Sunday, December 11, 2011

And You Thought Buying Gifts for Dad Was Hard.

So during this lovely holiday season something serious has been brought to my attention. I've dealt with this same issue throughout the deployment and several of my friends and family have come forward, confessing that this problem has plagued them multiple times as well. And the dilemma that is causing so many people grief is...what kind of gift do you get a soldier who is deployed?

It's a real pickle to be in. You have to think of something that would survive being shipped in the mail that far but is still special. Something they can enjoy but that won't take up a lot of space. Something that is useful to them but not against regulations. It's difficult to come up with ideas for Christmas, for a birthday, for Valentine's Day. So I've done some pondering and came up with a list of ideas of personalized gifts that you can send a soldier who is deployed (or away for training.) Hopefully it will get the juices flowing.


  • A Love Letter - This may seem cheesy but you would be surprised how much they crave that feeling of being loved over there. Surrounded by pain and anger all the time, your love written out in a simple letter reminds them that the whole world isn't like that. It gives them the hope and the strength they need. Even the tough boys need hugs. 
  • 101 Reasons Why I Love You - Why not sit down and make them a list of all the reason's you love them. Get a little silly too and tell them even the quirky things you love. Make them see just how special they are. 
  • Baked Goods - Bake them a batch of their fave cookies. To keep them fresh put them in a Ziploc bag with a slice of bread. Or get creative and bake them a cake in a jar. Here is a link on how to do that and some good tips about sending food overseas. http://baking.about.com/od/giftideas/ss/canningjarcakes.htm
  • Love Coupons - Make some homemade love coupons that promise him all kinds of fun when he gets home (maybe even a little over the phone or Skype *wink*.)
  • Make him a special homemade card complete with your best artistic skills! =)
  • Make him a photo book of pictures of what is going on in your life (and your kids lives if you've got them) back at home. Here are two great sites to do that. http://www.blurb.com/ and http://www.shutterfly.com/
  • Make him a home video or slideshow of pictures for him to watch on his computer with messages from everyone he knows and loves back home.
  • Sew him a blanket. Fleece tie blankets are very simple to make if your not good with a needle. http://www.allkindsofbabystuff.com/no_sew_fleece_blankets.html
  • Personalize a mug or t-shirt or pillowcase. There are several sites online that will do that.
I hope that gives a few of you some ideas in the future. If you think of any others that I don't have up here leave a comment telling about it!

Keep L i/o ving!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Excitement vs Terror

The days are ticking by as I'm trying to get ready for Christmas and every day brings my husband one day closer to coming home. I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't hide the fact that I'm very nervous about the upcoming day as well though.

This is gonna be a big change in my life. Brandon and I have never lived alone in our own place. I've been doing everything my way for the past year with no one to answer to. Obviously, if my husband wanted to know what I was doing and where I was I would tell him, but it came down to me not needing to be home at any certain time cuz there was no one to come home too. Now there will be.

My husband and I have been around each other enough to know what each other's little quirks are but there is something very different between spending a lot of time together and actually living together. Learning to adjust to someone constantly being right there, up in your business, can cause stress and frustration. I guess more than anything, I'm afraid that I'm gonna get on my husband's nerves so much that he won't wanna be around me, that he'll be sick of me. And as dumb as this may sound, even though I act like it doesn't bother me, normal bodily functions embarrass me around him. Guess I'm gonna have to get over that one hahahaha.

On top of dealing with all that, I'm rather nervous about us being able to reconnect after all this time. So much has happened over this past year. Both of us have grown, have changed. What if we don't fit together as well as we did before? There are so many questions and fears floating around in the air and none of them can be dealt with until he is home. Until I know exactly what I'm dealing with.

Down that same line is the fear of the unknown that he will have to go through when he tries to reintegrate into the lifestyle here. No one knows how a soldier is gonna react to being thrown back into life in this country after being in the sandbox for a year. Can you imagine living in fear for your life and your friends like every day for a year? What about being surrounded by people that hate you and want you dead? Can you picture what it would feel like to be on your guard all day, every day just to come back here and be told not to be cuz now your safe. You can't just shut off ingrained habits like that. If he starts to struggle I want to be there to help him through it...but I have no idea what I would need to do. I don't want to fail him.

I'm lucky to have a lot of support from seasoned Army wives here on post. One friend in particular has been amazing. I don't know what I would do without her. She told me that I needed to trust my husband, let him call the shots at first. Don't push him to do anything that makes him uncomfortable. Don't tell him what he should do. The first little while should be about him, what he needs. After he's been able to get back into a normal routine, back to himself, then and only then will he be able to truly focus on you. I've also found a lot of help dealing from online support groups for military wives. And a lot of them have been telling me that going to a few sessions of couples therapy can't do anything but help. It gives the couple a safe, neutral ground to talk. Fear, anger, and pain can safely be brought to the surface and dealt with. Coping strategies for both spouses can be discussed. Re-connection can be helped along. Brandon and I are considering the idea if we feel that we are struggling. I encourage everyone else who is feeling lost during a redeployment to think about this possibility. And don't let anyone tell you the counseling means your weak. The best advice that I got, do what is best for your family. Trust your spouse. Trust yourself. Get help if you need it. Don't let other people tell you how to deal with your relationship.

Keep L i/o ving.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1 Year Under Our Belts

Well, today was my 1st Anniversary. Though having my husband actually here would have been nice, I was surprised at how much I still enjoyed the day. My husband really tried his best to make it a special day from afar.  He called early and spend several hours talking to me. Right in the middle of our conversation the doorbell rang and there was a gorgeous bouquet of all my fave flowers. Totally surprised me. He had them custom order Gerber Daisies cuz I love them so much. I've never had such a beautiful bouquet. I'm so loved and so lucky.








Aren't I just so spoiled!






I can't believe a whole year has gone by. Being married felt unreal to me and now realizing that I've hit that one year mark feels even more strange. Partly because my husband has been gone practically this whole year. There are still times that I wake up and feel like I must have dreamed it. I have to look at my hand at random times just to make sure the ring is still there.

It's been a rough year...but a good one as well. I've learned a lot about my own limits and grown a lot. And I can't regret all the amazing people I've met over the time either.

I've grew up rather sheltered. My parents did a great job teaching me about responsibility and how to save money but when it came down to the basics of taking care of myself (such as making phone calls and dealing with bills) I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved to do it for me. I like to be taken care of. My husband likes to take care of me. It worked out perfect...until he up and deployed and left me alone hahaha. This year forced me to really grow up and learn that I have the ability to do those little things. There were several melt downs and several moments where I just wanted to give up. I'm standing here today proud to say that I've made it and in only a few more weeks my husband will be home!

So here is to the next year and all the challenges it brings. Next goal...learning how to live with my husband actually being home with me! =S Wish me luck!

Keep L i/o ving!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Luvs and Hugs

So I went to my parent's house for the past month and it was so great being back in the town that I grew up in...even though it snowed several feet while I was there. It was an adventure living in someone else's house again and though leaving everyone again was bittersweet, I was happy to be back in my own home.

I never would have guessed how much I needed to reconnect with old roots. Having a group of friends that have stayed in contact, even after high school, has been a foundation for me. Being able to see them and reconnect with them was exactly what I needed. We'd all ended up scattered all over, doing our own things and starting our own lives. We had grown apart in a way. No one to blame but ourselves on that. We all seemed to think we were better off on our own for one reason or the other. Turns out we needed each other more than any of us could have realized.

Having someone there who has grown up with you is a priceless thing. Someone who knows u that intimately is a gift in a moment of weakness. They understand who you are. They know exactly what to do or say to keep you moving forward. I'm lucky to have several friends like these. I'm lucky to have been reminded of how much they love me and how much I adore them.

There is Amber. Oh my dear sweet Amber. She has known me the longest and knows me the best for sure. We first became friends when we were 4 years old. I may have been small then but I have never forgotten how much I loved her even then. She was my best friend in the whole world...it helped that she had awesome toys hahaha. One day she moved though and for years she remained a faded part of my life. Then along came Middle School and there was my beautiful lost friend again. It took me awhile to realize who she was and why we connected so well but when I did, it felt like a blessing from above. She has been by my side ever since. We've been through thick and thin together. Nothing will ever be able to separate us. Both of us have chosen to do things that the other doesn't agree with but that has never changed our love for each other. She was the one person who held my hand through my worst days and was never ashamed to call me her best friend. She has recently come out that she is a bisexual. I don't agree with that kind of lifestyle but I would never think less of her because of it. I will never be ashamed of her. I will never stop loving her. And you can be dang sure that I will always fight on her side, no matter what. She is a sister of my heart. Beware to anyone who tries to destroy that bond.

Katie, my friend who is one of the most stubborn people I've ever met and I have to love her for it. She can totally give me a run for my money when it comes to refusing to give in...on anything hahaha.We've sure had our ups and downs. Strong personalities can clash something fierce after all. But even though there have been moments where we swear we can't stand each other anymore, I've always known that when I truly needed her, she would be there. She's also the one who somehow seems to end up in the same kinds of situations as me. Sometimes good ones and sometimes not so great ones. Though it hurts me to see her hurt at times, it's good to know that there is always someone out there who understands what I'm dealing with. Her recent discovery is how sucky Army life can be. Silly girl, after years of teasing me about how she couldn't understand why I turned into a mush every time a man walked by in a uniform, went and fell for an adorable guy who had just happened to sign over his soul to the Army. He is now currently doing his basic training. Being able to she her face to face and talk to her about things that go on in your heart when your man is away was bonding in a way that both of us needed. She has helped me feel not so alone in this strange military life and I can only hope I'm doing her some good too. I know she is strong enough to make it through being an Army wife. She just needs to believe in herself too. I can't tell her how proud I am of her. She has grown up so much and really has become a gorgeous woman. That boy is a lucky one.

Lyndsai, as special as the spelling of her name. I've known her for the shortest amount of time but that doesn't mean I'm any less close to her. She came into my life as a shy and quiet home schooled teenager. But I found that she was a ton of fun and completely lovable. She quickly became one of my best friends and I introduced her to the rest of the group. She fit right in. Soon every sign of being shy and unsure had disappeared. She's been an important part of my life ever since. No matter how much we might have fought we always forgave. We've done a lot of silly and irresponsible things together but we've created some unforgettable moments as well. When I spoke to her before going back to visit, I was worried about her. But spending time with her made me realize that she was really in charge of her life. She knew what she wanted and she was making plans to get there. I think she is doing amazing. There is no reason to worry about her at all.

Brittnee I didn't get to see much of since she is making us all proud by serving a LDS mission. I'm so happy and excited for her. Her letters seem to show just how happy she is to be doing what she is doing. I can't wait to see her again.

Brynn is doing well. She is facing her demons and getting help. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. For as long as I have known her, she has witnessed some of the nastier sides of this life, yet she always comes out pumping the air with a fist on the other side. That girl will never give up on life. She will never give up on happiness. I'm so glad to see that she finally has found a decent man who treats her right too. She seemed to glow when I saw her again. Nothing is better than to see someone you love finding what she deserves.

The best part. Though all these girls have their own lives that they are dealing with every one of them was there to support me. They were there, wanting to listen, wanting to be a part of my life. It was exactly the therapy I needed. I'm am a lucky chick. I couldn't have made it through this deployment without my girls. We're the real Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants without the stupid pants. We may need a reminder every now and then that we need each other, but we will never leave any of the others behind. These are my girls for life.



Friday, December 2, 2011

We Found Love In A Hopeless Place

Ever found a song that pulls at some emotion u buried deep down? A song that seems to capture the true essence of a situation that u've been through and that no one who is in ur life now truly understands. U listen to the song and find urself wanting to pick up the phone and call the someone whom those emotions embrace and see if they are ok. Have u been there? I am tonight...
I went to a friends house tonight to catch up and while we were in her room she got on YouTube to play some music videos. I watched causally while she talked about what had been going on...until Rihanna's song "We Found Love" came on and then it was like I couldn't hear what she was saying anymore. I was focused on the song, the words, the flashes of images in the video. I was transported back into memories of a time before. A time that I try to hide from now. A memory I make excuses for and one where I never truly understood the emotions I felt. How could someone who didn't exist in those moments ever get it either? And is it so horrible of me to want comfort from someone who lived it with me?
It's not that I want to go back to it. It's not that I'm unhappy where I am. It's just...it IS a part of me and though people may find it a blemish in my appearance, I can't make it go away.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Reflections of the Heart

This is gonna be a weird blog. This is one of those that is literally a word vomit of my thoughts. Most people probably won't understand this...but then again I never fully understood it either. It's just one of those things in life that happens cuz of some spiritual reflex deep inside.
A couple years back I was dating this boy. He had been a friend of mine since we were in middle school. We'd been off and on close. Senior year we got close again. He was there for me through some rough stuff. He was crazy in love with this younger girl. I knew the girl a little bit, but not very well. She was his everything. And she died. A part of him died with her and after that I didn't see much of him. He pulled away from everything beautiful and loving in his life. He tried to drown the pain with drugs and alcohol. And I just let him fade out of my life. I went to college, I came home, my heart got broke and suddenly their he was again. Out of no where he was there with arms open again, ready to help me heal. Why he was willing to let me back in so easily is beyond me. He has such a big heart.
Now admittedly, his idea for how to work through my heartbreak wasn't the best but he meant no harm.We were both broken and lost and we needed each other. No one else in my life understood that or liked it much but hey that was how it was.
However, it wasn't long before our lifestyle started to take it's toll on me. I knew it was wrong in every way possible and somewhere deep down inside the darkness in me was moving aside, letting hope back in. I wanted the boy to feel it too. I was scared. Kids died every day from the things that he was doing. I couldn't even handle the IDEA of losing him too. But nothing I did or said got through to him. So one day I found myself standing in a cemetery, staring at the headstone of a young girl that had once loved the same man.
I don't know what took me there. I had never really known her. Somehow, in that moment... in that situation, she was the only one I felt close to. The only one I felt would understand. I sat. I talked. I poured my heart and tears out to her...and I begged her to help me save him. I begged her to never stop watching over him. Then I stood and turned to leave. The wind chimes hanging from her head stone tinkled as if in response to my tears. There was no wind that day. At that moment I knew she had heard.
I continued to visit her quite often. I never told anyone. I felt silly talking about it. I still do but it doesn't really matter what people think.
The boy and I grew apart again. Or more, I put distance between us. Maybe it was wrong but nothing horrible seems to have come from it. We both moved forward with our lives. I married the love of my life and started a wonderful home with him. I've never been happier. That boy...he moved away from our home town, he cleaned up his act and got a job. He fell in love again and he blossomed as a person. As far as I can tell he is doing wonderful. He's happy and healthy. I am so proud of him.
Tonight, a friend of the girl posted pics of her on Facebook. I happened to sign in just as they were going up so they were the first thing I saw. My stomach lurched. I couldn't stop looking at her smiling face. It hurt to see all that life in her eyes and know that it was taken from her far too early. Maybe it's stupid but part of me feels close to her even still. I feel like I need to go back to her. That I need to thank her for giving me hope and for being his guardian angel. Stupid? Maybe, but I know she was there. She's still there. Her love lives on. He'll be ok. I don't worry about him anymore.

And now you know one of my deepest secrets. Take what you want from it. I got what I needed.

Keep L i/o ving.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hardships Don't Last Forever But Friendships Do

There is nothing better than good friends during a deployment. They become the rock of your sanity while the hubby is away. I am blessed with some of the greatest friend a woman could ever ask for. That includes old friends from old places to the new ones in my new home. I've met some of the most wonderful people in my life. I can't thank any of them enough for all they have done for me.
My friends have been the source of strength and stability for me throughout this deployment. Being so far from my family has been very difficult and I have been so grateful for the women who have stepped forward at the right moments to be the shoulder for me to lean on. I've had friends who were right there, ready to take me out for a good night when I needed to get out. I've also had friends who would text me every day just to check on me. Whether they were close in body or only in spirit, they were my life line. I wish I could be half as good as friend as they have been.
I wish I had more to say but honestly I don't think there are any words that fully describe the pure joy of having people that love and support like my friends do.

Keep L i/o ving.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sing Me A Song of Safety

I am glad for many reasons that I chose to move onto post. But right now, at this moment, while I'm lying in bed all alone in a house the #1 reason is safety. The fact that I can lay here alone every night and still feel safe is amazing to me. There aren't a lot of places in this world anymore that a lone woman is safe. Post happens to be a safe haven still.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you don't still need to take caution in protecting yourself and your possessions, there are still bad people on post, but the crime rate is so much lower. I still lock my doors and all but I don't feel like I need to sleep with a loaded gun next to me. I can be independent and not worry about someone thinking that means I'm an easy target. It helps that my neighbors have a dog that sleeps right next to my bedroom window hahaha.

These past few weeks have been great. They have flown by. With all the wives of deployed soldiers around there is always something going on and someone to hang out with. It really helps the days go by faster. I loved the friends I had in NC and I had a lot of good experiences that I would never trade for anything, but part of my wishes I had stayed on post for the whole deployment. I think things would have been a lot easier for me. But that's done with already so no need to dwell on it. I survived regardless. It's just nice to keep busy these last few months. Soon my husband will be in my arms again and this whole nightmare will be over. I swear it's gonna take days before I'm ok with letting him out of my sight again!
Surprisingly, though I haven't gone a lot yet, I enjoy what the gym has to offer here as well. (In case u don't know me well, I DESPISE working out.) They have about every kind of workout program/class possible. I've done a Zumba class which was a lot of fun and a great workout but made me feel like a clumsy idiot who has no rhythm....maybe that is what I am hahaha. I'm gonna be trying a class called Flaunt tomorrow morning. It's a "striptease" kind of workout. Hahaha sounds like a blast. Besides, any good moves that I learn I'm sure will be greatly appreciated by my husband *wink* =P Life is good, people. I'm seeing some real happiness on the horizon.

Keep L i/o ving!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10 More Weeks

So today marks only 10 more weeks to go until my darling husband gets home! I can't wait! I've started planning out how to decorate the house for his return. He's gonna be so embarrassed and yet I know he'll love it. It's gonna be awesome to have all my boys from over there home too. I've adopted a few soldiers as my squad sons and I can't wait to be able to give them big hugs too. They've made me proud and they deserve a big welcome home as well. Wish I could decorate their barracks rooms too. I'll have to settle with making them a cake or something. I figure they will have family here the first couple of days anyway. I hope they know how much I adore them. They are amazing guys. I've been so glad to know that my husband is serving with men I can trust to have his back.
One of my fave soldiers even before they left!
Heart u, Karl!

My hubby and my squad son, Dougherty.
Best part of calling him my son...he's older than me! =P

Today was a fairly good day for me. I managed to fix a few things around the house despite being sick. This house is slowly coming together. I am very proud of myself for one major thing though. Defeating the deployment curse. The curse where everything breaks as soon as the men leave. Its a totally real curse, promise, just ask any military wife who has been through a deployment. Today I came out on top. I have a few injuries to prove my fight but I won the battle. I managed to get my washer and dryer running by myself today. Other than having to run a load to see if everything is level, they are in perfect running condition. And I only got a scrapped knee and a one small goose egg on my head during the process. I'd say that is a major success. I'm so happy to finally have my own washer and dryer. You wouldn't believe how inconvenient and awkward it is to have to go to friend's houses to do laundry. I'm blessed with amazing people who are willing to let me do that but it's still gonna be nice to do it all at home.

Hope everyone is doing well. Keep L i/o ving!

Cars, Headaches, and Boxes....It's All About The Move.

So I am sorry it's been forever since my last post! Life has been a lil crazy. We got the call that housing had a place for us and so I had 3 weeks to pack up and move. It was hectic and stressful but I'm glad to be here. I've been slowly trying to unpack and make this place into a home while buying millions of things I never realized we didn't have. My hubby and I got married rather quickly before he deployed and so we didn't have much of a chance to have parties and stuff where gifts are given to help start you off. We also didn't have the money to buy anything ourselves. That was fine at the time cuz I was staying with a friend who already had everything...then we moved. However, I'm finally to a point where I feel like I've got most of the necessary items so that we can survive in a fairly normal way.

I am truly loving it here on post. The number one reason is that this is the first time I've actually had my own place. I've always lived with roommates or family members up until now. I feel so mature and alive walking around my house now. It also makes it feel more like a reality that I am married and my husband is coming home soon. I can't wait to have him here to share this home with. Our home....wow, that still gives me little shivers of delight. I'm also meeting other women who are going through the same thing as me and I love it. It's so nice to just be able to say something and your friend immediately gets it. Nothing against my non-military friends, they have done so much for me too and I love them dearly, but it just isn't the same. Being surrounded by the military is just...relaxing in a way. There are so many wonderful people that I'm getting to know. So many women who are willing to help and bring u into their homes and give you everything they can to help make your day a little easier. I've already made some great friends.

I'm getting ready for a trip back to my home town. So excited! I can't wait to see my family. My sister is having a baby shower and this will be the first time I've got to see her since I got the news that she was pregnant. They've been trying for a long time to have a kid so this is a very exciting moment in their lives. I'm so glad I'll get to see them again. I'm gonna stay there for the whole month of Nov since I didnt' want to be alone for Thanksgiving. That means I'm gonna have a great chance to meet up with some old high school friends! It's gonna be awesome.

I made the choice to start my own at home business through Market America right before I moved and so I've been trying to focus on that. Another reason I haven't been on here in a long time. It's coming along slowly but I love the products and so that is worth everything to me. I'm shedding some unwanted weight with  a product called Thermochrome that they sell and getting healthy with some Isotonix supplements.I've started taking a supplement called ACTS as well. It goes along with the Thermochrome to help me lose weight but is also helping my moods to stabilize. I've always had serious depression and anxiety problems. I was to a point where I was having daily anxiety attacks but I really didn't wanna get put on meds again. ACTS has done wonders for me. I feel so much calmer and like I can rationally deal with my problems each day. I'm getting rid of all my prescriptions one at a time and not only do I feel healthier but I'm saving money as well. It's wonderful. I encourage anyone else out there who wants to get healthier to look into their products. I'm sure they have something that can help you.
www.marketamerica.com/mariahgreen

Keep L i/o ving!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

L.O.V.E

Marriage is the most frustrating, annoying, antagonizing, maddening, irritating, upsetting, distressing thing in life....and I love it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Heart Is A Stereo and It Only Plays For You

What an emotional day. My roommate's husband left to go back to Afghanistan today. I went with them to the airport so that she wouldn't have to drive the hour back to our apartment while all sobby. I was surprised at how hard it was to watch someone else say goodbye. It reminded me of being at that same airport and being forced to say goodbye to my husband. Since it was so painful to have her husband here while mine was still overseas, I thought that it would be a relief to have him go back. Turns out that isn't the case at all...cuz now the whole house is just miserable. It's like one big tear orgy here. 
On a more positive note, we're going to be moving back to our post in Kentucky in about two months so it's been all phones calls and boxes around here lately. So far getting housing hasn't been as big of a nightmare as I expected. Then again there is still time for it to turn into that once I get there and start actually trying to move in. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. As for right now, it's just been a lot of paperwork and calling the housing department over and over, since they seem to be incapable of answering a call until you've called back at least twice. I've also learned through this experience and a few others that I've had, that whenever you send in ANY kind of paperwork to the Army you need to make at least two copies of everything cuz they will inevitably lose your file at least once. Guess it's just to keep us wives from getting too bored while the men are away. How wonderfully thoughtful of them (note that heavy sarcasm was used during this topic).
You gotta love all the stacks of paperwork you have to fill out as soon as you become part of the military! I think I've killed more trees in this past year than I ever did in school. Here's to killing the next couple trees in these upcoming months. 
Keep L i/o ving!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not #1....

Ugh! It's just been one of those weeks. When I married a soldier I new it came with a price. You get to be one of the proudest women in the world when you see your husband dressed in his uniform but it also comes at the cost of knowing that when the Army calls, he goes. It doesn't matter what is going on in your life at the time. You needing him there doesn't mean that he won't go. Army first, family second. That's the life of an Army wife, of any military spouse.
I knew that when I chose to marry my husband. I had been warned by former and present military spouses. I was willing to do it for the chance to love him when he was there. However, you can never truly be prepared for what it feels like to watch your husband leave. You never are ready for that moment at night when you are crying and you need to hear his voice but he's thousands of miles away and you can't just pick up the phone and call him. You can't imagine how it feels to have hot jealousy course through you when you realize he can't be there to help you but he's helping complete strangers every day he's gone. You can't prepare for the ache you feel inside when he misses something important in your life, like an anniversary or the birth of a child. These are things that you can be told about, you can know are coming, but that you can't understand until your right there in the moment. I'm still learning every day. Deployment is a painful journey.
But, through love, it becomes worth it. Every moment that you do get to spend with your loved one is that much more special, more cherished. You become one of the people in this world who truly understands the meaning of living in the moment. Each time they return it's like falling in love for the first time all over again. When you see the pictures of them, in full gear, throwing up a peace sign next to a resident of the country they're in, you can't help but smile and over flow with pride. That's your man! He's the one who's fighting to keep everyone warm and safe in their beds. He's the picture of hope and courage. He's perfect in that moment. I don't believe there is any stronger love than the true love of a soldier and their spouse.
I married a wonderful man. Each day is a battle of my own without him. But each day I survive is a day closer to being in his arms again. That is a memory worth fighting for.
Keep L i/o ving.
Yah, it was "Mustache March." Luckily, he normally shaves
that creepy thing off. =P

Monday, September 12, 2011

Every Night I Miss You I Can Just Look Up And Know The Stars Are Holding You

Military spouses go through things that most people can't even imagine. One of them is spending months KNOWING that your loved one is in constant danger and not being able to do anything about it. The fear of a car with men in uniform pulling up to your house. The idea that they might get injured and your much too far away to be by their side.
 Not being able to help someone I care about always leaves me feeling helpless. It leaves me discouraged and frustrated and just plain upset. That's how I felt when I got the call from my husband when he ended up in the hospital during his deployment. It was good to be able to hear the news from him because that reassured me that he was obviously not dying, but hearing the pain in his voice nearly tore my heart from my chest. I wanted so badly to be by his side. That is what a wife is supposed to do. She is suppose to rush to the hospital and sleep in the chair by her husbands bed when he has to stay over night. I couldn't do that and it tore me apart. I can't remember doing anything but crying that day. I was thankful that he was ok and that they seemed to think that he was going to heal fine, but the ache of being helpless was almost too much. I think it was probably the hardest moment of my life.
I wonder, am I the only one who feels like she fails as a wife when she can't be right there with him when something happens or when he needs me? I know it isn't my fault and that I have no control over it. However, I still can't help but feel like I'm letting him down. I hate how I can't experience anything that is going on in his life right now with him. Does anyone else ever feel like they are missing out on some of the most important parts of their spouses lives when they are deployed? Or at Basic? Or when they leave for some kind of training? Maybe it's because I'm so new at this military thing. Maybe it's because some days I'm honestly jealous of him because a couple years back I wanted to join the military but was medically unable to. Whatever the reason, it's the thing that I struggle the most with. It's through the love and support of good friends and family that I make it through each day. It's the instant connection that builds between other military spouses that gives me the courage to move forward. It's the unfaltering love of the man I married that reminds me why I'm doing this. Never give up.
Keep L i/o ving.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Neighbors TV is on Ridiculously Loud!

Wow! I have been sooooo bad at keeping up with my post! I feel like I haven't had a moment of down time in the past week though. I've been so busy! It's been nice though cuz it's kept me from spending all that time feeling miserable and missing my hubby as much as I could be.
Ok, seriously though, my title of this is all I can think about right now. I think they are watching the game and it's really annoying that while laying on my bed all I can hear is their TV. I seriously hate this apartment. These walls are stupid thin and then having loud neighbors (or roommates) just doesn't help at all. I can't wait till the day that Brandon and I have our own house with a big yard so that I can have moments of complete peace and quiet. I think I'm going to be a complete brat right now and blast religious music right at our connecting wall. Jeez, I hope I don't spoil their game! *wide innocent eyes*
Alright then. Now that I have thoroughly annoyed my neighbors lets move onto the next thing. While at church today I was thinking about all the women I know. I know of several very "well off" women and I started thinking about the way that I see them interact with a lot of the other women. Several of them do exactly what you would expect them too. They have an air of arrogance and then tend to intimidate and insult the women who are not as fortunate as them. You find them hanging with the others like them and avoiding those who aren't. From this observation people would easily say that any time money gets involved in high amounts it corrupts people. I, however, have a friend that proves that wrong. Yes, money can become a problem but it isn't the money that is necessarily what is wrong. It's the person. They let themselves be corrupted. You can fight that. It's just part of mastering your own emotions and thoughts. It's controlling ourselves instead of letting the world around us be at the wheel. A friend of mine is honestly an inspiration to me. She isn't a millionaire or anything, but she has money. She has a large, beautiful house. She's got a Mercedes and nice clothing. She's beautiful and blessed...and she doesn't let any of that change the beautiful soul she has inside her. She is one of the most giving people I have ever met. She doesn't see people by the way they dress or what they drive, she sees them by their warm, loving spirits. She befriends all and loves everyone the same. She has been there for me from the moment she welcomed me into her home. I know I can always count on her. Even when I don't ask for help, she is there rescuing me. Sometimes when I don't even realize that I need to be saved. She will give her all to put a smile on someones face and all she asks in return is for your friendship. Every day she continues to amaze me with how freely she is willing to share what she has. She is a true Christ-like woman. I hope I can be more like her no matter where I am in life.
That is proof to me that we can't make excuses for how we act or how others we know act. We always have a choice. Don't let greed or pride spoil your soul. Don't let things of this world complicate your thoughts. Lets really work on making this world peaceful. It all begins at home. (Guess that means I should stop annoying the neighbors now.) =P
Keep L i/o ving!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Black & White vs Rainbows

Has anyone ever had a moment in their life when they feel like they've slightly lost their identity? I'm kinda in a slump of that sort. I know who I am...but when I look in the mirror that isn't the woman I truly am reflecting back. It's just a weak shadow of who I could really be. Now I'm not trying to be all emo and moan and cry about how I'm so suffocated and misunderstood by the people around me blah blah blah. That's not what I'm getting at, not at all. I'm not blaming anyone but myself for the way that I'm feeling. It's only me who is able to let myself fade away. I know how I've got here...I'm just not sure how to get myself out of it. That seems to happen a lot in my life. I'm very good at getting into a pickle and not so great of getting out of it.
Strange as it may be, I realized all this while listening to Fall Out Boy. Then again, if you had known me at all during high school that probably won't come as a surprise at all. Fall Out Boy has always been my motivation and inspiration. Love that band like I love air. That right there is what started the thought that led to me to realizing just how much of a stranger I've become to myself. That band has always been my favorite band. I used to listen to them like they were the water that kept me alive. Yet when I put them on the other day it had been almost a year since I had heard their voices. Now if that isn't out of character, I don't know what is. I've let myself drift away from most of the things that I truly love. Sometimes out of fear of the unknown and other times because I've been trying to fit myself into an image that I think people want me to fit into. It's just not me.
Now don't get your panties in a bunch and mistake what I'm saying. Not everything is messed up in my life by any means. In fact it's quite the opposite. I'm lucky to have a pretty awesome life. I love my husband more than I love life and he treats me like a princess. I've got a solid roof over my head, food in my fridge, a nice car, and money in savings. My husband sacrifices a lot to keep me safe and healthy and I appreciate every bit of what he does. I wouldn't trade him for anything. He's my rock and my light in this dark world. He keeps me pushing forward even when I just wanna lay down on the ground and throw a tantrum like a 3 year old. (Kinda glad for that because I'm pretty sure I would have looked like a total fool laying on the ground kicking and crying. It would not have helped me make friends by any means.) I've also got a semi-functioning body that doesn't have anything wrong with it that isn't fixable. I've got a wonderful family to back me up when I need it and amazing friends who are always there to laugh at me when I've been an idiot, even when we are miles apart. I've got a pretty decent life. The only thing wrong with it is ME!
Which then means the only thing I need to be concerned with is being truer to myself. I need to take the time set my future on a path that will not only make my family happy but me happy as well. I need to learn to take risks, to play by chance. Am I going to slip and fall on my butt a few times? Of course! It's probably gonna be more like a lot of times but that is part of living. I'm tired of sitting here watching the world go by. It's time for me to join those breathing folk and do something with myself. I need to stop just following along in others footsteps and get dirty making my own trail. Let's just hope I have to courage to stick to these changes. I wanna be me!
So my lil message to everyone out there tonight is to love yourself always and trust in who you are. Don't let anyone change you, don't let yourself fade away. Take those chances and the risks, fight to be what you want. Everyone deserves full happiness so go out and find it!  Keep L i/o ving!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Army Wives are made of Flour and Sugar and...Chocolate Chips?

Today has been one busy day! Nothing makes me happier than to put a smile on someone's face and who deserve to smile more than our brave soldiers fighting overseas for us? Therefore, today I spent my time baking up a storm in an attempt to send a box full of delight to some of my boys over in Afghanistan. I'm exhausted but happy...and not even halfway done.
So I already had one loaf of zucchini bread in the oven when the idea of them possibly molding, while in the process of shipping, was brought before me. Talk about a slightly panicked moment! I'd already promised these boys more than cookies this time. Luckily, my darling friend found a wonderful solution for me. Bake the bread and cakes in a jar! That's right folks, pour the batter into a glass jar, bake it, then as soon as it is out of the oven screw the lids back on and in a few mins you'll hear the pop of the lid as the can seals itself! Genius! I'm hoping that they turned out alright since I've never tried this method before. I'm thinking of trying brownies this way as well seeing as my hubby LOVES brownies but I hadn't thought of a way to get them to him without them being gross either! I've got tons of idea floating around in my head now! Thank you so much, Danelle, for saving the day! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Till Tonight Do Us Part

This world is one messed up place. It's a struggle just to keep your head above the water. Marriage has become something that doesn't mean a thing to people anymore and I find that devastating. Marriage is special and it's should be binding. These days, however, no one takes it serious. They get married and then as soon as some problem comes up in the relationship a divorce happens. They aren't willing to try to work it out. It's just easier to move onto the next relationship. That is heart breaking to me. People have no idea what they are missing out on.
A marriage isn't easy. Unfortunately, despite what the Disney stories say, you don't get married and then it's happily ever after. A marriage is a job, you gotta work at it. There are going to be disagreements and moments where you don't think you can stand the other person for another second. Mistakes will be made. Both partners are still just human after all. But that shouldn't give us any excuse to forget the vows we made and walk away. That's what boyfriends and girlfriends do, not husbands and wives. You have to compromise, talk things through, and work at making your lives harmonize as one. It's hard work but none of us can imagine the blessings to come if we do that.
I really don't understand this whole cheating thing either. The world is full of it. As a military spouse I see and hear about it all the time. It's hard to stay faithful when you don't feel like you're even married sometimes, but that is still no excuse for the disgusting act of cheating. It's just plain wrong, I don't care what the circumstance is. What I really don't get is why people cheat when they have their significant other right there with them. You see it in the tabloids every day. This celebrity cheated on this celebrity with this celebrity who cheated on this celebrity with this person who cheated on that person back in such and such time. It's pathetic. My husband has been gone for almost a whole year now and I haven't cheated. Ton's of military spouses wait faithfully every time their lover deploys. If we can survive when they are not right next to us every day, it should be a piece of cake when you do get to spend time with them daily. I've seen so many relationship crash and burn because someone was incapable of being faithful. It's sad and infuriating. Are we all just wild animals that can't control our urges?! Grow up people.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lonely Is The New Look

Organic food, where have you been my whole life?! I totally used to think that all the organic mumble was just crap. Then I was actually convinced to shop at an organic grocery store. YUMMINESS!!!! Not only is it healthy and isn't scary to eat (seriously, do you have any idea what they put into some of the stuff we eat? It's terrifying! Like "I'm gonna kill over dead from something weird" kind of terrifying) but it also taste soooooooooo much better. So what if it's smaller portions than your normal grocery store, it's so worth it. Since when did we decide to trade flavor for size?! We are seriously missing out on true food bliss in this country! I say bring on the F-L-A-V-O-R!

So I had the apartment to myself all day today and I've really enjoyed it. It's been so quiet and I got to do whatever I wanted when I wanted. That includes napping in the middle of the day and running around in my underwear. True bliss. Sometimes being alone is a blessing. Not saying that I don't miss that man who put the ring on my finger but the simpleness of not needing to worry about someone else for a day is so relaxing. I had the ultimate "me time." I'm a firm believer that everyone needs a little time just to unwind and focus on nothing but themselves, even when they have found that person that completes them. It keeps things fresh and the mood light. Get out there and have some girl time! Get your nails done, get a massage, go dancing! Guys, go fishing or four-wheeling, go play some ball games with your buds. I know as a newly wed that that is the easiest time to forget that you don't have to spend every min with your spouse. Don't forget that you still have other friends! And friends, don't forget that we still need you in our lives even though we just got married! I know that was a kinda rough part of adjusting to marriage for me. It was like everyone thought I just needed to be left alone with my new husband. At times that was really nice but after a few days I was really missing my girls and conversation with other people. Getting married, moving to new places, all that newness can be overwhelming  and that's when we need the solidness of our bffs!
Yup, I have no idea why I went off on that tangent. Time for bed! Keep L i/o ving!

Heavy Heart and Heavy Eyes

So it's just one of those sleepless nights. My king bed if feeling more empty than often and I just want my cuddle buddy home with me. Insomnia seems to be a normal problem with the military spouses, both overseas and the ones left behind, as several of my friends are either talking to me on Facebook or texting me. This is the part of deployment that no one sees, this is the pain that we hide away, the scars that we don't share.

Something happened this week that has left me disturbed and though I've avoided the subject till now, I think this blog is the perfect place to bring it up. Especially since it's partly what's keeping me awake. I just found out this week that a spouse back on the post that we're stationed at committed suicide, leaving behind her husband and three small children. It was an awful shock to everyone and extremely heartbreaking. I know that having your loved one gone to war for so long is a scary and stressful experience...but to hit that level of depression is a whole different thing. To come to a point where you honestly believe that taking your own life will be better for everyone and that it is the only thing for u to do is really rock bottom. The worst part, you never know who it could be. This girl hid her pain better than anyone, no one saw this coming. Now a disastrous mess has been left behind by her pain. Her family and friends are left trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and find a way to put them back together without her being a part of them.
Now most people would be angry with her, call her selfish, and I admit I partly had the same reaction. Then I stopped and really thought about it. Yes, it was kinda selfish. She didn't think about how it would hurt the people who loved her but then again...maybe she was so low she didn't think it would hurt them. Who are we to judge what was going on in her head?
I've been there. I've been to the dark place where you feel like you can't take it anymore and you just wanna die. Now obviously I didn't act on that impulse. In fact I never even went far enough to seriously consider doing harm to myself. I could never hurt my husband like that. But this deployment has put me in a place where I thought the only relief would come from death. You can't understand that sort of loneliness and pain until you've been there yourself, so please don't judge.
For those out there reading this, if any of you are lost and hurting like this poor girl obviously was, please don't hide it thinking your alone. So many of us have been there before. We've felt that smothering unhappiness. We want to help you fight your way back to top. Reach out to us and let us take your hand. Don't let it get the best of you. We love you.

Keep L i/o ving

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Rattling Fan

Hello everyone! I'm baaaaaaaack! Today has been a lazy and yet productive day. My morning started off with me being covered in apple juice and soggy banana puffs. It's a good thing I adore my friend's baby so much. But then again can you blame me? He's adorable.


After pretty much doing nothing for a couple hours (Hey, I was allowed to. I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning trying to keep my friend, Danelle, awake long enough to finish the cinnamon rolls she was baking for her husband's morning seminary class.) I then decided to actually get ready for the day. I got interrupted by a quick call from my man in uniform (YAY!) but it was well worth looking stupid with half my hair clipped up on top of my head. I am glad that he loves me no matter what though cuz I really did look like a Who from Whoville having a bad hair day.  I drove to the post office, mailed the package I've been promising my hubby for a week now, and then came home. Now here I am sitting on my bed, chattering nonsense to you, and listening to the ceiling fan in my room make an annoying rattling sound. What an epic day!

Sooooo I've promised my husband, and some of our pals that are deployed with him, baked goodies this next week. I always send chocolate chip cookies and snicker-doodles. This time I wanna add some other kinds of treats in with the cookies. I'm thinking banana bread is gonna be one choice. Anyone else got some good ideas for me?

So on the "healthy" topic I had a happy realization today about Almond Milk. I started drinking it cuz I'm lactose-intolerant and I'm honestly just not that crazy about the taste of milk. Almond milk not only taste great but it doesn't give me stomach cramps. However, I found something even more exciting about it today. While drinking a delicious glass of it this afternoon I started reading the carton. Almond milk has 10 calories less than regular 1% milk. It also has 15% more Calcium and has 50% Antioxidant Vitamin E while regular milk has 0%. And it just keeps getting better! Do u have high cholesterol? Cuz Almond milk has none! Finally I've found something that is healthy AND tastes good! =D Wow...I totally sounded like a commercial right there.... 
Also, on a slightly different topic, ever feel like your make-up is just creating more of a problem for your skin even as it is covering up your nasty pimples? I know I have a hard time finding make-up that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. Danelle (She's the friend that sells the vitamins too) is selling a make-up line called Motives. I've personally tried some of it and it's really nice! It's mineral make-up that has high pigmentation! It feels so light, has amazing coverage, and doesn't have such a "my face is melting off" effect. My friend has a website if you wanna check it out. She's a wonderful person to work with so don't be shy! She can hook you up! www.WakeupMyMakeup.com

And here is the link to her website for the vitamins she sells. That is where you can get the before mentioned Aloe! Hopefully soon I will be selling it too!

Keep L i/o ving!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Keeping Telling Myself I'm Not The Desperate Type

Well, here it is. I feel a lil apprehensive starting this blog cuz most of the time I don't feel like I have a lot to say that is worth sharing but several people have encouraged to do this and so here I am. In the end it does give me something to do with my rather plain life while the husband is over crawling around in the sands of Afghanistan. One of the most difficult parts of being a military spouse while your other half is deployed is the loneliness and that feeling of not having anyone to talk to. This blog is gonna be the place where I share my feelings. Hopefully, it will encourage someone else, who is dealing with something similar, that they are not the only ones out there having these feelings.
So, Brandon (my husband) and I were married on Pearl Harbor Day (curse on our marriage or a big "HA!" in the enemy's face?) in 2010. He then deployed that following Jan. This is where the name of my blog came from. While a spouse is deployed you stay at home and love the memory of them. It's that memory of their arms around u and their soft kisses that keep you going. Every military spouse clings to that memory, it's the the only way to get through it.
 It's been interesting trying to learn to be a wife with a husband so far away but I know I am far from the only one who has done it. Obviously and happily, the deployment is getting close to coming to a end. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time for him to come home. We may have been married a year at that point but we will still have so many new adjustments. Wish us luck!
Anyway, so two days ago my roommate's (also a Army wife with a deployed husband) husband came home for his R&R. I managed to stay away until late last night and so it wasn't until then that it really hit me how much I miss my husband. Watching her being all cute and cuddly with her man nearly broke my heart. I want mine here too so badly! But enough whining for today.  Keep L i/o ving everyone!

Oh! P.S. I'm gonna be trying to share lil ideas for healthy living every now and then. I have an amazing friend who is helping me to become healthier. She sells vitamins and believes strongly in the healthiness of being a vegetarian. Now, being from a cattle ranch, I am far from a vegetarian and I don't know if I'll ever actually get there but I've found that putting 3 or 4 vegetarian meals into my week makes me honestly feel so much better. Also, I've struggled with horrible gallbladder pains for almost 6 years now. I've tried everything to help short of removing my gallbladder. My dear friend gave me Market America's Aloe to drink. IT DID MIRACLES! I'm so sold on it. Not only did it dissolve the pains I was having, it helped get my acid re-flux under control and it taste great! And Aloe is meant to help with any kind of digestive discomfort. Totally worth looking into if you are having some kind of tummy trouble. Your more than welcome to ask me anything about it and I can help you get some headed your way if your interested as I might soon being selling it! We also have tons of other helpful all natural products. So hit me up!