Monday, December 31, 2007

An Unsolicicted, Unwanted Blast from the Past

So today, on the cusp of the new year, I received a mysterious e-mail. It was from a girl that I haven't talked to - or thought about - in over 20 years. Growing up, she was my neighbor, sort of the required friend. We never really had a lot in common. She was beautiful, blonde, preppy and painfully shy. I was the mousy, nearly invisible, bookish, smart rebel. I wasn't in to Bryan Adams and she couldn't stand the Ramones - enough said, right?
Her mother was my worst nightmare. Imagine June Cleaver on uppers and you have the idea. Plus she was the super nosy neighbor into everyone's business whether you wanted her to be or not. I guess since my parents got divorced and I lived for some time with my dad, I became her "pet" project - much to my perpetual dismay.
Highschool wasn't a highlight of my life - it isn't a period that I ever want to revisit or God -forbid relive. It's like that video from Iron Maiden - "Wasted Years". High school was my wasted years. I feel sorry for people who view that time of their lives as their prime. Not me. I'm at my best and mostly happiest right now. There really aren't too many people from that time in my life that i would care to reacquaint myself with or give them the obligatory 20 year update on what a success my life is. I could give a damn what they think, you know?
So imagine my horror to receive the 20 year reunion e-mail today. And from my former neighbor of ALL people. This is the girl who was little more than a blonde lemming who didn't even invite me to swim in - MY OWN POOL- with her preppy friends. I'm going to get right on that 20 year reunion thing..... yeah.....

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Big Changes in the New Year

I don't know about everyone else, but it so hard for me to believe that another year has passed by. It seemed like 2007 dragged by in the beginning, but the end of the year has just flown. Anyone else feel that way?
I wish that I could say that I am looking forward to the new year ahead, but with my husband gone so much of the time, it's hard to find things to look forward to. I guess those rare moments we can be together are one thing. At least he will be here for New Years, which is more than I can say for last year.
Anyhow, with the new year upon us, I plan on making some big personal changes, not the least of which will be diet and exercise related. I'd like to lose 30 pounds this year, but I am keeping that quiet so that it's a personal goal and I don't feel the pressure of living up to anyone's expectations but my own. I can't remember when the last time my husband told me he thought I looked beautiful was. How sad is that?It would be so nice to have him look at me and see that spark in his eye. We love one another, but sometimes I wish that newness - you know the look of lust that you have when your relationship is new? I wish that was still there.
I am also paying off all my credit card debt. No more debt. I want to be able to pay my credit cards off in full at the end of every month. I want to be more financially responsible and actually start saving for my future, and for my children's future.
In the long run, I guess I have high hopes for 2008 as far as personal growth, I just don't expect much on the happiness front. How good can it be when my husband is going to be gone 200+ days out of 365?
I hope that the rest of you have a happy, healthy new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Used to Think....

that Strep Throat were the two most feared words in the English language. My oldest daughter seemed to get it at the drop of a hat. Finally they took her tonsils and adnoids out and it seemed that my nightmare was over. For a while anyway.....

Now, the most feared word in the English language is----- (can you feel the suspense building??) CROUP! Yes, my youngest has Croup. I hate the barking cough, the rattle that is so scary to listen to while they try to breathe. It's just downright scary.

The best thing about Croup? Well, there really isn't a whole lot you can do for it. Of course there is the tried and true steam bath. Today my doctor recommended opening her window tonight to let the cold air in. HELLO??? We live in Connecticut. That is SO not happening. What is this guy thinking? So he suggested that we take her for a ride in the car with the window down. I would tell you that I still think he was crazy but you know what? It genuinely seemed to help.

So now she is sleeping with the humidifier running. I hope that will be enough to ward of the yucky, nasty sounding mess but, being a realist, I am planning on going to bed early.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sometimes Kids Do the Darndest Things...

Yesterday I was at my keyboarding happily typing away on my latest project. My youngest was asleep, my husband was asleep. No, it wasn't the middle of the night, in fact, it was the middle of the day - go figure. But hey, who can argue with free, quiet time to write?
At any rate my oldest arrives home from school. She quietly eats her after school snack and then comes upstairs. Uh-oh. This is it - the end of my writing zen. She said, " Mom, do you think that you could come and help me with something important?" Well, that leaves no room for no, so of course I tell her that I will gladly help. The keyboard gets a much needed rest and if it could, my computer would have breathed a sigh of relief.
So I go into my daughters room and ask her what it is that she needs help with. She said, " Well you know mom, I've been thinking..." ( Alarm bells begin ringing...) " I have so many wonderful things and some children have nothing. Especially at this time of year, it makes me so sad. Do you think that you could help me clean out some of my things and we could donate them?" What?? Where is my child? Oh wait - there she is, looking at me in earnest with those big green eyes of hers. In that moment I am so proud of her.
Of course I tell her I will help. We calmly and concisely go through all her stuffed animals and she chooses over half to "make new friends". She hugs and kisses each one and asks me to reaffirm that they will all go to good and loving homes - no one will poke their beaded eyes or anything like that. I duly nod and affirm that they will.
Then we move on the games, the polly pockets, and so many other things. She carefully selects those things that are nice but that she doesn't play with anymore. I went downstairs - got two boxes and we boxed it all up together. When we are done, she looks at me and says, " I hope that this will help bring a Christmas smile to children who might not otherwise have one..." and in that moment, just like the Grinch, my heart "grew three sizes that day."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why I Need SO Much More Than Calgon

Honestly, with my children lately it seems like I could use a years' supply of Calgon. What is it about the holidays that bring out the best and worst in all our children?

My daughters are both such beautiful people - inside and outside. Usually they are so loving with one another, but the excitement of the holidays brings out the worst in everyone and sadly, my children are no exception. They seem to bicker over every little thing, yell at one another and speak harshly. I look at them and wonder where my sweet little girls have gone.

Sometimes I feel like I could be yelling at concert level decibels and still not be heard. I hate yelling. I have tried speaking in a more quiet manner, using consequences etc.... but right now none of it seems to work. I guess just in all honestly nothing in my life seems to be working.

The good news is at least the furnance is fixed. The guy from the oil company thinks ( or I should say thought) that I'm an oversensitize fruit ... but hey. He came out to fix the furnace. I was explaining to him the noise that it was making. SO he calmly turns on the burner and says, " Is that it? Is that the noise that it is making?" HELLO?? No, that's not the noise it's making, I GET that furnaces make a noise when they start up, I may be female but I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to machinery. I wanted to hit him over the head with my screwdrivers and yell, " I fixed my refrigerator you know..."

Anyhow, as if on cue, the furnace starting making the noise that I was actually talking about. He rolls his eyes and says, " Oh yeah, that's not normal." Guess what? A piece of carbon had made it's way onto the nozzle so that the oil wasn't lighting right away. Guess I'm not such an oversensitized fruit after all. Ok, so maybe I am, but I certainly felt vindicated where the repairman was concerned.

Now if only my children were so easy to fix. I'm off to shovel the driveway. AGAIN. CALGON, can you just send a delivery truck? You know the equivalent of an oil tanker to my house? I'll be outside shoveling.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Furnace Repair, No e-mail, one black tooth and a patrdidge in a pear tree....

It's been one of those weeks. First of all my furnace has been making a terrible noise for some time now. I fret about it because I am overly sensitive to sound, especially anything to do with the heat or the pipes. The other day my furnace actually vibrated. Yeah. Not good. We have a maintenance plan so they are coming out to check it tomorrow. My oil guy says it sounds like it might be a problem with the pressure gage. Cross your fingers because that is easily fixed and covered by my maintenance agreement.

I haven't had any e-mail from my husband since Sunday so I don't know what is up with that. I woke up SUnday morning thinking I hit the mother load - 3 e-mails! Two of them were for our daughters. Sweet but not really helpful if you know what I mean.

Finally, Kaylee has had a wiggly tooth for about three weeks now. I mean, it has been ready to come out any minute now, but she has nursed it along. The end result is that her tooth was hanging on by a thread and turning black. Yuck. I had to take her to the dentist to have it removed. It cost me almost $50 out of pocket but SO worth it! If you could have seen that horrible thing in my beautiful baby's face. It was terrible. Fortunately, it's gone now and she is feeling much better. She actually enjoyed dinner tonight because she was able to chew!

I'm not really interested in the partridge or the pear tree ( we actually have one in our backyard.) Getting through the holiday without a major disaster - yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

I'm Bushed!!!

I was so incredibly tired last night that I fell asleep without sleep aides for the first time in over two weeks . It felt good to have a natural, deep sleep. I even had a dream, not that I can remember anything specific about it, only that I dreamed.

Last night was the kids Christmas party for the boat. I have to say that considering we threw it together in two weeks time, I think it was a resounding success! We had cookies to decorate, ornaments to paint, cards to make, a christmas list for santa, gifts to make for daddy, and of course, a visit from the big man himself - complete with books for all! It was great! My daughters had a wonderful time and the look on my Emily's face when Santa called her to receive her book was just priceless!!

Kaylee, my oldest, actually took Santa a handful of cookies as he was leaving - "for the road"! She cracks me up! I was up to my eyeballs in fabric paint for most of the night. We did reindeers on t-shirts for Daddy by using foot and handprints. They really came out cute! My daughters did a pillowcase as I'm sure my hubby wouldn't be wearing his reindeer on the boat, but probably will use the pillow case.

I also got some great candid shots of all the children just having a good time. To see their faces light up with joy during such a hard time for them means so much! My daughters take it really hard when their daddy is gone. They know that life goes on and that he will come home, but like me, they miss him something fierce! I was actually so busy painting last night, that for a while, I forgot my own cares and worries. For all the grumbling and everything I did about putting the party together on such short notice, I'm really glad that I was invovled.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

From the Thrill of Victory to the Agony of stay at home motherdom

Today was just one of those days. Emotionally I was all over the page: ecstatic, angry, sad, proud, discouraged, lonely and frustrated. I'm sure there are a few that I missed.....
I heard from my husband today. His crew got an excellent on their latest evaluation which is just HUGE. I am so excited about it and so proud of him. When something like this goes so well, it almost makes the time away meaningful somehow. I know it was such a tremendous relief for him and now, hopefully, he will be able to enjoy our family and our holiday time together.
On the downside... my daughters. My goodness, I have no idea what is with them today. If I didn't know better I would think that some changelings came in the middle of the night and took my children. They were both so miserable and full of drama today. It seems liked the entire morning was one big constant battle over a game, a barbie, a snack, who sat where.... in short, they argued over everything and it is making me CRAZY.
My dad used to have a friend that he played poker with while he was in Korea. Anyhow, one day Slav ( the friend) asked my dad for a loan. My dad said, " Slav, what's the money for?" to which Slav replies, " My wife needs a vacation from my kids..." Oh boy can I relate to how she must have felt. I love my children but today, I could really use a vacation.
When they argue and bicker like that, I feel like such a failure as a mother. Almost like they haven't heard a word I said. Then my oldest daughter said the word " damn" today and that made me feel like shit. I know she got that from me, my cursing just gets awful when their father is gone. I really need to work on it. So, today thrilled for my husband.... devastated over my own short comings as a mom. Ever have that kind of day??

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Some Thoughts On Firsts

My friend Tanya runs one of my favorite groups on Cafemom, it's called Soul Journey. Anyhow, a couple of days ago, she wrote a post about powerful first that happen in our lives and she wanted us to share. Tonight I wanted to share some firsts from my life that changed everything.

I can remember the first time I told him that I loved him. I had to do it in a letter. As usual, the words just wouldn't come any other way. He was my best friend. He had been for over three years and I was scared. You know, butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, and feeling like you are going to barf any minute scared. I was worried that he didn't feel the same way. I was concerned that by telling him how I felt, it would change our friendship forever and not for the better.

It all started with a song. Everyone that is important to me in my life has a song. Weird, I know but true. He asked what his song was. It's Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2. He asked me to explain, which I did in the letter. Here are some words from the song, for those who may not know it:
You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Anyhow, I was the one who fell at his feet. I prostrated myself with words finally telling him how I felt and I waited breathlessly, hopelessly for his response, agonizing over whether I had done the right thing.

We went to the mall. I thought that had to be the kiss of death. He wanted to buy a shirt. So we went and got the shirt. We spent hours driving around, talking about everything and nothing all the while ignoring the elephant in the car so to speak. Finally, he mentioned the letter. " I read your letter", he said. He leaned over took my hand, looked into my eyes with those brown eyes of his and said, " I love you too." That night we had our first kiss. I will never forget it. It was on the beach. "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" by Meatloaf was playing. That kiss was full of hope, promise, dreams, the future.... With that kiss, my life began. It was like being reborn.

From that day to this, my love for my husband has never wavered, never faltered. Yes, we have our arguments, disappointments, disagreements, but through it all he remains my twin flame, my other self. It's wonderful to think about these precious moments and reflect on them in my heart. I can never get those firsts back, but I think of the others that we have had, and still others yet to come.

All can be traced back to these. Sorry to wax poetic tonight, but he is weighing so heavily on my heart today. Wherever you are my darling Robert, I love you with all my heart, and I always will.

Monday, December 3, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is..... A Power Generator??

I have come to the conclusion that I have a compulsive/obsessive personality disorder. I worry over anything and everything - and I don't just worry - I really do obsess about things. Every time I hear water running in my house it causes a major disturbance. The other day I was in my downstairs bathroom and I could hear water. It sounded like it was in the walls and I was freaking out! I started looking everywhere for the water... only to discover that it was my coffee maker. Yeah. That's a little over the top, isn't it??
So when my mom and my step dad were here, they asked me what my emergency plan for losing power in the winter was. We have no fireplace ( they aren't viewed as efficient here) so there is no other way to get heat. I had never given it a thought to be honest. I mean, in the year that I have lived here, we may have lost power for a total of 30 minutes and that is really stretching it! So I hadn't worried about that, until they brought it up. One ice -storm, no heat, broken pipes everywhere.... you get the imagery, I'm sure.
So today, we actually lost power for about three hours. No big deal. It was 48 degrees out so I wasn't too worried. Ok, that's a total lie. I was panicked beyond all reason, but I held it together. Still, what if it had been the middle of the night? And colder? And my pipes burst? ( Can you tell that broken pipe is a trauma that I will probably never recover from??) So this year, I'm asking Santa for a power generator that will run my heater in the event of an outage. Am I totally insane? Probably. But if it takes one thing of my to worry about list - so be it. Of course it will just add new worries like what if the generator blows up? What if I can't start the damn thing? What if noxious fumes kill us all while we sleep? Honestly I could go on for hours but what's the point? If I die from noxious fumes, at least my pipes probably wont' freeze.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The search for words....

Have you ever gone so long without writing that you suddenly find you have nothing to say? That's the way I've been feeling lately. It's almost as if the ability to write, if not used every day, becomes a clogged bit of machinery -simply to tired and rusty to continue. So today, I make a point to search for the words and find something to say. Without the ability to write, I fear I would also lose myself entirely.

My sister in law told me a story recently that I guess best encapsulates this fear from me. Her mother in law is living with them now. She is elderly and sadly suffering from a very bad case of Alzheimers. I am told that her symptoms are always bad but she seems to get more disorientated at night. At any rate the idea of forgetting my loved ones was my greatest fear until I heard of something worse. Kay, the woman I am speaking of, has Alzheimers so bad that she is even forgetting the meaning of words. It isn't bad enough that she doesn't realize that my brother in law is her son, she no longer understands what the word son means.

I can't imagine living in a world without words. I can't fathom having to search through the void to find their meaning. All my life the words have been my friend. They have been there to comfort me when no one else could. I write to express myself and clean the cobwebs out so to speak. If I ever lost that ability, my life would truly be over.

In those moments that I want to tell people how I really feel - especially when the emotion is difficult or intense - my tongue gets thick and my words won't come. I have no other option but to write them down. My fingers don't have an issue getting the words out when my tongue refuses to work. My fingers fly across the keyboard getting all those powerful emotions out. But if they had to struggle to remember the meaning of the words... that for me is the equivalent of Dante's worst level of hell - frozen, impotent and forgotten.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Roe and all my friends....

Sandy, Kim, Peggie, Jenn - you guys have been TAGGED!

1.) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate... no question.

2.) Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps them very nicely at first, and then it becomes a mission to just get the damned things covered in paper of some sort.

3.) Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored!

4.) Do you hang mistletoe? Oh yeah, and I make a point of kissing my husband, under it or not, as often as I can!

5.) When do you put your decorations up? As soon after Thanksgiving as possible; we love having the place decorated as long as possible.

6.) What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I love ham, baked pineapple, and my grandmother's special rice!

7.) Favorite Christmas memory as a child? Sled riding with my dad!

8.) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was a late blooomer; I was about 9. I got an organ for Christmas and I heard "Santa" and his "elves" delivering it!

9.) Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope

10.) How do you decorate your Christmas tree? This won't surprise my friends, but it is very "funky eclectic" as my friend Jennifer would say! I have a little of everything - homemade ornaments from the kids, hallmark ornaments, gifts from friends, each ornament reflects a member of my family and each tells a story. My favorite ornaments hold pictures of those I love...

11.) Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love snow, dread the slush that follows shortly thereafter.

12.) Can you ice skate? Yes, but I'm not as good as my husband. He can even twirl!

13.) Do you remember your favorite gift? I loved my organ and I still have it!

14.) What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being surrounded by family and friends. It's like the one time a year you can tell your friends how much you love them without sounding sappy.

15.) What is your favorite holiday desert? Christmas cookies!!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Decorating the tree - no question.

17.) What tops your tree? A star

18.) Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving!

19.) What is your favorite Christmas Song? No one does "Oh Night Divine" like Nat King Cole. Love "Holly Jolly Christmas" and of course, "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses and Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", because I'm an '80s gal. I also love "Blue Christmas" by Elvis and "White Christmas" and "I'll be Home fore Christmas" - are you starting to see a theme here?

21.) Favorite Christmas Movie? I love the Grinch.

22.) What do you leave for Santa? It varies from year to year. He always gets cookies. This year it is going to be Rice Crispy Treats because they are my daughters favorite!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

Yesterday my family went upon our yearly search for the perfect Christmas tree. Finding just the right one is imperitive to the sucess for the rest of the holiday season, it is the event on which all future holiday events depend. After all, the Christmas tree sets the tone of your whole house for the holidays.

Last year, we had a beautiful tree. The idea was to go to the same tree farm but there was only one problem - I forgot the name of it. It was in an out of the way place and both my husband and I doubted our ability to find it again without the name. So, off to Plan B.

There is a farm that has all sorts of seasonal activities - berries in the summer, peaches and apples in the late summer early fall, pumpkins.... We realized that they also are a tree farm so we decided to give them a try. We didn't realize that it was one of those cut your own places, and let me just say that having spent most of our Christmas's together in the South - cutting our own tree down was a new experience for all of us!

They had rows and rows of absolutely gorgeous trees. Our most difficult decision was finding just the right one! But with time and effort, we finally found a tree that we all could agree on. It was the most perfectly symmetrical tree that I have ever seen and an absolutely beautiful shade of Emerald green. The smell of the tree is something that can only be described as divine - it is that crisp, clear scent of pine that permeates everything. It SMELLS like Christmas!

The moment of truth came and my husband had to cut down the tree. Well, in order to do so, he had to lay down on the ground. The other family that was in the field appeared to be having some difficulty with their tree, so we were all somewhat trepidatious about the cutting; however, we needen't have worried. In just a few short moments, my husband had quickly and expertly cut the tree. He was so good at it that my daughter told him he should consider a new career. ( I think she was just looking for something that would keep him home most of the time - wink, wink)

The farm workers then loaded our tree on the tractor and bundled it up for us while we enjoyed some fresh cocoa and christmas cookies in front of the fire at the farm house. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. We found the perfect tree and best of all, built lasting memories for our family.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saying Goodbye - Again....

This is my daughter (in the center) with her two best friends. They have been the best of friends since the girls were 2 and a half and the boy was 4. Their mom is also my best friend. We met their family by chance - and maybe a little divine intervention. They were on the same boat as our family years ago, when we lived in Georgia. My daughter and I received an invitation to a Valentine's day party, but we were unable to go because she was sick. When I called to give our regrets, I asked if we could schedule a playdate when she was feeling better. That was one of the best things that I have ever done. They came over - the children were like peas in a pod from the beginning and so were Jennifer and I. The rest - as they say - is history.
Jennifer and I have been best friends since and so have our children. We have been through illness, broken bones (Jenn, if you are reading this, I'm knocking on some wood!), 4 submarine patrols, 2 moves and so much more.
When we moved from Georgia, the only thing that I regretted was saying goodbye. It was so hard! I had just had a baby - well, she was 8 months old by then. Jenn was pregnant with their youngest. We both got through that move though because we knew that their family wouldn't be in Georgia too much longer either. We moved to Annapolis, and they moved to Connecticut.
Through it all we kept in touch. We visited several times. Kaylee and I went to Connecticut to meet their new baby, they came and visited for Emily's birthday. I even got to have Isabella for a week in the summer - that's the beautiful blonde in the picture above.
Finally it happened that it was time for us to move again and we got orders to Connecticut! We were over the moon!!! I knew that my daughters would love being near their friends again. We have had weekly playdates, sleepovers where Jennifer and I were able to keep up with our passion of scrapbooking, birthday parties, trick or treating... you name it.
Their family is Navy, like ours. We knew that the time would eventually come when one of us would have to relocate again, I guess I just hoped that it wouldn't happen so soon. We had only been here a few months when we heard that they would be moving.
We made the most of all of our time together, but unfortunately, the time finally came where we would have to say goodbye. I finally understand why the Navy came up with the lame saying of " fair winds and a following sea" because saying goodbye to the people you love over and over again is just too painful otherwise.
I knew that saying goodbye to Jenn would be hard. I knew that kissing Isabella for the last time ( for a while anyway) would rip my heart out. I knew hugging little Ana goodbye and missing out on so much of her growing up would be hard. What I wasn't prepared for was saying goodbye to Andrew.
I thought we would make it through it ok. I thought we could joke and laugh and it would be alright. I was so proud of how well I was handling the goodbying when it came time to say goodbye to him. He put his arms around me and the tears started to come for both of us. Then, he whispered in my ear, " Ms. Laurie, I love you and I will NEVER forget you." Even thinking about it now makes me cry. We made plans RIGHT THEN to see them next year. Until then, we will write, e-mail, call, share pictures....
People come in and out of our lives. Some stay a short time, some are friends forever, but all impact our lives. I know that their family and ours will be friends forever. I know that I didn't truly just say goodbye because we will see them again. Still, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done - cheerily waving goodbye....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Smilebox

Click to play Give Thanks
Slideshows, scrapbooks, and ecards | Powered by Smilebox
Make a slide show, scrapbook, or ecard

Looking forward to tomorrow!

I don't know about you guys, but I am so excited about the holiday tomorrow. It is so wonderful having my family all together - well, at least my immediate family- and that is what I am most grateful for. It means so much to me to have my husband home. In our family, he is the one who usually handles the turkey! Not that I can't, it's just that it's evovled into being his job over the years.
I love every aspect of Thanksgiving! It seems fitting and right that this was the first offical " American" holiday, after all, we are by and large a grateful people. I love the idea of setting a day aside to focus on all the many good things that each one of us has in our lives - though I must say that I try to do that everyday. I love sitting around the dinner table with my family, sharing conversation, memories and delicious food.
I love to reflect on all those that I love who are no longer here. I think of Thanksgivings past. I remember my grandfather in his apron, my grandmother's smile. I think of my Uncle John who was so handsome, so quick with a smile, a joke and words of love or support. I think of my cousin Dana, who was so little when she passed and the brother that I never knew. Even though I reflect on these things, it is with love and happiness in my heart, not a sullen heart. I know that my loved ones are with me still, for those we love are never truly gone as long as we remember them. Every Thanksgiving I light a candle to let them know that I think of them and miss them still. My mother's best friend started this tradition and I liked it so much that our family adopted it too.
I look forward to curling up with my daughters on the sofa and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I have watched that parade every year since I was a little girl and it reminds me that though some things change, others remain the same. My daughters love it as much as I always did, and for me, the joy of seeing it through their eyes is twice as great.
Then of course there is the whole purpose of the day - saying thank you to God for all the wonderful blessings that he has brought into my life. I feel humbled and unworthy and so incredibly lucky. So I can't wait ....
I can't wait to cook my turkey.
Cuddle my daughters.
Look into my husband's eyes and tell him how much I love him.
Call my mom and dad and say thank you again for all they have given me.

Thanksgiving a day that should be every day, but certainly needs to be embraced, enjoyed and celebrated!

Monday, November 19, 2007


I don't think I have ever been so happy to fall into my husband's arms as I was yesterday. It was a huge surprise. They weren't supposed to be home yet. Then, on Saturday morning came the surprise news and my heart just leaped for joy!!! I am so thankful and so happy to have him home!
I drove with the girls to lower base to pick him up. I saw him walking toward me, I knew right away, even without seeing his face, that it was him. I love that thrill I feel when I see his face and I love feeling like I hang on his every word and he on mine. I love that even though he has been gone so long, it feels like not an instant has passed since last his eyes met mine. I love how when we talk together everything, even stupid things, sound like a secret just for us.
Right now I feel like I have to rush to get all the I love you's out.... I have to tell him everything and get him to tell me everything... because too soon, it will all be over. This will be just a dream that I had as I wake up, crying in the bed alone.
But for now, it's such a beautiful dream and I don't want to wake up yet. For now, I will take the time I have, savor every single second because I know it's a finite period of time.
Realistically I know that we all have only a finite period of time, but can you imagine that being your constant reality? Every second, every moment, is over way too fast. I wish I could just hold on, make the moments last, hold back the dawn.... but I can't.
For now, I'll be happy for today and happy for the hope of that tomorrow when he'll be back forever. No more Navy. No more mission. Just us. Someday....

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Remember that 80's song by Bryan Adams? Yeah, I know... bad 80's hair, that snarl as he sang, but say what you want - it's an awesome song in spite of it all. That song, describes exactly how I feel.

Oh - thinkin' about all our younger years
There was only you and me
We were young and wild and free

Now nothin' can take you away from me
We bin down that road before
But that's over now
You keep me comin' back for more
Baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm findin' it hard to believe
We're in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn't too hard to see
We're in heaven

Oh - once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you're feelin' down
Ya - nothin' could change what you mean to me
Oh there's lots that I could say
But just hold me now
Cause our love will light the

I've bin waitin' for so long
For something to arrive
For love to come along
Now our dreams are comin' true
Through the good times and the bad
Ya - I'll be standin' there by you

You all know you were singing along.... All I can say is that mental message that I sent out a couple of days ago. He heard it. Somehow he heard it. And Roe.... It's OK - because it has to be...... and for now, that's enough.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beam me UP, Scotty!!!

Yep, I am definitely in a Star Trek frame of mind today. That's sort of weird because my husband really is the Trekkie, not me, although I do enjoy the movies. This morning, I received an e-mail from Robert and I guess that, in part, is what brought on this frame of mind.

He tells me that they are working hard to get back home. My immediate mental response was: "Don't try, don't work - just DO it!!!! " Hence the whole visual of Captain Kirk yelling through the intercom at Scotty - "Mr. Scott, I NEED more power!!!" Oh yeah, I just NEED my husband home and I'm over this already.

It's hard to believe that we have only been on the "boat" for almost a year now. Only two more to go.... Oh joy. Thankfully, I love the ladies that are in the boat with me. They are a warm, welcoming and wonderful group and I feel lucky to have them. Together, I know we will make it through.

But right now, I just want to see my husband's smiling face. I want to feel his arms around me and hear him whisper in my ear. I want to feel him pet my hair as I fall asleep and know that everything is going to be ok. I have to find a way to get my balance, because right now, I feel like the smallest wind could capsize me entirely.

SO, even though you aren't the eng, I am sending out this mental thought to my husband, " Mr. Scott, I need WARP speed like yesterday!!!!! Come home soon......"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm So Tired

of so many things.....
1. I'm tired of being so thrilled by an e-mail because that is all I have.
2. I'm tired of being alone.
3. I'm tired of sleeping alone.
4. I'm tired of raising my children predominantly alone.
5. I'm tired of fixing shit.
6. I'm tired of worrying.
7. I'm tired of too little time having to be enough.
8. I'm tired of feeling guilty because at least I have some time.
9.I'm tired of feeling like I can't really be honest.
10;I'm tired of pretending that everything is ok when it isn't.
11. I'm tired of not knowing who I am.
12. I'm tired of loving someone who is so far away.
13. I'm tired of sounding so emotional and pathetic.
14. I'm tired of feeling like chicken little - just waiting for the sky to fall.
15. I'm tired of living the life of a human yo-yo. The highs are awesome but the lows.... yeah, they suck.
16. I'm tired of my daughters fighting.
17. I'm tired of yelling.
18. I'm tired of moving and of having people I love move.

I really just want my husband to come home and I would really like to have him for more than 7 weeks out of the last 18. Yes, I know this is what my life is ... but every once in a well, I just need to get it out. Once I do, it will pass and somehow I will make this all ok because it has to be. So just bear with me. I promise, the pity party won't last long. In fact, it's already starting to pass. The carpet man is on his way and I'll feel better when my carpet is clean. Clean carpet has the same rejuvenation effect as a new lipstick. Weird, I know....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Censorship is UnAmerican

I hate the idea that if someone doesn't agree with what another person has to say - they run to big sister and "tattle." Get a grip people, geesh, I thought I had gotten over that was I was five. The idea of running and reporting something offensive is almost absurd. I think the only thing that I have ever reported is hate speech or name calling. I mean, as moms, don't we have enough problems and worries without belittling one another? I know I do.

So I was thinking about why some people are so sensitive, so quick to judge, so eager to stamp out anything that is different from their own beliefs. I finally came to the conclusion that the answer is actually quite simple. The fact is that in the league of IDEAS, they simply can't compete. They don't know how to address those that have other opinions and so they simply claim offense. Since they don't have any intelligent argument whatsoever, their goal is simply to "erase" the opposition.

How sad is that? I have to say that I have no problem sharing my opinion with other people - whether they like them or not. Additionally, I may not agree with what another person has to say, but I always try to listen respectfully and to maintain an open mind. Open mindedness is another problem of the thought police. There are no shades of grey for those with the moral imperative - only black and white. They mantra - "You either agree with me or you are wrong." I have news for any that hold that opinion, the world is full of shades of grey, and silencing voices doesn't change that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bereft of Anything Resembling a Social Conscience....

I am a member on a social networking site - Cafemom. I joined because this site was morphed from what used to be a wonderful site for women - Things certainly have changed in the past year that we have been at the new place. I have kept most of my old friends, made many great new friends. While some things change, other things sadly stay the same.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the new site is that it is completely bereft of anything even REMOTELY resembling a social conscience. I'll give you an example. The "team" that runs the site ignored Memorial Day. NOT OK. Then, they had the audacity to have the journal prompt for that day be " What is your child's favorite toy?" Talk about completely inappropriate!

September 11th, the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on our country, the day the whole world changed, was also ignored. I'll give you that a journal prompt was not needed, but some commentary - a brief letter from the team - something - ANYTHING - acknowledging the day. But no. Sadly all we got that day was some survey on mayonnaise. Yeah, you heard me right. Mayonnaise. Way to go "team".....

Then on Halloween, the team changed the logo to reflect the holiday. I was excited. I thought that they were finally getting it. On Voters Day, I was encouraged further by the reminder to vote. Sadly today, those hopes have all been dashed. There was absolutely NO acknowledgement of Veterans Day whatsoever. Now, I grant you that Veterans Day is recognized tomorrow, so something is still possible... But considering - highly unlikely.

Now see if this makes any sense whatsoever to you. They have probably in excess of 9,000 members on this site that are in some way affiliated with the Military - active duty personnel, wives, mothers, grandmothers, girlfriends, etc..... And yet, every holiday like this one is ignored. The very individuals who fight for their right to lack a social conscience - ignored. Honestly it makes me sick. It doesn't even make good business sense pissing off at least 10% of your membership....

So I bet you are wondering why I am sharing this here? Well, the same " team" has made it against their policy for anyone to express an opinion about their policies anywhere on their site but the designated areas. Whatever. I am waiting until tomorrow.... giving them one more opportunity to grow a brain stem and then all hell breaks loose.

I'm breaking out the steel toes - kicking ass and taking names.....

Friday, November 9, 2007

What's Wrong with Hollywood?

Ok so Veterans day is just a few days away and it really has me thinking.... Scary, I know! What is wrong with Hollywood? Why are they so willing to portray the worst in our country? Why are they so willing to portray the worst about our military?

In my father's day, Hollywood actually supported the military and the war effort. That is nearly impossible to imagine now. These days we have movies like Rendition- New Line Cinema will release “Rendition,” in which Reese Witherspoon plays a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is snared by a runaway counterterrorism apparatus. Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in which the bad guys belong to a similar rogue unit, is adapting Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book about the Green Zone in Baghdad, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” for Universal Pictures.Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” focusing on an Army squad that persecutes an Iraqi family, is to be released in December by Magnolia Pictures. And Sony Pictures is developing a film based on the story of Richard A. Clarke, the former national security official and Bush administration critic. The love of anything anti- American in eclipsed only by the love of all things anti - American military.

We have certainly come a long way down. In years past, movie stars and movie studios considered supporting the troops their patriotic duty. They made many wonderful movies like A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day, The Sands of Iwo Jima, Midway, Run Silent, Run Deep and even the Dirty Dozen. Headliners like John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Maureen O'Hara would never be seen saying something that was anti- American. Part of what made them stars was that they were emblematic of all that was best in American society, including the American Military.

For every terrible story about the war, there are just as many good stories. For every story about troops that do something wrong, there are a thousand more about those who are heroes. Yet, only the bad stories are portrayed by the media. We only hear about Haditha - not about how 2 out of 3 Marines that stood accused in this incident have been acquitted. Our media only wants to sell their medium and to do that, a story must be sensational, but sadly, not necessarily true. Is it any wonder, as the family member of an active duty military man, that I want little to no association with most civilians who the media and Hollywood claim to represent? I have no time for America haters... and I guess that means I won't be seeing many movies anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Waiting for You....

Rattling around in our home,
It’s so dark and I’m alone….
Every room holds memories of you,
They aren’t enough to get me through.

I lay awake in our bed,
Dreaming of the days ahead.
Those days that you’ll be here with me,
Where we both want you to be.

I hate to kiss and say “see you tomorrow”
These goodbyes fill me with so much sorrow.
Tomorrow isn’t hours away
How long it will be this time, I can’t say.

It’s hard to live with half my heart,
It’s hard to bear so much time apart.
Despite that, I’m proud as I watch you go,
Just how much, I hope you know.

I watch you as you walk away….
I wish futilely that I could make you stay.
Tears stream silently down my face,
As I memorize your sweet face.

I know that the day will come,
When you will make your way safely home.
When your mission is finally through,
I’ll be right here, waiting for you.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Variety is the Spice of Life...

That is one of my favorite sayings and something that I always tell my family. Sometimes you just have to mix it up, you know? You can't have vanilla every night, sometimes chocolate, rocky road and even pistachio are preferred. Change and variety exposes us to new things and, at the same time, helps us appreciate our tried and true favorites.

What can be said of ice cream can also be said of people, opinions, food spices, religion and just about any other topic. When I tell my eight year old that the world would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things, I mean it. Life would be pretty dull if we all liked dragons, Harry Potter and vanilla..... Sometimes you need that person who likes pistachio to stir things up.

It is the same with opinions. Everybody doesn't see things the same way. We can't. We all have differing points of view because we all have different life experiences that shape the way we think and feel. That's ok because life would be pretty boring if we always agreed. I actually enjoy having friends who have a multitude of varying opinions on everything from politics to religion. I'm a curious person and I love to hear the varying points of view. I think that this helps me grow as a person. It exposes me to more and it challenges me to really test what I believe.

Some people though just don't seem to have any room in their lives for variety. I find that so sad. I mean, people aren't really connected by a single brain. Occasionally even friends have a difference of opinion. If your friendship can't survive that, how much of a friendship was it really?

Friday, November 2, 2007

I Refuse!!!!

I will do a lot for a friend, but there are somethings I just won't do.

1. I Refuse to be talked to like a three year old. I'm an adult and expect to be treated as such.
2. I Refuse to be held accountable for the behaviors of others that I am in no way responsible for.
3. I Refuse to be disrespected and verbally abused. Real friends don't treat one another that way.
4. I Refuse to excuse poor behavior for any reason whatsoever. There is no excuse for abusing a friend
5. I Refuse to be any one's doormat. I overlook a lot of things for the people I love, but that doesn't mean I will take mistreatment laying down. I won't, I can assure you.
6. I Refuse to be used.
7. I Refuse to tolerate gossip.
8. I Refuse to be any one's whipping girl.
9. I Refuse to have anyone define my ideal of what real friendship is. Friends are loyal and kind. Sometimes they reveal a hurtful truth, but always with love. Friendship is not bitter. Friendship is not hurtful for the sake of being hurtful.
1o. I Refuse to forgive and forget because it is expected. Sometimes an apology is not only proper but required in order for wounds to heal.

I'll take a lot for a friend, but these are where I draw the line.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I'm Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Words....

Boy there has been a lot going on in my life lately. I guess the biggest thing is that my best friend is moving. Again. Saying goodbye is going to be really hard this time. I will miss her and the children terribly. But like my husband, hers must go where the Navy calls, and right now that is Georgia. So back to Georgia they go while we remain here in Connecticut.

We were able to trick or treat last night with the children so that was a lot of fun. We have gotten pretty good at taking advantage of the time that we have together. I certainly appreciate her strength and her friendship more than I have probably ever expressed to her.

So last night, I was feeling pretty down and well - befuddled for lack of a better word. I called another friend of mine who I hadn't had a chance to catch up with all week. I have never been sorry to have called her, but last night I was. I don't know what bee she may have had in her bonnet, she never bothered to tell me what was bothering her - at least not specifically. I listened to her complain about others that we know for almost an hour - berating them and their poor treatment of her. Fine, I have no issues with that at all.

Everyone should stick up for themselves and tell it like it is when necessary. Here's the thing though, in my own opinion, I have tried to be understanding and compassionate. I really have. I certainly don't understand her life because I can't. But I try to get what I can of it. I try to be understanding and considerate, and yet last night I felt like I was being lumped in with "others". Why? Well, I guess mainly because I was the one hearing it.

I don't mind having a friend vent. That's what friends were for. But her words were sharp and irritated and when I asked what the point of all of it was - she blew out her breath at me as if I was a first class idiot. Who knows? Maybe I am, because I surely didn't see what the point of all that was except to vent for her and make me feel bad. Especially about things that I don't really have control over or that happened in the past which I already regret.

I need a bubble bath. Calgon take me away.....

I hate to think that this has cost me a friend, especially when I don't really understand what was at the root of it all. ON the other hand, if someone is angry with me, I want them to tell me why they are angry with ME. I'm not a mind reader and I'm not perfect. I make mistakes, I can be selfish. We all are. I will do a lot for my friends, but one thing I won't do, I won't be mistreated.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Will it Really Help?

Whenever my husband leaves, I am filled with anxiety. I stress about my children, my husband's safety, money, the smells of my car, the noises that any normal house makes and every other little thing under the sun. I hate having all these worries and the feeling that they never go away.
Yesterday my garage door opener went on the blink. Apparently when installed it was never lined up properly and now, fixing it, is going to take my step dad and I several hours later today. Why can't shit just work properly? I mean, is that really so much to ask??
I'm tired of being grateful that I am good with a screwdriver. I'd rather just not have these things go wrong in the first place. Sure it will get fixed, but in the meanwhile, it is just going to give me something else to worry about. Now my heat makes a terrible noise every time one of the zones goes on and I hate that. I worry that the machine isn't working right - why do I always feel like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop? I hate feeling like chicken little and that the sky is falling. It's a terrible way to live your life.
A friend of mine suggested keeping an anxiety journal, you know writing down all the things that I am worried about. I somehow suspect that it would get awfully long very quickly. I will try anything if it would mean being about to put some of these worries to rest, but I wonder if it will help?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Gift of ONE MORE DAY....

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way. "
Yes, this morning I am grateful for the most precious of all gifts. The gift of ONE MORE DAY. One more chance to tell the people that I love how I feel about them. I know that there are so many out there that don't have this gift, so I could never justify taking this one for granted.
This morning I got to feel my husbands warm arms around me, feel his heartbeat against mine and whisper in his ear how much I love him. I was able to look into those big brown eyes and tell him how proud I am of him. I know what a precious gift this is. I know if tomorrow never comes I was able to say it ONE LAST TIME....
I am thankful for the ability to wake up my children this morning. I will look into their smiling faces, get their good mornings kisses, and have one more day to tell them how they each are the light of my life. Without my children, I would be nothing more than a shadow wandering hopelessly through life. They are my joy, my inspiration, they are my immortality. This morning I get to tell them how proud I am of them, how much joy they have brought to my life. As I do, I will thnk of those that can't do the same, and I will hug my children all the tighter as I thank the goodness of the universe for just ONE MORE DAY.
Today both my mom and dad are still with me. I still have time to say thank you for all they have given me in my life. I can tell them that I love them and I can listen to all their life stories..... I still have time to absorb their wisdom. I still have ONE MORE DAY.
ONE MORE DAY is the greatest gift that I will ever get, aside from the love of my family. Who do you have that chance for one more day with today? What will you do to make the most of it?
Thank you so much for my chance for one more day....
Godsped ~ Fair winds and a following sea....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Struggling to find my balance.

So here we go again. Husband here. Husband gone. I swear that I am the equivalent of a human yo- yo. I'm so tired of it. I hate the emotional ups and downs. Even worse, this time, departure day coincided with my periods arrival. Nice, huh? I feel like I am emotionally spiraling out of control and I am really struggling to get back some sense of balance. I hate feeling like I'm ok only to have the rug pulled out from under me.

I hate it when my husband leaves. It's like watching teh world go two shades of grey darker only to wait some untold amount of time for the sun to come back. I know that sounds pathetic, but it's how I feel. Yes, I have my life and it goes on when he isn't here, but nothing is the same without him.

Still, trying to focus.

So there are 30 days from today until Thanksgiving. I can't tell you how I am looking forward to Thanksgiving! Every year my daughter and I write a Thanksgiving journal. That's 30 entries - one for each day - of something different that we are thankful for. I hope that trying to approach life with a more grateful heart will help me find the peace of self and balance that I am looking for.

Ok, so today, in another forum I wrote a post about how I was thankful for my husband and all he does for our family. It was a beautiful post but since I am already all teary, I just can't go there again.

Let's think of something else. I am thankful for my beautiful home. As I walk from room to room, it fills me with pride and a sense of security, warmth and happiness. For the past year, my family has filled this home with love and happy memories and I am so grateful for that. I am grateful that my daughters have a home that they can be proud of, that they can be safe.
That's a really important thing to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lighting a Candle

Well, it has been a little while since I last wrote. I have been a little dink, as they say in the Navy, in regard to my blog here. In my defense, life has been nothing short of insane lately. I don't really know why, I have just been feeling the stress. I hate the way that feels.

One thing that has really been the light in the darkness for me lately is volunteering every Friday at my daughter's school. I was asked by the teacher to help the children every Friday with Writer's workshop. What could possibly be better? I read all their stories and then make suggestions for more detail, clarification, and editing that needs done. It fills my heart with joy to see their faces when I walk into the room. The literally light up! Their smiles and their enthusiasm is so contagious!!

I usually work with 6-10 children a week, depending on how much work there is to be done. it's incredible how vibrant their imaginations are!!! Given the same set of words that they must use, and a specific story title, it is awesome how all of their stories are so unique - just like each one of them. Each story that I read reflects a bit of each child - their interests, their abilities, their lives - it's all there in black and white. I can tell you that Nathan likes soccer, The Legend of Zelda, camping and reading while Crystalline likes detective stories, reading, animals and mermaids.

Each child writes a story and then, before they come to me, they have to confer with a student partner in class. This can not always be the same person, so the children literally rotate around the room, working with every other person eventually. To see the constructive way that the work together, build one another up and support each other is truly amazing. We adults could learn alot just from watching the way that our children treat one another. Most of the time it is a beautiful thing.

Last week, one of my little girls was upset because she had so many corrections. Her story was incredible, but many of the words she was using were more complex and the corrections were simple spelling errors. I told her that we all have to learn and that we all make mistakes, it was learning from our mistakes that was important. The smile of joy on her face when I said that was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, and then, the most amazing thing of all happened: she hugged me!!

I felt like the Queen of the World in that moment! I could do no wrong. The elation that these children feel and share just to know that an adult - ANY adult - cares about what they are doing and is interested, well, it is simply humbling. It is amazing how one small act of kindness creates a spark inside another person, which, if you are observant, you can watch blaze into a flame. A few minutes of your time, a few words of love, mean so much in the lives of our children. Most importantly, I know my daughter understands and appreciates what I do. IN her reflection sheet last week she wrote," I am happy because my mother is coming into our classroom today for writers workshop. It makes me and all my classmates happy to see her!" Nothing could be better than that!

So today, create a spark, light the flame in the life of another. Whether that other is your child, a neighbor, a friend or a total stranger - acts of kindness and love are a force of energy which once created, only grow and spread.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Facing the Inevitable

There is only two things that are sure in the military - you will move and you will deploy. Ugh. Right now I am facing the inevitable - again - the loss of a friend. It is so hard to move to a strange place, develop a strong connection with another person only to lose them just a short time later. Yet that is what we do every two and a half years or so. It's the part of the military that I like the least. Rationally I realize that when a friend moves, or I do, it doesn't mean that we are no longer friends, but I still miss that person.
I see other women who have lived in the same area all their lives, had the same friends since grade school, and I experience a pang of regret for what my life could have been. I look at their deep roots and it is one of the rare occasions where I feel envy.
Last night I had to say goodbye to another friend. Or at least it was good bye for now. Submarines are a very small community and often you run into the same people over and over again, sometimes whether you want to or not.
I have a coping mechanism that I call "the Scarlett O'Hara" - you know, I won't dwell on that today but I will think about it tomorrow. Sometimes I put facing up to difficult things for so long that I can't put it off any longer. Today is one of those times. I don't want my friend to move, but I know that it will happen whether I want it to or not.
Thank goodness for e-mail!!!!! I don't know what I would do without the Internet and my blog to help me feel connected. So for now, I say fair winds and following seas, until we meet again....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Words as Weapons

Just two little words - they seemed harmless enough - but they were enough to completely devastate a friend of mine. The words were, when asked if her husband had settled when he married her - his response was, " A little...." Needless to say, she was crushed and rightfully so. It's amazing how just a few little words from the one we love can do so much damage.
The other day, I was asking my husband about the things that he wanted to do before he died. I was asked this question on an Internet group and my answers were, in no particular order: watch my children grow up and graduate from high school and college, be a grandmother someday, go back to Ireland, see Scotland and England, go on a cruise to Alaska, swim with the dolphins, renew my wedding vows, celebrate 25 plus years together and write a book. His answers looked very different. Maybe it's a man thing, but his answers were: be an astronaut, be financially independent, and travel more. Now, is it me? Because upon reflecting on my answers and his, I realize that none of his answers involve me. He doesn't need me to achieve any of the things that he would like to do before he dies and this realization made me sad.
Today my friends pain brought me back to a memory that I wish that I could bury forever, never to see the light of day again. My husband and I were arguing. Yes, for those of you who wonder, we do occasionally do that. We were arguing about the thing that we always argue about - our sex life. Too much information, I know. He said some things that night - things that went straight to my heart and etched themselves there. I know that I will never forget them, no matter how much I want too.
That is what hurtful words do. They carve themselves in the heart of your loved one and they stay there forever. Every time your loved one feels doubt, or fear, those words will always be there. No amount of wishing or apologizing will ever make them heal.
A priest once told me to be careful what I said in anger, because words, once uttered could never be taken back. I am still working on that... sometimes I say things in anger that I regret, but I try to never speak in anger. I try.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Imagining Peace

I was ten years old the day that the music died. John Lennon was walking home from recording Double Fantasy. He wanted to see his son Sean before he went to bed. He was a legend, an icon, a hero, a husband and a father. John Lennon was so many things to so many people.

I grew up on the music of the Beatles and later John Lennon. It started with the happy, carefree tunes of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and matured into the lonely strains of "Eleanor Rigby." The music of Lennon and McCartney changed not just a generation - it changed the world. Literally. Their music was a reflection of the times in which they lived, and yet, they always tried to make the world a better place for every human being. This can especially be seen in Lennon's later solo works of "Give Peace a Chance" and the idyllic "Imagine".

Today, John Lennon would have turned 67 years old, but sadly, 27 years ago he was taken from us by a mad man. Thanks to his music though, his legacy lives on and will live on forever. This year, to commerate his birthday, Yoko Ono is unveiling the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. This tower is a 65-foot-tall wishing well emitting a blue stream of light into the night sky from an island in Reykjavik's harbor, and the structure is engraved with the words "Imagine Peace" in 24 languages. Yoko Ono invites us all to join her and thousands of others by sending your PEACE WISHES to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER for October 9th.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream

A dream you dream together is reality

Yoko Ono

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

John Lennon

To send your wishes:Email: click here.Post: IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, P.O. Box 1009, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland.

It is interesting to note that the Peace Tower stands directly between the United States and the former Soviet Union. It will shine as a beacon to all that Peace is possible if we only let it be.... The tower will stand, along with his music and his dreams, as a permanent testimony of John Lennon's dream for all humanity.

"You may say that I'm a dreamer...

But I'm not the only one.

I hope some day you'll join us,

and the world will live as ONE."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

An Interesting Conversation

Every Saturday morning I spend an hour in the waiting room of the ballet studio as my daughter has her dance class. Yesterday my oldest daughter was not with me, but opted instead to stay at home with her Dad - can't say I blame her. My friend, Aileen, is also a Navy wife and her daughter is in the same ballet class with my youngest. So on Saturday mornings we sit and chat about our lives, our cares and concerns. It's nice.
Yesterday she had her younger brother with her. He was spending the weekend to help her out while her husband is deployed. I know Aileen really appreciates it because she has two small children with number three on the way - it gets to be a lot all on your own. Her brother was very nice and we all had an enjoyable time talking.

So as Aileen and I sat there her brother said, " So this is the wife of a Navy life, you sit around, drink your coffee and complain about your lives..." I realize that this is what a lot of people think, but it isn't really realistic. My life is more like dealing with ice storm Bertha and frozen pipes when my husband calls me from port in Hawaii. There are many aspects of it that just aren't fun.

So far this year, my husband will be gone for a minimum of 200 out of 365 days. I'm not complaining- this is what I signed on for - even though I didn't marry a Navy man. I'm simply explaining. Joe, my friend's brother said, " How do you do that? Isn't marriage hard enough without trying to be married to a guy that's gone all the time? I mean, you take care of everything yourself, you don't have someone there to be a companion and more... How do you do that?"

So I thought about it for a minute and then I said, "It's easy. I do it because the three weeks that I get at a time with my husband is better than years that some people have. I do it because he is my love, my partner, the other half of me. There isn't a single vision that I have for my future that he isn't in... so everything else is just getting there." I really mean that. My husband is ( along with my children) my whole world. I am so proud of what he does, the man he is, his love of country, his willingness to serve and sacrifice. All these things are what make him the only man that I want to grow old with. Anything that might be temporary ease of a momentary situation, well, that just isn't worth our life, our love, our family or our future. It's all about the BIG picture.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


My husband's home and you would think that I would be on the top of the world, right? Well, yes.... and no. I am so happy that he's here but every time he comes home, I do feel a gulf of seperation between us. It isn't anything that either one of us creates, it just exits. I don't know how to fix it. Reintergration sucks. Especially when it is so very temporary.

He wasn't home for five hours before he started talking to me about money. I hate talking about money, mostly because it is never a pleasant conversation. But seriously, after being home five hours? Really?? I mean, it's not like there isn't anything else to talk about. He hasn't even wished me happy birthday yet. I mean, he did over e-mail but seriously, not even I'm sorry I missed your birthday. I don't even want to celebrate now. I'm not doing that to be small, I know it may sound that way, but seriously, the moment has just passed. You know?

I'm just hurt and upset and frustrated.... Today is a birthday party for a friend's little girl. She is one of the wives from my husband's submarine. I would really have liked for him to come with me. He doesn't want to - I get it. After all, he just got home and probably the last thing that he wants to do is go to a birthday party. But honestly? The last thing that I really want to do is go to one more event like this with two kids - ALONE. Frankly that is enough of my life already. Why should I have to do it when he's here?

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Trouble with Expectations

My husband made it home today. It is so wonderful to have him here- no matter for how long. For a while we can all pretend to be a normal family, even though deep down the fact that it's only temporary is with us all.
Sometimes when he comes home things feel weird for a while. It' s like so much has happened in my life and while I can tell him, it isn't the same as living it together. It's even worse with his life because there are some things that he just can't share. Sometimes it's like being in love with a familiar stranger.
My friends who know me know that I am a huge planner and control freak. It can't be helped so I embrace my inner control freak. I plan out everything and when I can't, I imagine in great detail how things will happen. I can see the smile on his face, hear his voice when he tells me how beautiful I am, the way my stomach will be full of butterflies as I drive to the base to pick him up and oh so many other sensations and emotions. The one really down side to all this planning? The let down you deal with when things don't' go as you have imagined it will.
I really have to try and let go of all the expectations and just live in the moment more.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Ton of Bricks

Recently, I was asked by a friend if I could go back in time and change something about my life ( without it impacting my life now) what would I change? I choose to erase my first marriage. Anyone who knew me then and knows me now wouldn't really be surprised by that decision. In my heart, I truly believe that going through with that sham of a marriage the first time was a total disaster for everyone concerned. I never loved him, in my heart, and I know that no true marriage ever took place. Since then, that date has been erased, but I wish that I could erase it from my memory too.

My husband now, my marriage now, are everything to me. I love my husband with all my heart, I never thought it was possible to love another human being that wasn't your child as much as I love him.

My friends that have known me a long time, know that prior to my disasterous first marriage, I was in a horribly abusive relationship for almost six years. Looking back on my friends question, I ask myself why I didn't choose to erase those years. Wrapping my head around why I didn't make that choice, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. I guess, deep down, I have some ownership of those years. I was there, I chose to stay. In my heart then, I truly believed that I loved that boy. I believed that if I just loved him enough, was constant enough, that he would change. I know now that no matter how much you might think you love someone, you can't make them change. They have to do that themselves.

You'd think if I could go back and erase part of my life, I would go back and erase getting thrown through a window. Or being offered to his friend as a birthday present. But I didn't. I have some ownership of that. I also learned a lot from it. I learned what love is and what is isn't.

True love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. True love never dies.

Anything less than that isn't love at all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Like LIghtning from the Blue....

As anyone that is reading these posts knows, Saturday was my birthday. As already stated, it wasn't much of a birthday with my husband not here, but we struggled through. I found out that my brother in law filed for divorce. I was really upset about that - worried about my sister and my nephews. My dad is out there visiting them right now and I was worried about him too. I knew what stress the word of a divorce would put him under and since he is an 84 year old cancer survivor with one kidney, congenital heart failure and diabetes, I was concerned.
Yesterday I received word that my fathers worst fear had been realized. Monday night my sister took my father to the emergency room - he has had a stroke. None of this happened because of anything to do with the divorce - he still doesn't know - it was just something that was waiting to happen I guess. My Dad is devastated. He has been talking medication to thin his blood for years to prevent this from ever happening. This is his worst fear - realized. He is having difficulty getting around, feeding himself and just doing the every day average things. He is still able to communicate, but not very effectively.
Rehabilitation is going to be required and I still have no idea how long he is going to be in Phoenix. Worse, I don't know what I can do to help him. I haven't even been able to get word to my husband. This is something that I can't send on an e-mail, there is a special manner for communicating something like this and without more details, I don't want to alarm him.
I just feel really helpless and I hate that. There is nothing worse in this world for a control freak than to realize that you have no control - really - over anything. I hate being so helpless while someone that I love suffers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Cure All...

So it seems like every family has that "one thing" that they think is a cure for everything! Ever see that movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? I love that movie, it's hysterically funny! If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. Anyhow, in the movie the main characters name is Tula, and Tula's father has a cure all. He believes that Windex will fix everything from sore throats and skin ailments to laundry stains.

In my family, the cure all is a baking soda paste. You know, mix baking soda and water - make it into a glue-y paste and then put it on whatever ails you. No, I haven't tried it on my laundry stains, but maybe I should.... At any rate, I made a baking soda paste last night. Wouldn't you know, my bump is gone this morning. At least 90% of it. My breast no longer looks like some sort of Martian anomaly.

I called my doctor and got an appointment anyway - for next week. When I was on the phone with him he said that acne there is quite common in pre- menopausal women. Something about our hormones and breast consistency changing. Great. That is just one more thing that the older women in our lives should tell us, but never do.

Some other things that the older women in my life should have mentioned:
1. if your period doesn't bother you when you are young, it will get increasingly worse with each child that you birth. If you have painful periods when you are young, the reverse is also true.
2. You know how people say about your children whatever you get the first time, you will get the opposite of with your second child? Believe it - it really is true!
3. You will kiss a lot of frogs in your life and you may never find a prince.
4. You don't need a man to do it for you. And if you do, you can pay one... you don't have to marry him.
5. 80% of men are only good for one thing, and some aren't even good for that.

My grandmothers favorite saying, " All men are the same, only their faces are different." Anyhow, the point of this mornings post is that sometimes that age old wisdom really is valid. Thank you mom for teaching me to put baking soda paste on everything. Wish you would have mentioned that our breasts change as we get older. Yuck. Isn't it bad enough I can already walk around with the television clicker underneath them. Now this?

Monday, October 1, 2007


OK, so I found another lump on my breast. A "bite" if you will. Problem is - it's the OTHER breast. I don't think a spider bit both of my breasts a month and a half apart. This one is really big too, like having a second nipple. Sorry, I know that's gross, but it's the truth. It's really scary.
So when I went to the doctor last time, he assured me that my breasts were fine. I mean, he examined them thoroughly for over 45 minutes. He announced that nothing was wrong and that my breasts were FABULOUS. Well, I know, but that doesn't mean I want my 65 year old gynecologist commenting on it in quite that way. I think it is time for a new doctor.
I was thinking of going to a skin doctor this time since neither my general practioner or my gyno think anything is wrong. The thing is - I'm losing my hair. By the fistfulls - seriously.Everytime I take a bath I clog the drain. And now this....

This is one of those times that I really just wish that my husband were here so that he could put his arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be ok. He pets my hair and somehow that always makes everything ok. Why is there a lump on my areola? Why is my hair falling out? Why do I have to wait a FUCKING week to find out? Sorry, I'm just scared....

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Feeling Nostalgic...

I guess that birthdays do that. Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of my 29th birthday, or in other words, the 37th anniversary of the day that I was born. Weird. Sometimes I feel like I am not a day over 18 and other times I feel every single minute of every single year since I have been born.
Yesterday was a beautiful day - the sun was shining and the weather here has finally started to cool. (Hello? It IS Fall!) My daughters were wonderful - my oldest even made me some double chocolate muffins all by herself. My best friend sent me some wonderful chocolate covered strawberries and I was able to get some time to myself. Still, in spite of all this, the day was not quite all it could be. You see, the person that I most like to celebrate and share the joys of my life with, just couldn't be here yesterday.
I felt his absence yesterday as I do everyday - like a hole that I just can't fill. I wander around our home from room to room, and if I think about him very hard, I can almost see him here. Memories and dreams of him fill every room. But on special days, dreams and memories make sad companions.
Still, there is one memory - of another birthday 10 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was turning 27 and our love was fresh and new. We were still in that awkward stage with one another, where we were still unsure - not of our love - but of how to proceed. My mom lived 2 hours away that year and we decided to go and spend my birthday with her. I love to drive with him in the car. We talk about everything or nothing. He holds my hand. The smile he gives me that tells me he can't wait for us to get there already just makes my heart melt and my knees get weak.
My mom lived in Melbourne, FL. It was a wonderful trip. I love the beach and she lived close enough to walk. We spent a large portion of the weekend at the beach. He would draw dolphins and planets in the sand for me, and we would lay on our backs and try to count all the stars. I hated for the weekend to end, but it finally did. Back to work and the real world.
Still, we stopped at a hotel on our way home - for just one more night together before the real world came crashing back in. He hadn't given me my birthday present yet. That night, he shyly presented me with a little bag, sweetly wrapped. Inside was the most precious little owl that I had ever seen. (The owl is symbolic because it is our college's mascot, so I collect owls) It was sweet because this particular owl had been retired and I knew that it had cost him some money. I also knew how he had really tried all weekend and with the owl to make sure that my birthday was special, because he loved me.
There are many days that I celebrate with my children while my husband is gone, but most of the time, my heart just isn't in it. I know that I am lucky I will have the opportunity to celebrate when he does return, but sometimes I wish that our lives weren't always - celebrate when we can and not necessarily when we should. But that is life and it's our life. A birthday is an arbitrary date - the chance to celebrate it at any time with the one you love the most - that is what is important.
Today I think of that birthday long ago and all the happy memories since and I look forward to the time when I will celebrate again....

Friday, September 28, 2007

What's in a Name?

Everything, of course! The name determines the spirit, the very nature of the thing itself. So, some people have asked me about the name for my new blog here. Why Snowflake submerged?
Well, I'm Snowflake. That isn't my real name of course, but it has been my moniker, my online alias if you will, for over three years now. My husband gave me the name Snowflake. It's because I love the winter and I love the snow - usually. My Robert says that I am like a Snowflake because I am beautiful and unique. There will never be another one of me. I love it that he gave me such a special name and I use it because he gave it to me. He also calls me girlfriend, but that is more of an endearment just between us.
The submerged part of the name seems obvious. Yes, it has to do with my husband being a submariner, but it is also representative of so many other things. There are times in my life where I do feel overwhelmed, where I do feel the waves closing over my head, you know? What am I submerged under? Laundry, for one. The insanity that comes with two little girls and all that goes along with being a stay at home mom.
Don't get me wrong, I love my life and wouldn't have it any other way... but still, Snowflake Submerged fits.

They Don't Know Me At All.....

You know, it's funny, but after 2 1/2 - 3 years of knowing someone, you'd think that they'd have some insight into who you are. I have a group of friends, online mostly, and it becomes more evident everyday that most of them don't have the slightest inkling into who I really am. It's sort of sad really.
Just yesterday, I heard that I shared my feelings in writing because another friend "put me up to it." I have to tell you, that is the funniest thing that I had heard in a really long time. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I do things because I think I should, because it is something that it important to me. No one makes me do anything that I don't want to.
A long time ago, when I was in Catholic school, one of the nuns there told me that my mouth was going to get me into trouble. She was right. I have always been opinionated - at least about the things that matter to me. As far as I know, I have never been afraid to speak out about those things that I felt needed to be addressed - even if my own views weren't "popular". To sit quietly has never been my way. I would never want it to be my way.
I have a brain and God gave me the ability to think for myself, reason through all the information, form an opinion, and above all - articulate it. That's what I do. Talking and in some cases writing is critical to who I am. I try to use my voice to help others. Sometimes I use it for myself, but I can say that I have NEVER used it because someone else told me to. The very idea of that is laughable.
For those that don't know me, and those that think they do - this is who I am.
I am:
a mother
a friend
at least quasi- intelligent
an advocate
a rebel
a proud American

Some people love me. Some people don't. But love me or not, this is who I am.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why I Love Heroes

You know, there is just so much to love about the show Heroes. Not the least of which is all the eye candy. As you may have guessed, Peter Petrelli is my favorite. More on that later....
I love that the show is so unpredictable. I love how, like a good Dickens novel, the writers take seemingly random events and people, and connect them all into an intricately wound story. I love that this show consistantly exceeds my expectations.
One of my favorite aspects of the show is the comparion and contrast of the characters of Peter Petrelli and Sylar. ( Side note, I love the actor that plays Skylar and think he is just AMAZING!) Peter and Sylar and both incredibly powerful. Both of them are able to absorb the powers of others that they have come into contact, but it is the manner in which they absorb these powers that is most interesting.
Sylar wanted to be extraordinary. Ridiculed as a child by his mother that he could be so much more, he was disappointed when his only power appeared to be really keen hearing. But then, we notice Sylar's ability to ascertain what makes thinks work - what makes them "tick". It doesn't take long for Sylar to discover that if he ingests the brains of another "hero" he absorbs their power. Sylar becomes more powerful by killing - mercilessly.
Peter on the other hand is a nurse for a dying man when we first meet him. Peter thinks that he can fly, but soon discovers that he can't. Peter's real power lies in the ability to use his feelings - his empathy and love for his fellow human being. Through this empathetic ability, Peter is able to absorb the powers of the heroes around him just by thinking about them. Peter is powerful because of his ability to love.
At the end of season one, I thought they both were dead- Peter and Sylar. But with Peter back, can Sylar be far behind? I am anxious to see what else season 2 has in store.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Have My Hands Full This Time Around....

I have two beautiful daughters. They are alike in so many ways and yet, also very different. Rationally I know that being siblings doesn't make them carbon copies of one another, but they are just so drastically different. I love each of my daughters and they both have their own talents and their own beauty, but sometimes the differences can be challenging.

Both of my daughters love to learn and soak up everything - literally everything - around them. My eldest though has always been very eager to demonstrate everything she knows. She knew her ABC's by 2, could sing the Star Spangled Banner by the same age, loved to write and could clearly write her name by 3.

My youngest is a whole different story. My Emily, she does everything in her own way and on her own terms. Usually this is something that I encourage and admire, but it makes some aspects of being her mother very difficult. Unlike my oldest, she doesn't like to demonstrate what she knows, so sometimes figuring out the depths of her understanding is difficult. She loves to color and play school, but writing? She could take or leave it. She knows how to spell her name and yet refuses to recognize it at school - even when asked. Maybe especially when asked.

I know my daughter is smart - maybe too smart for her own good, if you know what I mean. I wish she were a little more malleable and a lot less stubborn, but then I realize that would be asking her to be other than she is. I love her for all that makes her a unique human being, I just hope that I am up to the challenge of being her mom and giving her all the things that she needs to make a success out of her life. Sometimes being a mom is really scary....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just Goes to Show...

You never know what you are truly capable of until you try! Yep, yesterday I was telling the story of the refrigerator debacle. As I shared, I thought fixing it was beyond even my capabilities. I know what is wrong with the thing, which is always 9/10th's of fixing anything. So anyhow, I unplugged it yesterday, defrosted it and got out my trusty screwdriver. I opened up the entire back panel of the refrigerator - no small task, let me tell you.
I was able to get all the ice out and reconnect everything. When I replugged it all - the horrible whirring noise had stopped, so we will see what happens.
I realized how much I actually do use that refrigerator. Well, not the fridge quite as much as the freezer. My side by side upstairs is small and just doesn't hold much freezer wise. Plus, the way my girls drink milk, without the refrigerator downstairs, I would be running to the grocery store every other day and who the hell needs that?? Hopefully this will do it.
I seriously think that my husband needs to up my monthly allotment to include all this repair time.....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Can Do Alot With A Screwdriver... but Even I Have My Limits

I'm a Navy wife - hence the title of the blog. I'm Snowflake and my husband is currently submerged. Well, Murphy's law has once again proved to be true in the case of this Navy wife. Our version of Murphy's is " Whatever can go wrong, WILL, while they are deployed." Seriously though, this underway hasn't been as chaotic as some.

Even so, in only one weeks time I have had to take apart and rebuild my vacuum cleaner, change the belt ( no biggie...), fix my thermostat on my air conditioning ( which sadly in September I still need...) change the filter on the a/c, fix the breaker for my washer and dryer and now the spare refrigerator that I keep in my basement has decided to go on the fritz too.

The refrigerator always has been a piece of shit since the day we bought it. It looks nice and it certainly wasn't cheap (are they ever?) but we've had our problems since day one. So, the other day, I notice that it is frosting up. It shouldn't be. So I turn down the settings ( or rather up, depending on how you are looking at it) check to make sure that the intact isn't blocked adn I defrost the thing.

It continues to build up frost. So, a day or so ago, I moved my food. Good thing because today the machine is making a noise like a car that just won't turn over. I have unplugged it and I am attempting to defrost the thing... and as good as I am with a screwdriver, even I have my limitations. This is why I married an engineer! To bad he's under the damn Atlantic!