Yearly Archives: 2010

#reverb10 Day 24 – Everything’s Ok

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? – Kate Inglis

It’s been a tough year and there have been multiple moments where I’ve wondered if things were going to be alright. I’ve cried over our checkbook register, felt the stress of a higher-than-I’d-like credit card balance, and worried about a paycheck that wasn’t going to cover all of our bills. It’s a double edged sword when you realize what these sorts of outward worries can do to your husband’s ego and sense of self. DH at times is either overly confident or he can see through my moments of weakness and vulnerability. It is when he holds me and cuddles with me that I feel that things will be ok. We’ve managed to keep holding on this far, living in a home we probably can’t afford, and making minimal sacrifices in our lifestyle, aside from spending fun money. FIL and I have cleaned out the pantry for meals, skipped on evenings out, and passed on frivolous spending.

How will I incorporate this knowledge into the future? I’ll probably ask for a lot more hugs, that’s for sure, as we take another leap of faith from trucking into God-knows-what. I can only pray that we continue to pull through and that good things come our way.

Thursday 5

1. Jubilant – I am jubilant that Christmas Eve is tomorrow. My family exchanges gifts tomorrow after dinner, and despite the fact that we couldn’t afford to give this year, I know I have a few coming my way. I truly am blessed to have a loving family.

2. Giddy – I am giddy about the fact that I still have a week of vacation when I return home from Mexico. I will definitely need the time to bomb around with DH, Trinnie, clean house, and work on my Etsy shop.

3. Excited – I am excited about my upcoming birthday (a week from tomorrow), even though I know we’re planning for a mellow evening. It looks like DH might be home for the big event too!

4. Thankful – I am thankful for all that we have and all that we’ve been able to do. I pray that we can continue to live as nicely as we do, despite our financial difficulties.

5. Stoked – I’m stoked to be able to return home to my husband after this trip, and to get to spend some time with him before school starts back up!

#reverb10 Day 23 – New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? – Becca Wilcott

I really wouldn’t change my name, even for a day. I love my name! “Ir’s Erin – Mrs. C if you’re nasty!” [Points to you if you recognize that reference.]

#reverb10 Day 22 – Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? – Tara Hunt

My travel goal for 2011 is ANYWHERE with my husband. It’s pretty ridiculous how we haven’t been able to follow through on a makeshift honeymoon. I really want to be able to do that. It doesn’t even have to be anywhere exotic, just somewhere that we can get away and have some couple’s time. I would love to go to DC for the MilBlogCon, which coincidentally is the same week as the CEC conference (it’s a SpEd thing) in DC, but that’s just a pipe dream. I’d also love to go to Mexico again – with DH – come next year this time. Lastly, I’m hoping to spend the summer at Lackland AFB. 😉

As for 2010:

March/April – Quantico, VA. This was supposed to be a fun, welcome home getaway for DH and I. I planned for Easter weekend to be spent visiting the Marine Corps museum, since he and I had been wanting to go. The results were less than desirable, due to DH’s PTSD. It was just too soon after deployment for him to be around crowds of that size in confined spaces.

April/May – Myrtle Beach, SC. It took a lot of begging and pleading to get DH to come on a Strong Bonds spouse retreat. DH is an atheist and typically steers clear of anything associated with the church and/or chaplains. He’d also gotten tired of them after his time in Afghanistan, because they kept asking him if he was going to hurt himself. [No, DH won’t hurt himself – he’ll hurt the unlucky one who pushes him over the edge.]. Luckily for me, the spouse retreat was the same weekend as Myrtle Beach Bike Week, so I convinced DH with the promise that we’d ride out there for the occasion. We had a great time and on the Army’s dime too!

Memorial Day Weekend, May – I had finally booked a romantic getaway for the two of us in Pigeon Forge, TN. It was supposed to be our long-lost honeymoon. Unfortunately, DH’s grandma was on her deathbed and we had to sack that trip for one to California.

June – My relocation to CO. I went through Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and into Colorado. The highlight was Nashville, as I’ve mentioned on here before. I can’t wait to take a couples trip there with Trinnie and our DHs. It was amazing!

October – Maine. Taryn got married and I checked another state off my list! I really had a great time on this trip. I had an amazing rental car (Chrysler 300), stayed in a fabulous B&B, visited L.L. Bean, and ate a lobster roll! Wait, did I mention I got to be the best woman for one of my best friends as she officially became a MilSpouse? Oh yeah, that too. 🙂

Thanksgiving, November – FIL and I went to Phoenix, AZ to be with his family for the holiday. We even got to cut down to Yuma to see my family and a long-time MilSpouse friend of mine.

Christmas, December – Mazatlan, Mexico. This is my family’s Christmas tradition – gotta love it! The only way it gets better is if DH were here with me. He hasn’t been since his first time in 2005, and he’s been trying to get back ever since.

#reverb10 Day 21 – Future Self

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) – Jenny Blake

Think ahead and avoid repeating the mistakes you’ve made this year. Start setting aside money to save up for the hard times, when DH is between jobs. Start being more frugal when it comes to spending and starting paying off debt more aggressively. Start being more proactive with your money. Insurance needs to be your priority – you can’t keep putting that off. Pick up more jobs whenever possible and don’t fritter away that money. Take the earned amount and put it to your target bill. Get DH in checkup and make sure he’s on board with the plan. Start prioritizing your health more – you’re going to need it! If you’re set on having a baby, you need to start tracking your basal temps and get insurance ASAP so you and DH can get in there and get checked out. Now is the time for action, not pity parties.

[FYI: The next few days of blogging are coming to you from my iPad, as I’m away from my computer. The formatting is going to be funky, there may be weird errors, and my posts may be more brief. That being said, FELIZ NAVIDAD!]

#reverb10 Day 20 – Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?  (Bonus: Will you do it?) – Jake Nickell

I should’ve gotten in better shape this year.  I made a few, feeble attempts this year.  I’m sure many of us have attempted this goal, but shirked our responsibilities.  My excuses are busy, lazy, and it was low on my financial priority list.  Like I mentioned before, I’ve yet to find something economical that keeps me motivated.  Maybe I just need to push through the boredom and make something a routine. 

As for will I do it?  Yes, I will.  I have to, I must.  I have limited endurance, no upper body strength, and a lower half that is increasingly preventing me from wearing what I’d like.  I have to get in shape if I’m going to pass a PFT, bottom line.  That’s going to be my goal, especially since there’s a deadline associated with it.  

I texted my brother tonight and asked if he was bringing PTs with him on vacation.  Yes, he is bringing workout clothes, so yes, my workout shorts and sneakers went into my bag.  Peer pressure.  My dad is a marathon runner, so I’m sure he’ll have his shoes packed to do some runs.  I just need to get active, period.  Let’s do this, P Family!

#reverb10 Day 19 – Healing

What healed you this year?  Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution?  How would you like to be healed in 2011? – Leonie Allan

Part of me wants to cue some Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing” right now, but I’ll refrain from singing to you.  😉  I haven’t healed completely, but I am slowly healing from the hurt I’ve experienced in my family.  I mentioned on here before how my brother and I have a strained relationship.  It’s brought me tears, heartache, and it’s made me feel like a complete stranger at times.  It’s hard knowing that we used to be so close and then something happened – something that I can’t explain or understand.  I feel like DH has more in common with him than I do at times.  Last weekend I had a healing conversation with my brother.  We were able to talk, and (as DH suggested) I made more of an attempt at conversation, so it was beyond the small talk that has plagued us recently.  I think it went well, and he even said “I love you” back after I said it first (I always say it first).  I made sure to let him know that I needed his address so we could send him care packages when he deploys soon.  It’s a long, slow process of healing between my brother and I.  It’s especially difficult when you don’t know what you’re trying to fix.  

In 2011, I would like to be healed financially, imagine that!  I know I talk a lot about money on here, and I think everyone knows how it takes its toll on a family.  It’s been humbling, it’s been rough, and it’s been a good “self-check” for me, but I’m ready to move toward greater stability so we can start accomplishing our goals, such as homeownership.

#reverb10 Day 18 – Try

What do you want to try next year?  Is there something you wanted to try in 2010?  What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? – Kaileen Elise

I think most of the stuff I tried in 2010 had to do with taking better care of myself.  At one point, I decided to start walking/running, since it’s a fitness plan that doesn’t require a lot of money.  Second, I tried Zumba.  How did they turn out?  Well, sadly I am doing neither activity.  I did one walk/jog back when I lived in Fayetteville, and never got motivated after that.  That needs to change soon if I’m going to be PFT-ready.  I tried Zumba when I got here to Colorado and really enjoyed it!  The school district sponsored a free district wellness program that allowed me to take classes two times a week for free.  Unfortunately, the district discontinued that program.

A lot of my efforts get squashed for financial reasons.  It’s been a rough year financially and fitness isn’t a big priority for me when it comes to how I spend my money.  I do have a free three month membership for 24 Hour Fitness, due to a class action suit, but that is significantly far from my house, and I’m not sure how often I’d really go.  If we had a Wii/Wii Fitness, I think I could get into doing that, although I haven’t heard any super huge success stories about that plan working for someone.

I really want to find something that keeps me motivated that’s also low cost.  In 2011, I need to start checking out the gyms on post and the programs they offer.  I also need to start walking/running through my neighborhood, since I’ve gotta pick it up in the running department.  FIL’s doctors at the VA have been encouraging him to walk more, so it works out perfectly for us to ease back into better health together.

So, that’s my goal for 2011.  I need to be able to pass a PFT test.  Good thing for me, we live here in Colorado where the altitude kicks your ass and only improves your endurance.  Let’s do this!

#reverb10 Day 17 – Lessons Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year?  And how will you apply that lesson going forward? – Tara Weaver

I think all of the lessons I’ve learned this year speak to my resilience.  I’ve always considered myself a strong, independent woman, capable of taking care of myself and roughing through the tough patches in my life.  I’ve joked in the past about being the breadwinner of the family, but this year I really assumed that role.  It hasn’t been fun and it hasn’t been easy, surprise, surprise.  We’ve struggled with prioritizing our bills, having to make minimum payments on credit cards, and eliminate “fun” spending all together.  We’ve been uninsured and just relied on the grace of God to keep us healthy and safe.  Most recently, FIL and I had to clean out our pantry in order to eat.  It’s been a very humbling, very disheartening change in our lives, but we’re getting through it, slowly but surely.  Things are looking up in DH’s job situation, and with things looking promising with the USAR (a bonus…soon, maybe?  WLC and AD pay!), I am hopefully that we won’t have to resort to last-ditch efforts to stay afloat (e.g. selling DH’s bike, selling our motorcycle trailer).  I’ve also started up my Etsy shop, which has given me some money for more fun classes and some dinners out with FIL.

My grandma passed on a family heirloom to me after my Aunt Trish died.  It’s a music box she was given by a neighbor when she returned home from her leg amputation surgery, at the age of 12.  My grandma is in her late 80s, to put things in perspective.  The music box is shaped like a beehive, done up in all silver, with a decorative piece of enamel (?) on the top that has a picture of a dancing couple on it.  The box itself doesn’t hold much, but the music box still plays.  As cheesy/cliche as it sounds, it really does symbolize the strength of the women in our family for me.  My grandma lost her leg (up to mid-thigh) at so young of an age, yet has always been an active go-getter.  The music box has been around all of these years, but it still plays.  Women in our family were built strong, and I consider myself one of them, and not just by blood.

I plan to take this lesson into 2011 as a reminder to myself that whatever the new year throws at us, we can get through it.  I can and will continue to carry our family and keep our lives as stable as possible as we continue to progress through this transition.  I pray and hope that good things await us.