Thursday, November 17

Military Wife

So I was reading a friends post on facebook and came across this poem.  The last lines are so true.  I somedays hate being a military wife; I hate that I had to give up a career and work in jobs that I don't want to be doing.  I hate that I won't be able to settle into a house that our kids will grow up in, maybe not buying a house until we're out of the military.  I hate not knowing what our plans our, because we don't get to make them.  But I do it because I love my husband and would trade my dreams and goals just to be with him.  Z has worked so hard, and is accomplishing so much and I am so proud of him and his decisions in life.  I will proudly stand by his side.. and try not to complain so much about everything else!   
The Military Wife

Lots of moving...
... ... ... Moving far from home...
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...
all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house; Moving curtains
that won't fit;
Moving jobs
Moving away from friends;
Moving toward new friends;
Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting...
Waiting for housing.
Waiting for orders.
Waiting for deployments.
Waiting for phone calls.
Waiting for reunions.
Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.
Waiting for him to come home, For dinner...AGAIN!

They call her 'Military Dependent', but she knows better:
She is fiercely In-Dependent.
She can balance a check book;
Handle the yard work;
Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet...
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes;
Sell a house;
Buy a car;
Or set up a move...
....all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
She reinvents her career with every move; Locates a house in the east, west or out of country.
And learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty...
They leap into:
Career alternatives,
And friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves
and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:
They connect over coffee,
Rely on the spouse network,
Accept offers of friendship and favors.
Record addresses in pencil...

Military Wives have a common bond:
The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique.
He doesn't have a 'JOB'
He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...
He's on-call for his country 24/7.
But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign
NOK, PCS, OPR, SOS, ACC, BDU, ACU, BAR, CIB, BDF And so, a Military Wife is
a translator for her family and his.
She is the long- distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments:
She wants to wring his neck;
Dye his uniform pink;
Refuse to move to Siberia;
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days,
A travel brochure,
A long hot bath,
A wedding picture,
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.

What for?
How come?

You may think it is because she has lost her mind.

But actually it is because she has lost her heart .
It was stolen from her by a man,
Who puts duty first,
Who longs to deploy,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, she will remain his military wife.

And would have it no other way.

Author Unknown

Thanks Z for all you do for our country and Kittlesby and I (and the baby).  We love you very much! 

Thursday, October 20

I heart babies... soon to be our own!!!

So I'm a little behind on posts... this is a frequent occurrence I am learning.  Oh well!  Such is life!  After 3 moves in about 2 months, I am finally able to start getting SOME extracurricular activities done!  So, I thought I'd update my status!  Although I'm technically not a newlywed anymore, we are embarking on another journey together.... parenthood!

Yep, we're expecting in 3 months!  January 18th, 2012!  How exciting!  So I of course am super excited and I feel I have tons of posts to post about the pregnancy process!  Let's just say, I thought pregnancy would be easier/better than it is!  I of course am loving this stage of pregnancy where Baby Z is constantly moving!  I could stare at my belly for hours and not be bored.  But I was/am not the idilic pregnant woman I was hoping to be!  But enough of that!  Here's a photo of me at 23 weeks.
No, it's not an outie yet.... those are my non-pregnancy pants unbuttoned!
I am now 27 weeks, about to enter into the 3rd trimester!  It is crazy to love something so much already! I knew that I loved my nephew so much before I even met him, (I have now met him and love him even more!!!!!!!) but this child of OURS is so incredible!  Baby Z is going to be one loved child.  I know that pregnancy hasn't been as great as I was hoping.  I know that I'm not going to be a PERFECT parent! I know that I would hope for a lot bigger/nicer things for us and our baby, and that we can't give them.  But despite all of this.  This child is already loved more than words can describe!  And I may not be perfect, but I will love this child!  Hopefully you all will love Baby Z a little too!   


Saturday, April 16

I HEART my nephew!!!

Ok, I love babies.  I have been so excited for all of my friends who have had babies.  I can't wait to have my own babies.  I Love them....

but then my nephew was born....

I have only seen pictures of him and I already can't take my eyes off him.  My husband has had to take my phone away so I stop looking at the ONE picture I was sent!  (Luckily, my sister sent me a few more now....)  Is it possible to be SOO in love with a human being I haven't even met yet?  Is it because I have known my brother his whole life, grown up with him, had him bully me, cried in middle school when another kid told me he (my brother) made a mistake in football, watched him struggle, watched him overcome, have always been SOO proud of HIM?  Then talk about my sister-in-law.... can we just take the word in-law out.  I have adored her since my brother first brought her home!  She is so strong and so kind, and so willing to listen.  So there are these two people that I care SOO deeply for that just created a baby.  Is this why I am so in love with him already (without meeting him!!)??  

It is crazy!  I think he is the cutest baby (again, only seen a few pictures...), and I just have such a connection to this little guy (I HAVEN'T EVEN MET HIM......)

Wow, I wonder what it's like to be a parent?  My brother and "sister" must be exploding with emotions for this little guy!!  Welcome to our world TD!  You are already loved by so many!  I can't wait to meet you!!


Thursday, April 14

I have moved HOW many times???

Ok, so I am a little in shock....  When I would tell people how many times I had moved I would EXAGGERATE and say I had moved EVERY YEAR since I left for college...

It was NOT an exaggeration...  in fact, it wasn't even close to the truth.  I have had to fill out some intense paper work to get my government job at the Child and Youth Development center on base.  (They want to make sure I am who I say I am, and that I'm not some creepster- I totally think it stinks to go through the process, but am totally a fan that they are trying to protect children!!!)  We had to go back 7 years and report where we have lived and worked... I have moved 16 times in the past 7 years.... SIXTEEN!!!  That's more than twice a year!  (and that doesn't even count some of my small moves where I moved all my stuff to my parents house for a couple weeks before I moved in to my "permanent" location!

Let's take a glimpse at pictures from SOME of my locations....

This is Beth, James and I in the apartment I lived in during my senior year of college.  I had to move because of excessive flooding on multiple occasions!!
So I moved in with my parents for a few months.
And we organized one of their rooms!
Then I moved in with my brother and sister-in-law.  Probably my favorite house...

Then I moved in with a friend, only to get a job a MONTH later... woo hoo for moving for a MONTH of living...

Then I moved here (after living in Denver for a summer, and with my parents for a couple weeks...)

Marvell, AR with 4 others in this house... pretty sweet living accommodations...
Then I moved back home with my parents for a few months.  Here with my mom, dad, sister, aunt and cousins from OR.  
With my parents on move in day BACK to Marvell, AR where I lived above a wonderful woman from church.

Then I was SUPER LUCKY and got to move back to the parsonage while I worked at the church in Marvell.... remember 5 people used to live in this house?  Now it was just me!!!

 Yes, NOT taken during SUMMER....

 Then my summer before I got married I split time between my parents house and my "future" in-laws house- technically lived at home, but man, I can say I pretty much lived at the Zaffke's too!

Then we got married and we moved here.  Where I am NOW...
Ok, our front porch, not the whole house.  

We didn't have a house when we left Minnesota.  There I was a new bride, my belongings shoved either in storage, my parents house, Andrew's parents house or our car, and heading out on a drive to a place I did not have a place to live.  Talk about completely putting my life in someone else's hands!

I feel like millions of lessons could be shared here, but I'm not going to.  I'm not going to divulge into the meaning behind Matthew 6:19, "Don't store up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal".  Nor am I going to share with you the tricks to packing and moving. (Mostly because I'm still horrible and the only advice I have is to never buy a sofa sleeper... they're really heavy!!)   I'm also not going to tell you how I fail at Matthew 10:10 because I have way too much stuff...

Ok, maybe a little on the last one.  It just really got me thinking.  I HAVE moved a lot, and because I am in the military lifestyle now I'm probably going to move a lot more.  Therefore, why do I keep so much stuff????  With all these blogs I have been reading lately I really have been bit by the bug of de-clutter!!  I want to keep ONLY what is useful and what ADDS to our life.  Too much stuff weighs us down, keeps us feeling stressed, gives us more to clean and STAY organized.  How much happier will I be if I only keep things that are necessary and everything has a place.  (How much easier will moving be??)  I will no longer have to have the box (ok, boXES) that has JUNK that has no place or home and have no idea what to do WITH it!  If I don't have a place for it, a) why do I keep it and b) why do I take it with me??

So, I am not done with my thank you notes yet, but I am determined to start this de-clutter!  So I am starting the challenge on Monday May 2, 2011.  I know, it's a long time off... but if I have a set date, then it starts in my head.  So mark your calendars!!!!  MAY is the month to de-clutter!  And between now and then, find small projects here and there to help you out.  Maybe you start looking for storage solutions.  Maybe you find ONE thing a day to donate between now and then.  I am going to write thank you notes, which will be a HUGE stress taken out when I get them done!  I hope you find your stress that you can master between now and MAY 2nd!  


Monday, April 4

Who's up for a challenge?

Alright... I'm spreading the word....

I ran across an incredible blog:

about the blog

Simple Mom is a productivity blog for home managers. If we want to get things done and be fully present for all the things that are most important to us, we have to keep things simple. This blog is a catalog of the resources, tips, and lessons to make that happen.
When we find solutions for cutting everyday life clutter, we’re taking care of our family, our home, and ourselves. I believe that when Mom (Dad, too) is doing well, the whole family thrives

(Taken directly from

I fell in love at first glance!

In this blog the incredible author has started a challenge... (ok, she started it weeks ago, but I just found it!) Picking a "hot spot" as she calls it to clean/organize for the week.  She gives tips and guidelines and how to's so as not to get frustrated.  Then she has everyone link up their before and after pics.  (VERY encouraging)  Now of course, we totally missed ALL the deadlines for this, but I still want to do it!  So I thought... who wants to join me?  I'll send links to you to her site for the specific "hot spot" for the week and we'll go in the order she put them in!  Then we can share photos with each other, or just call each other and share about our progress so as to encourage each other!

I'm spreading the word now.  I HAVE HAVE HAVE to finish our wedding thank you notes before I can begin this.  But I thought I'd put the word out and get people interested!  I have at least 2 weeks without a job, so perfect time to finish up all our wonderful thank you notes (If you came to our wedding and haven't received a thank you note yet, don't fret... we are EXTREMELY grateful, and out lack of getting them out in a timely manner does not change this fact!

So who's in?  Who wants to get parts of their house clean and organized FOR GOOD!!  (Well maybe not for good but at least a good start!)
Here is some motivation... as you can see we are not at the organized stage yet... (Look in the background...)
Have a Happy Monday!!


Thursday, March 31

Truly reveling in 'here's to tomorrow'

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog!  Even though I didn't respond right away, I read your comments over and over!  A) It was so nice to hear from some of you and B) You made some really good points and I had to re-read them to remind myself of the truth they hold.  But now onto tomorrow.  Yes.  I will ALWAYS have days where wasting away the whole day WILL happen.  (It has many times already.)  But instead of beating myself up, I'm going to focus on what's PAST that day, or days, (or maybe even a whole week wasted....)  

To start with some AMAZING news!!  Some of you may know that I have struggled with my 'current' job.  I work a lot of nights/weekends/days-which at first glance is nice and needed to help pay the bills. BUT I was not making very much money AT ALL, drove a really long way, so wasted a lot of money on gas, AND I rarely got to see my husband.  In Duet. 24:5 (I'm not a history or biblical major so if someone reading would like to confirm or deny my accusations with facts.... feel free to put me in my place!) a man and woman would take their whole first year of marriage away from 'normal' life activities, i.e., a man would not go to battle. 

"If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him.  For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married"
So, although we can't take a whole year off to focus on each other, I did think that we should at least have weekends every now and again to focus on each other.  So at the beginning of the month, I let my boss know that I would be leaving on March 31.  TODAY!  Great!  Thought I could find a job by then...

we waited...

and waited...

and waited....

(mind you that I applied for a new job weeks before giving my 'two weeks notice')

Z was starting to freak out.  (ok, me too...)  How are we going to afford bills?  Will we have money to pay for groceries?  (Another post later about finances-which we are NOT living the stress-free life in...)  So anyway, the good stuff you're waiting for....

I got home yesterday from work and got an e-mail saying they would like me to set up a time for an interview!!  I called this morning and have an interview on Monday!  Talk about living by faith.  God always knows what we need, even if it's not how and when we think we need it.  And although I like to plan everything, God is really showing me that I need to give that up!  Heck, I married into the Military.  I really AM being tested.  This job was another example.  Although I don't have the job yet, at least I have a possibility when that possibility seemed so meek just a couple days ago.  

So just know if you are impatient like me, or freaking out about an upcoming change in your life, or the change is SOO unclear, know that God would really like you to turn your concerns to him.  Even if you aren't used to talking with him, or you're BFF's, he listens and the best part: he cares and generally has a plan-just be aware you may find out your plans and His and different, but STILL good!  Ok, I didn't mean to end up preaching...  Just excited to see some benefits of not having complete control over my life!

Tuesday, March 1

I think I can do more...

So I don't know if I am the only person who struggles with this, but I kick myself daily because of it.  I always have big plans to do for the day and then 9:00pm rolls around and I somehow realize that I haven't even done half of the things I wanted to do.  Sometimes (ok if i'm honest sometimes is more like most of the time) it's because I get distracted by catching up with my DVR programs, or waste my time seeing what my friends are up to on facebook, or reading yet another blog of something else I WANT to accomplish.  Sometimes it's because the time just goes by way too quickly or I get sidetracked by cleaning something so unimportant... like rearranging my marker drawer instead of cleaning off my desk!  No one sees inside my marker drawer, so why don't I do the more important tasks first?  So then I get even more frustrated that I haven't done the things I NEEDED to get done or the things that I would LIKE to do-like paint or create something for a friend.  And then when I realize that I've somehow wasted away another day I get frustrated, and then realize I have twice as much to do the next day.  Now most people then work extra hard to complete their tasks... I'm not most people.  Somehow when my to-do-list gets over my head I panic and basically lock up.  That means the next day I don't even want to get out of my pajamas, all I want to do is crawl onto the couch and waste MORE of the day.  If I miraculously have a productive day, then the next day I can't wait to wake up, make a full hearty breakfast for my husband, do a quick load of laundry, make the bed-and my day has already been more productive than other days.  Why is this?  Is this just me?  I'm sure there has to be something out there to help me get out of this horrible rut.  But I bet that I could waste a whole day searching through blogs for an answer.  Maybe there is a solution that someone has found to get out and STAY out of this rut.  I'd LOVE to hear it.  I think another thing that I have to realize is that I CAN'T  do it all.  I want to be the best cook in the world, a super creative baker, keep a perfectly clean house, create lots of painting and sell my work, make cards to give to my friends, WRITE in those cards to keep up with family and friends, pretty much just make anything.... I'm already preparing for kids and the things that I could make them-like knitting cute hats and sweaters.  I think I should be able to do it all.  I haven't even been able to finish knitting a kitchen rag without it looking like a spaceship.  I can't do it all.  And sometimes I get sidetracked.  There.  I said it.  Maybe my first step to overcoming this problem is to admit I have one!  And of course, if there is ANYONE who reads my crazy ramblings and you have a solution, I'd MORE than love to hear it!!!

So although this picture isn't really current, it is kind of how I feel... Beat up and sad.  This is actually from a couple of months ago when Andrew and I went rollerblading, and he "tackled" me at the end of our driveway.  I got a minor concussion and all scraped up.  Sometimes I feel like my days tackle me more than I tackle them.  Would love your thoughts and opinions on how to turn this table around and I can be the one tackling the day!