Saturday, March 28, 2009

274 and then

274 days, 39 weeks, 6576 hours... that's it. okay, give or take a few hours. but honestly, that's it. and we don't that we'll even get that. we didn't last time, so why would we this time. and as much as i don't want this to be on my mind, it is. simple as that. and well, when aaron got that look on his face the other day, i knew it's been on his mind too.

we're clearing ft. polk! and that means pulling gear, cleaning it and being overly nice to the people at collections. it only took aaron two tries to clear! the hardest thing to clean: Kevlar. we made it a family event. and that's when i saw the look. we were all taking turns putting on aaron's gear (mostly just cayman). when aaron finally had all of his gear cleaned, he put his Kevlar on one last time, picked up cayman and looked at himself in the mirror. and that's when i saw and i knew that he knew...

he knew the day he signed his rotc scholarship the commitment he was making. we talked about it for hours on our first date, and our second date and nearly every date after that. we knew when we talked about starting a family and when we said, 'i do.' we knew. but knowing and experiencing are two very different things. and after 3 months apart and 363 days home and apart for 14 months, one can't help but know that 'that day' is coming again. and as we watch obama's next move, the location is the only thing to still be determined.

but, knowing that no matter what happens, knowing that in the end and along the whole journey there is someone to hold my hand, to carry me when i get tired, to be in control of it all, it gives me peace. and to know that when today ends, there will be another one tomorrow. and to know that when something comes up, there will be a mess, a test, a moment that will leave me with a message, a testimony, a moment to reflect on. and then, i'll do it again.

ps, i love you today, tomorrow and everyday from here to eternity.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

ucmj article 134

so there is an article in the ucmj (uniform code of military justice) that in not so many words states that officers are not to fraternize with enlisted soldiers. well, depending on your definition of fraternization (according to merriam-webster: to mingle among brothers OR to associate on close terms with members of a hostile group especially when contrary to military orders) one may be left wondering why can't my best friend's husband come over for dinner?

and so, i'm sitting here too wondering, why can't he come over? i understand, if aaron is his superior and all that jazz, then yes, it might be weird. and i completely understand that if her husband happens to be a terrorist, it wouldn't be a good idea to have them over for dinner either. nor is he someone who will ever find himself in a hostile situation with aaron seeing as they don't work in the same unit. heck, the only time they see each other is on sundays at church when our two families sit next to each other and in our couples' sunday school class.

so, with that being said, why can't this 'brother' who was deployed to iraq with aaron under the same 10th mountain banner but different fob and even different unit come over for dinner, yet he can sit next to him at church and baseball games and such?

ps, i love you even if our friends can't come to dinner because you went to college and they didn't.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

who am i?

so i was sitting in my ladies' bible study this morning and the question was proposed: who am i?

sitting here and actually all day, i have so many thoughts coming to me:
i'm a wife and mother
i'm a sister and a daughter
i'm a best friend and role model (not always the best, i try)
i'm a teacher and student (i believe the day you stop learning is the day you die)
i'm a graduate of THE university of alabama and of the university of phoenix (i have a bachelors in public relations and a masters in elementary education, now what)
i'm a social butterfly, but my husband keeps me grounded, not held down
i'm a clean freak, but i do have my lazy days
i'm a kid at heart
i'm a dork, just ask my husband
and i admit, i'm a nerd too
and a band geek
i'm a fan of THE crimson tide ROLL TIDE!
i'm a fan of the underdog too
i'm a creative artsy fartisy type, or i liked to think i am
i'm a chocolate addict (i ration out my thin mint cookies to last the whole year)
i'm an army brat (i've seen more of europe over the cross of ten years then i have of the entire usa over a lifetime)
i'm a poc for our unit
i'm a shoulder to lean on
i'm a fan of flip flops and jack johnson
i'm a sister in Christ and the daughter of an amazing person, God

now who am i in Christ?
i'd like to think i'm a role model, a leader, a strong hold, but i'd be deceiving you. i'm not a new christian, but i'm not a well-practiced christian. everyday is a new day filled with struggles for me. but everyday is an opportunity for me to grow in Christ and be a better person, a better role model, a better leader, a better christian.

that's who i am.
ps, i love you. you make me who i am

Sunday, March 8, 2009

lost in communication or lack of

so it's been 62 days since aaron has come home from his 14 month deployment. during that deployment, he lived in a bombed out building with some 145 other guys. he used a 'pee bottle' when he didn't want to trek across the base to the bathroom to handle his business. he worked 14 crazy hours a day. ate crappy food. had some strangers washing his clothes. and watched us live our lives over here via the webcam and the pictures and home-made movies we sent home.

no cake walk by any means. and sure, it was crazy stressful. and sure, it definitely doesn't compare to walking up in your own comfy bed next to your spouse. it doesn't compare to running pt and then coming home for a hot shower and breakfast with your toddler son, who was a baby when you deployed. it doesn't compare to having a wife who cleans the house, from top to bottom, everyday, has lunch and dinner ready when you get home and every week or so bakes cookies for your soldiers. it doesn't compare to having a 52' flatscreen to watch all the tv you want or to play your xbox on. it doesn't compare to having a new car in the drive way or orders to a new, much better base.

so, with all that said though, there is no excuse for the lack of communication. i knew that when aaron deployed he'd come home a different man and i would become a different woman. i prayed everyday that we'd grow together despite the distance into the new people we'd be. i prayed he'd come home and leave the violence over there. leave the anger outside our house. and he did. but, he also left his easy-going self. he left his openness. he left his communication skills. he left the man i married some 7,982 miles behind. and i can work with that. but, then again, i can't work with someone who isn't willing to work with me.

i have to take off my mask and be transparent for a moment. for 62 days i have been out on the beach of life, out in the water. and to most it seems like i was just splashing around in the water, having a great time enjoying life as it will be now. however, i must confess, this whole time i've been out to sea treading water, struggling to keep my head above water. i feel that aaron's quick, short temper and inability to communicate with me is the undertow trying to drag me down. between taking care of cayman and maintaining our routine and standard of living, i'm struggling to take care of aaron (and us) and maintain the house as he adds to the mess and is slow to contribute to helping clean up.

don't get me wrong. he picks up here and there. he does amazing with cayman's bath time (i'm no longer allowed to give him a bath because daddy does it way better). he does a great job of maintaining the computers and cleaning the new car. but his clothes have become a tripping hazard in our bedroom, most days i end up emptying and reloading the dishwasher and i have a secret affair with the garbage now again (taking it out).

but, i have to say, there is light and hope for us. we will make it through these rough waters and we will make it ashore to walk hand and hand down the beach. we've switched to the couples' sunday school class which is studying the five love languages. just knowing our love languages and learning how to check and maintain each other's 'love tank,' is helping us make that progress, slowly, but surely.

ps, i love you, through these tough times and always. it's not all you, it's a lot of me too.