Sunday, October 31, 2021

Messy, But Oh So Good

(Originally written as a guest post for Union28 Marriage Blog in 2018)

My long legs lay stretched out across his as his face was buried deep into a game on his phone, his fingers clicking diligently on the screen. He was unaware that I was staring directly at him, watching his lips clench and twist mimicking the movement of the digital player he controlled.

His face was fuller and worn with the years of being out in the sun. His hair a lot shorter keeping in line with the Air Force standards of dress and appearance. He was no longer the sixteen-year-old boy that gave me the butterflies when he would strut by with his baggy black dickies and white t-shirts. At thirty-two, with a first deployment under his belt, he changed more than I imagined he ever would. But as that sank in a little further, I realized so did I. 

We thought we had this marriage thing down pat. In fact, my confident personality felt that marriage was something I was an expert on. Friends would ask me how Jon and I managed all these years and could still be so in love. I was assured that marriage came to us naturally. That was until I discovered how easy living apart from each other came. 

 As a military family, the luxury of being a team at home comes few and far between. We had spent the past ten years of our marriage working together, sharing all aspects of our lives daily. In October of last year, he left for the first time leaving me to wonder how I could ever manage to live solo. Yet, after six months, I discovered that I could do it, and I could do it well. I didn’t need him as much as I thought I did. I really could carry on with life without him carrying me through it. It wasn’t because I wanted to, but because I had to. Choosing wasn’t an option. He was gone, and I had to own it. Life had to keep going for us back home, which, as expected, didn’t sit too well for him.

For him, life paused. He moved to a place that he knew was temporary. Six months he would have to manage to live in a dorm and the thought of home carried him through. In his mind, he would return home and life would pick up right where it left off, but what he wasn’t prepared for was that he’d return to a place that had figured out how to go on without him. 

 Things were rough in the first few weeks. It was like we had to learn new things about each other, which seemed foreign and even a bit unacceptable for a couple that had been together since sophomore year of high school. Deep down, each of us wondered if the spark that was once a roaring flame, would ever ignite a passion again. 

 It has been two months since he returned home and we still find ourselves entangled in the mess of navigating new waters in our marriage, but we have found that change can be good. With a few good melt downs and all out yelling matches, we’ve allowed each other to get to know the new sides to who we had become, and in all of it, we’re learning that marriage isn’t a trophy or badge we wear like we once thought, but rather a constant choice to walk in the mess of life with someone. Marriage isn’t a theme so easily nailed down in books or blogs, but rather an experience every day between two people going through life this side of Eternity. So if earth isn’t our final destination, then marriage doesn’t have to be as perfected as I once strived so hard to attain. It’s merely a tool God has given us as a way to survive on this journey. In our world, deployments will become a norm, life will throw its curve balls and our hearts will break more than we probably care to admit, but it is incredibly freeing when you allow your partner to grow, experience and change with the seasons of life knowing that you will too. Full of really romantic moments, terribly painful experiences, and even some really good intimacy, marriage is messy but oh so good.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Navigating the Digital Waters

Every year I find myself torn on how involved I want to be with the digital web.  For one thing, there is a pretty decent income when I do invest.  Those mommy blogger years when Joss was first born definitely helped bring in some cash.  

Now, with social media influencers, there is a whole new outlet for income.  But with sharing, comes the invitation into an area of one's life that I teeter with whether or not I want to share.  I struggle with feeling the need to justify, or the desire to just hide away.  

But I realized that I have allowed imaginary conversations full of assumptions of how people can or do think about me dictate the choices I had been making.  And I really don't want to live that way. 
So, I'm freeing myself to share when I want.  When I find a good find that I think you would enjoy, I'll share.  When I discover tips on navigating this military world, I'll share.  And I'll free myself from how people can view me. 
So thank you for sticking by my flaky digital presence.  You are my (digital) people.  

Friday, December 27, 2019

Ending 2019 The Way I Normally Do

It seems fitting that as 2019 comes to a close, I finally open up this blog and write a little.  

We didn't send out Christmas cards (or the year before that, the year before that, and the year before that).  I have all these grand plans to take a special photo, design some fancy cards and hand write each individual address, but I guess I'll have to try again next year, or the year after that.

This year came with so many changes.  We added a third little girl, moved to a new state, and started homeschooling a few months into the new school year.  

Jennavieve took our world for a new ride when she graced us with her presence.  On May 9th, I woke up feeling like something just wasn't right.  Unlike my pregnancies with her sisters, I paid attention to all her kick counts and I had noticed her activity had drastically changed the days prior.  That morning, however, I hadn't felt a single movement, but was hesitant to go to L&D triage since I frequented that place and each time was sent home with normal fetal movement.  Jon wasn't feeling too confident about the lack of movement and my mother, who had recently arrived for birth support, suggested I drive the 45 minutes to the hospital.  After about an hour and a half of a good heart beat but little to no movement, Jennavieve gave me three of the strongest kicks then her heart silenced.  She was delivered via emergency c-section lacking all color but still alive.  She was rushed to a hospital across town to a NICU where she underwent a double blood transfusion.  She was diagnosed with Chronic Fetal Maternal Hemorrhage, most commonly found in stillbirths.  

Although those days were some of the hardest emotionally, they were also incredibly special to me because of the medical care I received.  In a world where I constantly see the medical world get a bad wrap, I can't help but sing from the mountaintops the wonder of the love, support, straight-forward advice, and care from my medical team.  They instantly became some of my favorite people on the planet, and I'll forever be grateful for the way they saved my baby girl's life and the healing for me so I can get to her as soon as possible.  

About a month after her birth, we had all our belongings packed and drove across a few states to get to our new home in Nevada.  With only four months of emotional and physical prep from the moment we first learned of Jon's new assignment, I was not ready to move, let alone to a place I REALLY didn't want to go to.  But six months in, I fell in love with this town, its people and the opportunities we have to make some valuable memories.  Jon loves his assignment, the girls are adjusting to the warmer weather and new friends, and I'm learning that we are truly blessed to have been given all that we have in the four years Jon has been in, serving in the USAF.  

To our friends that have been with us for years and our new friends we are making along the way, THANK YOU for the treasures given in our time with you.  Although I look back at this year wishing I had made other choices for a lot of things, I'm incredibly grateful for the way we have been loved on.  Ya'll have made our 2019 amazing and we can't wait to return the favor in 2020 - Cheers friends! 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Amazon Jumpsuit

I had seen this jumpsuit floating around Amazon ads and had it in my wish list for a little while now.  I recently decided to order it to try it on and it is exactly what it says it is.  This jumpsuit is so comfortable.  It's made with a thicker cotton material making it sturdy but comfortable.  

I was nervous to buy it thinking it wouldn't work with my curves that sit mostly around the waistline, but it fit perfectly and the drawstring waist helps shape the stomach area.  

Also, it's nursing friendly with a button in the chest area to allow for the top to stay closed and easily open for feeding.

It comes in five colors and in a shorts style too.  It's definitely a must-have with a five start rating from me.