Erin and Stuart greeting Mark at the airport after his overseas tour.
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Our military spouses serve for us all, but they live for their families.

I don’t know what it is about this week. It seems like every morning I turn on my computer to find a new post, picture or video from my husband or my kids that brings back memories – good and bad.

This morning I turned on my computer to find the video below posted on Erin’s Facebook wall.

I cried through the whole video, my heart hurting, and not able to breathe.

Mark has done a couple of tours – one before we were married and one after.

Stuart
The photo of Stu we used to make Mark’s t-shirt.

For the one after, he was posted to a hot, desert climate for his tour, and while he was away, the kids and I sent regular ‘care packages’ with homemade goodies, books, magazines, toys, puzzles and some zany, funny items like a beach set (pail and shovel set, and floatie), a wind-up rapping hamster, and a giant stuffed red iguana for him to cuddle at night.

By the time Mark went on tour, I had been operating my business for several years and the kids spent a lot of time at the office with me. With all of the equipment and supplies at hand, we decided to make Mark a special t-shirt using photos of Erin and Stu wearing Mark’s field helmet. This was the best gift because we had so much fun making it.

Erin in Dad's helmet.
Erin ready for duty on a rainy day.

On the day Mark was returning home, the kids were ‘bouncing off the walls’, chattering constantly, with the words “When…,” “What…,” “How…,” Why…,” ringing in my ears.

When I finally managed to get us all to the airport, the arrivals area was cordoned off with rope and I had to physically restrain the kids by hugging them to my sides to prevent them from running under the rope to look for ‘Daddy’.

Finally, Mark appeared, I gave the kids a little shove and said, “Go get your Dad!” and the kids took off squealing and shouting “Daddy, you’re home!”

Amid the noise my kids were making, I distinctly heard a woman waiting behind me say, “I wish someone would greet me like that!”

We may have been on public display in the middle of Pearson Airport, but wherever we were together was, as the kids said, ‘home’.

A fifties' child, mom, wife, avid genealogy researcher, web contributor and author/owner of four blogs including Empty Nest Ancestry, Feathering the Empty Nest, Top Web Blog Tips, Job Bully, and our extensive family genealogy database site at Blythe Genealogy.

ABOUT THIS SITE...

This is one of my four blogs:

I'm a wife and mother, with a wonderful husband and two great 'kids' who are now young adults, and we live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada - in the great city of Chilliwack, to be exact (one hour from Vancouver).

Feathering the Empty Nest is my 'baby' that I have been nurturing and building or four years - ever since taking medical retirement from my government job because of disability issues. As a result, general health and well being, and losing weight are a concern for me and are therefore topics covered here. I also discuss marriage, raising a family (especially military families like ours) including parenting teens,adult children (or, if you prefer - parenting young adults living at home) as well as parenting children of all ages.

Of course, I can't forget our lovable, furry family members. Pet ownership is wonderful - especially once our kids have moved out on their own, so there is discussion about responsible pet ownership and care. Lifestyle changes that come with raising a family, retirement, and health issues, in addition to how these affect other aspects of our lives such as housekeeping, cooking and shopping matter a great deal. Being the lazy housekeeper and indifferent cook that I am, learning how to save money while still eating well has meant finding easy cooking recipes, experimenting with online grocery shopping and sharing invaluable household hints and tips.Our home remains our castle, whether our kids live here or elsewhere and home ownership and renovations, diy home projects and repair tips and hints play a large role.

Weave all of this together with humorous stories of children, pets, family life, marriage and any other silly little thing I can think of, and you have 'Feathering the Empty Nest.'

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