My Pink Spectacles

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know that I’m the first to acknowledge the adversities of being a military family and, more specifically, a military spouse. Sometimes it seems like it’s just one thing after the next after the next. It can feel like the hits just keep on coming and we can’t stay afloat.

It’s so easy to say “This was a terrible day/week/month/deployment/etc.” There really often are big stretches of time, hours or days, that feel that way. But as I was reminded recently, not always, but most often, we have a few bad moments in a day/week/month/deployment/etc that cloud the rest of the time and make it all feel terrible. It’s like when you get a work performance review. Most of us could receive nine amazingly complimentary comments and just one negative one, and what do we focus on the most? The one, of course.

 

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The Tree

There is a tree. On an ordinary day in an ordinary season the tree goes about her tree-like business. It rains, it snows, the sun shines upon her. She has everything she needs to continue growing into the sturdy tree she was planted to become.

One day, the tree’s roots left. Her roots, which had, for the past 11 years, held her down. And while a literal tree never moves, this one does (about every 2-4 years). But taking her roots with her, she quickly began to thrive wherever she was blown, wherever she was planted. When the wind began to blow, the roots held her down. Reminding her to be strong, be the sturdy tree she was planted to become.

 

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Dirty Shorts & Dog Poo

When preparing for deployment, it was so easy to get caught up in the whole “However will I do this?” mentality. How will I solo parent? How will I keep the house clean? How will I take care of myself? How will I _______? For a while there I felt really bad for myself. There came a time, however, when I dropped the word “how” and the questions became statements to me: I will solo parent. I will keep the house clean. I will take care of myself. I will ______. Don’t get me wrong, I still had some serious doubts, but there did come a point not too long before Hubby left that I became confident that my biggest hurdle wouldn’t be the daily things as I had thought, but would actually just be the *missing him* part.

 

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wives

Before you think Alexis Bledel has joined a polygamous TLC family in Utah, rest easy.
The sisterhood to which I’m referring is the sisterhood that exists among military wives.

When Hubby and I were dating and went to our first posting location for a few days to check out the PMQ (Private Married Quarters…now called RHUs which stands for Residential Housing Unit….all just a fancy way of saying the military housing on base) we were going to be living in, I had no idea that I was about to enter a secret society. In fact, it took me a few years to really understand what kind of amazing culture I had joined. Sure, it was clear that Hubby was part of a really unique community as a a member of the military. And sure, I met other military wives and girlfriends and that was all great. But it was only once we started moving around and once I became a part-time and then full-time stay at home Mom that I realized how incredible this sisterhood really is.

 

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The Military Wife Recipe

Whoooaaa, Nelly! I just found this one in my “Drafts” from over four years ago! It mentions Monkey learning to walk which was February, 2012! Yikes! Still totally relevant today and actually related to my previous post. So you lucky readers get two blogs today! Giddyup and you’re welcome.
🙂 Mel

I recently had a conversation with a good friend here in Smalltown. She had been talking to someone about being a military wife and the someone was likening the life of an Oil family to the life of a Military family. Her main point of comparison was that in both families the “worker” (we’re going to generalize here and say “husband” but I am fully aware that in many families it is the wife that is the “worker”. I’m just referring to “husband” because that is my own experience) is away a lot. She was also trying to say that both jobs are equally dangerous because her husband could fall in while working in the fields.

 

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Pre-Deployment Awesome-sauce.

Hello readers, new and old!

Today I write because my mind is full and it is finally spilling out into my blog. It’s been a whole year since I last wrote. Apparently this is something I’m doing now – annual blogs.

I am a very lucky wife. I love my husband to the ends of the earth. I love spending time with him, never get sick of him, and he usually only really annoys me when he chews gum because the sound of his chomping makes me want to poke out my own eardrums. I feel I can write this freely because it is no secret to him and he gets side-eye 100% of the time he pops a piece of gum in his mouth. We are that disgustingly sweet couple who rarely argue and have disagreements that end quickly and amicably. I know. Your teeth are rotting.

 

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On Being Posted.

*Okay – give me a little break. In my previously posted blog entitled “Cleavage Sweat” I opened with the statement that it had been almost a year since I wrote. Turns it to be so not true. I wrote this one three months ago and just unearthed it from my “Drafts”. So the first part of this one should actually be before “C.S.” Just keep that in mind while reading. I finished this one today as indicated by the purple font. That stuff is new.*

I found something amazing…the time to write this blog! Ha. Kind of funny. But also completely true.

First, a quick update since it’s been a while (given that all of my blogs begin with a comment on how long it’s been since I wrote I should probably just rectify that by writing more, eh?) We had a baby! Jelly Bean is now 6 months old! He’s a pretty chill little dude and we are so grateful to have him be the fourth (and final!) member of our family. Monkey adores Jelly Bean and the way they look at each other – OH! My heart.  We are now adjusted to being a family with two kids, two dogs, two cats and a fish.

Our other big news is that we are posted! If you’re one of my 12 regular readers and don’t know me or any military families personally that means that my husband has a new job in a different city. We’re off to Best City, Ontario! That brings me to the reason for this blog post.

 

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Get it?

Wow…for someone who always has a lot on my mind I sure don’t write a lot! It’s been almost a whole year since my last blog. Could that be right? Yeesh!

I’ve just come back from staying with my parents for five weeks in my hometown three provinces away. We missed our pets but otherwise it felt so good to be close to family. My parents were down the hall, my sister was five minutes away, my brother and family five minutes away and one of my best friends in the whole world and her squeezable twin one year old boys were just a short two hour drive. It was heaven! We chatted, we swam, we went to the park, the splash pad, out for meals, in for meals, over to my brothers’ to play with the cousins. It felt like, well, home. Until this past April we thought we going to be posted (moved) to just an hour away from home so being there this summer was both extremely satisfying but also a crude reminder that we had to leave there eventually and come back to Smalltown which now feels about twice as far away as it did before we left.

 

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Calling All Military Wives!

My beautiful cousin, L, just got married to a handsome soldier. They haven’t been together too long so she was only just getting her mind around being a Military Girlfriend and now she’s a Military Wife! And the icing on the cake is that these lovebirds have just been posted away from her hometown. As we all know, this lifestyle definitely has its ups and downs. Even after 6 years of being together and 2 years of marriage, I still have a lot of difficulty with the “hurry up and wait” mentality.

What advice would you give L as a newlywed military wife? PLEASE only give helpful comments worded in a positive way. I’m sure she already knows that sometimes this lifestyle can be difficult, she doesn’t need her attention drawn to those negative aspects!

Mel 🙂

Pick-Me-Ups

Never underestimate the value of sending someone flowers.
I’ve been having a bit of a hard time adjusting to this new life. Six weeks ago I had a circle of friends to visit, a best friend a few streets over, baby play-dates, and a generally fulfilling life both at home and socially. But now everything just seems so quiet and still. You know that cliche of crickets chirping in the silence to indicate when things are just THAT quiet that that sound is all you can hear? Some days it feels like that sound is the metaphorical soundtrack playing in the background.
My parents were just here for their first visit and it was wonderful. They were only here for a week but they did painting, housework, groceries, errands cooking, taking Lucas for walks, feeding the dogs and anything else that I asked them to do. It was great…just like living at home again where at 5:00 you ask, “What’s for dinner?” having put no thought into it yourself because you knew it was taken care of. My hubby is working nights for a military exercise right now and sleeping during the day so I doubly appreciate all the help. Needless to say after I returned home from dropping them off at the airport and the longest 2 1/2 hour drive ever (thank you, crying Lucas) the house felt bigger and emptier than it did before. After Hubby went to work the evening started to go down the kind of self-pitying path that is never good and a phonecall home to my parents just turned me into a blubbering child. But Mom’s loving words made me feel better and I went to bed happy…enough.

Today my wonderful parents sent me flowers. Flowers! Such a relatively common gesture to many people but it had such a huge impact and really picked me up.

What kinds of pick-me-ups do you enjoy when you’re feeling a bit down? A bath? Wine? A jog?

Mel