My husband's deployment recently hit the 100 days mark! It was an exciting day for us. Though we hadn't discussed the countdown with one another, ironically we both remarked that day that we had reached 100 days. While my husband was counting down the blocks on his calendar, I was watching my iphone app. During his last deployment (2 years and 3 cell phones ago), I did not have the luxury of a convenient phone app to tell me how many days we were into the deployment or how many were left. So at night, while laying in bed, I would count the days on my phone calendar. Just knowing how close he was to coming home comforted me and always helped me to fall asleep. Thanks to technology, I no longer have to count every block on my phone calendar...I have a simple and free app that quickly tells me how long I have til he returns! I just hit the app button and ta-da, there is a photo of my hubby and the days left before he returns for good. It's a free app, so I cannot put more than one countdown on there. Otherwise I would also include the days left til R&R, as well as the days he's been gone. But I'm cheap, I'm not paying $1.99 when the freebie is sufficient. The phone app is called Big Day Lite and can be found here.
Here's a screen shot of mine (For OPSEC reasons, the countdown in this photo is not correct)
If you are lucky enough to own a mac, you can download a free countdown widget for your dashboard, which can be found here.
If you do not own a mac, first let me say that I'm sorry...macs are amazing (but that's another blog another day), secondly I'll tell you that you aren't out of luck on countdown widgets for your PC. When I had a PC a few years ago, I used the military deployment countdown clock found here. I'm sure there are better ones out there now though.
Now, in case you live under a rock and do not own a smart phone nor a computer, there is still another way to keep up with the deployment countdown without an actual calendar. You can purchase a desk countdown clock. This clock is actually customized for an army, navy, marines, or airforce deployment! It comes with 4 faceplates and it costs about $13 and can be found here.
However, if you are crafty (or just a cheap person) like me, you can always make your own like the one shown here that I found on etsy.
All you need is a blank wooden picture frame (from a craft store), chalkboard paint, different colored paints, chalk, and a creative mind. I think this is really cute and I know my son would have fun changing the days on it every day. I think I'll make one soon. If it comes out cute enough, maybe I'll put some on my own etsy site. I don't think mine will come out this cute though.
I also found this cute one here.