Mom's Corner

This is just a phase…they won’t want these things forever

So I’m sitting on the couch with my husband and settling onto the couch when I hear “mommy?” for the umpteenth time… The first time was around 8:30. Then 8:47. Then 8:52. Etc, etc.

This is just a phase.

This is just a phase.

This is just a freaking phase.

My toddler has been an independent sleeper since she was 6 months old. We hardly have any issues with getting her to bed and her staying there.

Until recently.

Maybe she’s still hungry. Alright, here’s a snack. Maybe she’s not ready for bed. Okay, you can play a little longer. Or….maybe she just needs me. Okay, let’s go in your room together and I’ll put you back to bed. I laid her down started brushing my finger across her face as she rubbed her eyes, tickling her back like I do for her sister, humming a song, until she points to the space to her left and says “Mommy, too?” She wanted me to lay next to her. So that’s what I did. I climbed into her crib and curled up next to her. She slid her little arm under my neck and hugged my head against her body.

And it hit me. Hard.

I realized I have not laid down with her to put her to sleep since she was 6 months old–she’ll be 2 next month. I laid there and watched her slowly blink away the day as she played with my hair. I did that until I noticed she was starting to fall a little deeper into her slumber and decided to get out before I ended up waking her as I did it later on. So I got out and stood by her crib and repeated my earlier actions. I brushed my fingers across her face. I tickled her back. I glued my eyes to her little body. I watched the rise and fall of her chest.

And I cried.

I cried because I feel like I lost a year and some change putting her to bed and leaving her to self soothe, rather than basking in the moment. I watched how beautiful she looked while she so peacefully lay there, slow-blinking, and then shooting them back wide open to make sure I’m really still there, then slow-blinking them shut again. A step that she repeated over and over until she gave into sleep.

I stood there and soaked it all up. The way she picked her nose until she was almost asleep and then switched it up to her hands behind her head flipping away at her earlobes instead. The way her hand fell down to her stuffed monkey to make sure it was still there after she closed her eyes for the night. The way she said “Mommy?” when she sensed me backing away.

The way I succumbed to her needs and laid on the floor by the crib with my arm between the rails and held her hand until it was limp and her breathing heavied.

When she was out for the count I carefully tip toed away, I closed her door, went straight to my husband, buried my face and I cried even more. Why didn’t I do this more often? Why did I wait this long? Why haven’t I done this sooner?

I feel like I robbed myself that time because she is so easy at bedtime that I didn’t even think to do it. I was so focused on her being an independent sleeper that I missed out on those peaceful moments for so long. I wanted to rewind time and snuggle her more and for even longer. She was breastfed until 6 months old when I started working again so I would normally come in, feed her to sleep and go back to my bed–and she and I were okay with that.

Or at least I thought I was until that moment. I pride myself in thinking I soak in many of these little moments, but clearly–at some point–I slipped. Maybe I feel like being at home all day with her compensates for missing other things. Maybe I am so eager to be able to sit in silence and read a book, fill an order, or watch a show without distractions. Maybe it just became so routine, it didn’t cross my mind until the recent events of her escaping her bed/room that I just laid her down, did our kissy/peekaboo/hair in her face routine, and kiss her again, that it didn’t occur to me that she’d crave for me to stay with her until she fell asleep.

I mean I do it for her older sister a lot of times–but she’s also old enough to ask for it.

And I know that I want to embrace these moments because just as quickly as I wish this phase away of her constantly getting out of bed… gone will be the days she actually wants me to. So until then I’m going to remind myself…

…This is just a phaseshe won’t want this forever.

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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.

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.

Mom's Corner

Motherhood— Nature’s calling? Or straight up Nature?!

I see a crack of light and the silhouette it creates accentuating the beautiful gift God has provided me with– my oldest daughter… who creepily whispers my name early in the morning as she stands motionless in my doorway. OH. MY. GOSH. Why?! That’s right–school… and it’s picture day. That crack of light capturing her silhouette was my eyelids refusing to open as they were reacting to the bright light my daughter turned on.

I cross the rocky terrain that is my living room to reach my destination. The end is in sight (or the beginning, really, for that matter) and I can almost reach the coffee pot… I make it! But not unscathed by my surroundings as I stepped on a giant LEGO aka “breakfast” that my toddler “made” for me and put ever-so-sweetly in a bowl in my path to the kitchen.

I close my eyes for a [milli]second and listen to my surroundings. I take in the [not so] faint calls of the wild. The monkey’s howl, the lion’s roar, the cow’s moo, the cat’s meow, the sheep’s baaa, the frog’s “bibbit”, and the toddler’s cry! I hear the sounds of an endless flowing river that is Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol babbling in the background… and I mean never ending and unfortunately somewhat catchy.

The coffee hits me at the same time as my hangry child’s stomach decides to scavenge for a ‘nack. So I plot my escape to the bathroom with a decoy of distraction with piranhas goldfish in a cup over by the couch and I make a break for it! But I am not fast enough. The toddler catches up with me as I’m trying to close the bathroom door and in fear of frightening the toddler and hurting her fingers I give in. She sits there feeding me piranhas goldfish as I do my business –she doesn’t take her eyes off of me.

My nose senses something’s gone awry and knows it’s time to capture the toddler and put her in a new net that catches her waste that is the diaper. But she knows what’s up. So I make my way into her room, grab my tools to clean a bottom and I see her. She lurks around the corner thinking I can’t see what she’s up to. So I back up out of her line of sight and I wait silently. I hear her steps as she creeps closer and out I pop with a playful roar and I tickle her to the ground. It’s all fun and games until she crocodile rolls away with remnants of poo on her rump. Not today, tiny human! Not today.

She’s fought long and hard and is ready to give in. But not before she pulls on my pant legs, plays with her food, pulls her sissy’s hair, fights with the floor, cries out for “douche“–which I translate as juice, colors on sissy’s homework, eats her prey dinner, gives me kisses, and says “nigh-night“.

Finally. Time for myself. I sit, close my eyes, and listen. No more roars, “bibbits”, or cries. No more rough, LEGO-breakfast terrain to trench through. No more secret passwords I mean…terrible, new-age math homework. No more toddler-chaperoned trips to the bathroom. No more hugs. No more “I love you mom“s. No more bodies in my arms to snuggle.

The day is done. My heart is full. And even with the chaos-clad days I have I still want to wake those sleeping beasts for just another kiss.

But I know what awaits tomorrow so for now I’ll take my rest.

So as the light closes on the horizon that are my eyelids– I sleep.

Mom's Corner

To the Mom who…

To the new mom

…who thinks she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. That feels like you’ll never know what a full nights sleep is like ever again. That never knew what your heart is capable of loving. Who has given up her body to create a new tiny body and is feeling self conscious about it. The ones who have tried everything to get their baby to stop crying and has to put their baby down and walk away for a few minutes. Who even though she wants to close her eyes from being up tending to a fussy baby for hours, still lies awake to watch the rise and fall of their baby’s chest.

I know.

To the working mom

…who wakes up at 6am to shower, get ready (maybe), make breakfast for her kids, get them ready for school, and then off to daycare. Who wishes she spent more hours of the day with the tiny people she’s made from scratch, than with people who would replace her if she died tomorrow. Who clocks out, picks them up from two different locations, goes home, makes dinner, tidies up (ish… or doesn’t) the house, maybe gets to eat her food warm with her family, then bathes and puts the kids to bed before maybe having time for herself or her husband.

I know.

To the stay at home mom

…who wakes up to human alarm clocks just to make breakfast that they asked for but really didn’t want. Who cleans dirty faces, hands and diapers all day. The ones getting sick, then better, then sick again because the other kids catches it–so clearly you need to catch it again too, because it’s only fair. The ones who clean up 3 or 4 times, just for it to look like a tornado hit right before dad walks in. The ones getting all “felt up” by kids and toddlers all day and then at the end of the day crave adult attention and communication or even just some peace and quiet to try and do the things you tried to do all day but couldn’t.

I know.

To the military mom

…who would put their lives on the line for their country even if that means leaving their families behind just so they can live a better life. The ones who make sacrifice after sacrifice year after year to do what the military tells them when the military tells them with very little say. The ones who say goodbye to their little ones for months that feel like years with an ache in their heart only a mother would feel. Who go to the CDC on base during their lunch to see their babies–even if they’re sleeping–and lay/eat with them because you miss them.

I know.

To the military spouse mom

…who also sacrifices a lot to be with and without her family. Who knows the true meaning of “It takes a village“–because without that village you’d lose your mind. Who leaves the rest of her family to support her new family in all their endeavors to come. Yet wishes her parents/siblings could be around her kids more often. The ones that hold down the fort at home because sometimes it’s impossible to maintain a career anywhere because you know in just a few short years you’re going to have to leave that career/company behind because you’re moving overseas.

I know.

To the mom of a child with special needs

…who work overtime as a parent of even just one child because patience alone is hard to come by some days. Who are afraid to tackle certain everyday tasks in public in fear an episode or health issue may arise. Who secretly wishes someone would volunteer to help her even just so she can do some laundry, without fear of asking in hopes someone doesn’t question her abilities as a mom. The ones that cry for their child because this world is an ugly place and no matter what you do there’s no escaping it. That cry because they feel like they’ve done any and everything they possibly can and it still isn’t comforting their child.

As a mom to friends with special needs children who has been there for them on their “bad days“.

I know.

To the mom who has it all figured out

…good for you. Just kidding! I wish I were you because.

I do not know.

And to all the moms

…who feel under appreciated, stressed to the maximum capacity, drained, alone, stranded–even if you feel like it’s all in your mind. Who get so fed up at times–just to look at their innocent faces and realize no matter how bad the times–it is all so worth it.

Just remember there’s a village of us out there who have either been there, are passing through, or know someone who has.

And we know.

Mom's Corner

My kids stayed with grandma for the night… and I felt lost.

So I turn 30 in 3 days.

…I mean 2 days (12:08am)

So my husband treated me to a night out. We went to a bar that had an amazing band and we went with a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And an hour into the night and I’m texting my mother in law to watch for my toddlers breathing because she was coughing funny earlier that morning. I wanted to enjoy my kid-free night so I waited for her response and I put my phone away.

I documented some of the night on Snapchat and didn’t do much else. We had a few drinks, played a game of bags (aka cornhole), and danced.

I looked at my phone again at 12:14am and replied to confirm that the kids were staying the night at grandmas house. We went home, watched some tv, and didn’t have to tiptoe or whisper.

But I did it anyway.

I was subconsciously doing mom things. I peeked inside my youngest’s room, I panicked for a quick second wondering if I forgot to go downstairs to read my oldest a bedtime story–until I remembered she wasn’t here. We aren’t used to having the house to ourselves. I’m not used to the kids not being around. I enjoyed the alone time with my husband. But I never felt so lost all at the same time.

I can do date nights. I can go hours away from my kids (although I do admit being away from my kids more and more the older I get, sucks!). But this whole overnight thing got to me. I love being the one who puts my toddler to bed and plays peek a boo with her blankie for a few extra minutes and kiss her little toes while she tickles her face with my hair. I love one on one time with my oldest while I tuck her in, read her a story and tickle her back. Or watch tv with her until she falls asleep with me on the couch.

That’s my job.

Yes I know. I know grandmas and aunties are fully capable of watching over my kids. I could not ask for better grandmas and aunties (and uncles) for my girls. But speaking of jobs, lately, working full time hadn’t been fulfilling. I had been looking left and right as to why that is and what it is that I’ve been missing out on. I have been home for a couple of weeks being solely a mom. A mom, a homemaker, a wife.

And I have never been so fulfilled at any other job as I have felt while being home with my kids being able to spend precious, frustrating, undivided, time with them.

So last night while I was out enjoying my husband and my kids were safe, playing with family, I was also missing my kids. I missed my mommy duties.

But I also missed having alone time with my husband. I already had a kid when we met. So we’ve never really had that “just us” phase of our relationship. He gladly, without hesitation, jumped into a relationship with us two and stepped up to be the man and father he didn’t have to be. We rarely get date nights so I am thankful when we get them.

The ugly side of this all is that no matter what I do I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m missing my kids when its just us on a date night, guilty that I don’t get to be with my husband alone more often, guilty that my kids went to bed without me, guilty that I even feel guilty at all!

So I felt lost without my kids. So what? I’d get lost in the chaos of motherhood over and over again just to be able to re-experience the exhilaration of it all.

So I need to let my kids enjoy their other family members so that I can enjoy some time with my wonderful husband. Guilt free time. I need to let them get to know their family better. It’s not like they dread it. They enjoy going to see everyone. They love playing with our family and their cousins. I need to give myself a break step back from mom duties, even for one whole night.

Wife hat, mom hat. One piled on the top of the other. I can do it. I can find my way through motherhood without getting lost.

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!