Saturday, December 31, 2011


2011 has been a pretty big year.

My G has been in school.

My big G graduated high school.

She started college.

Three of my battle buddies welcomed their Soldiers home.  (I even got to be there for one of the homecomings.)

I decided to quit a job that was beginning to cost way more than I was willing to pay.

I started selling Avon.  :)

My little G started middle school.

Dear friends of mine have battled horrendous illness.  There is both celebration and grief in writing that.

Even those things that seemed so hard at the outset, have brought strength, resilience, humor and love into my life.  It's not a bad way to remember a year.  Even as my heart is sore, I feel bolstered by the love of friends.

2012 will be an election year, a leap year, and a deployment year.

Two of those, I think are pretty cool.

This is what I pray for, as we close out 2011 and start anew--

For peace, always.

For friends who are struggling with jobs, with health, with their marriages or their children.

For more bright days than dark.

For more laughter than tears.

For us to see the rainbow, even as the clouds roll in.

For our elected officials to have wisdom, strength...  For our votes in November to really count.

For my G's safety.  Always.

Thank you, God, that I get to welcome in another year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Well, That Sucked

Just a few days ago, I drove my Big G to her "ride" back to school.  Then I turned around and drove back home.

Far, far too often I find myself driving away from the people I care about the most.  My husband, many times, and now my daughter.

We had a wonderful visit.  Really, really awesome.  Lots of laughter, some good conversations (debates?), some talk about her future.

I think she's missed home, too.  Hugs were tighter.  Smiles bright.

Other moms of kids this age know that the better the visit, the harder it is afterwards.  How still the house is.  How quiet her room.

When she left for school, her dad left at the same time.  So it was kind of neat, just me and Little G in the house.  A difference from the usual TDY or field duty or any other "away".  It hurt, but I didn't feel ripped apart.  Then, by the time my G came home, I was already kind of used to the empty room.  Mostly.

This time... I could hear a tearing sound.  I could feel the shredding. And once again, the highway lines were leading me away from my heart.  It's getting old.

I know she'll do well.  She is an amazing young woman and I am so proud.  But still...This week, my heart has been sore.  Not the broken, ripped-apart mess it was as I drove back home.  But aching.  Perhaps even healing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PCS Season

You can generally tell when it's PCS season.  The moving trucks seem to multiply, the curbside loads up with empty boxes.  Depending on who is moving, either your pantry is nearly empty or your fridge gets filled with those last few things that just couldn't be used up.

I currently have two packages of salmon, three biscuit cans, and a container of peppermint whipped cream in my possession.  I will admit to a strange sort of fascination with the odd flotsam and jetsam that turns up during this particular turn of the tide.

One of the toughest things about being a military spouse is saying goodbye.  It seems like we do it on a constant basis.  Goodbye to husbands, goodbye to favorite schools and teachers and doctors...  Goodbye to dear friends.

Sometimes we are really blessed and we wind up stationed together again.

Facebook makes it easier, too, than it used to be-- we can still check in on the daily little details of our friends' lives.

But it still stinks.  The last hard squeeze, the glimpse of a face twisted in grief.  Miserable.

I've done this before.  Growing up, I never moved-- but all of my dearest friends, did.  To this day, I keep in touch with one friend from third grade whom I have not seen in person since we were 11.

I'm good at long-distance.  I guess that was all preparation for an Army life.

But I don't like this part.  It still hurts.

On the other hand, I am so blessed by the friendships I've made, thanks to the Army.  I am thankful beyond measure for what we have shared, for those conversations and those funny little get-togethers that have knitted together our hearts.

I shall miss you.

You know I'll keep in touch.  Not quite stalker-ish, but certainly here for you.

Love you, my friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Because There is No Such Thing As Too Much To Read

I've become a blogging addict.  There, I said it.

I like to write, I like to read...perfect.

Over the last few months, I've found so many different fun and funny blogs, so many supportive and beautifully written thoughts...

So I thought I'd share.  Lots of times I find them by looking to see what my favorite bloggers are reading.

It's sort of like looking at a friend's bookshelf and discovering new authors or series.

So here we go (in no particular order)--

Single Dad Laughing

People I Want to Punch In the Throat (violent name, but oh-so-funny and down-to-earth)
Read this post, especially.  :)

Backwoods Mom (I do not know how she does it.)

Nonstop Mom (Her either.)

Free Range Kids

Scary Mommy

The Nitty Gritty Mommy  (I have my own list of texts you don't want to receive.)

 Because Motherhood Sucks (Not really, not all the time, but there are those moments...)

Motherhood WTF (Rude words, yes, but I loved this post.)

Attracted To Shiny Things (I just found her today.)

Underachieving Domestic Goddess (Yep, found her today too. See? Addict.)

There are others, but this includes the group of must-reads as well as some pretty neat new finds.  I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday's Ten

1.  I really, really dislike fog.  While it looks absolutely cool, when it comes on a day where I have things planned (eg, driving all over), it is highly irritating.

2.  This is because I do not like to drive in fog.  Especially since half of Texas either forgets their lights or never learned to turn them on in the first place.

3.  The high and low points of my day occurred simultaneously-- having lunch with friends, and saying "see you after your next PCS".

4.  PCS season sucks.  Give me your thoughts on friends moving because my heart is sore right now.

5.  The second-highest point was seeing my Little G at her choir performance.  Giggly kids make the cutest choir groups.  (Once they stop running amok...omigoodness.)

6.  In just a little bit, we get new couches.  Yay!  :)

7.  In just over a week, I get my Big G home for a little while!  Even more YAY!

8.  Big G and Little G AND My G all have finals this week.  I think I'll hide away and go to the movies.  The stress level gets to be a bit much and Big G isn't even HERE.

9.  I am learning that there are a great number of things over which I have absolutely zero control.  Mostly I am okay with this.  Other times, I struggle.

10.  But tomorrow is a new day.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Because I'm wondering where his parents are.

Because I'm wondering where his teachers are.

Because I think he's pretty amazing-- what he writes at the end takes amazing courage and strength.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Memories

There is something about this time of year that is so wrapped up in years' past, that it almost keeps the current moments from meaning as much.

Music, for example.  I love Christmas carols.  Every year I buy one new album, by favorite artists or compilation albums with songs I hadn't heard before.

Sometimes this backfires-- I learned the song "Susie Snowflake" this year and I think my ears were bleeding by the time she was done.

But I digress.

Every year I also revisit favorites, and it's as though loved ones near and far are with me, no matter where they might actually be at that moment.

I hear "Sleigh Ride", and remember how much my stepsister loved it.

I remember my Big G playing "Oh Holy Night" with the orchestra, and my heart is full.  (I also remember her playing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" for a room full of retirees.  I hear their laughter once more.)

I hear "Jingle Bells," and suddenly I am a teenager again and Jennifer and I are singing loudly and joyfully on the bus, not caring who can hear us.

Even the not-so-dignified carols of the "Twisted Christmas" albums get abundant air time every Christmas, and my Mom and my brother are in my mind and laughing with me.

Every song, every lyric, brings someone I love back into the room with me.  The voices blend, the notes are clearer. Joy is multiplied because the music is shared.

Which songs will have the greatest meaning this year?  Which will be the favorite, the most-played, the newest discovery?   Play on.

If music be the food of love, play on.
William Shakespeare