I’m going to keep this post short, primarily because Brooks and I woke up ubber early… 4am ish to be exact. And we’ve had a long and productive day, so sleep is surely calling my name. I’m thankful that Brooks had today off and was able to spend the day with us. I’m thankful that although we had to get some things done before he goes back to work tomorrow, that we did get them done, but more importantly, that we were together… laughing, talking, and enjoying each moment.

I’m still a little in awe that he’s really and truly home. I can’t help but look at him and marvel that he’s really here. I had completely and utterly prepared myself for a Christmas without him here and I continue to try and wrap my mind around the fact that he’s not going to miss a thing.

Which brings me to gratitude. Not only that Brooks is home but gratitude for the people placed in our lives that have helped carry us through these deployments. I’ve never felt alone, I’ve never felt that this burden was mine alone to share. I’ve been so blessed to have amazing friends who were ready and able and willing to love us and help us along the way. As I’ve said so many times before, I wouldn’t have made it through without everyone’s support.

From family members who listened to my sobs and tears, and who knew just the right things to say. To the friends who showed up at just the right moments, with open arms and tears to share. And especially to the amazing friends B has made along the way who, with parents serving overseas as well, knew exactly what my boy was going through and that was enough to make it easier for Brooks to bear.

I’m extremely excited about the days coming ahead. My sweet abuela from Puerto Rico is coming to visit. My sister, my best friend, who has answered phone calls in the middle of the night, who visits whenever she can, and who has loved my little boy like his own mother… she’s coming too. This Christmas is going to be spectacular. I can’t wait to see what comes. But I do know that Brooks will be there by my side. And nothing could be better or sweeter or more perfect.