Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the pursuit of happiness...

My passport finally came today!

For as long as I can remember, I've been just a little obsessed with my Irish heritage. I know, millions of Americans claim Irish ancestry, much to the chagrin of actual Irish people. However my maternal Grandfather came here on a ship (as an orphan, no less) and my paternal Grandmother was 1st generation American. I feel this is enough genetic material to back my Irish claims ;)

I read about Ireland as a kid and dreamed of cottages, falling down castles and the Blarney stone. I grew up devouring any information, news and stories I could from the Emerald Isle. Hell, my dog's name is Guinness. There's much more but you get the picture! And, you know, I never actually thought I'd get to go there.

However the past 4 years have changed my life so much. I've been through a lot, lost some precious people and things, but in experiencing that, I found myself. I thought I wanted a certain kind of life, but my fiance and the Army changed my mind. And I couldn't be happier with the direction I'm headed in now. I've seen good friends get stuck in situations they never wanted to be in. Toxic relationships, unexpected pregnancies, poor job & school choices. I'm lucky that my eye has always been on the future. I'm reliable and responsible, so that's just how its been.

Now that I have my future pretty well mapped out,'s time to live in the moment for the first time in my life.

So we're going to Ireland next month.

I'm already planning future trips around the world, and I'm (for the first time in years) optimistic about my life, and my chances of being truly happy. I think what held me back before was fear. But I'm learning that I have full control over my happiness and I intend to take every advantage I can find.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Patriot Day

When 9-11 happened, I was 15 years old, 2 weeks into my Sophomore year, sitting in Math class. My teacher was crying, and wouldn't say why. She was a tough old broad and we knew something serious was wrong. When she said a plane hit the WTC we were like, wow how could a pilot not see such a big building. The internet was locked and TVs were removed from classrooms too. We pretty much just sat around talking until the end of that class period.

As I walked into my next class(JROTC)still on a media lockout, nobody knew it was intentional. In our innocent teenage minds, how could we fathom a terrorist attack?? None of the teachers were telling us anything, but slowly we started to get news reports (over our PAGERS) It had to be about 10 a.m. then and it was choatic.

My dad came to the school to get me and I missed the next day too. I've never felt so unstable in my city, in this country. I honestly felt like the world as I knew it was ending. I though a war was coming to our streets, our city. I know I'm not the only one. I used to hang out on top of my garage (yes I was a weird kid) and on that Tuesday I took up a shortwave radio and sat there for 5 hours listening to news reports from all over the world. That day was the first time of only 2, I ever saw my mom drunk.

Everyone was petrified.

3 years later I met a man who had enlisted in the Army a week before Christmas 2000.

He was deployed to Iraq in March of 2003 when the first American Troops arrived in Iraq. He'd been home for 9 months when we met.

That soldier, now my Fiance, has been to war twice. 2 year-long deployments. This last deployment, I went through too. I could never have guessed in a million years that, that warm sunny Tuesday, when I was 15 would map out the rest of my life. As an Army wife,(soon enough) I know the price Americans have paid, and continue to pay. In casualties, and in men and women forever changed by war.

9-11 is the root of this war.

This seemingly never ending war.

We remember this day each year. The lives that were lost and the changes that were made to our country and our lives, forever.

But to military families, EVERY day is Patriot Day. The shock-waves from those attacks are still felt by almost 150,000 American and Allied troops that are STILL in Iraq and Afghanistan TODAY, the Veterans of OIF and OEF and also, their families.

Thank you Troops!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spotlight on : Our Caffeinated Life

My real life best friend and deployment buddy Bexxx has started sharing her experiences as an Army Wife and the after effects of deployment on a family. Please check out her blog, Our Caffeinated Life.

bexxx and I on our soldier's homecoming day!