Friday, December 28, 2012

The past few months

I'm seriously slacking on blogging, and after my last post about my cruise (in October) the rest of the year has flown by way too fast!!

I had been looking forward to Halloween since I decided on our costumes this summer.  A tribute to Toy Story. 

 The best part was when Cooper found a little girl dressed up at Jessie & held hands with her for the rest of the neighborhood.  When he first spotted her, he yelled out "Jessie, wait for me!"  

November flew by and we made a major change.  After having the most amazing nanny, Erica, with us for a year, the boys made the change to daycare.  They cried for the first 4 days, and now only occasionally.

In December we experienced a great Christmas program where Cooper danced, sang and had the time of his life...and Carter stood in the front, maintained a disgusted look on his face, and refused to move for all 4 songs.  It was great.

We are enjoying our Christmas break, doing little excursions and Eric is working on his Capstone Exam.  I was most excited that Santa brought me 12 gauge Mossberg 500 for Christmas.  We went to the range yesterday so I could get comfortable with it, and I was very impressed with the result.

I told Eric I should post this target on the front door as a warning :o)  It was a SO much fun, and I told Eric that I need a gun bag and to learn to clean everything so shooting can be my next hobby!

It has been a relaxing week with the hubby & the kids and we look forward to what the next year brings!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cruisin' with my Homies

Early this spring, soon after Eric finally joined us here in NC, I decided to go on a cruise with a girl from work.  Charleston, SC is a short drive away and the prices were considerably lower in the fall.  We ended up planning on the same cruise as a few other girls from work, and the planning began.  We organized sitters, planned our adventure and anxiously awaited our 5 day adventure.

October couldn't have come soon enough, and we planned, sent numerous messages & texts, had impromptu meetings and finally set off.  We all piled in the hubby's truck and headed for South Carolina.  Parking was quite the ordeal at the Charleston port, but soon enough we were had our bags in our rooms and headed to the Lido deck to relax and let the vacation begin.

I spent most of the time in my floppy hat, sunglasses & cover-up while drinking ice water and catching up on some recent purchases on the kindle.  It was GREAT!  The food left a little to be desired, it was really hit and miss, but by the second day I knew what I liked and looked forward to not being on anyone's schedule but my own.

Our first stop was in Nassau where my roomie was nice enough to wander with me through the Straw Market as every vendor was peddling the same thing and trying to squeeze every dollar they could.  Due to copyright laws in the US, fake designer handbags are against the law...but supposedly a person could find a vendor to take that person to a hidden area above a real store where supposedly there is a wide selection of great knock-offs.  Supposedly.  And supposedly the entrance to this fictional location was scary enough that SOMEONE was almost abandoned as they walked up the stairs naively.  I hear everyone survived and came back unscathed.

That night was one of the girl's birthdays and we had decided on dressing up to an 80's theme.  I was at a loss but with A LOT of help I decided on Punky Brewster.  My roomie, Lisa, was Run DMC (equipped with a boombox), and we also had Richard Simmons, Cindy Lauper, & Jane Fonda.

This is my tribute to Stephan Colbert, and Lisa was nice enough to oblige.

We then hit up Freeport where I bought a few more things and enjoyed reading and laying around.

As we headed home, all of us DEDICATED mothers (despite some rude Facebook commenters), were well rested and anxious to get home.

I had such an amazing trip with amazing women!!!  I truly suggest a girls cruise to every woman!  But, next time I want the hubby to come :o)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When I grow up...

...oh yeah, I am already there.

Although there is no specific age declaring you are fully grown, I'm starting to realize that I should really have all my ducks in a row by now.

I am now in my 30's, married with kids, have a job I love and we are always planning for potential possibilities in the future.

With all of that you would think I would feel "grown up," but it wasn't until a Dr appointment last week that it all really sunk in.

I have had chronic back and neck pain since I was 15. FIFTEEN years of pain, physical therapy,  chiropractic care, massages, pain killers, and muscle relaxers all without any substantial long term improvement.  Six years ago, when I was at my most healthy weight, I was told I had bulging discs at the base of my neck and did six months of cervical traction that wasn't helping, then I started getting massages on a regular basis that gave more pain relief and made my migraines more infrequent.  I've continued my own routine of monthly massages with occasional muscle relaxers until this summer when I knew something else had to be wrong.  The 2 bulging discs are now both herniated.

I'm only 30!  SERIOUSLY!

My NP was baffled that I had not been in a car accident or some other traumatic event to have caused this, and why I wasn't asking for pain meds.

So, I guess I am finally a grown up, with knees that predict storms and a neck/back that gives me good and bad days.

All that being said, my game plan is not going to change.  I've always had the goal of getting into Nursing Education after having 10 years experience, and this is my kick start back to school!  I'm going to continue to work where I am at because I am happy there and have learned more in the last year than I ever thought possible.

I am no longer in denial, and look forward to the journey ahead :o)

What experience made you realize you were a "grown up?"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just another Girls Night Out

One of the most important things every military wife has is friends.  They are there to share moments of sadness, frustration, but also joy.  Spending numerous months away from your spouse just plain sucks sometimes, especially for holidays and birthdays.  Lora and I took a weekend getaway back in June to Charleston, SC where we both decided to force our husbands to retire there and share a row house together in downtown.  So, when it came time for her birthday, I knew it needed to be fun.  Since the hubby and I had so much fun at Zip Quest, I figured it would be the perfect thing for Lora and I to do!

Since I didn't have pictures of me & the hubby , here are some great ones of me & Lora!

It was 2.5 hrs in the treetops with amazing zips and great conversation.  We actually had one of the same guides, Amanda, both times and so far everyone has a great sense of humor and making sure you have a great time is their job.

So, if you want to come visit Fayetteville, NC be sure to check them out AND hit up Pierro's on Hay Street, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reviews, reviews, and reviews

When I find something that makes me happy, I love to pass it on and share the joy!

Last month I had the joy of reading a great book by Bethanne Strasser, "For Love or Duty."  I was first attracted to her blog, as she is a fellow Army Wife, and then was intrigued that she was also a writer.  I purchased the Kindle version of her book and was thoroughly pleased with the read.  I am not a fan of traditional romance novels because of all the sex.  I just don't want to read OR see it.  Bethanne did a tremendous job portraying the two main characters passion for one another without making me blush.  It made my heart smile!  It was sweet and kept me rooting for a romance to blossom while each character faced their fears.  I recommend this to not only my fellow Army Wives, but to anyone looking for a great, clean, read!

I have a confession.  While everyone is OBSESSED with Pinterest, I'm addicted to Etsy!  I love one of the kind things, and love supporting small business.  I recently purchased a necklace that is fast becoming my favorite accessory.  I have wanted a necklace like this ever since I found out I was having twins, but it makes a perfect mommy necklace with the option of up to 4 pearls.  From the day I purchased this necklace, to it arriving at my house was less than a week.  It was even in a pretty white box with blue ribbon!  Also, if you are an etsy fan too, find me so I can see some of your favorite things!

Last, the hubby and I went to Zip Quest here in Fayetteville to celebrate our 11 year anniversary this month.  I've heard people at work talk about wanting to go, and I thought it was a perfect thing for the hubby and I.  We did the fancy dinner last year, so flying through the tree tops seemed like the best idea!  When we arrived at 1630 it was 103 degrees outside and the hubby was already sweating.  We got rigged up and after properly demonstrating that we knew how to slow down, stop, and able to pull ourselves a short distance, we headed out.  It was SO much fun, and our guides, Ryan & Amanda, were fantastic.  If you are ever coming to the area, Zip Quest is a must.  It would also make a great girls, or guys, night out.

Sorry I don't have any great pix or my own, but PLEASE check out the links, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful holiday that celebrates the founding of this nation of freedom.  I want to give a big birthday wish to my Sexy Beast!!!

The 82nd Airborne Choir is an LGOP (little group of paratroopers) here at Bragg that recently performed at my brother's residency graduation.  His amazing wife was able to record two of the songs they performed, and today is the perfect day to share them with you.

So, grab some kleenex, and God Bless the USA!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's that time of year again, PCS season!

After almost eleven years of being an Army wife, I am truly ready to move after three to four years in the same place.  As I have said before, we have been exceptionally lucky when it comes to duty stations.  Eighteen months after our wedding, we boarded a plane and spent the next three years on the glorious island of O'ahu.  Three years later we headed to the swamps of Northwest Florida where we spent almost six years.  Then, the boys and I headed to North Carolina last year.  I have made all kinds of friends in our journey, and am thankful for every one of them.

One of the main reasons that lead to our decision for moving to NC while the hubby went to school, was that my brother was stationed there.  Most people have the opportunity to grow up with family close by, but I never have.  And until this last year, I didn't know what I was missing.

We found a house that was only 3 miles away, and I secured a job and a nanny.  Although my Sexy Beast was away, there was always the comfort of knowing I had family close by.  I had someone to spend holidays, birthdays, and lonely days with...until this weekend.

I have been fortunate enough to attend my brother's High School, College, and Medical School graduations, and finally, his Residency Graduation.  It was a gorgeous day and I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't already mourning their impending departure.

Gonna miss you guys!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's just a number, right?

Yesterday marked a big event in my life...I left my 20's behind and boldly embraced being 30!  Well, I let it sneak up behind me and saw no feasible way of holding it off any longer.  I woke up bright and early at 0430 and slowly got ready for work.  I had originally had the day off, but needed to switch shifts for something more important on Friday.

I have truly been dreading my birthday.  Birthdays had a way of disappointing me.  There were two disasterous surprise parties in my teenage years, but nothing compares to being stood up on your sweet 16.  I realize now I had unrealistic expectations, and it was my own fault for expecting the world to stop turning so everyone would have the opportunity to recognize how amazing it was that I had aged yet one more year.

I had a nice steady day at work with people I LOVE.  I have worked in quite a few different places in my life, and I can honestly say that I look forward to going to work.  I've learned more, and certified more, in the last year than I ever thought was possible.  One of the things I love about the medical field is that it is forever evolving.  New procedures, medicines, and practices are discovered constantly, and the best part is that I never know what I will encounter.  I have both laughed and cried at work, but nothing beats having a patient or family member thank you for simply doing your job.  My favorite yesterday was when I asked a new mother if she had any other questions or concerns after I gave her discharge instructions, and she asked if she could have my phone number.  I laughed and assured her she was doing great and to keep an open communication with her pediatrician.

The highlight of my day was when my Sexy Beast surprised me with lunch from Panera Bread and my favorite strawberry cake, AND he was able to eat with me.  Love that guy!

He also held off getting promoted until today so I could be there.  Yesterday starts out a 10 day celebration together as we celebrate both our birthdays and anniversary.

I am a very lucky person, and am grateful for the knowledge and experience I have gained in the last 30 years, and I look forward to many many more!

My Next Thirty Years

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I'm so grateful that the hubby is here to celebrate Father's Day this year!  Nothing special has been planned except letting him sleep in and spending the day together as a family.

He started off the weekend by getting the boys their summer Mohawks which was a pleasant surprise when I got home from work on Friday.  They look so white trash that you can't help but laugh.  I didn't get upset because hair grows, and this will make for some great photos for the boys to laugh at when they grow up.

I'm really missing my Dad today.  March and April were very hard for me, which I believe is because we were planning our first ever family reunion, and he wasn't there.  

I am focusing on a few things I will forever cherish.  I will always consider my Dad as MacGyver with a pocket protector.  He could weld, build, and fix just about anything.  I'm grateful to recognize many of these qualities in the hubby...although I see him more as MacGyver with an M-4 and body armor.

What do you love most about your Dad/Step-dad/Father-figure or your children's father?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Letting my Geek Flag Fly!

Although my DVR stays 65% full on a daily basis with episodes of Caillou, Blue's Clues, and Little Einsteins, I have a few shows that I'm pretty devoted to.  I know that may shatter the impeccably classy facade so many of you portray me in, but I must speak the truth.

I'm really bummed there isn't going to be a 2nd season of Terra Nova!!  I'm frackin mad! (100 pts if you can name that show)

I admit that when I first saw the previews, I rolled my eyes because I knew the hubby would want to watch it, which would inadvertently make me part of the fan base as well.  Honestly, I started to look forward to new episodes.

From my research online, the sources state that the fan base was solid, but Fox didn't think the storyline was solid enough to offset the costs of CGI.

It was the perfect geek trifecta with a little of Stargate, Land of the Lost, and Avatar!

So, I'm hoping another network will pick it up and will continue to produce the show.  Unlike when the network that produced Gilmore Girls was bought out and the show ended shortly after.  Oy with the poodles already!

This is why I need to wait for a show to be in it's 3rd or 4th season to start watching!

The hubby will tolerate a lot when it comes to my shows, but he has to leave the room when I'm watching Army Wives, Dance Moms, or Sister Wives.  What are some of you guilty TV pleasures???

Friday, June 8, 2012

Everyone isn't special

With graduation season in full swing, I was surprised and impressed to read this article about a High School commencement speaker that told the truth.

I was not the valedictorian, I was not captain of any team, and at a young age I knew the worthlessness of a participation ribbon.

When I was in elementary school, in Jacksonville, NC, I vividly remember my first field day.  Our class had matching T-shirts and we were ready to win.  There were many different events that I had been entered in, and I didn't win any of them.  That being said, I enjoyed spending the day outside and being part of a team.  After the day was over we were given our team ribbons for the events won, and a participation ribbon for individual events.  As soon as I got home, the participation ribbon made it's way into the trash.  I understood that I had won nothing and the ribbon was a reminder of that.

I am by no means saying that if you do not win, you fail.  What I'm trying to point out is that I was not ruined by not winning.  I continued to participate in field day events in the following years because it was fun and not because I needed a ribbon that celebrates mediocrity.

There have been many things in my life that I did not win, but it never swayed me from trying!  I recognize that I may never invent something that could change the world, but that does not stop me from going to work everyday and doing my job to the fullest.

I take pride everyday in living my life, and I do not expect to be praised with a participation ribbon for being an adult.

I also don't understand the point of a graduation from Kindergarten, Elementary School, or Middle School.  I understand a High School graduation because your education will forever change in college.  You don't have to apply to attend 1st grade?

Okay, rant over.

I know not everyone agrees with me, but that's why I'm the best, most wonderful, amazing person in the world (as clearly demonstrated by all my participation ribbons), therefore I don't need your approval or permission.  But if you get hateful in the comments, I will delete them :o)

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Helping Hand and Being Thankful

After final negotiations with the insurance companies, I dropped off the Mini this morning for repairs, and had no choice but to have the boys in tow.  While we waited for the Enterprise to pick us up, there was another lady waiting for the same reason.  She was quick to interact with the boys, and Carter ran right over and sat on her lap.  After we were picked up and arrived to do all the paper work, the same lady was also waiting on her vehicle.  While at the counter Carter kept reaching for her, so she thoughtfully picked him up and helped keep him entertained.  The boys did pretty well for about 5 minutes, then started trying to open the doors to leave, so I had no choice but to buckle them in their car seats as we waited for our car to be ready.  I sat on the floor and did my best to keep them from screaming, and this lady came over and did the same.

I love my boys, but being in public seems to always be a challenge.  Some people point and give me dirty looks as I try to wrangle my 2 yr olds (that are often mistaken for 3 yr olds due to their height), but sometimes people take the time to hold a door open, talk to the boys, or even something as simple as a reassuring smile.

It doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated.  It's little things like this that have the power to keep me from losing my temper or wanting to cry!

So, THANK YOU to the amazing stranger that made my morning, and THANK YOU to everyone that takes the time to provide service for those when they really need it!


On a slightly related note, I'm thankful for the sand on my floors!!

About a year ago I woke up early and walked into the kitchen only to find sand tracked everywhere.  At first I started to get upset, but instead I started to cry.  I was thankful for the Florida sand that had been tracked into my house from my husband's combat boots!!  I was thankful that it was Florida sand and not Iraq or Afghanistan sand.  I was able to hold my husband in my arms at the end of the night, and know he was safe.

So, as I swept the sand off my kitchen floor this morning, I cried.  I'm grateful for the North Carolina sand on my floors!!  I'm grateful that my husband is finally here with us, and that he is proudly serving our country.

Love my Army Wife Life!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The OPPOSITE of lady-like

At work yesterday, we were having a major lull so I was offered the opportunity to go home early.  I jumped at the chance and called the hubby to set up an impromptu date to see "The Avengers."  I made some the phone calls (using my built in bluetooth) and we planned to meet at home and leave right away.

I was sitting at a stop light, in heavy traffic, contemplating whether or not I'd have enough time to change when I got home, and my car lunged forward.  I thought I might have killed the engine, but I looked down and saw it was still running.  That's when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a compact SUV ON my bumper.

I got out of the car to inspect and the other car was still touching mine.  I stomped over to the drivers window and screamed,

"it's okay!" said the driver...obviously keeping her window up while a maniac yelled at her.

That's when I literally spun around, while throwing my hands in the air, and screamed, 



I got back in my car, put on my hazards and pulled off onto a side road.  It was rush hour traffic and I saw no need to block traffic.  I turned my car off and waited...and waited...and the other driver stayed in the road.  

I called 911, and said I had just been rear-ended and "THE OTHER DRIVER IS INSISTING ON BLOCKING TRAFFIC LIKE AN IDIOT" to which the operator said, "unfortunately, it isn't against the law, but you are supposed to clear vehicles off the road if possible."

I then called the hubby and he called to cancel the sitter and said he was on his way.

I stood on the side of the road and watched as the other car continued to block traffic, and people stop to assist her to push her car off the road, until a Sheriff escorted her off the road and said he had called in the accident.

The only damage to my car was a couple indentions on the bumper from her license plate cover. 

When the cops arrived, and HOUR later, they asked us what happened, which is when they pointed out the damage on my car to the other driver, who said, "how do we know that wasn't there before?"  The cop then said, "because it matched your license plate holder perfectly."

I apologized for yelling and explained this was my first accident.  She said, "I'm a born again Christian which is why I didn't get upset."

The hubby called USAA, and her insurance called me last night to go through the details.  

I'm thankful that no one was hurt, but I'm very sad about my car, and my missed date with the hubby.

So, I'm hoping there's never a next time, but let's hope that I can conduct myself in a more lady-like manner if it ever happens again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Nurse's Week!

Since Nursing has become such a huge part of my life, I wanted to join in the celebration of a profession that has changed my life.  I've been afforded such an opportunity to educate myself and those I interact with on a daily basis.  I've had many 1st's in the last three years, but nothing compares to the past year.

When I decided to go to school for Nursing, I knew it would be difficult.  I knew it would be challenging.  But most importantly, I knew it would be rewarding.  I loved working with people, so no matter the trials I would endure, I was positive this decision was the right one.

I graduated from Nursing School in 2009 and started working right away.  I've never had a patient die, until this year.  I always tried to mentally prepare myself for how I would feel, what I would say to the family, and how I would conduct myself.  When all was said and done, all could do was hug the parents as I cried on their shoulder and tell them how amazing their child was.  I apologized for crying and the family's pastor said, "Jesus wept too."  I continue to cry every time I think of their face, their smile, and remember their sweet voice.  

I know God does not give us trials that we can not handle, and so I pray for the family to find peace at this time and celebrate the life of one of God's newest angels.

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to meet this family, and have my life changed forever.

I know every single person has had a nurse make them smile or infuriate them, it's the nature of the job.  We are first and foremost a patient advocate, and one of my many mantras is, "it's okay to make me the bad guy."

I have many goals in my career that will take me many years to accomplish, but the one that I strive for on a daily basis is to do right by my patients.

Hug a nurse this week!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love me some Army Wife Bling!

One of the great things I love about working with kids is that the hospital gives us a little more leniency on our dress code.  All nurses are to wear any combination of Royal Blue and White, but since I work in the Peds ED we are allowed to wear printed tops as long as the main colors are white or royal blue.  We also have the freedom to wear whatever closed-toe shoes we want.  Not all hospitals are this lenient, so I consider myself lucky.  Another way we can show our individuality is on our badge reels.  Many of the nurses have animals that make noise, Disney princesses and school mascots.  I desperately wanted one that said Army Wife.  While not every Army Wife wants to parade it around, I'm proud of my husband and the opportunities the Army has afforded us.

So, I started searching for the perfect badge reel, and was immediately overwhelmed by how many people make them.  I didn't seen exactly what I wanted, so I decided to contact 7 or 8 sellers and see if they could come up with something that would work.  A few responded right away, which is always appreciated, but only one really impressed me with what she had posted AND her prices.

Her prices were so great (and she doesn't overcharge on shipping) that I went ahead and ordered one for my fellow nurse AND Army wife, Lora, and an Army Mom for my mother.  Here's how it turned out:
I LOVE it and was so excited to wear it!  I've already had co-workers and patient mother's comment on it.

So check her out!!  Laura doesn't just do badge reels, and just shoot her a message if you have a special request. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

And the Mother of the Year award goes to...

Anyone but me!

That being said, I think I deserve something for maintaining my sanity after four days of driving and three days with all my family!

To be honest, I was almost dreading my family reunion. I hadn't seen some of my siblings in YEARS, and all of us (to include our families) under one roof for three days, I was preparing for the worst. I am eternally grateful that the hubby's unit gave him leave so soon after signing into this new unit, because without him there I probably would have checked myself into a psych ward after a few hours in the car with the boys. Things did go better than expected. The hubby planned the route, which hotels we stayed at, and graciously bore the task of keeping the boys happy while I drove. For several years I've been battling pretty severe back, neck and shoulder pain, so continually reaching into the back seat to pass out sippy's or crackers is something that I knew I couldn't do. The hubby did a great job and thanks to my Kick-A nanny, we had the Mini packed the day before and were able to leave on time.

We got into a great groove, stopped when we needed to, and as you can see, the boys enjoyed helping with the bags

The boys enjoyed riding on the luggage carts, and Cart-baby slept with the hubby, while Cooper slept with me.

We arrived in Dallas with enough time to visit the hubby's Grandmother, Aunt, and cousins who had never met the boys. They played at the park and we all had dinner at Braum's.

Then we finally headed to Smithville, TX were all reunited and had a great time doing pretty much nothing. The house had enough room that we weren't all tripping over each other, and a large in ground pool that was utilized abundantly by the kids. We watched Disney Jr with the little ones (there were four 2yr old little boys that were always entertaining), played Dance Central on the Kinect, beat my older brother repeatedly in Spades, had great food and even better company.

It was great to see everyone and there were a few tears as we packed up our last day. But, as most of you know, I must go out with a bang...but Carter stole my thunder!!
As we were packing up, he was running out to me and tripped in the hallway, and hit a dresser handle, giving him an INSTANT black eye. Go Big or Go Home, right!

If the black eye wasn't bad enough, Eric and I had to adapt a strategy for wrangling the boys at rest stops. They would be standing next to you one moment, then take off running. I could usually catch up in time, but sometimes I would literally have to push them over, as they are running away, as a means to stop them before they got in the road. This only happened a few times, but on the way home I got a SERIOUS stink eye from a lady when I had to do this to Cooper...which probably didn't look that great since Cart-baby already had a black eye.

What have you done to your/others kids that some people have disagreed with??

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review!!

Intro to Army Life: A Handbook for Spouses and Significant Others Entering the Army Lifestyle

by Allison Mewes

In full disclosure, I had my reservations about this book. I am the first one to admit that I do NOT know everything about the Army, but after almost 11 years, I know enough to get me by. I had very high expectations and, at first, was very skeptical and was almost waiting for false information. I am happy to report that I was extremely impressed by the factual information it had to offer.

Every Army wife has different experience. Bottom line, you'll never be able to make a broad generalization about them. The location, rank, and job of the soldier gives each Army Wife an experience that is uniquely hers.

This book doesn't try to generalize, but instead gives great tips and information about how to make your life, especially during deployment, a little less stressful. Complete with rank charts and her own compilation of the 25 most important Acronyms, it is easily maneuvered and simple enough for anyone to understand.

There was only one area that I did not fully agree with the author, and no military spouse ever can. Fraternization. Although the military has rules and regulation regarding the fraternization of the soldiers, the spouses are left on their own to either do what their soldier tells them, or form a system that works for their family. On page 56, the author states

"The same rule for soldiers applies somewhat to spouses. It is assumed that spouses of higher-ranking military personnel will know things that shouldn't be told to spouses of lower-ranking military personnel and therefore shouldn't communicate on a social level. There is no hard and fast rule on this, but it is something to be aware of. Again, since families of Reserve or National Guard soldiers live off base, the socialization rules are not as strictly enforced."

Like stated before, you will never be able to please every Army Wife, but even my husband was a little thrown by this statement. No matter your soldier's rank, if it isn't public knowledge, it shouldn't be shared with your spouse. When my hubby was enlisted, I always had a wide array of Army Wife friends who's spouses ranged from E-1 to O-5. I met all of these women through the FRG because I kept the mindset that you can't make a difference, or complain, if you don't participate. Even after the hubby went to "the dark side" and became an Officer, the variance has stayed the same. Also, it gives the appearance that most active duty families live on post. In the decade the hubby and I have been married, we've only lived on post for one year. It is truly a game of chance, when PCSing to a new location, if housing is readily available. Most posts have up to an 18 month waiting list for housing, therefore many soldiers live off post.

One paragraph in 172 pages, that's pretty darn fantastic!

I definitely recommend this book to any new spouses to the Army! There are great resources and interesting facts. This would be a great bridal gift, or gift for a spouse with only a few months or years of experience.

As the back cover states "[this book] gives you the tools and resources necessary to make you transition into the Army lifestyle easier, less stressful and more fun."

I also want to point out this that book is available in paperback, on Kindle, and Nook. I personally purchased it for my Kindle because I was so impressed with the resources that are valuable to every Army spouse.

Happy reading!

*I was sent this book for review by the publisher, no other compensation was given*
*I plan on passing the book along to my soon-to-be SIL as she makes her transition to Army Wife!*

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I can no longer call them babies

One of the great things about living close to family, combined birthday parties!! Michelle made this AMAZING train that the kids eventually tore apart...and had a blast!
After almost 7 hours of work, the cake turned out pretty good. And I have to give all credit to Jessica, who is always just an e-mail away for advice!
Carter sat nicely and picked away at his cake.
Jimmy & Carter waited for us to stop singing to blow out their candles, but Cooper was too impatient.
Cooper crawled across the table and blew out Carter's candle for him...twice.

I still can't believe I have 2 year olds! So, instead of calling them "the babies" I'll have to go against all the research on twins and call them "the boys." They are so immensely different. Cooper's vocabulary is growing everyday and he loves to play and entertain himself. Carter is now saying "ball" and "more" and focuses his energy on snuggling whenever he can. They are turning into little boys, and it's great to see their little personalities emerge more and more each day.

Both the boys have been clinging to hubby since he got home, and many hours have been spent outside enjoying the new warmer weather. The hubby has finally signed into the post here, so know I'm left waiting (and a little worried) to get back into the normal Army life. Although I know there will be drama, I look forward to meeting other Army Wives, and getting plenty of material for my blog ;o)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Older

As I begin to plan for our road trip next month to my family's very first family reunion, it is abundantly clear that I'm getting old. Not that many years ago I would have no problem staying in a ghetto hotel or would have even put much thought into a trip THAT far in the future. I guess my first mistake was staying at a Holiday Inn Express when I had a 2 day certification in Chapel Hill this fall. The bed was SO comfy, and I didn't even use MY pillow that I take with me everywhere! Even though it had smoking rooms, mine obviously had never been or they are one of the few companies that know how to clean thoroughly.

Convenience is also becoming a higher priority than expense. It is still VERY uncertain if the hubby will be able to accompany me on the 22 hr road trip to Texas, so I'm trying to justify every option. If I had more than one friend in the area (outside of my brother & awesome SIL) I could probably find someone to drive with me...but I don't. I'm contemplating flying out a family member or even asking the nanny to come. Either one would be very expensive, but having another adult to help wrangle these TWO year olds might be worth avoiding a migraine.
Yes, the boys turned two yesterday.
I was excited to attend church, and was counting on my cell phone of almost two years to automatically update with the time change, as it has done since I got it, but it didn't. So, we took a lazy day and stayed in our PJ's and I gave the boys a taste of my first attempt at the 3D train cake I'm making for the party this weekend (since the hubby should be home by then). I think they liked it.

They are such crazy boys, and make me laugh on a daily basis.

Lora helped me finish the day by bringing over dinner, since we both had serious wallowing days Saturday, and we finished our Twilight marathon with Breaking Dawn. I'm so lucky to have my one friend (outside of work) that understands me and can relate so completely...everyone needs a local friend like that!

I'm still trying to avoid turning 30 this summer, but it seems to be inevitable. Although the number still freaks me out a bit, it comes with life experience that I wouldn't replace. But there will not be a party :o)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I can see clearly now the rain is gone...

To say I've been in a funk lately is a vast understatement. My patience is thin & my attitude needs a makeover. As we get into the busy season at work, I've been finding it harder and harder to paste on a smile after the millionth case of emergency vomiting. On an exceptionally trying day my manager handed me an envelope that was sent to the hospital & addressed to me. I planned on scanning it, but my scanner has decided to here is what is said.

*Outside of card*

"...for making my life suck just a little less. :)"

"Dear Mary,

My name is **** **** and I was in the Pediatric Emergency Room on **-**-**. I was there because I needed to have my appendix removed. I wanted to say thank you for EVERYTHING you did for me. You truly are the best nurse in the world! :)
You made me feel comfortable when I felt at my worst!
*Mary, Mary quite contrary*
I will never forget you!
-Your Patient,
**** ****


Thank you for making our time in the ER bearable. Keep doing what you do, you're truly gifted. **** ****"

I've been carrying around this card in my work bag ever since. It makes me cry every time I read it. Knowing that I made a difference on a person's horrible day is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

So, take the time to thank those who you are truly grateful for, it will make a world of difference on their day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Counting down the days

While attempting to function after the third stomach bug in three months, I found myself trying to count the days until my Sexy Beast will be home...two more months. Two more months. Two more months.

I know that doesn't sound like a lot to most people, and in all honesty it isn't. I'm thankful that my husband is at a school and not being shot at in a combat zone. I'm thankful he has a good job that has afforded him the opportunity to go from a GED to a Masters degree in eleven years. I'm thankful he is alive, even when we can't seem to agree on things.

To say this past year has been trying, is a vast understatement.

The boys and I moved to be closer to family, which just happened to be our next duty station, while the hubby went to school. He then broke his arm on his last day at work, landing him in the OR and then months of healing before he could once again pass his push ups, THEN wait for another class date to open up. I started a great job but found a very substandard nanny, then found a great one who ended up quitting the day before she was supposed to start, then had a fill in that didn't work out, THEN found another great one that has been fantastic. I said goodbye to my father, but was able to improve my relationship with his wonderful wife & family.

I recently found a blog, through a link on facebook, that really makes me smile. So, here is one of my Kairos moments I'm holding onto with a death grip

While Eric was home we were able to have a short date night. For the first time I ordered ribs, with the intention of sharing with the boys when I got home.

Cooper quickly stripped the meat off & proceeded to suck every morsel off.

Carter, on the other hand, didn't fancy getting his hands dirty & cried until I cut the meat off and handed him his fork.

So, although I was up most of last night with another stomach bug, I'm grateful that I had the nanny come for half the day so I could rest...because as luck would have it, looks like Cooper got it too. Also a HUGE thanks to my fellow Army Wife, Lora, who came to my house after I ruined our shopping trip in Raleigh, by getting sick, followed me back to my house and got the boys dinner & put them down...all so I could puke in peace. I honestly wouldn't have survived this last year without such thoughtful family and friends.