As much as I love traveling, as much as I adore visiting with family (the endless laughter, the familiarity, the sense of being part of something bigger), it’s good to be home. There’s something about taking a nice, long hot shower, finding a comfy spot on the couch, and reading a favorite book that does wonders for my heart and soul.

And of course, The Boy is glad to be home too, as much as he misses everyone already.

And today’s special because we brought home a new family member, the four legged, furry kind. After losing JayJay recently it was quite clear that Nya was pretty lost without her constant companion. Boxer’s are an amazing breed. I know everyone has their favorite, and I’m partial to this breed now, but you can’t help but love the way they follow you around, and wiggle at the mention of their name, and regardless of size and weight think themselves very much lap dogs.

I hesitate at the though of bringing another boxer into the mix because my beau has an amazing way of picking out the right dogs. We were truly blessed with our two girls, and I know for Little B, anyway, it has helped him cope with back to back deployments. Of course, we know nothing different than these endless separations, and our determination to make it through these deployments with dignity and grace and strength helps a whole lot, but dogs are just amazing at making our spirits lighter and fuller, just by loving them.

So bringing Little Man home with us was a special treat. Little B has always been partial to little dogs and he’s ridiculously excited about loving on our new family member. Nya was touch and go at first. She’s used to Little Man from visiting my brother and his family, but she’s more used to ignoring him. She was fine the whole way in the car and has been good here in the house with him, but she’s been nonstop sniffing him. I swear Little Man is about the size of Nya’s head so I’m not so sure what else there is to smell, but there you have it.

Now both doggies are snuggled up on the couch, side by side, next to me. I’m going to finish blogging and curl up on the couch with my aforementioned book, both pups at my feet. Brooks is playing on the Xbox, chatting nonstop about creatures he’s imagined in his head, and there’s Christmas music playing in the background (yes, Christmas music).

It’s good to be home. It’s always one day closer to welcoming Brooks home, and I can’t help but be joyous about that. Facebook is full of homecoming pictures and for overly sensitive me, I can’t help but well up with tears at the sight of all the happy faces, kiddos hugging parents who are now finding them much bigger than they left them, and wives finally being able to let go of that fear, small as it might be, that their husband may not have made it home, and yet here he is, home sooner than expected.

Life is so incredibly sweet. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.