Thursday, May 31, 2012

Death & Dying

When I switched my major to General Studies, I had to choose three concentrations to build my degree on: Sociology, Writing, and Business. I've always been fascinated with sociology. I clearly like writing (that's why I blog). I figured some common knowledge about business would be useful. I debated between working through all of the concentrations individually, taking only sociology classes in the summer, only writing classes in the Fall, and only business classes in the Spring. I decided against that (thank goodness). This summer I'm only taking two classes, a decision that still irks me. By dropping to only two classes this summer, I moved my graduation date up a whole semester. I'm still graduating a whole year early but it kills me that I could have done it a year and a half early. Oh well! This way, I won't have to take maximum credit loads every semester and I'll have more time to spend with the baby.
The two classes I'm taking this summer are Introduction to Statistics, and... Death & Dying. You're probably thinking, "Why would you take a class on death?" The answer? I have no idea. It is required for my major, that's the real reason, but why I didn't attempt to find a way around it, I have no idea. Oh wait, here's the kicker: I'm taking this class while my husband is away. It ends about a week after he returns from training.
So, yes. I'm taking a class on dying while I'm alone. My professor actually emailed us warning us to find someone to talk to who we feel completely open with. That would be my husband. Who doesn't have constant access to a phone? My husband. So, that makes this fun.
Today, I got to watch a video about the last few days of a person who is terminally ill's life. That was awful. This is the second 87 minute long video about dying/dead people that I've had to watch this week alone. There are more to come. What did I learn today? There's no "right way" to see a person off... There's no "right way" to die. Depressed yet? It gets worse. They actually filmed the woman from the video as she died... Awful. Now I get to write a paper on my reaction to it! Yippee!
I definitely did not think this through like I should have. I suppose, it's better that I take this class now rather than while he's deployed. I know that he's not in any serious danger where he is now and I know when he's coming home. That does make it a better timing I suppose, but it's still not ideal.
This class has made me think about dying a lot more than what I'd like to. Thinking about life without my loved ones terrifies me. I've been extremely fortunate so far in life, not having to deal with the death of immediate family or close friends.
Well, I'm off to go write a paper about how watching people die makes me feel, should be a good time.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Found Free Time

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I'd like to take a moment to thank and remember everyone who has served, is serving, and will serve in our country's military. I truly appreciate what you do. Thank you! Your sacrifice means more to many than you know. 

I've been out of school for two whole weeks now and I've realized something. I do not miss driving for two and a half hours every day. Not only am I saving between $60 and $80 each week in gas, but I have an extra two hours every day. I am still taking two classes right now but they're online so I don't have to drive 110 miles (round trip) to campus at least four days each week. In fact, I should only have to drive to campus a maximum of three or four times between now and July 19th when my last class ends. One of my classes ends on June 20th (or something like that) so after that's done I'll have even more free time.
In a way, it's been really nice having so much extra time on my hands. I don't feel the least bit overwhelmed with housework or schoolwork. I know that I'm only taking six credit hours right now, so school should not be a burden at all, but it just feels great to be able to stay on top of everything and not have to worry about getting behind or forgetting an assignment here or there. I've been able to keep my house (relatively) spotless for almost a week because I actually have time to clean up after Mia and myself. My sink hasn't had a bunch of dirty dishes piling up, my laundry hamper is not overflowing, and the laundry basket actually holds all of the clean clothes without overflowing! It's honestly a great feeling.
I've even found a little extra time to do some redecorating. I found these Americana decor items at a garage sale over the weekend and couldn't help myself. They were only a dollar each (there's one more that doesn't exactly match these color-wise so I have it on a different wall). I'd actually bought the picture frames just to paint later. I found spray paint at Lowe's that matches some of the wall decor in the nursery perfectly so I've been painting random (ugly) picture frames baby pink to do a collage on Adalin's wall. I wasn't planning on using them while they were blue but they match my new stuff so I figured why not! They were only a dollar as well.
I absolutely love bargain shopping.  Dollar stores are my best friend when it comes to decorating. A lot of the stuff is cheaply made, but when you really think about it, how strong does something that is simply going to hang on the wall have to be? As long as it is out of reach of children and not someplace that it's going to get knocked into all the time, wall decor doesn't have to be that durable. I found  this monkey and butterflies (all one set except the two pink flowers) for just a dollar. There's actually another vine that comes off the side that I forgot to put on before I took this picture, along with a few more leaves. Not bad for a buck, right? I've decided that I'm going to start hitting up random dollar stores and discount stores (like Beals, Ross, TJ Maxx, and Burlington Coat Factory) about once a month in search for cheap decor. Since my hubby and I are still newlyweds, we don't have a ton of decorations through our house. We do have quite a few pictures up, most of which are from our wedding. However, other than that our walls are pretty naked. There's one wall in our dining room that is about 15 feet wide (and we have high ceilings so it's about 12 feet tall) that only has two small 4x6 pictures on it. It's my goal to have it beautified by the end of summer. I figure that if I pick up one random thing every few weeks, eventually our house will feel even more homey than it already does. This is what happens when I'm actually at home and awake for more than three or four hours every day. I will be sure to post pictures of all the progress I make though the next few months.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ups and Downs

When spouses are away, life is a lot different. For people without kids (like me), it means only cooking for one person or not really cooking at all.. It means only doing laundry for one person. It means only cleaning up after one person (Yippee!) and only doing dishes for one person. It means actually being able to do my homework without distractions (other than from the dog). So, the "homemaking" gets a little easier when they're away. It's easier to keep everything nice and orderly, and even make progress on overall organization. All these things are nice, but it still sucks. I actually miss picking up his dirty socks when he's gone. I miss the challenge of figuring out how to get the stains out of his ACUs without fading them too much. I miss real food! It's so hard to cook for just one person. I miss having his stinky butt in bed at night, and the heat that comes from him. I've actually turned up the thermostat a few degrees because it gets too cold at night. I miss having someone to do dishes for me. Even though I don't cook a whole lot while he's gone, I still manage to come up with all sorts of dishes to be washed. Don't ask me how that works.
I think it's completely normal to go through ups and downs when your spouse is away. Keeping busy keeps my spirits up, but there's only so much I can do before I run out of things to clean. When that happens, I crash. It gives me too much time to think and wonder how he's doing. Walking or running used to work to keep me busy, but recently I've found that it doesn't work as well as it used to. I still think too much. If I'm doing pilates or something that actually takes brainpower, I do a little better. Homework helps too. I'm really glad that I decided to stay in college over the summer instead of taking it off. I would be going insane if I didn't. Writing him daily letters helps too, even if I do get to talk to him. I'm the type of person that needs to get it all out before I go to sleep. If there's anything on my mind, I'll lay there for hours... Writing to him (even if he doesn't end up reading the letters) helps me feel like he's still here and still involved with everything. Weekends always seem to drag on because there's less to do. I've started to make sure I have something planned for every day that he's away to keep myself occupied for at least some of the day. Every little bit helps. It's up to every individual to come up with their own coping techniques. Everyone is different, that's for sure.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, May 25, 2012

One Whole Year of Blogging

It's pretty amazing to think that I've been steadily blogging for a year now. Looking back at the beginning, I can't believe how far it's come. In May 2011, I had a total of  106 views (I'm pretty sure about 40 of them were from me). This month, I've gotten over 1,200 and still rising. I never imagined that this blog would turn into what it has.
My initial intention was to do video blogs about once a week about what different loops the Army sent me though. Have I made a video yet? Nope. I do talk about the different things I've gone through with the Army, but a lot of this has just been about my life as a wife and college student in general. I love reading through my old posts and seeing how much everything has developed in the past year.
It's incredible for me to realize that I was still in high school, unmarried, and not pregnant when I started this. My, how times change. My general knowledge for all things "military" has grown so much in the past year, just by being surrounded by it. I feel so blessed with the life I have. My husband is so good to me, our life is better than I ever imagined it could be. I hope that this blog really shows how happy I am with the military lifestyle. Sure, sometimes this life throws some pretty crazy curve balls at us, but we've learned to swing as they come. We haven't come across something we can't handle yet.
I would like to know where my followers would like this blog to go in the next year. I have changed the structure (and appearance) several times in the past year, but I'd like to get more of a set purpose for this. Do you all like it when I talk about my life in general (baby updates, puppy updates, husband updates, school, crafts, family, etc...)? Or should I try to focus on the military aspect more? I have strayed away from it more than I expected to, but I feel like this blog is still successful. I'm hoping to do more military-related posts in the months to come, but sometimes we just fall into the same ol' routine... Nothing really new to post or rant about. What do you all think? I'd really like feedback! Thank you to all of my followers for making this first year great. Let's make next year even better!

Baby Update: 
Adalin has made amazing progress! I went in for new measurements on Wednesday and the appointment couldn't have gone any better. She's measuring a few weeks ahead of schedule (which is okay with me as long as she doesn't go too far past her due date, I don't want to birth a 12 pound baby). Her heart is looking good, and her CCAM is looking fabulous! It actually took two ultrasound technicians and a doctor a whole hour to find what they're pretty sure is it. Usually it only takes a few seconds to find it and a few more to measure it. The doctor said that these things can go away on their own, but it's pretty incredible that she's made so much progress in the past two weeks. My husband and I are extremely blessed to have such an amazing support system. Thank you a million times over for all the prayers and encouragement you've all provided the past few months. From the looks of things right now, the doctor is willing to consider inducing me a week before my due date (if she continues to develop fast and grow big) so my husband will have a few extra days with her before he deploys. There still is no official deployment date, but every day counts. Every day is a blessing. Also, she has lots of hair already! All this heartburn has paid off.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Do You Say Goodbye?

It's common knowledge that saying goodbye, or "see you later," is part of the military life. Sometimes it's only for a few days but sometimes it's many months. One of the most common questions I get asked by people interested in this lifestyle is how I deal with seeing him off. To be entirely honest, I don't really know.
Seeing your soldier off is all about finding your own "mojo." I almost always sob like a baby and completely break down when I watch him walk away. After a few days, I'll get back into the swing of things and just become a robot for the remainder of the time. It's been quite a long time since I've had to be alone for more than a few days.
For some reason, the last time I saw my husband off, I didn't. I bawled for the last week or so that he was here, but I didn't cry that much when he actually left. I'd been having a pretty hard time dealing with the idea of him leaving this last time because he couldn't take his phone with him. The last time that I went more than four or five days without talking to him was during basic training. Even then, the longest I've ever gone without talking to my husband is around 18 days. Going a whole month without talking to him scares me more than you could imagine. Especially being pregnant, I hate not being able to text or call him if something doesn't feel right. Anyway, I did really really well at the actually seeing-off. I cried, but only for a little bit. I stayed and talked with some of the wives afterwords which helped a lot. I actually slept that night too. I was feeling really really well until this morning.
My husband made some different videos for me to watch while he is away. I don't even know what they are about because he had me leave the room when he made them. I went to watch them this morning and was crushed to find out that the microphone cut out in every one of them. The only words that I can actually hear are "four days." I broke down a lot harder than I expected to. Something about thinking that I was going to get to hear his voice every day made it a lot easier. Now, finding out that I can't... My heart hurts. I still have some old voicemails saved on my phone that might help me cope a little. I was just really looking forward to Adalin being able to hear them as well. I don't want her to forget daddy's voice while he's away.
Saying goodbye is all about doing what feels best for you. Nearly everyone I've talked to has always told me to stay busy while they're away. I agree that it helps pass the time. The only problem is when you run out of things to do... This morning I decided to go on a cleaning rampage. Problem: I did that yesterday while he was getting ready to go. I didn't have hardly anything to do this morning. I did some laundry and cleaned the kitchen, then sat down ad realized that I don't really have anything to do... I start classes again tomorrow which should help. I have a few doctor's appointments while he's gone and I'm hoping a few friends of mine will come to visit.
There is no set format to deal with your soldier being away. There's no manual with step by step instructions on how to cope. Everyone deals with it differently. Some people need to shut down and be alone for a while. Others need to be surrounded with people to keep their mind busy. I'm a combination of both. I don't particularly feel like being around people right after he leaves, but I need to stay busy as well. Like I said, it's all about finding your mojo.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Things You Don't Say to Pregnant Women

I've decided to compile a list of all the things people have said to me about pregnancy and motherhood in the past few weeks that have ticked me off:

  1. "Wow! You're huge!" (Or any variation of the sort... "Your belly is huge," or "You definitely look pregnant now!" or "You're filling out" or "Your stomach has gotten so big!") -- Really? I didn't notice. I thought I've actually lost 20 pounds over the past few months. Dang... Seriously though, no pregnant woman wants to be told that she looks big or is gaining weight. We're self conscious enough as it is about our flabby butts and added water weight. Please don't remind us!  There's enough pressure from society for us to stay skinny, we don't need it from our friends and family too.
  2. "You're so tiny!" -- Any comment about size in general is really on the edge. Women don't want to feel like they're too small because that brings on worries of an under-developed baby. You're better off just not commenting on size at all. Stick to the classic, "You look great!" or "You're glowing." Those are always safe.
  3. "Are you having twins?" -- No explanation necessary. If the woman is having twins, she will tell you. Don't make her feel like a whale. And when women tell you no, DO NOT ASK IF THEY'RE SURE! You've already made her feel extra fat, don't rub salt in the wound.
  4. "Is your stomach supposed to look like that?" -- No two baby bellies look the same. Some are pointy, lop-sided, stretch-mark covered, stretch-markless, etc... Don't tell a pregnant lady that her belly doesn't look normal.
  5. "Who is the father?" -- If you don't know, don't ask! In my situation, I got that a lot at school. Most people don't expect a college freshman/sophomore to be married, but still... Not a question you should ask.
  6. "Aren't you a little young/old to be having a baby?" -- So what if we are!? Modern technology has come a long way to help a complicated pregnancy to go smoothly. And if it's motherhood that you're concerned about the woman undertaking, don't. Women will rise to the challenge. If they don't, their family will let them know. It's not your job to judge them!
  7. (Military related) "Won't your husband miss like everything?" --Do you honestly think that I don't think about this every single day? Yes, he's going to miss a lot. Yes, it sucks. Yes, we know it and are trying to make the best of it. That does not mean it's okay to remind me... It's a sensitive subject that is just bound to ruin the pregnant Army wife's day... Just don't mention it.
  8. (Military related) "Didn't he just get back from a deployment? How are you pregnant already?" -- Well, when a man and a woman love each other very much.... Come on, I don't need to explain that when a spouse is gone for months at a time, things get a little heated. PLUS, I know a lot of couples who chose to try for a baby post-deployment because the father will have more of a chance to be there for the birth.
  9. "Was it a planned pregnancy?" -- If it wasn't, it's none of your business. Why does it matter? The pregnancy is happening... Let it happen!
  10. "Have you considered any different names?" -- If the woman is telling people the name, they've probably already decided. Don't make her doubt her decision...
  11. "Is that good for the baby?" -- A pregnant woman does not want to be lectured about what is good and isn't good for the baby. Obviously, please say something if she's drinking or doing drugs, or bungee jumping... But if she's drinking her first glass of Coke in two months, let it happen.
  12. "Are your boobs real?" -- Yes. That's what happens when you're pregnant.
  13. "Should you be doing that still?" -- We know our limits. If we can still bend over and paint our toes, let us. If we can still mow the lawn, let us. Our doctors will tell us when we need to cool it and just chill. Unless you're a medical professional, don't try to limit us. We know what we can do and gosh darn it, we'll do it!
  14. "How do your old clothes still fit? Maybe it's time to invest in maternity clothes..." -- They stretch? Or I'm not as fat as you think... When we get uncomfortable in our normal clothes, we will buy maternity ones. Until then, let us enjoy it.
  15. "Did you see how fast so-and-so got their body back after having her baby?" -- We just don't need that kind of pressure. Sure, if it's been a few years since the woman has had the baby and she still looks pregnant, maybe push her to hit the gym a little. However, do not harass her about loosing the baby weight before she's even had the baby!
  16. "You shouldn't get an epidural... They really aren't necessary." -- Every delivery is different because every body is different. Just because one woman (or millions of women) was able to give birth without an epidural does not mean that the woman you're talking to should. Let her make the decision.
  17. "Just wait until the baby gets here... You won't ever get to sleep." -- We know! We don't sleep now, we won't sleep then. Please, don't remind us.
  18. "Oh look! You have (insert symptom of pregnancy such as swollen ankles, greasy hair, varicose veins, stretch marks, etc.)" -- And your point is? She's pregnant! It's to be expected!
  19. "Have you got hemroids yet?" -- Nobody, let me repeat, nobody wants to talk about that. Ever. (Thank God I haven't yet, just to clear the air) Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean that her body is an open book for all to hear.
  20. "Why won't the baby kick me when I put my hands on your belly?" -- Because the baby doesn't like you. I don't know! Maybe she's sleeping, or maybe she actually doesn't like you. I can't shove my hand up there and move her leg or arm so you can feel her move. And no, I'm not going to jump up and down like a maniac until she does kick you, sorry.
  21. "You should get your tubes tied after this one. You don't need anymore." -- Who on earth are you to decide that? Unless you are the woman's spouse, do not ever say this. Even if you are the spouse, don't word it like that. I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday and heard a woman literally say (to a 21 year old, I should add), "This is your second child. You get your boy and your girl. You're getting your tubes tied right? Two is plenty. Nobody needs more than two kids. I definitely think it would be in your best interest." This woman didn't even know the other lady. I was offended for her. Don't try to limit people's family size until it gets obnoxious. Then again who is to be the judge of that...
  22. "I was over my morning sickness and heartburn by now... It sucks to be you." -- Really? I thought everyone enjoyed throwing up and constantly feeling nauseous. Just because you were lucky doesn't mean you can rub it in everyone else's face.
  23. "Your ultrasound looks like an alien baby." -- Gee, thanks... Just want I always wanted to hear.
That concludes my list for now. Not all of these are things that people have said directly to me, but things that I've heard people be asked. If you've got any to add to the list feel free to comment.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dreading Tests

For those of you who don't know me in person, there is one thing you should know about me: I hate needles. Now, I'm not talking about piercings or tattoos. Neither of those bother me for some reason. I can get them myself, and can watch other people get them with no problem whatsoever. My husband has seven tattoos and I've watched him get all but two. It didn't bother me at all. However, if you ask me to get blood tests done, or even go into a lab... brace yourself.

When I first went in for my pregnancy test at the hospital (they do blood tests instead of urine tests because they're "more accurate") I smacked my forehead on the table because I was so dizzy. It was pretty awful, not to mention that they messed up my first test and I had to go back a few days later to get it redone.
Since we found out I was pregnant, I've only had blood work done twice. It's been quite a few months now and I'm dreading what's coming tomorrow. I have to get my glucose test done. It's a standard test done in pretty much all pregnancies (if I understand correctly), but it does mean blood tests. I have to go in and drink some kind of fluid an hour before I get blood drawn. In other words, I have an hour to psych myself out and become an anxious wreck. Awesome, right? I'm terrified. I could have had it done today, but I couldn't make myself go.

Today I also found out that the last doctor misdiagnosed me last week. He didn't really explain what he thought I had, but he gave me an antibiotic to get rid of my cough and cold. Well, that was a week ago and I'm still sick as a dog. Since I had an ultrasound this morning, I decided to stop in and see if they could give me something to at least suppress the coughing long enough for it to work itself out of my system. Another doctor took a look at me, and actually looked at my throat and ears... Diagnosis: I have either strep throat or whooping cough! Fantastic! They did a strep test that will come back with results in about 48 hours and are treating me as if it comes back positive. If it comes back negative, we will schedule testing for whooping cough. I have most of the symptoms. Now it's just a waiting game.

My next ultrasound is next Wednesday. We'll get more measurements of baby Adalin's CCAM and growth in general then. Today they measured the hole in her heart. It doesn't appear to be getting larger, but it hasn't went away either. The doctors have opted to not measure the hole again until after she's born (only about 12 more weeks!) but before she leaves the hospital to come home. Depending on the progress (or lack of progress) she's made by then, they'll decide whether or not surgery will be necessary. Unless her condition changes drastically, it doesn't sound like she will have to have any sort of surgery immediately after birth, but it's likely that she will have to have at least one within the first year of her life. It's a stressful situation but I trust the doctors. I know that she is in good hands.

Back to the needle situation, I was an absolute genius last week. I decided to watch a video of an epidural. We aren't talking about some animation or explanation of the procedure though. We're talking live video of a woman in labor getting an epidural, naked butt and all. That was quite the experience. I threw up half way though and ended up stopping the video about 3/4 of the way through because I was worried about passing out. I would love to think that I'll be able to go through labor without getting an epidural, but I'm a pansy when it comes to pain. I'm going to try my hardest to go without it, but I'd like labor to be an experience that I can look back on and say "That wasn't too bad." After all, my husband and I would like to have two children. I know that no labor is going to be pleasant but I'd like it to be doable. We'll see with time!

I'll let everyone know how the glucose test comes back when I find out. It might not be until my appointment next week.  That's all for today, have a great week!

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For my Mommy

Happy Mother's Day! This is the first year that I've been away from my family for Mother's Day, and I must say that it's a little bit weird. Usually we go to church, go out to a Mother's Day lunch, and then do whatever mamma wanted for the rest of the day. This year, hubby is treating me to breakfast in town, and a relaxing day at home (I'm hoping to talk him into a pedicure).
I wanted to take the time to dedicate this post to my mom. She's been the best mom I could ever ask for. Even though she can be mean sometimes, annoy me, and even make me mad, she's awesome. She really is my best friend and I miss her more than she'll ever know.
My mom has been there for me through everything. Through my husband leaving and being gone at basic and AIT (even though she gave me tons of crap for being a crying baby), she comforted me. Through all my schooling, she helped me work it out. I distinctly remember a time when I had to read this awful book for a program at our church called Caravans. It was supposed to be finished that night and I had barely started it. My mom told me to read the first and last sentence in each paragraph, and the first and last paragraph in each chapter. If it seemed important, read it through, if not, you "skimmed." Best advice ever. I don't know how many times I've used that throughout my school life.
Now, my brother might tell you that my mom is the worst person to travel with because she talks to herself when the passenger doesn't talk to her and she doesn't like the radio too loud. We don't have that problem. My mom is actually one of the few people I can travel for 16 hours with, without wanting to kill by the end of it. We can listen to the radio (but not too loud, right Mom?), talk about God knows what, and just have fun. Granted, I do sleep in cars like it's nobody's business... but we still have fun.
My mom also loves to cuddle. Even though my brother might hate it, I still love to jump in bed with my mamma and spoon. I'm not afraid to admit it! I love my mamma!
I can only hope that I'll be as good of a mom that my mom has been to me. She's always been there for me, through thick and thin. She's let me make my own decisions (as hard as it may have been for her) and let me learn from my own mistakes. I think about how much she's done for me every day. I hope that she knows how much her love has meant to me through the years.
One of the hardest things about today is that I don't know when the next time I'll see my mom is. I was originally planning a trip to Michigan and would have been leaving on Tuesday this week. After finding out about Adalin's complications, I'm no longer allowed to travel more than an hour or so away from Savannah. That kind of put a damper on my plans... I know my family is planning to make a trip to see us once Adalin is born, but that's still a few months away. I miss my family more than words can express.

Happy Mother's Day Mommy! I love you and miss you more than you'll ever know!

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Monday, May 07, 2012

I've Been Featured!

One of the blogs that I follow, Handling with Grace featured me in one of her posts! I did a review of Fort Stewart for her and I thought that I'd share it with everyone. Click -->here<-- to view her page.

It's final's week so things are pretty hectic. I'm now done with four of my classes and I have one more final today. I still have to finish my Economics class and my History class. My Environmental Biology class is this afternoon so I'm a little anxious now. I have to get an 84% to get a B in the class. It looks like I won't be getting back on the Dean's list this semester, but it's okay. I have summer and fall to get my GPA back up. I did manage to get an A in my math class (not that I was worried) and a B in my biology lab. I'm not sure about the rest of my classes yet, but I know that I'm guaranteed at least a C in my Economics class and that was the one I was most worried about. Normally, I would be bawling my eyes out over a C, but there's been so much going on with the rest of my life during this semester that I'm just happy to be passing all of my classes. Seventeen credit hours, a busy (training) husband, a high risk pregnancy, and a puppy was all a little bit too much to take on this semester. Over the summer I'm only taking six credits, and I'm cutting my hours back to 14 or 15 in the fall. That will probably be a good decision in the long run, even though it moved my graduation date up a whole semester. I'm still graduating a year early, which is something I feel like I should be proud of, but I'm not really. I could have done it a year and a half early, so that's the expectation I had set for myself. Oh well, it's all part of life! I'm off to go finish cramming for this Biology final now. Wish me luck!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Love is What?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."  -1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I know I haven't posted a whole lot of biblical stuff on here, but this passage is close to my heart. After thinking pretty deeply about it the other day, I realized something: my love for my husband causes me to feel all these things that love "does not do." I feel these things towards the Army. 

I have to force myself to have patience with the Army. It takes a lot of mental strength for me to not go punch someone when my husband gets held late at work (it seems like that happens every day lately), or when field training or ranges go later than expected. Even more so, I have very little patience when it comes to not being informed about what's going on. When there is a rumor about something, whether it be training dates, leave dates, classes, etc., I feel that it is the Army's job to address the issue immediately to eliminate all confusion. Does that ever happen? Rarely. 

I am not always kind to the Army. I do my best to support our military as a whole, but sometimes I can't help what think to myself, "What on earth are they doing?" I usually keep the stupid crap that goes on off of here, not to try and paint a picture of a perfect military life, but to keep my husband's head off the chopping block. I do love this life, believe it or not. It is just frustrating sometimes. 

I envy the Army more than what is probably healthy. I am jealous of how much time my husband dedicates to the Army, how much he is gone with the Army, how often he eats dinner with the Army... It's often said that the Army is a soldier's mistress. I'm seeing that more and more lately. I'm waiting for the day that Hubby comes home and tells me that he got the Army pregnant (just kidding). It seems like the Army takes the biggest priority in our lives, but I know he would do absolutely anything in his power (without risking jail time) for our family. 

I do boast about my husband, as most of you know by reading this. I'm a very proud wife! My husband is amazing! Do I feel guilty for this? Absolutely not! He's my husband, I'm allowed to brag a little. 

I just said this, but I'll say it again, I'm proud of my husband and I'm proud of our love. I realized yesterday that we've already been married for 10 months. That's only a short amount of time compared to the time we plan to spend together, but it has gone faster than I ever imagined. In less than two months we will be celebrating our anniversary (together for the first time!) and I couldn't be more excited. I know some couples who have been together for years and years are probably thinking, "Big deal, a whole year!" but I ask them this, when did being together for a whole year of your lives stop being important? Try being away for a year, then think about how amazing it is to be together. 

A few verses later, this passage says that "Love never fails." This is how I know that what my husband and I have is real. Sure, we've only been together for about 2 1/2 years, but so what!? I've known for quite a long while that he's the one I'm meant to be with. We've had our rough patches, but so does any other healthy couple. If we agreed on everything, all the time, I would be a little worried. No two people are that much alike. 

After thinking about this passage some more, I came to the conclusion that it's not saying that love doesn't make us feel these things. It's saying that love eliminates these things within the relationship. We are supposed to be patient and kind with the ones we love. We aren't supposed to envy them, but be happy for them instead! We shouldn't boast to them, but about them. We aren't supposed to be proud and too bull-headed to realize that our love might take work, but be humble and willing to do anything for it. We aren't supposed to dishonor our loved ones, or seek to be better than them. We aren't supposed to get mad over the stupid things or keep track of what they do that ticks us off. We aren't supposed to be happy when something goes wrong (even if it is an "I told you so" moment), but only be happy when the good comes out. We are to protect each other, trust each other, hope for each other, and persevere for each other, no matter what. After all, love never fails. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Should Wives Bite Their Tongues?

I'm a little late posting this, but it's been on my mind all week. Last Friday, President Obama came to visit Fort Stewart. A lot of the wives around here were posting on Facebook saying how he needs to leave, how they hate him, etc. I'm not sure of the exact rules, but I know that soldiers themselves aren't supposed to share their opinion of the President publicly. Let me say something real quick:

This is not going to be a post about my opinion on the President, government, or politics. That's not why this blog is here. Please do not assume that I am for/against the President, the government, or their actions. 

Continuing... All the controversy made me wonder, is it the obligation of military wives to keep their mouths shut in order to keep their husbands out of trouble? My personal opinion, yes.

I don't think that wives should go off ranting (publicly) about hating the government, or the President. Even if you hate the President or his policies, you should be careful of what you say on Facebook. It's a completely different situation if you're having a conversation with someone face to face, or even privately through messages or emails. However, if you post it on a public page, or even your profile for everyone you're friends with to see, you're asking for trouble.

Think of it this way: if your husband was.... let's say a doctor. If you go on a rampage on Facebook about how much you hate the owner of the hospital, or the hospital's policies, etc., and his boss saw it, he would probably get in trouble, right? He might even lose his job. Now, I'm not saying that the President is going to look through all of the wives' Facebook pages to see who he can kick out of the Army. However, there have been a few times that I've had to watch what I say both on Facebook and on here because I'm friends with a lot of the higher-ranking soldiers in my husband's unit. They see what I post, so what I post affects my husband.

You (hopefully) wouldn't walk right up to your soldier's chain of command and tell them that you hate what they're doing, unless it was endangering your husband or your family. Some wives would (and before everyone gets all pissy with me, I'm not saying that it's not right, I'm saying that it's not something I'm willing to do until circumstances get extreme).

Aside from the political aspect of this, I think it's always the obligation of military wives to help their husbands to pursue their dreams. If your husband wants to make a career out of the military, you should do everything in your power to make that happen, even if it does mean kissing some butt. There have been times that I would have loved to go chew someone out for something stupid (and preventable) happening, but I've kept my mouth shut for his sake. I'm comfortable saying that 90% of the time, I'm very mellow-minded. I don't chew people out for no reason, and I (usually) don't get upset over the little things. Being pregnant may have lowered that percentage a little bit, but what do you expect with raging hormones? The other 10% of the time, I'm on a war path. There's not really a middle ground for me. Either I'm happy (or maybe slightly irritated), or I'm ready to bite someone's head off. It's been really hard for me to keep my mouth shut sometimes. I've found ways around it though.

Sometimes I'll create a post for this blog, and save it for a week or so before publishing it. Once I've calmed down, I'll go through and re-edit anything that needs to be censored. This keeps both me and my husband out of trouble.

Every wife deals with this issue in a different way. Everyone who reads this blog should know that I'm all about freedom of speech. If you want to post about the stupid crap that goes on in military life, go for it! You won't be the only one! If you want to talk about how awful/wonderful the government is, be my guest. I'm just not going to say anything that could harm my husband's chances of making the military his career.

Just some food for thought! I'd love to hear your opinion on the matter, but remember keep the peace. This is a blog, not a war zone.

God Bless ♥ Vi