July 5, 2011

Military Week: Saying Goodbye

by

***Giveaway Has Ended***

They say that the most worthwhile things are always the very hardest to do…

Military couples know this is especially true when it comes to saying goodbye to a loved one who you won’t see for a while.  Such a crucial moment deserves some special prepped love to send with them so we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to create memories with each other and help bridge the distance – things that both of you can look back on and relive when you are feeling down or want to remember “the good times”.

Chrissy - Updated Pinterest Pic

For starters, consider these powerful words from Jerilyn Marler, the fabulous author of the book Lily Hates Goodbyes, as she gives her advice on…

Building a Connection that Can Withstand Deployment.


“Let’s agree to these statements:

1~ Deployment separation sucks.

2~ You and your spouse love each other deeply.

3~ Before departure you want to forge a connection that will withstand the time apart. Mixed in with the heartbreaking sadness of the last lingering kiss goodbye, you want a profound and unshakable sense of oneness. You can help to create—and sustain—that oneness by building a private world of words, objects, and mental images.

Havefun with it.  Be as risque as you’re comfortable with.  Make it personal.

*Develop a language shorthand that will let you express your deepest feelings without embarrassment on a public phone or in email that you know is monitored. Choose innocent words or phrases that really mean something else. When you tell him that you baked a rhubarb pie, he’ll know you’re really saying something like…oh, I don’t know…”I want to jump your bones right now!”
*Exchange small but meaningful items to carry or wear; talismans of your love, touchstones.
*Talk about the activities that will remind you of each other and describe what you will be thinking, feeling, and doing every time. When either one mentions an activity, you will instantly have a vividly shared mental image. When he tells you that he did laundry, you will know that he buried his face in your tee-shirt that he packed along so he can breathe in the smell of you.

Use these techniques to construct together a deeply personal virtual world, one that you can step into instantly and surround yourself with the loving warmth of a shared experience. Make each other smile with private secrets. Commit to sustaining your sense of appreciation for each other throughout deployment by sending smiles and warm glows across the miles. While the big happy hello comes at the end of deployment, every phone call, every email can be its own little happy hello. And if it contains a coded message that makes you blush, all the better.”

O.M.Gosh, the little things really are sooo heartfelt!  Thanks Jerilyn for sharing your wonderful insight.

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So if your first question is……

“Where in the world do I begin?”

Sistah, you’re in luck!  Imagine these ideas tailored exactly the way you’d do them for your honey!

1~ Create a puzzle with a secret message on it.  Grab a red poster board {oh yeah, the color of looove} from the Dollar Store and write your message on the front. On the back make your own puzzle piece design, cut it out, and TA-DA your own personalized puzzle. Give him one piece at a time – starting with him leaving and then all throughout his deployment until he gets home.

2~ Sarah from the blog Journey of Love shares with us this Military Salute Album idea: Create a photo album.  Whoever said a picture is worth 1,000 words wasn’t kiddin’!  Photos are priceless memories captured in time… memories you want your spouse to always remember.  This is seriously a perfect gift for a loved one to take with them on a long deployment.  Again, have fun with personalizing your album cuz’ this is all about the unique beauty of your family & relationship!

3~ Like Jerilyn said, “Exchange small but meaningful items to carry or wear; talismans of your love, touchstones.”  I love, LoVe, LOVE the idea of making personalized dog tags! One for you to wear and one for your spouse to add to his other dog tags.  You can even make dog tags with photos of you and the kids on them for him to wear close to his heart while he is away.  Oh, and for your kids {or if your spouse is into silly bands} surprise them with these great Military Shaped Bands from shindigz.com to wear.  This is a great way to help kids feel connected to Dad and remind them of him at every glance.  If you haven’t browsed Shindigz.com, you will totally be impressed.  They have tons of awesome military party supplies that you can use for going away parties, customized gifts, care packages, etc.

4~ Girls, this one’s a biggie. Obviously you can’t appreciate enough the power of your last night together before a goodbye. Yes, those last intimate moments you get to spend together before the countdown to being reunited. Of course how everyone makes their night extra special will be different, and that is beautiful!  But if you’re looking for a new idea that might stand out in his mind {men remember visuals very well!} I dare suggest why not dress up like a pin up girl?!  This is sooo sexy and yet classically quite tasteful at the same time {cat whistle call!} No time to look?  No problem.  If this sounds fun to you, here’s a link to one that totally fits the bill:  Military Pin Up Adult Costume found at Celebrate Express.

Last of all….we just HAD to include this genuis idea that fellow Diva Corie did for HER husband before sending him off for two years.  Here she is…

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HOLIDAY WRAP-UP

When you truly love someone, time or distance can’t really separate you….

It doesn’t seem like so long ago that my husband was gone for two years. Before he left, I couldn’t help but think of all the special events we would miss together such as birthdays, holidays, anniversary’s, etc. I didn’t want to miss a second of anything without him. So….my mind went to work! Before my husband left, I planned a special date night that allowed us to celebrate some of the special times we would miss. I used my parent’s basement and set up several different stations centered around each holiday, birthday and special event we would not be together. At each station, I tried to create an activity, meal, present or use something that represented that event. I used all of my holiday decorations to give this date night an authentic feel. I created little signs for each holiday/event. Starting in January, we would take a tour through each event

As the date night started, we first visited the New Year’s station. We watched the ball drop online from a previous year. We set goals together and even enjoyed some sparkling cider. After New Year’s, we were fast on our way to Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s: The Valentine’s station did not disappoint with a romantic, candlelit dinner for two. We also enjoyed looking through photo albums recalling all of the fun things we had done together. This station was also filled with rose petals and was the perfect setting for a slow dance.

St. Patrick’s Day: This station was all about GREEN and LUCK! There was a green wrapped present awaiting my husband. When he opened it, it was a LUCKY key chain for him to take for extra luck while he was gone.

Easter: At this station we enjoyed an Easter egg hunt. Now, this wasn’t your normal hunt. I decided to have him go on a hunt for things that he could use while he was gone. For example. a few of the eggs contained postage stamps. My husband’s big find at the end of the hunt was a new set of stationary and pens. (P.S. Yes, this was before email was being used by everyone!)

The Anniversary: At this station, I presented my husband with 365 little notes. On each note, I had written a one-sentence memory of our lives together. This turned out to be on the of the greatest things I did! He took all of the notes with him (which actually fit into a office sized envelope). Each week when he would write me a letter, he would include three of the memories I had written and he would write a comment on the back side of the memory. Wow, this truly help keep the flame burning remembering all the big and little things that made us the couple that we were. I still have the notes to this day. I know my children will enjoy reading these special love notes/memories when they are older!

4th of July: Oh, this station truly sparkled! We went outside for this one! We enjoyed lighting sparklers and spelling out secret love messages in the air for each other.

Halloween: This station was spooky! We actually watched a scary movie on this one…remember the movie, Sixth Sense? There isn’t a better way to get scared and cuddle with the one you love!

Thanksgiving: At this station we enjoyed a slice of pumpkin pie! We also talked about all the things we were thankful for. Sometimes when life seems to be hard, when you stop and think of all the things that are going good, it helps to give you a better outlook.

Christmas: The final station on our tour was Christmas. I had a small tree set up and a few gifts underneath. Some of the gifts included, a homemade t-shirt with my picture on it, a photo frame with the two of us together and a few useful items that my husband was going to need while he was gone.

Even though this wasn’t the real thing, it gave us a chance to celebrate and to somewhat enjoy some of the things we were going to miss.

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Still wanting more ideas for things that are sure to remind him of you and home?  Just check out our Craft Tutorials section.  There’s gonna be somethin’ just perfect for you.

To top it all off, we are having a…

* Giveaway *

….to give back to our deserving military families {especially the kids!}

Jerilyn Marler is giving away 3 {Yes, 3!} autographed copies of her book “Lily Hates Goodbyes”!!

This adorable book is perfect for any child with a parent in the military.  To catch a preview, just see this detailed video on You Tube.

In case you don’t win one {don’t forget you have triple the chance!} or just don’t wanna wait, you can always purchase this book on Amazon.com for a great price too.

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In order to enter this giveaway you or your spouse must:

*You or your spouse should be a service member in the US military, or a Veteran of the US Military.

*Be a subscriber of The Dating Divas by joining our newsletter at the top right hand of this page.

*Be a Facebook fan of The Dating Divas.

*Leave one comment on this post which will enter you into the giveaway.

Extra Entries:

1- Spread the word to your military friends and family about this giveaway, via Facebook.

2- Stumbleupon this post.

3- Add our Dating Divas button to the side of your blog.

4-Add YOUR favorite date idea of ours to your Pinterest board!

Go ahead and leave a separate comment for each extra entry you do.

Giveaway ends on July 15th at 11:59pm PST.

We know there’s no way around these goodbyes, but we’ll be darned if we can’t find ways to soften them!

We love and appreciate our military families!

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Recent Comments

31 Responses to “Military Week: Saying Goodbye”

  1. Shaylise says:

    I added your button to my blog!

  2. Laurie says:

    One thing I did for my hubby was to get the whole family (including his siblings and parents) to write on little strips of paper reasons why we love him. Enough for one per day of the deployment. Then I put them all in a little can and decorated it up with scrapbook paper and stamped “I love you because…” on the outside (the writing on the slips of paper finished the sentence). I added a mini stapler and extra staples. The idea was for him to pull out one per day and staple them all into a long “love chain.” He generally got too busy to remember to do it every day, but on days that were particularly hard, he would pull several out at a time and read them. He said it really helped lift his spirits to read them on those days when he needed a little extra lovin’.

  3. Mary Bird says:

    I would love to win this book, I have 2 small kids and their dad is deployed.

  4. When my husband deployed, one of the things I sent him that he still treasures was a small ornament that I sent him and a tiny Christmas tree. He is the only one that can hang that ornament on the tree every year. I also made him a pillow case with pictures of us and places special to us, I printed the photos out on iron on transfer paper. We also always started each phone call with, “I love you,” in case the call would drop or something worse. If I won this book I would be giving it to my single mom friend who just joined the Navy to try and better her life for herself and her daughter.

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