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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Silent Salute

I was recently blessed to receive the Silent Salute Award from Momma Can and was charged with passing this award on to another. I can't express my gratitude for being selected for this award and it puts a different purpose into why I blog and share the intimate details of my life. I started this blog as a way to get my thoughts out so that I could better sort through them. Sometimes it's such a jumble in my head! But to know that what I've shared has touched others means the world to me.

Just some background for those that don't know or are new readers.. My wonderful Husband and I met when we were in HS through choir! We fell in love while singing next to one another and immediately went into a spiraling relationship that is common when in the military. We dated through basic and AIT and had our ups and downs as we were together and then just friends... over and over! We dated through the distance and multiple drills and ATs. We continued with the off and on, but got back on for good a month before David was to deploy to Iraq. We were engaged two months later and then he was gone for a year, making it back home 2 months before we were to get married. I moved and transferred schools to make the adjustment easier and we spent the first 9 months of our marriage together... the longest we had been together through the entire six years we had been on and off. Less than a year after returning home, David left again for trainings and a one year deployment to Afghanistan, which we are about to complete. It's been a challenge to spend almost our entire relationship apart, but I know God wouldn't challenge us with the distance if we were not able to overcome the challenge and utilize it as a testimony to Him!

On to the duties of the award!

1. My family and David's are filled with members that have served in branches of the U.S. Military! David and his brother, Ben, have both served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 3 years and our brother-in-law, Caleb (Esther's husband), served with them in Iraq. Ben is a Captain in the U.S. Army and has served for over 9 years. David is coming up on his 7th year of serving in the National Guard and Caleb has served for 5 years. My sister's future husband, Jared, is a MP and is in his 2nd year of service. We also have multiple other members on both sides of our families including, but not limited to, David's Grandad, David's Papa, and my Papa Jim. We are beyond proud of the legacy that we have in both of our family lines and look forward to the continuation of it.

2. Along with husbands and sons who serve, the wives and mothers of the men listed above have dedicated countless time away from their spouses and children; missing family functions and the growing of their own children. These wives and mothers have valiently served at home and have supported their soldiers, along with other soldiers, by sending care packages, being involved in the FRG and volunteering with Blue Star Moms and other organizations. My sister-in-law, Aimee, is currently serving as the head of the FRG for Ben's unit and was recently awarded the Fort Drum Hero of the Month in May! :) Along with serving their soldiers, they have also been a huge support system and have helped to nurture me into the Army Life and assisted as I adapt into this lifestyle!

3. I haven't done this as much as I would like to, but I hope to be more charitable in this. I thank soldiers for their service when I see them and I seek out new military wives and girlfriends, especially still being a new military wife and knowing how little support is given to the girlfriends/fiances of soldiers. Like I said, I'm not as good at this as I would like to be, and am excited for future opportunities to thank and support our military soldiers and their families.

I am passing this award on to a military wife that I feel is a hero to her soldier and to her family as she diligently holds down the fort at home, supports her soldier and assists in giving knowledge so that others may learn to do the same. This award goes to This Fabulous Army Wife! Congratulations! :)

The Rules for this Award:

1. You must pass this award on to ONE person


2. You must tell the world of three ways you and your members silently salute our troops!

Have a Happy Memorial Weekend!!!

members that serve

sisters who serve and support/ care packages

thank fellow soldiers/support their families and wives

Friday, May 27, 2011

Patiently Waiting!!

Let's just start with saying that the past few days have been CRAZY!!!

Tuesday: MASSIVE storms ripped across Oklahoma. I went to my parents' house while they were out of town and was thankful to be with my brother, my sister and her boyfriend as well as our 4 dogs. We cleaned out the downstairs closet and set up the ultimate tornado shelter in case anything were to happen. While watching the weather, we heard about a tornado that wasn't far from my apartment. I panicked a little, but all was fine. The weather did get nasty and the storms were pretty bad, but thankfully it wasn't too bad and we didn't need to utilize our shelter. However, many people lost loved ones and all of their possessions in the tornados that devastated Joplin and parts of Oklahoma in the beginning of the week. Please continue to keep those families in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday: I was able to spend Wednesday with my sister and had a nice lunch with our wonderful grandparents at McAlister's. I just want to take a second and say that I recognize all families are different, but I am SO thankful for the undeniably close relationship my brother, sister, and I share with my Mama Carty and Papa Jim. I probably talk to them more than I talk to my parents. They have been a constant in my life and have supported me in every audition, solo, concert, marching contest.. anything and everything Tristen, Alex, and I have ever been involved in. They have always been like my second parents and I treasure the wisdom they have given us and am blessed to have the relationship we have with them. I know not all grandparents are like that. After lunch, Tristen and I went shopping (Gosh, she wore me out) and then I dropped her off for her night out with Jared (My future brother-in-law). **They are not engaged YET** But soon** After sister time, I went over to continue family time by spending a few hours with my sister-in-law Rachel and my adorable niece and nephew, Faith and Izzy. We got to talk and play and watch a cartoon.. it was just good to spend time together! :)

Thursday: Yesterday was a bittersweet day. I said goodbye to two of my best friends while patiently waiting to hear when I would say hello to my absolute best friend. My sister, Tristen, and my best friend, Matt left for the summer. My sister-in-law, Aimee, has been an INCREDIBLE support for me during this deployment. She has offered a closed ear with no judgement and has been available at all times to listen, offer words of encouragement and words of wisdom. I would literally go crazy if it wasn't for her. But, Tristen and Matt have been my other support systems during this past year. Matt has dealt with personal issues as well and we have grown individually and continue pushing eachother to improve, both in our personal lives as well as academically and musically. I am thankful for a colleague in Matt and look forward to the years of work we have ahead of us. I'm so proud of him and this incredible opportunity to do drum corps (that literally just fell in his lap). He's going to do a wonderful job this summer! I can't wait to come watch some shows! :) Tristen! My baby sister and yet, in so many ways she shows that she has years of wisdom and expertise over me. I feel like I should be the one supporting her and helping her, but I feel as though I am always leaning on her for her constant advice and knowledge. She has grown SO much in the past year and a half and I cannot wait to see how God utilizes her, not only this summer, but throughout the rest of her shining life. She is going to be a worker at Falls Creek and she will not only be changed, but will surely enlighten and nurture all who come into contact with her. I will miss her so much!

So, saying goodbye to them was hard.. why not treat myself with a day at the salon? Just kidding! I already had the hair appointment booked so my hair would look good for when David comes home. He likes how it smells after I color it! :) So, I put a little blonde and red in it.. it looks a little more edgy, but it's slightly darker. We'll see what he thinks! I don't really think it will matter! Gosh, I can't wait to see him!!!

Thursday Continued: Sounds like a pretty busy day already, right? NO WAY!! After all that, I decided Alex and I should go on a brother/sister date to see Pirates of the Carribean 4! I've been itching to see it. SO, we headed out to go watch it. MIDWAY through the movie, both my parents are calling us. My sister's lovely pooch, Lucy, had somehow gotten out of the house and was 3-4 blocks away. So, we raced out of the theater to go get her! I wonder how the rest of the movie was.. We pick her up, and thankfully someone found the little thing (seriously, she's only a few pounds), and then we start to wonder how she got out. We scurry home and as Alex is going inside to check things out, he thinks he hears someone upstairs.. OMG! I called my sister's boyfriend. No answer. This is what we need husbands for. I called my Dad, but he was 2 states away and couldn't really do anything. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors and that he'd call me back in less than a minute. So, I called my trusty brother-in-law, Ryan. I was in a panic. He headed over and my Dad instructed me to call 911. Ryan also called David's Dad to come over with him. So, within 5 minutes, I've got Alex, Ryan and Do as well as 5 police officers searching every nook of our house. No intruders. THANK GOODNESS!!! I locked the door of my room last night. GOSH it was just an exciting day. An exciting day of not hearing from David and not really knowing where he was.

I finally headed to bed and tossed and turned with strange dreams.. this has been my average night for the past several weeks. Maybe I'll sleep normal once David gets home. I woke up to the sweetest noice this morning as my Hubby called to let me know where he was and his ETA! AHHH I cannot wait!! I feel like the next few days are just going to glaze by as I try to busy myself and keep my mind off of the time and the hours remaining. I also will only have about a half hour or so to get ready before I have to go pick him up. So, I'll basically need to be ready to get ready at all times. But it's sooo worth it! Any day now! If you don't hear from me... you'll know why! ;) Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend everyone! Thank a soldier/veteran for the service they have given for this country!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Day to Ponder

Today has been quite gloomy with the weather and all the rain, thunder and lightning.. for those who don't know, I am not a fan of thunderstorms. I never have been. The earliest memory I have of storms is when I was three. My Dad was bringing me home from something, so we were in Betsy, his amazingly epic puke-y green pickup truck! It was so dark I couldn't see anything except when lightning brightened the sky. It was hailing and as we were pulling into our driveway, the sirens started going off. I was terrified and my Dad was wonderful and kept pointing out things to make the whole storm seem less scary. He'd say the thunder was God telling me how to pose and the lightning was Him taking a picture! (I was a little bit of a ham) He also told me that the hail was a result of the angels practicing golf and hitting all the golf balls at once. It helped.. and I think it's adorable, but I'm still afraid of storms. Haha! Taco and Belle are also afraid of them, and I think it's good practice. When I become a Mommy someday, I'm going to need to be calm and strong for my children, even in scary situations. Gosh I love my puppies! They are so absolutely precious!!

So, as the storms rolled in, I continued thinking about things. The main thing on my mind, of course, is the Hubby's R&R! I have been looking forward to this for almost 300 days. I'm a mix of emotions when it comes to R&R. Excited, anxious, nervous, stressed.. I'm excited to see Dave and to just be with him! I cannot wait to be reunited, if only for a little bit. I'm anxious about reuniting too. I want everything to be perfect and all set up and ready for him; for him to be able to do everything that he wants/needs to do over R&R. I'm nervous about meeting everyone's requirements. There are a lot of expectations while the Hubby is home and I just hope they all go over well.. And I'm stressed trying to get everything done, please all those around me, and still sort out everything personally. This time together will be good for us. It's complicated because this leave is about David and him getting to do all the things that he has wanted to do and not been able to do since he's been deployed. I understand that he's been without a lot and has sacrificed so much to serve our country. While he's been without almost every aspect of his day-to-day life, I've been without him. So, for R&R, I am solely focused on seeing him and spending time with him and doing things for him.. I see this time as a time for us to enjoy one another and be together..so it's difficult to try and handle both sides. Neither is wrong, they're both right, it's just complicated. And it's difficult to describe.. gosh! Just a few more days until we're with one another again. That's all that matters! I have a few more things to get done around the house, I get to go pick up my gorgeous dresses tomorrow (I'll post pictures later) and then head home for some good quality time with family as I await the arrival of my dear Hubby!! OMG I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bachelorette Party!!!

So, a quick update before a recap of the weekend! Things with the Hubby and I have been going really well! Thank you Lord! We've been able to talk more and are both so excited about finally getting to see eachother in just a few days!!! We know we need to work on some things, but what marriage is perfect and doesn't have their issues? Ours just happen to be heightened because we're on opposite sides of the world. But it's almost over and he is almost home! Thank you for those of you who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers!

And now for the WEEKEND!! Let's start with Thursday! I went with Leslie to get her lumineers put on and then we both did some shopping for some things for me to wear for David for his leave and an outfit for her bachelorette party! When we got home, we were exhausted, but we continued on doing some wedding plans! Things are definitely coming along and 2 weeks from today, she and Adam will be on their way to their honeymoon and this wedding will be over!!

Friday, I woke up and it was POURING!! (Which doesn't mix well with plans to walk around Bricktown) I called Melissa, my fabulous hairdresser, and asked her how I should style my hair and she just told me to coat it in mousse and hairspray so and give it tight curls so it wouldn't fall throughout the day. IT WAS HUGE!!! I ALMOST used more hairspray than the day of my wedding. Almost. But I got my errands run and dropped off the dogs so I could head to the city to set up the hotel room for our party!!

We had sashes and pins along with bedazzled stick-on tattoos and these massive pink light-up rings to wear! And Leslie had a veil and tiara! Our friend, Chris, who is making both the cakes for the wedding made our cake! It was the most adorable Victoria's Secret bag!

Leslie showed up right as we had finished decorating and was all ready to get her hair done! So, while I curled her hair, Chris helped her with her nails and lashes!

We all got ready and headed to the Melting Pot for dinner!! We had cheddar and spinach artichoke fondues and they were absolutely delicious! I had never been and honestly wasn't sure at how yummy it sounded, but I could hardly get enough! I'm definitely taking David while he's home!!

After we got done with dinner, we headed back to the room and played games (I feel so vulgar, but I got a bachelorette version of Pin the tail on the Donkey). So, we played Pin the Junk on the Hunk, How well do you know the bachelorette? and an animated game of I Never!

After the games, we had cake, got ready and headed out to Club Albee! With the weather predictions, I decided to book a private room and we got a limo ride thrown in with it! So, I had everything planned out and under control, regardless of the scenario! When we walked out of dinner, there was a black stretch limo waiting and Leslie asked if it was for her.. I told her "no", I didn't think to do that. I knew she was kidding. On the way out the door, she was trying to think of ways to get to and from the hotel. "Amanda could drop us off and Chris can come back and pick us up if we need it.." I turned around to our friends and mouthed "She's gunna drive me CRAZY!!" I'd been holding my plans in and been around her the whole time.. it was so hard not to just tell her everything! So, when we went downstairs and a white stretch limo was waiting, she said "Is this my limo?" I turned around and told her yes, and she started walking away, she didn't believe me! But when she figured it out she was so excited!!

We got to the club and had our own private room! We had a good time hanging out, just us girls and dancing the night away! We were even able to meet the guest DJ! He DJ's at the Playboy Mansion!

We had a great night and after all the planning, I was definitely ready to crash! The next morning, I went and got a mani/pedi and a facial!

So, it was a good weekend, but I'm glad it's about over! I definitely could have used a massage this weekend, but with all the stress over the wedding and David's leave, I may as well wait until one of them is over and then David and I can have a couple's spa getaway together. It will be nice to get away from everything and everyone and have no stress or pressure. I feel like there are so many people to see and please and so much to do during his leave. It may not be a spoken "You need to do this", but it's understood. It's frustrating because I just want people to respect that we need our time alone and to be together. But I don't think that's how it's going to go.. so, we'll just see.

I cleaned the downstairs of the house today to get ready for David to come home! I thought I'd head to Owasso tomorrow, but I still have to pick up my dresses, and the store that I got them altered at doesn't open until Tuesday, so I can stay home and continue cleaning/doing laundry in prep for my Hubby coming home! I am so excited!! Just a few more days!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Out of the Heat of the Moment

I guess I would like to start this blog off by saying how thankful and blesses I am for those who shared words of encouragement in the last post, and for those family and friends who offer unsolicited advice and love. I am so appreciative and cannot express that enough.

My post yesterday was written in the midst of everything. Dave and I were talking and things had been good for a few days and then quickly spiraled out of control. One problem is the channel we are using to communicate. I'm thankful for Facebook chat and very thankful that technology is the way that it is so that he and I have the ability to talk and see one another. I know previous veterans and wives have not been so blessed and I thank God for the ability to communicate with David through multiple resources. However, Facebook chat gives NO source of emotion and it's difficult to communicate that way.. and that being our main way of talking, it just stinks sometimes. So, as we were talking on chat, things got crazy and I felt like there was nowhere to "vomit" up how I was feeling. I sat in my living room for a few hours just trying desperately to gather my thoughts, a complete mix of emotions that probably has to do with how close R&R is, me about to start my period, and just everything going right now. I have worked not to exploit things to others. Our family and friends are aware of us dealing with difficult times and are praying for us, but we have tried not to share details of what exactly is going on. I wrote the post yesterday thinking that no family and friends followed/read my blog, so I was expecting to be talking to a wall and just releasing some thoughts in hopes that things would make more sense. It helped immensely to let some things out and hear encouragement from others.

Now that I'm not a ball of feelings and emotions, I want to clarify some things. I love my husband more than anything! He is my best friend and my other half. It has been the biggest struggle to balance life without him and to try to go on with us being so far away for so long. I YEARN desperately to be with him again and to go back to that sense of completeness when we are together. David has always and will always make me into a better person. He sees me for who I am and he loves me and encourages me despite my faults and many mistakes. He is an INCREDIBLE man and more than I could have ever thought to ask for in a husband. He fights for this country and serves with unswerving loyalty as a dedicated Christian, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, worker, student, soldier and citizen. There are few people I know that have the heart of the many I will forever be most blessed to be married to. I love him and would do anything and everything for him, as I know he loves me and works to provide for our family and be the best spiritual leader of our home that he can be. We both may feel at times that we don't know why we are at this point or why we got here and feel like we have little fight left in us, but we will never give up on the most incredible gift God has given us.

Every relationship comes with highs and lows. God has challenged us both in multiple ways throughout our relationship. For me, it's been a challenge of patience and the understanding that I don't have to know everything. I'm being taught about balance in all aspects of life and that lesson, along with the lesson of patience, will continue on for the rest of my life. I'm being taught to love unconditionally as well as the changes that come from molding two households into one. So many changes in such little time and so many lessons being taught. I thank God for this opportunity He has given us to learn and to grow together and individually and look forward to not only what we learn through this, but what He will use us for in our growth and in our lives. I know it isn't going to be easy. No one ever said marriage is easy. We have a lot of work and a lot of growing to continue to do and that will continue on long after this deployment is over. But we have what it takes to push through this challenge and this hard time and will be better in our marriage as a result of it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No Light At The End of the Tunnel

It's been a long time since my last post, and I'll probably catch up on life later, but for now, I just need to type. WARNING: This blog post comes full of feelings and opinions that have been forming for months and months. I just need to lay it out there, more for my sake than anything else.

I am beyond anxious for my husband to come home for R&R. I don't know what's going to happen at this point. Apparently, the few weeks leading up to homecomings are stressful and low points for most relationships, but I had never experienced this. The past few months have been TERRIBLE. I don't know where we are or why and I don't know how to get out of this sinkhole that we are in. When did things get to this point? There's no communication and everything, regardless of how we try, turns into an argument. I feel like our marriage has been a roller coaster of emotions, ups and downs multiple times every day, and personally, I'm tired of it all and don't know how much more I can take of it. There have been points where we honestly didn't think he would come home for leave, just because things are getting that bad. We have no communication and therefore, nothing to talk about. And we've only been married for a year and a half.. I just don't know what to do. I'm tired of being preached at that everything will be fine when he gets home. I'm honestly more nervous about picking him up at the airport than I am excited to see him. I have no idea what's going to happen and no clue where we need to go from here. I feel like I don't have any fight left in me..
"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