Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reasons I'm Glad I Don't Live Close To Base

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We have never lived near a military base. I have been with my husband for five years, so before that I didn't have any real experience with the military world. My husband on the other had two families in the military, his mom and her husband and his dad and his wife. So he has been surrounded by the military since birth.

For many reasons I wished we lived closer to base during our deployment and had more military friends around us. I think they understand in a way that other's can't the craziness of our life and it would be great to have a battle buddy! I've learned there are a few things that I'm glad I've missed about military life and the military community.

1) Dealing with mean military wives. I've heard about them from other military wives, I've seen them online, on Army Wives and in the movies. I'm glad I have not had to experience that crowd.

2) Being asked "So what's your husband's rank?" I've only been asked this a couple of times and not by other military spouses thank goodness. His rank is so off my radar that I kind of forget he's done pretty well for himself. I'm glad I have not had to be a part of the competitive nature of ranks. I've never had the "Enlisted vs. Officer" conversations.

3) Dealing with stereotypes about military wives. The only place I've heard about bad stereotypes about military wives is from military wives talking online about how awful they are. Not anything that plays into my world.

4) Being a young military girlfriend and wife. I don't know how well I would handle the stresses of dealing with the military when I was in my early 20s or being with someone at the bottom of the totem pole who was paying their dues big time to get going in the military. I salute young ladies who tackle all this at a much younger age than I did. Way to go girls.

5) Attending formal military events and social gathering. This is something I still don't feel comfortable with but luckily I have only had to attend one barbecue, one dinner, one Christmas Party and one formal. The formal was a disaster by the way. I'm not sure I'll even ever be able to tell you about it. I still get sick to my stomach thinking about it.

So yes, my military wife experience is not the norm it seems, but I've learned a lot by watching from within and from afar. How about you? Are there any facets of military life you're glad you've missed?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Things We Won't Tell My Husband: Episode 5

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Things we won't tell my husband is a comical, sometimes sad look at things we don't discuss during deployment. Please know that I am totally open to discussing any of these things with my husband in real life and often do. But in the hopes of keeping life simple, not overburdening him and when communications is jagged and unpredictable, things fall to the wayside sometimes.

1. That after someone scraped the driver's side of his car before Christmas, it has happened to the passenger side now. Big tire mark. Dreading this conversation. I did NOT do it.

2. That I think the tiny little hubcap thing from his car, the one that is missing, disappeared that first day he was home for R and R. He was driving and let me just tell you, after not driving for six months, he hit the curb on the passenger side two or three times making turns. I am pretty sure it was him that knocked that baby off. I do not think #1 and #2 are related, just to clarify. And again, I did not do it.

3. That I've had to develop a thick skin & a "get over it quickly" survival skill for when he calls or Skypes and is grumpy. Can't carry that with me all day. Not good for anyone. Unfortunately or fortunately, I realize that I am his only pressure release valve. Doesn't mean I always appreciate it.

4. That I still look at his picture some days and think "I married that guy? That is the guy I married?" and I laugh. He is so handsome, so not "my type", so perfect for me, much fun and such a handful. I was looking for all those years and he was waiting at the end of the trail. Amazing.

5. That while he's been gone our little one has scared the living daylights out of me like a creepy little kid in a horror movie more times that I can count. Most recently while we knelt at my bed for family prayer and she without making a peep moved from my left side to my right side and when I opened my eyes and saw here there I totally jumped. We won't even get started on how many times she's appeared out of nowhere in the dark of night or after she's been asleep for hours! Just thinking about it makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise!

6. That I'll be watching the last half of the Army Wives season when he's gone or asleep. He hates Army Wives...not because he's actually watched it, but just to be a bratty boy. Little does he know that while I realize it IS fictionalized dramatic (emphasize dramatic) television, I have definitely learned some useful things about the military & being a military spouse. I had zero real experience with the military until I dated a former Ranger for a brief time a year before I met the hubs.

7. That frequently I have no idea what he is talking about. I always think a FITREP sounds like it should be a fitness test, but that's called something else. He grew up with a dad and stepdad in the military. He's been fluent in Military-ese since birth, or maybe before that in the pre-life preparation phase, which I am sure there must also be some catchy acronym for.

8. That I only kinda understand the difference between non-commissioned and commissioned and the whole rank structure. Basically I figure if they look about our age or older they're probably equals or superiors. If they look younger or act with deference to my husband he's the superior. Good detective work, right? haha. He's busy, he doesn't have time to explain this all to me. And again, he was born speaking Military-ese so we're not on the same page language-wise anyway. lol. Please remember we don't live in a military community and therefore don't have the chance to associate with other military families, before you judge my ignorance. I am around my husband's unit maybe one time per year. Begging your pardon, truly.

9. That I fantasize about dressing down that one total jerk officer we've run into who just had to go out of his way to cause trouble for my husband and create massive amounts of totally unnecessary stress. This was all such a power trip for that guy and I will forever remember his name. Sometimes I mutter it to myself. If we ever meet, I imagine myself saying, "Oh, so you're _____ ______, huh." Then just glaring at him until his uniform spontaneously combusts.

I am guessing every military wife at every level has one of these guys in her protective "mama bear" sights. In the words of Mr. T, "I pity the fool." And I know, in the end, we keep quiet and hold our tongues. But wouldn't it be awesome if they had a spouse day called "Speak Your Peace Free Day" where you could just say it to whomever at whatever level rightfully deserved an earful from you?!

10. That I am really going to miss driving his tiny, speedy, super fuel efficient car and going back to my SUV.  I have never liked riding in the passenger seat of that car. I realize now that it's because he's broad shouldered and is always leaning on me, so I end up sitting up against the door which is totally uncomfortable in a bucket seat. But I learned this year that the driver's seat, now that's fun. I love being able to shimmy into tiny compact parking spots, drive 600+ miles on one tank of gas and enjoy that little sports car engine.

I'm gonna miss that car. Driving my SUV is totally practical for moving gear, bikes and lot of things we can't do with his little car. But I seriously feel like I'm driving a school bus now. A little scary. Will need to get used to that before he gets back.

So those are the things we won't tell my husband this week. Can you relate?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crying: A Normal Part Of Military Wife Life

Before I jump into the topic of this post I have to give a plug to Sparkly Pony who created these super cute tissue box covers. I adore these! You can buy them here. Check out the shop.

Now about the crying. Well, I've decided that if you are going to be a military girlfriend or wife you should just accept that you could pretty much find yourself in tears every day for the rest of your life. Invest in a wide range of tissues including the little purse packets. Also save every fast food napkin you don't use while eating and tuck it into your purse.

Her are a few reasons you might be crying.

1) Your loved one is constantly coming and going which causes a lot of unscheduled chaos in your life.
2) You are running a household for an entire family by yourself most of the time.
3) You have no other parent to back you up when the kids spin out of control.
4) You're alone on your birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, etc.
5) It's a holiday that celebrates anything to do with patriotism, America or the military.
6) You hear the national anthem in a ball park.
7) You just found out your loved one is going to deploy in six months.
8) You just saw a death notice for a service member online, on TV or in a newspaper.
9) You see a commercial for Wounded Warrior Project on TV.
10) You are watching your husband playing with your kids and seeing how much they miss each other.
11) You daughter starts crying in church and says all the other kids have their dads with them.
12) You aunt tells you about a man she met whose son-in-law has PTSD.
13) You're going insane because you just need this deployment to start already.
14) The disposal breaks and you find out it's been leaking under the cupboard for weeks.
15) You just locked yourself out of the house for the third time since he deployed two months ago.
16) You can't sleep again.
17) You lose the same 10 pounds four times and are still carrying it when he comes home.
18)You are Christmas shopping by yourself for your kids.
19) You see a couple hugging and kissing.
20) You see anything to do with a deployment goodbye or a homecoming on TV.
21) You get a letter with a little heart on the front with your initials inside it.
22) You realize you've been married for months but only together for days.
23) Anything breaks down on the car.
24) You see any show with a 21-gun salute military funeral.
25) You need a hug, a really big hug.
26) You find out you're husband barely missed a suicide bombing.
27) You finally hear from your husband and he's grumpy and cross & leaves you feeling worse.
28) You're constantly unable to plan anything because the military is always changing it's plans for you.
29) You read about military suicides
30) You drive on base after your husband's been deployed for six months.

Now I could list at least a hundred more reasons why it's easy to shed a few tears when you're a military spouse. And I don't think it's because military spouses and significant others are weak. I think it's because they're strong and deal with very stressful and often dangerous situations as part of their everyday life.

I'll be honest with you. I cry all the time. It's usually just a few tears, but I do. I cry a lot less now than I did the first six months. I cry when friends at church ask how he's doing. I cry when I wish I could fall asleep in his arms. I cry when things break down. I cry when I hear sad country songs on the radio about people dying. I find it a very normal part of my life now and I'm not embarrassed anymore. You know why? Because when I tell people who ask about our life, I can get them crying in a matter of seconds about things that don't make me cry much anymore at all. Serious and heartfelt things require a heartfelt emotional response from feeling people.

So cry on my sisters (and spouse brothers). It's fantastic therapy and hopefully as you go along you're able to enjoy those cries in the car alone or in your room at night. I find those are the places where I have my ugly cries these days. But if you shed a few tears in public, do not be embarrassed. If you have to, explain why to the people around you if it makes you feel better. Just keep being brave and strong.

You can do it. You're not alone. A million tears have been shed by loyal loving military spouses through the centuries. I think we can all relate to each other and we stand together in loyalty and love of God, country and spouse. There's no shame in a cry in fact it's pretty amazing. I am glad to have feelings that run that deep!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Confirmation That You CAN Do It

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This post is dedicated to all the girls and women and men who say goodbye to their beloveds as they head off to basic training, overseas assignments and war zone deployments. This is for the fearful souls who face the unknown wondering if they can survive this goodbye that feels overwhelming and maybe just impossible to survive.

My husband's deployment notice could not have come at a worse time for us and yet, I realize now that it was also the perfect time and everything has worked together to improve situations that we were suffering through and set us up for a very happy life upon his return.

Despite the fact that I had done my homework, read all the literature, attended the deployment readiness weekend training and had seen many go through deployment before me, I still stood in the weeks leading up to his departure, teary-eyed for a couple of minutes nearly every day. Some days it was big huge sobs getting mascara all over the shoulder of his shirts. The fears of what could happen to him and what could happen in our lives while he was away were incomprehensible and terrifying. I am usually a pretty calm and rational person, but thinking of losing a year of our lives together was probably the biggest challenge I have yet faced in life.

One night we were in a movie theater for one of our last date nights before he left. As we sat with the annoying pre-movie entertainment playing I heard a voice inside me say, "You can do this. You are ready. You can do this." I knew, deep in my soul that this voice was right. I was ready, I had done all I could do to prepare physically, emotionally and spiritually for this long separation and the months of worry and adjustment to him being gone. I WAS ready. I quickly wrote the words down on a piece of paper and later pinned them up above my desk to remind me.

Did I maintain that moment of calm for the rest of pre-deployment and the past 11 months of deployment? No, not all the time. But I could always go back to that moment and remember that I am indeed able and ready for this challenge. Remembering that moment calmed me and reminded me that I could do this hard thing. Everything in my life up to that point had prepared me.

If you're standing in the nervous spot where I stood last year at this time, let me recommend that you do your homework, read the literature, talk to other and older girlfriends and spouses who have been through where you're headed. Pray, talk to God and ask for his support. Journal, write all your feelings down and write words of encouragement to yourself. Then give yourself the quiet time to just listen. When you least expect it, I suspect you too will hear that little voice or feel a hand reach out to you and show you that "You can do this. You are ready. You can do this."

If something like this has happened to you, I'd love to hear about it. We all receive these gifts in unique and beautiful ways. Share in the comments below if you like.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

10 Things On My Stay Busy List

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Right after I learned Mr. Hart would be deploying for a full year, I found a great coping mechanism I have used all my life: making a list. I started a list of things I wanted to do while he was deployed. Fun things, new adventures, projects I had been putting off. I created a great big master list that I could pick and choose from as my interests and energy allowed.

It was a great help to work on this list during pre-deployment to distract me from thinking about all the fears associated with what was to come. It also gave me things to look forward to in the year he would be gone. It's an absolute waste of your life to just sit and wait for him and be miserable! Make it an awesome year!

Here are 10 things from my list:

1) Take ukelele lessons. Mr. Hart bought me the most gorgeous ukelele a couple of years ago and I have not yet mastered it. There is a shop nearby that teaches lessons.

2. Plan a weekly outing with a friend. There is never enough time to get together with all the girlfriends, now I had a whole year to schedule something in with a variety of people.

3. Schedule in visits with my family and take a trip with my sisters. I have been lucky to see my family a lot this year. Hawaii with my sisters was great fun.

4. Make a list of books to read and read them. Quiet time in the evenings with a book is heavenly.

5. Connect with other military spouses and significant others. This has been a great help to keep the spirits up and feel that there are people around me who understand my life.

6. Deep clean the house. I've been doing projects each week. Things are looking good!

7. Watch a few TV series from start to finish on Netflix. I have watched Army WivesFriday Night Lights, Parenthood, some Alias and In Plain Sight and am looking for my next series adventure. This is a good time to enjoy those shows he mocks you for watching. (We won't even get started on the dumb stuff HE watches! wink wink).

8. Keep a journal. This is a history-making period for our family. I want a record of it.

9. Take trips to the many local museums. Great for inspiration and a great way to get to know different parts of your city. We've had some lovely days at beautiful museums and gardens. Such peaceful places to unwind and be inspired.

10. Plan weekend excursions. It's fun to take a Saturday and drive a couple of hours away and adventure around a new town. This year we've enjoy a lot of trips to the beach and to neighboring cities.

Those are just a few of the things I put on my list. I'm going to continue sharing ideas from this list over the coming weeks and months. It's always helpful to get ideas and inspirations about what you might put on your own list to keep you happy, busy and growing while your loved one is deployed, training or stationed far away.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deployment Preparation Reading: Separated By Duty

image via Amazon

I have talked a lot here about reading the deployment literature. Separated By Duty, United In Love by Shelly Vandevoorde is one of the books I purchased near the beginning of deployment that I read in the first few weeks my husband was gone. I often read it in bed at night and it was a great distraction from the loneliness  It was definitely a comfort to have this book to turn to, to feel like someone knew what I was going through and could show me the way forward.

The introduction to this book puts the military relationship into clear perspective. It's not always going to be fair or easy. The author, Shelly Vandevoorde asks the reader to consider their part in the relationship, what they agreed to and what they can do to make the relationship a success. 

I appreciated seeing topics the author covered that were actual things that were running around in my head. I love that she talked about the survival games we play in our heads that affect our relationships. Vandovoorde also writes about things like finances, making those decisions we don't want to think about, homecoming and the real challenges of long-distance in a military relationship. She writes with candor and truthfulness that seems to allow us as readers to accept the hard things that might come, but to know that it's okay to feel fear or worry. Then she gives readers the tools to face what needs to happen to keep us strong and healthy and shows us how to travel this journey with grace.

There is no white-washing or putting lipstick on a pig in this book. Vandevoorde speaks very candidly and the reader is better for that. Good to know what challenges you may face, how you might feel and how to move forward. Written with a realistic but supportive and encouraging voice, this book is a great one for the military spouse or significant other's bookshelf.

Okay, your turn? What books did you read and what would you recommend? Please share, I know there are quite a few significant others and spouses who are beginning deployment this summer. Let's arm them with the equipment they need to start strong and thrive!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Things We Won't Tell My Husband: Episode 4

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Things We Don't Tell My Husband is a weekly column here where I share silly, sometimes sad or scary things I don't need to tell my husband because it won't help anything. In truth, these are all things I would gladly discuss with my husband if needed and necessary but it's more fun to share them and laugh with readers who will understand.

1. That we have not sat at the table to eat dinner in months. We often sit at the counter and even (GASP!) sometimes eat at the coffee table watching The Pioneer Woman episodes. And yes the little one has spilled a ton of food on the carpet there. Sigh.

2. That I have created a very well-functioning schedule for our family while he's been gone and it works superbly. When he comes back I know it's all going to go to the dogs and I'm going to be frustrated. I'm praying we can find some sort of compromise.

3. That I'm tired of the words "New Normal." Don't want to hear that anymore. lol.

4. That occasionally I let the little one eat stuff he wouldn't let her eat.

5. That it's been nice to not hear swearing like a sailor around the house.

6. That I got a parking ticket last week. $68! And I performing an act of kindness for someone and was only there for 15 minutes.

7. How lost I sometimes feel in the shell of our life here.

8. How sad our little one gets when she sees other kids with their dads.

9. That we desperately need a new bed. His great bed is in storage 150 miles away & mine is shot and getting worse by the minute. Seriously, it's awful.

10. That sometimes when I'm in the grocery store I throw in an expensive magazine for myself.

How about you readers. Anything funny or melancholy you'd like to add? We're all sisters here and we get it. Sending big love.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chill Drills: Meditation With A Military Touch

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I like to go through all the deployment literature I've received from the Navy and support organizations on a regular basis. No matter how many times I go through it I always seem to find something new that happens to fit right into where we are at that phase of deployment.

As I was going through brochures and books last week I found a handout for Chill Drills. These are meditations created by a counselor who works primarily with service members. You can read more about Heidi J. Bauer and Chill Drills here. These short meditations were developed specifically for use by military folks but they are just as applicable and helpful for military spouses and children too. There are six .mp3 downloads in varying topics available here.

These would be great to download and give to military loved ones. Well-being is a huge part of their ability to be successful, to get quality sleep, recovery and downtime. I am going to pass them along to my husband when he gets home. I have tried to meditate with him before but he usually just gets quickly distracted and then starts watching me as I am meditating. He definitely needs to relax more so I am hoping to get him hooked on these. If I tell him they were specifically created for military folks maybe he'll take them a little more seriously.

I encourage you to check these out yourself and definitely make sure your military folks hear about these and have access to them. The ability to tune down stress is life critical for all of us. It has a huge impact on our health. Little actions like a few minutes of meditation go a long way to keep our bodies, minds and spirits healthy. Check out Chill Drills!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

10 Things To Consider Before Dating Someone In The Military

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If you are going to date someone who is a member of the military, part-time or full-time here are a few things to consider and be ready for:

1) If you are someone who needs a boyfriend or girlfriend at your side at all times or their constant attention and affection, a military spouse life is not going to be a great choice for you. Do not expect they can do that for you and do not make them feel guilty that they should. Make a different choice or find a way to become more independent.

2) If you do not want to spend prom, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, babies births and holidays without your significant other or future spouse do not date someone in the military. This is a given in the military and other professions like medical, fire and law enforcement. Make plans for how you will celebrate holidays without them and enjoy them.

3) If you are someone who needs to live close to your family, do not date or marry someone in the military. You will move a lot, potentially in far flung places around the world. Do not expect anything otherwise. Do not pretend this is not real. Do not be dramatic or unhappy when this happens.

4) If you are not supportive or interested in the military as a family life choice do not date or marry someone who loves their career in the military. Do not anticipate that you will get them to leave it and do something else.

5) If you have a very defined career path that requires a specific location & number of years spent in one place a military partnership will make that very difficult. Choose a career that is easily portable. If you want a big career that demands you live in a particular area, or long years in one place, don't date people in the service.

6) If you have a lot of anxiety and worry a lot, being a military spouse may not be something you are built for. Your choices are find every way possible to strengthen yourself and survive or choose a less stressful life for yourself. A military spouse works with uncertainty and danger every day. If that isn't something you handle well it will add a lot of stress to a service member's life, which isn't fair to them.

7) You need to understand that when men have been eating dirt, crawling on their stomachs under barbed wire, on a ship, or dusty, remote camp, sleeping on the world's worst mattress (if they even have one) they are going to be ornery. And sorry to say it, but some of that is going to blow back on you because they can't vent it anywhere else. You cannot take this personally. This will be one of the biggest challenges to your relationship because it's eventually going to get you hot under the collar and sick and tired of hearing it and then you're going to lose it a little and there's going to be a fight. The fewer times you can let it get that far, the better. (Not that I know anything about this, I've just heard....wink). Read more about military couple deployment arguments here.

8) Consider that in a local or national emergency if is likely your service member will be called to serve the country or local community. They will likely not be available to take care of you. You will need to make plans and be ready to stand up and act on your own to protect yourself and your family. There is enough emergency preparedness information out that that you should be able to be ready for anything - especially things particular to your geographic location.

9) If you aren't a happy person, you won't be happy with the military. There will be lots of things to complain about and get frustrated by. Obsessing about all these things will make you, your partner and everyone around you miserable. If you can see the glass half-full, you will have a fantastic experience with a military spouse.

10) If you meet a military man, fall in love with him and are up for a great adventure you will find a lot to love about dating and potentially marrying a service member. There is a lot to enjoy and love about the adventures the military can bring to your life. If you chose, it will make you strong, courageous, brave, more outgoing and give you a network of friends around the world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lessons I Learned From Army Wives

image via Army Wives

Army Wives premiered about the same time I met a retired Army Ranger who I dated for a short time. So it piqued my interest and I started watching and stayed. Then five years ago when I met Mr. Hart it definitely continued to be a bit of an educational tool to help me understand the military world. I never imagined in a million years we would act out our own deployment drama in real life years later.

Here are 10 helpful lessons I have learned from Army Wives:
  1. How to be a good military "sister"
  2. That there are lots of different types of military families and military wives
  3. That separation breeds misunderstanding & contention
  4. That being the homefront to a service member is a LOT of work & scheduling
  5. That forging strong friendships is a good thing
  6. The meaning of words like "chit", "Jody Bar" and FPCON ALPHA.
  7. That everyone gets a little bit screwed over at some point in their military career
  8. To never expect a schedule to stay firm
  9. That if you're on TV you can get promoted through the ranks quite quickly
  10. That there are details about your husband's work that you can never know about
How about you dear readers? What lessons have you learned from seven seasons of Army Wives?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Deployment Took Away My Pretty

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First I just have to say that this image totally cracked me up because it totally and completely reflects how I feel inside about the subject of this post. I was looking in the mirror last night, while I was gargling very potent mouthwash. I hoped it would kill all the germs in my throat and keep this sore throat from becoming something more. I was wearing my glasses, had just taken off my makeup, my hair was looking haggard and I was wearing baggy pajamas. Let me just warn you -- this is not a great time or situation in which to be making healthy judgments about one's looks.

But the very sad thought came to me -- Deployment took away my pretty. I seriously feel like I've aged 10 years in the last three years. In the beginning of the 11th month of a 12-month deployment, my skin is broken out, I should have refreshed my highlights in February and I have lost the same 10 pounds four different times. Money is  tight and I have a kiddo at home, so there's no going off to Paris, like in the movie Sabrina, to become a whole new woman.

I look TIRED! I'm not sleeping, my eyes look horrible. Dark circles under them. My skin looks gray, my face is puffy. I look...just bad. With a little more sleep I think I can fix this. (She types as she writes this at 2 AM). I am still hopeful about the weight. I have a haircut scheduled.

Guess who else looks equally worn out and tired. My husband. He lost 20 pounds of pure muscle his first six months. Why, I ask the gods of heaven, couldn't I have lost weight and he have stayed steady! lol. Then he had pneumonia for the next two months. His eyes look tired too.

Maybe we can put ourselves back together, together. Maybe a little downtime and some summer sun on our cheeks will be just the medicine to bring us back to our former selves or maybe even better. At the very least, I pray he will overlook my looks until we get back to a more even keel. He did say I was pretty in that card he sent last week, no actually the word was beautiful AND awesome, smart AND wise! So maybe he hasn't forgotten what once was, maybe that girl can come back once she has a little less stress and a handsome man at arm's reach to give her a little love and TLC. (She smiles in her sweetest, most hopeful, charming, prettiest smile).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Things We Won't Tell My Husband: Episode 3

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This is just a silly little column I publish every Monday morning about silly things my husband doesn't need to know that I've been up to while he's been deployed. Nothing immoral or illegal, just stuff that would make him laugh, roll his eyes at me or even worry a bit. But these are things I think most girlfriends and wives have either done or can totally relate to. Nothing I mention here is something I wouldn't actually own up to if he asked or if it mattered. They're just little things.

1. That I went through the drive-thru the other day while he was chattering away on the phone and just muted it while I ordered, then again when I paid and picked up my food. He had no idea.

2. That I have not missed hearing about all his biological processes while he's been gone. lol.

3. That it's been so long that I have started to miss his super, super stinky workout shirts in the laundry.

4. That I realized early on it would be very easy to lean too much on other men while he's gone and have been very careful about getting into any situation that could lead to anything compromising happening.

5. That I still haven't taken care of that one Tri-care bill. Only have a couple weeks to get that done before it's too late. (I'll do it Tuesday).

6. That I like to embarrass him by decorating the envelopes of all my letters with neon markers & hearts just because I know it kinda puts him on the spot....but really he loves getting mail. Indulging me is the price he'll have to pay.

7. That without meaning to, I realized last week when I was a little mad with him that I have put framed photos of him everywhere in the bedroom. Hard to stay mad when everywhere you turn his face is smiling back at you....Ack, there he is again!

8. That I know he always keeps a couple of letters unopened just in case he really needs one some day. He gets them often enough, that it's not a problem.

9. That it hurts my feelings a little on days when our little one gets all fun, smiles, hugs and kisses from him and then when it's my turn on the computer or phone I get a TO DO list, talk about bills, frustrations and worries. I know it's par for my "rank" but....

10. That just because I don't verbally freak out with him about stuff he worries about doesn't mean I'm not freaking out a lot inside. I just don't see how it will help for BOTH of us to be freaking out at the same time. Seriously.

How about you? Any silly things you don't tell your husband? Anything that breaks your heart just a little bit? And remember, keep in within the moral and legal limits. Don't be tarnishing up my innocent little blog with anything stupid or truly destructive now.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wood Anchor Signs Decor

I knew that if I went hunting around online shop Three Potato Four I would find more Navy/nautical fun stuff. I've been fascinated with many different anchor designs around since I designed my logo for this blog. Anchors are hot right now. You can find them everywhere in jewelry and home decor. How lucky that right now, while it's hot, we happen to be a Navy family. 

I love the rustic simplicity of these ruggedly carved wood anchors. These original creations for Three Potato Four and would be such a cute addition to a little boy's room, family room or any room in the house you could work them into.

Do you have any military inspired decor in your home? Do you confine it to specific locations or is it sprinkled throughout?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Miss Him Trying To Get Out Of The Doghouse

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Here's something silly I'm looking forward to seeing my husband do when he gets back. I'm guessing it will happen sometime in the first couple of weeks he's home. The hilarious routine he does when he knows he's pushed it too far, is on the verge of "the doghouse" and needs desperately to save himself.

He knows just how to get me laughing to save himself and I've missed that silly, aggravating routine. I'm sure you know just what I'm talking about if you are married or in a long-term relationship. I think every man learns this routine at a very early age to sweet talk his mother when he knows he's misbehaved.

It's impossible to stay mad, frustrated or annoyed when he starts this silliness, mostly because it's so absurd that he things he can get away with it. The audacity of that is what makes is so effective and so funny. He'll start out with a big, mischievous smile, then start speaking in a high-brow British accent, saying "Oh, come now Margaret, you can't be mad at me" try to hug me and which point I will start to roll my eyes, shake my head and try to hold him at arm's length.

Then he will start proclaiming sweet nothings, his undying devotion and how he knows I can't possibly stay mad at him. At this point I am attempting with all my might to steel my resolve not to fall for this yet again.

Then the "I can't believe he thinks he can get away with this" laugh starts to percolate in me and it's impossible to not smile. Then, darn it, he knows he's got me and it's time for his all-out assault. He'll grab me, kiss me, tickle me, whatever it takes to totally and completely break me down. Then I'm laughing and he knows he's won this battle, at least for today.

It's been so long since we've had, I call it "the joy" of seeing this play out, because we haven't been together and those little everyday annoyances haven't been a part of our lives. It's silly what you cherish when it's been a long time since you've been with the one you love. But this silliness is one thing I will look forward to. This and his silly techno music DJ routine he does sometimes. It's so hilarious. I already asked him if he'll do that for me when he gets home. There will be lots of silly little every day things to enjoy when he gets back here to our loving arms. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

His Coming Home Lightbulb Came On

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Four weeks before R and R, my husband who had been, shall we say not very cheery for a while, suddenly became this smiley, upbeat, happy guy. He was all smiles on Skype and talking about coming home for R and R freely and with enthusiasm. It was like a lightbulb went on and he could see his way back to us clearly.

Having close relationships with law enforcement and military folks, I have learned that when they have to put their heads down and work, they lock up their hearts and can seem very emotionless and cold. They are definitely NOT going to get sappy about home, how much they love you, miss you and all that stuff. Not happening.

I have seen the waves of emotions and emotionlessness ebb and flow with my husband. When we said goodbye, he was exhausted & on task. Not very emotional. But when he was getting on that plane to leave the country, I got a long text that said EVERYTHING he wanted me to know just in case he never came back. It was intense and deeply heartfelt.

The month leading up to R and R, he was totally warm, flirty, cute and funny. Started skyping much more often. During R and R, he was totally exhausted and pretty pressed for time to get a million things done. But we had some great time together. Then when he went back he immediately got sick, got into a funk, and kind of stayed that way. As the months counted down, I started to just give up and think Just get him home and things will be better after that.

I was hoping I would see that lightbulb go on in his head again when I could see that he was allowing himself to think about coming home, being with us and how he felt about us. I gave up on that.

Then last weekend, just as I was leaving the house on yet another lonely Saturday night to grab a bite to eat and get out of the house for a while, I just had one of those waves (I know you know what I'm talking about) of intensely missing him. They tend to come out of the blue, crush you for a few minutes and then they go on their merry way while you recover. On my way out I decided to run down and check the mail on the way out the door. There was a thick card envelope from him. How did he know I needed that just at that moment and to send that card just in time to get to me on Saturday.

I looked at the front of the card and in the left bottom corner there were two red hearts drawn in pen. One with my initials and one with Clementine's. Highly unusual behavior! haha. I waited a while to open the card because just getting it was awesome enough to last me a month! ha. A few hours later I opened the card and was just a big puddle of happy tears reading the most gushy love stuff he has every written. Thanking us for for all  our letters and prayers and how he could feel them helping him. He let us both know exactly how he feels about us and what we mean to him. It was amazing.

Like the text from the airplane, it said everything he could want to say to us. It was beautiful. I am never letting this card out of my sight! And I got my sign, with that card, that he is lifting his head up from his work and looking homeward, remembering our life and all the love we have, showing his emotions and unlocking his heart. Hello lightbulb!!!! Hello My Sweetheart. Look forward to seeing you soon!

P.S. After writing this I think I've figured out what it is that turns on the light. It's when he gets his travel plans, because a while after I read this card, he Skyped and gave me travel info. I think when he sees on paper actual flight information, then he lets himself make it real. I'm guessing that happens with a lot of other people too.

Don't Have A Crummy Birthday If He's Gone

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If you are dating or married to a service member the chances are good you will celebrate birthdays, holidays,  and vacations alone at times. I thought I'd share a simple recipe for having a great day or great trip, even if the one you love most is away. To sulk and say you had a crummy birthday, vacation or holiday because the love of your life is not with you is a lame excuse, I'm sorry to say. No, actually I'm not sorry.

Fill your day with things and people that make you happy. Do not expect others to make that day special for you, even if they might do that. You know best what will make you most happy. Try to organize a simple day filled with relaxing, happy things you'd like to do.

Since I started doing this around the time I turned 30 I have loved my birthdays and look forward to celebrating them. One year I planned a surf lesson with my sister. Afterwards we incredibly hungry and so exhausted from our lesson. We were so happy to stop at a nearby patio shack for a slice of pizza and a good Coke to clear our throats of all the disgusting saltwater we'd swallowed. That simple slice of pizza and Coke goes down as one of the best meals I've ever enjoyed. A very happy day.

Another year I went to lunch with a good friend on the outdoor patio at one of my favorite mountain resorts. It was Spring and so beautiful. The food was amazing and I still remember taking a moment to make a memory of that happy day.

Make a plan for your holiday or birthday and make it a special day for you. Take a day trip or a weekend getaway. Get a pedicure, blowout or massage. Go for lunch or dinner to a restaurant you've always wanted to go to. Go to a favorite museum, amusement park, or beach --somewhere that makes you incredibly happy. Start your own little holiday traditions, plan a trip with friends or family. Take charge of your life and your happiness.

Don't sit home and sulk or complain that you had a crummy day. Make is special for you and then anything anyone else brings to your day or does for you that day will be a beautiful addition to an already fantastic day. These are your days, plan in advance and make sure they are memorable for you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things We Won't Tell My Husband: Episode 2

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This column is meant as a joke between us MILSOs about the somewhat comical realities of what we do when our men are gone. I would tell my husband any of these things really but it's funnier to laugh about them with you.

1. That I moved some of the furniture around again. Why does this bug them so much?

2. That I often think about how nice his backside looked in those desert camos he used to wear. My very favorite, hot, manly looking uniform of all the military uniforms out there.

3. That I am plotting a continual menu of high protein, high fat meals to put some meat back on his bones when he gets home. He's lost 20+ pounds of muscle mass. Nooooo. I will be sneaking fat or protein powder into everything! I better start stockpiling butter now. Hello Costco.

4. That I put that grade school picture of him that he hates so much back up on my Love Board. It's so cute, seriously. And he has my kindergarten class picture hanging by his bathroom mirror. That's fair, right. I'll take it down again when he gets back.

5. That I'm not looking forward to having to start watching Animal Planet, The History Channel, H2 and Military Channel when he gets back. I should be grateful since all the very young gals say their boys play non-stop video games. I'll take TV over that any day.

6. That instead of returning the expensive running shoes he bought for himself, I traded sizes and kept them for myself instead. I'm sure he's long forgotten about them and won't care.

7. That despite his worries I believe and have faith in God that everything is going to go smoothly and work out through all the transitions when he gets home. I'm right, trust me. He thinks I'm crazy to believe that at this point. He's tired and cranky and has been living in a crazy bubble world for a long time now.

8. That I'm a little bummed that my cooking life is going to get a lot more complicated when he gets back. Man Meals are way more complicated to make that simple stuff for two girls. Goodbye canned soup and grilled cheese.

9.That there have been a couple of times when I've busted open bags of candy that were meant for care packages for him. Not that he's gone without in the least. He has been showered with care packages.

10. That my favorite things he's sent home to us are probably the hoodies with the camp logo on the front and back. He's sent some nice things home. Don't want him to feel badly but the sweatshirts make us feel closer to him than anything.

So dear readers, do you have any tiny confessions or laughs to share this week? Please give us a laugh. We need all the laughter we can get. Leave a comment below.

Here's a link to the original Things We Won't Tell My Husband. Each Monday I will post a new episode.
Episode One

Friday, April 5, 2013

Let Crazy Lady Letters Sit In Drafts Overnight

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In every deployment and every relationship there comes a frustrated day when you cannot resist tearing into your man with the ferocity of one bad-a mama lion. It will come, I promise. You will stay up all night and write a 4,000 word email telling him of your complete dislike for him, every thing he's ever done and ever hopes to do. You will lose it. You will be The Crazy Lady.

Early on in our deployment, maybe the third month or so....actually it might've even been earlier than that, which is a little embarrassing to admit -- anyway, I did this. How dare he do or say whatever it was that was so abominable that I couldn't remember it now if my life depended on it. Must have been a real doozy, right?!

After I finished my "let me tell you a thing or two mister!!!!" letter I started getting the feeling that maybe I had overreached just a tad. So I put the letter in the Drafts folder and let it sit over night. By the next morning the entire letter just seemed completely unnecessary to me and I realized it would only serve to hurt our relationship. I never sent the letter. That day I learned an important lesson that would serve me again and again in the coming months. Let fiesty letters sit in the Drafts folder overnight and just see how you feel in a few hours.

I will tell you that there has been once, maybe twice at most in a year when I felt completely fine sending an arse-kicking of a message, no matter how long I consider it - and I sent them. But that has been the very, very rare occasion, not a regular occurrence.

So I pass that little tip along to you. Let the "look here Buddy!" letters and emails and phone calls go and see how you feel about it later. Usually things will blow over naturally, or he'll call back and apologize for being a jerk on his own. I always get a LOT more satisfaction from owning his stupid moves on his own and asking me for forgiveness than me trying to take him to the woodshed about them. Way more!

Having said that, another big lesson I have learned this year is how to apologize. I don't know how many time I have written, "Hi. Please forgive me for being _______ (fill in the blank with words like: impatient, short with you, disrespectful, a bad listener, etc. etc. etc.)" I have learned a lot about asking for forgiveness this year too. I think being apart gives you more time to think about your actions without constant distraction and it also reminds you how fragile life is and how important it is to enjoy every moment and not leave things badly between you.

I guess learning to put my "woodshed' letters in the Drafts folder overnight is all about forgiveness. Forgiving him when he is less than perfect and avoiding yet another opportunity where I will have to ask for it by avoiding making a arse of myself in a nasty, mean, unhelpful letter. It may be good therapy to get it all out of your head and down on paper, but throwing that gasoline on the fire is rarely helpful in a healthy relationship. The Drafts folder is our friend, that is for sure!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Weird Conversations: Where To Be Buried

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Any woman who has had a man deploy with the military knows that there are some really crazy conversations you have to have such as where he wants to be buried. This, strangely was a long-running conversation for us. We really talked about it more than almost anything else. And it was so strangely matter-of-fact too. Especially considering what a tired, rundown wreck I was in the final weeks before he deployed. At that point I had only spent weeks with him for many months before he deployed.

Strangely, I never thought, well where he's buried is where I will also be buried. That never crossed my mind once. How weird is that? Instead my thoughts were totally focused on where I would potentially be visiting his grave and how I wanted him to feel about his potential final resting place.

We talked about him possibly being buried at Arlington since his mom and stepdad are buried there. There was something comforting about imagining him buried there with them. That they were somehow there watching over him. I know that sounds crazy but that's how my mind works. But it felt so far away. I had never even been to Virginia until last year when I visited him on a training he was doing. It definitely isn't somewhere I would be regularly and could visit often.

The other place he mentioned was San Diego, since that is where he's spent the majority of his adult life and is closer to us here where we currently live. We debated the pros and cons for a while letting the conversation spread over a few weeks time. I emailed a friend of mine who was not military but had lost her husband suddenly a couple of years earlier.

My email started out with, "This is a really awkward question and if you're not comfortable talking about it, just say the word. But can we talk about choosing a burial ground for your husband. We have to decide that before Mr. Hart deploys." She lives on the East Coast and buried her husband in the West where most of her family was buried. I wondered about how she made her decision and how she felt about it looking back.

We talked. She was more than willing to advise, even though I felt a twinge of guilt that her husband was dead and mine was still alive and the odds were that I would probably not be burying my husband soon, but rather that he would come home in one piece from deployment as most do.

She gave good advice and her advice had me leaning strongly to San Diego, because it was our military home and close to us. Other than his buried parents, we have no family on the East Coast. We are people of the West, so it made sense to make that decision. Looking back I am more surprised than ever about how matter-of-factly Mr. Hart and I had this whole conversation and made these decisions. I honestly think it is because we were so tired and rundown that we just didn't have any space for a lot of emotion about things towards the end of pre-deployment. Like the last couple of miles of a marathon we just had our heads down taking every required step, one after another until the finish line of pre-deployment came.

In the end Mr. Hart and I talked and we both felt good about Point Loma and so we made that decision. Strangely it gave me some comfort in a crazy way to know what I would do if anything happened to him. There was a task to organize, something I could act on if our worst fears came true. It was the answer to one of those questions you are bombarded with when someone dies, It is also one of those tasks you can give to all the people circling you asking you what you want them to do in your worst moment. Our decision still gives me comfort somehow. Which I just find so weird. Even writing about it now I do not feel freaked out, I feel peace. That is the feeling I always depend on to help me know if I/we have made the right decision.

I think this is just one of the thousands of crazy little things that go on in military families that civilians never know about. You never see this conversation in the movies. But when it comes to dotting Is and crossing Ts, it's on the list of conversations to have and decisions to make before you send your loved one to a war zone.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Didn't Anticipate Stress At Deployment's End

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I woke up this morning with my jaw aching and so tight I was afraid it would lock up. I had been having some ridiculous dream about being in a courtroom, with my fictitious boss, while they litigated a case that had something to do with a blender. I have no idea what that is about except for two items that loom large in my life right now: courtrooms and a potential new boss. We are still working on child custody issues and I need to find a great job in the next few weeks.

I realized today that I am starting to see signs of stress similar to the first few weeks after we started deployment. I couldn't sleep, was having weird, exhausting dreams, had problems remembering things and sometimes my words got all jumbled up when I tried to talk. My neck and shoulders have been in knots the past few days.

For anyone who has been through the end of a deployment, I will sound incredibly naive when I say that stress is not what I was expecting to experience at this point in the game. I thought there would just be a lot of relief, celebrating, quiet time and recovery. I thought for sure there would be a nice week or two week long vacation and we would have the summer to figure out our life from here on and just enjoy some time together. I expected we would have that wedding celebration we had been planning in bits and pieces the past few years.

 I read all the books, I knew on some level that there would be some stress, but honestly I thought that would just be little things like getting used to having him around the house, letting him rest and slowly getting back to a new routine, etc. I hope it is that way for other families, but our reality at this point could not be farther than my previous expectations. My little dream is crashing down around me in a big way and on so many levels it's amazingly difficult to swallow.

I have spent the entire deployment year having to go to court almost every month to protect my stepdaughter. That costs money and despite a good salary, the financial well has run dry - there is no more money all because of that. There is no nest egg we anticipated at the end of deployment. In fact at this point it is massively critical that I find a high-paying job immediately if we are to keep our heads above water. This means there will be no vacation, there will be no quiet time, there will be no time to spend together. There is no money for a wedding celebration, there is no time for it either. Trying to have a baby at this point seems foolish too. The clock is ticking and maybe that won't be able to be a reality.

My husband is coming home to a huge amount of stress and I am concerned about him. He's worried about money, military cuts, career possibilities, his health, and where our country is headed. This is going to make readjusting to life, post deployment even more difficult and stressful. I wanted this to be a time where I was healthy and strong, our home was in great shape and there were few worries. Then I could just take care of him for a bit when he got home, lots of TLC, good food, quiet time and love. If I'm working a high-powered, high-pressure job, that will not happen either. What I thought would be a wonderful time is in fact turning out to be the most stressful time we've had in the past several years. That is saying a lot considering what we've been through since we met.

I'm trying to remind myself that there will be moments of joy and peace and connection that we've missed so much this past year. In those little moments each day where I think of him and miss him like crazy and shed a couple of heartfelt tears, I know he'll be home and I won't have to worry about him being in such a dangerous place. I know the love my stepdaughter and I will shower him with will help heal the wounds of war. I know his presence will allow my sense of hyper-vigilance to rest a bit. I won't be responsible to hold down everything all the time anymore. I won't even have to take out the garbage. Yay! That's a great thing.

I will find my happiness and somehow we'll find a way to get through these new challenges. But I did not expect I would be experiencing the same signs of stress I felt in those traumatic first few weeks he was gone. I guess I am again adjusting to a new big thing, a daily life I can't see yet. I don't know what to expect and that, itself, is often one of our greatest sources of stress. But like the books all say, we'll figure it out. In the meantime I am saying my prayers, trying to make the best decisions I can for my life and our family and most importantly, trying to be patient as things unfold.

Sentimental Old School Navy Blankets

Faribault Woolen Mills U.S. Navy Blanket

If there is one thing I have learned about military folks it's that they are VERY sentimental. Maybe it's all the constant change they live with, maybe it's the traditions and ceremonies, but they are amazingly soft-hearted when it comes to attaching deep meaning to treasured belongings.

So it would come as no surprise that I too am sentimental, particularly about symbols of the military. I think it's connected not only to my husband but the decades of history before him in his father and stepdad's long and successful military careers. When we toured the Battleship Wisconsin last year in Norfolk, VA it was all I could do to not ask to take home the china, rimmed in blue with a simple anchor emblem. So simple, stately and perfect.

I totally and completely love these wool blankets modeled after the original World War II Navy bedding. They are made here in the U.S using all American wool too. I think this would be a fantastic treasure for our family to remember our military years and as a keepsake that would last for generations. I can just see it thrown over the arm of a sofa or over the back of a super comfy chair.

I had to put this on my list of must haves. I keep that list very short but this is definitely on it. The U.S. Navy wool blankets would also make a fantastic wedding, going away or retirement gift. These beauties are available from the online shop Three Potato Four.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Managing My Unfulfilled Deployment Dreams

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We are down to the final few weeks of a year-long deployment. My chief thought at this point is "God just get us through these last few weeks and bring him home safe and sound." Two voices in my head are speaking, one saying "we did it!" and the other saying "it ain't over til it's over, don't you dare count chickens until they're hatched." 

I find myself struggling with something I hadn't anticipated. Letting go of the hopes and dreams I had for myself during this year-long separation. From the minute I learned he would be deployed I was making lists of what I would do to help keep me strong, happy and inspired while he was gone. Things I wanted to accomplish, dreams I would make happen, volunteering I would do, places I would visit, changes I would make in my life.

And here at nearly the end of the year, most of those dreams remain mostly unfufilled. I have spent very little time with my family. In fact, I have seen none of my family in the second half of deployment. I have not been able to see my husband's family at all. I have not taken the two week road trip I have been planning for the past two years. I have not gone out and seen more of our big, beautiful city more than a handful of times. I have not made plans with many friends I hoped to see more of this year.

I am not at my high school weight. I have not become a regular runner. I have not been doing facial masks, foot soaks, and other at home spa treatments as I planned. I've only taken myself to the movies twice in a year. I haven't taken enough time to read. Haven't knit a thing. I've only taken one class just for fun and didn't even get around to checking out the ukelele class I promised myself I would take. Our home is not yet perfectly organized.

All this breaks my heart a little bit. I feel this desperate scramble in my soul that it's too late, that I've failed. I fear that I'll never get that time back and am feeling the thrust of reintegration concerns hitting me hard in the back. I can already see that thanks to the economy, sequestration and it's attached military cutbacks and problems with my stepdaughter's mother my husband is stressed about the garbage that will be awaiting him when he comes home. That's not helping anything. 

This mourning I am feeling is not because I have been lazy, wasted the days away, been uninspired or weak. It is because God had an entirely different plan for me. This year I was meant to learn that if I don't care for myself, I can't be my best for anyone else. Due to major family stresses I have had to deal with mostly on my own, I've had to do a lot to keep myself well and standing on my own feet. All these lessons I have learned this year have come from loving and caring for my husband and his daughter. 

It is important that I look at what I have accomplished this past year. I have been a stellar stepmom. I have fought to protect that girl, we have gained custody and I have gone to court again and again by myself with our attorney to do it. I have driven her over 200 miles for dropoffs and pickups, several times a month, to fulfill the court ordered visitation schedule. I have provided her with a safe, stable, loving, fun home. I have done homework with her every night. I have read with her almost every day. I have scheduled playdates and so much more for her. I've signed her up for and gone with her every week to karate class. In the next couple weeks golf and piano lessons will start. I have been up all night with her when she had nightmares. I have provided her with clothing, food and all the basic needs.

I have made it possible for Clementine to have a Daddy Doll, a photo quilt of her and her Dad, time to Skype with her Dad, access to military family support videos and books and given her a place to talk about her Dad and her feelings. I have made sure she has fun and that she had a fantastic birthday while her Dad was gone. We even had a Skype birthday party for her with him. I have held her tight and given her hours of love and care when she missed her Dad so much it felt like her heart would burst.

For Mr. Hart I have written hundreds of emails, Skyped & talked on the phone with him hundreds of times. I have handwritten nearly 150 letters to my husband including fun and inspiring magazine clippings & internet articles. I have helped my stepdaughter write dozens of sweet little letters herself. I have sent at least 20 care packages not including the 25 I helped our church congregation put together and send to my husband, his fellow worshippers and coworkers there.

I have kept myself well and that's important. No one can tell me how to do that but me and no one will take the time for that but me. Have I done it perfectly, no, but I've done it. I have learned when to stop everything and take a break. I have learned what to let go of, what to say no to and not feel a bit bad about it when I need to. I am stronger today than the day I started. I have learned to trust in God when I had nowhere else to turn and no one else who could help me. I have learned the importance of friends and neighbors with deeper appreciation than ever before. I have had the chance to see Clementine grow in the massive ways children do from kindergarten to the end of first grade. I have had her love and devotion. I have been blessed with Mr. Hart's gratitude, support and love for all I do here and I have learned to appreciate him in so many new ways.

When I look at what I have accomplished and what I have gained and been blessed with, my dreams for this year pale in comparison. God did have a greater, nobler plan for me. I may not be able to play a note on my ukelele but the there's still time and maybe it will be the perfect thing for me to do during reintegration so that I get out of the house and keep up outside interests. There's still time for my dreams but there will never be a more perfect time for God to have given me the life he wanted me to have this last year. For that I have to continue to find gratitude.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Things We Won't Tell My Husband: Episode 1

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I thought I would start a new column called Things We Won't Tell My Husband. This is all in pure fun because I would tell my husband any of these things if he asked, but for the sake of keeping my life simple and to keep him from worrying, let's just keep these things between us. My husband isn't one to read my blog, so I know my secrets are safe here. Harhar. And let's be honest MILSOs you've probably done more than one of these things during deployment too, right? I know I'm not alone.. 

1. That for the first week he was gone I pretty much drank homemade fresh peach and fresh strawberry milkshakes for meals. I was too stressed to eat real food and they hit the spot.

2. That for a long time after he left I stayed up until four, five or six in the morning working on projects around the house. I couldn't sleep so I figured I might as well get some things done.

3. In the first few months he was gone there were a few days where I never got dressed and didn't leave the house or talk to another living soul (other than via computer). This was before Clementine came to live with me at the beginning of 2013 of course.

4. That I didn't wash his car quite as often as he wanted me to. But I did wash it regularly enough.

5.  That I once made a batch of his favorite chocolate chip cookie dough and ate all the dough over the course of three or four days.

6. That I slept on the couch for at least a month worth of nights, falling asleep with the TV on.

7. That I lost the same 10 pounds four times in the first few months he was gone.

8. That I did throw away a couple of his things, but mostly just things that were way long past their expiration date. Nothing I knew mattered to him. I wouldn't dare do that.

9. How much it totally stresses me out to have to relay to him any kind of bad news or unexpected large financial costs.

10. That sometimes I do not crush the milk cartons before I throw them in the trash, just because I don't have to when he's not here to police that. I've always done that anyway, but it's my little rebellion lately not to on rare occasions because I know no one will be the wiser.

So those are my big confessions. Okay, what do you have to add? What have you done that your husband just doesn't need to know...and keep it in the realms of moral, legal behavior please. Harhar.