Surviving Spring Break.

Gah. It’s Spring Break this week. Day One in fact. I have already almost pulled out my hair and disowned my offspring… and it’s only 3 in the afternoon. I don’t know how I used to take having both kids home all day in stride and come out with a smile on my face. I have been a stay at home for eight years, and this year both of my kiddos are in either half day or full day school. I must have forgotten how it all feels to have the children at home all day with no plans.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t prepare shit for them to do. But they are self sufficient little ladies and can figure this stuff out all on their own… right? Three years ago before the big one went to school I simply had all day planned out with stuff for them to do. The little one was… well… little and honestly didn’t need anything more than some cheerios and a stuffed animal. The big one had coloring books out the ass and toys spilling into the every room of the house.

Now these little jerks are older. They fight CONSTANTLY. We obviously have nothing good for them to eat, they just want to lay there like bumps and watch mindless crap on Netflix. Guys. It’s DAY ONE and I have already banished them outside like Romeo from fair Verona. Seventeen fights over the remote and ice cubes and I lost my shit. I barely got anything done today because I was constantly taking chips out of hands, getting the dog untwisted from a blanket, fixing a clogged toilet, finding lost sandals that were literally right in front of a child’s face.

Its Arizona. Where we live it’s Satan’s Taint Hot.

I literally said “Y’all get out of my house right now before I burn this place to the ground”. These two girls looked at me like I spoke gibberish and said “no, it’s hot”. Mother Fuckers, I know it’s hot. Its Arizona. Where we live it’s Satan’s Taint Hot. Go play with the hose or something.  I didn’t say that out loud I promise. It was more of a low growl and a stomped foot that really got their asses in gear.

It’s quiet now in my little abode, and as I sit here with my calming oils diffusing I am devising a plan to make it through the next week. I will be kicking the kids out of the house and leaving water out for them to drink. Perhaps I will lock the doors, I don’t know we will see. I have scheduled three hours to actually work, and have picked out a few books to read outside while they are playing to make it appear I actually give a shit about their outside activities. The books are so I can ignore their existence for a few brief moments of adulting.

My books for the Week are :

Start by Jon Acuff

Tribes by Seth Godin


In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney

I will survive day one. Maybe I’ll even survive day two. Who knows. Maybe tomorrow they will wake up happy to be alive and start the beautiful day by finding their own underwear and won’t fight over who got the pink bowl. Maybe.

The Real Truth of Military Spouses.

I will admit that I spend some quality time on Facebook and the blogosphere. I read all sorts of stuff. Stuff that makes me cringe, stuff that makes me cry, stuff that makes my blood boil, and stuff that puts a smile on my face. I like seeing what my friends and fellow people of the world find interest in, believe, and share. It really lets me see the real people behind the computer.

As many of you may, or may not, know April is the month of the Military Child. As a mother of two military children I love seeing support for those kiddos who can sometimes struggle with this lifestyle. That is what brings me to this post. Not awareness for the military child, but an awareness of the military family.

I am a military spouse, and have been for close to eleven years. I live on and have lived near military bases my entire married life. The majority of my friends, and friends I consider family, are affiliated with the military in some capacity. I have been through deployments, trips, nights alone, dinner without my spouse, seen families dissolve, and all of the above. We, as a family, have moved a half dozen times, lost friends, and made new ones. It’s life. We live it and take it in stride.

I enjoy seeing many blogs or cute little checklists all over the interwebs detailing the military life, I sometimes smile to myself when another spouse writes about something that I, too, found inconvenient about my spouses job. That being said what I cannot stand are the posts about how difficult being a mil spouse is, or how special a mil spouse is as a person. Oh yes. This exists my friends. The blogs and posts that makes you pity the poor soul who has to deal with a spouse whose job is to protect this nation.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, and rest assured I am going to ruffle some feathers with this one, a military spouse does not serve. It is not the “hardest job in the military”, the spouses sacrifices are not as steep as these posts make it seem.

So let’s hit this on the head. Shall we? Concept One. I do not serve. I did not sign a contract with the government. I do not put on a uniform everyday and selflessly give my time to the United States to protect it’s constitution here and abroad. The way that I see it is simply this. I am a wife to a dude who has a hard job. Boom. That’s it. It is in my opinion that if you, as a military spouse, think you are something special because your spouse wears a uniform then I don’t have time to entertain you. I am sorry.

When I met my husband he was working at a dead end job and 18. I fell in love with him. We got married right after his initial training and have been going strong ever since. Has my support, adoration, and respect for him as a human being changed because his job did? No. No it has not. I love him more today than thirteen years ago because of the man I see he has become. He is generous, caring, funny, and a damn good father. I don’t support him any more or any less because of his career. He is my better half, I would support him if he decided to become an underwater basket weaver instead of a soldier. My support for my spouse is no different than any other spouse’s support. It is not stronger, better, more respectful. It is what it is. A spouse supporting a spouse. Period.

Is being a military spouse the hardest job? When I first got married I thought so. I even had the bumper sticker that said so. But then I grew up and opened my eyes. My husband had to miss pregnancies, birthdays, funerals, weddings, births, medical scares, first steps, first teeth, and first words of not only his own children but his entire family. Me? Well I was there for it all. So who has it harder? While I sat at home missing him and worrying about him while rubbing my growing belly and feeling those first kicks, my spouse was  across the world working his ass off, worrying about whatever they have to worry about over there, and worrying about his family. While I worry about him, he is worrying about everything. Did I miss him? Oh hell yeah I did. But, I had my friends and family a phone call away. I had internet that actually worked, and HBO. I could make myself busy and continue living my life as normal as possible. I did not sacrifice anything but time with my husband. In fact, it made our relationship stronger because we had to communicate in different ways, our respect for each other grew because we both found out we can handle some shit.

Do you know how many spouses travel for work? How many work two jobs and are never home, struggling to make ends meet? How many spouses are first responders? What makes a military spouse more special, more deserving of the blogs? It doesn’t. All families sacrifice something.

I used to say that it takes a special kind of person to be a military spouse. But, in truth, it doesn’t. If the love you have for your spouse isn’t strong enough to make it through the suck, then you weren’t cut out to be married to that person. My love for my spouse makes all the “other” that comes with his job worth it.

Back to the military child. Do those kiddos have it hard? Yeah. They do. The moves are rough on them. The parent being gone is rough on them. But when your in this life most of their friends are going through the same stuff. I am open and honest with my kids. They knew when Daddy was in Afghanistan for his work, they know when he is out of town for work and why. They understand when we have to move to a new place and instead of dwelling on the sadness of losing friends, we show them new possibilities. We take life with a positive attitude and always exchange contact information with their friends parents so they kids can video chat. We have an open conversation with our kids, and if they are struggling we talk to a counselor. But our children’s struggles are no more or less severe than any other child’s.

I can’t speak for everyone, just myself, but I don’t want to be treated special or different, and I certainly do not want my kids to be treated special because of who their Dad is. My love for my husband and my children is no stronger, no more stable, no more perfect, and not an ounce more special than anyone else. I do what any spouse would when the other is not there. I try and parent my children without causing to much lasting psychological trauma, I feed them, and I make sure they survive the day. I am not special because I parent when my husband is gone, I am just doing what I have to as a parent. You know who is special? Single parents who do it ALL on their own. Those parents are the ones deserving respect and admiration. My mother became a widow when I was 16. She did it all on her own. My father was sick for a long time, she was the bread winner, she worked a hundred hours a week to ensure I had what I needed. That is admirable. Never once did she leave my dad or me for something better or turn her back on him. That. That right there is who deserving of all the blogs.

My Kitchen Table

My kitchen table is not new, shiny, high priced, fancy, or pretty. It’s functional. It’s got a layer of food perpetually stuck to it. It’s got chips, dings, knicks, scratches, and gouges. My kitchen table has silver permanent marker stains, paint stains, and it wobbles slightly. It has a weird bubbling/peeling thing happening from an iron mishap, and it’s missing two chairs.

But my imperfect, ugly, mixed match kitchen table is where my kids drew me a beautiful picture. It’s where my family decorates our Christmas cookies.  That kitchen table is where my husband and I ate our first Christmas dinner as a married couple. My table is where my family eats all our meals at. That table is where we have celebrated every birthday, holiday, dinner, crafts project, card game, and morning coffee.

It has been painted, repainted, and then repainted again. It has been threatened to be put in the garbage… and yet here it still stands.

My dinged up kitchen table has four dinged up mixed matched imperfect chairs that seat each member of my beautiful family. That awful eyesore of a table is a caricature of my family. Each chip, ding, knick, scratch, gouge, marker stain, paint stain, wobble, bubble, a missing chair are a beautiful memory of times well spent.

So, when you come to my house and see my blue and black hodge podged table, know that this piece of furniture has been the center of dreams, goals, family, love, and memories. It has seen the world, it has seen two young, inexperienced, naive  people become three-then four. It has seen two young people become adults, it has seen sadness, joy, anger, and everything in between.

No. My table is not new, expensive, or shiny. It’s the cheapest table we could find at Walmart when my husband and I were 21 years old, in our first year of marriage, living in an apartment with only our dreams carrying us. That table is the most priceless thing we have in this house… and it is so ugly…