10 Things You May Not Know About Military Wives

I found this article online and had to share. These are so true…even if i’m not a “wife” yet. ❤

10 Things You May Not Know About Military Wives

1. When a deployment is imminent, we just want it to start. That doesn't mean we want our spouses to leave. We don't. But when the date has been set and our husband's bag is sitting half-packed in the corner of the bedroom, we start getting anxious, worried and a little bit angry. We think about the upcoming months and everything he's going to miss and everything we're going to have to do alone. It's overwhelming. Once they leave, we can start to tackle the challenges one at a time and that's so much easier than the waiting. But those last few weeks before he leaves are wrought with frustration, nervousness and a little fear.

2. We are not miserable the whole time they are gone. We don't like that our family is split up, but we can't live in the future or press a pause button on our life, so we focus on other things. Hobbies, children, visiting friends and family, work; our life is still full. Just not complete.

3. But there are tears right underneath the surface. Whenever our children do something new, or something exciting or sad happens, or even when there have been just too many nights that we've stayed in alone, we get really sad. And we can't always be sad because we don't want to upset the kids.

4. That being said, most of us like our lifestyle. We enjoy the adventure of moving every few years, starting over, making new friends and living in various parts of the country and world. We have close friends everywhere. It's stressful yes, but also exciting.

5. We rely on our friends a lot. Even when our husbands are home, we are used to being canceled on at the last minute, not knowing schedules until an hour before an event, or having a job take precedence over the family. So, we have friends who are reliable, patient, flexible and who make us laugh. We love and truly appreciate our friends. So do the kids.

6. Our children are well adjusted and okay. In fact, most of the time, they are amazing in their ability to see the silver lining in every challenge. From the beginning of their lives, they've moved around, started over and had a parent leave for huge amounts of time. We have lots of strategies to help them stay connected, and we analyze how to make each deployment as painless as possible on the children.

7. We don't need or want pity. We look for love, friendship and fun. We don't need you to say "I'm sorry," when we tell you our husbands are away. We knew what we signed up for when we got married. However, we'd be so grateful for a helping hand. Helping us with something that would normally take two people, like shoveling snow or even just bringing in our grill for the winter would be awesome and will relieve the stress a little.

8. Please don't ask us what we are going to do to "keep busy" when our husbands are gone. Just like you have a healthy relationship with things outside your marriage, so do we. We don't need to "keep ourselves entertained" or "find something to do to pass the time" while he's gone. Those comments are insulting. We will just continue to live our life. Yes, there will be a hole in it, but we will not be pining away for six months or a year. So don't try to give us projects or find stuff to keep us busy. We'll be fine.

9. There are romantic moments about military life that rival only the most dramatic movies. We've been spun around by a man in uniform after he hasn't seen us in months. We've seen our children run toward their daddy with pure glee and excitement. We've dressed up like royalty and attended military galas and we've watched ships pull into port, with sailors standing at attention around the perimeter.

10. And sometimes the civilian population can be so supportive and sweet that it just brings tears to our eyes. These moments are precious and get us through all the tough stuff. So thank you. We appreciate all the thoughts, good wishes and the extra stuff you do to make us feel better. We notice it. We see it. And it really does help.

http://shine.yahoo.com/moments-of-motherhood/parenting-guru-ten-things-you-may-not-know-about-military-wives-2607864.html

Bachelor’s Achieved!

Operation: Marry My Soldier = <12 Weeks til "I DO"
82 days to go!

So, life is pretty crazy and awesome lately!  I have wrapped up my Bachelor's degree!  It is a pretty crazy feeling since i've been in college off and on since 2001.  It's so AMAZING to be done!  The only part that stinks is that Ryan missed my AA graduation becuase he was deployed, and now he'll miss my BS graduation because he'll be in training.  Again, joy of the army life.

We're really booking it on the wedding planning now that we're down to 2 1/2 months left!  We've gotten so much done, but I still have 109 "To-Dos" on my list on "The Knot" and that's not even everything!  I am loving every minute of it now though.  I feel like I can relax a bit more.  I am so beyond blessed that Ryan has been such a big help with everything.  I often hear about girls saying "Oh, they say that, but they never help".  He doesn't like to be excluded from ANYTHING and that's one of the many, many reasons why I absolutely adore him.  I so wish my sister and my best girlfriend were here to share in the fun, planning…and work, but again…the joy of the army life.

It continues to amaze me how God plans everything out even when we can't see what He has in store. I have a really awesome business opportunity that is coming up after the first of the year and it's an opportunity that I have always wanted. God truly has our best interests at heart and is constantly steps ahead of us. I am so blessed to have my future in His hands.

So, within our first month of marriage Ryan will be leaving for training and then we'll be PCS'ing within the first 3 months. I can't wait for these adventures though. Who knows where his career will take us and both of us love traveling and exploring new places. I think it will be great for our marriage and our little family to have all of these adventures together and I couldn’t ask for a better partner for the journey!

~Melissa

Oh, you were planning a wedding?

Indoctrination by fire I guess…

Last monday we found out that Ryan got orders and we may have to do some rearranging for our wedding.  I just love how the Army always throws wrenches in your plans and then you’re scared to nail down anything solid.  Right now everything is up in the air as he tries to find out more information or see if he will be able to switch his training.  As frustrating and stressful as it will be…all that matters is that we are getting married and that our loved ones will be there.

Yesterday was hard and getting all of the vendors to agree on a date…again has been difficult.  Then there were some complications with my brother-in-law/sister and some of Ryan’s family.  That was the first time I was truly upset…I just want the important people to be there to celebrate on our special day.

The army life is definitely not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!  I know this is just one of those things and you just have to roll with the punches.  No matter what, I know our day will be perfect.  In the end, I will be his Mrs. and that’s the important part!

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.