How children deal….


 Over the many years of our military life, we’ve experienced many days, weeks and months without daddy.  It’s interesting how children evolve in their understanding.  Military kids are quite a breed of their own.  They experience things not a lot of other children do, and they adapt in their own ways.  One particular time in our life that comes to mind was when my oldest was about 4.  Ami was not really aware nor did I think she cared much.  At that point in her short little life it was all about mommy.  Brian, however, didn’t handle it quite as well.  He never wanted to leave me, even to be in the next room at Gymboree.  He was sad and cried all the time.  He couldn’t, however, explain it to me all that well.  He knew daddy was gone and thought he was in the computer.  I remember breaking down in Gymboree when my friend was visiting, trying to manage things.  Pretending like I had it all together when clearly I didn’t.  I think there was some lingering depression and just the fact that I couldn’t help my son.  The pressure on moms in general is undeniable.  We want to provide stability and happiness to our children; when we can’t it wrecks havoc in our mom brain and heart.  I had no other real support do to the nature of our location, and I didn’t have a lot of friends whose husbands were with mine.  Most of them weren’t married or were married to other service members.  The load was too much to bare and I kept it all in.  In turn I think whatever the kids were feeling was compounded by the feelings I thought I was keeping to myself.  They are pretty smart little devils aren’t they?

                   Getting in a little wrestle time

                                                                                                                           Daddy’s Home!
So now, during this most recent time apart I have a 17-month-old, an almost five-year-old and an almost seven-year-old.  Phillip is aware in his own way, and I notice it way more than Ami at his age.  Every time the phone rings he says “daddy daddy!”  He checks the bed and the closed bathroom door.  Brian is more talkative and obviously his understanding is way more developed than when he was 4.  He discusses it with his school counselor and his other military buddies at school (school counselor = amazing support).  Ami, so far, isn’t displaying any issues, verbal or otherwise.  However, her relationship with her daddy has recently developed into that typical daddy/daughter thing so we’ll see if that changes.

 of course, Murphy’s Law applies – via a hole in the chin

All I can do is take this one day at a time.  My support system here isn’t well developed, but what I do have is wonderful.  I recently just met a lady (while volunteering) that lives a similar life to mine.  She has young kids and doesn’t have support system that is connected to her husband’s career ( like me), which is different then a separate support system).  It was a little God moment.  I didn’t have to take this volunteer slot, I didn’t know much about her.  I also didn’t know I would need a ride to another metro station because the one where I was at was closed.  Sometimes its those little moments that you least expect, that don’t seem all that important, that make all the difference?

 post-deployment trip – my favorite picture ever

Have you noticed changes in your kids over the years?  How do you handle it?
What about little moments…..what’s your deployment “little moment’?

Continue Reading

Military Monday and *Giveaway*

If you saw my last post about Military Romance novels you might have read its become a recent curiosity for me. It’s not really an obsession, per se….but I do now find myself scanning the shelves for uniforms when at Wal-Mart or Target.  I’ve run across a common thread and I haven’t decided how I feel about it.  So while updating you on my recent reads, and giving you a chance to win some books, I thought I would open this up for discussion.

Here’s my discovery.  Most of the books that I’ve read have the same, but very interesting conclusion.  They have all ended with the military member miraculously timing his declaration of true love and marriage with him someone being able to end his career in the military.  Many times the conclusion is portrayed to the reader by inference that he is choosing his love, and his women, over his career.  The women in the story almost always doesn’t know if she can handle his career and either wonders this allowed all through the book or actually makes that a prerequisite for the returning of her love, or for accepting a proposal.  I don’t know about you but this completely sticks in my craw.  For one it portrays us women in a completely negative light.  Why yes, I will love you, but only if you give up the career that you’ve been in for however long, because I am too week and fragile to handle this difficult lifestyle.  Why yes, I’ll love you but only if you completely give up who you are so that I can have everything I want.  Clearly loving and being with me is a fair trade for whatever you will now have to do to find a career after what seems to me to be a sudden and quick break from your current career.

Now I know I’m totally thinking about this too much, and I’m most definitely reading too much into this.  Are these books not more likely to appeal to the Military Women?  I mean, I don’t know about the rest of us in this category but I wouldn’t mind reading a romance novel that ends with the guy remaining in the military.  It seems to me that there can be love and romance within the military life!  So now that everyone is rolling their eyes at me, LOL, how about I give you a chance to check the out yourself.  Personally I think they are better than any Shades of Grey book out there even though I haven’t read Shades of Grey.  But the military life, while not to be completely romanticized to the point where reality has to place….is pretty darn romantic if you ask me.

What are your thoughts?

Prize: 3 Harlequin American Romance/Operation Family Books
I found all of these at Wal-Mart at different times.  I’d never noticed them before, so I wonder if being in a high volume military location has anything to do with that or not; or maybe I never really paid attention to them before.  This is my first dive into Romance Novels.

The SEAL's Stolen Child (Harlequin American Romance, No 1430)A Baby For Christmas

A SEAL's Secret Baby (Harlequin American Romance, No 1415)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

Military Monday – The Toughest Job

I’ve been debating on whether I would eventually write about this topic.  Its one of those things where certain cliche sayings come to mind like, letting sleeping dogs lie or some things are better left unsaid.  However, everyone is talking about it and so why not jump on the bandwagon…since my view is, from what I can gather, the opposing viewpoint.  The issue at hand is that little phrase, ” (insert military branch here) wife, toughest job in the (insert branch again.”   The prevailing thought seems to be that this is highly offensive, although the idea of it being highly offensive is news to me.  In the 10 years that I’ve been a gf/fiance/spouse, it wasn’t until recently that I even thought of it negatively.  Lots of things have been coming up recently that I had never thought of before, that I’ve all of the sudden head people getting upset about.  I wonder how much of it is social media, or just people’s need to be mad, or pick a fight.  My husband tells me all the time I like to be angry, so I’m trying to make a concerted effort not to be.

Before I heard all the negative thoughts I always thought of this phrase as cute, as a way for military spouses to show support to each other, to lift one another up, and just a cute silly thing to put on a bumper sticker or t-shirt.  Literally – its not the hardest.  I get that, I really do.  Being the wife that stays home when her EOD, or Special Forces husband is deployed clearly is the toughest part of being in whatever branch of service they are in.  I’m not a complete idiot.

I asked my husband what he thought.  Its what I usually do when I want to get a grasp of something in reality.  He’s super grounded, and my anchor on emotional topics.  He looked at me and laughed and was like, “I don’t care.”  There you go people, straight from the horses mouth.  Mr. Air Force is pretty even keeled.   Not much of anything bothers him, and I’ve rarely seen him upset in the 14 years that I’ve known him.  However, if he feels strongly about something he’ll tell me.  When the whole hullaballoo over thanking current serving military people on Memorial Day came out he had an opinion.  People mean well, calmly say thank you and let them know what the day is really remembering, but don’t get all upset.  People are less apt to listen when you get angry and overly emotional.  That’s not to say that just because someone is well intentioned we should just let them do and say whatever they want.  But you get my drift.

So, there you have it.  It doesn’t bother me and when you take it for what it is, a support for wives, a little fun, that really truly isn’t hurting anyone, then why would you spend the time getting upset about it.  Now if you are the kind of person that wears that shirt or has that bumper sticker, or if you know someone like this, and you ACTUALLY think you have the hardest job and you act like you are the shizz that’s a whole different story.  I would wager a bit of money that it wouldn’t take a little saying to make that person act that way.  There will always be people like that, its the nature of the beast.

Maybe I have a little bit of a glass too full kind of attitude about it.  I mean, I just don’t get upset about it, and the hubby doesn’t get upset about it so I guess that is all that matters.

What do you think?  Am I crazy or do people seem to be reading too much into it then necessary?  Are we making a mountain out of a mole hill or should we be gathering signatures to abolish this saying?

Continue Reading

Military Monday on a tuesday: It’s Ball Season….so poo on you

So this was supposed to be my normal military themed monday post. But, my little guy turned one so I thought I would push this out a day and celebrate my little man!! You can see him over one year here. thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

My facebook news feed is littered with pictures of my friends all decked out in beautiful dresses for their respective military balls.  They are talking about it, posting pictures of what they might wear, sending me texts to ask my opinion; I even went shopping with one of my friends to look at some pretty dangly earrings to compliment her dress.  Don’t get me wrong, its exciting…that is…if you’re going.  If you’re not, well, lets just say it kinda sucks.  When you’re a military spouse the Ball is like the payback, the redeeming factor, the thank you let’s pretend we’re back in high school, sans kids, and get all gussied up and have fun.  It’s definitely worth a run-on sentence or two.  You might see some fun posts about what not to wear to military balls, like this one on Spouse of my favorites.

 Waiting for that beautiful invite to come in the mail inviting us to the ball, going shopping for the dress, the shoes and the jewelry, its all part of the fun.  I love it!  The hubby on the other hand can’t stand it.  I mean, he goes, for me really.  He’s not the most out-going type of guy, which might be completely surprising if you met him.  He’s not a hermit or anything, but spending all event schmoozing it up probably isn’t on the top of his bucket list.  He goes, for me.  This year, circumstances being what they are, we aren’t going.  I thought we might have a chance to attend another one…but, again, circumstances being what they are, we aren’t.

 I’m really sad about it.  More so then I would have thought, if you had asked me about not going awhile ago.  I’m not gonna like, I got a little teary about it.  It sounds silly as I’m writing about it now, but that’s my thing!  That’s the like the thing….you know, my big ‘ole military spouse thank you.  In all honesty, when do I really get to dress up like that?  I’m not really attending any operas or ballets, or Broadway.  Dinner’s out, even on date nights, aren’t usually super fancy.  I probably would have dug out one of my old dresses and worn them again, since ball gowns typically don’t go out of style.  I might have gotten some new shoes and some new jewelry…probably would have gotten my nails done, but would have done my hair myself.  So, here I am, not going this year and its kinda a bummer.  I have had plenty of times to dress up and dance with the hubby.  We started dating in highschool, so we had several school dances, our wedding, and a couple military balls.  So I’m not totally deprived.  This year has been hard though.  Moving across the country only a couple of months after having a baby, and a surgery…to a job where he’s hardly around, has been really rough.  I was sort of looking forward to this nice mirage in my little desert. 

Maybe just maybe I can talk the hubby into a fancy date here soon.

Anyone else missing their military ball this year?

Continue Reading

Monday is lots of things….

Monday is one of those crazy days…..the weekend is over, time to get back to life – hubbies usually are back at work and its back to your version on the grind.  Well in the blogging world, there are two things that happen on Monday’s for me….usually.  Most of the time it’s Military Monday’s over at the most awesome blog Marine Parent’s, with her awesome blog and shop.  

Marine Parents


        I was thinking of trying to not just link up with whatever random post I’ve got going on Monday, but really tackle a Military topic or issue.  I get asked questions, fun and serious, all the time by friends, family, random people, so what better way to handle it then to really talk about it.  So for the first topic, I thought something fun might be fitting, but a question I got asked recently, and get asked quite often – What’s your favorite part about being in the military?

That’s such a crazy question because it seems like it might be a simple one.  The military has been such a huge part of my life, that’s its hard to imagine not having it there.  For the short time I thought it might not be I totally was freaking out.  It actually kinda made me sad, more than scared, but you get my drift.  Hubbs has been in for now for about ten years, two years longer then we’ve been married, and four years after we got together.  I was fully a part of his decision and was 1000% on board.  I grew up with a strong sense of Patriotism, and love and respect for the military – both real and romantic.  I have a military in my family, and I even did my report on the most influential person in my life (in sixth grade) on my grandfather, who spent 20+ years in the Army and Army Guard.  He served in Korea and even went to the Berlin Wall.  My dad’s dad was a top turret gunner in World War II.  Various Aunts and Uncles have also been in the military.  Then of course there’s the romantic love of the military.  Old war movies, total crushes on guys in uniform.  I remember when I was like 13 or 14 I went on a tour of the Maritime Academy in Monterey, CA.  That is pretty amazing and I was in total girlie heaven.  Seems so silly now that I think about it.  I am also the girl, that almost pulled over my car to snap a pic with an sailor in his Cracker Jack uniform in Petaluma one time.  So funny.  Watching Anchor’s Away and all those fun movies was how I spent my time with girlfriends.  Later on in life, and with my boyfriend (now hubby), I really developed that love of old time war stuff into a real love and knowledge of history. 

 Me and the hubby (15 and 17) in vintage clothing from the 40’s

         The heritage, the honor, the pride that’s really what I love about being a part of the military.  Seeing my husband in his uniform, its a feeling like nothing else, and I still feel this way after all this time, the times apart, the crappy stations, the ups and downs, moving.  I would do anything, go anywhere and sacrifice pretty much anything for him.  He does it for me all the time.   His career is important to me.  Don’t mistake me, sometimes it absolutely sucks.  Sometimes I don’t like it, sometimes it’s hard.  Moving is hard – I am really missing my friends and family right now, adjusting to this most recent move.  Despite all that, I still love it.  I chose this life.  Sure I’m not actually in the military, and this may be super lame and so not woman power but I would sacrifice my career, if that was the path I was on.  It’s hard for those that are on that path.  Juggling all that.  There are so many wonderful women out there fighting to make that sacrifice easier.  I admire them and I hope it does get easier for those that are struggling with that.  I’ve said this before to people, and I’ll say it again.  I may not wear the stripes….I haven’t earned them…but they are as important to me as if I were wearing them.  Now you might think that’s super lame, but its how I operate in my head and make it through the tough times.  Sure I complain, I get sad and frustrated.  Just because I knew what I was getting into doesn’t mean feeling any of those things isn’t okay. 

        It may not be the way others do it, or how other feel, but for us it’s more than a job.  Its our life, its who we are.  We are proud of it.  I’m a Wife, a Mom and a Military Spouse.  Sure, there are other things that define me and I know there are plenty of people out there that have talked about not letting this be your only definer.  How can it not be a huge one?  Sure it might not be the only one, but its a big one.  And, not getting all wrapped up in what does or doesn’t define who I am, or who we all are as Military Spouses is important.  Be it Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy or Coast Guard – Active, Guard or Reserve, Man or Women, it doesn’t matter.  We’re spouses and that defines us.  Those other things don’t matter.  That’s how we can draw near to one another.  It’s not necessarily about our job, what we like to read, our hobbies – all of those things being important…but first what binds us is our love and support of our military member.  The instant friendships I’ve had, the connections – without even having to talk about what book we’re reading, what our major is or even meeting in real life for that matter.  These are all the things I love about the Military.  And all of these people below! 

 Mil-Blogging Conference
 With the wonderful Tiffany and Kris from The New Normal

 Me and Lori, from Witty Little Secret
 My friend Lacey who I met close to 6 or 7 years ago in my very first military support forum.  We’re finally in the same time zone!!!
 Silly google hang out time with military friends, one of which I’ve still not met in person but we’re as close as if we had!
One of the awesome part of moving is being close to girls that I’ve known for a long time from support forums and are finally getting to meet!  yay!!!

And to close out this day, some Mommy and Me Monday’s action, with the always hilarious Really, Are you Serious.  Mommy and Me Monday is all about getting in front of that camera with your kids.  We don’t usually get in front of the camera with our kids, but with the hubbs having been gone I had a chance to get into the frame to take a pic of all of us to send to him.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?
Thanks for stopping by!!

Continue Reading