Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We started our PCS journey in May.  May 17th to be exact.  That was when we got conditional orders for Germany. Since then, we have been doing things that needed to be done for a 3-year move to another country; selling our 2 humongous SUV's for a single *whispers-station wagon-whispers* that would be better on the Germany roads and a teeny bit better on gas (damn lying car salesmen!), buying our expensive ass passports (nearly $900 when including all the documentation!), combing through the house deciding what to sell, give away, etc.  In short--it's taken up a HUGE portion of the last couple of months.  Mostly for me, to be honest.  Our children are not excited about the situation, and my husband really has no choice - since he's property of the Army & will go where he's told to go.  I have wanted to go overseas since Day 1 of our marriage. We have been here at Ft Hood our (yes, OUR) entire military career, over half his time to retirement, and I want something new.  Yes, I love having both sets of parents close to us now and the familiarity of being close to where I have grown up, but I want something more.  I want to experience life.  I want to know that I lived. I don't think that when Ryan retires, we will suddenly say "Hey! I know. Let's move to another country to try it out!" By that time, our children will be in college and beyond, and God willing our parents are still alive, and they will be a lot older and we will want to spend as much time with them as possible. In short-- this is the perfect time to go and live overseas. Also- Audree is in 7th grade.  Once a military child hits high school, the Army tries to not move you from your duty station so that your child can have 4 continuous years of high school. What that means is if we don't move to Germany NOW, Audree will enter HS in 2 years, and we will be effectively stuck here for the rest of Ryan's career, because Audree goes through 4 years, when she graduates, it will be time for Delanie to start and then Landry is 1 year after her, so that is 9 years "stuck" to a base. In 11 years, Ryan will already be eligible for retirement. Thus, the time is now. 

Ryan's actual report date isn't until just after the new year, but we were given "early reporting" as an option, meaning we could actually get there a few months early.  We chose to take that route because we are so freaking excited to get there! All plans had been green lighted and we were at the last few hurdles to skip over before we ordered our tickets via the base. I went for our medical screenings last week - which is mandatory for an overseas move.  They are basically looking to make sure that no one in your family has an medical issues that they will not have manpower to take care of once you are stationed there. All 3 kids passed with flying colors. I did not.

They Army looks at the past 5 years of mental health for people and generally (from what I've heard/read) disqualifies spouses/families from going overseas if there has been an issue. To clarify - they look at many, many different issues of family members like seizures, diabetes, asthma, etc, but my only issue was the mental health aspect.  My sister died 4 years ago, and at the same time my other sister basically told me I wasn't part of the family & I should have allowed the "core" family (I'm their step-sister) to mourn alone, and Ryan was gearing up for his 4th deployment.  Landry was in Speech/PT/OT for 5 hours a week, which required me to sign him out of school early, take him to the therapy place off base, drive back to the elementary school to get Audree & Delanie, drive with them back to get Landry, then drive home. I was trying to maintain myself and I couldn't and I cracked.  I reached out for help from my doctor, who ultimately decided that I needed to see a Psychiatrist & Psychologist, and I did see them both for over a year.  I took medication after medication, trying to find something to take the pain away. What took the pain away was time, not 11 pills a night. Eventually I stopped taking my medication (cold turkey - DO NOT RECOMMEND) and just stopped seeing my doctors cold turkey (again, DO NOT RECOMMEND). Honestly, I've felt better these past 3 years then I have in ... forever? I don't know. But generally much  better.  I think that it also helps that I am finally on a hormone treatment that works great.  When this doctor flagged me at my screening appointment, it was not something that I had even considered to be a possibility.  They are making me sign onto the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), and our chances of going to Germany are down to near zero. Not completely a "no", but we are now in a very large up-hill battle. 

I am devastated, and distraught, and sad, and upset, and angry.  I'm irrationally mad at myself for reaching out for help, even though I clearly needed it. Please don't be confused. I UNDERSTAND why the military does the screening - imagine if they didn't do the screening and people were moved, at a great expense by the Army to another country, and when they got there no one could help them out with this preexisting condition. But I wish that there were a way for me to help them understand the reasons why I reached out.  That was a shit-storm of epic proportions, and it knocked me down.  I don't want to feel like I am being penalized for reaching out for help when it was truly needed, but that is the exact way I feel.  I was told that they (the Army & the gaining unit in Germany) couldn't risk me getting to a new country, where the weather is often cold & rainy & gray, and then have Ryan deploy & I wouldn't be near family or a strong support system.  And I get that. I DO. I get that the combination of all of those factors could spiral someone out of control. That doesn't, however, mean that I have to agree, emotionally anyway, to that logic or way of thinking.  I have lived with myself for 33 years.  I know me pretty well, better than any algorithm the Army has for determining who I will react in a situation. If I could tell the person who will ultimately make the final say-so to us moving our not anything, it would be this.

I needed help for a specific situation in which my sister was suddenly killed, my other sister decided to take out her pain on me, my child needed a ton of extra attention weekly, and my husband was about to go to war for a 4th time, simultaneously.  Chances are near 100% that I will never be in that exact situation again. There will certainly be stressful situations in living abroad, but I feel confident that I will manage them well.  I have done deployments alone before.  My son has graduated from all of his needs for PT/OT/ and Speech. I have 3 friends here at my current base that I could call on, and I've lived here 11 years. I am self-reliant, and stable, and will be okay.  I am 33 years old. I know what resources are available to me, and I know how to find what I need to get what I need.  We have saved money over the past few months so that we will not go broke from the move. I am confident that my mental health has strengthened over the past 3 years. Just months after we move to Germany, we have friends that we have known for 20 years moving there to the same base. I have already met women who live at our prospective base, and I am in school that I can continue online.  In short, I am living life now, and would love the opportunity to experience life in Germany with my family. Thank you. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Addiction is not a choice.

Amy_Winehouse died today.  As of now, her cause of death is yet to be determined, though it would not be shocking if it were from a drug overdose considering her past drug related behaviors.  The Twitter has been all ablaze all afternoon with comments being thrown back and forth about her death, from; "Who didn't see this coming?! She did this to herself! #Dumbass", to "So sad. RIP ".  Here are my thoughts about the situation.

What initially started as a choice - IE to take the first hit of cocaine - quickly becomes something more than someone can handle - IE a cocaine addiction. If you are addicted to food, people see your figure & weight fluctuate. Addicted to gambling? People see you lose everything, and ultimately win at nothing.  To me, drugs and alcohol are a lot like a mental illnesses.  When someone over medicates themselves with drugs or alcohol, you don't visibly see the demons that are flashing in their minds. Sure - they absolutely may rage on other people when they are drunk or high, or cry uncontrollably into their Vodka Tonic at the end of the night in front of no one.  But no one knows the inner dialogue that is running in that person's mind that got them to that place of rage or sobbing.  You can not hear the inner voices that surly invade the mind of someone dealing with demons. The constant babble of indecision, and doubt, and self worth, and worse.  Much, much worse.

Much the same, when someone suffers from depression, or anxiety, or crippling fear, for example - some things that MOST people cannot control without some external help (counselor, medication, hospitals, a combination of those) - we do not see what is happening mentally with these people.  Was is multiple deployments of their husband in a short amount of time to a dangerous locale, which in turn made that person clinically depressed? Did someone break into their house, or steal their identity, which has caused them to have a life altering anxiety disorder?  YOU DON'T KNOW!  No one does.  That's what makes it such a slippery slope in society believing a person could be mentally ill and yet still "function" effectively in society. Much like an alcoholic learns how to cover their (drunk) tracks in the world, a depressed person may learn to blend with society in the day, smiling and laughing along with everyone else, and melt into a puddle late at night when they are all alone.  YOU DON'T KNOW what goes on behind closed doors.

No one chooses to have a mental illness for their life's path, and conversely, no one chooses addiction as a way to end their life.  She may have chosen to drink and do drugs initially, but addiction is a trap in which it is hard to free yourself from.  I am sure that none of the people who are saying that she "deserved to die" because she "chose" this for herself, would tell an anorexic man's family that he "deserved to die" because of his "choice" to not eat.  It was not something that he could help.  His mental demons were too much to bear.

Mentally - neither of them had a choice in the end.  Honestly.

If you don't agree with me, let's just agree to disagree.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day One Hundred Seventy Six

Hello?  Yes, Hello!! So, I've been absent from around these parts.  No need to go into reasons, 'cuz they aren't important at this point. Let's just get on with it....

I've celebrated 10 years of marriage with the Ryan. That also means 10 years with the Army.  We celebrated the day by going to dinner and a movie.  Low key, just like us.

We have come down on orders for our first official PCS move. Yep, we've been here at The Great Place since he enlisted in 1999.  (If you're wondering how enlisting in 1999 = 10 yrs of service in 2011, let me explain.  His first contact was up after 6 years in 2005.  We believed the grass was greener outside of the Army life, and he happily left the service. Turns out the grass was an illusion and what we had been looking at was a facade of brown, dying grass.  So, about 15 months after initially getting out, he re-joined, and his "official" 10 year mark was in November of 2010.  We celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary in March 2011.)  Anyway.... we (he) made some calls and asked for a move and we (he) asked for our next duty station and we got it!  Technically, he told Branch that we wanted to move and asked them what our options were, and what we wanted was on there so we jumped at the chance. While that doesn't normally happen, we are thankful that it has happened for us.  Our first PCS will also be OCONUS, and that is terrifying!!!  There is so much to do!  So many little teeny, tiny details that have to be taken care of.  If we could get people who would like to actually like to help us out and say, cut our actual physical orders so we can get things rolling, that would be superb!!!

*** For those of you who may be non-military, PCS = Permanent Change of Station.  Basically it means that your moving.  OCONUS = Outside CONtinental United States. AKA... anywhere but the US. ***

Let's see, what else....

On the topic of my weight.
I've started walking. I try and walk at least 1 mile, but have gone up to 3.5 miles at a time. Sometimes in the mornings, sometimes in the late afternoons.  This is HUGE for me because I like to take the car the 5 houses down to get the mail rather than walking to get it.  I'm what you would probably call RIDICULOUSLY LAZY.  So, walking is a great start on my weight loss journey. Though,  I have sadly been still gaining weight. I stepped on the Wii Fit for the first time in months yesterday and it audible GASPED and yelled out "OBESE!", as if I needed more of a reason to not get on there.  I have a stationary bike in my bedroom, a mere 10 feet from my face right now, and I never use it.  Our treadmill is sitting in a closet downstairs, and will be sold to the first person who wants it.  I'm at a point now, however, where my weight is beginning to really hurt my health.  I've been told for years that losing weight will help with some problems I've had medically (emotionally? physically?), but now my doctor is wanting to perform a surgery that could potentially be helped by me losing the 100 pounds I've gained in the 10 years I've been married.

100 pounds.

It's hard to write that out.

O-N-E  H-U-N-D-R-E-D  P-O-U-N-D-S.

Moving on.....

I'm a little on the boring side right now.  ABW has been on me to start blogging again.  She had been in town a few weeks back and we had an AMAZING day together.  Think "her wearing my old high school flag costume - meets - many Mexican Martinis between the two of us - meets - a trip to an "Adults Only" store - meets - her winning at Bingo TWICE that day - meets - lots of laughs."  It really was incredibly fun.  She wanted me to guest blog on her site about our day (or days, since she showed up a day early and saw my house "pre-cleaned for company"!), but I declined.  I can't even keep up here, how would I be able to do that?!

I hope to post on here more regularly. Maybe I'll try and make another post this month, instead of just this Year. I don't want to stretch it though. Let's just hope for the best, and not really expect it either, mmkay? Awesome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today was a better day.

I slept crazily last night.  I was seemingly up every hour because my body was telling me that I had overslept.  I had not, in fact, over slept at all.  But the resulting implications of interrupted sleep last night came at 6:15 this morning, when Landry came to do his morning routine of a little cuddle with Mom before the day gets started.  I shut my eyes for "just one second" and suddenly, it was 6:47.  We made it to school on time.  One of the kids turned off the heater downstairs last night, and the temp was 19 degrees outside, so walking onto the linoleum floors this morning and being slapped with the cold air was not exactly fun.  It took the better part of an hour to warm up the space.  The digital readout on the thermometer read 57 degrees when we first got down there, but I would swear it was colder than that.

One of my Year Of Abbey goals is to weigh less. I went to the YMCA this morning with a friend and it felt good to be out exercising. I walked briskly for about 1.5 miles. I then rode the stationary bike for 2.5 miles. We got there a little late, and we were only able to stay there for about 40 minutes due to me having to go to school, but it was still great.  Factor in my nearly 1.5 miles I am walking for school in the mornings, and we shall call this the start of a success.

Class this morning was hard.  I don't understand her very well, partially because of her thick German accent, and partially because I don't understand what we are doing. In talking to some other students about the quiz yesterday they were all in agreement - they didn't know a lot on the test either.  That really made me feel better. I am going to do some studying today on factoring polynomials, and binomials, as the Professor said that knowing how to do those well will make the class 100 times easier.  About an hour into class, I started to get a teeny tiny little bit of understanding on what we are doing, but of course we are moving on tomorrow to something new.  Which is why I have to study, study, study.

Tonight, we will attend a meeting for my husband's Army unit, and we will get a better window of days for his return.  It's just go-go-go for the next few days, and I'm totally okay with that.

Have a great day!  I'm trying to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


... will go down as the day that I cried in my college class.

We took a pre-test today to gauge where we were at skills wise.  The Professor had told us yesterday that if we had completed the previous developmental math class (which I have & I passed it, albeit over 3 years ago), then we should have no trouble with this test. I studied some last night and again this morning from my  tests and notes from the previous class for this test. I walked into class and began to study again.  When she passed out the test and a scantron, I looked down and IMMEDIATELY teared up.  It was instantaneous. It was involuntary. I couldn't stop it from coming, no matter how hard I tried to stop it.  Trust me - I wanted to stop the tears so badly, but they wouldn't stop from coming.

Simplify the following: 15xy + 10xy + 15x + 10y
Factoring polynomials.
**drip, drip**
Evaluate the function: f(-4) when f(x) = x-5x+2

It was all foreign to me.

I can't even get in to see the tutoring people at the school until NEXT Friday, at the earliest.  My husband's deployment is rapidly coming to an end, and there are things in this home that need to be done before his arrival. I have class next week on a day in which the kids do not have school due to an in-service.  I think I have someone worked out to help with that situation, but she has SEVEN kids herself. (What's 3 more, really?) I need a haircut, and eyebrow wax, and to take the dogs to the vet. Soccer practice is in full swing, with up to 4 nights/days a week being dedicated to that alone.  However, soccer will end at the end of February - baring any sort of play-off scenario.

In all of this sudden, extra craziness I also realize that I am lucky.

I am lucky that I have been afforded the opportunity to stay home with my children for 8+ years and having the opportunity to be lackadaisical about school.  I am not a single mother who is struggling with 3 kids, a full time job and a full time school load.  I don't even have a half load this semester.  I have ONE CLASS. ONE. It's developmental at that. I should be able to handle this.  I am overwhelmed today, but I don't need it to become overwhelming to my life.  I will either pass the class, or I won't.  It is what it is at this point.  I can't drop it and take the lower developmental class since I have already taken (and passed) it.  If I were to take the lower developmental class again, I would be just taking it for nothing but prep (again) for this class.  No credit, no raising of my GPA, nothing. I'm not prepared to do that, at least not at this point.


On a side note...

Thank you all SO MUCH for the comments and love about my 1st day of school.  I *still* have yet to hear from ANY family about my school. None. Not one.

Thankfully, I am pretty busy with all this school and other nonsense going on that I am starting to not dwell on it too much. Well... maybe still dwelling just a little bit. ; )

Monday, January 10, 2011

Great Expectations

Today I started back to school.  Which, YAY! It's going to be a tough class for me - Algebra - but I will get a tutor, and I will carry on. I started off the morning by arriving to school way to early to find that elusive never-to-be-found, up-close parking space. (I never found it.) I parked nearly a mile away, which as I thought about it, I wasn't as upset about.  I mean free, mandatory exercise 4 times a week?  Awesome. Not so awesome was the drizzly fog and 36* temps this morning, but that won't be every morning.  Soon it will be breezy and cool and perfect for walking a mile before class.


I didn't get a phone call from certain members of my family with whom I expected to receive a call.  It is not a requirement that they call me to see how my first day of school went.  I am not 7 and starting the ever so important 2nd Grade.  I am an adult. A grown woman. A mother of my very  own ever so important 2nd Grader. But I want to feel like I am in the front of someones mind on my important days, too.  I want to feel like someone was thinking about me that day, and that they knew it was going to be tough on me.  I want someone close to me to show concern and love to my feelings and emotions. I don't always want to have to be the one to make the phone call on Holidays and Anniversaries.  I want someone to make that call first to me. I want to be thought of as important enough in their busy life, so as to warrant 5 minutes of their time.  I want a quick e-mail, or text, that says "Love you. Thinking of you. Good luck."

But I didn't get that.

At least not from my family.

I have found some amazing friends in my life.  Some are newer and come from the Army, and some are from long gone days, and they are showing a level of compassion & understanding that I have yet to fully comprehend. I got a great deal of love on Face Book from friends with encouragement and sayings of "I'm proud of you!" and "You'll do great!" and a text that said "YOU CAN DO IT".  So... I will make you proud of me, I will do great, and I WILL do it.

All of those reminders of love made me walking into the class easier and less stressful. It still wasn't easy. I still would have loved those calls/texts/emails from family.

The love from today wasn't what I expected.  It was so much more.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day Four

Again, the dogs got me up at 5 o'clock dark, and again, I got ready for the day WITH FULL MAKEUP. (I don't know if you can tell, but I capitalize that statement because I generally go entire months without touching my makeup. So, it's kind of a big deal.) I took Delanie to her 8 year well child checkup, and we will go back in 6 months for some follow up tests. Basically, she appears to have been dealing with her dad's recent deployment by eating everything in site. She also has some kind of semi-common, non-contagious skin condition, which will never go away but can be controlled.  Landry has the same condition, also. The doctor telling Delanie she was obese garnered no response from her, but damn if telling her she was going to have patchy, rough, skin all over her body (face included) for the rest of her life and she broke down.  A girl she is, indeed.

Housing was supposed to come today to look at things that needed to be fixed, but I was too tired to deal with it so I cancelled the appointment.  I rescheduled it for Friday, which is fine.  I basically laid around all day and it was fantastic.

That, of course, means that tomorrow is going to be awful for me, as now I have the planned taking down of the Christmas decorations, as well as the cleaning that didn't get done today.  Blerg.

I am going to try and go to sleep now.  That way I will hopefully have maybe, possibly 7 hours of sleep before the pups try and get me up. Tomorrow, I have no outings planned, which will mean no makeup for me.  I  have so much cleaning to do that it will just sweat off anyway.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day Three....

Today was such a long day.  A long, long day.

The dogs got me up by barking and yelping at 5:15-ish? I don't remember exactly, as it was still so dark outside. They still don't sleep through the night, so I was hoping that this behavior of theirs would quickly stop.  It didn't. I got up and let them out and lounged around downstairs (read: fell back asleep) till about 6.  I then came upstairs, got dressed, WITH FULL MAKEUP, (#30 on my list) and woke the kids up at about 6:30.  All of them were still on Christmas Vacation time, and all pleaded with me not to send them to school - each with a different debilitating injury.  One's side hurt, another had a "me-grain" headache (migraine), and I stopped listening to the last kid's problem.  Breakfast was served, kitchen was cleaned, and we were out the door at 7:17.  Suh-weet!

I dropped the kid's off at their respective schools, and then went and filled up the car with gas ($2.85/gallon? Yikes.) and got a drink for the day.  The Shoppette (military convenience store) has 44 oz fountain drinks for 0.99, so I like to get one there.  Got to Walmart at about 7:45, and I was one of maybe 20 cars in the entire parking lot.  I love to go early in the mornings when no one but old people are there.  Went to the 75% off Christmas section, and got red, white, and blue ornaments for the Christmas tree for next year, as per the request of the kids, and got us each new stockings.  The one's we have now are all hand painted from the kids, which are cute & sweet & sentimental  ... but sometimes I think it will be nicer to have some "pretty" stockings out.  Plus.. the stockings were like 0.50 each.  I got about 50-60 ornaments, 10 shirt boxes, and 5 stockings for $21 with tax.  Not too shabby. I then did the grocery shopping.  I also took coupons! (#37) I actually took pictures of the coupons to prove to you that I used them (#12 - take pictures), but I left the camera downstairs and I am too tired to go get it to download them onto the computer.

Then, after that ... this was my day...

Pulled out some money from the bank for Landry's haircut tomorrow, because I forgot to get cash back.
PX (military Walmart) -- Dog food
Vet Clinic (with BOTH horrible dogs) *Bailey was 7 months last week and 77 pounds and Daisy is 6 months tomorrow and was 64 pounds, if you were wondering*  -- Heart worm pills for the month
Went to pay Audree's monthly payment for her braces.
Deposited a check into the savings account.
Petsmart - got harnesses and new leashes for the dogs.  Also, fish food for Audree's 6 day old goldfishes, with whom we found has passed on this evening to the big toilet bowl in the sky.  RIP Cloudy & Sunny.
Something else I know I did, but can't figure it out just now.
Got a taco from the taco truck down the street.
Came home for an hour and then went to go get the kids from school at 2:30.
4:00 - pickup's complete.. snacks, cleaning, dinner, got ready for the 1st soccer practice of the year (EVER!) for Delanie and Landry. Took some pictures of the kids in their uniforms.
6:00 - Soccer practice. Walked up to the wrong field and listened to a coach tell us about the teams, practices, etc. And then realized AFTER he was finished that we were at the wrong field.  Found the right set of bleachers, listened to Audree tell me repeatedly how bored she was and then she had the gall to fart - loudly- in front of all of the other team parents and then tried to blame it on me. Also ... Landry only practiced his kung-fu moves on the field, and Delanie was about 6" taller then anyone else on the team. It was also freezing-ly cold and all I was wearing was a thin, long sleeved t-shirt from Old Navy. (Not that it matters that it is from ON, but that can give you a reference to how thin it was.)  I ran out the door so concerned that the kids remember all of their things, that I forgot to bring a jacket for me. Whaa...whaa.

Came home, threw some more food at the kids (not really) and sent them off to the baths. Dealt with Cloudy & Sunny. Cleaned the kitchen, swept all the downstairs, tried to clean up some of the mud that the dogs tracked in all over the entire downstairs before we realized that they had been playing in the water faucet again, but I think that will have to wait for the steam cleaner or mop tomorrow.  Made myself some dinner at about 9:15 (macaroni and cheese, if you're curious). Came to my room to unwind..... and write this.

Tomorrow, Delanie has a doctor's appointment at 8 am in an adjoining town, and then housing will be here sometime between "10-2" to look at fixing some cracks in the walls and some popped tiles in the bathrooms. I have tons of cleaning - both regular and deployment-is-ending-so-I-need-to-scrub-it-all-down cleaning - and I have a metric ton of laundry to accomplish soon-ish if my kid's don't want to go to school wearing their Christmas pj's that match. Thursday, I am going to pick up my school books from the campus bookstore, and get my new student i.d., and that is about all I have planned between now and Monday.

Besides that metric ton of cleaning to be done, of course.

Aaaaaaaand, scene.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day Two ....

I didn't get out of bed until 2:03 PM.  Not to get a drink, not to go to the bathroom, not to answer the phone.  Nothing.  It is now 2:34 PM and I am back in the bed, eating leftovers and watching the Food Network for the (seemingly) 7th hour today.  Thank GOD my oldest daughter is able to help me on days like this.  She wrote me a note last night telling me she was going to clean the kitchen for me, because I was looking "so sad".  Today when she walked in and I was cradling a pillow in a near fetal position on my bed, she asked why I was so sad.  I decided that then, and only then, it was time to get my ass up out of bed so that I could pass off a semblance of normal to them. I don't want their "normal" picture of me to be curled up in the bed & depressed.

I've been clinically depressed before.  Years and years I have struggled with it. It's been more than half my life, honestly. On and off medication, in and out of hospitalization.  Talking to someone, and trying to deal with it all on my own. I don't know just yet where this situation is leading me.  I am terribly sad and confused.  But I have a little glimmer of ..... something .... that I can feel deep down inside of my soul.  I feel  like it is hope.  I want to believe  that it is hope. I am trusting that it is hope.

I have made my to-do list for the week already.  I have many things to get done in preparation for school starting on the 10th for me, and the ending preparations for Ryan's return.  I am blessed to have many things on my plate right now so that I don't have the ability to lay down again and not get up until it's time to get my children from school.  I've been there, done that, and I don't want a repeat of it.  I genuinely want, and NEED, to make a change with my life.

Now.....it's just time to sit back and trust the process and listen to my instincts.

PS....Thank you SO much to my incredible friends who are helping me right now.  It means the world to me.

Harder then I thought...

Today was a hard day for me.

For reasons that I can't (and won't) air out on the Internet for all to see, life just became ten thousand times  harder today.

I am lost. I am extremely sad. I am fragile.

Hours after this initial shock has worn off, I came here so that I could get a reminder of why I am going to be doing what I have set out to do....

It's because I am worth it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day One... I can do this.

January 1, 2011.

Day 1/365.

The Year of Me.


I am 32 years, 3 months, and 23 days old as of today and I have no idea who I am.

Yes... I know that my name is Abbey and I have 3 adorable kids and a husband of nearly 10 years.  But... I have no idea what-so-ever of who I am. 

I used to be a lot more "fun" then what I have morphed into.  I was jovial and sarcastic and the life of the party.  I had acquaintances friends everywhere I went.  I made conversations easily.  I stood up for myself more.  I tried new things. I laughed. I didn't cry nearly as much. I had a passion for life.  I had a passion for ME. I took care of myself. I didn't try and eat my feelings and I surly didn't snag my husband by nagging him to death as I do now. I yelled less and loved more.  I took interest of things off of the Internet. I wasn't tied electronically to people online who have zero chance of knowing who I am, either in real life or online. I was, instead, tied to the people who mattered most to me. I have lost control over more of my life than I care to admit. I am sad and lonely and depressed and scared and unhappy and fat and unhealthy and... not me.  Not the me I remember anyway. 

So after a particularly rough 2010, I have decided to try and make 2011 the Year of Me.  This is going to be hard for me on many levels. #1 being - I am the best procrastinator.  Like... as in the best in the history of the world.  I will wait until the last possible second to do most things, and then when it is time to get things done, I find myself concerned with the littlest details that matter least.  Prime example -- hubby is about to return from his year long deployment.  Instead of cleaning baseboards or sprucing up the house, I have instead found myself rearranging the contents of the filing cabinet.  Which - it should be noted - has been tucked away in a closet for the past year and has not been used one time. This also means that the days/week before he comes home will become frantic on my part and I will spend countless hours after dark doing what I should be doing now.  #2 - there are so many variables that come with being a SAHM and active duty military spouse that it is extremely hard to plan 3 months/6 months/1 year into the future.  #3 - the thought has crossed my mind that I may not like this journey once I get started on it.  What if age and time has turned me into who I am now.. and that is really who I am supposed to be? Is it possible to change yourself so much to what your idea of yourself is? Is that idea of me just a far off distant fantasy? Doesn't everyone have a fantasy of what/who they wish they were? What affect will that have on my relationship(s) with my family? My kids? My husband?  What if I hate the person I become more then what I hate now?  

I have tried to make a list of some of the things that I want to accomplish in 365 short days. This list may morph into something completely different or it may stay the same. I have no idea. But here is, as of right now, what I hope to work on in 2011. These aren't in order of importance, btw.  Just a random list that I threw out there. 

1.  Find God/ religion again.  (Did I ever have it?)
2.  Find a church to attend regularly. (Both for me and my children.)
3.  Love myself more.  (Whatever that may turn out to be.)
4.  Weigh less. (10 lbs or 100 lbs - either one is better then what it is now.)
5.  Care more about my personal and home's appearance.  (This will go good with #3, I believe.) 
6.  Become a better friend. 
7.  Volunteer, school or a job.  Do at least one. **Enrolled in College 12/31/2010
8.  Learn how to make something homemade.  (Crafting, scrap-booking, cross-stitching, etc.)
9.  Run 100 miles by December 31st.
10.  Run a 5K. (Aside from the Cto5K.  Actually crossing a finish line in a race I have registered for.)
11.  Fully complete Couch to 5K in a single attempt.  (NO starting and stopping the program.)
12.  Take at least 100 pictures a month and I have to be in at least 5 a week.  (I matter also, no matter how I may look today. They need these memories as much as I do.)
13.  Yell less.  (Way less.)
14.  Start a journal.  (Gratitude journal? Daily journal?)
15.  Love more.  (Try and let love be the 1st thought into my mind instead of anger.)
16.  Learn to make a great dirty Martini.  (Margarita's are so 2010.)
17.  Clean up my personal relationships.  (Realize that family doesn't equal love and it's okay to let them go if need be.  A toxic relationship is a toxic relationship.)
18.  Spend less time online and more time with family and kids. (Maybe get rid of the BlackBerry?)
19.  Reconnect with Ryan.  (Whatever that may mean. Maybe I'll have to endure NCIS with him as he endures my reality shows with me. Maybe it's something completely different.)
20.  Read 6 books.  ( I hate to read but the last thing I read was Harry Potter, so......)
21.  Go to 5 new places with the family.
22.  Clean the house everyday.  (Maybe not scrubbing it down, but definitely straighten it up.)
23.  Stick to Weight Watchers everyday for 30 days.  (I deserve it. I pay for it. Frankly, I need it.)
24.  Volunteer in the kid's classrooms and at the school.
25.  Go on at least 2 walks a week.
26.  Become more financially sound and secure.
27.  Eat out less.  (Waaaay less.)
28.  Go camping with the family.  (I hate it, but the kids love it.  They will only be kids for less time that I care to calculate and these days are fading fast.  I can hate it when they are grown, right?)
29.  Live life to the fullest.  (Subject to interpretation, I suppose.)
30.  Get dressed each day.  (Pajama's are for bed, not for greeting Ryan after he's been at work all day long. Makeup is also a plus.)
31.  Listen to 100 new songs by artist's I may not know.
32.  Let go.  (Let go of the anger, and resentment, and hate and mistrust of everyone around me.  Not everyone is out to get me. People genuinely want to be around me and love me.)
34.  Get a new haircut.  (Maybe an actual style this time instead of long, straight & flat-ironed, or in a ponytail.)
35.  Learn how to properly put on makeup.  (The technique from 9th grade is draining me emotionally.)
36.  Take good care of my skin.  (Wrinkles are coming fast. I look haggard as it is.)
37.  Start to use coupons.  (I want to really make a go at using coupons and see what that can save us.  I will NOT however spend 7+ hours a week working on it.  Just simple clips from the Sunday paper should be adequate.)
38 - ?.  The rest is still unwritten ........

I realize that this list sounds ambitious, and then not-so-ambitious all at the same time.  None of the things are dramatic, like, say, Climb Mt. Everest!!  But still, it's overwhelming for me, but these changes have been a long time coming.  I have no idea of what these changes are going to mean for me, my future and my relationships.  I hope that they are all positive changes, but there is no way of foreseeing the future.  Change is hard for everyone involved, especially when those people can't take participation in the change (i.e. my family members).   I am attempting to do all of this with the sincere hope that my life will become fuller and happier and healthier.

I just don't want to be "me" anymore.  I'm ready for the new me to emerge.

I think that I am also going to adopt a song of the year. I think Cyndi Lauper's True Colors is a pretty good representation of things ahead.

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow