Military Spouse Appreciation Day

May 8, 2009

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It’s ironic how this day happens to fall in Mental Health Awareness Month. ūüôā On a day like today, I’m feeling rather nastalgic so I’ll tell you about¬†how I came to be a military spouse. It’s probably my favorite story to tell and I hope you like it too.

A picture from our youth

A picture from our youth

It all started almost 11 years ago.¬† We both met at the Holiday Inn where we worked.¬† He was a cook and¬†I was a lifeguard.¬† I was only 16 and he was 19 (turning 20) when we met, which meant he was bad news – but I couldn’t resist!¬† He brought me dessert one day and wrote a note on the top of the box asking me out for coffee sometime…and the rest is history. : )

Four years later, we moved in together even though we were entirely too young.¬† He proposed about a year and a half later.¬† We both decided that before we get married we should figure out what we’re going to do with our lives.¬† I had decided against my previously declared¬†pre-med major and he had just finished trade school.¬† It was around this time that he joined the Army National Guard.¬† He was gone for a total of 9 months for basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and it was the first taste I got of being a military spouse.¬†

Taken the day he graduated from basic training

Taken the day he graduated from basic training

When my hubby-to-be returned from basic and AIT, I thought things would be different but they were surprisingly the same.¬† You see, my man was in the National Guard which made him a citizen/soldier- so he was only really employed by the military one weekend a month and two weeks per year.¬† The 9 to 5 job was up to him to figure out.¬† He had eventually arrived to the conclusion that he wanted to do his Guard job full time as a DOD employee – but those jobs don’t grow on trees- so he found the best work he could for the time being.¬†

We’re now a year into hubby’s commitment to the National Guard.¬† My career was starting to take off, he was still waiting for a DOD job to open while working as a cook and we were planning our wedding.¬†¬† It was September of 2004 and we had our wedding date set for Julyof 2005.¬† We were in the very early stages of wedding planning more than two years after we got engaged.¬† And then it happened…we got a phone call in the middle of the night from his 1SG.¬† That’s right…deployment orders…Iraq…in one week!¬†

This may surprise you, but¬†I was not prepared for this.¬† It was something that I figured would happen at some point but honestly never put much thought into it.¬† He was only there once a month for the past year, so¬†the significance didn’t register.¬† Needless to say, this was a big mistake on my part because we had a lot of things to sort out in less than a week.¬† Primarily, our wedding!

We first started this roller coaster ride by visiting the 1SG’s house where the 1SG and his wife answered any and all questions we could throw at them.¬† We finally dropped the bombshell about the wedding and they actually shared their own experience that was very similar.¬† They recommended that we tie the knot before the deployment and then have a formal ceremony when he returns home.¬† In addition to all of this, they helped us formulate a checklist of a million other things we had to do before the deployment.¬† So that was it.¬† We did it.¬† We planned our wedding in four days.¬† That’s right, four days!¬† And we were determined to make it the best darned wedding we could.

Our groomsmen and my brother standing with the man of the hour

Our groomsmen and my brother standing with the man of the hour

Believe it or not, everything fell into place for the wedding.¬† It definitely helped that we had supportive parents, awesome friends, and a church we already belonged to.¬† Our pastor summed up our mandatory pre-marital counseling in 15 minutes.¬† Talk about a time saver!¬† Our reception was at my mother and father in law’s house, which is beautiful and right on the golf course of the country club we were originally planning on.¬† My in laws also helped take care of the cake, limo, and several other things.¬† The only thing I needed was (eek!) a dress.¬†¬†I never thought I’d find a dress that would¬†fit, as¬†I had tried this before.¬† I was apparently a size 8 waist with a size 12 bust…not many dresses are made that way.¬† Believe it or not, I walked into the dress shop and tried on one dress.¬† It zipped right up, no problems, no alterations needed!¬† It couldn’t have been more perfect.¬†

Tying the knot

Tying the knot

¬†I happened to meet a hairdresser outside the mall during this four day wedding plan fiasco and she offered to do my hair and make up AND the bridesmaids on the day of the wedding!¬† She only charged us $20 per person.¬† Fabulous!¬† And speaking of bridesmaids…their dresses were a miracle as well.¬† My cousin was my Maid of Honor and my best friend was my bridesmaid and their significant others were also Best Man and groomsman.¬† My bf was recently in her sisters wedding and offered to wear her bridesmaid dress from that.¬† I asked my cousin if she had a dress the same color, and low and behold- she did.¬† I’m telling you, it was a series of miracles that made my wedding happen in four days.¬† This not only helped renew my faith in God, but reaffirm that we were truly meant to be married on that day.

Our first dance at a wedding that looked like ita had been planned for months!

Our first dance at a wedding that looked like ita had been planned for months!

But no, I’m not finished.¬† You haven’t heard the best part!¬† The day before our wedding, after my fiance and I ran all over the Capital Region trying to get a marraige license, we got another phone call.¬† His deployment orders had been cancelled!¬† No, I’m not kidding; this really happened.¬† So, we got married anyway.¬† After everything that fell into place in such a short period of time, we knew this was our day to get married.¬† It was a beautiful wedding.¬† We had about 50 guests (amazing for such short notice!) and had a very traditional ceremony and reception.¬†

So this is how I married into the military.¬† When¬†I became an Army Wife was actually a couple days later when I vowed to never again¬†be that unprepared for a deployment.¬† As crazy and chaotic as this story may sound to you, that is the military life.¬† Plans can change at the drop of a dime and no date is every final.¬† I’m glad I developed a good understanding of this early on.¬† I’ve since made good on my promise to myself as I joined (and now lead)¬†the Family Readiness Group where I help other families prepare and cope with deployments.¬†

Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself as I took a trip down memory lane.¬† I hope you were able to take something away from this story and if you ever need to pull off an event in a few days…I know people!

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Grey’s Anatomy: I’ve apparently struck a nerve!

May 7, 2009

I just started blogging less than a week ago. I have a strong opinion and thought I should write about it. Never did I think I would end up ticking off an entire cult of Grey’s Anatomy and Kevin McKidd fans!
Apparently, my blog about Grey’s Anatomy addressing PTSD wasn’t appreciated by some. I saw pieces of my blog posted in discussion forums with people commenting on how unfair my opinion is to the show. I read every single comment about my blog.¬† I¬†have taken a lot away from everything¬†I read.¬† But why are you hiding in your discussion forums where I can’t participate?

I’d like to thank the TWO people who defended me on these sites and saw my blog post for what it was.¬† After reading the countless comments on these websites about how wrong I am, i can’t help but wonder why nobody commented directly to me.¬† If you really read my entire blog, you will see that I was fair in the way that I stated both sides of the issue.¬† I’m a fair person and am open to hearing a different opinion.¬† So please, comment away as we tackle this important issue together!¬† I’m open minded enough to hear what you have to say.

Things That Surprised Me About Deployment

May 6, 2009
Pregnant me

Pregnant me

I was pregnant with Rachel when the warning order came down about my husband’s deployment. She was 19 months when he left for the deployment, which means we were fortunate enough to have¬†a lot¬†of time to prepare ourselves. Throughout all of this preparation, I couldn’t help but form a mental picture of what it would be like throughout the deployment. It turns out things were very different. I was surprised by many things.

So hard to say good-bye?

Like I said before, this deployment was almost two years in the making before our troops actually left home.  This was great in one aspect.  We got to prepare for this as much as we possibly could and we really made an effort to make the most of each moment we had together.  The downside, however, was that we pretty much had two years full of weird tension and anxiety about the impending deployment.  The soldiers also had to make the best use of their time to be as prepared as possible.  This meant extra long drill weekends, extra weeks of annual training, and countless briefings and meetings.  I have to admit, I was sick of this deployment before it even started! 

Our happy family the Easter before the deployment

Our happy family the Easter before the deployment

When it was finally time to say good-bye the day our soldiers left, I was surprised to find myself handling it very well.¬† I’m not the type to cry in front of a room full of people, so¬†I never thought I’d have an all-out breakdown, but I did think I’d have a good cry in the car afterward.¬† That, to my surprise, wasn’t the case.¬† I was sad that i wouldn’t see him for a year but I honestly felt good that we were getting to the “business end” of this deployment.¬† I actually went to breakfast with my in-laws right after the troops left and explained my point of view.¬† I told them that we had spent the past two years preparing for this darned thing while the actual deployment is only a year long.¬† so as far as I’m concerned, at that point we were 2/3 of the way done!¬† We were actually in the homestretch!¬† This realization actually made me energized and ready to tackle the year ahead.

You have to PAY for that?

You wanna make this guy pay for internet service?

You wanna make this guy pay for internet service?

When my hubby finally got settled in his tent, barracks, choo, and where ever else he may have resided throughout the course of his deployment he was able to contact me via the internet.¬† Not only was I surprised that he had internet available where he lived, but I was amazed that he had to pay for it.¬† I have to say, I’m still not over that.¬† My husband pays more for internet access in Iraq than I do here at home….and the connection is about as fast as a 56k¬†(dial up) modem.¬† Something about that just seems wrong to me.¬† I once heard that our government spent $3,000 on a hammer.¬† Even if that isn’t true, you’d think our service members would just be able to sign on for free.¬†

Timing is everything…

computerI was surprised about how often I was able to talk to my husband.¬† At one point, we were able to talk every other day.¬† I’d say we can still average about twice per week with the internet and phone combined.¬† So this means that’s how often everyone else could talk to their family, right?¬† Wrong.¬† I was also surprised to find that there were some spouses who hardly heard from their soldier.¬† Parents of single soldiers usually heard from their soldier even less.¬† There were other, however, who were able to talk to their soldier even more than I did!¬† One of my fellow FRG members actually talks to her husband online every day when their kids come home from school.¬† It all comes down to scheduling.¬† Each soldier has a specific job to do and a certain work schedule.¬† My husband happened to have the night shift, so he was able to talk to me during certain times that the day shift wouldn’t normally be able to.¬† There is also an 8 to 9 hour difference between us.¬† So it all really comes down to the timing of everything.

My husband is GI Joe!

Just another day on the job

Just another day on the job

tank

The sign on the tank says something to the extent of "Stay back or you will be shot."

This one sounds silly, I’ll admit.¬† It was a little naive of me to think of him being tucked away from any danger while he was deployed, but I guess¬†I was in some kind of denial.¬† I first noticed something was different in his tone while he was on the phone.¬† He always sounded different if he was on a public phone and if he was on a private line his tone would change when he started talking about things over there.¬† He admitted to me he had a real problem with Iraqi men when he first got there because he didn’t understand the cultural differences.¬† He eventually got used to the differences and developed more compassion.¬†¬†I was surprised to hear my husband talk about people in this way.¬† I never really understood what he was talking about until he sent me pictures from overseas.¬† After seeing them,¬†I now understand the unrest in his voice when we talk.¬† I’ll probably never fully understand what he’s gone through, but I’ve heard from veterans that it doesn’t matter whether you’re on the front lines or not – just being in Iraq creates this anxiety that doesn’t go away until you’re back home.

Leave…

Taken during Hubby's leave

Taken during Hubby's leave

After all of the hoops our soldiers had to jump through to finally get overseas and start working, I never thought they would be able to come home on leave!¬† I was very surprised that my husband was able to come home for two weeks in the middle of his deployment.¬† We had talked about this as a possibility, but he always told me that the lowest ranking soldiers get priority so it may not happen.¬† I was amazed about how well they all pulled this off and it seemed to be a seamless operation.¬† It was important to remember that not everyone was able to have their soldier home for leave.¬† This made for a difficult dynamic during certain FRG meetings and events.¬† We all agreed that it is best not to mention our soldier’s leave unless we were asked about it.

You DON’T want me to contact you?

watchadoinI was very surprised when I heard that families did not want to be contacted by the FRG.¬† There weren’t many who said this, but it was still a shock to hear that anyone wouldn’t¬†want updates or information about their soldier.¬† Some were able to get the information elsewhere, like from the soldier themselves if they were in contact frequently.¬† Others, however, I’m not¬†so sure about and the very thought makes me sad.¬† Another issue came when we had out of date contact info for our points of contact.¬† I actually had to make arrangements with the 1SG overseas to have everyone update the information for their point of contact.¬† It eludes me how someone would not think of this as an important thing.

Stop sending stuff?

holiday-cheerAround Christmas time,¬†the FRG participated in a big¬†effort with the Veterans of Lansingburgh and the Cohoes¬†Veterans.¬† It was called Operation Holiday Cheer and involved sending care packages to all of the soldiers in our battalion.¬†¬†I happened to play a very small role in this project but am so proud to have been a part of such a successful operation.¬†¬†My husband said they all appreciated their packages and¬†they really helped bring everyone¬†some holiday cheer.¬†¬†We apparently weren’t the only group to think of this, as our soldiers finally had to tell us to stop sending them stuff!¬† I couldn’t believe it!¬† So many businesses and organizations had sent our troop stuff that they didn’t know what to do with it all.¬† This was a big surprise, but it is really¬†nice to know how many people care about our soldiers!

So these are the things that have surprised me throughout the course of the deployment.¬† With things winding down and our troops returning home in the near future, I’m not sure if there will be many more.¬† But when you’re married into the military, anything is possible!

Don’t Tell Me How to Parent!

May 6, 2009
Rachel last summer when her daddy left

Rachel last summer when her daddy left

If the title didn’t give it away, I don’t appreciate people telling me how to raise my child. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, since people have been trying to stick their noses into my business from the day I announced I was pregnant.¬†I think that¬†is just a part of being a parent. Everyone wants to know how you do it so they can tell you what you’re doing is wrong. When it comes to how I help my kid handle a deployment, however, mind your own beeswax!
Allow me to explain. I happen to have one of the best kids on the planet. Yes, I’m saying

Rachel's 2nd Birthday

Rachel's 2nd Birthday

that because I’m her mom but I’m also saying this because she’s incredibly well mannered and easy going. She started sleeping in her own crib when she was about 4 months old, and slept through the night almost immediately. I had it pretty good. When my husband left for his deployment she was only 19 months old. I thought she would have a hard time with it, but she really seemed to handle it well. But then it happened. My husband came home for two weeks in January for his R&R and she bonded to him like glue. I’d like to take the time to explain that I went to a conference in St. Louis for 4 days and it took her half the day to get used to me again when I returned. My husband was gone for 6 months and she went right to him in the airport and gave him hugs and kisses! She’s definitely Daddy’s little girl! But I digress… When my husband left again to finish his deployment, Rachel started having a hard time. She was asking about him constantly, crying for him, acting out, and worst of all, she started waking up in the middle of the night.

During Daddy's visit home

During Daddy's visit home

I actually see the change in Rachel’s behavior as a good sign.¬† This means that she knows her daddy is gone and, more importantly, that he’s supposed to be here with us.¬† This is something I had prepared myself for.¬† I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but I made it my mission to help my little girl make sense of all of this.

I made Rachel a “Daddy Movie” made up of all of the pictures of him¬†I could find.¬† It’s a¬†slide show¬†¬†set to the song “My Girl” and even explains at the end that Daddy is coming home.¬† It’s incredibly cheesy but it gets the point across.¬† I also draw pictures of our family with her and explained that Daddy is working far away but he will be home when the weather gets warm.¬† I have her talk to him on the webcam as often as possible.¬† I have a calendar in her room where we count down the days to Daddy coming home and other special events.¬† I given her a¬†plethora of events and activities to keep her busy and¬†create little milestones¬†throughout the course of the deployment.¬† We talk about Daddy every day and now Rachel will tell me that Daddy is coming home real soon.¬† I even bought a butterfly hatching kit so she can see that Daddy will be home when the caterpillars become butterflies.¬† I know, the last one is strange, but how else am I going to help a two year old measure time?¬† Besides, it’s a fun activity and¬†I should¬†at least get an A for effort. Daddy Movie

Clearly, I’ve been working pretty hard to make sure Rachel gets through this deployment the best way she can.¬† This

Rachel and our dog Hondo

Rachel and our dog Hondo

still didn’t solve every problem that developed after my husbands departure.¬† She still won’t sleep through the night.¬† For weeks I’d wake up to her crying around 3:00 am, spend the better part of an hour trying to put her back to sleep and then wake up again with her¬†at 6:00am.¬† So, I did what I think any logical parent in my situation would do.¬† I decided to bring her into bed with me when she wakes up in the middle of the night.¬† It’s the only way I can get a decent amount of sleep and it seems to put her at ease.

I think you see where this is going now.¬† That’s right.¬† I was talking to a group of people the other day and someone commented on how good natured my daughter is.¬† I thanked them and this apparently invited a bunch of questions, one of which asking if she sleeps through the night.¬† I explained that she doesn’t, which then lead to me explaining that¬†I bring her into bed with me.¬† And there it was…”You know, that’s not a good idea,” someone said.¬† “Have you talked to a doctor about this,” another said.¬† And my favorite: “Oh the poor little thing,” said someone else.¬†¬†

Grrr!!! Who do they think they are?¬† Do they really think they were being helpful?¬† I’ve come to expect this from some people, like my family and my in-laws, but I was dealing with people¬†I barely know.¬† Picture that!¬† Mere acquaintances questioning my parenting!

Me and my girl...back when she slept thru the night!

Me and my girl...back when she slept thru the night!

I managed to keep my cool with these people and explained that bringing Rachel into bed with me is an excellent idea.¬†¬† I told them that I always have her start the night in her bed and I did actually talk to a doctor about this who is on board with my method.¬† Trying my best not to sound like I’m on the defense (eventhough I totally was), I explained that Rachel is waking at night because of separation anxiety and it’s best for her to be as close to me as possible in her father’s absence.¬† I wanted to say a whole lot more but adhered to my better judgement and refrained.

First of all, don’t feel sorry for me or my child.¬† This is the life my husband and¬†I chose for her and, all in all, it’s a pretty darned good one!¬† We are a military family and this happens to be a part of it.¬† It’s not always great, but¬†a lot¬†of it is because we make it great.¬† I could go on about how I think people these days confuse pride with pity, but that’s another blog.

I’m going to make a t-shirt for Rachel to wear when I know we’re going to be around judgemental people.¬† It’s going to say: “If my mommy wants your opinion, she’ll ask you for it.”¬† I’m going to make another for myself that says: “Back off, B****!”¬† Maybe I won’t, but it’s fun to think about!

Rachel this past Easter

Rachel this past Easter

The truth is, people are always going to give you their opinion.¬† They are always going to judge you in some capacity and maybe even talk about you behind your back.¬† There’s only one thing you can do about it and that’s be the best person you can by your own standard.¬† As much as I wanted to slap someone when I was in that situation, I knew all I could do was give them my own opinion and go on to be the best mommy I can.¬† I know I’m a good parent and I don’t need the approval of some people I barely know.¬† Let them talk!¬† They clearly have nothing better to do!

Grey’s Anatomy is Making Me Cringe

May 4, 2009

After doing everything for everyone all week long, I have one thing for me and just me. ¬†Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I put Rachel to bed, brew a cup of decaf, maybe¬†even nibble on¬†a little square of dark chocolate, and watch Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I love that show.¬† It’s my ultimate hour long escape from reality.¬† So imagine my¬†disgust as I’m watching a couple weeks ago greys-anatomy-picto find the doctor/war veteran (Owen Hunt)¬†trying to choke out his girlfriend (Cristina Yang) in his sleep!

My Reaction…
After picking my jaw up off of the floor, I could only say one thing. “Are you kidding me?”
Who’s brilliant idea was this? I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think of the big TV executives who were probably all patting¬†each other¬†on the back about addressing PTSD as such an important issue on their show. I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy for it’s realism, but seriously guys, give me a break!
I really hope civilians don’t watch that and think that’s what really happens to veteran’s with PTSD.¬† I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s certainly not the norm.¬† Furthermore, I¬†REALLY don’t want people to think that’s going to happen when my husband comes home.¬†

Dr. Owen Hunt played by Kevin McKidd

Dr. Owen Hunt played by Kevin McKidd

My thoughts…

A few days after this show aired, I attended a reintegration event for my husbands battalion.¬† This is basically an event where a bunch of people tell you that your soldier will be a veteran when he/she comes home and then¬†educate you about all of the resources that will be available.¬†¬†Soldiers are never lacking resources, this is for sure.¬† One thing in particular the military has been super sensitive to is PTSD.¬† In fact, we probably could have named the event¬†“In Case¬†Your Soldier has PTSD,” because it was talked about in such length.¬† The Vet Center had a representative at this event who spoke about how they help veterans, more specifically, how they help veterans cope with the change of being home.¬† One of the first things this man said was “When your soldier comes home, they will be different.¬† This doesn’t mean they have PTSD and this doesn’t mean they’re going to try to choke you like that dude on Grey’s Anatomy!”¬† The room erupted

Dr. Cristina Yang played by Sandra Oh
Dr. Cristina Yang played by Sandra Oh

with laughter as he said this, and I’m so glad it was addressed with such levity.

PTSD is a serious issue and an issue I feel should be treated with respect.¬† This is a real thing that real people are dealing with every day.¬† Is it fair to anyone¬†that we make a mockery out of it on television?¬† I’m sure the “big wigs” aren’t intending to do this.¬† I’m sure they’re just clueless people in desperate need of a military consultant of some sort.¬† With that said, Grey’s Anatomy Exec’s,¬†can we finally get real about this topic and approach it with a little more class?¬† And I don’t mean by having your doctor guy walk around with a list of things to say so he sounds normal, like “Take care now” (taken from the end of last weeks episode).¬†I really want to like this character and you’re making it¬†difficult.¬†

But then again…

Since I had decided to write about this, I’ve done alot of thinking about how this issue was represented.¬† It occurred to me that another one of my favorite shows, Army Wives, addressed PTSD in an over the top way also.¬† In this show, a soldier had paranoid delusions and ultimately ended up in the mental ward of the on-base hospital where he¬†took hostages, and was killed during the hostage situation by MP’s.¬† How did this not tick me off?¬† I’m sure I rolled my eyes throughout the whole episode, but I wasn’t compelled to blog about it as I was with the Grey’s Anatomy episode.¬† Why is this?

Maybe it’s because Army Wives has more than just one war vet on the show.¬† You get the perspective of many soldiers on Army Wives, as opposed to one character’s perspective on Grey’s Anatomy.¬† I guess it upsets me that Grey’s gives you less of a chance to see an average soldier’s experience.¬† Army Wives also told more of the story about what led to the character’s break down.¬† Grey’s may be leading to this with Dr. Hunt, but obviously not fast enough for my taste.¬† Or could¬†Grey’s have touched a nerve because it is more conceivable for someone to choke their girlfriend in¬†their sleep rather than take hostages in a mental hospital?¬† This would mean that Grey’s is actually more realistic than I had originally thought.¬† Maybe it’s a little of everything.¬† So should I chill out and give Grey’s Anatomy more of a chance to prove itself?

So in conclusion…

I’m still not ok with the whole choking thing on the show.¬† After taking time to really explore the issue, however, I understand that the writers have to do something to make the show as captivating as possible.¬† So I’ll play fair and give Grey’s the chance it deserves to make more sense of the issue.¬† I can only hope that this issue will pass and we can move on with the hot and steamy relationships on the show.¬† You know, the¬†smut and drama¬†us viewers¬†reallytune in for!¬† I love you, Grey’s Anatomy, but stop making me cringe during my weekly retreat!

Hello world!

May 2, 2009

meMy name is Andrea Seeger and I’m an Army Wife.¬† Funny how that sounds like it was pulled right out of a support group meeting.¬† Monotone voices saying, “Hi, Andrea” in stereo pass through my mind when I say that.¬† But I guess that’s how it is when you marry into the military.¬† It ends up defining you in some way.¬† Not that I think it’s a bad thing, by any means.¬† I wear the title of Army Wife like a badge of courage, and when I say it out loud a little part of me wants to scream “beat that!”

soldier“My husband, my soldier, my hero” ¬†is the saying we’re most aware of as military spouses.¬† For the most part, I do agree.¬† Before my husband left for his deployment, I’d say that was my motto.¬† In the year he’s been gone, however, I also feel that I have become my own hero in all that I’ve accomplished and overcome in his absence.¬† I am so proud of all my husband does for his family and his country, but you know what?¬† I’m pretty awesome too.

rach-and-hondoMy husband is a soldier in the NY Army National Guard and has been deployed for just about one year.¬† We are the proud parents of Rachel, our two year old little girl, and Hondo, our four year old doggie.¬† I guess the more correct term for myself would be “Army National Guard Wife”, but that’s such a mouth full!¬† And besides, my husband does his guard job as a civilian DOD employee¬†full time¬†when he’s home….so I’m an Army wife, darn it!¬† I spend most of my time working from home, volunteering for the FRG (Family Readiness Group for you civilians), and¬†finding new ways to be the coolest¬†mommy ever.¬† I’m a lemons to lemonade kind of gal, although this mindset has been challenged a few times throughout the course of the deployment.¬†

I’m writing this blog to share the¬†trials and tribulations¬†of being an Army Wife in New York’s Capital Region.¬† If you’re looking for a sob story about how tough¬†life is, look elsewhere!¬† But if you’re looking for a real perspective on life as a military spouse, then¬†stay tuned.¬† I hope you take this journey with me as I share my experiences and opinions with a light hearted sense of humor (most of the time).¬† I make no apologies for who I am or how¬†I feel.¬† Be prepared, as I’m a realist who says what she thinks and doesn’t pull any punches!Bring it!