I won’t say that deployment is enjoyable – in fact, you all know it is far from that. However, in my typical optimistic get-it-done fashion (when I’m not feeling sick or tired, that is) I choose to make the best of the situation and for me that usually means creating something. So bring on the care packages. Sending my husband a box of goodies not only makes me feel like I’m “doing something” but helps give my energies and focus a creative outlet, while at the same time being one of the few ways in which I can send a little fun and joy to the husband overseas.
As with all my endeavors, I started out by looking for a few ideas on Pinterest to get me started (see my Care Package Pinterest Board HERE) and quickly had more than enough ideas to get me through the next few months and well beyond. I realized I could quickly spin out of control (and spend a lot of money) if I didn’t develope a bit of a system so I am reining myself in and only sending one Flat Rate package every two weeks. I knew I wanted to specifically include a few things like some Open When Envelopes and a Long Distance Date Night idea at least once a month (more on both of those soon) along with treats and snacks, that I wanted to make it upbeat and comical as much as possible, and that I wanted to include some involvement from the kids every time. And as an unique signature, I am including a couple oversized Kisses in each package. (I’m not sure if he’s noticed – he hasn’t commented on them so far)
The first care package I put together was a bit random. I had considered doing some sort of Deployment Survival Kit, but in the end we went with kind of an eclectic selection of items for the first box. My husband’s first request was for drink mixes as they almost exclusively only have access to bottled water so I made sure to include a selection of those (and will continue to add a few to every package from here on out) as well as a couple of fun treats.
If you have spent even a little time online looking at care package ideas, I’m sure you’ve run across the concept of the “open when” envelopes. I think this is a great idea and knew I wanted to include a small set of these in the first care package we sent off. Half a dozen envelopes seemed like a good goal so I picked my top six favorite themes for the envelopes (I will post detail photos of what I put in each one soon!).
My topics included:
Open when – you’re missing me, you’re missing the kids, you’re feeling stressed, you’re feeling sick, you’re having a good day, and when you need to laugh.
Next up was an Open When envelope for Valentines Day, since we sent out this package around the end of January.
We included hand-made Valentines from the kids, a couple of printable funny Valentines cards from me, a small box of chocolates (a must for V-day), a cute little stuffed animal and a DIY Balloon Bouquet.
Kaitlyn made the cute little tag and I made sure he was drenched in perfume 😉
For the balloon bouquet, we inflated each balloon and wrote a note or something fun on each one then let the air out so we could ship them without taking up much room. The husband can then inflate them to read the messages.
As I mentioned, it is also my intention to include some sort of “date night” once a month. I went with an easy one for this first box – watching one of our latest TV obsessions. We recently discovered the Arrow series on Netflix and it has been our custom to put the kids to bed, grab a treat we don’t want to share with the kids, and watch something on TV we wouldn’t necessarily want the kids to watch with us. So I figured why not recreate that in a care package friendly form? I know my husband has access to Netflix and Hulu, so it was a simple matter to find a few funny Arrow memes and put them in an envelope with a snack bag of popcorn and some hot chocolate mix (mint flavored since the packaging is green).
In previous deployments I don’t remember spending much time on decorating the box, but it seems to be the trend right now to add some decorations to the inside of the box – and I’m always up for adding a little more cute-ness and fun, right? So decorate the inside we did. I used THIS TUTORIAL for attaching gift wrap to the inside of the box – which is pretty much just taking apart the box and adhering the wrapping paper, then putting the box back together. Easy.
Obviously my wrapping skills need a tiny bit more practice, but I thought message in the bottom of the box is a nice touch, don’t you?
And there is the final product. It felt a bit like playing Tetris but I was able to fit everything inside the box, perfectly. Not bad for a first attempt. I’m sure there will many more to come in the next few months. Any guesses on what my next theme will be?