Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty & the mess following...

Ah, Duck Dynasty.

I'm going to end my over-five-month hiatus on this blog with my opinion.

I like Duck Dynasty.  I think it's funny, honest, & I love seeing the family praying at the end of every show.  In the world of reality-dominated television, it's refreshing to see Christian people.  It's refreshing to see these dudes (& gals) going about their redneckery (yes, I said it) in a way that makes me giggle.

I like that they've all been married for ages & they're quick to point out their flaws & also willing to be silly.  I love how Ms. Kay puts up with Phil & has done so for fifty something years.

I hate most shows on tv these days.  We don't watch much aside from Disney Jr. & random stuff like Gold Rush & Ghost Mine.  I don't like where our country is headed, how everyone is afraid to say what they think & everything they do say gets taken in, chewed up, changed completely, swallowed, then regurgitated to be something even MORE different, then spit up.

I hate that someone like Phil from Duck Dynasty says what HE THINKS & the world goes crazy.  Who cares what he thinks?  It's HIS opinion, not yours.  So A&E pulls the plug because they don't want to show a show of a Christian man with his beliefs.  Yet an Atheist can complain about Christmas decorations & everyone will be quick to take them down.

Anyone that knows me, even a little, knows that I am a Christian.  In the last 4 years & some change I've come to have an amazing, very personal relationship with Jesus.  I have friends that are Atheists & I still love them regardless of their beliefs.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an AVID supporter of gay people.

It may not make sense to Christians OR Atheists, but it makes sense to me.

You see, one of my very best friends is gay.  She is an AMAZING woman.  In my heart I know that it's not some "condition" or a "choice."  I know it has nothing to do with how she was raised (in a loving, supportive home where her two sisters are straight).  I know it doesn't make sense to some.  But in my heart of hearts, I KNOW that my God wouldn't create this amazing person to condemn her later for her lifestyle.  & that's my opnion.  I believe that her & her partner may very well see God's Glory & his home one day.

Knowing her has completely changed my outlook on the gay/lesbian community.  I knew her before I started my journey with Christ so my love for her has stuck throughout my love for Christ.  I guess I'm one of those crazy Christians that loves everyone.  I pray for our President even though I almost never agree with anything he's done.  I pray for our country & our leaders & the things that affect all of us.  I pray for the people that are victims of crimes.  I don't agree with gun control in the way it's being done.  I'm a gun toting, America loving girl.  & I'm proud of it.  I almost never comment on people's posts about these things because half the time, I think it's pointless.  People aren't going to change their opinion & everyone is now of the opinion that THEY are right.  They won't listen to other opinions because they don't want to see the other side.  Some see our country in a downward spiral, some think it's on its way up.  Very few actually want to do something about it.

Sure, some will have a problem with my opnion.  I know what the bible says about it, but I don't agree.  It doesn't change my love for God or my opnion on the bible or my thoughts on the rest of the bible.  & if they don't agree, it's ok.  I'll still love the people that do OR don't.

All these Christians are posting all over Facebook about how they're siding with Phil, banning A&E, & causing an uproar about how what he said was right.  Well, it was right for him, I assume.  & while I've not seen too many posts about how they think he's the bad guy (I guess most of my friends are redneck Christians, lol), I'm sure there are plenty.

But is this the way of the Christian?  What ever happened to "hate the sin, not the sinner?"  What ever happened to loving EVERYONE?  Isn't our job as a so-called Christian to be like Jesus?  You're not doing a very good job if you're talking bad about everyone involved.

In this holiday season, wouldn't it be better to just put the crap aside?  Do something for someone less fortunate.  Take the opportunity to shut your mouth & listen.  Be thankful for the family you've got, the friends you're lucky enough to have.  Pay attention to things.  Be the bigger person.  Apologize first.  Don't be selfish.

& for once, GET OVER YOURSELF.  Love people, regardless of their opinion.  The beauty of being human is that we get to have opnions.  Right or wrong.  Just accept it.

& don't get offended when someone says, "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Kwanza" or "Happy Holidays."

Just love for once.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

"You've got your hands full"

Ugh.  Just typing that phrase pisses me off.  I think whomever came up with that was an idiot.  Full hands or not, it's stupid.  It's borderline rude, even when said in kindness.

Someone said it to me as Jovi, the boys & I exited the elevator at the children's museum.  The cashier at Walmart said it the other day as we checked out.  I've probably heard it five or six times since I left Wyoming.  I'm not sure why I always feel the need to explain that Jovi isn't my daughter, because I respect people who can parent that many kids, but either way, I DO have my hands full.  & hearing you say it irritates me because you look at me, with three kiddos nearby & another in my belly, like I'm doing too much.  I'm overdoing it.  Polluting the population or maybe I just can't keep my legs shut?

It's none of your business, guy in the elevator.  What I should have said to you was, "& you don't, as you wrestle your two boys standing DIRECTLY in front of the elevator & your son who pushed Sawyer out of the way?"  Teach your children some manners.

It's none of your business, cashier at Walmart.  I know you're trying to make pleasant conversation, but I got a much better feeling from the woman near the clearance bakery items who told me, "you have beautiful children."  That time, I didn't bother to correct her on Jovi not being my child.  So what if I DO have my hands FULL?

I have my hands full of love.

Sometimes it's holding a dirty diaper, a toy, a sippy cup, or, much to their dismay, a hand as we cross a crowded parking lot.  But the really special times they are full?

It's holding the hand of a scared boy or a boy who just wants to sit with his momma, even though he's a "big boy" at 4.  Sometimes, it's holding the squirming legs of a 2 year old who is trying to "escape" as he's being tickled.  It's carrying plates of food & not getting to take a single bite of your food until after it's cold because someone needs a napkin or more water or he dropped his spoon or fed half his meal to the dogs & you have to get him more.

It's knowing that no matter how much they fight me or each other, drive me crazy or having me sobbing with frustration, at night before I go to bed, I look at both of them asleep in their beds & my heart swells with pride & joy.  Because those boys were a GIFT to me from MY GOD.

So I've gotten better when I hear that phrase, that instead of rolling my eyes or immediately jumping to explain myself, to say, "Yes, I'm very blessed."

Because I am.

& I do have my hands full.




Monday, July 1, 2013

Everything But the Girl.

They're not just a band that I love.  A band that I was introduced to through him, the man I like to pretend never existed.  To this day, when I mention past loves or past boyfriends, I don't mention him.  It's like there's a spot in my life that never really happened & the only reason I'm (sort of) putting pen to paper about it now is because writing about all these past loves is super cleansing- at least, it has been so far.

It all started with an email.  Probably a joke here or there, or a request for some dental supply that only I could procure.  At the time, I was the Supply Petty Officer for the largest Navy dental clinic in the Northwest.  I was stationed in Bangor, WA.  He was also stationed there but worked at a different clinic.  He worked admin for the command.

He was married.  I knew this from the beginning but he fed me a string of lies that I so desperately wanted to believe & in my young mind, although I knew the truth, I refused to see it.

I was 22 years old.  He was (if I remember correctly) 31.  He was on his second marriage & he already had two children from two different wives.  He told me he was legally separated.  I pretended I believed it.

He could write the most beautiful letters.  Poetic, lengthy, that made me feel SO incredibly good.  For a girl with a low self esteem, he lifted me up in ways I've not seen since until I understood REAL love years later & the love I have now for Tony & our children & most importantly, Jesus.

He'd come to my office from Bremerton & sneak to the back of the supply room & kiss me.  We talked music at length & he helped me discover bands like EBTG, Chris Isaak, & Jack Johnson.

We ended up living together.  I gave him my entire world, traded myself for secrecy to all my friends & quite possibly missed out on a number of awesome opportunities for lasting friendships or career enhancers.  I forgot who I was so that I could receive love from him, or something that I thought was love.

He was one of the first dental technicians in the Navy to be chosen for the hospital corpsman IDC program.  It was a big deal & he was headed to San Diego for school.  I went with him on the trip, a beautiful trip down the coast that also showed me where he grew up.  I thought so much that he & I were going to last forever.  I'm sure I knew better.

My few family & friends that knew tried to warn me.  They told me that it was silly, that the last thing my young heart needed was this incredibly damaging relationship.  I didn't listen.

The one thing aside from music that he provided me was the strength to apply to be a Master at Arms.  I had been increasingly unhappy as a dental tech & I knew I needed a change.  Being an MA offered something new & exciting (or so I thought).  He pushed me to route my package & once it was approved, I headed to San Diego for school (& to be near him!).

We'd spend our weekends together, staying in hotels & doing things together.  It was always very hush hush & I was always sworn to silence when he called his "ex" wife & kids.  He promised that just as soon as school was over, or this & that changed, or a thousand other things happened, we'd be free to be us & we'd be able to be together for real.

When it came time for orders, I was given two options:  a year in Korea or two years in Japan.  I asked him what I should do.  He told me to choose Japan since he had a better chance of getting there, too.

So I received orders to Sasebo, Japan, & never dreamed that he & I wouldn't FIND A WAY to make it work.

But hearts are fickle & we change our minds often, don't we?  Especially when distance interferes & threatens safety & the hope you cling to.

Shortly after I got to Japan, I'd like to say I saw the light.  I'm not sure if that was truly the case or if I'd just been tired of living like I'd been living for the last year & a half.  Maybe my heart hurt & I was done.

I ended our relationship.  I cried hysterically as I did so, thinking that not ever in a million years would I find someone even half as good as him & I knew I was destined to live alone for the rest of my days.

Looking back, I only remember bits & pieces.  I remember how I thought he was lifting me up & making me stronger when in reality, he was pushing me down.  He never physically hurt me & he wasn't emotionally abusive, but his demeanor & his way had a way of making me hide myself.  I tried hard to act like I was so much more mature & so much older & be exactly who he wanted me to be instead of myself.

It only took about ten or so years, but NOW as I'm writing this, I can see that up until him, & even for a long time after him, in relationships I was quick to put the guy first & not take care of myself.  Even now I find myself doing that- only in my current life it's give & take.  I'm married.  & not in the kind of way he was.  I value my marriage & I know that sometimes I'll have to give up some of me for the better of my family.  & so will Tony.

So I guess I learned something from him.  Well, maybe a few things.
1.  When you meet Chris Isaak, it's perfectly acceptable to NOT remember your name so he can sign your t-shirt.  Meanwhile, your jerk boyfriend will roll his eyes & spell your name for Mr. Isaak- thereby giving you a chance to stare at the good looking man drawing a heart next to his signature.

2.  Married men are NEVER an option for a relationship.  Prior to my new(ish) relationship with Christ, I'd done a few things I wasn't too proud of.  This is one of them.
3.  It's true what they say about not being able to make someone else happy until you make yourself happy.  It took me YEARS to figure this out.
4.  A 22 year old has NO business being with a 30 something year old man.  True story.

I have no idea what happened to him, & I can't say I care.  I'm BEYOND thankful that it didn't manifest into something more, like he & I stayed together or I couldn't get over it.  I'm also thankful for the life I found in Japan, because it led me to where I am now.

Ballsy Brandis.

I walked up to him at Beaches, a club everyone went to after the pub on Tuesdays, a.k.a. "Pound Night."  I said something super classy like, "come talk to me before you get too drunk."

I knew I had a crush on him & I'm not sure if we'd ever had more than one or two conversations but I knew there was something about him.

He was so cute with his dark hair & glasses, seemed incredibly funny & sweet.

So at some point in the evening, he sought me out.  I told him that I liked him & wanted to get to know him better.

We left the club early, he took me to my room, & we talked for a good three hours.  Couldn't tell you what we talked about but I remember I ran out of cigarettes & he kept giving me his.  When he left I closed the door & grinned, because I knew he was special.

In true cute boy fashion, he knocked on my door about a minute later, handed me a cigarette & said, "one for posterity?"

I'm not sure at what point we became "us" but we did.  We became a couple in every sense of the word.  We loved each other very much.  He told me things he'd never told a soul, & I couldn't imagine it ever being better.

We took professional pictures together, for goodness sakes'.  He bought me a promise ring & when we found out I was getting orders to Washington, he got as close as he could to there with his orders- San Diego.

He left before me.  He would send me these beautiful cards & letters in different colors talking about how much he loved me & how great our lives would be together.

Within probably two months of him leaving I became interested in someone else.  Someone insignificant, doesn't even earn a blog post in this story.  I broke it off with him for someone else, instead of giving love a chance.

He even came to visit me in Washington & I treated him like a friend.  Didn't give him what he wanted, needed, or deserved.

I should have.  For years I wondered about him & wished things had been different.  We were so good together, you see.  If we hadn't have been separated, we probably would have lasted.

About 4 years ago we met up on facebook & I'm happy to see that he's married now with two super cute kids.  He seems to have a good life & I'm really thankful for that.  He told me that I showed him what love really was & that he wasn't bitter over any of it.  I'm happy to hear it, I truly am.  Because I know for every heart I ever broke, I had mine broken in a worse, more painful way.  But isn't every broken heart painful?  Doesn't matter how it's broken.  Just that it is.

I'm thankful for the healer of time & the way things are supposed to play out.  All of these heartbreaks, pain, misery, & nonsense set me up for the life I was supposed to have.


Friday, June 28, 2013

rollercoaster.

guess where we live now?!?!

FLORIDA.  After a four month detour to Texas, we've made it to our final destination for the next few years (I hope).

It's beautiful here.  The sand is white, the sea is clear, our rental house is about 8 miles from the beach, at the entrance to the beach is an authentic snoball stand, we have a HUGE backyard, a huge house, & aside from my Lion King hair thanks to the humidity, everything is perfect.

Except it's not.  It has mass potential.  Truly.  If had friends, my furniture, & most importantly, my HUSBAND, things would be pretty stinking spectacular.

Everyone here is very nice.  The boys seem to be adjusting (relatively) well to our new life & the dogs haven't done much since their three day excursion in Texas so I'm guessing they like it (they love barking at the squirrel that keeps knocking down our homemade bird feeder).

But I am lonely.  L-O-N-E-L-Y.  All by myself, without friends, has taken its toll on me already.  Probably because I didn't have friends (or get to see the ones I do often, anyway) in Texas, so essentially I'm going on 5 months of being friendless.  This isn't to say that I haven't been in touch with friends or haven't seen them briefly when they rolled through town or whatever.  But there's a difference between seeing someone for two days then being all alone & having friends nearby to lean on or help.

The boys & my little sister Jovi provide good entertainment.  But not being able to grocery shop or breathe or have ten minutes to myself or even pee alone has taken its toll.  The last year of doing it ALL ALONE (with the exception of that month & a half where Tony was home) has taken its toll.

I know the next six or so years will be like this with Tony's new job.  I know that I can handle it because I've been doing it all alone & we're all still alive at the end of the day.  But man does it stink sometimes!

I joined a lot of groups on facebook for the area so I'm hoping it'll slowly put me in touch with people.  I also JUST found out about twenty minutes ago that the Airman & Family Readiness Center provides 20 hours of FREE childcare to those PCSing so I can go to a few doctors appointments without trying to pull a babysitter out of my back pocket.

I guess that's all for now.  I'm in the process of trying to find a good church, a good preschool for Cody for the fall, & some friends.  It's not a lot or anything. ;)

I'll try my best to get back on the blogging bandwagon.  It's not like I'm busy establishing a household or anything... haha!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm Sorry.

Those two words are so easy to say.  Often we choose not to say them, assuming that we're in the right or that the other person won't forgive us so what's the point?

& another time to say it is the absolute worst: when we don't mean it.

I've told the boys more than once that I'm sorry.  At the time I certainly mean it, but I continue to repeat the same mistakes, which means I'm probably not as sorry as I think I am.

Today my sweet friend Tiffany posted this blog post on facebook.  It was probably 15 minutes after Tony & I had a conversation about where (I feel) I'm failing as a mother.  As I stood near a tree, watching the boys play with the hose for the millionth time after a million times of telling them not to, tears streaming down my face (for the second time today)- I looked up & thought, "it's just water."

We're all failing in some places.  Where someone reads a blog post & cries about the things they don't do or the things they do & where they feel they fall short.  How we're all less than perfect & how parenting is hard, yo.  Some moms yell too much, some moms ignore, some moms hide in closets & cry, some moms eat until they get sick because they have nothing else to turn to, some moms do it ALL by themselves with no help.  Some moms seem to have it all together but deep down, they're falling apart just like the rest of us.  You know what?  I've done ALL of the things I just mentioned.

~I have friends who take the Orange Rhino Challenge & I feel like they're Supermom, where I've compared myself a million times to them & wondered WHY I can't just be an awesome mom like her.
~I have friends who post these amazing pictures of their children doing super fun things & I think, "why don't I have the patience to do that too?"
~I have friends whose children are all in school so while the kids are gone, they do whatever they feel like doing, & leisurely enjoy their day.
~I have friends who have no routine with their kids but their kids are calm, consistently listen, & don't run around all crazy.
~I have friends who do this & that & even more...
~the list goes on.

& yet, at the end of the day, we're all just doing our best, aren't we?

So, I just want to say I'm sorry.  I'm sorry to my boys for yelling when they are doing typical kid stuff.  I'm sorry when I look at them playing with a water hose & instead of smiling & seeing them giggle when one splashes the other I see a mess to clean up.  I'm sorry that I only see us living in a home that feels like glass because it's not childproofed my way therefore I'm watching them like a hawk every second because God forbid something that isn't ours gets broken. I'm sorry that I try so hard to make everyone around me happy that I don't focus on what is important- watching my 4 & 2 year old BE 4 & 2.  I'm sorry that I feel like I'm being pulled in twenty different directions & therefore I take out my frustrations on two amazing little boys who are really just trying to survive the same crap I'm working through- sharing a room with their mom, living under someone else's roof with different rules, being away from their daddy, & not knowing half the things we usually know.

I'm so very sorry.  I hope that I can remember next time I see them playing where they shouldn't that this is only temporary.  Three weeks from tomorrow we'll be driving to Florida to start our new life there with our own home & our own set of rules.

I'm sure it will still be hard.  There will still be times I yell or get frustrated.  But I hope I can remember that the things they get into are just that- things.  The things that aren't important.

Because you know what's important?  Remembering that time is fleeting & in light of what's happened with Kristie, the Boston marathon, the plant in West, Texas, & the tornadoes in Oklahoma- you just never know.

So what's important to me today?  Remembering that it's just water.  & remembering that these two little boys are so very special & I need to work more on taking care of them AND me, & not worry so much about the world around us & making others happy.





Thursday, April 18, 2013

'The Worst Part (Of a Broken Heart)'



Once I got to England, I discovered how vicious & ridiculous military boys could be.  The base I was at was incredibly small, & the boys swarmed after the new girls like flies.  I mean, it was pitiful.  I got there in August, & by October, I'd met the first person who would really & truly rip my heart out & stomp on it.

He was older than me.  4 years I think?  He'd been in England for awhile, & he played guitar.  He was in a little band with some of the other guys there & I thought he was amazing.

Now that I look back on it, I can't remember many details of our relationship.  He was the first boy I gave myself completely to.

We only dated for like six months.  It felt like so much longer & I spent every waking moment thinking of him.  He (being older & douchier) probably didn't have the same love for me, having been more experienced & just being different.

I guess it got to be too much for him.  We were always together, we practically lived in each other's barracks rooms (in the barracks there you could do whatever you wanted- there was no place to sign in, you could smoke in your room, etc.) & were always together.

Apparently I was too sarcastic for him, too blunt, too much of a bitch, too outspoken, etc.  One night we went to the NAF (the English bar on base) with a group of friends & were (seemingly) having a good time.  I guess we weren't, because afterwards we went back to my room & laying on my bed in the dark, he broke up with me.  Let out this big sigh & I'm like, "what's wrong?"  He said, "you don't want to know."  "Of course I want to know, I wouldn't have asked if I didn't." "I don't think this is going to work out."  

I sat there, stunned.  I gathered what was left of my pride, put out my cigarette, & said, "I think you should leave."

For months after that, I was the most pitiful girl you can imagine.  I cried my way through work most days- once or twice the dentist I worked for even sent me home because I was crying so hard I couldn't hand him instruments.  I was a far cry from the "tough" girl people see now.  I cried myself to sleep every night, wrote him letters about how we were meant to be, showed up at this door practically begging him to take me back, until finally, my granny called me one night & said, "let this be the last night you cry over that boy."

It was.  

I have no idea what ever happened to him.  I have no hard feelings & I certainly am not bitter over the ending of our relationship- it was YEARS ago.  I guess in a way I'm thankful for him for showing me how bad it could really be- I'm not sure my heart was ever broken that badly again.

& then I did the heartbreaking when I started dating a truly great guy afterwards.


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