"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Happy" Memorial Day

For a while, I didn't get it. "Happy Memorial Day."

It seemed like an oxymoron. What's so happy about it? Celebrate? Huh? Sometimes I still don't get it - because of what this day is. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about it, reading what others had to say, trying to decide how I really felt. 

Because today is a day that we honor them. We honor those who gave all. We honor the families whose heroes came Home too soon. We honor the widows and widowers, the children who do not get to hug their mommy or daddy again. Today is a day to honor, to remember, but to celebrate?

And then I really thought about it, really tried to see all of the sides of it, and I remembered the funeral of one of C's fallen friends. 

'That is what I want," he paused, "if its ever me," C said after he finished telling me what Nick's family had done the days before his funeral. It was hard to think about, harder to hear him say. My body cringed. 

Nick's family celebrated his life. Celebrated his service. Through the tears, and the pictures, and the videos of him jumping out of planes and parachuting with West Point's team, they celebrated his journey. They shared stories and laughed and cried and honored him. 

And on this day - this weekend - we celebrate our freedoms, our country. We celebrate the men and women who have afforded us these things. So as you BBQ and celebrate and enjoy this time with your family and friends, celebrate their lives too. Their lives that were freely given so that yours could continue as you want it to. Honor their families who will struggle through this day. Remember them.

Pause, raise your beer, and remember them.

We have asked everything of them; they have asked nothing of us - 

But to remember.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Road Less Travelled By

I found myself at a very real crossroad. It didn’t take much to close my eyes and see it. As the decision came closer and closer, I didn’t even have to close my eyes; it was always there. I saw it when I accepted my ring, I saw it when I packed my apartment, I saw it when I said goodbye to college friends, I saw it when I entered the church on our wedding day. Two distinctly different paths. One that I knew – that I could picture every single detail of the future. The law school I wanted to attend, the area I wanted to practice, the place I wanted to continue to enjoy my youth. The kind of loft I wanted to live in, the city I wanted to enjoy for 4 or 5 years and then return to the city of my birth. I could see the bowing oak trees and restored shot gun houses. I could see far down that road where I eventually would marry someone who had grown up in this same place, knew these same things, had the same faith, would be home every night. I could see the career I would keep when I finally had children – the career I wanted so badly for myself, the dominating part of this road. There was sunshine and comfort and near certainty that this was where my life was supposed to go – this was who I was supposed to be.

And beside it was another. It was far away and unknown and horribly unfamiliar. I couldn’t see past this one step. Picturing this in my mind literally knocked me backwards when those church doors opened and I walked in. I was scared. I was overwhelmingly terrified of the unknowns of this road.

I continued to be scared while I waited in the back room. While I looked at the faces of his grandparents. While I looked at my friends who supported me even though they didn’t understand. My sisters. My mom. My dad. I was scared when we sang the fight song for my college –appropriate because I felt like I was about to walk into a battle. One of the biggest challenges of my life – to take the road I knew or to take the road less traveled.

I was scared as I peeked through to see my brothers seat my mom, when I watched my sisters walk, my best friends. I was scared when the doors were opened and the two paths stood before me.

I was scared when I took the first steps. I was scared when I looked at the faces staring at me, smiling, winking.

It almost felt like my dad was holding me up – like I wasn’t even walking. I just kept seeing this path – this black, hazy path – of the unknown of life or death, of harm or safety, of home or someplace else. There were no bending oaks and greying moss, no colorful houses, no familiar roads, no familiar churches, nothing I could be certain of.

And then I looked forward. I looked forward and saw this man. This man who stood so very straight, smiling at me with a glow that made it all disappear.

Because this man was my path. This man was my known in an unknown, my home anywhere we would go, my comfort through the trials. This man was my path, my partner on the journey, and all I could see was him.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

It has made all the difference.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


For the third time I peek my head into the boys’ room. For the third time I bring the covers back up over their little bodies. For the third time I listen to their steady breathing. For the third time I return to my room and climb into my own bed and pull up my own sheets.

It’s quiet.

The last time I slept in this bed, Eli was two months shy of arriving. Logan was still sleeping in a crib. C was about to finish up at Benning. It was winter – a week from Christmas. And not this past Christmas but the one before. The last time I slept in this bed he was very much here.

I don’t like our bedroom furniture (it’s okay – my husband knows). It’s very nice, very good furniture, but it was my give. I don’t like hard, modern lines – nor do I like soft mattresses – but C does and he needs better sleep in a shorter period of time so I gave in when it came to each of these pieces.

It has been a lifetime since I last saw them. It feels strange to be in this new room, surrounded by things that are so very much him and for him to not be here. I keep rolling because I keep sinking into this far-too-soft-for-me-mattress. When he is here I don’t sink – his arms hold me up. And, Lord, do I miss him holding me.

It’s so quiet.

It’s much too quiet.

I just want to hear him breathe.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not Daddy

Children are amazing.

The things they hold onto, the things they remember, how well they can process certain moments is amazing.

I don’t know why I didn’t expect it. I should have expected it. But I honestly didn’t think he would remember. He was barely two when we left here. But he knew it. The instant we drove up to the gate he knew it.

“Daddy?!” he asked – his voice rising on the “dy?” He knew this place was where his daddy should be. I rolled down the back window with mine so he could see the MP checking my ID.

“Not Daddy,” he stated simply, shaking his head. There was no sadness or disappointment, just acknowledgement that that soldier did not belong to him. I looked in my rearview mirror to watch him as he poked his head around with his neck stretched out looking, “Daddy? Where are you?” I rolled up the windows and pulled into post.

He looked for him when we went into the housing office. He even went up to a soldier and pulled the leg of his pant. The soldier looked down and smiled, said, “Hey, buddy.”

Logan let go. “Not Daddy,” he said shaking his head and searching for him again. He just “knew” he was going to find him. “Daddy? Daddy? Where are you?” he kept asking as he poked his face into doorways and looked behind counters. Never getting upset, never showing the slightest disappointment but never giving up.

As I strapped him back into his car seat and pulled the chest strap higher he asked me, “Mommy?”

“Yes, bug-ah?

“Where’d Daddy go?” My heart sank.

I have done my best to not say C went “to work” because I do not want him to associate that simple phrase with this kind of separation. But he has never asked me the question so directly. He has never looked straight up at me with his big brown eyes that are the same color as his daddy’s and asked me without anger or sadness where he had gone. He had never asked this question (that he had asked a hundred times) in this way – like he just needed to know why every soldier he saw today was “not Daddy.” What could I tell him?

“Daddy is in Afghanistan, baby boy.”

“Atgamininstan?” he repeated.

“Yes, Logan, Afghanistan.”

“Oh.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Okay.  Daddy in Atgamininstan.” He thought a moment.

“Mommy?” the same high pitch at the end.

“Yes, bug-ah?”

“Daddy coming home?”

“Yes, baby. Daddy’s coming home real soon.”

Another soldier got out of the car beside us. “Nope, not Daddy,” he said again. “Daddy in Atgamininstan.”

Children really are amazing. There is so much beauty within their hearts.

How do you answer the “Where is daddy/mommy” question for your children?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Featured Blogger - From Pearls to Dog Tags

Cate is one of my Different Perspectives Bloggers. Reading her posts always take me back to when I was in her shoes. She is the girlfriend of a soldier and it amazes me how similar her story is to the beginning of my own. I love how awesome her outlook is so soon into this lifestyle and look forward to seeing her journey progress. If you are a girlfriend of a service member jump on over to From Pearls to Dog Tags and be encouraged by her and share your story. If you have gone from girlfriend to spouse, please head on over too and give her the pep talk that we all need but is so much harder to find during the earliest stage of this life. Keep writing, Cate!

Monday, May 16, 2011

That Day

For every one of us there is that day. The day when we break. The day when we go to wipe off our makeup at night and there isn’t any left. We have cried it all away. The day when nothing works the way it is supposed to, nothing arrives the day it is scheduled, nothing lets up along the way.

Today was that day.

When it was done I didn’t have anything left. My body hurt. My eyes ached. My lips were dry. I didn’t have any moisture left in my body.

And then he called.

This day was not over. The crying was not finished. I listened and I nodded my head and I took in what he said and I told him how much I loved him and that it was okay.  It wasn’t his fault. Because I could handle this one last bit of bad news. I could find the strength. Until -


“Baby, you there?”


“C?! C?! You there??”


“Baby??  (BANG!) Baby? (BANG! BANG!) Answer me!!!”


I stared at my phone in my hand. I stared at the call list. I stared without speaking for a moment. And then I started:

“Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Oh God, please call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Jesus Lord, please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. God, no, no, no, no, NO, please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, Please, Please, Please, call back. Jesus, please. Please, call back. No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, Lord, please, no. Please, call back. Please, call back. Please, please, please, please call back. Please, please, Lord, please.”

And then he did.

We don’t know what happened to the phone. We don’t know what caused that horrible, horrible sound. We don’t know why it would happen like that. But I do know that those seconds were the most terrifying moments of my life. I do know that seeing that six-digit number pop up on the screen I wouldn’t stop staring at was not enough to take away that heart-destroying fear. I do know that his voice was the most precious thing in the world to me when he said, “Baby, I’m here.”

I know that today was the hardest day I have ever experienced. Harder than when he deployed both times, harder than when he left after R&R both times, harder than seeing that wonderful man tell his baby boys goodbye time and time again. Harder than him leaving me in the hospital two days after Eli was born. Harder than watching Logan scream out the side door as we drove to the airport. Harder than any instant of my existence.

Because today for the first time in my life I thought my husband was dead.

And I thought I heard it happen.

My body will not stop shaking.

I have never known such fear.

How Did I Get Here? - A Guest Post by Amanda

Amanda is a Texas girl (I KNOW there are plenty of Texas ladies reading) who has lived this life for nearly four years. However, her first experiences with the struggles of this life didn’t come from the lessons from her husband but from her brother who – eight years ago – became a soldier. In this post she talks about what so many people ask (and what we often ask ourselves): How Did We Get Here?

How did I get here?

People ask me all the time how I ended up in this Army Life.  People ask even more when they hear that since January 2008 I have gone from my husband being deployed to my cousin deploying, then my brother, and now my husband again.  

Was I raised in an Army family?  No.  

Did I live near an Army post?  No.  

Did I seek out an Army man?  No.  

How did I get here?   I’m not entirely sure.  

These questions are usually followed by someone asking if it is worth all the sacrifice but the answer to that question is not the same as the rest.  Yes, it is worth it.  When they ask why, I silently go back to the day we got engaged.

I think of the day we got engaged and in some ways it is more of a testament to our commitment than our wedding day.  Our wedding day was fantastic - don’t misunderstand me.  The pretty dress, all our family and friends, all eyes on me and compliments flowing from sunrise to sunset - it was a wonderful day.   But the day we got engaged there were no flowers.  There was no pretty dress and if I recall correctly there wasn’t even make up.

My now husband was stationed at Fort Hood and I was finishing up my senior year of college an hour and a half away.  TMO was at his house packing everything up for his move to Colorado. We had been packing, cleaning through junk, cleaning up all of his gear from his deployment, and had spent the previous 2 days working diligently to get things as ready as possible.  I was exhausted!   I took a midday nap before I was going to head back to College Station.

I was woken up from my nap by my soldier on his knees, tears in his eyes as he watched me sleep.  Excuse me, let me correct myself.  They were not tears - he had an “allergy attack.” Whatever you want to call it, his eyes were watering as he woke me up.  He began to tell me how much he loved me, how excited he was for our future, and asked me to marry him.  We weren’t at a fancy restaurant or on a romantic vacation like I had always dreamed.  I wasn’t glammed up to the T and didn’t have perfectly pruned nails ready for photos.  The ring he picked out wasn’t even ready from the jeweler yet, but he just couldn’t stand to wait.  He said he was just so excited to start our life together that he wanted to start as soon as we could.

We were in the middle of moving mess. We had been up to our ears cleaning sand out of gear from Iraq.  How does that sand get everywhere?!  We were both completely broke, barely able to fill our vehicles up with gas to see each other on the weekends.  Life was not glamorous, and we were going into it with eyes wide open.  We had begun our relationship during his first deployment, so I wasn’t blind to the struggles of that.  We knew how difficult things may get and we were not blinded by love’s gaze.  We knew.  Yet he still asked, and I still said yes.  

I said yes that day and even though our wedding was 20 months later, I committed my life to him that day. I agreed to take on this army life, whatever it would be, and there hasn’t been a single day that I’ve regretted it.  Sure, it’s not always easy. It wasn’t easy as I dropped my one year old off at day care this morning, dressed so handsome in a plaid button up shirt and khaki pants, explaining to his teachers that it was my “engagement anniversary” and I’d be taking our son out on a date to celebrate. It’s not fun balancing both roles and taking on the responsibility of a single parent while still having a spouse to take care of.  But it’s worth it.  When I get home and I take off my makeup and I’m in the mess of life, I think back to that day.  With the glamour stripped away we chose each other, and we continue to choose each other each day.  That is what makes the army life worth it.  He makes it worth it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Featured Blogger - Wife of a Soldier

Wife of a Soldier has followed her soldier through active duty, Army Reserves and currently Army National Guard.  In 5yrs of marriage, they've had 4 children, moved 4 times, fallen in love with their vocation to the military life and she has blogged it all.  Now as her husband prepares for his first deployment, she's started up a new blog specifically aimed at recording the thoughts and adventures that come with this journey.  She hopes to provide encouragement and support to the numerous military families also serving "the land of the free and home of the brave."  Please join in her adventures at  Charlie Mike while I begin settling in to Fort Carson.

Also check out her guest post if you missed it: Truth

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things to Be Aware of

Things to be Aware of …
(At Fort Carson)

The post underwent major road construction over the past year – most streets have been converted to one ways. Whatever little you thought you knew about how to get somewhere is completely void.

You will learn this the hard way.

The nearest Starbucks from one’s village is a fifteen-minute drive off post, without traffic, and is in a grocery store. You won’t get Starbucks rewards stars in a grocery store. Without earning said stars you cannot get free drinks. The nearest drive-thru is about thirty minutes away in a totally different direction.

Addicts will go through withdrawals.

Post housing does not supply microwaves – so if you buy some VIA and a new, cute mug (because your HHG haven’t arrived yet and your very awesome coffee pot is still in storage) and fill it with water you cannot heat it up. Even if you don’t discover this until the first morning when you wake up to children still on central-time when you are now in mountain-time, no microwave will magically appear.

Until you go buy one.

No one will have mopped the floors in the post housing before they hand over the keys.

Lowe’s has the small Shark mop on sale. The small Shark can pick up an unmentionable amount of dirt in a short period of time. It will be disgusting.

The PX is now checking ID’s as you enter. The ladies at the door are not just greeting you with their hands out.

They will yell at you and cause a scene if you smile, say hello, and continue to walk inside.  You will turn red with embarrassment.

It happens.

Just roll with it.

Learning to Write in Pencil - A Guest Post

Like so many of us, Jamie never thought she would fall for a marine. She is currently trying to balance a demanding job while planning a wedding through a long distance engagement all as her fiancée introduces her to the life of a Reserve Marine. She has offered to give a little glimpse into her journey as she tries to maneuver this crazy road. Please offer her the support we all need. Thanks for writing, Jamie!

Learning To Write In Pencil

A few months after my Marine and I were engaged, I met for coffee with a fellow military spouse. “Write everything in pencil,” she said.  “Things always change, especially when you least expect them to.”  These words rang through my head earlier this month when just as things seemed to be going as planned. Everything is okay and back on track now.

Ring,.. ring... I looked at my caller ID... it was my Marine. I was surprised to be hearing from him that Friday night. He’s a Marine Reservist and was on a drill weekend. He hardly ever calls on those Fridays or anytime during the weekend until he is on his way home on Sunday evening.

At that point a pit began forming in my stomach. Various thoughts began forming in my head, the biggest one... Are they deploying? When? Where? How long?

“Hey babe, I don’t have long to talk,” he said quickly.

“What’s up?” I reply.

“We might have a problem with the wedding,” he told me.

When we decided to push the wedding up and he decided to transfer to finish school here we looked at the calendar and picked the August date carefully. It wasn’t too close to when he would be starting school and it wasn’t the first weekend of the month, which is typically his drill weekend.

I couldn’t speak. My mom and I had just hours ago went to the reception hall and paid the deposit. All of the things that had been planned, but up in the air, were finally starting to become set.

“Hello?” “Hello?” he said.

“Yeah, I’m still here,” I said. “What’s the problem?”

“We might need to change the date of the wedding. They scheduled drill for that weekend. I could get out and so could Sgt. P (one of the other guys in his unit is serving as our DJ), but it is Gunny’s retirement ceremony” he quickly explained.

I could tell that he was in a hurry.

“I don’t know if we can. Mom and I just paid the deposit today. I don’t know if there will be other weekends available. We have people flying in from out of town, who might have already booked flights. I won’t be able to do anything until Monday” I told him, trying not to sound upset.

“I know, sweetie,” he told me. “just try, okay. I don’t want to miss it. I gotta go. I’ll talk to you Sunday. I love you.”

“Love you too.” I tell him.

When I got off the phone my mom could immediately tell that something was up.

I explained the whole thing to her. She just listened, and then said.

“It’s April Fool’s Day...do you think he might be joking, just to get you riled up?” she replied, after I was completely finished.

I called him right back. Before he could finish saying hello I launched into:

“Do you know what today is, April 1st?” “Is this some type of a joke” “IT BETTER NOT BE!”

“No, no, I would never do that to you,” he reassured me. “I love you!” “I’ll call you Sunday.”

It was at this moment that it hit me square in the face how much of a part the USMC will play in our life. I don’t mind, in fact, I couldn’t imagine life any differently. When I said “yes” to him, I chose this life and said “yes” to it too.

I made four phone calls that night to the people I knew were flying in from out of town. I explained the situation and told them I would have a confirmation of dates by the end of the week. I also emailed my bridesmaids. I apologized to them AGAIN about the unpredictability of the wedding and told them about the possible change of plans. Let’s just say, I have, in my opinion, the BEST bridal party anyone could ask for.

Finally, I emailed my boss. I had already put in for my time off for August. I did it this early, because of the position I hold. I am in management and know that for me to take off an extended amount of time will take planning and training. I had already gotten the approval for the previous timeframe. I wanted to let him know what was going on and that I would give him the definite dates as soon as I knew them, I just wanted him to void those previous dates. His reply came within minutes and was a startling reminder of what this life will bring. His reply was this.

“I’ll pencil it in, and remember, it’ll all be okay.”

One day, I’ll remember this lesson, but until then I believe that reminders will come when I least expect them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pollyanna - Guest Post by Rena

One of the things I have enjoyed most while writing this blog is the amazing connections I have made with other military spouses. I have been very blessed to hear from and to get to know many reserve and guard families who have offered an incredible perspective. I first introduced Rena with her guest post One Weekend a Month and Two Weeks a Year where she introduced me to the Guard/Reserve side of this life. I am so very happy that she is guest posting again. If you are a guard/reserve spouse or family member and have any questions please post them below. She has a lot of experience with that side of this life and I know she is more than willing to respond. Thanks, Rena, for writing again!


My husband has always been a bit of a Pollyanna to me.  He has an unerring ability to look on the bright side of things, find the good in every bad situation, and always think positive.  As a wife of a soldier, I tend to be pessimistically realistic about situations, preferring to think the worst-case scenario as what will be so that I’m not creating false hope and having them dashed at a later date.   This way, I’m then happy if and when things turn out for the better rather than disappointed when hey don’t.  We are great for each other in this, each one tending to balance out the other on our little “rowboat of life”, being each other’s rock or counterbalance when we find ourselves in uncertain waters.

My husband’s position at his normal 9-5 employment has been eliminated.  We found this out nine months into his 365+ day deployment to Afghanistan during his recent R&R.  I imagine this happens to more National Guardsmen and Reservists than I care to think about.  Factories, offices, corporations all continue to run when our men and women are called to duty and personnel are needed to keep any company afloat.  When service members are called up, their positions are often given to another employee, transferred to another department, or, as in our case, eventually eliminated altogether.  Those who own their own businesses close their shops and lose their clientele.  Promotions are bypassed and careers are put on hold.  Such is the nature of the Guard and what is at risk when service members choose to serve.  

My husband and his Pollyanna attitude are not worried.  By law under USERRA, any deployed soldier is guaranteed his position back or, if unavailable, must be given a position of equal stature and pay.  He is protected from simply being cast aside, though the matter of how long a company must retain a deployed service member once they return from deployment is a grey area. But unlike active duty members, who continue to advance their careers during deployments, gaining promotions and advancing in rank, Guardsmen and Reservists put their careers on hold. 

His employer has been fantastic to us during this time, and I have absolutely no complaints and nothing but major praises for a company that has not only supported its deployed employee, but that employee’s family as well.  I have gotten phone calls checking in on us, and any questions I have had, have always been answered within the hour, with lots of follow up to ensure that my question had indeed been answered.  I am told that his name is brought up almost daily and is fresh in the company’s minds.  There will be many hugs when he eventually returns there to work.

No, my Pollyanna is not worried… or if he is, he’s not voicing it.  And since I trust him and respect his judgment, I will swallow my pessimism this time and choose to believe him and, more importantly, to believe in him.  Our rowboat is still afloat because of him and his unerring faith.  We will meet whatever the next challenge is together like we always do.

He is my counterbalance in our rowboat. He is my rock.

Featured Blogger - The New "Normal"

Kris is an Army National Guard Spouse who has just started her first deployment. Four years ago they decided as a family that they were called to live this life and he enlisted. With two kids she is bravely facing the year ahead of her ready to learn from and be strengthened by the ups and downs. Hop on over to The New "Normal" and join in her journey while I sign on in to post-housing at Ft Carson.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Featured Blogger - Dr Army Wife

I am probably rolling through the plains of Texas on some two-lane highway with no shoulder and no anything for miles and miles and miles except dirt and grass, no trees, just flat, flat land for as far as I can see, until forever, just land .... You get the point.

Pray that my children are sleeping, or quietly watching Toy Story for the third time, or sweetly talking to each other ... please.

And then head on over to Dr Army Wife's blog. She is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Know What it Means

I know it means to miss New Orleans. I've missed it before. I've left it before. I know I will miss it again. It was so very good to come home. To come home for this deployment was the right thing for our family. My husband was right.

I love this place.  

But in a few hours I will pack my kids into a new car already packed full of everything else and drive away from it. There are people I need to thank before I go. There is a city I need to thank. So here goes ... 

Thank you New Orleans for opening your arms to me again and taking me back after I had been gone. Thank you for filling my heart with so much goodness by the kindness you poured out to me. Thank you for showing yourself to my children who will return here someday and claim this as their home too. Thank you for allowing my children to climb your oak trees draping the grass of city park, for allowing our Logan to ride your streetcars and visit your beautiful zoo. Thank you for being the same city I remember and for allowing those same memories to my children.

Thank you to the people at the Ritz Carlton who greatly upgraded our room during R&R and surprised us with unexpected extras to show their gratitude. Thank you for adding to that special time with my husband. Thank you to the old friends who helped that to happen. Thank you for every small thing you did during that time.

Thank you to the many people who have watched my little boys for me and helped to make juggling a little easier. Thank you for being there for me and for them. I hope someday to return the favor.

Thank you to my church that offered me a choir to teach. Thank you to those little voices with the big personalities behind them. I will never forget how you sang "America" and the tears it brought to my eyes. Thank you for making me smile. Thank you to the members who donated at the Troops Drives and gave me a hug and told me about their loved ones deployed. Thank you for that kindness.

Thank you to the many people who came out of the woodwork to offer support to my soldier and his men. Thank you to the friends of friends, the parents of friends of friends, the strangers who asked about the hand and foot print covered packages with the flag on the side and talked with me. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, who has hugged my kiddos, and patted my hand. 

Thank you to all of you who have joined our journey. Who have offered support to both myself and other readers, who have emailed and posted, and shared your stories with me. I hope to continue to grow with you.

Thank you to my closest friends who have never failed me. Who have known me better than most. Who have never wavered in their support, their love, their ability to listen. I could not be more blessed by those closest to me. I could not be more thankful for their friendship. 

Thank you to my family - especially to my parents. I know that when He made me for this he intentionally gave me these two beautiful people. He has blessed me with a mom who has been unbelievably good during this time for my small family. A woman who is generous and supportive and always wanting to do more for my husband and those he serves with. I am so very proud to be her daughter. I am so very grateful for the hugs she has given me that she just knew I needed. I am equally blessed to have my dad who will leave work today and get in my car and make the three day trip with the boys and me. I am so grateful my boys got to spend this special time with him. He is such an incredible Poppa and a good, good man. Thank you, mom and dad, for teaching me how to live gracefully, to love unconditionally, and to endure whatever comes. 

I know what it means to miss New Orleans, to miss my family, to miss my friends. I have done it all before.

Coming and going is our way of life. So today begins another part of "going" and I am so grateful for this too. Because this going means my husband is soon coming home.

Many Military Spouses will be guest posting and featured in the coming days while I travel to Ft Carson. Please check them out and comment on their posts and blogs! Please say prayers while we take this next step.   : )

Friday, May 6, 2011


For all of you who support your soldier or airman or sailor or marine, who wait, who sleep alone and then wake up everyday and choose to keep moving forward in the face of fear and the unknown and the what-ifs, who have resolved to rise above it, who are determined to become stronger, who use their experiences to support those who have just joined our ranks, who encourage, who empower, who keep their soldiers focused by building and maintaining a strong homefront, who choose to take a step back and let the needs of this nation come first,

For all of you who love your soldier or airman or sailor or marine, who cry as many tears of pride as you do of heartache, who stay committed, who recognized the difficult journey ahead of you and accepted it anyway, who refuse to be defeated,

For all of you who hold your tongue when needed and share your journey when most necessary, who use your time to strengthen this military family by strengthening your own, who hold the hand of your hero while shaking the hands of the heroes that stand beside him,

For all of you who are determined, for all of you that cry into his pillow and then wake up to take on the next day, who will not give up, who will not lose faith, who keep grace, who honor the sacrifice, who live the sacrifice, who will thrive along this journey,

I am honored to stand among you. Thank you for all you do!

Happy Military Spouses' Appreciation Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


There are so many things about me that can make this life seem like a poor decision on my part.

I am a planner. One of these days I'm gonna learn! 

I write in pen. Yeah, still not giving it up. I have issues ; ) 

I am not patient. Let's talk about this one.

I quietly made copies in the office without saying a word. I could hear people talking in three different rooms. 

"I don't understand why it took so long." (I may have slightly shook my head. Ten Years.).

"It seems kinda fishy. Everyone forgot about this man and 'poof' campaigning starts and he's suddenly dead." (I know I made a face at this one).

"Don't you think Marines would have gone in instead of Navy seals? It doesn't make sense for seals." (I may have laughed to myself here).

"I don't think he's really dead." (Deep Breathe. Lord, I hope that's not true).

"Bring 'em back. They finally got him." (I think I froze.)

"At least they can finally start bringing them home." (I looked down and realize I copied the same page six times).

The main woman saying these things didn't know me. She didn't know who I was. She didn't know who my husband is, what he does, where he is right now. She had no idea how much I wish it didn't take ten years (longer if you think about the five years before that he was America's number one enemy and I'm gonna go ahead and guess that he was being searched for somewhat then). She had no idea that I could not stand to hear the very idea that the death of that man is a political ploy. I cannot believe that. No matter what you think, I cannot hear that. I cannot think that. I cannot believe that. I simply won't. That may be the number one thing to never say to me. I won't lie, the misunderstanding of what unit/branch/etc. would go in for a mission like this made me laugh. For all we know it could've been some unknown entity working in conjunction with the seals - "the ones without letters" as my husband calls them. These are things that the American people don't need to know, and probably don't know for real, and I'm okay with that. They got him. That man is dead. That's all I care about.

"At least they can finally bring them (the troops) home." Alright, Lord, hold my tongue. 


A friend posted on this blog once: "The stability of one's country can be judged by how much its citizens know about their military." Goodness me, we must be pretty, darn stable. But I keep this quote in the front of my mind. It helps to hold my tongue. 

I try to remind myself: It's not their fault. They don't understand. They don't know any better. When at the same time the other part of my brain (the easily frustrated, impatient part) is answering: Isn't it though? Shouldn't they though? Well, why not?

And then it happens, the image of someone else is placed in my head saying: This war is pointless. They die for nothing. Bring them all home, now. And I shake my head because that image He has placed there is a reminder. It was me - half a war ago. 


We are all going to hear a lot of this over the next several months. I have sadly even heard a little of this from the press. People are not going to understand that not all of the tens of thousands of troops were searching for this man. This one man was not all that this war is about. It is about the hundreds - thousands - who believe as he did, plan as he did, that we need to be destroyed, that our "kind" is not worthy of life because of the freedoms and beliefs we have. The tens of thousands of troops who were not hunting this man will continue their mission - just as they did when he was still alive. This is not over. Their missions still matter. This did not change much of anything.

We all choose the lines that we draw, or erase, or cross over. I have seen harsh lines drawn between civilian and military - not by the soldiers, by the spouses - where a line shouldn't exist. We can't help others to understand if we do not have patience, if we are not graceful, if we are not calm. People will never understand if we remain an "us" and "them". Think about how you will react, how you will respond, how you will choose to teach or not teach. Because sometimes your answer may just be "no," but sometimes you may see it in their well-meaning eyes that they want to understand. When they cross your path something different may be better, maybe a "No, but would you like to know why?"

Because maybe you haven't heard it directly yet but it is coming. We all know it's coming. Know how you are going to respond, or not respond, but be prepared because every moment is an opportunity to erase a little bit of the line between "us" and "them". 

"Is your husband coming home now?" 

It's coming. Lord, give me patience.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Not Over

I was driving down Bonnabel with my mom after a doctor's appointment when the first plane hit. I was turning onto Veterans when the second plane hit. I remember walking down the halls. I remember the eerie quiet in the school. I remember just hearing the light murmur from the TV's in the classrooms I passed. I remember not speaking. I remember falling to the ground when someone asked if I had heard from my brother who lived in New York. I remember every little moment of that day. I remember staring at the green tile on the walls not hearing much of anything else around me. I remember when I heard my brother's voice for the first time. I remember hearing him cry. 

I remember.

I will remember this day for a long time. I will remember telling my husband who didn't know yet. I will forever remember watching his face while he listened to the President speak through the speakers of Skype. I will remember him saying, "This is a good day for justice." I will remember my tears, the goosebumps, how much my body shook. I will remember. And I will hold onto this day.

But as my husband said tonight, "This is not over." This does not mean my husband will come home sooner. This does not mean his next deployment won't happen. This does not mean we are safe. This war is not over. Understand that.

The mission is not completed. Everything has changed. Everything just became a little bit trickier.

Please do not think today means the prayers can stop. Please do not think our men and women can now come home. Please do not think that their mission is done.

They need your prayers more than ever.

Always, always, always pray for our troops.

God Bless them. God keep them safe.

"The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done." -George W. Bush 5/1/11