Our journey throughout our first year of marriage and our second deployment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Few and Far Between

That's how I feel about my posts recently. 

Life. Is. Crazy!

The Hubby has officially been home for more than 30 days and I can honestly and happily say that the past few months have been the happiest in my entire life.  I feel more complete, focused, happy, peaceful, and OMG Busy all at the same time!

And David has been incredible!

I don't know what I could have ever done or will ever do to deserve having this man as my Husband, but I can say that I will spend the rest of my life trying to be as good of a wife to him as he is a husband to me. 

 A few weeks ago, I was having a LONG day and I went out to my car at 4:30, after being in class since 8:30, ready to go home and finally have something to eat, and realized as I was unlocking the car that there was a rose in the steering wheel!  And then, when I went to put my instrument in the back, there was a second rose on the back windshield and a third on the front!  I was so surprised, and so then, I decided with David having a big test that night and us just having gotten our new car, that I would show him how well I could take care of Betty, and get him a little "snack" before his test.  So, I went to fill up the tank in the car and wash her, and then I got David 2 of his favorite monster drinks and headed home... after about an hour. 

When I pulled up to the house, I immediately realized I should have come home first thing because there were two more roses on our front door step.  I quickly grabbed everything out of the car, picked up the roses and then walked in the door to find my incredible Hubby waiting on me with 6 more roses!  WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!?! 

THEN

He explained it all to me.

The 3 roses on my car are for the 3 EXTREMELY difficult things we have overcome in our relationship.

The 2 on the doorstep represent our 2 years of marriage.

The 6 in his hand stood for the 6 years that he and I have been one another's best friend.

And then he led me upstairs to our room where there was one more rose in the beautiful pink vase he bought for me years ago, and that rose was symbolic of the 1 that he and I have become in eachother and in our marriage.

I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it again.  We have had some crazy ups and downs, but we've made it through everything that life has thrown at us, plus some!

Things should be harder with our contrasting school and work schedules, but we... or should I say, he.. makes the little times count.  Like coming home to eat lunch together.  Helping one another out at home.  Going on errands with one another.  Sitting in the same room while ONE OF US reads and does homework and the OTHER gets to play games because he's already done with all of his work.. not fair! ;) 

There is an openness and a bond that has grown between us that is even stronger than the unbreakable bond we had before.  I don't know how to explain it, and I definitely thought this was just the honeymoon phase of post deployment and at first, wasn't prepared for it to last longer than a week.  I think we did so much fighting and were so miserable during the deployment that we got it all out of the way.  I keep waiting for the ground to fall out from under us and for reality to set, but then I realize that this is our new reality!  And it's definitely a life and a relationship that I thank the Lord we have the rest of our lives to enjoy!  I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful "fall" weather.  I'm ready for the real stuff to hit and the leaves to change!  And I have a fireplace now that needs breaking in.. along with some pumpkins that the Honey and I need to carve! Woo Hoo!  Have a great week ya'll!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ready for the weekend!!

I am back on my feet, and just in time for the weekend!  I didn't have my first two classes this morning, so I only had jazz band, Women in Literature, and my technique lesson!  YAY!

This morning was just a mess and a half though.  David and I slept in and then when we got up and about, we were scrambling to get things done, taking over for one task while the other began another.. toppling over one another in the bathroom (Oh for the days when our bathroom is large enough for both of us and the dogs!) and both not feeling completely 100%.  It was definitely interesting.

I left for class knowing our place was a complete mess of papers, books, beds, stuff.. cups.. you name it, it was all over the place.  School is definitely in full swing at our home.  And Tristen and Jared are coming in tonight to spend the weekend with us, so I was mortified to tell her to have her expectations low and apologizing for the appearance of our home.  I am a very neat and clean person.  I can't stand when things are out of place (because everything has a place) and when there are books, cups, papers, things all over the place.  I live in organization, not chaos.  And people tell me that will change when I have kids.  I want to laugh and ask if they know anything about me, or if they have had the pleasure of meeting my mother. I LOVE decorating and investing in the appearance of my home and even though there will be toys out and about someday and clothes/blankets all over the place, I'm like a Speed Cleaner!  And it will all be picked up every night before I go to bed. I'll blog about it and you can hold me accountable with it in a few years! ;)

SO!!! Tristen, as adorable as she is, asks if I need her to clean when she gets here!  No, Angel!  You are my guest, that's fine.. but thank you!  I go to class, get all that stuff taken care of and come home to..... a CLEAN and organized apartment thanks to my INCREDIBLE husband!!  I was so excited!  He did everything!  Organized and cleaned up the upstairs, made the guest bed with the new mattress cover, made our bed, put everything away, VACCUUMED!!!, took all the cups and dishes downstairs, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the living room, swept the floors, took out the trash and even went into work early!  WOW.

I was so excited I called him up, knowing he was working, just to leave a voicemail to let him know how very much I love him and how thankful I am for everything he did.  I'm blown away!!  So, now.. we both get to just enjoy the weekend and have fun with Tristen and Jared while they're here!  I'll post pictures later!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What A Week!!

It's been one heck of a week! Ups and downs and back ups again!  Goodness!

Well, let's start with the weekend, shall we? Since there was no real sense of where the week started off for us.... ok, for me.  We both worked a lot on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then decided to go down to David's family reunion/get together thing on Monday.  I could have kicked myself because I had literally hundreds of pages of reading to do for all my classes this week and I didn't bring a single book.  So unproductive.  This was also really our first time going to see family together since he's been back.  It was an interesting day. 

Ok, I'm going there. I know there are those that immediately adjust into their spouses' family, and there are those who never adjust, and then still those who take some time adjusting.  I am the last one.  And David is the first one.  It's all based on the family we've had and what we're used to, and the family we're coming into.  It's just very different, and I forget how different it is every time.  Different isn't bad, it's just learning how to find my place in the mix of it.  I think that's been the biggest struggle is adapting to the differences of what I've grown up with and then also figuring out how I fit into it. I love David's family, they are my family also! And I don't doubt their love for me.  I would do anything for any member of the Roark clan and I cannot even begin to explain to you HOW MUCH I love my nieces and nephews!! They are my pride and joy and I brag about them constantly!  And I have plenty to brag about! 

**Proud Aunt moment coming** 
Josh is the oldest and he is so intelligent, as are all of my nieces and nephews! He has the most descriptive and incredible imagination of anyone I know!  And goodness he could read in any setting.  On Monday, at one point, he was reading while laying backwards on the couch with his head on the ground, feet in the air, and book upside down on the floor in front of him!  So funny! 

And then there's Andrew!  He is such a loving and passionate boy and he gets so excited about everything he has to tell you!  He's protective and caring of everyone around him and he is also a new believer in Jesus Christ!  We had the joy and pleasure of watching him get baptized on Monday. 

 Jacob is next and it is hard to describe Jacob... he is just that!  Goodness, he can be the biggest stinker and sweetheart all at the same time!  I love my hugs from Jacob and how smart and perceptive he is, even for a four year old.  I will never forget coming over to visit one day and Jacob told me about evaporation and cumulonimbus clouds... I felt like I needed to go back to elementary school! 

Gabe is the next oldest and that boy just brightens my heart!  I love when we pull up and he screams "AUNT BISCUIT!!!!" from across the yard and races to give hugs!! There is a happiness and joy that exudes from him that is so contagious! 

 Faith isn't much younger and probably the most interesting soon-to-be 4 year olds to have a conversation with!  She is so carefree and spirited!  This summer, we had Faithy/Aunt Ruffles dates and at one point, she rode with me to go to Oklahoma City to pick up Gabe.  We talked the entire way there.  She is intuitive and perceptive of even the smallest things and I feel like I can have a real conversation with her.  She is also brilliant!  She's very smart for her age and is quick to soak in any knowledge around her.  We were stopped getting lunch one day and I had Stravinsky's Octet playing, I was conducting to it, and I looked in the mirror.. and she was conducting it almost perfectly as she watched me!  I was a little jealous! ;)

Anna is the baby girl in the family, but not for long! She is definitely a princess, but she can hold her own!  She is so sweet and innocent and says the cutest little things!  And like all the other kids, she DEFINITELY loves her Uncle David!  She is just darling, there's no other way to describe her!

Israel and Gideon are the current babies of the family, and they couldn't be more different!  Izzy is a boy of few words, but you'll know what he wants when he wants something!  He gives the funniest faces and plays like he doesn't understand what's going on.  He also has a very carefree.. I do what I want attitude and I love that about him!  On Monday, we all sat down to watch Tangled and Izzy climbed up and snuggled with me multiple times!  It was so precious!  Gideon is not talkative, but he's vocal!  And he gives the best faces too.  At lunch on Monday he kept screaming NOOO and I was trying to tell him to stop.  He'd do it again, and then just give me this look of "I know what I'm doing, and I want your attention!!" So snarky!  I loved it! 

They are all so different, but I love them with every part of me!  My favorite times are when Uncle David and I walk through the door and can't get through the entry way because all of the kids have gathered there.  And they are all growing up so quickly, I don't want to miss a single thing. 

So, Monday was adventurous, as always.  I felt bad because after lots of working and not a lot of sleeping, I just crashed at Sarah and Jeff's house.  It wasn't for long, but still.  After a little while, David and I headed out to go Car Shopping!  He'd brought up leaving a little early to go look at some places, and so we did!  We'd been looking at Muranos since before he left for Afghanistan last year and then we also started looking at Rogues a few weeks ago.  We had already decided to go and get our car at a dealership in Tulsa, so today was about getting a good feel for the vehicles and deciding which one would be best for us. 

We looked at the Rogue, and it was nice.. but I couldn't justify buying one because it wasn't much different from my current Taurus.  We went to look at an older blue model that happened to be next to A WHITE MURANO!!!  :D  I looked at David and said "Can't you see me driving this?" He just smiled and said "I definitely can, but I wanted to give you options and for you to pick!" We took the Murano for a test drive and then there was no question!  It is an older model, slightly used, but it is in wonderful and exactly what we were looking for.  We thought about it and we've been praying for months to find the right car.. and so after discussing all the details and talking with both our Dad's, we decided to go for it!! AHHH!!!  So, we bought our first car!!


I know, I know... kind of crazy!! But, we were excited!

David had class on Tuesday, and I had studio, but not really class, and then it went downhill.  Tuesday night, after staying up until after 1:00 AM doing homework and reading for class, my throat began to swell up and it was so sore, even when I wasn't swallowing.  As the night progressed, I tried to sleep but just kept tossing and turning.. my head felt like a balloon that had been blown to capacity and could pop at any moment. David said I snored louder than he's ever heard me snore!  And I'm a weenie when it comes to pain, so I decided to go to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning.  David wanted me to wait for him and go after noon so he could be there, but there was no way.  I was uncomfortable and I wanted to get it taken care of ASAP!! 

My doctor checked everything over and said she's pretty sure it's just a sinus infection and a head cold.  I hate when they say "It's just this.." when I am absolutely miserable!  But that's ok.  They also gave me two shots in the hip to get the medicine in my system quicker, and I handle those needles like a champ!! :) I've determined if I want to have children, I'm eventually going to have to get over my fear of needles.

I came home, and bless David's heart, I've been sleeping, snoring, trying to do reading for homework, and sipping down Sprite ever since.  He's been so helpful and always makes me feel better, but I have to get back to 100% soon in case he gets sick, and with Tristen and Jared coming to stay with us this weekend! Craziness!!!  I hope everyone has had a great week!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

GAMEDAY!!

It's GAMEDAY in Oklahoma!!!  And we're working! Haha!  Week 2 of school is finally over!  I finished with a pretty awesome lesson yesterday and then right before I was about to head to work, I got a call saying they didn't need me! :D  So, David and I had another date night last night!!  It was great!  We drove around Stillwater, went shopping a little!  He bought me two super cute OSU shirts, so now I have no excuse to not sport our colors!  We also went to Best Buy and even though we would LOVE to get a camera, we're going to wait until we're ready to start having children so we can get the newer model!  He gave a pretty good case for getting a new flat screen TV... even to the point of telling me how we could rearrange the living room, but I just had to say one word.  "Car." :)  That will be our next purchase!  So, we're excited to start looking!  And we need one, goodness, there are only so many things Hubby can do with his motorcycle!  But we didn't leave Best Buy empty handed!  We got a few Blu-Rays to add to our collection and David pre-bought The Lion King for me!!!! OMG October 4th cannot come quick enough!!  FAVORITE DISNEY MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I'm just a little excited!  David started feeling sick, or hungry, he wasn't sure.  LOL, so we picked up some dinner and headed home to watch Something Borrowed! And went to bed early!!! YAY!!!  I'm making us some Chinese Beef and Broccoli tonight and then we're going to our friend's birthday party after the game, I need to make some yellow cake with chocolate frosting too!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Go Cowboys and Go Sooners!! (I know, I have a problem)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reintegration

Can I just start this off by saying that I'd prepared for the worst?!  I have a wonderful Sister who, thank you Lord, has gone through a very similar situation with her husband in their first deployment.  Now, David and I went through a deployment together in 2009 when he deployed to Iraq, but we were engaged then, and as hard as that was, it was nothing compared to this past deployment and being married! 

I would tell Aimee things about what was going on with David and she would get so frustrated because she had dealt with the same things in her husband, which made me feel better to have an opinion of what to and not to do.. what to expect.  It was nice to be able to vent to someone who not only understood, but wasn't going to take sides over one or the other!  It's not about sides, but goodness if my Momma believes David could never do any wrong!  Gosh that was so frustrating! 

Looking back, it's hard to think of where we were just a few months ago.  It brings tears to my eyes and puts a knot in my throat when I think about how we were towards one another and who we were as individuals.  I can't believe such a tremendous change occurred in just a few months.  Shorter than that actually.. it was instantaneous from the moment he got off the plane and his leave started.

It wasn't so much the reuniting that made the change, I think the understanding that a change in me personally needed to be made had been coming for a long time, it was just bringing all the pieces together to make that change click.  Once I was in his arms, I felt complete, but it was a complete that I finally realized was accentuated by David, but not necessary.  That I could reach my full potential without being entirely dependent on him.  Is it better with him around?  NO QUESTION!!! But from the moment we met back in HS, David has always silently encouraged me to be a better version of me.  The summer was more positive with that understanding.  But, there was also a shift in our relationship when leave started.  I can't explain it, because I can't explain where we were before.  Our first few months of being married, we were dealing with severe changes and the aftermath of David's first deployment.  We also didn't know what we were doing and things weren't bad, but they weren't good either.

Being apart during the first 10 months of this deployment DID NOT HELP! Imagine that?! Haha!  Things happened between us that I never thought would occur and I had never really been able to stay mad at David or him at me, but we sure learned how to over this past year.  And when we hit rock bottom over and over and continued with the fights, I was sure it couldn't get any worse.  I know that we have a large effect on the other individual.  If David would call, I would get so excited, but the second I would hear the negativity in his voice, my excitement dropped and we pulled one another down from there.  Not healthy, obviously.  But being together over leave, we knew we needed our time, that we needed to just enjoy those few weeks and enjoy one another's company and not mess with anything else.

As coming home got closer, I feared that we would face the nasty post-effects of deployment once again.  I have a problem of setting my expectations too high and I worked not to have any expectations with David coming home, which was hard.  To have complete blind faith and walk in not knowing what to expect or what will be thrown at you?  No fun.  But it's what happened.  The second we were reunited, it was just perfect.  Perfect.  Our time with family, together, apart.. it's all been great.

We've been much more communicative than in the past and we've also made an effort to do things together, even if it's David playing his games downstairs while I'm reading for class (How does he get away with not having homework?!) or checking in constantly.  We're working together on everything too, just helping one another out with things.

Since school started, our schedules haven't completely mashed up.  I have Tuesday and Thursday off with classes on Monday Wednesday and Friday and he has classes on Tuesday and Thursday and is off on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  But it's still worked out wonderfully.  And I mean, there are the little things, like when I'm trying to read or concentrate on something and he chooses those moments to be all chatty!  Haha!  I'm thankful for him wanting to talk, but it also is irritating!

We bought a new bed (mattress, pillows, and all) since he's been home!  Believe me, I've had that bed and mattress since I was 10 years old and we NEEDED a new bed!  I know we were both sick of rolling into the middle.  But with this new and incredible bed, I guess I do things in my deep sleep that I haven't done before.  I may accidentally kick him or hit him, or talk to him in my sleep?  Poor guy.  The first night we had it, he kept waking me up, telling me I was pushing him or that I was snoring, or I was talking in my sleep.  The next night, we established a rule that if I do those things, just ignore me and roll over, because I'm probably deep in sleep and it won't help to wake me up!  :) So, things have been good.  Very routine.  He goes to work, I stay home and read... a lot.  I go to class and then to work or to rehearsal and he stays home and does stuff around the house or works on homework.  It's just been a wonderful transition.  We're in the full swing of school now with both of us working over 20 hours a week too.  So, it's busy, but we make it work!  Here's to the next year of hard work, classes, and LOTS of love and time with my Honey!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

St. Louis!!!

In case you weren't aware, David and I took a little getaway trip to St. Louis after the welcome home ceremony and before we both started back to school!  It was a surprise, kind of! I knew where we were going, but my Dear Hubby did all the research and planning on the trip!  We stayed at the incredible Union Station Marriot, which was extrememly cool with all the history there! 


We had a lot of fun on the roadtrip up there and that night, against David's better judgement, we had some pretty gross Chinese food and thankfully didn't have a repeat of our honeymoon and spend the whole trip sick.  The next day, we got up and went to the Arch!  According to David, the Arch was only a few blocks away... I should have known better since he said the exact same thing about the Sears Tower when we went to Chicago.  Thank goodness we found a Subway on the way and got to eat and hydrate, and FINALLY we made it to the Arch!!


We went through part of the museum and then headed up in the elevator.  I was not a fan, but David said it was because I sat in the center and was feeling it shift directly the entire time.  So, we entertained ourselves with pictures during the 4 minute ride up.


We had a lot of fun, decided to go through the City Garden on the way back to our hotel and also found the Soldier's Museum.  It was interesting, and definitely an exhausting afternoon!  We went to this incredible Italian restaurant that night and drove around afterwards. 

Friday, we went to the zoo.. after a LONG drive around trying to figure out where it was.  And man was it hot!! If you know anything about me, you know I am such a weenie when it comes to heat.  We decided to do some indoor things first and got to pet and feed sting rays and sharks!  It was SO cool!!  I failed at feeding them, I got worried whenever the sting ray came up and basically lifted the sting ray out of the water... oops!  David, however, was an absolute pro at it!  We even got a cute little sting ray stuffed animal to go with our baluga whale stuffed animals! We got pretty worn out with the heat and the entire zoo is basically outdoors, so after we went to see the Penguin exhibit (that David insisted upon) we drove over to the Art Museum.  And then that was enough for the afternoon!  For dinner, we went to Hard Rock Cafe, which David had surprisingly never eaten at!


And then afterwards, we went across the street from our hotel to see the fountain over there!  It was absolutely beautiful!!


We had a wonderful rest of the trip, just relaxing and enjoying one another's company!  I don't think I could have asked for a better homecoming!  And our trip was just what we needed!  Hope eveyone is having a wonderful week!  :) I'll update tomorrow on what's been going on since our trip!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Catch Up! Welcome Home Ceremony!

Goodness, it's hard to believe it's only been three weeks since I've had my Hubby home!  But it's hard to believe it's already been 3 weeks too!  We have done soo much in the past few weeks, and things are going well!  It took a little bit of a bumpy road to get there, but we made it! When I last updated, I was relaxing after working my tushy off at work and at home trying to get everything ready for him to come back.  I spent the next day just relaxing, watched some Bachelor Pad (I didn't get to finish all of it) and I was just about to finish last minute touches around the house and getting ready when I got a message from one of our family members wanting to come to the Homecoming Ceremony.  Looking back at it now, and even at the time, I knew it was fine and it wasn't a problem, but there were other things to consider.

Background here, my hubby had deployed to Iraq from 2008-2009 and then left again last year after not even being home for a year to go on a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan.  Many people, including our immediate family, do not know the severity of the toll the Iraq deployment took on him, and being a newly married couple and a new Army wife, I didn't know what to do. But there were a few incidents of things that happened that we felt should be kept private.  However, when Hubby came home this time, things were not as bad in some ways and worse in others.  I have known and loved him for the past 7 years and there were qualities that he showed upon this homecoming that I have never seen.  I'm not going to sugar coat this, because I know other military wives read this and I want to be honest.  And he and I have talked about this and already worked through this situation.  But when he first got back into the country and while he was at demobilization, he was very possessive, controlling, and would get mad at me over the tiniest things. Of the two of us, I am definitely the more emotional, but that wasn't the case.  His emotions were all over the place and for a few days, even before he came home, I was literally afraid to talk to him or Skype with him because I felt like I was walking on eggshells.  I'd never encountered David like that and I didn't know what to do.  Add to all of that the mix of demobilization stress?  It just wasn't a good couple of days leading up to the homecoming.  We had decided to be 100% honest in the evaluations and doctors check ups and because of that, we weren't sure if he was going to be able to come home, or if we were going to have to drive back to post (which is in a different state) to finish up meeting with doctors.  Because of the two deployments being back to back and the stress that came with the past 3 years, it is no surprise that my Hubby has mild PTSD, and most wives know the cautions you have with that diagnosis.  So, back to the day of his homecoming.

Just about 30 minutes before I was planning on leaving, I got a message asking to surprise my Hubby at his homecoming.  More info, at this point, he didn't want anyone there.  He wanted me to pick him up and us to head straight home, but we decided it would be important to have our immediate families there prior to this.  So, the word "surprise" sparked a protective nerve and I wasn't what to do and how my Hubby would react.  One thing that most people know about me is that I don't like last minute changes.  If something is planned, especially just a few hours before the event, I cannot stand lack of organization, communication, and changes being thrown into the mix.  It literally sends my head spinning.  Another thing that has always been frustrating is when I need to make a decision and I get NO feedback whatsoever from the Hubby.... not cool.  All of the emotions of the week, plus the ending of the deployment.... it wouldn't have mattered what happened, I was a ticking time bomb of emotions waiting to explode.

I had done a fairly decent job of holding it all together and taking care of everything.  We had a BUNCH of lows and dark times over the year and points where I really didn't know what was going to happen.  Thank you Lord, our leave was marvelous and we were able to completely enjoy one another.  There was a change in our relationship over those two weeks, but anyone who has gone through a year without their spouse can tell you that eventually you have to face the nasty things and deal with the damage that your relationship has taken.  Welcome Home's are joyous for families, but they are also terrifying for wives.  You don't know what is going to happen and how this reintegration process is going to change.  And even though you're scared and wanting to make it as easy of a transition for your spouse, you are also so excited and relieved at the deployment being over and them being home and safe... it's a very strange mix of emotions.  As my incredible sister said "I think wives have PTSD too!! We go through so much while they are away and being alone... it makes us a little crazy".

Well, I went crazy.  It wasn't the what, it wasn't the who... it was the when.

A massive breakdown just overwhelmed me and I couldn't do anything!  I know that sounds silly now, but that's the only way I can explain it.  I couldn't talk, I couldn't move, couldn't get ready... it was enough to just cry!  Oh was it an ugly cry.  And my INCREDIBLE Hubby stepped in and saved the day.  He was so loving and comforting.  And he knew just what to do, even though we were still hours apart.  He told me to turn on a specific playlist, to listen to that and get ready and to not call, text, answer anything from anyone except for him.  Just be in my own little bubble of a world for a little bit.  And it was perfect.  I was about 45 minutes behind schedule, but in a way, I needed that breakdown to just let things go, and he needed to take charge of the situation and make sure everything was ok.  I ended up leaving way behind schedule and speeding to get to the city in time... during rush hour traffic.

My sweet sister and her boyfriend were about to leave too.  Jared, her boyfriend, had called in the middle of the fiasco and asked me to remember to bring some kitchen canisters for Tristen.  I tried to hide my voice from sounding like I'd been sobbing for the past 30 minutes, but he knew something was off and asked if I was sleeping.  Haha!  Thank goodness Tristen hadn't called then or I may have lost it on her, but she called while I was driving to the city and as I told her everything that was going on, she was just so understanding.  She didn't really understand, but she was sympathetic to the entire thing and that's all I needed.  I had texted my other sister earlier and she called while I was still driving, and as I told her what happened, she had the exact same reaction I had!  It made me feel so much better for someone to REALLY understand.  Because even if it's your best friend, your son, your brother, whatever relation... unless you are the spouse, you don't really understand.

It's been a saving grace having Aimee this year.  David and I are almost exactly where Ben and Aimee were 2 years ago, and so as I'll tell her things, she just gets so frustrated because she wishes she had videotaped their deployment so she could show me and maybe we wouldn't be going through the same things!  Brothers will be brothers though, and Ben and David are scary alike.  As I got farther into the city, traffic got worse and it was about 20 minutes before the ceremony began.  Can you say Stress?!  I was panicking, trying to get through stand still traffic, praying that I would get there in time.  The thought of missing the ceremony was just unimaginable.  I had people telling me where to go and how to get there the fastest.. and I wanted to scream.  I used to live around this area, I know my way around there better than I do our current hometown.  Aimee kept me calm and we laughed and joked as I worked my way through side streets to get to the Armory.  Thankfully, because of the massive accident and the traffic, the ceremony was delayed for about 20 minutes.

I ran in so fast I forgot my camera and the cute sign I had made in my car.  When I walked in, both my Dads were standing in the lobby alone while everyone else was praying in the ceremony.  I immediately started to break down, fearing that I had missed it.  My Dad went into full football coach mode then and told me to cut it out, suck it up and to get in there when I pulled it all together.  I followed them to our family and was SO relieved that the guys hadn't come in yet.  I didn't miss anything!  I went straight to my Mom, I don't remember seeing anyone other than her and she just loved on me during the ceremony while we anxiously stood there, seeing David but not able to go to him yet.  My sister got there right as they were coming in and stayed at the back, but LOVINGLY brought me a huge Diet Coke!  Gosh, what would I do without her!  As soon as I could, I ran into David's arms and at that moment, nothing else mattered.




I have a lot of other photos, but these are some of my favorites!!  It was just perfect!  After lots of laughter and tears, hugs and pictures, we went to dinner at BJ's and then I finally got to take my Hubby home for good!!

I'm sorry it was such a long post, there was a lot that happened.  I'll update on our trip and the last few weeks tomorrow or Thursday, but I hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tomorrow!!!

Well!  UPDATE!  I can now say that my Hubby is home and on American soil as he is almost done with his demobilization and in less than 24 hours, will be with me!!! YAY!!!!  I'm so excited, but and there is SO MUCH TO DO!!!  I did a lot today.. went to work first thing this morning (And I'm now done for the rest of the week!!), got our parking permits, went to do a check up at the doctor before school started, paid bills, GOT JIMMY JOHN'S FOR LUNCH, and then after lunch decided to take a nap!

Now, I need to kick it into high gear and clean, clean-clean, and do the laundry before tomorrow!  I want to be able to just get up, go get a mani/pedi, get ready, relax in the city with friends and family, and that be that!!  But, it all depends on what I can get done tonight!  I also made it a goal that by tomorrow morning, I will have everything done with for the next week so all I have to do is pack and spend some good, much needed time with my man!!

We're going on a trip to ________________???  I'll tell everyone all about it when we get back!  There's a lot to do this week, but my hope and prayer is that I not stress about everything and just relax and enjoy, especially as we go into school and start our routine back up!  My goals for this next year are pretty big, but  I have a quote from one of my youth girls that was pretty inspiring!


Dream and give yourself permission to envision a you that you choose to be..

Well I'm choosing to be a me that doesn't just sit back and let life pass me by!  I'm a hard worker and I will get the best grades I can possibly get by fully devoting myself to my studies.  I won't lower my standards and accept "help" from other students who just cruise through college.. no.  I will learn the material my own way and be the best teacher because of it. I will not involve myself in silly and petty drama.  If it doesn't involve me, there's a reason.  I want to just be happy with life and with where things are.. to enjoy this time, because when I'm done with college, then I REALLY have to grow up! ;)  I want to devote my time to being the best musician I can be.  Being a music major turns into a competition within your section, and that's just silly.  It's not about how well I do in comparison to others, it's about me doing the best FOR ME and the best that I can give.  I want to improve as a wife, to be there and support my husband in finances, responsibilities, and in everything.  I feel like every marriage is different, and it isn't for others to judge.  Our goal is to be equal partners in all that we do.  I don't want to stand behind my Hubby or in front of him.. I want to be right at his side holding his hand as we continue facing the blessings and challenges of this life!  I also want to take a Zumba class and a spin class during the year!  I think that would be OH SO MUCH FUN!!!  And I want to be more healthy.  Plus, I think the regular activity will help keep my level of stress down and keep my energy up!!  So, this next year is almost here.. and I can't believe the past one just zoomed by.  It was long and hard, but well worth the lessons God taught me.  So, I'll update on our Homecoming Ceremony and on our little getaway trip when we get home!!  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Feeling Weak

Today was a rough day.  I haven't been sleeping well, and normally, I would just sleep in and get plenty of rest, but I don't want to become a night owl and I have too much to do during the day.  Last night, I woke up every few minutes and just tossed and turned until about 7 this morning.  I got up and took care of some stuff and then headed to my hometown to go get my hair done.  The hubby had a specific request and after thinking about it (I don't believe that one should wear their hair or do a specific thing only because their husband requests that.  It's my hair that I wear on my head.. he looks at it, but I have to fix it and be ok with it.  I was taught not to let a man control what you do appearance wise) I decided I might like the change!  So, I got my hair done and it's a pretty different look.. so it's taking some time to adjust.  Then I ran around trying to get things done before work.. and I didn't realize until tonight that I had half of a Mazzio's buffet salad for lunch.. and that's all I'd eaten since yesterday afternoon.  I didn't get everything done that I needed to do today, work went well, but when I got home.. I found that someone had taken our furniture off of our back patio.. who does that?  Add that to no sleep, very little food, this heat, the craziness of being back at work and a hairstyle that I don't feel too good about PLUS missing the time to talk to the Hubby... probably the last time we'll be able to talk until after our anniversary ( Our 2nd anniversary... and the 2nd anniversary we've spent apart. Not even in the same state or country.  I get so aggravated when people complain about not going out with their spouse for their anniversary or being sick during their anniversary... at least you got the chance to see and be with or even hear from your spouse on that day!) It's just been a rough day. Work in the morning, and then my sister and Jar-Bear are coming up to spend the weekend with me and I get some much needed time with the best girl I know and some retail therapy!  We may even throw in a little spa trip, who knows?  I just feel extremely beaten down and drained.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy Busy!!

The past few days have been Go! Go! Go! in my life!  And I'm alright with it, but at the same time, it's a little overwhelming!

Yesterday, I had my workout, practiced, did my Bible study.. all while dealing with NASTY cramps and an upset stomach!  And then, I got called in for a second interview.. second one in two days! I felt pretty good about it and should get an answer on things by Monday! So, *fingers crossed *

I clocked in my Skype hours yesterday, lemme tell ya!  I got to Skype with the Hubby, which is always nice!  So, he got to see what I wore to my interview and then I got to tell him all about it afterwards!  And then after he went to work, I got to Skype with a friend of mine, and we ended up videoing until 5 this morning!  It was crazy, but so much fun!!

So, I got up after having some decent sleep for the first night in a few nights, got around, did my workout, practiced some, I read an entire book this afternoon and then cleaned my apartment and started the never ending cycle of laundry!  I know it gets worse when you have kids, but I think it also gets worse in the summer time.  My Mama Carty says it perfectly.  I don't do well with heat.  I would rather be freezing cold with buckos of cardigans and sweaters and long sleeve shirts.. than be nice and warm with tanks and shorts.  Yuck!  I don't like riding with other people in the summer because some don't have an air conditioner in their cars.. how can you survive in this 108 degree weather?.. and some take FOREVER to start the car/ turn on the air conditioning and I'm just sitting there thinking.. "It's REALLY HOT!" My hair is also a VERY dark brown naturally and the second I step outside, it's like a furnace on my head.  All that to say, I don't like being hot and this Summer heat is killing me! And in my house, the upstairs is about 20 degrees hotter than the downstairs and with my workouts.. I change a lot.

So, yeah!  My little summer rant there! LOL!  OH!  My Mama Carty and Papa Jim (Mom's parents/my grandparents) called me tonight at around 11:00 PM... yeah! They just wanted to let me know they're coming into town to see me tomorrow.  They don't know what time, they'll just get here when they get here!  HAHAHA!! I LOVE my grandparents!! They are absolutely incredible and my inspiration for what I hope to be when I have kids and grandkids!! They have ALWAYS supported everything that David (since he's been a part of the family), my brother, sister, and I have done.  Mama Carty joins my Papa Jim in turning 75 on Friday.  I am baffled.  For me, (random weird fact) my parents and grandparents stopped aging 10 years ago.  So, my parents are stuck at 40, not 50 (which my Mom happens to love) and my Mama Carty and Papa Jim will forever be 65 in my eyes.   My cousins will also always be 5 and 10.. I just don't get it.  But that's how I am!  I think it's part of the knowledge that they're getting older.  I've been immensely blessed to have all my grandparents and known 4 of my 8 great grandparents (2 of which are still alive and working in the garden at 92 and 96) as well as my parents and all my other distant relatives.  I can count on one hand the number of family members that I have lost.  So, when I have to face the loss of a member of my family that has had such an impact on my life.. I just want to take advantage of every precious moment I have with them because I know so many don't get that opportunity!

So, tomorrow will be fun!  I'm looking forward to seeing them and showing off my new house to them! :)  It'll be a good time! Hope everyone has had a wonderful week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Off Day

Today started off like any normal day!  I got up, got ready (Thank you Lord for the good hair day despite the much needed rain and humidity) and went to my job interview!  It went really well and we'll see what happens now, but I'm happy with how it went!  I came home and watched Beastly while eating lunch, I really like the movie, by the way!  The "Beast" is played by the same actor in I Am Number Four and I felt like the story was very well adapted! :)

After that.. everything just settled in.  My attitude shifted, for no reason whatsoever and I immediately just felt overwhelmed with everything going on and all that needs to be done!  I haven't had an off day or a stressful day really since before the Hubby came home on leave.  I did some zumba and that helped me physically, but I just couldn't control my emotions.  The Hubby was online and so we talked a little, but I mean, he's kind of busy working! ;)  Things just continued piling up and finally it was enough.  I will not go back to feeling this way. I don't like it and I don't want that lifestyle anymore.  So, I prayed and I did my Bible study!  Instant peace and faith!  I may not know exactly what's going to happen or have a scheduled routine set up right now, but I know that He is in control and that it's all going to get done and will all be fine.  What a comfort!  My friend Amanda said that God gives us challenges and rough patches so that we can appreciate the good.  I believe that, but I also think that God gives us the rough patches so that we continue to lean and depend  on Him in the good times and bad as we daily seek to be more in His image.  2 Corinthians 3:18 really just brought peace to me today through my devotional!  What a blessed Monday! I look forward to seeing what else He has in store for this week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good Sunday!!

Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain!  Thank you Lord!  Today has been a wonderful day so far!  Starting with the potential for rain, which we desperately need, and then a few blessed phone calls! 

I got a call today from a special someone offering to assist us in paying for this last semester of school so that I can enroll!  What a blessing and a weight lifted off our shoulders!  I am so very thankful that my family has been and always will be supportive of David's and my education! 

Well, that call was followed up by a call from Pier 1 asking me to come in for a job interview tomorrow!! I'm so excited!  I would be happy to work for any of the places I applied to, otherwise, why would I have applied? But Pier 1 was one of my top places if I could be picky!  So, we'll see how tomorrow goes! I'm so excited!! Now bring on the rain!! I should go get Chinese food with how stormy they say it's going to get!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Day Off

The other day I shared that at one point a few years ago, I saw that my life could go one of two ways. And for the record so that no one gets the wrong idea.. I am beyond happy and blessed with how my life is going and where my Hubby and I are.  Well, I woke up this morning and was reminded of where it could have been had God not intervened in David's and my life.  It was just a bitter tasting memory of where I was, and thankfully, where I am now.  Just a little hiccup.  That and I am starting to have stomach cramps and I think we all know what that means.  So, since I've been working all week, I decided it would be nice to have a day off, to just relax. 

I started off the day with a lovely conversation with my Hubby and since my brain wouldn't turn off until around 4 this morning and my body decided to be wide awake at 5:30, I decided a little nap would have been nice!  So, I got my sleep and then went and rented a few newer movies and grabbed some ingredients for dinner.  It's been a pretty good day/evening!  Got another free 44 at Sonic and had a nice catch-up convo with a good friend!  I've missed her!  Then I watched Just Go With It and Red Riding Hood while making Beef and Broccoli!  Perfection!  And a little strawberry ice cream was just the peak of a nice day off, just me and the pups!  What has everyone else been up to this weekend?

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, SHUT THE BACK DOOR, SHUT THE GARAGE, SHUT THE WINDOWS BECAUSE OOOOH MYYY GOODNESS!!!!!

I am an extreme IKEA fan, OK? Love it!  Never been there, sadly, but that's ok. I will go someday and that's all that matters.  Anywho.. I'm on the search for the perfect stuff to decorate and organize my office, right? Yeah? Following me? OK!  My mission? This..


Only with the Shelves in a dark brown and with brown, khaki, plum, and purple storage boxes.  Now that you have seen my inspiration...  you can sympathize with me that I have searched COUNTLESS websites and stores to find the vision that is stuck in my head.  I am sadly one of those people that just CANNOT let something go once I've thought about it.  Well, I found my shelves that I'd like!!

Only problem is that the finish I like seems to be out EVERYWHERE!!!  Now, I could wait to get it or I could get the white or black brown and paint it the color I want (too much work, not enough time or space).  

So, now that I know what I'll be storing our books in, I can look for what to fill the cubicles with!!  

ENTER THE CONTAINER STORE!!!

How I never knew about this, I will never know.  But my mind was so over the top blown by everything!  I found all the things I have been imagining to fill these cubicles and it was just perfect!! OOH Dallas shopping trip needs to happen soon because this is just incredible!! So, yeah.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!  I now have to decide where I want to go with our office.  Right now, we're stuck because our office is shared with our guest bedroom.  So, I googled some images for home offices and literally cannot choose between the white and dark brown wood.. or a combination? HELP!!!








What to do.. what to do!  Obviously, I like that open and light feel to the office..  So, I guess I'll just need to chew on it a bit longer.  What do you all think?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peace

I had wanted a Brighton bracelet for awhile!  My Mom had one filled with charms that represented all her babies, including David because he is now her baby too!  For Christmas this past year, my Mom gave me the bracelet with one charm on it.  I may start crying just thinking about it because it was all so perfect!  The first charm my Momma picked for me was an angel that said "Peace" on it.

It makes so much sense because for years now, I feel like I've been at war with myself.  There are people who are such close friends of mine that have never seen the real me because I've constantly been on the fence.  I may play it well, but those who really know me, who have been around for years know that I haven't been myself and have, thankfully, stuck with me along the way as I search for that peace.  I've lost friends along the way, but those that matter have stayed by my side.

I've thought about this a lot over the past several weeks.  Seeing my Hubby really showed me just how far off course I had gotten.  I didn't notice when he came home on leave from Iraq, because that's when everything happened with my Momma and I was thrown into a different kind of chaos.  But I think this friction started back when I started college, maybe even before.

Right before my senior year, I got mono.  Don't ask me how.. I promise it wasn't because I was kissing anyone.  David was away at basic/AIT which makes it so much worse, but through all the camps, there's no telling how many drinks I shared with people.  It disgusts me now.  Anyway, before marching band started, I was diagnosed with mono and because band is one of the most important things to me, I set aside my health and refused to miss my last year of marching.  The memories from that season will remain with me for a lifetime, but the toll it took on my body was destructive and I was out of church for months, using Sunday's as my day to recuperate.  By that point in the week, after classes, work, marching rehearsals, football games and competitions, I could hardly muster up the strength to open my eyes on Sunday morning.  Being out of church for that long took a toll on my relationship with Christ, on my service to others, and on my fellowship with my church family.  I didn't realize how drastic of a toll it had taken until I left home and went out on my own at OBU.

It baffles me how wonderful God is.  I could have easily gone to OU, OSU, U of A, any public school around, but for reasons only He knew, the doors to each school closed the second I stepped onto OBU's campus.  It was a smooth adjustment from on social bubble to the next.  I was surrounded by those who were good, strong, Christian influences, and even though I rebelled, it was not nearly as bad as I fear it would have been had I gone to a public university first.  My rebellion escalated and with each act to prove my independence came multiple steps away from my walk with God.  I pretended and made myself think I was tricking others around me, but as always, everyone saw through my facade, and thank goodness.  One of my last acts of rebellion was transferring to OU.

I don't regret my time at OU.  I learned so much about myself and about the world, but the more I learned, the more I wanted to be in control of my own life and "live in the moment".  One day, I woke up and realized that I had shattered my own bubble and was no longer surrounded by those strong Christian influences that I so naively took advantage of.  I began to see my life in two ways.  Where I could go if I continued on this path of rebellion and "finding myself", or where I would be if I sought His will.  An intervention was made, and it just so happened that it occurred in my life as well as my husband's.  For him, it was the opportunity to mature and grow up as he was called up for a deployment, a wake up call to put his life together and stop living for himself at that moment.  For me, it was a hope and an opportunity to live the life that I not only wanted, but needed.  The chance to turn away from the negative I had surrounded myself in and be where God had purposed me to be.

As my Hubby left for Iraq, I continued on at OU without much change at all.  David's absence was one of the most difficult things I've had to endure.  I got to such a depressing point going weeks without hearing from him and not knowing how he was doing.  I isolated myself from almost everyone and everything except those things that brought me joy; Band and Kappa Kappa Psi.  I would miss class in the mornings hoping for a chance to talk to him or sleeping so the time would pass faster.  Needless to say, I didn't make it through the semester and after the bowl game, I knew something had to change.  I don't remember praying much through that period, just how numb I was towards everyone and everything.  By the time school started back up for the Spring semester, I had decided not to return to OU and that a break and time with family would be good.  I can't even imagine what would have happened had I returned to OU.  I definitely wouldn't have made it through another semester and I surely wouldn't have continued on in music.  In fact, when I moved back home, I put away my saxophone and had closed the book in my musical career.  I don't know if I was burned out, or if the passion had just died.

The thought of God's impeccable timing is such a wonder to me!  David came home earlier than expected for R&R since I was home and not bound by classes.  I said earlier I didn't have a chance to notice the nasty changes in my life when David came home from Iraq.  I may have and just not remembered, but the happenings of that evening have been a blessing and a curse.  I have never really dealt with death.  I've lost 2 of my great grandparents, but I still am blessed to be surrounded by 2 other great grandparents, 4 grandparents, and all my aunts/uncles and cousins.  I'm sure I've written about this before, but it helps to talk about it more each time, to release some of the confusion that I still deal with.

David and I had just gotten to the park when my brother called and said my Mom had fallen and I needed to get home.  As we got closer to my house, the panic slowly filled me.  As I pulled up, the blue and red lights of the ambulance met my rearview mirror and I saw my sister standing in the doorway, with my Mom laying behind her in the entryway and my Dad performing CPR.  My world crumbled in that instant.  I can still see the our broken-hearted fear plastered on my Dad's face as he so bravely tried to take care of my Mom and see that we were taken care of as well.Between each breath of CPR, he was quoting scripture and praying, not even aware of what he was subconsciously doing!  Goodness, if that's not an incredible man, I don't know what is.  I shielded my brother and sister from the view of our Mom being pulled our on a stretcher with a yellow tube rising and falling over her chest, breathing for her.  As they closed the doors to the ambulance, I honestly did not know if I would ever see her again on this earth.  David, Alex, Tristen, and I all went inside to grab essentials and hurry to the hospital.  While my brother and sister gathered some things, I stood in the living room in desperate need to fall apart.  David held me, made me look him in the eyes and told me I had to be strong for Alex and Tristen.  So, into Mommy mode I went.  I coped in that moment by taking care of my brother and sister, watching over my Dad, meeting the needs that my Mom would usually meet, and realized I was not capable to fill her shoes.  For a few days we didn't know if she would make it, if her brain and memory would be damaged because of the amount of time without oxygen.  By God's hand, our family made it through in one piece, and even though we still deal with the trauma from that night, every day gets easier.

My Mom lost several months of her memory, only remembering specific things because of pictures and stories.  The trauma, the memory loss, the change of lifestyle changed who she was; it changed all of us. David was my rock through that time and I know I wouldn't have made it through if he had not been there to encourage and support me.  That he would come home the day this all happened is a complete example of God's perfect timing, along with my decision to be home that semester and my availability to help my family during that time.  You would think that would be enough of a wake up call, but spiritually, nothing changed.

David came home, we planned the last details of our wedding and were married!  Literally, the happiest day of my life.  And to have been surrounded by all of our family and friends was the biggest blessing.  The transition into married life was NOT easy, to say the least.  Neither of us made an effort to set the proper foundation for our marriage by making our relationships with God and our investment into a church a priority. We were both brought up in church and did not continue that tradition.  Within a few months, the haunting of another deployment loomed and we started to brace ourselves for the possibility of another year apart.  By our 9th month of marriage, David was gone at trainings and schools, preparing for his deployment to Afghanistan.  I was at Baylor when I found out for sure, surrounded by brothers at our fraternity's convention.  Time stood still as he told me when they would leave and the lack of preparation for this next stage of our life was overwhelming.  As the reality of his absence got closer, I began to shut myself off from things again.

When David left for mobilization, I could feel the depression starting up again, but I tried with everything I had to be myself.  A friend approached me one day and told me she couldn't be around me because of how negative and depressing I had become, and that others were starting to notice as well.  It was such a losing battle, of course I can't handle this deployment on my own.  And still nothing changed.  I was just embarrassed that others had noticed my inner struggle, how public it had become and that I had been unable to take care of it.

The months of the deployment passed and it got closer to R&R, but the closer to R&R, the worse things got.  Those several weeks before David came home were the darkest, lowest, and hardest times for both of us.  We feed off of one another's energies, and that can have both a positive and a negative reaction.  When David would call, I would start off so excited and then as I heard the lack of excitement in his voice, my mood would plummet.  The fighting escalated and there were points we didn't know if he would even come home.  Add to that the stress we put on ourselves with other responsibilities during R&R and you have a pretty toxic situation.  It's hard to be on the same page when you're on opposite sides of the world, but every day felt like we not only weren't in the same book, but that we were in completely different libraries.

The anxiety of him coming home melted away the second I saw him.  I felt the change, felt how far off base I had gotten, how far from who I am... the weights I'd been carrying went away and in that instant, I felt pure peace as I stood in my husband's arms.  To have all that stress lifted away was everything.  Sure, things were still a little stressful during some points of R&R, but we made it through those times together.  Having him home was so relaxing and comforting for both of us.. it was like a year in the spa for our hearts and souls to be mended of all the damage we had caused or allowed. Peace.

Since R&R has ended, that peace that I thought was only temporary because of David's presence has remained.  To me, it's something just so simple and almost unnoticeable because I feel like myself.. no weight, no drama, no battle or stress, just me.  But others have noticed this change and it makes me happy that this could be permanent. I don't want to be who I've been the last few years.. I don't want to feel that way or live life without a purpose. I have a purpose, my Savior and my King who sent His Son to die on the cross for me and for you so that we don't have to carry this burden of life!  These struggles are not mine alone because I place them at the foot of the cross and my Lord takes care of me and guides me through.  I don't have to live my life for me because I serve a Greater Purpose and His plans for me far outweigh any dream I could ever have for my life.  I am so thankful for my friends and family who have helped guide me and support me through this past several weeks as I grow in my relationship with Christ and strive to make permanent and lasting changes in my life to be a better wife, puppy mommy, daughter, sister, aunt, student, musician and most of all servant to the Lord.  I have passion back in my life.. purpose.  It's been a long year. One I don't really care to repeat, but I will happily revisit it to remind myself where I am without Him and where I am when I'm in His loving and caring arms, allowing Him to guide me through this path of life.

If you made it through this whole blog, my goodness you deserve an award!  Thank you for reading about my journey and I hope that it is a blessing and a comfort to you.  And for those who have aided in this journey, you will never know how much you truly mean to me and how much of a blessing God has allowed you to be in my life!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Much love and God bless!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Office To-Do's!

OK! Now that I'm done with practicing, I can blog and not feel guilty! :)  I've decided to focus on my office and bedroom for decorating!  I am IN LOVE with my downstairs... at least I'm mostly done decorating it.  I could still use some cute patterned plates for the dining room like these..


Or these...


With a cute centerpiece like this..


And then of course I'd LOVE to put a screen behind my TV, and this is the best one I've found so far.. but not exactly what I had in mind.


Other than that, so touch ups in the downstairs bathroom (still not happy with that one) and some little knick knacks here and there, I am pleased with the downstairs!!

BUT the upstairs can still use a lot of work!  So, we'll start with my office!  We have TONS to store in our office and I'd like to stick with the Dark purple, lavender, tans, browns and white scheme for now.  We'll change the main color whenever we get a separate office and guest bedroom.  But, for now.. I'd like to do a shelf against the wall with lots of storage containers in various colors, maybe some books too, since we have tons of those!


With different colors obviously.. And then some new office accessories.  I'm trying to decide between the silver and the white desk accessories.. like this...



or these...

I'm still not sure.. And then there's the decision of white or silver stapler/tape dispensers!  So many decisions!  But overall, my inspiration for this new project is this!


So, we'll see how it goes!  I feel a road trip to Dallas coming on!  Thank goodness my sisters and I are all planning a getaway trip soon to go to IKEA!!! AHH I've ALWAYS wanted to go there!! So, yeah!  As if there's not enough on my plate already, let's add this!  And after this is done, I can focus on making our Master Bedroom into a relaxing, beautiful getaway for the Hubby and I (starting with our new mattress)!!! It'll come in handy when we have those cute little babies someday!! 









Get ready! :)

It's coming!! Every day it gets closer and closer! The joy of the Hubby being home and the anxiety of school starting up again!  I've been back home for almost a week now, and busy busy trying to get everything ready for all the changes that are about to occur!  Yesterday, I was out all afternoon paying bills, running errands, and applying for jobs.. hopefully some open up! :D I also got the New Women's Devotional Bible and I'm super stoked about it!!

Today, I've been cleaning and tidying everything up around the house!  I'm trying to get the puppies and I into a routine of getting up, making the bed and putting everything away upstairs before heading downstairs to go outside!  It's worked pretty well so far! So, we've been tidying up.. gearing up for a full spotless cleaning of the house this weekend. But I need to organize before then! Haha!  Taco and Belle had their mani/pedi today! I'm so jealous.. I am DEFINITELY getting one before my Hubby comes in.  Gotta look super cute for the guy! ;) And then I've been filling out applications and applying for loans, trying to get ready for this next school year.  I also need to practice for my audition next month! *fingers crossed* Lots to do and so little time.. it's a miracle I'm getting any sound sleep. Hope everyone's week is going well! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update! :D

I'm a mix of emotions right now!! Uncertain, excited, anxious, slightly overwhelmed and peaceful!  I know.. weird.

I feel like I've lost some things in the past several weeks, but I've gained more and that's what is most valuable and important.  We only have a couple of years left in this town before we go and move on to the next chapter of our lives.  I'm so excited to see where the Hubby and I will end up! No matter what we do or where we are, I know we'll be fine because we've faced and overcome so much already!

We have just about a month to go until it's time for him to come home!  I couldn't be more excited!  As if my anniversary gift wasn't enough, my Hubby is surprising me with a completely planned out trip/getaway for us after he gets home and before school starts back up! I couldn't be more excited!  And the best part is, it's a secret... to most people! Only my best friend knows, and that's just because I told her about it before I was told to keep it hush hush! But I'm excited! Add this to our Up North roadtrip next year and our annual Colorado vacation.. MAN I cannot wait for him to get home!! 

But, before he comes back, I have SO much stuff to take care of! Between preparing for auditions, school, work, getting the house all beautified, and doctor's appointments as well as family responsibilities and weekly dates with Amanda and Derek... the next month is going to fly by in a jiffy!  I'm also getting to spend my anniversary with my Mom as my Dad will be in Japan doing Disaster Relief (I love my Daddy more than anything and he truly is one of the most incredible men I know.. the other few are members of my family as well) and my Hubby (THE most incredible man) will still be gone.  But it'll be fun! And then I get a weekend with the women on David's side of the family as we go... SHOPPING!!! Roadtripping with my sisters? Yep, it's going to be a blast!!

The past 2 months have been wonderful.  All I can say is that the second I was reunited with my husband, an overwhelming sense of peace returned that I have been living without for YEARS, not just months! I've done a lot of intense soul searching and questioned multiple things in my life since my Hubby went back, but the peace has remained! It's kind of perfect because "Peace" is the charm my Mom gave me of what to focus on this past year, what she prayed for me to find, and I'm so thankful and blessed for that! It's crazy to look back on this year and have almost made it through, to separate the people who have and haven't been through it all in the long hall, to see how we have both grown- individually and in one another.  It's been an incredible journey, and as hard as it's been at times, I wouldn't change it for anything! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Awaken My Heart!

There is so much to update on BUT I AM EXHAUSTED!!! This week was phenomenal!!  I went to Falls Creek with my family and as much as I was there to minister to others and to the girls in my family group, they ministered to me!  God taught me so much this past week and it was a definite wake up call!  If you're curious, please check out skopos.org, and/or look up Tony Nolan and the Stephen Miller band!  AMAZING!!!!!!  Things in my life have changed so much in the past few days and I'm ready to fully implement those changes in my day-to-day life!  It won't be easy, but He never said it would be easy.  I was so blessed with the most amazing, yet totally bratty and obnoxious, 11th grade girls!  I love the girls in my group and those in my room more than anything and thank God that I was able to have them this week!  You all have left such a precious handprint on my heart and are an absolute blessing and a joy!  I'm excited for this next week!  Family time, niece/nephew dates, and lunches/movie nights with my girlies!!  Just a few more weeks until my Honey is home!!  Have a wonderful Holiday weekend everyone!  Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thankful!

Thank you Lord for family! And thank you for the individuals in my family!  Blessed is the only word that comes to mind when I consider our family.  Now, everyone has their issues, and when you come together, the issues sometimes pan out to others, but at the end of the day, we are a family and we love eachother!

Take, for instance, my sister!  I love Tristen with all of my heart!  But OH MY GOODNESS can we go at it!  Over the silliest things usually!  And sometimes we hurt one another's feelings and have to talk about it and hash it out.. other times, one of us just makes a joke and we move on as if she didn't just pop me with a hairbrush and I didn't shove her into the bathroom cabinet (Long time ago)!

Now, my Momma and I are completely different in how we handle things! Partially because we are almost exactly alike!  It's pretty scary sometimes.  But when WE fight,.. yuck! Usually it's over the phone and someone hangs up on the other and then we go a few days without talking. But then we're fine.  And it changes constantly! 

The way everything is handled is changed based on the individual you are coming in contact with, what they've been through and what you've been through, where you both are spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally in your life at that point.  It's different with every person.. even those you've lived with your entire life.  Take that, and add being married into a new family that is 4x the size of your own family! Good golly, it's different! But it's just like coming into your family again and relearning who everyone is, how everyone works together and individually!  I am immensely blessed with wonderful family on both sides and I thank God for their impact they all have on both the Hubby and I!  :) Just some stuff that's been on my mind.. I know it isn't groundbreaking or anything, but I thought I'd share! Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Changes..

WOW the past few weeks have gone by quickly! The hubby was home for R&R and we had a wonderful time just being together, cooking, watching movies, lounging around.. we even attempted taking the dogs to the lake for a picnic!  I don't think we'll be doing that again.. or we'll leave the pups at home!  It was beautiful and we had fun, but too much excitement for the puppies!  It was so easy getting back into the swing of being together!  We went to our hometown the weekend before his leave ended to spend time with family.  It was nice!  I got my hair dyed back, so I'm a brunette for the first time in 8 months!  We got to go on a date night and spent Friday night just hanging out with my family!  I think it's adorable to see how similar my Hubby, Daddy, Bubby, and my sister's future hubby, Jar-Bear are!  They're all into gaming and action movies and bikes!  It's cute to watch them all bond!  The night together with everyone was just so much fun and so relaxing!  Saturday, we had a bbq at David's parents house.  We got to play and love on all our nieces and nephews all day, and then Sunday we had lunch with them after church before heading back to our home for a few days! I'm so thankful for all of the time we had!  And I'm even more thankful that we didn't think about or talk about the leave ending until he was just about to get on the plane! 

So, he boarded the plane and I was trying my hardest just to hold the emotion in and wait until I was alone to cry.  I waited until the plane took off and then headed out to my car.. and thus continued my morning of craziness!  David had gotten the parking meter tag when we pulled into the parking lot.  When I got out to the car, I couldn't FOR THE LIFE OF ME find where it could possibly be!  I checked the sides, cupholders, dashboard, glove compartment.. nowhere to be found.  I was crying hysterically by this point.  So, I pulled up to the gate to pay and explained that my husband had just left and when exactly we pulled into the parking lot, what flight and time and gate he had departed from, and that I had no idea where our tag could be.  The lady was just like, "I'm sorry, it'll be $20." Peachy.

I made it back to my Mom's house, crying most of the drive, and she talked to me for a little bit, then wanted to take me out to breakfast! :) I love my Momma!  Well, my crap phone that I got and was about to change was acting up.  So, I turned it off and turned it back on.  When I first got it, I tried adding the passcode like on the iphone and it didn't work, so I didn't mess with it.  Well, when it turned back on, it asked me the passcode and I couldn't figure it out!  Insert breakdown.  I couldn't even receive calls, so when the Hubby called... argh!  So, we took the phone to AT&T and they couldn't do anything.  After lots of frustration, I finally picked out a new phone, returned the old one, and literally started from scratch with NO ONES numbers!!!  For someone who lives with my phone in my hand, it was rough..but at least I'm a big fan of this new phone.  I had all my contacts on my iPhone, so I just had to switch them over.  Well.. the iPhone was dead and when I charged it... I forgot the passcode to THAT phone.  It had been about 3 weeks since I'd turned it on.  OMG! How did I lock myself out of 2 PHONES?!?! I now have about 100 contacts of the literally 400 that I had before.  But I have all the important ones... I think! ;)

After being with my family all Tuesday and Wednesday, and knowing that I'd be going with them to Sr. High church camp for our church, and that my Dad's 50th is coming up along with the 4th of July, I just decided it would be best to stay here for a little bit.  It won't do any good being alone at home.. at least this way I can be with my family and focus on the things I need to focus on! :) I'm excited!  It's been a nice week and I'm thankful for the support and love they give me. 

I'm dealing with a lot of things right now.. trying to work some stuff out.  It stinks when some of the stuff needing to be worked out involves others aside from myself.  I don't like conflict.  I really don't!  I don't like being in a dispute with others and not being able to have the opportunity to work through it, especially when I go out of my comfort zone to take care of the scenario and I get shut down.  It's difficult.  I'd love to just let things go and move on and not carry this burden and this baggage, but sometimes it takes all parties to handle something.  So, even though I have no control over THAT.. I DO have control over other aspects of my life.  I'm trying to be calm and accepting, to be open to change and prepared to be outside of my bubble of a comfort zone.  It's a daily challenge.  All that matters is that I am trying and no one can say different.  The summer is almost halfway over and I'm ready to see what's going to happen through the last few months of both summer and this deployment!  Ready to get back into the crazy swing of things in August!  Between school, ROTC, band, and work... I'll be surprised if we have time together!  LOL! But, we'll make it work, because in the end.. it's just us!  God bless my incredible Husband! :) I love him so much! 

And Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there, especially my Daddy!!  You are an INCREDIBLE Christian man and live your life as an example not just for our family, but for our church family and for all those who see you and come into contact with you.  I LOVE watching you worship and getting up early in the morning to see you studying your Bible in the office.  I'm thankful for the sacrifices you have made for our family and to allow Alex, Tristen and I to all pursue our dreams.  You have always been so supportive and will continue to be!  I cannot wait for the day that I get to give you and Momma a grandbaby.  It warms my heart with pride when I see you both playing with younger kids, because as incredible as you have BOTH been as parents, I know you will be even better as grandparents to David's and my children!  I love you so much and thank God for giving me a Daddy like you!!  Have a wonderful week everyone!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Plans to bring you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11