws and your mom.

    I would just say keep doing what you are doing. You are a wonderful mom! I can just tell! ;)


    December 9th, 2009 at 10:28 am

  13. Alison says:

    Hi Ashleigh,
    I’ve never commented here before, but have read for awhile. I’m sorry you’re gearing up to face another deployment. Here, at my house, we’re doing the same. My Army dude is preparing for an extended vacation in a not so exotic locale. Fortunately for us, this is only a 6 month deployment.
    I have one daughter, almost 8, and she handled the first deployment quite well; mostly because we had a neighborhood full of friends to keep us busy. I don’t have any sage advice to offer you as how you should prepare your boys, but I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    It’s never easy, but somehow we muddle through. Moving to be near family will be very stabilizing for your little ones.
    Enjoy your Christmas and good luck with the move.

    December 9th, 2009 at 10:43 am

  14. Jaclynn says:

    That is very sobering. I don’t have any words of advice or wisdom, just my thoughts and prayers that these next 13 months while he is away speed by quickly for all.
    Pr 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

    December 9th, 2009 at 10:52 am

  15. bessie.viola says:

    From one military family to another… sending prayers and all the love. In my case, it’s my little sister – I cannot imagine my husband being “the one.”

    But Ashleigh, please know that every night I thank God for those among us who ARE “the one” and accept this calling. Your amazing husband included.

    Hugs, girl. Lots of ‘em.

    December 9th, 2009 at 11:13 am

  16. Kati says:

    My God bless your family in this tough time of preparation and while he is gone. I read all about his time being gone before and my heart went out for you each day. I hope this time will be easier for you (although I don’t think it ever gets easier I’m sure). God bless you all.

    December 9th, 2009 at 11:23 am

  17. Christine says:

    Praying for you guys…

    December 9th, 2009 at 11:42 am

  18. Jenny says:


    Iam so sorry when is he leaving?will keep your family in our prayers..that is neat that you will be close 2 his parents and your mom..

    December 9th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

  19. Jen says:

    My face and heart fell when I read your tweet. I’m so sorry, dearest. Will he be home for Christmas and new year?

    There’s not a lot I can do from here, bu pray, and pray I will. I have no words to help your situation right now, but know I’m praying the Lord to guide your words as you parent your precious boys through the coming year.

    December 9th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  20. Erin says:

    It seems like he only just came back.
    There isn’t ever a way to fully prepare them, but just be there for them. And seek support yourself – glad to hear you will be near family.

    December 9th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

  21. Holly says:

    Aww, I read the title of your post and my heart sank. I know you’re all struggling to adjust right now. I can’t even imagine. Enjoy your Christmas together and make some wonderful memories that you’ll all remember again and again over those 13 months. Prayers for a safe return for your soldier.

    December 9th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

  22. Allison says:

    Praying for all of you! God bless you in this time of transition!

    December 9th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  23. Elizabeth in Alaska says:

    Oh, Ash, you sound so calm… I can only imagine what all is going through your heart and mind right now. You will all be in my prayers, as you prepare to move and to say goodbye to John yet again. :(

    December 9th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

  24. Morgan says:

    ::HUG::…and prayers!

    December 9th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

  25. Katie says:

    Oh Ash – God has provided you with such grace and wisdom – as a mama and a wife and a woman.
    My heart breaks for your family – but is full of joy that you can be so close to your wonderful family while you are missing your Marine.
    Don’t know how you do it, honey. Or how any Mama does it, really. There but for the grace of God, I suppose.
    Praying for you all – peace, love, patience, protection – and joy.

    December 10th, 2009 at 9:45 am

  26. Carrie says:

    Sweet Friend, We’re sending our love and prayers…

    knowing God’s grace will be there… knowing He will carry you…

    Yet, praying, because I can not even imagine how hard this will be at times…

    December 10th, 2009 at 10:16 am

  27. Playing the ‘game’… « says:

    [...] And I realized that it’s “just” a tooth I worried about…not my husband going to fight overseas again like some people. [...]

    December 10th, 2009 at 11:15 am

  28. lala [mrs. new guy] says:

    Oh my heart just sank reading this! I’m so sad to hear that he’ll be gone for 13 months. You have my utmost respect and compassion; six months feels like a long time, I can’t even imagine 13.

    You’re in my prayers, I hope this time leading up to deployment isn’t too stressful!

    December 10th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  29. April says:


    December 11th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  30. Jeanne says:

    Oh, Ashleigh. My heart sank as I realized what this post was about. God be with yall. Thank goodness He will be.

    December 11th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  31. Samantha says:

    Please tell your husband thank you.

    Thank you all so much.

    December 13th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

  32. Samantha R says:

    Praying for you.
    Oh boy, what a change it will be again!
    I’m glad you are moving to CO and that you will be closer to your Mom too. God knows best!

    December 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

  33. Mel says:

    Bawling my eyes out right now for you…. I am praying this time before he has to leave goes extra slow.

    I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do with the boys, friend. (Obviously.) But I know you will handle it perfectly.

    Love you lady.

    December 16th, 2009 at 6:44 am

  34. Rebekah says:


    Oh my.

    Sweet Ash, I don’t know what to say. You are in our prayers.

    I know you’re going to be too far away this time around for us to come help with the boys again, but if you need anything while packing and getting ready, ANYTHING, you have our phone number.

    Take care, Ash, and give those boys a hug for me. This one’s going to be way harder than the last time, but by the grace of God you’re going to get through it. Again.

    December 17th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

  35. vickie says:

    The girls can’t wait to have their cousins living closer!!!!

    December 18th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

  36. Brittney says:

    Oh Ash…. This makes me sad! You’re so brave. I hate that as my husband comes home from his tour, I have to be sad that yet another husband has to leave his family for such a long time. :’( You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    January 2nd, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  37. Heather says:

    Love you, praying for you ((BIG HUGS))I’m sooooo glad that you will be close to family for all this.

    January 3rd, 2010 at 5:34 pm

  38. No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane says:

    I just found your blog and am so excited to read more.
    May God give your heart peace.
    My love,

    January 4th, 2010 at 8:49 am

  39. tiffany says:

    what a great photo! We will be praying!

    January 11th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

  40. Heart & Home » Telling Them says:

    [...] It was time to tell them. To hope they’d understand. [...]

    March 1st, 2010 at 3:35 pm

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