Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year Resolution: Reconnecting With Loved Ones

My family, My Roots
I was born in the 80s! Can you tell from the picture on the left?
I am not sure why my older sister wasn't having it...but there had to be a reason.
I have been away from home since 2003 and it is crazy to think that I haven't spent ONE Christmas with my family in all those years.
We attempted to go in 2013 but it didn't happen because Chris could not get the time off. I am lucky that my family is very understanding to this lifestyle and that they are so supportive. There is ONE regret that I do have since I have left home. I disconnected.
I am the youngest of three siblings and my sister and I are 8 years apart. My brother is 2 yrs older than I am.
When I was born, my brother was super angry. That is what my mom has told me. We got along for the most part until I left home. He missed me a ton and I didn't really respond to it. I chose to disconnect.
My sister and I didn't become close until I had my own children. With 8 years between us, we didn't have too much in common growing up. She has led a tough life and I have learned a lot from her. Now that I have come back from living overseas (2 years or so) we have gotten closer. We talk a lot on the phone and on Facebook. I am glad I have her to vent to or share life experiences. I MISS MY FAMILY.
My Older Sister and Brother
I have a really close bond with my mother and father. They are not perfect but really close to it in my eyes. I admire them because they are hard workers and have provided for us and continue to do so if we need it. My mother has taught me so much about people and life. She and I didn't get along during my teenage years because I thought she was so strict but now I am so thankful for that. I wasn't allowed to spend the night at any slumber parties or stay out past dark even at 16 yrs old! I begged her one time and she did finally cave but I think that was because I was so close to graduating high school. I can remember what my parent's home smells like and every time my mom sends me a card, I sniff it to see if I can smell a hint of her lotion or perfume! I MISS HER! They have lived in their home since 1973!
I have always been daddy's little girl. Well my brother had a girl and she sort of rules that department but I AM IT when she isn't there! LOL!! Can you tell by the smile on my face in the photo that I knew I was the princess? I soaked all of that in! I was spoiled and I admit it. I am spoiled still but now from my husband.
The photo was sent to me today by one of my cousins I reconnected with on Facebook. She lives in Mexico and helps run a bakery in Eagle Pass, TX with my uncle and aunt.
One of my resolutions this year was to RECONNECT. I am tired of being distant and I know this lifestyle often keeps us miles and miles away from our families. This year I want to keep up with everyone, not just my family but my close friends too. I only focus on what I AM doing and that isn't fair. We are not getting any younger. Is that what being in your thirties mean?? You start thinking less of yourself and transition into thinking more about others? I have always been thoughtful of others but didn't quite make the attempt to let them know. This year is different. I want to be CONNECTED.
Chris and I are planning a trip HOME (My Parent's Home) for the Spring. I am crossing my fingers that he gets his leave approved because I want to be there like old times, watching my mother make tortillas and my dad firing up the grill. I want to see my boys play with my niece. I want to treasure each moment as if it were my last and their last. BE PREPARED for lots of pictures and videos in the future. Thank you for listening to me on this post.
If you feel the disconnect with your family and friends...it is perfectly normal. This lifestyle can keep us from them especially if you are across the ocean on another continent. I am several states west of my parent's home...I am either going by plane or car, but whichever it is, I AM GOING HOME!
Thank you for reading. I rambled a lot!!

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Real Talk: "FML" (F*&^ My Life)

I have read one too many posts lately stating that this lifestyle isn't what they expected. Or in other words "FML."  This lifestyle is not something you can predict. The difference is whether you make the best of it or do the opposite and hate every day that you are living it. I choose to make the best of it. I hardly ever talk about the negative aspects of having a husband in the military. I still don't want to do that here. I will share some experiences that made me a stronger spouse, mother and friend to those around me.
When Chris and I met, he had already been in the military for five years. Within a year we were married and we received orders to live overseas. We had a newborn son and we moved across the ocean to Belgium. Before I met Chris I felt like my life was already established. I had my own place, a full time job and just finished graduating from college. No worries in the world, then I unexpectedly fell in love. It happens!!!
Chris is a Military Police Officer, dedicated to his job in the Army. He enjoys his job and most of the time he works holidays and odd shifts. Most people think he works the typical 6am-5pm shift, M-F. Not him, he works holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, 24 hour shifts, and overall random hours. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I am blessed that he is working and can provide for all of us. He doesn't ask for much...ever! The thing is, I should be complaining, but early on I learned to appreciate the time we have together.
The reason why I am writing this post is because I am concerned when I read: "Oh great another day, I hate my life!" It isn't coming from me, it is coming from other women who I share something in common with, the military lifestyle. I get it, we are not always going to be happy whether we are in this or not. I wake up some days wanting to crawl back into my blankets. I also wake up most of the time to a window that appears fogged over because it has either rained or is gloomy again. It is Washington.
When we received orders to Washington, I was beyond happy. I was happy that after three long years, we
were finally moving back to the U.S.  Living overseas taught me so much. "Be happy with what you are given and what is easily accessible!" When we were in Belgium, we drove 40 min to the commissary. If we had forgotten something...oh well...maybe next time. There were stores we could shop at off post but it just wasn't the same. I tried to learn French. That failed and it became frustrating because most often we were expected to rely on French and not English. Brussels was different, we could speak Spanish there and get around! My point is, it was difficult when we lived overseas and I learned a lot of what I took for granted.
Chris deployed last year and although his company returned earlier than expected, it was scary. For the first time in our marriage, I was scared shit-less. I had no idea if I would see him again or how the boys were going to react. I thanked God everyday that I was able to speak to him and know he was okay. It was tough for all of us. The strength that I gained through that experience has benefited me in so many ways. My attitude alone has changed.
I am writing this blog to let you know that you are not alone. We all have bad days but be happy that you are breathing and alive. There are women out there who have lost more than you and I will ever lose in our lives, their husbands. Take advantage of every day that you are given to make the most of your day, spend time with your loved ones. We have it good. It may not be the best lifestyle as things change all the time, but take that as a challenge for yourself. Tell yourself that you can do it. Reach out to others who are struggling or having a worse time.
The thing that has helped me the most is to surround myself with others who share the same views. Unfortunately, if you hang out with those who are always negative, your attitude will start being the same. Surround yourself with others that shine a light on your ideas and thoughts. Those that bring you up and are there when you need them. I am glad to have a great circle of friends, here online and now where we are stationed. It is OKAY to un-friend those on your buddy list too. You know the ones that are there that have zero contact with you. Most of the time when you un-friend them, they don't or haven't noticed it, meaning you weren't on their important list anyway. Sounds bad huh? It is true. Try it.
This year is a time for change as corny or cliche as that sounds, I want to make a difference. I choose to surround myself with positive thinkers, people who laugh, people who share common interests as me, people who care for others and people who strive for better. I have to meet all those requirements too, I have to be accountable for all of it.
I started my blog and Youtube Channel when we lived overseas to help others. I started it to record our experiences while in the military and to offer insight. I stopped making videos about the military lifestyle but hope to return to those soon as there is a whole lot more to discuss. I want to start writing more because I feel like I was given a fresh start. I have met such amazing people through social media and I am so grateful. I love helping others.

I don't want to put a lot of blame on those wives who feel like their lives are not what they expected. It may not ever be how you want it to be or what you pictured it to be, but that is what makes it so unique from anything else. I just want them to realize that they can change their lives if they want to, not for anyone else, but for themselves. Stay positive and stay strong!

Every day I wake up saying "Thank you for another day because I can _____________!"