Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seeking out Wisdom

I think one of the greatest things about being an Army wife is the legacy of women that have walked the road before us. I know that the wisdom and advice from the veteran Army wives were invaluable to me just in this short time that I’ve been a part of this adventure.

Last night we had dinner with a couple that has been such a great source of wisdom for us. He is a retired JAG officer (now ADA) and she is an amazing woman. We have been able to spend some time with them over the past year and we always laugh at the uncanny similarities in personality between the four of us. They have given wonderful advice that balances on reality of the hardships as well as embracing the adventure.

Last night they talked about the difficulty of absence. Anytime he would leave, she said the hardest times were before he left and right after he got back. She said the anxiety of his upcoming absence would always bring tension in their home. And despite the fact that she couldn't wait for him to get back, there was such a period of adjustment when he would return. She remembered feeling, “I just figured out how to do this without you and now I have to re-learn how to do it with you here!”

The “it” could be house work, finances, raising children, fixing the sink, or just dealing with sleeping in an empty bed… there will be adjustments.

She wrote him letters every time he would leave. She had to breathe in Grace as she remembered his exhaustion when he would return (especially after Ranger school).

She said she heard some good advice that would keep the conversations filled with substance. Each person could carry around a tiny notepad or scrap piece of paper with them and write down little things that happened throughout the day that you would normally talk about over the supper table. Then, when you would finally get to speak on the phone, bring out the notepads!

Do you have any other advice or wisdom? We are a community so every piece of wisdom is invaluable to the rookie Army wives like myself!

Love to you,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does Anyone Else Live Like This??

Last week, I was on the phone with my sister-in-law, a fellow Army Wife, having the fun "If he goes here, then we will probably go here" conversation. Her husband has been stable for a while, so they are assuming that he will need to deploy for his next assignment. However, they have three young children and my sister can't decide if she should stay where she is now, move the kids to whatever unit her husband is deploying with or rent something for a year near her parents so she has a little extra help. Of course, as we were discussing these options, there are many different scenarios that would change where she would go. How long would he be at the unit before he left? Would he go right away? Does she really want to move the kids for a year, then move again in another year (pertaining to moving close to family)? And of course, they are slated to move in June but have no idea where they are going yet, so it is night after night of hypothetical conversations with no real answer.
As we were talking, I certainly empathized. As our time at ROTC ends, there is a chance Kev will have to go to a course for just 4 months in the spring. If that happens, should C and I go? Should we try and sell our house, live for 4 months on post and keep stuff in storage? Or do we stay here and suck up the 4 months apart, assuming we will be close enough to see each other on the weekends? Or do C and I go because we would regret it if one day in the near future we don't have the option of being together because he is deployed?

Sister-in-law and I then went back and forth, telling stories of women who moved to Korea for a just few months, and of the essay we received about a family of 6 who moved across the country for only six months, and of a friend who was just get settled into her new life in Germany when she found out her husband was deploying three weeks later. And the list went on and on. Exhausted, there was finally a pause in the conversation and my sister-in-law chuckled and said "Seriously, does anyone else live like this??"

Have a great day,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Morning, Monday!

Good morning, friends! I hope that you had a great weekend, and although you did fun things with family and friends, that you did one thing for yourself! If you did, leave a comment and let us know what you did, and how you feel.

Our first give-a-way winner is Leonieke, congratulations! Thank you all for following our blog and for leaving comments; we have more give-a-ways up our sleeve, so stayed tuned and keep passing our blog along to friends. Leonieke, please email us (, and we will be in touch about personalizing the flag and shipping it to you promptly.

Have a great day!! 
- Ginna

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fun Surprise!

This week we are going to begin our give-aways! We have found that Army wives are constantly finding new ways to be crafty in order to prevent husband-deployed boredom, to keep our minds busy, to show our patriotism and to have something that is our own when we move place to place. Below is a wall hanging that will be personalized just as the winner wants it to be. Our friend, Stacey Weygandt, of Fort Richardson, Alaska crafted this wall-hanging and will be personalizing it before it ships to the winner. Stacey has many neat, neat things and a web site coming. When it is finished we will share!

To be entered into the drawing, become a follower of our blog or leave a comment on this post. On Sunday night, we will put all of the participants's names in a hat and draw a winner. If you leave a comment, but are not a follower, please be sure to leave us your email address so we can contact you if you win! Tell your friends to check us out too!


Have a great day!! 
- Ginna

Monday, October 18, 2010


Hello friends!

It seems like for.e.ver since I have posted anything, and I apologize. Honestly, I have wanted to be away from everything lately. Away from computers, telephones and doing most things social. It seems that when your spouse is deployed people think that you want your social calendar to be full, that you want to have every minute of every day planned and packed with something new and exciting to do, but I am just tired.
Don't get me wrong, I have loved the things that I have done lately and most of them I would have done even if Tyler were home, but after a while I just wanted to be. I want to enjoy sleeping in on a Saturday, watching a little football, reading a book just for fun and actually cooking dinner.

Everyone handles a deployment differently, and surprisingly enough, every deployment a couple experiences is wildly different than any other. For example, Tyler spent two weeks ... TWO SHORT WEEKS ... in Japan last December and that was the worst two weeks of my life. Weeks later he was in the Philippines for two months and that time seemed to whiz by. There are so many circumstances that make each time apart vastly different, but each time we learn more about ourselves, more about each other and more about the strength of our faith and relationship.

I challenge you to do something for yourself this week ... just one thing. I have found that I am not too good at exercising my "NO" muscle and taking time for me; do it, just this once. Tune in tomorrow for a fun surprise!

Happy Monday! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Happy birthday, Kate!! Today is her birthday, and we couldn't let the day pass without acknowledging it on her latest and greatest brain storm! Below are some of my favorite things about Kate. Chime in with well-wishes and your favorite things about our dear friend, too.

1. When I speak of Kate I always add, "You know, Kate, my first Army friend." This is how all of my friends know her and although I try to stop saying that it always seems to slip out.

2. Kate has a keen eye for beautiful things. She is a great shopping partner for anything from clothes to curtain fabric to antiques ... she loves them all.

3. I met Kate when she was pregnant with Cullen, and although our first meeting had no indication that she loved wine .. she does. She loves a vineyard on a sunny day and a good glass of wine before, and with, dinner routinely.

Kate has turned into one of mine, and Martha's, best friends. A person who we can trust to be honest and hear our version of the "what ifs" and "if/thens" throughout this Army life. She loves to play the game, too, and although those games are sometimes fun, they are never easy. Thank you for hanging by our sides, Kate. We are excited to see what the next assignment holds for you and your family!

Enjoy your day, Kate!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Late Night Thoughts...

I laid in bed last night tossing and turning as a lot of thoughts came to my mind.

What if we get put here for our assignment…
What if I get preggo right when he leaves…
What if… what if…what if…

I’m sure you’ve all been there. But then my mind switched gears. I started thinking about how the Army is so unique because its Soldiers are completely unique. When I was younger I used to think that all soldiers were body builders and would scream in my face. I’m sure I got my accurate information from Saved by the Bell at some point.

But the more I’ve been exposed to Soldiers, I see that they all carry themselves in a way that shows the balance of being part of a team while maintaining their own traits. They are men and women in uniform, not uniform men and women.

There are sensitive soldiers, macho soldiers, tall soldiers, short soldiers, married soldiers, single soldiers, daddy soldiers, granddaddy soldiers, doctor soldiers, lawyer soldiers, infantry soldiers, career soldiers, short-timer soldiers, stubborn soldiers¸ “type A” soldiers, and “go with the flow” soldiers. I think you get my point.

There are not many careers you can be a part of where you work with people with different backgrounds, different personalities, and different specialties. Just another reason being part of the Army is so amazing! I’m going to go drink a lot of coffee now.

Love to you,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Little More to the Story

Ginna, Martha and I didn't always dream of starting a blog together, mostly we just liked to drink wine and talk about our crazy lives. However, one day in July, I went to drop a transcript off for my husband at his grad school. The Administrative Assistant was very kind and told me she had enjoyed getting to know Kev over the course of his MBA program. We were having a lovely conversation until out of no where she threw out, in the most assuming voice, "Aren't you so glad he is getting out of the Army?" I calmly responded that I am happy to support whatever he wants to do, thanked her for her time and quickly left.

Later that day, my son and I were on a long, lonely drive back to DC and the woman's question, especially the tone of it, was still bothering me. You see, for the past several years  months, my husband and I had been discussing getting out of the Army as this particular assignment came to a close. This summer, we had officially decided that he would be done after 8 years of service. And I supported this. I was excited about a new life, glad we wouldn't have to worry about deployments and happy that we could pick one place and stay there for as long as we pleased. However, I was shocked at other people's reaction to our decision. I hated that people assumed we were getting out because it is a bad life. I hated that people didn't understand that despite 2 years in Iraq, ultimately the Army had been good to us. I hated that people didn't know that the Army Family is one of the best families to be part of and that I had met some of the most amazing, passionate and admirable people in the world. I hated that civilians seemed to take their blessing for granted, while military families seemed to cherish every single moment.

After 5 long hours in the car alone, I realized that despite the decision we made, I needed the rest of the world to understand that it is not a bad life. I also realized that no one can explain it quite like the women who live it. The next day I mustered up the courage to email my dear friends Ginna and Martha and wrote something to the effects of "you can tell me this is stupid, but I just can't get it out of my heart. I think we should reach out to as many Army Wives as we know and write a book about it." Luckily for me, they thought it was a great idea, and so we brainstormed. And then we sent this letter out to all the amazing women we know. And then we decided to start a blog. And then essays started coming in. O and somewhere in between there, husband and I decided to stay in the Army.

I share this story with you because I wanted you to know that this blog is bigger than the 3 of us. Over the next few months we will share excerpts from the essays we have received thus far. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be overwhelmed by the determination and passion that Army Wives have to make a good life for their families despite obvious struggles. Hopefully, one day, you will see these all in print: a compilation of different stories and different perspectives, joined together by strong will, big hearts and a sense of service to our country.

Lastly, if you did not get a chance to contribute, or this is the first time hearing about this venture and you would like to contribute, please send us an email at

Thanks for supporting us through this blog and beyond!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Here and Now

There's a mantra in the counseling world that I've used a million times with my clients: "stay in the here and now".  I've been forgetting that recently. Whether we're waiting on a start date or waiting on our assignment or even waiting on the expectation of finally being able to start this rodeo... we're waiting.

Sam and I were talking about the future and when we would hear about everything. We had to take a breath and remind ourselves to stay in the here and now.

There are so many unknowns in the Army and I just encourage you to stay in the here and now and live in the season that you are in at this moment. Have a great weekend friends.

Love to you,