Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thank you Kevin

I am very, very close to my daughter Abigail. We have a great relationship all around, and I couldn't ask for a better big sister for Logan.

Abby, Kevin, Logan. Abby's 17th birthday

I wasn't sure any boy could live up to our expectations for her, but when Abby started dating Kevin and brought him home to meet us, I really liked him. I thought he was polite, considerate, sweet, and above all, treated her really well. They dated for the last couple years of high school, attending both junior and senior proms together, graduated together- and he enlisted in the Air Force. We all absolutely adored him, and Logan completely idolized him, dubbing him "schlipps" - a Logan combination of Sugar Lips (which came from my teasing one day).

Just being the kind of caring soul Kevin is, he embraced this nickname- even though "Schlipps" isnt exactly the coolest moniker. He even included it in his highschool yearbook as his 'nickname'.

Junior prom

Senior prom


When Kevin went away to basic training, Abby was lost. They'd spent every waking moment together for years, and now she didn't have her closest friend. After the first 2 weeks of meltdowns, she started to come to grips with it, and she fell into a new routine. She furthered her education and hung out more with her best friend Annie (another awesome kid!)

Seth and Abby went out to Texas for Kevin's BMT graduation, and she started going to visit him more and more while he was in tech school.
BMT (basic training) graduation

She made me very proud, suddenly a solo traveler, jetting off to here and there all alone. I was nervous, but so happy for her. One day- I got the news- He proposed.

She said Yes

When she got home from that trip, the wedding planning began. The military would only allow a small window of leave time, so we were on a time crunch and pulled it together extremely fast. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous..Sept 3 is their 1 yr anniversary.

Abby and her dad-letting his little girl go..

Kevin and his mom- giving her son to Abby..

He had to leave shortly after the wedding to return to school, and she stayed home with us until it was time to move to FL to be near his base.

In December 2011, Kevin came home, they packed up, she flew, and my husband Seth drove with Kevin. They moved in, and there they have been ever since. She's been home once in the 9 months, when my mother-in-law passed away. Logan misses them both so much. I hear it many times every day "I miss her Abby. I miss him Schlipps"

I miss her dearly but I talk to her daily, and I know they are building their life. Its so much fun hearing about all the adventures and issues that come from being a newlywed-living in a strange new place.

Recently Abby called to ask if she could move back into our home, back into her old bedroom...

Of course I said...And Kevin?

Kevin isn't coming...Kevin is deploying to Afghanistan.

So my little girl is coming home...but the man who I consider a son is going to war. This is a very odd mixture of emotions that I could surely do without. The uncertainty..the wondering..the waiting. I'm worried about him. That he'll be okay..that this might change him.

I'm so glad she will be home with us, and that will be one less worry for everyone involved, especially him over there, he really needs to stay focused and not be worrying about her. I couldn't stand the thought of her being 1500 miles away all alone..but we still have to face the fact that he will be 7500 miles away, in an unstable environment.

The impact that this is going to have on their lives is huge enormous. To be a newly married couple- so deeply in love- spending every day together- now suddenly so far apart. Its heart wrenching, its a big deal. I'm sad...but I am so, so proud.

Thank you Kevin. Thank you for giving your life to the military, and doing what needs to be done to keep us all safe. Thank you for being a great and loving husband to my daughter, and caring for her, and about her as much as we do. Thank you for being an unbelievable brother and idol to my son, and thank you for being such a wonderful son to us. I love you. Come home to us safe.