Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oprah Today

Oh boy, what a tearjerker!  The entire episode was about military families and the sacrifices we (and by we I mean ALL military families) have made over the last 10 years in this war.

What I thought was most interesting, was the discussion that there is a disconnect among most of the people in this country and the 1% who are actually in the military.  Most Americans don't even know someone that is actively serving.    First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward came on Oprah to be an advocate for us and our families.

This website, is set up to provide people with volunteer opportunities in their area.  I typed in my own zip code and was surprised at just how much actually came up.  Spurred into action, I immediately emailed the volunteer coordinator at our local state Veteran's Home that is just around the corner from us.  It doesn't have to apply to military families, there are tons of organizations that need volunteers. 

My point in this post is this--We can all help out in ways to support our active and veteran military and their families.  I also believe we as military families should pay it forward and help out in any way we can.

Over the years, I have often heard the phrase, "The Navy takes care of their own, the Marines take care of their own," etc.  I think we as military families need to break out of that line of thinking and be able to ask for help when we need it.  I'm very happy to see Mrs. Obama step forward and ask regular, everyday people to help take care of us too!  We are not looking for freebies, and the needs of every military family are different.  Some need a lot of support.  Some need little, some don't need any at all, and can help out other families. 

I am very fortunate to have an incredible support system while my husband is gone.  I also live in a town that is very, very good to our military families and I'm grateful for that.  Not everyone is as fortunate as myself though and it's disheartening to me to see our bravest soldiers and their families isolated from the love and support they need. 

I know that there are a lot of problems in this world and I know that people have their own worries, concerns and struggles to deal with.  But I really, truly hope with all my heart and soul that something (okay, many good things!) will come of this Oprah episode that aired today.

If nothing else, take a moment and visit the website

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Communication Rant

One of the truly disheartening things about being a family in the Navy is that the communication from the ship to the homestead is often challenging to obtain. 

Please don't get me wrong.  There are lots of perks to being in the Navy and having your loved one stationed on a Navy ship, as opposed to being in the the other services.  I would never say that the Navy life is harder or easier than being part or the Army, Marines or Air Force.  Each service has its own challenges and benefits. 

But lately, the communication capabilities of this large ship in the middle of the ocean can really wear down one's patience.  One of the things that bugs me most, is that the AT&T Sailor phones onboard, provided for Sailor's to be able to keep in touch with their families are very poor quality indeed.  From the cost to use these Sailor phones, to the amount of static you have to talk through (I mean, it is ridiculous to have to strain to listen to hear words of your deployed Sailor, even with your phone on its highest volume) is really sad. 

In the meantime, what we generally rely on to communicate is e-mail.  And when that goes down for whatever purpose, it can be very frustrating.  Your spouse, your best friend, suddenly becomes this far away person who you almost have to emotionally forget about, just so you can get through your day. 

With all of the gains in the technology world in recent decades, there's got to be a way to allow better communication between families for our sailors that don't have access to computers and phones out there.  Within the Navy, you also have to consider that any type of outside communication can be a security risk. 

What I do know for sure, (and I'm trying to say that without sounding like the end of a O magazine) is that when my husband steps off that ship and back into our lives, I fully intend to share a cup of coffee with him and bask in the glorious revelation that we get to sit down and have a conversation and communicate.  And I promise to appreciate that simple task that so many people take for granted.

Now I'm curious.  What are the challenges with communication during deployment in the other military services? 

Monday, January 17, 2011


The light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see it.  I give myself permission to get just a little bit excited.  Just a bit of hope. 

We've been so busy lately.  I haven't even had time to reflect or write.  This last week was filled with visitors.  First, our neighbors went into the hospital to have their second baby.  We had the privilege of watching their 11-month-old daughter, and that kept all of us on our toes for two days. 

On Saturday, my brother, his girlfriend and their baby came to stay with us. 

They are in the area looking for apartments and/or condos since he just landed a job on this side of the mountains. 

Ahron got horribly sick with a nasty case of viral gastroenteritis.  It him "like a ton of bricks," as he described it.  He had to have an IV drip and nausea shots but he is now on the mend.  I know how much it sucks living in close quarters with so many people.  Those viruses are incredibly contagious. 

My son Miles also started preschool on Friday!  That was a big milestone and so far he seems to really enjoy it.  I'm looking forward to getting a break every Thursday and Friday.  My friend and I already have a bowling and breakfast meet up planned since both of us are kid-free on Thursday mornings. 

One of the things that's been bugging me lately is the time difference between my husband and I.  The distance alone is hard to deal with, add to that, it's his night and my day, and it makes for very long days.  We only get to email each other in passing.  As I wake up and get to respond to his email, he's on his way to bed. 

I can't even express how glad I will be when the ship starts heading home and time zones began to align a little better.  When our little boat on our count up wall gets to the last row of weeks, I'm going to be ecstatic. 

This past two weeks has been very difficult for my daughter.  She recently turned six and though it was a happy time for her,  she has also been extremely emotional.  For a couple days in a row, she was crying a lot for her Daddy, and breaking down over the most silly things.  It's painfully obvious to me that with the end of deployment coming sooner rather then later, she  feels changes coming that are out of her control.  Homecoming can be a confusing time, especially for children, and I don't think most people know that it can be both happy and scary/sad/confusing time.

We'll see how it goes, but most importantly, provide love and support to our two little sweeties, who endure so much and are probably impacted by deployment more than we know.  I also know they are incredibly strong and resilient, and they will come out okay through all of this.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lessons for 2011

Here's what I've been hearing lately that's struck a chord with me.  I'm going to try to live by these this year.

1)Live below your means, but within your needs.  --Suze Orman

2)All you need is love, love is all you need.--John Lennon

3)What have you done lately for your fellow man?--More acceptance, less judgement in 2011.

I want this year to be different.  I spent a lot of last year at a crossroads.  I questioned many of my beliefs and felt the need to define them and explore them, and I tried my best with this ongoing crazy, busy life of mine.   

I have this thing.  I want to be 100 percent me by the age of 30.  I want to know who I am, and I want to be confident about that, be my best me.  I want to find the peace I feel I've lost over the years. 

Lots of good things to look forward to this year.  I'm trying to go forward fully trusting in God's plan for our family.