10 Days of 10 Years: 2004

Welcome to the anniversary tour! We're reviewing the past ten years of our marriage, going through some old photos and memories. Speaking of photos, I had to enlist help to even get one photo for today's post, since I didn't have a digital camera nine years ago, nor was I on Facebook. Digging out an electronic photo from today's featured year was a challenge, but I couldn't bear to skip over...

- 2004 -

Another reason I have limited photos of us from 2004: This was the year that N was deployed to Qatar for four months. I have a lot of photos of just me (he required weekly photographic evidence of my existence), but of the two of us? Not so much.

In retrospect, an Air Force deployment lasting under a year to a country that wasn't Afghanistan or Iraq, was, all things considered, a pretty smooth ride. But at the time, little 20-year-old me was a wreck. In today's terminology, I was a hot mess.

N's orders to Qatar began right after his birthday. In fact, we hadn't even finished up his cake and ice cream. This was a real problem, because after he left, I was so distraught that the sight of his leftover cake in the fridge put me into hysterics. I barely opened the fridge for days! This was a trend that lasted most of the deployment. When the poor guy finally came back to the States, his wife had dropped a few pounds! Food just isn't the same when you can't share it.

During this period, I was living alone in New Jersey, a few hours from the closest family and friends in my life. Needless to say, my mom was on speed dial basically every day, and I drove home to PA to see family every other weekend. The rest of the time, I remained very busy with a heavy course load at school and a part time job at a local bank. I also spent some time decorating our first apartment, which, as you may notice above, was pretty bare up to this point. By the end of the deployment, we had new curtains, new shelves, new framed photos...it was actually starting to feel like a home. But that was in 2005, which is tomorrow's topic.

Although I'd like to think that I've matured over the past ten years, spending time away from N for extended periods is still not my cup of tea. In fact, his current solo man-trip to Central America (following that 3-day passage to Honduras) has caused us to be separated for the longest period since that Qatar deployment. I miss him terribly, but I am happy to report that I have been able to open the fridge door quite regularly this time around. Still, there's nothing like some time apart to realize how much you love and appreciate a person. Our reunion this weekend just can't come fast enough.

[A big thank you to my sweet sister-in-law AES for digging through my photo albums currently in storage in PA to bring you today's historic photo evidence! How on earth did I document our lives before Facebook? I shudder.]


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