Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank a Veteran (or their spouse) today

Veteran's Day has a new meaning for me this year. Rebecca lost her husband just over 2 weeks ago. It makes the sacrifice our troops make that much more real.

My heart aches for her. I worry about her every day. I wonder how she finds the strength everyday to just get out of bed (if she even sleeps.) Rebecca is a strong lady, very independent. But there is no way to prepare for losing your spouse unexpectedly. I mean, you can make up wills, buy life insurance, talk about the "what-ifs".

But you can't prepare for the feelings that come with losing the person that you love most in the entire world.

Veteran's Day is a day to honor those who have and currently do serve our country, risking their life everyday for our way of life.

We all saw the commercials a few years back, during the Superbowl, I think. The one with the servicemen walking in line in the airport. People stopped to clap for them, and they all smiled a faint smile. How wonderful to know that you are risking your life everyday, your marriage, time with your family, and that someone else is grateful for that?? That your country believes the same things that you do, and appreciates that you stand up for the beliefs of many!

And at my friend's funeral last week, hundreds of people lined the streets of his hometown, waving American flags proudly as his body made way to its final resting place.

Please take time to thank a veteran, a military spouse, or a widow/er for the sacrifices they make for us. A simple "thank you" means more that you can ever imagine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This blog has done wonders for me...

I don't know about you readers, but having this blog for almost 2 years really has been a blessing for me. To be able to share my thoughts, stories and photographs is wonderful.

The blog really started as a way to keep in touch with our extended families when we moved to Hawaii. I know that they miss seeing the kids as often as they used to, and this gives us a way to share our Hawaii adventures and keep them involved in the kids' lives.

But it became more than that. It was also a way for me to vent. To share my frustrations. Not to bring people into my issues, but just to put them on paper, so that I could see them and decide what to do about them.

You all know that my job is a great source of concern right now. Blogging about it has given me some peace. While I know that things are going to change, whether I like it or not, having a way to talk about these things helps me get through them.

And losing our friend in Iraq late last month. I struggled with that for days, trying to sort it out in my head. I still struggle with it. Everyday I pray for my friend - that she will have the strength to get through this sadness and the changes that will happen in her life. I worry about her. I know what everyone says - that there's a reason, that God needed him, that there's a plan bigger than our understanding.

Sometimes those explanations aren't enough.

And, since I couldn't reach Jon when it happened, I hoped that he would at least be able to see the blog and know that someone we knew personally and cared about gave their life for our country.

Thanks, readers. I know there aren't many of you. But thank you for listening. When you are far from home like I am, sometimes the blog can be your best friend.

Please continue to bear with me. The next few months will be crazy with Jon's travel, visitors, the holidays, and then the plan to move.

Thanks for being there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Days of Old...

Alissa's working on a project about herself for school. As an aside, I don't understand why 10th graders are doing projects on themselves. What are they supposed to be learning - how to scrapbook? How to color, cut, paste? I don't think it's a worthwhile project, I think it's a waste of a 10th grader's time. (Another reason for us to move this summer, the high school here is just ridiculous.)

Anyway, for this project, Alissa needed pictures of herself from the past. Thankfully, we didn't leave our pictures in storage in Tennessee. The girls and I dragged out 8 boxes of photographs and proceeded to pour through them.

Boy did the memories pile in! Pictures I really hadn't looked at in years. Memories that were still in my heart and mind, but that hadn't been visited in a long time. Pictures of Alex and Alissa as babies. It's hard for me to remember some of those times, but seeing them in print brings the memories flooding back.

And wait until you see this picture of Alex. Abby was convinced that it was her - especially since she just wore that same dress last week! If I didn't know better, as their mother, I would easily mistake it for Abby as well. (I'll post some more of the old pictures later today...)

The major differences are Alex's bangs and the fact that Alex and Abby have different eyes. As a smaller child, Alex always had those dark circles under her eyes that Abby never had. (They seemed to have gone away as Alex has gotten older...)

I say this in practically every post, I guess because I am just dumbfounded. I don't feel any older, but my children are growing and blossoming before my eyes.

Too quickly.

I don't feel ready. I'm not ready for them to be young ladies. I'm not ready for them to not need me as much anymore.

I'm not ready for Alissa to be a grown-up. That happens in just 3 short years.

It's selfish. And I'm dealing with that. I will be as ready as I can be when the time comes.

Seeing these pictures makes me grateful for the family I have. Jon, the girls, and our extended families.

Family is everything. I'm so glad that I have never forgotten that, no matter what else has come our way.