Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Year Ago...

All I can say is wow. I cannot believe how much has changed in a year. One year ago today, Hubby and I were finalizing everything for our wedding. He flew into Michigan a year ago yesterday for the big day. I just can't believe how much time has flown by already. Even though we're young and have only been together for 2 1/2 years, we've been through more than a lot of couples have been through in ten. I know that we still have many battles left to fight, but that's part of life.
Honestly, I completely believe that a healthy relationship includes fighting. You can't let your spouse walk all over you, make all the decisions, and control every aspect of life. I know that someone is going to make the argument, "You can work everything out without anger! Hostility has no place in a good relationship. Civility is key to success..." Yadda yadda yadda... Sure, you probably shouldn't be throwing heavy objects at your spouse; you shouldn't be beating your spouse; you shouldn't be screaming so loud that the neighbors call the police... BUT it is completely okay to get a little mad sometimes! I think that (occasional) anger and fighting actually makes the relationship stronger. If you know how to work out a fight about something stupid like not washing the car properly (I love you babe), you'll be able to work out the bigger stuff much easier. You can't run a marathon without running a few miles first.
A lot of couples haven't spend weeks apart with no contact. Even fewer have gone a whole year living 1,000 miles apart. When they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, they are right. There is absolutely no greater feeling that being hugged tightly and kissed by your husband for the first time in a month (or year). People ask me what the best part of being an Army wife is. That, my friends, is it. I really can't even explain the feeling, it's just incredible.
I'm off for the day now. Even though it's supposed to be 106 degrees, we have yard work to do! Oh, before I forget:

Baby Update: 
Adalin is doing well! It's still looking like she may have to have surgery, but we should be able to wait a year as long as the CCAM doesn't affect her breathing. I'm to that constantly uncomfortable stage in the pregnancy now. I've been having contractions but they aren't very regular or consistent. I considered going to the doctor yesterday because something just felt strange, but after talking with a nurse I decided not to go. I'm feeling a little bit better today. I just have to bear the heat now. I'm starting to swell now. I knew it was coming though. Between the heat and humidity down here, it was impossible to avoid. I think I have a few small stretch marks on my stomach now, but I'm not really sure. I can't see them unless if I bend backwards and sideways in the mirror. So maybe it's just a funny reflection. Either way, I figured those would come too. Only 5 more weeks (at most) but I'm really thinking she'll be here sooner than that. I'll keep everyone updated as I progress!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Problem with Materialization

If you've had a pair of jeans for years and they get a hole in them, what do you do? Throw them out? Patch them? What lengths will you go to in order to keep these perfectly worn-in jeans wearable? What if you've had a car for twenty years and it breaks down? What if it's going to cost more to fix it than it's worth? Do you sell it to the junk yard and take what you can get for it? Or do you repair it at all costs, preserving the memories it holds? Where is the line? At what point is something no longer worth fixing?
I saw something on Facebook a while back about how people should treat relationships like something worth fixing, not something worth replacing. I don't remember exactly what the quote was, but it has got me thinking.
America as a whole has become far too materialized. It's way too easy to just replace things that break, rather than fix them. Older generations are the butt of jokes because they're willing to spend more to fix a broken item instead of just buying a new (sometimes better) one. I think they've caught on to something though. Relationships aren't something we can just throw away and find a replacement. A lot of people seem to think that's how life works now. I guess, in a way, life does work that way now. This really saddens me. 
My husband has a tenancy of holding on to jeans for much longer than he should. I don't know how many patches he has on all these jeans, but he won't get rid of them. It used to bother me (Don't get me wrong, there's something sexy about ripped jeans... There is a limit though), but lately I've seen them in a different light. These jeans that are full of patches and holes are also full of memories. He might not be able to tell you where every single rip and tear came from, but he can certainly tell you where a lot of them did. This tells me something about how he thinks. He lives that "older" generation's way of life. He's willing to fix just about anything as long as it is physically possible. 
I want to treat our relationship the same way. I've seen too many couples just end their relationship because it takes too much work to fix. There are just too many rips and holes. As I said before, there is a point of no return, when there are more patches than original jean, it might be time to buy a new pair. Is just one or two holes enough for you to get rid of your loved one though? No! If you stub your toe, are you going to amputate your whole leg? No! So why do anything different with your relationship? 

Remember, relationships are precious. Marriage is sacred. Treat it that way. 

God Bless ♥ Vi. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Put Down the Cookie, Preggo

When my husband is gone for training, I don't eat that much. I don't really have a reason to cook and for some reason I don't feel the need to munch a whole lot. Since he's been home, I can't stop eating. Honestly, it makes me kind of sick to think about how much I've eaten just in the past 24 hours. We had a busy day yesterday so I didn't eat lunch, but I definitely made up for it.
I know most people probably think, it's just because you're pregnant. I don't know if that's actually the case. I know I'm more anxious while Hubby is away, and when I'm anxious I don't snack. Lately, I've been in that awful stage where I'm starving, but nothing sounds good. All I want to do is eat and drink, but I can't find anything appetizing. It really is a horrible feeling.
I've been doing really well about not over-eating or using this pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want. I'm right on track when it comes to my weight gain. I'm not afraid to post it, I'm 33 weeks today and have gained 23-24 pounds (recommended is 19-27). My goal was to gain less than 35 pounds total, which is completely feasible as long as I don't keep eating at the rate I have been the past few days. Doctors recommend that you gain about a pound per week for the last 10 weeks or so of pregnancy. That puts me right around 30 pounds gained. I've got a bit of a cushion, but I would rather not push it too much. Either way, I'm proud of how well I've done so far.
I don't have any stretch marks on my stomach yet, but I still have 6 weeks to go before they'll induce me. I have an ultrasound tomorrow to see how much Adalin has grown. I'm definitely expecting her to be five pounds now. I'm excited to see how much she's grown, especially since this will be the first ultrasound my husband has seen since I was 21 weeks. Adalin has changed so much since then, I can't wait to see Hubby's face when he sees her. I'm getting anxious about delivery.
Right now, my plan is to try not to have the epidural. I'm hoping to do natural pain management (breathing techniques, music, etc), and probably some IV pain medications. I'm still open to an epidural, but I'd really like to have at least one baby without it. If the doctors are expecting her to be more than nine pounds, I may change my mind before delivery though. I'm hoping she'll be around eight or so.

That's all I've got for today, but I'll update within the next few days with an official baby update.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For My Daddy

Happy Father's Day! I'm so thankful for the wonderful dad that I have. Even though we butt heads every once and a while, I'll always be a daddy's girl. Without my dad, I have no idea where I'd be. My daddy pushed me to succeed in everything I've done; sports, school, just life in general, he's always been behind me pushing me to strive for more.
My daddy gave me to the other most important man in my life, my husband. Without daddy's approval, I wouldn't have gotten married, moved 1,000 miles from home, and started a new life for myself. Hubby and I wouldn't have adopted our Mia Monster, rented a house, tried for a baby, bought a car... nothing. Life as I know it is all based upon my daddy's approval. I'm so thankful that I've been fortunate enough to have my dad be such a huge part of my life.
Daddy has taught me many lessons. He taught me how a man should treat a woman. Both my parents have showed me what a marriage should look like. He's taught me more about dirt, grass, and rocks than any girl should ever know. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I know more about tools and cars than most of my friends, and I'm a lot more self sufficient than a lot of the wives I've met around post. This is extremely important to me as an Army wife because I have to do a lot on my own. My daddy has taught me that I shouldn't settle for anything less than the best.
I love my daddy more than anything. He is pretty much awesome in every way. So, here's to you, dad. Happy Father's Day!

I'd also like to wish my wonderful husband a happy Farther-to-Be's Day! I love you babe!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, June 11, 2012

What I Write to Him

A lot of people have asked me how I cope with my husband being away. My solution: I write him letters every day. When I tell people this, they ask me what I write about, how much I write, and what I include or don't include. I thought it would be easier to just post a letter I've written to him. So, here goes nothing!

Dear Hubby, 
       Only (xx) more days until I get to see you! Today was pretty good. The weather wasn't too bad and I got a lot accomplished. I mowed the lawn this morning and washed the car. It definitely needed it, both inside and out. I'm working ahead in my schoolwork so I won't have to do any when you get home. I deep cleaned the carpets and gave Mia a bath this afternoon. She was really stinky and dirty after digging a huge hole with one of her playdate friends. She's been pretty good since you've been gone other than the digging though. I was a little worried the first few days because she'd sit at the door for hours crying because she missed you. It is awful every time a loud truck like yours drives by. She's finally doing better now though. She's been sleeping on your pillow. It's supposed to be stormy the next few days so I won't be doing a whole lot. I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow but other than that my week is free. I'm staying as busy as I can though. I miss you like crazy. It's amazing to me how much I miss sleeping in the same bed as you, and cooking for you. I've probably only cooked a total of 3 meals since you've been gone. Adalin is doing well. She's still trying to stretch my hips apart, that hurts pretty good. She's very active too. I think she misses your voice, I know I do. I'm really doing well with this though. I know that deployment will be different than this, but I'm managing pretty well I think. Honestly, I don't think our house has ever been this clean. I never realized how messy you are ;) Just kidding, you know I love you and your stinky socks. Really though, I've deep cleaned so much in the past few days it's not even funny. I don't think the house was this clean when we moved in. I'm still trying to make everything absolutely perfect for you before you get home. I'm going to stock up the pantry with all your favorite foods and stuff and have a few bottles of cold Gatorade in the fridge waiting for you when you walk in the door. Well, that's all for today. I'll write tomorrow and let you know how the doctor's appointment went. I love you and I miss you like crazy. I'm keeping it together though, I have to stay strong to make you proud! 100% faithful babe, always and forever. I love you. 
P.S. I'll be sure to change your pillowcase before you get home so you won't have to sleep on Mia's drool! :) I love you baby. 

And that's it! A few pointers that I've found helpful:

  1. Always include the date. That way if the mail is slow (or you can't mail the letters to him because he's just in the field or in training somewhere), he'll know when what you're talking about was happening. 
  2. Don't leave out the little stupid stuff. If you'd tell him about it while he's home, tell him about it in the letter. 
  3. If you'd put it on Facebook, put it in the letter. You don't want him finding out about something important (or minor that could be taken the wrong way) through Facebook or Twitter instead of hearing the story from you. If you're going to lunch with a guy friend, or are at a party with guys, tell him. You don't want him seeing pictures of you with other guys and wondering if you're hiding something! 
  4. Make sure he knows he's missed. Even if everything is going completely fine, let him know that they would be even better if he was home. Believe it or not, guys want to be missed just as much as the wives do. 
  5. Do something consistently. Through all of basic training, I ended my letters with "100% faithful babe, always and forever." It was a way for him to know that my heart was still completely his, as well as everything else. Even though I know he doesn't "worry" about me cheating on him, I'm sure it is reassuring for him to see that at the end of every letter. 
  6. Always tell him you love him. God forbid something happen to him (or you), but if it does, your letter may be the last thing he gets from you. Don't try to pick fights through mail, or say things sarcastically (unless you put a ;) face or tell him you're kidding) because it's too hard to tell whether or not you're joking without a tone of voice to base off of. 
  7. Don't be afraid to ask him questions, even if you're not mailing him the letters. Sometimes just getting them out of your mind and onto paper will help you relax. 
Do any of my followers have tips for writing to your SO while they're away? What do you include/leave out? Anything fun you'd suggest? 
God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Watch Your Mouth

I posted a similar blog a while ago (Should Wives Bite Their Tongues?), but I feel the need to touch on it again. What military wives do does indeed affect their husbands. This has been more real to me than ever recently.
I run a page for the wives in my husband's battalion. There's been a lot of talk about OPSEC violations and just reporting stupid things to the wrong people. I try really hard to make sure that everything posted is okay, but there's only so much I can do. It's one of my biggest fears that I'll post/say something that will get my husband in trouble.
Talking about dates, locations, training, and everything else "sensitive" can look badly on him. The safest way to avoid this is just to not talk about him/his job on Facebook or on here, but sometimes I can't help myself! I just love him too much to keep quiet. I am too proud to not brag every once and a while.
It's one thing to say, "My husband is still at work today, this sucks." It's completely another to say, "He's still in xx country with xx unit until xx date." It amazes me what some wives are willing to put out there. I try my best to make it not entirely obvious when my husband is home/away. I know, I post things on here about how much I get done while he's gone or how I miss certain things, but I try extremely hard not to post dates, numbers, or locations.
I saw a thing on one of the OPSEC presentations that made complete sense to me: If you wouldn't put it on a yard sign, don't put it online. Granted, I'd never pay money for a sign that says, "My house is cleaner now!" but you get my point. If you wouldn't put "My husband is deployed and I'm in Europe for two months" on a sign in your front yard, don't put it on your Facebook (just so we're clear, my husband isn't deployed and I'm not going to Europe).
Another thing that has been brought to my attention is the threat of homeland terrorism. Terrorists aren't just overseas, they're here too. Adding people you don't know on Facebook can be dangerous. Just because they've got multiple pictures of the same person up on their page does not mean that is who they actually are. It's so easy to find a random public profile and pull pictures from it. I feel like such a nag for saying all this, but it really is important for our husbands' safety. I'm going to be more and more conscious of this now.

I'm doing pretty decent with school lately. My Death and Dying class is giving me a little trouble on tests, but everything else has been high grades so I'm still hopeful for a 4.0 in there. Statistics has been pretty good too. I've had a lot to do this week, but I'm on top of it. I'm trying to start working ahead so I can finish it early. We'll see though.

Well, I'm off to start my day now. Happy Thursday!
God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Knowing Other Wives

One of the best things about being part of the military lifestyle is getting to meet people from all different backgrounds. Today, I was privileged to meet some wives whose husbands work with mine. After being transferred to a different company, I was really anxious about any overnight training and deployments because I didn't know enough people to say so who were experiencing what I was experiencing.
Meeting all these other wives today helped me tremendously. Even though I don't know any of their husbands, it helps knowing that their spouse is where mine is. I'm sure that as time goes on, I'll meet even more wives and I'll start to learn names that I can't currently remember to save my life.
Other than organized get-together's, like the one I went to today, the FRG is a great way to bond with the other wives. Even if you don't know anyone, it's important to stay at least somewhat active with the FRG so you can stay up-to-date on all the information while your spouse is away. The FRG is the fastest way to get training dates and information about upcoming events around post. I feel a million times better when I know what's going on and when I stay involved with things going on around post. It makes me feel more at home when I'm part of the community. Even if it's simply hitting up the sidewalk sale at the commissary, it is something that all the wives can take advantage of.
Knowing other wives helps you keep busy too. It's so much easier to make plans with other wives whose husbands are gone. I always feel bad when I take my friends away from their husbands just because mine is gone. If you have more friends in your same situation, you don't run into that problem! So, get involved and get there! It really does make a difference.

God Bless ♥ Vi