He makes it easy to love him so much....

"I wake day or night, suit and boot, for the safety of my people, my family, my love... my life." (It's not much but it's for you baby, I love you) - Joshua Reeves

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Coming Calm..

     The day is drawing near, the day for Goodbyes. You may be surprised to hear that I feel a calm beginning to wash over me about it... but first things first... VACATION UPDATE:

           We spend the beginning of this month in our old home, Washington State. Josh, the kids, and I spent the time at my Mom and Dad's house in Puyallup. The weather was cold, rain, and gloom, just how we missed it. Roll your eyes now, but we spent the end of March in Texas in ninety-five plus degree weather and felt a little out of our element. The rain was a welcome change, I made sure to open the window in our room and listen to it hitting the roof like a gentle lullaby.

        We didn't do a whole lot of anything, mostly just enjoying being together with no demands. We visited with old friends, spent time with family, and ate more than we should have, if the moving notches on my belt are any indication. I might worry more about gaining a few pounds if I didn't know what was coming for us.

         We got to celebrate Lincoln's third birthday with family. I insisted on having twenty-five balloons, and more Thomas & Friends cake and decorations than Lincoln could even take in, it was an amazing moment seeing his eyes light up in pure joy. He went around all day with pride telling everyone, "Happy Birthday!" Blew out his candles with Daddy's help, and smiled from ear to ear until he went to bed. Huge success! I can't tell you how much it meant to me that Josh got to be there for it. I teared up a few times watching them together.

         We went to the zoo with my parents, had dinner with some of the old Mazda car club, Josh and I both had boys/girls nights, and we got one memorable date night. There are plenty of good memories from the almost two weeks we got together as a family.

         Perhaps one of my favorites was going to Build-A-Bear for Lincoln. He picked out a little brown bear, kissed the heart, stuffed it, hugged it tight, and even gave it a bath. He lovingly named it "Bear." The special part though, is if you squeeze his little paw, he says, "Linc-y, Daddy love you Buddy." In Josh's voice. I have a feeling I may squeeze it myself a few times while he's gone.

           The kids were amazing on the flights both ways, and overall the traveling experience was a positive one. Experiences like these, moments like this, I feel like Josh and I grow closer and closer together, even when I think we're as close as we can be. I love that man with all of my heart, and the depth of that love never ceases to amaze me.

        Perhaps these little reminders, those precious memories, and the healing power of time away from large responsibilities are all partially responsible for the calm that is washing over me. It wasn't a tidal wave of renewal, but more like a small rippling effect that is overtaking me. I don't want to be apart from Josh for the next year or so, but I know I can survive it. I know, as a family, we can survive just about anything.

         When we got home from vacation we were hit with the reality of physical paper orders. A tentative DATE even. You know, hypothetically staring at a bold red circle on the calendar, unraveled that last little bit of my reserve. I took a deep breath, I looked at the amazing family I have, at the amount of things in my life that I have to be grateful for, and I let the breath go.

          I'm scared sure, and I know Josh is too. I'm worried about the kids transitioning back into life without Daddy around. I'm worried about filling the time while he's gone, and not just sulking around only half-living. I want to have wonderful stories to tell him, pictures to show him of us having fun, a life fully lived not without him, but in honor of our family. Something to share with Daddy, to get him through the time as well.

            I'm growing, emotionally, and spiritually even. I'm learning things about myself, and reminding myself the things I already know.





           I no longer doubt my ability to make Josh proud, I see it in his eyes, he's as proud of me as I am of him. We get to go on this journey together, and though we won't be walking on the same trail, our paths will be parallel, and have the same end destination. Home. Future. Family.

            I don't know if my words make sense to anyone else these days, but I know my heart feels a little lighter. I finally feel like this house in Texas is our home. The kids are at home here, in their own space. I stand by my decision to keep us here through this deployment.

            While I can't share dates, the time is near. I may not write much, as I fully intend to soak up all the family time I can before my husband leaves for war. Just know, if I go a week or two without writing, I'll be back. This will be a place for me to be honest with myself for the next year or so. Bear with me through the ups and downs, but you should know by now, I always come back up on top.

              Life is about the journeys that we take, and this one is going to be big. I hope you'll be there with me from beginning to end, but till then, you've been Nicked.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh Netflix...

This might sound silly, but I've lost myself in a Netflix vacation. I drown in the words, the emotions of another life. I live vicariously through the TV (or computer) screen. Anything to remove myself from my own stress, my own fears. At the end of the day though, when my battery dies, or it's time to get dinner on the table, bathe the kids, get everyone ready for bed, reality creeps back in. Like sand sneaking through the thin fabric of a swim suit, no matter how hard you try to keep it out, it sneaks back in like a criminal.

I don't want to escape my life. After all, you only get this one life, you shouldn't squander it, or wish it away. I just occasionally need to step back, breathe for a second, see things from a new vantage point. When I was in middle school and even some high school, I used to lose myself in music. Live and breathe the lyrics.

I even had a stage where I would walk everywhere, just to listen to the sounds of life. Crunching snow enveloped by deafening silence. Leaves crackling and whispering across the pavement. A shallow creek gurgling over rocks and dirt. Concentrating on something else, a sound, a feeling, it's my way to escape when things get to heavy. It keeps me from being self-destructive. I've been there, that is not the best coping method, it hurts far more than it helps. I'm trying to find some solid ground in this.

Someone called me today, reached out for a near stranger. Reminded me that I'm not alone in this feeling. That it's okay to just say "Hey, This SUCKS!" (because it does).

I have hope, and strength in amounts that I fail to acknowledge sometimes. You might read my words and worry for me, but just know, this is me, working things out. I always find a way to come back out on top. I never stop swinging. There is nothing more important to me that my family. I will do what ever it takes to get us all through this as unscathed as possible. It's a rough road ahead, but it's one thing to be FAR AWAY, and a completely different thing to be DISTANT.

I know I sound scattered, unorganized, maybe a little crazed, but I assure you, this is because I am finally being completely honest. Even with myself.

Until next time... You've been Nicked.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Day I Changed Forever...

It was Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, and I got to work at three in the afternoon, I wasn't feeling too great that day, my face felt hot and my back was aching. Dorothy (an old lady that worked at the register) commented that I looked like I was carrying pretty low. I told her that my back was hurting and Shari (one of my bosses) said, "oh my god, really? I'm gonna have to have people watch you tonight!" I just laughed it off, I wasn't having contractions and I was only 36 weeks along.

I sent a text to Amanda on my break and asked her if she wanted to come have lunch with me at seven and she said she'd be there. I was up helping a customer at the front register when Amanda got there, I told her I had to pee pretty bad but that I had to take some things to the back room before I could go to lunch, so she followed me back.

I set the bags down and started walking back towards the time clock. I got about ten feet from the stockroom door and I felt liquid start rushing down my legs. I started to panic, my first thought was that I'd just peed my pants, and on a day when I wore my spandex pants, everyone was going to be able to see the wet stain!! I looked at Amanda and said, "umm... either I just peed my pants or my water just broke!"

Amanda got really excited and said she'd run tell the PIC and I called Josh at work to come get me! My face was so red!! And there were customers pointing and smiling at me! At one point someone put yellow "wet floor" cones around me!I called my mom and she said she'd be on her way to the hospital with my brother.

I saw Josh coming towards me and I tried not to cry, it was as if seeing him made it all click into place, this was the real deal!! I made him give me his work shirt so I could wrap it around me to walk outside, so thankful that our apartment was just across the street.

We got back to the apartment and I changed my clothes and called the hospital, they told me to come in right away. Josh had to put the car seat in, so while he did that I put the last few things in my suitcase.

Amanda ended up riding with us to the hospital, I still was feeling pretty good, just a little wet from my water still coming, something no one warned me about. We checked in at the hospital and they sent me to the bathroom to get a "Sample."

When I got back to the room I was so happy to see my mom! They asked me a bunch of questions about what I'd eaten (only pineapple all day long!) and my health... then they finally checked me into a birthing room.

They told me I was at a four (dilation goes by centimeter, end goal is a ten). I finally started feeling contractions a little while later. I got an IV but they didn't hook it up so I could still walk around. The contractions weren't too bad yet, so my Mom, Amanda, Josh, Logan, and I walked around the hospital floor for an hour.

We came back, they checked the babies heartbeat and mine and then they said I could walk around more. We tried again, just me and my Mom, but this time it was pretty uncomfortable so we went back to the room and watched probably EVERY episode of Jon & Kate.

Then I tried the bath tub, hoping it would calm the pain, (yeah right), the stupid nurse kept pushing on me while I was having a contraction and I wanted to smack her! They checked me again when I got out and I was only at a five. I swear that woman was nuts, I'm convinced her hands were too big for the job and she couldn't count. I thought I was gonna die, it hurt so bad and I still had HALF to go?!

So I waited a little longer and then told her I'd take the Epidural, even though I wanted to go natural and am allergic to pain meds. She said it'd be a while since someone else was in line before me. Then the contractions suddenly got BAD. Woah, I can not even describe the pain...

I felt like there was no break between anymore, no cool down. Just constant pressure. They sent Josh out so they could put the epidural in but I started pushing.. I tried not to, but I couldn't hold it back. The nurse looked at me and said, "Nicole, are you pushing?"

I cried that I couldn't stop if I wanted to. I kept grabbing the sheets in my fists, naturally pulling my knees up to my stomach, praying for the pain to stop. She looked at me seriously, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but its too late for an epidural, but the good news is you're about to have this baby!"

I was happy and scared as hell. Someone yelled about getting Josh back in the room and about calling my doctor, people were rushing around opening cupboards and at this point I'd finally gotten a new nurse, thank god. It was almost as if knowing it was pushing time made the pain more bearable.

I pushed for about twenty minutes, nurses kept telling me to look down and see Lincoln's head, but I didn't want to. I found it kind of frustrating that they kept saying, "One more push and his head will be out," because obviously it took much more than one more time.

Lincoln Michael Reeves was born at 4:23am on Thursday April 3rd, 2008. Josh and my mom cried when he came out, I was too wrapped up in all that was happening to cry. I know that last push that propelled him out was hugely gratifying.

Lincoln was blue, he didn't cry, he didn't even move. I was so scared, no one said anything they just rushed him over to the table and started pumping air into him. I kept asking my Mom if he was okay, but she just kept looking at me in scared silence.

Finally, after the longest, twenty or so, seconds of my life he cried. I'll never forget how good it felt to hear him cry.

They told me he was six pounds even and eighteen inches long. Such a little guy, but with long arms and legs and beautifully long fingers. I looked into his eyes and I felt like I'd known him forever. They had to stitch me up since I had a second degree tear, but they let me hold him to keep my mind off the pain. My doctor did the stitching but he missed Lincoln's birth, a little Asian ANGEL brought him into the world.

We bonded for about thirty minutes before they had to take him back to the table and clean his eyes and all that. Then they moved us to the recovery room. Our stay in the hospital wasn't bad, except he had to spend a couple hours in the NICU because of low blood sugar, but he bounced right back. They made us stay one extra night since I had a tear and Lincoln was early, despite the protests from me and Josh. It was an amazing feeling of Freedom being wheeled out of there the last day!

Three years ago on April 3, Lincoln came into our world and changed it forever. He's changed me forever. Becoming a Mom is by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I look at him today and I'm still in awe of the amazing little man he is. I have all the faith in the world that he will forever be making Josh and I proud. It's going too fast, watching him grown, knowing someday he'll go out in the world on his own, but for now I'm just enjoying every second of this sweet boys life.

Happy Birthday Baby Bear, Mommy and Daddy love you so very much.

Monday, March 21, 2011

.... Willpower...

What I wouldn't give for a Root-beer Float right now. Creamy vanilla ice-cream, in a nice chilled glass mug, frothing over with delicious root beer...

However, I'd give even more to be in the healthy place I'm striving for. So I'll settle for this sweet and sour grapefruit, since it doesn't come with a side of guilt. It does taste quite satisfying, just in a different way.

I pushed, heaved, and panted my way around the neighborhood today with the kids in the stroller. I thought for sure I'd gone at least five miles. It was harder, longer, and more physically exhausting than it was a year ago when I used to walk with a Mommy group. I can't believe I've let myself get so out of shape. Baby weight is one thing, but laziness is a disease, and I am going to be cured of it!

When I got home I mapped out the path I took, complete with the extra mile I walked because I was lost. It turns out I only walked 3.8 miles. Not even close to what I know I am capable of doing when I'm being healthy. If anything I'm just going to take this as the eye opener it needs to be. I have a clear goal in mind, and an idea of how far away from it I am.

I want to be clear, not that it matters what anyone thinks about my body but me, but either way... I don't want to be "skinny." I want to be at a healthy weight for my height, and at a fitness level that is above average for a mother of two. I want to keep up with my kiddos on a higher level, fully enjoy chasing them around whatever the activity may be.

Most importantly, I just want to feel comfortable in my own body again. It's been far too long since I've hit a goal and actually loved myself.

Until next time, You've been Nicked!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


If I'm being honest...

No, I'm not okay with any of this deployment stuff. Getting ready for it is the biggest joke I've ever heard. How do you "get ready" for your other half to go to war? How do you "get ready" for a year or more of sleepless nights, cries for Daddy that you can't answer, and a never ending fear?

If I'm being honest...

I have never been in a place like I'm in now mentally/psychologically. I hate everything about how I look, and that scares me. What a horrible body image I have of myself. I KNOW the problem is really on the inside, it's an insecurity that shouldn't be there, but I've had this problem before... I KNOW but it doesn't change how I FEEL.

If I'm being honest...

I want nothing more than a weekend with my husband and no kids. I want to be carefree and laugh, really laugh. I want those memories to keep me warm during all the lonely nights.

If I'm being honest...

I'm terrified to leave the kids in daycare. I know I need the break while Josh is gone, but I don't know if I'll really follow through on it.

If I'm being honest...

I'm craving some girl time more than ever. Someone that understands my situation and can just drop by and say "hey girl, let's go for a walk right now and talk it out."

If I'm being honest...

I'm tired of pretending I have it all together.


Since no one ever wants to be HONEST, or hear the TRUTH...

I'll just keep my head up, I'll keep my feelings in, I'll stay strong like I've been told I'm supposed to do. I'll stay in "Super Woman" mode and be everything to everyone... but if you see me fall... if you see me crack under the pressure, just know... I TRIED to be honest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

As My Mother Likes To Say, "When it rains, it pours!"

What a week.

On Monday morning just as Josh returned from PT he got the call. His best friend Nick, back home in WA (on lifesupport since friday night), had lost the battle for his life. Tearful and devastated he left for work.

He thought maybe he could take some leave and go home for the funeral, his unit offered him two days leave. This might seem like enough, but with a 5 hour flight, split between two airports, and endless layovers, he wouldn't be able to make it, and with a price tag on tickets of $900, it just wasn't plausible.

Then Tuesday came, and try as we might to find some alternative way for him to get there, we just ran out of options. I hate seeing the disappointment, guilt, and hurt of not being able to be there for his friend. Josh isn't religious, but he's loyal to a higher degree than most can imagine. I was also stricken with possibly the worst flu bug I have ever encountered...

Wednesday I woke up sicker. I won't go into the gory details, but it hasn't been fun at all. I live pretty close to the bathroom, and the kitchen and I are not friends right now. I know there are all sorts of delicious things taunting me in there, but the Kitchen can't lure me in.. I'll just lose it.

Today is Thursday, and much to my dismay I'm still quite ill. I thought about going to the ER, Josh volunteered to keep the kids home while I took myself, but our plans were derailed. He's been put on 24 hour ops.. starting tonight. So he's home for maybe two hours, and then back to work for another shift. I guess he will be working nights for a while, and through the weekends. This is really getting ridiculous. I love how they stress that we should be spending as much time together as we can before the upcoming deployment, and then stick him on twenty four hour shifts, for twelve days or whenever they decide. Such hypocrites.

He's asleep on the couch as we speak, exhausted, much as I am. We both could really use a break, BLOCK LEAVE WHERE ARE YOU???

I'm complaining a lot these days, I'm so tired, so stressed out, and I don't like this me.

It's so time for some positives!!

Oh well, I'll keep my fingers crossed, until then, you've been Nicked.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In An Instant..

It call all end in an instant.

Relationships, jobs, friendships... LIFE.

I don't want to take any of it for granted.

I'm a little too choked up to write right now...

Please pray for one of my husband's best friends, I can't divulge too much information, but he had an accident Friday and is on life-support, it is not looking good.

Hearing my husband choke up on the phone, I just knew it was something serious.

TO all my friends, and family, I love you very much, if we were to part today, I hope you would all have plenty of fond memories of us.

I will be spending as much time with my family as I can, as I always try to do..

I will find time to write, but there are so many important things to be doing right now. :)

Thoughts and prayers are with the family of Josh's friend. Please keep them in yours as well. Send positive vibes their way if you're not religious.

Love to all

you've been Nicked.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bieber Fever....

No, I don't have it, but I don't see anything wrong with it either.

In fact, I really hope that my sweet daughter falls in love with a boy band/ boy pop star sometime in her life. I have fond memories of taping (yes tape, my Dad would never allow holes in his perfect walls) posters, pictures, magazine clippings, and anything remotely involving //\\//sync to my wall. Eventually I got tired of having the tape fail and the posters fall and stapled them proudly in a collage that covered two entire walls in my bedroom.

My Dad teased me relentlessly, but I think it just added to the "fever" as it's referred to these days. JC was my favorite, I remember proudly boasting to my mother that someday I was going to marry "Joshua!" Well, the funny things is I married Joshua, just not THAT one.

I loved the songs, they got me through many of the "rough" moments a teenage girl goes through. I never did drugs, or partied hard, and I did really well in school. I was a little "boy crazy" but in a very PG way. I was just a typical teenage girl, awkward and shy, and totally in love with a band that I knew I'd never actually meet. I think it's healthy, to have something like that, a hobby of sorts.

Plenty of my girlfriends and I would sit around and giggle about our future pop star husbands. We all like a different one, and would defend our choice to the death. My friend Kati should recall me telling her "Justin's hair looks like moldy top-ramen!" I remember so many sleepovers and notes passed in class boldly professing our love for boys and boy bands.

These were happy, crazy, innocent days. Days that I'll never get back, but will always fondly remember. It was music my parents couldn't be mad at me for listening to, no bad language, no one talking about drugs or gangs or rape...

So why do people have such and aversion to Justin Bieber? He's a cute LITTLE boy! If my daughter wanted to listen to his music and giggle over his pictures, kissing them plastered all over her wall I think I would laugh and be happy about it. His music is harmless, there's not drugs or violence, "baby baby ohhhh", he just wants there to be "one less lonely girl!"

When his fictional character was killed on CSI a week or so ago the facebook status really surprised me. Does this little boy really bother you so bad that you'd make jokes about wishing he'd been shot in real life? Are people that sick and pathetic? This is someones CHILD we're talking about, a little boy with a cute little voice, that is making little girls around the world happy? What is wrong with people!

Anyways, I know it's probably not a big deal to a lot of people, but I listen to Justin Bieber when he comes on the radio and I'm fondly reminded of the *Nsync days, and my best girlfriends, and a time when life was just more innocent and sweet. I could only hope for the same happy memories for my daughter.

I think I'm going to love being Sophia's Mommy more and more everyday, always.

Until next time, I will never say Never! I mean... You've been Nicked.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Soaking It In

I know I've neglected to write for the last twelve days, I didn't abandon this venture though I promise.I was living my life, soaking it up like a "quilted-quicker-picker-upper..." paper towel.

My husband had his first day off in thirty-five days, so we spent the three day weekend as wisely as we could. We spent Saturday raking leaves in the yard, our block captain came by to tell us inspections were coming and left us a list of expectations. We passed everything.. but the leaves. SO.. we were elbow to elbow, sweating like little piggies. We ended up with fifteen, yep fifteen, bags of leaves for our efforts. Thank goodness we had the good sense to stop at Home Depot before we started and pick up a leaf vacuum, or we would have probably needed two days just to bag it all up.

The neighbors yard is connected to us in a weird triangular fashion, so instead of letting this Texas wind blow the leaves right back over to our side, we raked, bagged, and cleaned their yard as well. When they pulled up and saw us finishing the job though, they ran inside without so much as a smile. I'll remember that the next time we're due for inspections!! It's bad enough we're constantly picking up cigarette butts from them, when neither of us smoke. The last thing I want is for one of the kids to pick them up and put them in their mouth, Yuck.

Brandon came over and helped Josh put a bull bar on the truck, it looks really nice on there, especially with the new PIAA lights I helped him install on it. He installed a new intake too, we're hoping to get at least two more miles per gallon from that install. Mostly, I just like how happy it makes him to make the truck his own. After all, I did pick it out, and he had to trade in his little zoom-zoom for the kids.

Monday we got a grill, Josh told me to put it together, I don't think he believed I could do it alone. I made him proud. Then he grilled some delicious steaks and kabobs for dinner. We just kind of snuggled and played and made the most of the time together. We let the kids play outside, and just lived.

I found out I have a love for yard work. We ripped out the dead rose bush out front, and I cleaned out all the old rotting leaves and debris from the flower bed in front of the house. Then we filled it up with some very fragrant red mulch and topped it off with some decorative animals. I plan to add some potted flowers to the display, perhaps pansies. I also got some Weed & Feed and spread it across the yellow grass, and watered it down like my life depended on it. Funny thing is it's been a week and already there is way more green than I ever thought I'd see out there. There is also quite a few weeds.... guess I better work on that next.

My first concern though is the fire ants, wow-ee they hurt! I've been bit way more times than I'd care to admit and of course I would be allergic. You should see me swell up when they bite me! I'm more worried one of this kids is going to be playing and hit one of their little hidden hills and just get covered in the nasty little critters. They bite and bite until they're smashed or you poor cold water on them, nice right? ** just gives me the creeps**

My stress level is a little like a teeter-totter these days. I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff, but it's really hard when the small stuff is all you have. I gave up on the Care Team Volunteer thing for now, with Josh's schedule and not having the kids in daycare, it just isn't realistic. I couldn't even get to the class because Josh worked late the day I was registered for it. I don't want to stop living, but I also want to try to plan for things that wont devastate me when they don't go as planned. Things that can be pushed to another time, a different day... these are more realistic ventures for me right now.

I'm tired of only having facebook friends. I have one friend here at Fort Hood that I do things with regularly, and by regularly I mean at least once...every two weeks. I need some friends here! I need to put down some roots and stop living like a shut in! The sun is out, the kids are at the parks, I need to get off my bum and go out too! I joined a new facebook page, it's run by a woman that does tons of Meet & Greet events. These are the places where I need to go to meet said friends. It's just not me... the group scene. I'm so much the one-on-one type girl, and I'm quiet at first, you have to bring me out of my shell... I hope someone is willing, I need to make more of an effort!

Josh's deployment is sneaking up on us, I don't want to be caught completely off guard, I need some life preservers out there!

So I'm trying, let it state for the record, I really am going to put myself out there. Starting next Friday at the kid's clothing swap.

I have piles of laundry to fold, dinner to make, a bed I didn't straighten up this morning, dishes in the sink from lunch time, and toys galore to be picked up, but to me... it just looks like the Reeves' are finally feeling at home in this house. I need to sweep, and mop, and tidy... but it's home. Besides, I never claimed to be the world's best housekeeper, I just try to keep it livable.

What I'm trying to say, is I've been gone, stressing, and fretting, but mostly just living.

I'm back, I'll keep my word and write more, but I just wanted to update you on what you've missed. Nic is slowly trying to find herself. The ME that she can be proud of.

Now, go on with your day (or night) knowing.... you've been Nicked!

Monday, February 14, 2011

If Only..

Sometimes I wish I could afford a nanny. So I could still be home with the kids, but quietly off in my "office" writing. I have all these stories floating around in my head, and I know I could get one of them down on paper if I just had the help.

I'm busy right now, teething baby, a new train table for my boy, Daddy still hasn't had a day off (it's been 29 days).

I tried Zumba out, it's amazing. Two nights a week if I can get out of this house, for my state of mind, you'll find me at the Functional Fitness Center with Lessie.

That's all I really have time to tell you...

Happy Valentine's Day, my husband got me two beautiful Orchid plants and I baked him a yellow cake with Chocolate Fudge frosting, and we'll be ordering "TO-GO" from one of his favorite restaurants since our kids can't handle eating out yet.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the excuses, I'll get back to my every-other-day blogging soooooon promise!

Until then, you've been Nicked.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Some People!!

Have you ever been deeply offended by someone you don't know, and try as hard as you might, can't get that offensive comment/remark/thought/gesture out of your system? I very rarely give much thought to rude or offensive people, I try to just let it go, but this particular woman gets on my every nerve. This is going to be a vent post, I don't want to offend anyone, so put your headphones on if you're feeling particularly sensitive today. I've been offended and need to talk/write it out.

There is a difference between confident and being vain, self-satisfied, egocentric, pompous, arrogant, my way or the highway... you get the idea. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you don't have to shove it down people's throats.

I was following a blog for a while, this person also runs a facebook page for military spouses, and sometimes answers questions with what at first appeared to be heartfelt insight but upon further reading, she's quite the heartless Princess. Her way or no way, and don't you DARE question her judgement, she'll turn your words around so quickly you're head will spin.

From bashing people for talking to their Soldier TOO MUCH during deployment, (Yes, you read that right), telling women that "the only thing that is going to change when he deploys is the fact that he will not be there," to being just downright filthy in her vocabulary. The woman has no class, and the only reason that this gets to me so much, is that she's placed herself in this position of "self-proclaimed godliness" and new military wives are coming to her and facing her malicious judgement.

All of this is worthy of conversation, but the quote that most aggravated me was this, "Marriage is not an accomplishment."

While in some ways I whole-heartily agree with this statement, the woman declaring this statement is not, nor has she ever been, married herself. With an attitude about marriage that she has, I hope for her sake (and that of her "significant other") that her stance changes before she ever considers getting married. It wasn't so much the statement that bothered me, more her cavalier attitude about marriage and divorce statistics. If you get married, for the sole purpose of getting married, then yes, you're destined for failure, but if you get married knowing what it stands for, and for the right reasons, it doesn't matter if you've been together for twenty years or twenty minutes, you shouldn't be told your marriage means any less.

The act of getting married is not the accomplishment. The accomplishment is in finding the person that you were meant to share the rest of your life with, and publicly, spiritually, emotionally, and physically committing to see the journey through to eternity. Her claim that absolutely nothing changes after you're married is also preposterous. (How would she even know?)

No, a magic Marriage Fairy is not going to come by and sprinkle magic relationship changing dust on you and your husband as you walk down the aisle, but the relationship does in fact change. In my personal experience, it brought us to a new emotional level, there is something deeply moving in calling someone your husband, and them calling you their wife. You enter a world where you are no longer him and her, but a united front. It is a higher level of commitment, one that goes across the boards, financial, emotional, social, familial. One that you will only experience with the right person, and once you've actually taken the plunge.

You don't want to get married? Don't believe in what it stands for, or don't think it's necessary, by all means, PLEASE DON'T. However, keep your rude, unversed, hurtful remarks about the sanctity of marriage to yourself. Some of us truly value the commitment and work that is a true marriage, and don't appreciate someone that's never been married belittling the act, but then, we wouldn't ask a Doctor to look at the broken furnace right?

I will no longer be reading her blog, her language is enough to make one's ears ring, and while I'm no saint, I don't feel the need to write like that in my blog. I just prefer not to read lines and lines of curse words when a well placed adjective could do the job.

There are plenty of well-spoken, well-written, military wife blogs out there that don't make my blood boil. I am forever thankful for those women.

Now that I'm feeling a little less aggravated, I just want to ask one last question:

Why do people view having a child with someone as LESS of a commitment than getting married? This will forever stump me. ( I mean this like "we're going to try to have a baby, but we're not ready to get married, that's too much of a commitment.")

I think I've done enough talking for one day, I hope I didn't deeply offend anyone, but if I did, please by all means, let me know, I'd love a chance to defend my honor. (Seriously though, don't be shy, there's a comment box for a reason.)

And as always, until next time, you've been Nicked!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daily Analogy

What if life is just like jigsaw puzzle... where we cautiously put the pieces of the edge together, and only then jump in to the bigger picture.

Our lives start out with simple needs, breathe, eat, sleep, grow. Mostly every need is met by someone other than ourselves. A Doctor watches us to be sure we're right on track, our Mothers, Fathers, Teachers, and Friends teach us what they deem important life lessons, and we learn the rest from observation. Someone feeds us, clothes us, and helps to mold our values and does the best they can to educate us on life outside the bubble they wrap so tenderly around us.

And then one day, you grow up, you venture out into life on your own, and you start to become your very own person. Like a jigsaw puzzle, if you stare to hard or too long, the pieces start to look the same, perhaps we should stop sometimes, take a step back, view the picture we're creating, and come back with fresh eyes.

My puzzle is looking a little dark, a little dreary, time to work on the sky, add in some pretty white clouds to drown out the darker ones.

Just a thought I had, decided I would share.

I apologize that my blog has been so down lately. It's just me trying to be honest with myself. The best way to deal with things is to face them head on, and not try to pretend they're not there right?

I entered a contest to win a free photo shoot for the family. I hope we win, but either way I'm going to get some family pictures taken before Josh leaves. Some he can take with him, and some we can hang around the house for the kids to see daily. I don't for a second think that my kids will forget that Josh is their Daddy, or that he loves them more than anything in this world, but it's also just nice to see his handsome face all over the house.

Still working on decorating this place, can't wait to get our tax return back and have some fun with it. It's the perfect timing, Josh will get to play a little too.

I'm feeling distracted, and disorganized, so I'm going to keep this brief for today. I'm working through things, please be patient with me, I am so very thankful for the wonderful readers I have here.

Until next time, you've been Nicked!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Needed a Breather

I've neglected to write for the last three days. Only, it was deliberate.

The majority of my husband's unit are at Fort Carson, CO doing pre-deployment, cold-weather, high-altitude training on the helicopters. He was one of the lucky few that got to stay behind, but they're calling this a "practice deployment" and by all means it feels like one.

He's been working non-stop twelve hour days, no days off even on the weekends, for twelve days now, with no end in sight (okay, Feb 18th approx), and while I'm thrilled he gets to come home from work each night, he's exhausted and barely makes it through dinner and a shower before crashing in bed. He's grumpy and dirty, and just plain zombie like when he's awake.

I'm a single Mom right now, because he's just not here. It feels like Basic Training/ AIT all over again, and I don't like this feeling at all. I've spent the better part of the last two days laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to convince myself that a year long deployment won't be that bad.


I know it's still approx four months away, and that I should be "enjoying the time we have left" but you try and block out this gray cloud hovering over your head feeling. I want my husband home on the weekends so that we CAN be a family while he's still around. I want the kids to stop asking me "where's Daddy?" every day, with that horrified look on their faces like he's gone forever.

I know all the lines, "Count your blessings" "You should have expected this with the lifestyle" "It will be over before you know it" but sometimes hearing those things just makes me feel worse. I KNOW that I should be stronger, let it go for now, deal with it when it's closer, but what I KNOW and what I FEEL do not always coincide.

So that's where I've been, off feeling sorry for myself, watching sad movies, listening to sad songs, and crying. It felt good, but I couldn't keep it up, my kids need me to be stronger than that, my husband doesn't want to know that's how horrible I'm feeling, so I'm sucking it up now.

I need a good book to read, something that requires very little thinking, something sappy would be perfect. I'd also love to record six or seven Lifetime/Hallmark love movies and park my butt on the couch with a bucket of ice cream and just veg out. I'm sure my currently dieting body would just love me for that one, so I'll stick with NCIS re-runs and some carrot sticks, and save my severe Emo self for later.

I got to watch my son play in the snow today. Texas snow is a bit disappointing, at most there was a half inch on the ground this morning. They canceled school, most Soldiers ended up with the day off, there were 42 reported fender benders between 0800 and 1030... it's not even 1600 and only a few drops of snow are left. Lincoln enjoyed it for about an hour before the sun started really winning the battle and he was playing in slush. I got a few really good pictures of him, so I'm happy with that. Sophia will have to wait for the next snowfall, she slept through this one.

I'm making an effort to meet new people, I've had a few successful play dates in the last week, so that's a positive. I don't want to feel completely and utterly alone in a few months, or at least know that I'm not. The FRG meeting this Wednesday is the one where I'm supposed to be introducing myself to fellow wives, and turning in my paperwork for the CARE Team. I need to get to the training this month too, so that is very exciting.

I'm going to try not to have another Emo-episode again, and if even if I do, I'll try to write anyway. I know writing out how I feel helps me, and possibly even other wives, but sometimes the world is just too much for a girl, and she needs a breather.

So until next time, consider yourself Nicked, and if you have REAL snow, please, go build me a snowman!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It Breaks My Heart

There are far too many people out there that shouldn't be parents, but for one reason or another decided to go for it anyway. I by no means consider myself the "perfect" parent, we all have places where we struggle, have to learn as we go, struggle and sometimes fail a few times before we get it right, but there is a line in the sand that should never be crossed.

Child abuse is a real problem, and the statistics are unbelievable, the two of the more disturbing are:

  • A Report of Child Abuse is Made Every 10 seconds.
  • Almost 5 Children Die Everyday as a Result of Child Abuse. 3 out of 4 are under the age of 4.

I watched a Dr. Phil video today, if you have a minute go to google, type in "hot sauce and cold showers" and see what comes up. What you will find is an appalling video of a mother forcing her adoptive son to swish with hot sauce and take a cold shower for bad behavior. Beware, this video is horrifying and brought me to tears. ( More correctly, I bawled my eyes out, hand over my mouth in horror.) This is a seven year old boy, who spent the first years of his life in an orphanage in Russia to eventually be placed, along with his twin brother, in this hateful woman's care.

I don't know why some people choose to be parents, if they don't have the patience or love that it requires to raise a child. I don't know why people like this don't see anything wrong with how they are treating the child, who is by all means A HUMAN BEING, and should be treated with the respect he's deserved. I don't know why our society has such a lax system for dealing with these offenders.

What I DO know, is that I was heartbroken beyond belief, I had the intense urge to first get that child to safety, far away from this woman that claims to be his "Mother", and secondly to squeeze my own son in a tight hug and tell him how much Mommy loves him.

This is why Josh and I feel so strongly about adopting/fostering children when our own are bigger or even gone. We don't want a child that needs a home to get just any home, we want them to get a home filled with love and understanding. What we'd really like is for people to just be DECENT and not treat their children this way! How can you expect your child to respect you if you treat them like dirt? That old adage "treat other the way you want to be treated" comes to mind. The Dr. Phil woman thinks that she's been misrepresented, that she LOVES her son and just needs help dealing with him. I argue that she's beyond the point where she should have asked for help, this is like a murder saying, "but I'm asking for help, so I shouldn't be punished." This woman's husband is a police officer, and even he doesn't see a problem with these actions? I feel sick.

I have other things I want to blog about today, and I'll probably be back, but I was just so moved, that I had to bring this up. My heart goes out to all the children in this world that are being abused by the people who are supposed to be protecting them. There is a special place for people that do these horrible acts...

Alert CPS if you know a child that is being mis-treated, they need you, they can't save themselves.

Until next time, You've been Nicked.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Always The Dreamer..

Imagine a fall afternoon, the sun is setting behind the mountains, casting waltzing shadows over a little house with a smoking chimney. The trees look ablaze with their red and orange leaves, and a small stream is alive, seeming to sparkle with thousands of diamonds. The air is crisp and clean, and you can hear nothing but the bubbling of the water and the crackle of leaves swirling on the ground. There is a wrap around porch enclosing the little house, and on it rests two rocking chairs.

Sounds kind of like a Thomas Kinkade painting to me, but it's as vivid and real in my mind as my next breath. It's the picture Josh and I paint every time we talk about our dream home. It's a life we hope to get to someday, a more simple, slower paced life. It's the kind of dream that keeps us moving forward, working hard, and believing.

Sometimes I think we were born in the wrong generation, that we would have fit in better in a past time. Josh believes in the old values, and so do I. I'd much rather talk to a real live person, deal with a human being, than communicate through technology.People these days just don't seem to care too much about each other. A customer is a dollar sign, not someone you want to get to know, someone you value. Josh believes that you should have to work for what you're given, that you should be rewarded by how hard you try, not who you know, or where you come from. He believes in honor, and providing for his family.

I'm not saying that people don't believe in these things these days, it's just not talked about much. People have been driven by greed and power since the dawn of time, but it's a different world today than it was say fifty years ago. People used to know their neighbors, they used to know their Doctor on a more personal level, some doctors even made house calls regularly. We used to hold doors for each other, when did we start asking, "What's in it for me?" before our actions?

I want my kids to grow up in an environment where they're free to explore. Where they can go out in the woods and get lost for hours in their own imagination. Where they can ride their bikes from one end of town to the other without this huge fear that they'll be mugged, or abducted, or run over. I want to go to the store and recognize the people in line, the manager, the cashier, as my neighbors. I want to have an active role in the community and feel like it's Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.

This is the world I want to be a part of, and I know there has to be towns like this hidden throughout the country. Where people really care about their neighbors, where we can fit right in, sit on our front porch, and watch the kids run wild.

I have always had an over-active imagination. I also dream big and without limitation. If Josh and I could climb into that Thomas Kinkade painting I know we would.

We've been entering in a contest to win a dream home in a town much like I've described. I've never been there so I can't attest to the people, but the house is that picture, the trees are alive, and I can say without a doubt that I've never wanted to win something so much in my life.

We're not delusional, we know the odds of winning this thing are ridiculous, but it's been so

invigorating just throwing ideas around about who we'd be in this house, what we'd do, where we'd go, how we'd live. It's reminded us that dreaming isn't just fun, it's breath of fresh air when the real world can be so stifling. It's a way to imagine the future with that silver lining, and then laugh over our mind creations.

It's been a fun few days of remembering the dreams we had together when we very first met, the things that we have in common that will never change, and the love that we have for each other that's like nothing else in this world. It reminded us that though things don't always turn out the way you think, we have everything we ever wanted in our kids and our marriage. It's made us feel so very lucky, and so very thankful.

And who knows, we just might win. :)

Until next time, you've been Nicked!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What We've Decided...

My husband is getting snipped.

I suppose the politically correct way to say this would be, my husband is getting a vasectomy.

Either way, we're done with our baby making. We have two perfectly happy, healthy, amazing children and we couldn't ask for anything more. Our family is at the perfect size for us, one child per arm, or one per parent. Knowing in the future there will be plenty of times where Josh is gone and I'll be the single parent played a lot into the decision, at least for me.

I will admit though, that for a while there I just couldn't commit to the idea of never having another child with Josh. With how perfect the first two came out, why wouldn't we want a few more? I had to look deep inside and really think about it.

Lincoln was our planned baby, we couldn't have been more excited when we found out we were expecting. It was a pretty smooth pregnancy, other than the never ending morning sickness that lasted all day for the entire duration of his womb dwelling. Lincoln Michael was born on April third 2008, at thirty-six weeks, a month earlier than the doctor would have liked, but was a healthy six pound, handsome little devil. They did have to help him breathe when he first came out, but overall it was an amazing experience.

When Lincoln was about eleven months old I found out I was two months pregnant with our daughter, Sophia. I was on birth control pills, and was shocked, to say the least, when I saw those two little pink lines. My friend Amanda had to calm me down, because my first reaction was, "I just had a baby. I can't do this right now! How could I love a baby as much as I love Lincoln. How are we going to afford another baby?" Josh's reaction was even a little more dramatic. Two kids, eighteen months apart, is a pretty big responsibility. As much as we were in love with our first baby, adding one to the mix at this point seemed crazy.

The further along in my pregnancy, this time with very little morning sickness, and not working full-time till the end, the more excited I got. I still remember the day we went to see if we were having a girl or a boy. Josh insisted it was another boy, that his family only puts out boys and he was so sure. When I was pregnant with Lincoln I just knew from the beginning that he was a boy, you can ask my Mother, I told her over and over that it was a boy, despite the fact that she wanted a girl. The second time though, I just didn't know. So when the doctor asked, "See that there?" I said, "Is it a boy?" and she said, "Not with those lady lips."

And so we added Sophia Evelynn to the Reeves family a few days after her due date on October fifth, 2009. She came in to the world at a heavy eight pounds one ounce, and a lot faster than her brother did. I would take her delivery over Lincoln's any day.

I was lucky enough to have Josh and my Mom by my side for both births. I got to see the emotion on my husband's face when he first saw his children. A man I love for his strength and his heart, was moved to tears twice, once for each child. I will cherish those memories forever.

That being said, I want to be able to spend massive amounts of one on one time with the kids. I want them to get to go to Disney Land with Josh and Me and not have one of us off with the younger kids. I want to give them most of the things that they want in this world, and the more kids we add to the mix the more difficult it would be to do those things.

Josh is ready to not stress about another surprise addition, so he's pushed this a little harder than I think he normally would, and I don't blame him for that. The three of us are his family and he's content with us the way we are. While I'm sure I could love another child just as much as I love the first two, I'm content too.

I think one of the biggest things that helped me come to my final decision was the look on Josh's face when he realizes that he's missed something. He's going to continue to be gone for a lot of the next five years, and while he's been lucky to witness a lot of the major milestones of our kids lives, he has missed a lot of the little stuff. It breaks his heart to leave them, and I don't think he'd forgive himself if he missed a birth, or a pregnancy. I think if I'm being honest, it would hurt me too, if he missed something so special.

He also volunteered for this surgery ladies and gents! He insists! Which is amazing to me, I suffered some major pain delivering two kids naturally, with no pain medication what-so-ever (I'm allergic), and so he thinks it's only fair he gets this procedure done. Did I mention I love my husband to pieces... because I really do.

I thought about just getting one of those implants, five years of birth control, and then you can decide if you're done or not. Andrea went that route, which I think is a great option for her since she's only got Meredith, and might change her mind at some point. For me and Josh though, we've decided that we're just done. We don't want to take any chances, we just want to be assured that we're done. We love our children more than life itself, and that's enough for us. We're both so giving and loving, that if for some reason we ever want more children, we'll rescue/adopt a child that needs a good home.

I just wanted to share, this decision was a very personal, hard, and emotional one to make. The journey just made me thankful for everything that I already have though, and now we can make this decision with confidence.

The hubs is getting snipped.

Until next time, you've been Nicked!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Like a little rustle in the leaves...

Up In The Mountains,
There is Magic in the trees,
When the wind blows through and through.
It is here I'll climb higher and higher,
Where it's cold, and crisp, and true,
It is here I'll close my eyes,
And be blissfully renewed.

Poem by Nicole Reeves, Photo by Jamey Marie Tonsgard
I'm not sure how it happened, but it hit me like a ton of bricks today. I was doing chores, playing with the babies, minding my own business... and it was like the lights went out. My whole world lost it's silver lining, and the clouds came rumbling in. The walls are bare, and so is the floor for the most part, even the paint is sterile white. My furniture is here, my things, and my little family, but it's just not home. There aren't any trees here, everything looks gloomy and dead. I don't care if the sun is out most of the year, it looks like death outside.
My family isn't here, they're all back in good old Washington State. I think that's the real issue. I'm more homesick today than I've been since we moved here. I miss the little things, like the smell of my Grandpa's shed, a mixture of sawdust and building supplies, it's something that can't be copied. Like the way my Grandma hugs you with her whole soul, it wraps a warmth around your heart and squeezes it tight. Like the smell of the rain on the pavement after a warm day, or the rustling of the wind in the trees. The sounds and smells of my childhood.
I grew up with a rain forrest literally in my back yard. A glacier just down the road, where I could ride my bike to it, hike the trails and get lost in the beauty of the world. There were more rainy days than sunny ones, but the trade off is real beauty. Greens, browns, reds, yellows, all the colors you can dream of were vibrantly displayed. Alaska is one of those places that I think everyone should experience in their lifetime.
Then we moved to Washington, or back to Washington if you count life before the age of six. It's a little diluted compared to Alaska, but you get more defined seasons. You can always drive up north and see the same type of terrain as I was used to in Alaska, so it still feels like home there.
It's only now that I'm starting to learn, Home is more of a feeling than a location.
I need to get out and make friends, but I have anxiety about it. I'm not sure where its stemming from but it's definitely there. I spend entirely too much time in this house that needs decorating. I stare at the walls and think that it looks like no one lives here. There's furniture here but no warmth, no touch of us, anyone could live here, like a hotel room, it's lacking signs of life. I need to paint, put of pictures of the people I love, throw some pretty rugs down over this cold floor.
I think this house is a direct reflection of my life here in Texas. I haven't really put any effort into fixing it yet. I think it's me worrying too much about Josh leaving. I'm trying to postpone my own life and suck in all the family time that I can hold. I know it's not healthy, and I know I need my own life too, but I'm hurting, I'm scared, and I'm homesick.
So, all that just kind of hit me today, this weight that laid me out flat on the floor and laughed at me. I know that all I have to do is get up and make changes, but I might lay here for a minute and soak in this defeated feeling. That way when it's fixed, when my life starts feeling like my own again, I'll be able to truly appreciate it.
As far as decorating my house goes, I'm putting trees in here. It's the most symbolic "thing" that I miss, and so it's got to be the answer. If I had to be something other than human, I'd want to be a tree.
Okay, I'm really out of it tonight!! My favorite show (One Tree Hill) is recording and I'm about to make a hot cup of tea and just relax in front of the TV. I need to take a break from taking my life so seriously and just let it flow!!!
Until next time, consider yourself Nicked!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Disney, You Just Get Me!

Stealing some inspiration from a family favorite tonight, a song from Cinderella.
A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep

Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true!

I have so many dreams for my kids, but I want them to have their own. Tonight I'm thinking about the dreams I have for myself. A lot of them are things we all wish for, like watching my children grow up with my husband by my side, owning a house with a yard and maybe even a pool, feeling accomplished and independant.

There are dreams that you can MAKE happen though, and the one that has been with me since I was old enough to dream is to write a book! A story that I'm proud enough of to submit it for publishing. It doesn't ever have to become a published book, but I want that self satisfaction of knowing I set out to finish a story, and sent it off into the world for judgement.

When I write a story, I put so much emotion into it, so many real feelings into my characters, that I start to feel vulnerable sharing it. That's what I've always loved about reading though, feeling like you're a part of the character, placing yourself in their shoes and living vicariously through them. I live a love story, a real breathing, working, love story. I want to write one, one that moves people somewhere close to the degree that I feel. I know that there are a lot of good love stories out there, The Notebook, The Rescue, A Knight in Shining Armor, Romeo & Juliet, Pride & Prejudice... (to name a few of my personal favorites.) I don't expect to be the next Nicholas Sparks, but I don't want to write some boring cliched novel either. I want fireworks, and that is going to take sweat, tears, and true emotion.

I'm setting goals this year to achieve these dreams, but goals are only half of the battle.

The other half is execution. I tend to have a bit of a problem with this part, I let doubt creep in, or I just get busy with the daily things in life and put the dream on the back burner. These are really just excuses, and I need to start recognizing them as such if I ever want to get anywhere. I want to live a life I'm proud of, and I want my children to achieve the dreams that they set out to accomplish, so it's time to get serious. I'm going to work on finding myself while Josh is away, something that will fight off the loneliness, sadness, and fear, and hopefully something that will turn into accomplishing that dream I've held on to for so long.

Speaking of dreams, my two year old hasn't had a nap today, so it's time for me to get him some dinner and send him to bed. Until next time, consider yourself Nicked.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dance Dance Dance..

I vow that someday I will get my husband to dance with me. Today though, I was content doing it with my little man! If you don't already own a Wii, you should really find a friend that does and try it out. It's entertaining, and can be quite a workout! My newest love is Just Dance 2.

I put on the new workout clothes that Josh got me for my Christmas, laced up my trusty old tennis shoes, and shook my butt like I was on fire! It has a mode called, "Just Sweat," and you can bet that's what I was doing. This might actually be something I can stick with, it's not boring to me like running down the road, it had me laughing and singing along in no time.

I have to do something, I'm back in that "hate my body" mode. Ever since I had Sophia I've struggled with losing the baby weight. I didn't have this hard of a time losing it with Lincoln, but then I suppose that's what comes with having two children in an 18 month period. Oh, Sophia, I love you more than life, but wowee you did a number on your Mama's body!

I'm not saying I'm huge or anything, I have about thirty pounds that I reluctantly stuff into my clothes, refusing to buy new ones until I'm at the weight I want to be. I want to feel sexy in my own skin, confidant in my clothes. I was doing really good while Josh was gone, and then he came home and that happy married life kicked back in... along with ice cream in bed, dinners out, and soda.

It's time to get serious, buckle down and kick my own butt into gear. I want to get up in the morning and feel energized and ready to go. I'm sick of dragging around feeling lazy and ... FAT. I know most of it is a state of mind, but that little gremlin has taken refuge in my brain and won't leave until the scale shows it true results. Get out of my head NEGATIVITY! I'm working on a solid plan, and the first step is accountability. Time to start logging weight, being honest with myself about what I'm eating and how hard I'm working, and maybe even logging nutrition facts for what I'm eating so I can see where the problem is at.

Mostly I want one less thing to stress over while my husband is gone. We all know what kind of monsters Doubt, Fear, and Low Self-Esteem are, and the damage they can do to our Strength and Emotional Well-Being. So I have to make sure I call some Ghost-Busters, and check under the bed, make sure I'm not letting those little creepers win!

I want to be proud of me. I want to like my body. I CAN achieve these goals.

So, wish me luck, cheer me on, and most importantly, call me out if you see fit! The more focus I have on this the better. This year I'm not only working on the emotional me (with this blog), I'm taking a stand on my physical health!!

So, I had my last Coke today, that's my first big commitment. Next step, daily Wii workouts, and checking out the on-post work out option! Zumba anyone?

Until next time, you've been Nicked!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

Last night was the long awaited FRG meeting, the one with dates and information about the upcoming Deployment. It was also my very first time leaving my kids at any kind of daycare. Let's just say I missed the entire meeting because the CYSS people called me out of it. Sophia was crying too much, HELLO, she's a year old... and Lincoln was not cooperating with circle time, again he's only two. Needless to say I was less than impressed with their knowledge of childcare, and then hurt beyond words when the lady gave me her "advice."

"Ma'am, don't you know they have parenting classes on Fort Hood? Are you new or something? You need to bring your kids to the daycare for about fifteen minutes a day until they know how to behave in a childcare setting."

This is all I'm going to share with you, because I'll get too upset if I go on any more. This woman was standing there telling me that I'm a bad mother, that I need parenting classes, and that my children are misbehaving little monsters. I was too upset to even blog about it last night, I cried in front of Josh's superiors and felt so embarrassed. I know I should have been raging mad, but most mothers would probably agree with me when someone attacks your parenting skills, or says you're doing wrong by your kids, it stings.

I'm debating whether or not to call and make a formal complaint about this woman. I sat in that daycare with the kids for almost an hour waiting for the meeting to get over. I witnessed some things I don't feel are appropriate childcare techniques, and while I don't claim to have any kind of "professional training" I AM A MOTHER, and I know how I want my children to be treated.

Let me ask you this, if you were watching a group of children from new born age to kindergarten age, would you take all the toys away and force them to sit quietly in a circle to hear a story? Does that make sense to anyone? I'm done talking about this though, I had a horrific first experience with Daycare, but I won't give up just yet.


I dropped my husband off in front of III Corps building today so he could catch a bus to College Station. He's part of some demonstration there, more than likely to recruit more troops, but either way, he looked absolutely amazing in his class A's. He hates them, as do most soldiers I hear, they're green so they've been nicknamed "the pickle suit" somewhere along the line. There is so much pride in me though when I see my handsome husband all decked out in a tie, and his shiny black shoes, and all those medals hanging off his chest. (Okay, he's only a PFC so there aren't that many, but I'm proud all the same.)

One of the most important messages they wanted to get across at the meeting last night was that we need to start preparing to be single Moms again. *sigh*
Time to take the kids grocery shopping alone, carry them inside the house one at a time, juggling groceries and whatever toys have migrated to the car
Time to make financial arrangements, get POA's up to date, make sure all important paperwork is copied and filed for emergency use.
Time to get serious about making friends here, finding play groups, getting daycare set up so Mama doesn't have to be on duty 24-7-365.

Time to hug tight, love hard, and prepare our hearts for the crazy year we're going to be facing.

Josh asked me last night what I want to do for the two weeks of block leave he gets before he deploys. I told him to think hard about what HE wants to do and then get back to me. He mentioned visiting Alaska, our home-state (well at least our childhood state), and I'm considering it. Though I'd love to just have him home with me and the kids and just soak up as much love as we can, that would be a pretty fun adventure with the kids.

Speaking of my kiddos, both of them are.. GASP.. napping!!! So I'm going to take advantage of this quiet time and get some things done! Until next time, consider yourself Nicked!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Whole Year Of Firsts

We're coming up on a year of Josh being in the Army. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago that I pulled up in front of the recruiter office to drop him off. It was sunny and warm, the middle of March, and life was going on as normal all around us. The parking lot was busy, and other families were saying their goodbyes in the entry way of the building.

We looked at each other in the car with a mixture of excitement, fear, and love. Josh got out and I met him halfway holding him as tightly as I could. I couldn't say much more than, "I love you," around the lump in my throat. He wouldn't be home with us again until late in the fall, and at that moment it just felt like an eternity. I was proud of him already, of the sacrifices he was making for his family, and I wanted to tell him but couldn't form the words. I watched him go first to Sophia's door, our sweet baby girl only five months old, kiss her softly and tell her that Daddy loves her. He was already fighting back the tears, as I am now just remembering the moment, when he got to Lincoln's door. He looked at me and tried to smile before reaching in to kiss his son. He told him in a quiet voice that Daddy had to go away for a while, but that he loved him so much, and he'd be thinking of him everyday. Then he kissed me one last time, and walked through the door with the other men.

I remember crying the whole drive home, taking a few extra roads to just clear it out of my system. Then carrying the babies up to our apartment one at a time, knowing I had a long road ahead of me also, as a single mother for the next few months. I felt really alone and scared, everything was so new, and I had no idea what to expect, or when I'd hear from my best friend again. Before that day, Josh and I had only spent about two weeks of the last eight years apart. He's my world, he understands me like no one else can, and he really is my best friend, and I was terrified to face life without him, even temporarily.

But I pushed on, some days were harder than others, but before long the kids and I had a routine going. Letters and phone calls were like GOLD, but maybe what helped the most was having that Facebook page to go to, where so many Echo Company 2/47 wives were also waiting for any information on their Husband. It was on this facebook page, that I met some really good friends and an extraordinary woman.

I make friends pretty easily, but it's not every day that you connect with someone on a higher level. Here I was, in the completly new experience, scared, tired, and alone... and then out of nowhere there was Andrea.

We clung to each other all the way up to graduation. We met each other in the parking lot of the PX at Fort Benning, GA on June 1st, 2010, and hugged like we'd known each other our whole lives. We went through this experience, of waiting for our husbands, of being both parents, and then we got to share that magic moment when we got our Husbands back.

We just get each other, we're a lot a like, even though we come from opposite sides of the country. I eat food she's never heard of, and she says things in ways that make me laugh, but it makes our friendship even more interesting. I have the Army to thank for finding me a friend through all of this, for helping both of us to get through the tough times, and have someone to share the happy times.

We got through AIT together, which in so many ways was harder than Basic Training. Now our husbands could call home more often, we could skype, and even got to see them on a few four day weekends, but it was harder every time to say goodbye. Friends and Family back home meant well, tried to help us through, but there's something to say about being in the same place emotionally as someone else, being each others strength when we really needed someone.

To call Andrea my best friend isn't close enough to the truth, she's my family now, and as long and scary and different as this year has been. As hard as it was to adjust to this new lifestyle, I'm thankful every day that we found each other.

I'm kind of rambling, I meant to talk about what a journey this year has been, but my heart got away with me. I feel utterly blessed to have a husband that's my best friend, and a woman that's like my very own sister. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. As hard as the last year has been, and as scary as the upcoming one is going to be, I have someone very special to me, that I know is always going to be there. I know you're reading this Andrea, and I thank you for the friendship you've given me so freely, I love you. I am here for you always.

I'm overly emotional today or something, so I'll end here, until next time, you've been Nicked.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Journey...

I hear corney lines all the time, but there's one that is starting to ring true for me. "Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey."

We can't wait for things to fall into place, or hope that someday things will change. We have to make changes, do what we feel when we feel it. If for some reason we never make it to some future destination, won't it be nice to know we made the best of every moment that we had?

Parenting is a journey, and right now we're struggling over some of the little bumps. I refuse to get discouraged, but I could use some helpful advice! Sophia is my fifteen month old, she's walking, and making noises, she knows a few words, she claps and waves, but for some reason she refuses to get off of her Formula. I don't know what to do, and I know that it's going to get to a point where it's more calories than she needs. She eats with us, has a love affair with chicken, and will drink juice with meals, but when it's time for a nap or bedtime she wants a sippy cup with formula or she'll scream and cry and refuse to sleep.

I know a lot of parenting is live and learn, trial and error, but I feel a little like a lost boat. I need that flashing lighthouse light, so please, if you have the answer, comments are wonderful!

I've tried giving her regular milk, or just water. Half formula, half milk. Just a tiny bit of milk in with the formula hoping to work up to more, but she knows right away that something isn't right and won't drink it.

Let me know if you have any idea's or suggestions!

I hurt my back this weekend carrying one of the kids around so I'm going to cut this short, but I'll make up for it this week! Until then, consider yourself Nicked! And thanks in advance for any advice!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ahh, Laughter, My Old Friend!

It's like I've been outside of myself for a while, hovering like a ghost above my own body, without being conciously aware of it. If a storm had come I might have been blown away in the wind and lost forever. I've been living in that morning fog before you're fully awake, and now I've finally been able to shake it off and see clearly. I'm laughing, not right this second, but my husband and I are playing again, joking and teasing. Some of the stress from this major life change, the move, and of this upcoming deployment is lifting. No sense in worrying about things that we have no control over, but try telling yourself that, you have to honestly start to feel it.

I haven't just let loose in a long time, just cleared my mind and gave in to the moment. Josh is really good at getting the giggles out of me though. He's a lot like a little boy, as I'm coming to realize most men are, and I think that works well for us. Every once in a while I need him to snap me out of "Responsible" mode, so I can be ME. I have no problem letting loose with the kids, playing toy story characters or making silly animal noises, but there is level of letting loose that's harder to reach on an adult level.

My Mom came to visit me this last week, and we had a really good time just hanging out around the house. It was really nice to see Lincoln play with his Memaw again, he loves her in a very extra special way. I miss her when we're not together, but it was nice that when she was here I didn't feel sad about it. I wasn't caught up on the fact that I only had a week with her. I think my mindset is changing, I'm a real Army Wife now.

I feel like I'm growing up in a big way, I don't need my parents to be physically near by, because I've always known emotionally we're together. I can stand on my own two feet, I have my own family to lead now, and I'm ready for the job. My first rule, LAUGHTER is a must. :)

I whole-heartidly recommend you let your husband hang you upside down by your feet, you have a pillow fight, or whatever it is that makes you laugh. Get some old games out, board games, video games, word games, it doesn't really matter and get into it!! Laugh until you cry, make your own inside jokes, wink at each other. It feels so good to just play.

Kids play all the time, when do we stop playing? Why?! I vow to never stop playing, never stop laughing, no matter how much stress, or tragedy is going on around us, it's only the end of the world when we stop doing what makes us happy. It's not hard to have fun, you just have to put yourself out there.

"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insain." - Robert Frost

Have a laugh with me, and until next time, you've been Nicked!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Call Me Crazy...

I've been getting comments, on a subject that I feel strongly about, so I'd like to clear some things up for the naysayers.

I am in the process of joining my FRG's (Family Readiness Group) CARE team. Before I go into the comments I've been given, here is a brief description of what a CARE team is/does:

The purpose of the CARE Team is to offer short-term care and support to Families of deceased and seriously wounded Soldiers/Civilians until the Family's own support structure is in place.

CARE Team volunteers provide assistance that complements the assistance provided by the Casualty Assistance Officer (CAO), Chaplain, and Rear Detachment Commander. The focus of CARE Team volunteers' efforts is on providing practical assistance and emotional support to the Family on a short term basis so that the Family can continue to function while dealing with a traumatic event. The actual support provided depends on the Family needs and command guidance but can include:

*Call Support *Home Care Assistance *Childcare Support *Meal Support *Transportation *Assistance to visiting Family *Other Family Support

Now that we got that out of the way, I want to tell you how alarmed I was at some of the responses I got from breaking the news to my friends and family.

I posted this simple status on my facebook, "I'm now volunteering with my FRG's Care Team! Wish me Luck!" and it was as if I'd said, "I'm going to do drugs! Wish me Luck!" I'm not even sure some of the people who responded have any idea what a Care Team does.

Call me crazy, but I want to have an active role in this Army life. Most of my friends are not actively involved in their husband/significant other's career, and so in some ways I don't expect them to understand. However, It's not like my Husband works nine-to-five in a cubicle. I can't just decide I want to take a job in another state, I can't ask him to quit his job, or transfer somewhere else because there is an opportunity for me, we can't just "quit" when it gets too hard. My Husband works for the US Army, we go where they tell us, when they tell us, and I'm sorry, but I refuse to just go along for the ride. Any chance that I have to be involved, you better believe I'll be first in line, notepad and pencil in hand.

I will admit, working with a family who just lost their Soldier or are going to have to adjust to living with a seriously injured one doesn't sound like a sparkling or glamorous job, but it is a necessity for which I feel I am genetically programed to carry out. I am calm under pressure, I don't buckle at the first sign of tragedy, in fact, I put on a brave face and let out the most compassionate me when I'm needed most. I've always been a friend you can come to for advice, a shoulder to cry on, the strong one. It makes me feel good to help people, if it's something I can do, why wouldn't I give someone I care about the effort?

We are a country at war, a war that my Husband and his fellow Soldiers are fighting now. Death is a reality of that. Casualties are a part of this life. Some people are more than happy to live in a cloud of fantasy, but the truth is, not all the Soldiers are coming home the way we want them to, and I can not ignore this fact. I have to live with the grim reality that my Husband may get hurt or killed over there. I like knowing that if the worst thing in this world happens to my Family, I wont be alone.

The Care Team doesn't knock on doors and tell people the bad news, they don't give counseling or advice to the grieving families. They just make everyday life easier. Someone to pick the kids up from school when you can't get out of bed. Someone to make sure you and the kids are eating, and getting clean laundry and dishes. Someone to pick your Family up from the airport and bring them to you so that you can cling to each other. Someone to make sure your bills get a stamp on them and make it to the mailbox. I want to be that person for my fellow Army wives, because I'm more than capable, and because I would hope, that if anything were to ever happen to my family, someone would want to be there for us.

So, to the people that have been saying things to me like:

"Why would you want to have such a morbid task?"
"That's just going to make you more paranoid while Josh is gone."
"Yuck, can't someone else do that job?"
"You're crazy girl, that's just not a job anyone should VOLUNTEER FOR"


I understand if you feel concerned for me, if you think this might be a huge undertaking, but watching someones kids, or making a meal for a Family so that they can concentrate on more important tasks, really doesn't seem outside of my abilities. I just wanted to inform my friends and family, so that you can have a better understanding of what I will be expected to do.

I'm sorry if this post seems angry, it's not meant to at all. I did warn you all that this blog is a place to speak my mind freely! :) On that note, until next time, consider yourself Nicked!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Little Teachers...

At some point in life we get this idea in our heads that we have to feel a certain way. We suddenly think we have control over our feelings because we simply choose to hide or ignore them. We don't want to appear weak, or foolish, or childish. I ask you though, what's wrong with looking at things like a child every once in a while?

I have a little boy, his name is Lincoln and he is about to turn three years old. He's loud, and he's messy, and he rarely can make up his mind. He'd rather be barefoot and get attacked by ants than let anyone slow him down long enough to get shoes and socks on him. If he likes you, you're immediately a part of the family, he's decided every man he loves is his uncle/papa. In a room full of children, he stops to say hello to every adult before he goes to play. He's more aware of his surroundings than most of us, I think it's because he lives in the moment. He doesn't care if his cell phone is ringing, if there are bills to pay, or if anyone is judging him while he's dancing, as long as he's surrounded by the people he loves.

I'm not saying that you should neglect your bills, nor am I saying you should be irresponsible, but would it hurt any of us to be a little more carefree? Are we really going to die if we're seen in our pajamas? Can we just be nice to one another without judgement, without wondering what we're going to get out of it? If someone thinks our happiness makes us look stupid, does it really matter? Why do we let people stop us from being who we are to the full extent? Lincoln doesn't, and it makes me really sad that one morning he's going to wake up and it will all have changed. Someone will say something to hurt him, and it will do the damage. All I can do is raise him to love himself, to be true to himself, and to know that he is loved unconditionally by those who really matter.

I've been really watching my babies this weekend, with my Mom in town they've been really animated. They don't have to be at Chuck'e'Cheese, they don't even need a toy, just sitting on the couch giggling with Mom, Dad, and Memaw makes them deliriously happy. I feel like I should take more time to just BE with my family. Josh and I should shut off our phones, turn off the computer, forget the TV, and just play. I want to get out the video camera and record it so that when Josh and I are old we can watch the videos and relive the memories. Hear all those sweet giggles that for now come so easily. These moments with our kids are going to pass by too quickly, and I don't want to just say I made the most of our time, I want to truly believe it.

With that said, my mom is only here for a week, and I don't know when I'll be seeing her again, so I'm not going to post again until Saturday night. This is what's important, this is living life.

Until next Saturday, consider yourself Nicked.