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Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's organized randomness

I haven't been able to make a full post out of my thoghts lately, so here they are in no particular order:

1. We have finished two full weeks of deployment! Luke is taking it the hardest and his behavior has deteriorated quite a bit. The other day he flooded our bathroom....literally. I had just shut off the water in his bath and had been out of the room for maybe three minutes when Chloe ran to tell me Luke was getting the floor wet. I went to check, and he had emptied out most of the tub using the bucket for rinsing hair. There was half an inch of water covering the entire bathroom floor, and it flooded the carpet three feet out into the hallway. Of course all he could say as I lectured and punished and made him help clean up, was "why not?"

2. I really like webcams. This is the first time we have been able to use them while he's been gone and it changes the dynamics a bit. Although I had to laugh because since my husband is looking down at his laptop screen and not the camera, it makes it look like he's trying to look down my shirt from the computer! And since he totally does that in real life, it's kind of like he's standing right in front of me :)

3. While blog browsing several weeks ago I came across Jennifer at Mississippi Girl whose husband was almost home from a deployment. We got to commenting and emailing and decided we'd try to get together, as we probably lived close enough. Then last Sunday I saw a pretty black-haired girl singing on our praise team at church, and guess what! It was her! We live just a few blocks from each other and go to the same church. So we got together for lunch at Chick Fil A last week, and I had a blast! She's so sweet and so fun to talk to and our kids enjoyed playing together. It just humbled me to think of how God worked all those details out, from directing me to her blog, and her to mine, to moving us near each other, knowing that having someone nearby who could relate to me would be a huge encouragement. Plus she gave me a recommendation for a good salon to get a haircut, and if that isn't evidence of God's provision, I don't know what is!

4. I just got the book "Chocolatherapy" in the mail. I'll let you know how it is!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A benefit

So I've discovered one benefit to my husband being dployed.

A king-size bed with only one occupant?

Totally holds like 4 loads of laundry.

I may not hang up clothes for the next 6 months!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Win cool stuff!

Have you checked out the great contests over at 5 minutes for mom? They are giving away a ton of stuff between now and the 4th of July.

I've already entered for some mommy business cards and a CUSTOM swimsuit from Land's End (who makes my absolute favorite swimsuits, so I really want to win that one!)

Go check it out, maybe you'll win something!

Friday, June 22, 2007

I think I'm me again

So it's been a few days since I've burst into tears.

And while I'm definitely sad, especially in the evening when there is no one to hang out with, I feel more like myself again.

And I don't feel the need to beg my husband to please, please get out of the Navy and never ever leave me again.

Because I seriously was on the verge of doing just that a few days ago.

The truth is, there are a lot of benefits to his being in the Navy. The insurance is great, we get to travel and meet new friends all over the world, some day the retirement will be pretty good, I have a common bond with a lot of people that I wouldn't normally have a lot in common with...

But I think one of the most surprising things, to me, about having my husband in the Navy, is the depth of respect it has given me for him. I mean, of course I respected him enough to marry him. And I knew before we started dating that he would be in the Navy. He was ROTC in college when we met, and when we started dating it was with the understanding that I would need to be willing to marry someone in the military. And if I wasn't, then there was no reason for us to date.

But before you are married you can't possibly understand the full extent of the bond you develop, or what it means to be one.

Or that when your husband is gone, part of you is very much gone with him.

But I love him so much more, and respect him so much more, for the fact that he did not just serve his time to pay the military back for his education and then get out. He truly wants to serve. He volunteered to go to Afghanistan two years ago when the call came out. We didn't know at the time that they'd only give him 9 days notice that he'd be going, but I don't think that would have made a difference. He wanted to help in the effort to build hospitals and buildings, and roads that would provide access to previously inaccessible people.

And the thing that resonates most deeply with me, is that I know he would give his life if necessary. Not just by being in a dangerous place, but that if it was called for, he would be the one to give his life in order to save his men or others in danger.

And while I really hope and pray that that never happens, I am proud to be his wife.

John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Watch me shrink

A virtual model of how I look now (shudder)...

Hopefully I'll have a different model to put up next month!

The X's have it

So today I was feeling like a strong, competent woman.

  • I filed a complaint with Verizon for telling us (among many untruths) that the Global Backberry they wanted us to buy (and we bought) works in Japan (it doesn't).
  • I moved large, heavy boxes from the door where the UPS guy left them into the living room.
  • I built one part of a modular bookcase, and two other parts I unpackaged and then repackaged because they were damaged. I called to get replacements.
  • I got up at 5:30am to get all of us ready and to VBS on time.
  • I made it to VBS on time.
  • I actually did homeschool with Chloe today.
  • I cleaned out our pond without losing any fish.

I stood in the kitchen making a fresh, homecooked meal microwaving Easymac, feeling strong and competent, and like I could make it through the next 6 months.

And then I glanced to my left where the calendar is.

And I saw that there were only three x's.

Which means there are, oh, 180 or so more to go before my husband comes home.

And then I started crying again.

*edited to change the number of days left...I thought deployment was about 160 days, but it's about 180.

And I didn't even cry when I figured that out!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I may not shower for the next 6 months

How not to start a deployment-

1. Leave your children alone near an open box while you take a shower, especially if:
A) Said box contains sheets of styrofoam- you know, that stuff made from thousands of little tiny balls of styrofoam that have been pressed together?
B) Your children have toy tools, including a saw, which can cut up those styrofoam sheets.
C) You have TWO ceiling fans in the room that can blow the aforementioned thousands of tiny balls of styrofoam into every conceivable (and some inconceivable) nook and cranny of your room.

I had to vacuum my walls, ya'll.

2. Ponder why so much steam is coming from your pot of boiling water. Yelp (and attract the attention of your children) when you realize it is smoke coming from the fire underneath your burner. Proceed to teach your panicked 4-year-old what to do if the fire was actually a big one and how to call 911.

3. Escape your styrofoam-laden house to go to storytime at Barnes and Noble. Storytime is replaced by a play about dragons and fairys. Terrify children with the large, costumed "baby" dragon. Stay and watch the play due to an inability to move caused by your left arm rocking the overtired baby's stroller, your lap being full of scared 4-year-old, and a scared 2-year old cowering behind your back and strangling the life out of you.

It's going to be an interesting 6 months.

A thank you and an invitation

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who took the time to comment, email, and most especially pray for us yesterday.

The little voice that was chanting "icantdothisicantdothisicantdothis" in my head all day yesterday is gone now. I'm still sad, of course, but I feel much more like myself today.

I'm joining Chrissy at Singalullaby in reading "Chocolatherapy" if anyone wants to join us! I just ordered it last night. Since I will be fighting the urge to "escape" during the next 6 months- through food, tv, books, blogs...it's definitely God's timing that she invited people to join her and I read her post the exact day I needed it! Check it out if you're interested.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I can't stop crying

Ya'll, I don't want to do this.

I know I can. I know God created me to be a strong, pretty independent person, and that when relying on Him I can do anything.

But I don't want to.

And I can't stop crying.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not Quite Alone

So my husband left today.


Why, WHY does the military think this is a good idea? Because it's not hard enough to say goodbye, but you also have to get three small children up at O-dark-thirty when they are at their very best, of course.

I am now ready to spend a week in my pajamas in a dark house eating nothing but cookie dough and brownies from the pan and watching Food Network and reading shallow novels.

Or at least that's what I would do if I didn't have to, you know, feed and care for three children.

And work at VBS all next week.

Life goes on, I guess, even when I'd just rather sleep through the next six months.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

So the thing is...

I love my blog design and header.

I really do.

But I'm getting bored.

I'm ready for some change.

We don't have the money for a whole redesign. I got lucky with this one. It was discounted because it was a premade header. Swank Web Style just customized it for me.

Plus, I am afraid to pay for something new and then not like it as much as this one, because that would be, well, bad.

But I want to change something. I really, really want to change something.

Any suggestions?

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Blogging Story

Chilihead is hosting a carnival today about our blogging stories. It's realy interesting seeing how some people got into blogging!

How did you start blogging?

My friend Joy has a blog that she uses to keep family and friends informed. I thought it was a good idea, and signed up for a blogger account. And then didn't do anything with it. I was completely uninspired. So then I signed up for Yahoo360. Same thing. Then I signed up for a HomeschoolBlogger account and was inspired with the "After a cup of coffee" idea. I figured it would be just homeschool stuff, but it quickly became an outlet for me, and I saw all of the friendships to be made. Then I got tired of thier limitations and entertained the idea of trying to sell scrapbook items, and moved to blogger.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?

Nope. I thought I'd use it to keep in touch with friends and family. But then I started thinking that maybe I wanted it for me, to be an outlet and to develop new relationships- always a plus when you're a military family and move a lot, so while it's not a secret, I also haven't told a lot of people about it. Then I added a little map statcounter to my site and LOVED seeing how people were reading my blog from all over the world. I got hooked on comments and reading other blogs, and started thinking maybe I wanted to try and make some money off it, and I ended up joining several blog rings and participating in the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party. I definitely don't have a large following, but I really love getting comments from people, especially new readers!

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

My main intent is for it to be an outlet for me, and also to build some new relationships. Both have been accomplished! I even had a friend from blogdom, Bethany, in my city when I moved. I am so thankful for her! I might use ads at some point, but I don't know yet.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

It's changed a couple times! I originally thought it would be for family and friends specifically, then about homeschool specifically.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?

I thought I was protecting my privacy, but at some point I relaized that it would be pretty easy for someone to figure out where we live if they read closely enough. I would have been even more careful than I was.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

My husband knows and supports me, but rarely reads unless I happen to leave the browser open to my blog. The rest of my family doesn't know about this one, yet, but it's not a secret. I send them the posts that I think would interet them, mostly about the kids.

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

Don't use your full name or last name on your site, or even in the email address that you use on your blog.

Also, don't be afraid to leave comments, even if you don't know the blogger at all. I think we all love them!

So that's it! That's my blogging story. Head on over to Chilihead's to read more or leave a link to your own!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

My 100 Things

Ok, so this is actually like my 120th post or something, but see #39.

1. I have been to 11 different countries (12 if you count airports).

2. I once drove through three countries in one day, just for the experience!

3. I got caught in a military coup in Cambodia one summer while on summer missions.

4. I am very proud of my husband and the fact that he serves our country in the Navy.

5. I hate, hate, hate it when he is deployed.

6. I am and will always be a California girl at heart.

7. I once had a pet cow.

8. Her name was Rosie.

9. She had a friend next door named T-Bone.

10. We just bought our first house.

11. They are predicting a bad hurricane season this year.

12. I will be alone in our first house during a bad hurricane season because my husband will be deployed.

13. He is deploying within weeks of us moving into our new house.

14. I went on summer missions three times.

15. I worked as a campus minister for 2 years.

16. I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Linguistics...Psycholinguistics.

17. Really. It's really called that.

18. I have a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

19. I taught English in Cambodia, San Diego and Japan.

20. I loved teaching the classes and the interaction with the students, but I hated grading papers and giving grades.

21. I am boderline introverted/extroverted.

22. My dh is very introverted.

23. We met in college in a Christian Fellowship.

24. I became a Christian my freshman year of college.

25. I went to USC.

26. That's Southern California, not Carolina.

27. The real USC :)

28. Trojan football is the only sport I like to watch on TV!

29. We got married three days after I finished my master's degree.

30. We lived in Japan for over three years.

31. Two of my children were born in Japan.

32. I still sometimes get confused about what side of the road to drive on.

33. I don't want to be pregnant again, but we hope to adopt one day.

34. I broke my ankle when I was 6 months pregnant with Audrey.

35. It was the first broken bone I've had in my life!

36. I did have one possible chipped bone.

37. I stepped on a lime and fell and banged my elbow.

38. My roommate at the time laughed hysterically when she saw me fall on a lime.

39. I am a procrastinator.

40. This is evidenced by the fact that this was supposed to be my 100th post and will instead be somewhere around 125.

41. My first job was at KFC.

42. I worked at Chuck E Cheese's for a summer.

43. I was an event planner in college.

44. I skipped my senior year of high school.

45. I was 16 when I started college.

46. I became a Christian in my freshman year of college.

47. I had believed in God my entire life.

48. I didn't realzie until college that it is a relationship with God, not just believeing the facts about him.

49. I have never dyed or highlighted my hair.

50. I figure I have plenty of time to do that when I start turning gray.

51. I plan to fight old age with every cosmetic product I can.

52. I am 5'8.

53. I am trying to lose 65 pounds.

54. My husband has to try and gain weight.

55. I am only a little bitter about that.

56. Ok, maybe more than a little.

57. He's also a really fast runner.

58. I guess that wasn't about me, was it?

59. But the next one is.

60. I abhor running.

61. I just bought a treadmill.

62. I am going to take up running.

63. Or at least jogging.

64. I homeschool my kids.

65. I am lazy and undisciplined at heart.

66. This worries me.

67. I like coffee.

68. I love my Keurig.

69. I really hate sleeping alone at night when my husband is gone.

70. Every night he's gone I will be convinced someone is trying to break in or is skulking in our yard.

71. I love to read.

72. I scrapbook.

73. I love to take pictures.

74. One day I'd like to take a photography class.

75. I am afraid of garbage disposals.

76. I can use one.

77. But I will not stick my hand in one to retrieve anything.

78. I make my husband do it.

79. But I can't look when he does.

80. I also can't watch really scary movies.

81. They give me nightmares.

82. I still have dreams about The Ring and The Grudge when I am alone at night.

83. I read books really fast when they interest me.

84. This makes it really expensive to buy books.

85. One of my biggest spirtual struggles is consistency.

86. I also tend to avoid God when I am emotional over something.

87. I tend to fill up my time and thoughts with shallow things like TV and chick lit.

88. This will be a constant struggle for me while my husband is deployed.

89. I don't really fear for him while he is in war zones.

90. I believe God already knows how many days we will all live.

91. That means he is just as safe in Iraq or Afghanistan as he is in the US if he is in God's will.

92. My heart still skipped a beat every time the phone rang at odd times when he was in Afghanistan.

93. I had a miscarriage on Christmas day, 2005.

94. I have absolute confidence that my baby is in heaven and that I will meet her there one day.

95. I once knew how to play guitar.

96. I have forgotten how.

97. I can't hold a grudge.

98. Sometimes I really wish I could so that I could really let my husband have it when he makes me mad.

99. I can't imagine anyone being more suited for me than my husband.

100. I feel absolutely blessed to have the husband and children that I do.

Friday, June 8, 2007

8 Things

I got tagged (kind of ) by Mikki for the 8 things meme, and since I haven't done one in awhile, here goes!

First, the rules:
1. each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves
2. the rules of the game are posted at the beginning before the 8 facts/habits are listed
3. at the end of the post, the player tags 8 people…posts their names…then goes to their blog and leaves a comment letting them know they have been tagged…and asking them to read your blog

Now for the facts/habits:
1. I hate humidity
2. I recently moved to the South
3. I am a procrastinator
4. When I am struggling emotionally I tend to avoid God
5. I fill up my time with things like TV or books instead of Him
6. I could spend hours browsing Barnes and Noble or Borders
7. I never learned to type
8. If I had unlimited money I would have one room completely filled with books and scrapbook supplies

I'm going to lose it any time now

I had these visions of writing a heartbreakingly eloquent post about my husband deploying next week. It was going to be one of those transparent, honest posts that reflected my sadness that he's leaving as well as my pride in the work he does.

With a video clip from the movie "We Were Soldiers."

But what it comes down to is that I'm Just. So. Sad.

I'm going to miss him so much. And I just want to sit and have a good cry.

But I don't want to burden him with all of my emotions when he has his own to deal with. He's going to miss another round of birthdays and our wedding anniversary. He already missed Luke learning how to crawl, walk and talk, and now he'll miss Audrey learning to do all those things. The other day he sat down with the kids to watch a special Elmo video made for the military. He cried got something manly stuck in his eye when Elmo's daddy had to go away for a long time.

So I need a good cry. And I'll probably need several more in the first few weeks of him being gone.

And another in the middle when I realize how long he still has left.

And another when he's almost home and I just can't wait that last month.

But until then I'm going to fight the temptation to avoid all this by sleeping as much as humanly possible and enjoy the family time we have left.

Monday, June 4, 2007

It just melts my heart

The other night Luke wanted to sit in my lap and cuddle for a while.

As I sat there holding him, I just had to give him a big hug, and told him, "I love you. You're a good boy."

He turned and looked at me, and smiled and I got ready for one of those melt your heart moments when your children tell you how much they love you or appreciate you or how beautiful you are

He said, "woof."

It's a good thing he's cute.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Or at least until the coffee runs out...

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Maybe I should be worried...

So today Isaac was watching "Future Weapons" on the Discovery Channel. He left the tv on when he went back to work unpacking, and later I walked in on Chloe mesmerized in front of the tv.

When she finally noticed, she said, "I'm watching people make fire. It's really fun. I like big fire."