The “Aftermath” of a deployment.


 All photo credits: Shannon Cothren Photography

I’ve conquered two deployments and the first was a breeze. The second on the other hand, was so much more than I ever thought possible. Lets jump to the truth, I wasnt sure my marriage was going to survive. Plain and simple. I lost myself, I lost my way, and most of all I wasnt sure if I was going to come out of my funk I was in. I was failing as a wife. 

Every military wife knows you have your own way of dealing with a deployment. I was lying. I was telling him every thing was alright, when in reality, I was falling apart. I couldnt make most of the decisions even if they were the easiest I could make. My life was turned upside down for 9 months and I wasnt sure of anything anymore. I missed my husband, I missed myself, and I missed my life. 


I was determined to conquer this deployment whether it killed me or not. Over half way into the deployment, my routine was mastered and I was more worried about my husbands coming home and messing all that up. I love my husband and he will always know that, but he understood how hard it was for me to adjust again. The first deployment was easy, why shouldnt this one be right? I thought the same. Things were so natural with him and after thinking of the homecoming, I was finally at peace with him coming home. 

2 months before the big day, I was buying his gifts and ordering my “WELCOME HOME” banner from ETSY. I was ready for this day and everything that came along with it, even the feelings and emotions I wasnt sure I was ready to feel. Even typing this blog, I can still the emotions the first time I saw him on that field. I was estatic as if I just married the love my life all over again. 


His face. His eyes. My hands grabbing his face. He’s real. He’s here. Was I ready? I knew I was okay with what was about to change. I can handle this. 


Change was a big word in our house. It happened often even if we didnt want it to. I was tired of change, but this was good change….or so i thought. The first few days, I was happy. My smile was hurting on my face, but eventually that smile went away. Everything was happening at once, the jokes led into arguments. The arguments lead into not talking. 


I never knew a deployment could change someone or even a marriage this much. It was disheartening and everything I didnt want. The military lifestyle is hard and I never thought in a million years things wouldve or could have gotten this bad. I was having issues, and he couldnt understand why. So many nights I have cried wondering why I have felt this way in a way I couldnt understand. I was barely talking, the conversations were nonexistant. Who did I become?

My world turned upside down yet again after he got home. I just wanted everything to myself. This was MY house, MY world, MY pets….EVERYTHING was mine for 9 months. I was not comfortable with this much change. 




Within time, I knew that I couldnt be selfish. This was OUR marriage, not MY world. I was tired of the lying, and not speaking the full truth. He deserved to know the truth. Why did I feel this way? He deserved more than this. Divorce was a word I never threw around for the heck of it. 

Mentioning divorce was was never part of my vocabulary. I was scared, horrified, terrified, and even worse, I was fixing to loose my marriage. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I prayed every night to God that I wouldnt lose my husband. We were struggling more through this deployment than any other thing we’ve ever been through. 

According to Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch data, It found divorce rates increased significantly when spouses spent each month away. Divorce rates for military members who have been deployed are higher:It’s 12.52%for those in the U.S. Navy, 8.9% in the Marines, 8.48% in the Army and 14.6% in Air Force. (


Prayer was key. We fought hard and we tried so hard to understand one another. Things were not always easy. This life is no picnic. You struggle, you cry, you scream, you curse, you live and you learn. You will make mistakes, say things you dont mean. Through every single little thing, I still have this man. He treats me with respect, encourages me to keep going when I cant anymore. He lifts me up when I dont deserve to keep my head high. He thanks me when I dont deserve it. 





Through this madness, this is what I have at the end of the day. I’m so thankful for everything he’s ever done and provided for me. Thank you for loving me when I didnt deserve it. 



Author In Training

Day 207. 

I’m well over half way, practically almost at the finish line. This deployment has taught me alot about myself, my marriage, and just life in general. Its not a cake walk, more like Jurassic Park. I’ve dealt with my fair share of disasters and even the happiest times. 

I made some amazing friends and work with some of the best people I could ever ask for. I work in Mental Health, which is a little more different that I ever expected. I absolutely love every minute of it, and it has taught me so much along the way. I wasnt sure what all would happen in these next several months that were ahead, but I was going to make the best of it. 


I feel so hopeless the first couple months. I had nobody that really understood where I was coming from on an Army Wives point of view, rather than the wives here. I am very shy, so I didnt open up until I began working. The Army life was a little different, but I tried to embrace it. 


I had my first car accident and I was pretty shaken up. I had no idea what to do but I told myself, “You got to suck it up and deal with it.” I was terrified, but Im a grown woman without anyones help. The Army life made me realize that I can handle these big situations in little time to prepare for them. 

After my car accident, things were going well for a while. I was continously working and keeping myself busy to pass the time. I was so frustrated because all these little things were arising, and no help in the process. 

I Embraced The Army Life at its finest. 

get dressed

My friends from work finally got me out the house and out of my comfort zone. I was ready to make amazing friends and great memories in the process of it all. They are amazing and I was thankful for their friendship, and I knew I could count on them for anything. 

The longer this deployment, the more I felt something was missing. I was wanting to know that I could achieve my dreams and go for a career just like my husband. I was convinced with this life, I was never going to have that. My husband assured me, that was never going to be the case. 



Everday, I was constantly changing my mind what I truly wanted to do with my life. 

  • I wanted to be an EMT 
  • I wanted to be a Veternarian 
  • I wanted to run my own pet store
  • I wanted to be a full time wife/mom

None of those made me truly happy. 

I finally found what I truly wanted to do with my life. I had always LOVED to read and I knew at that moment….I wanted to write my very own book. I wanted to become an author. It was my dream! 

I’m so happy this deployment allowed me to make these hard decisions and wonder what my life is going to be like in 5 years, or even 10. This deployment has been the hardest, lonliest, and even most embracing I’ve ever experienced. I am going to make my dream come true, no matter the hardships that arise. 





Sweats, Sweets, & Savannah


October 13th, 2017, I was leaving and saying my final goodbye to my best friend and my job that I fell in love with. I never thought I would make this many friends or even the job for that matter. I had no intention of moving to Texas and being really upset when I had to leave. I was ready to be back home with my family, so I knew God has his own plan for me.

October 31st 2017, It was our last night in Fort Hood, Texas and it was bittersweet. I couldnt stop thinking about everything I had left behind and wasnt sure If I had made the right decision. My husband was supportive of it all, but he was wanting to make sure this is something we both wanted. It was too late, and we were committed to being Georgia Bound.

My last weekend was one of the best I had in Texas, seeing as it was the weekend before Halloween, we had big plans! We spent time at a haunted house and went ate mexican food. I was getting really upset that the fact this was it, and I was leaving my friends behind that I considered family.

November 1st, 2017. We moved to Fort Stewart, GA & I knew that this was going to be different. It was nothing like Texas and the people were not the same. I wasnt sure if we made the right decision about moving back. I lost one of my best friends that I thought I would never see again. She called me every day and kept in touch, even though we never thought we would never see each other again!

We finally planned a trip and she was making her way to Georgia! She had never flown before, and she was scared to death! I was with her spiritually, even though on the day of her flight, her flight was delayed for 2 hours. Bless her heart!


Her plane was delayed for 2 hours, and going into the opposite direction to her gate, she finally made it to Georgia!! I was so excited that after 8 in a half months, she was here!

I had so much planned for us, and I could not wait to show her where I lived and what I get to experience on a daily basis! I was so happy that I finally had someone that I was sharing an apartment with, muchless coming home to silence every day. The first morning here, we slept in past 6:30 am (thank god!) and got dressed to go to Tybee Island! The beaches are beautiful and the sand will blind you.


Tybee Island is one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever visited, and I was so excited to show her. It was over 90 degrees with heat index of 106. I felt a little weird, but I wasnt going to let that ruin this trip. The humdity was relentless, but it was worth it. Walking along the beach, I was thankful for the time I was getting off work and getting to spend time with my friend who I had not seen for a long time. I just wanted to make sure this was a trip was amazing and it something I needed to conquer this deployment.


Walking along the beach, we were both starving even though we had eaten a little bit of breakfast. I needed some real food, and greasy. The snack bars on Tybee were always amazing from what I heard, so why not? we grabbed a hot dog and I apparently looked at the hot dog like it was my lover.


I was full and ready to go do some shopping even after sweating bullets for the last hour or so. I definitely took advantage of working in the AC at work, and I was feeling a little funny after eating the hot dog shortly after. After the short stay on Tybee and doing a little shopping, we took off to our dolphin tour that was planned for 3:30 that day. I had never experienced one, so this was a first for me.

36025489_10160413706710705_866045851334606848_o 36062911_10160413705385705_4005200721715658752_oMikes Dolphin Tour in Tybee Island was absolutely amazing and I was not disappointed in my experience. The tour guide, Amanda, was incredible and I learned so many facts about dolphins and even Tybee Island itself. Did you know Tybee Island has the smallest AND the tallest Lighthouses in Georgia? Neither did I. Pretty Neat right? We had the best seats in the house and saw so many dolphins in the process. If you see a dolphin with a baby, you automatically realize its the mama seeing as the mama is teaching the baby how to hunt and breathe. I loved this dolphin tour and something I was so happy I got to experience. This was Kim’s second, and I’m so happy it turned out the way it did. After the dolphin tour, we were so tired. It was hot, and had been sweating the entire day. After the tour, we needed some good seafood to go along with seeing the dolpins, it seemed only fitting. My favorite seafood restaurant, Joe’s Crab Shack.

35973150_2100109796927134_1513701557789523968_o 35517496_2100109326927181_8316723102302076928_o The food was mouth watering, and the waitress was so sweet. This is some of the best seafood I have ever eaten. Kim definitely approved seeing as if she ate a little more than I did (haha 😉 ) She purchased a drink that was a little strong for my taste, but it was memories I will never forget! After eating, we purchased a small bag of alligator food to feed the gators within the restaurant. It was a fun experience and I could not stop laughing the whole time. We went home that night to change our clothes and make our way to River Street.

35836869_2100257610245686_1000418481625104384_oWe arrived at River Street around 7:30 and we were still tired, but there was so much to experience. We went to River Street Sweets, and bought some of their famous Pralines and my personal favorite, Gophers. I was in a chocolate coma and never been so stuffed. We walked off our food and chocolate and shopped until our feet was completely sore. The views were beautiful and I was so happy. 35986686_10160414052550705_746798622686838784_o








On Friday, Kim’s 2nd day here, we went and done what most girls would do on a crazy vacation.We got matching tattoos! She is considered a long distance best friend, so it only made sense. Maybe, it wasnt the best choice of placement, but we made it work! It was our 3rd tattoo and I’m sure many more to come. I’m incredibly thankful for our friendship, and so glad I came in contact with her. 35972619_10160417418790705_7306955602155012096_o

Saturday, it was a little more chill. We went back to River Street to do more shopping and eat a little more seafood before she flew back to the Lonestar state. We had to make sure the last day went out with a bang! We had gotten matching tattoos so there was only one more thing we needed….

36189126_10160419308115705_4053164438281256960_o  “Dont Give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

— Dr. Seuss




We had so many comments on our shirts (Trouble 1 & Trouble 2). We would get questions, “so whos the most trouble?” and we would both point at each other just the same. I had not laughed this much in a long time, and it was medicine for me to start living happier. This trip was not wasted at all, and wished she could have stayed longer. Life happens, and we all must get back to reality at some point. 35988489_10160422280885705_8137592583460225024_oThe next day, 4:30 got here early and I was barely getting out of bed. I was not ready for this trip to be over, but work is important and bills have to be paid. At 5:30 AM, She was off to security and I stood back and watched. It was sad to see her leave, but I knew I would see her again soon!




This deployment has not been easy for me, and I was so happy to know I could use a few days to spend time with good friends to have a distraction. I had never been so excited about someone coming to see me and I didnt want her to leave. I’m extremely thankful for her friendship and everything she has done for me!

Half Way Isn’t Enough

I remember that day as if he just left yesterday. His bags were packed & he was ready to go. I might’ve wondered how I could stop this deployment from happening, but I knew it was too good to be true. Who was I to think that I had enough woman power to stop him from leaving? My heart was already torn and I hated that my best friend was leaving me behind…again.

We made pacts before he left of all the things we would do when he got back home. Disney World, Sea World, Myrtle Beach, etc. the possibilities were endless and it wasn’t even day one of the deployment. Day one in military world is Day Zero. Day Zero counts for nothing.

By Month 1, my days are only getting longer and Im still in shock of how slow it’s went by. My depression consumed me & I was barely putting one foot in front of the other. Work was not exactly on my priority list & I was fighting all the demons inside to keep me from doing my daily routine.

Month 2, my depression was slowly fading and I was finding ways to cope with missing my husband. Not as much as I would like but I was making progress. Training hasn’t even started and we were barely getting to talk. I was making myself work as much as I could to keep my mind busy.

Month 3, car accident, or should we say fender bender. My anxiety goes out the roof & I’m not sure what to do. This is my first car accident on my own & I managed to do everything right. After the car accident & 3 weeks later, my car was brand new. New bumper, new tag light & the scratches were non existent. Life can finally go back to normal…for about a week. E was starting training so I knew life was about to get a lot more difficult. Those texts, FaceTime calls, & hearing his voice simply made life go by so much easier.

Memorial Day weekend, my parents didn’t want me to be alone. I packed my bags along with Bella & we made our way to Myrtle Beach. I’d never been so happy to pack 2 bags & a dog leash. All my worries faded away for 3 days & I finally felt at peace. My feet were in the ocean with the sand in between my toes, life was bearable & I was happy. I had a smile on my face the entire weekend, along with Bella by my side.

My car was perfect, & everything was running smoothly…not so much. One week later, I end up in the urgent care & 2 days out of work. Alright Mother Nature, I’m done with your crap. I go back to work as good as new. As of Monday of this week, I wanted to throw my hands up & waive them like I just didn’t care!

My sweet & stubborn Bella wants to force her illness on Mother Nature dearest. Throw up once, she’s getting out of her system. Throw up twice, seriously? Throw up three times, alright. I’m declaring Murphy’s Law now. My heart is racing and my only thought is to take her to the ER vet & get answers. Mother instincts? Maybe so. I stop in my tracks and only wonder how much this visit is going to cost.

The next day, my nerves are shot. My body is thinking it’s been up for days, but in reality I’m running into overtime. I can’t sleep. My insomnia is beyond belief & I just want to wake up and this deployment to be a dream. I’m going to conquer deployment number 2 with dignity even if it takes every single last bit of it. I may not be the perfect Army Wife or live the life we are suppose to live, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. My light is somewhat shinning in the distance, but I can see it.

Not Even Half Way..


I’m 97 days down. 3 months and a week and I’ve just completely lost all motivation at this point. I havent felt comfortable in my own skin and I’m not sure when I’ll get back to being myself. I knew with this life it wasnt going to be easy. Sleepless nights, nightmares, tossing and turning are part of my daily schedule now. Everday waking up for work, I realize its another day down and one more day closer to him being home. Although, I forgot what its like coming home to someone else or even having a four course meal with all your favorites.

97 days, and I’ve already managed to get into a car accident. A small fender bender, but enough to make me a nervous wreck for about a week. My entire bumper was replaced and I was (cautiously) driving my husbands truck for 3 weeks. I burnt dinner multiple times and gone without it alot of times. My appetite has completely decreased and already lost 15 pounds without even trying.

Hes been training for the last few weeks, so I’ve gotten used to drop calls and a few texts a day. Normal though, right? This life is all about the “hello?” “can you hear me?” phone calls. You barely get to speak to them when its really important and when there is nothing to really talk about, the service couldnt be more perfect! Deployments are complicated. One day, everything is peachy and the next, you just never know.


We’ve been through our rough patches and even to places where I didnt think it was going to turn out so good. Deployments will make you and break you in ways you never thought possible. I’ve questioned whether or not this was something I wanted to keep doing, and he felt the same. You really see where your marriage lies, and even how well you communicate. I realize in this life, communication is key!

Even though conversations are minimum, I fight hard for them. Even if its just one text or one 5 minute phone call. Within the last few weeks, I’ve gotten 5 phone calls within the last month and I was happy even if its not the occassional calls I get every day. I’ve never been more proud of the man I’ve married and who he has become. We’ve hit a bump in the road within the last month and I wasnt sure if this something we would’ve gotten out of. I questioned my marriage and who I was in the process. I had lost who I was in the last few months and I was ready to get back to myself again.

I was not comfortable in my own skin for a while. I was barely getting out of bed and not wanting to go to work. I didnt want to do anything, and I just wanted out of this black hole that I had lodged myself in. I had a daily routine of getting up, taking the dog out, feeding her and then sitting in the recliner for 30 minutes before I went to work every morning. I was off work at 5:00 and laid in the bed until 9:00 and went to sleep.

I realized that was it. A routine. I had finally gotten this routine down and every day waking up, is one day closer to him. I’ve made it 97 days, I can go 97 more. Its not going to be easy. Its going to be an emotional, terrifying, happy, exciting few months left, but I’m ready. I thought I couldnt do this, I wasnt sure if I could keep pushing but he makes me know that I can. Thank you for sticking by my side in the darkest hours.





This Was Part of The Deal

get dressed.jpg

I’m still alive and well. That counts for something right? dinner was cooked for the 3rd time last night, and I managed to make it taste decent. My breakdowns are minimal, but I’m still finding myself getting sad every so often. 

My husband deployed 2 months ago, 63 days to be exact. I always hated the idea of trying to picture him being gone most of our marriage, but thats the only thing I know. We’ve been together 10 years, and married for 5. We lived together a total of 2 years of our 5 year marriage. Insane right? Thats the military life. I’ve never known a “stable” marriage, and honestly I’m okay with it some days. 

When we argue, it honestly makes me feel good so that I can stay in my spot and think about the things we’ve said. Arguments are more existent rather than decent conversations on deployment. Heres a few reasons why;

Financial reasons. Let’s face it, everyone have financial issues. You’re budgeting what we both need to spend in order to get through everyday life with what we need. You tend to worry about who’s going to eat what and when the military is going to take BAS for his food. The clothes on your back for work are also important. He needs new shirts for his uniform, a new PT belt, and even boots that cost more than my wardrobe. 

Being alone will always take a toll when you live this lifestyle. No matter how close family is, you’re always going to feel alone. Family will always be your support no matter what. When family has never been through it, thats when they dont understand what youre going through. My mom has become my best friend through this all. When I’m having rough days, I can call her and she tells me what exactly I need to hear. You have temptations all around you because you are alone, but straying away from that is what will keep your marriage healthy. 

Communication is key. In this lifestyle, if you dont have communication, you have absolutely nothing. When they finally come home, they see how your phone is practically glued to your hand and they are upset. My phone is constantly on me and I have to expect a phone call at any moments notice. You will never see me without my phone, because youre constantly waiting on one text or that one phone call that could make or break your day. You will go days, months, and even weeks without one simple text much less than a phone call. Basic training was my first time experiencing that. Basic training was 3 phone calls in 3 months, even then I was lucky. Communication will always be key in this life, no matter what. 

Coping with this life is no where near easy. I have my bad days as well as my good. My bad days have been outweighing my good lately, but I will get out of my cycle soon enough. I went out for the first time with some co-workers recently for my birthday and had an amazing time. I finally got out of the house with friends who were making me think less about this deployment. For one day, I was no longer thinking of the distance, the phone calls, the arguments, and much less my sadness I had been enduring for a long time. 

Deployment is stressful. It will beat you down, tear you apart, and even bring you up in ways you couldnt imagine. It’s an insane emotional roller coaster, but the ride is amazing. You will experience new things, and even take adventures to get out of your comfort zone. On my first deployment with my husband, I got first tattoo along with my second. I made more friends and even explored the beautiful city of Austin, Texas with co-workers. I went to events with some of the army wives so I could be more social and being around people who understood what I was going through. If you’ve never lived this life and been in our shoes, dont be too quick to judge. 

When you go near a military town, dont look down on the wife who is having a bad day and only needs a smile to make her day. Dont look at the mom who at the store with her kids and she looks exhausted, she was probably up half the night with her kids and living life as a single parent. Dont judge the husband who is ready to have his wife back home after an exhausting 9 month deployment and needs her for comfort. These days are beyond stressful and mentally, physically exhausting, but there is always that one thing at the end of it all that makes it worth while. 


I’m Done..


Waking up this morning, everything was all so different. I was going to bed every night wondering how I was going to get through to the next day. I was barely putting one foot in front of the other, and I was sure I was not going to get through this without him. I convinced myself I just couldn’t keep doing this anymore. I’m done. 

I wasnt sure how this life was going to keep me sane one way or the other. Every night, I was consuming more grease with eating out, than even thinking about my own health. I’m drinking countless amounts of caffeine and not hardly a drop of water, let alone anything healthy in my meals. I didn’t really care anymore. I was sleeping more and more when I wasnt working, and being the antisocial person I’d ever known. Who was this person? 

I woke up Friday morning, and realized I cannot keep living this life anymore. 

I miss everything about him. His smell. His smile. His hugs. His contagious laugh. Thursday night, I cried until I couldnt anymore. I felt more sadness than I did the day he left. I went to bed wondering if I could even face the next day especially being around other people. I just cant keep doing this anymore. Is it worth feeling this way? 

Friday morning, I woke up and felt like an entirely different person. I was okay. I spent an entire night crying, and I wake up perfectly fine. The emotions of a deployment are so ununpredictable. You wake up one morning feeling great, and the next morning as if your entire world has completely crashed. The numbness will always be there especially when half of you is half away across the world. 

Why do I do this? I do this because it’s all worth the risk. Its worth the first kiss after 9 months apart. Its worth the hug that you’ll embrace after you’ve hugged a pillow in your bed as if hes been there with you the whole time. You’ll finally get that in person conversation that youve been longing for since Facetime is all you’ve known. You’ll get those butterflies like you did when you went on your first date, even though you’ve been together for 10 years. 

Leaving would be the easy way out right? You might think so. So did I especially when I thought I couldnt do this without him. I wanted to get out, and never look back. I realized that my husband was one of the ONLY things that was keeping me going through it all. I just wanted all these emotions to go away, and the numbness to fade. 

Going to sleep every night, I know that I have an amazing marriage that is still in tact. I have a husband that is thousands of miles away that I grieve all the time he is gone. I cant keep feeling the numbness and the guilt that I feel everyday. I know that if I keep living this way, I will never convince myself that I can do this. I’ve done this once before, I can do this again. I will never not miss my husband, and I will have my good days and bad. I have finally gotten passed my grieving phase and I will keep going no matter how much it kills me to not have him by my side.