The Sappy One

Lately I have been reminded of how quickly life goes by. If we aren't careful, we miss out on important moments or even worse, the small, mundane moments that would have led to wonderful things. It's no surprise I've been thinking about time and life and what the important things really are. This year and especially this last month and next few months to come are chock full of huge changes and accomplishments.

I've talked about my family a lot on here and I've shared about my little brother. He's such a crazy kid that I just love to death. His name is Aaron but for the last ten years or so, I've called him Butch. I don't even remember why but its how it is.

Its kind of funny for me to think back at growing up with him and what it was like when he joined the family. See, I was the youngest of five kids for six years. There's my sister who is ten years older than I am and then 3 brothers and then there was me.

For six years.

My baby brother was born at home in 1994 and we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl. I remember being allowed to stay up super late (for me anyway) with my other siblings and we all just sat in the living room waiting and waiting. My dad finally came out at 8 something PM and said, "Well, its a boy!" I have no idea what all the other reactions were but me... I was sitting on the arm of the couch and I slapped my hand to my forehead, fell backwards on to the couch and while crying yelled, "Not ANOTHER one! I wanted a SISTER!" 

Since he is the baby of the family, he was pretty spoiled and during his toddler, 5, 6, 7, years, we had major issues with each other. Sure, we could play nice but for a long time, I felt persecuted by this little brother of mine. Throwing fits and fibbing to get me in trouble. I guess now I know how my older brothers felt about me! The older he got the more we could do stuff together and not tear each others heads off.

Lucky for me this kid has never held a grudge against me. When he was four (I think) I accidentally dropped him on his head which got split open and he needed stitches. Nice right? When he was a little older, I can't remember how old, we were at a park with our cousins. One cousin and I were babysitting the younger ones and off in our own la la land talking. Well all of the sudden I see my brother running towards us with his hand over his mouth and blood POURING all over the place. It seems he thought he was Superman and had jumped from the top of one tube slide to another but he missed. Instead of his hands and feet finding traction, his front tooth caught the plastic, dug into it and decided to stay put while the rest of him fell to the ground. His PERMANENT front tooth ripped straight through the bone and gums, root and all. Long story short, I'm lucky he wasn't kidnapped by the lady who was driving by at the time, stopped to see if we needed help and my cousin and I in all of our older sibling smarts put my brother and her little sister in this lady's car and hoped they'd be waiting at the house when we managed to get down there with the other kids and strollers. Yeah, that part of the story has been kept secret between my brother and I until now.

He has had more accidents that required stitches, plastic surgeons, and doctors than everyone else in our family combined. He once tried to pick up a rock that had landed in a bed of coals but ended up picking up a coal and his poor hand looked like it had wet tissue all over it for weeks. His finger went through a belt sander and he didn't have a finger tip or fingernail for a long time. I don't think anyone kept count on how many times his face met the pavement and the pavement won. His head met a church pew on more than one occasion and after a while, seeing his face without cuts, scratches, and scabs was like seeing Big Foot.

During my 'troubled teen' years, he always asked me if I was okay and would be the first to offer a hug when I got done having sit downs with my parents. Whenever I got hired to take care of neighbors animals while they went out of town, he's the only one who would help and not demand some of the money I made. He also was the only one at the dinner table who'd help me out on the 'green bean front'. See, I HATE green beans. More than any other food but growing up, we had to eat every bite of food put on our plates or it was early bed time and no dessert all week. No matter how I tried to eat them, I'd gag, spit them out or end up making myself sick because those things are NASTY! For my brother, he hated pasta. Well, he loved green beans and I loved pasta so as soon as my parents left the table and had their backs turned to us, we'd swap plates really quick, finish each others food, and switch plates again.

Super stealthy.

For a few years, this brother of mine and I were the only two children left at home.

My sister Amber got married when I was 9, then there was Justin who got married in 2001, Ryan who went on an LDS mission and then was living on his own when he got back and Jared who is two years older than I am and left on an LDS mission when I was a Junior in high school. That meant it was just Aaron and I at home with our parents. One year, our parents took us to San Diego and we went to Sea World and Legoland and a bunch of other places. We had SO much fun. That little brother of mine had definitely grown on me.

In 2006 when I graduated from high school, he was in 6th grade.

The night before graduation we were in my room talking and he asked what I planned on doing. At this point, I was involved with an older guy I'd been dating for a long time. I hummed and hoed around that question because my plans involved what was up to that point, a secret plan to marry this guy and move out. My baby brother in all his 12 year-old wisdom told me to make sure that whatever I did, I was happy.


I've never told him this and I don't know if he even remembers that conversation but a few months later, when I was finally brave enough to break up with the guy I was 3 weeks away from marrying, who had been anything but good to me, its that little piece of advice that helped me the most.

Thank you Aaron.

I am so glad he joined our family. I love that even though I'm older and married and 2,000 miles away, we still have an amazing relationship. He calls me all the time just to talk and it makes my day, every single time. We can talk about anything, talk about everything and he really is one of my very best friends.

My baby brother graduates from high school today. I can't hardly believe that he is old enough for that to happen... Or maybe its that I can't hardly believe that I am old enough for that to happen. My heart hurts really bad that I can't be in AZ to watch him walk across that stage, towering over everyone and get his diploma but I think he knows how much I wish I could be there.

I shared this on Facebook last month but I just have to share it with all you Lovelies too.

I have THE most amazing baby brother in the world!! For the last five years he has been learning to fix airplanes, build airplanes, and fly airplanes all while attending junior high and then high school. He's maintained a high GPA, applied to and got accepted at BYU Provo AND got awarded a half tuition, four-year scholarship.

All while working 40-70 hour work weeks he carries on a fantastic social life, takes online college courses, and attends high school. He has saved up the $10,000 it costs to serve an LDS mission, paid for himself to go to Washington D.C. and several other trips with his school, and he pays for all of his own stuff. 

He is the sweetest guy I know and is incapable of doing a single unkind thing. He was Varsity Basketball Captain, earned his Eagle Scout, and flew across the country in a plane he built. He has been working his butt off to earn his pilot's license which he'll have done by August, just shortly after graduating high school. 

He's ridden bulls, hiked the Grand Canyon, and he recently added another life accomplishment to his list by JUMPING OUT OF AN AIRPLANE AT 13,000 FEET!

It's all true too.

This kid is someone who is fearless, kind, sincere, and sticks up for his beliefs. Now that I have been writing this and crying for the last two hours, I'll wrap it up. Mr. Superman keeps laughing at me and telling me I'm acting like a mom.


He's six years younger than me, six inches taller than me, a little quirky, a lot crazy, an authentic cowboy and has done more in his 18 years than I could even think of in my 24. 

I'm sure if he were to ask me for advice I'd be at a loss. He's much wiser than I ever was and the only piece of advice worth giving to him would be his own words he spoke to me six years ago.

"Make sure, whatever you do, that you're happy."

Butch, you do me proud brother! I love you! 



Do you think there are ever moments in our lives where if we had done just one thing different, no matter how small, we wouldn't be where we are today?

Think about that.

Now do you believe that our lives are on the courses they're on because that's the way its always been planned? Maybe not destiny per say, but regardless of the decisions we've made, we are exactly where we're supposed to be? Even if we had taken the left fork of the road instead of the right, we'd still end up in the same place?

I've always had the mantra of "No Regrets!" because without every single one of the decisions and choices I've made, the people I've let into my life, I wouldn't be the person that I am right now. I've also been raised with the belief that our lives, our families, every obstacle that is thrown in our way, was CHOSEN by us, for us before we came down here to do the whole Earth thing.
I chose to lose my babies?
I chose to be raped?
I chose to not be able to have kids?

Most of the time, that is REALLY hard for me to reconcile myself to but I think deep down, I still believe it.

Back in the summer of 2009, Mr. Superman was gone at BMT and I was living with my parents in Arizona. I ended up having surgery and getting my gall bladder and appendix removed about 3 weeks before I was to drive the 17.5 hours from Gilbert, AZ to San Antonio, TX to attend his BMT graduation. While living with my parents and confined to the couch, I tried to acquaint myself with the military world. I read everything I could, blogged about my end of the BMT experience and posted his letters, discovered military blogs, joined military spouse forums and found a military spouse Facebook group that allowed you to connect with the significant others of the people that were also at BMT and would be graduating the same time as your loved one.

After weeding out the whiners and crazies, or so I thought, I began regular correspondence with 4 military wives whose spouses were going through BMT at the same time as Mr. Superman and who would all be graduating the same weekend as him. It was a HUGE relief to be able to talk with other wives that were going through all of the same emotions as I was and as his graduation drew closer, I got more and more excited to not only see my husband but to also meet these girls who seemed so nice and who had made this experience a tad easier.

Now at this time, I had never even heard any of the stereotypes regarding military wives and tales of infidelity, contract marriages, drama llamas and I had NO idea what a tag chaser was.

My good friend guest blogged for me a while back and actually inconspicuously shared her thoughts about this very thing. Drama Llamas and the very people involved in this story which you can read HERE. She says it perfectly. As new spouses to the military lifestyle, you develop friendships and trust very quickly despite the oft times shallow and superficial nature of the people in the relationship. 

Oh naivety. 

I think I just automatically assumed that other women going through this huge lifestyle change and transition just like me, would be sweet, kind, and full of pride and love for their husbands. Little did I know that one of these women would soon be a part of the most horrendous thing that has ever happened to me.

I made the long drive to San Antonio with a friend and the few days spent there were so much fun. Seeing Mr. Superman at the Airman's Run was a shock. That crazy kid had lost 35lbs and 4 1/2 inches off his waist! Watching his flight at the Coin Retreat Ceremony was the first time I experienced that overwhelming pride inside my chest. The sting of tears in my eyes, my heart beating and racing so fast I thought everyone around me could hear it, the smile so huge my face hurt. I've felt that same pride innumerable times since then and it has got to be one of the most incredible things that comes with this military lifestyle that I am SO grateful for. Being able to come down from the stands and search for my man was chaotic but the minute I saw him and got that first tight hug, everyone and everything disappeared.

In the course of all of the events that weekend, I was able to meet up with two of the four wives I had been corresponding with and it just so happened that one of them had a husband who was in Mr. Superman's Brother Flight. She was a bit young but seemed to love her husband and told me she couldn't stand to be away from her husband for another 3 months while he attended Tech School in Wichita Falls, TX so she was renting an apartment down there. I was a bit envious so without giving it a second thought, I jumped at her invitation to pay half the rent and come down there too.

See Mr. Superman every weekday for an hour or two and longer every weekend? Yes please! Plans were made for this girl to drive down to Wichita Falls and leave her belongings and car with a friend, get on a flight to Arizona where I would pick her up and she would drive with me from Arizona to where our husbands were. She made a point to let me know flying was never an issue because her mom was a flight attendant. Nice! After driving the 17.5 hours from Lackland AFB back to my parents house in Arizona, I packed everything up, picked up this new friend from the airport, loaded my car, and began the 24 hour drive to Shepard AFB.

Looking back now at my choices leading up to me being in Wichita Falls, TX on October 4, 2009, I view everything differently. Every single conversation, every single thought and nagging feeling. Certain things seem so clear and obvious now while others, I don't know if I'll ever truly understand. I told you that I have a hard time reconciling myself to the belief that before I left God, I chose to live this life I'm living. The hurdles placed in my path, the hardships I've faced, and the heartache I've felt... I chose all of it. Regardless of what you or I believe, none of us has the power to hit the rewind button or the delete button. The things that have happened to us, the things we have done, the years that we have behind us, they happened, they were, and that fact won't all of the sudden cease to be.

I was naive.
I was betrayed.
I was raped.
I was choked nearly to death.
I was humiliated.

“But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on.”
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

To read the other posts where I open up about my attack, they can be found on my 'I Am A Rape Survivor' page


How To Be The Perfect Wife

Him: Do you want to sort laundry before I go to the Post Office?
Me: Did you seriously just ask me if I wanted to sort laundry?


Him: Do you want to know why I just asked that?
Me: Hmm...
Him: Do you know how I know it needs to get done?


Him: Do you know what I wore to work yesterday?


Me: What?
Him: I had to wear an ABU top with A1C stripes on it. (He hasn't been an A1C for 6 months)
Me: Epic fail.
Him: Not on my part! Go sort laundry.
Me: Yes sir. In five minutes.

Sometimes I'm terrible at the whole domestic thing. I guess I just need to keep reminding myself of this.

Yeah right.


I Call A Do Over: Goodwill Dresser to TV Chest

I have these things called 'creative bones' and with no warning at all, I get struck with intense urges and needs to go thrifting and/or makeover everything in my path. The process usually consists of DVR or Netflix, food sitting somewhere on the floor or couch, my drill, dremel, and paint.

Inside my living room.

When Mr. Superman deployed, I got more into DIY decor and refinishing furniture. My good friend Nikki, is a seriously incredible designer and she helped me a ton in teaching me techniques and easier ways to do things.

Now that I have a collection of stuff I've done and on my To Do List I figured why not share it with my  Lovelies? 


Back in January, Mr. Superman indulged me and came with me to Goodwill. Good thing it was a week before my 24th birthday because that was good leverage in convincing him to get me this dresser. It had been professionally painted a gross brown color but it was solid wood and in great condition. 

The cupboard doors had some very unfortunate flowers carved into them and I was so impatient I wanted to come up with a creative way to cover them up rather than going to the store to get wood filler.

I hated everything I tried. 
I also repainted it about 6 times trying to get the perfect shade of mint green.

 So the chest under our TV went from THIS



 And finally to this swoon worthy beauty. 

The top middle drawer got removed, I built a platform, covered it in an antique coffee bean burlap sack, and the cable box and blu-ray player are now sittin' pretty.

The cupboard doors got a fabulous vintage wallpaper treatment with my go-to Minwax Provincial stain over the top and then the entire thing got a good distressing. 

I love that all of the other colors show through in the distressed parts. 

We'll keep her.

Linking up to these Lovelies:

The Shabby Nest