By far this has been one of the most roller coaster years we've experienced. And I must say not only I, but my husband has learned so much. Not only about each other, but about ourselves. So I am going back to Jan 2010:
In January things were looking so great for us. We were financially stable, I had a job for two months already and In Nov of 2009 we had our traditional family wedding. We were living in Aliso Viejo, California. Derek was still in the military and we officially begun our countdown to civilian life. Derek was getting in this Dec, 2010. So well I was working Derek went off to do Bridgeport Training in Hawthorne, the winter package so it was extremely cold where he was going. Little did we know what was going to happen soon after he got home.
At the end of Feburary, Derek returned from in 5 week long mountain warfare training. and boy was I excited to have him home. Everything was perfect!. Well when he got home from MWT Derek was advised that he would be going on, yet another, Deployment.. This time it was to Afghanistan. My heart dropped. I can remember exactly how it all happened, in detail. I came home from work on a Friday, it was the day that we were supposed to go and file our yearly taxes. We did too!. anyways, I came inside and he looked like something was bothering him. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he needed to tell me something.. I knew it wasnt good, whatever it was because he told me to sit down. So I sat down and he told me that he just got off the phone with his chief. He was advised that he would be leaving to Afghanistan in two weeks!! Talk about a train wreck. Ok, so as I sat there in shock the tears started rolling. I learned that two weeks was going to come like overnight to me, but luckily we had 13 days to prepare with what we were going to do. As soon as he told me, I called my mom, my sister Vanessa, Brittany, and then Angela. It was such a shock for everyone I told. Well so it began. we began making arrangements with what we were going to do. I told my job that I was going to be leaving and I put my two weeks notice in. After that we told the apartment complex that we were living in as well. They needed proof of documentation of Dereks deployment so we had to get a letter from his commader showing he was in fact deploying. Everything went so smooth. WE had enough time to get a storage and throw all of our belongings in storage. So by this time, we are now up to the date of Dereks departure. And to be completely honest I wasnt scared. I knew that Derek would be covered, not only because WE serve a mighty God but because the power of a praying WIFE. So as we sat there in the car I just started praying for him, he was leaving me. AGAIN. As we made our way out of the car, he checked in. He got his weapon and from there we sat and we waited for the big ugly white buses to arrive. Peace took over my body, and the boldness of God gave not only me, but Derek the courage to take this chapter in our lives. The time had arrived, The buses arrived and the boys started loading their gear and belongings. As I sat there I began to pray for my husband again.. it was his time to load the bus, and not one tear came. I was shocked, but I knew it was the peace of God. As we said our goodbyes I knew that me being alone would be a little easier than last time. but I knew it was going to hit me eventually. As he drove off all Derek was doing was smiling, and I cant help but remember how in love I was with his smile. and I knew, that on the day of his homecoming he'd be smiling exactly the same. So I began to drive away, and yet again, I wasnt scared. So here we are. March. On the 25th Derek left en route to Afghanistan and on the 26th I was back en route to Phoenix, AZ.
Since I was jobless I began watching my god daugther Mariah Adrielle Sanchez. And all I can say is that through the duration of Dereks Afghanistan deployment this little girl kept me on my toes. I started watching her at 4 months old, and to be quite honest and embarssed she was the first diaper I have EVER changed, gimme a break here! :) So time was slow throughout the first month of the deployment. I was still attending the University of Phoenix so I was keeping myself busy with school and church.
We were officially about halfway through Dereks deployment. Now its June. I was staying busy still, busting my butt to pay bills and to stay on top of things. Things were going good and at this time I was a homecoming mode. Derek was due back in July.
So here we are, July 2010. I have never been more excited in July! ( one of the hottest months in AZ!) Derek was due back actually at the end of June, but because of current conditions in Afghanistan that didnt happen. Anyways I was excited to see my husband. It was been a very easy yet long deployment to me, even though it was only 4 months. He was in a battlefield and all I did was worry about his safety.. Throughout the duration of the deployment I kept in great touch with Dereks family. And I asked them if they would want to be apart of the homecoming. and of course, without a doubt they were honored to be apart of this sepcial day. Along with Dereks family, My sisters and my mother came for the homecoming. Which couldnt have been more perfect.
Day of HOMECOMING: July 4th, 2010. What more perfect day to have marines and sailors return from overseas? Anyways, being that Derek had no clue that I had his family and my family with me I had to be sneaky! So Derek calls me in the wee hours of the morning advising me that he and all the guys were accounted for and have LANDED on American Soil, in Conneticut I think.. So he told me that he would be arriving promtly at around 11 am at Camp Pendleton. And now it was already 8 AM!!! I was running behind! so I jumped in the shower and started getting ready, my man was home from Afghanistan!!! yes! Well by the time everyone got ready we were out of the hotel by 11! I thought we were going to miss homecoming. so we sped all the way to base! Luckily, Dereks buses were running late. but we did arrive on time.. as we sat there playing the waiting game, the buses pull up. it was time. As the boys marched in, I waited anxiously with so much pride and excitement. I was beyond proud of my husband. He served two back to back deployments. As the boys continued walking up.. There he was, he didnt see me but I saw him. I was coming, actually running in 5 inch heels but finally his eyes met mines..and that smile that I was dying to see was right in front of me again. I didnt have to look at a picture anymore. He was right in front of me. I held my banner up. gave him a big hug and a little peck. LOL his family was there. He was so shocked to see them and so happy to have Mariah there. It was love all over again. And since this moment we've been stuck at the hip.
Now, August, Derek was on post deployment leave so he got to spend 2 weeks in AZ with me. and guess what we did... WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! We had been looking his whole deployment, I was sending him links via email.. but it just wasnt the same as it was having him home browse with me! Anyways, we were approved with no problem.. and right now, we are two months from our house being completed.
As for this year, I have personally learned that I know how to rely on God for all my needs. He was my husband when Derek was absent. He was the one who gave me the courage that I needed and the support that I needed too. This year has been by far the hardest, but yet the best ever. I am beyond thankful that my husband is home, for good. He served 5 years in the United States Navy and now he is MINE. :)