Military Life


 I’m still learning to navigate this crazy, terrible, perfect, amazingly difficult lifestyle we call Military Life. Stay tuned to follow along through the ups and downs of this journey.


 

Predeployment Lists

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Military Life | 3 comments

As we prepare for hubby’s next trip, there are a million crappy things we have to do before he leaves.  When I say crappy what I mean is really, incredibly, freaking awful. I’ve talked about the angst leading up to deployment before, and how much this sucks. I’d like to tell you that it gets better with every trip, but the truth is, even knowing what to expect doesn’t make the process any easier.

Its uncomfortable thinking about all the what-ifs of things that may happen on deployment and the conversations are more than a little awkward. The bottom line however is that he’s a soldier and it’s his job. #armylife #marriage Click To Tweet

So as we update Power of Attorney and talk about writing our very first wills, we stumble through the ideas of mortality, and how delicate our life together really is. We talk about burial and cremation and the ever-after that we may not spend together. We discuss how lucky we are and how blessed our paths have been. I’m certain that he’ll be fine, and we’ll be fine and his next trip really isn’t all that dangerous, but there is always that lingering worry.  So we make the tedious phone calls to suspend insurance on the truck and enact auto-pay on bills I may forget. We call someone to come and mow the lawn and we reduce our cable bill because I won’t watch that much…and we check days off the calendar faster than we’d like. And I worry.  As the months before he leaves get shorter and shorter– the anxiety about him actually leaving starts to set in. But of course I usually put on my “I’ve totally got this” face and soldier on, because he feels better about it when I’m being brave. Sometimes though, that’s easier said than done.

Especially today, when my handsome soldier husband grabbed his ASUs, freshly embroidered with his new rank to take to work so that he could have an updated “hero photo” taken.  My heart hurts just to think about the necessity of such a photo.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “hero photo” just imagine the photos that I’m sure you’ve seen before, the ones with the bright-eyed, youthful soldier in his dress uniform staring out from the giant frame…propped on an easel before a flag-draped casket.  Yup. Those photos. The ones that simply make a soul ache.

So instead of dwelling, I make lists. List of things to do before he leaves, lists of paperwork to gather, lists of things I will do to keep busy while he’s gone, lists of home improvement projects I can do without his help, lists of things I need him to accomplish as he packs… Lists and lists and lists, because lists give me piece of mind and purpose. Lists I can control, I can check things off, I can make progress.

I’ve already told him I’ll refuse to use that damn Hero Photo should anything happen to him anyway… I think one of him flipping the camera the bird would be much more appropriate.

Pray for us. <3


You can also check out these resources here if you are looking for a checklist of items you MUST do before deployment.

USAA offers a nice printable for you and your spouse

The National Military Family Association has also compiled a list of resources

Lastly, Pinterest never lets me down. Check out these ideas for creating a deployment binder!

Live for the moment: 6 ways to be present | be present

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Military Life, Uncategorized | 12 comments

Spring has sprung! And with it, a whole new set of anxieties… because as some of you may know, spring means we are one step closer to my husband’s next deployment and that scares the ever-lovin’ pants off me.

I’m not ready. I may never be ready. I’m so distracted I can’t go anything productive. I want to be involved in a massive spring cleaning of my home, but instead I find myself totally distracted by all the things we will need to get done before he leaves again. I’ve already started making lists despite the fact that his departure is still months away. I’m constantly thinking about him leaving, and about all the things that will happen while he’s gone. (His birthday, my birthday, the birth of our TWIN niece nephew, summer vacation….)and  I always chastise him about living in the moment and taking things one step at a time. Yet, here I am freaking out about things that won’t happen for a few more months. We have some outstanding home repairs that we haven’t gotten to, the car needs maintenance, we have to make sure the lawn mower will start…Do I still have valid power of attorney paperwork? Who is the new commander?  What numbers will I need to call in case of emergency? So many things. My brain starts to get overloaded and I begin to panic. I can’t breathe. I need a glass bottle of wine.

 

Aside from all of that I feel a little angry, a little bit in denial and a little bit sad. My emotions are all over the place because he really hasn’t been home all that long. And then, there’s the elephant in the room. The thing that we refuse to speak of….the fact that this trip is different and we don’t know what to expect. We know our communication during this trip will be different from how it has been in the past, less access to one another, less internet, less contact and I’m freaking out.  (I’m trying not to. We are deployment experts! But change is scary!)


Change is inevitable, but that doesn't make it less scary! Click To Tweet

So today I’m working on 6 ways that I can Live in the moment and be present, not only for my own sanity, but also to preserve our relationship for the next few months. I want to make sure we are using our time together to its fullest. I want to focus on making sure that I can be present with him while he is actually still here. be more present| 6 ways to live in the moment www.lovetheeveryday.com

I want to be HERE. I want to be part of the NOW. I want to be able to live in the moment.

6 Ways I will Live in the Now, Today:

  1. Turn up the music. Listening to music is immediately grounding for me. It makes me focus, it allows me to dance and sing, it drastically reduces my anxiety and boosts my mood. It allows me to connect moments to the present. Besides, it really annoys the dogs when I dance around the kitchen with the mop.

 

 

  1. Think about breathing. Every single article I read about being mindful and reducing anxiety swings back to the idea of breathing. My hubby talks about tactical breathing at his job, and how they train soldiers to focus on their breath in order to calm nerves and return focus. I plan to do some research on deep breathing exercises this week in order to help calm my own nerves. But until then, I’m going to work on paying attention to taking a few deep breaths now and then.

 

 

  1. Go outside! Nature, sunlight, a change in surroundings…all these things help me to focus, calm my fears and bring me back to peace. I know this about myself, but I bet it is true for most people. Besides once I get outside the dogs want to play, and nothing brings me back to now better than a game of fetch.

 

 

  1. Take a shower. I’m not kidding. There is something about the tactile feel of the water on my skin that shocks me back to the present. Not only is it soothing and refreshing, but it makes me feel connected to something. The changes in temperature and water pressure alert my senses, the smell of the citrus soap. Showers are powerful things.

 

 

  1. Eat slowly. Seriously. I eat so freaking fast. I feel like I’m constantly starving and I wolf down food like someone will steal it. I know part of this comes from teaching and trying to cram in lunch and potty breaks while also helping kids write papers and still managing to plan lessons for tomorrow….. but seriously, I need to slow down. When I chew slowly, even counting the number of chews it takes before I swallow I am instantly calmer. This gives me a moment to savor the flavor of what I am eating, to appreciate the texture or the crispness of my salad, to love the way the chocolate chips melt in my mouth. Do this. It helps.

 

 

  1. Pinch me. When all else fails, and I feel myself losing control…. I pinch my leg. I know this sounds dumb. But nothing will bring me back to reality faster than quick, controlled pain. It’s a quick and fleeting sensation that I can focus on, and it brings my thoughts back to what is happening right now.

 

What advice do you have to try to be mindful of living in the moment?

 

 

Military Homecomings: The good, the bad, the ugly

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Anxiety, Military Life | 3 comments

I’ll be the first to admit that I sob like a baby over every single YouTube montage of soldiers coming home to their families. USAA commercials also make me cry. Soldiers and their dogs: you bet, so many tears. Toddlers holding red, white and blue signs about their daddy–those pull at my heart-strings hard. You cannot be a part of this life and not totally throw in the towel when those things come on the screen. Homecomings are beautiful, first hugs are magical and life looks pretty darn rosy at homecoming.

The truth though, homecomings are not the as-seen-on-TV beauty that we’ve come to expect.

www.lovetheeveryday.com   | What to expect from military homecomings


The Good:

He’s home. Period. When you get that call that boots are on the ground and your heart is beating so fast that you swear it will explode and you cannot wipe that goofy grin off your face. That feeling? Well, that is amazing.

Then, there’s that moment. THE ONE. For us, our homecoming reunions are pretty mundane. I generally pull up to his team room in my car and wait until I see him walking toward me before I hop out. There is no pomp and circumstance, no huge crowds of people or banners. Just the wives of his teammates also waiting near their cars…but that first moment, when our eyes lock after months and months apart is the absolute best feeling. When we can give each other that look, the one that holds all the massive amounts of emotions that have been pent-up for so long. The look that says “I know” and “I love you” when no words have to be said at all.

We hold hands practically the whole way home and I just cannot stop staring at him as if he might, at any moment, disappear and I cannot stop smiling.


The Bad:

On the flip side, homecomings are horrible.

The nerves. I cannot be the only person that this happens to, but the supreme anxiety that builds up in the days leading up to homecoming usually leave me bedridden with a migraine. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this, I can’t be the only wife who has a mini-nervous breakdown while preparing for her spouse to come home.

It always seems like if it can go wrong– it will– in the lead up to their homecoming day.  It, of course, all starts with the ring-around-the-rosy waiting game as the date and time of their arrival inevitably changes. It’s a vicious circle. There’s the excitement, nervousness, disappointment, the waiting, the waiting some more, and the frustration of never really knowing when it will actually happen and feeling like it NEVER will. Phone calls and emails come in from your spouse, from other wives, from the FRG trying to help you nail down a time and place for pickup. The worst part? This can sometimes be pushed back for DAYS, not just hours of waiting– but days. Obviously, its wonderful to think of your honey coming home but the endless waiting game is apt to create mind-numbing craziness, and it’s ridiculously difficult to have patience when you’re in the final leg of deployment. Extremely tough.


The Ugly:

After all the waiting…

and waiting….

and waiting…

I cannot stress this one enough: ladies you could be wearing a brown paper bag to pick him up and he’s not going to notice.

I definitely have had those moments when I look in my closet and realize that I have absolutely nothing to wear, have developed a giant, red zit on the tip of my nose and I cannot find the earrings that hubby gave me for our wedding that I really wanted to wear. Those moments that almost make me cry. (You’ve been there right?)

The truth is, he's probably not going to notice the earrings anyway. #militaryhomecoming… Click To TweetHe’s going to be exhausted and my well thought out heels and perfectly shaved legs are most likely not even on his radar. (It’s hard not to get your feelings hurt by this. FYI). But it is important to note, that in the grand scheme of things none of that matters. In the end, I wore jeans and boots and a jacket, because it’s winter.  My hair was a mess, and the zit was still there. His first words? “God, you’re pretty.” And all is well.

(And I shouldn’t have shaved my legs until I heard his voice on the phone. I shaved them the morning I thought he was coming home and then the date shifted 48 hours to the right. Ugh!)

 


All-in-all, we are in this for the long haul, and although homecomings are hard and reintegration is an entirely different kind of crazy, when all is said and done we were together and that is all that matters.

 

When all is said and done we were together and that is all that matters. #homecoming #marriage… Click To Tweet

Military Homecomings: What to Expect  |www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

 

I just don’t fit in…

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Military Life | 14 comments

I may be married to a soldier, but I am not an “army wife”… the other army wives most definitely roll their eyes at me because I am so far from perfect at this task I’ve taken on. It’s hard enough most days to just be a WIFE not to mention tacking on the stigma of all the rest. There are a million reasons why I’m not perfect at this job of being a soldier’s wife, but the list grows even longer due to the ways that OTHER SPOUSES make me feel inferior. The way comments are made and insults are handed out are often subtle but none the less there.

 

You see, I’m not an expert at all things army. I wasn’t raised as an army brat as many women who find themselves in this circle are, and I am not involved in things on post.  We don’t have children so I find myself excluded from many events and get togethers, similarly I don’t attend holiday functions advertised to have bouncy houses and visits with the Easter Bunny.  Because of these and many other reasons, I have been made to feel like I am not a good wife to my husband, and he’d be the first to tell you: that is just not true.

 

There’s been a time or two when I’ve felt like I’m letting my husband down… Click To TweetI don’t make cakes in the shape of his team’s insignia for Friday night happy hours like another guy’s wife does. I’m not Betty Crocker, and I barely have time to make dinner for the two of us most nights, so Pinterest-worthy cakes are not in our immediate future. There have most certainly been times when the wives of my husband’s coworkers have looked down on me for my lack of involvement. This used to hurt my feelings in a major way, but as I’ve grown into this role, (and become more comfortable in my marriage) I’ve come to terms with what items we need to make sure are a priority in our family. Post-wide barbecues are not on the list.

Dealing with other spouses when you aren't good at typical army wife roles | www.lovetheeveryday.com

Other reasons why I’m a failure at army-wifedom:

  1. I don’t speak Army: Like at all. Don’t give me any of that Alpha, Bravo, PCS, ACU, FRG alphabet . I will have no idea what you are talking about. I simply don’t have the need or the time to figure it out. When people ask me what my husband does in the army I don’t list his rank and title either, I generally refer to him as a “special forces ninja with mad skills in army stuff” and leave it at that. (I told you the other wives roll their eyes at me). It’s not important to us or our relationship that I’m able to recite army nonsense back to someone. I know what is important and necessary to know. In my defense, the same is true of him in my career: I don’t expect him to know what an IEP, MTSS or 504 plan is.

  2. I don’t play the Army-Wife-Game. That is, I don’t care about ranks and I don’t do FRG. Some may say that this makes me a horrible person however I feel that it is best that I know my skills and my weaknesses…volunteering with the FRG and planning/hosting events is not in my skill set. However, I am perfectly happy to befriend the team sgt’s wife even though her hubby outranks mine because she’s a pretty cool lady.

  3. Uniforms: Although I do admit that my husband looks really-incredibly-hot in all things army issued. I have no idea what those things are called, what piece goes with what, and I get really irritated by all that Velcro in the washing machine sticking all together and what-not. Side note: he gets particularly perturbed when I call them “outfits”… this may be one area that I need to become more informed on.

  4. PCS:
    I don’t know why this becomes a status symbol among army wives. We have never PCSed and apparently that means I am missing a certain badge of honor. I consider us blessed because we love our current duty station, but according to some of the wives I’ve met I am not allowed to participate in this particular pissing contest. Somehow being lucky enough to stay in one spot makes me less of an Army-wife, less strong, less capable than those who have transferred a lot.

  5. Homecoming: I know, I know, I know, I am somehow a social pariah here. I like quiet homecomings at my house, with my crappy welcome home sign that I’ve scrawled in expo marker across the bathroom mirror. I do not like giant army-wide homecomings with elmer’s glued glitter signs demanding kisses from my long-gone husband. I like to hug and kiss and cry in the privacy of my living room and settle back into life.

 

All that being said, I am so incredibly proud of my hot, hunk of a soldier man and I support our troops, their missions and their families 100% of the time with my whole heart. I’m not interested in the politics and the hoopla, I am not a perfect army wife, but I am totally committed to supporting the lifestyle and the career that my husband has chosen and I will not be shamed by others for choosing paths that make our family happy. So, I’ll fly our flag in the front lawn and hug my soldier tightly, I’ll tear up a little when my students sing the star-spangled banner, and I’ll politely decline the FRG bake sale. What about you?

 

Avoiding alcoholism while surviving pre-deployment

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Anxiety, Military Life | 7 comments

Just googled “How to not strangle your husband in the weeks leading up to deployment”. No results.

We’ve been here before, in this limbo before leaving, and it makes us both a bit crazy. One would imagine that you’d start to get used to it, when you’re preparing for trip #4 in a three year time frame, but it doesn’t get any easier even when you know what to expect. It usually begins right when your brain realizes that your spouse is getting ready to leave in 11 weeks, 10 weeks, 9, 8, 7…..the mental countdown that you can’t admit out loud you are already hearing in your heart. Then, you realize you only have so many more weekends, so many more nights in the same bed, so many more date nights and walks with the dog and you want each and every one of those moments to be as perfect and love-filled as possible.  (Spoiler Alert: That perfect and love filled part doesn’t happen.)

Emotions can be unpredictable during this time. I don’t know what it is about preparing for deployment that makes my brain explode, but at the moment, every time I see my soldier I want to sock him square in the face with my fist…or something harder. Everything he does right now is the definition of annoying. (I know what you’re thinking: “How can she be like that with her husband about to leave to risk his life for American freedoms and she thinks he’s annoying!? What is wrong with her!?) The truth of the matter is, that counting down to the inevitable separation is horrible. His things are tossed all over the house in various stages of packing, lists are being made of the way too many things left to do before he’s gone, the stress is immeasurable. So yes, sometimes I do have the strong desire to high-five my hubby, in the face….. but other times I just want to hold on to him and never let him go. Pre-deployment angst is making me nuts.

The short version is: knowing that the love of your life is about to leave for the other side of the world is really, incredibly, emotionally difficult. No matter how many times you’ve endured it before. And he’s no ray of golden sunshine either. The emotions he faces as he gets ready to leave are equally daunting and cause some serious behavioral and personality changes in him as well.

I spoke to a few of my milspouse friends recently about it, just briefly mentioning that we were a tiny bit stressed at our house, to which they all replied “it’s normal”,  and “just hang in there”…well, it may be normal, but it still sucks, ok?

But I remember the last time, and I do know that if I “just hang in there” this phase will pass. Because it seems to come and go in phases.

Phase 1: Imaginary Normal

This is where we pretend that there is no trip looming on the horizon. We may know the approximate dates and maybe even have a quick conversation about how we really ought to get the deck stained before he leaves, but we go on pretending that nothing has changed. Sometimes, in the back of my mind, I even pretend that there was a little mistake and someone ELSE was supposed to get those orders…imaginary. This is the easy part. The part where you brain can go on believing that life isn’t about to change again.

Phase 2: Anxiety, Angst, and Homicidal Feelings

This is where we are now. When there is no more pretending. There’s stupid arguments and stress. There’s an empty tuff box in the living room waiting to be filled, and the idea of the impending loneliness is constantly in the back of our minds. We fight a little more than we are used to, and spend quiet alone time, maybe preparing ourselves for the alone time that we know is about to come. I can’t help the thoughts that creep into my head at all hours of the night, keeping me awake: “How is this happening again so soon? I don’t want to do this.”

Phase 3: List Making

This comes next and often much closer to the actual leaving day. (Maybe we should start it now though because it really does help us both to manage some of the anxiety).  We both start to make separate lists. I usually have two: Things that need to get done or be purchased before he leaves, and Things that I will do after he has gone. He generally makes packing lists. We dive head first into these lists with single-minded determination, believing that as long as every item gets checked off the list then everything else is going to be fine.

Phase 4: The Guilt Ridden Horrible Wife Days

You know what I’m going to say here, I know you do. “The sooner he’s gone the sooner he can come back”…. “I wish he’d just get out of here so I can get on with my life.”….”If he would just leave already then I could figure out how to cope with this.”  I get to the point where the endless waiting gets the best of me and I truly just want him to leave. (NO OF COURSE I DON’T ACTUALLY WANT HIM TO LEAVE!) (Ok, maybe sometimes I do.) I can create a good and solid routine for my life when he’s deployed, but these long days waiting for him to deploy are painful and crazy and once he’s gone life will get back to normal. And then, I catch myself thinking those things and I am overcome with guilt.  And I feel so guilty that I cook him his favorite meals and I dig out the sexy night gowns and I try really hard to be positive and happy… and I know he feels guilty too, because he secretly wants to get on with his mission as well. I know this because he buys the super sized bags of dog food and carries them in for me so that I won’t have to while he’s gone.

7 Phases of PreDeployment   www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

Phase 5: The Honeymoon

Somewhere in there, in the last few days before he leaves we always have one really awesome day. I call it the last best day, I think I read that in a book somewhere. (You never know when the last best day is going to be so you don’t get to admire this day until after he’s left).  We remind each other that we are on the same team and that we can do this. We hold hands and kiss a lot. And it’s nice. I like to look back on this day when I’m feeling particularly self-piteous in the next phase.

Phase 6: Wallowing

This phase comes after. After the goodbyes and the hugs and the dropping off. This starts for me the moment I turn the door knob into my now eerily empty home. This is important, because if I’m not careful I will start to wallow before he even leaves. I’ll find myself feeling bad for myself about his leaving, and he’ll still be sitting there on the couch with me. (Don’t do this). I give myself a week to wallow, to drink too much and to eat ice cream right out of the carton for dinner, or breakfast, or whatever. I let myself wear his t-shirts to bed and I cry. Then, it’s game one.

Phase 7: Rock it

I realize that this is not technically pre-deployment but as we struggle through these pre-deployment weeks it is important for me to remember that this phase is on the horizon. This is the phase where I become a superhero, rock star and kick Deployment’s butt. My super-hero-ness isn’t polished like some of the amazing milspouses I know, but it’s pretty damn good. This is the part where you suddenly are able to do everything that needs to be done, which used to take two people, but now can be done (awesomely) by one. This is where I learn how to balance life again, make it to Ladies Night, attend church on a regular schedule, head to the gym, kick butt at work and remember to pay the mortgage on time. (Of course there will be those moments when you forget to take out the trash on trash day that reduce you to tears, but that’s for another post, this one is about being a rock star).

 

Because it is hard to deal with the snapping at each other, which seems to get worse with every passing day...but I am an Army Wife, and I can do this. (And so can you.) Click To Tweet

I have faith that God will see us through this trying time, as well as guide us through the impending deployment…but that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with it. I’m imperfect. I struggle to be a good wife and to be an encouragement to my husband during this time. This is a learning process, no matter how many times we’ve been through it before.

 


You can find this post linked up here and here. Check out the links for access to some really excellent bloggers. <3

 

Military Spouse Appreciation Day: May 8th

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Military Life | 14 comments

I can’t resist jumping on this band wagon. Julie, Alia and Kathryn are hosting this awesome blog-hop today in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and since I have admired Kathryn’s positive influence on the milspouse community for several years I can’t help myself and have to participate.

My name is Molly and I am the wife to one seriously handsome soldier serving in the United States Army. Military families hold a special place in my heart and I feel they are some of the strongest people on this planet.

Military families hold a special place in my heart! #milspousebloghop Click To Tweet

One of the things I love most about this military lifestyle is the feeling of community and solidarity I receive from other spouses. There can be such love and support in this group of people and I enjoy being a catalyst that promotes that sense of love.

One of the best pieces of advice I received before we got married was the reminder that you are in control of your own happiness. Choosing this man meant choosing this lifestyle, which also means making a conscious effort to choose happiness. We do this well.

In my family we are gearing up for his next big deployment, but in the meantime we strive to enjoy the everyday moments of happiness. I love to hang out with my husband hiking and exploring new places, spend time with our two fur-children Penny and Crockett, and can usually be found with my camera in hand. Taking pictures is a big passion of mine.

Crockett

Crockett

Aside from that, I teach junior high which consumes another big part of my heart.

I’ve been blogging for several years and hope to spread a little bit of joy around by doing so.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check out some of the other awesome military spouses on the list, because they rock. You can see the list of other super-hero spouses here.

God has a plan, now what is it?!

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Military Life | 2 comments

I am the wife of an American soldier and I do not like deployments.

I am proud of my husband, his career, my country and its flag but I am not a fan of Murphy, or his law. For those readers who are not military families, let me just say that Murphy always shows up at precisely the worst moment, immediately following the most horrible day, and always when my husband is a half a world away.

I am the wife of an American soldier and I do not like deployments. Click To Tweet
I also don’t like going to bed alone at night, and I’m not a fan of the chaos that ensues right before or after a trip. I hate the way my emotions get the best of me, and I can sometimes be mean without intending to.

 
I love the ability to see my loved one’s faces when they are very, very far away but I dislike Facetime.

 

However,  this is the life we chose and we choose to love it despite all the crumminess that comes along for the ride.

 
So, when my husband says that he’s considering getting out of the military  I am surprised that I don’t feel an immediate sense of relief.
I always expect that angels will sing and soft music will play and all my worries will just melt away…It’s not that this is the first time the conversation has been brought up at our dinner table, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. However, when he turns on his serious voice and starts talking about civilian job opportunities, it always seems more real.

How to decide to stay in the military, Military Reenlistment, Why to reenlist, Military Families

There are a lot of things on the table here: living in the same place permanently, enjoying holidays together as a family, taking planned vacations, starting a family, and having weekends off…but the thought of the looming unknown makes me nervous. He’s mentioned this idea before and we’ve struggled with the idea that the “grass is always greener”. I’ve never really thought that life without the military was really part of our reality, and the idea that it is, is a little overwhelming.

 
Our normal is not like your normal, but it’s ours. I’m not entirely sure how we would define ourselves if our life moved toward the civilian. I feel like I should be celebrating the idea of a different, more mundane, lifestyle. Instead, I feel apprehensive. Isn’t the economy still in the tank? Where do people with my husband’s skill set even begin looking for jobs? Will he like doing something else or will he find every new career opportunity boring in comparison? Will he still like me if he has to spend consecutive months in a row with me? (Yes, I know he will but still that thought crosses my mind sometimes.) Where will we live if we get to choose our location? What if we struggle to find work, how will we make ends meet?

 
Obviously everyone gives us the advice to just take it one day at a time. Clearly that will not work when you have to make re-enlistment decisions on a deadline, but we are trying. And we pray. We pray for guidance and for clarity, we pray that God will grant us peace with whatever decision we make and help to lead us toward the path he would have us take. I know that whatever lies ahead we will decide together and we will make a difference in this crazy world of ours. I know that no matter what we choose at the end of the day, we choose together and I’m so grateful to be holding this man’s hand as we venture into the unknown.

 
I wish I had answers and a crystal ball, but until then we will just soldier on. Click To Tweet

Words are Hard. (And other reasons I’m a bad communicator)

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Hope and Hugs, Military Life | 0 comments

Right now, right this minute I am struggling with communicating my feelings. I’m having a hard time putting into words how I feel about this military life we lead. I’ve mentioned before that I have come to identify myself as a military wife….and the idea of not being one is a little bit daunting. Who will I be if I can no longer be my flag waving, patriotic, self-sacrificing self?

There are so many things I wish I could tell my husband about how I’m feeling that I can’t really put into words. Even if I were to try, I’m afraid he wouldn’t understand where my heart is in this. if I can’t understand it, how could I ever expect him to? Every time I try to bring it up it winds up sounding something like. “Ugh! I hate everything… wanna make out?”

Why is communication so difficult in our relationship? In any relationship?

Because we are not mind readers. I forget that sometimes. After several years of marriage I expect him to just “get me” a little bit more than is reasonable. Then, I find myself wondering if what I’m feeling is the same as what he is feeling but neither of us can figure out how to express ourselves.

 

How to listen to your spouse |What God says about Communication | www.lovetheeveryday,comI think the major issue is that I don’t try to talk about just one problem at a time. When I think about making a plan for hubby’s career, I also start to think about my career, our home, our family, our plans for the future, moving, friendships lost or gained, traveling, vacation plans, retirement savings, health insurance, if double-stuff Oreos actually are double stuffed, and so on. I can’t focus on just one issue at a time. I am not a good multi-tasker. If too many things are going on in my brain I’m likely to miss important details. Details that might sway the situation in one way or another… I am also likely to explode.I am also likely to explode. Click To Tweet

So the things I am discovering are:

  1. One major decision or conversation at a time.
  2. Speak with Love
  3. Be Quiet and Listen

I’m also getting to the point where it is possible that maybe, (just maybe) I am getting frustrated with my hubby over his indecisiveness. I have to learn that whatever I say to him needs to be said with love. I feel like I need to pray for guidance in choosing my words carefully because I don’t want to sound like I am being an irrational bitch   selfish in speaking to him about this.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15

 

Lastly, I don’t feel like he is listening to me, I mean really listening. Of course, I don’t know what I’m saying either, but that’s not really the point here.I recognize that listening is a two way street, but he’s pretty craptastic at it.

I just want him to sit down and listen to my convoluted views and opinions without saying anything until I’m finished. Why is that so difficult for men? He typically wants to reason everything out with logic and solutions. I don’t want solutions, I just want him to listen. In turn, I know that I need to be able to hear him out as well without reacting. (Is eye rolling a reaction?)

I don’t want solutions, I just want him to listen. Click To Tweet

In James 1:19 we are reminded___my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

So while my brain is doing this:

“Get out of the army now!” , “Stay in the army forever!” ,”Who will pay the bills while you look for a job?” , “How awesome it would be if you were home for the holidays!”

My heart is doing this:

“Hear me, please just hear me.”

Now…If I could just figure out what to say.

How to Communicate| What the Bible says about COMMUNICATION | www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

Career Change?

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Anxiety, Family Ties, Military Life | 0 comments

We’ve been dealing with some lifestyle changes and some possible career moves in our future. It's weird to think that at thirty years old we might be starting over on a new adventure. Click To Tweet It holds both endless possibility and endless fear. I wrote a guest post over on my friend Kathryn’s blog while she was busy moving across the country on how we’re handling the impending decision-making process.

Now that it looks like we might be considering not being a military family our whole system of life is under the microscope.

I’m having a serious identity crisis.

When I said, “I Do”, I proudly took on the title of military wife. I piled it on top of my head, balancing it with all the other hats I wear: sister, neighbor, baker, daughter, friend, teacher, dog owner, traveler, aunt, crafter, photographer… military wife. It looks nice there on the top, it makes me feel like I belong to some elite club, like I’m wearing the appropriate uniform.

You can read more here.

 

Let me know what you think. How do you make life changing decisions?

How to make big life decisions? | Life Choices and Transitions | www.lovetheeveryday.com

Loneliness comes with the territory…

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Hope and Hugs, Military Life | 0 comments

www.lovetheeveryday.com| No matter how I'm feeling I know I'm not alone. Today I’m feeling a little lonely.This verse always helps to remind me that even when I feel alone, I really am not. Sometimes the blues set in and it’s hard to shake them though.

Even when I’m surrounded by my co-workers I still feel alone sometimes and making plans to have a girls night after work doesn’t always do the trick. I know this comes with the territory. Living in a different state from my family can be really difficult sometimes but I know that this is the place I am meant to be, and so I continue to put one foot in front of the other. Every so often though, the loneliness sets in and I struggle to keep my chin up.

My plan today is to hand write some letters to friends I haven’t kept in contact with very well lately. I feel like in the age of Facebook and blogging and twitter that we sometimes forget the power of an actual piece of mail. This will help me feel more connected to them.

Anyone have any tricks or tips to ward off loneliness?

 

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