Deployment Bucket List

Good morning! So, I’ve compiled a list of things I want to do while TJ is away.

I obviously want my husband to be here with me to do all of these things…but he can’t. So I ponied up and thought of things that I could do to help me get through this anxiety ridden time apart.

Most women have a FRG that they rely on. Tyler was individually tasked out; therefore, he didn’t go with his unit. I’m not crying because I’m a lonesome wife, but I want people to know that is not not what typically happens. Usually there is a group of spouses that you can relate to/rely on because their husbands or wives are all in the same unit and are deployed together (FRG- Family Readiness Group). Mama don’t have that unfortunately, and I haven’t even been in contact with anyone in his unit since he’s pretty much been gone, but that’s okay.

I constructed a “30 Before 30 Bucket List” and it’s been somewhat successful so far but I’ll get to that in another post. Anyways, I’m one that strives when goals are set. I spent years doggy-paddling around, and it got me nowhere. Tyler thinks it’s amusing (or perhaps irritating, haha) that when I achieve something, I can’t just enjoy it- I have to move onto something else . The list is comprised of things that I want to do to keep myself from doing nothing but work, clean, and watching Hulu and Netflix.

1.) Go to a movie solo- Some people do this with no prob (my husband), while others would never even think about doing this. Tyler’s always loved movies, and watching them is kinda our thing (I’m sure this was their thing in his previous relationships, but I’m the queen of the castle now). While I plan on waiting for him to get home to watch most of movies, there are a handful I want to see that I know he could give a shit about. So far, I have seen The Giver (good) and Into the Storm (sucked BIG TIME!). I also want to see Gone Girl next month (read the book). He saw the trailer and wasn’t impressed, haha :(

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Had to prove to TJ I actually went ;) It was only me an a couple in the theater on a random Monday afternoon!

 

2.) Go to a farmer’s market- I typically work on Saturdays, but I know there is a great farmer’s market (so I’ve heard) in El Paso….or maybe it’s in Las Cruces? Anyways, I’ve never been to one before, and I think it’d be fun to check out.

3.) Read. A LOT. – I’d go through phases with reading when I was in school, but growing up I always read before bed to help me relax and transition into bedtime mode. We’ve ordered a handful of books for me over the past few months, and I’m excited to get caught up in a story instead of our own situation!

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4.) Attend a Group Fitness Class- I know Crossfit is the big fad now, but I’m not looking to get into that- sorry.  There is a huge array of group fitness classes offered on post for only about $2.50 per session (yoga, body pump, TRX, spinning, gravity, etc.), and I think one or two of those a week with my light cardio and weights will not only keep me social but feeling good! I’ve just been too lazy to drive there with my work schedule. I feel bad leaving the dogs locked up longer than need be! :(

***I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve cut WAY back on my activity level and gained some weight to try to help regulate my cycles and ovulate on my own. If anyone’s interested in what I’ve been doing (or what I haven’t been doing) let me know. I know so many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off, but there are those that actually need to gain to help with reproduction…I can go on and on about this, sorry!

Group Class Tips

5.) Boudoir Session- Google this if you don’t know what it is. It’s basically a sexy photo session…but it can be as teasing or raunchy as you desire (depending on the photographer, haha). I wanted a session done for our first anniversary, but didn’t find the time, nor could I justify the money as I wasn’t working (solely going to school full-time at that point). I found an amazing deal by Krystal Kleer Photography, and inquired about a session immediately. She fit me in and made me feel incredibly comfortable. I hope to do more photo sessions with her before we leave :) I had to find an appropriate photo….

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Yes, these are my granny hands. Tyler picked out my ring himself- we NEVER discussed such a thing. He knew I loved antique/vintage jewelry…and this is what I got. In platinum ;)

 

6.) Dry Bar- I know these have become popular, but I live under a freaking rock and just heard about them a few months ago. El Paso tends to be somewhat behind from cities such as Chicago, so I was excited when I heard that Dry Bar opened up! I got a blow out and my make-up done…yes, I splurged, but I thought the price was fairly reasonable…although why is getting your make-up done so expensive?!  My hair styles are straight, wavy/curly or in a pony-tail…so yeah.

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In a hurry, haha.

7.) House Cleanse- I’m a clean freak, but some things I just don’t care about. Vacuuming and dusting are done every other day or so because of the dogs and it can get super dusty in El Paso. House cleanse means wiping out drawers/cabinets/refrigerator/etc.- things I don’t do very often. I’ll crack open a bottle of wine, put on some music, and wipe shit down!

*This also means organizing my crafting stuff :)

8.) Try more recipes- This is definitely not a problem for me. Tyler hates veggies and most fruits, but I can sometimes disguise them. However, this time apart gives me the opportunity to try new recipes that he might like. I just made one recently…if I didn’t tell him what was in it, he would love it (with a little bit of butter and extra cinnamon on top though!).

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Spiced carrot zucchini bread. I used apple sauce in place of oil and it was amazing!

9.) Keep up with a pedicure every 8 weeks- This sounds so bogus, but I’ve only gotten a few manis/pedis in my life. However, working in retail, where sandals are part of my daily attire year-round, my feet get fuggin dry. I can keep up with the maintenance, but it’d be nice to have this done every other month. Hopefully my mom has some stuff to give to me when I come home so I can do at-home pedi’s with friends ;)

10.) Hang with friends/do more things in general- I can be an absolute hermit. If it weren’t for me loving men, I  think I’d be happy by myself, haha. So sad, but true. I’m not one that needs to be constantly socializing. The handful of friends (I use this term loosely- probably more like acquaintances) I have or  that I initially met have either moved away or have really not contacted me since Tyler has left. However, I have a friend whose husband is leaving soon as well- I met her through my job which I’m incredibly grateful for! Don’t get my wrong- I still have my best friend and family back at home- I’m not a complete loser ;)

 

*What are some things you do when your spouse is gone?

*Do you have any suggestions of shows/movies on Hulu or Netflix?! Books?

*Are you more of a socializer or a homebody like me?

 

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me (Childhood Edition)

I don’t know why, but I love learning weird, random facts about people, especially those I’m closest to. Today I wanted to share some things about myself that most people, aside from tight family and friend relationships, don’t know :)

1. I HATE being splashed while in the water. It’s not even a matter of not getting my hair wet (who goes swimming and doesn’t get their hair wet?), it’s just annoying, and sometimes I have my contacts in. If you splash me, I’ll either attack you or tell you to bug off and get out (not really childhood- I’ve always been like this!) :)

2. My favorite cereals growing up were Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, and Cinnamon Life (although I don’t know if these were around when I was super young). Berry Kix, Reese Puffs, and Lucky Charms were shortly behind.

I got this picture from a site entitled “Kid’s Cereal: 85% More Sugar, 65% Less Fiber Than Adults”. This stuff definitely needs to be considered a treat and not a way to start one’s day.

3. One summer when I was 8 years old or so, my cousin Brad and I had a “Who Can Eat the Most Oatmeal Crème Pies the Fastest Contest”. I lost, got sick, and 20 years later cannot fathom even trying a bite of one again.

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4. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a psychologist when I grew up. I don’t know why or how I learned what a psychologist even was (mama has seen a few in my later years, but never when I was little!).

 

Anyone else remember this slide that hurt your ass like no other? Shit hurt.

5. I LOVED having a brother so much when I was little that I wanted my sister to be a boy, too. In fact, I wanted his name to be Randy (as in J.T.T. from Home Improvement). Another fact: parent’s never found out the gender of my siblings and me (I’m sure the grammar is wrong in this sentence). This whole big hoopla may have not been as prominent back in the 80s/90s, but I LOVE this! (Who the hell did gender reveal parties back then…guess we need to find a reason to get gifts or be the center of attention at any occasion, eh?…just kidding…not, haha).

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Camping! Probably have to pay me to go now ;)

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I even named my second kitten Simba when I was little. My first pet’s name was K.C.- short for Kim and Chris :)

6.) I’ve thought John Stamos was a fox since I was 5 years old. Seriously. I wanted my brother to be named Jesse. My Ken dolls were named Jesse. I’d name Tyler Jesse if I could…kidding for real ;) This hawk is my mom’s age, but he’ll always be on my list even when he’s old balls. Click on the links below to listen to my favorites of him- I know I’m super lame!!!

For the Times

Forever

 

 

Uncle-Jesse

Yellllooo.

7.) I am was OBSESSED with the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Going to the video store to rent VHS movies was the highlight of my life. Sadly, this fascination continued on into adulthood and over time I have acquired most of the 1980 Care Bears movies either on VHS or DVD, and a few Strawberry. Berenstain Bears were also up there, as was Rainbow Bright, Lady Lovely Locks, and My Little Pony. Please tell me I’m not the only one that loved 1980’s/90’s cartoons….

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8.) I hated my name in elementary and middle school. I thought Kimberly was supposed to be a 1960’s hippie or housewife. When my friends and I would go to Discovery Zone and I’d always say my name was Stacy or Rachel I went on to learn in my later years were two slutty names. JUST KIDDING! Seriously…kidding. There are plenty of hoes named Kim out there, I’m sure ;)

I could actually kinda agree with this…although I now express my emotions openly for the most part ;)

 

9.) I’ve wanted to name my future daughter Skylar since the fifth grade. I babysat a little girl who had this name and fell in love with it instantly. This went on for years until I met my now husband- Tyler. I still held onto it while we were dating, but the whole rhyming thing started bugging me over time. Then TJ and I watched the entire Breaking Bad series, and he said no fucking way to the name (he hated Skylar, haha). I was pretty much over it at that point…Skylar Singleton sounds kinda porn-ish…and if we have a future daughter, we want her to be good like her mom ;)

10.) Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. My birthday and Christmas are too close together (my birthday is exactly 2 weeks after Christmas), so that always blew donkey balls. You get ripped off (a combined gift is not cool, people!), people are broke, or you’re forgotten about. It’s -20 degrees and there’s 4 feet of snow on the ground…yep, definitely complaining, haha.

Anyways, my mom used to dress us up and show excitement about Halloween, so I think that’s why I love it so much.

Isn’t this the cutest thing ever?! What exactly are we supposed to be though, mom? Farmers? haha ;)

My mom made/bought odds and ends at a thrift store to make this outfit. Most little girls are princesses or some shit, but nope- I was a bum! No offense, but I like this better- plus, it probably cost them WAY less! P.S. My dad looks like Mario in this pic :/

I actually graduated in 2004, mother :)

Marge Simpson, compliments of Good Will. The Homer disguise kinda freaked me out…can you tell? We won best costume at the party we went to though!

 

What are some random childhood facts about yourself?

 

Did you have a favorite food, name, job, TV show, holiday?

Breathing Again- Trying to Conceive and Marriage

 

I didn’t exactly know how to title this post, and just do so you know- when I think about this topic, I tend to be all over the place.

To begin with- I know there are so many couples that battle infertility for YEARS. I am letting you know beforehand that we cannot comprehend what you are feeling. My thoughts about what we have endured so far are based on the past year or so… and obviously my husband’s deployment has put a mad stop to everything for nine months.

Trying to conceive and getting knocked up accidentally or without trying are entirely different. I shouldn’t even have to explain why. However, this post is going to discuss how the miscarriage and the months TTC again have affected us as a couple, as well as myself.

When found out that we were pregnant on July 7, 2013, everything became a whirlwind. Tyler had JUST gotten home from NIE (field training for 6 weeks) and I was taking 4 summer classes (and had 6 left in the Fall to finish up). We had some issues with ultrasounds and blood work during the early weeks but thought we were in smooth sailing after the nine week mark past. Honestly, the thought of miscarriage was always in the back of my mind because of the early weeks.

I vividly remember looking into the mirror one day around 6 weeks asking God that if something were going to happen to please let it be early on…I know, completely irrational. I questioned myself whether or not to even say this on the blog, but that, among other things, is why I question God. I know he doesn’t answer all requests and that things could have been much, much worse, so please don’t attack me. ;) He took a shat on that request I made though. For several months after, close family and friends would say that they were praying for us. I truly appreciate this, but Tyler doesn’t believe in that stuff and I got fed up with it. Sorry, but true.

Anyways, the past fourteen months have brought Tyler and I closer together than I thought possible, but that doesn’t mean we have not had our fair share of arguments or that it hasn’t put strain on our relationship at times. I’m not going to air our dirty laundry, but I want to give some insight to let those that are struggling or have struggled know that we are not perfect.

 

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Elephant Butte… sucked donkey! Late June, 2012.

Here’s one instance: We were sitting outside a laundry-mat waiting for our comforter to get done (I was afraid our washing machine would break if I tried shoving our king-sized comforter in it). Tyler was talking on the phone to his parents… and I heard him say the name that we’d chosen should the baby be a boy…and I seriously think steam came out of my ears I was so mad. Not even mad- angry. (note- I was asked several times by my mom about names and I told her to put a lid on it).

My reasoning behind this- can’t we a keep secret between ourselves? I wanted ONE thing to be between us- husband and wife- and it really hurt me. He was adamant on finding out the sex of the baby beforehand which I kind of wanted to refrain from doing (I definitely want to know now because of the miscarriage, but not sure if I want everyone to know), so keeping this between us was important to me. Does there really need to be more reasoning? The woman is the one who carries the darn baby!

You know what? A week later we found out that I miscarried. I cried over what happened, but remember, I didn’t have my D&C done for nearly two weeks later. I can recall replaying this awful fight in my head on my way home from class one day  and actually pulled over because I couldn’t stop crying (not dramatizing this, babe). Keep in mind that “it” was still inside of me for two weeks after the news…so my hormones were off the chart.

I know people are excited when pregnancy news arises- I get it. It could have been anyone that asked this simple question and I would’ve gotten upset- not at them by any means, but at his response, haha. I think we will both be keeping one foot on the ground until we are holding a newborn in our arms…and the only important thing during those nine months is mine and the baby’s health. Moral of the story is that I may have been illogical with my reason to get upset, but shit happens and we all have to compromise….and sometimes things are too important to us that we may choose not to compromise and want to get our way, haha ;)

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Our weekend getaway to Phoenix after everything. Needed a weekend away to help heal.

We argued over baby items…cribs, strollers, car seats, monitors, high chairs- pretty much everything, haha. We registered pretty early on (at 11 weeks), but did so because TJ was going back to the field for 6 weeks and by the time he’d get home, I would’ve been 5 months pregnant (and in school full-time), and we figured that our shower would be when we were able to come home at Christmas since I was due in early March.

All I’m saying about this- I’m so freaking glad that we got these discussions out of the way. Tyler’s a researcher and I’m more of a hearsay kinda person…CLASH! We’ve already purchased a few items for our future baby after we came to an agreement (yep, stroller and car seat are out of the way!).

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Outside of my old apartment in Gilbert, Arizona. Tyler made me get out and pose in front of it, haha. Moving to AZ then moving home was a turning point in my life…

As far as intimacy…it became a chore for a few months. I was obsessed around November/December- charting my basal temp and using ovulation strips all the time. Those strips RULED my mood. If I was mid-cycle and the tests came back negative, I was annoyed. When they were positive, I was ecstatic. It didn’t matter though because I believe that my progesterone was probably so low during these months (I wasn’t monitored during this time), and we obviously had no positive results. People say that you’re more fertile after a miscarriage, but this is not always true. I was still crazy about my husband, but it simply isn’t the same when things are kinda forced to reach a desired goal. Those that have tried and tried again know what I mean!

His deployment came fast and unexpected. I’ll be almost 30 when TJ gets home, so I hope people stop saying “you’re so young”. Tyler is three years older than me, but I know men can have kids until they’re like effing 70 or something. He had a sperm analysis done earlier this year and everything came back normal, but he will have one again when he gets home (the test is done once a year for those trying to conceive). It’s crucial to get it done as soon as he gets home because sometimes the vaccinations that the soldiers have to get beforehand can effect their sperm.

When you hit 30, you’re considered to be old when trying to conceive a first child in the military. For real. I honestly could give a fugg because we’re probably more financially secure than 98% of the much younger crowd popping out kids, yet it still tugs at your heart once in a while. However, I make myself put things into perspective:

*I have a Bachelor’s college degree and a decent job.

*He has two Bachelor degrees and is an Officer in the Army.

*We have two awesome, fairly new vehicles paid off.

*He has NO college debt (though I have a good lump sum, haha).

This shit may be all monetary, but in all honesty, children cost money. It could potentially cost us a lot to finally have baby, so at least we will be somewhat prepared if that’s what it comes down to :) (obviously we are hoping not- hopefully my body will be so shocked when he comes home that it’ll grab ahold of a good one ;)

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While I we still yearn for a baby one day, I can seriously say that it feels good to just breathe again. No more frequent doctors appointments (only one visit to the lab each month) and constant testing for weeks straight. No more hoping then getting hit with disappointment…at least for a while. Our miscarriage brought Tyler and I closer together, and I know deep down that this deployment will only further strengthen our relationship.

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We may not think the same way, see eye to eye on all issues, but this man is my everything. It’s okay to disagree. TTC will take your relationship to a place it’s never been before. Have date nights and don’t constantly talk about things. And remember to always keep why you fell in love with the person in the first place in mind.

*On the surface, I fell for Tyler’s perfect smile and face (sounds super weird, haha), especially in a baseball hat (I have a thing for hats people…)

*Once we started talking, I knew this guy was motivated and was going to do something with his life. HOT.

*He likes the good things in life, but he’s financially responsible. He doesn’t take hand-outs and has bought his own shit. Admirable.

*He’s honest. Sometimes too honest and I wanna kick him in his balls, but he’s always been honest with everyone.

*He doesn’t love just anyone. This guy is picky. How did I get so lucky?! Don’t answer this, haha

If you’re having issues with your marriage when you’re trying to conceive, hang in there. Though we only ventured into fertility medication, feel free to message me!

 

If you and your spouse struggled to conceive, did it effect your marriage at all?

Were you guys super couple and never argued at all??

To everyone- tell me your BEST marriage tip!

 

Quick Fertility Update- September 2014

This one’s gonna be short as there isn’t a whole lot to discuss. However, I do have slightly good news :) As noted in my last fertility post, I’m going to get my progesterone levels monitored each cycle even though TJ is gone. We want to see if there’s a pattern or whatever without any medication….so it’s solely up to my body :)

Anyways, I got a call from my current doc early in the morning before work. I knew the number on my phone (PRIVATE)….and took a deep breath to prepare myself for the results.

My progesterone was at 6.8 on cycle day 21. I am NOT using at-home ovulation test strips while TJ is gone; however, in the past, I have and I’d usually receive a positive opk around cd17-19…then you add 7 days and go in and get your blood drawn then. I was happy with this score because it’s the highest it’s been without meds! All of my progesterone results were below 2 (I believe I had one at 3.2) the past 9 months.

My current doc said it may have been a combo of gaining a few extra pounds and stress relief. I gained some weight, but how the fuck am I under less stress now to make such a change seeing that my husband is in a war zone across the world? However, aside from the constant worry and unexpected stressors (our computer took a crap on me and I can’t get our weed wacker or lawn mower to start), I’m actually feeling less stressed overall. While I was in school, I was constantly doing work to get ahead and ensure I got A’s on literally everything- I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t a complete idiot after many semesters of not doing so hot back in the day, haha. This definitely paid off, but looking back I was in constant fear that I would fail again. After I graduated, I was freaking out that I wouldn’t find a decent job, and that I’d get stuck working somewhere that I hated making minimum wage. Obviously I have slight anxiety issues.

Those were things that I felt like I had control over- so I stressed. My husband is constantly in the back of my mind, but this is a situation that I simply cannot control. I don’t even know what the hell he is doing over there! Of course, I have my absolute shitty moments and cry my eyes out, but there is honestly nothing I can about it but remind him how much I love him and that things okay around here.

Anyways, cheers to some higher progesterone. Although we don’t know the direct cause, and it could have been a fluke (as our pregnancy was said to be), I’m eager to see what the next few months hold. The ultimate feat will be to see if I have a “normal” cycle- meaning less than 35 days long.

 

 

I will write a post about thing I’ve done differently in the past few months. I’ve gained a few pounds and stopped running long distances and doing high intensity interval training (I still do bursts of sprints, but it’s not balls to the wall every other minute like it used to be) which was recommended by my general doctor and obgyn (along with several nurse friends). This is somewhat of a touchy subject seeing that every one is so incredibly different when it comes to this shit. Some women can run fricking marathons and get pregnant.

If you’re running excessively and not conceiving, I’d really examine your training as it can deplete hormone levels (which should be monitored if you don’t pregnant after several months of actively TTC). This simply blood test every month (or sometimes multiple times a month) can tell you so much. If you’re hormone levels are fine, then obviously there is another underlying issue. There is a TON of information out there that links working out and conception… so if you don’t believe me, Google it ;) In addition, hormone levels should be monitored when using any type of fertility medication. Ideally, vaginal ultrasounds should truly be utilized as well because meds can create issues, such as over-stimulation of the ovaries. Why put yourself at risk? I’d never take medication and not be monitored in some manner, but that’s just me ;)

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Parks are much different in El Paso ;)

 

Anyways, stay tuned for a post about that, as well as the emotional aspects that go along with it. I still plan on gaining about 10 more pounds by the time Tyler gets home (I’m sure well before then since it’s quite a ways away…wahh). Also, I’m happy to report that I started a natural menstrual cycle on cycle day 32! Not everyone has perfect 28 day cycles… and I’ll take anything around day 30. Now let’s see if it can stay consistent over the next several months :)

 Have you ever had to change parts of your lifestyle when trying to prepare or trying to conceive?

Have you ever been told to gain/lose weight and increase or decrease your activity level when trying to get your body on track for a baby?

Things NOT to Say to the Spouse of a Deployed Soldier

Alright, so I’ve read a few of these articles since becoming an army wife, and now that TJ is deployed I’ve decided to make my own list. I’ve had numerous comments said to me throughout his absence due to field training exercises, but I didn’t think it was right to discuss this until now. Before I begin, remember that I’m sarcastic and not out to be a huge biach. I know that our civilian counterparts simply cannot comprehend long times apart, and it’s difficult to know what to say. What annoys me may be loved by someone else- so don’t get discouraged! Here we go:

1.) When does he get out? This comment has been made SO many times, and yes, this one irritates the shit out of me. Tyler gets out when he RETIRES- he’s eligible in 11 or so years- FULL retirement at age 42- plus all medical treatment paid throughout his life (mama’s gonna probably have to work until she’s 85…wah!). His prior service played a huge role in his decision to go back in as an officer as it counted towards his retirement and puts him in a slightly higher pay bracket (we are no Donald Trumps, but it IS a benefit for him). Yes, many men and women only put in a certain amount of time and then get out and move on, but some actually make it their career. And you know what? That’s not only admirable, but sexy as hell. Are you like me and can’t retire until your old as balls? That’s what I thought….

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July 2012…his rank changed, but my big bear looks the same!

 

2.) At least you don’t have kids- This has only been said a few times so far, and I wasn’t really upset because they didn’t know us and our situation. If you’ve been an avid reader, it’s no secret that we want children and are more than ready. I was even congratulated that I’ll have made it to 30 without kids by a fellow co-worker (I’ll be 29.5 when TJ gets home). Mom and Dad, apparently, this deserves a huge effing trophy… or a visit… or a gift card ;)

3.) You can always go home- UMMM, no. Why? Because I have a full-time job now, two dogs, and an entire house to take care of. My personal and vacation days will be saved for when my Titan gets home. So unless I win the lottery which I never play, this shit  isn’t happening. Although I plan on flying home for a long weekend or two over the next several months! Come visit me!!! We should only have about 7 months left in the area after TJ gets home. The city is really not so bad. We have some decent shopping, great restaurants, different scenery, and a shit ton of movies to watch if I have to work ;)

4.) Are you scared? Are you shitting me with this question? I cried multiple times a day during the first couple of weeks Tyler was gone (never in front of people- always before or after work!), but I try not to think about it…so please don’t ever ask this. My wishes when I find a penny or drop an eyelash are not about a baby anymore- they’re about Tyler coming home safe (and the same person…yes, I’ve read too much on how people can change) to me…I hate wishing days away, but nighttime is the most peaceful to me as it is another day done.

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A visit while he was at OCS. September 2011.

5.) Has he shot/killed anyone?- Unfortunately, I’ve been asked this many times. I don’t know, and it’s offending that someone would ask this. There are things I want to know about my husband and things I don’t- this is one of them. However, he conquered TWO 12 month tours in Iraq during the midst of the War on Terrorism…

Tyler was a part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade that jumped into Iraq on March 26, 2003 (some websites say 27). Please Google this! Many people don’t know the significance of this date.

Also, there is a difference between jumping…and jumping into a designated warzone. Don’t act like you’re King Kong unless you’ve jumped into the latter. I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, but I met a spouse who said how much her husband loved to jump, yet never did a “real” jump anywhere but state side (if this is even a term)…and couldn’t believe that TJ was not a fan of doing it! UMMM, for real?? Haha.

He lost his best friend and others close to him throughout his deployments. Many people endured loss during the war. Just remember that.

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Preparing to jump…(random pic). However, Tyler actually jumped into a war zone… not just practiced. HUGE difference to those that love to jump onto free soil and those that have not.

173rd Paratrooper

This is how much gear Tyler and the other men dropped with. Have you had a bad day at work?

6.) Just keep yourself busy- I know mofos…I do, but it doesn’t mean I don’t look at his side of the bed and burst into tears once in a while. Or think of him when I’m our in our closet changing and see his section of clothes. Or see his car, knowing he’s not there when I pull inside the garage. Work has been amazing at keeping my days going, but have a harder time starting my day when I work a 1-10 shift. Nonetheless, once I get there and get in the groove, I’m good. Outside of work- the dogs, crafts, movies, light exercise, and a couple of friends keeps me entertained enough.

7.) You knew what you were getting into- This phrase wasn’t said directly to me…it was more like, “Well if you knew that he’d be leaving eventually, didn’t you kinda expect it?” When I met Tyler, he had mentioned going to grad school after graduating with his Bachelors. I never thought about us being long term for the first few months..

He was a hot piece of meat, and I was getting out of an extremely long relationship. TJ was so incredibly different than all I ever knew (and I’m guessing I was the same for him)… and yet, the relationship worked and grew. He didn’t spring going back into the army on me until I knew I wanted him around for a while…bastard. Just kidding ;) So no, I didn’t know what I was getting into initially. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a fucking thing, no matter how sad, scared, or lonely I am sometimes. And you simply cannot comprehend these things until you’re actually in the moment, ya know?

8.) My husband travels…- Listen- If your husband travels to California or even London for business, THIS IS NOT THE SAME. I know some airlines are sketchy, but your hubby is relatively SAFE. He can eat whatever he wants, call/skype you whenever he wants, shop whenever he wants, watch TV whenever he wants, and rub one out whenever he wants- AND he’s home within a few WEEKS (usually). Oh, and he probably doesn’t have to worry about rockets being launched at him or whatever.

*Sidenote- if you freak out after your significant other is away for a few days, please re-examine yourself. I honestly about shit my pants when I see Facebook statuses about missing their loved ones after a few days. Put on your big girl panties, eat and watch whatever you damn well please, pour a drink, and be effing grateful you have a man who is out making you guys money. Have a girls night. Do things you that you’re spouse doesn’t really like to do (Real Housewives of OC marathons…although I know he secretly doesn’t mind them, haha).  Just please don’t compare the two.

I obviously have to carry on with my life and the life we set up together here, but deployment revolves around emails and phone calls. Once you hear from them, you sigh with relief, but then you hold your breath until the next time.

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Tyler’s an Officer! I was freezing my nads off and it took me forever to pin this :)

9.) Let me know if you need anything- I’m here for you!- I know this is a well-intended remark, but quite frankly, actions speak louder than words. Don’t tell me- SHOW me. It’s like with any trying times in life. Unless your close as hell to me (mom, aunt, sister, best friend), I’m not gonna call or text you about “needing” anything.

I’m by NO means not expecting anything from anyone, and I can hold down the fort unless it comes to starting the God damn lawn mower or fixing the computer (which was fixed with the help of my awesome brother-in-law via phone by the way- woo!!). However, I think it’s downright insulting to say such a thing, and yet, never act upon it.

Point blank- relationships and friendships will transpire during a deployment (on both ends- spouse and soldier). Texting and calling are different things. Saying you’re there and actually being there are two entirely different entities. On the other hand, random texts have brightened up my day!

This can be said about any trying time during life- not just during deployments, such as sickness, death, etc. After our miscarriage and the past year trying to conceive, I gained an incredible amount of compassion towards those that have struggled in this area- it truly opened my eyes. If anything, I know that this deployment will do the same for me as well in regards to this type of situation.

I know that I’m not the best friend/sister/daughter/whatever- but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that actions truly do speak louder than words. Tyler had a lot to do with me recognizing this by showing me how much he loves me, rather than just saying it. Thanks, babe :)

Right after I accepted his proposal. P.S. He even looked my dad’s phone number up and called him to ask him if it was alright if he asked me to marry him. I LOVED this!

10.) I could never do it- What in the freaking world does this mean? I’m assuming it’s supposed to be a compliment, but it’s not. What would you do then? Divorce your husband? Quit going into work and lay in bed all day? Move back home with your parents? I don’t understand this comment.

You do it because you HAVE to. Because you’re better than being a little biach and crying every day about it. Where does that get you? (nowhere- I know as I cried frequently throughout the day when Tyler left, haha). However, a good cry does make me feel better most of the time!

You “can do it” because your husband is doing a job that most men or women cannot or would not handle.

And bottom line- you do it because you found a love that was so amazing, so incredibly invigorating, that it took you above where you’ve ever been before.

When you love someone deeply enough, you CAN wait for them. You CAN continue to love them across the world. You will regain energy from happy memories flooding your mind as well as through erratic emails and phone calls.

And…you’ll always keep in mind, that the day you see them again will be absolutely fucking glorious…..

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June 2013…the day he got home from NIE. Happy happy :)

Dear 18 Year-Old Self

I read a “10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year-Old Self if I Could” on my friend’s blog, Laurealism and loved the idea so I created one myself. While I don’t regret too much in my life as it led me to where I am today, it’s kind of amusing to look back on things I wish I would’ve known back then.

10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year-Old Self if I Could…

1. Pay more attention in math. I know we hate it, but suck it up and stop drawing cartoon characters in your notebook with your friend instead of the quadratic formula (which I FINALLY memorized and still know b y heart today, thank you very much!). It will give you more confidence and ease your anxiety when taking it in college.

I’ve memorized this formula because of a teacher, haha. I don’t even know what the end product is supposed to give you though!

2. Research colleges. Research majors. Research any potential career that you feel interested in. Do not pick a school based on exterior circumstances, such as family and friends. I don’t want to degrade my parents here, but neither of them cared what I was doing with my life at this point. I probably could have said I was moving to Idaho to tame a bee farm and they would’ve said okee-dokee. They were pre-occupied with their lives…or something.

At any rate, I chose to go to IUPUI with my best friends at the time. This tends to be a commuter campus in Indianapolis for those that are unfamiliar with it. Well, this situation lasted a whole 3 months. A handful of factors played into this- one random day I was supposed to go to class but instead packed up my essentials and drove home and crying most of the way (out of failure and relief). Also, take classes that you actually need. I didn’t even have an advisor at IUPUI, so I took a fucking walking and meditation class. Who does this?! If you’re a parent, be actively involved no matter if your child goes to a university, technical school, or whatever. Don’t let them do dumb shit please.

Visit campuses WITH your parents if you want to go to college!

3. Don’t buy a rabbit. My best friend knows why. You will name it Fwankenstein (from the movie Big Daddy), and it will bite you all the time. She will end up caring for it… Also, do not “borrow” her parking pass or she will go fucking ape shit.

P.S. Your nose ring will become infected…don’t feel bad about taking it out within a week despite peer pressure.

4. You HAVE to go to class to do well. Most of the time, attending class is a must to succeed, and teachers will like you (and obviously know you) better if you show up.

5. Life won’t always suck. It may be years, but it WILL get better. Keep swimming…AND you will marry into a drama-free, absolutely amazing family.

These people are awesome.

6.) Family relationships will be turbulent for the next handful of years. You will not be taken seriously about the circumstances until it has hit rock bottom….but you’ll be okay, taken care of, and come out better than you would have had shit not flown.

Kathleen’s 8th grade graduation…one of the last family photos I can find. Who in the Sam are we looking at besides Kath?!

7.) You’ll become closer than ever to your uncle and aunt….they will be your home for a few years. Your sister will live with you again, and although she will drive you nuts by stealing your clothes, rolling them into balls and shoving them under her bed or in her closet, it will bring you closer together. These will become the memories that help you fall asleep at night.

Without them, I’d be nothing…

8.)  Your relationship with your parents will somewhat strengthen as years go on. You’ll learn that you cannot chance people, but you can change how you react or interact to situations. This tactic will help you tremendously. Accept how people or situations are.

9.) You’ll make many irrational decisions- Such as moving across the country, but you’ll learn from it and gain a few memories along the way. You’ll also be welcomed back in with opened arms by your uncle and aunt. This will be a trying time in your life- the relationship you were so certain (yet so un certain many times) about for eight years, will be questioned deeply…and you will realize that you must come to a decision.

I loved the view from our apartment in Arizona! Can’t wait to move closer to the city late next year.

 

10.) You will not marry who think you will- I swear on everything. A new love will come out of complete darkness (see above). You will struggle with holding onto everything you’ve ever known, comfort, and stability. However, what was missing (financial responsibility, persuasion of personal growth, and loyalty) will be found. You WILL love greater and deeper…and never have to worry about if a bill was paid EVER again ;)

May 2013. Right after coming home from 6 weeks apart!

 

What are some things you would tell your younger self if you could?

 

Did you ever make irrational, butthead decisions?

 

Time is Not on Our Side

Time is a funny thing. Some days seem to drag ass while others don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on our “To Do” lists. I think I jinxed myself when I got the word “Time” tattooed on my wrist 8 years ago while on Spring Break…classy, eh? ;) My ex and I (we were together 6 years at this point) had broken up for a few months, and I was in the midst of my floundering years; thus, Green Day’s Good Riddance’s song lyric, “Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go” was influential for me, haha.  Anyways, I’m flipping the bird with both hands at you right now, Time. I’ll explain why…

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I’m the wife to an army officer and that our first pregnancy resulted in a missed miscarriage at 3.5 months. We’ve been struggling to conceive again since. With my abnormal cycles combined with Tyler’s NIE’s (field training exercises) twice a year, our time is more limited than other couples, but we’ve been excited to finally see things rolling along. We expected him to be gone from September-October/November which was a little aggravating knowing things would have to be put on hold again if we didn’t conceive before then.

What we didn’t expect was for him to get orders for a 9 month deployment. Evidently, time is not on our side.

I wish I could rewind back to the evening he told me and re-do the whole scenario. Long story short- I was absolutely terrified, sad, and while this might sound odd or mean, really effing pissed off (not at him- at the situation). My initial thought was his safety. I don’t live up his butt or anything, but this man is my absolute life. I’ve been crazy in love, head over heels for him basically since the night he walked into my life.

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Bumper cars at the fair- first summer together! Loving my sexy outfit and hair :)

 

My thought process:

WTFFFFFF.

I’m scared for him.

How in the WORLD can we try to have a baby if he’s deployed?

I’m scared for him.

I’m going to be living in this armpit for 9 months with minimal friends and no family.

I questioned God last year and people’s attempt at comforting words such as “I’ll pray for you” and “It’s all in God’s time” is complete bullshit. If you’re there, why keep steering us off road? Why, dude? WHY???

I’m scared for him.

I don’t know much and I’m a roller coaster full of emotions right now, but I know a few things for sure.

I’m going to be as positive as possible.

I’ll have my moments of weakness and probably pitch a few fits (let’s be real, people), but I will exemplify strength and independence for Tyler.

Blogging will probably become my outlet and help make time go by.

I’m grateful for our dogs for comfort, the few friends I have here for support, a home with a security system, and a job to help time pass, and family from both sides.

I love waiting for everything in life! Just kidding ;)

 

I’ve been getting better with enjoying life in the present moment, but it’ll be interesting to try and enjoy the little things when I’m crapping my pants everyday in worry. This is NOT a pity party- thousands of spouses do this…it’s just a new experience for me, ya know?

We’re both extremely bummed about the entire situation. Everything literally happened within a matter of fourteen days, and we were really hoping for some pregnancy news by the end of the year. It’s his job though, an he’s damn good at it. And yes, I knew what I was getting myself into before I said my vows, but it doesn’t  take away the fear and sadness.

Ironically, since he left, I have let the baby thing go. I still plan on seeing my OBGYN (I’m in the midst of switching) and trying to attain normal cycles. We are still going to monitor my hormone levels each cycle and hopefully throw some ultrasounds in there to look at things more in depth when it gets closer to his return. If there are still no answers as to why I’m not ovulating (or spontaneously ovulating as my current OBGYN said), I’ll be referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) before he gets home. Although here is only flipping ONE in El Paso and the wait limit is like 18 years, so we shall see.

Until then, here’s to a quick and safe deployment for my big bear. I love you, babe.

Has there ever been a period in your life when time was not on your side?

Thanks for reading my emotional vent today ;)