Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Life Experience

Sunday night, I attended a concert by the great artist Jennifer Knapp. This is something I've been wanting to do for nine years, when I first began to know her music and she performed at King's Dominion in Virginia. At the time I was stationed in Fort Meade, Maryland and just beginning to explore Christian music. Jennifer no longer affiliates with CCM but when her new album was released this past spring, I was so thrilled she was back from her hiatus, I purchased it from iTunes with fervor.

As I listened to her music I was pleased to hear her familiar voice, melodious and rich with intensity and passion. Her passion is what makes her music, and her faith, and it's what makes her great. I feel as if her music has carried me through so many good and bad parts of my life.

Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, I found out she was performing in Seattle at the Hard Rock Cafe. My wonderful cousin Corinne was able to watch my children for the evening so I could attend the concert.

When I arrived at the Hard Rock I had to use the restroom right away after that long drive from my neck of the woods. As I went in, I spotted Jennifer right away, just a couple of feet from the restrooms. Had to contain my excitement and not run up to hug her or shake her hand. So did not want to be super, creepy fan.

The concert began soon after and it was surreal. Seeing this talented musician was amazing, but most of all hearing her lovely notes and lyrics ended up being a night I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

Being a military wife can be difficult at times because it's easy to get so caught up in caring for others. So many times over the years I've passed up life experiences and amazing opportunities. I wanted this one time, this one concert and night to be different. And it was. I'm really grateful that I was able to go.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Today was not a good day. It began with promise, but ended poorly.

In the afternoon I had a bad interaction with a checker at Costco and I lost it. I managed to whisk the kids back into the safety and quiet of our car and then the tears fell freely. I've been on the verge of tears on and off again since that moment.

I don't know why. I guess the reality has truly set in for me. I've been mostly busy and sometimes emotions just hit you at the most inconvenient of times. I don't feel strong enough to endure this. I'm lonely but I'm not alone. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Friday, September 17, 2010


So the ball is rolling on the changes in our household and that has been both good and bad for me. I like having a routine, but I honestly thought the hardest part would be helping my daughter adjust to the routine and I was surprised when I actually had to take a moment to adjust too. You'd think this would be like putting on an old hat for me, the whole "new routine thing," but sometimes it just sneaks up on me.

Somewhere on the third day of Kindergarten I started to get a little sad that this is our new normal. Shuffling out the door so very early to catch the bus on time, wondering what my daughter is doing, talking about, learning. I'm running errands with my favorite son or going to the gym, or straightening up in a much too quiet house. It's been a long week for all of us, as evidenced by the fact that my daughter almost fell asleep during circle time this morning. She was exhausted as we walked home from the bus stop in the early afternoon and I'm glad she'll get to sleep in tomorrow.

Last night she was obviously tired before falling asleep but she cried and cried for her Daddy. I promised we'd get right on sending his first care package and I'm hopeful for a call this weekend. We've been emailing a lot this week, working through some issues that he had at work. He also had a huge victory by finally earning his Air Warfare pin.

In short, I've felt an array of emotions this week, sad, scared, angry, proud, excited, nervous, lonely...but I guess that's part of it all. No one goes through a deployment with a permanent smile applied to their face. We fall, we bounce back and my mantra, we keep moving forward. I think I'll say that to myself before I drift off to sleep tonight.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thoughts on cleaning

I admit it. I love that show Hoarders. Even though I feel sad for those individuals who clearly suffer from a mental illness, at the same time, I can't stop watching. It's like one of those car wrecks you pass by and you just can't help but strain your neck to look.

After I watch it, I always start to look around my house afterward wondering if I am keeping things that I really don't need. Let's face it, I have a junk drawer. But it's still functioning as a drawer, not just a faux cabinet. We have a fairly small house for a family of four, and so I feel like I'm constantly clearing out junk and organizing. From my children's bedrooms to the linen closet, there is always something to get rid of.

The past couple of months I've been working on my garage (also a good "to-do" project from my recent post) which has been a huge job of sorting, washing, selling and shipping. I try to remember that if I was able to live out of three shallow drawers in the Navy at one point in time, I'm quite capable of reducing clutter and living simply. Google Image "coffin locker" to see the inside of ship rack to see where you get to store your personal items on a Navy ship. Of course now I have two little ones and they come with their own things, but still, I have to keep that mindset.

Anyway, I'm having a bit of a tough time keeping up on the cleaning so far since Ahron has left. The dishes are getting done, trash is being taken out, lots of vacuuming going on but one of Ahron's big things was to pick up toys with our daughter each night before he put the little ones to bed. It was just one of those awesome things he did to make our night more relaxing and I miss that. I tend to pick up toys in the morning since I usually vacuum then. And it never bothered me before. But man, oh man, I tell you, when I got up to go to bed this evening I felt a little overwhelmed. I'm hoping that with my first-born now in Kindergarten the house will stay a little bit cleaner during the day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding that pesky groove

It was like deja vu the other day dropping Ahron off at Target again in the early morning hours.
Now we're trying to establish a good family groove. This time, deployment comes with a really big change in the mix. My daughter is starting Kindergarten on Monday.

For the last couple of months I've felt okay about it. Then we attended her orientation yesterday morning and it all began to feel really overwhelming. I think for her, it will be fun each day to have somewhere to go. She seems excited. Later in the evening after the orientation, we picked up the rest of her school supplies. Note to self: Do not attempt to buy school supplies after all the other schools have started. It was slim pickens' out there and I had to go to three different stores to get what I needed. Packing her backpack made it all seem real.

Yesterday was a rough day for us. Somewhere in between the orientation and the trip to get school supplies the kids got in huge trouble for spilling yogurt on my very light beige living room carpet just two weeks after I had it professionally cleaned. One of our rules is no yogurt in the living room so I couldn't understand why no one listened to me and of course. it was dropped leaving a two foot streak of pink and yellow yogurt. I'm not sure if the week's emotions got the best of me, but I was seething, which transformed into yelling. which transformed to the kids getting sent to their rooms for one hour, plus, no snacks or dessert for the rest of the day.

After the whole incident was over and we came home from the store, things were much better and I felt slightly guilty for being so angry. Ahron wrote me from an e-mail and said I had a right to feel angry.

He and I have recently had discussions about ther term military brats as it applies to our own children. It is so hard to not want to give your child everything you can provide when the other parent is not able to be present. But any wise parent knows that you can't give your child things to be happy and substitute for lonliness. Instead, give them your time and attention and love. Remembering this, yesterday I played play-doh with the little ones and then we spent some time outside in the evening, playing fetch with the dog and trying to teach her a new command. The fresh air did us all a bit of good. I know today will be a better day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving!
Wait...huh? It's not Thanksgiving, you say? Well, in our home, today is Thanksgiving. We have a big, beautiful turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls and stuffing. I'm on the hunt for a pumpkin pie after church.

I got this idea the other day while we were grocery shopping. Since Ahron is going to be missing out this year, what better day to hold our own Thanksgiving then today? It's his last day off before the big "D," the Puget Sound rain is at bay and the air smells crisp and like autumn. I'm going to dust off that beautiful wedding silverware and my mismatched set of china, set the table with a real tablecloth and pour the little ones some sparkling cider.

Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!--Henry Ward Beecher