Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little Perspective

Here is sit at the end of 2011 and thinking back at what kind of year we've had. Good times, bad times. Happiness, loss. And definitely lots of changes. Makes you wonder what 2012 has in store. I'm definitely thankful I had my husband home the entire year. And dealing with the PTSD, although its a life changing illness, at least we learned alot about it and how to approach it better. Granted there are still some days that I find to be bad ones, or he finds to be bad ones. It's all something we're learning to deal with.

Knowing that he's going through the med board process and this time next year, we will be back near family and hopefully in a good place, is enough to keep us going. It's scary the thought of getting out of the military. Which, I'm sure, some people think it's scary being IN the military. But it's what he's always known and it's been my constant throughout the past several years. Even if that constant is a constant life of changes and living at someone else's command. But it's a security like most civilians don't understand. The security of having a job and a paycheck. The security of having a home, even if we have to change that often as well. We may not be financially rich most paydays, but we make it work. And we know if we can't make it, there is help out there for us to get through. There's a security of knowing that every one of your neighbors and friends are just like you. They all know the trials and challenges that we each face. Which brings a connection to the community. We may not know our neighbor across the street, but you know if they needed help, you will be right there to give it to them, just as they would for you.  It's an unspoken connection of "hey, I've been there and I know what you're going through".  It's scary to think that the outside civilian world doesn't have that. Being near family though will step in and take over that connection. That's the best thing I can hope for.

I'm also hoping that in 2012 my photography will move to another level. I look forward to getting that diploma saying I'm certified and I can rock that camera knowing that people who put down others and say things about an over-populated career field will see there is one more person who takes it just as serious and has a totally different perspective on it. I think everyone has a touch of photographer in them. Everyone has a bit of creativity inside that they just need to have the confidence to let it shine. I hope I can help others to see that in the new year.

I'm thankful for so many friends and for my family. Friends all over the world.
I'm thankful for the opportunities the military has given us.
I'm thankful for the opportunities our kids have been given living this life.
And to take these opportunities and experiences back to a civilian life is amazing! I look forward to it!

Have a wonderful new year my friends. And may your possibilities be endless and you make mistakes along the way and learn from them and make your dreams come true. Enjoy the life you've been given. And if you don't enjoy it, change it. The new year is in your hands. Just as mine is in my hands.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On my soapbox...How unprofessional of you!!!

I gotta say something that has really rubbed me the wrong way...yet again.
It really annoys me when you are a "professional" in your field but find it necessary to bad mouth amateurs who, from what I've been told, are doing the exact same thing you did to get started. I find it very unprofessional and very unbecoming.  I can understand it takes alot of work to get to the point that you are at. I'm sure you have put in the sweat and tears to get there.  But it's very hypocritical when you were that same person years ago. Why would you bad-mouth someone who is trying? Do you feel threatened? Do you feel like you need to keep the upperhand on the market? Believe me, honey, you're not going to lose any clients because of someone else trying and making mistakes. Your work is amazing. Why would you feel the need to talk trash about someone else? If you were to lose clients, it would be because of your unprofessionalism by talking trash about others who do have the guts to go out and make an effort in their life.
I just find the whole situation in very poor taste. And I find it offensive to ALL amateurs. I AM an amateur who IS attending school and learning how to use my equipment the correct way. Granted, not everyone does that.  NOT EVERYONE goes to school for this field...now do they?  But if someone is learning and making themselves better, to have a "professional" like you put them down, especially when so many people look up to you, just goes to show that other people's dreams and hopes are of no concern to you. I have questioned my own abilities before, but seeing crap like what you say makes me want to try even harder just to prove you wrong. I'm so glad those comments weren't about me. But needless to say, It still infuriates me.
Think about where you started with your career. Try to put yourself in their position.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stop and Listen

I woke up this morning with an update from my cousin about how my grandmother was doing. She's been sick for a very long time now. And the past few days have been really bad. Her organs have begun to shut down and the doctors say its a matter of time at this point.
What bothers me most is that I'm not there to help my family right now. We're a tight knit clan who have always been there for each other. We're southern and traditional. Family is our top priority and especially our elders. You respect your elders. They are the ones who deserve the respect in the family most.
Last time I saw my grandmother was a year ago. And, I'd like to think she knew who I was then. She did smile alot while I was there. At least that's the memory I'll keep with me forever. That she did know it was me and that I was once again that little girl that stayed with her when there was no school and she'd make dolls for us out of scrap material she kept in an old suitcase under the bed.
We say the hardest thing about being a military family is leaving people you love behind. Another aspect of that is not being there when you want to be or need to be.

I walked outside this morning to take the dog out.  It's a cold dreary day with wintry cold winds. The air feels cold and crisp. I noticed on summer days I can hear the traffic across the way, but today it was so cold I couldn't even hear the cars when I could see them go by. It's as if the sound was frozen somewhere between there and here.  It was completely silent, almost like a movie with the sound turned off, only hearing a random leaf blowing down the street. But, all the while, in my mind, I was thinking of the sounds that my family are hearing taking care of my grandmother. Being up all night with her and taking her to the hospital this morning.  It's like being an outsider looking in and not really being part of the story.  So many times, we go through our day and miss so much because we're listening to just what we want to hear or what we need to hear.  I'd like to think that stopping and listening to the peaceful quiet of the morning, that I can hope my grandmother is hearing a peace through all her battles. I know God is watching over her and my family right now. And that gives me comfort.  If anything, maybe the quiet is to help me since I'm not there. Even though if feels very alone.
But still, I miss the comfort of family. This is so hard.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What to do...besides make excuses

Once again, I had a visit with my counsellor yesterday and she asked me what I've been doing for me. And, as per the usual, I couldn't think of a darn thing.  I always use the excuse "I've been doing photo shoots. I really like doing those." But of course that doesn't qualify because technically: a) it's "work" b) it's not for me and c) it really is ALOT of work. So, here I sit on a Friday night, alone, trying to decide do I a) work on photo edits (which I have a TON to do)... b) clean the dog puke out of the carpet ...c) finish folding laundry ...d) another massive list of random house chores that have been neglected this week ...or e) something for me.
Notice I didn't elaborate on the "something for me" part. I'm still at a loss what that is. I could sleep. That's something I always want to do but never get to. But I don't think it's quite what the counsellor was insinuating.
I do have a bottle of wine in the fridge and I could always give myself a pedicure and relax watching chick flicks. But of course, I'd drink the wine, get tipsy, then have to go out to pick up the kid. So, that's a no go. Maybe later.
I could play Just Dance. But then, my knees would be killing me later and I'd regret that decision.
Let's see....how many more excuses can I come up with?
Why is it so stinking hard to do something for myself? I think I'm most content these days when I'm just sitting staring at the walls and not having to think or move.
Maybe it's just a lack of motivation. I'm just so worn out by the end of the day that there's just nothing left in me to do anything else. I do everything that I have to...then I'm done.
I feel like everything I "have" to do is always for other people. Which ...don't get me wrong...I don't mind that for the most part. If I stop and think about it though, I don't do any of it because I want to. It's because I think I have to.  Like the housework. I'm pretty weird about keeping my house clean. Have been for quite some time. (there's a reason to that...but it's a long story) So, now it's just second nature in me to constantly move around cleaning and picking up and putting things away. I can't sit and watch a movie because I'm constantly thinking about the one dirty glass that's in the sink instead of the dishwasher, or the load of towels sitting in a basket that should be folded and put in the closet.
Maybe I really am just OCD. I think I need more therapy to overcome this. But then what? I'd live in a messy house?

I know what you all are thinking...that I need medication. I'm on it thanks. ;) This is as good as it gets. LOL

Well, I did decide to stop and get something for myself to eat tonight. $6 and a lot of disappointment later, I should have stuck with a bowl of cereal. LOL I always find myself going to the fast food chinese  at the food court in the PX (post exchange).  I know everytime I go there that it sucks and the portions are not dollar proportionate. Meaning I paid $6 for a small container of chicken and a crap load of dried out rice. I feel so used. HAHA

But anywho...I'm thinking my me time tonight will consist of absolutely nothing. Maybe some Pinterest and possibly a movie. Although I'm enjoying the quiet immensely. If I'm not careful, the sleep just might creep into this plan after all. ;)

Have a good one ya'll!

Today's Bests:
Phone calls with the hubby
Coffee (in a cup and not all over the counter)
Coca-cola
electric heated lap blanket
Puppy snuggles
Opening Night (daughter's play)
Free pizza at work for support staff
Payday!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hindsight and Me vs. the curb

I can't believe it's Sunday, again, and I don't remember Friday and Saturday. I think that's because I've been working the past several weekends. Working, meaning photography stuff and photo shoots...ie: my second job.  In the past week, I've done 5 photo shoots, which include a wedding. I think this is amazing!  But of course, I'm still busy even after the shoots are over. I have tons of edits to do. Only two shoots left to edit, one of course being the wedding which will take some time.  But, now, here we are at Sunday and I think I have another mini shoot today. I have to check my schedule.
In hindsight, after the wedding yesterday, I thought of so many poses and shots that I would have loved to have taken. Things that I had in mind before, but through all the busy activities of the day, just didn't happen. This being my first big wedding, I have definitely learned a few organization lessons and a few other lessons that will help me in the future.
I have to say though, the one lesson that made the biggest impact on me was that I wore these black boots that I ALWAYS wear. Because they're pretty comfy and the heel on them isn't obnoxious and I can actually walk in them for a good amount of time without having problems from all my ailments. But, as it happens, my family is vertically challenged. Not meaning that we're short...meaning that we have a hard time staying on our feet, as in....walking. This can also be known as gracefully challenged. As I was leaving for the wedding yesterday, I stepped out off the curb and as my luck would have it, I rolled my ankle and fell on my butt. And when I say on my butt...I mean the right cheek from the leg to the part that technically should be the lower back and it connected completely with the curb and street. Today I feel as if someone has kicked me repeatedly. Not to mention the squatting and standing all day has worked muscles that I'm not used to working and they now scream at me too when I move.  Can I just say it sucks getting old!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's what I do.

It's been so busy and hectic here. I've had several photo sessions already this week and quite a few more by Saturday. Plus a play we're attending tomorrow. My daughter has rehearsals for her play at school and rehearsals will begin next week for the Christmas show that she's going to also be in. It's hectic to say the least. Because even though a photo session is over, it's not really. I spend a good day or two (if not up to a week) editting the pictures. My photography business has hit a growth spurt lately, which is an amazing thing. I'm just hoping it keeps going. I love taking pictures and doing these shoots. I'm really looking forward to things to come with this opportunity.
I was told today that one of the clients I just did photos for has been looking at her pics over and over that I posted in a teaser for her. I have to say, I could cry thinking that I have captured the passion and the love they've portrayed in these pictures and that I have given her something that she will love the rest of her life. THAT is what it's all about!!  That's why I do what I do. I love that I'm capturing something that can last forever. When people forget how they felt or what was happening or what they say, they can look back at these pictures and remember exactly what it was like to be in that moment again. I love it!

Onto other things, Kansas felt a little rumble a couple times in the past week. We did get a little of the earthquakes that hit in Oklahoma. I personally did not feel a thing. My husband did. And it just took him two days to realize it was the earthquake. I should have known that if I could sleep through fire alarms going off in a hotel room on our Senior trip 20 some years ago that I would also sleep through an earthquake. HAHA imagine that!

The weather the past few days has been so gloomy and dreary that it makes me want to curl up in bed. My mood matches it most days. Mainly because the cold, damp air really makes my body hurt. The arthritis is unbearable, even with meds, and the PVD doesn't help anything. The Peripheral Vascular Disease makes me achy anyway, and as a morning ritual as I'm blow-drying my hair, I always spend a few minutes with the heat blowing on my legs and feet as well. Heat just makes it feel so much better. I so wish I had a suit that I could wear with continuous heat blowing on me from the waist down. Now that would be awesome!! So, now that it's colder out, I just want to wrap my legs in an electric blanket at work just to ease the discomfort. blaaaah!
The weather also makes it a task to get the pup to go out. God love her little heart. She hates to get wet. So, it ends up that I have to actually go out and stand in the middle of the rain with her so she'll actually go. She's the sneaky little thing that will stand under the edge of the roof close to the house and go there so she doesn't get as wet. I always end up getting the bad end of that deal. Just saying.

I'm off to get more editting done. I have so much to do tonight and Mount Washmore has been looming over me as well.
Have a good one ya'll!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What do you do in your "me time"?

I had another counselling appointment today. I don't think I had any magnificent ah-ha moments from this week's visit like I did last time. But she did reiterate that I need some me time. She said that I'm extremely supportive of my husband and family. I'm an excellent caregiver. But what happened to taking care of me? And it's true. Back to the old battle of remembering to do something for myself.  I can come up with the excuses.  I'm so busy with things right now. Work is hectic. Everyone has obligations. Etc. Etc. Etc. But she's completely right. I do need me-time. I don't even schedule it for myself. Because...what would I do? I do consider my photography me time...even though it's for someone else. But I enjoy it. I had thought maybe for my me time I could take a nap. I like naps. And I really just want to sleep most of the time anyway but rarely ever get to. When it's night and I sit down on my bed...that's all she wrote folks. I'm out like a light before my head hits the pillow. My hubby laughs cause no sooner than I lay down, and as I start to fall asleep, my body starts jerking and twitching. I guess that's when I finally start to relax. So, yeah...some me time sleeping would be good. Don't ya think? So, what do you do when you have me time??

Sitting here in bed tonight (actually awake for a change) I was watching my hubby do maintenance on his CPAC machine for his sleep apnea. And watching him pull the hose and such off the machine to replace, it made me think back to when my dad was alive and was so sick. He was on a kidney dialysis machine before he passed away.  He had so many medical supplies that my mom had to keep up with and learn to use. I haven't talked about my dad in a long time. But I do think about him. I was such the daddy's girl. And he was so sick from complications to his diabetes for most of my childhood. He passed away when he was 39 years old. I was 17 at the time. I had this fear through my adult years: what if I were to pass away at 39? I'm now 39. I made it this far. And I really do miss my dad so much. But I'm so grateful for the time I had with him and things I learned from him.

On to a lighter note.... The Extreme Makeover - Home Edition that my husband and I went to the reveal will be airing tomorrow night on ABC at 8 eastern / 7 central. It's the Hill family episode. We don't know the family personally...but I have friends who do. The dad is a war veteran and has PTSD/TBI (post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury). My husband also has PTSD and a TBI.  So, it kind of hit home for us. We're just really glad we could be there. And the fact that my hubby got to meet Ty Pennington (one of his idols) was a bonus! Plus, my husband should also be appearing on the show. Key word...should. (I say this because he was filmed quite a few times the day he was there working).  So, we'll see if he makes the cut.  I have friends that are going to record it on dvr for us so we can go watch it. I'm excited.

I'm going to be super busy over the next week. I have six photography appointments scheduled. From casual sessions, to a wedding, to a military homecoming. I'm so excited! I've gotten a few new tricks up my sleeve as well as some new equipment I got for my birthday from my Mom. I've been practicing this week and can't wait to get to it! I just hope the weather AND the fall leaves hold out for us.

Okay, I can't even think anymore. I'm off to bed.
Have a good one ya'll!

Today's Bests:
* Tostitos Artisan Chipotle Chips and peanut butter m & m's. mmmm
* heated blankets
* the cat petting my cheek
* my daughter's choir gown costing half the price that I had anticipated
* carmex lip balm

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cats & Dogs....and stuff

I feel like a little Monday randomness. But does anyone really read my random stuff? Eh...who cares.

- My cat is so stinking cute. As I lay in bed, he usually is sitting beside me or curled up spooning with me. And when he wants my attention, he will take his soft little paw and pat me on the cheek or whatever is closest to him. EEE i love this!
 Although, Charles got up to go to work the other day and was going to take a picture because the cat was sitting beside me and staring at my face as I slept. He said it was very Stephen King The Cat's Eye. 
I wish he had gotten the picture. That's so creepy.

- I've been without arthritis medicine for three days now. Yes, I called in the refill but of course I waited too late to call it in and it was over a weekend. Bah! But at least I have it now. Today was the roughest of the three days. My legs, ankles, knees, and back have been horribly painful. Thankfully I'm laying down relaxing now in a warm blanket. Life is good.

- I've done alot of projects lately. I jazzed up a fall wreath for my front door. Finally got my fall/Halloween decorations out. And hubby has been building furniture like freaking Broyhill or something. So, I've been painting and adding my touch to everything.  I've been working on this nightstand for a few days now and I'm just not feeling the distressing technique I used. So, I may be back to the drawing board.....or paint can I should say.

- I'm ecstatic that this week is a short week at work.  It's Parent/Teacher Conference week so we're out of school on Thursday and Friday. Happy Day Happy Day! I can't wait!

- After all the stupid crap that had been going on with my hubby and his work, we've been trying to cut back some.  In order to save money, we decided to have the cable turned off. GASP! I'm kinda freaking out a little over this. Today was the first day without it and it's so quiet here. I did get alot of project work time. But, still....I'm kinda freaking out. There's literallly NO T.V. None! Well...we do have Netflix. But only downstairs. Guess I'm going to have to get out the Lord of the Rings extended dvd collector's edition set and start watching them again. LOL $10 says hubby turns at least the basic cable back on after a week of Frodo and Gandalf. HAHAHA

- I honestly could go to sleep right now.

- I've been doing alot of homework/studying on my class & camera.  I have a pretty big shoot coming up in a couple weeks and I'm trying to make sure I'm ready for it. I'm a little nervous. But it's going to be great! It'll definitely be a learning experience. I can't wait.

- I took the pup out for a walk this evening. She was so hyper I figured she needed out of the house for a bit. While out in the yard, she ran (at top speed) with the leash extended as far as it would go, in circles around me about 10 times. I felt like I was trotting a horse around. LOL

- Today's "Bests"
  * Craft projects
  * kitty paws
  * 80 degree temps
  * my bed

-

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's the best thing in your life today?

I had a counsellor's appointment today. She asked me what was the best thing right now. I couldn't think of anything. I mean there are good things. But what defines "best"? Finally, after a minute or two I said, "my house is clean." Which isn't really that clean right now, but it's not bad. I felt embarrassed that the only best thing I could come up with was my obsessive compulsive tendencies to clean my house 24/7. So, I kept thinking. She then asked me what am I worrying about most right now. Which of course is money and I answered her almost instantly. She pointed out to me how easy it is to pick up on the negative things in our life. And that I need to stop every day and think about the good things. Even if it is just one and even if it is just the house being clean. After a good five minutes, I did come up with some things I'm working on and a few other things. On the drive home, I decided I'm using the dry erase board in my kitchen to start writing down one thing everyday that's "best" or that I'm happy about or grateful for. A positive thought that I can see and remind myself of. 

She also asks me every time I go there what I'm doing for me. Sad to say, I rarely do things just for me.  I have intentions. Honestly I do. But good intentions don't go very far when it comes to being healthy.  I'm one of these people who has to schedule me time.  That's just so sad. At the end of the visit though, I did realize I have a few projects that I'm going to be working on that can be my me time. It will tap into my creative juices and get them flowing again. This can help.

On a completely different note, I feel very betrayed by the military today. Things that we've been battling for a while now have finally come to a close. And now begins more struggles and frustrations. I just feel completely let down by his previous chain of command. I normally wouldn't say stuff like this because it always comes back to bite ya. But I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut. I'm tired of not saying what I think or feel because it could backlash into something worse. I'm speaking my mind today (without going into detail) and that's that.  It really sucks when you've gone through all the things you've been through and your chain of command drops you like a hot potato when you need support and understanding.
But, on the good side, we're looking at another change in our life story.  Our plans to PCS to Korea have been cancelled. My husband is being medically discharged. He got the paperwork today to begin the med board process. This is a "best" thing!! My husband has been deployed 4 times. He's suffering from so many health problems. The PTSD he suffers from has consumed our lives. This is the best thing for him. I'm really pleased with this.  There will be more to this story in the future I'm sure. Hopefully it'll be good stories and not crap like we've been dealing with lately.

God has a plan for us. I know this. And I can only tell myself that the struggles we're going through right now are leading to something else. There is a mean to the purpose.
We're gonna be fine. :)


Today's Bests:
  My family...they're always there for me!
  Med Board started
  Clean smelling laundry
  Craft projects to work on
  Headache is finally going away
  Heat (yes...it's cold here!!)
  Snuggles from my dog
  spooning with my cat

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surprise!!

My twin sister tells me yesterday over the phone that I should be expecting a package today and not to assume its from anyone before I read the message on the packing slip. She pauses. Then says it'll be arriving UPS. Then pauses. Throws in that she expects a blog about my reaction when I open it. She pauses. I said "If I wait long enough you'll tell me what it is." She didn't. But knowing our birthday's just around the corner, who knows about her. She sucks at keeping secrets like that. She can't stand the excitement! haha I love you seester!
So, I get home today and sure enough, I have a package. The box says it's from ThinkGeek.com.  I cut the box open and look inside and my instant reaction was "NO FREAKING WAY!!!".  As everyone knows, I'm studying photography and have been doing photo sessions lately to improve myself. So, to my shock when I opened the box I found this....................
I was so excited!! Because I've been looking at lenses and was hoping for a new one. When I picked it up out of the box however, I realized this didn't weigh anything like a lens of this quality should weigh. Then I notice this.............
awwwwww!!! Yep...it was a coffee mug!! HAHAHAHAHA Good one sister!!
But that's also great! Cause I loooove me some coffee!!! So, I guess the next pic I'll be taking will be of me drinking out of my lens mug! haha

Thanks Seester!!! I love you!!!!

There was also a catalog in the box from this website. ThinkGeek.com.  I understand why they call it that. It's got some geeky sort of stuff in it. And I use geeky in the best way possible!! Like there's some really cool novelty items in there. I could actually see us ordering some of this stuff for the kids.
Like...a Harry Potter wand which is a tv remote. That would be cool. They also had science type stuff, spy stuff. Just check out the website if you get bored. It was entertaining for about five minutes.

Another geeky thing related to science and photography...the classes I work with at school had to dissect a cow eye in science class today. So of course, I took pictures. I even donned gloves and got in there and helped cut fat and muscle from around the eye. That didn't bother me at all. The smell, however, made me nauseous. I was so queasy when I left work today. And it took quite a while to get over it and the thoughts of cutting that meaty/fleshy/smelly stuff. But overall it was very interesting. My favorite part was the tapetum (one of the kids favorite terms).  That was pretty awesome. Imagine these pictures showing up in the school's yearbook. BAHAHAHA

Guess I'm off to the commissary to get sustenance for the family. Otherwise we're gonna waste away to nothing.

Have a good one ya'll!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homecoming (the high school football variety)

It's been a fairly low-key weekend. Other than the fact that my daughter went to Homecoming at school last night. Which  meant an entire day of preparations. We had already purchased her dress about a week ago. My hubby always does the shaking his head thing when it comes to her dresses. My daughter is growing up too fast and I think some of the dresses she tries on don't grow with her. lol Poor thing. But she got the dress she really loved after two days of searching. She came home from school one day last week and said "you're not going to believe this." Which made me think...omg someone else has the same dress (insert sarcasm).  She tells me that the school does this video of "what not to wear".  And her dress was on it!
HAHAHA I couldn't help but laugh. I asked her why. The dress of course is strapless...so that's a no-go. But we knew that already and she had a short cardigan she wears over strapless or spaghetti strap dresses. Plus the dress was used for the example of being too short. ugh! That did kind of worry me because my daughter has some legs! And she did have to keep tugging it down a little. But they came to fingertip length so we were praying it would be okay. And once we got there last night and I saw some of the other girls in their dresses....she wasn't going to have a problem.
One of my friends (and neighbor) happens to do hair. My daughter bartered with her to have her hair done for babysitting time. And I have to say, her hair looked amazing!


Before homecoming, she and her friends wanted me to take some pictures (since I am in college for photography). So wouldn't ya know, it rained. I take tons of pictures outdoors because I love the lighting. Indoor lighting I haven't quite mastered yet (or night time pics either). But we did a few and the indoor pictures actually turned out better than the outdoor. Granted, I haven't done any editting as of yet. I was too tired last night to deal with it. 
I'm sure they had a great time. I'm still waiting to hear all the stories.

But anyway...here's a couple of the pics (pre-editting).

**These pictures are not to be used, copied, or altered in any way!!**



Friday, October 7, 2011

Autumn makes me feel...

homesick! Autumn reminds me of being back home. Home being West Virginia/Virginia.  I spent my childhood in both states (we lived on the state line). And there's nothing quite like the mountains being covered in red, orange, and yellow leaves this time of year.  Our family had a tradition of having a picnic back in the woods every fall. I really miss that.
We went to the Riverwalk today because we'd heard the colors were awesome right now. We were disappointed to say the least. There were no reds, very little orange. Everything was still green with the changing leaves appearing yellow or brown. Hmph.
But...I will say just being out there was still wonderful.  I took some amazing pictures. At least, I think they're amazing, and I had a great time taking them. (These pics were taken in Kansas. for the record)
I'll share a few here if you haven't already seen them on facebook. :)

(All images copyright by me. Copy or use of these images is not allowed!)











Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'll have a mental health day and a grande mocha with whipped cream please.

How does one go about taking a mental health day? Does it have to be a dramatic encounter ending in a day off laying in a stupor watching 80's tv show re-runs with drool puddling on your couch cushions?
Or can you just pretend to be sick? Or is it perfectly acceptable to say "I need a mental health day"? Do you schedule it? or just let it happen?

Do we see a pattern here? 

So, once on a "mental health" day...what would one do? Does it work like the previous scenario I mentioned? Or do you get dressed up and go out on the town? Or is this one of those days thats all hush-hush and you have to hide out in your house pretending you're really un-well and not able to go anywhere since you obviously didn't go to work?

I've been thinking about a day just for me. But I don't understand why I'm going about this like buying a car. I have to talk myself into it. It's a big step. I can't decide what to do. And I don't know why this is such a hard thing for me. Probably because I don't miss work unless I have to. I've always been one to go to work even when I've been sick as a dog. Yes, I am one of those people who are so dedicated to my job that I will subject making everyone I come into contact with as deathly ill as I am just so I don't miss a day of work.
Okay...slight exaggeration. If I'm deathly ill, I do stay home. Otherwise, yes, I am at work. I think I have serious issues because I feel guilty if I'm not at work.  I don't understand this. And I'm not sure if any counselling would ever really figure this out.

I'd rather plan it all out before I actually have that dramatic encounter/meltdown that forces me to stay home
If I do have a day off, just for me, with no one to answer to or take care of, I think I would like to sleep in. Then coffee and some time with my puppy. Picture taking, A nice slow walk to take in my surroundings. Maybe read a book.
.All this sounds so wonderful. But I don't know that it would really happen that way. Knowing me, I'd be the one laying in a puddle of my own saliva on the couch watching re-runs of something stupid.
hmph. Whichever.
It still sounds wonderful to me.

sigh

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Triggers and Landmines

Living with someone who has PTSD is kinda like living in a field of landmines. Most of the time, life goes on, like normal. That's when you're walking around the outer perimeters of the landmines. You know they are there, but everything's going okay. Then something happens, you trip into the mines and there's an explosion. That's when he has an "episode". 
My husband's episodes usually consist of him getting angry (or feeling rage) over something. Sometimes, it consists of what I call "shut-down mode".  He pretty much shuts down and just goes through the motions of whatever he's doing. There's no talking, no emotions. No interaction what so ever.
And from my side, I never really know what it is that triggers them. So, that of course puts me into cautious mode. I don't want to make it worse or trigger something again. So, I walk on tip-toes avoiding the landmines. Which I think is a trigger all in itself.  The fact that I'm tip-toeing around. But what else do I do?
I don't know how to react to this.
Especially when it happens in public, I just want to cry. I don't know what to do. I don't know what's going to happen. So, I just hurry and do what we are out for and go so we can get back home. At least at home, we can go separate ways until everything has de-escalated and gone back to normal.  Is this how life is going to be now? How do we deal with this? 
How do I be supportive without being too motherly or overbearing?
And how do I show my emotions without them triggering an episode? Should I pretend I have none as well?

How do we learn to live with this?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is NOT sleeping in!

I'm exhausted. It's been an exhausting week. Eh...who am I kidding? It's been an exhausting several weeks. So, I kinda wanted to sleep in today. Didn't happen. At least not in the definition of what I consider to be "sleeping in". 
Sleeping in when you're a teenager is completely different as an adult. When I was a teenager and wanted to sleep in, anywhere near noon or afternoon qualified.  The age that I'm at now, anywhere before 9 am qualifies. what the hell? It doesn't even feel the same. Even back in the early 20's and clubbing days, you could still get a good sleep in until 2 or 3 pm. But now....good Lord that's just a day of your life gone you'll never get back.
These days, it's always something stupid that wakes you up. Like, you have to pee at 8 am every morning. Stupid bladder.
Or the dog has to pee at 7 am. Stupid dog's bladder.

So, this morning, this is how I woke up...
First my back was hurting. so I tossed and turned a little.
Then, I felt the urge to pee. Then the back thing again.  Then the dog started pawing at me.
She finally gave up and laid down, I still need to pee at this point but am determined to go back to sleep. Then the back thing. And light is shining through the blinds in my face. Cover my head with a pillow.
Then at 8:30 sharp, my husbands alarm goes off on his phone. At which point, I cannot get it turned off and fought with it for 45 seconds which felt like 10 minutes into eternity!
I gave up and went to pee.

I'm back in bed now just relaxing. But I'm thinking about all the things we're doing today. And the post-wide yard sales are going on. I really need to go looking for a chair for my desk.
But it's so comfy here in my bed. Maybe I'll go to the yard sale next door and I can say I went.

I just had a massive scare! You type and type then all of a sudden the entire screen is highlighted and poof....it's gone.
I literally yelled out loud..."NOOOOOOOOOOO". 
Thank God for back arrow buttons.
whew.

Anyway, I'm completely random this morning, I'm going to either a) get up and get dressed or b) roll over with my precious cat who's laying here purring like a fine European sports car.

Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 Thoughts for Tuesday

1. It's Tuesday. Aaaaallllll day long! Why can't it be Friday or something. Speaking of Friday, I'm going on a field trip with the kids at school on Thursday and Friday and I'm really excited.  I went last year and I really liked it. I'm also taking pictures for the class. :) Another excitement for me.

2.  I went to a Her War Her Voice meeting tonight.  I've been to a few and really enjoy going. Those ladies are amazing and it's an awesome group. Check it out. http://www.herwarhervoice.com/  or on facebook www.facebook.com/herwarhervoice 

3.  Tonight we discussed toxic friendships. We all know about those.  What we look for in friendships, what is a no-go in relationships, and when to end them. Being a military spouse, we meet so many people and have so many friendships. There's always those that are toxic in our lives and don't benefit you and can even hurt you.  And realizing these relationships and knowing when and how to get out of them is important. This goes for any relationship really. I am lucky to say that I do have a great group of friends...and luckily not too many acquaintances here are toxic.

4.  I should be baking a cake right now for work tomorrow.  Mountain Dew Cake. Aka the diabetics nightmare. But GAH it's sooooooooooo good!!!

5.  One of my friends let me borrow her carpet cleaner this past weekend.  All I gotta say is...I've got to get me one of those things!!!! I cleaned my downstairs, my couch, chair, ottoman, and the daughter's room (so far).  I love it! I've got to finish the upstairs but I'll need another bottle of cleaner. Cause this house was way overdue a deep cleaning!

6.  I still feel like I need a day to stay in my pajamas, sleep most of the day, and just relax. When does this happen? I think I need to schedule this day asap!

7.  My hubby unloaded the dishwasher.  I think the Heavens have opened and I heard angels singing!! I love you honey!!

8. Just realized hubby unloaded the dishwasher just before he asked me about buying another truck. LOL  hmmmmmm. HAHAHA

9.  Checked my daughter's grades today (end of the first 6 weeks).  Gotta say...I'm so proud of her (again)! I love that she wants and strives for good grades!

10.  Okay...I'm down to 10 and I'm drawing blank. I think it's time for me to relax (right after I bake this cake). 

ya'll have a good one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Guess What....I'm Country Ya'll

Today, I had a conversation with my boss which started out with my stomach growling and me saying "I'm so hungry my stomach is gnawing on my backbone". Those of you who know me have heard me say this for many years. It's just a thing. So that led to the "I'm so full you couldn't lay me down on the floor, pry my mouth open, and shove another bite down my throat."  (Yes...that too is something I have said in the past and came from my days with a group of very colorful friends in Tennessee.)
At this point, I was asked if I was "southern" or "country".  So being from Virginia...technically growing up in West Virginia...and then being a Tennessee transplant by marriage, I claim to be more country than southern. Because if you think about technical geography, I'm sort of borderline on the whole Southern latitude/longitude bearings.  I do say I'm southern (pronounced suh - thuhn) because I do have problems with saying anything containing "ar" sounds. for example...my wonderful husband's name is Charles. Pronounced in my world...Chawles. And yes I have to make a conscious effort when I say his name to make sure I don't drag the southern drawl out too much.
I get alot of comments on my accent especially being here in Kansas. Home of the normal midwestern American language.  They sound like normal people on most tv shows do. Well...most of them. Except we are in a military town so there's a huge mix of accents. To quote the history teacher at the school I work at....this is a melting pot of cultures. And its so true. My crew of girls I hang out with here are from all over. From Minnesota (yah) to Kentucky to Texas. Put us all together and we're like the Spice Girls of Kansas.
hehe

Funny story.... as you know, I work at a school. Well, today one of the students had the hiccups after lunch really bad. They looked painful. Kids were giggling every time she hiccuped. So, during class I just quietly and casually walked by the front of her desk and slid a nickel to her and said "I'll buy them from you." 
She looks at me puzzled and says "what?"
I said, "I'll buy them from you. Your hiccups." and pushed the nickel closer to her. She just kept staring at me strangely and as I walked away I said "they're gone".
I stood on the side of the classroom, all the while, she kept looking at the nickel then back at me out of the corner of her eye. She finally said "How did you do that? You kinda scared me!"
I explained to her that the whole thing caught her off guard which made her re-adjust her breathing, etc, causing the hiccups to disappear.
So, now I guess I'm a witch too. HAHA I can only imagine what the kids will say! hehehe

So not only am I country...but a witch as well. haha Life is good!

later ya'll

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am angry because...

There's alot of times in my life when I suppress emotions. Okay...so more than alot of times. Pretty much all the time I will suppress emotions. Especially if said emotion is anger, depression, worry, etc. With everything that's been going on in our lives lately, I've felt ALOT of anger the past week. And I can't say that I really know why I'm angry. I'm sure if I thought about it, I could pinpoint why...but as a general overall feeling, I'm just angry.So, tonight, I'm going to have a good old fashioned b*tch-fest.  I'll be doing this in random form. No particular order and I'm going to do my best to keep names out.  Soooooooo....I'm sure I'm going to offend someone....and I hope that if said anger is in someway directed towards you that you understand why and where I'm coming from. If not, please understand these are my thoughts, my emotions. These are things that I'm dealing with. I carry this with me alot and the fact that I am getting it out is a good thing. Let me process the best way I can.

- I'm angry because I feel pushed out and not included. That makes me feel insignificant and unimportant. I then feel as if I'm not really loved and all the worry and love I put forth is not reciprocated.
- I hate the way you talk to him! You do NOT have the right to do that anymore! so stop it!!! I know it's second nature for you to put him/people down. But you're being called out on it now! STOP already and get over yourself!!!
- I hate that I NEVER say what I want to say to you. Being such a nice person sucks sometimes! OOH the things I could say to you!!!
- I'm angry because you cast judgement before you know the story!
- I'm angry because things have gotten out of control and they're your fault!! Why did you do this???
- I wish I could have a day to myself to relax and do whatever I want. My body hurts. I'm tired. I want to sleep late. I want to eat whatever I want and not worry about gaining weight. I want to spoil myself and indulge in things that aren't good for my body once in a while just because I miss it.  I'm angry that I give things up because of someone else or because I think I have to.
- I don't want to do what I'm told or what I should.
- It annoys me that the dishes pile up in the sink and the dishwasher never gets emptied (or loaded) unless I do it or ask someone to do it. I shouldn't have to ask. It's obvious.
- Same goes for the trash being taken out. Laundry to be folded/put away. TOILET PAPER!! omg really?!?! put it on the roll. It takes 2 seconds.
- I'm really not angry at my family for said things above. they're just little annoyances. Everyday things that irk me. Just wanted to throw them out there. Somedays, however, it really does build up and bother me to the point of being angry. But today its just annoying.

Since I've done some of the things that make me angry/annoyed....I do have some things I am grateful for.

- I love my family
- I love that my dog gives me cuddles and is always there for me to pet on her just so I can feel better. lol
- I love that my cat will paw at my face when I'm in bed to get my attention.
- I love that my husband is supportive of my photography obsession. :) I think I can bring him to the dark side. ;)
- I love that my friends are all goofballs! i love them!
- I love that my daughter found a $5 bill on the ground and spent it on a bag of dark chocolate truffles for me. (technically she ate my last bag of truffles...but she still thought of me to buy me more)
- I love that my kids have morals and values...even if its questionable some days. Makes me feel validated as a good mother.
- I love that I sat down in the chair in my flower garden today in the sun and dozed off.

There's so many things I am thankful for. And it helps to put things in focus when the negative tends to consume your being if you let it.  It just looks better when you write it out and can see everything there in front of you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What about the spouses?

Military spouses have to deal with alot of things. Alot of unknown situations they are put into just because thier loved one is a soldier.  Most of these things the military will try to prepare families for. When the soldier deploys, they prepare the families with a training of sorts to prepare for separation.  When the soldier returns, there's reintegration training.  Granted, no matter how much training you can imagine, it doesn't compare to experiencing the real thing. Sending the soldier out for days, weeks, or even months at a time is still preparation for them to deploy and for the families to become accustomed to being without their loved one for a certain amount of time. But it's not completely the same.

There are a few things in life that you're just not prepared for. There's no training that can even remotely make you feel ready to deal with these life situations that no one wants to think about...let alone figure out what to do if it should happen...before it happens.

It's a given that soldiers deploy with the knowledge that they may not return home or that they may return home injured. They prepare the best they can before deployment in case this should happen. Preparing wills, making sure life insurance is in order, etc.
Then there are those soldiers, who aren't technically "wounded" ...but are. They come home different. They're not the same as when they left. Due to one reason or another, they've experienced something traumatic in their day to day life living downrange and they return to the home life a completely different person.  Sometimes its noticed before they come home. Sometimes shortly after. Sometimes it takes a while. It could be a culmination of alot of different things that make it obvious.

That's what happened to my soldier.  He came home from his third deployment a little different. A little angrier. He had a little more trouble sleeping. Things seemed to slowly start falling apart.  Then after the fourth deployment, it was more than a subtle change. His life priorities had changed. All the while I'm at home with the same priorities and goals that we had before he left.  And even after battling this PTSD for a year now, it's still an on-going struggle. Not just for him, but for me.
This is one thing that I feel like the military just does not train spouses to deal with. And once it does happen, it's still not a top priority for the families to learn how to deal with the changes in their spouse. How to readjust your life to live with someone who is on edge 24/7...who's on constant alert and can't turn himself off to even rest. 
They make it well known that they want the awareness out that these soldiers aren't alone.  They provide classes and group therapies and social work and more for the soldiers so that they may treat their PTSD. Which is a wonderful thing that its becoming more of a known topic. I feel like there's a ton of loopholes in this program though.
But did you know there is such a thing as Secondary PTSD.  This happens when you start to suffer depression, caregiver stress, or other similar symptoms that mirror your soldier who is suffering from the ptsd that resulted from a traumatic event.  There are so many people out there who I'm sure don't even know it exists.
Why is the Army not making the families aware of this? Why are the families not made of aware of what to expect when their soldier is dealing with this?  Why, when they realize a soldier has PTSD, is the family not included in treatment? Why, if the soldier is placed in treatment, is the family left out of the loop and not given any information at all? WHY??? Can someone tell me WHY the military is dropping their families on this???

It makes me angry!! I have researched information on ptsd...on the treatment...the symptoms.  I've searched for PTSD support groups designed for family members. And in this area, they're few and far between.  The best source to get one on one help as a spouse is through Military OneSource.  There has to be more out there. 

Luckily, I have a great group of friends who've been there for me through anything.  I have wonderful friends in another group (Her War Her Voice) who've been amazing help as well.  And that's about all I can say as far as learning to live with someone with PTSD.  You need your own support system.  And its basically going to be up to you to find it. 

Please see a few resources below that I find helpful.....

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
http://www.militaryonesource.com/
http://www.notalone.com/
http://www.herwarhervoice.com/
http://www.familyofavet.com/secondary_ptsd.html  (Secondary PTSD information)
http://www.familyofavet.com/parent_teacher_packet.html   (parent/teacher packet for families with kids)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I should be sleeping in

It's 8 am on a Sunday and I'm awake. ARGH! I'm blaming the dog today. I actually blame the dog everyday for this. I really should go back to sleep though. It's Sunday for crying out loud. The day of lazy mornings, late wake ups, breakfast in bed. Well, I get none of that today. I do have the rain though. I'm laying in bed listening to the rain. Which, all in itself, is amazing!
I also have allergies going on. Possibly a cold. Possibly a sinus infection.  I'm too tired to self diagnose this morning. It's been going on for a few days. And just keeps getting worse. It's been so cold lately. And now it's supposed to be back up in the 80's. Thanks Mother Nature for the opportunity to hack and cough and breathe through my mouth because my nose is so congested not even something microscopic size is fitting through that airway. Maybe I'll give in this week and make a doc appt for some meds. Maybe.
Don't get me wrong...I love fall. It's my favorite season. But as far as the temps fluctuating from two extremes, my allergies don't feel quite the same as I do about the current temperatures. I love being able to wear my hoodies and jeans right now.  But the ability to breathe usually takes priority.
Speaking of fall, I'm excited to do some photo shoots soon since the leaves are starting to change. I've just got to get myself caught up on everything else to be able to do that.
It's taken me 45 minutes to get this far in this blog this morning. Talk about lazy and unable to pull my thoughts together. I do have caffeine now so maybe I can finish this thing.
So, an hour ago when I took the dog out, it was gray and rainy out. Now, there are blue skies and it's beautiful.  And it definitely feels like fall out there.

The other night, I went to dinner at a friends house. My shoulders and back were so tense she pulled out her chair massager. Which, if you know me, you know that I've been known to go with a previous battle buddy and my daughter to Bed Bath & Beyond specifically just to sit in the massage chairs they have on display.  Those things are amazing. But after using hers Friday night for a good hour or so, I have learned that leaning back into the chair while the shiatsu function is running that you will undoubtedly feel great at the moment, but will the very next day, have bruises and sore muscles. HAHA Right between my shoulder blades I feel like I've been beaten repeatedly. But I would totally do it all again. A little tough love is good sometimes. And yes its love! I even named her massage chair Carlos. So, the fact that me and the other girls took turns in the chair, the saying that we all took a ride on Carlos got a good laugh from all of us. Just sharing the love baby. just sharing the love.

I'm sitting here debating if I want to get dressed now and head to the commissary to get my bi-monthly shopping done. I've put it off for almost 5 days now. The commissary trip is always chaotic and takes pre-planning to achieve maximum results.  I am a couponer. And sadly, this payday, I have very few coupons that will be of use for me. Granted, I suck at couponing. But If I can save 4% on my overall bill (usually about $20 bucks).  I'm a happy girl. It feels like all the time and effort paid off just a little. This time will be nothing compared to that. But I still have to do the psych-out to convince myself to go. Either that or the hunger from actually being out of food. HAHA The case-lot sale is also going on this weekend. Which means its going to be crazy there and since I have put it off to the last minute, I'll be lucky to find the basic essentials that we need. We'll see.
Maybe I'll lay here and enjoy the quiet a little bit longer before I begin the adventure. yeah...that sounds pretty good.

Have a good Sunday
later ya'll

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are we not all human here?

There are, more often than not, things that happen in life that you just don't understand.  Most of them are to teach you something, whether you know it or not.  Some of them are because you are either in direct relationship with whomever or whatever it is happening to.  Then there are those that you put yourself into for one reason or another, whether purposefully or not.
I don't necessarily see that the latest events in my life are happening "to me" but are happening because it's time to learn something and the fact that I am in direct relationship with the circumstances.  These events are things that I have not, nor will not, mention at the present time.
All I can say is that I pray that I can be supportive without being weak. 
My whole world has yet again been turned topsy-turvy. And the worst part again, has been the lack of control. Hell, I don't even have full knowledge of these circumstances...let alone control.
Not knowing what is going on makes it hard to know how to react. So out of desperation, you grasp at whatever you can and hope to make sense of it. Which usually ends up in a train wreck because you tend to over-analyze everything.
Just like this blog. Most people are probably racking their brains right now trying to figure out what the hell I'm talking about. Why I'm being so cryptic. This is a very personal matter right now but I need to vent. I need to let out frustrations. I don't have any other outlet right now and this has to be it.

I understand there are rules, laws, regulations.  And if anyone is going to be following them, it would be me. But lets think about what's right and wrong here. Let's think that suppose while you're following your rules and regulations that there is a ...gasp...dare I say??....a human being who is being affected by the outcome of your restrictions. I understand things are set in place for the protection of others.  But there are situations where all someone may need is a simple "I understand" ....a little compassion. It's not like I'm going to cause a riot or do anything rash. Granted they probably don't know that. But seriously. How can we make it through this world without being personable and being human? We're not all robots and/or politicians. Who we all know politicians bend the rules anyway they want to. Maybe that's what I need to do. Learn how to be a politician to get things taken care of. I mean they seem to know how to get what they want/need anyway.

Okay for now...this is all I can say. I could go on ranting but I'm just too emotionally drained to keep figuring out how to say what I want to say without saying more than I want to say. (that was alot right there)

Monday, September 12, 2011

We Got Orders

I'd like to apologize for the slack in my blogging lately. Things have been busy and a little bit stressful.

So, on to the big stuff. Life for us has been turned topsy-turvy.  We got orders.  For those who don't know what that means.....we're moving. And its not just a simple statewide move. We're moving to Korea.  I've known for a while. But we just got the orders in hand and I didn't want to announce it until I had talked with my family and employer.


When I first found out, I cried. And I mean...I really cried. Not at the thought of going somewhere new, but because it's in a different country. Somehow that just makes it seem more dramatic/drastic...I don't know.  I have great friends here. I have family in the states whom I barely see now as it is. And the thought of two years in a foreign country and not being able to see any of them had me pretty upset.  But the only thing I could do was to jump in and find out more about where we'll be living. So, we started researching and checking out all the info we could on the place and where we would possibly be living.  I have to say, information is very scarce unless you know how to look for it.  Once we started finding more information, I guess we became intrigued and curious. Granted, I'm still scared out of my mind. I'm more worried and stressed out over the process of moving to a foreign country.  I've heard about friends moving to Germany and it just didn't seem to be as complicated as this. Or maybe in my mind its not as complicated. Because I've let everything just explode into a huge mess in my head right now and I can't seem to make sense of it anymore. 

Now, I've done a PCS move before (for you civilians its a Permanent Change of duty Station). But it was state side. And it was a piece of cake.  We didn't have to worry about shipping our vehicle (or if we even could). We had a weight limit but nothing as small as what we're allowed to take to Korea. It's just a whole new set of restrictions that you don't normally think about.
We have a fairly large house here. But when we move there, we'll be at half the size (at least) as we have now. At least that's what we're assuming. And we have ALOT of furniture...alot of BIG furniture.
So, we're now beginning  to decide what goes with us and what we need to get rid of and what needs to go to storage.   My friends have all offered to come over and put their initials on all the furniture they want. I don't see this going well. LOL  They've already mentioned everything in the house would have their initials on it. At that rate, we'll have nothing left to ship.

If I stand back and think about the big picture, I know it's going to be alright. Everything always comes out in the wash... right? But right now, the whole not knowing process has been very frustrating and overwhelming. I've had nightmares about it the past few nights. Worrying in my sleep about getting to the airport late and having to fit 5 bags into 1 because we can't take that many carry-ons, among other things. I seriously have let my mind and worries run rampant.

My family, friends, and coworkers have all told me I can't go. But imagine the experience we're going to have. Would anyone deny that for us? (well besides Uncle Sam)  I'm sure I'll have a serious culture shock, but I am looking forward to it. It's definitely going to be an experience...and one that I'll be sharing with you all here...with my monkeys. :)


later ya'll
Shari

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Brain Dump

This week has been a little crazy. I've started to blog many times only to sit here staring at the screen. I have so many random thoughts running through my head and I just can't seem to gather them together to make anything the least big coherent. So, today's blog may just be a bit random...a brain dump if you will.

~ I think everyone at work/school is suffering from the same ailment. It's either a cold going around or everyone in Kansas has allergy problems right now. Including me. Mine didn't catch up to me until Friday evening. I got home from work and was asleep by 4:30. Sleeping all evening AND through the night until the next morning is something I highly recommend. Not all the time. Just occasionally.  Good stuff.

~ The weather today has been amazing.  It's been over 100 degrees for so long and then today having 79-80 degree temps has been such a drastic change.
  We'll all be sick again tomorrow. just saying

~ Sometimes I wonder if I really know what the heck is going on in my life. I mean being in the military there are alot of times where you're in limbo. Most of us have heard the phrase "hurry up and wait".  Which has been pinned to the army on pretty much everything from paperwork, to doctor's appointments, to waiting in line for something.
  Today I have that limbo feeling. It's a little unsettling sometimes if you allow the out of control thoughts get to you. Because technically, you have no control!  But isn't life pretty much like that anyway? 

~ I've been trying to walk and get a little bit of exercise in this past week.  I have lost a good 8 pounds since school/work has started. Which is an awesome thing. Because it's only been two weeks. :)  I'm hoping this is a good beginning that will lead to motivation for me to keep at it.

~ My oldest daughter is in a place in her life that I just feel downright happy for her. I feel deep down this could be a good thing. :)

~ Had a great day today with most of my girls (meaning my army wives).  We can sit and talk smack and laugh for hours.

~ I went walking again tonight with Whitney. We ended up getting caught out in the dark. lol guess we'll learn to put a reflective belt on the jogging stroller next time. oh well. good times!

~ For the record...it took me all day to do this blog. As insignificant as the brain dumping may seem.

~ Hopefully tomorrow I can pull together a cohesive thought.

~ I'm calling this brain dump done. My head hurts.

later ya'll

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Sorry. Or am I?

There comes a time in everyone's life when they feel a little low (for the lack of a better word).  When you have to sit back and think "what's wrong with me?" I'm having one of those times today. I sometimes wonder if I go through these times more often than the average human being.  I guess I've always considered myself "average". I mean I could be worse and I could be better. So, that's somewhere in between. Right?
Anyway, I don't know if at some point in my past relationship experience throughout the many years, if there was something or someone in particular that just really messed me up. Because I don't think I've always been like this. At least, I really don't remember if I was ever not like this but I am assuming I wasn't always this way.
Yes...you caught me, I am beating around the bush.  Let me get to the point....
Okay...I have this bad ...I don't know if I should call it a habit or what...anyway, re-direct... I usually hold emotions in. Well, bad emotions anyway. I try not to let people know if I'm upset or hurt or anything like that. (I honestly don't know why I do this) So, when I do express such emotions, it's because I've let it build up to an unhealthy level that it's going to come out one way or another. So, when I do let out these emotions...let's say anger....then I end up feeling guilty for allowing myself to express emotions. Especially when my anger triggers someone else's anger. Then ....get this...I end up apologizing for getting mad!!!
Or maybe I'm just apologizing for my reaction to being mad. I don't know. Whatever it is...I apologize for it.  Then I get angry at myself for suppressing a human emotion and apologizing for something that I have every right to show.
My husband and I have gone through alot of conversations about this. He's not an "emotional" person. (Thanks Army for de-sensitizing my husband so much.)  After our talks though, he says that I am "authorized these emotions".  (How military is that? lol) So, since I'm authorized these emotions, why do I feel like I have to keep the peace? Am I a doormat? Do I just let other people's feelings count more than my own? Why would I do that? I've gotta look out for number 1 first.  But, I'm not.
I have this quote that I keep on a sticky note on my desktop. It says...

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so you apologize for truth.

-Benjamin Disraeli
 
I find it upsetting that I have to remind myself of this. And that I can read it and I will still do the same thing everytime.  Am I just a creature of habit? Or am I a product of something?
 
I've felt for the past few days that I need a good cry. I've had a few teary-eyed moments for no reason and have fought it back. However, tonight, I feel like I just need to get it out and over with. I think I'm going to put in a chick-flick and just bawl my eyes out.
I kinda don't know what else to do at this point.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Monkey Day

I'm so excited!!! Hubby and I just stopped to get gas in my vehicle and I did the usual debate trying to decide if I was going in the store...or waiting in the truck. Then he says..."don't you want to get some monkeys??" I flew outta that truck like a bat outta hell!!!
So, let me introduce you to our new monkeys..............

Of course...I had to get two others that we already had in order to get these two. But that's okay.  There's one more out of the set that we still need to get. One that, I know for a fact, we used to have, but for some reason he has gone MIA at some point over the past couple of years.
And I have this somewhat selfish feeling that I don't want anyone else to know where we got them because the monkeys are MINE!!!  LOL I will have to go back to this "place" and check to see that the one I still need works its way around to the drop spot.  I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally want him!!!
Ya know...other wives have a little more expensive tastes when it comes to things they desire. Me?? give me some quarters and monkeys in a plastic ball. I'm good to go! LOL

Have a happy monkey day friends!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saying "See You Later"

One of the toughest things to do being a military spouse is having to leave or watch someone else leave.  There's the given deployments and saying "see you later" to your husband (or wife) which is hard enough all in itself.  Then there are friendships that are created during military lives that can mean as much to you as anything else. These people that fill in for family when you're away from your own.  They even in some cases fill in aspects of a marriage. We, in our little circle of friends, consider each other everything from "Deployment Hubby" to "Deployment Wifey" to "Army momma".   We are all there for each other on a daily basis. Just like a family would be. We call each other in the middle of the night when you just can't stand being alone anymore. We're there for coffee every morning. Cookouts every summer. Playdates. Birthday parties. When someone gets sick and just needs a helping hand. And so much more!
There have been a few best friends, bff's, battle buddies in my life who at one point or another due to the military have been taken away from me due to the military lifestyle. And though we expect it, you don't have to like it. I've had a few battle buddies since I became an army wife.  All of which I don't live near anymore (except for the current deployment wifey).  And you always say you're gonna stay in touch and nothing changes except the distance between you.  But honestly, things do change. You get new lives. The phone calls dwindle. The emails become few and far between.  But you can always know that in your mind (and your heart) that you will always have that friend there if you need them. Whether you call them to vent or cry or drop an email to just catch up.
I have a close circle of friends here in Kansas.  We've all come different walks of life, different places in the country. We are definitely a diverse group and have each seen life through different colored glasses. Our experiences in life make us who we are. And to merge your life with someone else broadens that horizon even more. Because you see things from a new perspective.  You learn different things about the world and yourself.  These relationships I have with my friends are priceless and nothing I would ever want to lose.
Fifty years from now, I can look back on my life as an army wife and I'll remember the places I've been, the deployments and hardships we've gone through. But what I'll remember most is the people I've met along the way.
And for that I'm grateful for being an Army Wife! HOOAH!

Love to all my Battle Buddies out there....in Kansas and around the world!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

School, Commercials and Bobble-Heads

My sister has told me a few times now that I need to do another blog. So here it is.
Only...I can't keep a complete thought lately. Everything is flying around in little pieces and occasionally two of them collide and stick together to make a partial thought. Which is about how the last three sentences were made.

I've gone back to work this week. Yep...schools back in session. Summer's over. Sadness.  School's not that bad really. I like being back at work. I've definitely missed the paycheck thats for darn sure. One of the drawbacks to working in the school system. 
But now that I'm back at work, I'm completely exhausted. The arthritis is flaring up. The leg pain is horrible. wah wah wah. I know.  Another reason why I hadn't thought about blogging because everything was gonna turn out to be a whine. Sorry ya'll.

So I'm sure you all have seen tons of the back to school commercials for the department stores, etc.  Well....there's one, (and I can't for the life of me remember which store its for) where there's a music teacher and he sings this little jingle about what kids need for school so they'll be "cool".  Well the song is so catchy and horrible its funny! My daughter is a gifted singer.  She can pick up on jingles and songs so fast.  Hubby and I made her watch this commercial today and I told her if she ever started singing it (especially the "shoes" part. haha) I would punch her in the face (I really wouldn't....but just trying to prove a point).   So immediately she starts bobbing her head like it's a radio hit! And of course....she starts singing it. But she couldn't pick up on all the words that fast so it came out a little like this:   Something...Something...Jeans....Shawn White Hoodie....leggings...Jeans.  
OOOH!!!  I think it's a Target commercial. 
Okay....I actually looked it up on youtube and here's the video..............enjoy (I know it just took me forever to actually do that)


it's so bad I love it!!!  And now I'm sure my daughter is gonna learn the song and I'll be hearing more of it. Joy!

It's almost like hearing teenagers singing a song about dancing like a bobble head.  Is this for real? Tell me this isn't a real song??? I did however have an amazingly hearty laugh over it at the time. 
I love the random things teenagers do.  Makes me laugh and keeps me young.

it's gonna be a good year!! ;)

PS....wouldn't it be amazing if I had a bobble-head monkey??? I need to keep my eye out for one of those.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Spirit of the Game (Eye Candy)

If you've ever been to a military installation, you know there are security gates one must present proper identification and in some situations go through vehicle inspections, etc.  Those of us who visit/work or live on a military installation have grown accustomed to this. It's a normal everyday thing.
It's always interesting to see the different personalities, as you could imagine, that the gate guards/mp's have.  Occasionally you'll get the grouchy one who is all business. But for the most part people don't mind being...human. It's good to always get a "nice" guard or one that will b.s. with you. Just cause you don't want to come in contact with a negative guard. Right?
I've gone through the gate before and had random trivia questions thrown at me. When I didn't know the answer, they wouldn't tell me(I think they honestly didn't know).  So of course I had to go home and google it. I've gone through many vehicle inspections. Which are usually tolerable...but some don't goof around too much in those situations. They take that crap serious!
My husband always feels like going through the gate is like hitting pit row in Nascar.  It's important to know which gate to go through...left or right...in order to gain a position (meaning you move ahead of car(s) in line in front of you). You begin watching the line as you pull closer to the gate. Which vehicles look like they're gonna take a while (more people = more id's). When he gains position(s)...it's like he's in Victory Lane! lol
For us ladies though, we have our own game. When we drive up to the gate and you have to make that last minute decision whether to go right or left....at this point you can't see if it's a hired security gate guard or an mp. And as we all know...soldiers in uniform are way hotter than security guards in uniform. (nothing wrong with a little eye candy.)  So...the game is to get the cute MP at the gate.  If you get a female mp/guard...no points**.  Gate guard...no points. MP...SCORE!  Especially if he's hot. If he's but ugly you could lose points.
Now mind you...we're technically not keeping points. We just say we are all in the spirit of the game.

So, this was always an "army wife" kinda game between me and my friends.  Until the day we (as a family) went through the gate and my daughter blurts out "NO points for you mom!!"
REALLY? then I had to explain to my husband what she was talking about.  lol
But at least now my husband knows so as we went through the gate earlier today, He got a cute mp and my daughter announces "10 points for you Charlie!!" LOL
WOOT WOOT!!

Enjoy the game!

**No offense to any female military members! We love you girls!!! Hooah!!!

Chewing the fat...

I've been trying to think of what to blog about the past few days. The basic day to day grind would have turned out to be more of a grocery list of complaints and mundane chores. So, I skipped all that.  Today, however, from the time I woke up, all I could think about was bacon.  Yeah...bacon. Let me explain before you decide I've completely lost it.
My family and I always have turkey bacon.  That's what my husband grew up on, that's what his kids grew up on. Me and my kids however, come from Virginia and we grew up on REAL pork bacon.
Growing up in the country, I remember daddy and my uncles slaughtering a hog and the "fat back" and pork we had for what seemed like forever after that from that one hog. Now that's gooooood salty bacon!!!
Don't get me wrong...I like turkey bacon. And in my constant quest of "trying" to eat healthy, turkey bacon is the one thing that I think I'm making a successful attempt. That was my "lifestyle change".  But every once in a while...I just want some REAL bacon. The salty flavor...the texture is different. You can even chew on the fat and it's tastes good!! It just takes me back to being a kid in the mountains where everything that was put on the table tasted better with bacon or bacon grease on it.
I made real bacon once a while back and my husband's kids didn't understand why it tasted different.  I was appalled!! "it's BACON! REAL BACON! Not the turkey variety!! it's a REAL pig!!"  They still didn't like it as good.
I just don't understand.

It's odd how when you grow up certain things just become "so".  That's what you know...that's what you like...and nothing else changes that.  You grow up doing things in a certain routine. Doing things a certain way.  Like the toilet paper rolling over instead of under.  Yes...it's a lifestyle! You could change it. But why would you want to? It works better this way!
But then there are certain things in your life that you should change, try to change, need to change. But as you grow up and continue on with your life the repetitive actions just happen and pass on by. Day after day. 

Four years ago, I made a change from real bacon to turkey bacon.  Today though, I'm revisiting my childhood and having some good ole bacon. Although my arteries probably don't appreciate it, my taste buds will. And I'll have bacon with my pancakes, and then BLT's for lunch. It's a bacon-y kind of day.

(And yes, I think it's completely odd I just devoted a blog to bacon. LOL)

So...good morning ya'll! It's time to throw that bacon in a pan! ;)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Deployment - R&R Advise

Here's five of my own personal tips of advise that I want to share with my fellow Army Wives who are currently or about to embark on their first separation from their husbands due to deployments.

1)  Cry if you want to. Just do it and get it over with and get back to your business. There's too much to do to sit around crying for days on end. Have a mourning day and pick yourself up.

2) chocolate helps.

3) if chocolate is not an option (why wouldn't it be though?? really??) any other personal indulgence in small to moderate amounts will suffice.

4)  Let me say a little about R&R.  I'll try not to stay on my soap box for long on this one.
 
- R&R can be bittersweet. Your "routine" you've set to deal with the deployment has been interrupted with your pre-deployment routine.  It's wonderful and crazy at the same time.  Enjoy it and be flexible. period.

  - Your friend's hubby's r&r can also be bittersweet. While you are happy for your friend you are sad and jealous that it's not you. Be understanding. The roles will be reversed.

- IF you are a wife who's husband is NOT deployed with your fellow wives' husbands...you have to understand....those two weeks are precious to her and its all she has out of a year. DO NOT try to cut in on her time with her husband. If she freely offers it up...okay. But don't butt in for 15 days.

 - Shave your legs (etc). nuff said

5)  Choose your battles.  Somethings are just not worth the hurt/anger/upset feelings thousands of miles between the two of you. Sleep on it and if its still an issue the next day...then confront it. Added stress over petty issues is just irresponsible.

10 Thoughts for Tuesday

Trying something different today.  My sister has always done this blog "10 Thoughts for Tuesday".  So, since I'm feeling a little random right now, I thought this might be the best thing for me today. So here we go.......

1)  On my way to an appointment which should have taken me only 30 minutes travel time, I went through THREE construction zones and arrived an hour after leaving my home. Yes...i was late for my appointment. grrr
Then on the way back home...there was yet another construction zone thrown in for good measure just to make sure I was held up at all of them. all I can say is...Really People?? Really???

2) On my way home, I heard over the radio "The following is a test of the emergency broadcast system." But unlike every other test i've ever heard, this one continued with "after hearing the test, click your heels together three times and say there's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home".  Then I heard the screeching sound...followed by birds chirping and tweeting and this chick saying "there's no place like home".  Only in Kansas people!!

3) This ten thoughts thing is harder than I thought it would be. lol

4)  Okay this list thing leads me into thinking of my to-do list. I won't bore you with that. lol

5)  Random fact you may not know about me...I'm a cryer. I cry watching movies. And one that I recommend next time you need a good cry is Soul Surfer. I cried pretty much throughout the entire movie. What a great story though! And based on a true story about Bethany Hamilton. love love love it!!!

6)  While watching the movie tonight, hubby was laying on the couch. He raised up to get the remote and the dog slid perfectly into the spot he was laying in.  He looks at her and says "Really?" and I could imagine if she could speak she would have said at that very moment..."Puppy-Eyes Power ACTIVATE!"

7)  I have two days of summer vacation left and I feel like I have so much left to do. Where did the time go?

8)  I feel the need to do another photo shoot very very soon. I'm a little behind on my practicing. Anyone wanna model?

9) By the time I post this...Tuesday will be over. This has taken me pretty much all day to write. LOL

10) I have just realized I can't watch tv with out the guide feature working. lol just flipping through channels to see what's on is so hard.  What did we ever do before??

Maybe next Tuesday I'll be a little more efficient at getting this done. So much for being random today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Monkey Memories

I'm sure some people wonder where the "monkeys" came from. Those who know me and my family know we travel alot. Whether it's for military reasons or just personal reasons.  And you should also know we have a bunch of kids. Most people have heard of the travelling gnome.  Well, monkeys sort of suit our family a little better.  And at a birthday party at a bowling alley (in Kansas I do believe), these monkeys were obtained from one of the little machines kids put a quarter or two in and turn the dial.  Yes....I have cheap monkeys which are now priceless to me. 
There are 5 monkeys in our collection. They pretty much cover the personalities that my family members may portray at any given moment (well..not all of the personalities...but these are a good start). Which makes them work even better for us. 
So, since the monkeys have been in our family and have been on many road trips over the past several years, I'm going to do a recap of our family's trips and share some pictures and monkey memories.

*All images are copyrighted by me. They are not to be copied, saved, or used by anyone other than myself.

All the monkeys crossing into Missouri from Arkansas (or vice versa...I don't remember)


Having breakfast in Virginia with my daughter and my stepbrother


Breakfast Buffets are amazing!!! I recall we were leaving Virginia just after this pic was taken. Lots of crying.


At the cabin we rented in Tennessee.

Monkeys will always appear when someone falls asleep in the car


See

Camping at Country Stampede in Kansas.  It's like Woodstock for Country folk...or drunken college kids.


Our most recent road trip......On our way to see the Extreme Makeover Home Edition house in Ottawa Kansas


monkeys in Mississippi.  (i just wanted to type Mississippi.  Try it...it's not that easy you know. Mississippi)


in Tennessee again. Who knew they named their pee spots after famous country singers. Oh well...works for me.


On our way to Nashville.  rock on!!

Dreaming in St Louis.  i always like St Louis. it feels like halfway.


Forget the snow bunnies. We got snow monkeys in Missouri.


actually had KFC in Tennessee...but listening to the customers talk about their neighbors (Alan Jackson) was priceless!!


The important sustenance of any road trip


Don't forget toll road money in Florida!!!


Random daydreaming on the road shot

a few more random pics






And i'll leave you with Lost in Iowa.