Important Lessons in Life…

Everyone goes through life the same way…just difference situations.  Kids always test their parents, teenagers think their parents are ALWAYS wrong and adults hit that mid-life crazy spot that causes each of us to wonder where their sanity went!  We are all learning life’s little rules and lessons constantly.  Sometimes we think we know the rule/lesson and the outcome but still have to try it anyway!  haha  Here are a few that I have learned…

 

Everyone seems normal…until you get to know them!

Think before you argue…is it gonna matter in one week, one month or one year?  If it won’t, then shut the hell up and move on with it.  No point in arguing about something that is NOT important, even when it seems to be at the time.

Never attempt to give yourself a haircut after 3 alcoholic beverages!  The outcome will be horrendous!

Being happy is the best revenge.  There are more people than you know just waiting for you to be miserable or fail at something.  Be happy, ignore them and laugh like hell that your happiness causes them to get nauseous!

There are only two tools you will ever need…WD-40 and duct tape.  Men, listen up!  This is an important lesson!  If it don’t move but should…use WD40.  If it moves and it souldn’t…use that awesome silver tape!  See?  problem solved!

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT take a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night!  This will lead to an unconscious, shitty mess!  LOL

It’s not the jeans that make your butt look fat…it is, in fact, your butt!

Do not lick a steak knife.  This will result in lots of pain and that “I feel like an idiot” feeling…plus you won’t be able to finish your steak!

Never pass on an opportunity to pee!  You will always have to pee at the wrong time…and if you know someone who pees every five minutes (my sister does this!!!), buy them a pack of Depends for road trips!  You can shave two hours off your driving time making them strap those diaper things on!

Cats cannot fly!  They cannot function on a trampoline either!

Never miss the chance to tip over a porta-potty while your buddy is inside of it!  This is priceless!  And those people who turn their noses up at this are just mad that they didn’t think of it first!  LOL

Stupid people are a rare breed indeed!  They are a lot like slinkies…they aren’t good for much except pushing down the stairs!

Do the “Tom Cruise sock slide” at least once.  I would NOT advice trying this in the shower though.  Major problems occur while doing that one!

Going down icy stairs with bowling shoes on is basically the same as skiing!  Well, your arms are not at your side and your back is not straight!  It’s more like arms are everywhere, back looks like it’s about to break and the look on your face is not one of content.

 

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Adjusting to new routine after deployment

The adjustment can be smooth and easy or difficult and stressful.  Try to keep in mind, even though you have been dealing with the ups and downs back home, that your soldier has been deployed for a year or more.  Understand that the things we tend to take for granted are the very “luxuries” he has been completely without.  You have been able to get up and walk ten feet to the bathroom…he has had to make sure he was in full uniform and I can’t imagine how far some had to walk to get to a porta potty.  You could fix something to drink, anything you want, with ice!  He hasn’t been able to have a glass of coca-cola with ice in a really long time!  Those simple things make a big difference.  And on top of not having those things, he has been in a war zone…aka HELL!  Please, please try not to expect so much!

Here are a few tid bits of advice for the soldiers via Military.com

Make time for your family. Hold off on visits to relatives and limit time with friends until you’ve settled into a comfortable routine at home.  Take time to talk with your spouse or partner. After a long absence, you need to get to know each other again. You’ve both had new experiences that may have changed your priorities and your ideas about roles in the marriage and the family. Talking now can help you lay the foundation for a newly strengthened relationship.  Take time to understand how the family has changed while you’ve been gone. Don’t charge in with your own way of getting things done. Notice how your spouse is dealing with your children’s discipline, for example, and restrain yourself from taking over with a tougher or looser approach.  Spend time alone with each member of your family. Think of things to do with your children that you each enjoy and that will give you time to talk and have fun together in a relaxed way.

Don’t leave to visit relatives right away.  You, as a family, need to spend alone time together.  It is good for the soldier to be able to spend time with his kid(s).  This alone time means so much to both.  Your husband will need this time to adjust, to get to know his child(ren)’s new interests, to talk with you, and to sit back and relax.  Visiting relatives and friends should come at a later date.  Taking time to talk with your husband is very important.  My advice…do not ask so many questions.  He will tell you whatever he needs to when he is comfortable.  Overwhelming him with questions may seem more like an interrogation.

Allow time for rest and relaxation.  Plans and vacation time will come!  Making immediate plans is very stressful and doesn’t allow for any “down-time”.  Now I know you may be saying to yourself, “Where the hell is my down-time?”.  But we are the wives and our job is to be the glue that holds it all together.  Your relaxing time will come soon.  Before you and your husband plan to visit relatives, try to take a night or two for yourselves, if you can.

Continue doing your normal routine when it comes to household work.  Don’t expect him to immediately take out the trash, deal with the upkeep of the pets, household projects, etc.  Some husbands want to immediately do these things and some don’t.  Pay attention to him and talk.  Patience and good communication are the key!

His sleep pattern and schedule may be totally off also.  Let him sleep late, go to bed early, or both.

I want to mention PTSD as well.  PTSD can be easy to spot or very well camouflaged.  Pay attention to his temperament.  Watch his moods and see how he handles the new routine.  If you feel there is an issue, discuss it with him.  Like I said earlier, communication is the key.  There are also people you can call for help.  Visiting your soldier support center on post is a good place to start.  They have several informational packets that can help you as well as numbers to call for assistance.

With all that said, try to enjoy your time once he comes home!!!  Relax, have fun, cook together, have a drink or two, dance in the kitchen, etc!!! Decorate the house with lots of ribbon, flags and a banner.  Let the kids make “daddy signs” and hang them on the walls!

Homecoming…what to wear?

I have seen this question online several times over the past few weeks and thought I would share my opinion!  Haha

Homecoming is an exciting time!  Your husband has been deployed for probably 12-15 mths and is finally headed home!  All the women I know go through the same routine about 2-3 weeks before the homecoming.  We make sure we have their favorite foods, favorite drinks (yes, alcohol is included!), probably some new clothes, house perfectly clean and in order, etc.  The house will have that “OCD” look again!  And then it hits us that we actually have to start cooking all the time again!  LOL  You ladies know where I am coming from…

Now as for the actual homecoming…we make sure the kids are dressed very cute.  Most have on their “welcome home daddy” shirt and proudly waving that little flags we give them.  Tons of signs are made and usually so is the truck!  All of the ladies get stuck on what to wear on this particular day though.  Most go through their entire closet or go buy outfits just before-hand.  We try to imagine what he would want us to wear…what he would love to see when he steps off that plane.  But in all honesty, your husband just wants to see YOU when he gets off that plane and go home!  He is not gonna care what you are wearing…just that you are standing there with open arms and a smile just for him!

My best advice…keep it casual!  You can go for the classy casual look as well.  But trust me, you want to be as comfortable as possible!  You do not want to feel icky, uncomfortable or have sore feet all day.  The wait could be a long one!  You could be sitting there for hours waiting!  You can be comfortable and still look really good!

One more thing…don’t forget to bring things to occupy the kids!  The kids will be restless, anxious and bouncing off the walls!  Coloring books and crayons, yo-yos, books, bouncy balls, etc.

Raised in the country

Being an Army wife I get the privilege to meet so many different people.  It is a great experience to interact with these people, hear their different accents, learn about their way of life (outside the Military) and hear the many differences in how we were raised.    Now, most of my “Army family” will tell you that my accent is definitely that “country twang” we Southerners get picked on for so often!  But the accent is not what makes me…  The way I was raised, as most country folks will say, is what made me the person I am today.  So, I decided to take a lil trip down memory lane to share my past with you.

I think a lot of people will agree that Southerners are well-known for their down-home manners, work ethics, and friendliness.  I was taught to treat others the way I want to be treated.  I was taught to use my manners and respect my elders.  You use “yes ma’am”, “no sir”, “please”, and “thank you” all the time out of respect!  You help others in need and you stand by your word.  A hand shake means a helluva lot more to me than a signature on a piece of paper.  My family owns a store back home.  It was a sporting goods store that was always filled with old men in the back playing cards and talking about hunting and the weather.  We had rubber band gun wars with all the customers and walked down the block to Buddy’s to get an ice cream.  We shot down mistletoe in the winter to sell to everyone in town.  I guess that was our “lemonade stand”!  LOL

We were taught about responsibility at an early age.  We had dogs and chickens and even had pigs at one time.  Feeding the animals and helping out in the garden had to be done.  Daddy even made me a strawberry patch that was all mine!  I was working at an early age at the ballpark with my Mom too.  My brother and I played every sport that was available.  We played soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, football, cheerleading (yea, i did it…ugh!), and even basketball.  I also learned that I had to balance my sports with my work of keeping score of games and helping in the concession stands.  In the winter we heated our house by fire.  So, yes we chopped wood every winter.  My brother and I, of course, complained.  Looking back on it though….I am so glad we had to do all these things.

My parents took time with us too.  I’ve noticed, in today’s time, most people don’t take the time they should with their kids. It wasn’t all work and no play for us.  My Daddy would take me fishing…aka: rock collecting!  LOL  I loved every minute of it.  He would take me deer hunting and dove hunting.  I think my role during the dove hunts was sitting on the bucket drinking my Yoohoo, eating a Lil Debbie cake and being told constantly to be quieter!  My Mom would put on a record and dance around the living room with me!  I have so many fond memories of this!  And when we did something wrong…they would talk to us and explain why it was wrong and teach us the way it should be done.

Punishment….the worst was gettin’ in trouble and not being able to go outside and play!  We played outside from sun-up to sun-down!  We knew we had to be inside by dark and when you were thirsty you went and found the water hose!  And my brother and I both knew we were in trouble if Daddy raised his voice or Mom called you by your full name!

I can’t leave out the boys down the street!  There were three boys down the street that were and still are like brothers to me.  We climbed trees, rode go-carts, wrecked on skateboards, got in fights, played football and accumulated lots of stitches!  We built forts and founds bugs all year-long.  It was nice growing up out in the country and having friends that were always on the same street.  You grew up together and went through the same struggles that all kids go through.  So, thanks to M, D and A…it was awesome growing up with ya’ll!

Being in a small country town had many advantages that most other people find boring.  We had one little bitty post office.  The town square had everything on it!  You could call the doctors at home and I don’t even think they had to pull your file for an appointment.  Everyone knew everyone!  All the kids that went to Kindergarten graduated High School together.  Nothing happened in our town without everyone knowing about it within ten minutes.  And everyone rushed to help when one family encountered a tragedy.

There weren’t many worries out in the country that I think most kids face in cities.  We never worried about straying too far from the house.  No one was coming down our road that we didn’t know!  We never hesitated to play in the street or the woods.  Our parents were comfortable.  There were no locks on the doors and all doors and windows stayed open in the summertime.  The only protection we kept with us was our dogs!  Everyone was welcome at our house anytime.  Friends and family would stop by at a moment’s notice just to say hi.  We didn’t have to worry about the school violence that happens today.  Kids didn’t bring guns to school and metal detectors weren’t needed.

Teenage years…Wow!  Those were great!  We partied out in the fields, on the farms and around bon fires.  We went mud-boggin’ and paint ballin’.  Old dirt roads did exist and we tore them up with our pick-up trucks!  We didn’t have gangs just good ol’ country fights.  Rivals with other schools and highschool football teams were normal.  Friday night football games were a must!  Friends were there for you no matter what…anytime, day or night.  Daddy not only had to know the boy (for a year or more! haha) that was taking me on a date but he also demanded to know his family and friends.  And yes, Daddy always made it known he had a shotgun!  Our parents knew all of our friends and where we were at all times.  And honestly, all of our friends loved our parents!

Living in the country (with great parents!) taught me about hard work, discipline, manners, responsibility and the importance of family.  I’m sure that others will say that living in the city taught them the same things….but I don’t see how!  No offense, but I think growing up in the South is the best!  I think my parents are awesome and my brother is one of a kind…so I’m very thankful for the family I have and the way we were raised is priceless!