It will be a year in October that we moved to Tennessee, and for the past five months I have lived here by myself while my husband was gone completing additional military training. This separation was something I was so anxious and upset about, but looking back, it might have been the best thing to happen to us as newlyweds.

After the “newness” of our marriage wore off, we woke up one morning and we were in this brand new place, both in location and emotion. I began to take my husband and our normal life as a married couple for granted, and he became more work-centric. January rolled around and all of a sudden I was left to do this new life on my own. Find a job, make my own friends, pay the bills, and take care of our home and our Maggie. I did (a freaking awesome job at it, too) and our marriage flourished. He was more attentive, I was more caring, and we both gave 110% to our marriage in order to make up for the separation. Obviously we missed each other more than anything in the world, but our communication skills were top notch and our marriage was feeling pretty darn awesome.

The time flew by, just like everyone said it would, and before I knew it, he was home. I can’t really describe the feeling; it’s totally and completely normal and yet, considering the past five months, anything but. Andrew has been home for a little over a week now and we are quickly figuring out that having him home means having to compromise more and make a few adjustments here and there. It truly feels like we just moved in together. He has to ask where things are at in the kitchen and everywhere he turns he sees something new and asks, “When did you buy that?” (Which is an entirely separate issue… I just can’t help myself when I walk in to TJ Maxx). I feel myself getting a little frustrated when things aren’t done “my way” or when I don’t have complete control over a task or situation. But those things are just peanuts compared to our happiness.

I truly have never been so overwhelmingly happy about normalcy. Everything I took for granted while he was home now, honest-to-goodness, fills me with absolute joy (and before you start gagging, let me have my moment, okay?). I get to make him meals again and pack his lunches. He takes me to the movies and holds my hand in the car. We get to watch movies together on our too-small couch while Maggie (who is just over the moon that Daddy’s home) tries to figure out how to squeeze in between us. We go on long walks and pray for our little family together. It’s boring and normal and blissful and wonderful and we are cherishing every moment, refusing to take a single thing for granted. Because when your spouse is in the military, it won’t be long until the duffle bag is at the door and you’ll be missing the footprints left by dirty combat boots all over your floor. 

Anna Butler

Air Force wife, History teacher, lover of books, chocolate chip cookie dough, and a nice, big cup of tea. I was born and raised in Bellevue, Nebraska and went to college at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. I'm a diehard Husker fan and no matter where the Air Force takes us, I will make it my mission to find a Nebraska bar during football season! I try my best to be a good cook, housekeeper, and Christian wife for my kind and loving husband, and I love to write about how God has worked His magic in my life. However, you'll find that my point of view and interpretations are never too serious. After all, God has a sense of humor; He made the platypus!