Friday, December 28, 2007

The Best Christmas Gift

We had a great Christmas. Mike was home!! The kids got most of the things on their lists. I got a nice jewelry armoire and a Wii!! We have all had so much fun playing the Wii. The kids and all the adults here love playing it. It will give you a great work out. hehe..

But I have to say, above all the gifts we received, the best was that my Mom came up on Christmas Day with one of my brothers and his family. And being able to spend that time with my Mom was all I could have ever hoped for.

My brother surprised me a few weeks ago when he called and asked if we had plans for Christmas as he and his wife and girls wanted to come visit. Originally, they were going to come on the 26th and leave the 28th. Mom got invited (YAY) and they decided to drive up on the 25th. It all worked out perfectly as we enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning with Mike, me and the kids. Then I spend most of the cooking and getting ready for their arrival. We had a great visit.

I am taking the tree down today. I need to get the house to a managable state before my surgery next Thursday. I should only be down for a couple of weeks, but it will a while before I can do any heavy stuff.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I'm looking forward to what the New Year will bring.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007


For my breast reduction!!

Surgery is set for Jan 3 at 11am...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Re-adjusting Expectations

I think we have expectations from the day we are born. As an infant, we expect that our parents will provide us with nourishment, comfort and love. As we grow, we expect them to also provide us with structure and safety. As teens, we expect that our friends will always be a part of our lives. We expect that our parents will not let us fail, or better yet, will not fail us. When we get married, we expect that our lives will be more complete. We don’t realize that a big part of the happiness we crave is the realism in our expectations.

Someone with low expectations will be surprised and uplifted when good things happen to them. Someone with high expectations may be upset when great things don’t happen. I think a big part of our experience in life is our expectations.

Growing up, I always knew I wanted children. When I had my miscarriage, I never really dwelled on the though if not having kids. I knew that it was something I wanted and I would find a way for that to happen. Luckily, my body agreed with me, and I have three healthy children. I have truly been blessed. Everything I thought of my kids’ lives, it was always in the infant, toddler or elementary school ages. Now that my kids are approaching their teens, I have to reassess my expectations. They are no longer the little kids I have centered myself on. I need to take their personalities into consideration and prepare for what’s ahead. While their lives have been great up to this point, it has been nothing like my expectations. I love the life that we are able to provide for our children.

We also have expectations when we get married. In the beginning of new relationships, we see the happily ever after. What we miss in that sight is the hard work it takes to get there. I have found that for me, communication is a major component of a successful relationship. That is to include marriage, children and friendships. When we fail to share our expectations with others, we are often left disappointed in the outcome of situations.

I often find myself frustrated with the people around me. I don’t know why I expect people to know what I want. I need to be a better communicator. It isn’t fair for me to get upset with my loved ones if I never set forth my expectations and given them an opportunity to do what I was requesting of them. This has especially been hard for me since Mike’s return. In some ways, life was pretty easy when he was gone. I knew that all the things it takes to run our family were my responsibility. If the trash didn’t make it to the road on Tuesday morning, it was my fault. If the sink was leaky and I didn’t call someone to come fix it, there was no one else I could blame. Now that he is home, I have someone with whom to share the burden of responsibility. Unless I share those responsibilities, they are still mine. The thing is I don’t know how to communicate what I need.

I hate to ask for help; mainly because I don’t want to be disappointed when something doesn’t go my way. If I do it myself and the results aren’t what I expected, I can’t be upset with anyone but myself. I don’t think I have ever learned to lean on anyone else. I wish that I could learn to let go, to not expect so much, and to communicate my expectations when I do want things to go my way.

The reality of our situation right now is that Yes, Mike is home. Yes, Mike is able to do more around the house and lift some of that burden off of me. But when it comes down to it, I am the one who is there the majority of time. I am the one who sees and knows what needs to be done. And I am the one who either needs to take care of things, ask for help, or live with things they way they are. I guess I need to take a good, long, hard look at my expectations and adjust them accordingly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Taking a Little Off

I've been thinking about getting my hair cut for while now. I didn't want to go drastic. It was to the point that I was laying on it, Mike was laying on it, I was pulling it when I sat down. It was just too much. I went in for a cut today and told the lady I wanted it to be between my shoulders and bra strap. I did straighten it this morning, so I can't say she should have known that my curls would make the cut shorter. I have to say that although it's shorter than I originally wanted, I love it!! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lost in the Action

SO much has happened since I last wrote. I don’t even know where to begin.

I got back from Hawaii and hit the ground running. Mom and Tootie were here with the kids and wanted to spend Saturday in Branson. I was exhausted from traveling, but knew that I only had one day with them before they headed back to Louisiana. We got up Saturday morning and went to post. Shawn, the guy my sister works for, wanted to see the base since he had never been to an Army installation. We took him to the outdoor weapons museum where he got to see all types of tanks and military vehicles. Once we were done there, we headed out the Springfield. We had lunch at Olive Garden before heading to the Bodies Exhibition. The kids were thoroughly enthralled by the experience. I was somewhat afraid that it would be too much for them to handle, but all three of these did great. Matthew was fascinated and even commented that he thought it would be cool if his entire class got to go as a field trip. After the Exhibition, we did a little shopping at the outlets. My kids really like Sketchers shoes and we managed to spend a nice chunk of money in their store. I also hit the Gap and The Disney Store. Our final stop for the night was The Shogun for more food. This is a Japanese restaurant where the food is prepared at your table. The kids love the show they get, I love the food! J We headed home after dinner, arriving here after 10. Sunday morning my family headed back home. The kids and I were left to get things together for the week ahead. I had been out of town for a week and had a lot to catch up on.

Upon my return from Hawaii, we had three weeks until Mike’s return. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. It had been 10 months since they had sent their Dad.

I think the thing that has floored me the most has been the realization of all the things I’ve done in Mike’s absence. All the things I had to do to get by. I think I went into a survival mode. I got a lot accomplished in the 20 months he was deployed. In the house alone, I pulled the carpet from the boys rooms and had hardwood installed, I helped with a remodel on the boys bathroom, I pulled carpet from the family room to ready it for new carpet then converted said room into a master bedroom for us. I replaced our bed, upgrading from a queen to a California king, because honestly, a man should be able to sleep in his bed without his feet hanging off! I had the windshield on the truck replaced as well as ordered new wheels and tires for the truck (which ended up being a nightmare that spanned 3 months). I finished my Bachelors degree. I also held a full time job while still being a sole parent to our children.

People would ask me how I did it all, and honestly, I just thought they were being nice. I don’t feel that I did anything above and beyond what my fellow Army spouse friends do. We do what we have to do to get through. We hold down the fort and we get through the day. We long for the next time we can log in and see our loved one. The next time the phone rings and it might be him on the other line. Those are the moments I lived for.

With his return, I expected him to have some issues re-incorporating to our schedule. His re-entry has been flawless. He has picked up the ball when I’ve needed him to. The kids have not missed a beat in being with him. It’s been nearly seamless. I have had the issues. I have had moments where I’ve laid on the bed and just balled. Maybe it’s relief. Relief that I’m not alone and I don’t have to be. Relief that he is home, he is really truly home. There was honestly a time where I doubted if we would see him again. It was a very real possibility that we could lose him at any time while he was over there. The fact that he is home and whole is amazing to me.

Upon reflection, I think the thing that I’ve had the hardest time coming to terms with is that I don’t have to do it all. I don’t have to be superwoman. I don’t have to carry it all. He is here for me to share the burden. I’ve gone through a lot of personal change while Mike was gone. I’ve done a lot of work in my head. It’s all things that I knew I needed to work out, but was afraid. I think that the fact that I had to time to go through the emotions in my head and experience what they meant without having to explain what I was going through to a partner I saw daily made a big difference. I did share those thoughts and experienced with Mike, but it was at my pace. I do think I could have done the same thing with him here. But having that time to work through it alone really helped the process.

There is so much more I want to say. There is so much more bouncing around in my head. It will have to wait until another day as I’m tired and this post is already too long. I just wanted to get something up. Hopefully, this will motivate me to post more…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"All Polynesians are Bi-sexual"

So, Mike and I are in Hawaii. The past few days have been total bliss! Our only goal was to spend time together and to reconnect. I have to say that goal has been accomplished. We have lazed around, gone shopping, gone out with friends, out to dinner, walked on the beach, watched the sunset, and even gone to Pearl Harbor to tour the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri. I would like to get out there are take more pictures of the flowers, people and beach.

Tomorrow, Mike has to 'work'. He has to go in and get some paperwork and such done. Hopefully he will find out the date that he gets to leave here and come home. I leave here on Thursday and it will be so strange to be the one getting on the plane and leaving him behind.

I have to say I miss the kids, but it has been so nice to spend time with just Mike. It is something we have never had the opportunity to do. We have been asked countless times over the last few days if we are newlyweds. I guess our love for each other really shows! :)

Last night we met a couple of Mike's friends at a bar for a while. As we sat and ate and drank, we watched this older man take 'tourists' and their camera to the side of the railing, near were we were sitting on the second floor. He would take their picture, move them to another position for another picture and take them for 'one more shot'. We watched him do this a number of times. He actually said to one group 'it's ok, all polynesians are bi-sexual'. It was all we could do not to laugh with him standing next to us. I knew it had to be the title of my next blog!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I am going

To Hawaii

On Thursday!!!!

And I will be in his arms on Friday!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Trip to the ER

Every Friday night, I get together with about 5 other women. It's always here at our house. I love to entertain and it feels great to be surrounded by friends. Well, since my surgery, I asked if we could switch houses every week since I can't keep up with everything right now. Everyone was fine with it. Last week, it was at Amy G.'s house. This week, at Amy H.'s house.

Well, we got there and the kids were all picked tomatoes in the backyard. Her house, like mine, backs up to the national forest. She even have a dried up creek bed.The kids started to wonder out and all of a sudden we hear YELLING from the kids! Jacob and Lauren are leading the pack back to the house. Jacob runs all the way around to the front door, won't stop for ANYONE. Everyone thought it was a snake. I get to Lauren first since I was at the back door and that is where she came. They are all yelling BEES, we got stung!!! It was chaotic trying to figure out what was stung. We try to get them calmed down.

Out of the six kids out there, Matthew was the only one NOT stung. Jacob and Lauren each had 4 stings. I immediately gave them benedryl and we got them to all settle down. There were a few bees that came in on clothing and the dog. We got everything under control and Lauren started complaining that she was itchy. I put her in a cool bath and she was doing alright. I gave her motrin for pain too. After about 10 mins in the bath, I was going to take her out and noticed bumps, hives. I get my friend Amy G who is a nurse to look at her. Her mouth is ok so she says we should just watch her. Well the hives got worse and she started to lick her lips. That was it, we were going to the ER.

Christina got her van, the said they had the boys and off we went. We are 6 miles from the gate to post. She did 70 or so to that point (the German in her! LOL). Once we got to the gate of post, I asked for a police escort the hospital, as it was another 10 miles or so. The MP hopped into the patrol car and lead us in. They took her right back and started to get her vitals and such. She was getting oxygen as her pulse-ox was 99. Phew! They started and IV and gave her a shot of epi. Then more benedryl and zantac (it's an antihistimine). She got pretty drowsy and finally fell asleep. They watched her for a couple hours and released us.

Now, we have to carry the epi pen with us. I hope we never have to use it!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back to Life, Back to Reality

The kids went back to school on Thursday. Surprisingly, Jacob was the most excited! :) They all like their teachers. I think it's going to be a great year.

I went back to work on Tuesday. I was in and out of meetings and back and forth to school. It was a long day, but I got to rest on Wednesday. I was pretty tired on Thursday and by Friday at lunch time, I came home for a nap. My recovery from surgery has been pretty easy, but I do find that I get tired easily. I plan to just take it slow and rest when I can or need to.

I took the kids fishing on post today. We went with one of Lauren's best friends and her Dad. Madison's Mom is currently deployed to Iraq and her Dad is a stay-at-home-dad. It's and interesting dynamic. Jacob had been wanting to go fishing and so Ed said he would take him. So, today we all took off. The picture above was taken there. It was a beautiful day. The only thing that could have made it better is if Mike had been there with us!

Speaking of Mike, he should be leaving there around my birthday. We are looking at the end of Sep/begining of Oct for his return home!! I can't wait. It had been 9 months since we last saw him and I can't wait to hold him again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


A year or so ago, somone sent a link to . Since then, I check the site every Sunday for the new postcards that are posted. This week is a video that is very moving.. go check it out..

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Moving On

I am recovering well from my surgery. I go back on Monday to get the stiches out. The worst part has been having to sleep on my back. Go figure!

The kids go back to school next week and I go back to work. Fun. This is all just a little closer to Mike coming home, so I won't complain! We are looking at early Oct for his return. I can hardly wait!!

I got a letter in the mail from insurance today. I get to go to a consult about a breast reduction. I am ready for the pain to be gone.. a little nervous about recovery... But I know it will all work out. I will call and see if they will let me use the same plastic surgeon that just did this surgery. I like him and think it would be nice to stay with the same dr. I really need to get on this...

The kids are doing well. Jacob and Lauren are ready for school to start. Matthew said he is not ready to go back and be teased. I just hope that the little turd from last year has moved or something. I hate to think of my son being miserable at this kids whim. It bites.

Mom is not doing so well. The pressure in her lungs is getting worse. It's a scary thing. They are waiting for more results to see what the next step is. If it's the pulmonary hypertention, they can adjust her meds. If it's the autoimmune disease.. there isn't much they can do. I am so torn about this.... I am trying to stay strong and at the same time realistic. She has an awful disease that she can not recover from.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Flat TV

Go there to win a 37" flat panel tv... so you can give it to me! hehe

And thank Best Buy for sponsoring the contest... :)

Falling Behind...Catching Up

We have been sooo busy lately. I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted. We left Louisiana a day late because I wasn't feeling well. We spent a week in Florida and had a blast! On the way home, we stopped for a few hours to visit a friend in Georgia. The kids got to go horse back riding and had a blast. We were home for 3 days and I left for a girls only weekend in Chicago. Amy stayed with the kids for me! It was sooo much fun!!!

I had a doctors appointment to get a consult for my breast reduction on Tuesday. I am now waiting for Tricare to call so we can set that up. Wednesday, I had a consult about a tummy tuck. Surprisingly, they had an opening the next day, yesterday... and it is done!!! I can't wait to see how it all looks next week. The drain comes out on Monday... :)

We have about 2 months left until Mike comes home... I can't wait!!! The kids go back to school and I go back to work on the 16th. I am looking forward to it as I know it will help the time go faster until Mike comes home!! :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Through out all of this, I’ve just thought... if I can make it until he comes home, I am good. If only I don’t go insane between now and then. And “then” got pushed back. Twice. And now, we are about 79 or so days away from him coming home. And I can’t believe we are this close. And at the same time, I am skeptical because we have been this close before. And I am terrified. Terrified of what demons we will face once he returns. I am so thrilled to even think of being back in the same house... next to each other. I can’t wait.

I think about the kids and how much it will mean to them to have Dad back home. To be able to help him in the garage and with yard work and just to wrestle with him like they love to do. The transition will be a challenge at times, but it will be so exciting to incorporate him back into our physical everyday lives.

My fear is the changes. The changes that have taken place in Mike as a result of his being where he is. I am aware that there have been changes on both our parts. We have both grown as individuals as well as growing as a couple. My biggest fear is the scars this deployment has left and is leaving. I’ve read about PTSD and it’s a debilitating thing. I just hope that if (and I pray it doesn’t come down to it) Mike suffers from this illness, either one of us, or both, recognizes it and is able to battle it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Zoo Days

The kids and I are in St Louis with a friend for the weekend. We took the kids to the zoo today and had a great time. I have tons of pictures. I'll post more as I go through them.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just Another Day

Crappy car news today. The van will cost twice as much as anticipated to fix. The truck still needs to go in because the transmission is leaking.

I took the kids to see Shrek the Third. It was good. They really enjoyed it. We went to the park to burn some energy before the show and then to a nice picnic area on post afterwards.. just because.

Above is a picture I snapped as we were leaving the picnic area to come home. Click on the picture to see it bigger.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week by Week

I am going to take the next few months week by week. This week my focus is getting the house organized and pulling out stuff for the yard sale here this weekend.

The kids got out of school Friday. We are all off for the summer. So far, we have spent every evening hanging with friends.. as summer should be. I hope we can relax some this summer. I have had so many changes this past year and I am hoping to get some time to reflect on all of it.

I'll try to post pics here that capture what we are doing. Here are some of Jacob and Lauren with their cowboy hats we got Saturday. I'll add one of Matthew too, while he still has his awesome mohawk! You should see it when we spike it!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


can be decieving...

Mike HAS been extended...


Monday, May 14, 2007



Mike is NOT extended.

Mike will be returning HERE!!

School's... OUT... ... I am DONE!!!

Oh, and today, I booked a ticket. For me. To fly to Hawaii. To be with Mike. Without kids. FOR TWO WEEKS~

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today I...

GRADUATED from College!!!!!

Here is a picture of me!! :) and One of me with my babies!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Make a Wish...

I wish:

... for Mike's unit to not be extended.

... for us receive orders for Mike to return here, soon.

... for peace and clairity while I finish my last three weeks of college.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I hurt
I can’t find joy
It seems to have left me

I find pain wherever I turn

I am hurting about my Mom
It’s like I am watching her die
And it is killing me

I am missing my husband
I can’t stand being apart from him

I wake up and wonder why I even get out of bed
Just another day

I watch my children and wonder if I’m good enough
If I give them enough.. not material things, but love, support
I am afraid of screwing them up

The uncertainty is daunting
I don’t know what comes next
I feel stuck in the now and I’m not happy in the now
I want to turn this page, see what is next
I want to live, move on
It’s time

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Photo Opportunity

I went out today and snapped some photos of this old house that intrigues me. I am posting a pic here. Also, a picture of purple flowers that were growing across the street from the house.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Doin' the Funk

I have been in a funk lately. It is the result of a lot of little things. Mostly I feel discontent with life. I know that sounds bad, but it’s what I am feeling.

My biggest frustration right now is that we do not know where Mike will be stationed. There is a possibility he will come back here to Missouri. It is equally possible that he will be stationed anyplace else in the world. The dilemma lies in the fact that not only do we not know, it could be up to three months before we find out. If we get orders to anywhere but here, we will sell the house. I can not do more time away, apart. If we stay here, we would like to do an addition on the house. My plan was to have it done by the time Mike returned. What do they say about the best laid plans?

Another frustration is the parenting without him here. I am just tired. I am doing my best, but I’m exhausted. Even if/when I can get away, I worry about them. It is never ending. I love my children with all of my being, but I just need some time for myself.

College is almost done. I have SEVEN weeks left. Six until I walk in graduation. I am excited about being finished. I am nervous about the student loans. I am curious about how it will feel to not have assignments due. I love learning. I do think that I could, should, give more to my studies. I should apply myself more. I just can’t find any more of myself to give.

I think the last sentence of the last two paragraphs above is what this all boils down to. I need time. I need time to stop and reflect on the past 14 months. I need time to process all the things I’ve done and been through and learned. I have changed and I need time to take account of that. I need to see where I stand without all the everyday distractions. I need time to just stop and be.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

He surprised me.

He sent me flowers!

I love him.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


So much to say, yet no words to really capture what I feel.

Mike is experiencing the loss of two more soldiers. A vehicle accident. Could have happened anywhere really. Such a tragedy. We have about four more months until we can see each other again. I am starting to look around for our tickets to Hawaii. It will be pricey, but so worth it. I want to be there when he steps off the plane. To welcome my Hero back to the US. I want to meet his ‘kids’, the soldiers he has spent the last year with. I want to let him know that I love him and I am proud of him. Of all he has done, at the sacrifice he has made for us, for his soldiers, for our country.

When I talk to Mike, it seems like all I do is say I love you. Nothing else seems to matter anymore. Everything pales when I think of what others have lost in this war. It all seems so trivial. What kind of bedspread do you want on the new bed? So trivial in the grand scheme of things. I just hope that I show his how much he means to me. That man is my life. No one has shown me the love and support that he has. He has shown confidence in me when I had none in myself. He has shown me what a beautiful person I am, because he believes in me. He has given me more love that I believe I deserve. He will be the first to tell you that he loved me first. I don’t know how true that is. Sure, he showed it first. But at the time, I was afraid to love. I was afraid of putting myself out there and being hurt again. But the love he showed me was so pure and so true; I couldn’t turn away from him. And looking back on the past 9 years, I am so thankful I followed my heart.

The past 8 months have been difficult for Mike. For all of us really, but more so for him. He is in a far away place, without his loved ones, and in mortal danger. Yes, it is difficult to do this military wife gig, to raise the kids without him here. But I have support; I have family and friends within my reach. And I am not in the danger he is in. I can’t imagine being in his shoes. Experiencing what he has. I can’t fathom what he has seen, what he has done. He has more strength that I ever thought a person could. I am proud of him. For what he does, for who he is. He went to Iraq with this group of men and women because he believed in them. He took them there out of a calling from within. And I stand here and support him. Because he is a wonderful, giving person who thinks of others before himself. He knew the sacrifices going in, and he chose to be a leader. Sure, he gets frustrated. But it is because he cares. If he didn’t, he would have stayed in Korea and would be returning to us tomorrow, the anniversary of when he left here. Instead he chose the other path. We knew it would be a longer time apart, we knew the sacrifices, and he, we accepted them.

I’ve written before how selfless this man is. I see that more today than ever. I can’t even put into words how fortunate I am to be married to him…

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Thank you, Mike. For helping me bloom.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Nature is Pruning

We are in the middle of a snow storm. We lost power for most of the evening, all night last night, and most of today. The trees, and everything else, are coated in ice. All night last night, with the silence that no electricity brings, I lay and listened to the branches and limbs cracking and falling to the ground. I was boiling water on the grill this morning when I looked up into the trees in our backyard.
Our trees are bent with the weight of all the ice accumulated on them. A lot of the branches are snapping and breaking from the weight. I thought about how this is a lot like the burdens we carry in life. We can handle a little ice from time to time. But when it all piles up on us, sometimes it can be too much. Little pieces of us tend to break off.
I know when the spring comes the trees will bloom and grow leaves. Most of the places where branches broke off will no longer be visible. We will once again see the beauty of the trees. I wonder if this is nature’s way of pruning those parts of the trees that are no longer necessary to the trees in order for them to function.
Oftentimes, when we go through a tough time in life, and our burdens seem too much to bear, we tend to lose little pieces of ourselves. We find ways to cope, ways to make it through the tough times. Once we get through those times, we often feel changed. We look at ourselves and see who we used to be and who we have become. We may miss those pieces, but we are still beautiful for who we are. Maybe that is life’s way of pruning us. Helping us to rid ourselves of those things we no longer need, the things that can be more destructive than good; and find ways of adapting to life around us.
I am sure that my trees will be fine once this storm is over. I will have to pick up those excess pieces. But I think that my tree will bloom. The leaves will cover the branches and limbs and we will appreciate their beauty once again. I just hope that I can muddle through life’s burdens. Stand strong as a tree. Bend when I need to. And though I may break at times, I hope I remember that the true beauty will come from within. And that once the winter is gone, I will once again bloom.