Monday, November 26, 2012

State of Adjustment

As many of you may know, homecoming was more than 3 weeks ago. I've been slacking on posting! We are slowly working our was out of the adjustment phase. You know, the one where I wince at the huge pile of laundry brought home from the boat, where I wake up in the middle of the night because he stole all the blankets or I have an elbow in between my shoulders, having to walk behind him to turn out lights- or having to turn on lights because it's like he's been living in a bat cave for months!... etc. It's awesome having him home, don't get me wrong, but it is an adjustment.. for both of us. The first couple weeks you just want to spend every second of the day with them and you sometimes smother them or the other way around. We are guilty of it. Communication is sometimes another adjustment. We are so use to talking very little and only through email that we sometimes find the room very quiet or not having anything to say. For me, personally, I'm trying to figure out a schedule. I work 30 hours a week at a credit union, plus run my own business and trying to make sure my husband and I get the time we need together while not fully exhausting myself is a bit of a juggling act. I figure I'll get it all figured out sometime soon. I'm taking most of December off from the photography so I can get some relaxing time in. He and I have decided to do a weekend away after the first of the year. I made sure to tell him a large jetted tub is required wherever we stay. He agreed. He was very tense and stressed when he came home. Honestly, I thought It was me and he kept saying there was nothing wrong. However, after more than 5 years with him, I can tell he was stressed. Then, I figured it out. The quotas were coming out and he was stressing over making rank. The quotas were high, which got me excited for him because I knew he put a lot into it all this deployment. Then, the results came out. We stared obsessively at the computer screen, refreshing often as we waited for his rate and the rank he was up for to be released. He pulled it up and was searching for names he knew and I looked at him and said, "Forget the other guys right now, let's find your name!". It made me think he doubted himself. He scrolled down, "I made it!". In that moment, all the stress rolled off his shoulders and he was a different man. Much more relaxed and he was talking more, laughing.. everything was back to the pre-deployment normal. Thank you, Jesus! Now, we.. well, mainly ME, are stressing over new orders. With the Big E decomming, everyone is receiving new orders. He has been told, verbally, he is going to shore duty. When? Sometime around April. Where? Not a clue. So, we wait. The waiting/ last minute moves is one thing that I struggle with with his job. I like planning and knowing what's going to happen. And as many of us know- their jobs make our lifestyle very spontaneous sometimes. One thing is for sure- it'll never get boring. Anyway, back to homecoming. November 4th, my husband came home. Monica from Cocoa Bean Photography was able to capture our big day for us again. I can't wait to see the images! I loved ours from Last year, and I'm super excited to see these! He called me from the flight deck, "I see you, look up.". I do believe my heart skipped a beat when I saw him. I was SO excited! It took a while for him to come off. Oh the life of having a husband on a Carrier- you really learn to wait sometimes! My husband came off the ship a little lighter than when he left, but with a bigger chest and shoulders. AND with a mustache. Go figure, lol. I looked to my left and did a double take. My husband was walking toward me. I can't remember if I ran to him or walked really fast.. It's all a blur. I just remember his arms around me, and feeling like there was noone else on the pier but the two of us. I remember my heart racing and how perfect that moment felt. This deployment started out very hard for us with loosing another baby just after he left and not even knowing I was pregnant until I was being told I was miscarrying. It was very hard on both of us. We still haven't really sat down and talked about it. It's hard for him to really say how it affects him. But I know how bad it hurts him, so I'll let him talk about it in his own time. He's home, we're adjusting and the journey continues. "I think I'm constantly in a state of adjustment." -Patti Smith

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Finding Inspiration



After receiving a message from Maggie Mae on my Facebook fan page (and sending her a novel for a reply), I decided to write a blog about the question she asked:


Most of my ideas come from my husband, he just doesn't know it. The things he says, asks for or does.. I just go with it. For example:

My Zombie box idea spiraled from my husband's love of the show, The Walking Dead (awesome show!). When the stories of the "Bath Salt Zombies" started popping up, my twisted little mind went to, "Care Package!". With the help of amazon.com and neatoshop.com, the box was a huge success! I pretty much got the "bad ass" award for that one (AND Duck brand duct tape sent me an email about it! Totally cool!).

The Pickle box, totally came from him as well. He's obsessed with Pickles. He asked me to send him some Pickle flavored sun flower seeds and I decided an entire box of Pickles was perfect!

Again, the Super Hero box idea came from him as well. He and his buddies were able to watch The Avengers on the ship. I guess they had a discussion about costumes or something, and he requested pictures of him as child in a Captain America costume (I blogged about that too). He would be missing our anniversary, and I thought "You're my Hero" was PERFECT for an anniversary box. He has yet to receive it, but I KNOW it will be a HUGE hit with him.

The Ducktape idea came from sheer laziness but the need to be creative and make things, "Pretty". Duck brand made that too easy for me last deployment, so I continued it and will do so in the future as we have 16+ years of more deployments.

You get the idea.

Best advice I have, Listen to your service member. Think of things they like and make it fun. Yes, it is expensive, but honestly, their reaction is always worth it. It's another way I keep my husband and I connected (communication). They will always say something, ask for something, like something.. etc, that can be turned into a fun box.

Look on Pinterest.com, the ideas are endless. I even have an album where I occasionally pin general military ideas, posts, etc (All Things Military).

Follow other military family bloggers or talk to others who are sending packages as well. We all have unique ideas and you can learn and get ideas from others.

Saddest part of deployment ending? I can't send Care Packages to my husband. I might have to adopt a deployed service member!

If you ever have any questions, feel free to Facebook message me on my fan page or via Formspring (Facebook might be faster!).


Thursday, September 27, 2012

You're My Superhero



Four years ago today, was a day that changed my life.

July 13, 2008: My boyfriend sent me a text which said to meet him outside when he pulled up. I had my suspicions what he was about to do. He pulled into the driveway at my parent's house and I walked out to meet him. He looked nervous, very nervous. He got down on one knee, in my mother's flower bed and pulled out a box. He asked, "Will you Marry me?".

Several days later, we were asked by his mom, "When are y'all setting the date for?". As I started to reply and say we had yet to discuss it, he interrupted with, "September". Of course I thought he meant September 2009, but he corrected me. "This September", he said. Of course, I had a bit of panic, I'm sure, show in my face. Two months to plan a wedding. I was marrying a crazy man. Of course, he reassured me why he was the perfect man for me. Knowing it was a bit of a concern for me, he told me, "I want us to get married before I leave for boot camp. I want to make sure you actually get a wedding since everything with the military will be so unpredictable. I want to know you're taken care of while I'm gone.". Couldn't say no after hearing that. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

After deciding a month, we then had to decide on a date.. well, he decided on a date. Of course, it was football season, and There was no way we could get married on a big game for the Vols. So, he chose the 27th. No big games to conflict with. He's a goof.

September 27th: I was nervous. I got all dolled up in my white and ivory dress, had my hair done and my makeup was perfect. We had almost all the important people in our lives there for our big day, to watch, to congratulate us, to help me get ready and to share our day with us. I was so ready, anxious and a bit scared. We were young and we were RUSHing it (pun intended, as my last name is Rush). But I had never been so sure about something in my life.

The music was playing, guest were arriving.. things were getting started. "The Prayer" by Charlotte Church and Josh Groban started playing, Our parents walked up the aisle, lit our candles and took their seats. Anchors Aweigh started playing (This is what he wanted), and our Bridal party walked out. The Wedding march started playing and I was walked down the aisle. Seeing him up there, amazing. Him grinning, I'll never forget it. Our Unity candle song was, "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica. We caught a lot of hell for it, but it's a perfect song. We walked down the aisle together to "Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. My husband and I are huge Cash fans. Our Cake cutting song was, "Just Eat it" by Weird Al. We wanted our Wedding to be very, "Us" and laid back. We had fun, together, and with all of our friends and family. Started our Honeymoon with a Titan's game, went to the Smokies for a couple days and finished it with a ZZ Top concert. It doesn't get much better than that.

Fast forward, September 27, 2012: I haven't killed him yet, totally kidding.. I'd go crazy without him. He's still my absolute best friend and I couldn't and wouldn't ever ask for a better husband. Seriously, I married my hero. He doesn't have to be wearing a cape, have super powers or even be a service member to be a hero. He is my everything, he makes me laugh, I can't stay mad at him, he brings so much happiness to my life.

This year is the first year we have been apart for our anniversary. I know, I'm lucky for that. And even though he's thousands of miles away and I may or may not get to talk to him at some point today.. I know how much today means to him, and to me.

I have to admit, I did have a lot of fun making his care package for our anniversary. I went with a Superhero theme because, well.. he's my Superhero (And he's a bit obsessed with Batman).

I didn't get as creative as I wanted. I had 2 pics of him when he was a kid dressed as Batman and as Captain America, as well as a pic of us a couple years ago dressed as the Joker and Batman.. err, girl that I wanted to put on the box, but alas, I ran out of time and out of ink.




I try to make every box fun, or "funny". Hence the Iron Man big boy undies. ;)







Musket, my cat, wanted to join in on the fun too..


Even thought it's not exactly what I wanted to do with the box, I know he's going to love it. And of course I had an awesome time getting it together and decorated. Oh, and I bet you anything he's going to prance around the berthing in the Iron Man undies. I was going to make him a cape, but I ran out of time to send the box and there was a lack of time to actually make it. So, no cape :(

Another exciting note? This was the LAST box before he comes home. :D
Homecoming is just around the corner. SO exciting!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Perfect

Four years ago this week, I was panicking, stressing and extremely nervous. On top of that, I was extremely excited. Four years ago,  I was only days away from marrying the most perfect man.

Fast forward to four years later, today, and I'm feeling those same emotions- but not for a wedding, and I'm not stressing over my anniversary, but I am stressing about homecoming. It creeps up on you and you wonder where all the time has went and how come your to-do list isn't done yet. Thoughts like, "Has he changed?", "Will he look at me different?", "Will he love me the same?", "I just want everything to be perfect" and more sometimes go through your head.

The most stressful parts to a deployment, to me, are the time leading up to him actually leaving, the final countdown to homecoming and then about a month after they've been home. There's a lot of adjusting, preparing, worrying, stressing, excitement, etc. Did I mention adjusting?

That's one thing about this lifestyle you either learn to love, or you learn to hate- in my opinion. Luckily, I thrive under pressure, even if I don't always like it. I get things done and get them done damn near perfect. It's the perfectionist in me. I want everything perfect. But let's face it, nothing is perfect. But, you make them perfect in their own little way.

Like my husband says, "Everything will be perfect, just being home with you is perfect.".

Perfectly said.

This is the time I have to remind myself to breathe, to relax while at the same time.. I'm telling myself to hustle, get busy and get things done. I fight with myself a lot on that.

This week, I have a lot to do. But, I'm going to make sure I take time this Thursday, September 27th and stop and do nothing but have fun. September 27th marks my 4 year anniversary to my perfect husband. He's not perfect, neither am I, but he is the perfect one for me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Just Keep on Going, and Going, and Going..

I'm now at that time in deployment where my "to-do" list is far longer than the "days left". It's sad. 

Yes. My to-do list IS that long. 

With the amount of rain Hampton Roads has been getting lately, many of my outdoor projects have been halted. 

Now, I'm trying to prioritize and I'm working hard at not stressing myself out.

This is the hardest part of deployment, for me... Conquering my "list". Remember months ago when I said I always put more on my Deployment To-do list than I have time to complete? I wasn't kidding.

I still have 2 1/2 rooms to paint (bathroom is 1/2 done), table to refinish, patio to complete, fence and shed to install and those are just a few of the important things on my list. And guess what?! I only have XX [insert some relatively low number here, but one that isn't low enough to pee my pants with excitement] days left!

Am I stressing yet? eh, borderline. 

I'm not quite stressing, but I'm getting there. Between working the part time job, full time with my photography, Promo jobs as I can score them... I haven't been giving myself a day off. 

I did this to myself last deployment. I made myself completely mad at myself because I made my list a mile long and continued to add to it- and, of course, I wasn't able to complete it. Deployment number 2 is no different. My list is 2 miles long and I've added at least 50 (it seems) things to the already ginormous list.

Why do I make my list so long? I like to be busy. I do not stop. I AM the Energizer Bunny. I just keep on going. Granted last week, and the 2 weeks before that, I was sick and I just stopped and slept ever second I could, when I wasn't working. So, because I was sick, I feel I am slightly more behind and overdrive needs to kick in. Although, I feel as if I was already in overdrive.. 
I like to physically and mentally exhaust myself. I work well under pressure and even when stressed. Probably not good for my heart.. but I've always been this way and I don't think it is something I can easily change.

So, this week's goal(s): Finish painting bathroom, Paint bedroom Hang new curtains in bedroom, paint office,   hang curtains in office, Make one huge Goodwill run and put a lot of "junk" on the curb for trash pickup. 

I think that's plenty to put on my plate for the week considering I have 3 days to work the part time job and 3 sessions this week, plus 2 to finish editing. 

But when I want a day off, I am rewarded in many ways.. Like this awesome session:


See, who could have a bad day with such adorable little boys in it? Not me. He was precious! 

Today's agenda? Work. Photography. Paint.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Perks in the Work Place

Something to consider when you're in a relationship with someone who is in the military, it is their job. They can't take off whenever they want, they can't call, email, Skype, etc. whenever they want. Why? Because it's a job.

That being said, if YOU have a job- it's the same thing. You can't drop everything you're doing to talk to them if they are able to call, email, etc. I understand wanting to talk to your significant other, trust me, I do. BUT a job is a  responsibility you accept.

Does it suck to miss a call? You betcha, I've been there.

Seeing people bash their employer because they can't stop "working" to chat with their significant other is ridiculous in my opinion. You are not getting paid to converse with your SO.

It's another one of those situations where some military wives feel they are owed something. Just because our loved ones are deployed, doesn't give us the right to go against a company we work for's policy.

It is awesome when jobs have leniency and give us the ability to stop everything we are doing to take a phone call, or respond to an email. However, there is a business to be ran and they hired you to help in it.

Think about it..

You run a business, someone calls for one of your employees- say the person calling isn't deployed, they aren't given the privileged to speak to that person because they are working. You have a military spouse whose husband is calling, but you give that person time to talk... see where I'm getting at?

Just because we are married, dating, mother's of, etc.. does not give up the added luxuries to have added perks in the work place.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Military Wives are Vultures

In the nearly 4 years my husband has been active duty, one thing that is so apparent is some military wives are viscous creatures.

I don't want to even acknowledge them as human beings, because in my eyes, there are many who are scum. Scum in so many different forms.

I have found, at least here at his first duty station, it is hard to find people who are genuine, true friends and true to their significant others. On top of that, there are some extremely nosy scum out there and love to get mess twisted to start rumors.

Here are the different vultures I am referring to:

a. You have the tag chasers. And by tag chasers, I mean the girl who just bounces around from service member to service member. The girl who doesn't care if the service member is in a relationship.. it just ups her game. The girl who doesn't even love her significant other, but is rather obsessed with the lifestyle and the "glory" she perceives this life to be.

b. You have those who are so fixated with the lifestyle. I understand there is "excitement", but then there is overboard. When my husband joined, I was overly proud. I'm overly patriotic and always have been. But at some point, you have to recognize the military is his job. Yes, this is a lifestyle to adjust to, but this is HIS job. By fixated, I'm making reference to those who feel as if they, themselves, are "Military". I understand when people refer to non-military families as "civilians", I understand it because it's the easiest way to refer to it. But we do need to realize as wives, we are not active duty.. or even in the reserves, no special rank.. no rank whatsoever- we are a civilian. Relish in the fact that you, unless you enlisted, are not government property.

c. You have bullies. It's sad to say, but I know 8 year olds who are more mature than a lot of the ladies I have met in the past 4 years. I don't understand why so many spouses to active duty military feel the need to belittle and bully other spouses. "Oh you're fat, You're ugly, Can you believe she wore that to the commissary, someone's been eating too many twinkies".. etc. I've read some extremely ridiculous posts belittling people on Facbook as well as in the blog world, It's disgusting.

d. Those who think we are owed something for our SO being active duty. You aren't owed anything. YES, this life has challenges- but so do non-military families aka "civilian families". Every single person in this world has their own set of challenges to face. I for one, am grateful for the ease of life I have now compared to what I had before my husband joined the Navy. By ease, I don't mean there aren't challenges, but I'm happy where I'm at and I'll gladly wait for him through a deployment vs. go back to eating peanut butter sandwhiches every day, 3 times a day to pay rent. And to clear things up, I married my husband before he joined- just to stop the vultures that say, "You married him for the military/ money".

e. The cheaters. Yes, I know there are men in the military who cheat- that is a different tangent. I'm talking about those who are "SO in love" with their husband, but after 5 months of a deployment, find themselves in bed with another man. Seriously, cheating is NEVER an accident. YOU can prevent yourself being put in a situation that could lead to cheating. My husband has been deployed a few months, and the fact that I have heard of several gals cheating is insane. WHY did you get married? I mean, if you truly LOVE someone, you wouldn't cheat. Staying faithful shouldn't be hard.

I could keep going, but I'm going to leave it at that. Find your own identity, not your significant other's job status.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Communication


When your Significant other is away on Deployment, you have to find ways to stay connected. Skyping sometimes doesn't happen,  email goes down, the phones suck or you just don't want to rack up the phone card bills.. etc.

My husband and I don't really do phone calls from the ship, occasionally.. but rarely. He will make a $25 phone card last the entire deployment. He has been gone since March and I have received 3 phone calls. One, was an emergency as it was when I was in the hospital and the ship allowed him to call for free, so I don't really count that one.

Our main form of communication is through email. I do not receive an email every day, and I'm ok with that. I know not to expect them and I know email is a luxury so many take for granted. Even if I don't receive an email from him (because communications are down or he's got a lot going on), I will always send him an email just to let him know I love him and how my day went. It helps him to feel apart of my day to day life.

Purchasing iPads was one of the best expensive investments we have made. During his last deployment, we didn't see each other/ video chat. During port calls, he would occasionally access Facebook and send me comments and then would call me if he could barrow a friend's phone. Every port this deployment, he and I have been able to Skype or use FaceTime. It has been wonderful! He doesn't always have great wifi, but it is usually enough to message back & forth. It's nice to see him and seeing how he changes, when he grows a mustache, how he shaved his head with a razor or just seeing how he is bulking up compared to loosing weight last deployment. Seeing him smile, laugh and be goofy is so awesome. We are so blessed to live in a time with such amazing technology.

One of my FAVORITE ways keeping connected this deployment (aside from video chats!), as many of you have noticed, is sending Care Packages. I put so much into them... as in I put a lot of thought and work into them. I don't want them to become boring to him and I want it to brighten his day knowing how much effort I put in to making them as well as the ideas. His birthday box was a hit, his Zombie box was totally him and so awesome, His pickle box he just received ans hasn't had a chance to really go through it.. but did manage to tell me how much he loves it already and how awesome it is. Now, I'm already making another themed box for our anniversary in September (I'm not going to get into details about it, you'll just have to wait, or go check my instagram out! @christinarush). Of course, between all the themed boxes I send out, I send 2-3 Food boxes. I don't get all creative with them, just jam-pack them with all sorts of food he can easily store in his locker. I will send anything with a pop top can so he can have soups and pasta, Mac -n- cheese cups, dry pasta bowls, microwavable noodle cups, microwavable desserts.. etc. Because we all know, boat food isn't always that grand!

We all know the distance that comes with Deployment can be challenging. But as I have stated in many blogs in the past, Communication is the foundation for so much. There are so many ways to communicate and so many ways to build on it- you just have to find what works in your relationship to strengthen it. With a solid foundation of communication, you will have trust and you will feel closer to him despite the distance. It is one thing that makes me actually enjoy deployment, it allows our relationship to constantly feel "New". Sure, I'd rather him be home, but you make the best of every situation and with Deployment being months long.. I don't want to spend it being miserable.


Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow.
-Rowan D. Williams

The void created by the failure to communicate is soon filled with poison, drivel and misrepresentation.
-C. Northcote Parkinson

Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of evry part of your life.
-Brian Tracy

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.
-Rollo May

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
-George Bernard Shaw

Communication works for those who work at it.
-John Powell


Edit: Thank you MilitaryBlogs.org for the blog feature on your Facebook page!
Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilitaryBlogs
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You can find my blog listed on their website at: http://www.militaryblogs.org/blog/18940/the-journey-of-a-navy-wife

Friday, August 3, 2012

When it Comes to Care Packages, I'm Kind of a Big Dill!


Yay! Care Package fun! :D

And if you caught it in the title, I said "Dill'. There is no typo or confusion of words- this is a Pickle themed box! Fun right? You betcha!

I got the idea from my husband- he just doesn't know it. He requested Dill pickle flavored sun flower seeds after trying some from a friend. My husband is slightly obsessed with Pickles.. just slightly. He's is known to eat a huge jar of the HUGE pickles in one sitting and occasionally drink some of the juice. [gag]
If it's not pickles he's eating, then it's Pickled Okra. [gag more]

Slightly obsessed is an under statement.

SO.. why not do a pickle box? Perfect right? exxxcellent (in Mr Burns voice as a twiddle my fingers).

First, I bought everything Pickle flavor that I knew for sure he liked.
We have tons of Pickle sunflower seeds, dill pickle chips, pickled sausage, big mamas, big papas, jar of pickles, jar of wickles (wicked pickles/ pepper pickles), 2 jars of pickled okra- the box was jammed packed!

And for shits and giggles, I threw in a couple air fresheners in hopes that his division won't hate me too badly when he receives this box. If you have never been around a man who can down jars, yes jarS, of pickles in one sitting, be thankful. they stink! I learned too quickly last deployment that those smells were NOT coming from the dog as he blamed them 90% of the time!

And of course, you know I had to be super cheesy and decorate. I didn't go all out on the decor, but I figured such an abundance of pickles didn't need much. So, We have, "Just so you know... when it comes to Care Packages, I'm kind of a big Dill". Hence the title.


Of course, I had to include something with the air fresheners, and all I could come up with is, "If the air fresheners aren't enough to mask your pickle farts, then tell your division to just Dill with it". ewwwie. 
The other sides, I just kept simple. I was out of creativity and I was tired! 
However, just TWO days after I mailed the box, I found a "Pickle" I miss you card. It would have been the topping on the cake. Le'sigh, too late now! It's somewhere in it's travels to a very hot place. 


It took him over a month to receive his Zombie box, here's hoping the pickles get there sooner!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blogging


I have a million things pop in my head that inspires me to blog. Problem is, I'm never around a computer when the idea pops in my head. I've come to the conclusion that I'm in need of a small notebook to carry with me everywhere. Then, maybe, I will be able to jot down my thoughts and ideas as they come. But then again, a lot of ideas come to mind while I'm driving. That would be a fail. So, maybe a voice recorder? That might just work!


You would think, that since I spend so much time on the computer as is, that I would blog more. Nope, not the case. I spend so much time editing and "working" I don't always have those random thoughts pop in my head.

I do a lot of thinking in the shower to, probably a little odd, but I think many people think a lot in the shower. I can't exactly bring electronics or a notebook in the shower with me. That would just be too easy! And, I'm very scatterbrained. So, by the time I'm out of the shower, I cannot remember any of the bloggable ideas that pop in my head.

I'm only blogging right now because It's late and I took a nap earlier and now I cannot sleep. But yet, I'm too tired to have something truly worthy of blogging about. This post is also scheduled to post in the AM because, if I do so happen to fall asleep, I don't want my email dinging if I so happen to receive any comments. And as anyone who has had a loved one deployed knows, the phone doesn't go on silent (Although, sometimes I will if I know he's been super busy and I'm exhausted, I'll put it on silent in hopes I sleep through the night).

I think over the next couple months I will be blogging more often. Lots of exciting things, dates, etc will be happening- well, they are exciting to me and since this is my blog, you can decide if you want to be excited with me or not. :p
Like what you say?
August= Boudoir session, several years ago I met my Mr. Amazing this month!
September= I married the perfect guy for me
October= Navy anniversary, Halloween
November= Thanksgiving
December= Ship Decom., Christmas

AND somewhere in there is homecoming. :D
But also in a few of those months, there will be themed carepackages! Chyeah!

Later this week/ weekend.. sometime soon.. I will post my most recent themed package to my husband.

If you would like to keep updated on my packages as I prepare them, shop for them, etc. Follow me on instagram @christinarush (http://statigr.am/christinarush)



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Emotions, Projects and Homecoming- Oh My!

We are more than halfway through deployment. How exciting right? I'm extremely excited.

Yesterday, I had the honor of photographing the USS Arleigh Burke homecoming for a client. Homecomings are SO exciting- especially when you know that in a few short months you will be where she is, waiting on him to walk to you (or you run to him) and the camera turned on you. Photographing homecomings is one of the most rewarding parts to my job. So much emotion and excitement.. sometimes, even tears (on my part too!).

I am now nearing the point where I might feel a little stress. We are on the home stretch and I'm determined to finish my to-do list. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I'm notorious for making my list of goals and things to achieve far longer than I have time to complete them in. AND, sometimes things happen to change your schedule or add more must-do's to the to-do list (like having to cut out a tree and then buy a new shed, etc!).

I feel like my list is a mile long and I'm getting nowhere with it.

I just keep telling myself, "The day he comes home, he's not going to notice anything you have done to or around the house. He's just going to be glad to be home!". Although, he might notice the love seat is gone.. Oops!

Now, I'm at the point of prioritizing my list, and the "big" projects I was going to do, will now become projects WE are going to do together. I haven't told him that just yet- so, here's hoping!

In a few months, none of this will matter. I will be waiting on the pier to welcome him home and for my heart to be completed. It's at that very moment when the world stops and all that matters is that very moment. It's that moment when you know that the month's apart were worth it. Shaking, scared, excited, nervous and maybe a little nauseous- full of so many feelings, all leading to that one moment when you see him walking to you. It's all worth it.

But for now, my ass is kicking in overdrive!

I have to finish the back yard (have the shed and fence installed, patio, hammock, grass, etc), re-do our bedroom, finish my office, Find curtains for a couple rooms and put them up, organize, organize and more organizing- the list is about a mile long. I have LOTS of painting projects to start. I need to get busy!

Today= Project day!

Now I will leave you some Arleigh Burke homecoming sneaks :)

This was their first deployment, and the first time they had seen the ship in 6 months.
They were extremely excited and fighting tears. 
 
The moment that the world stops and nothing matters anymore.
He's home, he's safe  and you feel complete again. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Childless


Irritated is an understatement- maybe not even irritated, I feel sick and hurt. Maybe I shouldn't, but some things are "Touchy".

When you're on a page- and you don't know WHO or ANYTHING about the moderator(s), don't make judgements. Especially dumb ones.

Saying, "I know whoever runs this page is childless"- because ONE event didn't cater to those who have children, is kind of sad. AND, to associate that with ONE person who replied to your post- calling them "Childless"? It struck a nerve with me.

You don't know me, you don't know who I am, you don't even know my name AND you don't know that I have had Multiple miscarriages. Calling me, "Childless"... just rip my heart out.

Because I don't have any "born" children does not phase my ability to take part in a group that caters to FAMILIES. Being married to my husband.. makes me HIS FAMILY. Just because I don't have kids, and I only have angel babies doesn't make me any less of a family- even if I didn't have angel babies, I would still be a family and apart of the group.

Being "Childless" doesn't hinder my ability to help moderate a page, participate in an organisation, help make decisions with the group or volunteer my time with it.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Proud of You

One of my favorite things about deployment is all the things we set ourselves to accomplish. As most of you know, I tend to overdo it and make my deployment to-do list far longer than I have time for. However, I do accomplish a lot during deployment.

Another of my favorites about deployment is my husband. He notices how busy I am and little things. Even though he is not here physically, he is very aware and as much as I don't think he always pays attention, he does.

Getting an email from my husband just to tell me how proud of me he is, means absolutely everything to me. It's nice to be noticed, especially by him. If I needed any more motivation to get things done, the email from him was it.

Although, he does think I'm overdoing it some times. He is always worried about me. Which is one way my husband is able to show he cares. He's not one of those, "Wear his heart on his sleeve" kind of guys. I'm ok with that.

Four years ago on the 13th, my husband proposed to me. It seems like every day I'm reminded why I said yes. He's perfect for me. I think he and I balance each other out a lot. We are extremely alike, but at the same time, he and I are so very different. Our relationship may not be perfect- others may not see us as the perfect couple, I'm completely ok with that. We work well together and neither of us are perfect, but together we are complete and we are happy.

A year ago on Friday (the 13th), we successfully completed his first deployment. Now, we are working on completing his 2nd deployment. I'm proud of him for how well he has done with the separation because of the job he chose to provide for our family. Last deployment he had his struggles, and doubted making a career with the Navy. He did not like being away from me and not being able to talk every day. This deployment, He has not expressed any doubts. I think the first deployment is sometimes the hardest, as you learn to adjust.

People say you never get use to it- the military lifestyle, or being separated due to deployment. BUT I think it is possible. I think there are some who can and do get use to it and there will be those who don't. Just like I have heard from different people that having kids makes it harder, and I've heard some say just the opposite- kid's made deployment easier. It's different for everyone.

I'm proud that I feel like I have adjusted and I feel like I am accustomed to this lifestyle. I'd love for him to be home more, but we've learned how to make "military" work for us.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of all the things I have accomplished as well. I have a huge list to accomplish, but If I get halfway down it by homecoming, then I have more than enough to be proud of. What I don't accomplish before he's home, I will just have him help me.

What are you proud of?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bittersweet

July 11 is bittersweet. July 11 is the anniversary of my Husband and I's first miscarriage. It has been 4 years ago.

My husband and I were not married at the time. Honestly, being unmarried and pregnant scared me so much. When my husband and I started dating, he didn't want any kids. I knew I wanted kids more than anything later in life. I wasn't ready at 21. In June of 2008, I found out I was pregnant. There was no denying the more than 8 tests that I took. I waited a couple weeks before I told my now husband. I was SO scared he would leave me,which was extremely idiotic of me. I knew better. He is far from that type of guy.

I felt distanced from him and felt as if we started to argue a lot. Truth is, we were both terrified. We were both under a lot of pressure to get married and just under a lot of pressure in general. Come to find out, he was in shock, he was excited and was scared to touch me in any way for fear of hurting the baby. He was distancing himself from me because he was scared of hurting the baby and he hadn't a clue what to do.

It finally came out that he was excited and we were finally able to talk about it. The marriage talk came up and I told him I wanted to marry him more than anything, but I didn't want to marry him because of the baby.  He understood, but told me he had planned to put a ring on my finger before the end of the summer baby or not. He also told me he had been talking to his mother about this for months. It did make me feel happy, but I told him I wanted to wait and he was ok with that. I didn't want people to judge us or our baby.

We finally told some of his family, WELL.. we told his sister while visiting and me meeting some of his family for the first time. Before we could even get back to our home town, his parents already knew (JESS YOU HAVE A BIG MOUTH! LOL). They didn't let us know they knew, they waited for us to tell them. We told my parents, and my mom went on Myspace and announced to the world how excited she was to have her first grand baby on the way.

My first official doctor's appointment came. I went alone, he had to work. It was the official, "YOU'RE PREGNANT" appointment.

They did 2 tests, both came back negative. A friend from high school is the one who did my tests. He didn't know I had already taken tests or that we were planning for a baby at that moment. He also knew I wasn't married and how I felt about this sort of thing. He came in and said, "Well, you're not pregnant!". I just starred at him blankly. Then he knew something was ripping me apart and I told him about the home tests.

The doctor came in and started asking questions, doing more tests. One thing she did was feel all over my abdomen. When she put pressure down, I came off the table and screamed. I had never felt such horrible pain in my life. I instantly felt sick and tears rolled down my face.

She sat down for a minute, started going over her notes from the questions she asked and they did a blood test, etc.

Then came the news that I wasn't about a month along like we all had thought. I had been carrying since April and it was now July 11, 2008. I was 3 months pregnant and finding out my baby was no longer with me.

According to the doctor, I started miscarrying in May. I actually remember asking my husband if I had had a period because I was late. Then, it came and it was ridiculously heavy. I didn't think anything about it. June, I was spotty. June is when I thought something was different. I felt different and was nauseous, a lot. So, I took a test, several tests. All of which said positive.

My body was miscarrying when I tested. My HCG levels were still high to make me test positive, even though I was miscarrying.

To this day, I cannot remember everything the doctor said that day. I was in total disbelief and shock. I got to the car, and I lost it. I called my mom and it was the hardest thing I had to do, was to tell her about loosing my baby.

I found it even harder to tell my husband, boyfriend at the time.

I somehow managed to get ready for work and attempt to go in. I worked with my husband at the time. I was fine, fine as in ready to fall apart at any minute. I saw my husband and he just hugged me and held me. I was ok. I kept telling myself everything was going to be ok.

I went to the bathroom, calmed myself down and then started to walk to the front of the store. One of the ladies I work with stopped me and asked if I was ok. My husband had already let everyone know, just so they wouldn't ask about the baby. He didn't want it to be any harder on me. When Diane asked if I was ok, I lost it. I was an absolute wreck. She walked me outside to get me some fresh air and then the assistant store manager came out, bringing my husband with him. When my husband saw me, sitting on the ground sobbing, he lost it. I've rarely seen him shed a tear, but him seeing me that day hurting and him hurting too, he couldn't hold back. He came up and grabbed me and just held me.

Our boss told us to go home, that he wasn't allowing either of us to work that day. I'm so thankful for how great everyone at my then job was. I was in no condition to work, especially when several customers and everyone we worked with knew I was pregnant.

At the same time that this was the hardest time in my life, it was also one of the most rewarding times, too. My husband didn't want kids, but this forever changed him. After he got over being scared, he would talk to my belly, kiss my belly and rub my belly every day. He wanted to be a daddy, and I knew he would make an amazing dad- and still will, one day. He confirmed for me more than anything how he was so perfect for me.

I don't understand and never will understand why God put us through a miscarriage (and many more after this one), but I do understand why he allowed us to get pregnant. It taught us so much about each other and ourselves. It made us closer and showed us so much more how we wanted to be together and to raise a family together.

Shortly after our miscarriage, he proposed. I said yes, and every day since, I would say yes over and over.

Even though July 11 is hard and emotional for me, it's such sweet sorrow to know I was carrying for as long as I was, to see my husband change, and to feel closer than I already was to him. One day we will be blessed with a baby. I don't know when or how, but when that day comes, he and I will be the happiest parents in the world.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proud, Damn Proud

Happy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate our FREEDOM here in the great ole U.S. of A. Some people take what we have in this great country for granted.

Some times we get so caught up in complaining that we forget the luxuries we have here in America.

I for one, am grateful we have Freedom of speech, Freedom of religion and SO much more. We are given so many choices and options to have amazing lives here in this country and yet, we still complain or want to bash this day or bash this country.

I am one of those people who say, "If you don't like this country, then get out". It's a choice, ya know, you don't have to stay here if you dislike it that badly.

I'm extremely thankful to our Military who fights, everyday, to keep us safe and help prevent attacks. They are true heroes. Past, Present and Future.. I thank you.

Although there are things about this country I don't agree with, I'm happy here. I love it here. And although, it seems, many people's morals have changed for the worse, I cannot wait to raise children here.

Today is a day set to celebrate, so do it. Celebrate your freedom and remember why you have those freedoms.

I'm PROUD to be an AMERICAN, where at least I know I'm FREE. I won't forget the MEN WHO DIED and gave that right to ME.

God Bless the USA.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Whatever You Like

Today, I heard the song, "Whatever You like" by TI come on the radio as I was changing stations. I stopped flipping stations and finished listening to the song.

Sometimes I hear songs that remind me of my husband. "Whatever You Like" is a song that always makes me smile and always instantly makes me think of my husband.

The night before our wedding, my husband went out with the guys while my Maid of Honor and I worked on some final wedding stuff.

While my maid of honor and I were chatting and preparing for the wedding, I received a text from my husband. The text contained lyrics to TI's "whatever you like". Not so much the dirty parts of the song, but rather the parts saying, "you can have whatever you like".

Now, nearly 4 years later, I still smile and remember that same shy guy who asked me to marry him. I remember how young we were and how crazy we were about each other. He was and still is my protector, my rock, my best friend and the love of my life.

July 13, 2008 is when he proposed to me. He was actually scared I would say no. He's crazy for ever thinking that.
July 13, 2011 my husband came home from our first deployment, and he actually remembered that was the day he proposed to me. If you know my husband, you know his memory with dates is far from good (which is why he jokes about why he's with me because I remember everything!).

Basically the point of this blog is to say, no matter where he is... There are little things that make him feel close to home. No matter where he is, I will always have something here to remind me of him. And those things will always bring a smile to my face and added proof there can be bits of happiness during deployment if you allow it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Timber!

I hate trees. I use to love them, but after the past couple weeks, I have decided the next house we purchase will not have trees anywhere near the house that are taller than our house. Seriously, Trees, You suck.

If you follow my Facebook fan page, Instagram or on Twitter,  you know I have been doing a lot of yard work this deployment. When my husband left, our yard wasn't as you would say, "Pretty".

The front yard was missing grass from the installation of our driveway after purchasing the house. I had finally got the grass to look good and planted flowers in the front. Yay for me!

The back yard was covered with leaves and was mostly just dirt. Every week I would get out there and rake leaves and work to make the yard look good. It was far from being my dream yard, but it was green and very few bald spots.

The left image is after weeks of work. Yard was green and I had filled some holes along the fence with top soil as well as bagged TONS of leaves. The right image was the project I was starting. All the grass (what was there) was going to be removed and I was going to level the area out and begin working on my husband's awesome patio surprise.

Then, when having someone come quote to finish off our privacy fence, I received bad news that the tree closest to our house was not only dead, but hollowed out. Problem? This tree was EXTREMELY close to our house and more than double the height of our house. If it were to fall, it would take out 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom at the very minimum. Yikes.

Before believing this man, I sent photos of the tree to my father-in-law who is an expert with trees. He then told me what I expected, but didn't want to hear. The tree had to come down.

I had more than 5 companies give me quotes. The tree was so large and so close to our house it wasn't going to come cheap. Of course, I chose the guy I felt the most comfortable with, and just so happened to be the guy with the lowest price. Within 2 days, he had his team at my house to get the tree down.


The company is called Great Scott. And they were Great! They stayed until dark and had the tree down in one day. I was nice and made them Lemonade and cookies. I figured it was the least I could do with them being out in the sun all day and not taking breaks. Man, were they ever appreciative!


As you can see, my green yard was starting to turn to muck. 


They struggled with the stump with it being as large as it was. The bobcat spun it's tires when it tried to get under the chainsaw cut they put in at the base to pull it up. They ended up having to go from top to bottom with the chainsaw ans splitting the base in two. The tree ended up taking two truck loads to haul off, not including the limbs they turned into sawdust. 

My yard, a mess. But, when there is a bobcat and a tree falling in your yard.. what can you do? They even had to take out part of my fence to get the bobcat in the back yard. They did go above and beyond by re-installing the gate for me. My back yard has about a 10 foot section that is green. My front yard is also a mess, but nothing compared to the back. 

Before, my yard was very shaded. And although it is still shaded, there is a HUGE section to my yard that was not there before due to the tree and the sun is bright! I've noticed my house stays a bit warmer now too. Which, may be good for winter. Now that summer is here, my central air may be running a tad bit more. But, for the yard space, I'm OK with that. 

Now, my tree issues didn't stop there. Just a few days after having this beast of a tree cut down, I guess the Gumball tree, also in my back yard, felt neglected. A rather large limb from the top of the tree broke loose and crushed the roof of my husband's shed. The shed he finished building just 3 days before he deployed in March. 
Coming home from working to see this, my only thoughts were, "Really?!".
The limb even moved the shed over a few feet as well as ripped apart and through the metal on the roof. The limb was only inches away from hitting our lawn mower.

Thankfully for us, the tree company that took down the beast of a Red Oak for me, came by and removed the limb (which was inside the shed, over the fence and on the neighbor's garage. It was no little limb!). AND, they did it for me for free, saving me nearly $500. They even looked at the Gumball tree for me to give me a status on the condition of the tree. The tree is in GREAT health, however, they did tell me that Gumball trees are notorious for loosing limbs as the the limbs get so large and too heavy for the tree. So, now I'm debating as to cut down the Gumball tree or not. It wouldn't be any time soon, as we have had to shell out a lot of money in a very short amount of time. My pocketbook needs a break!


Now, sometime in the very near future, there will be a pretty little wood shed where this mangled metal shed still currently sits until I figure out what the heck I need to do with it. 

I wanted the wood shed to begin with, but he wanted to save a couple hundred dollars with the metal. Now, I am making the investment to get the "Prettier" lawn ornament. 

So, Here's to no more tree issues, PLEASE!
I love trees, I really do. But I do not like when they add to my deployment to-do list and when they cost as much as they do. Now, I'm back at square one for working on my yard. Grass seed has been poured, now, finger's crossed it will grow. I really want a pretty yard. 

Thankfully, there are no trees that are a major threat to our house in our yard. My biggest threat is my neighbor's kids. But that's for a whole different blog. 




Saturday, June 9, 2012

They're coming to get you Barbara!


This deployment I have been pushing my creativity. I have a long list of projects I plan to conquer, decorating my house, making my yard beautiful and so much more.

My favorite project lately? Care Packages.

Last deployment I always decorated the box and even did theme boxes. However, the box I'm about to show you, I'm unsure that I can ever top it.

My husband is a HUGE fan of The Walking Dead as well as any Zombie movie. When all the "Zombie" news articles started popping up (man eats homeless man's face off, college kid eats roommate's heart and brain... true stories), my weird and twisted thoughts automatically went to, "Hmmm.. Zombie box!".

I'm a bit of an overachiever, so, of course I went all out on this box with decorating and EVERYTHING inside.

Instead of me rambling, I will let the pictures (tons of them) do the talking.






 So, You're wondering what all is in the box? How about I just list it all!

  • Movie, Zombieland
  • Zombie Blood Energy Potion Pack
  • Zombie Mints
  • Bag O'Zombies (similar to bags of GI Joes)
  • Zombie Survival Energy Drink
  • Zombie Jerky- Teriyaki
  • Zombie Survival Playing cards
  • Zombie Pea Brains- Wasabi Peas
  • Zombie Skin- Salted Dried Seaweed
  • Crusty Zombie Toenails- Sesame Sticks
  • Sour gummy worms
  • Movie, 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later
  • Movie, The Zombie Diaries
  • Zombie Gum

I'm sure I left something out. But you get the idea!



I couldn't wait to blog about this box. And because of my impatience, there are a few items missing from the box that I ordered online (They will be here in a couple days). So, here are some of the things that will be in the box when it is sent out to my husband.

Work gloves, slippers, brain suckers, and a zombie arm bottle opener
Photos courtesy of  neatoshop.com

Water bottle and sleep mask
Photos courtesy of  neatoshop.com
To decorate the box, I used Spray blood we had leftover from Halloween. My right hand is stained pink from covering it in the dye to put a "Zombie hand print" in the bottom of the box. I then continued with my care package obsession of using Duck brand duct tape, and created the caution tape. I decided to buy solid yellow tape, as I didn't want to purchase a caution tape pattern because I use the Duck tape to wrap the box shut- I assume caution tape on the outside of the box would raise some eyebrows!
I took a black sharpie to put the patterns on the Duck tape, as well as write on the box. I also used a white paint marker to fill in on one flap of the box to create a Warning sign. Being that the paint pen was used on the cardboard and not the tape, it dried extremely fast as it absorbs into the cardboard.

After I finished with the Duck tape, drawing and writing on the box, I then use the spray blood to put "splatters" of blood over the tape.

This box wasn't cheap. I will not go into detail to how much I spent because I'm not exactly proud of it! Ha! However, I know my husband will absolutely love this box and it will make him smile. AND I HAD A BLAST MAKING IT!

If you are interested in creating your own Zombie theme box, check out Amazon for some awesome Zombie treats, as well as the site, NEATOSHOP.

I'll be making a trip to Hot Topic this weekend sometime to see if I can snag a couple other fun goodies for this box as well (If I have any more room!). I do know that Hot Topic carries a "blood bag" which is actually an energy drink. I might pick up a couple of them to throw in as well.

Now, how in the world am I going to top this one? Hmmm...



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Thursday, May 31, 2012

It Works

So, I have been on this health kick for a bit now. At first, it was almost miserable. I felt like I was starving.

I started out by eating 90% Fruits and Veggies. I would have a smoothie for breakfast, which would contain both fruits and veggies. Then for lunch, I would have raw veggies and fruits- typically broccoli, carrots, an apple, grapes and sometimes an orange. For Dinner, I would do steamed veggies with a Turkey breast chop, Chicken breast or fish fillet.

I felt very hungry the first few days. I'm use to eating so heavily, my body was in shock. So, I snacked more with fruits and veggies and if I felt like I needed something more substantial, I would have a couple hard-boiled eggs.

I stayed on this routine for about a week and a half. I was out one night and by the time I was to get home, it was going to be later than I would prefer to cook or eat. So, I stopped for fast food. I considered it a "cheat night". And IT TASTED AMAZING! However, because my body had detoxed, I felt SO sick. I said I wouldn't do it again, but I did have another fast food cheat day and the same happened. So, I KNOW I'm doing good with this diet. And, even with some cheat days, my body feels amazing!

I feel like my body has finally adjusted to the drastic change in my eating habits. I no longer feel as if I'm starving all the time, but rather content. I still occasionally feel the need to snack, but it's good to snack between meals. So, I help myself to fruit and occasionally a hard-boiled egg (I love eggs if you haven't noticed). I'm implementing pistachios into what I allow into my snacking. If I can get on my running routine as I want, I will definitely need more protein in my diet.

I haven't been able to run like I would like to. I do not own a treadmill and prefer to run outside. Still no excuse on my part as I live only a couple minutes from base and have access to run on the track at the base gym (so, shame on me!). But I have noticed slight changes in my body.

My face has slimmed down some. I always notice a change in my cheeks first. My jaw structure and high cheek bones become more defined.
My love handles are fading. I'm very excited about this as it is one of my biggest issues I have with my body at the moment. They aren't completely gone, but I have noticed a change with love handles as well as my midsection as a whole. My jeans are fitting looser in the waist.
My thighs still need work. A lot of work. They are my number one concern as from my hip bones down, I'm built a little thicker. Tiny waist, bigger thighs and butt. Problem I'm having right now? My waist is slimming, lower regions have not. So, my jeans aren't real comfortable at the moment. But, that's ok. That's more drive to push myself.

My husband was in port recently and we were able to use FaceTime to video chat. He noticed. That has to be one of the most amazing feelings ever is knowing he notices even the slightest changes through video chat. Because he noticed, it is pushing me more to do this. He is my number one for motivation. Especially since he has been putting on a lot of muscle lately. I still have the drive to want to keep up with him.

The more I do better for my body, the more I notice some things peeve me a little. The "ItWorks" wraps. People just want a quick fix. Some people are just too lazy to do something for themselves when eating healthy can do SO much for your body (and honestly, how you feel about yourself and your mood). I'm seeing SO many military wives getting into this business, which is fine- go make some money. But it's sad to me that there are so many who look at this product as a Godsend, when it's only temporary. Do a real detox- eat healthy. This blog is called, "It Works" because my diet is a healthy way to do things and It does work.

I'm so curious as to if I have dropped weight or not, but I purposely do not own a scale. Weight is just a number that means nothing. You can be 150lbs and be overweight, underweight or the perfect size. There is too much to factor into it and I just want to be healthy and in shape. That number can bring me down and I won't let it because I don't care if I loose weight at all. I just want to tone up my "problem" areas and be a better me.

Tomorrow, rain or shine, I will go for a run. No more excuses for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday- Care Package

Today is my husband's birthday. This is his 2nd year in a row we have been apart. And you want to know something? I'm OK with that.

 As much fun as we would have if he were home, I'm much more creative when he is gone. I spend the entire deployment planning for his homecoming, birthday and this year- our anniversary.

Basically he is extremely spoiled and comes home to tons of gifts and decorations.

 Last year I made a whole box of cake in jars for him and his division. This year, I have been a lot busier. So, I took an easier route with old fashioned candies, other random candies and other goodies. Where I had a lot of fun with it was decorating the box.

Many girls will paint or glue paper to decorate the inside, I do something more fun, in my opinion. I use Duck Tape in fun obnoxious colors. I use it on every box I send to make it more fun... Even if it is just more fun for me! Then, I use sharpies or paint pens to write all over the Duck Tape. For his birthday box, I also used tissue paper and a "Happy Birthday" bow to make it pretty.

I took some pictures this year :)
I typically only cover the box flaps with Duck Tape
I then put tissue paper in the bottom and fill it up
Prettified :) 
I will even wrap the box in the "Pretty" tape. 

So, there you have it. That's all there is to my husband's birthday box. Fun, yet simple. Duck Tape makes everything fun (and where where I'm from, fixes EVERYTHING!).

The different colors, patterns and designs make themed care packages a blast. For instance, come college football season, I will be making a Tennessee VOLS themed box, using UT Duck Tape brand duct tape. Fun, right? Yes, it is.

For continence of his birthday at homecoming, I have a few ideas- some thanks to Pinterest, but you will just have to wait several more months before I unveil more. Just think of balloons. Lots and lots of balloons (something like 30 Balloons and each have a meaning). The idea came from something I saw in Pinterest, and I am taking that idea and creating something completely different and "Me", err.. him.
Plus my projects around the house (yard mainly) to surprise him as well! :)

Happy Birthday to my Mr Amazing!


p.s. My husband received his box just in time for his birthday :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Absolutely Positivity

If you followed my blog through last deployment, you know that I have a positive outlook on deployment, as well as military life. I treat it as if it is no different than if my husband had a typical 9-5 job. Yes, with the military you have deployment. It's part of the lifestyle you choose to live when you fall in love with someone who is of service or when you make the choice with your significant other for them to join.
I've always had this outlook and I think because I have this outlook, I am able to focus solely on the positives.

Last deployment I wrote about falling in love with my husband all over again and deployment being a "new" relationship with him. This deployment has proved that to me again. We regain the "newness" of a relationship throughout the deployment. It also allows us to never get bored with each other.

When chatting with my husband today, he mentioned how he wished he didn't have to be away from me so much. But I pointed out how close we are now, because of the distance. He agreed. He also agreed that deployment allows us to really appreciate each other (He really misses me doing his laundry! haha).

Distance doesn't have to separate your relationship- it can actually bring you closer together, but ONLY if YOU (and your significant other) let it.

Distance can tremendously improve your communication, or absolutely break it. Communication, to me, is #1 with ANY relationship. With good communication, you have trust, you have honesty, and a strong foundation.

Deployment doesn't have to be a negative experience. It CAN be fun, if you let it.

I asked my Facebook Fan Page followers what are some positives to deployment, and I would like to share with you some of what the ladies shared with me.

  • Many ladies said "Saving Money". I have to agree there. My husband spends a lot while on deployment, but not near as much as he does when he is home. It's nice to put EXTRA in our savings account. 
  • Weight-loss was another common one. Although, last deployment, right before he came home I gained 10lbs. Being limited on exercise last deployment added to eating out a lot due to the move was NOT cool, however... all the extra weight went to my rear-end and my husband didn't seem to mind ;)
    This deployment, I will conquer getting into the shape I want to be in. Not necessarily loosing weight, but toning up and eating healthy- look for a blog update on that soon! :)
  • A couple gals said, "how it makes a marriage stronger". Amen sista(s)! My favorite thing to hear others say!
  • One gal said something about not shaving her legs as much.. Although I tend to not shave my legs as much when he's not home.. I'm on the fence about this being a positive or not! LOL
    Definitely not a bad thing though. 
  • You have the opportunity to learn a new hobby. Last deployment, My new hobby was thrifting. That hobby still remains.. and I LOVE it. This deployment, my new hobby ties in with thrifting by finding used furniture pieces I can redo to complete/ decorate my home. I'm picky, but I have found a couple great pieces and now, need to decide on paint colors. My awesome old wood desk I scored for $20 will be a smokey purple soon to match my photography branding. :) Now to think of a color for the table/ stand I found for my dining room and the wood bar stools. 
  • Eating whatever foods you like, is one I COMPLETELY love about deployment. My husband won't eat Mexican food and I absolutely LOVE it. So, deployment is a great time to get my fix for Mexican food in. Although, a lot of Mexican food is not the healthiest- so, I'm improvising with Tortilla soup made in my awesome VitaMix made with tons of raw veggies. 
  • You have time for Self-development, I like this one. A lot. You can find more things about YOU, what you like, learn new things, etc. With this, you can also gain your independence back because, let's face it.. if you're married, you rely on your husband for a lot in some way or another. 
  • "Me time". oh yes, we all need it. Sometimes deployment can be too much, "me time" at times, but who doesn't love and NEED time to their selves every now and then. My husband and I both need our time alone because we tend to spend so much time together. Sometimes we don't notice we slightly suffocate one another because all we want is to spend every minute with each other. Now, go grab the remote because you don't have anyone to share it with- it's all yours. OR if you're like me and you don't watch TV, go turn on Pandora and sing obnoxiously at the top of your lungs because you don't have to worry about it bothering him. ;)
  • Homecoming. Need I say more? No matter what, it's always worth the time apart.
You can read more of what other readers had to say on my Facebook page. Feel free to leave your positive thoughts about deployment on my Facebook page or in a comment on my blog. I love reading other's thoughts as well!

Deployment CAN be a positive experience. Only you can determine how it will affect you.

So, be happy! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let Me Be Your Hero Baby

Excuse the Enrique Iglesias plug in the title. It popped in my head, although I'm far from an Enrique fan, title is fitting for this post. (Side note, why do songs or artists you dislike get stuck on repeat in your head at random moments? Is this just me?)

So, the other day, my husband was able to watch The Avengers on the ship. My husband is a HUGE comic book based movie fan. You name it, he's seen it or will want to. Gua.ran.teed!

This was obvious of him as a child.

Some time after he watched the movie, he emailed me asking if I could get my hands on the photo of him when he was a kid dressed as Captain America. Evidently something is going on in his shop that he needs/ wants it for. The photo cracks me up. He's so little in the image, but to this day, he still has that same cheesy smile! I absolutely adore it. 
Thankfully, his dad was able to scan the print in and email it to me. 

My husband's dad also sent this image:


Batman is pretty much his idol to this day. He might just be a little obsessed with batman. I even sent him batman kid's undies for men last deployment as a little joke. He wore them and I'm sure pranced around in them in the berthing- he's a nut.

Never a dull moment.

Looking at these pictures, I cannot help but to smile. He grew up wanting to be a super hero, and here he is.. MY hero.

My husband is my hero. Not because he is in the military, but because he saved me. I was in a very dark time when I met him. I needed a true friend at that moment when I met him. My world felt like it was crashing down and I was extremely lost. That's when my Super Hero stepped in. He knew some of the things I was going through after a very short time of knowing me. He would make me laugh like I don't ever remember laughing. I was terrified to get into a relationship with him, and he knew this. He was so patient and never gave up on me. After a few weeks of us being inseparable, he wrote me the sweetest little note while I was at work. It said,
"I think you're beautiful inside and out. And one day, whether now or sometime in the future, I would like a relationship with you. I know you've been through a lot, but I want to be there for you, always."
And thankfully he was patient and even though I wasn't ready at that time, he waited and was there for me more than anyone ever was. I knew I wanted to be with him, but I needed to figure out some things and I didn't want my decisions to be influenced by him- not that they would have been bad decisions, I just wanted to make them solely on what I felt I needed to do.

After a while, I allowed myself to open up to him and we "Officially" started dating. We had been dating for almost a year and I was in another bad situation. A situation that I was scared of and he was scared for me with a roommate (a guy), who was an alcoholic. After a few instances and then one that put bruises on my arm, my Super Hero showed up and packed me and my dog, Roo, and moved us in with him. Almost 2 months later, he proposed to me. Two months after that, he married me.

There's more to everything than what's said here- but I would be a book if I went in more detail.

My husband, My hero.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We're Going Through Changes

I was bored with my old blogger layout. I thought it was time for an update seeing as it has been about a year or more since I updated the look of my blog.

I'm not quite done with it just yet, but I'm getting there.
Feedback is appreciated!

I will also be updating the Sponsor tab as my stats are SO much higher now. It's really neat to check up on my blog stats, but some times creepy seeing where some of the referrals come from as well as google search terms.  Also with my blog stats, I have found my blog was submitted to a top infertility blog site. While I think it's nice to see someone did this, I don't necessarily agree with it. I am not infertile. I can get pregnant no problem.

Changing subject.

I have several blogs running in my head. So many I find them getting mixed up in my head. I really need to start writing down my blog thoughts as I have them. I guarantee you I would have a blog post up every day, even if the post is very random thoughts.

I have started eating better, again. This time I plan to stick with it. I spent $98 on Fruits, Veggies, Chicken, Turkey and Fish yesterday. I'm VERY picky when it comes to fruits and veggies, but I forced myself to purchase all sorts of good stuff that I don't particularly care for. So far so good!

For Breakfast, I make smoothies. This is where the fruits and veggies I don't care for come into play. When I blend them in a smoothie, you can't taste it! You'd never know there was cabbage in it (Thank you VitaMix!)
For lunch, I try to stick with nothing but raw fruits and veggies. No meat or any dips or dressings. I will drink water or if I'm looking for a little something more, I'll grab some organic milk.
For dinner the past two nights I have made steamed broccoli, carrots and onions with baked turkey breast.
Snacks are small fruits, mainly grapes because I haven't stomached the courage to grab the berries yet. Yes, I do not like any berries. Sad, I know.

Oh how I love me some Turkey! I usually only eat it at holidays, but not anymore. It's in my regular eating routine now! I HATE onions, but found yesterday when I steam them, I really like them! I surprised myself (go me!). I attempted a cherry tomato tonight (gag) and well, I still don't like them. It's a texture issue. So, looks like I will be making a few different soups with them- completely liquidizing them just so I can say I ate tomatoes. Did I mention I'm determined? Yes, I am very motivated to stick with this.

So, what kicked my butt into high gear? My husband has been gone for 2 months and I saw a picture of him with his division. He left here weighing 175 pounds and wasn't much muscle (post and pre deployment laziness). I expected him to loose weight like crazy similar to last deployment, but I was wrong. He has been working out everyday and drinking protein.. my not so muscly husband is well.. all muscle right now and hasn't dropped weight. So, he's out there bulking up and getting in shape and I thought if he can do it on a ship, I have no excuse here at home.

So, Eating healthy plus getting back into a running routine, I plan to prove to myself I can do this. And when homecoming rolls around, I want his jaw to drop. It will happen.


And if I need any motivation, I watch this:





 CLICK IT!

I have no excuses now. Watch the video, it will inspire you.