Goodnight, I Love You, Goodbye

Good night, I love you, goodbye.

You didn’t say it before you died.

I tried my best

And then gave up.

I tried my best

But it wasn’t enough.

I wanted to make you happy.

I wanted to make you smile.

I wanted to be your pride and joy.

I had wanted it for a while.

Deep down I know you loved me.

Deep down I know you cared.

Deep down I know you remembered

All those wonderful times we shared.

You never said good-bye.

You never said good night.

You never said I love you

Before leaving me that night.

You care about your feelings.

You couldn’t care less about mine.

I love you and I hate you

Both at the same time.

You told me I wasn’t worthy.

You told me I wasn’t right.

But you never said you loved me

Before seeing your last light.

I always hated you for leaving.

I sometimes hated when you’d stay.

But nothing could have prepared me

For that cold, December day.

Good night, I love you, good-bye.

You should have said it before you died.

Strive For Happiness

My addiction to Pinterest has resulted in me reading an ungodly amount of quotes but recently, one grabbed my attention so hard that I could not get it out of my mind. “Your kids don’t want a perfect mom; they just want a happy one.” – Unknown. Now, if you’re anything like me, giving your children what they want is extremely important to you. I thought I was doing just that by trying to be the perfect mom that they deserve. After reading this quote, I started to think that maybe I have actually been depriving my kids of what they really want and need, a happy mom. It has become clear that attempting to be perfect may not be the only thing that is robbing me of my ability to be happy. I want to change that, not only for me but for all moms.

For me, deciding to strive for happiness starts with accepting and understanding why perfection in motherhood is simply not attainable. Sure, perfection is possible in some parts of life. You can get a perfect score on a test but only because there is a teacher’s guide to compare your answers to. As moms, we don’t have a guide to tell us what we are doing correctly or incorrectly because no two people will every agree what criteria a mother must meet to be considered perfect. Since we don’t have a guide to follow, most of us end up comparingourselves to other moms and that, honestly, is just foolish. That mom at the park who you think has it all together might be thinking the same about you. That means that we are allowing ourselves to feel inadequate based on not being “as good” as another imperfect mom. 

The author Jodi Picoult once said, “The very fact that you are worried about being a good mom means that you already are one.” This could not be more true. A bad mom wouldn’t waste any time wondering if she’s doing a good job, she doesn’t care. As good moms, we do care, a lot, and yet we tend to underestimate ourselves. Sometimes, second guessing our decisions can be frustrating but it can also force us to make better ones. Therefore, even as we worry and overthink, we can simultaneously hold our heads high, be confident in our abilities and continue on our journey to happiness.

Before I was a wife and mother, I had a clear picture in my head of what I was going to be like when the time came. I thought I would handle tough situations with grace and volunteer for everything. I assumed that I would never lose my temper or my figure. I thought that and my family would be perfect. When reality hit, I allowed the feeling of not living up to my fantasy to morph into a feeling of failure. If I had been able to let go of how I thought things should be, I would have been able to see the amazing transformation I was making. I was not failing, I was learning. We all know that becoming a good wife and mother can be a really challenging learning process. It was only after I let go of that fantasy that I could really enjoy how things were. So, if you haven’t already, let go of that woman you thought you were going to be. When you do, you will see that you have been transformed into someone more amazing than you imagined.

I believe that we should never allow anyone to stand in the way of our happiness, especially not ourselves! I don’t know about you but I would much rather hear my children describe me as happy instead of perfect. I will no longer try to be perfect, obsess about being good enough or underestimate the woman I have become. I will steadily strive to become the happy mom that my children truly want and deserve.

I Failed at Breastfeeding

I have had a lot of failures in my lifetime. Some of them I don’t even think of anymore but there is one that still brings tears to my eyes. I failed at breastfeeding, not once but twice. Still to this day it breaks my heart to think that I couldn’t get my body to do what it was designed to do. All I wanted to do was nourish my sweet babies in the most natural way possible. Breastfeeding was always kind of a given for me, just like getting married and having kids. It was something that I just assumed I would do, no problem. I had no idea how hard breastfeeding could be for some moms, like myself.
When my first son was born he had a hard time latching but we got through it with the help of a nipple shield. Thank God for whoever invented that!! Unfortunately, when he was just two weeks old I had to have my gallbladder removed and it required me to be in the hospital for a couple days. Being away from my new baby was just about unbearable. I tried my best to pump but with an IV in each arm, that proved to be quite difficult. Not to mention the meds they had me on made me pretty loopy. I cried so hard the first time I had to feed my sweet baby formula. Not because I have anything against it, in fact I am extremely thankful that such a thing exists. I cried because I was sure that I had doomed my new sweet baby boy. I thought I had failed him because I couldn’t do what I was supposed to do as his momma. When I got out of the hospital I tried and tried to get my milk supply back but it was gone. I remember sitting in the glider trying to pump while using my foot to rock him in his car seat and just sobbing. Nothing would come out, nothing! I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do something that seemed so simple. I thought to myself, “it’s been two and a half weeks and I’ve already failed.”
When I found out I was pregnant the second time, I was determined to breastfeed for at least 12 months. I even thought, heck if my baby wants to breastfeed ‘til he/she is two, I’ll do it! I was able to breastfeed my second son for 4 months and then my supply started to slow. I was so upset because I thought I had done everything right. I used all the natural crap that everyone said to use. I drank ridiculous amounts of water and I fed him as much as he wanted.  I couldn’t understand why I was failing yet again. Then I read something that helped me to realize some things are out of my control. It said that stress can seriously affect milk flow. DING! DING! DING! That was it. When my son was just 10 weeks old his daddy left for a nine-month deployment. I was on my own with a three-year-old, a newborn, a house and finances to take care of. Yep, I was a little stressed. I hated having to supplement with formula again but I was so extremely thankful it.
What I have realized through time is that I may have failed at breastfeeding but I did NOT fail my boys. They are both healthy and growing like crazy. They are no worse off than they would have been had I breastfed until they were well over 12 months. They are both momma’s boys through and though and I truly believe that no amount of breastfeeding could strengthen our bond. I read somewhere recently that said “Fed is best!” and boy is that true! I couldn’t feed my babies the way I wanted to but I could feed them. I was able to nourish them with the help of formula and I am forever grateful.
The longer I am a mom, the more I see that things are not going to go as planned very often, if ever. I have learned to go into every situation with a very flexible plan, knowing that it is going to change in one way or another. Sometimes it’s frustrating but it has taught me that every situation can be handled in more than one way. I’ve also learned that just because I think my way is right doesn’t mean that another mom’s way isn’t right for her. I will continue to do the best I can, even when I have to revert to plan B or C or D.

My Reflection

As I was sitting outside watching our two year old son play I decided to grab my computer and see if this beautiful day could inspire another blog post. So I grabbed my laptop and when I opened it up the first thing I saw was myself.. My reflection staring back at me in my computer screen. I thought, well if that’s not inspiration, I don’t know what is. So I sat here for a minute, browsed facebook and tried to decide which direction to go with. How does one write solely about themselves? It helps that as I’m typing this I can still see myself. Hair in a dirty pony tail, big sunglasses to not only shield my eyes from the sun but also to hide my tired eyes, no makeup, a wrinkled t-shirt and jeans. I’d like to say this isn’t normal, but it is. In fact, its an upgrade from yoga pants and a tank top. But, this is me. On the outside at least.

Sometimes who I am on the inside is harder to find than my cursor on this sunlit screen. I, as well as all of you, know the basics. I am a mom, a wife, a woman, a daughter, a sister and so on. I am also a people pleaser, a decision maker, a loyal friend, and a hard ass when necessary. I told someone today that I don’t really fit into a specific category. I am very conservative in some ways and really not in others. My marriage and family life are very traditional, so much so that people have been in awe at how “old school” we are. I pray with my boys every night before bed and I like to think I have a pretty good relationship with my Savior even though we don’t belong to a church.
On the other hand, I enjoy going out with my girlfriends and shaking my butt while drinking vodka crans (although that is quite rare). I cuss a lot more than I should, but I can blame that on being married to a sailor, right? In our house, we tell dirty jokes and drink alcohol and I might show a little more cleavage from time to time than my mother would like.

I may not fit into a specific box but I am okay with that. I think what’s most important is that I do my best to be a good person. I try to give everyone a fair chance and not be too judgy. When I love, I love a lot. I am over sensitive, I care way too much about being liked and I’m terrified of confrontation. I am not perfect in any way, shape or form. I think everyone has areas of their lives they’d like to improve, Lord knows I do. I could eat more veggies, workout more, yell less and be more respectful to my husband. I’m working on me where I want to work on me and that’s good enough.

I hope that when people speak of me, they speak positively. I hope that if nothing else they’ll say that I was kind and real. And hopefully someday I learn to not give two craps what other people think.. not likely.

So as I just looked up again at my reflection, I realized I was smiling. I’d say that means I don’t need to edit this anymore. I’m smiling because I’m proud of this and I’m proud of me. I am proud of my messy-mommy, silly smirking reflection.

 

Our Jeans Need Some Slack and So Do We

There is something that has been bothering me for a while and I’ve written this in my head probably 30 times… I want it to be eye opening but not judgy, inspiring but not condesending. I’ll do my best, but please know that this comes from a place of love.
As a woman, my biggest critic (other than myself of course) is other women. Huh? As a mom, my biggest critic (again, other than me) is other moms. Again, huh? Makes no sense, right?
Other moms are the only people who have… walked/are walking in my almost identical knock off uggs. They have cleaned poop off the hardwood, they have cried in the bathroom and emerged with a smile, they have raised their voices at their littles (although, some would never admit it) and they have wanted to crawl under the giant pile of gourds at walmart that nobody buys while their toddler throws the over tired fit of 2016.
But yet, judgy wudgy still rears her ugly head as soon as someone else’s child tries to top the “fit of 2016” in the frozen section.
I know this does not apply to all moms. BUT.. I have found myself jumping to assumptions when I see another mom in yesterdays yoga pants at the store. I catch myself almost immediately.. just because that’s not me today doesn’t mean it wasn’t me last week or next time we’re all sick (AGAIN).
I just don’t get it. Why are we so hard on other moms? We are all dealing with the same everyday frustrations and sleep deprivation. But yet, if we use a different tool to get through our current battle, we’re judged relentlessly.
I tried the whole.. “I’m a perfect mom, my kids never throw fits, I never raise my voice and we eat veggies twice a day” act. It didn’t work for me… It was lonely and it wasn’t me. As soon as I started to be real, I found more moms who were willing to be real right back. I found out that I am not alone. I found out that I don’t have to feel guilty for bottle feeding, using disposable diapers and losing my shi** every once in a while.
We’re all doing the best we can, we all eat chocolate in the bathroom and we all sit in the gargae for 2 extra minutes after starting the dryer (again) just to have some peace and quiet.
We’re all good moms. Good moms bottle feed, good moms breast feed, good moms yell, good moms cry and good moms have kids who throw the biggest fits and take the biggest craps at the most inconvenient times.
I guess I’ll wrap it up since my two year old is quiet and out of sight and that’s terrifying. Give that mom at walmart a break or better yet a loving and accepting smile. Don’t forget that she’s also doing the best she can at that exact moment.
Being a mom is hard.. Let’s all try to make it a little easier by cutting one another a little slack.. Our jeans need it and so do we. Build each other up and leave the judging at the play area gate. Its too tall to enter.

Why Shore Duty Can Be Scary, Too

In the military world, the “d” word is the scariest of them all.. No contest! The one thing we all look forward to during sea duty is this magical time known as shore duty. Shore duty means no workups, dets or dreaded deployments. Since I’ve been in this world, my better half has never been home for more than a year straight, and we’ve been lucky. My husband has missed a lot.. birthdays, the birth of our 2nd child, anniversaries and other big occasions. So here we are, months away from shore duty and we are all ready for it. I’m extremely excited for my hubby to not have to miss anything big for 3 full years!
Here’s where my wife-guilt kicks in.. If I’m being honest, I’m a little nervous, too. After years of countless goodbyes and exciting homecomings part of me has to wonder how 3 years of no goodbyes is going to affect our family. I know I might sound crazy, so I’ll try to explain. I really believe that our regular everyday family dynamic is going to thrive during shore duty. Its going to be amazing for our kids. But what about our marriage? Like I’ve said before, marriage is hard and it takes a lot of work. We have found a way to strengthen our relationship inspite of all the time apart, its our “normal”. But then I think.. is the time apart partially to thank for our success? I know I get on my husband’s nerves and Lord knows he gets on mine. There have been times when a 2 week det seems to come just when we need to have some breathing room. We have our 2 or 3 weeks of not being all up in eachother’s business, we each reboot and then when he comes home we can enjoy each other again. 
Please don’t get me wrong.. I still really miss him when he is away, whether its for a couple weeks or months on end and I am thrilled to not be partaking in his current commands upcoming deployment. But part of me wonders if 3 years with no breathing room will be hard on us. Not because we don’t love each other, but because its not our “normal”. Its going to be a big change and change is scary. I’m going to miss that butterflies in your stomach, can’t wait for your 100th first kiss feeling. Its a great feeling!!
On the bright side, he’ll be HOME! Not to mention that we have the opportunity to grow and find new ways to handle the stresses of marriage. We will adapt to this new “normal” and I’m sure we’ll get it all figured out…just in time for sea duty.

Marriage- Adult Assembly Required

Marriage is not a the kind of gift that comes already assembled, stickers and all. Nope, not even close. In my opinion it does come with almost all the right pieces, although some may not fit how you expected them to.
Adult assembly required… Let’s break that down..
Adult. When you’re not even 21 it is easy to forget that you’re an adult. This adulting stuff takes practice and when you’re new it’s easy to revert back to immature behavior. That immature behavior can wreak havoc on a new marriage. There’s lots of “tit for tat” and unfair expectations. Luckily, if you’re willing to get over yourselves and fight like hell, marriage can help you mature and improve your adulting skills.
Assembly. Yep, one awkward looking, broken piece at a time. Bringing two people together to form one can seem impossible. Especially when you’re annoying habit pieces finally see daylight. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to remember that God designed your pieces to fit perfectly and with time, dedication, a little compromise and a whole lot of patience they will.
Required. Again, I say REQUIRED! A happy marriage is not just going to happen. Y’all have to MAKE it happen. I’ve heard people say, “It’s just too much work.” Well, honey, anything worth having is! For me, there is nothing more precious than my marriage and I want it to be happy. So we keep at it.. Even on days when his breathing pisses me off or the way I hold the steering wheel irritates the snit out of him. We work past it. Because we love one another, even when we don’t want to.
As far as I can tell, this unassembled gift from God will never be finished because pieces are being added and removed daily. But you can bet we’ll keep working on it because we vowed to, because we’re so in love its gross and because God custom made him for me and I for him.
Yes, it’s hard but it is so worth it!

**I am not a marriage expert in any way, shape or form and my marriage is far from perfect. We have come a long way in 6 years and I’m proud of that. This is just me sharing what I’ve learned so far.**
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Don’t Get Attached? Screw That!

When I made the decision to become a Navy girlfriend my husband (then boyfriend) warned me not to get too attached to anyone because they will all leave at one point or another. I really didn’t think much of it at the time.
Little did I know that some of the best (& worst…but that’s a story for another day) friends I would ever have would be fellow Navy wives.
The thing about military friendships is that they may only last a few years at a time but when you go through a deployment with that friend it bonds you in a way that a 10 year friendship never could. When both of your spouses are deployed you become their go to and vice versa. Having that one person who would drop anything for you, treat your kids as their very own, listen with a genuine heart when you’ve had enough lonely nights and laugh with you when you’ve gone full on deployment crazy is PRICELESS!
My friend, who I haven’t even known for three full years, is moving away this weekend. It has effected me much more than I thought it would. We knew it was coming but it still hurts. We have had a million play dates and made a countless memories in those 3 years and life will definitely not be the same without her and her boys. BUT I am forever grateful for the time we had together because I seriously could not have survived deployment without her.
Back to my point… I say get as attached as you want. It hurts like hell when they leave but making that amazing friendship is beyond worth it!
Here’s to hoping the Navy brings us together again!

Until next time…
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One of My “Bigger” Challenges

I want to be one of those women whose story you see all over Facebook. You know, the one that reads “Mom of 2 Loses Baby Weight and Transforms Her Body”. Part of me also wants to be that woman who has curves and is crazy proud of them. She struts her stuff and couldn’t care less about what anyone else thinks. But I think the majority of me wants to be thin. I know there are a million different pills and potions that supposedly help with weight loss. That’s great but most of those products, ok all of them, are crazy expensive. One thing you’ll learn about me is that I hate to spend money on myself. Being a stay at home mom with no personal income makes me self-conscious about spending money on me, even for health reasons. I instantly feel guilty… And what does feeling guilty make me want to do? Eat crappy food. Vicious cycle. The other reason I don’t want to try these various products is because I don’t want to be on some pill or supplement forever just to be thin. I want to live my regular normal life and be thin. Is that so much to ask?

I read a quote recently that said “Why stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” DING! DING! DING! There it is. I am in a prison of being fat. The only thing keeping me there, other than genetics, is ME! I have obviously tried to lose weight many times. When my husband was deployed last year I really put my best foot forward. I lost a whopping 6lbs. I was eating right and exercising. 6 pounds! Because of my genetics I have to eat crazy healthy and workout at least once every day to get any results. That is frustrating to say the least. Back to my genetics… I have PCOS. Not severely. I was able to get pregnant twice and carry two healthy babies, which I am extremely thankful for. But this PCOS is making my body cling to its extra weight. I lay in bed at night and think “Okay, its time I did something about this” and then morning comes and well…nothing happens.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I still find it hard to balance everything that is required of me as a wife and mother. When I was working out like crazy, my home suffered. When I’m totally on top of the housework, my weight suffers more than usual. I sure hope I am not the only mom who feels that way. I am not “super mom” by any means. I cook dinner for my family almost every night but I am not a chef by any means. I keep up with the house work but fall behind more often than I should. I feel like the one area I excel is my parenting. I’m not perfect but I feel like I have a fairly good handle on my “mom duties”.

Anyways, back to excess weight problem. I know I need to make a change. Not just for me but to be a good example for my boys. But yea, a lot of it is for me. I feel like losing weight would benefit my life in a million ways. I would be able to keep up with my boys easier, I wouldn’t be so hot in the summer because i wouldn’t be hiding my body, I would finally be confident enough to try new styles of clothing that I would never consider now and I would feel good about ME! My husband is one of those guys who gets better looking as he ages. He always looks good, always! I know that he thinks I’m beautiful but I want to feel beautiful for him. That may not make sense to some but others might totally get that.

So I guess its time. I need to make a change. I am the only thing stopping myself. How messed up is that? I want to lose weight so badly but I am keeping myself from doing so. I’ve always done balls to the walls, get healthy NOW binges. I think I need to start slow. I guess I’ll figure it out as I go.

Until next time….

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