meta name="p:domain_verify" content="1f96c4144120522a03caf79efdb261d9"/> moving forward | Love the Everyday

Define perfect.

Mar 2, 2017 by

Define perfect.

Staring in the mirror at my three-month postpartum body is enough to make tears well up. Even though I’ve lost the majority of the weight, my hips and thighs are massive…and there’s that belly that I’m fairly sure will never go away because the carb-craving monster I become while breast-feeding is untamable.

The carb-craving monster I become while breast-feeding is untamable! #momlife #bodyissues… Click To Tweet

On day three of wearing the same sweatpants I may start to become a little bit irrational about my weight and my body, I may try on every pair of pants that I own…I may start to yearn for that pre-baby tummy, I might wish I could still wear a bikini to the beach. But then I remember that I’m not perfect and will never be. But that little girl staring at me from the Boppy on the bed, the one whose body image I get to shape and whose self-esteem rests in my hands, well, she’s pretty damn close to perfection, and I did that. I did that. So stretch marks be damned because this imperfect, slightly stretched-out body created a freaking miracle.

Postpartum body image

read more

Predeployment Lists

May 4, 2016 by

Predeployment Lists

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!

read more

Coping with Life Change

Mar 31, 2016 by

Coping with Life Change
Six years ago I was laid off. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I think about it because the emotions are still pretty raw associated with this time period in my life.  Looking back on it now, I am able to see that God had a plan for me and thus doors needed to close. That chapter of my life is behind me, and I am thankful that I have moved on to other things. God gave me the strength to move forward to find the next chapter of the story.

I’m interested though in how others deal with tough life changes. For me, clearly, I have to write about them. I have to vent and get things out of my head. I have to pray too of course, but writing is truly how I get things out of my heart, how I clear my head, how I stumble through angst. But, being laid off impacted my heart. I couldn’t handle the mixture of hurt and grief, so I had to write things down…

Pink Slips and other things that suck…

I work hard. I do not have a cushy job like so many of you believe. I do not have weekends and summers “off”, I do not get to work only 9-5. I am good at what I do. I work hard for every penny that I make, and of those pennies I pay back my loans for my bachelors degree, I pay back my loans for my masters degree, I buy pens and paper and books for those that cannot afford it, I buy colored pencils and notebooks so that they can express themselves, I buy lunches for those that forgot, I spend money to further educate myself, I hand pennies over in support of extra curricular activities… I stay up late working and I get up earlier than I have to so that I can be to work early for them. I create, I engage, I write, I plan, I learn…I teach.

 

 

I honestly thought it would be pink. It’s not, in fact, a pink slip at all. It’s a plain, white, piece of paper with the same letterhead that only a few months ago boasted a huge, bold faced “Congratulations!” at the top. The same letterhead that told me at the end of the last marking period that more of my students were passing than the marking period before and that I was indeed doing a great job. I don’t even get the original. Just a photocopy, signed by the guy in charge, but delivered by my principal. I realize that he is probably having just as bad a day as I am, but that doesn’t make me any less bitter. At least I have been laid-off and not fired; it’s like an honorable discharge and not a “hey- you-suck-at-what-you-do-get-the-hell-out” notice. But it bites just the same.

 

 

I’m trying not to be a pessimist. I’m trying not to hate everything about my life. I’m not seriously considering launching myself out my second story window. (besides that would only hurt a whole hell of a lot and not end the whole game) I’m trying to remember the reasons why I do this in the first place, but it’s hard to do in a society that seems to be falling down around me. I have expectations in my classroom that my students treat each other with respect. I insist that they make choices and stick to the consequences that come from those choices. I instill upon them the value that they act like people that care about the well being of others. I’m sad that I am teaching them the rules and guidelines for life in a society that clearly does not exist. There was such a lack of respect in that little office as they told me that my position was being cut, it left me wondering how I can hope to teach my students respect when there are no clear examples from their superiors.

 

 

When it gets to a point like this it’s easy to fall back, to fall down, to just fall… and to question everything. Mostly though I find myself asking “why bother?” over and over. Why do I keep trying? Why don’t I use all my sick time, and pop in a video for my students? It’s then I remember the 110 faces awaiting me tomorrow, and I know that apathy won’t cut it. If I don’t care then they don’t care, and we’ve worked all year to boost their responsibility for their own education.

 

 

There is something that many people don’t think about. There is a face behind these layoffs. That face is me. I am not a number, I am not a price tag, and I am not a budget cut. I am a teacher and I make a difference in the life of a child.

 

 

What really gets my goat is that my school district is running an initiative that puts priority on literacy. On what planet does fewer teachers (especially English) and more kids in a classroom equal a positive learning opportunity?

 

 

So tomorrow Mr. Bossman, when you’re busy looking in the mirror for 122 minutes and 32 seconds, I’ll be reorganizing my lessons for the day, considering closing activities for my students, stressing about the student who told me she was experimenting with drugs, and thinking of ways to help the kid who just bombed my exam. When you stand there adjusting your tie and looking in the mirror, I’ll be busy adjusting my resume, making copies, and talking to the teenager who just broke up with her boyfriend… And please make sure you can look yourself in the eye and reflect, because I know when I see you in the hall you won’t be making eye contact with me.

 

 

Besides, I don’t do this for you anyway. I don’t do it for the pay check, or the experience, or because I needed something on my resume. I do it for them, and I’ll continue to do it until June. Even if you think you don’t need me, and the school doesn’t need me, and the community doesn’t need me…. They need me and that’s why I do what I do.

 

 


When life throws you a curve ball, how you react speaks volumes about your character. #change… Click To Tweet

 

 

How do you cope with drastic life change? What advice do you have for people dealing with events that are truly out of their control? How do you come to peace?

read more

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

Mar 29, 2016 by

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

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?

 

 

read more

Baby making and other TMI

Mar 14, 2016 by

Baby making and other TMI

“It will happen if you just relax.” –The Librarian

Hellllloooo entire world! Allow me to, yet again, share too much information about my personal life and baby making practices with the entirety of the internet. Bare with me.


 

I went to the library. You know, the place where you can check books out, read them and return them. The place that is supposed to be silent. The place where no one is supposed to chastise you in loud, judgmental voices.  I was balancing a precariously tall stack of books about fertility in one arm and digging for my library card with the other.  In this moment I secretly (not-so-secretly) wanted to drop said stack of books on her pointy little head.

If that were the case, hand me a margarita and come screw me poolside baby! I’ll show you relaxed!

But on a serious note, the process of deciding to start a family and the emotional turmoil of not being able to when we want to, is exhausting. It’s heart breaking. It’s hard. Obviously, Madame Librarian, I do not want your advice.

I had already avoided the pitying stares of the women in the children’s book section, which tragically hysterically ironically is located directly next to the child-rearing how-to section, which in turn, houses the tombs on fertility, or my lack thereof.

It tests your patience you know? What with the waiting month after month and the single pink line when you’re hoping for two. Librarians who think they’re know-it-alls can certainly keep their opinions to themselves. And they should…because I’m hormonal and cranky.

It’s not that I don’t already have enough children. Fifty-six, 12 year-olds, in my 7th grade classroom should be enough for any one woman to handle. They fulfill my need to parent. They make me smile and make me crazy, but that doesn’t stop me from checking my calendar and counting days and keeping lists. It doesn’t stop me from tracking temperatures and vitamin schedules and watching my diet. And it also doesn’t stop the twinge of disappointment. It doesn’t waylay the tiniest bit of envy I feel at the pregnancy announcements and baby announcements dotting my fridge and monopolizing my Facebook feed.

There are days when we talk about the reality of starting a family, and we discuss that maybe we aren’t even ready. Maybe we don’t necessarily want to have kids. Maybe we’d be happier without them. Maybe we will just be satisfied being the greatest aunt and uncle ever, but that’s more just us pretending, pretending that we will be okay with it if it isn’t in the cards for us.

It’s the timing part of the whole ordeal that stresses me out the most, and the looming deployment in our future.  Knowing that we have less time than other couples have together makes me jealous, and angry and bitter at the unfairness of it all.Fertility and waiting for God's timing | www.lovetheeveryday.com

It leads me to the little voice in the back of my head that says: you only have two cycles left before he leaves again.

…and the even smaller voice. The quiet and persistent one in the background saying “Will you trust me?

Struggling with relying on and trusting God’s timing has always been a weakness of mine. I wonder if some of the trials of this journey are designed to cause me to lean into him. And so this week, if you’ll help me to pray for patience, pray for me to rely on God’s timing and not my own…. Or bring me margaritas I’d be much obliged.

Click To Tweet

 


 

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

read more
Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Stumbleupon
Hide Buttons
This website is using the http://www.seowizard.org/ wordpress plugin.
%d bloggers like this: