4.29.2011

Yep. That Sums It Up.

EMPTY.









Yep that about sums it up.

My womb.
Gaping hole in our lives.
Giant parts of our hearts.
The extra room in every house we've lived in.
The backseat of our car.
Countless dreams, hopes, wishes, prayers.
They are all empty.

I am so sick of waiting.
I am sick of being let down.
I am sick of curling up next to my husband and talking in circles about "What if" and "If only"

I am heartbroken that we can't have the one and only thing we've wanted for nearly four years.

It tears me up when my husband tells me that he doesn't understand why.

That its not fair that we do everything we are supposed to and get nothing but heartbreak.

That even years from now when we are finally able to afford adoption, we will have to jump through so many hoops to prove ourselves.

It hurts me so bad to know how badly my husband wants to be a dad and we can't have that.


I am so sick of being empty.

4.27.2011

Defining Words


This week starts National Infertility Awareness week. Resolve.org is asking us in the infertility and baby loss community to help bust a myth. The myth and misconception that infertility isn't a disease.

Infertility is a disease.  
Just like heart disease or lung disease. 
It has a group of medical codes all it's own.  
It affects countless women and families.
It affects me.
Its a huge part of my life.
It helps define who I am.

I've taken this list from a fellow blogger, AF Recruiting: A Wife's Point of View.

634: Spontaneous abortion (i/e miscarriage)
640.0: Threatened abortion
646.3: Habitual aborter
649.5: Spotting complicating pregnancy
773.0: Rh- (Rh factor incompatibility
628.9: Infertility female of unspecified origin
256.6: PCOS
256: Ovarian dysfunction

I want to add endometriosis, as well as MTHFR and HHT.

This is a list that defines me and my inability to have a child. 
Its something that hurts my heart and my very essence every single day.

Help dispel this myth. Share and pray.

4.25.2011

Words Of Wisdom From Mr. Superman: Terrible System Edition

Happy day after Easter. How were your Easter eggs? Mine are unfertilized. Obviously. 


WARNING: Men should stop reading now.

Yes Lovelies, he went THERE.

Keep in mind that Mr. Superman is a man so he doesn't get the whole "I just started my period, back off" thing all the time.

I come out of the bathroom with no pants on and Mr. Superman gets his hopes up.

"I just started. I need comfy pants and chocolate."
"What?! You just finished like a week agooooo."
"No it was like 2 1/2 weeks ago and periods go off of 28 days from start not 28 days from finishing."
"That is a TERRIBLE system."
"Well take it up with God. Better yet, when you're a God and make your own world, don't even have periods. Men and women alike will praise you for that alone."
"Stupid period. I thought when you came out with no pants on...."
"Not happening."

4.22.2011

Pillow Talk: Charles Barkely Meets I'm Not A Camel Edition

Yes Lovelies, I'm still here.

I know my guest bloggers ended what seems like forever ago but between Mr. Superman going back to work a couple weeks ago and me switching my sleeping schedule around again so I can spend time with him, blogging has taken a super far back seat. I'm talking more than just sitting behind the driver in a Camry backseat. I mean short kid who can't see over his brothers head in the back seat of a Suburban full of a Mormon family and 6 other screaming kids so his tiny little voice can't be heard kind of backseat. Yeah.

Regardless, I have been finding time to read just not commenting so don't think I've completely neglected you all. So Mr. Superman's back at work working mid-shift. For people unfamiliar with this lovely little time frame that means he leaves the house Sunday through Thursday at 10:30 PM and doesn't return until the following morning until about 0930 and that's if he gets let out "on time". So much for 9 hour shifts eh? That's what happens when half the base returns from deployment only to have the other half be their "relief". The base doesn't slow down too much here but it does mean more work and longer shifts with way less manpower.

Yayyy.

Our pillow talk didn't involve pillows but it was early morning when most of the world was sleeping. I texted him to let him know of a very dire situation I was facing. I was whining via text.

Warning: I am a bit crass so maybe in-laws should stop reading now. 

Me: I drank all the water and now I'm firstyyyyy
Him: So drink the fridge water lover. Just put lots of ice in it.
Me: Its yuckyyyyy
Him: You haven't even tried it.
Me: I have. Before you ever even lived here. Duh.
Him: I see. Then I suppose you might die from thirst. I will mourn you.
Me: Have fun jacking off.
Him: I won't. I will miss you turribly.
Me: Charles, you need to get water on your way home.
Him: We can go when we wake up.
Me: I'm not a camel. I need h2o.
Him: Well I cannot currently help you. AND you are a camel because you only need water like once a month or so.
Me: FALSE. You are faaaalssseee.
Him: Nope. Nope not ever.

4.16.2011

A Way To Help

I know a huge part of this military blogging community has heard about, been affected by, and has been wondering how we can help and show our support to Jessica. If you missed her final blog post, it was a heart-wrenching farewell that threw those of us who read it into a panic, trying to locate her and find out if she was okay. A few hours later, MP's who had been contacted by several bloggers, let us know she had been found in the hospital, physically unharmed which let us know it had been a preset post. After the relief of discovering she was still alive, we all began to question what we could do as a community to show our love and support. In the last week or so we have all been updated through blog comments by Jessica's parents. Today I received an email from them and wanted to pass it along.

"To all the wonderful people who responded to Jessica on her "Misadventures of an Army WIfe" blog,
John and I want to thank all of you for the kind words you have posted on Jessica's blog.  Jessica is currently in the hospital for an unknown length of stay and will require continued therapy afterwards.  I was able to visit with her for about 1 1/2 hours on Thursday, 14 April, and she is starting to realize her actions last week as well as the events that led to her depression and suicide attempt.  I did print out all your comments from her blog and was able to give her a hard copy.
One of Jessica's friends had a great idea that John and I are following up on....an Easter Basket filled with notes and cards of encouragement, empathy, stories, understanding or good 'ole humor!  If we could be so bold to the virtual community, we would like to ask you to send your thoughts, notes, cards, etc. to the P.O. Box below that we have now established:
I will gather them into an Easter Basket of Cheer for Jessica this week to continue to let her know she is not alone nor are the events she experienced isolated to just her. 
Please do not send gifts or money....just your words of encouragement and prayers.
Please let the word spread.....
Thanks again to all you,
 --  From the parents of Jessica....John in NM and now Janein SC"

4.13.2011

Words Of Wisdom From Mr. Superman: Cleaning Edition


Mr. Superman: I really love having the house be so clean.
Mrs. S: Oh yeah?
Mr. Superman: Yeah but I don't like to actually clean.
Mrs. S: Hmmm. Imagine that.

It's a good thing he married me now isn't it?

4.12.2011

Kitchen Magic With Merrill Family Deep Thoughts

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today, I have my cousin! Yay for family right?! I wish I was super domesticated like her. She's like supermom with twin boys and doing all this fabulous food savvy stuff. Enjoy!!

So, our lovely Mrs. S. or as I call her, Rachelle, is my cousin. Our mothers are sisters and we grew up in a very large extended family seeing each other at massive Thanksgiving meals, family reunions in the summertime and our Aunt Kay's gigantor gift-givings at the annual Christmas parties. I love staying in touch with her and reading about all her adventures here on her blog and on Facebook. So, I was honored to be given the chance to do a guest-blog post and hope you like it. My family blog is Merrill Family Deep Thoughts, where I document the goings-on in my family and crazy mind.

My life is busy. I am a wife, which can keep you busy. Last year, I became a mother, which can keep you even busier. I am a mother to 15-month old TWIN boys, which undoubtedly keeps me busier than I could ever imagine.

Since I stay home with my boys now, I have taken on the task of becoming more domestic, especially in the kitchen. I wanted to start meal-planning, sticking to a grocery budget, start contributing to food storage and have fun with trying new meals. The tricky part was achieving all of that within money and time constraints. When you add two more mouths to feed and take away a full-time salary, the grocery budget gets a bit tighter. As you can also imagine, I don't have all day long to tend to the affairs of the kitchen. So, I started developing ways I could save money, save time and most of all save my SANITY, when it comes to food and organizing my kitchen.

I would never claim to be an expert in this arena. I am not reinventing the wheel here and some of you probably do some of these very things that I have only recently discovered and you probably do it better. I am an admitted Google-junky and much of what I do now was found by doing an online search. But, I wanted to share my strategies that I have come up with to help me and my family. Here we go!


Inventory

Knowing what you have in your kitchen can be invaluable knowledge. It helps you on a daily basis, when you need to throw a meal together quickly. It also is great when meal-planning and making a grocery list. I used to get so mad at myself for buying something at the grocery store, only to get home and realize I already had plenty of it. Keep track of what you have on hand in your pantry, refrigerator(s) and freezer(s). Post it in a convenient place and update accordingly, as you use items. I taped my lists directly onto my freezer or the inside of my cupboards. When you use up an item entirely, put it on your re-stocking shopping list.

Online Resource: Organized Home Checklists
This is a website that has checklists for your entire house, but in my case, I mainly use the kitchen inventory sheets. It has inventory sheets for your freezer and pantry, shopping checklists and weekly menu planners.

Buy Fresh Produce

This is the only food group that I am going to mention specifically, but I think it is the most important. It’s healthy for you and your husband and your kids and your grandkids and for everybody! When you buy produce that is in season and on sale, you will not spend as much as you think. You reap the immediate benefits of fresh and yummy produce, but also the long-term benefits of healthier eating. I get most of my produce from a food co-op that has weekly baskets of produce to buy. There are food co-ops, farmer's markets and grocery store ads that can give you great produce buys. Research what your options are in your area and see what you can find.


Online Resources

Co-op Directory Listing

This is a great website to discover where food co-ops are in your area. Food co-ops are usually ran by volunteers and pool resources together to get everyone the best produce at the lowest prices.

Bountiful Baskets


This is the food co-op that I belong to. I have fallen in love with this organization and anybody who is friends with me on Facebook will see my weekly pictures of all the goodies I get. Baskets start at only $15/week and they operate in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.



Meal Plan

This can be easier said than done. Everybody has their own methods. I prefer to wait until I get my produce basket for the week and then plan what we will eat that following week. You might want to use the weekly grocery ads and see what is on sale first. Any way you want to start out, follow that up by using your pantry/freezer items and your fresh produce to plan 5-6 meals for the week. I like to leave at least one day open for leftovers or special occasions, if needed. Get ideas from everywhere: a recipe book, a website or your own mind.

Online Resources

Allrecipes 


I know that we all have our favorite recipe websites. Allrecipes.com is on the top of my list. Besides having great user reviews, the ability to customize recipes for your family sizes and pictures of almost every recipe, it has a great feature called, Ingredient Search. You can quickly type in asparagus and that chicken breast you have in the fridge and find a delectable recipe to make! I just typed those two items in and got a result of 41 recipes. It is genius.

Supercook.com


This website takes the idea of an ingredient search and kicks it up a notch. You can enter EVERYTHING in your kitchen and it will automatically find online recipes that you can make. The more you add, the more specific the recipes can be. It even tells you which recipes you can make right now, because you have all the ingredients in your kitchen already.

Printable Meal Planner 


I found this cute printable meal planner and loved the idea of using it on a weekly basis. Just print it out, laminate it and use dry-erase markers to keep track of your weekly meals. If you don't like this meal planner, find one you do like and hang it in your kitchen somewhere. It helps you and everyone else in your house stay on track and know "what's for dinner?".


Prioritize Needs

I break down my shopping into three categories:
  1. Staples-whatever your needs are on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. For example, in our house we get lots of whole milk, bananas and Cheerios as our weekly staples.
  2. Meal Needs-whatever you need to make your dinners for that week.
  3. Re-stocking/Food Storage Needs- items that have run out in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer. Also a good way to regular build your food storage.
Shop Smart

Depending on my budget, I can choose to buy from one, two or all three categories. Some weeks, I only buy the staples and fresh produce and make meals with only what I have in my kitchen. Other times, I may buy a few items to complement my meals. When I have extra money in the budget, I will focus on re-stocking those items I have run out of or even building on my food storage. My next goal is to start setting aside a little money each week to put towards a food storage plan.


Online Resource

Food Storage for $5 a Week 

This is just one of the countless plans you can find online for food storage. It is easy and only uses $5 or less, on a weekly basis, to build your food storage. It's a good beginner's stage, which is definitely where I am at.

Food Prep

When I get home from grocery shopping, I make sure to not only organize and store food in a way that makes life easier, but that can also save money in the long run. If you bought a big package of meat, break it down into separate freezer bags to make it last for several different meals. If you have a lot of produce, wash it, cut it and store it in the way to make it last longer. For example, I have noticed that if I just stick a head of celery in my fridge as it came, it wilts quickly. But if I take the time to wash it, cut and trim the ends and store it in a re-sealable bag, it lasts much longer.


Online Resource

Produce Freshness Chart

I follow this chart religiously. I have it posted on my fridge and store every piece of produce accordingly. I never knew that cantaloupes should be kept in the fridge or that cucumbers should be kept out on the counter. Since I started following this chart, my produce lasts SO much longer. It is even color-coded for added convenience.

Be Resourceful

Try to not waste ANY food if possible. If it comes to the end of the week and you just don’t have a use for a food item, try to use it in a recipe that you can freeze for later or even give away to a neighbor. Use those overripe bananas to make banana bread for your neighbors. Squeeze those oranges and freeze the juice for recipes later. Try a new recipe with the odds and ends you are left with at the end of the week and you may be pleasantly surprised. At the end of the week, I will even start googling my leftover foods to see what I can freeze. I have orange zest, green onions and turkey stock in my freezer, because I didn't want to throw anything away! I was surprised when I discovered how much I could actually freeze, if I did it right. Another great way to be resourceful is canning your food. This is an area that I have just starting scratching the surface of, but am excited for the possibilities.



So, there you have it. My (not really) secrets to having an organized kitchen and meal plan that can save you money, time and sanity. As you can see, there aren't really any new concepts here. Just a pooling together of strategies and ideas to help us all out. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at skrd116 at gmail dot com.

Thanks again to Rachelle for asking me to do this. Hope you enjoyed it!

4.11.2011

MilGirl Status With Semper Gumby... The Return of Sunshine!

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. I'm so happy to have Reina here tody. She's a dear friend. When we talked about what she wanted to write about, I was stoked because it hits home with me. Before Mr. Superman deployed I had felt very targeted on several occasion from other MilGirl's. I was told we had it so easy and didn't understand military life because we had never gone through a deployment. So thank you Reina for writing about this!!


MilGirl Status

You're a Miliie/MilGirl, you're proud of your guy for serving our country! Damn right you are! Have you wondered, though, that there are "types" of MilGirls out there.  Even if you don't necessarily think this way, there might be others around you, in your real world or in your bloggy world.  This isn't true of ALL MilGirls; I'm just identifying something that I've observed, a vibe that I've felt...

I've found that other MilGirls judge you based on whether or not your guy's been deployed. They judge you if YOU haven't survived a deployment with him.  They judge you that you're "only dating" a sailor. They judge you because you're a Coast Guard wife, the "other" military service. 

I am attending program for Social Work in hopes that someday, I can become a civilian military social worker.  I started an organization devoted to students at the school to be able to learn about military specific issues as related to social workers in the field.  I am clearly committed and passionate about the topic of serving military service members and military families. I'm also waiting to marry my Marine.

Unfortunately, from the early days of my relationship with Dave, I have struggled with the judgmental, condescending messages from other MilGirls.  No, he's never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.  He has deployed on other missions.  He has served his country honorably and he intends to do so again as an officer.  He has volunteered himself when volunteers were needed for relief missions such as Haiti.  Sometimes, you just don't get picked.

The thing is, though, that it's not about the Marine, or the Soldier, or the Sailor, or the Airman. It's about the larger mission. It's about America and the World. They play a vital part in the functioning of the machine so that those who are on the front lines can do their job. They are also the ones holding down the fort in other lonelier parts of the world.  So, to say that you haven't served as a service member or a family of that service member for their DAILY SACRIFICES, is ignorant and tragic.

Perhaps it's an insecurity on these MilGirls' parts that they feel superior to anybody whose man hasn't been deployed. Or, maybe they feel like they need to strut because they don't have anything else going for them but their service member that they're proud of (which is not to say that that's not something to be proud of...).  If you want to compare the effects of deployment vs. non-deployment, clearly, there are some significant levels of trauma that need to be accounted for; however, there are also significant changes in lifestyle that can also result in severe mood disorders that are manifested in the service member or the family. You're comparing apples to grapefruits, really. They're both fruit.

I think it's completely and utterly unnecessary to compare.  It's one thing to talk about your experiences through deployment or sharing stories, but those people who are being judged sure as heck don't feel like you are better than them.  Because, we're all Team America. We buy into all of it and in the end, we are on the same side. We cheer for our guys and gals. It doesn't matter what your service member is doing to serve his country, he's serving just the same.  We are all proud.

4.08.2011

Deployment Clock With Goodnight Moon

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today I have Amber from Goodnight Moon. I love this woman. She is so honest and says what most people are too scared to. She's hilarious and has four of the most delicious chickens she calls her own.

You know the dreaded “D” word….D.E.P.L.O.Y.M.E.N.T.

It just glooms over your head like a storm cloud, where most days it actually thunder storms down on
you but on some days you might have a rainbow peeking out. Those rainbow days are awesome and
you hold onto those days as long as possible because you know that before long, another storm cloud is going to be lurking over your head.

While you’re going through your deployment, it seems like the days are never ending and the hours go
by so slowly during the day. Once you “x” off your days and are finally at the end of a month, you flip the calendar over only see another slew of days you have to get past. It is exhausting.

But have you noticed that when you are going through your deployment, the days/weeks/months just
lag on and on and on? But when you’re “SO” is home, and somebody else you know is going through
their deployment, it seems like their time went by super fast? It’s like “wow, your deployment went by
so fast, didn’t it feel that way to you”? The answer is always no! No, my deployment didn’t go by fast, it lagged and it sucked the life out of me from time to time.

But once you’re “SO” is finally home with you, safe in your arms, you realize that it seems as though no time has passed at all. All those months of being without one another, only seems like a mere memory. As if no time has passed at all.

So even though it may seem as if someone else’s deployment is going by fast for YOU, it never is for the person who is going through it themselves.

4.07.2011

My Blogging World With Hold On, Love

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today I have the lovely Beka from Hold On, Love. She is incredibly charming and one of the sweetest Lovelies I have. I asked her for her take on a peek inside her blogging world.

"Q: I was wondering if maybe you'd want to write about how you got started in blogging, what kinds of blogs you read, what attracts you to reading those blogs..."

A: I just procrastinated a little bit and watched/listened to this song by the civil wars; one of my favorites in the music world. Why on earth would I do that? Procrastinate? Heck, it's only the first time I've ever guest-posted, and it was the lovely Mrs. S. who emailed me with the request. My goodness, I got excited :) I've loved her blog for a while. So....before I put this off till tomorrow or the next day with an excuse such as a blank brain or something, let me say a couple things: I'm beka, and I love to blog, I love to write, cook, bake, paint, take walks, brew coffee, and photograph all of the above.

So, when I started blogging . . . it was not for me. I set up a blogger account to co-write a webzine type of blog for young women: cameratismo. Too bad everyone's lives got super busy and we hardly posted after it got started up.  My first post for my blog was on September 13 2009. It was lyrics from a song I was obsessed with at the time. (It's still a really really good song.) But within a few months, I was . . . hooked. Though yes, I admit, I freaked when, at around 12 followers, a linkless follower clicked that f-button. For a while I was wondering if I should go private, if there were creepers out there reading my stuff. I've since gotten over that. I questioned a blogger friend up and down about her take on it all, and I felt safe with the advice she gave. Ha. I've posted recipes, paintings I've done, days that were beautiful, and random scenes and stuff that struck me as funny...such as some of the ones with the label siblings. ;)

The kind of blogs I read varies . . . Mainly, blogs that post things that I'm interested in, or blogs that are written by friends, and thus, I enjoy reading them no matter what. So. If I comprised a short list of subjects of blogs I follow? It would be mommy blogs, foodie blogs, military blogs, photography blogs, traveling/European blogs, decorating blogs, and you all know those just plain old freaking creative blogs.

The top things that attract me to the blogs I read are: The aesthetics of the site. Relatively clean, unjumbled (yes, I just made that word up ;), organized, purposeful, and, to an extent, carrying the taste and personality of the author. --Still talking about the look of the blog, not yet the actual content.
And if it's only one or two of the above characteristics mentioned, and I follow it, you know I find the writing worth it all. I'm a person who prefers space to think and read the blog, not be cloistered.

*laughs at self*

I love it when I find a blog where the writer, whether practiced or not, just says it as it is. Whether they're poetic, blunt, or just everyday, they're usually one or two of those together. Heck, you might run into a really wonderful blog where the author happens to (subconsciously) be all three.

Photos attract me. Food attracts me. Beautiful people do, too. Writing, most of all, has attracted me.
People have diverse ways of saying things. They have different --or completely mirrored-- thoughts about the same general subject, and yet their heart can come through in the writing, and the shades and tints of speech and phrases are different . . . and that's what makes it lovely.

I love that there are different styles, different feels to the text and emotion that is published. Yeah, I was kind of obsessed with the word different.

This was a pointed post, and my normal blog posts have the tendency to be quite random. And sometimes amusing. So, there you have it: some of the whys and hows of my blogging experience thus far.

4.06.2011

Reintegration With Wife on the Roller Coaster

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today we have celebrity status Wife from Riding the Roller Coaster. If you haven't heard of her and you are in the Milie world, I consider you crazy or living under an internet rock. She is one of my favorite bloggers of all time, a phenomenal writer, and a great friend.

Thank you so much Mrs. S for having me as a guest again!

Reintegrating Roller Coaster Style

We all know that sending our husbands off on a deployment is a huge adjustment. And most of us have learned that homecomings also involve a unique set of adaptations. Well it seems I have a knack for making those reintegration readjustments even more complicated by throwing my own personal life changes into the mix.

When my husband returned from his first deployment, my visions of romantic first kisses, cheek-numbing smiles, joy-filled tears, rib-breaking hugs, and repeated I love you’s all came true. As we cuddled in bed together that first night, I truly believed that everything would magically fall back into place and we’d pick up where we left off 6 months earlier. And I was crushed when that didn’t happen.

I kept telling myself that my husband wasn’t the same person he was when he left, that I didn’t know how to talk to him anymore. But somewhere along the line I realized that I wasn’t the same person either, that maybe he didn’t know how to talk to me. When the deployment started, I was a na├»ve new mom of a 6-month-old. I had just started my student teaching, only a semester away from graduating with my master’s degree. But by the time the deployment ended, my graduation had come and gone, and I was a stay-at-home mom with little adult interaction or intellectual stimulation. I was still trying
to adjust to my transition from full-time student to full-time Domestic Engineer when I suddenly had to learn how to be a full-time wife again. My life had completely changed since the last time I saw my husband.

Flash forward 6 years later to another deployment. This time around we were older and wiser. We both knew what to anticipate before, during, and after the deployment, and I dialed down my homecoming expectations. But I realized that once again, I was coping with another major transition in my own life that coincided with Mr. Roller Coaster’s reintegration. The first time around I was transitioning from student to full-time mom. This time, I was transitioning from full-time mom to working mom.

In a way, the timing couldn’t have been worse. I mean, this was a major lifestyle change for me, and I was doing it in the midst of reintegration when everyone was trying to figure out life as a family again. How was I supposed to reconnect with my husband when I was going through my own identity crisis? How would he feel returning to a wife who suddenly had a different schedule and different priorities than what he was used to?

But in a way, the timing was perfect. We had to get to know each other again anyway. Why not start the introductions with the new me? And I felt that being honest and opening up to Mr. Roller Coaster about my fears and anxieties toward joining the working world again helped to open up the lines of communication that had grown a little rusty during the deployment. Sometimes all you need is a simple conversation starter, and once the words start flowing, they take on a life of their own.

Readjusting to life after a deployment is always a bit tricky, regardless of whatever else may be going on in your life. Men and women have to learn how to be man and wife again after months of living apart. But with a little bit of time, a little bit of patience, and whole lot of humor, normal life does resume. And in the meantime, you get to fall in love with each other all over again.

Now I wonder what my next major life change will for the next deployment. Maybe best-selling author? (Hey a girl can dream right?)

4.05.2011

Surviving Deployment on an Island With G.I. Joe's Wife

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today I have the beautiful Sarah from G.I. Joe's Wife. She and I have a lot in common and I just adore her. Her middle name happens to be my first name, she was born in England, and she lives in Hawaii. She's the bomb diggity so show her some lovin'.



Surviving Deployment on an Island


Just after we arrived in Hawaii last year, we were informed that my husband’s unit was deploying in a few months. Even though we’d heard rumors, the news was still shocking. How can it not be? What hurt me most was that the Army was taking him again. We’d been separated through BCT and most of AIT (which he’d just finished) and yet they were making him deploy for 12 months already...

When he left, I knew a total of 3 people on this island. Two were wives from Joe’s company. One of the company wives is a woman I’ve referred to on my blog as Annoying Wife. After a week I realized that her negativity was influencing me and I stopped responding to her 9 bazillion FB messages and texts. The other I just didn’t know how to contact. So, that left me with one friend on this island - Mrs. C.

Lucky for me, we’d met via email and phone calls before Joe and I even moved to Hawaii. Her hubby (also named Joe) was nice enough to help us out with some issues we were having before we PCSed. Once we got here, they picked us up and showed us around a bit. After my hubby deployed, Mrs. C helped me quite a bit. She came over and helped me make my house look like a home. We unpacked, through things away, hung up pictures and even locked ourselves out of the house. =) She watched me freak out when my Papa was put in the hospital and I didn’t have Joe here to lean on. She’s quite a friend, that one.

My bestie, Melissa, came to visit for my birthday during July. I don’t think I would have survived that week without her. She kept me really busy and having someone else in the house was very comforting. After she left, I suddenly had nothing to do. I had tons of time on my hands and too many thoughts in my head. As many of you Millies know, this is not a good thing!! At that point, I still didn’t have any kind of talking routine with Joe and I was still pretty concerned about Papa.

Before Joe had left, I decided that I’d volunteer on post. The job market here isn’t the greatest and, honestly, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to teach here. Plus, I’d heard they were already downsizing. No point in trying, really. Around the middle of July, I went to ACS. I wanted to help out there, but they were full. I was given a list of places that accepted volunteers. As I looked through it, I realized that there was a museum on post!

In an attempt to stay busy, I did several things: I decided I’d take on volunteering at the museum 3 days a week for 3 hours. It’s not much, but it breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to. I also joined the spouses’ club on post, thanks to Chantal. Through her, I also met several
other spouses who have become my closest friends here. We don’t spend just a whole lot of time together, but it’s nice to have other people to talk to about deployment... Their husbands are “over there” with mine, just not in the same unit. I wound up becoming the company FRG’s co-leader as well. It wasn’t something I was thrilled about taking on, but it hasn’t been too bad yet. =)

As much as I try to keep myself busy, it’s still very hard being here alone. I have friends, I have “work,” and I have things to do around the house. It’s never the same though. My house is always empty except for the rare occasion when someone graces it with their presence.

The absolute hardest thing about being here is the lack of contact with friends and family back home. Hawaii is in a terrible time zone. Currently, I am 6 hours behind the east coast and 5 behind CT, where our families and friends live. Half a day. When I usually want to call someone, it’s already 8, 9, 10 at night their time. It makes communication really difficult. Plus, there’s the “out of sight out of mind” thing that happens when you don’t live in the circle. This is going to sound bitter, but it’s the truth. I’m often the last person in the family to know anything that’s going on. On my side, it’s because I’m just not there. On Joe’s it’s either because 1) I’m not there or 2) they’ve mentioned it to Joe and he either forgot or hadn’t talked to me in days. It’s hard to take when you’re used to being in the middle of everything.

I often feel very secluded here. In fact, I’m technically stuck on this island. I can’t go for a 3 hour drive and wind up in another state. I can’t pick up and go visit anyone without it costing $1000. Vice versa if someone needed to get to me. I think I would probably feel different about this place if I’d been able to
experience it with my other half. For the most part, I feel trapped and alone. Even if that isn’t the complete truth.

Despite the crapiness of the situation, I feel like I’m pretty well adjusted. I got out on my own and made friends. I started volunteering. I found a church home for us. I turned these white walls into something a little more colorful. I’ve learned my way around, for the most part. Deployment is an odd thing in itself, and it’s different for all of us.

At the end of the 4 to12 month deployments, all milspouses are the same: We just want our husbands safe in our arms, where they belong.

4.04.2011

Military Wifey Survey

1. How long have you been a military wife? A little over two years!

2. What branch of service is your husband? Air Force

3. Active/Reserve? Active Duty

4. What is his job? Munitions Systems (AMMO) working Line D. IYAAYAS!!

5. How many deployments have you gone through? We are nearing the end of our first one.

6. Camo or Dress uniforms on your man? He looks good in both but I love cami's with the sleeves rolled and I love him in his Dress Blues but with the casual zip up jacket.

7. What do you like about being a military wife? Oh I don't know. I just love the military life. I am just so incredibly proud of being married to someone a part of this world. He's everything.

8. Do you live on base? Nah the base housing we qualify for is tiny and trashy. We love living off base.

9. What is your favorite base so far? We are currently at our first, Moody AFB. Its pretty good. Small but nice enough. We are just excited to see where this life takes us.

10. What is the hardest part of the military life? Always being put on hold, never being able to make concrete plans, long separations....

11. Do you go to the grocery store or Commissary? Um mostly Walmart but meat and produce bought at the Commissary.

12. Do you work or stay at home? I'm a house wife! We both love it this way.

13. Do you have a lot of military wife friends? Nope, my bloggy friends are my milspouse friends! I have a few Milie friends IRL but not a whole ton. Too many bad experiences with drama llamas.

14. Do you prefer Walmart or the BX/PX/NEX/MCX? Walmart for sure. Our BX is really small but shoot if we had on like at Lackland, it'd probably be opposite.

15. How did your husband propose? I proposed with a Taco Bell packet after a few months dating ;) Ha ha but really, he got on his knee in my parents foyer. I thought he was kidding until he held the ring out.

16. Did you marry him after he joined or before? Before. We always knew he'd enlist, it just all depended on when we felt the time was right.

17. How long have you been together? Since September 2006

18. Any kids? 3 angel babies

19. Any kids yet to come?  We pray for a miracle every day. There is nothing we want more.

20. Is your husband one of those "I am soldier hear me HOOAH" kind of guys? Ha ha not really. He's proud and he does his job but I am way more about the HUA than he is.

21. Have you ever done combatives with your husband? He says he has batter spouse syndrome from me. Bah!

22. How many bases have you lived at? This is his first duty station but I was at his Tech School base for 2 months.

23. If you could change one thing about the military? Organization/scheduling

24. Do you like military balls? I want to go to one so badly but Moody rarely does them. They did one right after he deployed so a lot of good that did us.

25. Where does your family live? All of my immediate and most of my extended live in Arizona. His family lives in Utah and a few other states.

26. What do you do for a job? Superwife! I watch kids every once in a while and getting ready to start school again :) 

27. Have you ever gotten in a fight with an NCO's wife? Nope. I steer clear of drama llamas.


28. Name one thing you do when your husband is gone. Ha! Mostly a whole lot of nothing. I do a ton of DIY projects with furniture, painting, I thrift more...

29. Do you think other wives do that too? I think most military spouses do what they can to stay busy and be productive every once in a while. If anything helps pass the time, its staying busy.

4.01.2011

TTC With The Annoyed Army Wife

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today I have the incredibly charming Annoyed Army Wife. She cracks me up and I love her sarcastic, blunt, snarky posts because she's just like me. Michelle just welcomed her own hubby so a big fatty congrats to her too!
I’ve been following Mrs. S. for quite awhile now, I’ve checked out her pages, which I highly recommend you do.  One of the first posts I read by Mrs. S. was a guest post she did on Flip Flops & Combat Boots.  I cried.  I didn’t comment because I was such a newbie blogger at the time, but I sat down and cried for a woman I didn’t even know.  I started following Mrs. S's blog that day.  I highly recommend you read By November if you haven’t yet. 
Some of you may know me as the annoyed army wife.  If all goes well I should be reuniting with my deployed husband, OccDoc, right about now.  He’s been deployed in Afghanistan working as a battalion surgeon for about 7 months now.  I had the great pleasure of meeting Mrs. S. in real life, and we totally bonded over some fabulous cupcakes.  Mrs. S. wanted me to write something funny and sarcastic about infertility; I kind of missed the mark, but I hope you enjoy my rant, nonetheless.
OccDoc and I have been trying really, really hard to get pregnant for awhile now.  We aren’t one of those couples who are just not not trying, we are actively trying.  We hit our one year TTC (Trying to Conceive) anniversary 4 days before he deployed.  I was hoping for a miracle and a BFP (big fat positive) after he left, but Aunt Flo arrived and my hopes were dashed.  Cue massive amounts of wine drinking and mounds of soggy Kleenexes.  We’ve been on a seven month ‘break’ from TTC, um, considering we’re on separate continents.  We’re planning to just ‘relax’ for about 3 months once he’s back, then we’ll head off to the doctor for some fertility/infertility workups. 
Shortly after we got married (the second time) we told our family and friends we were waiting until OccDoc was out of the Army to have a family, he’s so not a lifer.  After crunching some numbers and realizing we weren’t getting any younger (who knew?) we decided to start actively trying after I graduated from massage school.  Girls at my school were getting knocked up right and left, so I assumed we’d have no problem.  Yeah, you know what happens when you assume.
Here we are 18 months later and our stupid home office is still just a stupid home office instead of a nursery.  Hopefully by the time this post goes live I will have reunited with OccDoc and we’ll be busy gettin’ busy, if you know what I mean.  Ha ha!  Of course TTC always makes hearing the news that a friend, a family member, another blogger, or some random drug addict on the street is pregnant pretty hard to take.  I want to be happy for them, and I genuinely am happy for them, but at the same time I wonder why they got to be so lucky and I’m just getting screwed (pun intended).  I read on a blog one time that I shouldn’t be upset when I hear the “So and So’s Pregnant!” news because that ‘pregnant woman didn’t take the last baby off the shelf,’ but it still stings. Even though I smile and say ‘Congrats’ I’m crying on the inside. 
One of the hidden treasures of this deployment is that people have finally stopped asking if OccDoc and I are trying to have a baby.  Could you please twist the knife a bit more with your questions?  Do you know how much that questions rips through the heart and soul of someone TTC?  Do you know how much someone TTC wants to bitchslap you when you tell them to ‘relax’?  I’m a massage therapist who meditates twice a day and gets weekly massage for crap’s sake, you can’t get much more relaxed than that.  So, Eff Off and YOU go relax.  I hope you all have a lovely day, and I thank Mrs. S. for hosting me today, now I’ve gotta run and see if I’m ovulating…