What you see is what you get.

possibilitiesWe didn’t make it to church today, but I’ve found a series of sermons online that are amazing to listen to.  After a slow moving morning, I pushed play and listened as I got ready for the day.

He spoke about how so often in life, we are handed situations that we just weren’t expecting.  So many times, we get thrown a curve ball and we want to run and hide rather than figure out how to embrace the moment.

When you encounter a rough patch or unexpected situation, how do you view it?  Some may view it as a challenge, a learning experience, or an opportunity for growth.  More often than not, I’m willing to bet that we view it as a problem.

When I said “yes” to marriage and this Army life, little did I know that almost 11 years later I’d be sitting here with 2 kids, 8 months pregnant with baby #3 and a husband that has been gone for 18 months of our almost 3 years here.  Big problem, right?!  Finding out about the 3rd pregnancy right before he was leaving for the 2nd deployment certainly wasn’t our idea of a fun surprise either.

In the sermon today, he said that instead of seeing these kinds of situations as a problem, we need to see the possibility.  It certainly seems easier said that done in the moment, but we have to trust in the bigger plan.  There is a reason that we are being tested.  There is someone bigger than us that knows what’s best for us.

When the first deployment was upon us, I knew that I needed a plan.  I needed to use the time to focus on me, my own health and fitness, and I’m so thankful that I jumped into an opportunity that changed my life for the better.  When the second deployment (and 3rd pregnancy) was upon us, I knew that I had a choice.  I could view this as a terrible situation and a huge inconvenience or I could use it as an opportunity to further improve myself.  I could focus on a healthy pregnancy, focus on the kids, and continue to help others who may be going through similar situations.  I looked at the fact that we have an opportunity to raise another child and we should be so thankful that we are given that chance.

Next time you go through an unexpected situation, ask yourself what the possibilities are.  Maybe your business isn’t going the way that you thought it would.  Focus on the possibility of helping just one person and the impact that you could have on them.  If your career isn’t going your way, think of how your attitude and effort in that job could lead to more opportunities down the road.  If your marriage is struggling, think of the possibilities if you put forth the effort today.  In the sermon, he spoke of a situation where the wife saw the opportunity of smiling and laughing with her husband again and that motivated her to work through the struggles.

What we see is what we get.  We can see a problem or we can see the possibilities.

As we are on the downhill slope of this deployment and pregnancy (and time seems to crawl at a snail’s pace), I see lots of possibilities.  I see the homecoming celebrations, the kids smiles and laughter as they hug their daddy again, our time together as a family, the opportunity to see the love that I have for my husband as he holds another baby girl, the bike rides, the pool days, the vacations,  the adventures and the planning for the future and what’s next for our family.  Those are the possibilities that are going to keep me pushing through each day.  Those are the possibilities that I can see that help me to see the positive light in every day and keep moving one foot in front of another.  Those are the possibilities that are going to put a smile on my face and make this time as good as I can for the kids.

See the possibilities.

If you want to hear the sermon for yourself, HERE IT IS!

The deployment truths…

It’s hard to put into words…the gut-wrenching feeling that you have when you watch them board that plane. For those that have been through it….you know…

There are feelings of relief that the journey has begun. The months of preparing are over. The gear and duffel bags that have been laid out across the bedroom floor for weeks (or months!) are now gone. The anticipation is over and you can now focus on counting the days until his return instead of dreading the days until they leave.
There are feelings of hurt, especially for your children. They can’t quite comprehend, but you know that they know the pain that you feel, too. You want them to always keep Daddy in the front of their minds over the months to come, but you dread hearing the words “I miss Daddy”, because it shows that they are hurting. You pray that this experience doesn’t cause them to act out or change in any way and you do everything in your power to keep routines the same and make them comfortable.  Tears flow from both of you when your 4 year old asks to hear the “wooo woooo song” on the way to the airport.  It’s “mine and daddy’s song” that they have danced along to in the kitchen too many times to count.  You think that she doesn’t get it, but she knows…
11112946_10102506834181215_8633088329913225725_o
We have grown so much in 10 years of marriage.  As he says, “we are probably more in love now than the last time we had to endure this”. I couldn’t agree more.  It’s amazing how time apart can bring you so much closer. You appreciate the small stuff. You don’t get wrapped up around the petty things. The toilet seat can stay up, he can leave laundry on the floor and you don’t care because you are just thankful that they are present.  You live in the moment and you appreciate each minute that you do get to spend with them.  You make it a priority to have date nights because you know how important it is to have the time to focus on yourselves.
It’s no longer about having to deal with everything while he’s away…the house, the car, the kids, working full-time, the cooking, the shopping, the washer that will likely find its way to break in the next 9 months…that’s just life.
It’s about having to go through the daily routine without your best friend beside you.  The kids’ giggles, their excitement when they learn something new, the impromptu Nerf wars, conversation around the dinner table, dance parties, relaxing after a long day, the first day of school, birthdays, holidays, the hugs, and the kisses goodnight.  You are thankful for technology and the ability to see their face in real-time on Sunday afternoons while you’re preparing for the week, but it just doesn’t compare.
You don’t resent them for leaving. They are doing a job that they love.  It’s what they’ve trained for. To be honest, you carry their pain on your shoulders also because they have it worse than you do. They are in a foreign land away from everything familiar. There are times that they fear for their life and wonder if they’ll return. They can’t hop in a car to drive to visit family, enjoy the luxury of a king-sized bed or have the joy of cleaning up children’s messes. They have to rely on text messages, care packages and the occasional FaceTime call to connect with life back home.
15895134_10103779689803345_5006312726209838027_n
Time heals everything. No matter how much you miss them, you still regain the power to take on each day just as before. You know that each day gets a little easier and with each day that passes, it’s one day closer to wrapping your arms around them. You go through your days and learn to live life without them for awhile. You never wish for life to fly by, but there are times when you wish that it was one big dream and you could just wake up 3 seasons later.
So today, it’s okay if you feel like you’ve been hit by a freight train. You may feel like letting your kids have candy for dinner and downing a whole pint of ice cream.  You know that tomorrow the sun will rise and it will be a new day. Things will be better.  Give yourself some time and forgive yourself for taking a knee for a few days.  With each passing day, you see a little more sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds and know that you can do this!  You get a little tired of people saying how “strong” you are for going through this and they “don’t know how you do it”.  There are days that you don’t even know how you do it, but you do.  Remember that you ARE strong and capable of anything that is thrown at you.
More than anything, you feel fortunate that you have someone so special to miss so much. You know that happier days are coming and you will be a stronger couple and family for all that you have endured.  The happy trip to the airport will be here before you know it.
12987045_10103096289922185_3316882287615778560_n

Gratitude

bandlI’ve seen an article floating around in my newsfeed this week.  You can find it HERE.

You see a few years ago, I would have read that article and listened to every word.  I would have soaked it in and used it as reassurance that I’m not the only one struggling.  I would have fed into the excuses and told myself that now is just not the time to try to accomplish my goals and aim for my dreams.  The article says that I need to wait to be happy so that’s just what I’ll do.  I’m going to settle for what I have now.  I would feed into the stereotype.

Back then, I was a new stay-at-home mom who showed up to playdates with a hat and yoga pants.  Stay-at-home moms didn’t have time to put themselves together and ACTUALLY wear make-up, right?!?  Yoga pants are part of the stay-at-home mom uniform, right?!?  The thought never even crossed my mind that there was a man that came home from work every day who may have found some enjoyment in seeing his wife in normal clothes.  I never thought to look nice for him.  I fed into the stereotype.

I didn’t have goals for myself.  I lost sight of who I was because I was told that being a mom is hard.  I was told that this little 2 year old was going to rock my world and change my life forever.  I COULDN’T workout, have any hobbies or even sit and read a chapter of a book without interruption.

Yes, I could.  I just chose not to.  I fed into the stereotype.

Opinions of others is one of the reasons that we fail to achieve our goals.  We cling to other people’s opinions as if they are the truth.  We use them for justification as to why we can’t succeed. We come up with a well-planned lie (an excuse) as to why we can’t live a life that we want.  So because this article is telling me that I can’t get myself back until I’m 40 years old, I’m just going to sit back and settle in my comfort zone for another 6 years?!?! No….HELL no!

When we are in our comfort zone, we breed dissatisfaction.  We start complaining about EVERYTHING!  Our house becomes a mess, we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t do what we want…we become ungrateful and don’t see value in what we have.  We start telling ourselves that we “just don’t have the time” to do what we want to do because of the kids, the cleaning, the errands…..ugh, excuses.  This complaining and negativity is going to lead to much bigger problems….low self-esteem, marriage troubles, depression, and the list goes on.

How do we get out of this vicious cycle?  We need to have a vision for where we want our life to go and NO ONE is going to motivate us except for ourselves.  We have to stop relying on other people to fix our problems and change our attitude.  We have to set goals for ourselves and find something to call our own.  We do NOT have to wait to live a life that we love.  We CHOOSE joy!  You are ALLOWED to put yourself above your kids.  You are ALLOWED to lock yourself in your closet for 5 minutes just to have a moment of peace.  You are ALLOWED to be happy!

Last year, Jeff was getting ready to deploy.  How was I going to balance full-time work, 2 kids, a house, the grocery shopping, cooking, and EVERYTHING on my own?!  I made a decision to surround myself with positive and motivated people.  I could have surrounded myself with the negativity and the ones that struggle to live when their husband is away.  I chose to be happy and be around strong women despite the circumstances.

So how do we change our mindset away from this “it is what it is” mentality?

1) Start with gratitude.  Every night before you go to bed write down 5-10 things that you are grateful for.  Some days you may just be thankful for your pillow and that’s ok….write it down!

2) “A man without a vision will perish.” Create visions and write them down.  Where do you see yourself in the future?  Write down a vision for your family, career, finances, physical wellbeing… Keeping these at the front of your mind will drive your goals and your actions in your daily routine.

3) Make daily to-do lists.  Writing down your goals and crossing them off will give you a sense of satisfaction and motivate you to aim higher.  Even if you put away one load of laundry…that’s success for the day!

We have no idea if tomorrow is promised.  Don’t you dare let excuses get in the way of achieving your dreams today!  You CAN and WILL achieve greatness!  Embrace the craziness and find the positive in every situation!

 

Morning motivation

This right here! This is how I get workouts done in the mornings. This is what gets me out the door on time in the morning!

I was so scared when I had to start back to work, Jeff was deployed and I was going to have to get both kids ready and out by 6:30-7am. Yikes!

I’ve learned that not every morning goes smoothly and you can NEVER predict how the kids are going to feel when they wake up.

You can only control what you can control sometimes. I do my best to set myself up for success. I greet the kids with a cheery, happy voice and I have everything ready in my kitchen to get me out the door.

What do you in the mornings to make it easier to get out the door?

morning

Am I crazy?!

You know when you have a big event whether it’s crunch time to get in shape before Spring Break or a to-do list a mile long before family comes to visit?

We’re in crunch time till the time that Jeff FINALLY comes home!!
I know he doesn’t care if the house is clean, if the laundry is put away or really anything related to the house, but it makes me feel better to be organized. I want him to come home to “home” as he knows it. I want him to be able to come home and not have to worry about a thing except squeezing those kids and getting as much quality time with family as possible. I want to be able to focus on him when he gets home.

It’s not feasible to get everything done that’s running through my mind, but that’s ok!

The little things make a big difference sometimes and tonight….
The kitchen drawers got reorganized!

I’m taking one room at a time. When you focus on the big picture, it’s overwhelming.

Am I the only crazy one? Clearly Lucy thinks I’m crazy!!

drawers

Be Thankful…

enjoy

Date night in!

There are times that he drives me crazy and lord knows, there are times that I frustrate the heck out of him! ☺️

Every time something irritates me or we have a few choices words mumbled under our breath at each other, I think to myself….”at least he is here”.

3 months ago, I would have been spending a Saturday night having been a movie night with me, myself and I! 9 months of that got really old!

There’s a bigger picture than the little arguments over petty issues. Life is too short for that.

Tonight, live in the moment. Put the phones away (which I’m doing right after this!). Put aside stubbornness and those things that really aren’t that important.

❤️Be thankful that they are there!