Wordless Wednesday: He Has My Heart Edition


Some Snippett's From Afghan-Land

My cute Mr. Superman with one of his buddies he works with at Line D back at Moody. This was at one of the many stops on their way to The Sandbox.

My husband who likes to slouch with one of his friends from BMT. He's stationed at Aviano in Italy but just got deployed to the same place as Mr. Superman. His friend is in the AF but works with the Army. Mr. Superman just happens to live at the same place as the Army. The military makes the world seem so much smaller. I'm glad he got to have an hour or two of break time from war thoughts.

One of the areas Mr. Superman works at has these concrete barrier walls. Every base who has ever been deployed there, gets a mural on one of the walls. This is Mr. Superman's favorite and was done when Davis Mothan AFB from Tucson was there.

This is the French PX where Mr. Superman tells me all they sell is pastries and cheap cigarettes. Yep, sounds like the French ;)

The lovely little chapel he is so blessed to be able to attend church at.

Okay now this is sad but I have to be honest that I find it humorous as well. This is on a concrete wall Mr. Superman passes by every day. If you look close you'll see the normal drawings of a little girl. A sun with a smile, a butterfly, clouds, peace signs, and a flower. Also take note there is a cave with fire, a soldier with a gun (and a smile no less), standing over a dead man in a pool of blood. Nice right?


What's Been Going On In My Neck of the Woods

There have been lots of photo-ops of silly kids, cuddle times, and nights out with friends. Some of them are cell phone pictures so excuse the poor quality. Enjoy!

These are all courtesy of a fun little touch i-pod app. I think they are hilarious!

 He is really good at what he calls his "cool dude" pose. 

 It was Jacob's 10th birthday the day I got to AZ. 

 Too much fun for Mr. Aiden. 

My first experience with Just Dance on the Wii. 

 This picture cracks me up. This is us when the camera goes off unexpectedly. Me with my bestie Brighteyes. 

 Left to right: Bestie's Brighteyes, Davey, me, and my favorite cousin Sammy. We went out to Thai, watched Robin Hood, then got frozen yogurt. I love being back in AZ with them. 

 Pumpkin cookies with a walnut and maple gnosh (sp?) frosting! Brighteyes is a pastry chef. 

 Aiden is obsessed with Toy Story. He has his own set of full size, strap on Buzz Lightyear wings. 

 This was a family party about a month ago. Parker and Shaycee Marie with me. 

 Shay is such a cute little lady. 

 Abby and I with our kissy faces for Uncle Mr. Superman.

 Again with the rockstar cool dude pose. 

 My first dozen roses from Afghanistan. The card said, "Because I love you."

Brighteyes made me get out of bed, get fancy, and took me out on a date to Kona Grill. 

 This is my friend Cait's little boy named Aiden as well. I took Cait out for her 22nd birthday a couple weeks ago. 

This is Cait. 

 This is one of the newest additions to the family. Carson Glenn. He is my Brother Jared's youngest. 

This is Jalen helping me work on my countdown paper chain. I actually finished it the other day and it goes all the way around my room

 A couple days before Mr. Superman left, we were at the BX in Clothing Issue. He saw this miniature ABU set and just HAD to get it for Aiden. 

 That about wraps it up. I do have lots more to post but I am currently not feeling well so it'll have to wait. 

Wordless Wednesday: Laughing With My Lovebug From 8,000 Miles Away Edition


Better Late Than Never Eh?

I'm terribly sorry that I didn't get around to announcing the winner of Mrs. Muffins generously donated giveaway but with a new job, my deployment brain, and a whole lot of other alshfkjahfd I have going on, it just slipped down my to do list.

There was a whopping 81 comments and so many fabulous Lovelies who entered. Thank you for making it such a huge success!

Congratulations Seana! You have 48 hours to email me (my icon is at the top of my page) to claim your winnings. If I don't hear from you, I'll randomly generate a new winner.

Thank you again to Mrs. Muffins. Girl, you are the best! So many of you expressed how badly you wanted/needed new layouts and in all seriousness, Mrs. Muffins is the best and very reasonably priced. So what are you waiting for? Go get started on a new fantastic layout!!


7 Emotional Stages of Deployment

I found this on MilSpouse Magazine Online and thought I'd share it. For the most part so far, its pretty dang accurate. I thought I'd post it for all my civilian Lovelies as well so they can get a bit of understanding and peek into our brains and emotions during deployment.


Stage 1: Anticipation of Loss

-6-8 weeks prior to deployment.

-Some feelings: Denial, fear, anger, resentment, hurt.   
-Activities: Financial planning, car and home preventative maintenance, updating records of emergency data.

This stage occurs four to six weeks before deployment. During this time it is hard for a woman to accept the fact that her husband is going to leave her. She may find herself crying unexpectedly at songs, TV shows, and other such silly things that would not normally affect her. These incidents allow her to release some of her pent-up emotions. There is a lot of tension during this period as both husband and wife try to cram in a multitude of projects and activities: There are bikes and cars to fix, roofs to repair, deadbolts to install, garages to clean, family to visit, neighbors and friends to invite over, etc.

The wife will have some unexpressed anger, and the couple may bicker even though they usually do not. This can be upsetting if it is viewed out of context. Although unenjoyable, these arguments can be functional. They provide one way for the couple to put some emotional distance between themselves in their preparation for living apart. It is hard for a wife to feel warm and loving toward her husband when she is mad at him, and as one woman said, "Its easier to let him go." Other frequent symptoms of this stage include restlessness (productivity), depression, and irritability. While women feel angry or resentful (He's really going to leave me alone with all this), men tend to feel guilty (There's no way I can get everything done that I should before I leave.)

Stage 2: Emotional Withdrawal

-1 week prior to deployment.
-Some feelings: Confusion, ambivalence, anger, pulling away.
-Activities: Talking, sharing, fighting, setting goals to achieve during deployment.

In many ways, this is the most difficult stage. It occurs sometime in the final days before departure. Such statements as, "I know I should be enjoying these last few days together but all I want to do is cry." indicates a sense of despair or hopelessness. The marriage is out of the couples control. Although they push ahead trying to complete the list that never gets any shorter, the wife often feels a lack of energy and is fatigued. Making decisions becomes increasingly difficult.


Stage 3: Emotional Confusion/Disorganization

-1-6 weeks after departure.
-Some feelings: Sense of abandonment, need, loss, emptiness, pain, disorganization.
-Activities: Crying, loss or abundance of sleep and appetite, busy, goal activation.

No matter how prepared wives think they are, the actual deployment still comes as a shock. An initial sense of relief that the pain of saying good-bye is over may be followed by guilt. They worry, "If I really love him, why am I relieved that hes gone?" They may feel numb, aimless, and without purpose. Old routines have been disrupted and without purpose. Old routines have been disrupted and new ones not yet established. Many women are depressed and withdraw from friends and neighbors, especially if the neighbors husbands are home. They often feel overwhelmed as they face total responsibility for family affairs. Many women have difficulty sleeping, suddenly aware that they are the security officer, others sleep excessively. A wife may feel some anger at her husband because of things he did not say, or maybe he didn't provide for her physical security by installing deadbolts.

Wives often report feeling restless (though not productive), confused, disorganized, indecisive, and irritable. The unspoken question is, "What am I going to do with this hole in my life?" Whereas wives experience a sense of being overwhelmed, husbands report feeling lonely and frustrated. Unfortunately, a few women get stuck at this stage, either unable or unwilling to move on emotionally; they will both have and cause problems throughout the cruise.

Stage 4: Adjustment/Recovery

-Most of the deployment.
-Some feelings: Hope, confidence, calm, less anger, loneliness.
-Activities: Establishing routine, establishing communications, self-growth.

At some point, wives may realize, "Hey, I'm doing OK!" They have established new family patterns and settled into a routine. They have begun to feel more comfortable with the reorganization of roles and responsibilities. Broken arms have been tended, mowers fixed, cars tuned up, and washing machines bought. Each successful experience adds to their self confidence. The wives have cultivated new sources of support through friends, church, work, wives groups, etc. They often give up real cooking for cruise food; they may run up higher long-distance phone bills and contact old friends.

Dr. Alice Snyder of Family Services Center, Norfolk, calls the women "single wives" as they experience both worlds. Being alone brings freedom as well as responsibility. They often unconsciously find themselves referring to, "My house, my car, my kids." As a group, they are more mature, and they are more outwardly independent. This stage is one of the benefits of being a wife: Each woman has the opportunity to initiate new activities, accept more responsibilities, and stretch herself and her abilities “all while secure in being married." Nevertheless, all the responsibility can be stressful, and wives may find that they are sick more frequently. Many women continue to feel mildly depressed and anxious. Isolation from both their husbands and their own families can leave them feeling vulnerable. There is not much contact with men “by choice or design" and women may begin to feel asexual. On the whole, though, most women have a new sense of independence and freedom and take pride in their ability to cope alone.

Stage 5: Expectation of Reunion

-6-8 weeks prior to homecoming.
-Some feelings: Apprehension, excitement, high expectations, worry, fear.
-Activities: Planning homecoming, cleaning, dieting, loss of sleep, completion of individual projects.

Approximately four to six weeks before the troops are due back, wives often find themselves saying, "Ohmigosh, hes coming home and I'm not ready!" That long list of things to do while he's gone is still unfinished. The pace picks up. There is a feeling of joy and excitement in anticipation of living together again. Feelings of apprehension surface as well, although they are usually left unexpressed.

This is a time to reevaluate the marriage. That hole that existed when their husbands left did get filled with tennis classes, church, a job, new friends, school, - and now they instinctively know that they must clean house in their lives in order to make room for the men to return. Most experience an unconscious process of evaluation, "I want him back, but what am I going to have to give up?" Therefore, they may feel nervous, tense, and apprehensive.

The wives are concerned about the effect the husbands return will have on their lives and their childrens: "Will he understand and accept the changes that have occurred in us? Will he approve of the decisions I made? Will he adjust to the fact that I can't go back to being dependent?" The husbands are anxious, too, wondering, "How have we changed? How will I be accepted? Will the kids know me? Does my family still need me?"

Most women bury these concerns in busywork. Once more, there is a sense of restlessness (but productive) and confusion. Decisions become harder to make and may be postponed until the homecoming. Women become irritable again and may experience changes in appetite. At some point, a psychological decision is made. For most women, it is. "Do I want him back? You bet! I can't wait to see him!"


Stage 6: Honeymoon

-Day 1 until the first argument.
-Some feelings: Euphoria, blur of excitement.
-Activities: Talking, re-establishing intimacy, readjusting.

This stage, too, is one in which the husband and wife are together physically but not necessarily emotionally. They have to have some time together and share experiences and feelings before they feel like a couple again. They both need to be aware of the necessity to refocus on the marriage. For instance; After one of the wives husbands had been home for a few days, she became aggravated with him when he would telephone his bunkmate every time something of importance came up within the family finally declaring, "I'm your wife. Talk to me!" During this stage, the task is to stop being single spouses and start being married again.

Most women sense a loss of freedom and independence while a minority is content to become dependent once more. Routines established during the tour are disrupted: "I have to cook a real dinner every night!?" This causes the wives to feel disorganized and out of control.

Although most couples never write it down, there is a "Contract in every marriage " a set of assumptions and expectations on which they base their actions. During this stage, the couple has to make major adjustments in roles and responsibilities; before that can happen, they must undertake an extensive renegotiation of that unwritten contract. The marriage cannot and will not be exactly the same as before the tour: both spouses have had varied experiences and have grown in different ways, and these changes must be accommodated.

Too much togetherness initially can cause friction after so many months of living apart. More than one wife has had to cope with the fleeting shock of wondering, "Who's that man in my bedroom!?" Some resent their husbands making decisions that should be theirs. Still others question, "My husband wants me to give up all my activities while he's home. Should I?" On the other hand, the husband may wonder, "Why do I feel like a stranger in my own home?" All of these concerns and pressures require that husband and wife communicate with each other.

Assumptions will not work. Some find that talking as we go along works best, while others keep silent until, "We had our first good fight, cleared the air, and everythings OK now." Sexual relations, ardently desired before the return, may initially seem frightening. Couples need sufficient time together to become reacquainted before they can expect true intimacy.

This stage can be difficult as well as joyful. But it does provide an opportunity offered to few civilian couples; the chance to evaluate what changes have occurred within themselves, to determine what direction they want their growth to take, and to meld all this into a renewed and refreshed relationship.

Stage 7: Readjustment

-6-8 weeks following return. 
-Some feelings: Uncomfortable, role confusion, satisfaction.
-Activities: Re-negotiating relationships, redefining roles, settling in

Sometime within the four to six weeks after the homecoming, wives notice that they have stopped referring to "My car, my house, my bedroom, using instead, our or we." New routines have been established for the family, and the wives feel relaxed and comfortable with their husbands. There is a sense of being a couple and a family. They are back on the same track emotionally and can enjoy the warmth and closeness of being married.


There You Have It

I ran across this HERE and I just can't say it better than she did.  Its hard as a member of the Church to take everyone's pre-conceived notions and misconceptions about us all but this statement says it all with much more eloquence and grace than I ever could.   

"I am glad the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is once again eloquently defending their opinions on Same Sex marriage. I rarely blog about my personal beliefs regarding religion or politics but this article is informative and I encourage members and non-members alike to become educated on the subject. Please proceed without judgment, and with an open mind."

Church Responds to HRC Petition

Oct 12 2010 — Salt Lake City

News Release

'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement through a spokesman following the delivery of a petition by the Human Rights Campaign.

My name is Michael Otterson. I am here representing the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to address the matter of the petition presented today by the Human Rights Campaign. While we disagree with the Human Rights Campaign on many fundamentals, we also share some common ground. This past week we have all witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different – whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society.

This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society’s leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex. This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment - to love one another.

As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.

Further, while the Church is strongly on the record as opposing same-sex marriage, it has openly supported other rights for gays and lesbians such as protections in housing or employment.
The Church’s doctrine is based on love. We believe that our purpose in life is to learn, grow and develop, and that God’s unreserved love enables each of us to reach our potential. None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations. Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves.

The Church recognizes that those of its members who are attracted to others of the same sex experience deep emotional, social and physical feelings. The Church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other. It’s not a sin to have feelings, only in yielding to temptation.

There is no question that this is difficult, but Church leaders and members are available to help lift, support and encourage fellow members who wish to follow Church doctrine. Their struggle is our struggle. Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God.

Obviously, some will disagree with us. We hope that any disagreement will be based on a full understanding of our position and not on distortion or selective interpretation. The Church will continue to speak out to ensure its position is accurately understood.

God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgement of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another.

We hope and firmly believe that within this community, and in others, kindness, persuasion and goodwill can prevail.'

Words of Advice

With a lot of stuff I have seen going on in the blogging community lately and even in real life, I have had a few thoughts that I wanted to share. Yes, it is completely unsolicited but take them for what they are.

Love is love is love. It's that simple.

All of us Military Significant Other's need to keep in mind that even though we are super-women, sometimes our capes wont fly. Don't stress, take a deep breath and a step back and realize that what will be, will be.

Missing someone longer is not missing someone more.

If you think that taking the time to say something negative or downright mean is okay, you obviously have never considered the alternative of putting your energy into kindness, support, and love. Its like frowning instead of smiling. It takes a whole lot more muscles and makes you look ugly.