All posts tagged: military family life

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Moms and the Month of June

  June is always ridiculous. I called the orthodontist to see if she could reschedule my 11 year old’s appointment or give me an extra 15 minutes because I wasn’t sure we could make it on time. She said you must be having one of those busy days-and then I interrupted and actually told her why and what was making me busy– “You see I’m teaching about an artist at 2pm in this very son’s classroom and just before that I have to go see a lady about the 8 foot octopus that I am making for vacation bible school and I really shouldn’t move the appointment because there just isn’t any other day and can you hold on because I think the UPS guy is here with the knickers that I just ordered for the Colonial Days reenactment we are having at school Friday”. She laughed, albeit somewhat nervously, but that was all the encouragement I needed because I then launched into– “I have to melt paraffin. Have you ever melted paraffin? I mean I …

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Happy Veteran’s Day

For a brief time, which lasted about 17 years, I was in a hurry. My active duty husband was always on the heels of a deployment or trip or an extended trip or a training or new orders that would mean lots of hours or tons of travel or something and it was always something. (I hear you saying Amen.) My life was defined by these catch phrases- …hurry up we need to get this in before you deploy. …hurry up we need to get this in before we move. …hurry up we need to do this before you leave. Time crawls for those who are missing someone. I know firsthand. And yet, how is it when the clock is counting down for the next departure–time speeds up and moments move at lightening speed? On our 10 year anniversary of being a couple I did the math and realized that in over 10 years—10 consecutive months was the longest we had ever been together, the rest of it was long distance. And all of that is normal for a military family. It’s been …

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10 Pennies

While my husband was at the U.S. Army War College I attended FLAGS–Facilitating, Leadership and Group Skills. It’s a one-week workshop for milispouses to refine skills in leading, guiding, and supporting work in groups utilizing our strengths. It was also known as the week where Mom went to work and Dad had to get the kids everywhere and take care of everything. While I was there we were told that we, metaphorically speaking, get 10 pennies each day to use how we wish. How we spend them is up to us. When the pennies are spent we are operating at a deficit–read We should leave mom alone right now. Pennies are to patience what calories are to food. These all cost at least one penny: Don’t eat that off of the floor! Where are all the couch cushions? Don’t lock your brother in the garage! Look where you are peeing! You can have a favorite shirt but not a favorite pair of underwear! Leave his butt alone! Please don’t carry the dog on your head! …

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Merry Go Round

I’m that kid running alongside the merry go round trying to get on, succeeding, getting dizzy, jumping off, spinning into dirt, hearing my friends giggling as they whirl by, walking lopsidedly home, getting called back, doing it all again. Hello. This has been my last few weeks.  Heck, this has been my last few years. Forget it, it’s been my life.  Dirty, dizzy, giddy, busy, going in circles? I’d like to at least think my circles are widening as I become wiser.  My merry go round is more the circumference of Pluto vs the playground equipment of childhood.  Whoosh–it still goes just as fast but more ground is covered. I have a friend who calls the merry go round ride the Joyless Go Round of Death, I think that is a little creepy extreme and possibly a tad negative. I prefer to be more positive. It is all about attitude, isn’t it? I am constantly preaching this to my young boys. There are many things in life you cannot change but you can always change your …

States I Have Known.

Military Moves

We aren’t like most military families.  They move more than we do.  And most have had at least one overseas tour, if not more.  On paper I am jealous of them. But the reality is something different.  Logistical hell.  New schools, houses that need to be sold, niches that need to be found, packing, unpacking, saying good-bye…and that doesn’t even begin to address moving to another country (cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side, pets that need to go into 6 month quarantine, and the new washing machine you just bought that the military won’t ship).  But still, how boring to let all that stop you?  Trying new places, lands, and cultures changes people.  It broadens perspective and teaches new ways to measure quality of life.  On the other hand packing and unpacking and dealing with all the red tape can and may kill you… So on a third hand, I really want to live in France for a year.  I really want to try New England.  I wish I could have lived on the …

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Thank You 2014

  525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.  ~Rent   Today is Veteran’s Day.  As a wife of an active duty service member my thoughts automatically shift to all those who are serving their country far from home, away from family and friends.  As a mother, I think of all our children who have moms and dads risking their lives and who have to accept that mom and dad won’t be home, again, for_____fill in the blank.  Time crawls for those who are missing someone.  I know firsthand.  And yet, how is it when the clock is counting down for the next departure–time speeds up and moments move at lightening speed? It’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until it is gone, isn’t it?  After all …

Military Life… Just Because I Can Doesn’t Mean I Should

I had coffee with a military spouse and longtime friend the other day and we reminisced.  I told her how I had been bullied in high school.  I only just recently learned to associate “bullying” with what happened to me all those years ago.  Girls who thought they were so powerful felt it was ok to shove me down stairs, throw food at me during football games, call me names to my face, and tell made up stories behind my back.  All because a boy liked me and not one of them?  I’m really not sure.  I don’t care and I think they are insignificant.  But I think what they did was significant.  You see I learned about power.  They thought they had it but really they just looked dumb.  And all the people that went along with it, well they just looked dumb too.  The power laid with me, not them.  They could not take my power away.  I would not give them power over me.  And while it is something I rarely think …

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Throw Back Thursdays: Hurricanes

  Way way back many centuries ago, well, 1998, there was a hurricane coming straight towards Corpus Christi, Texas.  Naturally, I was there.  I was living on a Navy base, off of the Gulf of Mexico, with my husband.  And, naturally, when a hurricane is expected all of the active duty service members are suppose to leave the women and children behind and evacuate with the aircraft. So it’s midnight and there is a tank like truck with a mega phone and flashing lights driving around a pitch black base announcing a mandatory evacuation of all people.  I knew like 3 people and my husband, who was one of them, was leaving at o-dark-thirty to fly to Dallas (where he would later eat steak while I stood in pouring rain in said hurricane boarding up a house with cedar.)  (I so do NOT hold grudges and I have totally forgave him for his so called stomach flu in 1993 that required me to drive 500 miles while he puked out a window in a stick …

Movement

We’ve had a lot of it.  Movement.  Movers came yesterday.  Small moving truck today to take our “DO NOT DESTROY” stuff (if you are following we said adios to the 5×8 trailer and upgraded to a small truck).  A lot of moving going on in the house as we to and fro and clean.  We moved our tooshes as we traversed through Disney last week and 53 other things prior.  Moving officially to DC on Friday to a friend’s house.  Then eventually we’ll move into our “new” house.  And someday our household goods will arrive in 4 to 6 weeks and we can really move in. The checklist is pretty well checked off.  And, well, that moves me. But this is really about what my 6 year old said.  You see tonight we watched Disney’s Hercules–and while my son took a shower I heard him singing some rendition of this from the movie: I have often dreamed Of a far-off place Where a great warm welcome Will be waiting for me. I am on my …

Failure Is Not An Option

One of my favorite clients called me today from Virginia.  She starts the conversation with “I wish you were here and I’m such a failure”…. Huh?  We are talking about decorating, right? I think this is extreme and I tell her so, clearly, she is just being dramatic. But the thing was…she wasn’t. She really believed she was a hot mess when it came to all things “HGTV”.  Whether she was or is, isn’t the point. The point is why do we use the word failure at all to describe ourselves?  Is it ever failing or is it learning? Which brings me to my next point–how we take our gifts or our strengths for granted.  We assume that just because we are good, or really good, or flipping amazing at something, and that (this part is huge) it comes so easily to us that clearly this ability ‘aint no big thing’–it’s generic.  Isn’t everyone good at_________(fill in the blank)? And never mind what I’M good at (whatever we think)…look what YOU can do!  I wish …