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Hello, I’m back!! It has quite a while since my last post, but I have been quite busy since we settled into our new apartment {you might remember that was AFTER our 55 days in the Navy Lodge} and accepted the challenge to make stark military housing a home {hello linoleum floors}. I have successfully won that challenge, so stay tuned for more posts!

We’ve enjoyed every moment Daddy is home and have explored Japan, played, watched movies {has anyone else seen Planes: Fire & Rescue 5 times?!?!?], park hopped, built mega train tracks and been “Princess Polite” during tea parties.

This past week our family was reunited when Daddy’s boat, the USS George Washington came home for a deployment break. This is his 5th deployment since our oldest was born in 2010 and it has been amazing to watch the kids learn about deployments. As their comprehension has increased at the age of 3 & 4, I have worked to make sure they have tangible reminders of Daddy throughout the house.

We had the “Daddy chair” at the dining room table & the kids would take turns sitting with Dad. Ok, most of the time they fought about whose turn it was to sit with Dad, but overall it was the best idea I came up with.

I put an old NWU blouse over the seat back of our chair and tied the sleeves in a loose knot in the back. The 8 x 10 photo is printed on heavy duty card stock which I then laminated. If you don’t have a laminator or access to one you can skip this step, but this protected Daddy’s photo from a ton of kisses.  Just tape the photo to the chair & imagine your better half is joining you for dinner and supporting your insistence that your preschooler eat one bite of peas. 

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Our oldest slept with one of Dad’s old NWU blouses on his pillow so felt Daddy was with him as he slept.

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We created a “Daddy wall” on a door that otherwise would have been just a plain door. We taped photos of Daddy’s boat, his plane {the e-2 Hawkeye}, photos from previous homecomings, a list of things to tell Daddy, a countdown calendar & a map on which we kept track of his port calls.  Each morning the kids were excited to see another check on the countdown calendar as they knew that Daddy was one day closer to coming home.

USS George Washington

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The day before he came home we hung welcome home banners & red, white & blue balloons!

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I’ve been asked by many people where our vinyl welcome home signs are from and I’m happy to say they are from build a sign. I designed both signs by choosing to customize them rather than ordering a stock design option.

We baked his favorite cookies | triple madness cookies {they have Andes mints in them!!}

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And when it was finally time for Daddy to get off the boat there we were, with open arms & smiles on our faces.

10580232_10100952988879753_7976178085523990514_nAnd this year I saved our glorious van from the car wash!

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