Who loves Gilmore Girls as much as me? I am not sure if there are too many (FAIR WARNING, SPOILERS BELOW). I may not own any memorabilia for the show, but I have seen every episode more than I can count on two hands. In college my roommates and I would dream about a Gilmore Girls reunion, a season 8 or a movie. Anything to get some closure. And then 11 months ago our dreams came true! Netflix was going to do a mini-series continuation. We were finally going to get our closure! I couldn’t have been more excited (just ask my husband). As soon as I finished watching them, just as quickly as I possibly could, I picked up my phone to text everyone I know who’s a fan. I saw varied reactions on Facebook, mostly of disappointment. Now Stars Hallow and its residents will always hold a special place in my heart, but here is my critique! We all know that Logan is supposed to be Rory’s Christopher; and Jess is supposed to be Rory’s Luke, and I want to pretend that’s how it ends up, as long as Jess and Rory figure it out faster than Luke and Lorelai. But overall, here is what I thought!
How about you? What did you think of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Your favorite part, least favorite part?
Who doesn’t love crafting, especially around Christmas time! Last year I made ornaments for everyone for Christmas. This year I am more excited for my Christmas crafting as I get to use it to decorate our house for the first time ever! Equal with my love of crafting is my love of Target! I mean who doesn’t love Target. This year Target has some awesome Christmas decorations in their dollar section at the front. I found this really cool sled hanger and decided to make it a picture holder to hang on our wall! And except for the ribbon, I found all of the pieces in the dollar section at Target. Here is what I came up with! Here is what I used.
First I glued the clip to the sled and cut the ribbon to make the bow.
So easy, but the final product will go great with the rest of my rustic Christmas décor this year!
A friend, and fellow MilSpouse said it best, “Alpha, Foxtrot, What?!?!” I could not agree more. From military time, to the phonetic alphabet, to all their damn acronyms the military culture is certainly unique. And unless you are entrenched in it before you get married; extremely confusing ad overwhelming. Now having only been married to the military for a year, I am not going to pretend to be an expert. I am still sitting over here wishing that google translator had a military option! But I have picked up a few things over the last couple months of living on Fort Benning that have been extremely helpful.
When I first got here the only person I knew was my husband, and as he was in training he spent most of his days (and nights) sleeping out under the stars in the field. So he was not a lot of help in making the transition. Thankfully he has passed that phase for now and is home most of the time. But while he was gone I had to do some improvising. So what to do when you are overwhelmed by the military life culture. Well first I Google. “oh are you going to the FRG?” Ummm hold on let me consult my personal assistant, a.k.a. Hi google, “what is FRG?” Google: FRG stands for Family Readiness Group, the place for spouses to gather that is based on your spouses’ Unit. It is typically headed by the Commander’s wife. If your spouse is deployed this is where you would get information regarding your husband movements. They host coffee groups which are social gatherings. Google can be a serious life saver; any acronym someone throws at you, just O.K. Google! And, depending on your internet connection, you can have it within seconds.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know something you are not going to learn by nodding your head, and pretending you understand without piping up and saying so. The one thing I have learned so far is that most people in the military world pay little attention to how new you are to post (in case you didn’t know, that is what Army people call a base or fort), and will proceed with acronyms galore in their conversations. Asking for help is absolutely ok, nobody is going to judge you for it, I promise. It will probably make the person you are asking feel good that they are able to help you out. So ask, it’s the only way to learn, other than google!
Also, a couple of really well known Military Spouse Bloggers, J.D. Collins from Semi-Delicate Balance, Jo, My Gosh, and Lauren Tamm from The Military Wife & Mom, wrote an e-book called the “Modern Military Spouse”. It has everything you would ever want to know about Military life and culture. It even has a handy Acronym Dictionary in the back! (This post is not in any way endorsed by them, I am simply passing along information about a tool that I found invaluable in starting my journey as a military spouse.) You can find it here: http://jomygosh.com/the-modern-military-spouse/
I am a positive person! I don't like negativity, I approach everything as something to be learned from and that makes it a good thing even if it is challenging in the moment. This year there is so much to be thankful for, but in a time where everyone wants to focus on the bad circumstances around us instead of celebrating the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday I have decided to share what I am thankful for with you.
1. I am thankful for my family! I am thankful for my husband's family which is now my family and I am thankful its growing in numbers!
2. I am thankful that this year I get to spend Christmas with my family, and that we are in a position to be able to afford that.
3. I am thankful for my husband's career and all the work he has put into it over the last year, even when its hard and challenging he plows through.
4. I am thankful that a Chaplain at Fort Benning took a chance on me as a volunteer Marriage and Family counselor right out of school and his confidence in my abilities to be an effective resource for our community.
5. I am thankful for the friends I have made and the support network that I have been able to grow in my time at Fort Benning; without them I would be lonely. I am also thankful for old friendships that continue to blossom!
6. I am thankful for my puppy who keeps me constantly on the move! Life with her is never boring!
7. I am thankful for my health and my physical being! I have never been stronger than I am right now.
8. I am thankful for my faith and how it guides me.
These are the things I am grateful for! I am loving life right now even if it is hard sometimes there are great things in my life! Comment below with somethings you are grateful for this year!
We always think, once that test I over, once my husband gets home from
deployment, TDY, the field; my kid grows out of this phase then I won’t be anxious any more. And yet, as soon as that event ends and we think we can relax, we just find something else to be anxious about. Why can’t we just relax? Well I will tell you.
The reason we have so much anxiety in our lives is because the society we live in perpetuates it. Just watch any TV commercial it will tell you all about the products you are missing out on and that you just have to have, and you will see that it is breeding grounds for feeling like we are missing out. We are constantly comparing our lives to everyone around us, who we assume always has everything perfectly together. And we suddenly feel very inadequate. Sure, come January first and we are making our new year’s resolution we will vow not to compare ourselves to other, but January 2nd rolls around and we go to a friend’s house and their house is already un-decorated, put away and cleaned. And we go home to our house filled with boxes of unfinished, unorganized Christmas decorations and we fall back into the trap.
So what can we do about this vicious cycle? Because we are imperfect people, we will never rid our lives of anxiety fully, but if we recognize the cycle and can identify it in our own lives then we can get one step closer to living peacefully alongside our anxiety. Wait what did you just say you might ask? Living peacefully alongside anxiety? That sounds like an oxymoron. In some ways maybe. But because there is always going to be a new product out, our friends will always be doing something different from us, we are always going to have that anxiety in our lives; and that’s ok. It is how we respond to our anxiety that determines whether or not we live peacefully.
So how do we respond to this anxiety, the answer is to know that its normal. Often we think we are in the wrong for feeling anxious, because everyone hides their anxiety from everyone else; trying to pretend it doesn’t exist. By acknowledging it we gain power of it, we are no longer acting out of anxious reactivity we can choose how we respond to the anxiety. Reactivity to anxiety is what keeps us in the falsehood of as soon as the circumstances change our anxiety will lift; keeps us constantly purchasing the next “it” item of clothing, make-up, toy for our child; it’s what keeps us constantly looking for something else to satisfy our void. Reactivity will never make our anxiety go away it will just shift the focus of our anxiety. But recognizing our anxiety, and operating knowing that we have control over our anxiety is the freedom we are searching for.
We own our anxiety by recognizing that its present and choosing to act despite it. It is the push to try something new, dare to be different, and own and accept your life for what it is and what God has given to you. Way easier said than done I agree; however, with prayer, patience, and knowing we aren’t always going to get it right we can live peacefully alongside our anxiety instead of imprisoned by its constraints.
Now I know I am one of the lucky ones this holiday season. For Thanksgiving we will get to be with my husband’s family, all of them; and then for Christmas this year we get to head and see my family. But I know for a lot of people in the military community separated far from home and for everyone else far from home getting back to family becomes difficult, tricky, and expensive. But I have had to weather holidays alone without my family as well. In fact, this is the first Christmas in two years that I will get to spend it with my parents, and I couldn’t be more excited. I know the longing of wanting to be home and yet for whatever reason being so far away. So what do you do with those feelings of loneliness, sadness, disappointment, and maybe even anger that results from missing your traditional time?
I know it is hard, but I would say first embrace the different opportunities to experience the holidays. Of course, we are always going to think our own traditional ways is the best possible way to celebrate. But if we just take a chance on something new we might discover something really wonderful. For me, my parents have lived in Hawaii ever since I was in high school, going to visit them at Christmas was such a wonderful break from the cold weather and two extra weeks at the beach I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Christmas day often meant another day at the beach, and a glorious tan! This will be my husband’s first trip there for Christmas, he can no more imagine a Christmas on the beach than I can a snowy white Christmas. Accepting that neither of these are wrong viewpoints helps decrease the frustration for the person missing their normal.
One thing we are doing this thanksgiving is co-hosting a Friendsgiving celebration right where we are as a way to celebrate! And for the first time ever I am responsible for making the turkey, that’s a first for me! And I have to say I think I was pretty successful! (Just take a look at my pretty turkey in the picture above!) Spending the time you would normally spend with your family with friends is a great way to get out of that lonely holiday funk! It provides distraction from your situation and provides a place for you get out and make new experience instead of sitting at home dwelling on all the things you are missing! Who knows you might come away with some amazing recipes! I know I sure did this year!
Husband bashing: just google it. You will find tons of articles listing why you should not do it; funny jokes; and to beware of husband bashers. Yet, it is so easy to do. He makes us mad, forgets the one thing at the store we needed most, whatever. And we turn to our sisters, friends, or worse the internet. We are all guilty of this. But if we are being honest with ourselves, we do not feel any better for it. All we have done is tick off our husbands and turn our biggest supporters against him. So what can we do instead the next he forgets to pick up milk on his way home?
Well according to one of the most respected researchers in marital and relational therapy, Dr. John Gottman, suggests that one of the seven principles for making marriage work is to nurture fondness and admiration for each other. But how can we do that when we are constantly bashing our husbands for all their short comings? We can’t; we can’t both admire them and bash them at the same time. Every time we bash them publically or even internally, we forfeit the opportunity to admire their positive qualities, what drew us to our spouses in the first place.
As humans we are naturally drawn to more immediately recognize negative situations, characteristics, events, individuals, and actions. This means we are more apt to notice our spouses’ short comings rather than their achievements and successes. As a result, we husband bash to vent our frustrations. Learning to train our minds to focus on the good, positive moments takes time and dedication. And slowly we won’t gravitate towards nitpicking the negatives. Allowing us to turn towards our spouse and remember to stay fond of each other, have happy memories together in the present, not just the past. When we are fond of our husbands and admire them for all their strengths, we won’t continue to bash our husbands. If we continue to husband bash, it becomes breeding ground for contempt in our relationship. Contempt is one of the number one enemies of a healthy, successful relationships. Fostering fondness is an antidote to the growing contempt, remembering why we love our spouse keeps the focus positives in our relationship.
We do this by consistently telling our spouses why we appreciate them, identifying positive qualities they admire about their partner and reminiscing about the past; what brought you together, what was the first thing that attracted you to your spouse, and shared memories of good times together. This will buffer the stresses that you encounter in your relationship by altering your view of your partner as fundamentally positive as opposed to negative. It will not eliminate any stresses in your relationship, but it will help you navigate the stresses you encounter together. So remember, next time he forgets to do wash the dishes, don’t bash your husband tell them what you appreciate them instead. Maybe he didn’t do the dishes because he was busy playing with the kids; you never know. The fonder of your husband you are, the happier your relationship will be.
"Hurry up and wait," was not a phrase I was all too familiar with prior to getting married, yet sometime I now feel like it's my life anthem. In the last couple months I have gotten all geared up for one possibility or another only for them to all be for not. And here are again gearing up for a change only to get so far and now we wait again.
But waiting is not my strong suit. I am impatient, I want things done and I want them done now. And clearly the Army does not cater to me, how dare they!
But waiting for the Army to tell us the next move means waiting on more than just for the next move. It means waiting to find the perfect job, finding the perfect house, making plans for the future. And that's hard for me. I like to be in control of my life and this has left me feeling completely out of control as I hurry up and wait.
If I don't learn how to be content and happy right where I am in life now, it's going to be a long military career for us. I will be setting myself up for a lot of disappointment and will make my husband crazy in the process trying to please me despite his career.
So how am I learning to be content and waiting for the future. The answer is very slowly and not very gracefully if we are being honest with each other! Thankfully I have a husband that has endless grace for me when I am not patient. But, what I have learned is that I need to have more grace for myself in that it's ok for me to get my hopes up and dream about our future, and that disappointments are okay. However, what we do with those disappointments is more important. By owning our disappointments and monitoring our reactions we can learn to be content in our current situation.
For me, knowing that our joy does not come from within but is a gift from the Lord is the biggest reminder of how to be content in my current situation. I know it's not my timing but the Lord is in charge, even when it feels like it's the military. Relying on him to supply our joy in times of difficulty and disappointment makes all the difference in the world. So no matter what circumstances we are in I will continue to "hurry up and wait," for the blessings that the Lord has in store for us!
Today is Veteran's day, an all important day that we as Americans take to give thanks and honor those men and women who have and are currently bravely defending our great country. I can think of no group of people more deserving of our thanks.
I didn't grow up in a military family, I knew my grandfathers both served in WWII and a couple uncles who had served in the past, but it was not a large part of my family history, like it will be for our future children.
However as I flipped through my Timehop app this morning I noticed that ever since high school I had taken the opportunity to thank the veterans in my life and those all around the country. Without them who knows where we would be today! And I am grateful that we do not have to find out.
Over the last couple years Veteran's day has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I am now married to an active duty Army service member. I am so proud of him and his accomplishments. And yet he is so humble. He does not view his job as needing special thanks. And neither do most other soldiers I have met since marrying into the military. They do it because it's the job they choose like being an accountant or lawyer or any other professional. If they were in it simply for recognition they would never make it through the rigorous training, demanding work schedule, and constantly being on call 24/7.
That is why I think they deserve even more honor and respect and especially our thanks even if it's just once a year. These humble men and women may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for our safety, and freedom and they want nothing in return. But even so extend your hand and today thank a veteran in your life; even if they say they do not deserve it because they absolutely do!