Without fail when Brooks leaves for any extended period of time, there are things that change ’round these parts. The first big difference I notice, other than a lighter load of laundry, is the lack of coffee making/buying. I wouldn’t touch The Coffee for anything in the world. I love the smell, hate the taste.

So of course, one of the first things I must do when Brooks is coming home is stock up on coffee and coffee filters for his daily brew (coffee filters, because invariably, in his absence, they have been used for art projects – true story).

But there are other little things: his favorite snacks have not graced the shelves in the pantry for weeks and weeks, his hygiene products have disappeared from the bathroom, the drinks he enjoys are nowhere to be seen. All those things need to be remedied before he comes home, so today I began some serious preparations for homecoming. Forget the welcome home sign (I’ll handle that when he’s somewhere on US soil), home needs to be home for my soldier and I’d hate for him to return and miss the things he associates with being here.

I’m sure at the end of the day all he cares about is seeing us and being with us, but those little things are important to me. Dressing up in something cute, wanting to puke while we wait for him, watching him greet the girls after his long absence…. all those things are important to me, those small things I tuck away in my memory and slowly savor later when he’s gone. You have to enjoy the whole ride, even the bumpy parts and the parts that make you feel sick to your stomach. It’s all part of the experience, right?

So today we partook in some serious homecoming preparations. I made lists and remade lists and began to whittle down The List. I ran errands and aired out his closet, finalized some menus, did research on some day trips, and took note of things that he’d like. And all the while I kept visualizing what our reunion might play out like.

I cannot wait.

True story.