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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: June 2012

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Post: How We Can Help Keep Pets in the Military Family


My guest post today combines two things near and dear to my heart: military life and furry kids.  I'm so please that Theresa of Hawaii Military Pets agreed to do a guest post for me!!  It's such an AMAZING thing she is trying to do and I have a natural, instant love for anyone trying to help keep fur kids with their families.  Being an animal advocate myself, I'm always thrilled to be able to help others who are fighting for the same things I am.  :)  Please be sure to check out her site and share it with those that might benefit from the information! 

                                
          If you are a military family and own pets, you’ve likely heard the dreaded stereotype from animal rescuers, civilians and other military families that when we move, we leave our furry family members behind.
            When I hear this from people, it really upsets me. The military places such emphasis on accountability and commitment. How could people take on this lifetime responsibility and then abandon the poor defenseless animal when caring for it becomes inconvenient?  
            Last August, we created Hawaii Military Pets, an online educational resource for military families living in Hawaii. Hardworking volunteers teamed up to help other military families. We have a co-administrator for our Facebook page who writes for Marine base paper, professional photographers and other writers who help spread education and promote the human-animal bond.  
            I drew upon pet knowledge I had from volunteering with our Boxer dog club. We formed partnerships with pet businesses, shelters, animal rescuers and dog trainers. We asked them to help educate our military pet families. We teamed up with people working in base housing, animal control, and leveraged existing relationships with public affairs officers on base. On duty, I’m a Navy public affairs officer. I’ve worked in Hawaii community relations. These networks were vital as we started building and strengthening our ties.
            We learn as we go, and in time, we better understand what military pet families need to keep pets for life. 
            We have an active military pet community in Hawaii. We do military pet events with local animal nonprofits, and when we have questions about animal law, moving with your pets, preventative pet care, boarding and other concerns, there’s a place people can find information.
            Every duty station needs access to pet information. Our goal is to break down the barriers to forever pet ownership. This is what inspired us to join not-for-profit Dogs on Deployment and launch a petition asking The Department of Defense, Congress, and The White House to make all the pet policies in military housing standardized. This means strict enforcement of dangerous dog policies that don’t assign breed labels, but hold the pet owner accountable. There’s no way to accurately identify a breed. Base animal control and housing officials have told me they cannot enforce this flawed policy. There’s not an accurate DNA test for breed and even the Army’s own veterinarian community doesn’t endorse these harmful bans and won’t indentify dog breeds. No community that has studied the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation found that the policy made their community safer.
            The facts are in this petition, and I encourage you to sign it. There’s strength in numbers and our hope is that our leaders will understand that this destructive policy tears pet families apart. Many families I spoke to with mixed-breed animals live in fear that they’ll someday lose their pets. And, it’s not just the breed bans. The weight, size, and numerical limits on pets are not consistent from duty station to duty station. Some families must live on base. This policy keeps people from owning pets for life and must be abolished with an overarching pet policy for all of the military.
            Transitioning with pets is hard, but it’s doable with proper planning. Military leadership could provide pet information at PCS, indoctrination and deployment briefings. If they aren’t, the best place to start looking is to visit the military veterinarian clinic. If they can’t answer your questions, find the shelter at your duty station contracted to enforce animal law. We also recommend you ask Family Service Centers to provide families with pet information, if they’re not doing so already. Having access to resources helps our military keep their pets.
            I blog for The Department of Defense Family Matters and Spouse Buzz and have written posts on moving with pets, the role of our military veterinarians, importance of forever ownership and what to do if your pet gets lost. I’m always interested in exploring other topics too, so please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like further information. 




            Theresa Donnelly is an active-duty Navy Lieutenant with 16 years of military service, having done 10 years enlisted with multiple overseas deployments. She is the owner of Hawaii Military Pets, an online pet resource for military families living in Hawaii. The blog and Facebook page provide information on moving with pets in the military, boarding information, pet policies in state and federal governments, and overall ways to celebrate the human-animal bond. She routinely partners with local and national animal nonprofits that place special emphasis on military and their companion animals, such as Dogs on Deployment and Pets for Patriots. Follow her on Twitter @tdonnelly76.


            Hawaii Military Pets is a one-stop resource for all Hawaii military pet information, celebrating the bond between all animals and our Hawaii men and women in uniform. Through the resource, readers can find pet transport information, boarding and veterinarian services, information on Hawaii military pet law and more. The organization advocates for protecting animals through pet-friendly policies in state and federal governments. Hawaii Military Pets aims to build a pet-friendly military community on Oahu, committed to lifetime pet ownership. Visit for more information.

Have you been affected by an inconsistent military pet policy? If so, we need to hear from you. Our military leaders must understand that these aren't isolated cases. I know it might be hard to talk about this and if you prefer, we can keep your information private. Please share your story with Alisa atinfo@dogsondeployment.org.  


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Friday, June 29, 2012

My Life in Pictures... Again

So, I've discovered I'm too lazy to keep up with Frugal Fridays consistently.  Should have known.  I want to bring it back when things are a bit less crazy around here, but it takes too much planning.

Instead, I'm going to show you my life in pictures.  It may or may not be filled with sarcasm.



I wrote our vows and we giggled all the way through them. <3











Most people don't realize that Hippos spend the bulk of their life in water and only get out at dusk to forage for food. My husband proposed to me (for a third time, long story) at the zoo, when the hippos were being fed just before closing, because he knew I had always wished to see them out of water. 

When he came home from Iraq, he was the first one to step off the bus.  I took this picture and just stood there.  Someone had to tell me to run to him... He was looking for me in the crowd.






I leave you with: 

Betty Freaking White! 
Because I'm awesome enough to have gotten to meet her last October. 




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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things Are About to Get Heavy

Sometimes, I just need to not be alone.  I mean ALONE. It sounds silly coming from someone who is married, has three dogs and works full time, but none of that equals companionship.  Not true companionship anyway.  I realized this today after a very silly moment in my day.

I woke up and decided to have a very productive day full of laundry and dishes and dog walking.  I decided I would also try a new method I have discovered for curling hair.  My hair does not curl.  My hair is stick straight, Japanese hair that has never had any interest in being anything else.  I don't want to admit the amount of time, effort and hair products it took to get my hair curly for my wedding day.  Needless to say, this method did not work.  My hair, at best, is slightly less straight than before I spent 30 minutes curling it with a fancy curling iron that I don't want to admit how much I spent on it.  I was so frustrated that I suddenly lost all motivation while looking in the mirror and thinking, "Who am I curling my STUPID straight hair for anyway.

No one.

Who am I getting up and showering for?  Who am I cleaning the house for?  Who am I getting dressed for?  No one.

What I really want, silly as it may sound, is just a warm body that knows I'm here.  That's all.  I want to chit chat with a human being while I do the dishes.  I want to redesign my blog and having someone to bounce the ideas off of.  Someone who cares that I spent 2 days learning how to do that in the first place and am still trying to learn new things.  Someone who wants to watch TV with me, or a movie, or go for a walk with the dogs and have no tension with me.  We don't even really have to talk.  I just need someone to acknowledge that I'm in the same room with them every now and then.

I have a husband who is trying.  I really think he is.  But he doesn't care about my day.  He is wrapped up in his own stuff.  He doesn't want to hear my opinions or go for a walk with the dogs.

And I LOVE my dogs.  But they can only get me so far.  But I'm realizing more and more that I would rather have them in my bed, then my husband.  They would at least want to cuddle.  I get more thrilled about coming home to them and kissing them on the face than I do anyone else in my life.  It makes me feel a bit pathetic really.  When you bratty dogs are your best friends somewhere, your life took a strange turn.

So, I immerse myself in designing my blog, in planning and budgeting to tile my floor and any other thing I can find to waste the hours of my day.

Stupid straight hair... Why must such mundane things make me think about such heavy things.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Post: DIY Flower Vases

I'm so lucky to have Jamie from over at This is me; Consequently doing another guest post for me! She's a pretty cool lady!  I absolutely LOVE DIY projects and this one is AWESOME!!!!!!  And be sure to check out her super cool blog!



Lately, my bookcase has been looking a little boring.



I’ve been seeing these cute DIY vases on Pinterest, so I thought I’d give it a try.

All you need are some empty glass bottles, glue [this tutorial used elmers, but bc I have zero patience, I used a hot glue gun], and jute.

1. Start out by putting a small dot of glue on the inside of the rim & attach the jute. Let it dry & then continue adding small strips of glue to hold down the jute. I used a lot of glue towards the top to get it started.
2. Once you get a good start, you can do several wraps around the bottle before having to add more glue. I would highly suggest going 4-5 rounds and then using just a dot of glue to hold the jute in place.
3. Make sure you are wrapping tightly if you do not want much of the glass to show through. Continue on until you reach the bottom! TIP: I also had to use a lot of glue at the bottom because the bottle I used tapered inward, but just use your best judgement!


And here’s the final product! I paired mine with a few clearance flowers from Hobby Lobby, and I think they add the perfect touch to my book case!

I'm Jamie. I'm a 24 year old recent college graduate, first time mom, and proud army wife. I'm lucky to get to spend my days learning and playing with my sweet baby girl. Cooking is my hobby, and art is my passion. 







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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the lighter side...

So, I've been in a wicked funk lately.  I'm still a bit bummed about life in general and frustrated and, frankly, bratty as hell right now.  I would love to just be bitchy to everyone I meet and say the stuff that comes to my mind when I feel like everyone is being dumb...  But, since I feel like everyone is being dumb all the time, and I've always had the disposition to hate the general public, I've decided to put my collection of hilarious pictures to work for me.

This is my collective thoughts and feelings via obnoxious pictures:

















I hope you enjoyed my life via snotty, obnoxious pictures  :)


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Monday, June 25, 2012

You Live and Learn

A few months ago, when I changed my name, I started researching blog designers.  I've always wanted a lovely custom design and thought that would be a perfect time to do it... Well, it wasn't in my budget, so I spend about 2 days looking into how I might be able to do some of this crazy blog stuff myself.

I found pages on how to make backgrounds and headers and buttons etc, but all using Photoshop, which is more expensive than just hiring someone...  UGH!  Then I stumbled on a tutorial about how to make a header without Photoshop using Picasa instead.  It was pretty cool.  It's pretty easy to use, but still took me an entire two days to do all the work I've done... And it's still not AMAZING.  But hey, I'm not very tech savvy, so I've been pretty pleased with myself, even if it was a steep learning curve.

Well, you may or may not have seen my background disappear today.  It does this every now and then and I have to go to where I got it and recopy the code.  It sparked my interest in how to do some of this design stuff on my own again.

Here's some things I learned today:
1.  I am STILL not savvy enough to use Picasa to make a background... Someday.
2.  I'm still not savvy enough to write HTML code without instructions on how to do it easily (read: copy and paste someone else's code and just change what they tell me to)
4.  There are about 10000 more features to Picasa than I realized and about 1000000 more things I could have done with it to make my button, header and signature better than they are.

and

5.  I'm too freaking lazy to go through all of that again.

Live and learn.  Maybe tomorrow I will be more motivated and will try out some of the the features I discovered.  It just sucks to realize that I spent 2 days working and thinking, "Man, I wonder where all those neat fonts come from?  I wonder how you get those neat effects?"  Etc. only to discover that they are in Picasa, you just have to be smart enough to know where to look.

Sigh.  Computers and technology are just not my friends.  But hey, I'm getting better...



*****

UPDATE:  Cutest Blog on The Block, the place I got my background from seems to have crashed.  A year ago, my old background disappeared for while, but I was able to recopy it.  Today, I've done that and it's disappeared again.  Their site won't load either.  Guess I will be forced to make those changes after all... I'd better get to work.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Tough Decision

I've been fairly silent this week.  That is why I have been having periodic guest posters... I knew this would be happening at some point and needed wonderful people to fill the space.

This week we made a tough decision.  We decided to ask my work if I could switch to part time for a while.  I'm hoping it's temporary.  But who knows how long it will be.

This may not seem tough, but it's been tougher than I thought.  Never mind the missed income.  We will survive.  Money isn't everything.  Money doesn't change the fact that I can't cope with the stress of my job and then come home and deal with our life all at once.  My husband needs me home more for the time being and I need to be home to have time to deal with our life so I don't constantly feel like I can't catch up.  He is still mostly unable to help at all.

I approached my shift lead to see if she thought it would be possible and she told me that she felt they would be willing to try.  She said she thought I was valuable enough that they wouldn't want to lose me.  I secretly told her (because she's also a friend) that this was our hail mary to keep me from moving out.  It was nice to hear that they think I'm valuable.  Then I got the letter in my box.  The letter telling me that my review was done and that I earned a raise because they think I'm doing such a good job and they hope it will entice me to keep it up.  They haven't been consistently give out raises over the last year.  Insert painful feeling of letting them down.... right about HERE.

I went to my boss and spoke with him Wednesday.  I told him I understood it was a big request and that I'm happy to work with them.  I love it there and whatever they need me to do is fine.  I'd be happy to work relief for the time if that works better.  He told me he is ok with me going part time if we can make it work in the schedule.  He would prefer not to lose me... Insert deep pain in chest.... Right about HERE.

I love my job.  I know it's just a job, I can always find a new one.  But it's taken time to find one that I love this much.  The people are great (most of the time), it's a supportive environment that never makes me feel stupid, oh, and did I forget to mention that they like me and think I'm very good at what I do?  Sucks.

My husband needs to come first.  I know that too.  I'm more scared about what happens when it's time to return to full time, I think.  What days and shifts will be available?  Will I have been there enough to know the new people we just hired?  What will happen to my benefits?  Will I love them and have to start over?  How are we going to deal if I do?  I LOVE my schedule right now and I am scared of losing it too...

I don't know.  It seemed like such an easy decision when we were sitting in our living room talking about it.  It seemed like no big deal.  Now I feel sad to be giving up my schedule and facing the unknown at work.

I keep telling myself that my career isn't everything... I just worked so hard to get where I am.  But it's not forever.  It's just a few months or so.  And it's something we need to try before saying I need to move out...  I just didn't realize how tough it was going to be.  I'm having to stop myself from running to work and taking it back.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post: Tips for Coping With Stress

I'm so THRILLED to have Sarah V. over at Charting New Territory doing a guest post for me!  If you haven't checked out her blog do it today!




Hello! I'm Sarah, I'm a Registered Nurse born, raised and living in California with my Marine husband. We have three dogs, own a home, and eat paleo; our life is far from being stress free! I'm a Pilates fanatic myself, and love to bury myself in furthering my education. I've currently obtained two different degrees with a third in progress as we speak. My bloggy life is just an outlet for me to express my emotions and reach out to others like me.


Everyday life is stressful for everyone, then throw in the uncertainty of the military, your own career, kids, animals... oh and by the way the car broke down?! Holy crap. We’ve all been there, stressed to the brim and ready to explode at the next thing that goes wrong. I know I have, quite frequently actually. Sometimes, life just throws way to much at us and we need to take a step back and relax. 
I like to think of myself as sort of an expert at relaxing. You have to do it, or you’ll go insane. I’ve been there too, overstressed and overworked and I don’t want to go back to that place again. So, I’ll share my tricks to keep the stress level down.
Let’s start with a good foundation. A healthy diet, and regular physical activity. I know, you might be thinking that you don’t have time. I’m here to tell you that you need to make time. Trust me, this is going to make a world of difference in your life. Get up earlier for work or get up earlier on your day off. You have the time. Make a commitment. I, personally follow a paleo lifestyle for diet, it’s wonderful. ZERO processed foods, all organic. No Gluten. I’ve never felt better. Find what works for you. I also have made a commitment to working out three times a week, because I’m busy, and that’s all I have time for, but I schedule it in. I do pilates twice a week, and spin once a week. Once you get your body healthy, your mind will follow. You will feel better, and in turn your stress level will go down.
Sometimes, working out and eating well, just doesn’t work completely. Maybe you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend a day at the spa or maybe you do. Stay within your budget, and do something nice for yourself. Get a pedicure, get a massage, go out to lunch, watch a movie, watch the wave roll in at a beach; anything really. Something that you will enjoy without distractions of real life, a stress free environment just for you. No kids, no pets, no work. Just you and some relaxation.
Another little secret that I have is that when things get really bad, I like to come home and take some time alone. I’ve been known to walk straight in and head for a nice hot shower, alone in the bathroom. I’ll close my eyes, take some deep breaths and think of something peaceful; a mental vacation, if you will. Meditation is also a great way to relax. itunes has some really great pod casts for guided meditation, and if you listen to one of those in bed as you are falling asleep, it will lower your anxiety level, it did for me. I started meditating during my husband’s last deployment. I never had issues with anxiety before, but that deployment was particularly stressful. I was getting desperate, and I figured I would try it. TRY IT! It’s not silly if it helps you.
Finally, if it’s within your budget to do so, something that I love doing is traveling! When life gets too much to handle, a week away in a far away town is a wonderful cure for daily life. You hop on a plane, a train, even in your car. Get away, go somewhere else. Anywhere else but where you live and work. It’s kind of like a reset button for life. Then when you come back, you’ll be fresh and ready to start over.
No matter what you do, or how you handle your stress, make sure you find an outlet that works for you. Talk about it, blog about it, get it out. Whatever you do, don’t keep it inside.

What are some great ways that you like to de-stress? I’d love to hear from you.








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Monday, June 18, 2012

PTSD on TV

It's not often that something on TV gets me all irritated.  It's TV.  It's mostly fiction and even those shows that aren't, are story boarded versions of real life.  And, frankly, if I don't like what your show has to say, I don't have to to watch it.  Period.  That said, yesterday I saw something on TV that I made my jaw drop.

The hubs and I were sitting on the couch doing a whole lot of nothing and it just so happened a The Unit marathon was on.  We watched this show for a very short period of time, but it's so beyond ridiculous that we stopped after the first season.  That said, we enjoy watching it on occasion still, if for nothing else than the fact that the absurdity makes us giggle.

Yesterday we watched an episode that we had seen before, but frankly, I had forgotten this particular part of the plot.  One of the main characters nephews comes home from Iraq for a family event.  They catch him in the bedroom beating his wife.  He tells the main character it's because he has PTSD.  Now they prefaced this part of the episode by saying he had literally left Iraq 36 hours prior.  I can let go a lot of what is wrong with this part.  Not all people with PTSD beat their wives, in fact, none of the men I know with it do, but hey, it's TV drama.

The next part is what made my jaw drop.  The main character, a Delta Special Forces Army Ranger who has supposedly seen ridiculous amounts of action tells this character that he's not allowed to have PTSD because he has a pregnant wife to think about.  He tells him to bury it deep inside.  I'm not kidding, but it gets worse.  He makes a comment about how, at some point, this kid was told that he is allowed to feel angry, but that that is not the case.  In essence, he tells the kid, "Here's a piece of duct tape and a straw, now shut your mouth and suck it the F*** up."  But in a less concise manner.  This whole plot line centers around the fact that the character and the grandfather served and didn't have PTSD and this kid is NOT ALLOWED to have it.  He even tells this kid that he has to consider the fact that he has to do his family and his RACE (he's African American) proud.  UHM... WOW.  Just... WOW.

I looked at my husband with my mouth hanging open.  This TV show tried to portray PTSD as a CHOICE.  This kid was told it was ok to be stressed, angry and affected by what happened to him by the military, but that he's not allowed to feel that way because he has a family?  He's supposed to bury all of that deep inside so he can what? Explode a few months down the road?  So he can withdraw from his pregnant wife and their marriage and never speak to them and their marriage can ultimately fail?  So he can spend a life time not dealing with what it going on with him and what he's been through?

Look, I get it, it's TV, but this is part of the problem with how military members with PTSD are viewed by civilians.  Yes, civilians should be able to use critical thinking to realize that this show is pure fiction, but many will still allow something like this to shape their views on PTSD.  It is not the responsibility of a fictional, and frankly, ridiculous, TV show to educate the public, but you would think that a show about military members and their families would try to be, at a minimum, more sensitive about the content they air when it regards a very real issue like that.

PTSD is not a choice.  It is not something that should be buried deep inside and ignored.  Trust me on that one.  It is a very real issue faced by very real people.  It doesn't matter what your service record is, how high ranking you are, or what branch you serve in.  It doesn't make you weak to have it, and it sure has shit is NOT an attitude of the self entitled.  And it probably effects more families than you realize and if you know very many people who do, or have, served, your probably know someone who has it and don't even realize it.

 It's a very really issue that should be recognized, not demonized.

Ok, end of rant.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Secrets We Keep


We all keep secrets, some big, some small.  We secure them somewhere deeply guarded to prevent them from leaking out of our lips accidentally.  Some we can laugh at, some might make us cry…  These secrets we keep can be devastating, they can be lovely, they can between just ourselves, or one we share. 

When we share a secret with another person, it’s supposed to bond us.  It’s supposed to bring together a gap in who we are.  But they don’t always. 

Sometimes the secrets we are forced to keep bind our insides in a way that make it hard to catch our breath.   We hold it so often, fearing that any moment that secret will ooze from our skin for the world to see.

I have such a secret.  I hold it close to my chest each day for fear that those around me might discover the truth.  It feels as thought I am transparent each time someone speaks to me when I don’t expect it, that they might actually be able to see what I am not saying.  So, instead, I hide.  I hide from the world, behind a computer screen, afraid of the world finding out. 

I do not hide because I want to.  This is not a secret I want to keep.  It is a secret I was forced to keep.  It is a life that was thrust upon me, unwillingly.  And now, I am lost. 

The secrets we keep have an amazing power.  The power to bind us together or break us apart.




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In Lieu of Frugal Friday- One Lovely Blog

I'm skipping Frugal Friday today.  The hubs has been home on vacation and I haven't had time to plan a post, so I'm going to do a post for a blog award I got nominated for.  :)



Mrs. Duh, over at The Adventures of Mrs. Duh has nominated me for this award.  Check out her blog! I love it and I honestly think you will too!


She said the most lovely things to me when nominating me for this, so I really want to do her proud and  follow the rules, which are as follows: 

The One Lovely Blog Award is a "pay it forward" kind of way to recognize your favorite blogs. 

Here are the rules:

1. Post the award logo on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Tell seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate up to 15 additional bloggers who you think deserve the award.
4. Post a comment on the blog of each nominee to tell them him/her they have been nominated.

SO, here are 7 Things about Me:

1.  I love my dogs, but really wish I could have a cat.  Yes, my dogs are like my children and I adore them.  They've gotten me through a deployment and are always full of love, but I miss having kitties.  The Boy hates cats and we are not allowed to have them.  It's something I've always been really bummed about. 
2.  I LOVE pickles, but don't generally like cucumbers.  I'm working on it and have found I can eat them when I dip them in humus, but otherwise, would prefer to not have them in my house, or salad at a restaurant, or in general anywhere in the world. 
3.  I was a vegetarian for a number of years.  I have no issue with eating meat, I just don't eat a lot of it, so I went veggie for a while.  I'm back to being an omnivore, but still don't consume a lot of meat.
4.  In keeping with the meat theme, one of the main reasons I don't eat a lot of meat is because I CANNOT stand to touch raw meat.  SOOOOO GGGGRRRROOOOOSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!
5.  You may not know this but I'm incredibly sassy, bratty and generally swear like a sailor in my personal life.  :)  In my blog I try to be conscious of the fact that not everyone drops the F- Bomb every other word, nor do they appreciate some of the very off color things that come out of my mouth, so, in the blog world, I'm a lot less snotty.  :)  But if you follow me on FB, you will see that side of me much more (though I still try to keep it under control). 
6.  In the last year and a half, I have lost 27 pounds.  I put on nearly 40 pounds while I was in school and decided that I couldn't make excuses for why I hadn't lost it (two years after graduating) anymore.  I joined Weight Watchers, I created better habits, and now I'm training for the Tough Mudder.  I still have 8 pounds to go (I'm not going to try to lose all 40 of it) and I'm feeling awesome about myself again!  

7.  I LOVE to get comments on my blog, but I am the absolute worst at commenting on others blogs.  Even when I really want to, I generally don't comment.  I know, I can't want more people to comment on my blog if I'm not out there also commenting, but, hey, we are all walking contradictions in one way or another.  I also respond to all comments if I can.  Not everyone has that function set up on their blog, but if you do, I will respond personally to your comment via email.  :)  So, if you have a "No-comment-reply" setting, change it and I will always reply to your comments.  :)

There are you, 7 things you might not have known about me (or might have if you been reading long enough).  

The Blogs I nominate: 


So, I only nominated three blogs, but they are three I adore.  Check them all out if you can.  



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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Parallel Paths

Two days ago, my husband said he was sorry.  Not in his, "I'm sorry that you feel that way..."  way, but in genuine manner.

I am likely moving out soon.  Not because we are divorcing, but because I need to be in a place that is safe and calm and not stressful and he needs to have space to deal with his stuff.  I was so angry about it the other day.  Angry at him for everything.  Angry at him for not being able to support me and listen to me, but having to hear about how he was there for his friend the other day.  Angry that I have to yell to be heard, but that he uses that as his reason for not wanting to be around me.  How can you say that you don't want to spend time with me because all we do is fight, but you only listen to me if I yell?

So, we sat down and yelled it out.

Then he looked at me and said, "I'm sorry.  I can't be there for you.  I can't give you want you need, and I'm sorry for that.  I'm sorry that you don't know what I need and I don't know what I need, so I just took all that you had to give.  You kept trying and you gave and you gave, and I just took it... And I never gave you anything in return.  I'm sorry for that.  I'm sorry that you are broken and I'm sorry that I pushed you and wore you down until you broke.  I'm sorry."

We talked some more.  I was still upset.  Upset that he knows this, but that we can't fix it.  He brought up the deployment and the brokenness that we have endured since.  He got upset that I couldn't be there in the way he needed me to be when he came home, but he said he understands now that it was a burden I couldn't help him carry, let alone cope with.

I then did something I've never done before.  I yelled at him for breaking our bond.  I told him it was his fault. He called me and told me he wasn't coming home and that was that.  I cried that our relationship was based on our mutual need for each other and he broke that bond when he told me it didn't matter that I needed him.  I then screamed at him for leaving me, leaving me for his Marines.

I needed him HOME!!!!!!!  I needed him to tell me it was all going to be ok.  That we were in this together.  I needed to feel like all that had happened was worth it because we were together again... But it wasn't.  It wasn't ok, because we weren't together again.  And we haven't been together since he came home.  We are broken and I can't fix it.  I needed him and he left me.

And he did something he hasn't done in months.  He reached out, not angry or resentful, he reached out hugged me.  He told me he was sorry.  That he didn't know what he needed, but he was sorry he didn't consider what I needed.  He said he was sorry he left me and that I have been struggling to fix our life alone.

Things may not be perfect, but it's a start.

For two years he ignored me and wouldn't even try.  Two days ago, he heard me for the first time.  He didn't get angry that I was angry.  He heard me.  Two days ago he apologized for not being able to be present in our life.  He understands that in this journey we have been on, he has not been with me every step of the path.

Our path is winding and in some areas we can't see the next step, but for the first time in two years, it feels like we are on a similar path.  Maybe not the same one, but parallel ones that are bringing us to the same goal.

It might not be fair that I'm angry at him.  It might not be fair that I felt abandoned all these years, but it's not always fair that he didn't know what he needed but just kept taking from me and never gave anything in return anyway.  We are both carrying burdens on this journey that we will have to keep talking about to be able to let them go.  But at least it is finally feeling like we might, just MIGHT be doing that together.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Is Running a Team Sport?

The hubs went to a session with someone about all that is going on this morning.  He refused to talk about it.  When I asked how it went, he shrugged his shoulders.  So much for hoping it would be the start of good communication.  Whatever is going on with him is his own personal journey, and I guess he is taking that to heart with a cone of silence related to it.  So, instead, I suggested we go for a run TOGETHER.  The thought being that he PROMISED to help me train for the Tough Mudder... Ok, so he promised to run the Tough Mudder with me, but a few weeks ago he backed out of the event.  He hasn't been all that supportive of it anyway.  But when he backed out, he told me it wouldn't stop him from helping me train.  (insert sarcastic, non-believing eye roll here).  He had yet to actually follow through with that.

So, today, I suggested it would be a lovely day to go for a run and we could take both dogs.

Apparently, The Boy does not think running is a team sport.  I told him the path I usually take and that I warm up with a walk to Point A, then run to Point B, then turn around.  We walked to Point A and I indicated I was going to start running.  He started running too.  He started running at full speed, and pretty soon I could no longer see him.  I ran the entire first half by myself.  When I finally did see him, it was because he had run to the halfway point I told him was where I turn around and had turned around and was now lapping me.

He's well aware that his 6 minute mile is light years ahead of my 12.  It was a bit mean hurtful when he saw me coming at him (on his way back) and asked me, "Are you ok?"  As if there was something fundamentally wrong with me and my ability to run.

I should mention that I ran my farthest distance today, but with my worst time.  It was more humid than I thought and I didn't bring my inhaler.  And, since he had one big dog and I had the other big dog, my big dog was being terribly behaved trying to seek out the other big dog.  :(  It all made for A LOT more stopping and walking than usual.

None the less, running TOGETHER is not taking off at full speed and then lapping the person with a smug look on your face.  And that is definitely NOT "helping" me train.  So much for that.  I guess running alone is that way it is.

Lucky for me, I have a number of friends who run and who are willing to run with my slow little self.  They are perfectly happy to match my pathetic pace.  My one friend and I run on Tuesdays and she runs ahead and then circles back to meet me when I need to walk, but she doesn't run very far ahead, and sometimes she runs behind me.  But she stays with me.  And my friends push me with gentle prodding so I don't sell my abilities short.  They also help me set goals, like, "we'll run to that tree without stopping to walk."  That is helping someone train.

Sigh.  Lesson learned.  My husband does not seem to think running is a team sport and he has zero clue on how to help someone train.  For all of his boasting about what my running technique should be etc, what he is really good at is showing off.

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Defying Gravity Guest Post

Hello everyone! And happy Monday!

Head on over to Defying Gravity and check out my guest post titled "Deployment Stories are Funny.... In Retrospect... Eventually..."





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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Featured Blogger: Tiny Texan

I would like to introduce you all to a really wonderful new face on the Milspouse blogging scene.  I've had the fortune of finding her blog and have really enjoyed reading about her new adventures in this military life as a new spouse.

I have found her to have a fun, fresh perspective and it's been a blast to get to know her through her blog.

I'd like you to meet Mrs. Tomlin over at Tiny Texan.

If you click on her button it will take you to a great "getting to know you" post.  I highly recommend you check it out and get to know this Tiny Texan.  :)






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Friday, June 8, 2012

Frugal Fridays: Easy things to replace around the house

Sorry about the lack of a Frugal Friday post last week. Honestly, I was exhausted and completely forgot!!!

This weeks Frugal Friday post will be a few little things we all use around the house that have low cost replacements you can make at home.

1.  Mouth Wash- I spoke to my dentist and asked which mouth wash was the best one to buy.  Simple answer?  None.  He said most of them have things in them that dry out the mucous membranes in your mouth and actually allow bacteria to flourish!  The best thing to use instead?  Gargle with salt water.  I simply use a plastic water bottle that I would have recycled and dump salt in it with some hot tap water.  It will help kill the bad breath bacteria in your mouth, keep your gum lines healthy and is much cheaper than buying mouth wash at the store.  His hygienist also told me she soaks her bite (night) guard in salt water during the day and doesn't have to brush it or deep clean it as often.  Since I've started doing that too, I've notice an awesome difference.

2. Oil remover- I'm talking laundry.  Don't you hate it when you have an oily stain on your shirt?  Shampoo will take most oily stains right out.  I buy cheapo stuff and keep it with my laundry stuff, or you can use whatever happens to be in your shower.  Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the stain with shampoo and toss in the washer.  No need to buy special sprays or pre-treaters.

3.  Microwave cleaner AKA gunk unsticker- Hot water.  Seriously.  Take a bowl of water, put it in the microwave and set it on high for 5 minutes to 10 minutes depending on how stuck on the gunk is.  The steam from the boiling water will loosen the gunk in your microwave and all you have to do is follow behind with a damp cloth and wipe your microwave out.  If you are feeling extra saucy, you can add lemon juice or other extracts to the water to make your microwave smell nice too.  :)

There you have it.  Three easy things to make or do at home to save you money.

Happy Friday!



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Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's Already Padded

Wedding dress shopping.  Some girls dream of the day they will spend hours trying on pretty dresses and spinning for an audience that oohs and ahhs.  I did not. If I could have gotten away with wearing sweat pants to my wedding, I probably would have.  I also would have had Taco Bell cater it, but neither are things my mother would allow.

When your parents are helping pay for your wedding day, it affords them a bit of leeway when it comes to “helping” you set the tone.  So, fancy wedding dress shopping it was.

I went to countless stores and tried on more dresses than I ever would have wanted to in my life.  My problem is multifold:
1.     I have short little legs
2.     I have a freakishly long torso
3.     I have a sad lacking of breasts.

I went for vintage style A-line dresses until the hubs found out and insisted I wear a ball gown.  His argument was that he was wearing his blues, so I should wear a ball gown.  Kinda hard to argue with a man who will be spending the night roasting inside layers of polyester.  So, ball gown shopping I went.  And, believe it or not, I found the perfect dress.  It was classy, but a ball gown. It had a drop waist so it made my torso look like it was SUPPOSED to be that long and all the fluff and the cloud hem hid the fact that I have short little legs.  It was a subtle ivory colored raw silk with crystals that weren’t over done and didn’t have a horribly long train.  In a word, it was perfection.

I went through all the fittings and measuring.  I had it hemmed there and picked up here.  It was perfect.  Until the final fitting that is…

I was standing on that awesome pedestal thing they have in bridal stores, wearing my heels and my special wedding underwear.  I was looking in the mirror with my veil on and my mom and bridesmaids sitting near.  But as fitted as it was in the waist and it touched my toes just right, the bust looked like it was jutting out three miles from my chest.  I had a corseted back, which means the boning in the top is next to impossible to alter.  It was synched as tight as it would go.  I had a padded, push up bra, and there were bra cups already sewn in…  The owner of the bridal store came in to admire.  She told me how lovely I looked, and she seemed to genuinely mean it. 

She’s a funny British lady who has a way of being honest while coming across endearing instead of mean.  Which is why I turned beat red in the next moment.

I asked her if it was possible to put larger bra cups in.  She looked at me, completely seriously, and said, “You mean… There’s already bra cups in there?!”

Ouch.  Just… Ouch.

Yes, my boobs are that small.  Laugh if you will, but that stung a little. 



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Also, check it the Act of Valor giveaway going on over at Me and My SoldierMan!

This is one of those movies that we are all dying to get our hands on so it's a perfect giveaway right now!!!


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