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19 weeks and new floors

You know what’s a funny word? Hello. If you stare at it long enough, it really looks weird. I mean, who came up with that? Hello. And someone obviously said it back to that person to. I imagine their conversation went something like this:
hello.”
“…..hello?”
hello.”
“hmm…hello.”
And then they both smiled. It has a pleasant ring to it, I suppose. I don’t think we give the creators of the word enough credit. I wish I could speak to them (I’d start off with “hello,” of course) and tell them about how much I absolutely love that word lately! On an average morning, I’m doing the mom thing and scrambling around the kitchen getting breakfast ready, lunch made, snack, sign the folder, give one kid a breathing treatment, eye medicine for the other, write a check, get the library books, unload the dish washer, let Ace out, get ace in, find a matching sock, take Cole to school, and then it’s mommy and Idan time. It’s usually right at that time when I already feel drained and the sun hasn’t even made its way past the horizon yet. Today, I felt so much happiness, excitement, and total butterflies when I heard that deep, soothing voice say that simple word, “hello.” Our conversation was short, because he spent most of the time talking with the boys (which made their day). I don’t remember what we even talked about, but “hello?” I remember his “hello.” Moral of the story: Don’t ever underestimate the power of a greeting.

In my earlier posts, I explained that there are several different phases that a military wife goes through during a deployment. The first phase, shell-shock, came and went. The second phase is called Ignore and Make Busy. That’s when I fill the calendar so the time goes by quickly. I chose to fill mine with trips, even though I said I wouldn’t travel so much this time. Phase three is hereby proclaimed The Demolition Phase! Basically, part of acknowledging the fact that my husband is actually gone and will not be coming home for a long time is to find something that I have control over and then control it to the max. In the past, I would rearrange furniture, buy and build different pieces of furniture, or make my kids eat kale. This time, I’m a home owner, so the stakes are raised and anything goes. With the demolition mindset in place, my activity for this week was tearing out the carpet downstairs, and replacing it with hardwood laminate. So, I threw it out there on facebook, and a lot of friends and family said they’d love to help. I searched online, ordered the flooring that I liked, had some t-shirts made, and created the event invite. It’s not quite finished yet, but it looks amazing so far.

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Biff helping to move furniture

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After coming to the realization that this flooring was faulty, I had to make the very tough decision to buy new-new floors. I’ll admit that I had a moment of chaos in my brain, and had to take a minute by myself so I wouldn’t get too emotional and frustrated over it, but when the decision was made to get the new floors everyone supported it completely.

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Heath and Chad working on the living room.
even Krisi got down and laid it on!
Madeline helping set up and clean up for Jason and Heath
Heath showed Idan how to measure.
Dylan slept through all of the noise and madness!
Yay! The X-Box room is done! It looks awesome!
Now the living room is done too! I LOVE IT!!!
The T-Shirts

There were a few moments when I just had to stand back and watch everyone. I had friends from my old church, friends from my new church, Young Life leaders, a young life teen, my family, and my husband’s family –all together working for my family and our home. I was overwhelmed by all of the love, support, and hard work that has been poured out in front of me. I usually hit the demolition phase on my own, but this time I drafted people to join me. It was CRAZY! But, it turned out to be such an amazing experience of seeing the family of God come together in my own home. What a memory this week has created! Whenever I come across a military girlfriend or wife who is down in the dumps (or anyone who has to be separated from someone they love), the best advice I can offer is to make the separation time count. Don’t let this be the year that you spent moping around, missing him, and counting down the days until life makes sense again. Make a goal for the year. Make it the year that you _______. So far, this is the year that I stalked a lady from my car to watch her receive my secret flowers. This is the year that I potty trained my youngest son. This is the year that we got a puppy! This is the year that my floors were ripped up and replaced with hardwood laminate. This is the year that God revealed his love to me through friends, family, and strangers. This might actually be shaping up to be filled with some pretty decent memories.

Until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!

 

 

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18 Weeks and a DIY shirt design

So this week, I got the flu, and it’ve been sucky. The good thing is that we’re another week down! Yay! I have no deep thoughts, funny quips, our poop stories to tell, because I mostly just cuddled with my boys, watched movies, and sipped on liquid mucinex. So, onto my activity, shall we? This week I scrolled through pinterest for some inspiration, and here’s what I found:

http://pinterest.com/pin/285134220128202454/

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So I tried it!

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here it is before

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and here it is after

It looks super cute too! After all of the tying, the shirt got shorter and shorter, so I decided to give it away to……drum roll……Brooke Walker! She’s teeny tiny, and it’ll look great on her! This was really easy to do, so if you have an hour to waste, and a shirt to waste too, try this!
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Brooke modeling the shirt

Until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway

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17 weeks and D-Day

D Day Eve

10am: Just received a phone call from my husband. The time has been pushed up to 11am instead of 3:30pm. We have from 8am til 11am to be at the reception together. I had a good groove going with laundry and packing while Chandler and Cole were over at the Company getting things ready for tomorrow. That phone call kinda shot my groove down. Now, I’m just sitting on a crinkly space saver bag, surrounded by a self-made mote of folded clothes. The piles were separated for different stages of the day tomorrow, and now I need to rethink the clothing plan for the kids. Just when I was about to start streaming tears again, Idan smacked himself in the face with a glow stick packaging tube…on purpose. Then he looked at me and started crying. What did he expect? My kids are weird. Exactly the comic relief that I need. It’s totally okay to laugh at that, he’s not seriously injured.
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Oh, the packing list…I wasn’t foolish enough to even attempt makeup.

Thursday
5:30am – I’m up curling my hair, because I need to have my swag on the last day my husband sees me for a while. He’s downstairs loading up his bags and the car topper. There’s no way I’m getting good gas mileage on the way home. All of his gear that I’m taking home alone weighs about 400lbs.
6:30am – I’m leaving to pick up the new puppy, Ace, while Chandler has his alone time with the boys. I’m starting to think curling my hair was a waste of time. It’s humid and windy out.
7:30am – I’m sitting at the bag drop. My husband is loaded down with his belongings for the next year, his ruck sack, a duffle bag, and a back pack…he didn’t have room for his x box, shaving cream, or q tips. I hate that he doesn’t have any personal items other than his lap top. The bags are piling up now. So many of these guys are so young..like haven’t even shaved yet young. Deep breaths…I should feed the dog. image
Oh, by the way, my hair is flat and up in a pony tail.
8:30am – hanging out with the boys and Ace while my man is doing the accountability formation. So neat to watch him take on this deployment as a Senior Enlisted soldier. I’m feeling nothing but pride right now.image
9:30am – I was doing so well…then the manager of the gym (because the unit is too small for their own reception field, so they use a gym for deployment ceremonies) told me we couldn’t have Ace in the building, because some people might have allergies. Even keeping him in the kennel was a no-go. Deployment day always has everyone in a fragile emotional state, so the tiniest things can turn on the fountain of tears. Once it starts, there’s no plugging it up. This lady was the straw that made the camel cry. Now, I can’t help but glance at the clock and notice that we have 1 hour and fifteen minutes left.

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the kids' area


10:30am – As I look around the room, I see dad/soldiers playing with their kids, mom/soldiers hugging and kissing their babies, moms and dads of soldiers holding their sons’ and daughters’ hands, wives with their heads buried in their husbands’ chests, and I don’t hear anymore talking. Everyone is glancing at the clock now. I hate that stupid clock. I hate this stupid gym, and I hate the stupid happy music that is playing in the background. This whole thing sucks. I mean, the FRG did a wonderful job on the refreshments and freebies. I can’t wait to show the boys the new deployment video and go through my family care packet. I love the soldier dolls (totally awesome! There’s a spot to put in a picture of Dad, and it’s wearing ACU’s!)…anyway, the reception is nice and thoughtful, but it still feels cold. I just want to take my soldier, my boys, and my dog and go back home to Georgia.

11:30am – He’s gone 🙁 At 10:45am, Chandler stood up and called the boys over to him. He saved the big talk for the last few minutes. Just as he was beginning to speak, they announced, “Soldiers, line up! Kiss your loved ones goodbye. It’s time to go. Line up, line up. Company formations! Line up!” I wanted to throw up. We got jipped of 15 minutes! What the heck? Cole began to lose it saying,
“Wait! Dad was just about to tell me something! Wait!” Idan said he wanted to go with Daddy and the soldiers. My makeup was traded in for the same look of defeat that the other wives were wearing. I’m so glad we got Ace. He’s been therapeutic for all of us, especially Cole.

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holding Ace immediately dried Cole's tears

I am so grateful for all of the calls, texts, emails, and facebook posts from my friends and family. This initial separation time sucks the most, and the incredible support team that we have is so encouraging. The boys have developed this new obsession with The Lion King, and the cutest thing is when they sing the songs together. They are constantly critiquing each other on the correct lyrics and proper dance moves to mimic the actual movie scenes. Chandler and I have loved watching them and joining in these past two weeks. As a family inspired by the popular Disney film, we’ve decided that we’re adopting Timon and Pumbaa’s motto, “Hakuna Matata”. We’ve been reminding each other not to worry about the stuff we have no control over, which is basically everything right now. We appreciate distractions and busy days. Each day is another day to cross off the calendar in our countdown to reuniting our whole family again. I don’t know if it’s “shell-shock” or relief from finally exiting the countdown to the countdown, but I am actually feeling alright. I’m ready to get this over with and move onto the next phase of our military life, wherever that may take us. I just have to hurry up and wait…patiently. Let the crazy finally begin!
So, until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!

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16 weeks….

I’m trying to just focus on slow, deep breaths right now. We’ve had awesome family time here in Texas. We rushed around like crazy to buy the new ASU’s and all of the ribbons, racks, and medals that go with it because I misread a text and left his uniform at home. Unless you are or have been or are a military spouse, you have no idea how crazy it is to buy and set up dress blues in 2 days. Some might call it impossible, but apparently the jamaicans have no word for impossible (thank you, Michael Scott from The Office). Chandler got his DA photo taken today (another gift from God), and is now all eligible for promotion! It’s crazy to think that he was just a corporal when we met. What an amazing man, soldier, and NCO he has grown into. I can’t believe he chose me to do it all with him. As I paraded my husband around town, doing various errands in his full dress uniform and 90 degree Texas heat, it occurred to me that this was it. This is our last family outing before he leaves. He has to report back to work tomorrow, check barracks for the other soldiers, and pack. So we decided to go out with a bang. We headed to the pool, and made plans for a massive chow down at the restaurant of his choice. So here we are, just relaxing…no cares, just enjoying each other and our little family when his phone started going off like mad. My heart stopped, and I knew what all of the buzzing was all about. Emails, itineraries, and check lists…all if a sudden my heart is in my stomach. I rolled over to tan my back (really to let the tears fall so he couldn’t see), and my mind started racing. I’ve avoided all of these thoughts for 4 months…why now? I just have to breath. Just breath and pray that my liquid liner doesn’t fail me. He leaves on Thursday. I should be used to this by now, right? So many people assume that I am. I’m not. It’s gut wrenching every time he leaves. I pray that I never get used to this. Sigh…Please pray over their travel. I’ll have a list of his soldiers to pray for in my next post. I’ll include an hourly update for Thursday too so anyone who would like to walk through this with me is welcome to. Please pray for the boys too.
-For GOD and my country