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This is what success looks like. It’s not pretty or polished, like some people may think. It’s day to day life. This morning my kids are fed and dressed. The livingroom may have a few items out, but it’s not dirty. My blue eyes is happily building himself a house in the corner. Snow White is potty training, and doing really well. My littlest bug is comfy in his chair enjoying a bottle. Our newest edition (a puppy) is taking a time out in the kennel, while our older dog is lying around. (Sadly blackjack passed right before the holidays.)

Lunch is cooling on the table. There is the rumble of dishes in the dishwasher and the washer is chiming that it’s done. Yesterday’s clothes are in the bathroom still and the kids desperately need a nap. But this is success. Beautiful, messy, unpolished success.

How can I say that with everything half finished? Because I gave today 100% of what I have. I took care of my beautiful babies.

It’s no secret that I’m not the best housekeeper. But that’s okay. I work the best I can and do what I can to make my home comfortable. The walls are filled with laughter, and the messes pile up. But that’s what living looks like. And that to me is success.

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Guest Blogger: 10 Ways Being a MilSpouse is Like Skydiving For the First Time

Guest Blogger: Jill Pohl

Guest Blogger: Jill Pohl Milspouse Life

10 Ways Being a MilSpouse is Like Skydiving For the First Time

Jill Pohl

The first time I went skydiving was on my 27th birthday. I was young, not sure what I had gotten myself into, and simultaneously excited and nervous. Sounds like getting married to a military man, right? Looking back, that day was filled with so many emotions and experiences, that I can’t help but see the similarities between that 7 hour period and the 5 years (so far) I have been married to my Air Force husband:

1) Everyone else who has already done it has advice for you, but you know that no amount of advice can fully prepare you.

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People always have something to say about marriage. You may have heard something truly inspirational, and retained it. You may have heard something truly inspirational, and forgotten it. Either way, people love to provide unsolicited advice, and whether its good or not, made you upset or made you excited, you took it all with a grain of salt. No marriage is alike, and as much as people try to categorize and stereotype military marriages, they are particularly dissimilar. We all move to different places, respond uniquely to military challenges, and interact differently with our service members. That’s what makes military marriage such an adventure.

2) People keep asking you if you’re scared.

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All the way up to the day I left to jump, people asked me this question. Every time I talk about my husband deploying, people ask me this question. It doesn’t help anything. It just makes you think, “Well I wasn’t. But now, should I be?” This won’t change the fact that we will all probably hear it all our lives.

3) You’ve got a lot of equipment, and you’re not sure you know what to do with it.

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As military spouses, we try and try to prepare. We equip our families mentally and physically: we make sure our spouses have their uniforms ready to go and all the equipment they need (even though we don’t always know what it does). We give them pep talks just as much as they give us pep talks. But oftentimes, none of us really know if there’s weight behind our words. Will it really “all be okay?” Are you really going to feel “just fine?” Maybe not. But we prepare, we say what we need to say to provide encouragement, and that’s all we can do. Even if we don’t fully know what’s going on and if we have everything we need for the next adventure, we just keep truckin’ on.

4) There’s a seemingly endless amount of “hurry up and wait.”

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“Hurry up and wait” is also practically a military motto. We’ve all heard our service member say it to describe a day at work. We’ve all felt it when making calls to Tricare, finding out about an impending PCS move, or trying to move any kind of paperwork through the bureaucracy on base. It’s part of our lives.

5) Right before you take the jump, you realize that you have no idea why you decided to do it.

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After discussing so many times with my service member what military life would ask of us, I truly did wonder, why was I still doing this? It was love, of course, but couldn’t I have fallen in love with someone whose life was a little less, well, unsettled? Why did I even let myself fall in love with someone whose career asked so much of us both? Why did I think it would all be okay, when it has already been so hard? We’ve all asked ourselves these questions, especially in the hardest moments. And even though we know the answer, it doesn’t mean we don’t still ask.

6) As you get ready to go, someone tells you you’re jumping out of the plane doing a barrel roll, or throws some other kind of curveball.

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We all know that we can plan all we want and something still will go against all of our prep work. You think your spouse is going to deploy in August, and all of a sudden you find out that something got messed up with the paperwork, and he’ll have to go later. You’d already been prepared. Or you find out you’re pregnant, and your spouse is going to Squadron Officer School right around your due date. It’s the military. It happens.

7) Sitting in your partner’s lap, you realize how important they are to you. Your lives are in one another’s hands.

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With your military spouse, you go through so much together, how could you not value one another so tremendously? Maybe you’ve only been married for 5 years, like myself, but so much has happened that you are even closer than most longer-married couples.

8) By the time the parachute deploys, you think you’ve gotten through the worst of it. Then you throw up.

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Okay, so my military marriage has never made me throw up. But that parachute deploying, that moment of relief, comes in any military marriage, multiple times. Your service member is back from deployment, or a very long stint at a training program. Finally, he’s home and you have a partner again.

Until you realize that it’s not all better. He’s tired, and not in a great mood. You both aren’t used to having each other around. You argue over small things. You’ll get back into the groove, but let’s be honest, it takes a while.

9) There’s a free fall that feels like it will never end. When the free fall does end, you realize it wasn’t so bad.

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As a milspouse, deployments, moves, finding a new job or new school, all feel daunting. When you come out on the other side, you realize it usually (though there are always exceptions) wasn’t as awful as you’d expected. Sometimes the anticipation really is worse.

10) You may not land on your feet, but you land, your partner’s with you, and you both have huge smiles on your faces as you high-five one another.

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Do I need to explain this one? It feels great to jump. And it feels great to be married to someone who you take big risks with all the time, because at the end of the day, you’re together and you’re happy.

Citation:

“Lemons” photo credit: Alyssa & Colin via photopin cc
“Scared” photo credit: Christopher Cotrell
“In the waiting line” photo credit: fly
“Don’t Panic Don’t Panic” photo credit: Barbara Abate
“Emma looks surprised” photo credit: the Jbird
“Trust” photo credit: purplejavatroll
“Dizzy” photo credit: THX0477
“Helena (#90268)” photo credit: Mark J. Sebastian

not all who wander are lost…

not all who wander are lost

My baby girl is a full time walker now. Having two kids who are full time walkers is exhausting, but the world as they see it, is so big and wide and wonderful. I can’t help but wish I could be that small again, just to see the world the way they do.
Believe it or not, that is my garden my little snow white is exploring. It’s grown so tall with plants and weeds that it looks like a jungle to her little eyes. She loves to wander around in there, touching flowers, playing with the hose, and seeing the giant zucchini that come from there. Blue Eyes used to be the same way… but while Snow White toddles around, Blue Eyes is busy in his little cozy coupe, pretending to be a race car.

My sweet babies aren’t so little. And while it’s easy for us to get caught up in the world of PCS-ing, moments like this remind me that as long as we are together, who cares about the upcoming stress of moving. These little moments are the life lessons I need to be reminded of. So while I’m stressing out, this adorable little girl is finding the true meaning of life.

PCSing here we come…

Hubby’s time for orders snuck up on us. Don’t get me wrong, we were counting down days until we looked at new orders. I waited patiently as the time counted down to see where our fate would lie. But still, it sneaks up on you. One day you are waiting for the chance to even look, and the next thing you know, you put in for orders and you sit and wait to hear back. I’m really impressed with my hubby’s detailer. He was quick to respond to questions about the orders. He was really friendly and understood why we wanted out of CA. Blue Eyes asthma seems to get worse every year we are here. He was nothing at all like my experiences with a detailer.

Then then we waited, until all of a sudden hubby heard from a sponsor. We have a sponsor! That means he has orders and a date to arrive. It took us a while to track down his orders, but they are two months sooner than we had originally planned. So now the confusion and panic have begun. BIL needs to find a place to rent/buy. We have to figure out what we are keeping, living for BIL, or selling. I have to go through the kids clothes since we will be getting there in winter. Coats and rain boots will be a must. Especially since even Snow White will be walking any day now. I have to gather puppy records and make sure they are up to date on their shots. And so much more! There is so much involved in a military move.

It’s also time to get the house ready to sell. We’ve been working on getting rid of the weird colors for a long time, but it hasn’t been consistent or very fast. Looks like I’ll be getting a babysitter for a day or two and knock out every room so we can get the new flooring estimated and planned.

For some reason this move is different than most. I’m nervous this time. Maybe because it’s the first time hubby and I have moved together, maybe it’s because we have kids now not just the pups. Maybe it’s because we are planning on living on base… whatever is making me nervous this time, I’m hoping my heart will stop racing soon.

Navy Acronyms:

PCS -Permanent Change of Station
Detailer -Person responsible for give new orders.
Sponser -Someone from your new command who will help you in the checking in process.

Trying Home Remedies, Oil Pulling

We’ve all heard of the weird home remedies… hell we’ve all probably tried a dozen or so and are to ashamed to admit it.
That’s how I feel about this weird thing I just heard about.

Oil Pulling.

Sounds like somebody’s idea a sick joke. Let’s see how many poor ignorant dopes we can get to put some type of organic oil in their mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out. I’ll admit, the first couple times I saw it, I laughed at the idea. But then curiosity got the best of me. What is this new craze?

If you don’t know by now, I do as much research as I can. And if I’m not happy with that, I start asking around. I found a all natural mom’s group in my area and asked a few of them about it. They all swear by it. I got claims of healthier teeth, pinker gums, better skin, less migraines. You name it. So I thought I’d give it a try. Can’t hurt for a couple weeks right?

Day 1: Felt no different. In fact, the Olive Oil really didn’t look any different either
Day 2: The same
Day 3: I notice my skin is actually breaking out. Sometimes we have breakouts as the crap is being pulled out of our skin, so Maybe I’ll keep trying.

Day 4: Okay, now I have to admit. I’m not normally a drinker, but the night before, I had more than a glass of wine. Not enough to be considered drunk drunk, but enough that I was feeling icky the next day. So I tried Oil Pulling again…. Can I just say, ew!
The olive oil was thick and cloudy looking. It was no longer a liquid, but a thick bile looking thing. And then I decided, maybe there is something to this home remedy after all.

Day 5: That’s okay. And while I didn’t notice anything more than the first couple days, my teeth feel slick. Like they do after the dentist. My skin is still blotched up, but it’s not so bad that I want to run and hide. I’ll try to get some pictures before I post this, but I think I’m going to stick it out. We’ll see what happens the next couple days.

My Dear Best Friend

Ted Ted sitting beside Blue Eyes to watch a movie

Ted Ted sitting beside Blue Eyes to watch a movie

My Dear Best Friend,

Someday, the night won’t be so scary. I won’t dread the lights being turned off, or of facing it alone. Thank you for seeing me through those first scary nights. Someday, I won’t take you everywhere. If you are forgotten in my world of imagination, just know that you helped me create it. Someday, I’ll stop sharing my food with your sweet stuffed face. But for now, we share every snack and every drink. You taught me how to share.

Someday, I’ll stop dragging you through the mud. But for now, let’s squish some more. Someday, I won’t sneak you into the shower when mommy’s back is turned. You helped me learn that bath time is a lot of fun. Someday, the washing machine won’t be the end of the world. I won’t stand crying as you spin the excess water away. I won’t turn the dryer off a hundred times, trying to get to you sooner. But don’t think I stopped loving you.

Someday, I’ll stop carrying you everywhere I go. But for now, your soft plush gives me the confidence I need in new places. You make mommy and daddy being gone, okay. Someday, I will leave home without you. You gave me the courage to face the world outside my home. Someday, I will explore the world on my own. You were my first adventure partner. I won’t forget the games we played.

Someday, I will be big and strong. But you showed me that it’s okay to be soft on the inside. Someday, I’ll have a family of my own. You were my first practice as I copied mommy and daddy. Someday, my little ones will have a best friend too. I won’t try to stop it. I know how precious your first best friend can be.

I love you, Ted Ted. I always will.
Blue Eyes

(Written by mommy after watching Blue Eyes and Ted Ted play)

Rainy Day Fun!

Believe it or not, we have actually been getting rain! Rain! I have always been a rain lover, but around here it’s a rare thing. The only problem I’ve seen with the rain, is that sometimes the kids feel a little cooped up. I don’t mind them splashing around in the mud, but I can’t always supervise. So today, we thought we’d have a little rainy day fun indoors.

My kiddos are getting super big, but this is the perfect age for a little messy fun. This is the best part about being a mom.

Finger Paints!

Finger Paints!


My serious little painter

My serious little painter


Of course we had to taste the paint

Of course we had to taste the paint


I have to thank Gunny’s Sandwich shop for the amazing roll of paper. They were willing to order an extra one so that we could have a roll.

I think Snow White ate Dog Food… and Ted Ted gets a bath

You heard my right, I think my little Snow White ate dog food. Blue eyes was “training” the dogs today. He tells them to sit and then gives them pieces of dog food. It’s super cute and the dogs are really patient with him, but it usually leaves a mess. I thought I got all the pieces up, but I just saw Snow White spit a piece out. Don’t all kids at some point? I know we were worried for a while that Blue Eyes thought he was a dog… and they’ve both gotten their hands on dirt. So I shouldn’t be surprised that Snow White had to try the dog food.

It seems like she shouldn’t be getting so big so fast. Take your eyes off of her for a moment and she’s crawled off somewhere, normally my room where there are big double mirrors. Blue Eyes loves to play in the dirt, so I’m just waiting for the day I see both of them covered in head to toe dirt. What’s funny though is that for someone who likes dirt, Blue Eyes freaks if his hand or feet are dirty. And then we end up with yet another bath. This last week I made him put Ted Ted outside of the shower while he went to play. I heard Snow White crying and went to check on her, only to come back and find Ted Ted in the shower with Blue Eyes. Since Ted Ted was already wet, I let him play. I watched Blue Eyes carefully soap up Ted Ted and then rinse him off. He sat Ted Ted on the ground and sat next to him, giving him a rubber ducky to play with. Yes, Ted Ted has become my little boy’s beloved friend. After the shower was over, he even stopped carefully to try to dry Ted Ted off, and was heartbroken when daddy had to put Ted Ted in the dryer.

Taking care of Ted Ted

Taking care of Ted Ted

I often find Blue Eyes copying mommy taking care of “Sissy” with his friend Ted Ted. That little brown teddy bear is helping him understand how to take care of someone and to help someone who needs it. Some day Ted Ted will stop going places with Blue Eyes, but for now, it’s so sweet to watch him take care of his friend.

Dear Snow White

My beautiful Snow White

My beautiful Snow White

My dear sweet Snow White,
You have no idea the joy you bring to my life. I love you and your brother so much. Right now you are busy exploring the world. I have to admit, you have already developed mommy’s temper. It’s not a bad thing, you may get angry easily, but you forgive and forget easily too. Learning how to walk has definitely brought your little temper out. Sometimes your daddy and I just have to laugh at how cute you look when you get angry (don’t worry, daddy laughs at mommy’s temper too).

Sweetheart, right now you are fascinated with music. If you hear it you have to crawl over and find out where it’s coming from. Mommy and daddy hope you will always love music, and we will do our best to let you hear all kinds of music. You do love the classical piano music, which makes mommy happy. Some day mommy will introduce you to the wonderful world of musicals and operas. We will put on our fanciest dresses and have a day out. Sometimes mommy will take Blue Eyes as well so that you can both can learn about the beauty of well composed music.

Mommy is so excited that someday we will play dress up and tea party. We’ll twirl around in dresses until you laugh. Baby girl, mommy wants you to know that if you don’t like dresses, that’s okay too. There is a time to dress up and look pretty, and there is a time when you will need to get dirty. Mommy hopes that you will learn how to be a strong woman who isn’t afraid of a little hard work, but that you will also know how to be a lady and treat people with respect. My love, you can keep your hair as long or as short as you want. Daddy and I argue about it now, but mommy will never make you wear your hair how you hate it.

There are so many things mommy hopes you learn. I want you to learn to be kind to all people, even if they are not kind to you. I also hope that you learn how to stand up for yourself and for people who are not able to stick up for themselves. I want you to learn how to appreciate beautiful things, but also how to make beautiful things as well. And most of all, I want you to learn how beautiful and how much value you really have. I want you to learn that you are a person of worth and that nobody can take that from you ever. I hope you teach others how to value themselves and how to love who you are. I also pray that you will pick someone who appreciates and treats you like you are a person of value. I know you will chose who you love and marry, but mommy wants you to learn to pick someone who treats you like you are the most important thing in the world. You deserve the best, my beautiful little girl.

Mommy knows you will have struggles. Mommy knows how hard it is to be a girl in a world that values the superficial. Mommy knows that you will have to learn how to stand up for yourself, and that mommy can only teach you so much. But my beautiful Snow White, I know you will have your daddy and mommy to love and support you. Mommy wants you to know that daddy loves you so very much. Sometimes he gets scared at raising a girl in todays world, but if you could see the way he looks at you, you would know you will always be daddy’s little girl.

I know you will fight with your brother sometimes. But mommy and daddy hope you will realize that you are here for each other. I hope you will stand up for your brother and he will stand up for you. He really loves you even if he pushes you down sometimes. Every night Blue Eyes has to help mommy put you to sleep. He lets you play with his teddy and sometimes he will let you hold on to his blankie when your tired. That’s very special my love. Your brother doesn’t share with most people.

Baby girl, I love you so much.
Mommy

Crochet Creations…

I’ve been working my fingers to the bone lately. Why? Because I love to crochet, and I’ve gotten some amazing projects lately. There’s a couple that I’m dying to show you, but since I made them as a pattern tester for designers, I need to wait until they have been released. But believe me, I’ll share them when I can! In the meantime, here are a couple of my cute little projects. 🙂

Elephant at

Elephant at

Charmed by Ewe's hat.

Charmed by Ewe’s hat.

Mommy version of Charmed by Ewe's pattern

Mommy version of Charmed by Ewe’s pattern

Teddy Bear Hood

Teddy Bear Hood

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