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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A little Relief

Well I have to say that writing is very good therapy. After I wrote the previous post I broke down pretty hard. Then the next day I had a good long talk with Greg and that helped so much. He truly is my best friend and can always make everything feel right once again even if it only last for a short while. I love him will all my heart and just being able to let everything out and have someone tell me that all the anger and hurt I have is justifiable felt so good. And so many of you wrote such sweet, inspiring words that is helping me as well. I also realized that if things are really this bad I can either sit here and continue to cry and stomp my feet or I can try to change the little things that I can. So that's what I'm doing and it is helping. Like I said before I have felt very overwhelmed over all kinds of things. So I'm starting to just tell people "No" I'm not being mean but just declining to do certain things that I know will set me off and only put me in a bad mood. I feel that I don't need that right now and I'm a better Mom to my girls when I'm not so stressed. I also got a blessing from a good friend last Sunday and I truly believe that has helped lift my spirits. I'm very proud of myself for taking these small steps and I feel the weight being lifted off my shoulders. Don't get me wrong I am still sad and have lots going on in my head and unfortunately still feel a little bitter about certain things but the past couple days have been better. Probably the best I've felt in a long time. I know I can get through all of this. My faith, strength, love, energy, patience and devotion....they will hold. They will hold until things are right once again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This is so hard.

When I started this blog I told myself it would be a place where I could write down my feelings of how me and the girls are handling everything. But now I almost feel ashamed to let people in and admit to how I really feel. I have been going back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to write this down. But tonight as sit here by myself I have decided I want to stay truthful and I want to be able to have my true emotions written down. So how am I doing? Not good, not good at all. This is just so hard. I really can't think of a better statement than that. It's just down right hard. I absolutely hate being alone every single day. I hate that I have to always, always get me and the girls ready all by myself and then put a smile on when I go to church or are around family or friends. I feel sad all the time. And lately I find myself feeling jealousy and resentment towards anyone who is doing good or having good things happen in their life. I feel that I am turning into a horrible, horrible person for having these thoughts. I feel overwhelmed about all kinds of little things that I have to do and even someone asking me to do a small favor makes me so angry and again just overwhelms me to a great extent.
Interestingly enough the one thing that doesn't upset me is the thought of having another baby soon. This is how I know I've gone crazy. That should be my biggest worry, but it isn't. The thought of having another child is the one thing that brings me joy right now. My girls make me happy too, they stress me out or make me happy depending on the day. And of course I love Greg to death but being away from him for so long is really taking it's tole. I am thankful we can skype and see each other everyday but that is hard too. I mean think about you have exciting things to tell your hubby everyday? I bet not. So some days Greg and I really don't have much to say to one another. He just worked all day and I just stayed home and took care of the girls. What else is there to say? But I feel this pressure to talk to him for as long as I can because I miss him so much and I want to see him. So we try to keep a conversation going as long as we can but some days there is really just nothing to say. And it's not like we can just sit together and connect in the usual ways couples connect. We can't eat dinner together or go out or even sit and watch our favorite shows together. So yeah skyping is not all it's cracked up to be. I guess I'm just getting sick of this life and I still have so long to go.
I keep hoping things will get better but it only seems to get worse and I just get more upset as the days go by. Then I get mad when I feel that people don't reach out to me more. But I can't blame them. No one knows how I feel or what they can do to help. I honestly don't think there is anything that can be done. Even when I do have company around or get out without the girls it just doesn't seem to help anymore. So right now things are bad and life is so hard. I feel that I am not myself anymore. I feel like I'm such a fake and I live a lie. People tell me I'm so strong which actually makes me feel so bad. I think, "if you only knew the truth." I just keep hoping things will get better. Maybe they will and maybe they won't. I know this is just my temporary life right now and once Greg is back things will be so much better. But that is a long ways I still have a long way to go.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Day PJ's from Daddy

The other day the girls and I got our Valentines Day presents from Greg. He is so so thoughtful and sweet. He sent Pajama Grams to all of us. The girls pj's are super cute because they came wrapped in a little dog house with a stuffed puppy. The girls loved it.

I like their shirts the best and I am so thankful to have such a sweet, loving husband who always thinks of me and his little girls.

Greg got me a pair of nursing pajamas which will come in handy in about 2 months. They are super cute and I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures with me in them once the baby is born.
I also just wanted to add this picture of the girls. Every night after they have had their baths and are ready for bed Layla always points to the floor and says, "Eva here, here." So Eva will lay down and then Layla will proceed to climb on top of her and start tickling her. It's really cute and they both laugh and laugh. What sweet little girls. They're Daddy's little Valentines for sure.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Like a Duck

Today at church a sweet lady came up to me and said she could tell I wasn't having a very good day. Maybe it was because I was crying uncontrollably in church? And so she asked, "Is everything okay? You always seem so happy and put together.....but not today." I said, "Yeah it's just a bunch of little things. I'm just having a bad day." Then she said, "So you're like that duck on the lake. You look so calm and peaceful on the surface, but take a look underneath and you're kicking like crazy doing everything you can to stay afloat." And I thought, "I couldn't have said it better myself." Then I cried some more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Before I Became a Mother

I hate this time of year. It's cold and ugly outside and the kids get bored on a regular basis. This is the time when I start longing for spring. So we can get out! I always feel this way but this year with Greg being gone it's a little worse. Well better in some ways and worse in others. The mornings are pretty good. Monday through Thursday we have something every morning whether it is preschool for Eva, playgroup or story time at the library. Plus I try to have a play date at least once a week with some of my friends. But the afternoons, evenings and weekends are becoming torturous! Without Greg being here to help it's up to me to keep these girls entertained morning, noon and night! And oh boy it's taking it's tole. To give you an example this was my day yesterday.
I got up, got myself and the girls ready for the day and made breakfast.
Skyped with Greg.
Went to play group.
Came home, made lunch.
Put Layla down for her nap.
Talk on the phone a little and got on the computer while Eva watched a movie.
Once Layla woke up I got them a snack.
Then I proceeded puzzles, the lite Brite, play I Spy, sing songs, color, play house and make a fort with the girls.
Made dinner somewhere in between all of that.
Snack, bath, stories and bed.
By the end of the night I was so done. Couldn't wait to have the girls in bed so I could just relax and watch a show that doesn't involve sing-a-longs or cartoons. I love my girls to death but man there is only so much playing I can do before i want to pull my hair out! So then I started to think about how much being a mother has changed my life. How different things are. And so I will leave you with this......
Before I became a Mother.

Before I became a mother I never new what a corn dog taste like.

I didn't realize that my daughter would think 6, 5 or even 4:30am was an acceptable time to wake up & start the day.

That it's not uncommon to have Snow White, Finding Nemo, Bolt, Sherk or Toy Story playing in a continues loop all day.

That when a toddler is sick they will NOT tell you when they are about to throw up and it WILL end up all on you!

Before I became a Mother I never realized that it is inevitable that the minute you sit down to take a break after vacuuming, putting away clothes, making dinner or taking the trash out your child will ask for...a drink of water, a snack, a toy they can't reach or something else that will make you get back up and on your feet. ( I think my girls have this one down perfectly)

That your child will change their mind on what they want for breakfast, lunch or dinner only after you already made them the first item they asked for.

Eating with one hand while bouncing a baby on your lap or better yet nursing a baby is just an everyday occurrence.

Before I became a Mother I never new that at some point in your toddlers life they will do at least one if not all of the with their poop or someones poop, pee the bed, eat dirt or a bug, play in the toilet, unroll the toilet paper, spill nail polish, makeup or red juice on the carpet and last but not least have a major melt down in a public place that will cause you to almost, not actually but almost resort to some sort of child abuse.

That when little girls get their feelings hurt it is the end of the world and takes lots of hugs and kisses before everything is alright.

Before I became a Mother I didn't have "Goodnight Moon" memorized.

Or realize that it will be a long time before I can take a shower or go to the bathroom without an audience.

And that your purse will always have a diaper, wipes and candy in case of any emergency.

Before I became a Mother I never knew that this would all be worth it.