The dumbing down of America…

This is where I come to get all of my thoughts out, so if anyone actually reads this…allow me to apologize ahead of time.

I am frustrated, to say the least.  I’m extremely disappointed in my country for the 2nd time in my life.  God gave us this amazing country in which to live and enjoy freedoms some thought impossible.  What have we done?  We have run it into the ground.  We are in the worst financial/job situation since the Great Depression, our “commander in chief” is weakening our military and national defense almost to the point of no return and we have fallen away from the Christian values on which we were founded.  We should be ashamed of ourselves.  But what are people doing?  Partying in the streets that they can murder babies for at least another 4 years, have unlimited “free” supplies of birth control, and live off of my tax dollars forever.  I’m fed up.

I have to disagree with all of these people saying we have to blindly back and “submit” to the government.  Maybe we’re both wrong, but my Bible tells me to stand up to authority when they are leading us away from God’s instructions.  Yes, I will continue to pay my taxes (although I can’t find a job because he’s ruined our economy) and I will not break any laws.  It ends there.  I will NOT be quiet about what he is doing to my beloved country.  I will NOT shut up when there are people being led like sheep to the slaughter and taking the rest of us with them.

You will never convince me that he gives the tiniest crap about America.  All his famiy has done is apologize to other countries, destroy our nation defense, make fun of our traditions and strip our freedom.  Oh, and he couldn’t even salute the flag until he got crap for that.  His plan was to get into office to destroy us from the inside out and he is succeeding while Americans are falling for it…again.

The only things I have left are my voice and my prayers.  I will continue to be one of the few still praying that God will have mercy on us and turn this around…  Nothing is impossible for HIM, I just hope it’s not too late.  If it is, i’ll see ya on the other side from my mansion in paradise 😉

~Melissa

Operation: Marry My Soldier (Update)

Operation Marry My Soldier is almost halfway over!  We only have 7 Months left until our wedding. I can’t believe how fast this engagement is going now that he’s actually in the United States with me.  There is still so much left to do and i’ll feel much better once we have the big stuff out of the way.  The exciting part is picturing everything, deciding on favor/decorations, and finally putting everything together!  Save The Dates have all been sent and we’ve purchased all of the little things we need now (cake toppers/garters, etc)

Mom, Ryan and I are going to a bridal expo on Saturday and i’m pretty pumped for that.  We’re hoping to get some good info on caterers and cakes (and videographers). To be honest, i’m pretty sure Ryan is just excited about the free food samples and picking out our menus.  But hey, if it gets him excited…i’m all for it!  He’s totally not your typical groom and has been so helpful.  I’m such a blessed woman!

I’m on my LAST two classes for my BS degree and only have 7 weeks left.  It feels so good to be that close my degree, but i’m pretty sure i’ll end up going back for my Master’s shortly after the wedding.  What can I say?  I LOVE learning more about what I do and I come from a family with a LOT of teachers! 🙂

The job front is still slow going.  I found a part time gig for now to just pay the bills (for which I am eternally grateful!)  However, I miss working in my field.  The more I think about being disconnected from everything, the sadder I get.  I’m definitely  learning what it’s like to be a military spouse.  His duty ALWAYS comes first.  I suppose I always knew this…being that we did just finish up a year deployment and we moved a LOT when Daddy was Active Duty.  However, Ft. Bragg really stinks in the job department and I guess i’ve taken it for granted that i’ve been able to find some AMAZING jobs the last few times i’ve been out of work.  My mom always says “God doesn’t trade down…he trades up!”  I know that He has the perfect position ready for me in HIS time so I guess I just need to have a little more faith.  Besides, it’s my job to be the supportive Army “wife” and follow Ryan’s career.

All that matters right now is that my soldier is HOME with me and we are planning the rest of our life together.  Everything else is minor in the grand scheme of things. 🙂

~Meli G ❤

1 Month Later…

I can’t believe it’s been a little over a month since my soldier came home from war.  It’s crazy when you sit down and think about the big picture.  We survived 366 days apart….he fought in a war in Afghanistan.  Growing up as an ARMY brat and living in a country that has been at war for 11 years should make a girl pretty used to this…but I don’t think you ever get used to it.

I have always been a pretty independent person.  I’ve been on my own since I was 20 and lived in 3 different states on my own.  I was a firm believer that I didn’t need a man and just wanted to focus on my career.  Since the deployment we have both been so co-dependent. LoL  It’s completely out of character for us both, but we’re best friends who happen to be head over heels in love.  God gave me everything I prayed for and so much more!

We’re having a blast with the wedding planning and are finally starting to get somewhere.  It’s definitely a lot of work and coordination (not to mention, money!), but it will all be worth it when I walk down the aisle to my prince and we officially become one!  We also have been out to the dirt bike track, gone to some GREAT NCSU football games with my family and just had fun time hanging out.  Even running errands with that man makes me so relaxed and happy.

It’s funny…I actually heard 2 people say the other day that I annoyed them on facebook with my constant talking about “my fiance” or “my soldier”.  Some people are just so miserable in their own marriages and it’s sad to see that their love isn’t as pure anymore.  Everyone else we spend 5 minutes with talks of how cute we are.  Random people stop us at football games to say how cute we are and how fun we are to watch.  We went to karaoke the other night and were told that we were the “cutest couple ever” and we always look so in love and happy.  I’m choosing to think those 2 people are just jealous.  Surviving a deployment together and marrying the one God has for you is pretty amazing.  I just laugh at people who say the “honeymoon” phase wears off.  Not in my book it won’t and I will continue to ignore the negativity.

We are happier than we have ever been and my soldier is finally home!  Planning our dream wedding and our future together is more than I could have ever dreamed and God writes amazing love stories.  I pray that everyone is/can be this happy.  “Every love story is beautiful…but ours is my favorite!”

~Mel “Geezy”

Supportin my man “813”
Recreating the poster
NC State > FSU
Having fun dancing

Lessons from a deployment…from the homefront

DEPLOYMENT #1: COMPLETE! (They really do end!)

I’ve read a few of these before and during the deployment so I thought i’d track my perspective on the whole thing.  I hope this helps someone else and gives them a heads up.  A deployment is one of the hardest things you can do and one of the biggest tests to a relationship, but it also brings you closer and forms a bond that most couples can only imagine.

Before Deployment:

Packing lists, dread, tears, anticipation…and fear.  There are lots of different emotions that pop up from the first notice of the deployment up until D-Day (Deployment Day).  I had the urge to take a million photos and spend every waking moment with my soldier.  The closer you get to taking them to that hanger or airport, the more more you really want to just get it started already so you can start the countdown and feel like you’re getting somewhere.  Time seems to be suspended in the anticipation.

Deployment Day:

This was one of the hardest things for me.  NOTHING could have prepared me for the emotions of that day and I am an Army B.R.A.T and little sister.I woke up with such a pit in my stomach and I thought I might have a panic attack if I didn’t take each task/each hour in tiny increments.  Driving up to the hanger, unloading gear, shaking hands with commanding officers, taking pictures with the family and all the while fighting those tears and pushing down those fears.  I will never lose that feeling of his last kiss that would have to carry me 8 1/2 months until R&R.  Letting go of him after that last hug and watching  him walk away for a year was the hardest thing that i’ve done in this life to date.  You wonder if he’ll be different when he comes home, how your relationship will change, how much you’ll be able to talk, and just pray like never before that he’ll come home…unharmed.

Day 1-The first few weeks:

I drove his car from the hanger to my parents’ house in a daze.  My mom, niece and her friend made me a soldier build-a-bear named “Little Ryan” to help with the loneliness while he was gone.  Mom was the biggest help and understood just what all of the emotions are being an Army wife with deployments of her own under her belt.  She was my rock and the only one who truly understood what it was like for me.  I didn’t get much sleep that first night…little did I know that would be the story of my life for the next year.  I came back to an empty apartment in Miami wondering how on earth we’d make it through the next year and feeling like it was Mt. Everest that we had to climb.  The only thing that I was sure of was that he was the one I wanted and I knew that he was well worth the wait.  I walked around like a zombie in a funk for the first few weeks and it still makes me cry to think about.  That was definitely the hardest part.

Halfway Point:

This was when I REALLY felt like we were getting somewhere.  I started to feel more and more positive once we were finally on the downward slope!  By this point I had developed a routine and I knew R&R was getting close.  I stayed motivated in my weight loss and tried to bury myself in work and school to keep my mind off of the deployment.  By this point all of the major holidays were over and I didn’t have to watch everyone post their pictures of their lives going on without us.  Everytime his family or our friends would post things on facebook we just kept talking about how we couldn’t wait for that to be us.  We reminded each other that we could get through this as our sacrifice to keep America free.

R&R

The wait and the anticipation was insane!!!  I can’t even explain the butterflies I felt.  Running to him in that airport, wrapping my arms around his neck and getting that first kiss after almot 9 months was one of the best experiences of my life.  It made every skype “kiss”, even IM conversation, every sleepless night worth it.  I always knew long distance relationships were hard, but nothing compares to that kiss.  At first it was hard to believe he was home, then we got into a little routine and it was so hard to say goodbye again.  It felt like just a tease to have had him back for such a short while only to have to start the process over again.  I DID NOT want to learn how to be away from him again, but that’s the ARMY wife/S-O job.

Post R&R/Pre-Homecoming

For me, this was a time of UNBELIEVABLE stress.  Work was insane, I overloaded myself with online classes, and I was trying to move back to Fayetteville/Ft.Bragg while looking for a job.  It was very stressful, but Ryan was so amazing helping me through everything.  There were some people that made this period even harder with drama, but that’s just a part of life, unfortunately.  Together, as with everything, we got through it.

HOMECOMING!!!!

What can I say?  AMAZING!  The sense of anticipation, relief, pride and accomplishment that the two of us did this together (although his piece was WAY worse) is overwhelming.  I drove up to Green Ramp in his truck and waited “patiently” with his little brother and other fiances/wives down front while we waited for our soldiers to arrive.  They kept announcing where his plane was and how long it would take and I thought the wait would absolutely kill me! Of course, I survived and soon the men and women marched in and were released to us.  It took awhile to find him and his brother promised that he would take pictures as I got that first kiss once again.  It didn’t quite work out the way Ryan and I had planned it, but it was still perfect nonetheless.  Once he had finished his in-processing and we had some time alone to relax, it was amazing to just let everything sink in that he was home.

So, looking back there are some things that I would do differently, but I think we did pretty well.  I heard “advice” from a lot of different sources.  Some were helpful and some people I wanted to punch in the face because they clearly had no clue.  No one knows what it’s like until they have lived it….just as I don’t know what it was like for him.

The best advice that I can give is this: Stay positive as much as possible, but allow yourself to grieve and throw a temper tantrum when you must.  Develop a support group of people you can trust whether they’re fellow S/O’s or empathetic friends who will be there for you.  Pour yourself into creative, fun, exciting care packages.  They get him through things and help to occupy your time and pass the days until homecoming.  Ignore anyone trying to cause drama or tell you they “understand” if they haven’t lived it.  Just smile and nod..some of them really are trying to be helpful and some just want for it to be all about them.

Ryan was amazing and told me all of the time that it was “Our deployment…our R&R” cause I was in it with him.  That really meant so much to me and kept me going that he felt that way about me and us as a team.  I knew that if he could be somewhere so horrible and survive all of that because of any help that I could give him that I had to keep going and be strong for him.  We’re definitely not perfect and we will surely face many trials and tribulations in our relationship but I know that as long as God is at our center we will be just fine.

~Melissa G.W.

Is This Real?

52 Weeks Down…Day 365

Here we are: on the brink of the end!  I can’t help but look back over the deployment in awe of what God brought us through.  All of the strong “we can do this!” days, the days we were sick and trying to make each other feel better via skype, the weeks of no internet and one 15 minute phone call a week, the nights I cried myself to sleep curled up in his tshirt so I could smell like him clinging to my “little Ryan” doll thinking this day would never come….and it all ends with the countdown to mere hours now.  I’m such a bundle of emotions where i’m barely eating, can’t sleep, crying happy tears, driving around anxiously because I can’t sit still, and driving my dear friends (Kali and Noel) crazy with my obsessive phone calls so they can calm me down!

Our relationship began cautiously with both of us knowing that we would have to survive a year apart and praying that God would direct our paths.  A few weeks before D-Day we decided that we could make this work and knew we had something so incredibly special.  For a year we watched other couples (somewhat jealously) enjoy the holidays and daydream about “one day” that we would get to enjoy all of those big things as well as the little moments that seem unimportant to most.  Then came R&R which was a whirlwind and seemed like just a tease to have each other home for just a flash.  As everyone knows, he proposed in the most romantic way at sunrise on Miami Beach with a photographer and made me the happiest girl on earth!!!

Now homecoming that once seemed like a myth is within reach and it seems impossible.  It’s hard to believe that it’s almost our turn!  We have daydreamed of running (through the crowd of people) to each other for that first embrace, the first kiss, and the sigh of relief knowing that WE DID IT!!!!

Of course he is still in the Army and we will have many more “see you laters” and hellos, but it also allows for moments like this.  This sense of pride, completion, and falling in love all over again is worth all of those tears and prayers.  I’m so thankful for an amazing man of God who has become my best friend and who is everything I prayed for my whole life.  I never knew love like this existed and can’t wait to become one with him and to truly begin our life together!

Walking up to the hanger the day he deployed to Afghanistan…September 9, 2011

Hurry Up & Wait Some More…

50 Weeks Down; Day 354…

So, last night Ryan gave me the great news that his leave date was pushed back.  I guess that was to be expected, but I let myself get my hopes up.  Knowing the possibility and dealing with the reality are two very different things.  His mom and little sister are coming up from Florida so I just really hope he doesn’t miss seeing them.  It really feels as though you’re a kid in a swimming pool and your target keeps moving further away from you.  At least this is the big homecoming…no going back after this!!  (At least for now…)  It could be much worse and like a good little “soon-to-be” Army wife i’ll deal. 🙂

My last day of work at Verizon was last Tuesday, and I survived my first and last S. Florida Hurricane.  My condo in Miami is completely packed up and the movers will be here on Wednesday and i’m driving back to NC on Thursday.  It’s crazy to think that this chapter is FINALLY coming to a close.  All of my dreams are coming true and everything i’ve wanted for 29 years is about to be mine!

We just have to make it through these last few weeks and he’ll be home with me!!!  I can’t wait for all of the little things we’ve missed and had to endure watching others experience.  I’m anxious for beach trips, cuddling watching movies, dressing up for Halloween, THanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, wedding planning…I could go on and on.  It’s hard to truly let myself get anxious and excited though until he’s in the U.S.  I can’t believe it’s real and I know the date could move yet again.  I can’t believe we’re almost done!!  Deployment #1, prepare to peace out!

~Melissa

Negativity won’t stop us…

47 Weeks Down…Day 332

I will never understand people who feel the need to tear other people down.  Over the past few months i’ve heard a lot of negativity from people about me and Ryan.  People have made comments about me needing to “get used” to him being gone or to not be sad.  Anyone that has truly been through a real deployment knows that you never “get used” to it…you just learn to deal.  For those of us who are actually in love with our significant other, we want to spend time with them and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  Of course it’s going to make us sad to be away from each other and sometimes it does get the best of you.

I also hear that I should “share” Ryan or learn to have a life without him and that irritates me more than anything…especially since i’ve heard it all deployment and it’s really starting to get under my skin.  First, Ryan is not property.  He chooses who he wants to be with and when.  Why can’t people tell him this and not me?  It’s perfectly normal for him to want to spend time with his new fiance and future bride.  Second, a man and woman leave their families/friends to create a marriage and family of their own.  This does not mean that they don’t love their families/friends just the same; but you start your own life and chase your own future, your own careers.  I’m pretty sure i’ve had a “life” outside of Ryan all year and we’re going to apart a LOT with the army.  Neither of us have blinders on, but it does mean we’ll want to spend even more time together when he is actually home.  When people are mean to him it hurts me worse than if they were to hurt me directly…and it works both ways.  We are one now and I am so thankful to have a good, Christian man that puts me first and understands a Christian marriage.

On a positive, I have learned who my true friends are.  I have people that called and texted me on a regular basis to make sure that I was okay…and not just when it suited them.  Granted most of us are caught up in our own lives and I don’t expect people to feel sorry for me.  I am just beyond thankful for the people who really do love me as much as I love them and that are there for me when I need the most…in the good times and the bad.  It’s like the old saying, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”  These are the people who I want by my side on the most important day of my life, the ones I want to share the births of my children with, the ones I call when anything good or bad happens.  God gives us these people to help us on the rough journey of life and I love them all dearly.

I think that Ryan and I have done awesome through the deployment.  We felt our way through something that neither of us had experienced before (at least from these positions) and managed to learn about each other and grow in love.  We handled this in the best way that we knew how and we’re almost at the end.  We didn’t just survive…we thrived!  Above all, I am thankful that we are almost done with this whole thing and the next chapter is going to be amazing!!  We have a wedding to plan, a marriage foundation to build, and a “normal” relationship to construct.  I couldn’t imagine a better man to be doing all of these things with and I couldn’t be more anxious and excited!

~Melissa