Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Christmas Present

Well here we are at the end of another deployment. These two and a half months have been an absolute whirlwind for me. I feel terrible to have neglected my posts, but am overwhelmed with the peace and contentment of another deployment down and so many recent blessings to account for.

So much has happened while hubby has been away, which made the time fly by. Here are the highlights:

  • finished another semester of grad school

  • got my real estate license and am partnering with a friend on a major niche project in 2011 involving tons of buyers and plenty of work to keep me busy

  • signed with a modeling agency

  • visited family in Nashville, and had my sisters visit me here this weekend to celebrate Christmas early

  • had the guest room in my home occupied for most of the deployment - from friends, to family, to people passing through

  • went all out with Christmas decorations this year, including lights on the house for the first time!

  • hosted a Christmas cookie exchange, which I plan to make an annual tradition

  • attended several awesome Christmas parties and gift exchanges with wonderful friends

Needless to say, I could hardly find the time to sleep, much less keep up with my blog unfortunately. But it has been a blessing to have so many wonderful opportunities come my way and to feel so loved and fulfilled with so many social events and visitors.

Now I sit on my couch. The house is all quiet (a nice change, actually). My tree twinkles in the corner, illuminating the room and reminding me of the warmth and comfort that this season brings. I can sit and reflect on the past few months, and relish in the peace and joy of now - the most wonderful time of the year. For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been the most amazing, magical, loving time for me. I am not a very emotional person, but during these few, last weeks of the year, I can't help being overly sappy with friends and family, shedding a tear as I watch Miracle on 34th Street yet again, and smiling with a surprising love and patience as I venture into the shopping rat race in search of the perfect gifts. Yes, this is a truly Christ-filled season for those who dwell on such aspects.

In a matter of hours now, I will be receiving the best Christmas present ever. My husband will return to me once again. The decorations around the house, and hustle and bustle outside are only further reminders that his return is nearing. What more could I ask for than the love of my life coming home during the most joyful, romantic time of year? We will be spending Christmas day at home, just the two of us this year. Since he arrives so close to Christmas, we want to enjoy every moment that we have together. We will be skyping my family during present time on Christmas morning though, which should be fun! Hubby and I have a delicious menu planned for Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, and Christmas dinner. From crab legs, to cornish hens, to banana's foster french toast.. mmmm.. can't wait. Hopefully I will have my appetite back by then. I am always so jittery and excited the week before he gets home that eating is the last thing I can think about.

So now I'll try to get some sleep, but probably not much! I am so happy to have my other half home soon.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. - I am planning on much more devotion to my blog in 2011!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I love them.

What a blessing to spend the first week of a deployment with family. They provide all the right forms of distraction: laughter, busy schedules, comings and goings, and plenty of noise! This week was great, considering how much I miss my hubby. I will head home in a few days.

This week I have a break from my Master's classes. My next two start up on Monday. While I am enjoying this break, I am anxious to get going on my next 2 months of classes. This has nothing to do with the actual work. I am just feeling extremely impatient for the next two months to fly by. Oh, the things I would do for a fast forward button for life.. Or even the ability to nap for a couple of months. It's not that life is terribly unbearable without B, it just makes me so impatient because I know how much better everything is when we're together! How come when you want time to fly by, it takes forever, and when you want time to stand still, it races on faster than ever? My classes will serve as excellent distractions, and hopefully help the time to pass at a decent pace.

Random Pondering: love as an action. Lately I've been contemplating what it means to truly love other people. I believe this is our calling and purpose in life as human beings, but often feel that I am falling short. It is easy to love when we feel loving, or when someone is particularly easy to love. But truly loving others is much different, and much more difficult. Our culture seems to dwell more on the "feeling" definition of love, whereas God seems to emphasize the action: "Love is patient, love is kind, etc.." Thus, love is not just something we feel, but something we do no matter how we feel. I want to love like this.

More later..

Monday, October 11, 2010


It's that time again..

Said goodbye again this morning. While this is becoming routine, it is not becoming any easier. We are much better at the transitions now, but saying goodbye still feels like someone punched me in the gut. The good news.. I'll be receiving the BEST Christmas present ever this year! (God willing there are no delays on the trip home).

We had a wonderful weekend before he left today. Friday, we went shopping and had a nice dinner out. Saturday night we rocked the house as Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons at an awesome 80's party...
And Sunday, we spent most of the day at the beach...
So here we go for round 4. More challenges. More growth. More changes. Many more philosophical ramblings to come.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting close!

What a slacker! I can't believe my lack of posts lately. Life has been good. Here's a taste of what I've been up to the last couple of weeks...

Perfecting my trampoline skills is just one of the fun and relaxing activities I've enjoyed at the lake so far. My family spends every summer up on this lake - I've been visiting since I was a baby. I love it here! It's been perfect for passing the time until hubby returns. Other than being a vacation bum, I've been working on my classes and trying to train for this triathalon I'm doing in October. It's going pretty well, but swimming in the open water is much more difficult than in the pool!

We're in the homestretch now for B's homecoming. The end of the deployment is almost as emotionally crazy as the beginning, I think. I am beyond excited, which makes me restless, anxious, scatterbrained, I lose my appetite, it's weird! I was trying to explain the feeling to my sisters the other day, but I don't know if they could fully understand. I think it's one of those parts of the military life that you have to experience to fully grasp. Part of the anxious/nervous feeling is the result of the many unknowns involved in any military related event or situation. I can't help hoping that everything will run smoothly, with no deviation from the plan that may cause disappoinment and stress. But my understanding of the liklihood of planes breaking down, travel delays, etc. creates added tension and nerves. But, as soon as I spot him in the airport and run back into his arms, all of the uncertainties fade away and yet another honeymoon begins with the sheer bliss of a perfect match reunited.

Not much longer now...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1st!

Ok, it's officially the month of hubby's return! Granted, it will be towards the end of the month, but it's still exciting! The last few weeks have flown by. I am now with my family in upstate NY and will stay here until B meets me up here after his deployment. I am loving the peaceful solitude of being on the lake, as well as the wonderful company of my family. What a perfect combination, and excellent environment as I focus on my master's classes and anticipate hubby's return. I am really enjoying my graduate program so far. The classes are a ton of work, which is good because they keep me busy and I am truly enjoying the learning process. It's amazing how much more enjoyable school can be when it is an option, rather than a mandate. I am especially enjoying it these days, as I study from our deck overlooking a gorgeous glacier lake in the hills of NY. Today it was 70 degrees and sunny. I will post pictures soon!

Speaking of pictures, check out the adorable puppies I visited on my drive up to NY:

B and I will be picking one of these little guys up on our drive home the beginning of August! I put a deposit on our choice of the two males. I'm so excited! We've been thinking about getting dogs for about 2 years now, and have finally decided to go for it. These are labrador/standard poodle mixes, so they don't shed. We are also going to get a white one of the same mix, or a white purebred lab. I found an excellent breeder in Birmingham. We will get both dogs from her.

Well the pillow is calling my name. I have an early breakfast date with dad tomorrow.. Is it just me, or do all dads love going out to breakfast at the crack of dawn? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, I have much more to ramble about I'm sure, so I'll write more later. I have slacked big time on my posts this deployment. With all the traveling and starting my master's, I haven't been as devoted to writing as I would like. I will attempt to turn that around during these last few weeks of deployment time. It's finally July! Yay! I'm so excited for my best friend to come home to me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Husband gone = I am protector of the household. When the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, I have to handle it. You always have this plan in your mind for what to do if certain emergencies happen - fire, a break-in, etc. So I reacted according to plan initially, but found that in my planning fantasies, I was much braver than I actually am. Let's reenact.. I'm sleeping soundly with Julie & Julia still playing quietly on the TV and my bedroom door closed and locked as usual. Alarm sounds for about 15 seconds and then says "garage door entry." I sit up straight in bed and have my 9MM (which resides on my nightstand locked and loaded every night) in my hands before I even process what's going on. The alarm stops, and I listen for any sounds of someone in the house. If the alarm goes off, ADT calls immediately. I received no call for the first minute. Weird. I have a million scenarios running through my head - someone knew our code, broke in and turned the alarm off and are waiting outside my door, stuff like that - At this point I realize I'm going to have to leave my room to find out what's going on. But I'm literally frozen with my heart jumping out of my chest. I call our good friend Jared, who lives just a few minutes away. He talks to me while I muster up the confidence to open my door and peek down the hall. Sure enough, the door from the laundry room to the garage is open. Now I'm thinking someone tried to come in, or is in the house somewhere. I close my door and lock it again. Then I remember that I have a gun in my hand. I am protector of the house. Still on the phone with Jared, I walk through the house checking each room. I still haven't heard from the alarm company and can't figure out why. I hang up with Jared, and notice some headlights coming down the road. I had never been so excited to see a cop car in my life. I half ran out the front door to meet the police officer - gun still in hand. She explained that the alarm company still had my old cell number on file, and then obviously they couldn't reach B's line since he's deployed. So they sent the police. The officer came in and cleared the house, garage and backyard, and stayed for a few minutes talking to me. She was super nice. A neighbor stopped by to make sure everything was ok. Talk about a lot of commotion for an average Monday night. We decided it could have been either the AC unit kicking on extra hard and pushing the door open, or the wind coming through the garage at just the right angle. The external garage door was closed the whole time, so I don't think anyone tried to break in. But this has never happened before, so you can imagine the scare I had! Boy do I wish hubby were here tonight. Don't plan on getting much sleep tonight.
I love my gun.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pros and Cons

I had a discussion with our squadron commander's wife today that got me thinking. I am so incredibly thankful for friends and the support of our military family. When I first met my husband - 5 years ago - I was very skeptical about joining this military lifestyle. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into and didn't know if I would like it. I have to say, the deployments are the only part of this life that I am not particularly fond of. I love everything else - the amenities of the base, a strong bond with military friends who share in the same situation, constant opportunities for things to do, medical coverage, benefits and military discounts, the list goes on..

If it's one thing I've learned so far, in order to get what you want and need out of an experience, you have to make the efforts to seek it out, not wait for it to come to you. If you want to make friends, put yourself out there. Be bold. Take action. If you want to enjoy the support of a group, volunteer to help and make it better. Get involved and take advantage of opportunities and amenities. If you're bored, call a friend. Don't expect that people will know how you're feeling and reach out to you. You should reach out to others, letting them know what's going on with you and how you can better connect with them. These are steps to an empowering confidence in a quest for all that an experience can offer.

So, even though I sit on my couch on Wednesday evening missing my hubby like crazy, I am so thankful for the many upsides to this military adventure and hope to continue discovering more as time goes on.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Breakthrough

This past week was a struggle, but I've broken through the clouds, and am seeing clearly once again. Lessons learned: 1. Be honest with how I'm feeling rather than try to hide it from myself and others. 2. Don't resist emotion. Embrace it, deal with it, and get through it.

I'm reading an awesome book by Henri J.M. Nouwen for one of my classes right now. I read a section on loneliness today that was especially enlightening to me and pertinent to my current situation. Nouwen talked about how our culture is obsessed with seeking remedies for a nagging sense of loneliness through distractions such as a busy schedule, love, friendships, etc. What we don't realize is that none of these things will take the loneliness away, but rather, using them to avoid loneliness will hinder our relationships and personal well-being. We will subconsciously use people for the fulfillment of our own needs, if we are consumed by our need to escape feeling lonely. We can so easily become overly concerned with the activities of others and whether we're being left out, or missing out on opportunities. Nouwen believes we need to work toward transforming our loneliness into fruitful solitude. This is an inner strength and peace that brings contentment and an appreciation for privacy and alone time - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our culture revolves around making connections, being in the know, staying busy, competition, knowing what everyone is doing and letting them know what we're doing - facebook, twitter, etc. In a desperate attempt to fill our lives with as many friends and opportunities as we can, could we be caught in a cycle seeking a fulfillment that we will never find through such means? If our intent is ultimately, and probably subconsciously, to avoid loneliness, are we going to accomplish this by continuing in this restless rat race, or embracing a restful mentality?

Nouwen says that solitude deepens our affections for others. He says, "when we live with a solitude of heart, we can listen with attention to the words and the worlds of others, but when we are driven by loneliness, we tend to select just those remarks and events that bring immediate satisfaction to our own craving needs."

This past week, I was really wallowing in my "loneliness" with B being gone. After my breakthrough the other day, and after reading Nouwen's book for my class, I came to some motivating conclusions. Why do I feel lonely when he's away? I am clinging to my need for him to make me feel not alone. But why am I running from this feeling? I am not embracing solitude, I am afraid of loneliness. This can be applied to other aspects of my life besides deployments - as discussed above, in filling my schedule with things to do to distract myself, in feeling a need to be in the know about what everyone is doing, and feeling down if I'm home facebook stalking when everyone else seems to be out having fun! While I don't believe staying busy and social are bad things at all, I just want to make sure I'm motivated to do so for the right reasons - seeking fellowship and involvement to build relationships, not using them to avoid an awareness of loneliness. And when I am physically alone, I want to view that time as peaceful and an opportunity to cultivate inner strength and contentment. In developing this adherence to solitude, I want to transform my heart and mentality to a confidence in my own inner peace, that will foster a restful spirit, joyful attitude, and deeper affection for others.

Even in accomplishing such a transformation, difficult times will come and go, and I still believe it is very important to be honest with ourselves and our emotions, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel so that we can deal! But I feel very inspired by this new way of thinking and approaching everyday life. I plan to work toward embracing solitude in all aspects of my life. What a liberating and promising pursuit this will be!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nothing to Hide

I wrote this a few nights ago, but didn't post it. Then I realized there was no reason to leave it out. Writing helps me to better understand my feelings. I had a rough couple of nights emotionally (began with my bad day in the previous post), and needed to be honest with myself and what I was feeling. And because this blog is about my journey as a military spouse, I can't very well leave things out because they aren't uplifting enough. This is real life. And sometimes life is a rollercoaster...

5/26 -

I'm frustrated by my own vulnerability. Even writing about it is uncomfortable for me because I don't like to accept it. Love can be so hard. Loving someone with your whole being brings times of sheer bliss and times of pure pain. The part that frustrates me most is that I never imagined myself so lovesick and ripped apart at times due to the emotional ups and downs of being madly in love with a man who is constantly taken away from me. I used to see myself as so strong and emotionally sound. I never cried. I protected myself with a barrier, which blocked anyone's ability to break me down. And here I am now, investing all of my energy into creating distractions for myself in order to drown out the constant nagging of the empty hole inside that makes me want to hurl. I know that through the grace and strength of God, and through my relationship with Him, I am able to focus on the positive most of the time. And I understand that it is up to me how I choose to live my life and view my situation, which is controlled by the attitude I decide to have. I am always honest in writings, which are reflections of my thoughts and feelings. So I thought that leaving out posts like this one would be dishonest in a way. I am weak, wounded, and struggling at times, and I have nothing to hide.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home again, home again

Returning home from my trip to Nashville was bittersweet. Being with family during deployments is a great distraction and support, but being home with friends and plenty of things to do is great too. Unfortunately, I can't have it all at the same time. The downside of returning home is the quiet.. Oh how I hate the quiet nights! I have a very difficult time sleeping when B is away, which is very frustrating for me because I am normally an excellent sleeper. I always feel very safe and comfortable in our home, I just can't fully relax enough to sleep peacefully when he is away. So last night was rough and I knew it was going to affect my day today. After not sleeping much during the night, of course I woke up at 6:30, feeling drowsy and disoriented. I ended up falling asleep on the couch until about 9:00, which killed my plan to work out early before running errands and studying. So basically, my bad night carried over to a bad day. We've all been there - everything you try to accomplish feels like a failure, and everything that could go wrong, does. I knew a big part of it was my negative, grumpy attitude due to my lack of sleep and general frustrations. But I chose to remain in the clouds, feeling down most of the day. B called, and I lost it on the phone. I kept apologizing, and he reminded me that it's ok to cry, that it's a natural release that shouldn't be restrained. He's right. Sometimes you just need to let it out.

The turning point in my bad night that turned into my bad day, was this evening's spouse coffee. I always look forward to our monthly events, and especially appreciate them during deployments. I can't even describe how grateful I am for the amazing support group we have. I often refer to them as my "military family." It is so comforting to share this common bond with so many wonderful ladies. I am truly blessed to have the kind of support that can pull me out of the funk of a bad day and remind me of who I am and who's always there for me - God, my husband, family, and friends.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid-week mind wanderings.. on deployments

Week one is going well. I don't anticipate the deployments will ever become "easy" or "normal," but the transition times are definitely growing smoother as we learn more effective ways to deal. For example, the night before he left, I found myself cleaning up all of his clothes from the floor and putting away his shoes and other things around the house so that I wouldn't come home with the remains of his deployment packing everywhere - a mistake I made last time, which served as another reminder that he was gone. Also, B strongly encouraged me to visit family the first week of the deployment, which I wasn't planning to do, but am glad I did! We've learned all kinds of ways to make the changes of coming and going easier on both of us. After the last deployment, I actually wrote up a little debrief on how the first week of his homecoming went, with notes to make next time even better.

It's so obvious that starting this psychology/counseling/therapy track is going to be a good fit for me. If you haven't noticed yet, I'm very much a deep thinking analyzer when it comes to the mechanics and management of relationships (especially my own). I'm looking forward to gaining the knowledge and wisdom necessary to help others put together the pieces of this crazy puzzle we call life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Anniversary!
And He's Off Again for Round 3..

Yes, today is our 2 year anniversary. And yes, he deployed this morning. Third time's a charm? Well maybe.. Today was great, considering. We spent the weekend in isolation mode, celebrating our anniversary at a beautiful resort and relaxing at home. We've had an awesome first two years of marriage and enjoyed reflecting and just enjoying each other. I dropped him off at the airport today and just kept driving.. all the way to Nashville to see my family (a last minute decision). I'll spend the first week here and drive back home Monday. It's such a blessing to be able to spend the first few days with family, rather than just me, myself and I in a quiet, empty house. The day was flawless. Hubby made it off safely, I had a lovely, therapeutic drive, and now I'm with people I love. Off to a great start. I think I'm ready for round 3.

I start my Master's degree this week in Marriage & Family Therapy, which should keep me quite busy during this deployment and those to come. It's an online program, so I'll still have flexibility to travel at my leisure, or most likely, on a spontaneous whim - something I value very much with hubby's schedule these days. I also started substitute teaching, mainly for the flexibility as well. I can choose whether I want to work or not, which works quite well with my lifestyle right now, correlating with my order of priorities.

So here I lay, ready for bed once again with one instead of two, hoping to dream of the best two years of my life, praying the next two months fly by..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Late Night Ramblings

What I'm looking forward to most tomorrow: grocery shopping. Weird, I know! But for the first time in a couple of months I'll be buying for two again! I have a great menu planned for next week - a combination of new recipes to try and some of our classic favorites. :-) For the first night, I've decided on stuffed beef tenderloin, my super savory and delicious homemade italian stuffing, roasted veggies and rolls, and carrot cake for dessert! These last days are creeping by, but I've been extremely productive. I'm trying not to let the excitement make me scatterbrained or out of the ordinary.

On Valentine's Day night I went out with some friends whose husbands are also deployed right now. We had a delicious dinner and then saw the new Valentine's Day movie - very cute. At the restaurant, a couple at a table near us heard from the waiter that we were a group of spouses with deployed husbands. When the waiter brought our table of 7 another round of whatever wine we were drinking, I asked him if it was a Valentine's Day special. He said no, the drinks were from a couple in the restaurant who really appreciated what our husbands do and what we do for our families. They wished to remain anonymous. We were so touched by such generousity and thoughtfulness - even moreso on a night when we were especially feeling the absence of the ones we love. Such appreciation and positive reinforcement is such a motivational breath of fresh air.

We discussed the importance of positive reinforcement today during my substitute teaching orientation. In the classroom, the ratio should be 5 positive comments to every 1 negative. I know the same is true in a marriage. Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of emphasizing the positive in everyone I interact with - family, friends, the cashier at the grocery store. I want to transform my thoughts and perceptions of others so that the negatives are drowned out by the positives - to see people through God's eyes - with compassion, love and acceptance. Easier said than done - especially when you're in a huge hurry and the customer ahead of you has a load of coupons, is paying with a check and the cashier is moving at a snail's pace.

I'm on the verge of another philosophical rambling here... I think I'll spare you the agony save this one for another time.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

B sent me this live bamboo plant twisted into hearts for Valentine's Day. What a creative gift! I love it because the bamboo will continue to grow in the dish. He knows I hate how flowers always die so soon. I hope I'll be able to enjoy this plant for a while. And it matches the decor in our living room!

Tomorrow night will be fun, even though hubby can't be here this year. I'm doing a girls date night with some of the spouses who would also rather not sit at home alone on the day of LOVE. We'll get dressed up for a nice dinner and then go see that new "Valentine's Day" movie. It's so nice to have great friends who share the deployment times with me. I never feel truly alone, because I have my extended "family" in the same situation, and it's comforting to have them around all the time! Thanks for being great friends - you know who you are. I love you guys!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not much longer now...

Well it's getting close to that time again - another trip to the airport, but this time to bring my man home to me! Everything pressed as planned with his early homecoming, so I'm very excited about that. I wasn't convinced until I received his emailed itinerary the other day. So I'm already starting preparations for the week he is home - he has a full week off from work after deployments, which is wonderful. I'm not planning on sharing him much during this time. :-)

There are so many things I want to cook! It's amazing how much I miss cooking in just 2 months. I've been jotting down new recipes since he left, so I'm going to plan a great menu for that first week home. I haven't decided what to make for his first night back, but I know what we'll have for dessert - his favorite homemade carrot cake. YUM! And I found what sounds like an amazing chocolate cream pie recipe on best-chocolate-recipes.com. I figured with a web address like that, it must be awesome. I don't even know if B likes chocolate cream pie, but I've had a craving ever since I watched that Julie & Julia movie when she whips up some deliciousness in the first scene.

In other news, we had a successful redo of the spouse sleepover on Friday night (after last week’s cancellation due to my death-like sickness). I had about 10 ladies over whose hubbies are also deployed right now. We had plenty of junk food, along with some adult beverages, and watched movies and played games until the wee hours. I think it’s going to be a new tradition! I think our husbands were almost as excited as we were about the notion of a slumber party. Word sure traveled fast overseas about the wives getting together for a “wild” evening – I’m afraid their imaginations were the only things going wild, however! No topless pillow fights or jello wrestling at this gathering, just good old-fashioned, party like you’re 12 years old, fun.

Praying for some good sleep tonight..


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Usually I'm an excellent sleeper - B and I usually hit the sack around 11 and I'll sleep solid until 8. I need my 8 hours, and have no problem getting them when all is normal. When hubby is here, I can fall asleep in 2 minutes anytime after 8 p.m. I've always been thankful for my great sleeping abilities. However, my sleeping skills always suffer during deployment time. I'm up till at least 1 a.m. every night and often wake up at 7 and can't fall back to sleep. I've been trying to figure out why this is, because it's not that I'm creeped out from being alone, or that I'm not used to sleeping alone by now. I've decided it is because my body is in a subconscious state of hyper-alert, causing an inability to fully relax. I'm able to get the bare minimum necessary to function the next day, but nothing extra. And without that extra, by 4:00 I'm falling asleep on the couch. I've let myself nap the last few days, but it's always hard to move on with the day afterwards. To nap, or not to nap? What a conundrum.

Boxing - my most recent hobby and addition to my workout routine - seems to leave me extra tired by the afternoon as well. I'm absolutely loving this new venture though, and it's a killer work out. B bought me the heavy and speed bags and installed them in the garage before he left. I've been wailing on them ever since. I told him he better not piss me off ever again, or I might have to pull out some of my mad skills. Ha! But seriously, I'm loving the training and conditioning - learned a lot from Youtube - what did we ever do without it?


Friday, January 29, 2010

Too Much Couch Time!

During the last three days, the furthest I traveled from my house was to the mailbox, and other than that short walk, I divided the rest of the time between the couch and my bed. Food poisoning hit me hard! Or it could have been some kind of stomach bug - all I know is as bad as the sickness was, I think being cooped up alone was almost as bad! I had plenty of time to think about missing my hubby, and no energy to visit with friends or work out - my two main forms of therapy! For someone who goes stir crazy after just a few hours in one place, sick times are especially frustrating - especially without hubby to keep me company. I was especially bummed because tonight was slumber party night at my house for some of the spouses whose husbands are deployed and I had to cancel. We rescheduled for next weekend. But I'm on the up and up now and am hoping to make the most of the rest of the weekend!


Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Complicated

I saw the new Meryl Streep/Eric Baldwin movie, "It's Complicated" the other night and loved it! Meryl Streep's character was a divorced woman and in one scene, she was working with her architect to remodel her home and asked to have one of the two sinks removed in her bathroom. She said it reminded her of how alone she was whenever she had to look over at it. I know exactly what she's talking about! Sometimes at night while brushing my teeth, I look over at B's untouched vanity and it's just another reminder that he's away. But at least my hubby's coming back to me! I can't wait for him to return.

I've been a bit down the last few days, and I can't pinpoint the cause. I think it's a combination of things. It's been rainy and I haven't seen the sun in three days - the weather often has a big time effect on my mood. Also, everything going on in Haiti has me feeling pretty down. And I know B is in some far off deployment land, but lately I've felt the weight of this distance in a way that I haven't before. It's hard to describe - complicated I guess- but I think with the devastation in Haiti and it's effect on our country and military, I'm just needing the reassurance of my husband's presence during such times of emergency and unknown. He's been everything I need him to be with frequent communication and encouraging words, but I just miss having him home safe and sound.

Making a long drive tomorrow, then enjoying some time with my fellow spouses with deployed hubbies. Hoping for some sun this weekend! :-)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Live Intentionally

My parent's pastor preached an awesome sermon last weekend that I'm still contemplating mid-week. The theme was living with intentionality. He referenced Romans 12:1&2, one of my favorite passages. I've come to realize that living intentionally requires a daily refocusing session.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in the "What should I do with my life" syndrome, where the world revolves around "I," "me" and "my." And it's easy to bring God into the picture with the age-old question, "What does God want me to do?" After getting married fresh out of college and moving to a new area with limited job opportunities in the midst of a suffering economy, I spent months contemplating these very questions. I have learned so much in the past year about contentment and God's will for our lives. Everything about my personality screams "do, do, do!" "go, go, go!" When I felt as if I had hit a brick wall, I had two choices: wallow in self-pity on the verge of depression, or "be transformed by the renewing of my mind." I toyed with the first option, but eventually decided on the latter.

I want my life to center around love, relationships and contentment. Those things do not come as a result of "doing" something great or achieving "my" goals. I have to intentionally restructure my life around those things, as oppose to what the world often deems important. This is usually contrary to my internal wiring, hence the "transform" and "renew" parts. Because it is foreign to my human nature, I am working on refocusing every morning.

So that's what's been rolling around in my little head.

On another note, I start my Master's degree in a few weeks. I'm studying Marriage & Family Therapy, and couldn't be more excited! I've always known that I want to work with people in some way, hence the PR background. But I think this is my true calling. I've always been intrigued with the dynamics of relationships and helping people work through mental and emotional issues. Besides preparing me for licensure as a marriage and family counselor, this program will be a great supplement to the type of writing I'm interested in pursuing.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good news... maybe!

I received some excellent news from B yesterday. He is 99% sure he'll be coming home a couple weeks early! What a great surprise. However, I won't set myself up for disappointment, because if it's one thing I've learned with the military - nothing is ever for sure.

That's one of the biggest lessons I've learned the hard way over the last few years. Plans have been easily ruined, vacations cancelled, etc. due to "policies," "procedures" and flat out "no's." This kind of stuff used to make me angry, sad and full of resentment. But I've learned to deal with disappointment differently. Getting all riled up never made me feel better and certainly didn't change the situation. Active duty military learn to go where they're told and live by the rules, as ridiculous as they may sometimes seem. They are expected to do this without complaining or whining. I hope to adapt to this way of life now, and to apply it to the rest of my life after the military. I very much look up to my husband for his ability to accept things without complaining. This used to bother me, because I wanted him to be upset when I was, especially if I felt something was unjust. Well, I've come to realize that it takes a stronger person to take what life throws at them with grace, optimism and acceptance.

I rarely take plans or promises as 100%, in an effort to ease potential disapointments. And I am making efforts to deal with disappointments in a more effective manner.

...Yet another character-building life lesson, compliments of the military...

But it sure would be nice to jump back in his arms a bit sooner than expected! ;-)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Counting my Blessings

With the recent devastation in Haiti, I find myself thanking God for his incredible blessings in my life. With my husband deployed, I sometimes feel like I'm in my own little bubble of survival, dealing with the minor day to day trials and challenges in my own little world. Such travesties really put things into perspective. If the most difficult aspect of my life right now is dealing with frequent separations from my husband, I have much to be thankful for.

God bless the many who have lost loved ones in Haiti. God bless that nation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Packages: a deeper significance?

As much as a deployed spouse must enjoy receiving packages full of delicious baked goods from home, I think the sender receives an even greater, deeper satisfaction in the process. Today I spent most of my afternoon baking cookies, brownies and homemade fig bars for B. After packaging each treat delicately with bubble wrap - still warm from the oven, I added a special hand-written note and made it to the post office with 3 minutes to spare before the last mail went out for the day.

Although I was pressed for time during the last hour of baking due to the frustrating fig bars, which resulted in driving like a mad-man during school bus rush hour to make it to the post office in time, only to return to a disastrous kitchen, I feel that the work was worth my while.

Somehow, the more thought and effort I put into such "projects" during deployments, the more connected and involved I feel to my hubby and the situation. This is probably all in my head, but it seems to be an excellent coping mechanism! I know B would be just as satisfied with a package of rice crispy treats, as with the most elaborate, time consuming baked goods that I could send. But I still feel compelled to try new, usually more extensive recipes. So again, package sending seems to be as much, if not more for me, as for him!


Monday, January 4, 2010

That Time Again

Took an all-too familiar trip to the airport this morning with a car full of military gear and a man bound for another deployment. Have three months already flown by? After Germany, the holidays were upon us, and the days seemed to pass quicker than I could keep up with. I found myself wishing I had a pause button. I was so blessed to have B here for Christmas and my birthday (Dec. 31st). This is a luxury worth appreciating more than ever before. Though the last weeks flew by, we enjoyed many relaxing, sweet moments, as well as some wonderful travel, surprises and romance.

The week before deployment time hit me hard. We returned home from my family's for Christmas and realized it was already time to pack and prep for him to leave again. The first deployment was full of adrenaline for me. I knew it would come eventually, and after so many months of mental and emotional preparation, I was ready to experience it. I didn't want to, I just wanted to get it over with. It's like as a child, when you have something to talk to your parents about that you know will make them upset. You just want to get it over with, and no matter how bad it turns out, the relief you feel from getting it off your chest is far greater than the pain that ensues.

So the first deployment was a new adventure. Though I often described it as living in black and white, and had plenty of down days, I was a strong survivor driven by my own rush and determination. When I say strong, I'm referring to the ability to stay positive and joyful amidst challenging times. It's not about being strong enough to live on my own, run the household and take care of myself. I do not need my husband for these reasons, as I am quite capable on my own. However, the physical separation from the love of my life and best friend who I spend every day with, is a separate issue.

Now the adrenaline is dying down and this is just a dread. I began dreading this day last week. Normal conversations, comments and thoughts brought prickling tears and a lump to my throat. I got sick of swallowing it down and I cried. And my husband consoled. And I cried again. He has developed excellent consoling skills over the years. We've learned that keeping emotions inside equals bad times. Sadness is one of those emotions that needs to be let out. Before the first deployment, B would try to "fix" the sadness - a natural manly reaction to a problem. I explained to him my need to feel this emotion in order to make it pass. Pushing it down will only bring it back in larger, more difficult to manage quantities. While neither of us want to waste the time that we have together feeling sad, I've found that allowing myself to feel sadness sometimes and share my feelings with B is much healthier than suppressing it until he leaves. This way, the few sad feelings that come before a deployment are easier to overcome with my husband offering support, understanding and encouragement. On the other hand, waiting to let myself feel all of the sadness at once after he leaves would be much harder to handle.

I am feeling down today, as expected, however I continue to focus on the positive. I told B on the phone a few minutes ago that I would much rather have an incredible relationship with my loving husband who sometimes has to leave than to have a struggling relationship with a husband who never leaves.

Driving to Nashville today. Will stay for a couple weeks. Until later this week...