Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Lil Brother, Not to be Confused with My Baby Brother

I've been thinking a lot today about that snot nosed little brat that use to get me in trouble all the time. It's hard to believe that same obnoxious little boy has become quite the man (still a bit obnoxious). Donald is even getting married to his high school sweet heart Kristen next May. They took the long road around to get to that point but eh, they've got each other and that's all that matters.

I was remembering my brother when we were little. He use to run into my room and scream when I had friends over and he use to drive me insane. I remember when he was really little probably 4 or 5 I use to have to lay in bed with him until he went to sleep cuz he never liked to go to sleep himself. I would pretend I was sleeping and then once he went to sleep I'd sneak out and get to go watch T.V.

My mom likes to remember the time I smacked him upside his head with a See-N-Say toy when he was a baby. Or the time I tried to give him a bottle but he wouldn't take it so I pinched him to try and get him to take it. He screamed so loud. I got in so much trouble for that.

I remember him threating to tell Mom and Dad on me for one thing or another all the time, but you know what, he rarely ever did.

He did one time chase me around with a snake, I jumped in Ma's car to hide and he stuck that stupid snake up through the floorboard. UGH! I was so mad at him for that. One thing he'd tell you about us is the time I chased him onto the the roof and he fell off.. I don't remember if he told on me or not for that? He use to annoy the hell out of me.

Now that we're grown-ups we have a pretty good relationship. I remember the first time he came to TN and he got his first ever tattoo. He turned sheet white and almost passed out. And I remember when he came to visit and we almost got thrown out of Kickers (which was my favorite bar). He stayed with me for a bit and was a pretty good diaper changer for Aiden. When he moved to TN to live with Kristen I was very excited. It was great to have family close to me, we got to have Holidays together and he and Kristen would come to Clarksville for the kids sports events. Moving to Hawaii sucked in that respect. My family was moving and my little brother was continuing his life in TN. I haven't seen him in 2 years but that little boy that use to annoy the hell out of me is now a man that I love and respect and wish nothing but the best for. I'm excited for him about his wedding, I'm hoping to see him before then, but can't wait to share his big day with him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Could Not Ask For More

Where have you been all my life? Seems like such a cheesy line, but it was exactly the thought that went through my head when I sat on a poncho liner at Kentucky Lake next to my now husband a little over 9 years ago. I remember clearly like it was yesterday our entire dating experience. I dropped my then boyfriend off at his barracks after a drunken night at the bar(what was his name again?), and saw Andy driving up in his car so I pulled back into the parking lot. Now mind you before this night he had called me a bitch on one occasion and I had replied with asshole, then he had sang a song about me to his friends, something about me in a bikini in the barracks or something? And he had sat with me at a table in the upper level of the Black Horse Pub while my then boyfriend played pool and ignored me the whole night. Back to the drunken boyfriend bar/me stalking Andy night. I guess you could say I was stalking him since I turned around and pulled back into the parking lot, but I say it was to simply see if everyone had a good time that night. Considering they were all deploying very soon, I thought I should make sure everyone had got back safe. I complained about the drunken, idiot, player I was dating and Andy replied with "you wanna go to lunch tomorrow?" Of course I said yes, even though I knew the drunken idiot player was leaving on the Advon Party for Kosovo that day. It was very strange, I didn't really sleep well that night, I drove into work early (which I never did) only because I wanted to make sure we were still on for lunch, of course we were. We went to Subway (you should all know that he's going to probably kick my butt for telling this story) I had roast beef and he had chicken. We talked about my drunken idiot player and how the relationship probably wasn't going to work out. He told me he would never ask someone to wait for him during a deployment that it isn't fair. I think that was the first time he actually stopped me in my tracks at something he said... we went on about the day, I said goodbye to the boyfriend and then that afternoon Andy asked me if I wanted to go to dinner before going out to Kickers that night. So I grabbed Tiffany and Nelson and we all went to dinner with Oliver and Farmer too... thats the night of the cock stroking.. but thats a whole other story. We went to Kickers and we really had fun together. Then I took him back to the yeah I said back to the barracks, and I went home... Hmmm... interesting... that was the 2nd time he stopped me in my tracks. I couldn't sleep good that night either and I was up early the next morning calling him to see if he wanted me to come get him so he could get his car that was parked in front of my house. We ended up going to the lake with some of my other friends that day. We spent the whole day together, talking about random stuff, talking about my kids, talking about our families, just really talking about anything.... the 5 days we were inseperable. We spent every moment together. When he got ready to leave I told him I'd wait for him to come back from Kosovo (that might have been the first time I stopped him in his tracks). The next 6 months of that deployment were long. We talked everyday on the phone, sometimes 4 or 5 times a day (this was pre-9/11 deployments were a bit different). About 3 months into the deployment I told him I loved him... I didn't get an I love you back, it took a little longer than I expected but I understood and patients and persistance paid off I finally got an I love you back eventually and it stopped me in my tracks. When he got back from deployment we spent a couple days together just us and I introduced him to Emily and Billy. He basically moved into my house after that. He had a room at the barracks but he really never spent any time there. I got out of the Army in November of that year (2001) I was unemployed and he didn't really care, he even helped me with the kids Christmas that year, and he had no obligation to do so... again he stopped me in my tracks. We got married on June 22, 2002 with our friends and some of our family there, it was outside, it was hot but we had a great day. The thing you should understand about Andy and I is we are a perfect fit. We finish each others sentences, we think the same thoughts, we have this crazy sense of humor, and when he's not here part of me is truely missing. We've been through a lot since we've been together some bad but mostly amazing and good. We will celebrate our 8th Wedding Anniversary June 22nd this year, we won't have some big vacation, fancy party or even a dinner date alone, but it won't matter. To this day everytime he hugs or kisses me or comes up behind me and kisses my neck, I remember that guy sitting next to me on that poncho liner at that lake 9 years ago and he still stops me in my tracks.

I love you Andrew Brown.

Army Life

I'd like to set the record straight on some preconcieved notions about how glamorous Army Life is. While I wouldn't have my life any other way than with my soldier, I'm not so sure I'd recommend this life to my children? Do I want them to serve? I would be proud to have my children serve any branch of the Armed Forces but, to be a service member you have to sacrifice family and to be a spouse of a service member you sacrifice tiny peices of yourself and you also sacrifice family. I suppose people could argue that you have to do that in any profession, I only know what it's like to be part of this world though. Maybe I should go back to my first statement, that I'd like to set the record straight about Army Life.
I would start with what is argued the most and that is the pay. Facts and statistics show that soldiers make much less than their civilian counterparts while doing double the work load. There is this notion that we (soldiers and family members) receive free healthcare. Soldiers go to the Troop Medical Center for everything. Family members have the option of Tricare Prime or Standard. With Prime we go to the Army Medical Facility closest to where we live. With Standard we are given the option of choosing a medical provider in the local community that has been approved by Tricare. If we need specialized care, we have to get referrals approved and then we have to go where they send us. We also have the option of getting our medications on post, but if we have to go off post for medications (say we see a Dr. outside of our normal Dr. IE the local ER) we have to pay a co-pay just like civilians do. If the spouse is employed and carries insurance or has insurance other than Tricare, they must use that insurance first and then and only then will Tricare kick in. I can't complain about the medical care too much. There is always a long wait at the ER so I avoid it if at all possible, you don't always get Dr.s you like, appreciate or who you think know what they are doing. Sometimes you get Dr.s who are just going through the motions and want to use you as a drug test dummy. We still have to make appointments just like civilians, and sometimes we're lucky enough to get treated well. Civilians should note that just because we get free healthcare doesn't necessarily mean it's good AND that doesn't mean soldiers should get paid less than you just because they don't pay for healthcare (sometimes they do pay for it).
Lets talk a moment about TV vs. Reality... The Unit is TV there aren't really wives who do their own missions w/ our elite Delta Force or Special Forces. Reality is wives do the bills, the laundry, the cleaning, maybe the cooking, the wiping of childrens snotty noses and dirty butts, they walk the animals, they do the shopping and they say "yes babe, everything is going good here, you focus on deployment" even when the world is tumbling down around them. Army Wives (Lifetime) is TV. Reality is yes some wives are friends, yes there are a few you can depend on, but, most Army Wives don't walk around in high heels, designer jeans, run Hump Bars, have our own base talk shows, all of our housing and pay problems aren't that easily solved and our soldiers deploy for more than a few episodes at a time. With that being said, I have one pair of designer jeans, I wear them with heels, sometimes I dress up just to remember that I am beautiful and I don't have to have any particular reason to do so, and I can still juggle the house and the kids while doing so.
There are beautiful things to being an Army Wife living an Army Life.... traveling all over the country and to other countries.... Each of my kids being able to say they were born in a different city and state..... I have made the most amazing, wonderful friends that I could ask for (naming all of you would take up too much space)..... I am on the longest Hawaiian Vacation ever! Yes sometimes it sucks and sometimes it's boring, but I got to come here on the governments dollar, the beach is gorgeous and the weather is fine.

Here's a few quotes I got from other people's pretty amusing and so true.
You know you're an Army Wife When....
-You pack up your house every 3 years and move across country.
-You know the words to the Army Song, and Division Song and you sing them at every military event.
-You carry an ACU purse and diaper bag and you know what ACU stands for.
-You know what BAH, HDP/FDP, BAS, COLA mean and you know to take your butt to finance IMMEDIATELY if any of these are missing.
-Your baby points to every soldier in uniform and says "DaDa"
-Your children yell "Hi Daddy" when your Skype starts chimming.
-You see your spouse more on the computer than in person.
-You know his SS# better than your own
-Hurry up and wait is an acceptable, normal part of life.
-You see your family only for weddings and funerals if you can swing the airfare.
-You sleep with the computer IM on, the cell phone, and the house phone turned max volume, just in case.
-You post Happy Birthday US Army on your FB/Myspace/Twitter
-The ready for deployment Ruck is considered furniture in your livingroom.
-You tell your kids there's going to be a Korean Air Defense Drill today that when it does they need to go inside, and it doesn't phase them.
-You answer questions with words like "roger" and "hooah"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Intro to the new blog...

I simply have decided to start blogging again. I'm not sure the direction I'll be headed in on this blog but I'm going to try to avoid the usual rants and temper tantrums. I make no promises that such tasks will be accomplished. Recently I've found myself in a bit of a funk. I just don't feel like doing much of anything. Friends tell me that could be a sign of depression, the hubby tells me I need to get out of the house during the day. Easy for him to say, he doesn't have to pack up and take the hoodlums anywhere. Yesterday I spent the day using my PSP PX3 program making scrap pages and tags, I'm working on a project for my Ma and Ma-in-Law right now and I find it quite theraputic. I get to relax and enjoy what I'm doing and it makes me feel good. So, this is another outlet for me, you'll find a hodgepodge of things gathered here. Sometimes you'll read my random thoughts, some of which will make no sense, and sometimes maybe I'll post something that helps you in your life.....