Staying behind

By , October 23, 2010 12:26 am

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

If I had a choice between being the deployed soldier or the stay behind spouse, I’d choose the soldier and not because I am a soldier.  Staying behind is so much harder.  You can argue with me about dodging bullets and enduring extreme heat, but I’m telling you, being the stay behind stinks.

Not only are you worrying about your spouse dodging bullets and enduring the extreme heat, but you’re playing the single parent, organizing the budget for two peeps on either sides of the world, assuming all the household duties of a team, and trying to hold down your own job.  I’ve alluded to these difficulties when I wrote about my civilian spouse

Then I had to play the part.  Haus took a last minute trip to Nevada for his job and I’ve been playing the stay behind all week.

Did I mention, I stink at playing the stay behind?  Day one was awful.  Kids decided not to nap.  I had to beg one of my friends to loan me their sweet 12-year-old as a sitter so I could teach my Bradley class.  Ugh. Second day was O.K. except for trying to start the truck and realizing the kiddos were playing with the lights… yep, dead battery.  Found out who my nice neighbors were after pleading for jumper cables and a running car.  At some point in the week, Zeke decided he not only despised resting his eyes during the day, but wouldn’t do it until he’d screamed his head off for 55 minutes on average.  I think I was on the fourth day of this screaming fit when I called and complained a little to Haus.

Guess it’s payback for all those deployments, right? he joked.

Ouch.  Double ouch.  Could I really complain about five whole days alone with my kids and house and dog when he’d done everything for months at a time?  How about all of my field time prior to the deployments or even my recent National Guard drill requirements?  Eeekkk.  I laughed half-heartedly and shut my mouth after his comment.

I tell you all of this for two reasons.  One, Haus is probably going to have to go back to Nevada in the near future so please pray for my sanity and my children.  Poor little dudes will have to put up with me and no daddy back-up.

Two, military spouses are the most selfless people I know.  Incredible.  Inspiring.  I could go on and on about the men and women that support their military heroes with little to no recognition.  I tell you all of that because I have to say thank you.  You know who you are and if you are reading this and you’ve ever played the stay behind for a service member, I just want to say thank you.  You’re my hero.  I whine about five days and you’ve done years.  Please, tell me your secrets to survival!

Gotta go… Haus just got home.  Hurrah!!

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From Army to Mommy: My Story Part VII

By , October 19, 2010 9:02 pm

I’m starting this post where I left off. Start here if you think you’re ready for my drama.

“I think we should date,” he said finally.

“Say that again?” I said in between mouthfuls of a Sourdough Jack.  Finishing my bite, I laughed and said, “Sure, sure, now you want to date.”  He couldn’t be serious after almost a year of the “let’s-just-be-friends” bit.

Looking at me with an incredibly handsome face, he said, “I was talking to my friends and I can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t be dating.”  I let him continue as I repeated in my head kissed dating goodbye, kissed dating goodbye, oh man he’s gorgeous, kissed dating goodbye.  “We didn’t date to begin with because of Cowboy being your ex, but he’s not even a close friend of mine anymore and I…”  He trailed off before grabbing my hand, “I want to be more than just your friend.”

Gulping I tried to remain strong as thoughts zoomed in and out.  He’s your friend.  You don’t need a boyfriend.  He’s amazing.  He’s everything you’ve every wanted in a boyfriend.  Dating would complicate everything.  Dating would give you someone to wear that blue gown for.  Dating would be incredible.  Stop, stop, he’s your friend.  I heaved in a breath before responding.  “I think we should stay friends,” I exhaled.

Sighing he pushed the hair back from my eyes tucking it behind my ears.  “Alright, if that’s what you want.  I think we could try a few more weeks as friends.”

So…do you really think I was stubborn enough to keep Haus at bay, all 6’5″ hunk-o-rific-freshly-tanned-hazel-eyed-man-o-my-dreams?  Well most of you know that I’m now Mrs. Haus so I guess it’s not a big surprise.  From the moment he brushed his fingers over the back of my ears, it was over.  Sure, we went back to the dorm, joked with my roomie about this and that, said goodbye as if we were “just friends”.  The next morning, however, did I hold his hand on the way to class?  Yep.  Let him sneak a kiss, peck if you will? Yep.  Enjoy every single goodbye embrace?  Double yep.

Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Great book.  Not for me.  Anyhoo, enough of the mushy girl talk.  Now you know that Haus is pretty darn persuasive and still to this day gets away with pretty much whatever he wants whenever he tucks my hair behind my ears.

So… where were we?  About the time I went goo-goo for Haus, I also transitioned majors and couldn’t be happier in my English-Writing classes.  I finished out my sophomore year with my pre-med days behind me and packed up a couple suitcases for my next conquest… summer in Phoenix.

It’s a little known fact that through the first two years of college I was part of an outrageously famous chic band, The Babes.  Well, maybe not outrageously famous, but we may have had a little following.  I can count my mom as a groupie, right?  With my roomie, Ames, and another girlfriend, Libs, I spent most of my free time between classes practicing and weekends singing at coffee shops and pizza parlors.  We were just three girls and a guitar and even produced an album, The Three A.M. Decision.

When Ames told us near that end of our sophomore year that she decided to transfer to the University of Texas in Austin, home of the Longhorns and her boyfriend, the three of us worked a deal with our parents. We would celebrate our last summer together at Ames’ parents house in Phoenix.  I waitressed at Tony Romas, the Rib King, Ames temped, and Libs worked at a Phoenix resort.  We wrote ridiculously sappy letters to our boyfriends (now husbands) and, when not recording hilarious home music videos, played gigs at a coffee shop in town.

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have that time with them that summer.  The best summer that I can remember.  I returned to Whitworth that fall very tan, ready to start a new job as a Dorm Resident Assistant (RA), and even more ready to see my Haus.  It would be a few weeks before I realized how much I missed Ames.  Could I really get mad at my BFF for wanting to transition from a two-year long distance relationship to seeing her dude every day?  The Babes broke up after two satisfying years and I faced my junior year.

Junior year ROTC.  The hardest year of training.  Constant evaluations.  My first Army injury E.R. trip.

To be continued…

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I’m back!

By , October 14, 2010 12:14 am

I haven’t blogged in over two weeks… GASP!  SCREAM!  Sigh…

I missed you guys and I’m sorry I’ve been so delinquent.  Would it make you feel sorry for me if I showed you the kitchen T-22 days after our flood…

That’s right, still no floor.  Sub-flooring rocks, especially when you find little bits of it in your kiddo’s bed or in the “silverware drawer”. Speaking of silverware, what do you think of my old kitchen table, now new island in my den?

Not feeling sorry for me yet?  What if I showed you the place RIGHT NEXT TO the front door that my dog’s decided to use as a bathroom around midnight every night this last week?  Sure, she’s been potty trained for seven years, but I guess my co-dependent pup thinks she’s getting tossed out with the old kitchen floor.

Thank goodness for rainbow vacuums.  STILL not feeling sorry for me?  Alright, alright, what if I told you that right about the time I started to accept that my house, as I know it, will not be put back together for a few weeks.  Let’s just say I was getting to the point where I controlled my obsessive personality to be O.K. with our misfortune and then…

Dryer?  No, we don’t need no stinking dryer right now.  Life isn’t quite chaotic enough.  Oh and yes it decided to crap out on us about a month after the two-year warranty expired.  You see all the time I should have been blogging I was actually begging my nearby friends to use their house as my own personal laundry mat.

Wait… you’re right.  Waahh, waaah, waaaah… so I don’t have a floor right now but tomorrow Haus and I actually get to pick out new cabinets and floors.  Poor me.

And I don’t have a dryer right now, but God blessed me with a mechanically-minded husband that pulled the sucker apart, found the broken doo-hicky (that’s a technical term, peeps), and the new part should be in this week to fix it.  Boo hoo for me, ten whole days without a dryer.

I tried, but really I don’t have a good excuse for not blogging.  I was feeling pretty sorry for myself around here for no good reason.  So… now that I’m done whining, I’d just like to say, thanks for waiting it out and I promise good things are coming!

P.S. Yes, I also canned an exorbitant amount of vegetables instead of blogging as you saw in picture number one.  Busted.  I chose canning over you.  Forgive me.

P.S.S.  If you want you can come over and I’ll give ya a can of beets or dill pickles as penance… K?

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