Wednesday, September 28, 2011

End of an Era

Well as most of you all know Greg is HOME!!!!! Which means we made it! Greg made it safely home from a very long and lonely year in Iraq, while me and the girls made it through a year without the man in our lives. I am so proud of my husband for his great sacrifice and all his hard work. And I'm so glad that this deployment it over!

And so our family is complete once again. I wish I had some profound statement to write down....something great that I have learned over this year, but I don't. This year was hard. Much more challenging that I could ever have imagined. I guess I could say that I now know and understand what it is to be an army wife and family. What a bond it made between Greg and I. I will also forever have sympathy and the utmost respect for all the other military families out there who have gone through or will go through a deployment. And to them I say hold strong. Say your prayers and take the help that is offered to you. With that I am happy to say it's time to end this blog. Deployments don't last forever but families do.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's time.

I just wanted to do a quick post to highlight this day. IT'S SEPTEMBER!!! Greg will be home in about 2 weeks! I just can't believe it's finally time and I've been waiting and dreaming of this for so long. This year has been.....awful. I mean yes I have had some good times and thankfully I have been surrounded by good friends and family. But the time I have spent alone and all the nights I've cried and all the stress and worry.....yes lets just say it's been one hell of a year. Throughout this whole time I just kept thinking "September. We just have to make it to September." Now it's time. Time for Greg to come home and back to our family where he belongs. So today is a day to celebrate. We've made it to this blessed month. Hooray for September.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Home And Gone Again

Greg was scheduled to come home for 2 weeks starting on July 5th. His flight was supposed to arrive at 11:00pm. But that day he called me and said there was a chance he could catch any earlier flight and make it to Pocatello by 6. He said if I didn't hear from him by 5:30 that meant he was in flight and to just go to the airport. As 5:30 rolled by I got the girls dressed and jumped in the car. Eva kept asking where we were going but I didn't really want to tell her in case he didn't make that flight and wasn't able to call me. I just kept telling her we are going....somewhere. We only had to wait at the airport for a few minutes before the plane arrived and passengers started deboarding. I stood to the side waiting patiently with the girls. I'm guessing because the girls where all decked out in red, white and blue that this woman figured we were waiting for our Soldier so as she passed us she said, "There are 2 men in uniform on the plane." My heart started pounding so fast and then....there he was. Eva saw him and ran as fast as she could straight into his arms. Then Layla followed and after that I was finally able to put my arms around my husband and kiss him for the first time in almost a year. It was such a wonderful moment.

Once we got home Greg took Julia out of her car seat and held her for the first time. 3 months old and she finally got to meet her Daddy.

We didn't really do too much while Greg was home. We Blessed Julia, visited family and friends and Greg had a couple job interviews. Most of the time we just enjoyed each other's company and spent as much time as possible with our little family. I forgot how easy life can be when you have your husband around to help out. 3 kids is a piece of cake when you have good help. It was a great vacation for all of us. And the girls absolutely adore him. Layla's phrase the whole time Greg was home was, "Daddy do it." It was such a happy time.

Greg was sweet enough to bring back gifts for all of the family. Here are his brothers and their wives in their new outfits straight from Iraq. We all had a good laugh.

Unfortunately the 2 weeks flew by and it was time to take him back to the airport.

This is the saddest picture ever. Greg was leaving and Eva and Layla tried to follow him. Once he was gone Eva turned to me with tears in her eyes and told me she missed Daddy already. It broke my heart. And the rest of that day Layla walked around the house saying, "Daddy where are you?" So sad.

Spending time with Greg was wonderful. A little boost coming into the home stretch. He will be home for good in September so this deployment is almost over. We are almost done! He is such a good husband and father and I can't wait until we can be a complete family once again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Shoes For Eva

What do you see when you look at these shoes? To anyone else they are just a pair of shoes but for me they will forever be a reminder that there is still some good left in this world.

I had to go to the mall today because Eva needed new shoes for the wedding she is in this weekend. I really didn't feel like dragging all 3 kids to the store but what other choice did I have? So we headed off to the mall. While in the store Layla began to have a huge temper tantrum. She wanted to wear the shoes Eva was trying on and wouldn't settle for any other pair but the ones on Eva's feet. She was full on screaming and crying with tears, snot and drool running down her face. I was trying to calm her down but nothing was working. As all this was happening a woman came over and started to help Eva get her shoes in the box. She was being nice to Eva but I was a little annoyed and thought, "Mind your own business Lady" but she stayed next to Eva and I could feel her watching me as I continued to try and console Layla. Once I got her to calmed down I turned to the woman and said, "Thank you" but in my mind I was thinking, "K now leave me alone so I can get out of here!" Then the woman said to me, "It's hard trying to shop with kids isn't it?" I replied "Yea well my Husband is in Iraq so I always shop with my kids." She looked shocked and then told me she wanted to buy Eva's shoes. Tears flooded my eyes and I told her she didn't need to do that, but she insisted and said it would be her pleasure to do this for me. With that she walked right up to the register and payed for them. Afterwords she took a $20 out of her purse and said, "Now I want you to take this and get your girls some dinner tonight." I again told her "No" and that she had done enough already but she insisted and said it's the least she could do. She gave me a hug, thanked me for the sacrifice my family is making and left. I was completely dumbfounded at what had just happened. This woman was a complete stranger and I'm sure I will never see her again but the kindness she showed tonight will stick with me forever. I want to be more like her and Eva's shoes will be a constant reminder for me to try a little harder to be a little better.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

A few quotes for Memorial Day.

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. ~Francis A. Walker

The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. -Saint Augustine

As I approach the gates of heaven;
St. Peter I will tell;
One more soldier reporting sir;
I've served my time in hell. -Mark Anthony Gresswell

And so, my fellow Americans,
ask not what your country can do for you;
ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy

And our little family.....we're doing all we can. But thank you to all the men and woman who have given your time and your lives. We truly are THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Thoughtful Soldier

Greg is always very thoughtful when it comes to gifts but I just figured with him in Iraq that I wouldn't really get much for Mother's Day this year. But of course being the sweet hubby that he is he got me the cutest gift. I got a package the other day from a company called Spoonful of Comfort. In it was a large jar of Chicken Noodle soup, a ladle, rolls, cookies and an apron. Everything was wrapped up pretty with yellow ribbon. We ate the food that night and it was so good. It was a really cool idea and it was such a nice surprise. I am so thankful for my sweet, thoughtful husband. I love him so much and I love that he tries so hard to show me how much he cares. He was still able to give me a good Mother's Day even from all the way in Iraq. Greg I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being the wonderful man that you are.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things you should NEVER say to an army wife.

I found this the other day and was laughing so hard. Most of you might not find this as funny as I do but I can totally relate. Please don't feel bad if any of you have said these things to me. I know none of you have ever meant any harm. And please don't take this too seriously, just maybe laugh a little at the funny things people say to us poor little army wives.

Things you should never say to an army wife

1. “Aren’t you afraid that he’ll be killed?”
(This one ranks in at number one on the “duh” list. Of course we’re afraid. We’re terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they’re scared of dying.)

2. “I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.”
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here’s why: it’s not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we’d get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We’re not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. “At least he’s not in Afghanistan.”
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Iraq. What do they think is happening in Iraq? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)

4. “Do you think he’ll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?”
(Don’t you watch the news? No! They don’t get to come home for any of these things. Please don’t ask again.)

5. “What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there’s a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don’t get bored, and eating massive amounts of chocolate always helps keep me busy.)

6. “How much longer does he have until he can get out?”
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren’t counting down the days until they “can” get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. “This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.”
(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you’ve gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. But it never gets “easy” and the bullets and bombs don’t skip over our guys just because they’ve been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. “My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you’re going through.”
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband’s three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty ford taurus with mercedes convertible.)

9. “Wow you must miss him?”
(This one also gets another big “duh”. Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they’re now divorced.)

10. “Well, he signed up for it, so it’s his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn’t sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that “You’re welcome.” He’s still fighting for your freedom.)

11. “Don’t you miss sex! I couldn’t do it!”
(hmmm, no i don’t miss sex. i’m a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices and seeing their faces. The hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn’t withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

12. “Well in my opinion…..”
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn’t ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom and not in a restaurant when I’m out with my girls trying to forget the war.

last but not least….

13. “OH, that’s horrible…I’m so sorry!”
(He’s doing his job and he’s tough. Don’t be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you. After all, we are sexually deprived for your freedom.