All posts tagged: military spouse

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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 …

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I’m Sorry You Are NOT a Military Family–So Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It.

  I’m in TJ Maxx and somehow I find myself talking to a stranger about the Navy and I become exasperated. I’m so tired of hearing people say to me “I don’t know how you do it–I could NEVER do it”—referring to the fact that my husband is in the military. I can’t help but feel really annoyed.  I know there is a complement in there but it still bugs me.  To me, it’s saying “Wow I feel sorry for you because your life is so hard”. And, again, I know the intent is not to make me feel bad but it does.  My family might have different challenges than you but we all have challenges. Yes, I have experienced deployments with small children.  This gave me the opportunity to flipping dig deep!  Want to know what you are made of?  Get rid of your safety net.  That’s what deployments do.  You are on your own and you have to figure it out.  Sometimes you are in a brand new place too.  And it’s hard. …

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 …

Happiness is Learning to Love What You Have

Sometimes life is so crazy it’s hard to celebrate what’s right.  A few years ago my husband was in a terrible accident, my mom had ovarian cancer, and I was a military mom on my own taking care of two little boys.  And those are just some of the bullet points that come to mind. The nitty gritty of the in between felt even worse.  Way worse. So. Much. Worse. It’s almost so absurd that I kind of, well, laugh.  I mean what’s the alternative?  Fall apart?  I don’t know about you but most of the time, especially with a deployed husband, there are no safety nets. If you fall…well, it’s just that much further you have to climb to get back up. Better to hang on. Better to laugh. I love my friend Mony.  We do a phenomenal job of laughing together.  I went to DC this past weekend and did some house hunting while staying with her.  We laughed until we cried one night over a memory involving a past deployment, a boat …

Emotional Toolbox Prep…Why I Decided to Stop Shoving Everything Into My Refrigerator.

I’m too embarrassed to show you a before picture of my refrigerator and really, do you care to see it?  This post is going to start serious and end with, well, about why I decided to stop shoving everything into my refrigerator. I think I unconsciously live in fear of something happening and I won’t be prepared.  And when I say something happening, I mean, anything that creates chaos/confusion/emotional distress.  Example, my child gets the stomach flu and I am out of laundry soap.  So I tend to stock up on laundry soap.  But there are also the more intense situations.  Any military wife can figure out what I’m talking about.  We get 72 hours notice in an emergency to prepare for sudden deployments and that is IF you are lucky.  And then when they are deployed there is all the repressed worrying.  Of course you are now a “single” mom so there is no back-up.  The day your husband leaves for 6 months is the day your child gets the stomach flu and you …