Monday, November 4, 2013

Once Upon a Time in Utah....

With all the crazy drama going on in our country, and therefore my life, I have been struggling to think about anything else. Then for some reason my engagement popped into my head. I always meant to write the story down for my children, but I never did. Now I'm wondering how much I remember. Opps. I'm gonna give it a go, and get some writing practice at the same time. Go me!

The story really starts a year before he proposed. We decided to go camping in Zion National Park in Utah. It is one of the most beautiful places on the entire planet, just amazing. Well, let's just say by the end of the trip we were barely speaking. Couple of days later, we broke up. Khan! Luckily, it was only for a very short time, but after that I was very nervous about being too needy or seeming desperate to get married. I wanted to, but I wasn't really in a rush, besides the fact that I was a bridesmaid in 3 weddings that year. I just wanted to know it could happen.

Fast forward to the next summer. Things are good, we're happy and then he starts acting weird. I'm a woman so of course I notice even the smallest behavior change. First, he suddenly isn't as available to do anything, always having other plans. And it was weird things like, I have to go shopping for tents. Alrighty. Then we have this amazing night at the Paris Hotel in Vegas(did I mention we lived in Vegas, I didn't think so). We had dinner at an amazing buffet and then went to ride up to the top of the mini Eiffel tower. So we are standing there, its all romantic like, and we get into this weird relationship conversation where he ends up telling me that he thinks it will be a really long time before he even considers getting married. After I recovered from that punch in the gut, I acted (poorly) like that was totally cool with me. Between that, and the seeing less of each other, i was positive a break up was immanent. I know that's a lot of back story, but it explains my state of mind at the time. Basically angry, paranoid, and a whole lot of crazy.

We decide to try another camping trip at Zion, I'm nervous, but ok, why not. The plan was to visit his parents and then head out. The night before we leave we go to my parents house for dinner. Its weird, my mother is weepy, but I cant figure out why. We get to his parents and the weird starts again. He is still making plans for the trip and getting all angry and frustrated. I sit down with his Mom and sister and tell them that I think we are gonna cancel the trip, its making Erik to nuts. The immediately start giving me a ton of reasons why we had to go. That should have been a clue, but I just thought they were trying to be supportive. When we packed up the truck to leave, his mother hugged me for a really long time, and was all weepy. Weird, but whatever.

We finally arrive at Zion, and I honestly don't remember much about our first day there. The next day we are going to tackle Angel's Landing, one of the longest and hardest hikes there. It was awesome, and beautiful, but my husband was moving so fast I could barely keep up. I'm getting angry and I keep asking him to slow down, but he doesn't. Fine, so I stop complaining and just stew in my juices. We get to a place called Scout's Lookout which is almost at the top. The rest of the way up is basically a chain on a steep mountain. I start to lose my nerve.That hike is not for the squeamish. I'm not afraid of heights, but I am afraid my clumsy self will fumble and fall a gazillion feet down the mountain. We decide to stop there and have lunch.

I sit down,  hot sweaty mess while he gets the food out of the bag. He starts handing me things and I'm barely paying attention. He says my name and I turn around. I'm confused, where is my sandwich? Instead has a box, and says, "Will you? " I have never been so stunned in my entire life up till then or since. I had no clue what was happening, and that certainly was not on my radar after the last few weeks. I was seriously, so lost and confused I wasn't talking. Once I managed to get myself together, I noticed he looked kinda freaked out. I said yes, but he still looked freaked. That's because I must have thought it, but not said it out loud. He told me after that I was quiet for so long he was panicking a little. Then, of course, I managed to day yes out loud. It was amazing. The coolest part was on the hike back down he told me how he had been planning this for months, even asking my parents for permission and telling all my friends. Everyone knew before I did. Ah..now all the weird started to make sense. The fact that with all those people knowing he still managing to keep it a secret, was shocking. The whole conversation at the Paris was to throw me off...mission accomplished!

Squeeeee!!!

November is Adoption Awareness Month and in honor of this my friend Marcy over at http://nomaybebaby.blogspot.com is inviting guest bloggers to write about their adoption experience! As you know, I am very new to blogging, and my blog's purpose changes pretty regularly, but adoption is always close to my heart. I love to share my story to anyone who will listen, in hopes of taking the mystery out of the experience and to help anyone who has questions as they are going through this experience! Im so excited to participate, thanks Marcy! Head over to No Maybe Baby and check her out!

No Maybe Baby

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hello, my name is Brandi, and my child is Spirited - HELP!

"The word that distinguishes spirited children for other children is more. They are normal children who are more intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive, and uncomfortable with change than other children" - Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

HOW DID SHE KNOW!!!! I started reading "How to Raise Your Spirited Child" on a recommendation from a friend. At this point, I feel like the worlds worst parent since I cannot seem to control my daughter. As such, I must be a failure as a parent, because no one else I know has the issues I have.

I actually cried when I read the first chapter, which described my sweet girl to a tee! Energetic, Intense, and especially uncomfortable with change. There are actually many, many parents going through the same thing and I had no idea. The biggest lesson I have learned form this book so far is,  typical discipline that helps other children, WILL NOT work. It is vital to really understand your spirited child, in order to decipher the best way to deal with her. You have to completely change how you think about about her behavior.

Well, the psych major in me was able to wake up from the dead and get to work! I'm only half way through the book right now, but I have already started trying some new techniques after learning more about how Lily thinks. In my never ending quest to figure out what exactly I want to write about, I have decided that this journey is perfect! I get so excited with every new discovery, and every new good day I just want to share.

So that's my plan. I want to write about all my successes and failures with my "spirited child" because misery as well as excitement love company!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Books

It was the strangest thing. I walked into Barnes and Noble today, and wasn't forced to immediately race to the "choo choo" table. I actually had the ability to wander as I pleased, while sipping a caramel latte. Obviously, I was toddler free! 

Yet, for some reason, I still wondered into the children's section, thinking about what books I should buy Lily next. Then I remember how she threw "The Living Tree" across the room, and I cringed. She has no respect for books. In my world it is crime of unparalleled proportions to treat a book in such a way. I was always taught that they were to be cherished, and taken care of like antiques. Now they practically are. 

Like the rest of this technological generation, I love the convenience of my Kindle, but it just isn't the same. Will Lily ever get the chance to feel about books they way I do? I think that's why I still wonder into the children's section, and despite my energetically aggressive 3 year old, buy her as many of them as I can before she is only able to read on a computer screen. Before she doesn't even remember what a bookstore is.

Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Minute Friday - In Between


Five Minute Friday

Here are the rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}. 3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you. -


IN BETWEEN

START
In between moments in our busy lives. What to do with that 2 -5 minutes in between tasks? I want hear the quiet. I want to stop moving and clear my focus. I want to say a small prayer for all the little blessings of the day, and the patience to get through the rest of it. I want to turn and see my daughter in the corner of the room, pretending she is in a rocket ship, completely engrossed. I want to breathe in and out so when that in between moment is gone, I am ready for whatever come next. 
STOP

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What if

Feeling a little melancholy for some reason tonight. I came to terms a long time ago that I would never get to be pregnant, but now and then it creeps up on me. I still wonder what it would have felt like to see the positive sign on the pregnancy test, and come up with some fun creative way to tell my husband and then our family. I wonder what crazy foods I would have craved and what that little beginning baby bump would have looked like. And what must it feel like to actual feel your baby move around inside of you. The first ultrasound and hearing the babies heart beat. FInding out if we were having a boy or a girl, and being giddy with excitement. I know pregnancy isnt all sunshine and flowers, believe me, and I was for sure terrified of the actual delivery, but still....i just wonder.

Please don't misunderstand, I would not change a single detail of my life because I have been so blessed by the adoption of my beautiful daughter. Had I become pregnant, I probably wouldn't have ever considered adoption.

I just wonder...

Monday, June 24, 2013

3rd time is the charm???

Good byes are always hard. I despise them. I think whenever the military is going to separate me from my husband, I dread the good bye the most. Once its over, that clock starts ticking and I can concentrate on waiting for it to be over!

Well, this one as certainly been unique. The wonderfully organized and efficient army (try not to drown in the sarcasm) can't seem to get him on a flight, so for 3 weekends in a row, he has come home. And while I will never turn down a chance to see him, these good byes are killing me. They do not get any easier the second and third time. Its nuts!

Sigh...I'm just trying to enjoy this blessing of extra time, and remember that there is a reason...whatever that may be!

At the same time, I am saying good bye to many wonderful friends who are PCS ing. I'm a hot mess of emotion! Watch out!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

It is a beautiful day in southern Alabama. Blue sky, green trees, text book summer day.  Now I as sit waiting to start the bbq, I'm skimming through Facebook, reading all the beautiful Memorial Day tributes, and posts reminding us that this is not a holiday, but a day of remembrance.

I start to feel guilty about how much I have been enjoying this day. Especially considering the loss of so many soldiers, in just the last few months. But I'm beginning to think that guilt is almost offensive, and I will tell you why. This is a day to REMEMBER all of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. They knew what they were getting into when they signed on the dotted line, and they did so willingly. These men and women, as well as all the family they left behind, don't want you to just mourn them on this day. You are also celebrating the amazing gift you have been given by them, so enjoy the life that you are living, and this extra day off with your family and friends because our ability to do this was bought at an unthinkable price. Honor them by always remembering them, thanking them, and praying for their families.

Thank you CPT Mark Resh, CW2 Bryan Henderson, and countless others who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today I honor your memory, celebrate your life, and promise never to forget.


"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
  -John 15:13 NLT

Friday, April 26, 2013

5 Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

Friend

START

My mind is flooded just thinking about this subject. I have never had an easy time making friends. I am one of those painfully shy extroverts that needs time to really trust people enough to be who I am. I came into this military life and started it out so lonely, and determined to change it. Then I met all the wrong people who tore me down to the point that I didn't even want to know me.

But out of that, I somehow found the amazing people who would become friends with the real me. I am actually thankful to the friends who broke me down, and led me to the people I was supposed to know. When we moved, I left all that behind, and have met people here who will be my family forever.

God made me to be exactly who i am and I stopped fighting it and am just me. I love my people here. We talk and laugh and they put up with my extremely strange and silly personality. They are honest, and hard on me when I need it, and there for me when I just need to let it all out. They are a blessing to me, and I will always have them, no matter how far away.

STOP

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adoption is not a dirty word

It finally happened, the question every adoptive mother prepares herself for....the moment my 3 year old asked me, "Mommy, did I grow in your belly?"

She has been obsessed with babies lately and a good friend is pregnant. We often talk about the baby in her belly...it was only a matter of time.

I thought when she asked that question, it would make me sad or scared but I surprised myself by not feeling either. I had prepared for this. I want my daughter to know she is adopted, had a birth mother who loved her, and a new forever family in us. Adoption is not a dirty word, its an amazing beautiful gift, and I find myself more and more anxious to share the story with her.

My answer, "No sweetie, you grew in another mommies belly, who loved you very much, and then God sent you to me".

"Ok Mommy." And her short attention span was on to the next thing, with no idea that for me this was a momentous occasion. Praying that I can continue to tell her what an amazing gift she is, and that their are so many different ways to make a family!

Brandi

Friday, March 22, 2013

Remember

5 Minute Friday


Remember

START

I was working at a bank on an army base almost 5 years ago. I was in the drive thru laughing and joking with the other ladies about something silly Im sure. The phone rang and I answered it as always, to hear my husbands voice. He said "Mark is gone". I didn't quite understand at first, it was like my brain couldn't quite process what had happened. Our friend Mark, whom we had lived with for 3 months while we waited for our house, had been killed in Iraq. He was an Apache pilot and he had been shot down. He was also the first friend I had lost to war since my husband joined the military . 

How could he be gone? He was just home on leave? What was going to happen to his fiancee? 

I don't know why this memory popped in my head when I saw the word Remember....I promised to always remember him and his sacrifice. I guess he is on my mind. 

STOP


Can they ever just be little girls?

I read a blog post today that really hit home for me called "Raising Daughter in a world that Devalues Them" It's a controversial topic but worth exploring. I have no issue with Victoria's Secret, I love me some VS pjs, but to purposely design a provocative line of clothes aimed at our teenage girls is just a little much. My daughter is only 3 and I cannot believe some of the clothes they sell in her size. I'm like really? She's just a kid!

That sadder thing to me is that the writer had to shut off comments on her post because people were being hateful. "She doesn't agree with the status quo! Let's destroy her!" Wouldn't it be nice to be able to disagree with all the hostility? Anyway, I digress, here the link if your interested:

http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/03/raising-daughters-in-a-world-that-devalues-them-7-things-we-must-tell-them/

Monday, March 11, 2013

Suck it Up and Drive On Lady!

Often I am still amazed at how loud God can speak. I always feel as if I am struggling to hear him, especially when I am looking for answers. I even took an amazing course on how to hear him. The problem is, He is speaking to me, I am just not really listening.

 Last July my husband received orders for a hardship tour, which means he leaves for a year to an overseas duty station, and my daughter and I cannot go with him. We were stunned because it came out of now where. My husband and I spent months trying to find a way out of it, but nothing worked. We finally accepted that this must be God's will and moved forward...except we really didn't accept it. Deep down I have still been praying for it not to happen. God keeps answering me but I am in denial. 

At church yesterday, we were listening to a speaker who will be traveling to China to preach the Gospel to the Muslim community there. He is taking his whole family and going for 10 years. Wow. He was telling us the story of how he made his decision, and took us back all the way through his army career. Here are the words that basically slapped me upside the head, he said when he receives orders from the army, its not Uncle Sam making the decision! Who do you think controls Uncle Sam? God!

We received those orders because God wants my husband to go and he has a plan! He knows I have been doubting, and praying to change it, and He finally gave up being subtle because I need to be slapped in the face. Suck it up and drive on, lol! I have heard you Lord! Will this separation be hard, yes....but obviously this is something we need to do and he has given me since last July to accept it. Ok...I'm know I'm hard headed..but I do hear you Lord. Such a blessing to hear your voice in so many different ways.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Home

Five Minute Friday
HOME

START

Home, that word conjures so many pictures in my head, I get dizzy. Being a military family it gets hard to identify home anymore. Whenever we visit the place that I grew up, it just doesnt feel like home anymore. Everything has changed, people have changed, and that feeling of comfort you expect is just not there anymore.

For me Home has become my family. Wherever my husband and daughter are, that is home. Wherever my friends who became family are, that is home. Its comforting to know that I take home with me everywhere that I go, and if I ever feel alone, there is a friend out there somewhere who will remind me of home. It really is an amazing feeling to have people as your home, instead of just a place. What a blessed life!

STOP

Click the link above to participate in 5 Minute Friday

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

M.I.A.

Sorry i have been MIAthe last few weeks! As much as i really want to get this blog up and running, the plague hit my home and with my whole family sick, this has definitley been on the back burner! Here's to finally being healthy again! Have a great week!

Brandi

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wife to Wife Wednesday


What is one challenge experienced in military marriages that you have been able to work through or overcome?


That is a hard question! There are so many unique challenges! I think for this post, I will go with communication. Seems a bit obvious, I realize, but just being able to find a way to mimic those everyday conversations. Sharing our stories from each day in order to keep us connected. Thanks to the Internet, that has become a million times easier. 

The challenge really comes in that the lives we are leading have become so drastically different, it makes it so much harder to connect sometimes. This coming hardship tour, we are planning to do a bible study together, which will give us common ground and keep us connected to the Lord, as well as each other!

Join the conversation at Wife to Wife Wednesday!

Wife2WifeSm

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beloved







Beloved

GO

I am his beloved. No matter what I do or say, his love for me is everlasting and I am no where near perfection. He sees my weakness as a gift he has given me in order to make me stronger.

I am so loved that I am forgiven, again and again. All I have to do is ask, and I will be saved. It is in my imperfection, that I am his beloved. Each imperfection created explicitly by him for his purpose for me. It would be an insult to not love what he has created, as he makes no mistakes. I love who he has made me, now and in the future.

"For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corintians 2:10

STOP

Wife to Wife Wednesday

Wives of Faith Wife to Wife Weekly Linkup



Question of the Week : What made you fall in love with your husband?

If I had to choose just one thing, it would be his ability to handle even the most insane situation with humor and grace. I do not have that skill, and I fear most of the time, I may be the insane situation that he is dealing with! But that is exactly why I fell in love with him. There is nothing that I or life can do to phase him. We laugh through everything, good and bad. He is absolutely my perfect match, chosen by God, and I'm so blessed to have him.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Random Question

If I am my only follower, does that mean I'm talking to myself?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am the IPhone Mommy

I read a blog post yesterday called, "Dear Mom on the IPhone" and it was like a punch in the gut. She talked about how sometimes we may take our children to the park to play, and sit down on the bench to check our email, or Facebook. We think we have so earned this time. And while it is true that we do deserve some mommy time, she really made me see that that isn't it.

I love my phone, I'm an absolute social networking addict. But one day, I am going to look up, and my beautiful baby girl will be no where to be found. All too soon, she won't want to play with me any more, and will cringe if I'm anywhere near her. So why am I so aggitated when she tries to drag me off that park bench to climb the ladder with her, or help her down the slide. Is what any of my friends are talking about on Facebook more important then being completely in the moment with my child?

The other point that she made was that at some point, our children will start to believe that phone is more important then them. 'Don't bother mom, she's texting!". My mind was like a tumbleweed spinning through the wind. It starts with her not asking me to play with her, all the way to the time she really needs to talk to me about a boy who is pressuring her, but she sees me on my phone and walks away.

I am resolved not to let this happen. She will know that when she is with me, she is my priority. If she wants to climb up that ladder 77,000 times, I will be there with her. I will not miss one giggle, one smile, one squeal of joy, one discovery of some old candy in the sand. I want to see all of it.

I waited for 8 years for this child to come into my life, and she will likely be the only one. I will not miss out on what may seem like an insignificant moment, that could some day shape our entire relationship.

I absolutely deserve my mommy time, it's essential to being a good mom, but 30 minutes on my phone while Lily plays alone is not when I will take it anymore.

Checkout the blog I am referring too:

http://4littlefergusons.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/dear-mom-on-the-iphone/

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is this blog about anyway?

As a sit here trying to decide what to talk about in my second ever blog post, I realize that I am really having a hard time trying to figure out what I want this blog to be all about. I have a feeling it is going to be kind of Scitzophrentic while I figure it out, so I apologize in advance. The things closest to my heart are my developing relationship with Christ, my amazing family, life as a military spouse and sharing my adoption journey for those who may be considering one of their own.

On a lighter note, I'd love to share party ideas for kiddos, scrapbooking, my love of books, music, and movies, recipes, fitness...I could go on and on. So I would ask anyone who actually decides to read this, to hang in there and I promise to narrow it all down at some point as I discover what my calling is for this blog. Thanks!!!!