Thursday, December 5, 2013

A tiny little shot of misery.

I have decided that every single day, I need to wake up and just be happy.
Life is what you make of it, right? I realize I live a life of privilege in many ways. I am darn lucky and all in all, life is pretty darn beautiful.

However, I still get frowny.
I get sad.
Things can still suck.
Many times, I have no idea why. I find hilarity when life just suddenly gets miserable all at once. Disappointing thought after disappointing thought all in a very short period of time. I feel like a cartoon with a giant deathwish (i.e. Wile E Coyote).

That is how this week has been.
Where did all of this misery come from?

Enter: cowbell

I think it is this time of year.

It's winter so that means it is time to take stock internally and do the whole 'who I am versus who I want to be' thinking. So, I reason that my anti-social attitude reflects on the whole 'going inward' vibe and here is what I have come up with:

- I am bullying myself.
- I spend too much time picking myself apart. I am definitely my own worst enemy.
- People decide who you are before they know you. They are mostly wrong.
- Sometimes I am not authentic and when that happens, I can not face myself.
- I need to be my biggest fan.
- Everything will work itself out.

Ok. I feel better now as I have purged. I think sweet dreams are in order.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Newest Edition...

Check this NEW site out! We created this for YOU (our friends/family/health-crazed us)!!
Here we will feature all of our favorite 'healthy body' recipes.
Come join in on the fun and share with us what you love as well!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

......and on with the new.

Hey everybody! Chris here. Resident husband and guest-writer extraordinaire. With today being NYE, I have been thinking about the year that has passed. I figured I would write down some of my highlights for the year.

But first, quick 2011 recap:
* Trained and prepared to deploy to Afghanistan...didn't go to Afghanistan.
* Took many AWOL guys to jail.
* Learned to play rugby and actually had the opportunity to play on a team (10th Mtn Barracks Rangers).
* FINALLY got to spend some time with my family.

There's the quick quick version.
So, if you don't have time to read anymore, you've got the jest of it.

But, if you have a few extra moments, read ONWARD my friends...

This year started with Tammy and I thinking that I was deploying to Afghanistan. It would have been my third time there, and as a family (and a couple) we were ready for me to go.

In February, I was told that I was going to stay back from the deployment as the Rear D NCOIC to handle anything that came up at Drum due to me having deployed so many times. I fought the idea at first, but became OK with it.

In March, I watched my company leave for Afghanistan. I have to say, it is a hell of a lot easier to get on the plane and take off than it is to watch it leave. I can honestly say there have only been a few times in life that I have felt worse than that. I felt like I had betrayed my Soldiers and friends. It bothered me more than I can say. I am a Sapper. I train. I fight. I deploy.
Watching everything happen from the cheap seats ain't my style.

But, my mission was to stay here. So I did. And I have been handling everything on the home front to the best of my ability since. Rear Detachment hasn't been too horrible. My boss is pretty cool. No, really, he is. I have enjoyed working for him. Some of the other NCO's that stayed back have been fun to work with, as well. So in all, it has been bearable in that aspect.

Shortly after the Brigade left, we had a bunch of AWOL Soldiers come back. This has led to me spending more time in court than I care to (since I have been stationed here on Drum for so long, I have known each one one of the Soldiers that had gone AWOL. Even the one that left in NOV 2004 and finally was caught. So, off to trial I go....). And then, I have to take them to jail as well. It's sad that I now know exactly where the prison on Ft Leavenworth is. But, you get what you get. Stupid choices=jail. And I don't feel bad for them.

In April, I saw a flyer in the gym for the FT Drum Rugby Team. This TOTALLY caught my interest. I have casually watched Rugby for years, but never really played. Now that my body has sort of 'filled out' over the years, I figured I was about the right size to finally play.
Following my first practice, I came straight home and told Tammy that what I had just done was unreal.

What a great sport!

The last true sport!

No helmets, no pads, just 15 men hitting and thrashing.
I loved it.

I joined the team, played Second Row (I was #5, if you know what I'm talking about), rocked out for a few games, and got anyone I could to come out and play. In fact, until he separated from the Army, my boy Quiles joined the team and played Flanker.

Work got the best of me the last few weeks of the season, but I can tell you that playing from the 10th Mountain Division Barracks Rangers RFC was truly a highlight of my year. It was crazy being a 33 year old rookie, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. "I'm a rugger through and through."
Quote me on that.
Oh, and the Rugby World Cup was awesome to watch. Congrats again to the All Blacks winning it all on their home pitch!

Tammy and I have talked about what my career a lot this year.
What does the future hold?
What do I have to look forward as a 12B?

As most of you know, I tanked out of SFAS (Did NOT quit...was just vastly UNDER-prepared).
So, the thought of going SPEC-OPS kinda left my mind at that point.
Well, we re-visited what the potential options were, and we decided that I would put a packet into Civil Affairs (CA) (kind of the political/humanitarian side of the Army. Kind of. But not really).
I was accepted back in October to try out for the program. I'm heading to FT Bragg in a month or so to finish "try outs" and to be able to continue to become an Operator. It is about a year of school and I have to learn French. Yep, laugh it up. Me, the biggest French/Canadian hater you know has to learn French. We're excited about the possibilities that this opportunity holds. CA is a big deal and hopefully it all pans out. My ego was checked at the door the second I failed SFAS. I am looking at this a whole different way. Check back in February to see if I made it or not...

In the beginning of September, 3 Soldiers in my unit were seriously wounded. One was shot, one lost his leg due to a mine, and the other took shrapnel from said mine. It was tough calling parents and wives to explain this. But, that wasn't nearly as hard as 30 Oct. SSG Ari Cullers was killed in combat. He was a friend. A true friend. And a hell of a barber. I asked to escort him home from Dover AFB to his home in New London, CT...which I did. It was difficult. But, the turn out of people from his hometown was amazing. Seeing the streets lined with people with their hands over their hearts was amazing. They say small towns feel the loss of a member of its community the hardest, and I agree. Ari was a mechanic, but at heart he was a Sapper. He was one of us and it was a loss that echoed throughout the Battalion.
Ari will be missed. Eternally.

In November, Tammy and I switched over to 'Clean Eating'. It has been amazing. Basically, we're skipping out on high-fats, processed foods, starches, and really anything else that's bad for you. I still eat red meat, just in smaller portions. I have to admit that I feel good. Like, really good. My blood pressure is at an all time low and the excess pounds are melting off. The recipes we have found (and have made up on our own) since doing this have been delicious. I mean uber-delicious. This is a super life-changing choice for me. But, so far, it has been totally worth it. And I recommend it. Besides, soda sucks anyways.

A few other side-note highlights were going to Boston over St. Pats day with Sapper J to see the Dropkick Murphys, Going to NJ and seeing Shane, Jon, and everyone else, and seeing the Street Dogs/Off with their Heads/Murder the Stout show in Syracuse with Tammy.

Of course, being here for Colin, Tammy's, and Emma's birthdays was also pretty awesome. I don't think I've been home for all 3 in quite some time. That's my first Hat Trick!

Tammy and I hit 8 years together at the start of this month. She is still the best thing that has ever happened to me.

On a side note, Matt Melander and I had our 21 year anniversary in August. Big love to my hetero-life mate. And here's to another 21 years. Sean, Shane. Jon, Taylor, and Collum all get a quick shout out for 15 plus years of destruction together.

2012 is beyond unwritten. We'll see what it holds for all of us. I am feeling confident about whatever may come.

Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is 'Mum' the word?

Ahhh New Years Day is in just a day or even gets capitalized to show its significance. But really, what does it signify? Western cultures deems it January 1. So that must mean something, right? Perhaps marking the winter solstice? Other cultures mark another date within the year as 'New Years' but we never jumped on any of those bandwagons.
I know that drinking on New Years Eve is a tradition that is derived from Medieval time as an excuse for people to go to houses and commit crimes. Dear old Henry VIII had to send those people to prison whom went 'mumming' in masks. I have heard it is pagan tradition as well where men and women would swap clothing, put on masks, and dance or put on plays while visiting neighbors and friends.

Nonetheless, what is your tradition?

We have been huge into partying for previous celebrations. I just loved goofing off with friends and most everyone partakes. Do you make resolutions? I do. I don't make them for New Years. I make them throughout the year because I am a big dork who enjoys reinventing myself often...especially internally. I do like the idea of psychologically 'starting over'.

I have a few new adventures coming up...and I am SO ready for ALL of them!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

define you.


I have been told that I have passion.
Something that can take you from 0 to 60 in no time at all?

What are you passionate about?
see also: passionate - having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling

I am passionate about many, many things.

I am all or nothing in everything that I do.

I am ALL about this:

Your life depends on it.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Farewell to TTT.

I have actually talked my way out of therapy.

This time last year was a consistent mental hangover. Deployment was on the horizon. School was the most difficult it could be. I could go on and on but long story short, the trials and tribulations just did not fit in my back pocket any longer. I was physically losing my breath with the massive backpack it all required. I was literally out of breath daily and this is not an exaggeration. I experienced panic-attacks. I did it to myself. No, really. I mean where is the fine print that states we must be responsible for it all? The drama we create for ourselves internally...and the damage we do to ourselves...

I love my therapist. I love her so much that I had wept a tear or two when I realized that no longer attending a visit to her office meant the end of that relationship. For good. She is full of honesty and realism. Did I mention she is English and has a flair for sarcasm? This I love most. She is so blunt and 'real' that many people just cannot deal with her and quit going to her after one or two visits. She is not designed to tell you what you want to hear. This makes me love her more.

I have really learned how to cope with my internal drama on my own. Music and exercise have become my new therapists. No fancy medication.

I fell in love with 'Talk Therapy Thursday'(TTT) but now I have learned that I can internally talk myself through anxious moments and watch the anxiety train steam through and I come out unscathed. The world's problems are not mine to control, I do not have to have it all done today...but listening to MYSELF (even if people think I suck for doing so at times) and what I feel is good for ME (and my kids)is what matters.

Going to talk to someone about what ails me seems so 'weak' to some but I don't care. I can tell you, this woman never told me what I wanted to hear. Ever. Each session took a lot of strength and to admit to anyone that I feel weak is not easy. She never held onto my problems but deconstructed them and handed me some verbal tools that allowed me to take them on.

Final takeaway: English sarcasm/humor is the cure to all of my problems.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Struggle Breeds Strength

The past 10 1/2 months have been quite tumultuous. Obvious moments of intense anxiety...however, also moments of intense gratitude, love, selflessness, self-discovery, respect, and patience.
The anxiety of an impending deployment was upon us. However, when the words were delivered that Chris would be in charge of Rear Detachment for the deployment, anxiety was only one of the many emotions that would run through each of us individually and also as a couple. The start of the guys leaving felt worse than any feelings I had experienced when Chris deployed. I began to really 'see' the other spouses differently. I saw that many dealt with their husband/boyfriend leaving a heck of a lot more rationally than I had remembered of myself. Many would stand by their loved one until the bus pulled away and they could go no further. Not I. I dropped the boy off (with a family member driving) and did not even look over at the row of bags which would essentially spell out what was actually happening. Instead I ducked down in my seat and folded my body into the fetal position and fact, my dad commented how I needed to 'get it together'. The drive home was over an hour and I remembered having so much ache in my tummy and pain in my, tears that would not stop. Watching the love of my life leave for what would be 16 months, or a year; as in the second deployment I would experience...brought this unbreakable, battle armored gal to her knees.
Just watching each family have their 'moments' before the deployment would begin was an out-of-body experience. I had to stay. I had to be there in case even just one person had a moment similar to my own. I had to explain the intense gut punch-like feeling that was oddly 'normal'. Yes, it feels much like saying your parting words as though you would never see him again. Each person managed their 'moment' and off they went.
The first week or so is often difficult. The gut punch feeling lessens. Once he got into country I felt like we could officially begin the time apart. There would still be rough days...even weeks...but for the most part, the new routine begins.

Much to my chagrin, this deployment would be largely different for us. The intense guilt...anxiety for each spouse/girlfriend...the struggle of deployment would be multiplied by each family member we would work with. I felt closer to each one individually. The role of FRG Leader would accompany this 'mama bear' feeling.

As we delve into the last half of the year long deployment for our company, there is still a lot going on and no shortage of aches and pains. The responsibility of the Army was never something I took on. I chose to live 75 miles away until last year and is a life style I am certain that even the strongest spouse could not find comfort in right out of the gate. The plethora of others going through similar emotions does help in difficult times. The resources for coping through are endless. However, the need to 'escape' the Army-life bubble is something I can not deny and should also be a requirement.

In all, what remains crucial is realizing what you are getting yourself into...
**These lists will not be comprehensive. Feel free to comment and add on...

Do NOT marry a soldier just because:
1.) you want to be American
2.) you need insurance
3.) you want to see the world (oh, you may to a certain degree but there is NO guarantee where you will end up)
4.) you need a steady paycheck
5.) you don't want to work and he can support you
6.) he is a hottie
7.) you think you can be a part of 'something' bigger than the middle of nowhere town you are from
8.) you need to get out of the little town you grew up in

you must...
1.) deeply love and respect the soldier
2.) realize you have NO control and be OK with that
3.) realize that resenting the soldier or the Army will deteriorate your relationship
4.) be self-less
5.) be comfortable in your own skin and NOT be codependent on anyone but YOU
6.) learn when to ask for help
7.) realize having children is YOUR responsibility and it is likely there will be extended periods of time when you are raising them alone
8.) create a support system - even if your family is 3000 miles away
9.) learn the postal system
10.)find hobbies, sports, school, job, etc to fill the gaps of time and enrich your own life always
11.)open to finding time for yourself (see #6 -- within reason)

While this may NOT always be an option (as with any path you may choose) make it a priority!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The road ahead.

Reflecting on 2010, there have been so many positive moments that far outweigh the not-so...some of our most happiest moments include: friends and family visiting from near and far, Chris being called to grand marshal the Coleman's St. Patrick's Day parade, running in my first race, learning I could run more than 5 miles in the snow/ice, Chris graduating Airborne School, renting out our house and moving to Ft. Drum, visiting Boston/Haverhill two times in two months, the birth of new babies (especially the joy of the first-time parents Melissa and John Dafoe, Mark and Wendy Vechini, and my childhood friend Jeff Deeb), good friends finding out they are pregnant, Colin starting school and riding the school bus all on his own, my schooling becoming more challenging but more interesting, adopting Sully, attending my first opera, reconnecting with old friends and meeting some out-of-this-world new friends.

The not-so are primarily the giant gaps of time away from Chris. Seeing good friends move away and even some break away completely. Separation in marriages and the death of one of my favorite Aunts to cancer wounded me more than I thought possible. However, with the realization of the year ahead and knowing that road involves another deployment, we know the difficult moments are inevitable. The grander moments such as me finally graduating college, starting a 'round-robin preschool', and immersing myself and the kids in loving every moment with or without Chris will become our new positive challenges ahead.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2011!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The term is Resiliency.

I received some final words of wisdom from a professor (Dr. Gary Burk) who taught my Learning and Cognition class and each one of those words really hit home.

He goes onto talk about resiliency. What does that mean to you?

To me, as a total humanist, resiliency is an individual's capacity to thrive and fulfill potential. This is regardless of stress in their life. People that are resilient see their problems or areas of stress as opportunities for growth. Those that are resilient seem not only to cope well with unusual strains and stressors but actually to experience such challenges as learning and development opportunities.

To quote Dr Gary Burk:
'While some individuals may seem to prove themselves to be more resilient than others, it should be recognized that resilience is a dynamic quality, not a permanent capacity. In other words, resilient individuals demonstrate dynamic self-renewal, whereas less resilient individuals find themselves worn down and negatively impacted by life stressors'.

...Really think about those words. In my life I have experienced some serious stressors. Haven't most of us? I would think so. Our ability to recognize these obstacles as eventual successes really helps you to manage these stressful times with a clear mind.

He also writes:

'John Dewey (1859-1952), the renowned 20th century American educational philosopher, describes this sense of continuance through dynamic self-renewal:

A stone when struck resists. If its resistance is greater than the force of the blow struck, it remains outwardly unchanged. Otherwise, it is shattered. While the living thing may easily be crushed by a superior force, it none the less tries to turn the energies which act upon it into means of its own further existences... It is the very nature of life to strive to continue in being. Since this continuance can be secured only by constant renewals, life is a self-renewing process'.

I gained a renewed outlook by really processing these words. If you listen to them, there is a lot of common sense, yes. However, if you look inward and see yourself in those words, it helps you to reflect. You can reflect on who you are inside and the struggles that may feel bigger than you can manage. You can finally take a deep breath and realize that perceiving the stresses in life differently can go a long way in overcoming them.

I feel this ties in nicely with the bullying issues all over the media recently. This also ties in with my own personal struggles in managing some of the overwhelming tasks of parenthood and even as a military spouse.

Everyone experiences moments of insanity (or even longer than moments), but it is how we view these moments in ourselves that allows us to become resilient human beings and in turn become a stronger person within.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Operation Procreation Has Commenced.

Do you know what it takes to be a good parent? I am still learning. The main ingredient that I have learned that you MUST have is an open mind. Sounds easy enough, right? Umm...not when it comes to your own kids. I definitely have one. For now, anyway.
Many of us have this master plan for our kids. You know, a plan that sums up how we want them to be raised in extraordinary circumstances and how we want them to turn out. The master plan is a great baseline for parental perfection BUT each kid needs their own parental master plan and lemme tell you, you better be ready to adjust your master plan. OVER and OVER.

I learned the meaning of unconditional love after meeting Colin for the first time. I definitely have loved people before. In fact, I love and adore many people. However, Colin hit me right between the eyes. I never had a clue what love was until I met that kid. Then, my nervousness in having a made me question if I could love Emma as much as Colin. I didn't know how it was possible to love two people so unconditionally. Oh my goodness, I did. In fact, I think my love for both of them went to another level the day Emma was born.

The decision to stop expanding our brood came quite naturally. I started realizing that if we had another child, yes, of course I would be happy and love them with all of my being etc etc. However, how the heck could I manage three kids with this Army lifestyle? I know that many many women do it, and flawlessly (or so it appears). I guess I just know my obsession with having an open mind with the two I have while maintaining patience. I can divide my love and attention so evenly right now. So, after months of discussion...two it is. Colin and Emma. A boy and a girl.

Chris decided to be the one to ensure surprises regarding another child would be eliminated. Such a sweet guy. After all, I was NOT volunteering to be cut open AGAIN. So, he did.

I was recently thinking back on our master plan that Chris and I discussed when I was pregnant with Colin. I realized that the plan included never getting lost in being a parent where we could neglect one another. So, here we are. Surviving deployment #3 in our marriage and surviving #6 through Chris's career which is forthcoming. I am mindful of our relationship and care deeply about what happens to it. I am also enjoying that I can invest emotions into other people in my life now. I am less overcome by emotions right now. I am starting to feel really comfortable with the way things are.

So, here we are. Just the four of us - for all time(well, and Sully).


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A little about the emotions of a deployment

I was digging through some old photos and journals, etc and I found this one journal. There is about a paragraph I wrote back on Feb 25, 2006 that discussed how it feels when your husband deploys. Albeit, before kids even entered the picture (Colin was born April 5, 2006, yes, 4/5/06).
Some people have asked me about it so I thought I would share this.
Side note: I was pregnant with Colin when I wrote this.
'There goes day one without my best buddy. At 1:30am I woke up puking my guts out. Knowing Chris was leaving. It just sucks and there is no other way to explain it. I could not take him in enough before we said 'farewell'...
'I am deeply hurting inside but more than anything, I just pray for his strength. His heart. My heart initially broke when I walked away from him this morning. My guts sank and my insides ruptured. I had feelings as though he just died. This really hit me. This whole experience made me realize how dedicated I am to this person. I ache to be with him every single moment we are apart. I will stay as strong as possible as well for my little guy. He is almost here. He will need me very soon....'
Time away from Chris is no joke and the military; even when not deploying these guys; works them and keeps them away from the people that love them the most all the time for training etc.
Anyway, being here on base is a good thing for us as a family. Our time together is quality since Chris is not having to commute from Syracuse (over 70 miles each way).
I thought I would share this since I have a couple friends that are dealing with their husbands being away at the moment. Totally sucks but I get it...and I can help support them. I have more strength and more to give emotionally living here for some reason.
To all of you dealing with a husband being away, you are never alone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

thank you, with a cherry on top.

My buddy Maranda (Manna) whom I think is one of the coolest people on the planet has decided my itsy wittle blog is cool enough to read. or something?
Oh and then the woman gives me an award.

This lady on the left is Manna:

The gent in the photo is her fantastic husband Otty.
Two of the greatest. Really.

Anyway, she felt my blog was worthy of some acknowledgment. So here is the details on that oh-so-sweet (pun intended) award:

My job now is to thank the illustrious Maranda (Thank you, sweet cheeks), list 3 things I love about myself, and pass it along to 5 (or 4, in my case) other people (not in that order).

Thanks Manna @ My Camo Colored Life!

Blogs I would like to give this award to:

1. Excess Baggage
2. ACU's, Stilleto Shoes and Pretty Pink Tutus
3. The Spinster Chronicles
4. Elizabeth Waterstraat

As promised: 3 things I love about myself.

1. Loyalty to those I love and care about.
2. Openness of m.e.
3. Dedication to being a great mother, student, wife, friend etc etc.

Manna, you make me feel lucky. Oh, and now I need a cupcake. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My kids have taught me how to get to daily Super-hero status.

I have always loved children. Children are so honest and is so exciting to them and the things I take for granted, they find cool and interesting.
I wasn't necessarily sure I would be a mother though. The concept seemed so far-fetched for my lifestyle. Fast-paced, LOUD, unstructured (except for having to work), and somewhat unstable.
After Chris and I were married, I did realize that having children was most likely going to happen but the process in which this would actually happen (besides the obvious) never crossed my mind. Who would have guessed that I would birth our first child while Chris was deployed? I was so unaware that I would be capable of taking care of a newborn baby alone. Then, came two...'oh my goodness, WHAT am I doing?! Chris deploys every other year, he is in training after training or in the field when he actually is home and I am supposed to know what the heck I am doing?!
Oh boy.
Then, throw in the stay-at-home mom (SAHM) part right before Emma is born.
Being a SAHM appeared to be so easy but OMG, not likely. Maybe (?!) when it is just you and one child...but two...or more? Ahem, NO.
I am definitely learning. As much as instinct has helped me, other great mothers (and fathers) around me, and every how-to guide known to (wo)man...I still find that I have learned most of what I know through the children themselves. No, I do not leave them to their own defenses while I prop my feet up and do nothing!
After much struggle with Colin and his very energetic nature, I learned that I need to relax a little, be a little more consistent in following through with discipline and most of all, let him show me how things are done.
Through this, he is forced to think for himself and most of the time feel as though he is making choices on his own.
I will admit, I do find toddlers very challenging at times. They have the ability to go from loud and demanding to funny and lovable. There have been days where I have seen both kids go from one extreme to the other interchangeably within minutes. Chris and I joke that they mentally high-five each other between mood swings as if to gang up on us. If it isn't one asserting themselves, it is the other. However, I just adore their independence most days and think they are just the cutest little people in the universe. Emma is hysterical when she imitates me and Colin is outstanding with his ability to recall everything...I mean, everything. They keep me on my toes!
Nevertheless, the challenging times really and truly have helped to balance me and to teach me more about how super human I really can be.
The truth is, what I have learned most about me through my children is how much I can actually manage before feeling a near imploding, chest-caving feeling. Once I get that feeling...I still manage to handle even more (especially when bedtime is approaching...the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak)

The key for me has been to exude the personalities I would like to see from them in return. So, when I feel overwhelmed, I smile, take a deep breath and attempt to react in soft tones...relaxed.
I also try not to react to every single thing. This is not easy. Patience. Vats amounts of it. Many of my friends have asked me numerous times about my patience and where did I get it? Answer: Realizing there is no other choice. Unless of course I want to make myself crazy (which I have felt on the verge of a few times).
Chris not being around as much as we would like definitely makes things more difficult but hey, this is the life we (sorta) chose and we need to make this arrangement work.
I also find it important to explain to your children how you feel about certain things often. They also need to hear the things you like that they do and how it makes you feel as well as the bad.
You know what makes me feel like a super hero? When my kids tell me I am awesome and that I make them happy. Colin often says at any given moment 'Mommy, I love you'. This just rules. Ems is always for no reason coming up to me and smothering me with hugs and 'Hi Mommy'.
The rocky road of parenthood is so far out of my comfort zone it isn't even funny.
Remember the fast-paced life I led before? Well, it has not gotten slower like I assumed it would, it sped up. Some people claim their life slows down with having kids but not I...not with the Army, not one bit.
This post would never end if I were to acknowledge every little thing I have learned from these two kids. Seriously. So, tell me...what have you learned about you through your kids?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Big D, little d, what begins with D?

Representing 'D' in this case is Drama with a capital D.

We all have some drama in our lives but ask yourself this:
Do you create it?
Do you enable it?

If you do either, you are not necessarily a bad person.
You really just need to figure out why? This mean a little soul searching within YOU.

Is it to make you feel better about yourself and receive a little attention?
Are you hurting anyone in the process?

I have been learning to live a fairly 'drama free' lifestyle. I can tell you it is not always easy but with a few thoughts in mind, it sure makes it seem possible.

If you are one of those people that try to heal the world; this is a nice gesture, but isn't always possible. There are just some things you have no control over and you need to make peace with that! No shedding millions of tears or any pity parties over things that are just unfix-able. For instance, Aunt Milly is sick and is in the hospital. This is an example of something that just is and it is OK to be sad BUT having a 24/7 depressive streak is going to change nothing! You need to be there for Aunt Milly and those around her as much as you realistically can...and that's that.

This next one is my BIGGEST obstacle and is the major reason I say that I am still learning to live 'drama free'. Worrying. Yes, worrying is FUTILE but I still do it without even knowing it at times! You have to try and be aware of when you do this and realize that worry gets you nowhere!!

This next one, is a tough one (at least for me): There are inevitably some people in your life that may contribute to some of the drama in your life. I choose to limit my time with those that have overwhelming gallon after gallon buckets of drama but I do not have the heart nor wish to cut them loose completely.
For me, I know people go through tough times and things happen. Sometimes, you just can't help being dramatic. BUT if this is happening over and over, there may be a bigger issue here.
If you are OK with helping the person through it, so be it...but do not expect to feel good at the end because you fixed it, because remember, you can not change the universe by yourself. All you can do is support these possibly 'over-emotional' people in your life.

In my opinion, some of my more 'emotional' friends are my favorite people. The only time this opinion changes is when the drama is scooped up and laid on my lap and it is then up to me to manage it. Um...yeah, NO!

Next, you need to learn to be a little more assertive. I am working on this and I can tell you...I HATE confrontation! I am the one that just lets things go because if it doesn't NEED to be a dramatic episode, letting go (but REALLY letting it go) is SO much easier! However, if letting it go just isn't going to be possible, then look that issue in the face and smile and say 'this is how I feel' (without extra dramatic input, please) and good-bye. Then, really drop it. LET IT GO!

Finally, this is YOUR life. YOU are in control of the external emotions that are laid upon you. Control how you accept them. Do you not let ANYONE bestow upon you how YOU should feel. EVER!

I have to say, I have a lot of very different people in my life. Yes, some are super dramatic but very rarely plop it on me without me allowing it. However, there are also the supa chill friends that experience drama and I am so happy to share it with them. As with them, I know they need a friend but they never force me to carry it. That's the difference!

Anyway, the moral of the story here is not that you need to live a life with absolutely NO Drama ever. That is just not possible. BUT when you do, be ever so gentle with those around you in forcing them to manage it for you.

A true friend just wants some peace of mind and support through it all. NOT to clean up the entire mess.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Thinking about being 14 again.......

So, here I am at lovely, beautiful Fort Leonard Wood. Not a lot to do here, not that I want to do much. But, Boredom kicked in and I started youtube-ing abunch of stuff. This led me back to looking up videos of bands I loved back in the early 90's. I won't start listing names, but most of you know who they were. I was kinda in between metal and punk and fell into the "grunge" thing for a bit. So, I'm watching these videos and thinking about the time from about June of 92 until about June of 94 and how awesome those times were. Man, in a lot of ways they were just magical. And I mean that. Every new song was a new adventure. Every new band was a chance to just explore. I had just started playing guitar and my passion for both playing and just listening was exploding. Ask Matt how many times I drove him nuts playing while he was watching TV. But, I HAD to play. I had to. It was so urgent. It felt like I wouldn't live if I didn't start strumming. It was an addiction. But, music was too. Oh man, was it. I had no idea what kind of power music had until around that time. And I listened to everything. I remember someone asking me how I could listen to Belly and Slayer at the same time. But, they were both sooooo good! That's why!
Being 14 and discovering girls ( and I do mean discovering) and all the emotions that come with it as well as this whole new world of music was just, for lack of a better term, special. And those emotions were so pure. I mean, everything felt so honest then. I loved just sitting there and just listening. I don't wanna sound like a hippie, but I mean that. Just turn the lights off and feel the music. There are some songs that will just grab your heart, your soul, and not let go. I could go off on another tangent about how crap groups like Lady GaGa or whatever the hell is playing on your radio right now and how there is NO soul that comes with it. A quick side note; I saw an awesome bumper sticker once: "A drum machine doesn't have a soul." Amen to that. Back to what I was saying though; You can hear passion in the music. You can hear the love of the song, even on record. Quick FYI; music has been around longer than language. Adam was trying to bust out phat beats before Eve came around. But, I digress; That time in my life was awesome. It really was. It basically started and ended with Todd going and returning from Sweden. Funny how I can bookmark it like that......
But, those two short years were just perfect. And I mean that. Being that age and trying to figure everything out and being soooooo passionate about everything is, I think, special to everyone. That point of every ones life is just magic. I'm lucky to still have my best friend and hetero-life mate from back then. Matt and I will still be best friends when we're 105. I am very lucky to have a lot of the same friends from my teenage years. From Fremont I have Matt, Sean, and Ian. From Flemington, somehow Jon, Shane, Jeff, and Chris still put up with me.
Ok, one last thing before I go. One of the songs I looked up on YouTube I couldn't actually listene to. It brought out this whole rush of emotions and memories that I hadn't felt in a while. I actually had to turn the song off. It was too much sensory overload. Awesome times. They really were.
To wrap this up, I hope everyone looks back on those couple years and feels the same. Even though it feels like your the only person who has ever felt that way, ever, you're really not. So lets here it for those awkward angst filled years of pimples and bad hair! I'm so glad I made it to this side of life and I'm beyond grateful to have been able to become "me" during that time. Oh, and I'm glad I got to see a lot of those bands live. And some classic Bay Area bands like Nuclear Rabbit. And just a few shows at City Gardens before it closed. Oh, and to go from one extreme like the Bay to NJ was epic. Maybe I'll write about that one day.
I hope you all enjoyed my rambling! Until next time loyal readers;