This year to celebrate Valentine's Day we are featuring the partners of RAF personnel – the stalwarts of the RAF family. Yvonne Costin, who lives at RAF Conningsby, tells us more in this blog.
I am married to Andrew who is a serving officer in the RAF Regiment, we have two children and at present we are living at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
Whoever thinks life as wife of a serving member of the RAF is easy?
Well I have a different opinion. It's not hard, but it’s different, interesting and challenging. Never a dull moment or is that just in our household? But I'll tell you one thing: the calendar is our alternative to the bible.
At times it can be quite difficult juggling Andrew being here one week, gone the next, children to care for and for me to hold down my own job, no routine of a nine-to-five life.
But then I was prepared for this lifestyle when we married, being ex -service myself. Andrew has now served for over 28 years so you would think it gets easier, but it doesn't. At least moving about every two years gives us a chance to de-clutter the house.
In the Costin household, Christmas celebrations have come and gone with a bang – not literally as everything is still working!
We have welcomed in the New Year not fully knowing what 2012 will have in store, many things have been planned, but then we have learnt over the past years, plans never really become reality until they have happened: never write anything in pen.
This obviously makes spending special occasions together even more difficult. There have been many milestones in our life that we have already spent miles apart, delayed or have just passed us by. It's always hard to be separated at these times, but then again, life goes on.
Now we're onto the next celebration: Valentine's Day. Andrew is still trying to find a definition for the word 'romance' and is convinced I have made the word up as a way to get him to buy me flowers!
It’s also one of those times when the children are home from school and we can have some family time, once I've found my way through a half term's worth of washing! Hopefully there will still be time to drag out the canoe or skis.
Later this year Andrew will be setting off on yet another six month operational tour. It feels strange to think we have discussed the plans for next Christmas already. We will still exchange special cards and gifts via the postal system. Being apart is always hard but I always look forward to him returning and once again being able to spend time together.
Three years ago Andrew was injured in Afghanistan. This was a major life changing event that could have ended so differently and I'd be writing a different story. This event changed the way that we live our lives.
It made us stronger as a family and we have learnt to make every day special. We enjoy the time we have together; we don't just wait for special dates on the calendar. I am immensely proud of Andrew and what he has achieved and all that he has done, and I wouldn't change anything.
By Yvonne Costin