In a world with a 4 year old, a 3 year old, a 16 month old, a 3 month old and two soldiers you never know what misadventures await. Life is always springing the unexpected and I want to share them with you. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My sweet Aislynn just over the age of one at my Aunt's wedding. Aren't they both beautiful! I love this picture!

Day 6: Something You Hope You Never Have To Do

I guess with this I am of the same opinion as most of my friends, but I hope I never have to bury my Husband or a child. I know for the first one it's a risk we all take as spouses of soldiers, but I hope I never have to see my Hubby that way. I have had nightmares of this very thing for years, even before we actually got married. Horrifically graphic dreams that I wake up unsure if I'm dreaming or not. I know that there are so many wives who are living this nightmare everyday, who have to get dressed every morning and go on with their days, knowing that their husbands are not coming home. I want to say I can't imagine what its like, but having the blogger world open windows into the homes of the war widows gives you a glimpse, a very real glimpse, into what a widow deals with. I have nothing but respect and love for these women. They do what I'm not sure I could; keep going. I'm not sure I would know how to tell my body how to keep going, to keep breathing. I just don't know how I'd do it. Of course we all know that if it came down to it we'd find a way to function, even if all it was, was to go on autopilot, we would do it. Someone still has to take care of the kids, the house, the bills, down to the most mundane things. It has to get done. So I will. As for losing a child, I think it would go along the same lines. Trying to function, to live without that sweet little voice in my home. I've miscarried and that's pretty rough, but to lose a child you've raised and come to know would be devastating. Even to bury a child who you carried to term only to lose a matter of days or weeks later, even if you knew it was inevitable would be awful. So I pray all the time that I never have to live to see either of those events. I don't think anyone could blame me.

Day 5: Something I Hope For

That phrase can be used over and over again for me, because there is so much I hope for. I can go on forever for the things I hope for in my future and my children's futures. So much. I don't know where to cut it down, to make the cut and be simple in a response to this question. Maybe I'm too complicated for my own good. Maybe I just hate making choices. Anyway, I guess rambling on isn't going to answer this question. So here I go. I hope for strength, love, support, guidance, etc. for the current situation in my life, which I'm not ready to divulge just yet. But I hope for all that plus a lot of luck and a good time to tell this story. ;) I hope to be able to get things figured out in my life so I can go back to school and get my degree in archaeology. Life is crazy with three kids under 4 that this is easier said than done. At least at the moment. I hope to publish a novel and it does decently well and with the money travel with my kids and hubby or even just my hubby if it takes that long. So that's as simple as it gets, if I keep going we'll be here for hours and you'll be bored to tears.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Unusual Photo

During my trip to Chicago I had the opportunity to go to the Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago's biggest cemetery at 350 acres. I took tons of photos because I have this weird obsession with cemeteries and taking photos of them. As I was going through my photos today I found this one. No I did not in anyway alter this photo. This is just how it turned out. I find it strange and exciting. What do you think?

Day 4: Something I Need to Forgive Someone For

I won't name names or tell the instances of the situation(s). There are a couple people in my life that have hurt me very badly by their behavior and comments. They judge me without cause aside from not wanting to get to know me. They are people that aren't going to go away, and so I just need to become the bigger person and move on. It will be very hard, but I need to do it. Forgive them for their behavior and comments, and try to make friends. It might take me a long while, but I'll try.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Quilts

I make quilts. Its one of my secret hobbies and I think I'm pretty good. If I really am remains to be seen, seeing I usually only make them for friends and family. But I recently made three baby quilts to be sold at a farmer's market my parents participate in. Sunday will tell if they sell or not. I love doing it, so if I can make money doing it all the better. What do you think of my quilts?

Day 3: Something I Need to Forgive Myself For

I think something I need to forgive myself for is the fact that I feel I prevented my Hubby from serving a religious mission for our Church. He and I got ourselves in some sticky situations, not to mention I just wasn't as supportive as I should have/or could have been. I love how my life is now, but I always feel so guilty because I forced him to give up that dream. As a girlfriend the idea of being separated for two years seemed so horrible (of course now I've done a year apart and we do two to three weeks apart a year), but at the time it seemed so long. Not to mention I was having doubts about the religion I'd grown up with, so supporting him was hard that way. I know there is nothing that can be done about it now, but I still feel guilty. He told me that he's happy with where his life is now, but he sometimes wishes we had gone about things differently. That is the big one I need to forgive myself for.

‘I’m A Doctor!’

I realized I haven't done any funny stories about my kids lately, so here is one. My Hubby was headed downstairs to finish getting ready for work when he came upon this scene. He said that Aislynn was lying on the floor covered by her blanket to her neck, her little head being the only body part exposed. She was singing of course at the top of her little lungs (so cute!) and Aidan was sitting by her head. He had his Handy Manny flashlight, Flicker, and he was waving it slowly across both her eyes. He looked up at my Hubby and said, "I just checking, Daddy. I a Dr." How stinkin' cute is that? I love my kids and they always crack me up! I hope that made your day! J

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Quite So Wordless Wednesday

I realize this is not your typical this is my cute kid photo, but I came across it and had to share. This is what my car looked like after my major car accident in Aug 2007. Getting ready to get on the freeway in Salt Lake one night after work, I found myself behind this stupid van who wouldn't go the speed limit. They were going 25mph and then suddenly they slammed on their brakes, and although I'd already adjusted my speed to match the 25mph the sudden stop was going to force me to slam into them. So I swerved off to the right to avoid hitting them, but the guy in the truck behind me didn't miss me and didn't slow down. He plowed into me going 65mph. I was mostly unharmed. I did whip my head forward, smacked my head on the steering wheel before whipping my head back into my headrest. I had to go be checked out at the hospital, luckily nothing to bad. Whiplash and I still have problems with my lower back, and funny thing is I got pregnant two weeks after this accident with Aidan. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. I miss my little Galant, it was my first car ever. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 2: Something You Love About Yourself

This one is tricky. I won't lie. I suppose that's part of the point of '30 Days of Truth,' to tell the truth. Something I love about myself…hmmm. I guess I can only think of three things and two are kind of connected. First I love that I have my husband is the best, he is the best part of me and the second thing is my kids, they are the other best parts of me! I love having such great Husband, who takes care of me, trusts me, spoils (when he can) and is an amazing best friend. And then there's loving being a mom to my kids. I may not be perfect, but my kids are my world and I love them. I guess the third thing is I love that I can do so many things that no one believes I can do, I love that I have this way of surprising people. Like when I joined the Army, no one thought I could do it and part of it had to do with me being a girl. I loved that I proved them wrong and loved all my training. I love that I proved I could handle being married to a soldier and here I am 5 ½ years later happily married & going strong. I love that about me.

Sign Here

I have been meaning to write about this for the last three weeks, but so much has been going on and it just hasn't been a priority. So, I figured that I would write about it tonight, while my sweet Hubby lies next to me sleeping and I am feeling unable to sleep. I do believe I have mentioned in the past that I am an Army Reservist soldier just like my Hubby. He joined in 2001 or 2002; I joined after a lot of painful consideration in Aug 2005. When I first started dating him I was terrified of the idea of him joining the Army. I had not grown up with an overly enthusiastic view of soldiers, my Grandfather did not leave my mother with a happy memory of that and while my family is grateful for what soldiers do it was never considered in any of our best interest to be directly involved. So I grew up with a very poor idea of soldiers and I assumed most were destined to leave their wives and family, to cheat, etc. It was cause for a lot of arguments between me and my Hubby, who was just boyfriend at the time. I soon realized that no matter what I said or thought he was going to do it. It was rough for us while he was in BCT & AIT (for those of you who are unfamiliar with Military lingo those stand for Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training), it was rough being apart for 6 months and I admit I was less of a strong support for him. I loved and was absolutely crazy about him, but I was desperate to keep our lives going at home trying to plan a wedding and looking at apartments. It didn't go so well in his eyes and we fought a lot while he was gone, even barely speaking to each other in the end, but once he was home we worked things out again.

I still struggled with his love and devotion to the Army. He grew up the son of an Army Infantry man and so he felt strongly about what he was doing. While it was practically given to him in vitro, for me it was a lot harder to come by. I was told by a friend that 'it takes a special kind of woman to be married to a soldier and I was not that kind of woman.' Kind of harsh, but at the time it was true. I wasn't ready for such a life, but I couldn't change that I loved my soldier. After a matter of time, I came to accept the role the Army played in his life and what it could inevitably come to play in mine. It wasn't easy and I suppose in truth it still isn't, but I accept that and work through it. I imagine we all do.

A few weeks before my 20th birthday, I went with him to his Unit's drill hall where he needed to meet with the retention NCO there. This guy had been at one point a very successful recruiter and Christopher warned me before we got there that he'd try to talk me into it. I of course laughed him off. I could accept my future husband as a soldier and the life that it would entail, but me…that was laughable. I told him not to worry that he couldn't convince me to join. He kind of shrugged and we went. I should have bit my tongue and boy do we still laugh at this story today. The moment I walked in there I had no chance of escaping, because to say this guy was good is an understatement. By the time I left I was seriously considering joining. But I still was thinking with my heart full of love, because rather than taking the opportunity to do something I would be good at like journalism or civil affairs, I wanted to be near Christopher and so I joined as a 92F, a refueler.

I talked to my Dad first before I went to enlist, because I knew my Mom would be unhappy with my decision and I figured I'd get the best support from him. I think I let him down that day, it wasn't what he'd imagined for me, his oldest daughter, but he seemed to accept that my mind was made up. He warned me that my Mom would be less than thrilled and would try to talk me out of it. She did try, but she too realized that I had made up my mind. They have been a lot more supportive over the years since I joined, but I know that they hate seeing me struggle and some of the problems that have been caused by being a soldier, but I chose this life and all that it contains. So, I began the process on my 20th birthday, but due to having had major ankle reconstruction a couple years before I had to be medically checked out and Okayed. So, I did the whole MEPS thing and got checked out by a Military approved Doc before I could sign anything. I did get the okay, but apparently it made me have a 3 on my PULES for lower body (it's only been within the last 4 yrs. that I have found this out.) I officially enlisted on Aug 4th, 2005 and shipped for Basic somewhere around the 24th of the same month. I got permission to hold off those few weeks so I could go on a vacation with my family.

I loved Basic and loved AIT. I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of. I got in shape and loved how it felt. Sadly, no one was able to come see me graduate and I was taken in by two different LDS friends' families for Family Day and Graduation Day. I was honored and blessed to be so welcomed, like I was their own daughter for those two days. If I could tell them now how much it meant to me, I would. They made those two days bearable. I had been hoping that Christopher would show up last minute and take part in my experience, but things had become complicated between us once again while I was at training this time. He was trying to figure out who he was without me and what he wanted. At the time I couldn't understand what was going, perhaps it was the same as he felt during his training. Anyway, after nearly six months of training I returned home a new and different person. I loved it.

We got married just a few short months after I had returned from training (after some rather rocky moments for us) and just before he left the states to go serve his Tour of Duty in Iraq. We spent the entire first year of our marriage minus the first four days and the two weeks of R&R apart. I rather enjoyed my time in my Unit and for a while I was one of the only females in our company who could successful complete my PT test, but eventually as it seems is common in Reserve units I found I wasn't in enough shape to pass everything. I could pass my run just fine and still could max out my pushups, but sit ups became too difficult for me (they are even harder now after three kids ;)) I also had started having issues when we'd go out in the field, I was often a heat casualty and was once even a cold weather casualty. My Hubby got home and we enjoyed about 7 months' worth of drilling together. There were things we liked about it, but things that we hated. Our Unit insisted that we pretend we weren't married. I hated that! He and I were quite proficient with being professional while in uniform, but it offended people that were a married couple in the same unit. Grrr on those who have to make problems for everyone.

I got pregnant that Aug and found that I had to make a choice about my military career. I was first told it would be in my best interest to be discharged from the Army due to my pregnancy and health issues by a commander I didn't (and still don't) care for. We seriously took it into consideration and had in fact decided that it would be best for us, but by the time we returned from lunch I was informed that that was no longer an option. Therefore I should go into the IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve) and sit there until I was done with my pregnancy, this we did decide to do with the understanding from the commander that nothing bad would come of me going into IRR early. Though I did get pregnant again when Aidan was five months old and prevented me from returning, not to mention after a very hard pregnancy with Aidan and the damage it had done to my body I wasn't too keen on coming back. Of course we got pregnant again about a year after Aislynn was born and it just seemed like the best idea to remain in IRR until my contract ended, but during this time the Army decided to try and recoup my enlistment bonus. Which we fought hard against for three and a half years. It's all rather ridiculous if you ask me, especially since we had been told that there would be no repercussions for going into the IRR.

As of the last few months, we have been in debate about me returning to the Army to complete my contract. There is the bonus of having the debt against me disappear, but after much thought, prayer, etc. I decided that it was truly what I wanted. I missed being a soldier, while I was in training I was the top of my classes and I loved telling people when I came home that I was a soldier. I missed the social interaction. I just missed it. Enough leadership change had occurred in my time in IRR that we hoped that most of my issues would be greatly relieved. If I extended my contract to cover the time I was in IRR then I could get my school benefits back, my GI Bill, my kicker, bonus, etc. A chance to finish my schooling at no cost to me. The extra money isn't a bad thing either, especially with my Hubby's hours being chopped. I felt strongly that this was what I needed to do and we both agreed. So three weeks ago today I signed the paperwork that would bring me back into the Army. I'm hoping to reclass once I have my orders to a 42A, which is a paperwork position (I don't honestly know its name). I have done lots of paperwork and filing for the Army in my time in, and I found it was something I was good at. I work hard and I can do it. I have fueled once in all my time in, which is crazy, but whatever.

I truly am anxious for my orders to come and be able to start drilling next month. Coming back does present some interesting complications. It requires us to find someone to care for our kids 2 to 3 days a month and the big long 3 weeks a year while we attend AT (Annual Training). We are hoping our families will be helpful to us in this complication. We also have to create a family care plan, which basically talks about who takes the kids should we both be deployed or should something happen to both of us. Fun stuff. I do have a chance of being deployed, although small. With my health problems I may never deploy, but should they call me up I will do my duty. I knew what I was signing up for when I signed that dotted line. It won't be easy, but being a soldier and being married to one never is. But I chose it and I wouldn't change it for anything. ;)

So anyway that's what I needed to tell you all. You probably are bored to tears, but I feel I needed to get it all out. What better place than my MilSpouse blog? A place where everyone understands and is supportive. I don't know what I'd do without all of you and your support. So anyway here's to the next like 6 yrs! I hope I can be a good soldier and have people respect me as one, as they do my Husband. Well goodnight all!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

30 Days of Truth

Ok, so I'm finally going to be brave enough to do this. I don't like bearing all to people, even on here. I still have reservations and qualms about it. Afraid of what people will think and all, but since several of my friends from high school have been doing this I decided it was about time I did too. So bear with me because this could prove to be both a difficult and interesting 30 days.

Day #1- Something you hate about yourself.

I can think of so many things that I hate about myself, but I think the one thing that impacts me the most in everyday life is…well I'm not even sure the word for it. I want to make friends and it's hard from me. I have heard from so many that I'm too much. I hate that I can't be me and make friends, that something about me is 'too much.' I hate that I'm afraid, petrified even of being myself. I am who I am and I try not to be anyone I'm not. I thought I was done with that when high school ended, but the truth is it never changes. So that's what I hate most about myself. I hate not being able to be myself and hate that whatever I am, I can't make friends as myself.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Ugh. It has begun. Preparing for my kids' first plane ride and I'M NERVOUS! I'm excited to go on a trip at the expense of the US Army, but three kids under four is a lot of kids to keep occupied for an almost three hour flight and that's not including any layovers. (We haven't officially received our orders that contain our flight info, go figure.) We're even considering staying a few extra days in Chicago to enjoy more of the sights, especially since I haven't been there since I was about a first grader (don't ask me how many years ago that was, let's just say a long while). I'm excited to see all the sights and take my family to places I do remember going to see, as well as many new ones. But for all my excitement, I'm nervous about handling my kids on the plane and the airports. It feels really overwhelming.

Does anybody have any suggestions that will help things go more smoothly (I mean I know that it's inevitable that something will go a little crazy, especially with little kids), but I want to be well prepared for anything and everything as I can. I've read a little about some ways to help, but I'd love to hear some firsthand suggestions. We are taking a double stroller for Aidan and Aislynn, as well as a Moby wrap to carry Rhiannon through the airport. I'm not sure how to handle all the carry on stuff or what would be deemed necessary for on the flight. Diapers, pull-ups, wipes and formula are givens. (By the way can I take a can of formula on the plane or are they crazy about that?) I've traveled by myself before and even with my Hubby (who will be there by the way), but this whole kids thing really has me stressed. I want it to go well.

I need to get another hotel arranged for if we're going to stay longer and ugh, all the details are driving me crazy. I'm hoping we can change our return flight without being charged a fortune per ticket. So as you can see there is so much on my mind as far as this trip goes, I could use some suggestions. You guys are all so awesome I know you'll be able to help me out! There will definitely some awesome pictures to come from the trip, especially since on Monday I'm getting my new camera, a Nikon D3100. I'm so excited! Anyway, I'll try to write some more throughout the week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My little Aislynn and my sweet new niece, B. I love how tiny she is!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day In the Life of an Archaeologist

A couple weeks ago, I had the most amazing once in a life time opportunity thanks to my wonderful Father-in-law. My FIL has become my mentor  over the years I've known him. He's an Archaeologist/Historian and with his help I finally decided on a career that would embody all of my quirky hobbies and loves. I love to take photos of cemeteries and old buildings. (Quirky I know and I'll freely admit it) I love seeing historical sites and learning new things about history. Send me somewhere and I could find all of the local historical & archaeological sites to spend my time exploring. ;) I love it!

I enjoy having conversations with my FIL about history and asking him questions about archaeology. I know he secretly loves telling me about their newest projects at work and I love hearing about it. Well, about three or four weeks ago he let me know that they were bidding for a burial project and that I just might be able to come and help. Woohoo! It made my day just to hear that. It took them a week longer to get their bid approved and then he gave me the ok to come up the day after they started the project. Unfortunately, however I could not find a babysitter for my three lovely kids. I was absolutely heartbroken! I'd been anticipating this since he'd told me about it.

I received a phone call from him later that evening, to let me know that they'd be getting into the caskets the next day and that I was still welcome to come up. I told him I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get a babysitter on such short notice. My sweet Hubby spent an hour at least while he was at work calling various siblings to find me a babysitter and eventually it paid off. His kid sister said she could watch them until about 230 when she was heading out for a camping trip. I jumped at the opportunity.

I headed up there after dropping my kids off and I was elated. I was going to actually get to see what I was going to school to do. I can't give all the details incase I have any wrong info, but I can tell you it was the best experience. It was really awesome seeing how they document their progress and their findings as the go. I mean my FIL had to draw a scale drawing of the caskets with their measurements as far as the length of the headboard & footboard, its depth, how wide the wood was that makes the sides, etc. It was pretty cool. I got to help a little as far as helping grab various tools that they might need, empty out buckets, etc. I did get to help do a small amount of digging to help find a casket handle. It was fun. It was neat to watch as they slowly and steadily made their way into the first casket. I even got to touch the skeleton. I know his guess on how old the bodies were was something like 130 yrs based on the look of the casket. (I found that very interesting) Unfortunately they had to deal with some very nasty clay and so they weren't going to get to the second casket and I missed the removal of the burial since I had to be back at my in-laws by 230. I was heartbroken to leave before the day was done. I got to hear more about it later and I'm looking forward to having a nice long talk with him about all his findings.

He did allow me to take all the pictures I wanted and of course all I had was my camera on my phone, but I took tons of photos. Unfortunately I promised not to post any online, as to not get him or myself in trouble with his boss, but lets just say I got some very neat pictures. I truly have found what I want to do. Being there that day just made it more apparent, I was where I belonged. Now I have this renewed desire to go back to school to finish my degree. I have to have a bachelor's degree in order to intern with the company my FIL works for and it seems so far off. But going to school to become an archaeologist requires most of my classes to be on campus and who can afford a babysitter these days so that I can go? I can't. I mean I have three kids. I have three semesters left til I get my associates degree and then from there I have no idea how long til I get my Bachelor's.

I just know I need to get it! Whatever it takes. Thank heavens for Army schooling benefits, it will take me some time I think before I get everything back in place, but soon I will get to use them and that will help. Which reminds me I need to tell you about my being reinstated in the Army Reserves, but I'll leave all those details for another post!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Writer's Workshop: 'Loss'

There is a hole.
A hole I can't forget
One that won't fill in.
It leaves me empty.
Yearning for what can't be mine.
Not yet.
I try to be ok
I feel its expected
Demanded even.
How can I?
It hurts.
The reminders are there
All around why some are lucky
And some are not.
I feel the loss.
I feel the pain.
I'll plaster a smile on my face
Pretend your joy
Isn't my pain.
But it is.
So I'll lie.
I'll pretend.
That my heart isn't aching.
I'll keep the peace
And let you have your joy.
I'll keep my loss
Tucked away.
You all will forget
And I'll try.
To forget my loss.