I'm just an ordinary girl doing ordinary stuff.

I just happen to be a single mom in the military.

My kids are part of the military too.

When I deploy, their heart breaks too.

They're strong little guys.

Being their mom is the most humbling experience I've ever had.

Follow the adventures

See if you can keep up with me as I serve my country holding my kids in my arms.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Awwww

I love my life.
I thank God for everything He's given me.

I love my goofball kids.

... even if they make Walmart trips longer than they should be.

My dog is goofy too.

But I love him just the same.

Yay Weekend!

Patrick is coming to visit tomorrow for the weekend!  I'm so excited!  We're just going to hang out, spend our time enjoying each other, and talk about how much we're going to miss each other while I'm in Korea.

I know, I know.  Gross and sappy!  LOL I guess I'm just a little smitten with him.  And I've got a little spot in his heart, too.  So sappy is okay with me.

We're planning on taking the kids to a spring festival, watch my mom get water baptized at church, and eat lots of amazing home-cooked food.  We're going to play with my dog, harass my cat, and flee from my ferrets.

It's going to be amazing.

I can't wait to see this face!



Saturday, March 28, 2015

NCO Academy Grad!

I've spent the last 6 weeks in the Noncommisioned Officer Academy (NCOA). I admit that NCOA was not what I was expecting.  I thought it was going to be a cheesy, unrealistic let's-play-leader course. Instead, I've been studying ethical leadership, joint warfighting, professional development, negotiating, and many many more lessons!  I've given briefings on religious freedom and strategic initiatives. I've made friends.  I feel as if I've grown in just a month and a half. 

The days were jam packed with lessons, we were drinking from a fire hose. The nights were ridiculously late with homework. We had briefings and papers due each week. We slept 3-5 hrs a night. Weekends were blessings!!  I slept on the weekends. 

Caden had a dental issue during the week of my first test (gum swelling from slamming into another kid during rough playing). Instead of reviewing the night before the test, I was up all night helping him cope with pain. I failed that first test. That weekend, he got some antibiotics and I had my nose in my giant book for hours each day. I rocked the final test. I scored 10 pts above the average student. Thank you, God. 

Bruce was my audience during briefing practice. He'd stare at me in confusion as I gave him 3-5 minute briefings on religious freedom and strategic initiatives. If it wasn't for the wine, I'd have been laughing the whole time. 

My class graduated yesterday. It was a great day. My boss and two of my subordinates came to attend the ceremony. I was so proud! 

Now on to the next Air Force milestone: Korea. 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Whew

I've been really stressed lately. Preparing to start my leadership school AND the PCS is exhausting. Watching the troops move on without me is bittersweet. Trying to enjoy as much of my life as I can is incredibly challenging. The time is passing faster than I can keep up. And I'm just so tired.

I have been so relieved to hit the bed lately.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Korea Prep 2



My neighbor was kind enough to hook me up with an old friend of his who is stationed in Korea.  It was really nice being able to have another single mom connect with me about her experience.  She told me about the room I'd probably be living in and gave me some tips on what to bring, what not to bring.  She also let me know about the base and what the dining facilities were like there, so I'd probably need a crock pot. 

My feeling about Korea today is ... okay.  It feels good being able to talk with someone who can actually let me see, mentally, what I'm getting into. 

I received a phone call from a good brother-friend of mine, J Guy.  He was so upset that I'd be leaving my kids to serve this tour.  I was pretty encouraged by him calling to comfort me and share his brotherly love for me.  I felt loved.

I'm trying to get a hold of my friend, Daniel, who is currently struggling with a divorce.  He and his family are a beautiful thing and I always admired them as a unit.  To know that they are suffering so much hurts me and I'm so concerned for them all.  He hasn't written me back in almost a month and the last e-mail he wrote expressed how frustrated, angry, and hurt he is.  I sent him another e-mail today.  Tomorrow, I will try to call him.

Patrick and I are about to Skype tonight.  I sent him part one of two Christmas gifts and I want him to open it tonight.  Partly because I was worried when he told me that the FedEx guy tossed it onto his porch.  It's a wooden humidor!  I'm worried it might be broken and I want to be able to have him return it in time for him to receive part two-- eleven very fine Dominican cigars.  I couldn't get Cubans.  Anyway, I'm excited to see how he'll react if the humidor is in good shape.  He likes cigars.

Lastly, I hate keeping this Korea a secret from the kids.  I won't break, though.  I don't want to hang that over their heads during Christmas.  I'll wait til after my oldest boy's birthday in January.  Sigh.  I hate thinking of leaving them.  If you're a parent, you know the feeling.

I wish I could bring Bruce with me.  He's my companion, my friend.  He may be a dog but he's my favorite person aside from my human-family.  He looks at me with giant eyes and I hate knowing I won't see them for a whole year.

Finally, I just want to say that I praise God.  For everything.  He never wastes a hurt.  He never wastes tears.  He is my Father.  And I love Him so much.

Goodnight, all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Korea Prep

So far, I have A LOT of things to do to prepare for this remote tour.  I have four different checklists.  I just prepared about fourteen powers of attorney.  I have to get an anthrax and smallpox vaccine, which is gonna SUUUUCK.  I guess it's about time though, right?  When I deployed a few years ago, I had to get a rabies and Japanese Encephalitis vaccine.  I might as well get the rest of the crazy ones. 

I'm not telling the kids about Korea until after the holidays and birthdays.  I've decided to use the time I have with them to create some awesome memories.  So far here's what I've done:

I convinced them I'm a ninja. 
Been trying to do this for a year, but my kids are too smart. 
 
We went to our first college football game.
 
I took them to the top of a mountain
 
We made our first-ever snowman!
We didn't have enough snow to make a big one.
 
We have Grandma here!
 
 
I'm going to keep trying to make opportunities for cool memories.  But more importantly, I'm just trying to make sure that we're spending good, quality time together.  They're worth it.
 
More to come on Korea prep.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Dreaded E-mail

So once every few years of an enlisted person's life, they will receive an e-mail that makes them hold their breath.  The "From" is usually "System Generated E-mail" and you know that's always some kind of official notification e-mail box.  Well, I got my own e-mail last week shortly after returning home from work.

"Congratulations!  This is to notify you of your selection for a Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS)..."

What??  I immediately remembered receiving a call for volunteers for Korea, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and England two weeks ago.  So Big AF didn't get enough volunteers and now here I am with an assignment.  The e-mail is a teaser.  It congratulates you, but doesn't say where you're going or when.  So I was left with anxiety and worry.

If I got Germany or England, it would be a long tour and I would get to take my kids and pets.  But we'd have to stay for 3 years.  And if I got deployed from there, I'd have to spend thousands of dollars to send my kids back to the CONUS to live with my family.

If I got a short tour like Korea, Spain, or Portugal, then I'd only have to serve 15 months.  But I would have to leave my children, pets and belongings behind.

Needless to say, I would've been unhappy with either.

I got to work and logged onto my computer.

Korea.  I got Korea.  

And guess what, I leave in just a matter of months.

So here we go again, Combat Boots Mama is leaving home without the kiddos.  Ahhhh.... such is military life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Journal- 9 Nov

Wow, it has been a while since I wrote.  Things have been really happening over the last few months.


In the Summer...
The boys took swim class this summer.
I was super proud of them!

My brother and I joined forces to do the 
**Dirty Dash 2014**
We got really ... gross.
But it was so much fun!
And I got to spend time with my brother.


The boys got bucked off sheep at the rodeo.

Caden did a great job at rock climbing!

They spent lots of time outdoors!

Bruce and I spent lots of time outdoors, too.

Patrick and I got to spend time together... also outdoors.


Fall Is Now Here




Patrick, my handsome man, will be here in two days!!





Monday, July 7, 2014

Journal-6 July

Life has taken such a turn in the past week.  My mom and stepdad flew in from Guam last Friday.  Yay!  They're just awesome.  The kids adore them.  Then Patrick, a friend I've made and whom I've been "talking to" for a couple of months now, flew in on Saturday last week.  He's amazing.  A good Christian who reflects what Christians should.  I'm a little smitten, but I'm being really slow and cautious because I fall in love fast and stupidly. 

Every day has been a blur.  Patrick's visit was amazing, we went out just to hang and talk a couple of nights.  In the day he hung with my family and me.  He's super sweet but also a little rough around the edges.  He has a soft spot for dogs, so if anything I know he has a good heart.  Dogs rock, just sayin.  He is super friendly, funny, and charming all at the same time.  And respectful.  And did I mention, Christian?  Same values, yay!  I was sad when he left, but so happy we got to visit and spend a few days getting to know each other in person.  He's a plane ride away, so we're kind of just testing our wings out here.

I've been coaching tee ball for 4-5 year olds since the middle of May and it has been the BEST thing I've led.  The kids are so much fun!  They crack me up and melt my heart.  The parents are great, they're good sports and I'm lucky to have them.  Coaching has definitely taken a toll on the kids and me since the boys are both in tee ball, different nights!  We're playing games Mondays through Thursdays and we get wiped FAST. 


Another thing that has kept us busy lately is the adoption of a kitten.  Yes, another friggin animal.  This one was dumped in a Petsmart parking lot and we couldn't just leave her there.  Sean's "Mommy Please" kind of got to me, too.  So far the addition isn't too much trouble.  She's getting along just fine with Bruce and the ferrets, but man I'm kind of running a small zoo here.  I guess I just have to keep myself in check and make sure I'm balancing everything well.

My mood right now is: Tired, happy, smitten, and filled with joy.  Even though I'm so tired lately (mentally and physically), I am so happy.  God is amazing, He's definitely keeping me in His arms.  I pray that He keeps my family under His watch and that my friends are building a relationship with Him.  I love my God.  He is my rock.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mad

I'm lonely. And I find myself feeling angry sometimes. Not at the people who I've given up in order to ensure my children have a good life. Not at my parents for failing to teach me what a good relationship looks like. Not at my friends who stay in bad relationships just because it's better than being alone.

I'm mad at myself. For failing to choose a good person to spend my life with. I wonder why do I sabotage myself? Why do I go into a relationship hoping that maybe he's "the one" when I know deep down inside that he's not? I never answer these questions. I just ask them after each break up. Or when I'm lonely.

People tell me that the right guy will come along and I smile and nod my head and tell them how I agree and that I'm perfectly okay with waiting. I'm only half lying. I think deep down inside I want to stay alone. Not because I don't want someone else.

I don't want to fail again. My kids' dad was a horrible mistake. I'm not going to sugar coat it tonight and say "without him I wouldn't have had my children." I know that's true. But it was a horrible experience and I don't ever want to make that mistake again. I don't have just me to worry about. When I didn't have kids the only bad thing to come of a failed relationship was a broken heart. Now I have two additional hearts to protect. And theirs is more important than mine.

My 5 year old, Sean, had a rough week because his daycare class was so busy with making Father's Day stuff and having Father's Day lunch and sharing stories of their dads. He threw a plastic shovel and it hit a kid in the face. He told his teacher "I don't have a dad. My father doesn't know how to be a good dad."

How the hell am I supposed to heal that? People tell me "you just have to remind him that he has YOU and he has other family members who love him." Yeah, try telling a 5 year old that what he wants doesn't matter because everyone else loves him. When what he truly knows is that he needs a father and the only one he has is an asshole who doesn't know how to be a good dad.

And here I am at past midnight closing up the third episode of Orange Is The New Black I've watched since the kids have fallen asleep. And all I want is someone to share it with. Someone to talk to about how freaking awesome this stupid series is.

I put them in swim class and I put them in tee ball. So they can be kids and have fun and learn boy stuff. Hell I'm coaching Sean's tee ball team. And they laugh and have a good time. We throw the ball around at the park and we go hiking and collect rocks and get dirty. It's all good stuff. They enjoy it. But at the end of the day we're still just three. We're a damn good three. But they still ask me why God hasn't given them a good dad.

And that pisses me off. Because I haven't given them a good dad. I made the wrong choices in men. I chose to be alone out of fear of failing yet again.

And I wonder if I will always have no one. And if they will always only have me. I don't know that answer.

Someone asked me if I've prayed about it. And I do. A lot. But even while I'm praying I am doubting. I go on Facebook and see the posts of all my married friends and I know that behind those smiling couples lies bad marriages. Not all of them. But enough to stunt my hope.

Not sure what my point is anymore. I guess it's just a rant. No real need for answers or pity. Just some single mom ranting. I guess it's up to me. It's up to me to take risks and find that right guy. It's up to me to deal with the heartbreak after each failed attempt. Or just hold out for that right guy, if I can recognize him.

So if you're a single mom feeling lonely or angry, don't feel too bad. Under all this fake smile, head- nodding perfectly-fine-with-waiting single mom lies someone who feels your pain. I know it's hard. And lonely. And sad. But you aren't alone in that. Not really.