Welcome to Part 4 of my Things to do During Deployment Series! (If you missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3, you can check them out here!) This series is an in depth look at my Deployment Bucket List, a list I made of 100 things to do while my husband was on a 15-month hardship tour to Central America.
Although the Deployment Bucket List was one of the first things I published on the blog, I get questions about it all the time. So, I figured I would detail each bucket list item individually. Each part of this series gives you 20 of the items on my bucket list and how successful (or not) I was at completing each one.
People regularly ask for my advice on things to do during deployment. So, I figured I would lay it all out with as much detail as possible. Hopefully, it will help answer a lot of the questions that I get and inspire you to make a deployment bucket list of your own!
Here we go…again:
20 More Things to do During Deployment
#61 Visit a Town I’ve Never Been to Before
During his hardship tour, my husband was sent to Fort Bliss, Texas for training. The girls and I were lucky enough to be able to fly to El Paso to visit him while he was there. We decided to drive up to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and on our way we stopped in White’s City to take a picture with the aliens. Since I had never been there before, this stop satisfied this item on the Deployment Bucket List.
#62 Make a Welcome Home Sign
Because my husband wasn’t technically deployed, he returned to the States via a commercial airline. There wasn’t a big homecoming ceremony, but that didn’t mean that we were any less excited to see him after 15 long months. So, we made signs for the girls to hold at the airport on the day that he finally returned. (You can look here for instructions on how to make these homecoming signs.)
#63 Do 12 Random Acts of Kindness
During deployment, I did 12 random acts of kindness. They ranged from giving money to a friend in need to picking up litter during a walk. At first, I kept track of all of the deeds that I did and planned on posting a picture of the list of them. However, there were a few acts that I wanted to keep anonymous, so posted a picture of this quote instead. This was a bucket list item that I truly enjoyed doing. The kids were able to help with some of the acts and they enjoyed it too! I recommend random acts of kindness for every bucket list!
#64 Go on a Scavenger Hunt
I pinned a couple different outdoor scavenger hunts on Pinterest and compiled all of my favorite items onto one big list. The girls and I completed the hunt while on a mile-long walk around the lake. They loved looking for all of the items on the list and it was a good way to get outside and get some exercise.
#65 Finish Lyvi’s Baby Scrapbook
Unfortunately, I never took the time to finish the girls’ scrapbooks. Maybe on the next deployment
#66 Watch a Movie Long Distance with Heff
Thanks to wonderful technology (Netflix and Skype), we were able to watch a movie with our soldier even though we were thousands of miles apart. The girls loved watching cartoons with Daddy (and being able to eat snacks on the couch ). And it did our hearts good to do something ‘together’ for the first time in months.
#67 Celebrate Lainey’s 6th Birthday
Birthdays are hard when one parent can’t be there, but that doesn’t mean they have to be any less fun. Our unicorn-loving, bouncy-house-jumping girl had a blast at her 6th birthday party!
#68 Try 3 New Restaurants
I was able to make 2 trips to Honduras to visit my husband while he was stationed there. That meant getting to try all of the yummy Latin American food. These 3 pictures were taken at different restaurants we ate at on those trips, but it could easily be done at any local restaurants that you have never tried.
#69 Visit a Museum
When your dad is an Army mechanic and crew chief for Black Hawk helicopters, it is only natural that you would visit the Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The girls loved seeing all of the helicopters and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy all about them that night on FaceTime!
#70 Complete a Pinterest Fitness Challenge
I had grand plans to lose weight and get in shape during deployment. However, all of those plans got pushed to the back burner once I started working. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete any of the fitness goals that I set for myself on the Deployment Bucket List.
#71 Host a Game Night
I intended to invite people over to have dinner and play cards or board games. However, I just never took the time to do it. There were several times that I had people over for dinner and then we sat around and talked. I should have gotten out a pack of cards and had an impromptu game night, but I never thought about it.
#72 Go Fishing
The girls were able to squeeze in some fishing at a birthday party for their cousin and they loved it! We just caught little babies and let them go, but we had a good time. And that’s all that matters!
#73 Clean the Truck Before Heff Comes Home
I intended to give my husband’s truck a much-needed scrubbing before he came home, but it’s such a chore Thus, I procrastinated and it never got done.
#74 Spend Time with my Siblings
When I moved back to my hometown for my husband’s deployment, it was the first time I was living near any of my family in more than 5 years. I had to take full advantage of that and I tried to spend as much time as I could with my siblings.
#75 Watch a Parade
This picture was taken at the Little League Opening Day Parade. We saw other bigger Mardi Gras parades later in the year, but nothing in those parades was as cute as my girl waving to me on the sidewalk!
#76 Get a Massage
While my husband was in Honduras, I took a trip to visit him on the island of Roatan. But because we were headed into and out of 2 different countries, we couldn’t find flights on the same day. This meant that I had a whole day on the island by myself before I went home. I gladly spent some of that time getting a massage at one of the local spas. (If you want to learn more about our Roatan trip, check out this post!)
#77 Master 1 Difficult Yoga Post
Sadly, I didn’t meet any of my fitness goals for this deployment. Hopefully, next time I’ll be more diligent in this aspect of my bucket list next time around.
#78 Get a Concealed Carry Permit
I checked on prices and classes to get a concealed carry permit. However, there was never a class that I could make it to while I had a babysitter. I do plan on still getting this permit, it’ll just have to wait until my husband is home and can watch the kids for me.
#79 Get a Tan
I have the hardest time getting a tan….I usually just get more freckles But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t still try. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend plenty of time at the beach, lake, and pool with the kids, while working on my tan.
#80 Visit Coffeen Nature Preserve
I had plans to visit Coffeen Nature Preserve in Miramar Beach. However, after doing some research into it when trying to plan my trip, I decided it was too expensive. However, I was able to visit Pico Bonito Nature Preserve during my second trip to Honduras and decided it was a sufficient substitute for #80.
I was able to complete 14 out of these 20 items on my Deployment Bucket List! I knew when I began that I might not complete every item, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
Having a list of things to do during deployment motivated me to get out and do more. It encouraged me to spend more time with the people I love. And it helped pass the time until our family was together again. I encourage every military family to make a list of things to do during deployment!
Make sure you check back next week for Part 5 – the last installment of this series!