Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pooches and Parties

I’ve come to the conclusion that my precious pooch is upset with me.  Jackson, our puggle, is 4 years old.  Though he gets extremely excited when someone comes to the house, or simply walks by the house, he really is a fabulous dog.  He’s excellent with our girls, a great companion, and is pretty well behaved.  He can have some separation anxiety when left in a new place, but we are used to that.  Trent is the one in charge of taking care of Jackson.  I’m in charge of the fish, and he the dog.  Before Trent left, he reminded of me of all the things I had to add to my list that he would normally do.  Taking out the trash (which I have to do tonight) and feeding Jackson were on the list.   Even though I tried really, really hard not to forget to do anything, the first day and a half Trent was gone, I might have forgotten to feed him.  Granted, he has lots in storage and the girls always make sure he gets everything they don’t want off of their plates.  So between that and Trent being gone, I believe he is “acting out.”  I didn’t even think about Jackson becoming an emotional basket case, too.  In the past 24 hours he has torn his bed to shreds, pooped on the floor, and torn through the trash.  This cute little guy surely couldn’t do all that?!?

On a lighter note, my dad had a birthday this past weekend.  The girls and I went down to celebrate with him, and Joanna thought that Pa needed cupcakes.  My sister and her kids joined the party as well.  It was a good distraction for the girls and nice to get away from the house.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 1 at a Glance

Trent made it to Ft. Irwin, California, and called twice yesterday and texted a few times to touch base with us.   He let me know his schedule as of now and broke the communication news to me as well.  This particular training has a section of time where the soldiers go out to the field or as it is called there “The Box.”  During that time, there is no communication with the outside world.  They literally get their phones taken away.  We knew this in advance, but we weren’t sure for how long.  We were guessing a week to ten days.  We were close.  The actual amount of time in “The Box” is 2 weeks.  Fourteen days.  We don’t get a choice in the matter, so there is no need to complain about it.  No biggie, we got this. 

Trent and I talked to both little girls Wednesday evening, and then again on Thursday to try to explain that daddy was going away to be a soldier for a while.  Both had different reactions, which was to be expected for they are nothing alike.  Abby stuck her bottom lip out, pouted, and went right back to playing her MobiGo.  (A prime example of the attention span of a three year old.)  :)   Joanna’s conversation lasted a little bit longer.  Trent asked her to be mommy’s helper and to be really good while he was gone.  She responded, “but you said it would be a long time?”  He then said, “Yes, for a little while.”  In which she had a few contingencies to the deal.  I am not exaggerating this at all, I promise.  Here is as close to word for word I can get of the negotiation process.

            Joanna:  “A little while is a long time.”
            Trent:  “It can be.”
            Joanna:  “It’s easier to be good for a long time if I get a present.”
            Trent:  “Is it now?”
            Joanna:  “I think yes.”
            Trent:  “Well, we can maybe work with that.  What kind of present?”
            Joanna:  “I want a boy Barbie doll with spiky hair.”
            Trent:  “No promises, but we’ll try to find a boy Barbie with spiky hair.”

She seemed to be satisfied with the conversation. 

Day one of Daddy being gone went pretty well.  I was fairly certain that it wouldn’t completely register with the girls until last night.  Having this in mind, I wanted to make sure we did something fun to give them a happy memory for the day.  

I took them for their second mani/pedi of their lives, treated them to lunch at their favorite place McDonald’s, and we watched The Muppet Movie last night while having chocolate milkshakes.  After the movie, Abigail went right to bed.  However, it hit Joanna pretty hard right at bedtime last night that daddy was actually gone like we talked about.  She pretty much hyperventilated for about 10 minutes.  This has happened a few times for her over the past year, so thankfully this wasn’t my first time dealing with it.  She doesn’t get upset that easily, but when she does she can get really worked up quite quickly to where she is actually gasping for air.  She got through it, leaving her exhausted and fell asleep.  It could have been worse, but I’m not fooled to think we’re done.  Even with the tiny meltdown at the end, we still had a fantastic day together.  Therefore, I’m chalking the day up as a win. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

That's Desert, Not Dessert!

Today was Trent’s last day before he leaves for training at Ft. Irwin, California, for the next month.  That would be right in between the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. 

Looks pleasant, huh?  Of course, I bring up the point that it doesn’t really sound or look like a place full of butterflies, rainbows, and roses.  And to this, my ever so wise husband replies by explaining that it is an excellent desert training area with lots of open space, which is very beneficial to their practice missions.  But here’s the real selling point, the area has actually been cooler in the past two weeks than the temps we’ve been having here. (Not by much, but that is ridiculous when it’s hotter here than it is in the desert.) 

So whenever one goes to the desert, there is a long list of things that one might need to take.  In other words, Trent had quite a long list of “stuff” to buy.  So in order for us to have a day together today, we decided that yesterday we would split the list in half, and divide and conquer!!  I took the list of regular things he needed and made my way to Target to start marking things off my list.  He also took his list full of “Army” things and spent his time, after work yesterday, shopping at AAFES.  When we both returned home yesterday evening, we combined our treasures and started double checking “The List.”  Surely with two of us shopping we had everything covered, right?  WRONG!  He then started making a list of things we (HE) forgot.  So needless to say, we spent all of our day together today running around trying to get everything accomplished.  And after day two, we finally have everything completed. 

So now we are home waiting for the time for me to take him to his unit late this evening.  Right now the girls and him are spending some quality time together watching Kronk’s New Groove and relaxing in our bedroom.   Even after a crazy day, all you need is a good movie and a couple good cuddle partners to help melt the day away.  :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why We Work

Over the past week, I’ve been asked multiple times, “So how do you do it?”  And my response, though I know what they are referring to is always, “Do what?”  Typically they chime back in with something like, “How can you be okay with being away from your husband for that long?”  I normally joke off the question at first by responding with, “Well, it’s easy!  I get the whole bed to myself and get to watch what I want on TV!”  However, anyone who knows us knows I get to watch what I want anyways, and if you ask Trent, he’ll tell you I pretty much take up the whole bed when he is here.  So, that’s not really any different.  :)  Ok, seriously though, every Army wife/husband has been asked this question on a regular basis if their spouse has ever been deployed.  The answer is really quite simple.  You do what you have to do, and you take it a day at a time. 

On a more personal level though, there are more reasons as to “how” I can do it.  Those of you who know both Trent and I know that we have a very happy marriage.  We just work, or as Trent says, “we compliment each other well.”  We both knew this very early in our relationship, which is why we were engaged so quickly.  Trent and I just knew that this was it for us.   

So where am I going with this??  Well, before Trent and I were engaged we had very deep discussions (yes, during the two short weeks we dated.)  We discussed what we wanted in life, what we didn’t want (this list was much easier, thank you ex-s), family, values, our faith, etc.  During one of our conversations, Trent mentioned something that has stuck with me through our years together, and I think it will help make sense as to why our marriage can endure these ever so challenging deployments.  Trent was very adamant that he never wanted me to “need” him.  He explained that our relationship would never work if we place our need on anything other than Jesus.  I completely agreed with him, and I’ll explain why.

A year before I actually met Trent at UCM, I went to school in Bolivar at SBU.  When I started going to school there, I was still very lost in my world, and still looking for something or someone to make me happy. I met some wonderful friends there that probably have no idea how much they actually did for me, and how they helped guide me to my happiness.  During my second semester, my friends and I went to our mandatory chapel at 10:00 a.m.  It was one of my favorite chapels, praise and worship.  It was during that chapel that I fully and completely let Jesus 100% into my heart.  “Better is One Day” (and how fitting) was the song we were singing, and I just couldn’t hold it together anymore.  My life was a mess, I can’t tell you the amount of times I felt broken and lost, and I couldn’t live one more day without Him.  I NEEDED Him, and I finally realized that it was Him and only Him that I would ever need.  It was then and there that I really began my journey with Jesus.   I didn’t need anyone anymore.  I just needed my Jesus.  How blessed I was to meet a man six months later who felt the same way and who would only continue to help me grow in my relationship with Jesus. 

So, back to my original story…  Trent and I have a firm understanding that our relationship can never go to a “need” situation.  It’s unfair of us to put that much pressure on one another, and we have to be okay on our own.  And absolutely, we are okay on our own, IF we always have Jesus at the center of our marriage, our daily life, and of this deployment.   

A few months ago, I put this as my wallpaper on my phone to remind me that He is the center.  I CAN do this, with HIM!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Counting Your Blessings Amidst Anxiety

The past two days I have had a new emotion brewing inside of me.  This emotion is not one of my favorites…it’s the ever dreaded anxiety.  There are few things that make me anxious so it’s not an emotion that I commonly have to deal with, therefore, it is not one that I deal with well.  I’m not hungry, I’m a bit jumpy, I’m not sleeping well, and I’m, as my little girls would say, a “cranky turtle.” 

Trent leaves next week for a month long training where we will have very little communication with him.  He’ll return again for just a few weeks, then he goes to his official mobilization site, and you know the next step from there….over he goes.  From my experience and from conversations I’ve had with other Army wives, anxiety is soooo very normal.  I guess I just didn’t expect it to hit me as hard as it has.  I’ve done this before, I know what to expect, it’s not new, so what’s all the anxiety about?  Most of my anxiety is not for me, but instead for my girls and husband.    I know the hurt and pain of this deployment is coming, and all I want to do is find a way to take it away from all of them.  There is no way I can do that, and I have to find a way to help them all through it.  The last deployment, I only had to deal with my own hurt and pain and keep up a brave front so Trent wouldn’t worry about me.  (The last thing you want is to have your soldier worrying about you while they are over there.  That is not where their focus should be.)  But this time, it’s a whole different ball game.  My girls will have hearts yearning for their daddy and my husband the same for his little girls.  All I can do is be as positive as possible for everyone and help the little ones through the meltdowns to come.

I don’t want this post to be so downtrodden, I’m dealing with the anxiety, it will pass, and I will march on.  After all, we have so much to be thankful for, and the Army is a big part of that.  Here are a few things I remind myself of when I start to have anxiety about this deployment.

·      The Army has been good to us.  I’m not saying there aren’t days where we are completely frustrated by some of the alterations to our lives due to being military, however, in our marriage we know nothing else. 
·      The Army has strengthened our marriage, and will only continue to do so. 
·      The Army gives us an amazing health insurance policy that has paid to fix the little heart of our precious Joanna along with other surgeries for her as well.  
·      The Army has brought us amazing friendships.  Our lives would not be the same without our “Army Family.” 
·      The Army has also allowed my husband to follow his calling in life.  Trent is a soldier, because God called him to be a soldier.   He believes in what he does, and knows the importance of it, regardless of what many will say.  

My anxiety is nothing compared to all I have to be thankful for.  I have so many blessings, two of which are sleeping upstairs, one that is at her other home but is always on our heart and mind, and one that is sitting next to me as I type this post, enjoying his rare moment of being in command of the remote control.  :)

Thank you Lord for all of Your Blessings!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A New Adventure

Hello Family and Friends!!

So this is my very first blog entry, and I thought I would just explain why I started this blog.  For those of you who don’t know, our family is preparing for Trent's next deployment, which is right around the corner.  We wanted to have a way to keep family and friends informed on how Trent is doing on his end of the deployment and how the girls and I are doing on our end. 

Trent and I are not new to deployments or having to be apart due to work, however this is the first deployment our girls will remember.  We were very blessed to have a lot of time to prepare for this mobilization and deployment.  Though we have had all of this time, I don’t know that one can ever be completely prepared. I have no doubts that we have some very difficult days ahead of us and that tears will be shed.  But, I also know from our previous deployment and times where we had to be apart due to work, that Trent and I only become stronger when put in these situations.  We know that we are not in control and that we must give our worries and concerns to our Jesus.   

Trent and I are very thankful for all of our friends and family.  We know you will serve as a vital role in this next year.  You will be our prayer warriors, our hugs when we need them, and our support through the good days and bad.  For that we are forever grateful.