Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Traditions


Christmas Traditions

When your growing up Christmas is a magical time. All you think of is the presents, time out of school, and yummy treats. The magic is all around and you have all the faith in the world. As you grow up and realize the effort it goes into the magic. The time spent running around to stores, cooking, preparing, traveling, etc. All these things you still do because of the eyes of the children who look back at you the same way you did when you were a child to your parents. 

This year has made me stop and think back to a lot of the traditions we used to have when I was growing up. As a military family sometimes not everything can go the way you want it to. The days of hopping from family member to family members house on Christmas and having big family dinners have all but faded into history. Now your lucky if your within 500 miles of home if you are even on the same side of the world. So traveling back isn't always as easy as it used to be. Because duty days still exist. Stand down doesn't necessarily  mean you get the time off you want when there are so many in the same situation in your unit. They have kids too so you understand when they want the time off just as much as your husband or wife. But when you stop and think about it Christmas traditions may evolve but never truly change.

The family meals with family gathering around talking about old times are simply replaced with "famliy" meals. The meals with your military family gathered in whoever is house is hosting it this year. Your still with family so that hasn't changed. You just have people gathered around you may not have grown up with. The scene is still the same though. Women gathering around the kitchen bringing in dishes of homemade goodies. Talking about this and that, mostly shopping and kids. The men gathering around the TV watching whichever game is on, swapping stories of the good ole days and all the war stories. Kids running around playing and laughing trying to sneak treats from the kitchen. So things may have changed a bit but essentially the same. 

The life has it's ups and downs. No one ever said being a military family would be easy. If it was everyone would do it. But those that do have a few things many people would never imagine. We have family everywhere we go. Because no matter where the military takes you you are always part of a family that embraces you. You have decorations on your tree from your children and those who are like nieces and nephews even if they may have no blood relation. Your card collection goes up each year as you either move or change duty stations because each new duty station presents another set of new family members. 

So as much as we try to preserve old traditions we truly have been blessed with our own unique ones. While we may have our own traditions for our families that we do have the ones we share are just as special. Including others in our lives is an important part of the holiday season isn't it? After all the reason we celebrate is because a child was born to share himself to such an extent that we would have a reason to celebrate for centuries to come. Sharing, caring and giving of ourselves is part of what makes the season so special. 

So while our families may be far and our traditions may be sometimes not what we expect. They are just what they are supposed to be. Time spent with people we love and care about celebrating a special time. So no matter where you are or what you are doing from our family to yours Merry Christmas! May 2012 be a year of great blessing for each and everyone. Even if I don't know you personally you are part of our family because we are all in this life together. Thank you for sharing your time with us. God bless!

Shanda

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Falling into fall....

I was asked if I was ok because I hadn't posted on here in a while. Well in all fairness I am or rather should be. My husband returned home safely from deployment. That above all else is a victory.

I am also a full time nursing student which takes most of my time now days.

The truth is I just have avoiding writing anything down. Writing means you have to face your feelings. That is the last thing I want to do right now. When all you feel is like your falling everyday there is no real reason to write. Just dodge the landing. Landings are painful and generally permanent depending how long you have been falling.

So keep from thinking about falling or landing or drifting or whatever it is I am doing these days I spend most days lost in the kids, or school work, or something, anything to keep me busy. Then when I can't keep busy anymore I fall asleep. To get up and do it again. Get up worry about bills, kids, behaviors, family, school, husbands work, my lack of it, supper, laundry, dishes, homework, tests. This day in and day out. Feel guilty because there are family burdens at home you know you should be there to help with and aren't. You know you should help because you get reminded enough by your sister who also doesn't help but your the nurse and oldest so of course it is your responsibility. You are the experienced one in class everyone looks to for help even when you can't always give it because you have your own stress to deal with.For some reason your kids decided they don't want to be the good children they used to be anymore and start getting in trouble at school to the point you almost dread answering the phone. Your ex husband decides not only does he not want to pay child support he wants to make your life a living hell while doing so and at the same your husband's ex wife apparently got the same memo and decides that she wants to start causing problems as well.

No I may not be "OK" always. But is anyone's life perfect? No. I could spend my days continuing to spiral. Fortunately I have my 2 year old bright spot who keeps me laughing. I have friends in class who keep me motivated to get through the next 9 months we have left. And my husband who tells me everything will be ok. Yeah sometimes I want to cry and pitch a fit and make everything go my way ( or try ). However, there is a good chance that would not work. So why waste the time and energy?

I have come to find, in the last several weeks, that meditation and laughter works wonders. I can depend on myself more than ever. And my husband truly is the greatest man in the world. He proves it everyday. Even when I stress about everything he reminds me nothing is as bad as I make it out to be and we will get through it together.

So my new favorite thing to do is to fall into fall........ Falling in love everyday, Falling into happiness, Falling into new blessings, and Falling into new changes with open arms. Everything happens for a reason. Embrace change if it wasn't for change we would be stuck at start with not end in sight......... I personally want to pass go and collect my $200 :)

Master of Illusions

I sit sometimes and I think. I think about lots of things. What color is my mood ring gonna be today?...... What am I going to do to make myself laugh instead of cry today?........ Wonder what he is doing?....... Can I really do the things everyone says I can?...... Why do people think I'm superwoman when I am really not?...... What I feel like I have it together today and tomorrow when I get up coffee may make me completely lose it?... Yeah my mind never stops. I am a mom, a Navy wife, a nurse, a student, daughter, and sister. I don't know how to shut my mind off. Most days I try spending my day trying to fill it with positive thoughts. Rainbows and butterflies and all that good stuff. And I put on a good face most days, I laugh and cut up with friends and family. I smile and say everything is going to be ok, because as a wife that is what I do. As a military wife that is what I have no choice but to do. Yet when everyone leaves and I turn the lights off my mind becomes my enemy once again. I have had a feeling that not many understand. After all military members make up approximately 1% of the population and of that not all of the 1% have spouses or significant others. But those that are significant others know the feeling well. My mother described exactly how she felt as a spouse and daughter of the military and oddly enough it is exactly how I have felt these last months. It's called a black hole. Webster defines a black hole as this: a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that light cannot escape it and it is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star. Now I know in theory how I feel is not EXACTLY the same. However, my husband is the massive star in my life, aside from my children, and not having here makes me feel as if the world collapsed leaving no light or emotion left to escape from my body. I feel cold and alone most nights and even on my best of days the hard reality of walking up the stairs to the bedroom to see the bed half made and his pillow on my side is rather daunting. The strongest I can be evades me at bedtime. I spend most of my day avoiding my room.

I have spent most of my almost 31 years doing things alone even when I have had someone in my life. I have worked since I was 16. I had my first child at 18 and did most of the raising of her on my own. ( Yes her father helped some and still does but things happen and life doesn't go according to plan. And at 20 I was a single mom ) I lived through a hell of a marriage hiding to most everyone that knew me how horrible it really was. I survived divorce and raising two children on my own. Through all of what hard times I fell on, I still at least felt alive and had feeling regardless of what they may be ( sadness, anger, joy, etc. ), I had feelings. Now my world, even though it is still fully functional and running, is empty. Not permanently but still for now empty. The emotions I want to have are not there. I want to FEEL but my reason for feeling is fighting a war no one can win. No one ever WINS a war they just get through it. He does his job and does it well and for that I am VERY proud of him, but knowing how much he would rather be here only adds to my emptiness.

I know in my heart the feeling will go away. All I need are those strong arms to hold me again and my world will be once again back to normal. The thing is I have tried for months to figure out what was wrong with me. I am not the first nor the last to be a deployed service members spouse. So why is it so much easier for them. How can they be put all together and I fall apart at the seams. Well my friends I will tell you. You see what no one tells you is the magic of the ID card. Yes that is what I said ID card. This card gives you the power to be the master of illusions. What we do as spouses is become great illusionists. We show the public what they want to see. A proud spouse manning the home front with ease and make juggling 30 things look effortless. We do what has to be done and at the end of the day we get lost in ourselves. We have our 0200 crys ( not of course for anyone else to see because tears are NOT military issue ) we hug our pillows as we drift off to sleep and meet our spouse in the dreamland that exists during deployments. We take our superwoman hat off but only for those brief moments we ALLOW ourselves the luxury. Then the hat goes right back on and we show the world what it wants to see again. It is not a perfect system. We should not have be the one who bears the world on their shoulders, but we do because our spouses bear the world on theirs and marriage means bearing the load together. So we do what every good military wife does we suck it up and go on.

What I learned from this little awe inspiring moment is this: while what we do is support our husbands what we do is survive. We live the lives we want to live. We may have our black hole moments but eventually they pass. I may not be out of mine yet but I am working on it. The other thing I learned is we as spouses generally expect too much from ourselves. While I would LOVE to think I am more than capable of handling the things that go wrong without being phased by it, that is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. We expect that everything we do while our spouse are away must be perfect because they are giving it their all. Reality though is we are human ( shocking right? yeah I was kinda blown away too ) and as humans we are ENTITLED to NOT be perfect. A wise saying once was said. " To err is human, To forgive divine." The thing with this saying , and I am taking it out of context so bear with me, is this we are human and we will make mistakes but to forgive ourselves of these transgressions is heavenly. If WE can't forgive ourselves how can anyone else? Aren't we entitled to the same things the other 99% of the country is? The answer to both questions is yes. We do deserve it if we ALLOW ourselves to. All we need is more people to encourage each other to believe this.

I am not saying the nights are not still going to be lonely. They will be. Its not going to make everything ok but what it will do is take part of the load off our shoulders. We don't have to do everything ourselves. It is OK to ask for help sometimes. It is OK to have a cry because your lonely or EVERYTHING has went wrong today. Its OK that you feel like you will never feel the same way again. The key is knowing its ok to feel that way and then figure out how you want to take that energy and use it. Clean, start a hobby, walk, go be a crutch for another spouse, start a support group, or just get out a get some sunshine on your face. The energy used to degrade yourself is better put to use in finding a positive spin on the situation. Your life is what you make it. I have been told that so many times but it never rang true until now. If you sit and keep to yourself it will not get any better. Ask any spouse of at least a number of years. There are essential items that are needed for deployment, some they tell you and some they dont. Of course you need all the paperwork and numbers and lists. You also need at least 2 REALLY good friends that live near by. Did you count your shoulders? You have 2 thus why you need 2 good friends ( I call mine my chosen sisters ). You need them to be there D day, and for day 47 when everything hits you at once, and T minus 4-0 days when you can't keep yourself together long enough to remember your name much less the kids, camera, phone and car/house keys. You need a 15 minute block everyday to have YOU time. Meditate, sit and stare at the TV, Listen to music, or cry for 15 minutes everyday. Otherwise you lose yourself. Too many wives ( myself included ) put too much on what they feel like has to be done. The perfect everything. Perfect exists in 2 places : Heaven and Hollywood. Otherwise everything does NOT have to be perfect.

It may not happen overnight but if we take time and make ourselves a little imperfect maybe we can make our lives a little easier.Because in the end when the horrible time known as deployment is over there are two things that matter 1. He came home to you. and 2. He came home to you. Ask any service member and they will tell you it's not what you wear, or how things went while they were away, or what you will have to eat when you get home. ALL that matters is HE came home and YOU are who he came home to. The person you said your vows to only wants you at the end of a pier or on a bleacher or in an airport. So that all they went through gets left there and the world is right again for both of you. We may not be perfect and neither may your spouse but when all is right with your world its pretty dang close.

Monday, May 30, 2011

How do you do this?

I can't tell you how many times I have heard " I dont know how you do this."

 Sometimes I wonder how many times we all here that very same question. The thing is most people don't realize some days we ask ourselves that. How do I do this every day? How do I help the kids through this every day? How do you explain to them that people we do not know and never will, need daddy. How do you make a child understand that even though daddy loves us he loves his country too? Do they really understand? I think the answers sometimes surprise us. There are easy answers to those questions. We just dont always see the easy answers.
 How do I do this every day? - Well it starts by getting up. You decide to put your feet on the floor and do something. You may not have a choice because things must be done but you could have just as easily said it is too hard to make it without him. But you didn't. You make a list of what has to be done. Your life revolves around lists, and piles of paperwork, and calendars with three sets of numbers on them. You know what each number represents even if no one else does. These tasks that you fill your days with may be trivial to some but they get you through another day. They distract your mind and hinder the tears. So how do you do this every day? One day at a time. Because each day is different. And you can't get to the end result unless you make it one day at a time.
How do you help your kids through it? You give them tangible things to relate to. Kiss jars, their own calenders to  keep track of the days on, they have their daddy dolls, they write letters, and emails, when he can call you give them their own time with him. You do things to help keep them busy. And when they have a bad day you are there for them. Because you are their strength.
How do you explain to them that people we don't know need their daddy too? We all need him. There are people in this world who want to do bad things and your daddy is one of the many heros who gets to make sure they cant do bad things. He has a special job not everyone can have. He does things most people would never do so that we can do the things we like doing everyday. We all like to talk and say what we want to say, daddy helps make that possible. It may not always be fair because sometimes that means daddy has to miss birthdays and holidays but we get to live each day know that daddy is special. And we get to share him with people that are not as lucky as we are to get to know him. We get to hug him and give him kisses for all he does, not everyone knows everything he does so really we are the lucky ones.
How do you make a child understand that even though daddy loves us he loves his country too? You let them see him in uniform. That one is that simple. A serviceman even on a bad day looks proud in uniform. You let them know the story of why daddy joined. What they feel when they here the Star Spangled Banner. Or see a fly over. Or a flag at half mast. You tell them that daddy loves them above all else but he also loves what this country is about and that by serving he helps make it a better place for them.
Do they really understand? Watch them. Listen to them. You don't even have to ask them to get that answer. A military child is a special child. By the age of 3 they know how to properly salute. They know the difference in a M-60 and M-90. Why a boat goes underwater and a ship is above water. That it is not a Tomcat doing the fly over but it is a F/A 18. They can tell you the name and rank of their dad without missing a beat. They can tell you about every base they ever lived at in order. They know the words the the Star Spangled Banner by heart and will sing them loud and proud. They know to stand and cover their heart when it is played too. They know what a yellow ribbon family is and what a blue star stands for. Most importantly they will let anyone and everyone know that THEIR daddy is a solider. And above anything else HE is their hero. While other kids play with cars and super hero figures they are playing with tanks and GI Joes. They know what ACUs and NWUs are. When you take them to a public place and they do a salute to our Nations vets and active duty members they are quite and take it all in. But they have a gleam in their eye because they know 50,000 people are on their feet for their daddy. They will grow up with the knowledge that even though daddy has to say See you later sometimes it is because their are millions of people who need him to go do what he does. Yes they do understand. They understand way more than we will ever know.

So how do I do this? It's actually very simple. I do this because he does what he does. I stand beside him and he stands beside me. I may not physically be there at his side everyday but I am on one finger. A little piece of metal that reminds us both of why we do this. Because love tells us we can.It tells us that even half of the Earth can't separate us.So while the life of a military wife may not be for everyone it is definitely do able. We arent angels or even saints. What we are is the Silent Ranks. And I would never for a million years change anything about my life. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perfect

I am not perfect.

I do not handle things the same way as other people. I can't always be the strong, funny, smart person everyone usually sees. I have flaws, many no one else but me notices. I try my best each day and sometimes it isn't always good enough. I am hard on myself and see the things that are wrong in my life and judge myself daily. I often think I do or say things that are wrong even if I haven't. I do not like when people see me cry. I do not like when people tell me how strong I am when I feel like I am drowning in life. I know I can make it through things but I have to do it in my own way. Applying other peoples methods to my life in general does not work for me. When I am told how I should act and do things it makes me feel like I am failing miserably, even more than normal, and I tend to start shutting down. When I ask for help I feel like a burden. I am use to taking care of things by myself. I have control issues. I like being the one who controls things, so when then are taken out of my control I start spiraling.

I know I am not expected to be perfect but I feel like I should be. I have been told many times growing up how, what, when, and where to do things, I think by now I should have it down.

I wish sometimes I could turn my mind off from always thinking. It goes non-stop daily. What am I going to make for supper? Did I turn the lights off when I left? I need to work on my paper. I wonder Roger is doing right now. What do I do to help my middle schooler do better in school? Am I trying not to let everyone see how much deployment sucks? Why in the hell do they let drivers drive so horrible here? I miss being in Texas. I miss getting to see my family. I wish I was done with school already. What if I have not done enough while he was gone? What if he gets mad because I didn't do everything we talked about? I don't want to disappoint him. I want to see him so bad. Why can't it just be time for him to come home now? This is just some of what runs through my head. Some days I don't even answer one thing before another thought pops into my head and I feel like I am going to go crazy! ( Crazier correction. )  

I have tried for so long to make everyone else happy and make their lives easier/better that I forget sometimes about me. I try not to ask to do things for me much because I have kids and I don't like asking people to watch them just so I can do something for me. I can wait. The kids are more important right now. I will have time for me......eventually. It drives me crazy when I do ask to do something for me because I spend most of the time worrying that I am being thought of as a horrible mother, or that I am annoying because I am not back yet, among other things.

Things are the things that live in my head everyday. Most days I can put them aside and go about my day and not let them bother me. Some days I focus on all the many things I see wrong in myself. More often than not the angel wins out on my shoulder but for the days the devil wins I try and just close up inside myself. I don't like being a negative influence on anyone. So I just retreat into my own little world until the angel can get up and help me win again.


When you hear enough your a military dependent ( in what ever shape or form, wife, mother, sister, or  daughter ) that you should be able to handle this. It could be worse. Look what you do have. You will have great times when they get back! All sounds like helping but in reality when your in the mind set that you don't like you. Hearing how much better things will be later or whatever only makes life more bleak.

I think a lot of people do not understand why I do these things. Oddly enough though I have found out I am not alone in the way I think and feel. I am just one of the few with support to help pull me out of the depths of despair. So as to not stay focused on what is wrong and focus on what is right. There are plenty of people who don't have that same help though. So before you judge anyone else because they are hard on themselves or they are emotional shut ins, stop and think we all have our moments. We all have these tendencies.We can all have self doubt and self worth issues. Some just pull out of them faster than others. Instead of trying to fix the situation just be supportive. Fixing it for them doesn't help, it just makes that person feel worse. What they need is love and strength from those close to them to help show them their own way of fighting back.

When all else fails the only thing I can actually do is repeat over and over in my head :
        God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
         The courage to change the things I can,
         And the wisdom to know the difference.


If nothing else it just takes a few days and go back to normal. I just need the time to figure out what is going on in my head that is bringing me down and work through it and figure out that is ok for me not to always be ................... perfect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life in its ahhhh moments......

We often live our lives waiting for the ahhh moments when so often they come and pass us by and we miss them. Take time to cherish little things so as not to let your ahhh moments pass you by.
We have all heard LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE. A lot of people have the words hanging in their house. Most have their own interpretation of the saying.
LIVE- each moment for THAT moment, not as a means to get to the next. 


LAUGH- at yourself so others may laugh with you. Hear the laughter and let it flood your soul. For laughter can cure even the most devastated of hearts. 


LOVE- you can only love others if you first love yourself. Love purely and simply. Love to the depth of your soul and to the stars. Love honestly. And most importantly love completely, holding nothing back. With holding love starts a wall that only gets bigger as time passes until one day you look up and see the Great Wall of China.


Not a lot actually matters in life when you stop and think about it. The laundry be done right now doesn't matter, nor does the house always being super clean, or the yard being perfect. 

There are things that do matter. Most people take these things for granted. The love you see reflected back in your child's or loved one's eyes. The way a hug feels when you have been separated by distance and time. The power three words can have on your mood. The emotions and feelings of life MATTER. It is simply a matter of taking time to stop and appreciate moments most take for granted.


Most people who are not military families under appreciate certain moments. I often see people take things for granted and while sometimes I want to just shake them and say " Don't you see what you are missing?" I actually usually feel sorry for them.They don't have the same appreciation of life the way we do. As the most people go about their lives we a blessed with certain opportunities. 

We get the chance to rekindle love OFTEN. We may have to go through hell to get there. But when your loved one returns you get that honeymoon phase all over again.
We get to look forward to small things making our day. A card, an email, a phone call, or a web date. Most do not truly understand the power of words on a screen or piece of paper and how they can completely fill your heart with joy.
We get to experience life in seconds. Seconds that count. Seconds that we live fully because we have to fit weeks in seconds. 
We get to celebrate special days whenever we want. Just because the calendar says Christmas is December does not mean it can't be celebrated in July. 


Too often we forget all the ways we can incorporate joy into our lives. We get hung up on the misery of deployments and constant PCSing and the day to day grind. We get settled into the world is against us and forget that the world consists of those who matter not the people who populate the Earth. The times we spend with our military loves are precious. The love we share with them can surpass time, distance, and communication black outs. We have so much to be thankful for and yet most days we focus on what we can't or didn't do. 




I am thankful for my husband. My children. My family. My friends. I am thankful this country stands for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am proud that I have this amazing man and many friends and family who fight for liberty. I have this life to give to serve others. And that happiness is mine to make the most of each day.If you have taken the time to read this, then please take the time to do these 3 things:
1. Thank a service member and/or their family.
2. Be thankful for one thing in your life whether it is perfect or not.
3. Take 3 seconds to stop and appreciate something small. ( The way the sun feels on your skin, or the way you feel when you see a flower. )


If you do these things it may not change your life. But it will change your mood even if for just a minute. Life is not about working so hard and moving so fast you one day think where did all the time go. It is about living for the moments as they are and not rushing through them as fast as you can to get to the next one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do you know her?

She loves without recourse or knowledge of distance.
She can love through pain, distance, and tears.
She can love even when she hasn't heard from him in days.
She can love though parted by large expanses of time because even time can not tear down the walls that love built.
She can make a home and move it many times, on short notice, no notice, and across countries and states to be with her heart.
She wears a tag on her neck to remind her what he does, a ring on her finger to symbolize the promise they made, and keeps an eye on the horizon to catch the first glimpse she can of him when he comes back to her arms.
She deals with the ups and downs of life often alone.
She takes care of the children and meets the need of both mom and dad until he comes home.
She will sleep with a phone in her hand, holding a pillow that smells like him in a bed that stays made on one side months out of the year.
She has friends all over the world that are better known as sisters. She can talk to them about anything and they understand because they have been there too.
She loves with all her heart and soul but chooses to live alone because she knows he can not stay.
She gives her heart to a country that was based on freedom and liberty because those truths she always holds dear.
She will hold her head up high as she sheds a tear when she hears the National Anthem, or TAPS, or sees Old Glory fly high.
The sound of a jet gives her goose bumps.

The heart of a military spouse knows no bounds.

You may not understand why she does what she does. But if you take the time to ask her she will tell you with a humble smile, Because I love him and its what I do.

If you love your country and appreciate the soldiers that fight for it everyday. Take the time every once and a while to thank the ones that stay at home. The may not wear any uniform but serve as well.




The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens.
But I am in the military in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders.
Salutes I do not give.
But the military world is the place where I live.
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line.
But my job is just as tough.
I'm the one that's left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man and the call to serve his
country not all can understand.
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice.
But so do our kids and me.
I love the man I married.
Soldiering is his life.
But I stand among the silent ranks
known as the Military Wife.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Decleration Of Independence

I know I had to memorize a great deal of this as a child. I wonder how many High School students can say they took the time to even read these words much less memorize them? I have eeven taken my children to ROOM they signed it in!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Georgia:
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Pennsylvania:
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
Delaware:
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
Massachusetts:
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
Connecticut:
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Land of the Free and home of the Brave

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

As children we said these words, one hand across our heart, and knew what the words meant as we recited them. Today many children have heard of the Pledge of Allegiance but do not know all the words. Many also do not know the words to our National Anthem. In this day and age we are slowly becoming a country whose values are one by one being lost.

Once upon a time sounds like you are starting a fairytale, unfortunately this once upon a time refers to a time when morals were high and people taught their children faith, values, respect, and humbleness. Now  I wont say my childhood was perfect BUT I will say it is far better than those that are growing up now. I had a family that cared enough to teach me how to speak to my elders with the respect and dignity they deserved. They thought me that to have enough humbleness to know that you are only on this earth to contribute to the bettering of this world. It is not what the world can do for you but what you can give the world. These traits are lost on most young people today. Just this past weekend I listen to a 13 year old girl talk back to her mother in such a way that if I had ever even thought of saying what she said, I would have woke up in next week.

I think that we should really take a step back and look at ourselves and what we are doing to our young people. The values that founded are country are not so bad. ( I mean they got us through the last couple of hundred years or so but hey ) Respect your elders. Give back more than you receive. Stand up for your fellow man. God and Country come first everything else is second. And Power by the People for the People.

Maybe instead of taking things out of our education system we should add a few things back. Like the pledge of allegiance. The memorizing of the Declaration of Independence. And that it is NOT ok to bully. ( Paddling is also ok in my book. We had paddles when I was growing up and I turned out just fine. Learned a few lessons the hard way but I learned them after one try. ) If we would just go back about 15 years to the way things were then and start raising our children that way maybe this country would have a chance still. Otherwise I am terribly afraid we are heading down an awfully dark direction.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

AmeriCAN

I am an American.
More importantly I am an AmeriCAN.

Why would I say that? Because I am so tired of everything being about what goes wrong and what CANT be done.

I hear all the time how do you it? And the cliche's that get asked of a military spouse. So here is how I REALLY feel about the issue.

Last time I checked my spouse is the one putting his life on the line not me. Yes I keep the home fires burning and handle everything that goes wrong when he is gone. And yes things go wrong the wife who tells you they had a perfect deployment 1. either spent it in an I love me jacket in a pretty room with cushy walls or 2. is LYING to you. Things go wrong. It happens. We deal with it and move on. BUT bottom line HE deals with the fact that he is not here to handle things that go wrong ( ps when you meet the solider who doesn't care that his wife or girlfriend or fiance is dealing with the seventh thing to go wrong in three months you probably met the only one in existence. Because all the ones I know it kills them to know they can't just fix it. ) and that he is stuck in the middle of no where having to miss all the things the kids are doing while he is away. The men and women of our armed services sacrifice daily so we can be free. They put the CAN in AmeriCAN. They can  do their job even though they would rather be home. They CAN sacrifice it all for someone they have never met and would on any given day.

This is what military spouses know and love about their husbands or wives. The CAN DO attitude that most Americans do not have. We love them from great distances and through duty days, deployments, and crazy work hours, we would not give up our lives for anything. Yes our lives are more difficult than some. But its a life that also has many rewards. The overwhelming joy that floods your heart when you see the face of your loved one after 6-12 months of being gone, the look on your kids faces when daddy or mommy comes home finally, the calm that comes over you when you finally have those arms around you that have been gone for so long. So yes we have hard times but the good times are AMAZING.

So I think its about time that the NON military spouses and girlfriends listen up for a change. Because I for one have had it with some of their attitudes. So here goes......
1. A week apart from your beloved does NOT give you the right to sympathize with how I feel right now.
2. Traveling internationally for work or vacation may give you the right to worry BUT if that country is a dominant country and NOT a third world war ravened country not the same thing at all.
3. I appreciate that you feel bad for me but I don't need sympathy I need strength and your pity is not my definition of strength. Next time reword it. I am here for you is WAY better than Oh God Im SO sorry for you. You poor thing! That is insulting NOT helpful.

These are my top three offenders. As many other wives know there are many more. But what I would like to do is share something more positive instead.

Your tears may fall but as they do they wash away your fears. The wall may fall in sometimes but as they do your strength pushes them back up. Your faith may stumble but when get back up it is stronger than ever.

It is nice that we all have people that try and mean well when they express their feeling towards us but sometimes those expressions miss the mark. They show just how negative this country has become.

So lets us as military families show this country that it is NOT AmeriCANT it IS AmeriCAN. Because somewhere a solider is missing their family, or feeling lonely and alone, suffering with illness or injury, or paying the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live in a country that CAN. So let us not let them down. Try today to take the negative out of your life one tiny thing at a time until all we have are the positive things our men and women in uniform fight for.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our Navy Life: The deep dark tunnel........

Our Navy Life: The deep dark tunnel........: "There is this thing. It swallows your soul plunges you in darkness and makes you feel defeated everyday. This thing has the power of bringin..."

The deep dark tunnel........

There is this thing. It swallows your soul plunges you in darkness and makes you feel defeated everyday.
This thing has the power of bringing you to your knees in a split second. It can rock your world and send the world crashing down on your shoulders. It will leave you tired, hurting, and every kind of exhausted. You will get up and think everything is ok then feel like the world has stopped all at once. You will have a string of good days followed by a week of bad ones. It is a roller coaster ride that you cant control and cant get off. Just when you think you have gotten up, it knocks you back down.

This terrible, horrible, thing has a name. It strats with a D and ends with -eployment. This creature has a mind of its own and will do with you what it wants.

Now here is the thing about deployment. It sucks and there is no way to change or stop it. There is simply a matter of how you will approach it.

The thing I have come to realize is to cherish things. Things I never gave a lot of thought to before.
I cherish the sound of his voice.
I cherish the way his fingers feel between mine.
I cherish seeing his smile.
I cherish the way his arms feel around me.
I could go on and on about all things I have learned to miss about him...... Because its everything about him.

What I have also learned is that even though I may not get to hear his voice very often, or see his face hardly any, and what communication we do have is in electronic form, but no matter how far away he is he can make me feel like his queen.

I have learned a lot so far in these few months. I always knew I could on my own and handle things day to day. What I didn't know is for the first time in my life I DON'T want to do things by myself. I actually enjoy the time we spend together when he is here. I like the fact that I can depend on him. I actually have someone I CAN depend on. I miss the little things he does. I have also learned that seperation from the man who holds half of your heart causes physically pain.

There is however a bright light at the end of this deep dark tunnel....... it's not a cure but a proven treatment.
The treatment consists of a mix of friends who call and check on you, the ones who bring you donuts and chocolate the day he leaves just to help bring a smile to your face, who listen to you cry because they understand what you are going through, they make you smile and lift you up when you are down on your knees. Never asking for anything in return. These wonderful people who are more than just friends and are more like family I know I can always depend on. The sisters I have chosen. They are there for me even when I can't admit to myself that I need them.

There are days during deployment when its difficult to get up much less attempt to deal with anything. It's even more difficult when you step outside of yourself and see the difficulties in others lives. Although some days it feels like you are the only one going through it there are others. Even if you don't know every circumstance we are all in this together. Branch of service does not matter as deployment has no uniform preference. It affects every service member and their family. Some more then others for various reasons.

What I do know is that no matter how strong of a person you are everyone needs help during deployment. Whether it be as simple as a phone call to say hi and I am here for you or a shoulder to cry on. We who are left at home must support each other, just as we support our loved ones who must leave. They don't want to leave anymore than we want them to go but since we can't change that aspect, we can change how we go about our day to day. We can either bury our head under the covers or come out swinging and every now and then lean on those who understand. Because though we may be leaning on them now. At some point the roles will be reversed and your shoulder may be called upon, your ear to listen, and your presence for support of another sister or brother in need.

I am very thankful for the man who stole my heart for always doing what he can to make my days a little brighter. I am very thankful for the sisters who have stood by my side during this deployment. I am very thankful for my children for being such good children ( for the most part ) and for being patient with mommy.

If it weren't for these amazing people I would not be getting through this time nearly as well. I can only hope that others have the same circle ( or similiar ) as I do. If I could give any advice to anyone who has to face this monster called deployment it would simply be have a circle of friends to help you. It doesn't have to be a large circle by any means. Just a group of people that can help you. And believe me when I say you will need help. Even the most independent person in the world has that moment when reality sets in and you realize that it sucks to be alone and need to have someone to just listen.

I may not be the smartest person in the world. And at my worst I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet. I don't like asking for help and I dont like having to depend on others. BUT when deployment hits you learn to have a new way of thinking. Yes I am still stubborn sometimes, but I can ask for help a little easier now than I would have 2 years ago. The old tale of each day gets a little easier is a lie. Each day just has to be approached as it presents itself. Some days are great some arent. Just taking each day one at a time is the only way to handle it.

I love my sailor and I love my family ( including the extended family ). I love my life and wouldn't have it any other way. HOOYAH!! ; )

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What would you do?

If someone asked you to spend endless nights worrying and alone would you do it?

What if they also asked you to endure feeling that pit in your stomach come up in your throat at the thought of bad news?

Would you freeze your behind off for 2 hours because you dont have the courage to drive away?

Would learn a whole language just so you can have a conversation with your spouse?

Could you give up normal daily activities like sleep for a brief amount of electronic communication from your spouse?

Would you up root your family countless times to be close to your heart?

Could you say good bye to the people you have known your whole life, your family you grew up with, to live in who knows where not knowing a single soul?

If you can answer these questions you know what I am talking about.

Now without thinking pretend for a second that none of these questions has to do with the fact that I am a military wife. Take the military out of it and answer them again.

See we really aren't that different you and I. We may live in different worlds. But how different are they really. They are based in love. And love speaks every language. Just because I am a military wife and you aren't doesn't mean everything about our lives is different. So why are we treated that way?

Why are military wives treated like we do something so different?

We do sacrifice. True statement. Who doesn't?
Who doesn't want to live their life with the love of their life? Wouldn't you do anything you could for them?
Yes sometimes we go a little over the top. Sometimes we give a little more. But so do our husbands.
Our husbands serve this country without regret, remorse, or second thought. So yes we serve in the same way. With a few exceptions.
We dont all wear uniforms. But we support each and every one.
We dont all carry weapons. But don't mess with our men because our words are far worse.
We don't all have a job that takes us across the world. But we have a heart that does.

So don't think of us as different. Just think of us. Every once and a while. Just stop and think for a second and maybe even say a little prayer for us.

I love my husband. I love my family. I love my job. I love my life.

Its something I can honestly say after 30 years of life. Nothing else makes me happier than what I do everyday!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The things that really matter.

There are things in life that are given.

You live, you die, and you pay taxes. ( so wonderfully quoted by my husband )

There are things in life that are not given.

The instruction manuel. Because why would you REALLY need one? If you knew exactly WHAT to do when would you begin to LIVE?

Then there are things in life that matter.

The way the arms of your love feel around your neck.
The way a child's smile can make you feel on your worst day.
The smell of the air after a spring rain.
The way you feel when you do something you were told you couldn't.
Family. Both blood and choosen.
Friends. The ones who are always there.
The way a kiss feels on your lips.
The way the sun feels on your skin.
The way the love of your life's fingers fit perfectly between yours.
The way the ocean can make every care and stress fade away.

Ok so there are so many things that matter.

There are also things that don't matter.

Who is wrong and who is right in an argument.
Who said I love you first. As long as you both mean it.
The stress that you hang on to everyday.
Whether or not the socks get put away as soon as they come out of the dryer.
Whether your grandmother's recipe is better or his.

A lot of thing don't matter. More things do matter. The trick is trying to finding your balance of how to live with the things that dont and the things that do. If you can find that balance you have found a way to live your life happily.

Now I am not going to say I have found the secret to success. But what I have found is the person that helps me figure out the things that are worth the our time. I may not have found the secret to life. I did find the secret to my life. That is what is important.

Take the time to cherish the small things, dont waste your time sweating the wrong things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Superwoman can't always fly....

I am a strong woman. That's one of the things I am most proud of. Being strong. Being the go to person. Having others lean on me when they need strength. I have worked very hard to be this way. I have over come a lot. Certain things I have lived through makes helping others easier for me. I can honestly say I have been there in most situations.

With that being said it is very difficult for me to lean on others or ask for help. I have these amazing friends. I could ask anyone of them for the shirt off their back and without thinking they would. And yet they have their own lives, their own families, and their own hassles. So by asking them how would it be fair to burden them more? Don't they have enough to do? How selfish would it be to burden them with your silly needs? These are the things that go through my head. Mostly because it was how I was raised. I know it's silly. I'm not super woman ( conveniently pointed out to me today ) but I was raised to think I am. I can do anything I set my mind to it. So suck it up solider and just do it. Heard those words too many times. So in general I usually do. The problem is the people who really know me see through my typical " I'm fine" or " everything is fine " and the occasional " I'll be ok ". As silly as it sounds I push away people who try to help for fear of looking weak.

It wasn't until today, that I realized just how silly what I have always done really sounded. It wasn't until the very person who I inherited my strength from told me how silly I was being. The one who's shoes I have been trying 30+ years to fill, actually gave me permission to not be super woman. My mom who is my inspiration, my strength, and my hero I have always looked up to, said something I never expected to hear from her. She said sometimes hunnie you can't always do it all. Ask for help it's ok. Then as she proceeded to run down everything I was taking on I realized this super woman's Kryptonite is a thing called deployment. That this usually strong woman who can do just about anything under normal circumstances, can't always when her day to day source of strength is half a world away. So no I guess I can't always do it all. As hard as that is for me to admit. I can't. But for the most part I do try. I just don't like inconveniencing others when I am used to do it all alone. I guess I still have a lot to learn. Everyday is something new. I cherish each moment and am thankful I am as blessed as I am. Just call me a work in progress. Today's challenge is learning how to accept help without feeling guilty......

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You know your a military wife....

You know your a military wife when......

You carry your cell phone EVERYWHERE. Just in case....

You can have a total meltdown just from a few hours of not getting an email.

You can cry just bu watching your child. Because he looks like him or acts like him.

You have every song that makes you think of him ready to play when you miss him and need a good cry.

You have more choosen family than blood relatives.

Your closest "sisters" arent actually sisters.

Your house has photos, plaques, and flags everywhere because you want EVERYONE to know how proud you are of your spouse and his job.

You order welcome home decorations 4 months early just to make sure they are there in time.

You have a tear in your eye and a warmth in your heart just listening to the Star Spangled Banner.

A hug from a friend can make your day.

Your life revolves around the next stand down period or R&R.

But most importantly you know your a military wife when a sailor/solider stole your heart. Your life became decorated with tears and camo, and nothing in this world could replace the way his arms feel around you after any time spent apart.

The days spent apart are the most againizing. But the joy you feel when seeing his face after countless months is an undescriable feeling that no civilian wife will ever understand completely.

We are the silent ranks and forever we will be sisters. We stand beside each other through the best of times and we support each other through the worst of times. I love my sisters of whom I could not get through these days without. Thanks you ladies more than you know!




There are many lists like this out there. I thought I would put my spin on one.

Things a Military wife MUST HAVE!

1.  A fully functional cell phone with : 3 chargers, a set a earbuds or blue tooth, call waiting, call forwarding, internet capablity, and at least 4 apps that allows facetime like conversations.

2. A best friend or several best friends ( preferably other militay wives ). So that when you cry they understand. They run inteference for you when needed. And they are there to help pick you back up when you fall apart.

3. A book of everything. Including POAs, birth certificates, etc. with 3 copies of each. Yes 3. Trust me.

4. A routine. As silly as this one sounds a routine will save your life. Also your spouse needs to know what your routine is. So they know their part. It helps you and them both.

5. A list of bills with log in information. Especially if you are not the primary bill payer of your household. This is not information you want to try and get 3 weeks into a deployment.

6. A playlist of sappy songs. Go with me on this one. Put together a collection of every song that reminds you of him, he loves, or was played at a special moment in your life together. Reason being is this: You will have melt downs. It is inevitable. So when it does happen at least you have songs that help you get through it. If you listen to things that remind you of him, you cry, you remember the times you share, and you get it out of your system. The songs are like therapy.

7. A blog. Yes it seems silly but mine saves me sometimes.Getting your feelings out helps. And sometimes keeps your spouse up to date even from half a world away.

8. A sense of self. If you dont know who you are you will get lost in the day to day. Sometimes meditating, yoga, or pilates will help with this. But just get to know who you are as a person. It keeps you grounded.

9. An ability to know when to say when.  When to turn off facebook, the news and the computer. Sometimes even your best friends who have the very best intentions catch you off guard. They know you are going through a hard time but even the best of friends have their own lives that doesn't revolve around your break downs. So when you have a break down just turn everything off. Don't get on the internet just divert your mind else where.

10. A support network. People you can call to say I have had enough, get me out of this house and my mind off everything! The people who love you at your worst and your best. This is one of the most important things to have. You are never alone unless you choose to be. Don't spend a deployment alone. Ever. Have people you can talk to and visit with. If you don't listen to anything else on this list, listen to this one. It will be your lifesaver.

These are some of the essentials for a deployment. At least they have been for me. Each person and deployment are different. No one can tell you what will work best for you. The most they can do is give you a good set of guidelines. Listen to what they tell you but do make work what is best for you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When all the world is sleeping.....

When all the world is sleeping I sit awake.

What kind of person sits up til the wee hours of the night sitting by herself on a couch?

A military wife.

Why?

Because some nights facing an empty bed is harder than listening to music that makes her cry because at least if she is going to cry it might as well be with music that makes her think of him.

Why does someone torture themselves by spending countless nights alone?

A military wife.

Why?

Because she fell in love with a man first and a career second.

Because every second of every day she spends alone while he fights someone elses war, she thinks of the times they spend together.

Why would you put yourself through that kind of pain willingly?

Because he gave me his heart willingly. And its my job to keep it safe. Just as its his job to keep mine safe.
Why would you give up your life and all you want to do?

Because my life is with him. And no matter where he goes I go. We are a team and no one except another military wife would understand.

How can you give up on your dreams?


I never gave up my dreams. I just dream of him more than I do of anything else.

Why on earth would you go days on end with very little sleep and not think twice about it?

Because I live for emails not sleep. For the fleeting time I have between body forced sleep and class and kids to have a few brief moments where I can feel like we are even remotly close to each other. Because If I sleep when he is awake I might miss one extra email.Not because he asks me to. But because I would rather try and stay to see how his day is than worry about how mine would be if I had an extra hour of sleep. Because when I am awake I have things to do. When I sleep I have nothing to do but dream. And my dreams are filled with him, and when I wake and he isn't here that is a much colder reality to face than just staying awake.

Why do I do these crazy, often completely insane things?

Because I am a proud military spouse. I support my sailor. And I miss him. If I didn't do these things I would feel like I am letting him down. I do these things because I said " I Do". This is my vow. It means the same now as it did the day we got married. I promise to love a cherish you. To honor and protect you for all the days of my life. I will always be on the other end of a computer waiting for an email to say Hi! I miss you busy day talk to you soon. Because even 10 words most people would take for granted, a military spouse prays to hear. Because those 10 words means it is going to be a tolerable day because at least you heard from him.And those words means that he is still at the other end of a computer to. Wherever that may be. In whatever circumstances he may be in, he took 5 minutes to bring you into his day.

It's not a life everyone can live. It's not even an easy life for those who choose to live it. It is not like one day I decided hey I think I want to spend lonely nights by myself for months on end, worrying about things happening half a world away, avoiding the news so not to add to me worrying, so I can live a life of half exististance with half my heart missing all for the absolutely fantastic benifits that come with it. ( FYI insert sarcasim with that last remark ) No. I met a man who swept me off my feet, loves me for who I am, and honestly takes the best care of me, my kids, and my heart as anyone else in this world. And for him I would endure anything. He is the best part of me. And for that he is My Sailor, My Husband, My Hero. Always and forever.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

There comes a point in your life where you stop and realize that where you have been has shaped your future. I am not always proud nor do I often enjoy talking about my past. However it has gotten me where I am today. The past doesn't shape the future it mearly gives it a starting to point. We all hold the shape of future in the palms of our hands. It is what we choose to do with it that gives it it's shape.

Sometimes our most memorable moments come when we least expect it. Those moments are the ones that have the power to take our breath away. It's these moments I have been thinking about lately.

There was a night in May several years ago that a friend I worked with and I decided to go out to eat. We got ready, went to eat at BWW and had a great time. While we were there I said to her " Since we got all dolled up why don't we head to the Cowboy and hang out there for a little while." Well we did. On that night, I met the absolute love of my life. He came to sit with me and my friend. He told me he was taking me home with him and to work the next morning. Which to some people would probably sound completely crazy. But to me it was the sexiest thing I had ever heard. I loved at that very moment how confident he was.

This one particular moment in my life has forever changed the way I look at things. I had never in my life met a man who had a confidence about him you could feel just by standing next to him. Nor had I ever met anyone who could make me feel complete just by holding my hand. I have come to find out a lot about myself by being with this incredibly amazing man. I have learned I am stronger than I ever imagined. Not because I have to be but because I want to be. I have learned I can love someone completely and not worry about what could go wrong. I have in the past always held back my love, waiting for the ball to drop, something to go wrong. In my past that has usually been the case. Something good followed by something bad. I have learned that no matter what I have someone that loves me for who I am, not for who I try to be when I am with them. I can actually be myself for a change. I have learned I actually like who I am. That who I am is a person that can face challenges, sometimes several at once, and adapt as needed and carry on without falling apart.

My husband gives me the confidence to be who I am.

The moral of this story is sometimes we tend to be stuck on the past. Too many times we let the past define who we are. We all have our "skeletons", we all have hard times we had to over come. Its what we have done with these things that define who we are , not the acts themselves. We should take the past events and use them to our benefit. Yes events happen, sometimes events happen that change our lives forever. There is nothing that can be done about them now. The only thing there is left to do is pick up the pieces and carry on. While this is easier said than done. What I can honestly say is things happen for a reason, while we not understand why they happen they shape us into the people we are. Sometimes death and sorrow come to us, so we may help others through it. Sometimes abuse comes so we can recognize the signs and also help someone else get out of a bad situation. Pain must be experienced so that you know what its like to feel complete joy. Heartbreak comes so when you find love you know and you know what you have to do to keep it. You must loose everything so that you can fully appreciate the things you have.I am not perfect. I have not had a perfect life. But my not perfect life has made me a better person. I enjoy life for the first time since I had no real responsibilities. I have love like I have never known. I can honestly say that there are people in my life that I trust. And trust has never come easy for me.

This life takes you on a roller coaster ride sometimes. But as long as you have a hang on and roll with it kind of attitude, you will make the best of it. Life is crazy, unpredictable and a non stop journey. We are just along for the ride. Make the best of what is handed to you each day and it will come back ten fold. We cant change the way things happen in our life, what we can change is how we look at ourselves once we have gotten through them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love

Love..... such a sweet word.

How many times have you thought about the love of your life? Well I think about mine every second. Especially now. It is hard to imagine some days how much I love my husband. I never reallu understood what love meant until I met him. I never knew a completely selfless love until we got together. The time he takes for me, to make my day just a little brighter even though he has more important things to do makes me feel so very special. The love of my life is an amazing man. He is thoughtful, caring, sweet, strong, sexy, wonderful man. There are so many discriptive words I could use to describe him. He is everything to me and far to often I take the time we spend together for granted. During this crazy, awful time we are spending apart ( gratis USN : ( not a fan by the way ) I have learned that each and every second we spend together is precious. The time doesnt even have to be spent DOING anything. Just being in his presence makes me happy. That is one thing I miss the most. Just being near him, under the same roof, even the same state is awesome. The thing deployment is teaching me the most is how much I truely love my husband. Of course it is teaching me a few other lessons like I really can do this, I can depend on myself and some amazing friends, and that there is more to me than I even knew. It amazes me sometimes the things I am capable of when forced to. I guess we all get surprised by that sometimes. I knew I could do somethings but now I can do anything I set my mind to. It is a very liberating feeling. Knowing that you can do anything you set your mind to can give you the courage to carry on until you dont have to do it by yourself again. I enjoy being independant, however I chose to be half of a team. The other half of my team is also the other half of my heart. That half that lifts me up and tells me I am beautiful even when I feel horrible. The best half of me. The half that makes sense of things when I cant see past the clouds. The half that makes me laugh even when I feel like the world is crashing down. My sweet man takes the absolute best care of me. I only hope that at some point in our life together I can return half of what he gives to me. The best part of marrying your best friend in my humble opinion is getting to spend the rest of your life with that person. My best friend and husband make my world a whole lot brighter. I dont know that there are ever enough words to thank him for everything he has done for me and does for me everyday but I hope I can show him everyday how much his love means to me. The best time of my life is spending time with him and our beautiful family.

My dear sweet husband,
 Thank you for everything you do for me. You make my world a better place. My life began when we met. You make me the happiest woman in the world every single day. I love that you can do that even when you cant always be here. Side by side or seperated by half the world, I feel close to you everyday. You always live in my heart. You are the best husband a woman could ask for and I am so very lucky you chose me to be your wife. You mean the world to me and I hope that I can show you each day how much your love means to me. You are my husband, my lover, my best friend, and my hero. I make it through each day because of your love. You keep me strong and lift me up.I will spend everyday of the rest of my life showing you how much I love you. Thank you for being my husband!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Randomness and it benifits.....

I know I can be rather random at times. I like to think of it as part of my charm. Sometimes though I feel bad about being random. I feel that sometimes I distance people by being that way. The problem is my brain flies in a miliion different directions and sometimes I cant help it. I go from one subject to another and I dont even notice it until I get strange looks. It takes a lot of effort to stay focused. That is why if I dont have a million projects going at once I feel like I am lost. This is also why I have trouble sleeping. It takes a long time for me to shut my brain down. Most nights when I do fall asleep it is from pure exhaustion. I have no choice my brain shuts down on its own. It seems as if somedays last forever because I dont know if my brain ever truly shuts off.

So in my never ending days and completely random moments I sometimes sit and think about things. How my life has been the last few years. How I got to where I am. I have come to some conclusions. I am not perfect. I am very thankful for this fact. I would never be able to live up to those standards. I love my husband with everything I have. I have never met a man who makes me feel so complete. He loves me for who I am. I dont have to be anyone different. He thinks I am sexy even when I feel far from it. I love how when I have a crappy day he can make it go away with just a few words or even just a hug. I love that his smile makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. How perfectly my head fits on his shoulder. How he will let his arm fall asleep so he doesn't wake me to move it. How when he is beside me I can fall asleep without even trying. I love waking up to his kisses and the smell of breakfast on the weekends when he comes home from duty and takes care of everything so I can sleep in. I love that he smacks my butt for no other reason than just because. I love snuggling with him at night and how I can't fall asleep unless he is right next to me. I love the way he doesn't have to say a word but he can look at me and my heart melts. I could talk forever about everything my sweet husband does to make me fall in love with him everyday. Mostly the fact that he loves me is enough for me. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life showing him how much I love him. I am so very thankful that a chance meeting three years ago has led me to the happiest time in my life.

I also think about all the amazing friends I have in my life. I have often heard that you have best friends through all stages in your life. Well I have had some amazing best friends. I still have some amazing best friends. I have also have heard you can't have a bunch of best friends. I say thats not true. I happen to be blessed with 10 best friends. The types of friends who even though we may be sepreated by distance, it doesn't change the fact that we are best friends. We can be caught up in our own lives for days or weeks at a time and pick right back up like it we had just talked the day before.

I am very lucky. I have amazing kids. That love me and are truly blessings. They are the best children I could ever ask for. I have an absolutely amazing husband. Who has made me the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I have wonderful friends, who are almost like family. My children have the benfit of having more than the 2 aunts and one uncle they were born with. They have nore than they can count on two hands.

People often say to me " I don't know how you do it." ( live as a military spouse.) I hate that statement. Why wouldn't I do whatever it took to be with the person that had the other half of your heart? Would any person regardless of who they loved not move heaven and earth to be with the one they loved? Do others not put up with extra ordinary circumstances to stay with that person? Why is our lives that strikes immediate pity in someones voice? I don't need pity. I knew what my life would be like when I said " I do". The difference is I choose to love him in spite of the circumstances. I deal with what comes as it comes. You learn to roll with the punches.Yes there are days I want to scream, then cry, then bang my head against a wall, then fall down. But I don't always have that option.Some days I have laugh to keep from crying. Some days I cry to keep from screaming. Some days I love the country he fights for and some days I hate it for sending our service members to god forsaken places that mostly don't want us there. But regardless of what bipolar mood swing I am having I am always proud of what he does. I am proud that my kids see how much he does for us, and his country. I am most proud of the way he has helped make a better person.

So I guess sometimes my randomness can have its benifits. It helps me think of all things in my life that I am thankful for. So I guess even in my randomness I have moments of clarity.

Please Read!!

I saw this today. Immediately felt the need to share. You know most wives know what they get into when they say " I DO ". However, if you have never married a military man, please take a moment and read this BEFORE speaking to someone who has. Yes I have been asked some of the things on this list. My answers sometimes vary but in general this is pretty acurate. I love my sailor and I love my life. What I do not love is when people throw their foolishness my way. So please please please read this before speaking to a wife. Because you never know what day they may be in a countdown and the answers may be a much nicer version of what you may get if you happen upon one on day 1-7 or day it sucks, or day i cant take anything else going wrong. We know what we got into yes. But we have feeling also. Please feel free to resist your urge to step all over them when you talk to us.

 

What NOT to say to a Military Wife

We get a lot of stupid questions and comments. Here are some responses for the next time you get one.

Do you miss him? No. I love being alone. The silence is warming. I enjoy fixing everything that breaks and cuddling with my pillow.
My boyfriend is out of town on business, I know how you feel. Yes I hear there is a huge mortar problem in Michigan.
Aren't you afraid he'll die? No, I had actually forgotten that that was a possibility, but thank you. Thank you for reminding me.
I don't know how you manage, I couldn't do it. Thank god it's not you then. Phew.
At least he's not in Iraq/Afghanistan/Qatar. Hes' not!? Shit, that changes everything.
Do you think he'll come home for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary? I don't know yet, he just put in his leave request to the Taliban, we're still waiting for a response.
What are you going to do to keep busy while he's gone? I don't know. Since he's been gone the house cleans itself, the bills are magically paid, and the kids are angels.
How many days until he gets out? Depends. How many days until you join?
You'll get used to it. Yeah, the rigorous schedule is something I get used to. I'm actually a robot. I love watching the news, and the surprise missions are like tiny birthday presents from hell. Yes, I'm getting used to it like I get used to a tooth ache.
What is he doing over there? Knitting.
He signed up for it. It's his fault is anything happens to him. Yes, and it's your fault for any teeth you're about to lose.
In my opinion - *look at your phone* Sorry, my grandmother is calling from her grave, I have to get this.
That's awful, I'm sorry! Don't be, he looked hot doing it. He's good. Did your husband fix your sink?
Why don't you just go see him? They frown upon strangers 'round those parts, but by all means, go visit and let me know how it goes.
Don't worry, he'll be home soon. Really? I thought we had 8 months left. Thank goodness you reminded me.
How do you go without sex? Luckily we hold our relationship to a higher standard than simply our physical contact. Oh, and I have self control. Oh, and I only want one man. It's super easy that way.
What if he doesn't come back? Then I will cry until I'm sick to my stomach and I feel like my body is going to break apart. Then I will sleep alone in our bed and have dreams of him being with me only to wake up to him still being gone, knowing he will never come home and that I never got to say goodbye. Oh, too much information? My bad.
Could he not finish college? Nah those Taliban guys don't like to negotiate.
How can you support someone that kills people? It doesn't count if it's in a different zip code.
Don't you worry he'll cheat over there? Yes, I'm super worried that he's going to want to sleep with a woman who isn't allowed to speak or someone he works with and risk losing his job. That's what I'm uber worried about.
How can you marry someone who is gone for so long? At least we don't spend 12 months thinking up new ways to hate each other like....oh...sorry.
You look tired. Yeah unfortunately the middle east is in a different hemisphere and no one will move it.
You know he's going to miss out on the kids' lives. I was banking on them living quite a few years. I think they're good. And we have those crazy telegraph do-dads and boxes that you can talk to people through.
You never know what goes on over there and his buddies aren't going to rat him out. Yeah, because they're all eating and sleeping.
The time will fly. Time will fly, pigs will fly, hell will freeze over....I'm still waiting.
He's going to be completely different when he comes back, ya know. Yeah, so will I but I'm working on my hulk tear.
You're lucky. ....compared to.....?
Fuck the troops. *whisper* Seven days.
Wouldn't you rather be with someone who's home? Convenience < Quality
Did you hear about the soldiers killed in - Awesome, thank you. I was hoping someone would slip that into conversation today.
Can't you text him? Why didn't I think of that!?
That sucks. Well aware.
Aren't you worried he's going to come back and go crazy and kill you in your sleep or something? Oh that's nothing new.
Are you pregnant!? What if you don't get another chance? Do I look pregnant?
Oh he's in the military...the easy way out. Do you take automatic weaponry with you to brush your teeth?
You deserve someone who can be there for you. Well mine has special powers that yours doesn't.
You should spend more time being proud than sad. I tried that and it sucked, so now I'm taking the Ben & Jerry approach. Feel free to ride your butterfly out of here.
The front lines are the most dangerous. Dammit, I thought they aimed for the back.
You're single, it's time to party! I'm what?
If there's anything I can do, let me know. I hope you're a magician with unlimited minutes.
How do you do it? I haven't written down the process yet, but I'll get back to you.

Little Things...

Sometimes I like to sit back and remember that the little things get us through. I am also very fortunate to have friends who help me remember this as well. Little things like the way your husband can make you smile even from a great distance. How just thinking about him makes him seem closer. How one look from your child makes you instantly think of something your husband does as well. How just waking up to an email can make your day.
I really am a lucky woman. I met the love of my life and he is in my life forever. I have been blessed with three amazing children. Who even though they are still growing up and have their faults, make my  life a little better each day. My family means the world to me, and I am thankful for every day I have with them.

I dont like having a lot of negative posts on here, but it seems that I am most likely to write when I am upset. I think because my heart is somewhere else and even though I have some amazing friends who listen to vent. It is not always the same as when I would sit and talk to my husband. We would sit and talk about our days, tell each other we loved the other, and watch TV, then go to bed. Silly I know but I miss it. Even when we did nothing, we did it together. That togetherness I am missing terribly. I know those days will come again. The days are passing a little easier the further we get into this deployment. It helps having things to do. But some days I miss just sitting next to him on the couch and doing nothing else. Just enjoying his company. Holding his hand. Laying my head on his shoulder. The way he smells.I hear all the cliches " This too shall pass", " there is a light at the end of the tunnel", etc. But even though I know this in my heart, some days are still difficult. It is not that today is particularly bad. I am not crying at everything. I just miss him a lot today.I miss the little things today. And I will be ok I know that. I have amazing support. But sometimes I just want to miss him. I want to feel how I feel. I want to cry if I want to. If I didnt feel this way I would be really worried. It would mean I didnt care. I do care. Very much. I have never loved someone ( besides my children ) so completely from the moment I met them. I know all those in love with someone says I am in love with the best man/woman in the world. But I truel am in love with the best man in the world. The best one in the world for me. Noone else. Just me. I love everything about him. He amazes me everyday. Wether he is here or there. I find out new things I love about him everyday. I love the fact the he loves me just as much in return. I love the fact he thinks I am his queen. Not a princess, not an angel, a queen. To me that means a lot. I love that he takes the time out of his day so we can communicate back and forth. I love that he thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. I know I am not, but as long as I am in his eyes that is all that truly matters. I love that even when he thinks he has done something that will upset me, I can see that he only did it because he loves me so much. I love that no matter what I am feeling he can make me smile.

I may be silly, but I love living my life with little things. Because some days the little things are what keeps me going.....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do you take self out of selfish?

So as the days pass, each seems a little easier. I say seems because today I have to really struggle to be good.I have friends whose husbands are on the same ship as mine on facebook. Which on a side note can be positively evil during deployments. And as I know everyone is literally "in the same boat" as me, it doesn't always help to see some posts. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to happy for other people when you see some posts. Like the ones that get to skype with their loved one and you dont get to because there is no wifi available to your spouses phone to allow him to do the same.Even when you have a app for that which does not require wifi, you at least have to have some sort of signal to, for one download the app, and for two be able to use it. I truely do feel happy for the ones who get to see AND talk to their husbands. But it does cause a certain little green monster creep in me, when I am not able to enjoy the same pleasure. I do hate jealousy, and I hate even more feeling jealous of another wife going through the same thing I am. I know they miss their husbands as much as I do. I do appreciate the communication I am able to enjoy from my husband. I do hate thinking that it sucks that on my daughters birthday she cant talk to him.We must rely on electronic communication in which to get her a Happy Birthday from him. And yes I know how selfish that sounds. I hate sounding that way. Be thankful for each and every chance you get to hear from him, because there are some who do not get that at all. Yes I know this and it is something I try to tell myself everyday. So I guess my question today would be how do you take the self out of selfish? It seems like an easy thing to do, but today it isn't quite as easy as it sounds. I try positive thoughts.It helps for a little bit. I try helping others. Good distraction but when I am done, that silly little monster sneaks right back up. I have class, but that only lasts for a little while. So on to another project? How many do I need to keep me busy during this time? 2? 5? 17? I enjoy my projects. I like completely throwing myself into each one. However at current count I am at 5 projects and I still have left time for my mind to fall into jealousy's trap. So how many more do I need to keep me out of that bottomless pit? I do not like feeling this way. I certainly do not like having negative feelings towards others. I try my best to be a person who I can live with each day. I don't like having remorse for something. I rather enjoy being able to live with myself and the actions I take daily.So why is it a few silly things can tear me up so bad?????I guess I still have more work to do on myself.And to think once upon a time all I wanted to do was just grow up. Ahhhhh but hind sight is 20/20. To think now I just wish I could go back to being carefree! I will get through this, I know that. I just wish these stupid feeling would stop sneaking up on me. I am rather tired of spending time sheading tears for reasons that are completely silly.