May is National Military Appreciation Month. I have so much respect for the men and women who serve and protect our country, but I also have that same level of respect for the men and women at home, who are supporting our heroes.
I’ve been honored to dress many little ones for their mom or dad’s military homecoming (and twice, my friend Jen’s little girl!), but I don’t think I ever had a real and complete appreciation for this sacrifice until sitting down with Candace Schmitt, who is featured here on the blog today.
Candace is wife to Keith, and mom to two beautiful little ones. Keith has been serving in our military for 6 years, and in that time, Candace has learned a lot about being a military wife. We were fortunate enough to dress her precious daughter in the Rebecca dress for Keith’s homecoming a couple of weeks ago, and I’m excited to share her story today. Hopefully, through her Q&A, we’ll all have a better understanding of what it’s like for her and others in her position day to day. We honor her family today, and thank Keith for her service. <3
Friday Five with Candace Schmitt in Honor of National Military Appreciation Month
When did you and your husband meet?
We actually rode the bus together in elementary school and we were in the same first and fifth grade classes. We started dating after our first year of college when we re-met
How long has be been in the military?
He commissioned 6 years ago.
What has your experience as a military wife been? What are the best parts, and what are your struggles?
Being a military wife can feel lonely. Often times it feels like you’re isolated but at the same time you make the best of friends. Having two children and a husband that is gone means a lot of single parenting and a heaping amount of patience. God gives me rest when I need it and gives me strength. He never leaves me alone. Ultimately I feel PRIDE! I feel proud to stand beside my husband as he serves this awesome country! I’m proud to live here and I am thankful for the men and women who serve and especially the ones who paid the ultimate price.
Tell us about Homecoming day. What was the experience like, and what was going through your mind?
Wow, where do I begin? There is nothing quite like homecoming day. My mind and heart were racing. I kept telling my sister in law to feel my heart beat because it was bursting out of my chest! All I could think about was kissing him. The way it would feel to be in his arms. It had been 6 1/2 months, 200 days and all I wanted to do was lay eyes on him.
What was the best part of that day?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with our son Noah, he turned 3 in March. I wasn’t sure if he would be confused or excited to see daddy. When I saw Keith’s plane in the distance, I looked over at Noah and said “bug, daddy is on that plane!” He stared at me in disbelief for several seconds until he realized I was serious. “He started running around and screaming “daddy, my daddy is on that plane. My daddy is home!” I’m pretty sure everyone around us melted at that very moment. For the first time, I realized he understood. All the sacrifices a military child makes and here I thought he was too young to really comprehend. Later when we ran to hug Keith he was screaming “daddy”. His little heart was bursting with excitement!
What have you been doing together since he came home?
Catching up on things around the house I let go while he was gone for over half a year! No, but truthfully he’s been replacing light bulbs and air filters and fixing things. Also, a lot of hugs and kisses for everyone! One of our favorite things to do as a family is spending time outside and playing sports. Keith and Noah have been playing a ton of soccer. My favorite thing to do with him home is fall asleep next to him every night and wake up and see his face. It’s still so surreal that our second deployment is finally complete and we can be together as a family. We are so blessed and thankful!