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August 2018

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Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and powerful words.


Hi Karen I have just finished readin The Soldier's Wife by Joanna Trollope which is about British troops returning from Afganistan. I was thinking about your writing when I was reading it and it made me realise that the troopd do not return to normal life immediately they are home. As always, thank you for feeling able to share the not so good times in your life with us.


wouldn't it be nice if homecomings were as simple as they look on tv? Service member comes home to smiles, signs, balloons, hugs and tears, and they all live happily ever after?? *sigh* reality isn't nearly as tidy though. Good for you guys working through, talking things through, and you blogging and sharing the wonderful and the hard times!! There are some good books on making these transitions that have been helpful in our family (especially if you have any future deployments on the horizon). Hang in there. You guys will find your normal. It will never be exactly the same as it was, but you will find a new normal!


Karen, my husband has been home for two years now, and only now am I learning about some of his experiences. He, too, was not "in action" most of the time. His job keeps him on a base most of the time. But bases are not always safe, quiet, or comfortable places to be. I've had to learn to be flexible with him. But it is good. We are good.

One tip: Go camping for the 4th of July this year. Or at least somewhere away from fireworks and booming neighborhoods. As patriotic as our family is, this has become our least favorite holiday.

Blessings and peace to you all. You have friends in Eugene (home of the Ducks, sorry) if you ever want them!


My patient who is in the National Guard (Army) was in Afghanistan (in the mountains 7400 feet above sea level) for a year said the same thing. He is also a policeman in our town and had about 3 months off between coming home and returning to work. I thought having that much time off between jobs was impressive, but he said they do it for servicemen and women to be able to acclimate themselves back to a "normal" life. He said even though he faces death every day being a policeman, it's still hard adjusting to the routine stuff when you've had a machine gun strapped to your body and sleep with one eye open for a year.

Y'all are gonna be fine...and soon!! Hang in there Nellie and Josh Downs!! <3

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May God continue to watch over you and that you continue to seek Him with all your heart. Bless you.


And what a special post....loving your normal....loving how you appreciate it...loving how you document it....loving that ordinary is extraordinary.


Beautiful photos as usual and I can understand why you thought the way you did....I also understand from military wives is that while the husbands are deployed they get into their new "normal" as well and then when the husband comes home they have to fit in all over again even though you both want to be together. It is tough on relationships and emotions and I thank you for your open and honest thoughts. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


wow I can't even begin to imagine. all I can say is you are a strong woman and I really admire you and all the other spouses and families that go through military deployments. bless all of you. gorgeous photos and beautiful words.


These pictures are so sweet! Pretty much everything I experienced with Brian being in the military went like that- people tell you what it will be like, and you think you're prepared, but until you experience it, there's just no way to know. So glad that you're at the even better than normal time!


I've been thinking of you a lot lately. I know I'm lucky that I get to see my hubby on the weekends but for 16 weeks, he's at the police academy in Salem. Its tough being the only parent to 3 small children & especially tough when he's here on weekends. We do an adjustment period weekly. I can only imagine what you and josh are going through. Or the kids. They panic when he leaves the room.

Nicky H

Thanks for being honest about this. My husband deploys for the first time in about 2 weeks. I'm more worried about him returning than what he'll go through while he's gone.

Jona Panesa

those are sweet photos. cherish every moment.

Nicky from Canada

Glad the normalcy is returning.


So well put, so true.


So glad to hear that normal is starting to come back. We are at the 6 month point since my husbands return from his first deployment and wow was that ever a pull a rug out from under you experience! I too thought we would be the exception and everything would fall back into place. I cried more after he returned than while he was away. Thankfully it takes time and understanding on both sides to finally find that happy "normal" place again. Hang in there....((((HUGS))))



Cindy B

My son was deployed in Iraq, as a Marine, boots on the ground, as they say. When he came home, I knew my son had left part of himself back in that sand in Iraq. His normal would be different, but he did find a new normal again. He and his wife are doing well, I'm so thankful she was understanding and gave him time to work things through. Life is good for them, and sounds like your family is headed in the right direction. We love our military families and always keep them in our prayers.


I can not even imagine the changes and sacrifices of being an Army family.
I hope better than normal becomes your normal!


This just made me smile...and remember so many people are praying for your family. Normal is wonderful!!!

Kirsten J

Yep. My only perspective is my girlfriend's husband was a fisherman. And he'd take off to Alaska for months at a time. Really tough transitions when he returned. Until he finally bought his own boat, and then that was a whole new can of worms. For me, my husband worked from home for 12+ years and when he had a job change and was suddenly gone for 10 or more hours a day, I missed him so much. Funny how we each live in our own realities. Excellent capture on the normalcy, btw :)


I stumbed across your blog when i was looking at the photography blog that posted my senior pictures back in september. I have been following ever since, and it is so refreshing to see how your family lives life and you tell it like it really is. This post tugged at my heartstrings because im going through a little different time in my relationship where we had to sit down and talk about the hard things. and it indeed is, very wonderful, very hard, and definitely not normal.

But then you see little things like that. And its Christ's way of putting you at peace and telling you that everything is definitely going to be alright.

Another thing i wanted to mention was seeing how your relationship with Ross is and has evolved. My parents are together and we do not have a blended family, but my relationship with my mom is very similar to yours with Ross. I can only hope to have that kind of relationship with my kids when i have them.

Your blog is so inspiring. You would be surprised how often it has brightened my day throughout this long process.

Keep Chuggin' along. God has a beautiful plan

(I couldn't find your email, so i had to post a comment:)

Kim S.

I wondered...I thought I saw a hint of something in your blog photos lately. Like a distance in Josh's eyes, but the LOVE is always there! Gotta love normalcy....hang in there Downs family. We're all pulling for ya'!


YOu are so brave to talk about this...we (as in Non military families) have NO IDEA how much sacrifice Military family have to do and the consequences of these commitments.

peace to you and your family....


I'm not old enough to have any experience on this, and not wise enough to offer any comfort, but I am faithful enough to pray for you and so the next few nights my prayers are yours.


Love this post.

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Ich fragte mich ... Ich dachte, sah ich einen Hauch von etwas in Ihrem Blog Fotos in letzter Zeit. Wie eine Distanz in Joshs Augen, aber die Liebe ist immer da! Gotta love Normalität .... dort Downs Familie hängen. Wir alle ziehen für ya '!

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Sehr gute Arbeit. Ich stolperte über einen Blog und wollte sagen, dass ich wirklich genossen Mitglieder in Ihrem Blog.

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Great write-up. The visual material presented right here is definitely of pretty high quality.


How lovely! Made me happy to read this. Love the way the photos tie in wonderfully with your words.

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Dieser Artikel basiert auf ist bookmark wert meiner Meinung nach. Es lohnt sich Sparen für späteres Nachschlagen auf. Es ist faszinierend zu lesen mit vielen gültige Punkte für Kontemplation. Ich habe auf fast jedem Punkt in diesem Artikel gemacht zustimmen.

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And the truth is....You are going to rock that tri this weekend. YEA Karen!!!

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Oh mylanta... A little Annie! Adorable.

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