Monday, December 31, 2012

A look back and a look forward

I sit here thinking back on 2012, just as most people are today. Where have we been and just look how far we've come has been the biggest things on my mind. Leaving the military life was oh so bittersweet. And it's definitely been a change. It's weird because I've been the civilian. I've lived in the regular world. But just the past six years have changed so much in my life. How I see things. And the way I live my life. 2012 has been a journey that's for sure. We went through good times, bad times, happy times, and rough times. Just as most everyone else in the world would go through in a 12 month period. And even now, being where we are, it's still somewhat surreal on certain days. It's hard to believe we're back home. It's hard to believe we have family just down the street that we can visit anytime we want. We don't take those things for granted. We've learned to appreciate the small things.
Having a home and plans for the future. A steady job/income. Our health may not be perfect but at least we're able to have doctors and support.
I'm so thankful for where we are today. Even if the road was challenging.

Looking forward to the future and the upcoming year, there's things I want to do, need to do. I want the stability of being home and not having to worry about my husband being in a foreign country. And we'll get that. It's an achievable goal. I want my family to be happy and healthy.

People always want "better". And life is not excluded in that description. But you have to make it better. It's not going to be handed out.

So, for 2013, I think I need to redirect my focus again. It's not all about the army, or my husband's career. It's about our family. It's about how each of us as individuals come together to make the whole. And we each have a chapter to input to the story.
I'm ready for the new year. This is gonna be the best part of our story yet. We're gonna make it that way!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am so honored!!!

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine asked me to write a blog to appear on her website. The amazing Her War Her Voice group that I have come to hold dear to my heart, including the ladies that participate. blog post was published on their webpage.

Can I just say I am so honored to have been asked.

Here's the link to what I wrote....

How Did I Get Here?

I look forward to writing more posts for the website and hopefully something I say will connect and make a difference for someone!! Because there have been so many things associated with this group that have touched my life and have made such an impact. I can only hope I can do the same.

Love you bunches Melissa & Christina and I LOVE YOU both for everything you are and everything you do!!!

My mentors, my Warrior Sisters!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Where has the time gone??

It seems just yesterday that we left Kansas and moved back home. We've gone through some challenges and struggles, but we are finally getting settled. We've closed on our home. I have a job. Life is becoming routine. Psh yeah right. Life is never routine around here. At least we try to have a routine.
I still have those moments that it all feels very surreal. Like we're really not here to live. Maybe just to visit. Even being in our home, it's home...but it's not quite reached the "home" feeling.

I still haven't even seen all of my family since we've been back. It's Thanksgiving this week though. I'm happy to say that I am taking over the holiday preparations again. It was always my holiday to host. When I moved away, I would occasionally host holidays at our house where ever we were. But this time, I'm back home and excited to squeeze the 29 - 30ish people into our small cozy house and pull out all my hostess tricks. It's what I love to do. So, we're gonna do it right. Not to mention, I have so many other things going on this week as well. In my true fashion, I'll be cleaning, and cooking, hosting, and taking care of appts, phone calls, and everything else that goes along with our crazy life now.

We were recently found eligible for the Caregiver program through the V.A. I'm still waiting on my training sessions to come through on email so I can do that and test. Then we'll have a home study (yet another reason to I needed a reason).
Hubby is still finding his balance now that he's no longer active duty military. I think he struggles some days. And the fact that his meds are being changed up have not helped at all. I've seen him sleep for 3 days straight to going days without sleep. I knew it was going to take adjusting when we got here. But I didn't realize it would be like this. My instincts want to take away all his pain and insecurities and struggles. But I've learned that I can't. This is something he has to deal with himself. But I'm trying the best I can to create a stable environment for him so he can have the security and comfort to make the adjustments he needs.
What else can I do? I'm here and I'm not leaving. So, I just do the best I can with what we've got.

I am feeling more creative lately. I've been trying to tap into that side of me since I've been home. Thinking about how I want things at home. How we can remodel the house. How I want to decorate. Maybe that's the therapy I need right now. I'm making this place ours. We've been gradually doing a few things here and there. Just gotta remind hubby that I know he wants things "adult size" but he's gotta remember when he hangs the mirror over the bathroom sink that I can't see in it if it's adult size. hahaha

Anywho...I'm off to do some laundry and get some things done. Plus it's waffle day. Time to make some waffles. ;)

later y'all!!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I once was lost...Now I am found...

Oh sheesh...where should I start?? I'm so far behind on my blogging. recap.... We have moved away from Kansas. We're in Tennessee. We still have no home. We are hanging in there, living with family and friends helping us out.
I'm still looking for a job. Hubby is officially retired from the military now. And we're still waiting on retirement and/or VA benefits to kick in.
We're still in Transition.

Before we left Kansas, I entered my biography to a group to attend a retreat for spouses/caregivers for wounded warriors. I was chosen to go!! So, this past weekend, I went to Nashville for four days. Everyone assumed I would be pampered and get to sleep all day and do all these wonderful things. And, I did. But not like they had imagined. We were pampered! That's for sure! We were given love and understanding...unconditionally. We were given wonderful things! We were taught how to see life situations in a more healthy way. We were given tools to help us live our life to the best of our ability. The only thing we were lacking this weekend was sleep. HAHAHA And that was by our own choice I think.

I could go through and tell you each and every detail of all the things we did this past weekend. But, I'm not. We had amazing dinners, we worked with horses, we met wonderful people, we went to the Grand Ole Opry.
All of these things are all amazing! But the purpose of the weekend and the most important thing was what we got out of it.

Here's what I got out of the weekend....
I was given a chance to release everything toxic inside my soul.
I was given a shoulder to cry on.
I was reminded that I have a voice.
I learned how to use my voice again.
I learned that I can control myself, but not those around me or my environment.
It's all about how I respond to my environment.
It is okay for me to do things for myself. It's actually encouraged and required.

The biggest epiphany I had all weekend:
The past five years that I believed I had little to no power because I was married. I wasn't a powerful single mother anymore. I always believed that my power had been taken away. When in all actuality, it wasn't taken away. I GAVE IT AWAY!! I gave it away without even knowing it. And it's never been kept from me. It has been offered back to me on more occasions than I even know. All I have to do is know it's there and feel the power that I DO HAVE!
Can you imagine how amazing that felt for me?? I have regained what I thought I had lost. Well, not regained so much as reaffirmed what has been there the whole time that I psychologically had myself convinced was not.

I went into the weekend thinking there would be this amazing opening of the Heavens with angels singing down on me. This of course did not happen. I had several "ah-ha" moments and realizations about things. And I know this is a process.
Just like we were taught this weekend... The goal to life is the process.

amen to that!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


When going through the medboard process, how do you know what expectations to have? I feel like we've prematurely expected everything to be done by now. We've packed our home. We've painted. We've cleaned. We've done our housing pre-inspection. I've withdrawn my daughter from school. The people who know things first told us a couple of weeks until we would have orders in hand. Now, we're hearing 2 to 3 months. I don't even know how to process this at the moment. I'm having so many different emotions. Do I leave my husband here to wait out the final processing? Do I stay, which would involve re-enrolling my daughter in school here? If I leave, how would we afford for me to come back to help with the move? How are we going to afford for me to even leave right now in order to get home and find a place to live and get her enrolled in school there? How am I going to even get a place to live there with no extra money and BAH still going towards the house here which has our entire life packed in boxes?

I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm sad. I'm annoyed. I'm confused. Could this have been prevented if we had just sat back and waited until the last minute when we had orders in hand to start the clearing process? Should we have kept on living day to day like we would always be here? I don't even know about any of it right now.

I can't talk about it with my husband because I'm still processing emotions. And as we know, he doesn't do emotions. I've cried out of frustration already this morning and walked away so he wouldn't see. Crying being one of his triggers, I couldn't chance that the situation would become worse because I can't keep my emotions in anymore.

I know with the military you don't expect anything when they say it's supposed to happen. And true to past experiences, I've learned once again that they have us no matter what. It all comes down to slow processing time and being overwhelmed with paperwork, on our part and the military's.

What do I do now? I feel myself spiralling into a place in my mind that I don't deal with any of it. Pretend it's not happening. Hmm...that's denial. But I know we have to figure this out. I just can't do it at the moment. I can't process the emotions to get to processing actions. I just want to sit and cry and do nothing. Why can't things go the way you expect them to? Why?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The next chapter....

It's the beginning of the end of this chapter for our family. My husband's medboard process has moved along. He received his percentages from the VA and the Army. We are very pleased with the outcome. They will be medically retiring him as well. Which is amazingly wonderful! The bonus to that is the kids and I will keep full benefits! I'm beyond relieved!!!

So, now begins the bittersweet changes that we were anticipating for so long. We have a short amount of time to get packed and moved. Although, his final orders are not in hand yet, we know they will be within the next week or so. Then after that, it's a matter of days to leaving Kansas.
I have begun making my "lists". I am a list person. I sometimes just need to see everything laid out just to squash any overwhelming feelings of procrastination. It never looks that bad when it's laid out in writing.
But here I am again, procrastinating. I'm lacking motivation to begin. I'm not sure if it's because chaos is not one of my strong points. I don't handle it well. And having my world in boxes sitting around in hallways, etc is utter chaos. I need organization and cleanliness. The thought stresses me out. Even with the list, I couldn't go that far as to make the "packing" list that I need. I have everything else leading up to that part.
And the thought of living out of boxes for the next...who knows how many months until we find a home. SHUDDER!!! I'm afflicted with anxiety and stress.
I know it needs to get done. So, I'm going to just buckle down and do it. Only thing I can do.
I'm going to start with one room. Which will be the office. I can pack away most of everything in there (sans photography gear) and the boxes won't necessarily be in direct sight. I can do this. I have to do this!!!
In the meantime, I've been trying to get in as much time with friends here as I possibly can. I'm going to miss them all terribly.
They've become my family. The definition of Army Family has a very strong meaning. They fill in for blood relations when you don't have any around. And it's just the same as leaving home. I'm leaving part of my family again. Definitely sad. But we have so many memories to keep with us. And we have friendship that will carry us through the rest of our years. Change and moving is inevitable in the military. But this time it just seems so final. Probably because it is.
So, if my girls are reading this....I love you all and I will miss you more than I can say.

But to stay's on to the next chapter of possibilities. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's scary out there!

I've been thinking lately. (I know that's nothing unusual and yet scary all at the same time.)
I'm officially unemployed again. The school year has ended, summer vacation has started. And so begins the countdown to moving away from Kansas back home near our family.
There's alot of things that I'm going to miss about the military life. Weird, strange things that we take for granted. The civilian world is a super scary place. So, here's my list of pros and cons about things I'm going to miss when we're out of the military.

CONS to leaving the military
1) Military ID: As horrible and disgusting as my picture is on that thing, it's been on my person for the past five years. I don't go anywhere without it and I have to use it for pretty much everything on post. It's kinda like a badge. A badge of honor...yeah...I'm an Army Wife. what now??

2) Military neighbors/friends: The civilian world has nothing on the military community. We all are in the same situation. We've been there, we are there, or we're going there. Gives a new meaning to "Been There Done That Got the Shirt". Everyone is here for the same reason and we all have a common life. In the civilian world...there's all the different mixes that just make for a disconnected mess. We have a camaradarie and link to each other in one way or another.

3) Commissary: GAH I have a love-hate relationship with that place. It's chaos on paydays, but there's deals that you just don't get in the civilian world. Meat is cheaper. Milk is cheaper. Coupons that only military installations have. I dunno what I'm gonna do without access to this!!!

4) Free Concerts: I've seen some mighty awesome concerts being affiliated with the military. Those celebrities love to support their troops. And we as the families love when they do!!

5) Stability: okay...this is somewhat of an oxymoron. You do what the army tells you, when they tell you. But you have a house, you have a job, you have electricity. Things are provided that you have to provide for yourself in the civilian world. Losing that is probably the scariest of them all!

6) Medical: I'm gonna miss being able to go to the doctor anytime I want without have to worry if I can pay the deductible or co-pay. I'm REALLY going to miss getting pretty much all of my medications for free (including ibuprofen). If I think I'm falling apart now...wait till I have no medical. It could be ugly.

7) Opportunities: The military provides opportunities that the civilian world just doesn't get. We travel, we see new places, we learn new things, we get discounts at lots of different places. You can't do that in the real world unless you're made of money.

8) Support (Battle buddies): The government and everyone around you are always there to support you. Granted, sometimes it's not very good support, but there's good intentions. If something happens in the real world, and if you don't have family or really good friends, you're kinda on your own. There's always someone here who's got your back.


1) Freedom/Independence: Being able to go anywhere you want, whenever you want.

2) Family: Being near family. That's the one thing I've missed the most being gone.

3) Pride: Once an Army Wife...always an Army Wife.

There's many more PROS, but these are the top three that pretty much trump everything else.
So, when a civlian comes up to me when I get home and asks me if I'm glad to be done with the military life, my answer is going to be "not really". Because I do love the lifestyle even with it's challenges.