Friday, June 26, 2009


so, i don't know if this has ever happened to you, but you walk into a military function, meeting, coffee, gathering of spouses, and within 32.4 seconds they have sized you up and made their minds up about you because of your appearance and your husband's rank. not that this has happened recently since we're at captain's career course, but it's something that sticks with me anytime in meet someone new, military or not. i'm not one to size you up before you open your mouth and send a little time with me, but i do wonder while we're getting to know each other, have you already sized me up?

i had a serious problem with this at our last duty station. yes, we don't look our age (i'm 27 and aaron will be 27 in october). and no, we don't dress beyond our comforts. so, most of the times it's jeans, a t-shirt from the gap or american eagle and flip flops for me. yes, i don't spend time on my hair or make-up, but i do keep goody's in business with the gillizion rubber bands i buy and bare minerals was made for me. and to be honest, that's it. that's as good as it gets. i do own the nicer clothes from my teaching days (upper elementary), but come on, i'm a mom. i roll on the ground, i chase cayman up and down the slides, i run errands and keep a clean house. so, yes, my appearance may not come across as someone who holds a bachelors and a masters and has sat in the company of senators and rocket scientists and athletes, but come on! are you serious! i've got a few skills that would knock your socks off (but not in that way) and i can hold my own, thank you very much. and another thing, i don't wear a rank. the last time i checked, my husband wore the uniform (until he comes home and then he's right into comfy clothes and dad/husband mode).

i feel like maybe sometimes i do need to wear some labels and my resume` just to make sure that when you're sizing me up, you get all of me in your measurements. but then again, those who waste their time sizing everyone up miss the true person and usually miss the opportunity to meet a great person that God has put in their life.

ps, there is much more to sizing you up that meets the eye. i love you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

my husband, his dad

can you believe it, we're celebrating our second father's day already, and aaron's actually home to celebrate with us, on the actual calendar date! i have to catch my breathe everytime i think about where he was for his first father's day: returning from r&r to iraq to finish up his 15 month deployment. cayman was just 8 months old, but i remember him sitting on the bed in our condo the day after aaron left again and just stairing at his 'daddy cheetha' (the build-a-bear aaron made him with a voice recording) and searching for aaron. they've come a long way! from father and son for the first time to father and son via the webcam and home-made movies to father and son who play 'choo choo' and lego together and have their own special bath time routine! my heartbreaks knowing that aaron will eventually have to return to the father via the webcam and home-made movies. but, it's the life we chose and the life we live and we're blessed to have this moment. happy father's day to the guy who borrows my parents magazine so he can be an even better father then he already is! i love you and so does cayman!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

my playlist as i spiral

it's amazing how God makes sure you hear the songs you need to hear. it's like no matter where you are, the grocery store, driving in the car, running errand, he makes sure you hear what you need to hear.

as i watch the world around me, i feel like 'me' is trapped as i feel my whole world spiraling out of control. you wouldn't really be able to guess it from my outward appearance, still smiling, still pleasant, still keeping everything pulled together, but on the inside, it's a whole other side. it's like i'm 'going through the motions' (borrowed from matthew west) of life, going on playdates, running, keeping house, running errands, but on the inside, i'm all but going through it, i'm falling apart. i feel like i'm 'fading, crumbling' (borrowed from chris tomlin), letting the lines blur. i feel like i can't find my 'sanctuary' (borrowed from steven curtis chapman) where i can calm myself, collect myself, and re-energize myself.

i feel that if i can't get a grasp on myself, i won't be able to get a hold of cayman. it's been a tough week with him. i know there is no such thing as the 'terrible twos' (because we're there already and he's only 20 months old). but this week has been tough. and to be honest, it's my fault. i feel like my falling apart on the inside is causing him to fall apart. when did i lose myself and let it start affecting our child?

(un)fortunately i'm good at hiding it and putting on the face and doing the things i'm suppose to do. aaron has no clue. and to be honest, i don't want him to know. he has enough to worry about; class, the interviews for company command, us. and i feel like it's my duty as the wife, as the mother, as the army wife to pull myself together and carry on. it's a stigma. and well, God, i can't do it without you. labels and stigmas aside, i hear the music and i get it! now help me find myself, my sanctuary, me again, please.

ps, i love you and i don't want you worrying, you are doing so much already.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


so i was driving home today after a lovely day in tucson with my super mommy friend and deployment buddy, taylor. we had some girl time: got our toes some lovin and had a yummy lunch and great conversation. and i even got to meet her hubby (he's real, not photo shopped like many suspected). as i was making the drive home, i was enjoying some artist confidential on the xm radio; today's guest: fallout boy. as i was listening to them, something just 'dinged' in my head: how many times do we allow others' labels of us to shape who we are?

how often do we worry about the labels the world around has placed on us and forget who we really are? unique individuals who do not require labeling. as i listened to them explain how they just don't label themselves or their music, i thought, hmm... if we all did that, how freeing would life be. sure, labels are nice for organizing, trust me, as one who is ocd about organizing things, but nothing everything requires a label. i mean, are we just items to be labeled and organized? put neatly away in our category(s)?

the more i thought about this, while still paying attention to the road, i thought, i'm not some billboard for others' labels. i am me. just me. sure, yes, i have labels: mom, wife, daughter, sister, best friend, point of contact, child of God, but none of them 'define' me. they are things to help 'organize' my life, they help others figure out where i fit into their lives, they are labels placed by others.

and to be honest, when i look at some of these labels, i think, really? are you sure? have you really done your homework and inspected me and made sure i really fit that label? as francesca battistelli sings in 'free to be me:'

'cause i got a couple dents in my fender
got a couple rips in my jeans
try to fit the pieces together
but perfection is my enemy
on my own i'm so clumsy
but on your shoulders i can see
i'm free to be me

sure the lyrics are about being just a child of God, with some bumps, some scratches, some rough edges, but no labels. and that's where i want to be. just a child of God with some bumps, some scratches, a few rough edges and no labels weighing me down. just me

Saturday, June 6, 2009

tribute to military wives gone before us

with today being d-day, can you even begin to imagine what the wives and sweethearts of those soldiers 65 years ago were feeling? were doing to cope with their situation? there was no email. no cellphones. no mwr calls. no webcams. just snail mail. and then even that wasn't guaranteed to be delivered.

and then you think of the wives of the vietnam wars. with the development and advancement of television, could you imagine what they faced and felt with their husbands so far away and no frg to censor the news on the six o'clock news?

i think back to what it was like when my dad deployed for desert storm back in 1990. it was christmas eve and we were stationed in germany. we didn't have the opportunity to move stateside. we moved on post and lived life, one day at a time. there were no cellphones or answering machines for us. so, if we missed dad's phone call, we missed it. but, we didn't know it. all we could count on was the snail mail. i still have all the letters i received during those eight long months from my dad and several pen pals. i remember baking cookies and making hot cocoa and taking it out to the soldiers who patrolled our base. i don't remember webcams or recorded bedtime stories or flatrate boxes or emails.

but i remember we managed, we survived just like the families before us and those of us to come still. we're military, and if you for one moment took for grant it the fact that your soldier is on duty 24-7, and that deployments are a reality of being part of this family, time to be slapped back into reality. but, we, the community of survivors, the community you can lean on, will be waiting for you just as those wives did back in 1944 and even before then. and along side our wives and friends in arms, you can trust that God will be carrying you through the valleys and up on the mountains of this adventure called life, married to the military.

5 months gone, 7 to go

it's been five months today since aaron came home! my how time has flown. it's time we'll never get back, but it's time that has left us we great memories. now we have at least seven more months to fill with memories. we'll find out in a few weeks a better time frame of aaron's next road trip back east and where we'll call home after our short stay out here in the desert.

i was updating the picture bar on my laptop tonight and looking through some of cayman's pictures from the last 19 months. he sat on my lap and identified 'dadda' and 'momma' and 'baby.' and then he was amazed to realize that he was the 'baby.' and i was amazed to see how much our little man has grown up in the last 19 months. but, i was saddened by how much aaron had missed: his first christmas morning (sure we did 'ours' early), his first flight, his first 100th day, his first race, his first time at the beach, his first pulling his head up, his first time rolling over, his foods, his first crawl, his first present in the mail, his first steps, his first words, his first birthday and the list goes on and on. a lot happened in 14 months. and yes, i sent him enough pictures of everything to cover his walls and then some and he had enough home made movies to entertain his soldiers for three days straight, but it's not like being there. and as we were talking about maybe #2 completing our family, all i can think about is aaron's next deployment rotation and what it'll mean in respect to completing our family.

God's got great timing, we won't despite that fact. but sometimes i think he has too much faith in me and what i can handle. can i really handle a pregnancy with my husband in a war zone? can i really handle a toddler and a newborn? can i really juggle our home life, his deployment, the kids and my military wife responsibilities and somewhat keep my sanity? i know he won't give me more then i can handle (though at times he wants us to ask for help), but still. one can't help be hesitant when faced with so many uncertainties. but then again, my worries are small compared to those others face. and so, i praise God for keeping my worries down to a size i can handle them. baby steps.

Monday, June 1, 2009

not knowing is okay with me

so i've had this crazy numbness in my right arm for sometime now. since lil man got sick and we were already heading up for his appointment, i made myself an appointment to have my arm checked out. after both of our appointments i walked away with no answers really to either of our situations. side note, lil man is on a starch and pedilyte diet with a follow up appointment in two days. as far as myself, i'm okay with not having a definite answer of what the cause of the problem may be. i do know what isn't causing the numbness (blood pressure, heart issues, pinched nerve, and few other things). knowing that some things, the big things, have been ruled out, i'm okay with 'just dealing' as opposed to becoming a genie pig and still ending right back at 'no answer.'

it's kinda that way with a lot of things in life. not knowing when aaron will deploy again makes me enjoy the here and now. and i know i've got at least 7 more months of him home. and, it's part of our life and his job. not knowing where we'll be moving come september is okay with me too. for some the thought of being somewhere for possibly just 5 months means living in a house of boxes, but for me, i've unpacked everything and made this house our home, for the next 5 months at least. and i'm okay with not knowing, for now, where we'll be after september 9th.

not knowing a lot of things is okay with me. the biggest reason, i put my trust in God. he's always steered me in the right direction. and well, he's got a pretty good track record for making things work out just fine.