Friday, December 30, 2011

Not your average New Year's blog post

2012 will be a pivotal year for me. Well, they all are, aren't they? But 2011 was the first year I ever truly felt like an adult. It was not marred by a deployment or the death of anyone close to me. It also was one of my hardest years.

Reintegration after a deployment takes so much more time than you would ever expect.

It was a hard year, because I felt unproductive and 1/4 life-crisisy all year long. But next year (my 26th) I have to make some decisions. And decisions will also be made by others that affect me too.

I'm completely changing the course of my education. I hate that I'm STILL IN SCHOOL, but I did take a lot of time off to deal with life. I am a different person than I was 1 year ago today. And a better person, I can say without doubt.

I celebrated one year of marriage this October. I turned 25! I reached my goal weight through commitment and hard work. No shortcuts. I had heartbroken days and days I didn't want to end.
I don't make resolutions. But I do make goals, because they keep me on track. They keep me happy.

One of my goals for next year is to just let go. My past weighs me down, as I'm sure is normal when you lose your mom at such a young age. I was a child much longer than I've been an adult, yet, so most of my history is colored by memories of someone I love that I no longer have. And you know, she'd be SO "GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!"

I think the biggest challenge for me this year has been figuring out who the hell I am and how to allow myself the room to grow into who I'm meant to be. Which I'm doing. And I feel more Me everyday.

So, 2012;
  • Be more present
  • Focus on happiness
  • Be more fearless
Anything that makes me happier and makes me feel more alive is an investment in myself.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

adventuring

I realize I haven't blogged since JULY. Wow. That is because I lost my "voice" a long time ago, between deployment, reintegration, 1/4 life crisis, etc...

Anyway, I am at a really good place in life now. I am working living a happier, fulfilling, more ME life.

My latest big adventure was in honor of our 1 year wedding anniversary. I wasn't sure if we could top (let alone match) our honeymoon trip to Ireland, but my expectations were blown out of the water. I live to travel, and while trying to plan the perfect anniversary trip, groupon started their travel program. On a whim, I booked us a trip to a place called Ludlow, Vermont.

It was AMAZING!

We stayed at a wonderful hotel Castle Hill Resort and Spa
in this gorgeous mountain town. Ludlow is a small town in the Green Mountains, and is usually a ski resort town. We however, went off season, in October. Here is a pic of the lovely resort. It is a former mansion that now houses a 5 star French-American Restaurant and 10 guest suites. I can't begin to describe how beautiful the building is. I am an architecture junkie, and the gorgeous details of this house took my breath away.

We rented a car, boarded the dogs and embarked on the 10+ hour journey into the unknown, as I made a loose itinerary that left more room free for exploring than a rigid schedule. I am SUCH a control freak, and we don't normally travel with such a casual plan. But I am so glad we did. I got to explore the next town over (Springfield, VT. Who's claim to fame is that the won some type of Simpson's contest and were chosen to host the Simpson's movie premiere. Random!) I found the most beautiful used book store there and spent about 2 hours exploring it. I came away with a lot of rare books, so I was in heaven.

Later that day, and back in Ludlow, we ate at a small family owned restaurant and the sweet owners told us how to find our way up Mt. Okemo. So, we did it. We drove a long winding road, going higher and higher until we found a good place to park. We then hiked 3 miles further, and came to the highest point around. There is an old fire-tower the rangers used until the 60's. we climbed that and this was our view. We actually watched a storm roll in about 30 miles away. It was unbelievable.

and here I am at the top. Freezing my fingers off.
husband and I. On our 1 yr anniversary.
we ended the night at (of course) the local Irish Pub, The Killarney

I didn't take pics because my camera was dead :(

This bar was great for a number of reasons, but we loved it because 2 entire walls were dedicated to patches from Police, Firefighters and Military units from all over the country. In case you don't know, Vermont is right next to NY, and the Sept. 11th attacks affected them greatly. They take their support of those who defend and protect very seriously. When my husband offered the bartender a 4th ID patch of his own, not only did she exchange a free drink for it, she thanked him for his service and introduced him to the entire staff. For military wives, that small appreciation means a lot. It's not everyday that I see the support and appreciation given to my soldier. Especially from people that were so deeply affected by the terrorist events that have defined our generation and this war.
I will be adding more pics and stories soon. Thanks for continuing to read my poor neglected blog!

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July 2011

This year, for the 4th, we didn't make any plans. M's job is unpredictable, so we didn't know if he was going to have to go in or not. At the last minute, we found out he didn't so, we set off in search of something to do. There's a little town called Suffield not too far from where we live. We love it there and hope to eventually buy a little farm there :) On the 4th, we found a little boat rental place on a small lake. They rent rowboats, pedalboats and ones with engines too. We opted for a rowboat, since the lake was so small. The owner was clearly a veteran (hat, shirt, tats, etc... lol) so he and M talked for a while, as vets tend to do, and he gave us a great deal on the boat for the day!



Neither of us had ever been there, and we were amazed at how pretty and peaceful it was. One side of the lake has railroad tracks running along it. While we were there a train went by, about 45 feet from us, it was right on the water, so crazy! On the other side is this building, it's called the Wingfoot Lake Hangar. The city I'm from is known for building blimps, and we have one that flys around above the city on an almost daily basis. I always wondered if other cities have them too, but I don't think very many exist. Anyway, the Hangar is like a blimp garage.



I spent most of the time reading, and slathering myself in spf 85



After 3 hours of no luck, M finally caught a fish! It was the only one he caught that day, and when we talked to a few other boaters, we found out nobody was having any luck. There are a few houses around the lake, and they had been shooting off fireworks intermittently, which I suspect has something to do with it!




He (of course!) threw the little fish right back in






We had an awesome day, and we plan to go back to the little lake soon. Fireworks are difficult for my husband, as they are for many veterans that suffer from PTSD. I'm thankful we found an alternate activity that allowed us to enjoy the day, without the stress and anxiety we'd have otherwise.




MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In





1. Does your Significant Other read your blog? Why is this a good or a bad thing? submitted by Mrs. Alana’s Miscellany
Not at all! lol he doesn't understand blogging whatsoever

2. What is one item in your house that holds the most sentimental value and why? submitted by The Albrecht Squad
I have this antique hutch (china cabinet?) that belonged to my Great-Great-Grandmother. She grew up on an Indian Reservation and moved to Ohio at 14 to find work. When she got married soon after, her parents gave it to her. It was always in my home growing up, and when I lost my Mom, it became mine. I love it, and it means a lot to me

3. When it comes to water fun in the summer do you prefer the beach, the pool, a lake, or the sprinklers? submitted by The Turvo Times
I prefer less crowded places, so I'd say a lake. We found a small lake about 7 miles from our house that has a little boat rental place. It's perfect!

4. What is the one special thing that you do for yourself to get you through the first week of a deployment/separation? submitted by A Creed and a Psalm
I can't think of anything special I do, for me it's all about taking it one day at a time. The first week of a deployment is probably the easiest, though I think. It's so easy to convince yourself he's just gone for a week or two of training . It's 7 months in that is the real killer, in my opinion! I say 7 months, because M's last deployment was for 400 days and at the 7 month mark, I had had ENOUGH

5. What is your biggest guilty pleasure website? submitted by Christines Little Blog
Well, my favorite thing about Sundays is Sunday Secrets on Postsecret.com lol









Friday, July 1, 2011

Almost the 4th!

I haven't been posting lately because my (brand freaking new) camera went haywire, and I'm waiting for it to be repaired & returned.

So here is some nice filler :P

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In
Come join in on the fun at Wife of a Sailor!


Have you (spouse) ever considered joining the military and what do you think of dual military couples? submitted by Project Army Wife

I was in JROTC in high school. Which is really funny because I was gothic and had multicolor dreadlocks lol. I took my ASVAB when I was 19 and I was due to report to MEPS on a Monday, but that Friday I experienced something extremely traumatic that changed the course of my life. So, no I won't be part of Psy-Ops like previously planned :( lol. I think dual military couples are badass, of course. I also think it has to be really hard.




What is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon? submitted by A Few of My Favorite Things
Oh, man. I HATE Sundays so bad. I always have. They're so boring, and nothing is open. My ideal Sunday would be hitting up some quirky stores, a new book, and going to the dollar theater with my husband. Alternately shopping with my deployment wifey/bff would be a good use of time :)

What do you usually do for the 4th of July holiday? submitted by Anchor's Away
Growing up, we lived near downtown, so we'd always walk to our city's firework show, but they've changed things (not for the better) and we don't even bother with that anymore. Sometimes we swim, sometimes we cook out with my in-laws. It's actually still up in the air this year. My husband has fairly severe PTSD, and he can't really handle the fireworks anymore anyway. We'll surely find something fun to get into.


If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you'd medal in, what would it be? submitted by Pants are Confusing
Thrifting, hands down. I can walk into the lamest store in bfe and come out with a bag full of gorgeous items. Gold medal thrifter. It'll probably say that on my epitaph ha

What have you been doing to get yourself bathing suit ready for the summer? submitted by Not Just an Army Wife
I haven't worn a swimsuit in years, and it has nothing to do with my body and everything to do with the fact that I am as white as snow, and I don't want skin cancer. I have, however been working out. I had a goal to lose 25 lbs by my birthday. (25 by 25) and I'm currently down 7 with 6 weeks to go. I walk a lot, as I have 3 dogs. I do yoga a few times a week (I used to be an instructor) and I hike whenever possible.


As soon as my camera is fixed, I'll be back!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

AT



For the last 2 weeks, M has been on the road with his unit. It's annual training time in the reservist world. Left to my own devices, I've read a lot of books, planted a lot of different plants, painted lots of things outside (window trim, garage door, garage trim) and watched 70 episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix.

70 episodes. How did I even...?




I've been watching a lot of documentaries too, so many of them heartbreaking, I don't know why I do it to myself.

I don't normally watch TV, the only show I like is "How I Met Your Mother" which I normally watch online. I am loving Netflix though, it makes nice background noise when I'm sewing in the evenings. I've been altering a lot of clothes lately and I'm learning to use a sewing machine. I've always sewn by hand, even making curtains and my own clothes, but I figured it was finally time I step into the 19th century and learn to master the sewing machine I bought 5 years ago.

When I started this blog, it was just to ramble when M was deployed. Now that life is a bit calmer and I've figured out (sorta, for now) what my hobby is (kinda?) I thought I'd post a few outfits and eventually even clothes I've made. I definitely have my own style, why not share :)


Monday, June 13, 2011

Video linkup week 11


I'm obviously a crazy dog lady. To enforce that:




ha!

Join the weekly video linkup here: Deployment (again)

Friday, June 10, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

1. When you vacation what type of vacation do you like to take (beach, historic, adventurous, food oriented, etc.)? submitted by Megan Dub-Yuh

I am definitely not a beach person! I prefer places that have lots of history, and I also love architecture, so a place that has a LOT of old buildings and cemeteries. These places also tend to be food oriented :)


2. What is your best memory associated with a song (you know we all have tons!)? submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife
About 8 months into mine and M's relationship, his unit was activated to deploy, we were really young and couldn't afford to go anywhere like most people were doing. One of his older Army friends and his wife were heading to the Florida Keys for a week and they asked (let us) house sit for them for a week. During that week, we listened to this song non-stop, which is now "our song"

the memory is happy because it was around this time that we decided we would get engaged, and also, his unit ended up delaying the deployment.


3. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with your time? submitted by Married to the Army
I would spend the time exploring Europe and Australia. I am madly in love with Dublin, and I can't wait to go back. I also have a huge list of cities I want to visit and things I want to do in each one


4. What is one thing about you that people do NOT typically notice at first that you wish they would? submitted by Our Motto is Patience
I don't really know what people notice about me. I'm sarcastic and have a weird sense of humor, so I'd hope they realize that 90% of the crazy things I say, I'm just joking to amuse myself

5. …. submitted by The Three Turners: It’s a summer of sequels, and if you had to live in one of each of the following “worlds” (there are three total) which would you choose and why?

–X-Men: Be a Mutant, what would your power be? I just saw the newest X-Men movie yesterday and I think I'd like to have the power of telepathy

–Harry Potter: Be a Witch or Muggle? I've already been a Muggle for 24 years, I'd rather be a witch

–Twilight: Be a Vampire or Werewolf? So not even interested in living in Twilight world


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I don't have a green thumb, but...


I try!



We had a garden last year, and unfortunately discovered that our soil isn't ideal for most veggies, so this year we built a raised bed and are trying it out. If all goes well, next year we'll add 3 more identical beds and will grow, freeze, and can most of our veggies for the year. It's bigger than it looks, and I haven't filled it yet! It's a little over 4 ft wide and 12 ft long


The pics aren't perfect, I am not much of a photog but you get the idea! We're growing a couple varieties of heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, spinach and a few types of peppers. Also, this year we're growing corn for the first time. I have a separate (not so pretty) herb garden and some rogue onions that I planted last year (they didn't grow). They are definitely thriving this year!

I've got more seeds growing, they're almost big enough to be re-planted. They include poppies, bachelor's buttons, peonies, heirloom kaleidoscope carrots. romaine lettuce, sweet peas, marigolds, and summer squash.


I also grow roses, this bush is an attempt to hide the gas meter



They make great cut flowers too, and I love having them around the house.

My days can be so hectic and stressful, but my quiet neighborhood and sweet little garden make me so happy. It's just calm here.


This is Lindsay

This is the funniest viral video I've seen this week! Too bad it's a "serious" short film ;)



No words.

link up your own fave viral video over at Deployment (again)


Sunday, June 5, 2011

whew it's hot!


I've been spending a lot of time in the garden! I was planning on finally posting pictures of our new raised bed (which is awesome btw) but by the time I was done planting my new rose bush, it was too dark. Just my luck :)

So instead I have different pics. I spent a couple hours today grooming my dogs. I know, my life is exciting right?

M is in the field, so I've been left to my own devices, what can I say?

But anyway, look at my boys!


This is Charley. He's a rescue and he's about 2 1/2. He was pulled from death row by a sweet lady the DAY BEFORE he was scheduled to be euthanized. He was left in a box at the pound as a puppy . He was so dirty and covered in fleas, they didn't know he was white.


Charley couldn't be a sweeter, lovable dog. I hate to think too much about his past because it was such a close call. I was told he's a Parson Jack Russell mix


This is Guinness, he wouldn't hold still for a pic haha! He's the dog I've had the longest, and he's spoiled rotten (they all are). I've had him since 2007. He's a full blood Cairn Terrier (like Toto) and I've pretty much mangled his breed standard haircut, but the poor thing was overgrown and needed some relief :)

Guinness is my baby! He's the best, even though he's really stubborn, he's just about the smartest dog I've ever seen. He's really sweet and quirky. Cairns are known for their expressive eyes, and it's amazing what he seems to understand.


Do you have a dog?



Thursday, June 2, 2011

No Other Outlet

I normally wouldn't post this but, I've got no other outlet so, why not?

15 months ago, I had a fiance just home from 15 months away with the Army.
(they say that you need the same amount of time to re-adjust as you were apart)


The time has flown by, since the homecoming. We're married now! Life goes on, right?

But it's not that simple.

While my husband was gone, I changed immensely. I've always been independent, but we've been together about 7 years, and going from that to being truly alone for over a year, is a different kind of independence. I, of course, have friends and a little family who were distractions, but most of the time I was on my own, doing my own thing.

M also changed too. This wasn't his first deployment, he'd been there in '03 for a year as well, and that time was much more scary, and he saw combat on a daily basis. This deployment there was obviously a certain element of danger. But he never saw combat this time, never fired a round, etc.. it was a completely different type of year. If that makes any sense...

So naively naturally I expected him to come home relatively the same, and normal old M. You can only guess what will happen during re-integration, but I thought we'd have an easier time. A smoother transition and then on with our lives.

But it didn't happen.

He came home quieter, much less outgoing. He has a TBI, from an explosion is '03 which complicates things. He has PTSD, it makes him withdrawn and he can't focus, has no motivation. He has severe road rage (he's in a Transportation unit, so he was always driving while deployed) which has led to some pretty scary situations. No ambition, never wants to do anything, can't be bothered to try and so on.

But worse than that, we barely even speak anymore. And when we do, it ALWAYS becomes a fight. Theres no way to prepare for what happens after a deployment. Every single situation is different. I've seen at least a dozen marriages end, just with soldiers from M's unit. I know of only 2 couples that are ok, but they seem to be the exception to the rule.

I've done so much research and we've been going to counseling on and off (whenever the VA can find the time for us, or him solo)

It really sucks to not be able to enjoy ANY part of being a newlywed. It's like I married a stranger. I want my fiance back. I'm pretty much heartbroken.




Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Video Link up Week 9:

Happy Memorial Day! I helped friends move yesterday, and we planted our garden today! It's been so hot, summer is finally here and I'm glad for that!





check out the original video and link up too!
Deployment (again): Video linkup, week 9