Friday, March 13, 2015

Aging and Loving Gracefully

Change, I can smell it in the air. Spring is around the corner and I feel the promise of new growth when I sit outside and watch the girls play. Change is all around me these days, and I need to embrace it, but I’m struggling to do so like a lady full of grace.

When I found out we were moving to Japan I’m not sure which made me cry more, the fact I would be so bloody far away from home, or the fact that I would be months away from 40!!! Months before that, I was already struggling being in my mid-30s.  I enjoyed turning 30 and the few years after that, but last year and this year have been something else.  I can’t put my finger on it, but it is there haunting me. Yes, these are the silly things this crazy lady thinks about.. 

By the way I’ve made peace with Japan and I’m now super excited, but still overwhelmed with the amount work that needs to be done to get us there.  I would just appreciate it if people would stop themselves from saying; “Aren’t you afraid of the Tsunamis and Earthquakes?” It never fails to be the first thing out of their mouths, followed by, but you will love it over there. Umm Thanks, I think? One of my biggest fears in life is drowning, and I’m going to be on an island surrounded by water that just 4 years ago experienced the wrath of a deadly tsunami.  Premature aging causing stuff here!

Back to my dilemma of not feeling or being young anymore… As I’m sorting and packing I’m finding baby/toddler/little girl things from the last move. This move I have young ladies.  It is a hard pill to swallow thinking that I’m no longer a mommy, but a mom.  Yes, I’m still needed and mostly wanted but not like before.  I really, really miss them being those sweet, adorable little baby girls, and now they are sweet, beautiful, amazing, young ladies that I get to spend my time with.  I can tell how things are changing and sometimes it really freaks me out.. I’m not ready for all this!! See another gray hair to make me feel another year older.

How do you age gracefully or just happily in my case?  I know I have a great life and I have been able to do some pretty amazing things.  So why is the thought of getting any older so daunting? Why does everyone seem to be getting younger while I’m getting older? Doesn’t help this process one bit!

How do you adjust for the next chapter in life? The chapter where you are needed less, wanted less, desired less, just a whole lot of less!  Maybe, that is what I’m struggling with the most? I’m needed, but not as much, but yet it still feels like there isn’t enough time in the day.

I’m not always the best at closing chapters. Yes, I tend to hang on to things, but only the really good things.  One of the harder things now about getting older is not completely saying goodbye to my youth which, by the way is like nails on a chalk board, but rather what leaves with it are my babies. As they grow so does everything else. We no longer are a young married couple with babies; we are now the couple with kids. Nope, don’t like the sound of that as much…In the wise words of my hubby…It is what it is and Life goes on…Sniff..But..Whah

Growing older effects EVERYTHING!!!!

On top of everything else Marriage goes through change, did you know that?  I guess I knew it did, but got busy with life that I didn’t pay attention; till one day I woke up and said dang this is different! We have been married for almost 13 years so there is no way around change.  Marriage brings out our selfishness, anger problems, score keeping abilities, pride and trust issues, but you have to find Grace and Forgiveness for each other to make it through thick and thin!

Last few months I’ve noticed changes and friends let me tell you we are in for a ride. One moving to Japan, that’s a biggie, hubby changing AF jobs again, another biggie, hubby hates current job with an unbridled passion: meaning he comes home almost every night in a foul mood, (which leads to him not noticing wifey getting pretty for him, which leads to fight, where wifey should have shown grace, but didn’t…Not pretty) Chickpea and Ladybug growing like weeds and only getting sassier by the day, lots to handle as a stay-at-home mom/homeschool mom. Am I complaining, NO…Venting Yes, but Complaining NO.

I google searched the heck out mid 30s and not much of anything useful came up.  Found plenty of stuff if you are interested in finding a date and people wondering if they are going through a mid-life crisis.  Nothing however, to help figure out what I’m dealing with, so I took a couple of days to soul-search.

So what's the point of this blog?  

I had some grand adventures in my 20s. My 30s are for assimilating, and refining.  At 35 I am discovering what it is to be ME.  To be anything else in my life I have to be who God designed me to be as Andrea, then I can perform as wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend, but not before then.

I see now that life will continue to evolve. There will never be a point where I am all done, all grown up. Just when I’ve mastered one phase, a new one will come along such as, menopausal psycho, empty-nester-ness, senior citizenship, and so many more.
There will be many phases in my life where I will kick and scream the whole time, cry, laugh or want to hit the pause or rewind button, but it will be a life well lived.  I hope I can gracefully embrace the changes of life with grace and that I’ll age like fine wine. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Giving...

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and most people have their babysitter lined up or anti-Valentine’s Day activities lined up.  Depending how you view the day.  I enjoy the day. We don’t go overboard, but we have fun with it.

This year we will celebrate 13 years of wedded bliss. We have had some memorable Valentine’s Days and some forgettable ones.  Probably half of those 13 Valentine’s Days we haven’t even spent together because of work schedules or deployments.  I’m a lucky gal that my hubby is pretty awesome when it comes to being romantic. Even though we don’t get to take regular dates because we have what I would call “trust phobia” with everyone (minus most family of course) when it comes to our children.  We are dealing with it and plan on finding someone regular to babysit before they are in high school.

I know there are plenty of people who say, “Valentine’s Day is just another day” and they are completely right, but I like gifts and so if my hubby chooses to buy me something on this Cupid’s Day I shan't say no.

Even though he is a true Romanic he has asked me “So Babe, what do you want this year?” on every gift giving occasion, which doesn’t bother me because I’m always making lists of “I wants”. Here are a few of my most recent lists:

I went through a phase where I asked for an Orchid plant, but no matter what I did or how hard I tried I still ended up killing it after the flowers fell off, so again it might have lasted longer, but a waste of money in the end.

I’m manicure and pedicure kind of gal, so that is always a winner in my book

A RED Keurig seems nice, but I’m still undecided if it is for me.  I still really love my old fashion coffee maker.

I keep a list on Amazon of Books that I want.  Hubby could buy any five at random or just one and I’d be super duper excited, because I know they are books I definitely want to read at some point and besides I just plain LOVE books!!! Yes, I know I’m a Geek!

Take me shopping for a designer handbag. Even though I’ll spend time looking and after I drool a little I’ll probably walk out without a purchase, because I can’t justify spending that much on a bag that I’ll switch out in a few months.

This year hubs planned to buy me a bigger diamond. Due to my expensive taste, we decided this probably wasn’t the best time with a big move and lots of expenses coming up. 

So that is what I have for myself at the moment. Just wait till it gets closer to my birthday. 

Now, how about them fellas?  They are just about as difficult to buy for as we are.  I think I’m pretty good at figuring out what my man will like, but there have still been some misses over the last 13 years.  

I’ve learned to not buy him clothes.  Not that I buy him clothes on Valentine’s Day, but now I only go shopping with him not for in the clothing department anyway.  Even though I think he would look great in something and it might be stylish.  He has his favorite outfits and the rest will sit in the closet till I end up cleaning them out.  Even though he swore he really liked them.. Umm, ok yeah

Hubby usually has his Amazon cart loaded with things he would like so that is an easy go to.

This year he will be gone for Valentine’s Day doing training so I plan on spicing it up…Card and a boudoir picture from a previous gift to remind him of what is waiting at home.  What guy wouldn’t love that??

What if you are on a budget?  Just because you have a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a romantic and great Valentine’s Day.  Here are a few ideas we tried when we were on a budget a few years ago.

Romanic Dinner for two after the little ones went to bed.  When we lived in Vermont my hubby would buy Lobster and Steak and cook up a delicious meal for us.  We would put the girls to bed and then dress up and sit down to a delicious feast.

Save for a joint gift you both will really enjoy.  Ours was a rowing machine. We love to be active and it was the best money spent ever.

Make your own gift. Nothing is more special than something truly coming from the heart.  One year we weren’t together and hubby wrote me a love letter on special paper and bought wax and a special seal stamp just for that letter. Yes, one of my favorite gifts EVER!!

A “Why I Love You book” You can find it on Amazon for cheap and I think it would fun to fill out the 96 pages of "your love”.  I provided a link below.

There are so many ways you can be creative and show your soul mate, the father or mother of your children, the one you love just how much they mean to you..

Whether Valentine’s Day, Anniversary or Just Because, Be Creative and Love the One you are with!!!

Last time we were able to dress up for Valentine's Day

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Feeling Numb

We have waited 5 months for information and now that we finally have news I feel NUMB. You mentally prepare yourself for every base on your list, but no matter how hard I tried I favored and dreamed of living in Europe again. Most the books I read take place in Europe in various time frames throughout history.  Europe is in my blood, and one day I will be there to live again, but sadly not this time around.
For the next 3 three years we will be experiencing something totally different. Kadena, Japan.  When I got hubby’s text I felt a weight lifted in the fact that we finally knew what the heck was going on, but when I read Japan my heart fell.
It is 6800 miles away from my family and friends, a 16-hour time difference, and I haven’t found tickets for cheaper than $1,300.  I don’t foresee lots of visitors, the houses are SMALL and so that means LOTS of stuff must to go and both our cars must sell.
Back in August I told the girls that we had to be prepared for Japan even though we had no desire to go there.  In 13 years I have never said, “ I didn’t sign up for this”, but last night I caught myself saying that.  I know given time I’ll enjoy this assignment, but now it is a far cry from what I hoped, prayed, and dreamed of.  That is my fault for letting myself get carried away in the daydreaming process of returning to Europe because after all this is the military and we really don’t get a say in anything. We just put down the four places in order of most wanted and pray.  I must say I’m not completely depressed by this but I’m not swinging from the chandeliers either.
Girls are making a list of things they are excited about doing, learning to scuba dive is one and I can still teach Zumba.  We are just getting started so give us time a the list will grow.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saying Good-bye to 2014

As I sit here on the eve of the New Year and look back on the last year I can honestly smile with contentment. I feel complete and happy.  Who cares if we still don’t know where we are moving to or if we are? I mean we were only supposed to find out in November, but who keeps track of silly stuff like that? Certainly, not this nut typing.  We are mostly healthily, happy, and excited for 2015!!

Going over last year's Resolution I think I did better than I thought I would. Not that I doubted myself, but you know what I mean? Right? Life happens.

 I read more, even though I didn’t reach my goal of 125 books, which normally would have been easy for me, but to challenge myself I added that I had to finish EVERY book I started, whether it bored me or not.  I can be a book quitter, if by the first page or chapter I’m not sucked in I'll put it down.  So this was tough for me, and part of my resolution.  This is why I only finished 50 books. At first I was rather disappointed, that the number was so low but the more I thought I about it the better I felt, because I finished every last one.  I think I would have had to hire a maid to feed my family and clean if I read any more than that. Phew…

I can’t say that I completely stopped yelling, but I have certainly cut back.

Overall, I thought I had a better attitude and therefore was Happier and I tried doing more things with the girls.  While I was home visiting, one of my sisters told me that she was amazed with the change she saw in me.  I seemed stronger in the Lord, happier, more relaxed and funnier with the girls.  I got misty eyed. Oh don't judge me, I’m a basket case. It was just so nice to hear that someone could notice a change. Especially someone who had seen the crankier self!

I don’t know as a female if I’ll ever feel “in shape” especially after kids. I did run my 5K this summer, which was a big thing for me. Not sure if there are anymore in the future.  I’m just not a runner, everything jiggles and hurts—No matter how great I feel and look after.  Think Zumba will just have to be my form of cardio.  I do feel that I make wiser eating choices, and as a family we stay active. 

Loving my hubby… Could be one of easiest things to do. Ok except when he leaves his hair in the sink, then I go a little crazy.  Since I was a little girl I knew there was just the right man out there for me, and he is it! Seriously there is NO else that could put up with me, think what I’m thinking at the same moment, make me laugh, smile and just makes me crazy, wonderfully happy!

This year I’m not making a Resolution. I’m sure I’ll have goals throughout the year, but I’m setting myself free this year of sitting down and writing out what I want to do.  Let’s see what I’ll accomplish in 2015!! Bring it on Baby!!

May your New Year Be Amazing and Blessed!!

Lots of love,