Christmas Eve has always been one of my favorite nights filled with family traditions and love. If that wasn’t enough, four years ago Rob proposed to me on Christmas Eve. He had an ornament made asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. How could a girl deny such romance?

Rob was deployed during Christmas two years ago when I was pregnant with Parker. It wasn’t too bad for me because I was able to go home to New Jersey but I knew it was hard on him. This deployment was much harder and I found myself leading up to this evening with, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” stuck in my head. I wanted nothing more than for my family to be whole on Christmas Eve. I am so fortunate that my soldier came home to me a few days ago and I can spend the evening in his arms.

We are celebrating one last Christmas Eve in New Jersey with my parents and sister. It feels like Christmas here because it is all I have ever known. Our Christmas Eve is Chinese takeout dinner, exchanging ornaments, drinking recipe by the fire, reading Soldiers Night Before Christmas, leaving cookies for Santa, and wrapping last minute gifts.

I know that there are many families who will be celebrating Christmas apart this year. I just wanted to say thank you for your service and sacrifice. You will be on my mind and in my heart.