God has lavished such a grace by giving me Elyana Ruth. When I came home from dropping Jonathan off, usually going into that now-empty house, with all the memories of us and his stuff lying around, that's the very worst part. But this time, I carried her in and held her close. She receives my hugs and kisses, and she innocently coos and grins at me. It is a sweet balm to have her love and be able to spend mine on her. It's much more of a blessing than I ever imagined. Plus, it's impossible to read the Psalms about God hearing our requests, granting our hearts desires, and making us glad in His salvation, and not look straight at Elyana Ruth and think, "This is a testimony of this very thing."
My days consist of playing with Elyana and working. So I have decided to add in a special evening walk outside together, and meeting with others with deployed spouses and their little ones. We have one event every weekday next week. I don't usually make it so busy, but for a first week that's ok.
Elyana has had a really rough time since J left with keeping to any sort of schedule. I'm gently trying to ease her back into it. It's just sleep and eating have both been hard to get back into a rhythm of.
Now time for some pictures of our last few days together!
Here is our traditional, right-before-he-leaves family picture. Three of us this time!
Jonathan and me on our traditional last-Starbucks date...
Us three at Red Lobster, a new place for dinner, but the last time we ate out. We hadn't eaten here since I had morning sickness, but had a real seafood craving. We relived some great memories. And I successfully nursed Elyana at the table, so successfully that an older lady walked by and saw us with an empty carseat, and asked, "Where's the baby?" I laughed and pointed at my nursing cover. :) I was nervous about trying to be discreet, but I guess I was!
Jonathan wanted to feed Elyana one last time.
I don't know how we managed these smiles when our hearts were breaking.
Jonathan makes me a Build-a-Bear for every deployment. We made one in '04, two in '08, and now here's my fourth one. He made Elyana one too. She was awake and happy for it all, which we were thrilled at.
Here was the little pink/white super-soft bear, Cuddles, that Jonathan and Elyana chose.
This is our beautiful baby!