Life change · Mom's Corner

I will ALWAYS wonder who you would have been

1 in 4 women suffer a pregnancy loss and I am the 1 in those 4.

Earlier this year I found out I was supposed to be a mom to another baby due on, or around, November 4th.

That baby didn’t make it to today, nor did it make it very far into the pregnancy to begin with. I never would have realized how that would make me feel until it happened to me. I have had two very healthy and successful pregnancies prior to that and it didn’t even think to wait until after the first trimester was over to announce it to family because the thought of losing this baby didn’t even cross my mind.

Until I went into my first appt and my doctor told me we should be able to see SOMETHING on the portable ultrasound monitor even after I mentioned slight bleeding. She then moved my ultrasound appt up to the very next day–to my surprise–to confirm what she didn’t see on the monitor.

So the next day I went downstairs to radiology and she tried seeing the baby from the outside… she then directed me to empty my bladder and she’d be right back. (And if you haven’t experienced this yourself, you’ve probably seen in movies that this isn’t a good sign). I went to the bathroom, peed, and heard a very audible sound hit the water in the toilet. I knew I didn’t have to do my duty… so I knew exactly what just happened.

I washed my hands, stood over the toilet, covered my face and I uncontrollably sobbed for a few minutes as I took in the realization that I won’t be meeting this baby in November. The ultrasound tech knocked on the door and asked if everything was okay and I told her I’d be out in a minute. As weird/gross as it sounds, I didn’t want to flush…

Did that mean I was flushing the baby down the toilet? Was the baby even in that mess? Maybe this is just something out of the norm happening and the baby is really okay! So I reluctantly flushed and walked into the room.

She could tell I was just bawling–there was no hiding it. So she proceeded with the endovaginal ultrasound and confirmed there was no longer a baby to be seen. I told her what just happened in the bathroom only minutes before and she apologized for my loss.

On my drive home and to my third day of work to a new job, I called my husband and I let it all out. I had a mini panic attack at the idea I probably just flushed our baby down the toilet like it was bodily waste. I also felt immense guilt. Was it something I did? Did I eat something I shouldn’t have? Was it the copious amounts of coffee I drank? Was it me stressing over maintaining a perfect figure? What on earth did I do wrong that took my body’s capabilities and turned them against me? I would have loved that baby more than my own life.

I think after having two kids already, my emotions were skyrocketed due to thinking if I had miscarried during either of my previous pregnancies I never would have been able to enjoy my girls like I do. What could this baby have been like? Would the baby have been the boy I was hoping for next? Or another girl we could have used our other girl name we chose for? Would this baby have finally looked like me?

So… Chances are very high that you know someone who has suffered a pregnancy loss that you know nothing about, because they either never made it far enough into the pregnancy to be comfortable to announce it or because almost as quickly as they found out the exciting news it was taken away just as such. It’s something that weighs heavily on many parents’ hearts. I know October was pregnancy and infant loss awareness month… but I wanted to wait and see how I’d feel about writing about this until the date came around when I should have been a mother to three beautiful babies. So here I am.

One day I will meet my baby beyond the pearly gates… until then I will remain eternally grateful for the two amazingly beautiful girls I have been blessed with.

Here’s to all the babies we never got to meet, or got to meet but will not get to watch grow up. Some babies were only made for heaven.

And to all the parents who have suffered the same… My heart goes out to you.

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Life change

True Colors— my epiphany moment

I had an epiphany moment in this morning thanks to an amazing mentor I crossed paths with in the last few days. I have posted a lot about needing to love yourself and I try my hardest to follow my own advice but let’s face it…

We are our own worst critics.

I have been failing myself at walking the walk. Not only that–I just fail myself daily. And on top of that, there are people out there that I know, love me… that fail me also. I am trying to learn that it’s not only me failing myself.

This post is more of a self reflection post more than anything and is probably my hardest to write… so if you aren’t here to relate or share in these experiences with me please stop reading now.

I have people I go to and share my joy with that laugh at me instead of relish in my excitement. I have people I go to who put me down constantly and belittle me in moments of frustration. I have people I go to when I need to vent and instead of being a listening ear and providing insight, they turn my issues around and make it about them and how “there are always people worse off” or “I’ve been there, you don’t have it that bad…”. These people I go to are all people I love dearly.

Now if you know me, you know I come off as this super confident, happy go lucky, funny, pretty girl, who seems to have her life together. The thing is… while I know how to be that girl. I am not that girl.

I struggle with so many things. I struggle with being happy and staying that way. And nine times out of ten it’s me beating myself up because as soon as I find myself happy about something I immediately think of reasons that turn it into sadness or anger. Or when I find confidence in something, it’s immediately knocked off my shoulders by the voices in my head and there I am again sulking… probably over nothing.

I ran into many people this week who came up to me and said things like “you are someone to miss when you’re not around“, and “who could forget you?!“, and “I would recognize you in a room full of people, your presence radiates confidence“, and “you always know how to make the uniform look good“, along with so many other nice things… and you know what?

I did not believe a single one of them.

…and if I did it was only for a split second and I was back to thinking, “I’m sure I was only missed until I was replaced“, and “you’d be surprised how forgotten I feel“, and “that confidence is a facade, it’s how I mask being nervous” and “but have you seen how that person makes the uniform look?!“.

I do not know how to turn it off. So for those of you still reading and calling bullshit, this is why I told you to stop reading earlier.

Until I was able to talk to someone I look up to and we were able to talk about work, life, where we are at in our lives, “why’s” and “why not’s”, career path choices.

People like this are people I need more of. Then I reflected back and thought of the people I go to when I share my personal achievements and aside from my husband, most of these people are ones who hardly know me and I looked back at my messages and texts and I have found that they are the people I go to most when I want to share things because they seem to be the ones I don’t get judgment, humiliation, or belittlement from. I can always expect a “that’s awesome!“, or “good for you!!“, give me a reality check, or will always talk me back into doing something I’m already talking myself out of “do what makes you happy” they say…

The people I go to the most are people who hardly know me.

…they make me feel more like me. And maybe I’m wrong, they probably know me more than some of the closest people in my life because they let me truly be myself. And these people I almost never see, if at all.

I was watching Trolls with my youngest this morning and the scene where Princess Poppy–the ultimate optimist– has been defeated and Branch–the ultimate pessimist– who was someone she hardly knew anything about before their adventure to see the Bergens, sees her defeat and starts singing “True Colors” to her and brings her back to being herself. I started crying uncontrollably, immediately.

This is what has basically happened to me.

Be kind to people. Everyone. From every walk of life. Their battles may not be obvious. Just be kind, they may be like me.

Life change

30 things I’ve learned in life– Welcome to my 30s!

(I started writing this a day and a half ago and never finished because, you know, parenting. Pretend it’s August 15th!)

30. THIR-ty. thir-TY!! 1988!

No matter where I place the emphasis in the word it doesn’t change the fact that I’m 3 decades old.

I woke up today to the sound of my kids (kids! Plural! I’m like an adult or something!). So my oldest likes to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and will help finagle my youngest out of her crib. And usually they play and let me sleep in for a little while (and by sleep in I mean laying here listening to them play for an extra ten minutes while I struggle with my inability to succumb to the fact I need to wake up) but not today! They giggled their way into my bed and my youngest slammed her body right onto my gut, followed by the biggest hug. My oldest slithered her way under the cover and into the nook of my arm and we tickled, and we cuddled, and we laughed (so hard that my oldest farted), and I woke up happy.

I know too many people who were not able to wake up on their 30th birthday and experience what I got to…because they never made it to 30. So here is my list of things I’ve learned/things you should start doing:

  1. Life is short. Stop wasting it on things and people that/who don’t matter.
  2. Drink more water. If you think you’re drinking enough, drink more.
  3. Don’t tell your secrets to your kids. They’ll tell any and everyone who will listen.
  4. Befriend the “weirdo” at work. I promise you’ll learn something amazing about them and maybe something about yourself.
  5. You don’t have to pay full price for EVERYTHING. There are huge discounts out there if you sign up for newsletters and look at other resources!
  6. If you want to do something for yourself, do it. Just do it.
  7. Don’t settle. Please don’t settle.
  8. …but also don’t have unrealistic expectations
  9. Read! Read a good book or a bad one! Just read. Your brain will thank you for it.
  10. Learn a new skill, or a hobby. If you don’t like it, then find a new one! You now know how to do something you didn’t know before.
  11. Tell everyone you love, that you love them. Make sure they know. Don’t let people who are important to you wonder where they stand in your life.
  12. Try to find the good in all things. There is always a silver lining.
  13. Bring wipes everywhere. (Especially if you have kids)
  14. Make someones life a little easier. Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line, babysit for a much needed couple, invite someone over and make them dinner.
  15. Smile more often.
  16. Pamper yourself from time to time.
  17. Its okay to sit and do nothing once in a while. Life doesn’t always have to be busy!
  18. Not all people speak your “love language”. Try not to force someone to be like you or make them feel like they’re loving wrong.
  19. No matter how nice you are, there will always be someone who will judge you. Try not to let it bother you.
  20. Be more organized. I suck at this, like really bad. But I am trying.
  21. Your best friend may become a stranger. *shrugs*
  22. Making friends as an adult sucks. A mom adult, at that.
  23. Rushing causes more stress. Why are we rushing our kids out the door? Slow down.  Time goes by way too fast without us having to make it faster.
  24. Support your friends and family. Making them feel like what they do matters really does mean a lot.
  25. Do something that scares you. The adrenaline that will follow will be exhilarating (Doesn’t have to be skydiving, leaving a job to follow a different dream is one example).
  26. If you have kids, love on them any chance you get. They get annoying, yes. But the time you have with them while they are little is minimal and it flies.
  27. Print off your photos. I have 25k photos on my phone (I’m not even exaggerating). I print them off from time to time. Even if they just go in a box later on. Having something physical to look at is a fad that has almost been thrown out.
  28. Let your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/family love you. Take their compliments. Leave your door open to it. You are worth it.
  29. Let go of grudges
  30. Love yourself. Seriously. No one can fully love you right, without you loving yourself in some way, first.

 

This list wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be and partly thought up on a whim. However, I hope you enjoyed it.

Welcome to my thirties!!! Where I’m sure I will still not know what I’m doing.

Life change

Making lemonade: A recipe for life. 4 steps on how to take the NEXT step!

I’m making lemonade.

Because you know why? My good friend Life has thrown some lemons my way… aaand I’m feeling cliché, so there’s that.

No. This isn’t an actual lemonade recipe. Rather a recipe for how to find the good in the bad.

I know I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. Some unexpected hurdles have been placed in my way but since I decided on making lemonade versus throwing them back at Life and asking for chocolate instead, I will be making the best of it. Here goes. Hope this helps someone.

Planning what to do next

Hurdles are inserted in life as a means to make your path from point A to point B a little more difficult. When you approach one, immediately your brain processes how to get past it. There are a few options: over, under, or around. And there isn’t a right or wrong way. Just get past the darn thing and move along! This part was easy for me. I already had all these ideas “made up” in my head that only other people do and I’ll never get to but really wanted to! So you know what?

I’m doing it. With help, that is!

Whatever it is you think you cant do. I assure you, you can. Which leads me to this…

Find what motivates you

Whether it’s a person or people, a movie, a quote! For me, it’s the means to still be able to provide for my family in a way that I am happy about doing. My husband has assured me I can do this with obvious adjustments in our spending habits.

I also picked up the book “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. I’ve heard amazing things about it. The tag line flat out says

Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be

It’s like it was written just for me!

Be realistic!

I know I basically just said shoot for the stars…

but I didn’t say you’ll land on the moon. Not right away at least. (And if you do! Good for you! But if you’re like me– I have terrible aim, and my depth perception is whack so I’ll probably shoot for the stars, and maybe clip a cloud and then come back down from my high and try again soon.)

In fact, there will be all these things in your head about how awesome your ideas are and how exciting this new adventure will be! And they are! But don’t think you’ll: become a millionaire overnight, go viral in a day, have everyone you love support you. You’ll probably lose money figuring out what works best, or you may not be targeting the right audience to go viral, and then you’ll have people who you swear will support your ideas and then come to find out… they don’t.

“Failing” is okay

Just make sure you keep “failing” until you make it! I know for me personally there will be a lot of trial and error but that is something I am expecting so that I am not surprised when it happens. You may not fail! (lucky!) but just in case you do… it’s totally normal. I fail at many normal everyday things all the time. I’m formally accepting it as a personality trait at this point. *wink*

So look, I’m no professional. But I get it. I understand that there are things you want to do that you think you can’t. It won’t always be easy. Just take the leap! Give a shot. Because you’ll never know if the what if’s will ever be the I can’s.

The hurdles will always be there. Get over, under, or around them. You’re a grown ass woman/man, you can do what you want!

Please note: There is a possibility that this recipe may turn out sour for some people. Even for me. You can always leave it as it is, dump it and start over, dump it and go back to life without lemonade, or add sugar! Whatever you do. Be happy with yourself.

Life change

5 Steps to take to be your HAPPIEST you, yet

Okay, so I could start this off with affirmations. “Tell yourself this” or “Tell yourself that”–and say it out loud!

But I won’t. Because that doesn’t work for everybody.

Me in particular. But I will say, even on my absolute worst days. I am still happy (or at the very least I appear to be). Here’s how I do it so that you can, too:

I let shit go (most of it anyway)

Kind of like when you go number two. You don’t reflect back on it. You let it out, and you let it go. Its toxic waste that you don’t need in your body or your mind. I get mad, I get irritated, I get frustrated, and boy do I get annoyed— but I never hold onto it. Especially when it comes to the people in my life. Life is way to short to stay angry with someone. So take that anger, the animosity, the grudge, the jealousy… and flush that shit down the toilet. You don’t need it!

My glass is half full

I can take any situation and find the positive in it. My oldest is the same way and I love that so much about her. If you have hit rock bottom, there is a way out. You can only go up from there. Ask me. If I don’t know how or why something has happened to you (or me) I will–one way or another–figure out a way to help or make things better or help you come to a conclusion. Yes, I do this with myself too. I am an over thinker so I have to talk myself off of ledges alllll the time, and most of the time I end up finding a happy resolution… because I need it.  Not everyone is going to give it to me.

I compliment people

Be kind. I try not to let anyone who leaves my presence leave feeling as low as they had initially appeared to me. I like to refurbish them. I do my best to shove a little sunshine into people’s lives. If I like something about someone, I say it. “I like your face” goes a long way. Try it. They may laugh and say “Thanks” or they may walk away a little perplexed at what the heck you just said to them, but I promise it will leave a lasting impression and they’ll think about that odd compliment until they pass out for bed.

Okay, story time! So I have a kid (two actually, but this one in particular), and kids kind of just say whats on their minds. No filter. Well we were at Walmart (and if you have heard of the People of Walmart you know where I’m going with this), and she was staring at this older lady behind us in the checkout line–she was morbidly obese–and she wouldn’t stop staring. So praying to God she doesn’t open her mouth and just say something embarrassing (like kids usually do) I whispered “Its not very polite to stare at people.” And as my “judgy” self is watching her mouth open up, still making eye contact with that woman, and I’m hoping a hole in this floor will open up and eat me alive because I swear she’s about to say something embarrassing–she opens her mouth to speak and says “I really like your shirt and your matching necklace“.

Wait, what?? She was four at the time. Four!

Now I know I said I compliment people, and in this case, it appears I had judged before I could say anything nice about this woman, but if you have kids you have to be prepared for them to speak the obvious… and that’s where I thought this was going. Moving on.

I understand and overcome

I know that when people lash out, its not always personal. An angry customer on the phone may want to swear up and down about something they’re not happy about, but its not my fault. They’re angry at the product, not at me. Someone may be at rock bottom, and even though you may approach them with ease and the intention of being polite they may want nothing to do with it… and will show it. Everyone fights different battles. Its not your place to judge whether or not your battle is worse. Their day is not your day. Their life is not your life. Understand that its not personal. People just need to find an outlet and whether or not you’re the problem, you may be their target. Smile, and move along. Do not hold onto it. I also understand that my life is not, and will never be, perfect. If I expect it to be, and its not… that’s me letting myself down. The same goes for you. All the chaos that is, has, and is yet to come is what shapes your character. Understanding how to handle and manage it will help you get through and overcome it.

and last but far from the least

I smile all the time

Even when I’m on the phone. They may not see it but the recipient is able to hear it in your voice. I promise. I don’t know how many times I have heard “It was a pleasure speaking with you” or “Thank you for brightening my day“. And its because I have every intent on making even hard conversations, tolerable. There may be days where I’m at work crying over some battle with myself in my head, then the phone rings, or my manager calls me over, and I brush it off and smile. 95% of the time most people wouldn’t know I have the struggles that I have had in my life because of a simple smile. And really, its none of their business anyway.

So that’s it.

Five easy ways to have a happier lifestyle. Kindness is free, people. Be gentler with others and be easy on yourself.

Trust me– I’m not this big ball of sunshine at all times. I just don’t carry my baggage  with me wherever I go. My lucky husband gets to deal with my gray skies once in a while. 😉

 

-cheers!
cropped-daily-coffee-with-kids.png

Life change

I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way

My brain is like a train that is never on track. Like the person who works the railroad switch to engage the track to veer one way instead of the other decided to skip work and steer me in the wrong direction– everyday.

Like there’s a fork in the track (think of a real fork–a realistic one, one with 4 or 5 prongs–not like a fork in a road) and each car of the train decides to split apart and take its own path, yet the caboose remains at the fork unsure of which car to follow. All that, equals my brain.

Do I want to work full time? Do I want to be a stay at home mom? Do I like this job? Should I go back to serving? Work from home? Should I change my outfit for the 100th time? Hair up or down? It’s cold at work, jeans and a tank top or shorts and a hoodie? Am I raising my kids right? Or should I follow the books more? This never changes in my head. All I know is that there are two things I’m certain of:

  1. Once I make up my mind, it’s made up. (It’s the process of making it up part that gets me)
  2. I want to see more of my kids.
  • That’s it. My husband always refers to that scene in The Notebook where they’re arguing and he’s asking her what she wants and she argues back that it’s not that simple. Yeah, I’m Allie. In all things.
  • I get along pretty well with everyone in my life and generally with the people I surround myself with. The only person I can’t seem to agree with anything on is myself.

    I need to learn how to just do something if I want to do it. Yeah, I mean weigh out the pros and cons first, and make sure the cons don’t outweigh the pros and not vice versa. But not if the cons are mainly people who don’t support me, or people who tell me not to do something because it’s an unrealistic idea. Those people can go you-know-what themselves. And I need to remember to not be one of those people, myself.

    I need to do something that I want for a change. Not what I think other people will applaud me for doing, because I know for a fact that there are more people who wish you well to your face but are sticking around for “support” just to see if you fail.

    I wish so badly that people weren’t so ugly towards other people. It’s really not that hard to be kind.

    But there I go… being a hypocrite (again) because my biggest enemies are the voices in my head telling me that my dreams are unrealistic, even though I know how hard I would push myself if I would just follow-through with them. This is my last step.

    I am slowly breaking down that wall. I’m climbing up the shattered pieces that have come down and I’m using them as stepping stones to make my way up and over it.

    This brick represents all the “You-can’t-do-it’s“. Step.

    This brick represents the “Its-not-possibles“. Step again.

    This brick represents all the doubts in my mind that I couldn’t or shouldn’t ask for help. Another step.

    This brick represents the false idea that no one will support me. And another step.

    On that last brick of false ideas I stand and look over the wall. I can see the horizon of possibilities that looks back at me. And just like that horizon– they’re endless.

    I’m so close to being over the wall. So I look up at the brick that I know will fall, if only I can just shake the nerves, block out the voices, and pray to God for the courage.

    Just one more brick. Just one more step. Just one more “You can do it.”

    And I’m there.

    Life change · Mom's Corner

    Duty is calling, and I must go

    I knew what I was signing up for when I got my first job as soon as I turned 16. Responsibility, income, a new role. But I always took pride in working for my money. I may not have managed it very well when I was younger (and I’m still sometimes an impulse buyer), but it was my money. It wasn’t full time by any means since I was still in high school, but after school duty was calling… so I went.

    I joined the military on active duty at 19, had a kid by 22, and deployed by 23. My squadron told me I was deploying when my oldest was still new to this world at five months old, with six months to prepare for my upcoming deployment. After her first birthday, shortly after Christmas, just a few really short weeks later I was at the airport (deployment bags in hand and my daughter on my hip) and the woman on the intercom said it was the last call for boarding. My overseas duty was calling and as my heart shattered, I had to go.

    I came back from said deployment, eager to see my daughter, and ready to be home. I was speed walking through the airport, passing the much needed restrooms, but I didn’t care I’d pee my pants if it came down to it. I was coming down the hallway and could hear the distant laughter of my daughter drawing nearer and nearer. My duty lifeline was calling in a sing-song of laughter…and faster than lightning, did I go.

    Monday through Friday I work a 9-5 (it’s really an 8:30-5 but who’s tracking?). I work for someone who has made their dream a reality. I invest my time so I can reap the reward of a middle class paycheck to be able to help provide for my family. So Monday through Friday at 8:30 am as I pay someone else to help raise my children, I have a duty to fulfill… so I go.

    I worked all week and looked forward to this weekend… until I realized I may no longer be active duty but I am still in the reserve and instead of enjoying the weekend with my family, its my military drill weekend and have to work it to be able to maintain a military career status and reap the many benefits that come along with it. I get to see all the faces of my military coworkers for two days bright and early at 6:30am, so I reluctantly roll out of bed at 4:30am after hitting snooze, get dressed into my uniform, hop in my car, and I go.

    After working all week– and sometimes 12 days straight– and checking my phone constantly for updates on my kids, when my temporary duties are up, and I’ve fulfilled the needs of my jobs I sign out of my computer, gather my belongings and I clock out.

    This past month or so has had me reflecting on all the things I do and all the hats I wear. Although I keep my ABU (military) hat on the dash of my car as a reminder that I serve my country for anyone in the range of my family and friends to the man who could care less about why I’m serving.  My duty as a mother is my most important and it is the hat I wear with most pride. It’s a never-ending job and requires most of any and all resources I can provide. Becoming a mother has changed the way I view my life and what I define as successful. I can be great in all other areas and “succeed”, but if I fail in this one particular aspect of my life, to me, I will have failed at all the others. I understand the need to provide, and as a family we have that. But while I am alive I am going to give my mom-duties, and my babies, my best me yet…

    Because my duties babies are calling… and to them–without fail–I will always go.

    Life change

    Home was where the military sent us

    This is going to be a hard post to write without crying, laughter and a whole lot of reminiscing…

    “So where are you from?”…”Uhh what do you mean?“… “You know, where did you grow up?”… “Like where have I lived?“… “No, like where were you born?”… “Well that’s different than were I’ve lived.” … “Well where do you call ‘home’?”… “Does that mean where I lived the longest or where I wish I still lived?”

    Where are you from? Is one of the most open ended questions you can ask a military brat. Because in the military, “home” goes from being a place to being people. The military is a revolving door. No one stays put for very long.

    You hear of the military member, and the military spouse and unless you’re in the military, you don’t hear much of the military child. We are the behind the scenes of the military spouse who is behind the scenes of the military member.

    My dad is an Air Force Retiree. He served 26 dedicated years to his maintenance career as a C-130 Crew Chief. We lived 5 different places in my lifetime on the Air Force’s terms. Where we had to go and how long we got to stay was something we had very little control over. Change is more than a verb- its a lifestyle in the military. You learn to adapt quickly.

    In the 26 years he was in, I went to eight different schools. Pre-k and kindergarten are a given. But the three elementary schools, the middle school and the two high schools I went to were another story.

    By the time we moved to Colorado I was meeting friends who had lived there their whole lives. Seeing the rooms they grew up in, with painted walls, recounting the memories there… I was green with envy. I’ve always wished I had a a physical place to call home, to reflect back on the house I grew up in.

    Because us brats grow up making best friends that sometimes last a few months before they leave and we have to find new best friends. We go to schools to be the “New Kid” more times than we’d like, many times in a foreign country. We have cried too often while seeing off our newfound and “long term” friends at the airport terminals. We watch as it takes a toll on our parents’ relationships as we say goodbye yet again while moms and dads prepare to go on another deployment not knowing if this would be the last time we see them.

    So we hug a little longer, cry a little more, and love a little harder than normal.

    While it made me sad to think about when growing up– as an adult I am very thankful for the life experiences and the revolving door that is the military. I have met sooooo many amazing people, lived in a foreign country I am blessed to have lived for as long as we did, in a culture I am forever thankful to have known.

    I have family in all corners of the world. Our homes are in the hearts of people sprinkled around the world.

    There is so much more I could say about it all. But I will close with this. As brats, we are cultured, we are united by the military culture, we are the distant echo from an unheard cry, we have sacrificed, but we always bounce back because we are resilient.

    Life change

    5 Things I learned by moving and starting over

    Ever wonder what it would be like to make the move to another state you know little, to nothing, about? Where you know only a handful of people, those of which are family members who live about an hour away? Or to give up a stable career to start over 180º in another direction? Or you meet someone amazing and have to decide whether or not to move to where you’re from or where he’s from? I know what it’s like and this is my list from my personal experience.

    1. It gets lonely.

    You know those days when you could go grab coffee with your best friend? Or have a movie/wine night on a whim? Or hell, even a play date where the kids can entertain each other while you two catch up on the latest gossip. I’m on year three here in Minnesota and while I do have friends, it doesn’t help that none of them live nearby, or we all have kids and can’t figure our schedules out. Or twenty other reasons it just doesn’t work out. And I am the queen of extroverts. #teamleo #lifeoftheparty. Another reason it gets lonely is because more people come go, than go come. You can try all day to keep in touch with people, but nine times out of ten it isn’t reciprocated.

    2. Finding a [good] job isn’t going to be easy.

    In my case I went from full blown active duty Air Force to the Air Force reserve. Completely different worlds. (For those of you who don’t know, that means I work my military job one weekend a month and participate in two full weeks worth of all military-ness a year). Since I have been here I have gone through four different [civilian] jobs before I landed my current one. One where I get paid a decent wage near home. I took a huge pay cut taking this leap of faith moving out here, but what makes up for it is the cost of living is much lower than Colorado. That’s FIVE jobs in THREE years.

    3. Small towns > Suburbs & Cities

    I came from living in both. The hustle and bustle of the cities, and by golly the traffic, is not my cup of tea. And the suburbs! Where you have the ability to high five your neighbor while you’re both on your porcelain thrones because you’re living on top of the other- no thanks! While that was appealing to me before and I could still live there and be just fine with it, I’m 95% sure that if I had to choose I’d be going with the small town vibes. You get more bang (and land) for your buck out here! I like looking around and not being able to look in my neighbors’ eyes, or recognize them, since I’m near sighted and would need my glasses to do so. I give credit to my husband for wanting to raise our family out here. Don’t be afraid of moving to a small town!

    4. Amazon is Amazing

    Its not like I’m new to online shopping- but I found the ease and convenience of Amazon (and their lightning speed shipping) to be a dream! Not to mention their lightning deals. Plus living in a super small town limits where I get to shop in person. Its a 25 minute drive to Target – ouch! – and I’m not making that trek for some milk or formula. (Not that I’d be buying either of those on Amazon so moot point, I just love Target). Its my best friend out here, I can meet Amazon up and sip coffee any time of day and tell my shopping secrets to it… except then Amazon goes and tells the UPS guys who delivers my packages in plain sight for my husband to see… so maybe not my best friend.

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    I need this doormat

    5. It has helped my marriage grow in so many ways.

    I’m not alone in the “not having friends” department. The only other people my husband sees outside of work is yours truly and his family. Let’s even throw in Jason our boat salesman since he’s seen him more times than we’d like since purchasing our boat! (Good thing it’s still under 100% warranty). So we are each other’s support. We have become so much closer. (Partly because we initially lived in a town where the population was 1200, and I’m sure 1000 of them are cows so we were all each other saw!). We have both compromised so much to be where we are today. We did long distance for a little over a year when I was still serving on my active duty contract and his was done, and prior to that things weren’t even all that great. When he left Colorado, our relationship was at its all time low. We even broke up for a couple months until we realized we were still texting each other frequently and he made the first move into starting this back up. I was afraid. Afraid to leave the first place I had ever called home (military upbringing), to leave my freaking career, and my friends and family. But let me tell you this- it was the best thing I have ever done. We never (okay sometimes) get sick of each other. I supported him when we had 30 acres and a funny (I mean pig) farm. There’s never been a time when it was just the two of us because if you’ve read any of my previous posts you know he’s an amazing stepdad to my daughter from a previous marriage, and we’ve maybe been on a handful of “dates”, but this is our chaos. Maybe its because we are forced to get along because we’re all each other really ever spends time with, but I am beyond thankful that I took the leap.

    I would have added Adapting to change/surroundings to part of my list but for my personal experience this didn’t necessarily apply since I’ve moved everywhere from Arkansas all the way to Japan and I can easily adapt.

    If you’re thinking about doing it I recommend giving it a shot. You can always go back home and rejoin in the life you previously lived. You will always have somewhere to go home to. (Unless you’re me and your entire family moves away from the place you call home and sells their house and you can’t even bum a room from them anymore if you want to visit because they’re gone!). If its for the same reasons I did it, go for it if you feel the person is worth it. If they’re not, you can either make a new adventure of it, or you can go back home.

    You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take

    If you want to know more (after reading this novel- if you even made it this far) feel free to comment or email and I’ll get back to you! Thanks for reading!

    cheers!