Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Thankful Thursdays post. I have had plenty to be thankful for, but I admit that I’ve been letting all the “to-dos” get in the way of focusing on my blessings. So today I am taking a few moments to think about what I am thankful for and to encourage you to ponder all the things that are making your life great right now.

This week I am thankful for:

1. Spring. It is absolutely gorgeous in this area this time of year! Cherry blossoms, azaleas, tulips...there are blossoms everywhere! Simply stepping outside and taking it all in is enough to remind me to be thankful.

2. My family. My husband and kids are the greatest part of my life.   

3. Time. Usually I don’t consider time a good thing because it always passes too quickly. But I have realized that if I step back and let time work for me instead of against me, I can calm my worries and feel much more relaxed and content.

4.  Friends. Friends who listen to what I have to say, who are there to help me when I need it, and who give me something to look forward to. Time spent with friends is always better than time spent without!

5. Moving. Yes, we are moving again, but this time just a few minutes down the road. Every time we move it gives me the chance to go through all our stuff and find what we don’t need. Getting rid of unused stuff not only de-clutters my house, but also helps to de-clutter my mind too.

6. Military life. It continues to humble me and teach me more than I ever dreamed possible about perseverance and perspective. I am so happy that this is the path my life has taken!
I'd love to hear what you are feeling thankful for this week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why I Hope I Never Grow Up

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post. When I started this blog, I didn’t have any preset expectations, I just knew that I needed an avenue to write down my thoughts and hoped to inspire other military wives along the way. Now, I am thrilled to have been able to do so for an entire year.
A few weeks ago I read through some of my first posts. It’s funny how I am the one who wrote them, yet when I revisit them it's as though I am reading someone else’s post for the first time. It’s also funny how I was so confident in what I knew then, but one year later I can see how much more I had to learn. And there’s still even more.
Military life is unique in that it is constantly changing. Even if we do happen to be stationed at one place for several years, there are still many other things which fluctuate creating challenges and frustration. Military wives constantly change along with these things. Just when we think everything is finally going smoothly and we can relax a little bit, something changes forcing us to adapt and persevere along with it. We can learn so much about one situation and think that we know it all, but as soon as the tides turn we go from professor back to pupil and start the learning process all over again.
I hope that I never become too proud to think I know it all. I hope that I remain humble and willing to continually learn from life’s changes. I hope that I will never truly grow up. Because being grown up, to me, represents finality. It means reaching the point when I can no longer mature. I don’t ever want to be in a place where I feel like there is no more that I can learn.
 Last year, I knew some. This year, I know even more. But there is still plenty to learn through this military life and I cannot wait to see what lessons the future holds.

Happy Anniversary A Chance To Bloom!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Here. This is where I am right now. Not in the past that I find myself so desperately missing sometimes, not in the future where I wonder where this life will take me. I am here at this table writing these words. I am alive and I feel good. My kids are safe. My husband loves me. Here is where I should desire to be. Even when this moment passes and there is a new definition of here, that is where I should want to be. No stumbling over the past, no worrying about the future, but just enjoying the present and knowing that everything is going to be okay. It always is. I may not be very old, but I have lived long enough to know that. Here is the only moment that is in my control and the only moment I need to consider. Everything else will have its own here. Here as I stare out the window at the freshly budding leaves on the trees and the bright green grass of spring, I am happy.
Five Minute Friday is a blogging event started by Lisa-Jo Baker. Each Friday she picks one word to write about for five minutes, no editing, no backspacing, no overthinking. This week's word really spoke to me, and I actually had five minutes to do it, so I decided to join in. 

The Post I Hope My Husband Doesn't Get Mad About

Until now, I have hesitated to write any posts about relationships. Although relationship topics are big among military wives because they often have to be placed second to their husbands’ careers, I haven’t felt comfortable revealing my thoughts and feelings on such a personal subject. Plus, it is an area in which I don’t even come close to knowing all the answers!

But this past week has been an eye-opener for me. My husband, after being home from deployment for fifteen months, left for a one-week training exercise. Any military wife will tell you that fifteen months is a long time for a husband to be home. I consider us lucky that our family has been able to be complete for so long. However, I cannot deny that part of me was looking forward to a week apart from one another. With him having been around so much, I felt like I needed a break from the extras that need to be done when he’s home, like more laundry, more dishes, more picking up clothes and shoes. I felt like I needed some time to myself. I felt like I needed a rest from all those little things he does that make me so mad sometimes.

And then he left. When gave me a kiss goodbye as I lied in bed Sunday morning, I immediately began missing him. I expected to miss him as the week went by, but not so soon. As the kids and I began our usual Sunday routine, knowing that he wasn’t somewhere in the house ready to turn the corner got me choked up. The kids began asking when daddy would be home, and it was only the first of seven days. Looking at the week ahead knowing I would have to face the usual struggles with the kids on my own, I missed him even more.

As the week went on, I did the best I could to stay busy with the kids so we could all keep our sanity. Without the kids having daddy coming home from work to look forward to each day, I knew I needed to take preemptive measures to avoid fights and meltdowns. As much as I get mad at him sometimes, this week reminded me that those little things I don’t like are few and far between all the wonderful things he does to help me. Day by day, I have found my heart softening and thinking that I should just cut him some slack and start appreciating all those good things a lot more.

Military couples have a unique aspect to their marriages that many non-military couples do not. We have the chance to experience how distance makes the heart grow fonder. It reminds us not to take our partners for granted. It gives us the chance to step away from those things which get on our nerves and rekindle the feelings of love and connection that get pushed aside after a while.  It gives us the opportunity to miss each other so much that when we finally see each other again our love for each other feels that much stronger.

I am not saying that separation should be used as a means of solving relationship issues. Nor am I saying that military marriages work because we must be apart so much. But I am saying that being apart has the potential to help us to build better relationships with our soldiers and to more fully appreciate one another, which is an added benefit to living the military lifestyle.

This week has reminded me how lucky I am to have such a loving, supporting, and understanding husband. In a lifestyle where we must say goodbye all too often, there is no one I would rather say goodbye to because there is no one better to welcome home at the end. He makes missing him so worth it! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Why I'm Taking "Busy" Out of My Vocabulary

Nearly every time someone asks me how I’ve been, my answer includes some form of “busy.” There are plenty of good things going on in my life which I could talk about and I definitely have funny stories about the kids which could steer me away from giving such a general answer, but whenever the question comes my mind seems to go blank and all I can say is “busy.”

The fact is we are all busy, and anyone asking me how I’ve been already knows I’m busy. But the word “busy” doesn’t define whether things have been going good or bad. It doesn’t reveal whether I’ve been feeling happy or sad or frustrated. It doesn’t give the person any substance for furthering the conversation. As a result, the person’s attempt to show their care and concern for what’s going on with me is spoiled.

Learning to let people help me has been a challenge as a military wife. I am used to being independent and wanting to do everything on my own, but this mindset can be detrimental to military spouses. People want to help, and many times they try to initiate it by simply asking, “How have you been?” or “How are things going?” If I am unable to provide specific and honest answers, I risk turning away the help they are willing to give and the help that I really do need.

So, I am challenging myself to take the word “busy” out of my response when people ask how I’ve been. I am challenging myself to give more defined answers and to let people know what’s really going on in my life. If they care enough to ask, I can surely take the time to provide them with a valid answer!
How have you been lately? I'd love to know the details!