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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Army Friends

I am a new Army wife. We are a new Army family. Really new.

I say that because all I know, right now, of my Army life to come is what I hear about. We are in limbo, and so are all the other wonderful loved ones that I have met since Michael started Basic. Good thing.

What is it good you ask? It is good because I am not alone.

That is something I am seeing more and more in this life. The other Army wives/girlfriends know how I feel.

Now they may not know exactly, because our situations might differ some, but they know what it is like to be in limbo.

Hurry up and wait is something we joke about a lot in Army life, but it is the truth. We are waiting.

Waiting to find out where we will be stationed, when our soldiers will be deployed, and it seems we are always waiting to see them.

What has made this bearable for me is the people I have met. Thank God for Facebook right now. This social network has been my life saver over the past few months. I have met and become very close to some of these amazing women who are going through the same thing I am going through.

The thing I love about the women I have met so far is that they are their to pick me up when needed and I can do the same (although I usually need to be picked up more than them lol). I see amazing love coming from these other families that inspires me to love my husband more. I am becoming a better person by knowing these women.

So, thank you all for your friendship so far. I hope to know you all for a long, long time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

I remember being asked that question by all of my friends growing up. How did I answer? Well I always said that I wanted to be a mother, but I usually had something else that I also wanted to be .

Ballerina. Lawyer. Singer. All things that would really be out of reach . . . especially for a ten year old with horrible stage fright. I always loved photography, and I have played around with it, but it took a backseat to my life usually.

When I was about fourteen, I met a midwife who changed how I answered that question forever. Wanting to be a mother was always first, but after that I wanted to be a midwife.

I graduated from high school and started looking for how to become a midwife. I spent a year trying to find out how the process would work. I finally spoke to a midwife (different that the one that had known) and she, in a not very nice tone, told me that "You are too young and no one will EVER want a midwife who hasn't had babies"

Those words shook me. I had already been told by one doctor that babies might not be in my future and then a few years later another doctor made a very bold statement that I "would never have a baby".

So, I went into banking. Ugh. That wasn't all that fun, but it paid the bills. I shouldn't complain though. Working in a bank helped me meet my husband. That makes it all ok. :)

Anyway . . back to the original reason I am writing . . .

Michael is very supportive of me following my dreams, so I started looking into college. I figured if nothing else I could be a Labor & Delivery nurse. I would be around laboring women and see babies born. Things didn't pan out for me to start that year and then we got pregnant, married, lost a baby, got pregnant again and had Johnathon. Whew that was a busy year.

Michael was also very, very supportive of my want to be a stay at home mama. I quit my job about 3 months before Johnathon was due and started staying at home. It is a very hard job but totally worth it. I love my children and taking care of them and their daddy.

After Gabriel's birth, I felt the need to become a Birth Doula. For those who don't know, Birth Doulas support women in labor. Well, they do a lot more than that, but explaining it all would be another post. :) Michael was supportive and with his help and the help of family, I was able to not only get my certification for being a Birth Doula but also to be a childbirth educator. I learned so much, and met some of my very closest friends throughout that process.

After having Bella, being a Doula didn't have the appeal it used to. As a Doula, my role was to support the laboring mom and dad (or partner), not to make decisions or give too much opinion on what they should do if they didn't ask. At least that is how I felt I should be. I saw too many laboring moms be pulled all different directions by their doctors and decisions being made that could hurt the outcome of their births. After Bella, I just couldn't do that anymore.

So I stopped. I loved it and now I don't. That was an amazing season in my life that is now over. Bella's birth brought out something else in me that had been asleep a long, long time. I wanted to become a midwife again. *gasp*

I know, right?!?! How crazy would that be? I mulled over it for months while Michael was unemployed. I tried to figure out how I could do it. I couldn't. I had a four year old, and three year old and a newborn. My plate was crazy full.

Now, I am not saying that I couldn't have done it if I wanted to. I have amazing, wonderful, precious, amazing, smart, did I say amazing? friends who are going through midwifery programs right now and they have children. And I am not talking about your average 2.3 children. I am talking 5+ children people! See they are amazing!!!!

They do it all. They are learning to do what they love, taking care of the families, and one of them is still working a full time job! A-maz-ing!!!!!!!! Maybe one day I will be able to get them to post on here about their experiences. hmmmm?? Anyone???

Man I am rambling today. Back to my post AGAIN!!

I chose not to try that and it is a great thing that I didn't because Michael felt led to enlist in the Army. He is gone for training normally right now, and I wouldn't have any way to do my training without him to help me with the kids. You know, babies don't wait for anybody let alone baby sitters for the midwife.

Michael being in the Army has brought up my fear of being a real, full time single mom. God forbid something happens to my husband, I don't really have anything to fall back on. I haven't really worked in almost six years. I had a panic moment recently that went something like this. -

I need to go to school. I need to have a skill. I can't go to school. no one to watch the kids. How would I do it? Who would watch them? I don't want to go to school. I want to be a midwife. Well THAT isn't going to happen right now. What am I going to do???

I am crazy at times, I know, but that isn't the point. I know God will provide, but I can't be sitting on my bottom waiting for that to happen. I feel like I NEED to have a skill to fall back on if . . . .

I hate that "if" but that will also be another post.

I think I have decided to save up for a great camera, and learn the art of photography. I don't want to be working all the time right now. I just want to learn everything I can and play around. Maybe make some fun money here and there and certainly take pictures for my loved ones for free. (Thank you again to my great friend Amy for taking our family pics!!!)

So, I ask you . . . . what do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time Wasted

Let me start off by saying I won't take anything away from what people who have been together for less time have, and I am respectful of the people who have been together for longer. Michael and I have made a life together. Love is love no matter the time.
Michael and I have been together for seven years. Seven wonderful, hard, trying, loving years. We have made life and seen death. We have gone through the ugliest you can imagine and been in the most wonderful of moments together. Together is the key word here.

We were always together, but not always in the same place. We would just be going through the motions of life and not thinking of the other's feelings or needs. One of the hardest lessons that Michael and I are learning right now is that we wasted time with each other. We always assumed that the other would be right beside us if we needed them. We would always have the other there to say I love you, kiss, hold, say sorry to and appreciate. That isn't the case now.

I think a lot of our anxiety and stress is from all of this wasted time.

Michael and I have the stuff of legend. We have not always treated our relationship and each other as that is the case, but we are a rare thing. We are meant for each other. We compliment each other and hold the other up when needed. We are the real deal.

In the past few weeks this wasted time has been on both of our minds. The stuff that we should have done, the time that should have been taken, the emotions that should have been shared . . . it is a heavy burden for both of us. The weight of the limited time we have together and the unknown that is our life right now magnifies the fact that we wasted time.

I know most people will say, well just forget about that now and start over. Well I am all for the whole "do better when you know better" thing, but I don't want to forget this. Forgetting the wasted time might lead us back down that path.

So I don't want to forget that I should have

rubbed his back and feet more.
left him alone when he was having a hard day.
left him alone when he wanted to play video games.
kissed him more.
hugged him more.
shut my mouth more often.
appreciated him for who he is.
followed his lead.
loved him more.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. I should've done a lot. So this Army lesson has hit home, and I pray we have time together to actually be together.

Have you loved on your loved one today???

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And They Said I Couldn't Do It

In honor of our second son's forth birthday here is Gabriel's birth story. (edited from my note on Facebook)

I went into the hospital on December 13th to be induced. I know . . . I know but back then I didn't know any better. I thought I was going to have to have another c-section because he was breech.
I thought I had felt him turn that morning but I was not sure. Thank God that when I had the "let's make sure he is breech so we can section you again" sono he was head down. woohoo!!

The nurse put the monitors on me and told me I was contracting every 2 to 3 minutes. I didn't feel any of them. My CNM checked me and I was at a 4. So no foley bulb for me.

VBACing was something new to the drs and nurses at the hospital I was at. So I was already running uphill without taking into account my mental and emotional state. It was a painful process, but totally worth it. Michael was with me the entire time.

29 hours after I was told I was contracting . . . after 16 hour of Pitocin and no epidural . . . I pushed my precious second son out. I got to push him out!! No section for me. Again woohoo!!!
He was 7lbs 11oz and 20 3/4 inches long. Perfect! Healthy! Michael and I were in heaven!
Having him started me on my path to having our daughter as we did and me becoming a doula.

Happy birthday sweet Gabriel Stephen. You are a precious joy in our lives.

Having Sunny made me a mommy . . . having Johnathon made me a mommy with a baby to hold . . . and having Gabriel gave me my strength back . . . which led to my amazing husband delivering our daughter.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anxious To See Them?!?

Why yes, we are. This seems to be a common theme between all my Army wives/girlfriends. We love our husbands/boyfriends. We totally support them. We count the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until we get to see them again. BUT, and this is a huge but, we are scared to death to see them.

I thought that it was just me or just because it was graduation from Basic last time. I mean that was a total change. We went weeks without talking to each other. I didn't know how he would react to me or the kids. There were a ton of unknowns. Everything was wonderful, but the anxiety and stress beforehand was something of legend. After it was all over and done, I was glad I would never have to go through that again. I am hilarious right?!?!

Here we are, days away from seeing our soldiers (I hate calling my husband that but it is easier here) and the anxiety and stress is looming. I hear it from everywhere, which I am thankful for. I thought it was just me. So glad I am not the only crazy one. :)

What are we anxious about you ask? EVERYTHING!! I specifically am nervous about my weight, my body, my hair (which I have colored a different color since graduation), how the kids will react to him, if our room will be ok for him, how we will fit in the queen bed that Bella has taken over since he left, how his dog will react to him, how Christmas will be, will we have things to talk about, will the stress of him having to leave again take over the last few days and everything in between all that. Crazy? Maybe. This is what goes through my head everyday.

The funny thing is that I am not the only crazy one . . . I mean alone in this. I hear it from people all the time. So although we are thrilled to pieces to have our precious soldiers back at home, there is still worry.

Our life is still in limbo. We don't know where we will be living, when we will be moving, when he will be deployed and all that goes with that. I am trying my best not to let the impending doom (as Michael loves to call it) take over and steal my joy. We will see how I do.

So as I sit here right now, knowing that I am not the only person counting down for exodus, I stress over everything. I know that the second I see his face, everything will be wonderful. All of my worries will melt away and I will be whole again. The kids will have their daddy back. Michael's family will get to see him for the first time in three months. The dog will have her boyfriend back (lol). All will be back to some sort of normal.

For two weeks at least . . . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Weight Of Me

Those of you who know me . . . I mean really know me . . . know that I truly have a struggle with food. This isn't some run of the mill, hormonal time of the month thing. I have issues people.

I thought that I had it figured out in 2003-2004 when I lost a bunch of weight and was eating well and working out 5 times a week. I can use all the excuses in the world to explain what happened if you want me to. I got married, had three kids, I stay at home, I live with family, my husband is gone, blah blah blah.

I don't even want to hear all that anymore. I can tell you when it all fell apart. When our first baby became an angel. When we found out about Sunny, everything fell apart. I didn't want to live at all. Michael, being the wonderful man he is, did anything he could to make me happy.

What made me happy? Eating. I went right back to my old ways of overeating. He kept me happy letting me eat anything I wanted. It isn't his fault at all. He was doing all he could at the time. Remember, as I forgot at the time, he was grieving right along with me, but he had to take care of my sorry butt.

Anyway, so over the last six years I have put on and taken off weight. Ugh! I hate it. I have lost some weight over the past few months, but I feel is creeping back on because of the craziness of the holiday season.

I have given up on worrying about it until after Michael leaves, because I just can't people!! January 3 will be the first day of my new way of living. I have to. I am too overweight. I don't like my body. I don't like the way I feel. I don't like it at all.

I have lots to overcome. Living with my wonderful in-laws (no sarcasm there at all I really love them) makes it hard to eat right. We will be moving at some point, and there is a lot of stress in my life at all times. I also struggle with how to eat. I have PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) which causes carbs to be really bad for me, and the suggested way of eating is an Atkins type approach. BUT I would like to eat veggies and rice and fruit instead. I love the clean diet approach. Thoughts?

So I am going to change it. One of my friend's put a quote on Facebook (not sure of the author) that I just loved.

"If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree."

LOVE that!!! I am totally going to change it. This will be my year . . .

Friday, December 10, 2010

If these walls could talk

So bear with me on this one people . . .there is wisdom here somewhere. :)

You see these pictures of this crazy room? You may see too many beds, too much stuff and waaay too much Transformers for a bedroom. Right?!?

I see years of love. You see, 7 years ago, on this date, I went to the house that we live in now for the first time. Michael lived with his parents when we met. The room that we all live in, without him, now is the room he had when we met. This room and this house holds very special memories to both of us.

That first night, trying to get out to this house, was crazy. I went home and made sure that I was all pretty, which made me later than I wanted to be. The directions out here consists of all numbers. I was new to that and doing it in the dark scared me. I made it to the drive way just as the sun went down.

This is the room that we first stayed up and watched tons and tons of movies. I mean we stayed up laaaate! Like 3 am late.

We talked for hours and hours. Crazy hours!

I had brunch with his parents, here, a few days after the first trip out here. I put a lot of miles on my car back then.

We played connect four Christmas night our first Christmas together. That led to us looking at Christmas lights. Oh the love of Christmas lights we share.

This is the room we lived in after we had our angel, Sunny, and I lost my mind. No really. His parents have let us live in this room time after time when life has thrown us curve balls. We alway pick ourselves up and move on, but we have often called this our true home.

He proposed to me in this room . . . . months after we were married. It was a detail he had let slip his mind. ;)

We found out we were pregnant with two of our children living in this house. The smells in this house can cause me great sickness . . . no offence to my in-laws here. It is just the normal smell/pregnancy thing that hits a lot of women. I still struggle with the normal smell of my mother-in-law's pantry. Ugh. . . makes me sick every time I get in there.

I used to sit and watch tv while he was working the weekends during the cold winter months that we lived here before we had babies. Foodnetwork was my favorite. I would plan what all I would make for him after we moved into our own place.

We watched finding Nemo for the first time here while his mother made him Tuna and Noodles. She loves to make him happy. That was also the day we went to find an apartment together.

We did a lot of crying for Sunny and the fear over losing Johnathon and Gabriel here.

This where we had our wedding. In the front yard. Again, thank God the neighbors moved the cows. I wouldn't change anything about that day, other than I wish I hadn't been so ill.

I could go on and on about the love that has been built in this room.

All of those memories are why it is so hard to live here without Michael. I sit in this room nursing Bella or getting my kids ready for bed, and all I can think of is that Michael isn't here. Everything in this house is a reminder of my sweet husband. I know he is just in Virginia, but that is too far away.
I can't wait for Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It is "Basic"ally over

So here I am again. I am terrible at this blog stuff. Just too busy. :)

Michael graduated from BCT (Basic Combat Training) a couple of weeks ago. Woohoo!! We are all so very proud of him. He is now in Virginia for AIT (Advanced Induvidual Training).

We had a blast at the long awaited graduation. I was able to meet some very good friends that I had only been able to talk to. It was so nice to be able to meet them in person. Thank you all for being there for me!!!

Being without him at home again is a bit much. We did a lot of traveling before and after graduation. That post will have to wait. :)

Until then I will be Army strong . . . .try to be Army strong . . . Army kinda-strong? Oh heck . . . I will just try to BE!!!