Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Tonight I am thankful for the USO.  The USO is a private, non-profit, Congressionally-appointed organization that is funded by individuals and organizations who want to provide different opportunities for military families. Originally founded in 1941 as an organization to provide entertainment to troops around the world, the USO closed its doors as troops returned home from World War II. Then as Vietnam started ramping up, the USO opened again to provide opportunities. Under the appointment of Harry Truman, the USO became an organization that is operational while troops are home and abroad. 

Not only does the USO provide concerts and entertainment to troops down-range, services for wounded warriors, phone calls home and neat concerts and shows for families at home, they also provide spaces in select airports for families to rest when waiting for a flight, their flight is changed or some other unfortunate travel sequence occurs. Tonight I write in a comfy chair, with ESPN highlights on, food in my belly, wireless internet and a kind person to ensure I am awake for my 4 AM trip through security at the St. Louis airport. I did not intend to fly through St. Louis, much less be stuck here overnight, but I am thankful for the safe-haven the USO has provided me tonight. When traveling, be aware of whether or not there is a USO at the airport(s) you are flying through; wonderful volunteers work to make the rough airline delays a little more bearable. 

You must have your military ID to enter, and spouses and families may enter and use the airport facilities without their military spouse.

**Click here to learn more about the USO or make a donation.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's all happening!

We finally got the email that we’ve been waiting for! The Army sent us the list of available JAG spots and we sent in our top choices. We’ll hear December 15 (hopefully) about where our assignment will be.

Being able to hear communication from the Army and finally being able to get the ball rolling has been such a blessing for us. It’s really made this new adventure seem real! We can’t wait to share news with the rest of our Army family when we do hear where we’ll be moving. Maybe it’ll be near some of you!!

What have been some of your favorite places to live?

Love to you,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Letters From War

Tyler and I have always loved the song, "Letters from War" by Mark Schultz. The song is about a mother and son who write letters while he is away at war. The verses give an introduction, tell of his capture and the son's return home. The course repeats:
You're good and you're brave
What a father that you'll be someday 
Make it home
Make it safe
She wrote every night as she prayed

Although I do not know what it is like to have a child, much less a child away at war, I know what it is like to have my husband away from home. This song was randomly chosen on my iPod last night, and as I was listening I was reminded how lucky we are. No one wants our spouses, sons, or daughters away from home at war, but we are lucky that the communication has changed so drastically since WWI and WWII, the time period in which the song is set.

I look at the loved ones who held down the home front during the wars of the mid- to late-1900s, and I cannot imagine what they felt like; the courage they had is incredible because communication was so sparse. Now, we have cell phones, email, skype, DSN and all kinds of ways to get in touch with our spouses almost instantaneously compared to the 1950s/60s and on. 

All that said, there are still loved ones waiting on the home front for communication from loved ones, and yes, there are still days that go by with no communication, and no, spouses do not get to pick up the phone and call straight down to Afghanistan or Iraq, but as a whole communication has gotten so much better. I believe that we are fortunate to have the resources and technology that we do that allows us to hear from our loved one and know that they are safe in "real time," and not in passing days and weeks through letters from war.

Have a great day!! 
- Ginna

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Two Year Itch

I grew up in the same house for 19 years, went to the same grade school from through eighth grade and am still friends with many of the people I spent 4 years with in High School. Including the move from my parents house to college, I have lived in exactly three cities in my 27 years. My husband on the other hand has lived in Korea, Germany, Panama, Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, Kansas, New York, North Carolina and Iraq (twice, in four different areas). His childhood friends are his siblings and in many places only went to school for a year before moving on to the next place. Before we moved to NC, he literally hadn't been in one place for more than six months since graduating college in 2003. Clearly, our ideas on moving are a little different.

Last spring, when husband thought he was heading into the civilian world, we often argued discussed our criteria for that decision. I wanted to him apply for jobs in cities where we could see ourselves settling down, raising our family and staying for the long term. He thought we should apply for jobs all over the country, take the best one, and if it sucked 'move two years later.' Around and around we went, unable to make each other understand our desires: one for stability, one for adventure.

So when he came home from work the other night and informed me that he was 'ready to move on' from from his current position, I breathed a sigh of relief that we decided to stay in the Army. I don't think he would have ever made it in the civilian world, expected to work at a job, the same job, for an extended period of time.

Now, you might be a little confused as to why I am perfectly happy continuing our Army life. There are several things that making moving in the Army easier:
1. They pack, box and unpack and pay for it!
2. Everyone around you is moving too, so everyone is the 'new guy.'
3. When you move, you are automatically part of a community and chances are will already know someone at the new post. (Whereas in the civilian world, it feels like dating all over again trying to make new friends!)
4. You know its coming. Moving doesn't come as a surprise, you (basically) know how long you will be at which spot.

And so, I'm excited for our little family that we will be able to have the adventure of moving around, with the stability for our kids that we will be done with Army life when our oldest is 12 and will be able to stay put before they get into high school. I just hope by then my hubby has outgrown his Two Year Itch by then! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010


I heard the best advice the other day.

I know that as Army wives; we’re left in a place of worry quite often. We worry about what our life will look like. We worry if we’ll find a home at our next PCS. We worry about how our kids will accept change. We worry about our husband’s safety. We worry, we worry, and we worry.

But a wise friend who has gone down a similar path looked at me the other night at dinner and said, “There is no need to worry. The safest place he can be is in the center of God’s will.”

Something about that just resonated with me so clearly. I’m not sure if it’s because we feel so strongly this adventure is God’s will for us or if it was such a relief to remind myself that he is safe in the whole grand scheme of things.

I just felt I’d pass along this piece of wisdom and hope that you can rest in that today, and tomorrow… and the next day.

Love to you,

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Want to Ride in the Passanger Seat

Recently, Kate suggested that I write about the things and chores that I cannot wait to pass off to Tyler upon his return. When the soldier is away, everything, yes everything, falls on the shoulders of the spouse who stays behind. Tyler and I make a pretty good team, but for now, life does not become too overwhelming in the chores department when he leaves. If anything, I have fewer clothes to wash, fewer dishes to put away and less to "pick-up" around the house. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved it if HE were home when the smoke detectors started beeping every three minutes at one in the morning four nights after he left, I would love it if HE were here to change the two light-bulbs that magical went out weeks after he left or for HIM to start the grill when the wind has blown out the pilot light. Those are the moments that seem to be the most frustrating for me; moments where he would swoop in and fix the problem instantly and then we'd move on with life. Those are the moments that catch me off-guard and get me down the most.

During Tyler's absences I have come to realize that out of all of the things or chores that I long to pass back off to him, driving ranks pretty close to number one. I love to drive, I always have, but now I love the passenger seat. Tyler drives us everywhere and that is the thing that I am most excited to tag-team back to him. He enjoys driving, and I am a-okay letting him have that position in our family. For the past four months I can count on two hands how many times I have sat in the passenger seat, a position that I have come to love, and I cannot wait to get that seat back upon his return!

Have a Monday!! 
- Ginna