Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There are numerous e-mails circulating out there that detail "how hard the life of a soldier is, and how hard your own life isn't so quit whining and be more patriotic!" Having had four brothers in the armed services, I understand how it works. But while I was poking around on the Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry website this morning, looking for information on the Holiday Block Leave, I unexpectedly came across this picture.

Seeing it elicited several emotions from me. Happiness because, frankly, it's the first time I've seen my husband in two months. I had been wondering how he looks sans hair! And also happy, because I can tell by his expression he is keeping the sand out of his mouth. That's a good thing.

It gave me a twinge of sadness too, for obvious reasons. That isn't some faceless, abstract, heart-wrenching depiction of the Everyman Soldier. That is MY Lee, my companion and sweetheart and father of my children.

I know my personal trials are not many, and in truth, not very great. Perhaps my honey-bunny isn't right by my side every day, but I still have him. I might get so frustrated being a single mommy that I want to run away, but when I want to spend time with my children and get sticky kisses and little tiny hugs, I can. I don't have to go to a graveyard or a prison or a hospital room to be, so to speak, where they are. I am surrounded both near and far by people who I know love me and are helping me and who genuinely care if I am able to endure to the end. Their thoughts and prayers mean a great deal to me.

I am blessed, personally, beyond measure, and yet oddly enough, I, too, struggle to feel His love for me every day. When I stack my obstacles against others' they seem too frivolous to be authentic. And yet, this mortal existence is designed by a genius, so that we all, no matter our circumstances or parentage or gifts, have to exercise our agency to come to Him. And so though my problems may seem small to an outsider, they are big enough for me to desperately need Him.
(Virgina H. Pearce, "A Heart Like His," emphasis added)

Today has been a day of shifting perspective- certainly not the last, but I am looking at the world with different eyes since I saw this one picture. I have shed a few tears too, but rather than feeling lonely and melancholy, I feel cleansed somehow.

In conclusion, I'll just say that I am grateful for my trials, especially because I know they are mine. They were given specifically to me at this particular time by a loving Father who has a plan for my eternal happiness. He gave them to me-not only so I could grow and learn, but so I could recognize and acknowledge how I need Him, every hour of every day. And I do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We're Back!

After a two month hiatus, I am trying to make my way back into the land of the living. I knew being a single mommy would be tough, but it still took quite a while to adjust. And if I said I was all adjusted now, that would be a blatant lie. But I'm trying.

At any rate, I realized the only documentation I have of our lives right now is the letters I've been writing Lee, and I doubt they'll ever make it into any sort of journal. So my goal is to be a person again, start planning outings and play dates, and keep up on my blog, lest this adventure in our lives fall into the giant black hole of lost memories. Maybe I'm subconsciously hoping for that...?

Lee has been gone for just over 5 weeks. I get letters from him fairly often, and the pain of missing him is just a constant ache now instead of the sharp sting of the first little while. My parents have been wonderful in helping me with the kids, and my coworkers have been understanding and kind in letting me hog all the call I can afford. Our plan now is just to stay the course and endure to the end of this adventure, and then endure into the next one!

Jana's 2nd Birthday Party

The noisemakers didn't actually make noise. How wonderful!

Opening birthday presents!

Layne and Kyle (Lee's brothers), Zane (Lee's friend) and Lee at the Going Away Party

Right after Lee was sworn in.

Playing in the autumn leaves

It was Wyatt's idea to grab the stool to jump into the leaves... I guess it's a natural instinct!

Look at that form!

My little Muffin Man

My JanaBean

I send pages with lots of pictures to Lee, he says he loves to show them off to everyone around him. Going into the Army at 30 years old is pretty late, most of the other soldiers are early 20's or younger, so there aren't many others with a wife and family at home.

It was windy, and his ears kept flapping in the breeze! Skeeter misses Lee; the first week or so after he left, Skeeter would just wait by the back door until late at night, even though everyone else was home. He was just waiting for Daddy.

Buzz Lightyear and the Sugarplum Fairy

And mommy is a little devil, but that's nothing new!

The first snowman of the season!
I hope you are all well and happy, and hope you will forgive me for being such a hermit! I am grateful for all your friendships and support, and have definitely felt your love and prayers. Wishing you delightfully fun holiday preparations!
Love and Wice Kwispy Tweats,
Melody & Co.