Sunday, July 29, 2012

Care packages from a 7-month deployment

My husband went on his second, seven-month deployment last year and came back right after I graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

Deployments suck. They suck for the military service members, when they're stuck in the desert and they especially suck for those back home.  Ryan and I spent 2-3 months of our first year of marriage physically together and that was tough.  So to make up for lost time, I did what I do best...craft.
Our USPS is kind enough to provide free boxes and shipping supplies to send care packages and I stocked up on so many boxes.  The postal office on our campus soon became familiar with who I was and you could often see me carrying a box to class and walking to the post office once classes were done.  I learned how to pack a mean care package and by mean, I'm referring to extra-packed with love and entertainment.

Some things I would recommend to make your job on the homefront easier would be to invest on the things you're going to need.  I stocked up on goodies from Amazon and with a student prime account, shipping was free.  I got everything from hand/feet/body warmers to baby wipes because the guys rarely got to shower.  If there was a sale on socks at Target or Walmart or even Walgreens (that was surprising), I bought in bulk.  I also invested in a Cricut, which creates diecuts out of scrapbook paper.  As much as I love my Cricut, I would have rather invested in a Silhouette America because those things are awesome! Nevertheless, I used that Cricut religiously and also had two stacks of 50+ scrapbook papers for my decorating enjoyment.  If Walgreens or Shutterfly is having a deal on 4x6 prints, use those and save those pictures for care packages later on.  I also started taking more selfies (oh hail Myspace) because my husby always wanted pictures of me.  Anything for husby ;)

My very first care package and first time using the Cricut.

A movie-themed care package as part of his birthday surprises. There was a DVD, which I got from Target for $5, movie-theater style candy and a copy of, "The Hunger Games." I received a phone call from him later on making sure that I had the rest of the trilogy for him to read ;)

Ryan loves to read so this care package was dedicated solely to books. In the basement of our university bookstore were thousands of books available for half off their cover price. 

This was supposed to be his homecoming care package but of course, Semper Gumpy (aka remain flexible) because instead of coming home early, they ended up staying a full seven months. Worst news ever!  He loves Marilyn Monroe and Katy Perry so the walls of the box were lined with pictures of both of those ladies.  One of my favorite things was the banner I made using my Cricut.  It was super easy using a circle tool and ribbon.

My "Damn You AutoCorrect" Care Package.

Easter- underneath the grass were some essentials he needed. Instead of packing my own eggs, I bought some from the Easter aisles that already had pre-packaged candy.

The second care package I made and it's based off of Beyonce's song, "Countdown."

Another one of Ryan's birthday care packages. I made him a "birthday meal" with tortillas, minute rice, beans, etc. and there was enough to share with his friends.

Winter-themed care package that says, "no amount of time with you will be enough, but we'll start with forever." Yeah, it's a Twilight quote. Don't hate, there's a reason why those books do so well with young women ;)

Christmas care package that has a helluva lot of socks.

"I am miss yo . J st to let yo  know." haha get it?

Song lyrics, just a basic care package with lots of lovin'
St. Patrick's Day Care Package (Ryan and I both have Irish families). It says, "Here's to: A long life and a merry one, a quick death and an easy one, a pretty girl and an honest one, a cold beer and another one!"

Valentine's Day! There's a little pocket with "10 Things I Love About You"



  1. So I totally just found this on Pinterest and was SO sad it didn't have any comments! This post is perfect! you definitely just bumped up my game for LDR care packages. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words! The best thing about care packages is simply receiving them. I loved being creative with mine because I knew Ryan would just love it.

  2. I also can't believe you're not flooded with comments! My husband and I were just married so we're finally together when he's not at sea but for the last two years I've been coming up with crafty projects and packages for him. I love all of your ideas! Best of luck to you and your Marine <3

    1. Ryan just finished his contract with the Marine Corps, so I don't really have a need to make super crafty care packages. I'm considering signing up for an organization that needs additional ones because I absolutely loved putting them together. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post :)

  3. This is amazing. Repinning and sharing :)

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate the re-pin :)

  4. Hopefully my hubby never saw your hubby's pacakages while he was over there ;). Those are amazing! I may just have to get in one amazing package before he returns. Thanks for all of the ideas!

    1. Haha I was always afraid of that. Ryan was in charge of a few young Marines who would always call me "mom," so I would send them a few items especially for them because you can't be a mom without spoiling your kids ;)
      I'm so happy for you and your husband's return! Have fun putting together that last care package (woot woot)! Homecomings are the best!

  5. Hi Kimberly -

    I am just curious when making these awesome care packages, how did your husband open them without ripping the pictures or your hard work. Typically they open them up with a knife or scissors. Just curious.

    1. Hi Stephani! Thanks for the comment and great question. The boxes that I used were from USPS and I split up the decorating of each box by only decorating the box's panels. That way when the box was taped up, the top panels met in the middle and my husband cut through the tape without ruining the decorations. This is how I decorated each care package and regardless of how it was decorated, the box's top panels naturally create that divide on the top perfect for taping shut.