Andrea Smith admits that being married to a military man isn't always easy, especially when your partner is deployed for the holidays. But six years of marriage and an adorable 3-year-old daughter named Charlotte later, Andrea's love for her husband, Staff Sergeant Andrew Smith, is stronger than ever. And if you need proof, start by taking a look at their family Christmas card, which was shot by photographer Leslie Owen. Andrea explained to POPSUGAR that despite being far away, she was determined to include Andrew in the holiday tradition:
"Not having him home with us in general is hard, but around the holidays, I find myself missing him so much more, but we do the best to make the most of it," she said. "I don't think you ever get used [to them being away]; we just develop a new routine to just through the deployment."
Andrea explained that she hopes her card will inspire other military families who aren't spending Christmas at home with their loved ones. "After a lot of thought, we decided to come up with something that not only brings some holiday cheer to those going through a similar situation as us but also share the awareness that there are still so many military families missing their loved ones during this holiday season. I just wanted to let them know they aren't going through this alone."
Including Andrew in the finished product required a little help from his fellow Marines in the photography department. He had a fellow soldier snap a photo and emailed it to his family back home. As far a finding a setting for Charlotte and Andrea to get their picture taken? That was the easy part. Andrea went with her daughter's favorite store of all time: Target. How sweet. And bonus points for creativity!