Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bar-b-Ques & Memories

Over the past weekend on Saturday we planned our first & last lake day with my whole family of the summer. In Washington summer doesn't really start until July when it finally warms up. But being as I am from the south it officially started this weekend for me & my family. We planned awhile back to combine my second son's birthday with a cookout for my husband. Both had me invite their close friends to enjoy a delicious day of food cooked by a good friend & fishing on our lake. The weather on Friday had me more then a little worried that we where going to be soaking wet all day Saturday. Thank goodness for answered prayers! It was a little overcast & cool but no rain in sight!

 We kicked off around noon & before the after noon was over had about thirty people kids including running around having fun. It was a great time to relax after a long stressful week. We ate smoked ribeye & hamburgers . The kids took turns going out on the boat & fishing from the shore. A few fish where caught ,cooked & deemed not very tasty. I know it is a day that Paul can look back on in a few months when he is deployed & remember with happiness. A day that my boys can remember as a fun time spent with their dad before he deploys for a year. It was all about family, friends, & creating new memories for him to take with him on his deployment. I couldn't think of a better way to spend our Saturday.

My husband getting some of the boys out in the boat

Jacob with his first Trout of summer

Our chef Jerry did an amazing job

Sunday we headed out to Jerry & his wife Tiffany's home for another cookout. We had some amazing pulled pork sandwiches to eat while sitting at a bon-fire . It was another great evening spent with good friends filled with laughter. Jerry had worked really hard on a special shadow box filled with two Flies he tyed for Paul. They both have some significant meaning but for the life of me I can't remember all the details they both told me. I just know Paul loved his gift!

Monday we woke up relaxed & ready to honor our fallen in remembrance.I talked with the boys all about Memorial Day again & why we have it off from school or work. We watched a few shows on the History Channel that went along with Memorial Day. Then as I drove to the airport to pick up a friend I made a stop on Fort Lewis at the 4th Brigade "Raiders" memorial garden. The wall holds names that are dear & near to my heart. I wanted to stop & take a moment to remember our Fallen friends. I snapped a quick picture as a few flowers had been laid out for the day. It was the best choice I made all day to stop & remember.

Each name of the 16 Heroes that we lost during our deployment from 2007/08 is engraved on the marble wall. It brought a lump to my throat as I walked up & the first name I noticed was Coop's. I remembered how he made me laugh everytime I was lucky enough to be around him. I touched his engraved name & remembered. I think that is all he & their families ask of us each day, to not forget the sacrifice. I truly hope that my sons will always know the true meaning of Memorial day & choose to Honor our Fallen on their special day.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Always Honor & Remember

 My Memorial Day post is scheduled ahead of time as I take a day of silence from blogging to Honor & Remember all our fallen friends. Soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedom. Thanks to their sacrifice I can live in a land with to many freedoms to list on one blog. For that I will ever be in their debt. Thank you seems hardly enough to say in return for that freedom.

        TOMAHAWK Deployment 2007/08 We lost 16 Heroes 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The History Behind Memorial Day

As I sit here awake way to early on a Saturday morning I am reflecting & reading through little tid-bits on the internet about the history behind Memorial Day. It hasn't always been a huge deal in my life & for that I realize I should be ashamed.When we where young it was never fully explained to me as we didn't live in or around a military town. It was all about the beginning of summer & school being out! I wish I had someone who told me that one day I would marry a soldier & learn the true meaning of Memorial Day. How by walking up to anyone and saying "Happy Memorial Day" is so inappropriate. For a lot of our own friends there is nothing happy about this day. It is just another yearly reminder that their loved one isn't here with them anymore walking on earth. That in order for them to have a conversation with their fallen hero, they must go talk to a gravestone or look a little crazy by talking to thin air.

 Even today a lot of the young newly married spouses & soldiers don't get what the meaning of this day holds for so many of us who have lost dear friends or loved ones. Unfortunately I know the harsh reality of a war that has gone on for ten years now. I also know that those same young soldiers will most likely feel the pain of losing a buddy in this war. That they too will have the veil of youth erased from their eyes & begin to try to find ways to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty for our great nation.

As we are going about our weekend enjoying a four day holiday with my husband one of the few we have left before another deployment. I hope I can keep reminding my children what Memorial Day means. For what cause & reason those brave men or women gave the ultimate sacrifice.I see nothing wrong with enjoying this gift of time that God has given me with my husband enjoying friendships & good food. I do however think it is our job ,responsibility to help the next generation better understand it's not a "happy" day for many. It's a day to show respect for the soldiers who gave all & the families who continue to give so much in order that we never forget their loved ones. Please take the time out of your weekend to honor our fallen heroes & teach another young soul the meaning behind Memorial Day.



Friday, May 27, 2011

New Uniform,New Unit, New Deployment

Yesterday we kept all the boys home from school which made them extremely happy. It was time for Paul's unit to have their Deployment Ceremony & Case the colors. Like I mentioned before it was the first time we ever took our younger two with us to watch. They really sat nice & quiet the whole hour. They enjoyed the band , the flags, & the firing of the cannons the best! I was very pleased that they asked questions & seemed to understand the significance of it all. After the Casing of the Colors we had about an hour to waste until it was time for the family bar-b-que. That portion of the day was a lot of fun! They all enjoyed the bouncy houses, mobile video games, climbing wall, & Famous Dave's bar-b-que. I was thankful that the rain held off & we all enjoyed some much needed family time. This Memorial Day weekend will most likely be our last that we can spend together with out  my husband working. I hope you enjoy the pictures from yesterday's fun & everyone has a very safe,happy weekend.

It was a great day for the whole gang & I am so thankful we had that time together to create some new memories. Hopefully all the fun will help carry us threw the next year while our soldier is away.

Here is a video link up to the Deployment Ceremony:ICorps Deployment Ceremony 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's Tune Time

I have had so much going on this week since Sunday that I wasn't sure I would have time today to get this post up so I scheduled it on Tuesday night.My whole week my emotions have been all over the place. At times I am laughing, then crying, then exhausted & in need of sleep. I honestly wonder if this is a test of some sort- I sure hope not. If you read my earlier post on Monday Unimaginable Heartache  then you know why I am all over the emotional spectrum this week.

When you watch a loved one suffer & loose someone that is so important in their life it really shakes you to the core. I chose my song after listening to it on the radio Tuesday afternoon. I was waiting on my son to get out of school & Pearl Jam's Just Breathe came on the radio. Tears immediately sprang into my eyes as my mind went straight to Sam & the kids.I had just read her Facebook status as just meeting the other young 19 year old soldier who died along side Cliff on Sunday. I knew she & the kids where doing their best, but hurting so much. The song really hit me hard. So I share it with you all today in hope it makes you hug those you love a little tighter today. If they are deployed then email them a love note. It never hurts to say I love you over & over again to the ones that mean the most in your life.

                                RIP SFC Cliff Beatties May 22, 2011

Now I hope you head over to see Amber at Goodnight Moon link up your favorite Song of the week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Like it or Not

Tomorrow is the day that my soldier switches his uniform to a strange new color & starts a crazy training period at work to head into deployment. The boys & I knew it was coming, but with the emotional roller coaster we've been on this week tears come when I think about it every-time. I am glad we get to go watch the Casing ceremony & enjoy the afternoon of family time with other Army families. It is so familiar now to me it's almost a relief to know what lays ahead,almost. 

My youngest two boys have never been to the Deployment ceremony as they are such wiggle worms we chose not to make them sit through the long ceremony in the past. Tomorrow we feel they are old enough to attend & watch the whole ceremony. With it being so close to Memorial Day & all the meaning that the day holds it's time they understand a little better exactly what happens when their dad deploys. He doesn't just hug them one day ,camera snaps a few times & drives away only to return twelve long months later. It's time they witness the pomp & circumstance, the ritual of the flags being cased until they arrive in their new area of operations.The fact that there are other boys & girls who have parents leaving as well for a year. They aren't alone in their jumbled mixed up emotions.

 I wonder how it will affect them, if they can truly understand the sacrifice that all those men on the parade field are about to endure for a year? Or will it simply be anxiousness on their part to get to that amazing climbing wall & free food that the MWR is providing the families? I know my oldest boys are happy to get out of school & spend some time with their dad. But at the same time they are quiet & had tears form as well in their eyes this morning as we discussed the game plan for tomorrow. There is no hiding it anymore for them. They know what a deployment means. It means, separation from their dad. It means long periods with no phone calls,no SKYPE, or bed time hugs. It may mean injury or even death . This week has shown them the grim reality of deployments, there is no escape anymore. Gone are the carefree days of youth during deployments for my oldest.

So as my family & so many others head into a long deployment period I ask that  everyone continue to pray for all the military families serving around the world. The wars aren't over even though they don't appear on your evening news daily. There are families like mine that are struggling while one or maybe both parents are deployed. There are families that are being reunited who need prayers that it goes smoothly. This military life is hard but I wouldn't change it or give it up at all. It has made my family closer, stronger,& so appreciative of everything our great country GIVES us in the way of freedom. But at the same time we know that freedom isn't free sacrifices are made for that freedom. So if you do nothing else patriotic  in your daily life, take the time to pray for our troops & their families. Because God listens & answers our prayers in his time. It gives me great comfort to know that others remember the sacrifice my husband & so many others make everyday. So like it or not here we go into another crazy year.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Unimaginable Heartache

I finally have a moment to breathe & take in the insane events that happened over the last twenty-four hours. I woke up yesterday and it seemed like a normal Sunday was in play. Church, lunch, haircuts, & Jayd dropping off her graduation announcement. Laughter & hugs with her over the exciting future that lay ahead. With promises to talk with her soon to help her mom & her with her graduation party. 
Then the knock at the door at 8:56PM that every military family dreads, they know before they answer something isn't right if their is a knock at the door that late. Shouts for me to hurry up & come to the door,with close friends standing there. Saying the words but my brain not fully comprehending that they are telling me Sam needs me- Cliff has died in Iraq.

It felt like minutes but I know it was only moments that the fog lifted from my shocked brain & I said I'll be right over. Threw on my yoga pants, hair in a ponytail & jumped in my van. The drive seemed like forever as I was trying to hold it together so Sam & the kids wouldn't see my crying seemed almost impossible, but I did pretty good. Gone was the excitement in the house of an impending fourteenth birthday coming up on Friday & a graduation from high school in two weeks. Shock,sadness, disbelief just a few of the emotions that swept over me as I entered their home to see my best friend of thirteen years completely heartbroken & devastated. No tears came, but my hands shook as I helped make a couple phone calls & tried to let the kids know we would figure it all out. Not sure I was much comfort, but it gave me comfort being with them.

 My heart broke for the two children I had watched grow up & become like family over the past thirteen years.Not sure what the next few days will bring as everything is still up in the air. But my brain is still in shock over the passing of their dad & our friend. Just when you think your reality is safe, the Army has a way of smacking you right in the face. Asking for all my friends to keep the Beattie family in prayer as they are grieving- two children lost their dad on Sunday- their lives will never be the same. I am not sure any of ours will for a very long time.

Rip SFC Clifford Beattie- you are loved & will not be forgotten 

Press release from Sunday    All family members have been notified as of this post & announcement has been posted on Facebook.

Cliff's Memorial Page  on Facebook. Please feel free to visit & leave your condolences for the family or share a memory.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Down & Dirty

Yesterday marked the second year in a row I participated in the Fort Lewis Down & Dirty Mud Run. Yes, I ran 3.1 miles & attempted some obstacles on the course all so I could crawl through two huge mud pits! This year Bekah and I where joined by her daughter Amber who I believe is eleven maybe twelve. We went with the 80's theme " Let's get Physical" based on the fun workout style of the 80's & Oliva Newton John-LOL
We had a good time arriving in the 48 degree rain to get our registration packets all picked up. Another good friend came along to photograph the run & the mud carnage at the end.
 We finished at 1 hour & 15 mins covered from head to toe in mud! This year the obstacles weren't as hard in my opinion as last years but the mud was WORSE! The mud pits have a zig-zag rope over the top that you have to low crawl under to get through.Last year we where able to bear-crawl, not this year. We had to pretty much lay completely flat & try not to get mud on our face- it didn't work! Amber enjoyed it alot more then the running sections, especially the water cannon from the fire truck that sprayed us down half way through our run-BRRRRRR! Bekah got caught behind an eight year old girl on the last mud pit that had already gone through it twice. But wanted to keep coming back to crawl through the mud. It would have been fine, but she kept going super slow in the icy mud & shaking mud from her shoes in Bekah's face. So Bekah being the more  mature adult did what any cold, muddy, & wet person would do. She picked up huge handfuls of mud & flung them at that little obnoxious girl's head! Yes it was hysterical !
All in all it was another successful Mud Run & we are debating the July 7K. We must definitely log in more running on the trails around our lake if we decide to take on that course. You may think I am crazy after you see the pictures, but I never knew how much I would enjoy the obstacle course type runs until I competed last year. Now I've finished two Mud Runs & The Warrior Dash! They are so fun & a great stress relief with all the laughter that goes in them along the run trail. So if you love to run you should look up some of your local events & try them out. Enjoy the pictures from the day & have a wonderful Sunday.

                       Channeling Chrissy from Three's Company

                                    Material Girl Bekah

                                   Nice & Clean before the run


                               Off I go with my pigtails flying!

                                                Mud Pit Time

                                                        All DONE!

                             Rinsing off in the freezing water

               Our wonderful photographer even got muddy

                                             We earned our shirts

Friday, May 20, 2011


I finally took the time to add a couple of separate pages to my Blog. You now have an About Me page to learn a little more but not too much . I also added my favorite page that I had been considering for awhile the Page of Remembrance. I hope that you take time to look at this special page to remember and acknowledge the sacrifice of some very special Heroes. I also pray that I never have to add another friend to this page.

 Now for my exciting fun weekend - I get to run the Fort Lewis Down & Dirty Mud Run tomorrow! It'll be my second year to run & I am so excited! At some point I'll post  all the pictures from the run. We are always covered in Mud & Smiles! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday's Tune Time

This weeks song pick started off from going to see the movie BRIDESMAIDS last weekend. It was heard through out the end of the movie & the cast lip synced it at the end. It made me laugh so HARD in that scene that I knew it could be the Song of the Week for me.

Then a couple days later I had a phone conversation with a friend who had hit the "deployment wall" & was having a hard day. We discussed all her options & what I had experienced in past deployments. Once again this song sprang into my head & I was about 80% sure it would be my pick.

Then yesterday at dinner time I was thrown into a pre-deployment tail spin. To some it won't seem like a big deal to other Type A personalities they will totally get it! We where all sitting around the dinner table & my soldier casually asked if I was coming to the Pre-Deployment ceremony/Family day next Thursday? I answer I had planned on coming but on  my calender it's marked for June such & such day, so you must be wrong. I had emailed it out weeks ago to my families so he must have the wrong date - right? WRONG!!!! They had changed everything & just told our FRG the day before. I had to run & email my FRG leader who confirmed it & apologized for not sending out an email right away. I FREAKED OUT in my head!! I have the next couple of weeks mapped out in my head and on my calender . I did NOT have time for date changes & shuffles to my schedule. Luckily I woke up this morning with a detailed email from our FRG that I pushed out to our families about ALL the changes. I am glad we got it out this week so hopefully our families can adjust their calenders as well.

In short what this means as I explained to a couple of good friends last night is I have hit that pre-deployment insanity phase. Where no dates stay the same, time is short, & I have to much packed into to little of a time frame. Of course it's all activities for the most part that I want my soldier there with us to participate. Thus the reason I have packed them all into the next few weeks. I already warned those two friends that I am losing it & one made me chuckle with her Don't worry attitude- we are use to your nuttyness (not sure that's even a word?). So consider this my warning to all my Blog Followers- this Blog could be neglected & not as many post in the next few weeks or my insane bi-polar self could be posting frantic, sad, angry, Blogs as we fast approach deployment number four,

With that being said here is my song choice of the week- first go see the movie BRIDESMAIDS if you haven't so the song also makes you laugh. Second I hope I realize I can tie a knot in the end of my rope & HOLD ON it'll be Ok!!

Wilson Phillips- HOLD ON is my Song Link-Up now you go on over to visit Amber at Goodnight moon to link up your favorite song of the week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

These are from the walk we took yesterday in the beautiful Sunshine. I was happy to snap some pictures for Paul to have with him when he deploys.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

13 Months of Hell

 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Today marks the fourth anniversary for our TOMAHAWKS of remembering and the beginning of a private Hell for most. For me it marks the anniversary of the beginning of thirteen months of tears,stress, anxiety,unknown, Hell on earth. Today is the Angel anniversary for two of our Fallen TOMAHAWK brother's that served proudly  for our country. This moment changed my life for the next thirteen months. The TOMAHAWKS lived,worked, & tried to survive in Iraq from April 2007 until June 2008.They endured with so many causalities that it is with an extremely grateful heart my soldier came home but heavy heart knowing the loss of so many friends.

 I know Memorial day isn't until the end of the month but in our lives we remember each special soldier on their day not just Memorial Day.The chain of events that started that April until Paul came home to us left us all with invisible wounds that still have yet to heal. So please take a moment today to read the articles on PFC Aaron Gautier & PFC Jonathan Hamm to acknowledge their sacrifice so they are never forgotten.

RIP Aaron - You are Not Forgotten

RIP Jon - You are Not Forgotten

Monday, May 16, 2011

Finding your Strength

I had a couple of conversations today with different friends about strength. I think strength & being strong often means different things to different people. I know for me as a wife, mom, & military spouse it often means feeling like I am losing my mind.I don't doubt that I can make it through trainings & deployments when my husband is gone from our family. But sometimes I do find myself feeling overwhelmed from the lack of adult conversation & a partner around to listen; to help; to lean on when I need a hug.

When my friend asked today if her feelings of being tired & overwhelmed where "normal" I laughed out loud literally. I said "girl if it's not normal then I should be locked up in the loony bin!". I think as spouses or girl friends of soldiers who are absent from our everyday lives we have to remember to find a source of comfort & strength we can draw on when we feel overwhlemed. I assured her by talking with me on the phone a somewhat "seasoned" Army wife she was finding some comfort for her self. I told her stories from when Paul & I where dating long distance. I told stories from different deployments of when I completely lost my mind & how I got my feet grounded again.I can only hope it did her some good to realize that everyone hits that "deployment wall" as I call it & it SUCKS!! I am not going to sugar coat it- it is AWFUL. Mine usually comes about 6 months into a deployment . I want to crawl into my bed & never come out! Of course it never last thanks to good friends, facebook, my mom, & a lot of wine! That & the fact that I can't let the children starve- I am pretty sure I could go to jail for that.

I think we all just need to remember that we aren't alone even when the one person we really want to be standing next to us isn't able to physically be there. We have to continue to encourage & uplift one another on these crazy deployment roller coaster rides. Find Strength in eachother when we feel like we have none left. Even if it's chatting on the phone, leaving a funny Facebook message,going to dinner, sharing a glass of wine. Little things that remind us we have more Strength in our little fingers then most of the general population in America. That we ALWAYS have another person we can talk it out with when our soldier's can't be there. You aren't alone & we can do this together.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The All American Saturday

I am still here & alive I just didn't have a lot going on this week to BLOG about until yesterday. We woke up to a gorgeous Sunny sky for the third day in a row here in Washington. What a treat! The older boys where gone sleeping over with various friends. The house was nice & quiet as I thought about what to do before the last Soccer game.

 My youngest woke up & we decided to tackle the grass,weeds, & flower beds for a couple hours. He did an amazing job with his spade at helping dig out some huge weeds. I am NOT a gardener at all!! I usually kill perfectly fine plants & flowers until I get a hold of them. My mom on the other hand can make anything beautiful,I  didn't inherit her green thumb.We worked side by side for almost two hours of weeding & sweeping porches etc. He was cute when we planted his packets of Marigold seeds in a pot. I sure hope he has better luck & they grow for him. I did use Miracle Grow potting soil in hopes that would  help. I forget that he is only eight going on nine some days. He tries so hard to keep up with his older brothers all the time & act so tough. But yesterday in his sweatpants with bright yellow rubber boots,a pair of mittens because he misunderstood when I said get some old gloves to wear for weeding. It was nice to see that little, cuddly ,sweet boy that I love so much & that is growing up way to fast.

Soon it was time to change, shower, & leave for his last Soccer game of the spring season. The two boys with Paul & I piled into the van , off we went on the beautiful spring day! It was already 65 outside & everyone was in a good mood.We arrived & hoped the boys would have a good last game as their record was only one loss all season. They started off strong & never stopped! It was wonderful to watch every single boy on the team score a GOAL!! They where all so excited & they WON again! It was a great way to end the spring season.

                    On his way to score a goal!

                 HE DID IT- SCORE!!

                 Last team huddle for Yelm United- Spring

His good friend was playing a Baseball game at the same park so we stayed to watch for a little while.

These two always crack me up! They both like to watch the others sport but admit when asked they have NO IDEA what is going on during eachother's games! We will miss our Baseball friend as they prepare to PCS soon. It is my youngest first time to have to say "see you later" to a really good friend.

After the sport filled afternoon we all headed home & laid around for the rest of the afternoon. Then I got a much needed  mommy break with some friends. As the time of the deployment is coming faster & faster I needed this a lot! We all chose to go see the movie Bridesmaids, which was just AMAZING!! It has a lot of the cast from SNL & one from the office. We laughed from the moment it started until we walked out of the theater. It is a very raunchy,over the top humor at times, that had me snorting as tears rolled down my face with laughter! It was just what this army wife/mom needed to de-stress. The hysterical scenes that where played out had the entire theater roaring! It is a MUST SEE movie pick if you need a really good laugh! I enjoyed my huge tub of popcorn with m&m's sprinkled inside & all the glorious laughter. We walked out to our sunshine having been replaced with a torrential downpour of rain falling  from the sky. Back to our usual PNW cold, wet weather. But nothing could put a damper on our moods after having such a wonderfully relaxing Saturday.  

Here is the movie trailer for you all to catch a glimpse . I hope everyone out there has time to relax & enjoy the rest of your weekend. Now I am off to enjoy my second cup of coffee & listen to the rain,it is actually quite a pleasant sound.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tune Time Thursday

It has been a rather slow week here for me so not much Blogging has been going on at all. That has left me thinking all week about the Song-Link up for Thursday that is brought to us by Amber at Goodnight Moon. If she posts the link up in a while I'll link up as usual. But I still wanted to share my musical finds for the week. Because I know you all are dying to know - What has she been listening too?

Since I started participating in the Song-Link up I have started perusing different radio stations all day when in the van. It drives my kids nuts!! Especially if they like the song that is playing & it isn't speaking to me so I switch to another station. I have had to listen to way to many childrens songs over the years & still censor a lot- so It's my CHOICE in my VAN!! Any way this has led me to find several new radio stations that play great music!! My favorite find was a station that advertises playing ALL 80's & 90's ALL the TIME!! WHO-HOO- so EXCITED!! I have listened to some songs I haven't heard in YEARS! I remember thinking how old my parents where when those oldie radio stations where on in our car on road trips. Now I know how they felt- too cool to listen to classics. Even my youngest agreed with my Musical Picks for this Thursday- he was dancing around in his seat. He loved Her!! That's right folks another Lady to listen too this week.

I really couldn't pick because I LOVED almost everything she put out in the late 80's early 90's. So I just picked my top three that I love to listen too anytime. You can watch all three or pick one to listen to & dance around. She was great way before she had the amazing body in some of the videos. Ladies & gentlemen go listen & watch the AMAZING Janet Jackson!!

Did you get out of your seat & Dance?? I love all three of these & so many more- I hope you enjoyed & go Link Up with Amber sometime.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brotherly Love....NOT

Not a lot going on this week to post about so I haven't done much blogging. This video clip was sent to me on Mother's Day & it made me laugh so hard! I can totally seeing this take place in a few years in my home. I know the boys "love" eachother, but some days it's hard to tell. But when it comes to taking pictures, making cards, showing me they love me - they always try. That is way with out further ado, I share the following video. That all you moms out their can truly appreciate the effort your children make to show "brotherly love"-HAHA!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Smother your Mother

Sunday is always a busy day for us in our family. I wanted to post a day early to take a moment to say Thank You to my Mother as well as my Grandmother on my dad's side. Both wonderful women hold a special place in my heart. I know that I don't get to see them as often as I would like but such is the military life. The last Mother's Day we spent together was my first over fourteen years ago when my oldest son was only nine months old. I can hardly believe I now have four handsome boys who surprise me daily with their spunky beautiful personalities. I now know what my mom meant when she said you never stop loving your children no matter what they may do in their lives. I have experienced it first hands on days when sibling rivalry occur, report cards come home, testing of boundaries happen as they spread their wings. I am grateful for my mom & my grandmother who always set the best christian example for me to learn so many things. How to have never ending patience, how hugs through tears & laughter are the best. They always made me feel special & they still do today. Thank you so much for your loving guidance all these years.

Now to have a little fun for all my Mommy friends out here in Blog world who need a good laugh because we are right in the trenches these days. We are wiping tears, snotty noses,putting band aids on cuts,teaching life lessons daily. We love the little monsters angels with all our hearts, but are very sleep deprived. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day full of Love & Laughter. To help you with the laughter part go take a look at this hysterical video I came across thanks to a friend.  Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

  In tha Muthahood , lyrics that we can all relate too! It's not all Rainbows & Birthday Cake all the time. Some-days it's throw up, poopy diapers, fussy kids, & talking back- it's called Living in tha Muthuhood!!  Any mom out there who says her child is perfect is obviously in DENIAL!! Don't hate just smile because you never know what she might be going through with her kiddos. I know I sometimes say my kids are GREAT ! I figure if I say it enough on the days they are driving me completely insane maybe I'll actually believe it before they make me loose it. Enjoy your hard earned day moms- may you get Smothered in Love!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

You have my Appreciation

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day here in America. I want to say Thank you to all those who are currently serving as both mom & dad. The ones giving the hugs & wiping away the tears . Those who volunteer for countless hours with the FRG to make sure all our military families are taken care of while their soldier serves our nation.The ones who spend time putting together just the right care package to ship every other week overseas so their soldier & sometimes others always receive mail.Those who do carpool, take children to the doctor, dentist,baseball, football,soccer ,gymnastics, & school alone most of the time. This Thank You is for those who stand beside their soldier not behind them to help them do their jobs. This is one of the toughest jobs around so Thank You for volunteering to do it & doing it well.Not everyone is born to fulfill this role so take pride today in yourself. If you are doing the job of Military Spouse
Thank You .

For All Military Spouses:
The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens
But I am in the Military in the ranks rarely seen
I have no rank upon my shoulders - salutes I do not give
But the military world is the place where I live
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line
But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
And the call to serve his country not all can understand
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me
I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life
But I stand among the silent ranks known as the Military Wife

Great Blogs for Military Appreciation Day: 

If I were a toy,I'd be a high-bounce ball

Operation We are Here 

The Army Wife (DUDE) 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday Tune Time Link -Up

My week started off pretty good & the sunshine around western Washington has definitely improved my  mood! When I had a few moments of me time early into the week I went to Netflix & decided to finally watch the movie Easy A. I had heard it was a cute teeny bopper comedy I would enjoy. It did not disappoint. My favorite was the references they gave to the old 80's classics for me Can't Buy Me Love & Say Anything.I think McDreamy riding away on the lawn mower is still one of my favorite romantic love scenes today that I remember from Jr. High.Oh how I wanted a cute boy to love me so much he would lie, cheat, & eventually grab a lawn mower to whisk me away on for all my friends to see....ahhhh. Then the best part was the last scene in Easy A where the super cute guy from Gossip Girl plays John Cusacks role by holding the boom box up over his head by the girl's bedroom window. I remembered once again thinking how totally cool & awesome (those exact words when I was thirteen) if a boy did that while he was trying to date me, again, ahhhh.It is also one of the only romantic chick - flick type movies my husband will admit to liking. He told me about it more then once when we where dating. 

I have chosen my song from Say Anything & Easy A this week as a fun flashback to the carefree days of Jr. High. When first loves where new every other week & anything seemed possible. Boys weren't so dumb yet, they actually tried to impress us with their romantic sides.
Peter Gabriel  In your Eyes now you go Link Up with Amber from Goodnight Moon to share your favorite song of the week & listen to some more fabulous music.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reflections on One Year Ago

Excited, nervous, scared,exhausted, & grateful these where just some of the mix of emotions that where going through me this time last year. On this day in May 2010 I had barely slept due to all the conflicting feelings I was having. My husband was finally coming home after 9 months in Iraq! I had my hair,nail, & toes looking as good as possible. The house was as clean as I could get it with four boys & two dogs running around behind me. It felt like I was going on our first date all over again after seventeen years together. I had no idea if my husband would be staying for only the allotted R&R two weeks or for good? We had been told there was a possibility since he had done his Change of Responsibility in Iraq they  might allow him to remain home early to find a new job on post. I didn't tell the kids as I didn't want to get their hopes up as you never know in the Army what can happen. Things change on a dime all the time.

As I sit here today it is hard to feel like he has been here twelve months already. The time seems to have flown by so quickly.It turned out that he was able to stay & change units to a new job that was suppose to be undeployable. Of course we learned after he was home only six short months that was not to be. The Army had changed it's mind & he would deploy again in 2011. The emotions I have running through me again today are some of the same- nervous,scared, anxious, & a little anger. I know this is normal as the deployment is getting so close now.  We anxiously watch the days fall away on the calender at what seems like an increasing rate of speed. I will try to remember that I have done this before & it all worked out OK. That I became a more independent successful wife & mother for my family. We will survive another deployment no matter how much it hurts from the loneliness at times. I will try to remember those moments of sheer joy I will get to experience again as he comes home to us on R&R and for good at the end of the deployment. I will not dwell on the negative for long but move forward & make new memories for my children. It doesn't mean I won't have days of crying,stress,& every emotion in between. I just hope that I can stay focused & move past them . It still just amazes me that it's been a year already.I am so blessed to have had this time as a family. I will not be sad today I will thank God for allowing Paul to come home safe to us last year. 

Waiting for their dad to return after nine long months in Iraq.

So anxious & excited we arrived two hours early to wait. 

He Landed!!

The boys rushed to him!

We are a Family once again.

A favorite quote I will keep in mind for the upcoming months.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, May 1, 2011

History is Made, What Now?

I took a moment tonight with  my husband, my children,my friends, & all America to breathe a long awaited sigh of relief. The monster was dead- the man who was the figure head behind the 9/11 attacks. The man who collectively changed my life that day, the life of all those who lost a loved one on 9/11, all Americans around the world . We never have looked back after that day & tonight we can celebrate. It seems strange to celebrate the death of another human being, but from my view over the past ten years it is long awaited victory for our country & our Military.

I refuse to type his name, put up a picture or give him any more celebrity in death- that is why he started this attack on our nation.He wanted his name on our lips , his face burned into our minds- NO MORE!! I will have a small brief moment of happiness for all our hard working men & women in the Armed Forces who have given so much over the past ten years. Yet so much has been taken from them & their families - no one can repay. I say thank you for standing up when others wouldn't & saying Not in my country- you WILL PAY!

Another wonderful BLOGGER posted about her grief & wondered if it was really worth all the heart ache? She lost the love of her life because of this monster. Will it really change anything?? That is now my new concern & worry. My soldier will still deploy & now will this happiness be short lived by us all when retaliation happens for his death? I ask you now to pray for our Military tonight who are still serving around the world. Pray for their safety & for all those who are still yet to go to continue this battle against evil. 

Celebrate tonight America it was a hard earned victory, then remember it's back to work for that 1% of America tomorrow. Back to War (s) that aren't finished & still have our loved ones in harms way. Pray for safety, wisdom for our leaders,as well as comfort for those who stay behind & wait.

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.” (Proverbs 24:17)

7 years ago he came home from Deployment #1

This photo was the day he came home from Deployment #2

This was the day he came home from Deployment #3

It's not over, but thanks to my husband & his brothers in arms it's OK we can sleep safe tonight.