Remember that feeling you would get when you were a kid of something happening that was so exciting that you couldn't sleep the night before? For me it was the night before Six Flags each year.  I remember one particular sleep over at a friend's house in JR High, we stayed up all night doing each other's make-up (and when I say doing each other's make up, it wasn't pretty - boy I wish I had pictures of that!) and then we were up, dressed, ready to go and waiting outside HOURS before my sister-in-law was to pick us up.  Ahh, I have that feeling again!  Something so exciting is happening that I feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest.  After a long year apart Hubby is on his way home.  The excitement is almost more than I can bear.  

Along with all that excitement comes so many more feelings, thoughts and questions that run through my head....Here is a sample of what goes through my head as my spouse returns from war: 

*What will I wear to the reunion?
*Will he still think I am beautiful, I mean this deployment has taken it out of me, I have more wrinkles than I could ever imagine, I'm not at my perfect weight, I can't seem to get rid of those dark circles under my eyes, and THANK GOD for hair color!
*Oh gosh, the house has to be perfect...."Don't walk on the floors!"
*Crap, I have to clean off the desktop of our computer - he can't stand all my files being right out in the open.
*What will the kids wear?
*How will he adjust to being in such a rambunctious house after living in a chew all by himself for over a year?
*I really need to get the tires on his jeep rotated.
*I wonder how much he has changed. 
*I hope I haven't changed too much.
*What will I fix for dinner on his first night here?
*Will things between us be weird?
*Will he mess with the A/C? I hope he remembers how cold I like to keep the house.
*OH CRAP, I can't remember his favorite soda....Diet Coke, or Diet Cherry Coke?
*WHY can't I find Singha in this God forsaken town?!?!?  That is all the man has asked for!
*Will we mold back together as parents and have a united front as we once did?
*Will the kids play us against each other?
*Why do my children seem so calm when I feel like I could have a panic attack at any moment?  Is something wrong with them, or me?
*I just said "my children" - oh no, what does that mean?  Am I too independant?
*Why am I sitting at this computer when I should be cleaning?
*I'm used to living alone, being the boss, how is he going to fit back into our family?
*I really need to fill those picture frames hanging on the wall.
*I really need a manicure and pedicure, but I don't think I will have time.
*OH, I really need to shave my legs.
*Will the kids like him more than they like me?
*Will he be happy to be home or will he want to run away?
*Will I be happy to have him home or will I want to run away?
*Will friends and family understand that we need and want family time without having people tugging at us from all different directions?
*Will he still love me?

Isn't that crazy?! I can't believe I (and so many other spouses) put myself through this, but each and every time Hubby deploys for extended periods of time I go through these feelings of happiness, excitement, uneasiness and straight up fear!   I know everything will be fine. It may or may not be a tough adjustment (every deployment is different), but I know we will make it through another reintegration cycle.  As it says at the top of my blog, we are....
Army Family, Army Strong.  

Rainbow trout is one of our favorite freshwater fish.  When we lived in Colorado Hubby would fish for these often so I was thrilled when I ran across these bad boys at HEB the other day.  I like cooking them in foil packets on the grill.  This is a super-easy and super-fast dinner!  
Rainbow Trout
Lemon Pepper
Garlic Salt
Creole Seasoning
Lemon wedge

Cut a piece of foil big enough to make a packet out.  Put fish on foil and sprinkle inside and outside of fish with all seasonings.  (I have no idea how much, just sprinkle.)  Add 3 -4 pats of butter, 1 on the inside of the fish and  2-3 on outside.  Roll foil packets up  and seal well.
Like this: 
Place on preheated grill (about 400 degrees) and cook on each side for 8-10.
Fish should be nice and flaky.
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to cooked fish.
OH how we all love this pie!  I've only made it a handful of times but each time I do it is a hit! This time I made it with semi-sweet chips instead of milk chocolate and I must say I like it SO MUCH better!   Next time I think I will try it with dark chocolate.  Mmmm.....
Your favorite pie crust
1/3 -1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
2 pounds fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 TBL corn starch

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2-1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar (depending upon how sweet you want your whipped cream.

Cook your pie shell, as soon as you remove it from the oven put chocolate chips in a single layer on top of the crust - wait for 3-5 minutes or untill chips are shiny, then smooth out over the pie shell.  Set aside and let cool. 
Cut 1 pound of the strawberries into quarters.  Arrange the cut  strawberries in the bottom of the cooled pie shell.
Put the remaining pound of strawberries & 3/4 cup of sugar in a sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat.  Muddle (mash) the strawberries & sugar.  Bring to a boil muddling & stirring constantly.
In a small bowl whisk together water and cornstarch.  Add cornstarch mixture slowly to the slightly boiling strawberry concoction. Reduce heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens, maybe 2-4 minutes. 

Pour strawberry mixture over the cut strawberries, put in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour. 
To make the whip cream, put 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl turn your mixer on high and
let it whip.  Once the whipping cream starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes, add confectioner's sugar - continue adding to taste.  
I had two slices for breakfast this morning.  :o)  Someone please come get the rest of it....
A coule of weeks ago my friend Tracy found a recipe for Jelly Bean Martini's and instantly thought of me (hummm....).  She read the recipe to me (thinking I would retain what she had read out loud - ha!) and she even went out and bought some of the ingredients.  Tonight she brought over the ingredients had she bought - at this point I ask for the recipe to which she replied, "Oh, I left it somewhere, but no worries, we can look it up online." HA! That was a flop, so we decided to make up our own version of a recipe she found in some magazine that I can't remember the name of  - (it was either Women's World or Women's Day or maybe even Maximum - who knows!). So, she had Citrus Vodka, Ginger Ale & marshmallow bunny Peeps. I had colored sugars & Jelly Beans. We remember something else was in the recipe, but for the life of us we couldn't remember exactly what it was, but we think it was Grand Marnier and since I had that in my liquor cabinet that is what we used.

I must say our concoction was pretty freaking FABULOUS!

2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Grand Marnier
1-2 oz Ginger Ale
8 Jelly Beans
Colorful Sugar Rim
Peeps Bunny

~Sugar the rim as pictured
~Put Jelly Beans in the bottom of your martini glass
~Shake Vodka & Grand Marnier in a Martini shaker till nice and cold. Pour into prepared Martini Glass, add a splash of cold Ginger Ale, add a Peeps Bunny to the glass and serve! 

Happy Easter!