Friday, July 29, 2011

{Five things} Friday Inspiration

                                                                             Source: via Cara on Pinterest

1. I love every print, color and motivational word in the Studio Mela Etsy Shop.

2. Ever have a movie trailer make the hair on your arms stand up and you just know you have to see the film? Watch this. 

3. Since I have confirmed that I have a corn intolerance, all I want to eat are recipes like Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette.

4. I think I need this tea set.

5. Yes, this:
                                     Source: via Jasly on Pinterest

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer evenings in the backyard...






grass in your toes
tree swing
sunset coming through the branches
sweet smell of flowers in the air
cicada melody in the trees
Americana nostalgia...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things to do when you are a Stay-at-home-in-someone-else's-home-Mom





Things to do when you are unemployed, dealing with extreme minimalism in the toy/distraction area, and living in someone else's house (who you really want to try to keep intact from sticky fingers):
  • Discover public parks and spaces.
  • Be a mini-tourist in the area in which you are staying. (Like find a real-life dairy farm and try driving a tractor!)
  • Check out the night life and utilize your hosts as babysitters (thanks, grandparents!)
  • Work that GPS! Don't get stuck inside...get a map and get out and about.
  • Eat copious amounts of ice cream. (It's summer and I am essentially on vacation, right?)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

{Self-Portrait} Glasses

I have worn glasses for more than two-thirds of my life. And it has taken all of that time to finally feel comfortable with them on my face. I am not talking about a literal comfort but an acceptance in my heart that I was wearing my imperfections as one of the first things people see. These days, when my physical imperfections (as measured by society/media) have started to take over, my almost total lack of eyesight seems to fall behind on my list of things to worry about. So, my glasses have been a more permanent fixture on my face and they have started to feel like me.

In my yearly goals, I made a goal to try to get myself in front of the camera more often. Thanks to the IPad's front facing camera (and, um, Instagram's ability to hide other imperfections), I am committing to making that goal a reality...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tunnel Vision and Situational Awareness


In the police academy, one of the biggest things they warned us about what tunnel vision. In the context of police work, it was where you got focused on one thing and lost perspective of the risks around you. You could be on a traffic stop with a sweet old lady driver and not see the bad guy with a gun in the back seat. Or you could be focused on who you think is the biggest risk and not see the person on the side lines ready to deck you in the back of the head.

And when it comes to dealing with the emotions of being in the midst of change, I am fighting the tunnel vision. We are essentially half way through this transition period, living out of suitcases and moving those suitcases every so often. We don't know when we are flying to post. We will be living in a hotel for an undetermined amount of time when we get there. Will I be employed or not? The unknowns outweigh the knowns and my emotional tunnel vision easily settles into focusing on the frustrations of everything being up in the air. And the biggest problem with tunnel vision? It only heads in one direction: towards more danger. The farther you head down the tunnel, the less perspective you have and the harder it is to get out. And the tunnel vision of negativity is precisely that way.

So how do you combat the tendency to have tunnel vision? The key is perspective. (Also, the police academy thought us to not trust anyone, but that is a post for another day.) You have to make a conscience effort to stop and pay attention to your surroundings. In law enforcement, we called it situational awareness. Situational awareness pays attention to what is ahead and what is behind you. It concentrates on more than just the immediate moment. It pays attention to both logic and gut feelings.

Focus is a good thing... except when it isn't. I could focus on the fact that we will be living in guest bedrooms and hotel rooms for three months and be depressed about the lack of space, privacy or routine. But then I would miss the adventure. I would miss the fact that I am not the only person doing house work. I might only see the fact that my son's behavior is reflecting the upheaval in his little life but then I would miss the fact that I have extra hands to help. I could be upset that we won't be able to settle into our permanent home when we first get to Guyana but then I would miss the benefits of hotel living (no making my bed for a month? pool side dining where someone else does the dishes? I have to get a little excited!)

I am not a Pollyanna. (Chalk it up to the jaded mindset that is engrained in your when you become a cop.) I believe in being realistic and calling things like I see them. But the problem with tunnel vision is that it isn't a realistic view of what is going on in a situation. But I am ditching the narrowly focused tunnel of negativity and adopting a view of situational awareness. I am going to recognize this time in our journey for what it is: hard and challenging. But I am also going to expand my periphery to make sure I don't miss anything along the way!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Power of Words

My mind and tongue are heavy with the all of the things I wish to say. Personal things. Surface things. But I don't want my words to be just flippant responses to the day or vents about the challenges of living out of suitcase in someone else's house. (Although I may need to have that discussion on here soon...) Or publicize my deep dark secrets about my thoughts on motherhood.  I haven't quite figured out what I want my blog to be. Is it my personal journal? Am I writing to an audience? Are my personal thoughts on something other than moving or military life going to be relevant to the small number of people that read this? (And does it matter?)

The fact is, whether solely for me or for you that read, I need my words. I want them to be used for good. That good may just be for the purpose of cleansing the cluttered space in my brain or there may be someone (even one!) person that can relate to what I write and they can breathe finally, someone else feels the same way I do. But I believe in the power of words. Words that express a purpose and make a change. Big or small, we all write for some reason: we have something to say and we want to be heard. 

If you are a reader of my little space, I would love for you to leave your blog address in the comments so I can read what you have to say. Let me know who you are! Social media can sometimes feels like everyone is talking and nobody is really listening. Let's build a community of support and let's listen to each other words.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Through their eyes...

When your children look at something, really look at something, as parents, we tend to turn our eye in that direction. But often our child's point of interest is something normal to us, something we have seen a million times before. I have been coming to Disney for almost all of my life and while I love it (well, I love it when we don't come in July. Never again, Disney World in July...), certain things have lost their magic. My adult eyes don't see what my son sees. At his age, he views it all with the innocence and newness that childhood brings.

With the new changes and experiences on the way, I can only pray that I see things with such newness and innocence...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Disney dreams tonight...

Tomorrow we wake up and head to the Happiest Place on Earth...

My husband and I have different vacations styles: he believes in infrequent total blowout vacations (Souvenirs! Every meal out!) and I prefer lots of super budget trips...but 11 years of doing Disney together, we have reached a comfortable compromise. While our little man has been to Walt Disney World before as a toddler, he is almost 4 and slightly tops the elusive 40 inch height limit so he can ride everything but the craziest of roller coasters. (Seriously, when did he get so big?)

This trip, I might even break my personal no-souvenir rule...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Defining who I am {Military Wife}

5/365 {Home for lunch}

Confession time: I didn’t want to be a “military blogger.”

As far as military wives go, I am not very good at being involved. I won’t shop at any store that tells me how to dress, so the commissary and the exchange are out. After I accidently went two days overdue with a base library book and my husband’s commander got called as a result, I officially swore off all other base services that refused to see me as anything other than “just a dependent.” I struggle with whole heartedly embracing my identity as a Navy wife because that makes me feel like my identity is rooted in what my husband is/does…not who I am.

And I am so many things outside of who I am in relation to my husband...

I am a mother.

A (really slow) jogger.

A lover of vintage Pyrex and modern fabric.

I am forever a police officer in my soul, regardless of my employment status.

I love a good story, one told with words that paint a vivid picture or a story told with no words through photography.

I am a reflection of the experiences I have had, before and with my husband on this journey. But I have realized, recently, that my particular experiences and my unique journey have developed my voice. And I have things to say. And some of those things are about being a military family. It is a different lifestyle (although I still don’t think it has to be so all-encompassing as some make it out to be.) It does come with limitations and rules that I don’t like sometimes but the benefits can be pretty amazing (hello, Disney discount!) I am, and always have been, proud of my husband, our military and of our experience as a Navy family. While my pride does not necessarily define who I am, exclusively, it is an important part of who I am.

So, I will accept the label of “military blogger” proudly.  This weekend, I begin a little gig of being a “weekend warrior” contributor over on the SpouseBUZZ blog on Some of my real-life friends may giggle a little to themselves while others may be nodding their heads at the idea that military spouse’s need a voice like mine. What I have to say about being a military spouse may be different than what you expect…you may agree or totally think I am crazy. But isn’t that the beauty of community-that we can all come together, differences and all, to support each other? My first article on SpouseBUZZ is talking about how to build community when it is hard to fit in: head on over and tell me what you think!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

From sea to shining sea...

We are officially nomads, starting our multi-state journey before officially heading overseas. Despite a short stomach bug that made me miss the official July 4th fireworks, we did enjoyed our little starting reprieve at the family mountain cabin in the Smoky Mountains. There certainly is no better way to celebrate the beauty of this country than to leave the expansive ocean and to travel to the drama of Appalachia: the white-streamed rivers, water falls and mist in the morning! The drive from the mountains down to Florida featured white-columned homes, red barns and fruit stands. {We definitely made a stop for some Georgia pecans and peaches...}

The next leg of our trip heads north to Ohio...certainly there is no better way to say goodbye to the United States than to be able to road trippin' down the highway.

Friday, July 1, 2011

{Friday Photos} Last Minute Preparations

Last minute tasks are easy to get done when you are blessed with a friend with an amazing playroom and you are listening to some fun podcasts. Laundry, packing and filling up gas tanks: we are off tomorrow!