Monday, May 30, 2011

The True Meaning of Memorial Day

image courtesy of

It's more than cookouts and a free day off.

It's a moment to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our country.

We've lost too many Americans to a war-on-terror that I don't fully understand.

On this day, I offer my sincere thanks to those who paid the ultimate price.

As a military spouse, I suppose I think about the reality of a combat death more than the average American.

I hope that ALL Americans take a moment today to remember those who were brave enough to risk their lives for our freedoms.

Fallen servicemembers, you are not forgotten. You live on in the hearts of family and friends, and people (like) me who you never met. People like me who are grateful for your brave service and your commitment to duty.

I remember you this day and give thanks for your life.

Sleep well, fallen servicemembers. Your duty is complete.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"You'll be with me, like a handprint on my heart"

Probably my most favorite song lyrics ever come from the song "For Good" from the Broadway musical Wicked:

"So much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me, like a handprint on my heart. And now, whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend. Who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

I cry absolutely every.single.time that I hear this song. It speaks to my heart each and every time I hear it.

A little backstory:

In my life, I have been hurt by people I called friends. I have also hurt people that I had once called friends. I don't consider myself a bad person - I follow the law, I try to help others and be kind, I even wave idiots on in front of me in traffic. Those I have hurt, I hurt by accidental temporary insanity, or by my own insecurities and self-confidence issues, not because I ever wanted to hurt the people in my life.

These "hurts" at a relatively young age have caused me a lifetime of trust issues. I trust almost no one with my secrets. I have never told anyone all of my life's story - each friend gets a little bit.

I don't have a true BFF to share, to laugh, to cry, because I am afraid to give that much power to someone else. It has always hurt me to do so in the past.

I'm rambling...These are all things I have said before. Back to the topic...

Because I have been a military spouse for 17 years, it sometimes feels we have lived the lives of gypsies. We barely have time to unpack and figure out where the good restaurants are, and it's time to pack up and go again. With my seemingly insurmountable trust issues, how can I possibly find a BFF in that short amount of time? One I can trust and share with and really embrace?

The answer, for me, is that most of the time I can't. I don't.

However, I had two very rare opportunities in my military-associated life to find the exception to this rule - living in Germany and living in Hawaii.

I was blessed to meet some lovely ladies (and their families) in both places that have definitely left handprints on my heart.

(Well, in Germany I was also burned by two ladies that I really cared about as friends. I haven't really ever forgiven them for that. I probably should write a blog entry for that one, just to finally let it go...)

But, I did find the closest thing to a BFF that I think I have ever had.

And in Hawaii, we found 'Ohana. More than friends - people to share our lives with.

I miss them in an almost unhealthy way. (Thank goodness for Facebook, which allows to maintain a presence in each other's lives.)

Thank you, Glee (my favorite show) for airing my favorite song last night. It was a beautiful tribute to the power of friendship.

I think I cry when I hear that song because for years I have really needed a friend in my life. Not just a Facebook friend.

No offense meant to any of my current friends. You are my friends and I love you. But I know you all have BFFs that are not me. And that's fine. It just makes me long for one of my own.

Any takers?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Working Out

image courtesy of

So, I have never been much of an athlete. Who am I kidding. I've never been an athlete! The closest I ever got, and this is a stretch, is starting jogging while we lived in Hawaii.

Working out has never been important to me like it should be to everyone. I mean, I have gone through "phases" where I did a workout tape for a few weeks, or had a period of time when the Elliptical machine was a friend instead of an enemy. But I've never been a regular exerciser.

I never put myself first in that way.

As I reach 40 (!), I think I have finally decided that Tiffany deserves 30-45 minutes a day.

Now, they won't be fun minutes. At least, not at first. They will suck.

I hope that after a few weeks I will like it instead of dread it. I hear that that can happen. After all, I really enjoyed jogging in Hawaii. And I was pretty regular at it. I could see that it was making a difference in my physical and mental health, so it made me want to continue.

But here in Northern Viriginia, there are not a lot of places to run near home. And I want the convenience of working out at/near home. At least for now. I still have 3 kids at home and I work full-time, so when I'm not working at my job, I want to be home for them. (Actually, I want to work at home, too, so I can be near them, but that's another post.)

So, the last 2 days I have gotten back on the Elliptical machine in the basement. I realize that it's not the same as running, but it gets my heart rate up, I sweat like a beast, and my legs feel loose when I'm done. Plus, it's a good excuse to watch the Glee episodes on our DVR. And Glee makes those 30-40 minutes go by pretty quick. And, it's a nice mental health workout, too. A way to burn off some stress and be alone. (No one wants to be around me when I'm on that thing, because I turn the TV too loud so it can drown out the elliptical squeaks.)

I want to want to do this everyday, or at least a few days a week. I want to want it to be part of a new lifestyle. I mean, I am still going to eat dessert and probably still drink Diet Coke sometimes, but I want to be a little skinnier. Not a size 2, that's unrealistic. But a couple sizes less than I am now. We eat moderately healthy, but it hasn't been enough for me.

I want to want it so badly. Badly enough that I stick with it.

So, day 3 on the Elliptical today and we'll just go a day at a time. If I can make it a few weeks, I hope to make it forever.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011 more rain.

Well, not today at least. The sun is shining and, even though I am stuck in the office, I don't mind. Well, not much anyway.

This job has turned out better than I expected. The first couple of months were tough. I was getting used to going to an office everyday. I had a "manager" that was weird. I mean, really out there. He said and did some things that were questionable in my mind. (Maybe that's why he isn't the manager any more.) I didn't love it here, and I had promised to give myself 6 months here and move on.

Since the new manager came along in March, things are better. This job is flexible for when the kids need me. It allows me to work at home once a week. (I wish it will become more, but for now one day a week is actually fine.) It is challenging, but I'm not on call and I don't have to work evenings or weekends. I love that I can not see my cell phone for a whole day and that I don't jump when it rings, wondering "what does work want now?" My 4 teammates are smart, dedicated people who also like to have fun and laugh to break up the workday-monotony. It isn't exactly like my days at NiSource, but close.

It isn't my dream job. It doesn't pay me millions. But it has exactly what I prayed for - flexibility, proximity to home, decent hours, and decent pay.

I am constantly astounded at God's willingness to hear my prayers and answer them. He gave me what I needed, while I figure out exactly what it is that I want.

In other news, Prom was this past weekend. Alissa looked lovely. Of course I cried when I saw her. She and Jon laughed at my sentimentality. Oh well. Facebook friends can see her photo on my Facebook page or hers.

This weekend means an extra day off, a trip to the hair salon, The Hangover 2, and my favorite chicken wings! The other 4 Heffners have out-of-town plans, and I can't go (long story), so I have decided to make my own plans here. It will go by before I even have a chance to realize that I'm here alone.

I hope you all have a great week, and a fantastic Memorial Day!