Friday, April 29, 2011

Off to D.C.! And Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #34

I know I've been light on blogging this week, but I had no idea how much I had to do before leaving for D.C. today for the MilBlog conference! 
 
I've got one foot out the door, but before I leave I wanted to remind you that it's Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #34!
 
 

So go link up with your host at The Tervo Times!

I can't wait to tell you all about the MilBlog Conference!
 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top 10 Differences Between Spring Break Then and Spring Break Now

Last week was Spring Break.  And because of my job as a teacher, it was the first year in a long time that I found myself getting really excited about a week off from school.  In fact, the last time the words Spring Break made me so giddy was my senior year in college when my friends and I planned the world's most awesome road trip.


But I was only one day into Spring Break when I realized a lot has changed since that senior year road trip.  I may have had a week off from school, but so did my kids.  By Friday I was practically itching to go back to work because anything was better than listening to my children fight and whine all day long.


So after living through an interesting week of Spring Break, here are my...


Top 10 Differences Between Spring Break Then and Spring Break Now


10) THEN: Cheap beer
      NOW: Good wine


9)  THEN: Dancing at night clubs to the best songs on the radio
     NOW: Dancing in my living room to the Kidz Bop version of the best songs on the radio


8)  THEN: Getting in bed when the sun is coming up
     NOW: Getting out of bed when the sun is coming up (because the kids don't seem to understand they're supposed to sleep in)


7)  THEN: Hot dates with the hot centerfielder
     NOW:  Hot play dates at the hot playground


6)  THEN: Spontaneous road trips
     NOW: Spontaneous? What does that mean?  Sorry, I have to plan my spontaneity. 


5)  THEN: Lazy days at the beach
     NOW: Lazy days at home because just the thought of going to the beach with 2 young kids is exhausting in and of itself.


4)  THEN: Trying to squeeze in as much partying as possible.
     NOW: Trying to squeeze in as much sleeping as possible.


3)  THEN: Doing absolutely nothing.
     NOW: Doing absolutely everything you don't have time to do during the work week like oil changes, haircuts, and dentist appointments.


2)  THEN: The highlight of the week was having the freedom to hide my textbooks and not read a single word.
     NOW: The highlight of the week was having the freedom to dust off a stack of novels and read as much as I want.


1)  THEN: I was young and boasted an enviable alcohol tolerance.
     NOW: Young?  Not so much.  Alcohol tolerance?  Well, let's just say I'm a cheap date.


Do you have fond memories of Spring Break?  If you had a Spring Break this year, what did you do?

Monday, April 25, 2011

MilBlog Conference!

Today is Monday.  I'll be spending my day trudging through Spring Break withdrawal and cursing myself for not getting ahead on everything I need to get done this week at work.  I already know it's going to be a crazy busy week, and that's never an uplifting thought on a Monday morning.  But I keep telling myself that a huge reward awaits me in 4 days.  In 4 days, I'll be at the

MilBlog Conference!!!



This will be my 2nd year attending, and I'm hoping the conference will be both the same and different than last year. 


I have to admit that last year I was a bit intimidated.  I had only been blogging for a few months, and I felt way out of my league.  I think I was the only person in the whole room who didn't whip out a laptop and tweet every 30 seconds throughout the panel discussions because a) I didn't own a laptop and b) I didn't even have a twitter account, let alone any understanding of how to tweet.  I was too shy to speak to anyone unless they spoke to me first, and I think I handed out maybe 5 of my business cards because I was too embarrassed to be assertive.  Hopefully, that will change this time around.


But I hope the rest of the conference stays the same.  I hope the panels are just as fascinating as they were last year, that the other attendees are just as diverse as they were last year, and that the festivities are just as fun as they were last year.  I have a feeling I won't be disappointed.


Last year I was nervous about walking into the MilBlog conference, a newbie who had no idea what to expect.  This year, the nerves are gone and all I feel is excitement.  And the best part?  I'm finally going to meet some of the amazing mil spouse bloggers whom I've gotten to know through words shared on a computer screen.  I can't wait for the real life hugs and laughter.  I can't wait for the camaraderie and the photo ops.  I just can't wait!!!


As I prepare for this blogging conference with my new dress and my new business cards, my laptop and the twitter account that I rarely use, I wonder what the weekend will bring.  I also wonder if I'm forgetting anything.  So I'm wondering...

Have you ever gone to a blogging conference?  What else do I need to bring?  What are the big conference do's and don'ts?  Any advice?


And are any of you attending the MilBlog Conference as well?





Sunday, April 24, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 114

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 114: I am thankful that the Easter bunny's true identity has remained a secret.  I have a sneaky suspicion this might be the last year of innocence. 
 
 
Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!!
 
 


 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 113

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 113: I am thankful for a hair stylist who somehow knows my style better than I do. 
 
I am also thankful for the 1st baseball game of the season that ended up being a huge confidence builder for a particular 7-year-old in my house. 
 
And of course I'm thankful that my husband was in attendance at that baseball game.  After missing the entire season last year, he's finally there to cheer that 7-year-old on from behind the dugout. 
 
 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #33

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #33!
 
 


Make sure you go over to Many Waters and link up with Poekitten!  And after you link up, take some time to visit a couple of other ladies on the list. 


Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wife on the Roller Coaster Meets the HUN

I am so excited because today I'm a guest writer on the Homefront United Network!



If you've never heard of the HUN, you need to go check them out.  It's a place for military spouses and families to reach out and support each other, share stories, and find resources.  (To read more about the HUN and its founder, military writer Angela Caban, click here.)
 
 
So after you read my post, Month of the Military Child, make sure you stay awhile and get to know the HUN!
 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 110

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 110: I am thankful to have such fun friends who make me feel like a kid again. 
 
I am also thankful that our children get along so well that we can act like kids without the real kids even noticing how crazy their mothers are.
 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 10 Celebrity Military Brats

In keeping with the theme of the Month of the Military Child, I thought I'd dedicate another top 10 list to military brats. 
 
Did you know that Tiger Woods was a military brat?  So was Priscilla Presley.  And Julianne Moore.  And Christina Aguilera.  There are a ton of famous people who were once military brats.
 
 
So here are my...
 
 
Top 10 Celebrity Military Brats
 
(To see a list of celebrity military brats divided by branch, click here.)
 

(10)

Shaquille O'Neal
(Army brat)



(9)

Jessica Alba
(Air Force brat)



(8)

Mia Hamm
(Air Force brat)



(7)

Robert Duvall
(Navy brat)


 

(6)

Bill Cosby
(Navy brat)



 

(5)

 Heather Locklear
(Marine brat)



 
(4)

 Jim Morrison
(Navy brat)




 
(3)

P!nk
(Army brat)




(2)

 Bruce Willis
(Army brat)



 
(1) 
And of course the actress who would play me in a movie about the Roller Coaster family:
Reese Witherspoon
(Army brat)



Who tops your list?







Monday, April 18, 2011

Surprise, I'm Home!

Have you ever seen that show "Coming Home?"  You know, that show that orchestrates surprise reunions with service members and their families.  It's impossible to watch without going through an entire box of Kleenex because the reunions are so romantic, so emotional, so filled with pure happiness, so perfect.  But as touching as it is to watch these surprise homecomings, I would never in a million years want to be a part of this reality show.  Why?  Because I can't stand surprises.



That's right, I don't like surprises.  Even the happy, exciting, celebratory surprises.  I don't like surprise parties, surprise changes of plans, or surprise visits.  And as crazy as it sounds, I don't like it when my husband surprises me by coming home early.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that he came home early from his latest trip, and we were able to spend the weekend together when I was expecting one more long lonely weekend without him.  But I'm not thrilled by what my house looked like when he arrived at his own home while I was at work.  I don't like that I couldn't remember the last time I gave the floors a good mopping or that I didn't sweep off the driveway or that I didn't make Big C clear his junk off the coffee table (which included the athletic cup he wore in baseball practice the night before).  I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper, but I always make an effort to make our house look as perfect as it can possibly look before a homecoming.  I was embarrassed for myself and disappointed for him.  After a month away, Mr. Roller Coaster certainly deserves to walk into a house that, at the very least, doesn't have athletic cups sitting on the coffee table.

I know that when Mr. Roller Coaster is on his way home from trips he's thinking about seeing his family, not a spotless house.  He isn't questioning my ability to maintain life on the homefront because I didn't mow the lawn or put away the laundry.  I don't think he really cares.  Our house is home to him, regardless of whether that home needs to be vacuumed.  I just want his homecomings to be perfect, as perfect as the ones on "Coming Home."

Even though this most recent homecoming wasn't perfect (I mean, for goodness sakes, I wasn't even home to greet him!), it was a homecoming nonetheless.  He's back, and that's all that matters.  And as far as surprises, I still prefer to leave that to reality tv. 
  
Do you like surprises or do you like to be prepared?  What would you think about being on the show "Coming Home?" 





Saturday, April 16, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 106

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 106: I am thankful that my husband is home. 
 
I am also thankful that the toilet waited to overflow until AFTER Mr. Roller Coaster came home.  In your face Murphy's Law!
 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #32

We're on Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #32!
 
 


Go on over to Churchy and Her Sailor and link up one of your posts from this week!

Have a great weekend everyone!


 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Other Military Brat: I Want My Daddy Back

The other day I shared with you some of Big C's thoughts on being a military brat.  And I realized that I didn't even attempt to ask my 3-year-old daughter her opinions on the subject.  I guess I figure she's too young, that she doesn't understand enough to even have thoughts about military life.  But lately I'm realizing that she DOES have thoughts about her daddy being gone.  She just doesn't have the ability to verbalize them.

Little C is an energetic, funny, affectionate, stubborn little girl.  And when she gets in a bad mood, you better leave the room because there's no negotiating with her.  Unfortunately, it seems that lately she's in a bad mood all the time.  And I can't help but wonder if this is her way of expressing those thoughts about her father being gone.


For the past month, every now and then Little C would call out for her daddy at home when she was tired or upset.  But now she's starting to scream for him at school.  When I was picking her up the other day, I could hear, "I want my daddy back!!!!!" before I even turned the corner of the hallway to her classroom.  The teacher couldn't calm her down, and only after a 5 minute bear hug with me did she stop sobbing.


Little C has also started begging to sleep with me, something Miss Independence has never done.  We cuddle in my bed before we head over to her room for lights out every night, but lately she's been asking for sleepovers.  Last night she asked again, but I said no because she slept with me once last week and I don't want it to become a habit.  She miraculously went to her own bed without a fight.  But an hour later when I went to check on the kids, her bed was empty.  Surprised, I tiptoed over to my room.  Sure enough, there she was, cuddled under my covers, sleeping soundly on her Dora pillow.


And now as I write this, she is crying in her room after slamming her door in anger.  I've learned from experience to give her a few minutes to calm down before trying to console her.  She is screaming for her daddy again.


Big C never behaved like this, and I'm at a loss as to what I should do, how I should handle her.  I keep telling her that her daddy will be coming home soon, but 3-year-olds have no concept of the word soon.  It breaks my heart.

Have your military brats acted like this before?  What did you do to help them through it?  What are some other ways you have helped your children cope with military life?


 



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Pros and Cons of Being a Military Brat (According to Big C)

"Our daddies have to work really hard.  And sometimes we have to too.  And sometimes when you’re the only boy in the house, you have to take care of your mom."

~Big C on life as a military brat
 
 
In honor of April and the Month of the Military Child, I thought I'd turn over this week's top 10 list to my 7-year-old son Big C.
 
 
 
 
Here are his...
 
 
Top 10 Pros and Cons of Being a Military Brat
 


10)  CON:  I don't like making new friends because I like my old ones.  If I don't see my friends in a long time, I forget about them.


9)  PRO: We get to meet people in different countries.


8)  CON: My daddy misses my baseball practices.


7) PRO: My dad buys me stuff when he's on trips.


6)  CON: My dad goes on a lot of trips.


5)  PRO: We have good parents, and we have a good life.


4)  CON: I don't like moving because it's boring going on long car drives and on airplanes.


3)  PRO : When my dad comes back from trips we play golf together.


2)  CON : I don't get to see my dad a lot.


1)  PRO: My daddy is a hero.


 
What tops your military brat's list?
 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meet a Mil Spouse Monday

I'm so excited to be featured today over at Diary of a Devil Dog Wife for her Meet a Mil Spouse Monday!
 
 
 
So go on over and check me out.  And if you're a mil spouse interested in being spotlighted, make sure you send Marah an email!

The Month of the Military Child


 ~Deborah Mullen, wife of Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff



There are 1.7 million American children and youth under 18 with a parent serving in the military.   900,000 of those children have seen one or both of their parents deployed multiple times.  These military brats endure incredible sacrifices to live an unpredictable and challenging lifestyle.  That's why every April, the military community celebrates the Month of the Military Child. This is our chance to honor these true heroes.


I have 2 military brats of my own.  At ages 3 and 7, they are just starting to understand the implications of their daddy's job.  They know he frequently "goes on trips."  They know he works late.  They know that a lot of times they have to depend on me to be both mom and dad.  But they don't really comprehend it all.  They're too young to understand why we live the way we do. 


That lack of understanding is both good and bad.  It's bad, of course, because we have no way of explaining to the kids why their dad disappears.  What do you say to a 7-year-old boy who desperately wants his dad to be there for his 1st baseball practice of the season?  What do you say to a 3-year-old girl who repeatedly screams, "I want my daddy back" every time she's tired or upset?   Telling them that their father is performing an important job for our country offers absolutely no solace in those heartbreaking moments.


But that lack of understanding is good in a way because they haven't yet figured out that they are any different than anybody else.  For instance, the other day I sat down with Big C to talk to him about how he feels about being a military brat, and he looked utterly confused.  I listed off several ways his life may be different than most kids and asked how he felt about those differences.  Again, confusion.  Finally I said, "Do you know that most daddies don't wear camouflage uniforms to work?"  He had no idea.


Sometimes I feel guilty for turning my children into military brats.  They didn't ask for this life. They didn't have a choice.  This is the only life they know, a life of moving around the world, having to change schools and make new friends, and often living without one of the most loved and influential people in their world.  I worry about them, about how they'll be affected by military life as they grow older.  Will they rebel and misbehave?  Or will they join the military themselves?  Will they resent us as parents?  Or will they appreciate the experiences military life has offered them?  Will they hate us?  Or will they one day understand?  It's impossible to know.  In the meantime, my husband and I simply try to be the best parents we can be despite our unique circumstances.


So as we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, give some extra thought to our country's military brats, those brave, resilient children who silently serve our country too.  If you have military brats of your own, give them a few extra hugs and I love you's.  (And visit Blue Star Families because they're giving out certificates to honor military brats!)  And if you don't have military brats, find someone who does and thank them for the important, yet often forgotten, role they play in the military community.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 100

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 100: I am thankful for a productive weekend that included an hour long spinning class, a week of lesson plans, a finished book, a 4 and a half mile run, a private fashion show with a friend, and a Lego party. 
 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Project Gratitude Day 99

PROJECT GRATITUDE DAY 99: I am thankful that both of my kids willingly went to bed at 6:30 PM. 
 
Between the fevers and the 2 doctors visits at 2 different clinics in the same day and the Vicks VapoRub and the crankiness and the fighting and the cabin fever resulting from 3 days of being cooped up in the house, I have no shame in convincing my children that their bedtime was 30 minutes earlier than usual.  I will now reward myself with a glass of wine and a cheesy girly movie.
 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #31

First of all, it's time for Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #31!
 


The host this week is Athena over at Our Crazy Life.  So go on over and link up!


Second, I finally finished the master Alpha to Zulu list.  (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here.)  I can't believe how many words we have to describe our military lifestyle!!! 


You can find the "Military Life from Alpha to Zulu" list on the tab at the top.  Please feel free to grab one of the buttons to share what it means to be in a military family.  And if you want to add anything to the list, let me know!

Riding the Roller Coaster



OR

Riding the Roller Coaster



Have a great weekend!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

So I'm home from work today with a sick little girl, and I thought to myself, "Self.  Use this day wisely.  How are you going to use this sudden block of free time?"  Hmmm, I'm not really in the mood for writing.  I'm too antsy to read a book.  I definitely don't feel like cleaning.  Maybe I'll visit some blogs.  And what better way to find some new blogs than to join in on the...
 
 


It's the annual Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.  I know I'm super late and that everyone is probably finished hopping, but I thought I'd link up right before the party ends.  So if you're visiting from the blog hop, here's a little bit about me and my little blog...

I'm Wife on the Roller Coaster, and I'm a proud military spouse.  Military life is like a roller coaster, with crazy ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm also a mother of 2 military brats and a kindergarten teacher so life is never dull and I rarely run out of blog material. 

I blog about whatever comes to mind, which is usually a random combination of military mayhem, mommy musings, and work whining.  I love making lists so every Tuesday I post a Top 10 list about whatever topics pops into my head that week.  I also dabble in freelance writing, writing for such sites as Blue Star Families, Mamapedia, and the PBS POV blog Regarding War.

Quick and simple, that's me in a nutshell.  Looking forward to meeting you!


 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wife on the Roller Coaster Meets Mrs. S. (Again)


Today I'm guest blogging for one of my favorite bloggy friends, Mrs. S. from The Adventures of Mr. Superman and Mrs. S. 




 
 
I've guest blogged for her before, and I was so excited when she asked me for a return visit while she takes some time off for homecoming preparation.


So go visit me over there as I discuss Reintegration Roller Coaster Style.  Then go check out the rest of Mrs. S.'s blog.  She is the sweetest girl, and I just love her!
 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top 10 List of Military Spouse Quotes

I've always loved collecting quotes.  So today I'm going to let other people do my writing for me.

Here are my...


Top 10 List of Military Spouse Quotes
 

10)  If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them!

9)  My husband risks his life so you can run your mouth.

8)  If the military wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.

7)  Don’t confuse your rank with my authority.

6)  Prosper where you’re planted.

5)  The military is my husband's mistress and sometimes that b*tch gets all the attention.

4) Home is where the military sends you.

3) Sexually deprived for your freedom.

2)  Live each day like he deploys tomorrow.

1)  You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.



***HONORABLE MENTIONS***
{The following are obviously more than short quotes, but I couldn't resist including them in this post.}


The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or greens.
But, I am in the military, in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I do not give.
But in the military world is where I live.
I am not in the chain of command, orders I do not give or get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I am not the one who fires a weapon, Who puts his life on the line.
But my job is just as tough, I’m the one who is always left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and pride filled man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines, I see things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do my kids and me.
I love the man I married. The military is his life.
So I pledge to support my hero and stand among the silent ranks known as THE MILITARY WIFE.


Recipe for a Military Spouse
1 1/2 cups Patience
1 cup Courage
3/4 cup Tolerance
dash of Adventure
1 pound of Ability
To the above ingredients: Add 2 tablespoons elbow grease and let stand alone for one year. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Pour off excess fat and sprinkle ever so lightly with money then Knead dough until payday. Season with international spices. Bake 20 years or until done. Makes unlimited servings.
SERVE WITH PRIDE.





What are some of your favorite military-related quotes?
 
 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Military Life from Alpha to Zulu

As I said last week, I've been thinking about military life and what it means to me. How is it different than civilian life? How would I describe my lifestyle to someone who had never experienced it before? If I had to sum up life as a military family in 30 words or fewer, which words would I use?  Which words would YOU use?

Well, here is it in a nutshell.  From Alpha to Zulu, it's my ABC's of military life.  Because I choose not to discuss which branch of the military my husband is in, my list is pretty broad.  I can't wait to see more branch-specific terms from all of you!  

So post your Alpha to Zulu list on your blog and link it up below!



I'm keeping the linky open all week so spread the word.  I've made a tab at the top of my blog called Alpha to Zulu, and I'll be adding everyone's contributions into one master list as well as the link to all of the contributors' blogs at the bottom of that list.
 
I also have 2 buttons for you to choose from.  The buttons will link to the tab, not this post!  That way, you can keep the button on your sidebar so whenever anyone asks you what life is like as a military spouse, you can tell them to click on that button to find out!  (You do not have to participate in order to post the buttons.  Please, go ahead and grab them!)

 
Riding the Roller Coaster


Riding the Roller Coaster


So here's my list and below that is the linky.  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
 
Military Life from Alpha to Zulu
 
ALPHA
Adaptability, Active duty, Afghanistan, American flags, Acronyms
 
 
BRAVO
Boots, Base, BAH, Bravery

 
CHARLIE
Camouflage, Commissary, Care packages, Courage, Cell phones, Chain of command

 
DELTA
Deployments, Duty station, Dog tags, Dependent

 
ECHO
Exhaustion, Endurance, Emotional roller coaster

 
FOXTROT
Flexibility

 
GOLF
Gear, Guns, Goodbyes

 
HOTEL
Hurry up and wait, High and tight, Homecomings, Hit the head, Humor

 
INDIA
Ironing uniforms, Iraq

 
JULIET
Jet noise
 
KILO
Kevlar

 
LIMA
Love, Leave, LES

 
MIKE
Military brats, Mission, Moving trucks, Murphy’s law, Mandatory fun

 
NOVEMBER
National security

 
OSCAR
Operations, OPSEC, Orders

 
PAPA
PCS, Pride, Patience, Predeployment, Promotions

 
QUEBEC
Questions unanswered

 
ROMEO
Rank, Rate, Retirement, Reintegration, Readjustments

 
SIERRA
Salute, Service, Single parenting, Skype, Strength, Scuttlebutt, Space A, SSN, Sandbox, Surprises, Surrogate spouses

 
TANGO
Troops, Tricare, Training, Taps, Tears, Transitions

 
UNIFORM
Uniforms, USO

 
VICTOR
Veterans, Valor

 
WHISKEY
War, Webcams, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

 
X-RAY
XO
 
YANKEE
Yellow ribbons

 
ZULU
Zero dark thirty










 
 
 




Friday, April 1, 2011

Living Every Day Like He Deploys Tomorrow

As some of you may know, I'm a contributing writer for Blue Star Families.  It's been awhile since my last BSF post, but I'm back and ready for comments! 
 
Check it out: Living Every Day Like He Deploys Tomorrow.
 

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #30

Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup #30!  Wow, 30 weeks of roundups.  I'm so happy it's still going strong.
 




 
The host this week is {an expeditionary family}.  Go on over and link up! 
 
And don't forget about my Alpha to Zulu link up on Monday!
 
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