Friday, June 22, 2012

4 months and counting...

It has been quite a while since I showed my face around here...there have been a lot of changes in my world as of late. My Soldier has been deployed for almost 4 months, it seems like 6 already. Second deployment is much like I anticipated, dreading the things I know are to come and waiting for them to occur... at the same time, I've found that there is peace in knowing no news is good news and the sun really does rise each morning, despite how long the nights are. More about deployment later.... what I really wanted to share with everyone is the reason I've been gone so long. I realize I have to catch you up in warp speed... so here we go.

My hubby left early in March, and I wanted nothing more than to be the brave, independent wife who kissed him goodbye and stood strong until he was out of sight before the tears fell. But it didn't really work out that way. Night before the send off I was up allll night sick. My amazing husband stayed up with me for hours, only getting 3 hours of sleep before his long travels. I was a mess that morning, crying every five seconds and wondering how in the world I would survive the day.. after reporting on base, we had a couple hours to pass. We walked around and tried to talk about anything but the looming goodbye ahead. And then I got sick again. and again. and again. Isn't there something about Murphy's Deployment Law? You WILL get the flu or have something inconvenient and horrid happen on every send off, R&R or welcome home ceremony. Well its true. My Soldier tried his best to convince me to drop him off early and go home, but I refused. I'd rather spend my last hours ralphing on the side of the road than leave him for a year knowing I had 2 more hours.... the send off came and went, I was miserable but it didn't kill me. If anything, being sick distracted me from the gut wretching pain that makes its mark on you when your heart walks across the flight line and takes off into the horizon....

My best friend and fellow marine milspouse held my hand that day, and through the next week as my symptoms continued to plague me like the flu with avengance. I dismissed the nagging questions lurking in my heart and chalked it up to exhaustion, stress and heartbreak. Until a week later, when a surge of bravery took over and I had to know. It was 8 days after my soldier deployed that I sat on our bathroom floor and bawled my eyes out. We are having a baby. a precious little baby that we tried and waited for so long. and now my husband was gone. gone to celebrate the news, quiet my fears and assure me that this was God's perfect timing despite my panic. but most of all, my husband was gone for 12 months. without an assurance of R&R or even where he would be... For those of you who are faithful readers despite my 4 month absence, you understand the significance of this news after reading this post...  I was beside myself with the news, so I called my best friend to cry it out and then waited a day to tell My Soldier. I didn't know how to share the most amazing and yet heartbreaking news over the phone... but we were able to skype the next night and I burst into tears and told him. He was so happy and excited, he actually teared up. ( I have NEVER seen him cry, not at funerals, not when he left me last deployment, NEVER!) It was a precious moment that I will never forget. He has been more excited than I've been.

Which leads me to my excuse explaination of why I haven't been around since learning this news... I have never, ever, EVER been so sick in my life. The first 16.5 weeks have been filled with nothing short of 14 hours a day of sleeping ( and sometimes more!), ralphing every ten minutes day and night, headaches, body aches and wondering how on earth women actually WANT to do this again. I am SO excited to hold my precious baby in my arms and become a family of 3, but I cannot fathom how anyone actually enjoys this process called pregnancy. Its more like a process of torture... I tried everything from ginger chews and saltines, to seabands and peppermint aroma therapy, to gingerteas to prescribed meds. Nothing was the cure. A temporary slight relief at best. But praise the Lord above, last week I finally woke up and made it 3 hours before yacking. And the next day it was only 2-3 times instead of 8. And before the end of the week I woke up and had an entire DAY without getting sick! The slight nausea feeling hasn't quite passed, but I am counting my blessings. I can actually clean the house, shower and do something outside of the house all in one day!

I promise to be more faithful at posting, if anything to keep you updated on the baby....

For now here's your update:

*17 weeks 5 days
*weight gain 5 lbs
*fleeting "butterfly" moments of the little one squirming
* We find out the gender next week, I am SO excited to know! We all think pink, but I am a little skeptical because our family trackrecord- the Griffins are all boys!!
*craving- sugar. I am trying to fight it. I think after 16.5 weeks of eating nothing, I am wanting to inhale all things sugar and tasty!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crazy In the Head

Deployment makes you go crazy.
Before. During. After.
Legit Crazy.

If you've ever experience deployment, you'll know what I'm talking about.
If you haven't, well I hope you never have to.

Dreams- Where in the heck to the wacked dreams COME from?
 I can understand the insane dreams of ninja terrorists breaking into your house, killing the dog and kidnapping you to bribe your soldier for information.
Or the ones where you miss the send off and suddenly realize that you won't see your soldier for an entire year and you don't understand what happened or why he couldn't say goodbye.

The nightmares, I expect. I hate them but I understand.

But, what about the ones where you find yourself in a foreign country trying to find your soldier and there are ten thousand uniforms and all the faces are blurred out and you can't find yours no matter how hard you try. You scream and scream and call for him but he doesn't answer...

Or the ones where your front door gets stuck and you can't open it for all your worth and the dog has to go out and contemplate shoving her out the window. and then the aspca comes and takes her away becase your neighbor saw you throw her out the window.
(so this may be an actual concern, seeing as how our door keeps getting stuck and I am not strong even to open it!)

Or, let's just talk about the crazy hormones going on.
What if I forget to change the oil in the car? What if I send our house into financial ruin?
Pizza for dinner. I should have made his favorite, I'm a terrible wife.
Don't ask for his help on this, you have to learn to do it alone.
He asks for another cupcake, I say no because they are for the party. He says, isn't it my party? Yes- but I don't want you to eat them now. Ten minutes later on the floor in a puddle of tears, he promises he didn't really want a second cupcake but says he'll eat five if I will stop crying.
I'm annoyed at him for throwing dirty laundry in the basket of clean towels. and out of nowhere the thought flies into my head, it'll be so much easier when he isn't here to make a mess!
 And then the hysterical tears of guilt.
Oh, the guilt. Have mercy.
I ran an errand when he was home. I missed 3 hours I could have spent with him.
I shouldn't have stayed up to watch American Idol, I should have gone to bed with him....

I've got to get out of my own head.
I am going crazy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

WE: not me vs. you.

"Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love overs all offenses."
Proverbs 10:12

There has been a lot of smoke around the milspouse blogging world as of late.
Most of you know what I am talking about.

I had to wait a couple days before writing this post, because I knew in my heart of hearts- that my ugly flesh would come roaring out if I did not allow the Spirit flood in.

I am addressing it, not to fuel the fire.
Not to defend my husband or my role as an Army Guard Wife.
Not to confront or put someone in there place.
And certainly not to spread gossip.

But I do think it needs to be addressed.
Because this kind of bickering and backlash tears a body down.

And aren't we all one body?
Don't we all serve for one common goal?
Didn't we all recite the same pledge and creed?

It is no secret, that in the military world each branch is distinct.

And we all know the jokes. the poking at each other.
 "marine jarheads",
  "ain't ready for marines yet army",
 "sailors who don't swim"
"air conditioned airforce"....

I would be lying if I said they've never been spoken in my household.
You'd be lying if you did, because we all say them.
And we all laugh.

But at the end of the day, whether I'm talking to my best friend whose husband is a deployed Marine,
or my co-worker whose husband and son are in the Air Force,

We are all in this TOGETHER.

We may not walk the same steps, but we walk the same path.

Its true, that I cannot relate to PCSing or moving across country.
But I do know the struggle of deployment without knowing another milspouse nearby to confide in.

I don't have to worry about My Soldier deploying every other year.
I worry deployment every two years. because our guard unit is the most deployed unit in our state.

The longest stretch (aside from deployment) that I've gone without My Soldier is a 3-4 month school.
But we've never known a one weekend a month, two weeks a year schedule. ever.

in fact we've been training for this deployment since four months after last deployment,
 and we already have alerts for the next deployment before this one even starts.

I don't call it a BX, I call it a PX. even though the only one in a 50 mile radius is technically a BX.
I don't understand the Marine ranking system.
 (my best friend and I try and figure out what means what in "our" branch....its really funny actually.)

The list could go on and on and on...
Because we are different.
But we are also the same.

When we start walking towards that place where we compare and try to exalt ourselves against our brothers and sisters...thats a dangerous place to be in.

As you can imagine, military spouses are STRONG.
We have to be.

We learn to brave a smile when our love in uniform kisses us for the last time in X months and walks away leaving us standing alone...
We take on dual parenting.
We learn to mow the lawn or shovel the driveway.
We take over finances.
We sleep in a big empty bed.
We wait all day for 5 minutes of delayed fragmented phone calls.

We study for promotions and boards.
We memorize ranks.
We learn acronyms.
We encourage and support our uniform.

When did we become me vs. you?
When did details break down a community of support and acceptance?
When did difference become distance, and camaraderie become competition?

I won't deny my initial reaction to this spiral of controversy.
I was hurt. Offended. Outraged.
As I should have.

But what does quarreling accomplish?

My sister said it best here, that every uniform, regardless of branch, regardless of rank,
stands shoulder to shoulder to defend our country and uphold their oath.

Shouldn't we as milspouse's follow their lead?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


My lovely Kate posted about "Confessions" the other day, so I thought I'd join in and make her feel better about her fear of checking voicemail....

* I am petrified of the dentist. I'm not sure when my phobia developed, my mom always took me as a kid and as far as I remember, nothing traumatizing happened. (but then, maybe I am blocking it)
I won't go without my hubby. even its just an x-ray. I've rescheduled having my wisdom teeth out twice. somehow I feel the throbbing pain is easier to handle...

* Feet creep me out. I hate them. I wash mine every night before I get into bed and have even been known to bring my sleeping husband a washcloth to wash his off so that if he accidental brushes my leg its clean. I need help, I know.

* I love school supplies. Every August when stores make their big going-back-to-school display, I check it out for deals. I usually come home with a variety of notebooks and colored pens. Oh- I graduated 3 years ago...

* If I could live in a black and white world, I probably would. Don't get me wrong, I love color. Its splashed all over my house. But there is just something classic and elegant about black and white.

* I have never taken my car through a car wash or for an oil change. I always make my husband do it. Because I'm scared I won't line my tires up correctly and fall through the floor. don't laugh. I have nightmares.

* I love all things sweet. Chocolate, candy, cookies, frosting. I should join a support program. My saving grace is I ban them from the house. well minus the chocolate. what girl can live without dove?

* I'm a total type A personality, but I am a procrastinator at heart.and always 10 minutes late. makes sense right?

* Things I don't like make me nauseous. Legit, nauseous. And not just scary things like spiders or snakes. the color orange. feet. things that don't match. the bathtub drain.

* My worst fear in life is being "stuck". and no I can't really explain that.

 So now that I've made Kate feel better about her fear of voicemail... someone make me feel better about my fear of the car wash?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The D- Word

It’s time again. Time for calendars and countdowns,
checklists and to-do’s….
We’ve known it was coming for a while….it was just the time frame that kept changing. Pushed up, pushed back. Original date. New date. That’s the army way.
I feel like I’m doing pretty well considering. I can talk about it without having an emotional breakdown in public. And people keep asking me how I’m “dealing” and I find a quirky answer about being “army strong” and “soldiering on”… most days that’s fairly true.
But others, not so much.
It’s a whole new ball game this time around. I’ve done the whole long-distance, where-in-the-world-is-Waldo , talk once a week for 5 minutes and 22 seconds bit… only last time was our first deployment and I was blissfully ignorant to the suck I was about to embrace. And I was living at home with my parents and my best friend was in the same shoes. And I was in school. And working full-time. And busy busy busy.
Round Two is a little more daunting it seems…. living alone in a brand new, big empty house with a puppy who gives kisses but can’t talk back…working from home most days and having lots of free time and long nights…my best friend clear across country(literally) and my oldest friend, though just reaching the end of her first deployment - she has a baby and is in a different phase of life right now...
Everyone  I know that is facing deployment has a different perspective… they are not worried about whether their dog will ever eat again and how to stop the incessant whining at the door when he’s not home. And then there is the fact that I know exactly what is coming, and I don’t like what I see…
So, here is my fair warning of the whining that’s sure to come. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very proud of my soldier and I am so blessed to have the life we do- military and all…But, I’m still dreading what’s just around the corner waiting for us.
For some reason, I have it in my head that this one is the worst. First time- ignorance can be bliss- third time seems like one would feel like you’ve conquered the challenge before and survived.

But right there in the middle…. That’s what has got me a little worried.
Are any of you up for your second deployment? What keeps you distracted and focused on enjoying the time at hand?
I’ve heard both sides: start new hobbies, join a club, volunteer for an organization…vs… this is not a time to add stress and take on the world, maintain your schedule, stay busy but don’t add to your plate just yet… What do you think? Any suggestions?
At the end of the day, I know that my Lord is in control.  He knows when My Soldier and I will be saying our “see you laters” and where he will be going and how long he’ll be away and whether we will get an R&R.
He knows all things and all things work together for the good to those who love Him.
So if I start to lose sight of that truth, will someone please remind me?
I’d like to try and pull this off with a little grace. Not a lot, but a little…

Friday, January 6, 2012


My sister recently posted about her word for 2012…and it got me thinking.  For the past few months I have associated many words and descriptions for this year...
Words like Panic. Deployment. Fear. Dread. Countdown. Alone.
 These words have been trapped in my mind, tossed about and thrown into focus at any random moment.  They have kept me from resting in His presence and being joyful in the time that I have. But no more.
 New Year’s came and went, and I realized that I didn’t fall apart. That the earth didn’t shatter beneath my feet and the waves didn’t swallow me up. Neither did it change anything- those words are still there… but I’m still standing. And I’ve discovered a new word. An unexpected revelation for this year.
Hopeful doesn’t mean no tears. It doesn’t mean my countdown reversed. It doesn’t mean that I am not fearful. And it doesn’t mean that I have a tingly excitement of something new.  However, this is what it DOES mean:
Hopeful means that Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and 3 months from now, My Lord is the same.
Hopeful means new opportunities and advancement for the Kingdom.
Hopeful means that I am never truly alone. Because He knows where I am. In the day and
during the night.
Hopeful is the promise of what is to come… the truth He has a prosperous and successful future for me.
Hopeful is knowing that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
HOPEFUL means that these other words can’t control me any longer. Because you can’t hope in the Lord and be chained to the devil.
Will you be hopeful with me?
Whatever your situation is, whether you awake with dread each day or feel like you’re stuck in a pit of despair… or can’t see through the glass clearly and fear what lies ahead…
Will you chose to be hopeful?
And if you’re caught in a moment where you aren’t sure you have it in you, look UP.  There’s always hope when you look up… 

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