Deployment Diaries: Six Ways to Make the Time Fly

I felt really overwhelmed after Taylor left. It is my first time going through a deployment and I had no idea where to start as silly as that sounds. How am I going to survive all these months? What am I supposed to do to pass the time? How do I go back to “normal” life again?

Continue reading Deployment Diaries: Six Ways to Make the Time Fly

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An Open Letter to Those Trying to Talk My Boyfriend Out of Our Military Relationship

To Whom It May Concern,

“And everyone I talk to out here says to just end it now because these relationships never work.”

My heart, filled with anger and sadness, sank to the bottom of my gut after reading what my boyfriend had just texted me.

You told him that I wouldn’t be able to handle the 4,000 miles between us. I won’t be able to handle his busy schedule you said. It is a guarantee that I will cheat you said. Because I chose to not move in with him the relationship will surely fail you said.

I realize, that to the military, I am nothing. Not his family. Not his wife. I am just a girlfriend. I do not matter to the United States military.

Of this, I am fully aware.

But shame on you for assuming what kind of woman I am. Shame on you for filling my boyfriend’s head with worry and his heart with sadness.

And while I am filled with hurt, I also have gratitude towards you. Thank you for putting a fire in my heart and a determination in my soul to make this distance work.

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Watch me handle deployments with grace and love. Watch me have the patience and understanding to deal with our differing work schedules. I hope you get to witness the care packages he will get along with the constant flow of emails, letters and funny cards. I had the strength to stay back home so I could enhance my career and finish my schooling so that I wouldn’t have to rely on the military for money. So, watch me not cheat on him or use him for his military paycheck because I took the time to establish myself.

And, unfortunately, while what you keep driving into his head has an impact what I have to say to him has a greater one. Little do you know how strong my boy is and how much love he has for me.

You bringing our relationship down gave me the opportunity to relive with him all the beautiful memories that we have had, the ones that have made us laugh until we cried. And with those memories came the pictures: the happiest pictures of us on our anniversary, that one that I made a stupid face by the river, pictures from every single graduation he has had. All to remind him that even when we were thousands of miles apart we were never truly far from each other.

So, I thank you. For you made us stronger and you sparked a passion in me to be the best “girl back home” that I can be.

 

Love always,

A dedicated and strong military girlfriend

 

 

 

How to Get Back On Your Feet After They Leave

 

You’ve just spent this amazing few weeks with your SO filled with lots of love, companionship, laughter, fun-filled plans and parties. Then no sooner do they get back that you find yourself back at the airport waving goodbye with tear-soaked eyes and a snot-filled tissue in your non-waving hand. Then there is the drive home from the airport that you don’t really remember too much because of all the thinking you have done during that time. Then before you know it, you are standing in the front door of your house and you have no clue what to do.

Sound familiar?

Continue reading How to Get Back On Your Feet After They Leave

I Didn’t Choose the Military, I Chose Him

Military relationships are not Dear John. It’s not romantic. It’s not wonderful. When you ask a little girl where she sees herself one day, most likely, the answer will not be sleeping in a bed by herself while her husband is fighting a war and her kids are asking where daddy is.

Most people already understand that so it’s no surprise that I often get asked the question, “Why would you ever put yourself through that?”

I asked myself that same question when I first met Taylor. We met at a small gathering of friends and he kept talking about leaving for bootcamp in a few weeks and how excited he was. Being a military girlfriend was never in my plans and I never even thought about what it would be like. Actually, believe it or not, it was a deal breaker for me.

But our second date was when I saw Taylor. And I don’t mean literally. I had my contacts in that first time and could see just fine. I saw what kind of person he was. After that second date I felt like I had just met my best friend. It was the best and easiest date that I had ever been on. I drove home and battled with my previous thoughts and what I considered to be a deal breaker.

I didn’t choose the military. I wasn’t on the hunt for a single, military man. I really don’t like the long distance and the worry. I don’t want him to be deployed. I don’t want to move far away from my family and be alone a good majority of the time. I hate that one day I will have to explain to my kids why their dad can’t be at their sports tournament. I didn’t ask for any of that.

But I did choose him. And that’s where people start to lose understanding.  I chose to be with someone who works hard and who treats me better than anyone. If I was going to live 1,000 miles from anyone, I wanted it to be him. And no one I have ever met was worth me leaving my little hometown until I met Taylor. And if my kids had any father, any man to look up to, I’d want it to be a man who works hard, loves his family and loves his country too. A man that is courageous in both heart and spirit.

I don’t want any sympathy. I didn’t want a military relationship so I could be the victim. I didn’t want this so I could go out and see other men but still have the security of a relationship.

When you love a person, and I mean truly love a person, you take the good with the bad. Being a military girlfriend wasn’t ideal for me but all the other good things far outweighed any anxieties I had.

I chose to love another with everything that I have…even if he chooses to wear a uniform.

 

 

DIY Pencil Holder for Father’s Day

My parents are the kind of people that literally have everything which makes holidays a bit of a challenge. Gift cards get old. Clothes are boring. And this year for Father’s Day I wanted to do something different. Something hands on and from the heart.

My father owns a business and his office is right next to my bedroom. I went in there the other day and noticed that he has absolutely no place to put pens or any other writing utensil for that matter. They all kind of just hung out in a pile off to the side.

Hence, a pencil holder… which is inexpensive to make and actually kind of fun (I spent an hour and half at Michael’s planning this thing out!).

What you’ll need:

A jar or can- I chose a mason jar but you can use cardboard, go to the craft store and pick up a wooden container, anything!

Paint- I chose to use acrylic.

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Decorations- This is where you get to be extra creative! I thought about putting a picture of me and my dad on there, you can grab extra paint and paint on decorations, get ribbons to tie around the top, glitter, stickers, etc. I chose to buy some decorative gears at Michael’s to paste on along with a sticker that I can write, “I Love You” on.

Glue- Make sure to buy something that dries clear in case you get glue somewhere that it’s not supposed to go. Tacky Glue worked wonders for me!

I bought everything at Micheal’s for a grand total of $15.28. Print out a coupon off their website and it’ll be even cheaper!

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Step one: Paint your container

Lay out some newspaper on a table and get the paint ready to use on a plate. I wet my brush and painted on one layer, waited an hour and painted another layer. I continued to do this until I was satisfied  with the color and what it looked like. Let it completely dry over night.

Step two: Add the decorations

Pretty simple step. Start adding on you decorations! Plan out where you’d like things to go, whip out the Tacky Glue and start sticking!

Let the holder dry for another day before handling it.

 

 

How I Became A Military Girlfriend

I was in a really shitty relationship. That’s how this story starts.

And when I say shitty, I mean really, really shitty. I met that guy through OK Cupid, a dating app, and it started out healthy. He was my age, worked for $10 an hour as a mechanic, had tan skin, dark hair and was covered head-to-toe in tattoos.

Our relationship was fine until I noticed he was getting snapchats from all these different girls. Then came the texts from other girls. He liked their half-naked Instagram photos too. He tried and tried to convince me I was absolutely crazy and told me that I was a bitch for accusing him of ever cheating.

I told my family and friends and made a million excuses for this boy. Then one night, I was venting to two of my friends, friends who have known me since I was maybe 3 feet tall, when one said, “Hey! I work with this kid that is the boy version of you. He even likes the same shitty music you do.”

Hm, a boy that listens to heavy metal? I had Austin, my friend, give me his name and I lounged across his bed scrolling through Facebook to look for this boy that likes metal music. Taylor. I thought it was a beautiful name.

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He looked normal enough to me and did like my kind of music but I wanted to stay loyal so I didn’t pursue it much.

 A few weeks later, Austin invited me over to one of his work friend’s house to play games one night and I met Taylor. I thought he was cute but I didn’t really see myself with him. He was painfully blunt and didn’t seem to give me much thought. He talked a lot about how he was leaving for bootcamp in a few weeks and that sealed the deal for me. Taylor was a definite no go. I never could see myself dating a military man. I introduced myself to him, played some games and then said goodbye as I walked to my car and he smoked outside. The story was supposed to end there I thought…

A couple weeks later, my relationship got even worse. My tatted, cheating boyfriend decided to invite me to a concert after I got off of work. So, I closed up at my job as quickly as I could, ran to Target to buy a cute shirt and drove half an hour to this concert. I paid for parking and then texted him to ask where he was and how much to get in.

He replied that it was probably best if I went home because he was talking to a few other girls there. Bitch was maybe the nicest name that he called me that night.

Needless to say, I left him and after that I was kind of just wandering through life working my job and hanging out with family and friends.

Then one night I got a text from Taylor. He reiterated that he was leaving for bootcamp in a week and just wanted to go on one last date with a girl. Nothing serious. Just going out for drinks and that would be that. Maybe we could be friends and write some letters to each other at best.

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Revisiting our first date spot over a year later!

I picked Taylor up in my car (the deal was if he paid for dinner, I’d drive) and we went to Friday’s. We drank mudslides, ate cheeseburgers and I met my best friend.

He had the most lovable laugh. He was ridiculously smart, adventurous, he loves his family, hard working and oh my god his eyes. I was absolutely sold.

On the drive home, I knew deep in my heart what I wanted…but I had doubts. You see, I am a very cautious person. I don’t jump without knowing exactly what I am jumping into. I didn’t know what Navy life was like. Could I handle the distance? How was I so sure about a boy that I had officially hungout with once?

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I saw him twice after our date. Once at a going away party at the bar that he and my friend worked at and once more the morning he left for bootcamp. He ran up to doorstep, gave me the Navy shirt they gave him when he enlisted, kissed me and left.

And from that kiss on there was not a doubt in my mind. I wanted all of this. I was writing him letters daily. I was texting him daily. I met his family. I made him care packages.

I was going where this kid was going.

 

Burnt Pineapples and Some Thoughts on Life

 

Today is Memorial Day.

I love Memorial Day.

I love that there is an entire day set aside to being thankful for the ultimate sacrifice that one can give for their country. An entire day to relax and hangout at the pool or have some drinks and burgers with family and friends.

I had an okay day today. I took a kickboxing class. I went to the grocery store with my mother. I watched The Jungle Book with my dad and ate some delicious food. After dinner, I put some pineapples on a skewer, drizzled some maple syrup and cinnamon on it and took it outside to grill.

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My face crinkled with concentration so that I wouldn’t catch myself on fire. I carefully placed the skewers in opposite directions on the grill and then sat in an outside rocking chair that we have. The chair rocked back and forth and for a few minutes I looked at my phone and waited for my pineapple to cook.

A raindrop on my knee interrupted my Facebook scrolling and I turned away from my phone to look up at the sky. The clouds were dark and the sun was setting and it was breath taking.

As my eyes grazed the sky, it occurred to me how wonderful life is. The clouds suddenly became a little blurry as a tiny tear welled up in my eye. I thought about how lucky I am. How I have amazing friends. Most of my family has passed away but I felt so blessed to still have my parents. I work at a job that I love with people that I’ve come to know as friends. I have the most beautiful relationship with one of the most beautiful souls I have ever come to know.

Continue reading Burnt Pineapples and Some Thoughts on Life