Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
~1 Timothy 4:12

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Airing it out...

I'm a little bit miffed this evening, so pardon the vent. That said, you've been fairly warned...

When this whole deployment thing started, I had lots of people tell me, "If you need anything CALL ME. I'll be there, whatever you need". Funny how that goes out the window when I do in fact need something.

I was asked to speak at a training event for my business tomorrow--I should note I haven't been asked before, and it was an honor to be asked now. So. I phoned up someone who had told me "I will be THERE in a HEARTBEAT...whatever, WHATEVER you need" and asked them ONE WEEK AGO if they could watch the kids for me until I got home tomorrow evening. Actually, I asked the person they are married to--that person told me they would give the person I was actually asking the message. A week goes by with no response from said person, or said person's spouse. I thought that was a little odd because that's not like them not to call me back. So. Because I'd rather have a sitter on the backburner than depend on one person, I booked a sitter from the agency we use..."just in case". Today I still hadn't heard anything from Said Person, so I phoned up Said Person. Who knew nothing about my plans tomorrow. Which means that Spouse of Said Person never gave Said Person my message. One week ago. Said Person said they would check with Spouse and get back to me.

Should be noted (if I haven't already) that Said Person was one of those who said "Whatever you need...whenever...I expect you to call me". It should also be noted that it's really hard for me to ask for help from people. I'm fiercely independent, probably to a fault, so asking for help from anyone is not something I take lightly. I'm stubborn and independent. Now you know.

So. Said Person called back thirty minutes ago and said that Spouse reminded Said Person of prior arrangements that had been made. Like over a week ago. Back a week ago, I asked Spouse if they had plans for tomorrow. No prior arrangements were noted at the time, or else I would not have asked in the first place. So that means that a sitter is coming to watch Devyn and Aiden for my all-day training event. I won't get home until after they're in bed. Wouldn't be a big deal if Spouse of Said Person AND Said Person hadn't offered "...anything at anytime...whatever you need". Now, I feel terribly let down. Oh...and Said Person mentioned right before I got off the phone, "If you need something again, please call me". Yeah. I'll get right on that.

Here's the thing: If you offer to help someone, be ready to help them. Help isn't always needed when it's convenient for you. Help is needed when it's needed. Don't offer if you don't FULLY intend to follow through.

So with that, rest assured I will not be asking for help anymore from anyone at anytime, except for a very, VERY few select people. I know who means it when they say they'll help me. And I know who doesn't.

Thanks for letting me vent. That's not something you'll hear from me too often, but without a sounding board named Mike here, this is my outlet. I'm done now. Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A song in the storm...

Last night we had a thunderstorm. And at 11:15 pm, a tornado watch flashed across the screen. Now, yall know I don't do so well with the words "Tornado" and "Watch"...even worse with the words "Tornado" and "Warning". You might as well tell me the sky has been swallowed up by dragons and we're all gone die. (Southern speak yall...keep up)!

So I laid there in bed for quite some time, completely preparing myself to head for the bathtub with the mattress on my head while towing the kids (likely sleeping) in there with me at the first sound of "A freight train comin through the house" or something of the like. I looked outside the window at the rain as it was falling down and the trees sitting very still and had flashbacks of The Wizard of Oz and Miss Gulch flying past my window on a bicycle. Seriously, wouldn't you think the first time that part scared me, I just wouldn't have watched it anymore? But noooo, no, I had to watch it every year. And look where it's gotten me. 32 years old and trying to figure the mass times volume of a queen mattress and how I can manage to get it into the bathroom. If a tornado doesn't kill you, the heart attack you have lugging said mattress into a loo certainly will. Anyway, I digress...

It was about 1 am (and of course I couldn't sleep) and the thunder is booming and lightening is crackling and rain is whipping the house and in a little brief moment of a lull, I thought I heard a bird singing. I listened for it again between the thunder claps, and yes, it was definitely a bird singing, and I knew exactly which bird it was.

We have been blessed every Spring to have House Finches build nests on our porch--either in the wreath on the door, the hanging basket, and this year, the flower bucket on our front door. There are three precious little Tiffany blue eggs in there, and while the mama watches from the flag pole most days, I know that she sits on the nest at night. It was the Mama Finch singing. Now, whether she was actually shrieking out of fear of impending doom and it just sounded like singing to me is not really important. God reminded me in that moment, that even in the most dire of circumstances, when the rain is pelting your home and your sweet, fragile babies are depending on you to keep them safe, and when you don't know if you'll be able to fly in the morning, you can, and should still sing.

There are so many blessings we have in this life, and we all know what our individual ones are. I am not saying we don't have our struggles--we definitely do, and if wishes were horses, we'd all take a ride (something my grandma used to tell me, when I start out with "I wish...") but our circumstances should not overshadow our gratefulness, our thanks for what we've been given. I've been blessed with more than I could ever possibly have hoped for or wanted, and they're not things...they're relationships...

Deployment sucks. There's no getting around that. But just like in golf, how it's all in the swing, joy comes from an attitude, a song that can't be silenced just because the rain falls. It's a concious decision we make everyday, and although we can't be happy all the time, we can still sing.

His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Artistes Splendido!

That would be "The Splendid Artists" in Italian...

Devyn and Aiden have shown this week that they have some mad artistic skills. The first picture below is one Devyn did in her art class of a lemon and lime still life...
The second is what Aiden colored today in his class at church.
I love it! Art is like life to me and here are my little two...making the world a more beautiful place, one piece of artwork at a time...Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My makeover!

So I have this friend, Jen. Jen and I met when we were both sent to England on our husband's coattails within a week of each other. She and Jay had Jack, who was seven months old at the time, and Mike and I had Devyn, who was 21 months old. The first time I met Jen, we were walking down opposite sides of Baker Street on our way to eat lunch with some of the other wives from the guys' office. We ended up sitting next to each other at Wagamama and I knew that this person was someone I would probably be friends with for the rest of my life.

Jen and I have been through some truly wacky, yet precious moments together...she was the first one of my girlfriends to hold Aiden in the hospital after he was born...we kept Jack when she and Jay went to the hospital to have Annie, and then they returned because Caroline Anne had decided not to make her arrival...yet. Jen was the person I had my first Full English with two days before we left England and moved back to Virginia (it took me two years to have a Full English Breakfast!) and Jack was the only child to date, who has literally thrown up in my hands.

I just love Jen. We don't get to talk all that often, but we've kept up with each other over the internet. She was really the one who got me into this blogging thing--she inspired me through her and Jay's journey in adopting sweet Ben from China last October, and she continues to inspire me today!

She has just started a new business, and it's AMAZING. You're looking at her work! The Art of Living is Jen's new website design company. If you like what you see on my blog, PLEASE check out her website listed below.

Jen, thank you so much for knowing me so well, and putting what you know (and thanks for leaving out the "bad" stuff!!;) ) to good use on my blog. I appreciate so much what you've done--it's absolutely gorgeous. Love ya girl!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Today is a somber day... one spent remembering and honoring...specifically remembering Erin Peterson, our initiate brother who was lost in the shooting in Norris, and Reema Samaha, our brother Omar's sister, who was also lost in the same classroom as Erin. A year ago today, everyone who has an association with Virginia Tech either by being an alumnus, a student, a family member or friend was changed forever. There's much more to say, but it doesn't need to be said today. Today should be about remembering and honoring the fallen and the heroes of that day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reassurance and the Seven Year Old

This is me just talking this out...getting it out of my head...
I was on the phone with a good friend tonight and she mentioned the picture of Mike I have on my blog (the most recent one) and I said something to the effect of, "Yeah, he's such a hottie. I'm so fortunate I get him". She laughed, I laughed, we all had a good laugh, or so I thought...

Fastforward to 8 pm and I'm putting Devyn to bed. She looked very sad and I asked her what was bothering her. She silently walked over and shut her bedroom door (whoa) and I knew something was up. She told me she needed to talk to me, but she didn't want me to get upset. I told her I wouldn't get upset as long as she was honest with this is what Sweet Girl says:

Well, I heard you on the phone tonight talking about a man that you said you thought was cute. Who were you talking about?

I was talking about your Daddy!!

Oh. Because L (her friend) said that cheating is when you like someone while you like another person at the same time. Are you cheating on Daddy?

My mouth literally dropped open. I was stunned into silence--not angry, just completely stunned. I knew I had to reassure her and convince her that of COURSE I wasn't cheating on her daddy...

"Honey. Your Daddy is my very best friend and I would never cheat on him and he would never cheat on me. We love each other very, very much and we respect each other and we'd never do that to each other".

She said ok, that that's what she thought, but honestly when we began this deployment, of all the concerns I thought she would have, I never, EVER thought that would ever enter her mind. I pray everyday that God will show me how to be the mom He designed me to be and that she'll have the knowledge that her parents love her and cherish her more than anything. So after tonight, I suppose I should start praying a little more for her confidence that mommy and daddy will be ok and stronger every day and especially at the end of all this.

Ok, enough for tonight...I'm off to kiss my babies...and to whisper in their little ears that everything will be more than fine...

Pat McGee & Me

This time of year always reminds me of Pat McGee and his band. They're a band out of Richmond, Virginia and I always had a thing for their music when I was in college. I can so clearly remember watching them play on College Ave in Blacksburg my senior year, and on the main stage at Senior Day the weekend before I graduated--standing there in the pouring rain and listing to "Shine" and "Rebecca". Now when I listen, it takes me back to my senior year at Tech and one song keeps coming into play as a part of my life just as it did then.

Mike was away doing Navy stuff (Nuke School, Power School, Prototype, etc...)and I was in Blacksburg, finishing up what was a heinous end to my college career. Whenever I was having one of "those"days , I would put in Shine by Pat McGee Band and just immerse myself in it--the melodies, the lyrics, and it all seemed to disappear for a little while. There was one song in particular that I would listen to off that album whenever missing Mike became a little too much, and I remember thinking "I can't wait for the day when we can be in one place together for more than a weekend". And here I am again, thinking the same thing, only on broader terms.

I was driving down the road today on my way to pick up Aiden from preschool when I found my Shine cd stuck in my cd case. Waxing sentimental, I popped it in and listened to "Shine" "Rebecca" and "Gibby" before landing on that song...and there I was thinking again about how much I wished I could be with him.

Deployments are different for every service member and every family member, and we all get through them different ways. Some go into survival mode, managing to get by one minute and one hour at a time, while others patientely bide their time, knowing that Homecoming is one day shorter than it was yesterday. I think that's the mode I'm in. Tomorrow will have been two months since Mike left. I'm two months wiser, two months more tired, and two months more sentimental about the moments and days that led up to his departure. Two months ago tonight we sat holding our children and just talking and laughing and dreading the inevitable, but I am not longing for that night. That night was 7 months away from when Mike would return. Tonight is just 5 months, and for that I am so grateful...

So Pat McGee managed to put into words and lyrics and melodies how I feel and I am transported back to Blacksburg everytime I hear it. I was so different then! 10 years ago next month will mark that day on College Avenue when I was just a few days away from graduating without any idea of what I was going to do after that. I really didn't care. I knew I wanted to just revel in that moment and I'm glad I did. I am such a different person now, but looking back, I'm exactly where I wanted to be then. Married to the most amazing man, mom to the most incredible children and more than happy. I'm content. I miss my Michael so much that there's a hole that can't and won't be filled until he comes back, but I'm ok, and I'll be ok. I've been cryptic long are the lyrics to "that" song...

As I lie here in bed, your smile fills my head
And I'm using this pen to talk to you, from a southern way
It's been weeks since I've seen you last
The time away from you ain't moving too fast
Wishing my summer away just to see you again
I'm there by your side, lookin in your eyes
Seeing you with me, what else could there be?
If I could get away I'd be there today
You'd be wearing that smile
Haven't see you for a while
I wake up everyday, go through the same routine
Go to work, come home, what does it all really mean?
Check the mail just hoping to find, another note from you could ease my mind
It's 5:15; I can picture you driving home from your same old scene
In five you'll hear the phone ringing,
have to settle for talking again
I can picture you now, you're standing outside your house
The breeze is blowing off your northern shore
Now I'm loving you more
I long for the days when there are no goodbyes
Wish I could see you, I'd wipe the tears from your eyes
Tell you everything's all right, lay you down
Say to you goodnight
I'm there by your side, lookin in your eyes
Seein you with me, what else could there be?
If could get away, I'd be there today
You'd be wearin that smile I haven't seen for a while
Haven't seen for a while...

By the way, you can check out Pat McGee Band at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Does it get hotter than this in the desert?

I seriously doubt it...I miss you and I love you so much!

Came.Saw.Conquered...and Left

It was a long weekend. A loooooooooooonggggg weekend. Roscoe the dog came to visit on Saturday at 12:30 pm. Tonight, at 6:30 pm, he departed for his foster home, happily wagging his tail all the way. That was not how the weekend went.

I think poor Roscoe was miserable the moment he walked in the door. He spent the days laying on the couch, the nights howling and crying, baying and howling, crying and baying. He came from a foster home that homed eight dogs--EIGHT DOGS--and had been there for a while so it's no wonder he was depressed. After spending two nights trying to make it better, it became very apparent that Roscoe the Beagle was better off at his foster home. So today, after 52 hours with us, Roscoe bounded out the house, happy to be on his way to his home. We saw him leave, and in seeing how happy he was at that moment, we knew we had done the right thing. It took a moment for Devyn and Aiden to readjust, but they are very pleased to know that tomorrow we're on our way to PetSmart to pick up not one, but two new pets. Tomorrow, two Beta fish will become a part of our family--one for Devyn, one for Aiden.

Those are the perfect pets for us right now. It took me exactly 52 hours for me to finally figure out what I've always known--that I am a cat person. I always have been ,ever since Midnight, my very first cat that I had when I was three. Dogs are wonderful. But the honest truth is that I am not a dog person. I like those little fluff balls that sleep at the bottom of the bed on my feet, lick my hand with the little sandpaper tounge and don't cry throughout the night. It's just who I am.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Coming up for air...

Tired. Bone. Body. Soul. Tired.

The past week has been a good one--no major drama to report, but between visits from both sets of grandparents, Aiden and his projectile vomit (yeah--he finally did), soccer pictures at 7 am on Saturday morning (which I'm convinced is some sick way to legally do a parental bloodletting...more on that in a sec) and finding a dog to adopt, I. Am. TIRED.

So. Saturday morning soccer pictures. That whole experience was just priceless, and not in a good way. The kiddles and I were out the door at 6:45 am. Devyn's pics were scheduled for 7:30 am (we had to be there at 7) and A's were scheduled for 8:30. Oh, and it was raining outside and 41 degrees.

We arrived at the school cafeteria, better known as the holding cell to wait for our turn in the gym. Now, every other soccer team in the league (there are 72 teams in all) has their pictures taken that day, and EACH child has his or her picture made as well. You see where this is going. Devyn's pictures were finally taken at 8;30, Aiden's at 9:35. We got home at 10:15.

The bonus in all this was that I stopped to get the kids a hot chocolate at Starbucks and picked up a Berryblossom White Tea for myself. This stuff must be the nectar of the gods, if there were gods, which there aren't so that just means more for me. That one Tall White Tea dissolved the stress of the day, of the week and of the past 8 weeks. It was just me, my sweeties, and the tea.

Since then, I've had three more, and I'm currently sipping one as I write. I think the point is, no matter what it is, we have to find our diffuse switch in life; that thing that melts it all away. Our own personal Calgon if you will. I'm still tired, but I'm thinking about what the British midwives would bring me after I had Aiden--always with a smile, I'd get tea and wheat toast at 1 am (they knew that's when I couldn't sleep) and they'd pat my arm and say "Here you are Dear...the English fixall".

It's still fixing all...those Brits really know their stuff!

The doggie is coming home tomorrow, but I'll post about him later. My tea is calling...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Sweet Life...

I got a call from Aiden's school about an hour and a half ago that I knew would come someday, be it with either Devyn or Aiden..."Hey Carrie, this is Tammy at Aiden's need to come pick him up...he's pale and glassey-eyed and we think he's going to throw up any second".
I figured it would come some day (the phone call to come get one of them) because doesn't that call come to every parent? I thought we were just biding our should be stated that in nearly 8 years of parenting, we've only had one experience with vomiting when Devyn was 3. After that, nothing...and nothing from my sweet boy yet.
I got to school and Sprout was lying on the floor on a nap mat and started crying when he saw me. He was very pale and just crawled in my lap and cuddled in...I drove home and laid him on me on the couch and he was asleep in under 5 minutes...He's now switched positions and is laying with his fuzzy Diego blanket, Kitty Cat Squeak (his stuffed kitty) with his little head half under a pillow.
So why did I call this post "the sweet life"? Because it truly is. I am so blessed to be able to hold him, to cuddle him, to make him feel even a little better...I wouldn't trade a day like today for any other because it causes me to slow down and just be what he needs me to be. The laundry will get folded, the floor will get vaccuumed, my business will be taken care of, but today I need to sit and be with my little boy for whatever he needs. He's only four once. Ending with a picture of my two boys taken on Christmas morning...Aiden's laughing at a book that I gave Mike for Christmas. I guess there's something funny about the complete unabridged works of Shakespeare! How great is that!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Great Tooth Caper Update

We found Devyn's baby tooth! After giving up and thinking "it will show up one day", there it was...right in the middle of the space between the wall and her bed. The Tooth Fairy was very happy to finally have a tooth to add to her collection, so she rewarded Devyn with 50 cents (she'd already left $1.00 for her) and Devyn quickly added that to her bank.

The whole experience reminds me of a scripture I love, so I'm ending now with that...

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9