As is always the case, the pity party bloom eventually came off the pity party rose, and when I finally gave myself a much needed kick in the pity party pants, Tamsen was one of the very first friends I made. She was funny and fun and had an extremely cool name, and even though she was the busiest mom I had ever met, we still found time to form a friendship. Eventually, her oldest and my youngest became buddies as well and along the way, her whole family has become very special to me.
On Friday, Tamsen's family will start a new chapter in their life. A chapter thousands of other American families are writing right along with them, but a challenging new chapter all the same.
Tomorrow, Tamsen's husband Chris leaves for a year long deployment to Afghanistan.
Chris, the soldier, is excited to go. Excited to do the valuable job he's been trained to do. Excited to serve his country.
Chris, the husband and father, will miss his family more and more as each day goes by. Tamsen has awesome family and friends behind her and will do a fine job holding down the homefront while Chris is gone, but there will certainly be difficult days along the way.
We thought it would be fun to do family pictures before Chris leaves. Just a little something for all of them to hold onto during the next year.
By the way, it was hilarious to watch both the building and the tearing down process of the family pyramid. Very entertaining, but quite painful for the participants - don't let their smiles fool you!
Dear Chris, Tamsen, Kayla, Emily, Zachary and Gracie,
You are a snapshot of all the wonderful families that have willingly offered their service to our country. I don't take lightly the sacrifices your family will make over this next year and I want you to know I appreciate it. I know you...you are my friends, but I extend that thanks to all the American families I don't know that are walking in your same shoes. Families like yours are a huge part of what I love about my country.
And Chris, I want you to know I will be doing my part by keeping Tamsen company as she indulges in shopping and girls lunch out therapy to get her through this challenging time. That's just the kind of friend I am.