Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Epiphany


Weekly Recap:
I know, from experience, that the first few weeks are the hardest.  It’s not that being apart gets any easier, it’s just that you get used to it.  Monday was a rough one, so I’m glad I took a personal day from work.  I think we spent so much time trying to get everything in, that Monday was the day where it all caught up with me.  I took Trent to his Unit Monday evening/Tuesday morning at 1:00 am.  The families were allowed to stay until the busses came to take them to the airport around 4:00ish.  But, I only stayed until about 3:30 am.  I find it easier to be the one to leave, than to watch someone leave me.  It was the right choice for me.

Tuesday, another personal day, I spent the day resting and doing little things.  I took the girls to preschool, as I wanted them to stay in routine.  They had a week of adjustments.  They both are actually doing fairly well, in my opinion.  They definitely act out, but that is to be very expected.  Their preschool teachers are keeping a close eye on them for me. 

I went back to work on Wednesday.  My teammates held me together during the rest of the week, as the first two days I felt as though I was just trying to keep my head above water.  They armed me with lots of chocolate and supporting words.  My kids were rock stars this week.  I’ve been very honest with them about the deployment, and they were awesome for my sub (who is also a rock star, by the way) and for me when I returned. 

Trent is hanging out at Ft. Bliss.  Skyping with him makes things so much better.  The girls love it and think it’s neat that they can sing songs to Daddy on the computer.  They keep trying to get him to sing too, but they have not succeeded yet.  I’m sure they’ll try again tonight.  :) 


Problem:
I need an outlet, or I get way to emotional.  This blog helps tremendously, but I only have the time to really sit down and write down my thoughts and compile them into this blog once a week (if that, sometimes).  I feel bad venting to people aloud, because it makes me feel like a Negative Nancy or a Boohoo Betty (yes, I made that one up.) 


Solution:
On Wednesday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a journal.  I’ve never really been one to journal.  This blog is the closest thing I’ve ever gotten to journaling before.  It’s not an “I’m going to Dear Diary it every night” kind of journal, but just a notebook for me to carry around and literally jot a one liner down of something that happened, a thought I had, etc.  So far, I like it.  I only have 1 1/2 pages filled.  I merely write my thought and then skip a line until the next one comes along.  Here is my most useful thought for this week.  Which amazingly enough, was also a part of our sermon today too.  (How weird is that??)

~Am I afraid of what other’s think of me?
This may seem like an odd thing to write in a journal or contemplate, but I found myself this week trying to act like I had it all together.  Newsflash folks…I don’t.  So why do people, this includes myself, feel that we have to pretend to be so strong.  I am far from strong, but by the end of this thing, I hope to have learned so much that I truly am stronger and so much closer to my gracious God.  I had this epiphany this week on Thursday evening, “Yes, I am weak, my life is in disarray, I am undoubtedly confused, and it is so completely ok that I am all these things right now.”  I don’t have to put up this front like I have it all figured out.  The relief you feel, when you stop pretending, is beyond measure.  You should try it sometime, too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(Try Again) Roller Coasters, Balls, and Little Rays of Hope

For someone who has always had a touch of motion sickness, this past week’s roller coaster ride was not one I was a fan of.   I felt like my emotions were literally thrown in every which direction.  Some moments I felt as though I was crumbling apart piece by piece, and then minutes later I would feel so happy and blessed to be having the experiences that we were having.

Saturday the girls and I went to Trent’s farewell ceremony for his unit.  It was a very nice ceremony and the girls were so very good through it. 




Later that evening, Trent took me to my very first MP Ball.  It was quite the event that I was very excited to attend.  It’s not very often that we get all gussied up and head out on the town.  



The ball was very nice, housed at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center, starting with social hour where I met a ton of important people, and then followed by a beautiful banquet.  My favorite parts of the evening were the traditional toasts that are made with the response done by the attendants of the banquet.  I also really enjoyed the Grog Ceremony.  There is a huge pot in the center of the room and the vice chairman of the ball comes and pours in different liquor to represent different places that the MPs have gone through history.  It is quite the concoction by the end of it, but also very educational as they explain each place the MPs have been.  After everything is added, they choose a soldier to test the grog and to say if it is fit for consumption or not.  (This part is actually quite funny!)  Then later on, we all tasted it as the lowest ranking soldier at our tables had to fill our glasses and make sure that we all consumed a drink of the grog. 



After a night at the ball, the girls and I headed to church and Trent had to go to formation.  We wished we could have spent the Sunday together at church, but we had to be flexible.  We did take a picture together before we went our separate ways though. 



Church was very emotional for me.  You ever had one of those Sundays where all the songs make you cry, and it feels like the sermon is literally directed straight at you.  Yep…that was this Sunday!  Pastor Rusty must have a microscope focused in right on what’s on my heart.  It is so easy when things are going your way to give praise to our Lord, but when the going gets tough, that praise is just a little harder to get out sometimes.  I must not turn to anything else, but go straight to my Jesus.  I needed the reminder that I can’t stop giving thanks and praise for all that we have.  My God is with me through these valleys and hills.  He never let’s me go and holds on as tight as He can to me.  So though I was disappointed that Trent couldn’t go to church with us, I got exactly what I needed for the week…renewed hope.

More hope came this evening as we had a very special present to give to our littlest girls.  I am very blessed at school this year to have a parent of one of my students who truly radiates the love of Jesus.  My student went home at the beginning of the school year and told his mom about Trent’s upcoming deployment.  She then took action and felt like she needed to do something to help our family.  She had my husband record a message to both Joanna and Abigail, and made little build-a-bears for them with his voice message embedded into them.  It is just a little piece of daddy while he is gone.  It was such an amazing gift to give my family.  We gave them to the girls tonight, as Trent leaves tonight.  The girls loved them and it was such a moving moment.   







You should have seen their smiles when they pressed the bear’s paw and heard Trent’s message to them.  (I didn’t get a picture of that.)  I will never be able to thank this parent enough for bringing this little bit of comfort to my daughters during this time. 

As I said, emotions have been very high and very low over the past few days.  We will carry on though, give our praises and thanks to our Lord, and trust in Him. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Roller Coasters, Balls, and Little Rays of Hope



For someone who has always had a touch of motion sickness, this past week’s roller coaster ride was not one I was a fan of.   I felt like my emotions were literally thrown in every which direction.  Some moments I felt as though I was crumbling apart piece by piece, and then minutes later I would feel so happy and blessed to be having the experiences that we were having.

Saturday the girls and I went to Trent’s farewell ceremony for his unit.  It was a very nice ceremony and the girls were so very good through it. 




Later that evening, Trent took me to my very first MP Ball.  It was quite the event that I was very excited to attend.  It’s not very often that we get all gussied up and head out on the town.  



The ball was very nice, housed at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center, starting with social hour where I met a ton of important people, and then followed by a beautiful banquet.  My favorite parts of the evening were the traditional toasts that are made with the response done by the attendants of the banquet.  I also really enjoyed the Grog Ceremony.  There is a huge pot in the center of the room and the vice chairman of the ball comes and pours in different liquor to represent different places that the MPs have gone through history.  It is quite the concoction by the end of it, but also very educational as they explain each place the MPs have been.  After everything is added, they choose a soldier to test the grog and to say if it is fit for consumption or not.  (This part is actually quite funny!)  Then later on, we all tasted it as the lowest ranking soldier at our tables had to fill our glasses and make sure that we all consumed a drink of the grog. 



After a night at the ball, the girls and I headed to church and Trent had to go to formation.  We wished we could have spent the Sunday together at church, but we had to be flexible.  We did take a picture together before we went our separate ways though. 



Church was very emotional for me.  You ever had one of those Sundays where all the songs make you cry, and it feels like the sermon is literally directed straight at you.  Yep…that was this Sunday!  Pastor Rusty must have a microscope focused in right on what’s on my heart.  It is so easy when things are going your way to give praise to our Lord, but when the going gets tough, that praise is just a little harder to get out sometimes.  I must not turn to anything else, but go straight to my Jesus.  I needed the reminder that I can’t stop giving thanks and praise for all that we have.  My God is with me through these valleys and hills.  He never let’s me go and holds on as tight as He can to me.  So though I was disappointed that Trent couldn’t go to church with us, I got exactly what I needed for the week…renewed hope.

More hope came this evening as we had a very special present to give to our littlest girls.  I am very blessed at school this year to have a parent of one of my students who truly radiates the love of Jesus.  My student went home at the beginning of the school year and told his mom about Trent’s upcoming deployment.  She then took action and felt like she needed to do something to help our family.  She had my husband record a message to both Joanna and Abigail, and made little build-a-bears for them with his voice message embedded into them.  It is just a little piece of daddy while he is gone.  It was such an amazing gift to give my family.  We gave them to the girls tonight, as Trent leaves tonight.  The girls loved them and it was such a moving moment.   







You should have seen their smiles when they pressed the bear’s paw and heard Trent’s message to them.  (I didn’t get a picture of that.)  I will never be able to thank this parent enough for bringing this little bit of comfort to my daughters during this time. 

As I said, emotions have been very high and very low over the past few days.  We will carry on though, give our praises and thanks to our Lord, and trust in Him. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apologies for the Delay (Take 2)


First, I apologize for the extreme time frame between my last post and now.  Since Trent’s return from California, I feel as though the days have just been a blur.  Why must the time go so fast?  I’m not sure what happened to it, and it is truly a struggle to know that our time is quickly dwindling down to a mere eight days.  We will take those eight days and embrace them though.

Most of our time has been devoted to Army stuff over the past few weeks, and the remaining will be as well.  We were very blessed to be a part of my brother-in-law, Jason’s, OCS graduation last weekend, and Trent was honored to give him his first salute.  It was a great moment for our families to be there and witness.  

Trent giving Jason his first salute.

Me and my soldier, SSG Rhea


While all of our family was together last weekend, including Autumn, we tried to take a nice family picture together in Jefferson City, but the sun was relentless and we didn’t get one where someone wasn’t squinting.  This was the best out of the bunch.  Not the best, but we’ll try again in a year or so.  :)



This weekend was also Army filled as we had our Yellow Ribbon weekend with Trent’s unit, otherwise known as “Death by Power Point.”  It is an extremely informative weekend for those who have never been through a deployment.  But, for those of us who have, it makes for a long weekend.   It really was very useful, and a good refresher though.   Nevertheless, if you ever present at a large event where there are multiple (and I do mean multiple) presenters, there is more than one way (i.e. PowerPoint) to present your information to your audience.  Just saying…

So….how are we doing?  The girls are well.  We said goodbye to Autumn last Sunday.  It will be quite sometime before we will see her again. She has a busy year of 6th grade ahead of her.  Joanna and Abigail love their time with Daddy.  One of them seems to be attached to him at all times.  They are both Daddy’s girls!  Trent is in preparation mode.  He makes lists left and right of all the things to complete, purchase, and find.  He is also trying hard to spend as much time with the girls as he can.  I am doing well most of the time.  The last deployment, I remember crying a lot at the beginning and before (I was a newbie last time, remember.)  This time, it just kind of hits me at different times.  I just have these moments where it feels like I can’t catch my breath or someone is sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe.  It’s not all the time though, so I’m going to say that I’m hanging in there.

After Trent leaves, we will get to see him one more time before he goes overseas at the end of November.  However, we found out this weekend that he will not get to come home to us, so we will just have to go to him.  Ever been to El Paso?  Well, if not, the girls and I will tell you all about in just a few short months!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apologies for the Delay




First, I apologize for the extreme time frame between my last post and now. Since Trent’s return from California, I feel as though the days have just been a blur. Why must the time go so fast? I’m not sure what happened to it, and it is truly a struggle to know that our time is quickly dwindling down to a mere eight days. We will take those eight days and embrace them though.

Most of our time has been devoted to Army stuff over the past few weeks, and the remaining will be as well. We were very blessed to be a part of my brother-in-law, Jason’s, OCS graduation last weekend, and Trent was honored to give him his first salute. It was a great moment for our families to be there and witness.

Trent giving Jason his first salute.
Me and my soldier, SSG Rhea

While all of our family was together last weekend, including Autumn, we tried to take a nice family picture together in Jefferson City, but the sun was relentless and we didn’t get one where someone wasn’t squinting. This was the best out of the bunch. Not the best, but we’ll try again in a year or so. :)


This weekend was also Army filled as we had our Yellow Ribbon weekend with Trent’s unit, otherwise known as “Death by Power Point.” It is an extremely informative weekend for those who have never been through a deployment. But, for those of us who have, it makes for a long weekend. It really was very useful, and a good refresher though. Nevertheless, if you ever present at a large event where there are multiple (and I do mean multiple) presenters, there is more than one way (i.e. PowerPoint) to present your information to your audience. Just saying…

So….how are we doing? The girls are well. We said goodbye to Autumn last Sunday. It will be quite sometime before we will see her again, but she has a busy year of 6th grade ahead of her. Joanna and Abigail love their time with Daddy. One of them seems to be attached to him at all times. They are both Daddy’s girls! Trent is in preparation mode. He makes lists left and right of all the things to complete, purchase, and find. He is also trying hard to spend as much time with the girls as he can. I am doing well most of the time. The last deployment, I remember crying a lot at the beginning and before (I was a newbie last time, remember.) This time, it just kind of hits me at different times. I just have these moments where it feels like I can’t catch my breath or someone is sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe. It’s not all the time though, so I’m going to say that I’m hanging in there.

After Trent leaves, we will get to see him one more time before he goes overseas at the end of November. However, we found out this weekend that he will not get to come home to us, so we will just have to go to him. Ever been to El Paso? Well, if not, the girls and I will tell you all about in just a few short months!