Sit back, grab a Coke or a glass (or two) of wine, a bowl of popcorn, and relax. This is going to be a long one.
I feel that I haven’t talked about my family, what we have been up to, or much of anything besides food, as much I would like to. And the truth is, it hasn’t been a subject I have wanted to talk about too much publicly.
There are many reasons for this, but the one ringing in at the top of the list would probably have to be… the last two years of my life have been the weirdest, most stressful, and yet, most fun two years I have experienced as a mother and as a wife.
–A little background info, Aric and I have been together about 9 years. We have experienced tons of firsts together, have grown into our adulthood together, and really just started out our lives, together. Well, moving our entire lives, living 1,900 miles from any family member, going long periods of time being alone, experiencing a brand-spanking-new lifestyle, is not exactly what I pictured in any of our lives.
About 2-1/2 years ago, Aric came home from work one day saying he wanted to join the Army Reserves. Then a couple of weeks later, he decided he was going active duty Army. After months of getting situated, Aric enlisted in August 2017, a couple of months after our second, Rowan, turned one and when our oldest, Maksen, was to start kindergarten.
I packed up our crap, moved in with my parents in their newly-downsized home, said goodbye to my partner of seven years, and went 207 days before we lived under the same roof again here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Somehow I managed to do that fine. Maybe because I had help, maybe because it was familiar, and maybe because it was comfortable being with family. I’m not sure.–
Fast-forward about a year and I would be saying goodbye to Aric, again, for around 9 months. But this time, I wasn’t comfortable. This time I wasn’t around anyone familiar. This time, I didn’t have any help. Aric came home 10 days ago, after being in South Korea for 240 days. I honestly do not know how I managed being alone for 240 friggin’ days. I spent my birthday alone. Rowan had his birthday without his dad. I spent Mother’s Day alone. Maksen spent his birthday without his dad. We did a lot of things without Aric. And, it sucked.
Aric left on a Saturday, Maksen started taekwondo on a Monday. That takes up at least three days a week of training. He was in baseball. He is in school. Aric is a full-time college student where I often have to help him. Because let’s be honest, it would take him twice as long to do it, he would never spend any of his free time doing anything else, and, I will just say it, I am a hell of a lot better at school than he is. We had our golden retriever puppy one month before he left. I think you get the point, but man, crap was piled high on my plate. But hey, as if Shandy wasn’t busy enough, let’s throw in debilitating anxiety and depression in the mix, as well, and see how she comes out.
It was hard. Boy, let me tell ya. I don’t know how we got on the other side of this.
I couldn’t wait for the day Aric came home. I thought about it 24/7. I had so much planned for us, so many things I was excited about, and I hoped my depression and anxiety would lessen with having my support system back.
Well… it hasn’t. If anything, things have been hard. Not harder, per say, but just different? Aric and I spent 240 days apart. 240 days where my house was run my way, things were left where I put them, I had parenting down, my way. Aric spent 240 days by himself. 240 days without kids being psychopaths. 240 days not having anyone to consult or all of the crazy that goes on under this roof.
We are adjusting, we are making it through. We have to relearn to be around each other, relearn how to be a husband/daddy-Aric and wife-Shandy.
This is the kind of crap no one tells you when your husband signs his name and becomes a piece of property owned by the government. And honestly, the other fellow military wives generally suck. They are all so judgmental and one-uppers. “Oh your husband has been gone 8 months? One time, mine was gone for 57.” “You’re wearing an ‘Army wife’ shirt? You must be a dependa.”
Thankfully, I have found a pretty good tribe of women. Without a few of them, this rotation/deployment/training/whatever you wanna call it, would have been even more torturous than it already was.
But most of all, I am beyond thankful and grateful for my parents; they have truly been a support for me and my boys through every single curve ball life has thrown at us over the years. Some of my family sucks. I have a POS sperm donor, his family sucks. Aric’s family does suck, for the most part. My parents have been a constant, always, and I hope that we can only turn out to be half as good as they are.
In conclusion to all of this rambling, things have not been the greatest lately. Life has been quite, challenging? Weird. I don’t know. Life is weird, man.
I do know one thing though: this blog has been such a fun creative outlet for me. (Even though sometimes I feel like only five people care about it or even read it. And that’s okay, I’m grateful for you five.) This has been so good for me. Now that my family is complete, once again, and hopefully for the foreseeable future, I promise to deliver some kick-butt content. We will be traveling more, we will be eating more than what my picky ass kids want to eat, and we will be doing more F U N things.
I have been a little absent with my regular-programmed posts, but I promise to get back on track. Things have been super hectic and crazy. Aric came home, we had to get him situated, the fall school quarter started back the same week, Halloween is TOMORROW, Aric’s birthday is the next day, we bought a new car, and we have been adjusting to getting things back on track.
I hope all of you stick around for what this blog is to become and help me grow ‘The Queen Bee’ to its full potential. I appreciate each and every single one of you that have taken the time out of your day/night to read along, have tried my recipes, have liked, commented on, or shared a post, and have stuck by my side. I love you all!
Stick around, I have some fun things coming up soon!
Until the next one,
Here are some pictures from life lately!