How do you deal with stress?

I think for the past couple of months there’s been an elevated level of stress around our house, and it’s interesting to see how we deal it.

2004

I do a few different things depending on how stressed I am. I will clean like crazy, but that’s usually if I’m pissed off and stressed at the same time. This also coincides with uber organizing, purging, and moving furniture around. Sometimes I will also go running. This usually happens when I’m stressed because I’m feeling overwhelmed. I have found a new station on Pandora: Running (Radio Mix) Radio, and so far I’m loving it. I also downloaded a new app to my iPhone: Gipis, which is my training app for my upcoming half marathon in 7 weeks. It’s great because it “recalculates” if you miss a day or run faster or slower than what it is telling you to do. I usually have an “I don’t want to go running” attitude when I’m first getting ready to go, but when I’m done, I feel so much better. I pray a lot when I run, and I play out different solutions to problems in my head. Lastly, I will lose myself in a book. Typically this happens when I’m feeling stressed and depressed. I also have to read something inspiring or christian themed in order to feel hopeful and “better” at the end of the book. Those are my go-to remedies.

2005

My husband deals with stress totally different than I do. Ok, he does definitely clean a lot more when stressed. He also points out everything that’s wrong/filthy/cluttered while he’s doing it. This is not a good time to engage him in a conversation or try to defend anything he is saying. He is a stress eater as well. The crazy amount of snacks that appear in our house is usually directly correlated to his level of stress. 🙂 He also tends to yell…A. LOT. when he’s stressed. Usually I can hold my tongue when he does it to me, and I walk away. Mostly because I know if I yell back, it’s gonna get ugly fast and really really nasty things can be said. Sometimes I just can’t take it, and I let him know exactly how I feel about his yelling and what it does to me. This would be MUCH more effective if I did it when we were both calm, but alas, that’s not always the case. Now some of this stuff is related to his PTSD, which just sucks but that’s a whole different post. Now that our youngest is getting older, it’s super important to me that he is getting the best example to follow in what a good marriage looks like. Not that the other kids aren’t important, but my 3 kids aren’t with us all the time (my oldest has moved out and the other 2 are with us every 2 weeks for 2 weeks) and my stepson works quite a bit and basically lives in his room. And not for nothing, but I HATE it when there is a disagreement in our house; especially if it’s between my husband and I. I literally feel like my whole world is off-balance when it happens.

2006

I know like everything else, this too shall pass. Sometimes I think it’s easier if I’m the one stressed out and not him, but I’m sure he would disagree. I also think it’s about time to start planning a vacation, but this whole pool debacle has slowed us down in that area too. Ce la vie. The good news, and something I have to remember to focus on, is that we are healthy, our love is strong, and we’ll weather this storm like we have all the others. How do you deal with stress?

2015 is OUTTA here!

This has been one heck of an interesting year to say the least. I knew it would have some great highlights, but I had no idea it would go in the direction it did. This is what I was hoping for in 2015, let’s see how I did:

* pay off more debt CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK. We did great with this one!

* find an online adjunct teaching position Nope, nada, zilch. I’ve applied for every opening I can find.

* attend graduation in April That was awesome!! We made it a family vacation trip and got to see family in Colorado too. This was a true highlight of my year.

* get promoted to principal Booooooooooooo! Nope. I was passed over for this one. But…it might be ok after all.

* read more novels Well this one was a gimme. I should really keep track of how many I read in a year, but I would guess it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-100.

* lose some weight Man did I conquer this one. I lost 27 pounds this year!

* work on the outside of our house (fence, landscaping, pool ?) Well the fence is in, the landscaping is better, and the pool is still in a work in progress. That’s like a half a point for this one.

* protect our marriage and keep it strong I think our marriage is just as strong as ever. We certainly have our challenges, but who doesn’t. No major hits to our marriage this year, and I’d like for that to continue please.

* get a motorcycle CHECK! We bought our motorcycle in Feb/March of this year, and even though we haven’t been able to ride it as much as we’d like, it has been a perfect investment for us.

* continue good health for my family All is well in this department. No massive catastrophes to anyone’s health, and other than pre-K being not very kind to our youngest with constant colds, all is well.

For those of you keeping score that’s 7.5 out of 10. Not bad! In addition, my oldest graduated from high school, I am trying to commission into the Navy Reserves and started that process this year, my husband got moved back to a day shift, and I won another international award for my online course building. 2015 was pretty darn good to me and to our family.

What’s in store for 2016?? Well, here are my goals:

*get selected to commission into the Navy

*watch my stepson graduate and enlist in the military

*my daughter become dual enrolled and begin earning her college degree and her high school diploma simultaneously

*get that pool

*stay out of major credit card debt

*pay down the motorcycle

*pray deliberately for my husband/marriage/family daily and seek God’s will not mine

*maintain my weight and fitness

*run a half marathon

*take a vacation with just my husband

If all of this gets accomplished, I would say 2016 will be just as good if not better than 2015. What are your goals for this year?

Vacation is over

My lucky husband has been off for the past 2 weeks. That means it has been 2 glorious weeks of sleeping together in the same bed every single night and not worrying that my beloved won’t come home to me. Two weeks of “honey-do” projects getting done (hanging the mirror in the master bathroom, digging out the mulch around 4 trees and replacing with rock that had to be dug out of the neighbor’s backyard…thank you neighbor!, moving the A/C unit, digging a trench for said move of the A/C unit, decorating and undecorating for Halloween, and moving bushes from the backyard to the frontyard). Two weeks of really good meals (I gained 3 pounds while he was off!!), and two weeks of being pretty darn lazy just enjoying each other. All of that has come to an end, and of course, it ended in true bang-up fashion.

We found out last week that when he returns to his shift tonight, he will be moving to the other side of the city. That means he doesn’t have his own guys anymore, and he’s now the only sergeant on duty instead of having a 2nd sergeant to split responsibility with. Also, the other side of the city is MUCH larger and he isn’t as familiar with it. Not to mention, the reason he has to move over there is because one sergeant retired and the other just got in pretty big trouble. That just means it’s basically going to be a bunch of drama whores who he hasn’t been leading that he now gets to go deal with. *sigh* On top of that, he is supposed to be attending a Hostage Negotiations training for the next couple of weeks for a few hours each night. Now we’re just hoping he still gets to do that with this move.

Oh and the department voted in a new union while we was out, so it’ll be interesting to see how that impacts his job now. To put the icing on the cake, we sent our wedding rings out to be dipped in platinum (we do this every 6 months), and my engagement ring came back and promptly broke. I sent it back in last week week, got it back yesterday, and they still didn’t fix it correctly. Now I have to send it off again this afternoon. Yes, I’m pouting.

The good news is this is usually the crazy super fast portion of the year, and I’m certainly looking forward to all of the fun and festivities. 24 days until Thanksgiving, 53 days until Christmas, and 59 days until we ring in 2016. The best part of all is that I will get to celebrate every single on those events with my husband for the first time in 4 years! Especially since I’m not sure what 2016 will bring as far as the Navy or his job, I’m determined to enjoy this holiday season.

 

My first 5K

I have officially registered for my first 5K! Cue the freak out:

A few weeks ago, I found a virtual race on Pinterest. It was actually for a virtual marathon; however, I didn’t have to run the entire thing all at once; I just had to get 26.2 miles completed within a certain period of time (I can’t remember the exact timeframe now). That sounded pretty good since I’ve been running anyway. The medals were gorgeous, and it supported one of my favorite causes: The Wounded Warrior Project. Win win all the way around, so I registered, completed my miles, and received my medal in the mail:

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I think the medal came with special powers because I started flirting with the idea of doing an actual race pretty quickly upon receiving it. Now I wasn’t crazy enough to even consider a full marathon, nor did I drink enough of the “kool-aid” to believe a half marathon or 10K was a good idea. I was pretty sure I could handle a 5K though. I mean, I know I’m not going to set any records or even be a threat to the pros, but I can run 3.1 miles…almost without walking at all.

I admit I’ve been slacking off on my longer runs once I hit my goal weight, but my short run has been getting faster. Two nights ago my 1.5 mile run finally got under 14 minutes with a 13:53! That was exciting. My first mile was under 9 minutes, and I’m pretty sure that’s what motivated me to keep going for a faster finish. Like I said, I’m not breaking any speed records, but I’m improving and that’s what counts. Anyway, I started looking for a 5K that would be for a worthwhile cause, happen in October or later (It’s freakin’ hot down here, and I’m not that crazy), and would be a relatively flat course.

Jacksonville 5K

Found it! Not only did I find it, but somehow I convinced my husband this would be a fun good thing to do together! It’s not until early October, so I’m hoping to get a little faster before then. I found a training program online that could help me with my speed. Maybe this will break me out of my running funk. I just haven’t felt like running all that far recently. As for a time goal for this race, I don’t have one. I mean, I’d like to get done in under 35 minutes since I know I’d be walking a LOT more than I normally do to be at that time, but honestly, I just want to finish. I want to know what it feels like to run a real race and cross a real finish line. Ok a real race as an adult. I ran track in high school, and I was pretty darn good. My PR for a mile was 5:06 (I accomplished that at our state qualifier meet). Like I said, I was fast. And then I had kids…and got older…and gained weight…and stopped running…for years. But that’s all behind me now, and I’m ready to run like Wonder Woman…without the costume.

The Boy Behind the Blog: Q & A

When I saw this series of questions on Life of a Traveling Navy Wife as well as Ech & Will, I knew I had to find out what my husband would say. He’s a talker with a bit of a potty mouth, so I figured it would be interesting. I wasn’t disappointed. Here we go:

What’s the name of my blog?
(thinking) Something struggles…Sunshine and Struggles

Ding Ding…got that one right!

What do I typically write about?
Lately? The military in general and excited about this one, and then can’t get in this one, and you needed to lose weight to get in, and then on to this one. Now you’re all excited about the Navy to be an officer. And the last one was about the new addition to the family.

Yep pretty much. He really does read this. Really.

What’s a popular fashion item for women right now?
(thinking) Popular fashion item right now? Um I mean which trend are we talking about? Casual or business type? Business world it’s more of a male business look for women with male pants and stuff. Casual it’s more of well the best way to put it is “skanky”…you know revealing shorts and tight tight stuff.

So true.

Why do women go to the bathroom together?
Safety in numbers, to gossip, hold each others bags while they are in there, and sometimes just to fight. LOL!

Well yeah that pretty much sums it up nicely I guess.

What do you know about Pinterest?
It’s a site with pictures on it where you kinda select pictures you like or are interested in and save it to your thing and then you can put your own pictures on it, and it creates kinda like a mini network and helps you find stuff on the topic you like.

And he has his own Pinterest account, so yeah, he knows what it is.

If you could have any job what would it be?
Thinks about it. Any job? I don’t know. I’m a husband and dad. I mean that’s the best job in the world right now. Money-wise I guess a CEO where I could spend a lot of time away with my family.

And that is why I love him so much. He’s also not one to brag about his career either.

What about me (if I could have any job what would it be)?
Online college professor where you could work at home and basically when you wanted to/when you could do all of the activities you want to do and spend a lot of time with me and the kids.

Yeah I’m totally digging working from home this summer. I get now why all of our teachers are so darn excited about it year round.

What’s the best place to shop for women?
Undergarments is Victoria’s Secret. Outfits it’s between Kohls and JC Penney where I get the best things. Sports store for any kind of fan stuff for my little wife. And any gun store for that side of my wife.

Nailed it! 

What does YOLO stand for?
Yellow…cavalry. Oh YOLO: You Only Live Once.

You can’t take the military out of the man. 

What do I do when I am home alone?
Read or play the stupid fucking Candy Crush.

Guilty as charged. Although I do other stuff too like bake, watch TV, or run.

What do you do when you’re home alone?
Well I spend a lot of time with my youngest son, play on my iPad, watch TV, go for long walks.

Lies, lies, and more lies. Ok well he does do all of that, but when he’s truly home all alone…yeah…nope.

What is my favorite activity?
At home around the house it would be reading. Activities: on the motorcycle, going to the range shooting, and scuba diving.

Yes he knows me really well.

What’s my favorite accessory?
Your rings you like to wear, your charm bracelet, changing of your purse to reflect the season.

I’m kinda surprised he didn’t say cell phone, but maybe he just doesn’t think of it as an accessory.

What celebrity would you let me have a free pass with?
Um what’s his name…Channing I guess.

Yeah sorry babe, but Channing would get a free pass. 

What celebrity would you want me to give you a free pass on?
I really don’t know. I mean there’s a few of them that are pretty, but you know something: pretty stands for fucking crazy.

Probably my favorite answer. We both started cracking up before he had hardly finished the sentence. I’m sure he would have followed that up with: “Except for you. You’re not pretty. You’re beautiful, and there’s a difference.” Or something like that.

What’s an acceptable amount to spend on a makeup item?
Uh to me, she’s beautiful as she is so she doesn’t need anything. I know none of them are cheap so $20 I guess.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent $20 on one makeup item.

What’s an acceptable amount to spend on a dress?

Um casual dress probably between $40-$60. If it’s semi-formal probably $100-$150 and for going like all out $200-$250. Though knowing my wife, her prices would be like half of that.

Dang…he’s right. I’m a cheapskate and love finding bargains…and hate spending that much money on clothes.

What is your favorite non-physical trait about me?
I guess a couple of different things. The fact that you are always checking to see if I’m ok, and the fact that you will help me by bringing me something I forget like my keys even if it will take up an hour out of your time. You do it with no sweat and stop whatever you are doing at the time. It makes me feel bad when you ask me to do something for you, and I sigh and it’s like I don’t give the same response of dropping everything. A couple of times I’ve looked back and it’s like man that was selfish.

Awwww…

What is your favorite physical trait about me?
Your boobs

Yep coulda predicted that one ladies and gentlemen. He’s a boob man.

What is my favorite TV show?
(My youngest kiddo said, “Ironman because you like his guns”). I guess it would go between the seasons. We’ve got this thing for Grey’s Anatomy, but now that Mr. what’s-his-name died, it may not be as important to you. [Meh I still like the show] You also like watching Cutthroat Kitchen and your baking competition shows. It’s kind of surprising you like the cooking shows because you hate cooking. I think that’s just because it’s not as strict as your baking with the measurements and stuff.

I really love to bake, but cooking has never really been my thing.

What is your favorite TV show?
Hmmmm I don’t…NCIS is one of the ones I really like watching. I’m kinda torn. There’s a couple of good ones. Every time I get into a series, they cancel it.

LOL yep true.

What is your favorite part about being married to me?
You.

Cop out? Nah…that was cute. 

What is the worst part of being married to me?
90% of the time the worst part of being married to you is that you can’t fucking tell me what you want for dinner.

HA!!! We have more frustration and arguments trying to figure out what to have for dinner than anything else. We both suck at it.

Where do you see us in ten years?
You probably sitting at that same table typing another blog. Between typing that blog and searching for the place we’re gonna relocate to because we will be about 5 years away from relocating at that point.

While it’s nice being here for now, we both love the mountains and fell in love with Colorado/Wyoming. It’ll be interesting to see where we end up when it’s all said and done.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I have a lollipop I’d like to redeem today.

Go figure.     blow pop

Above all else, love one another

5 Years

Five years ago, I married the love of my life in the most amazing way possible:

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We woke up early and got all of our dive equipment organized and loaded onto the boat. We had to coordinate with the guy (who works for National Geographic) that we hired to videotape the event and the guy who would be marrying us officially. The videographer started filming while we were waiting for the boat, while we were on the boat going to the dive site, the entire dive/ceremony, and the signing of our license afterwards.  He did an incredible job!

On the boat with us was a Master Dive class consisting of about 5-6 people, their instructor, the captain of the ship, and the Dive Master for the trip. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to even have the ceremony due to the weather. The water was so choppy and rough, and the dives the day before had been cancelled. We had a modification to our dive trip, but it wasn’t cancelled (Thank God!). We were supposed to get married at the Christ of the Deep statue in Key Largo; however, that is a very shallow dive and the roughness of the conditions made visibility next to nothing, so we didn’t get to go there. Instead, we were married at the City of Washington, which is a wreck dive site.

The ceremony itself consisted of us signing our vows that were written on tablets, exchanging rings, and yes the final kiss. After the ceremony, we had our first dive as husband and wife. We saw a LOT of ocean life including lobsters, shark, coral, barracuda, and of course lots of other fish. It was an amazing dive with my heart pounding just from being a newlywed and seeing my first wreck.

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Our second dive that day was way more relaxed, and I’m not even sure I remember a whole lot about it except for the feel of my husband’s hand in mine as we began this new journey together. When we got back to shore, we signed the marriage license and it was official! By the way, Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort is the BEST!!!!!!

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Looking back over the past 5 years, we have had more than our fair share of challenges and we’ve grown so much. The best part is that we’ve truly grown together. I truly loved my husband the day I married him, but the depth of my love now is virtually uncomparable to what it was then. Brad Paisley sings a song called “Then” that is so absolutely true of how I feel. It’s even a soundtrack to our wedding video. I can’t imagine loving him more than I do now, but I’ve said that before…

Today, I get to celebrate with my husband in my arms; truly a blessing I never want to take for granted. Baby, the past five years have been filled with joy, sorrow, peace, challenges, pride, disappointment, accomplishments and dreams. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives brings to us. As long as I have you, I know I can do anything. Thank you for loving me the way you do, encouraging me to be better than I was, being my best friend and soulmate, and always reminding me of how important our family and I are to you. I love you more than I could ever say my love.

Always and Forever,

Amy

fairytale

My DIY project

I am officially addicted to Pinterest. Thank you to my daughter. Apparently, I have also shared some of that addiction with my husband. He found a wreath a few weeks ago that he loved, and I was like, “I can do that”. This is what he found:

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I knew when I made it that I wouldn’t be putting the name tape on ours. Maybe I’m overparanoid, but I didn’t want to have our full last name on our front door. Also, I somehow wanted to incorporate the fact that we are also a law enforcement family into ours. So, after 2 trips to Hobby Lobby (thank you honey for exchanging the letter for a bigger one), 2 hours spents “harvesting” ACU strips from a pair of my husband’s pants, and 9 hours cutting strips and tying them on, painting the letter, and my husband sealing said letter, here is the result:

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Clearly the strips I cut were thinner than the ones in the original, and they may be a bit shorter based on the difference in “fluffiness”. Also, I used a red and a blue material that had stars printed on it instead of just plain red and blue (which I LOVE!). I realize in looking at this picture that I need to tilt it a bit to achieve the same look as the original. I knew it when I made it, and then I hung it wrong…which is why the “B” looks off kilter-it is. Overall, I think it turned out pretty dang awesome, and I LOVE walking outside and admiring my handiwork.

The other night while watching TV and enjoying more Pinterest, I found a few signs that I literally laughed out loud because they are either EXACTLY what my husband says/thinks, or how I feel quite a bit. So, here they are for your enjoyment:

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That is totally my husband. No joke…every time. Ha!

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This is pretty frequently, my own feelings. Man am I looking forward to our vacation next week!

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I thought this was hilarious. I showed it to my husband who immediately wanted me to send it to him. I’m sure it will make the rounds with the department. LOL!

In other news, here is an update on my status as of this morning:

Height: 5’3″

Weight: 162.2 (Yes almost 3 pounds down in 5 days…ROCK ON!)

Situps: 40 in a minute (I found out I was working WAY harder than I had to for them to “count”)

Pushups: 12 in a minute (I also found out I’ve not been doing these correctly…UGH!)

2 Mile Run: Not sure since I haven’t run in the past 5 days. I know…I suck. It’s been rainy, we went on an 11 mile bike ride, and I’ve been doing my circuit. Yes…I will run this weekend. Probably not tomorrow since I have my last cheerleading competition, but Sunday for sure. Promise.

Other than that, tonight I get to use my Victoria’s Secret gift card (woohoo!!), tomorrow is busy, and Sunday is date night (FINALLY!!!). Monday is whatever, and Tuesday we leave for vacation!!

 

In His palm

Today when I woke up for the second time (the first time being 5AM when my husband got home), all I could think was Thank God it’s FRIDAY!!! The sun is shining, it’s warm outside, everyone is healthy, and I didn’t have to be at work until 9AM. I had to drive about 30 miles to a meeting with district staff members, but it was a good meeting. We got a lot accomplished, and my teachers will be really happy that we were able to eliminate some of the redundant tasks they’ve had to do in the past. YAY! During this meeting, we had a Code Red II drill. This is for when there is an active shooter situation. We were ushered into a storage closet (all 7 of us) with lights off and told to get on the floor and stay quiet. We really didn’t do that great of a job at the staying quiet thing (oops!), and then it was over. Meeting commenced, and away we went. While we were in the closet, I made the comment that if it was for real, you wouldn’t catch me hiding in the closet. My boss says, “Where would you be?”

Now maybe it’s because I’m married to a police officer, and maybe it’s because I’ve been in education during all of the tragic active shooter situations, but I can’t walk into a building without immediately thinking about how I would get out if something happened. I take note of exits, hallways, hiding spots sure, what floor I’m on and where the windows are, and if I can-how those windows open (in or out).  I do this in a few glances while still carrying on conversations. So when asked the question today, I told her I would have jumped out the window if I couldn’t get to an actual exit. She thought I was nuts because we were technically on the second floor. What she didn’t know was that the side of the building where this meeting room is located is actually about a floor and a half-ish off the ground and that there is grass/flower beds below the windows not concrete. So, I might have sprained an ankle, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have been inside the building where bullets were flying. I guess hiding isn’t my first choice in a situation. I’d much rather be actively doing something to save myself and others than sit and hope I’m not found. It’s sad that this is a reality for many people today, especially in our schools, but it’s a fact that remains nonetheless.

Anyway, after this meeting got over, we were walking back to our cars and a colleague noticed the flag was at half-mast. He asked if anyone knew the reason why. I will be really honest here and say I truly didn’t know and in fact my husband and I had noticed the same thing on Tuesday. When another colleague pointed out it was because of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of 7 marines and 4 army national guardsmen, I felt about a centimeter tall. How could I NOT know that?! Obviously, I’m too wrapped up in my own little world. I mean I CLEARLY knew about the accident and even talked about in church on Sunday when I asked the congregation to be praying for those families and the families of the army national guardsmen who deployed this week. BUT I let life get back to business as usual this week. That made me kind of sad and ashamed.

I take for granted that my husband is here with me, and my oldest son is here with me. I take for granted that I have made plans for vacations, date nights, dinners, and weekends. Not one day is ever promised to any of us. I should have been a wife saying “see ya later” on Monday to my husband. That was supposed to be us. If he had re-enlisted when we were talking about it last summer, it would have been him going. God had another plan, but it could have been us.

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My husband and I went on a long motorcycle ride on Tuesday, and of course our headsets ran out of battery before we began the hour plus ride home. During that hour, I just kept thinking about what I would be doing if it had been us. I would definitely be blogging every day. Mostly to keep him updated on what we did every day without emailing him or trying to squeeze it all into a phone conversation IF we even got to talk at all. I would have kept very busy this week, and I would not be looking forward to this weekend. Weekends and nights are hard when he’s not home. I would have started my countdown clock, and I would have already planned my first care package. I would have started running again to deal with the stress and to lose some weight before he came home. I would have stocked up on Kleenex and Tylenol PM to help me get through the long lonely nights, and in direct conflict with the running, I would have a freezer of ice cream too. Heck we might even have had ice cream for dinner one night (or two). I would have planned a weekly “kid’s night” where each kid gets to pick what we eat, what we watch, and what we do with our time. We have 4 kids at home with us all the time, so one kid each week would give each kid 13 times of having their turn. I already have a list of things that could be done around the house, so that would keep me busy too. Busy…stay busy.

When I think about that “plan” for a deployment that didn’t happen for us, and then take a look outside and see the lowered flags, I realize that all the plans in the world are for nothing but me really. That any time, God may decide to call me, or any of my loved ones, home to Him. And while I can’t even imagine (and don’t want to) how I would move on with life, I know that God’s plan is the only plan I want to follow. So…today I will make sure my husband knows how much he means to me and my kids know how lucky I am to be there mom. I will continue to make plans and dreams for the future knowing all the while that God has me in the palm of his hand.

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I’m so lucky!

If you saw me, you would probably guess I have Irish blood in me. I’m a red-head with bright blue eyes, pale skin (despite living in the sunny south), and freckles. There’s pretty much no denying my heritage. And I don’t want to either. I love everything about my Irish heritage.

One day I will make it to Ireland to see the land of my ancestors. Have passport, will travel. Like pretty much any time. I want to see the castles, the green rolling hills, the pubs, you name it, I want to see it.

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I also believe my Irish luck is alive and well.Very well. I have the most amazing husband ever. My children are all healthy. I have achieved my goal of finishing my doctorage degree. I have a great job, a great house in a great neighborhood, and a car that gets me where I need to go. I have such an awesome church, and I have great friends. I may not be a millionaire or even be debt free, and I may need to lose a few pounds, but those aren’t the things that truly matter. I have everything that truly matters. That alone makes me so incredibly lucky.

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So today I share this Irish blessing with you in hopes that you too have everything that truly matters.

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Life is so precious

Tonight I am going to a bridal shower for my brother’s fiance. I’m really excited, and I have a super awesome gift for her too. She has saved herself for marriage, and I love her even more for making my brother wait. This is a lingerie-ish shower, so I got her a “Naughty and Nice” gift in the form of a blue negligee and a “Prayers for New Brides” book. It’s pretty cool seeing my brother find the love of his life, and I can’t wait to watch their marriage begin later this year.

At the same time, there was the recent military training accident resulting in the loss of lives as well as the two police officers shot just for standing there in Ferguson. I am heartbroken for the soldiers’ and marine’s families. I cannot even fathom the loss they are feeling right now. With that accident involving 4 National Guard soldiers, it definitely hits close to home. Very close to home.

Yesterday my oldest turned 18. He leaves for BCT (basic combat training) in June. His unit already has a deployment in the works that should coincide with him being MOS qualified to go with them next year. I’m not sure how that’s even going to feel being a mom of a deployed soldier, and I will cross that bridge when I get there.

support troops

As for the officers in Ferguson, I’m just so frustrated, angry, and baffled. I have watched video of these idiots protesters confronting officers, and they are so hate-filled, they can’t even hear how ridiculously STUPID they are. They are completely uneducated and just spouting off hate. They don’t want a change. They don’t want a solution to a problem. They want revenge. They want blood. They want more death. And they almost got all of it. Those protestors who say they are just crying to change and rallying for change are liars. They got change. The police chief resigned. The department is under the greatest microscope of all time. Those officers are essentially powerless right now. Change…you can’t get much more change there. Those officers still vowing to serve and protect Ferguson are innocent. They still go to work every day and put their lives on the line. For what? To be ridiculed, hated, spit on, attacked, and now shot?! Yet if some citizen there needs an officer for whatever reason, you better believe those same officers would do their job. Yes even for those same people that were hating them and shooting them earlier. And where is the outrage for the officers and their families?! Where are the groups banding together to rally in support of law enforcement? Why is the PRESIDENT saying essentially that it’s just awful those officers were shot BUT it shouldn’t detract from the issues raised by the incident there? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!!!!!! There should absolutely never be a BUT in that statement! There is no BUT! Those officers were just standing there…JUST.STANDING.THERE and you’re going to say well yeah that sucks BUT… Seriously?!

And then I have to send my husband to work to protect and serve his city and put his life on the line. The very thin blue line that it is. Our president can’t even for one second put the lives of our law enforcement at a greater value because God forbid he miss out on stirring the pot. The officer was proven INNOCENT, he would found to be CORRECT in lethal action because he feared his own life was in danger, and yet somehow this is still allowed to be a hate-filled anti-law enforcement incident. My blood boils every time I think about it.

So tonight, I hold my officer longer. I look at him and memorize every detail of his smile, his face, his smell, and his touch. I watch as he puts his uniform on and loads his car. I tell him to stay safe and that I love him. I watch him say good-night to our children and tell our littlest to “be good for Mommy”. I give him one last kiss and watch him pull out of our driveway and drive off to do his duty. I suck it up and deal with the loss of consistent sleep and moment of waking up with a racing heart and praying that I never get that phone call or that knock on the door. I breathe, and I pray. And I pray some more. Until I hear him come back home to me in the morning and feel him snuggle up against me in the wee morning hours. That’s when peace settles back into our home and all is well again. I am proud of my husband and all of the law enforcement officers serving and protecting us every day. I wish people would show their support of law enforcement as vocally as those that are trying to tear them apart.

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