Thursday, June 10, 2010

AAFES Baby and The Milies!

I have to add that today we launch Ask The Milies! We already have three Q&A's posted and everyday after this we'll be posting two until we run out! So stop by, submit a question, and read the posts so you can see that as a military wife you aren't alone. Someone else out there is probably experiencing similar worries and stresses at this exact moment. While you're there grab a button and subscribe to our feed for email updates!

This child belongs on an Army Post.

Before G.I. Joe left we had to make an afternoon trip. We loaded Lucy into her carseat to drive an hour to the nearest Army post so we could pick up some copies of Military Spouse Magazine. My article ended up being featured as a cover story and they even wrote a little something about me on the contributing writers page! And I have to just stop right here and say a huge Thank You to all my awesome friends. You guys really don't know how much it meant to me that you were all so excited to read my article. Once the issue started circulating I got flooded with messages and it was a bit over whelming. It made me realize I'm so lucky to "know" all you ladies. So thanks for taking pics of the article for me when I couldn't see it, mailing me copies, and combing your cities just to get your hands on it. I was feeling like "okay, this really isn't that big of a deal" but your excitement was better than anything.

"Surviving Unaccompanied Orders!"

Our trip to post was amazing! I wish we could have stayed all day but G.I. Joe wanted to take me out for a celebratory dinner. As you can see though from Lucy's face in the top picture, she loved it. When we got her out of the AAFES cart to go home she cried and kicked.

I can't tell you the last time I was on an Army post. Our military life just hasn't been filled with the "normal" experiences. Shopping at the commissary, seeing my husband get promoted, or even just being near ACU-clad soldiers is all foreign to me. I had forgotten how good it felt to be connected. Even though we never lived there I felt like we had roots. When we passed the gate guard on the way in he looked at G.I. Joe and said "Have a great day, Sgt." Um, is lame here if I say I teared up? I've waited so long to feel like a part of the military community. You would think I already would feel that way after 4 years of marriage but his type of job doesn't really leave room for that.

We've been frustrated with things over the past year and are so ready for the next step in our lives together. Our trip to PX gave us a boost. It made G.I. Joe feel like he was home. It made me feel so much pride to see soldiers in AIT marching and howling their Jody calls. I know the military isn't perfect, life on post isn't a 1950's sitcom, and I'll probably have some complaints about it in the future...but this is the life we were meant to live.

Getting good at Goodbye.

When G.I. Joe left this weekend we had a smoother transition than normal. I know its often recommended that kids help Dad pack before he leaves so they can feel like they are contributing. Lucy isn't old enough to understand that yet and we've realized its best if she doesn't even see him packing. Last week she and I went out on our own every day. While we were out he would pack, wash uniforms, and inventory gear. She never saw him pick up a bag or load the truck. We made it almost a whole day before she started asking about him. I know this method won't work when she's bigger, but man is it great for toddlers!

The worst part was the first night, which we expected because that's how it always is. She was looking for him and yelling out for him. When he wouldn't come she'd just look at me and sign that she loves him. That tore my heart out a little bit. Lucy's always a bit more sensitive to emotions than most so she has been even more clingy to me since he's been gone. In a bit of resourcefullness she's also been asking more for my parents. Its as if she knows "Daddy will be back but for now I'll play with Nanny and Granddad." I've been so proud of her attitude this time around. Its such a change from the last time--no acting out or tantrums at all!

Until he returns Mommy gets double kisses!

Yes, Daddy...I'm making sure Mommy doesn't kill your plants while you're gone.

Daddy-Bear helps me break into the fridge for surprise snacks!


Ashley said...

Lucy is precious! Military children are the strongest children you will ever meet. It always surprises me how my kids react when my husband is gone. Even if it is only for a week. During his last deployment, Landon was 2 and he would go play in the bed of his truck and then look in the window. He would then say, this is my Daddy's truck. IT always broke my heart, but that was his connection to his Daddy. That deployment was a hard one on Tyler though.

I need to find a Mil Spouse magazine. Hope this TDY is going ok for you and Lucy!!

Amanda said...

i don't think it's lame at all! ive always felt a sense of pride going on base (even when I was just a military brat). It really does make you feel a part of a huge, important family. And congrats on your article!! We don't get it here on our base, (ugh) but I'm going on their site to request for them to bring it here! :)

heather said...

I completely understand. We have never really been around the bases until last summer. Me and brennen stayed with my sister-in-law while hubby was in ait(which happened to be 30mins from her house) So we lived base life for a few months... Lets just say I LOVED it.. I was so excited that could be part of our life. And I hope it will be soon. And my hubby left also for the 2 week. But brennen is acting out like I haven't seen in a few weeks. Maybe it will get better.. Hope things go smoothly for yall...

Mel said...

You've mentioned a couple of times the fact that your military life isn't the same as others. I assume you mean that your hubs is in the Guard and not active duty. Please correct me if I'm wrong...

I would love more insight into your situation, since I often feel like mine is unique (although Al is active duty). Of course, I know there are certain things you can't and won't share, but I'd love to understand more!

BTW - Your daughter is truly beautiful!

JG said...

So, are you all planning to live on base when you move?

And I haven't even been to post since the article came out, but I'm going tomorrow and I'll be sure to pick it up. I'm a lousy friend :(

Lucy is a beauty! I know it's never easy, but I'm glad she's doing better this time.

Kayla Sue said...

I miss being on an army post...feeling like we have a place! At the same time, it intimidates the crap out of me!

I need to get a daddy bear for Levi:) They are cute!

Erin said...

Awww that would break my heart! Hang in there!

And PS. I know I owe you an email!!!! I am so sorry!!!

Mrs. Doc Handsome said...

OK, so much to say! First of all, you and Lucy look beautiful in the pictures! I absolutely love your dress. Secondly, I love reading about how she is coping with the separations from her daddy. You are the only other military spouse that I know who went through giving birth to your child alone. And to me, that's really comforting. To know I wasn't alone. I also know in the future I will have to help my son cope with his daddy leaving, so hearing how you guys are dealing, gives a lot of advice and knowledge for the future.

Thank you for posting this.
P.s. I know exactly what you mean by saying you felt like you had roots when on base. Whenever I go onto a military installation, I also feel like, "This is where I belong." When I first got married, the first time we went onto a Navy base, I just looked at my husband and said, "This is what I knew my life would be like." I instantly knew this is just how I pictured my life.

Mindy said...

congrats on your article!! I'll have to see if I see the magazine next time I'm at the exchange.

I'm a new reader to your blog, so forgive me for asking, but how old is your daughter exactly? I'm just curious because we have a lot of separations coming up before our next big deployment when my daughter will be a little over 18months. so I'm just wondering, as I read your blog, how much I can use to prepare myself for our upcoming deployment -- if that makes sense, haha.

Amanda said...

That's so cute she calls her bear "Daddy-Bear." My son's have TY bears in ACU pattern that they both call "Daddy-Bear" too. We're also in the phase where anyone in ACUs is "Daddy!" It's funny, cute, and a little embarrassing all at once.

I have to go out today. I'll stop by our PX to see if they carry the magazine so I can snag a copy.

Mateya said...

I would love to read your article! Is there any way you can post a link or something? No Military Spouse magazine's around here.

MommyToTwoBoys said...

1st Do NOT downplay that article or being on the cover! That is AWESOME!!! Good for you, you should be really proud!

2nd You make me miss post life! The commissary and soldiers in uniform marching, seeing target practice, the mess hall, the events on post, etc.

3rd Could Lucy be any stinkin' cuter?

4th Good luck with Daddy being gone. I know exactly how you feel. My husband's former Army job had him away 185 days of the year.

Blessing said...

Awwww...this is so beautiful. Your daughter is so gorgeous!!! Its tough being apart, but it makes you strong too. Hang in there honey!

You can find my blog at Musings Of An Army Wife Have a terrific day!

Sammie said...

Evie has her "Papa bear", but he's in Airmen Blues, not ABUs. It helps her when she's missing him; she just gives it a hug since she can't give Papa one. :)

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

You and Lucy are beautiful! I'm happy this transition has gone smoother :)

Alia said...

aww sweet baby girl! I love love going on post and them telling my husband "have a good day sgt." and I missed it so much while he was deployed and we went home, it was like the coolest thing ever to get my decals when we move back for him to come home lol!

Chelle said...

Congrats to making the cover of the magazine! And Lucy is just so incredibly adorable.

LCpl'sPrincess said...

GO GIRL! It has been so awesome to watch you bloom into such an offical writer! SOOOOOOO awesome Jac!

Anonymous said...

Love living on base, there's nothing like the sense of community you get!

Your daughter is precious!!