28 May, 2014

The Day After (I can't imagine.)

Yesterday morning, as I was washing dishes in front of our kitchen window, I saw a government vehicle pull up in front of the house across the street and two men in uniform got out. My heart immediately sank and my eyes filled with tears.

If you've been a military spouse, you've known that feeling of always worrying about that knock at the door.

Turns out, they were only recruiters coming to talk to our neighbors.
It doesn't matter though.
The former happens a lot and families have their lives shattered in just moments.

This week, people are putting away their flags and changing their profile pictures back.
The supportive thoughts, prayers and remembrances will be boxed away until next year.
Pushed to the back of the mind and innocently forgotten as lives go back to normal after the holiday weekend.

But can you imagine what it's like for those families that have lost a loved one?
Can you imagine how they feel the day after Memorial Day when everyone goes back to their daily routine?
They don't get their loved ones back on Tuesday.
They have to live without them EVERY SINGLE DAY.

All they want is their loved one to be remembered every day. Not just one or two days a year.

Some might think this blog post is overkill.
Some may think there was too many Memorial Day posts over the weekend.

But I don't want these families forgotten.
I don't want the service member remembered only once in awhile.

Please put your flag up year round.
Please look at it every day.
Please remember.

Please let the family members know that their loved one didn't die in vain.

Not just the last Monday in May.

But every day.


25 May, 2014

It's ok to barbecue.

Growing up, 
Memorial Day meant a day off from school and family weekend camping with our church.
I didn't really think much about the holiday.
I was patriotic, but others' sacrifice didn't really hit home until Josh joined the USMC.

Quite often you'll see people posting that Memorial Day isn't about a day off, barbecues, pools or lakes, it's about the remembering the men and women who died for our freedom.

It is.

But they didn't fight for our country so that we couldn't live. They sacrificed so that we could be free. They sacrificed so that we could have a better life.

Which includes barbecues, on a Monday, a few weeks before summer.

So it's ok.

Have your friends over.

Head to the lake.

Crack open that cold one.

Just take a moment to remember.

And never forget.

22 May, 2014

15 months later

We left California 15 and half months ago.

13 and a half months ago we turned over our military ID's.

15 months ago I was mad, but mostly scared.

13 months ago I was still struggling to feel at home.

11 months ago I was still missing it horribly.

And here we are.
15 months later.

Moving into our own place last fall helped a lot.
We are still renting, but after living with a friend for 7 months, it was so nice to have our own space.
And even though this house is smaller than our townhouse in CA, it has a yard all the way around and I can actually look out my windows and not have to look directly into my neighbor's windows.

But that's not what I am getting at.

I think I am going to be ok.
But I know you all knew that.

Do I still miss it?
Oh yes.

I made some tremendously wonderful friends in those 9 years and we got to do some pretty special things.
The healthcare has been a BIG issue, especially with all of our health challenges.
I loved seeing my husband in uniform, (from cammies to dress blues,) and there is nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING better than a homecoming.

But I finally feel the call again.
I finally feel the call that I was feeling so strongly about before my husband got out.
I finally have been able to wrap my head around new dreams and realize that I can do just as amazing things in this chapter of life as I thought I was called to do as a Marine wife.
There is still a stirring in my soul to do more, but I feel more settled.

Do I have any idea what's going to happen in the future?
Absolutely not.
Just because it seems there is more of a safety net while you are under military contracts, doesn't mean you are guaranteed anything.
The future is unknown to all of us.

SO even though every once in awhile, the ache creeps in, I am ok.

I am thankful for the way those 9 years molded me.
Thankful for who I met and where I lived.
Thankful for the opportunities and still thankful for the pride.

Every day it gets a little better.
And I smile a little more about today.

20 May, 2014

Random Tuesday

I decided to skip the serious blog I had planned for yesterday.
It's too pretty of a day to talk about pain.
I have too much to be thankful for anyway and way too much random stored up.

On Mother's Day I took out the garbage, picked up dog "waste" and mowed the lawn.

It seems my husband is away from home now more than when he was in the military.

What's the point of hanging up flower baskets if you aren't going to water them and just let them die?

My son spilled an entire container of dog food in our entry way closet this morning, in shoes and all.

Due to a miscommunication, I dropped the couch on our daughter's arm.

After years of living in government housing, and having the lawns all mowed at the same time, it absolutely kills me to have all of our neighbors lawns at different lengths. #OCDproblems

Our 10th Anniversary trip is already booked for this summer and I am so so excited. We've never been away from our kids overnight before. But I keep thinking something is going to go wrong and we are going to get "stuck" bringing them along.

Who wants to lend me their photographic children? Mine won't let me take pictures of them anymore...

I know there was absolutely no point to this post.
But sometimes random is good.
And as all moms know, sometimes there isn't a thread of organization to our thoughts.

Flags are out. Remember what this weekend is all about.

Not Forgotten!

12 May, 2014

Maybe One Day My House Will Look Grown Up.

But right now it's just not happening.

My friend Hana over at Domesticated Combat Boots, recently posted about how her and her husband just made this awesome new DIY dining room table and it got me to thinking about our furniture.

Like a lot couples, we had absolutely no money when we got married, and so by the time we moved into our first military housing a year into it, the only thing new we owned was a couch and a microwave.
Most of the furniture/things we did have, were bought used or given to us used.
In fact, for awhile our coffee table was also a big rubbermaid bin.
I always felt jealous over other people's perfect looking homes.
Over time we've added pieces, but everything always seemed off because nothing matched.
In 2009, we were finally able to purchase a nice looking "fake" leather couch and recliner, but then that even fell apart over time.
We also purchased really nice convertible crib sets and dressers for our kids.

Every time we have moved, no matter how well things were packed or covered in the moving trucks, things always get scratched, knicked or messed up.
I finally just accepted that as long as we keep moving, I will just have to deal with things that don't look as nice.
The important thing is, it's our stuff and it helps make our home, OUR HOME.

The number 1 annoyance for me is our dining room set. It has served it's purpose for just our family over the last 10 years, but if we have people over, everyone has to eat in the living room as it only seats four.
When it was given to us, we were like the 5th family from our church that had used it.
When Josh got of the military, it wasn't suppose to find it's way to our new home, but we just couldn't afford a new one and I am adamant about sitting at the table together as a family.

 Scratches from moving:
 Worn down from being cleaned so much:
 Big crack down the middle of one chair:
Sigh, maybe one day...

Is there one thing in your house that you wish you could get rid of or replace?

10 May, 2014

Am I entitled?

I am a Mom.
I am a Wife.
I am a Daughter.

But none of those titles,
entitle me to anything.

But then every year, even though I tell myself that it's not about me, it's not just about that day, the feelings of jealousy or the pity party creeps in when someone gets a special surprise or gets pampered.
Then I can't snap out of it and I take it out on my family.

It had started already this year:
My husband has to work on Mother's Day.
Every single one of us was sick all week and the exhaustion and pity party had already set in.

But then my cousin shared this article, and even though I dislike posting a link that someone might not click, I really, really hope you do:

How Not To Be Disappointed This Mother's Day

I pray that all Moms can have a wonderful day tomorrow and remember what it's all about.
That perfect, most rewarding, most fulfilling job on the planet.

You created a miracle.
And they call you Mom.

Happy Mother's Day (and 40th Anniversary to my parents!)

My Mom, sister and I  '91
My parents wedding 5/10/1974

08 May, 2014

It wouldn't be complete

....Without a trip to the ballpark.

We got a deal that we couldn't pass up, so not too long ago, we headed down to Seattle and Safeco Field to catch a Mariners game. They happened to be playing the Texas Rangers that night, so Monkey got to see his team for the first time!

Here are a few pics from my cell and some pics taken by Turtle on our point and shoot.

And yes it just happened to be Military Appreciation night. :)

 Pics from the Turtle:

 Turtle selfie: <3 br="">

05 May, 2014

And So It Begins (The Sports Edition)

Anyone that knows us, knows that since before we even had kids, we couldn't wait for our kids to be in sports.
My husband has put a lot of time in on soccer and baseball fields and even though I didn't play a lot myself, I coached little league and was extremely involved with my little brother's teams.
I know I am a dork, but I literally counted down the time until we could sign up our firstborn.

Last year was suppose to be the year, but with the move and transition, it just didn't happen.
Now that we are settled, I found out that a parent of one of Turtle's classmates was coaching a team, so I signed her up months in advance.
Then I waited ever so patiently for her first practice and then for her first game.

I am in Little League heaven, the season is here! :D


In truth;
She loves the dirt more than the game and spends her time in the dugout spitting out water and climbing the fence.
The playground near the field is a big temptation and she'd rather chase her teammates then back them up.
She doesn't run very fast and during games she is too distracted to hit the ball when coach pitches.

BUT, she has a blast.

And this Mommy needs more lessons on patience, perfectionism and focusing on what's more important.
Quality time spent with my children.
And one day she might say she doesn't want to play anymore.
I will be okay with it.
Because no sport in life beats that smile.