Friday, August 24, 2012

Reintegration..

I have accomplished one of my goals for this week.. catch up on blogs.  (Unfortunately the other 8121280981 goals have not been accomplished..) In the process I was reminded of how the reintegration process goes for military families.  While e-mailing back and forth with one of my favorite blog writers, she mentioned how she wished someone would have talked about the process after the service member comes home and how hard it is.  Cause bottom line folks.. it isn't easy.

Over the course of the year Rob was deployed I fell into MY routine with the dog.  I'd get up every morning.. get ready for the day.. take the dog out, go to work.  I'd come home on my lunch break, take the dog out, eat, go back to work.  After work I'd come home and take the dog out.. or I'd go run errands, eat dinner with family/friends then let the dog out. I'd watch TV or work on homework and then take the dog out and go to bed.  The biggest part of my routine was taking the dog out.  It was familiar for me.. and you guessed it, the dog.

With that we were fortunate enough to have Rob in Kuwait and not somewhere else.  This REALLY helped in the fact that we were almost always in constant communication.  Whether we were e-mailing back and forth, texting (Rob had it set up to message from his computer to my phone) or on Skype, I talked to him at least once a day.  (I recognize that we were very fortunate to have the ability to communicate with each other on our side and I will be forever thankful for that.)  What this boiled down to was the fact that it felt like Rob was stateside.. versus deployed.  He pretty much always knew where I was.  It very much reminded me of the year we dated long distance with me living in Kansas and him in Maryland.

The hardest part to adapt to was the time difference.  Rob was 8 hours (sometimes 9 with time change) ahead of me.  When he was waking up, I was going to sleep.  When I was going to sleep, he was waking up.  About 4 months of the year, the time was working in our favor and we were on the same schedule since Rob was on a shift schedule.  But other than that.. if something big happened (hello, Murphy!) I often had to just deal with sending an e-mail and getting a response when he got to it.  I was almost always reachable from his end, but it didn't go both ways.  That was the hardest part.

You can imagine that there was much excitement when July rolled around bringing with it the end of the deployment.

But nervous energy was present as well.

I'd just spent the last year doing what I wanted, when I wanted and didn't really have to confer with anyone. As much as I really was not a fan of living by myself, it was fabulous being able to make ALL the decisions and not have to think of another person and what they may want.  I knew as soon as Rob walked across the threshold my sweet little routine for the least year was dunzo.

For one.. Rob is not a fan of taking the dog out a "million" times a day (which in reality is just a few at certain times).  So that nice routine that the dog and I had.. out the window, unless I was there.  I spent the first year of Piston's life taking care of him all day everyday.  I know when the dude has to potty before he even attempts to make it clear to me.  My ability to pick up on the dogs needs only deepened the second year of his life.  So one can imagine my frustration when Rob came home and attempted to mix that all up.

Another thing that messed up our routine was the toilet seat.  The dog picked up an admittedly gross habit of drinking out of the toilet once we moved to our apartment in Kansas.  I was able to break that habit while Rob was gone.. and then he came home.  Now I am faced with "training" the husband to put the toilet seat down.. because hello.. the blue toilet bleach water is not so good for a living, breathing animal.

I'll admit.. I wasn't the cleanest person while Rob was gone.  But my clothes almost always went in the clothes hamper when I changed.  With Rob coming home.. he brought back his ability to never ever ever find the clothes hamper.  (That is until I threaten not doing any of his laundry unless they magically find the hamper.  This threat.. always works.)  I have had to re-adjust to socks EVERYWHERE.. and clothes in a pile where he just dropped them.  It's not easy folks.. and FRUSTRATING.

But perhaps the most annoying habit that made it's way back in was the facial hair.  My husband is a very hairy man.. as in... he's got a mean stubble at the end of the day, and can practically grow a whole beard over the weekend.  When he shaves.. you can tell.  Why, you ask? He always, always, always misses one to two little bitty hairs while cleaning up.  And I notice.  My eyes immediately find that little hair on the sink counter.. and I flip.  I'd spent a year not ever dealing with them...... and now.. not so much.

With the little surface habits I had not quite missed, was also the biggest adjustment in my thinking process...  Having to think of another person.  More than once since Rob got home I have not checked my phone while out without Rob, or made a plan for dinner not thinking of what Rob may want, or had an idea for what to do when Rob got off work.. only to have him come home with a different idea.  It. Is. Hard. Y'all.  As much as I love my husband, and couldn't wait for him to get home.. this whole readjustment sucks.

I can say it sucks for me. For Rob too.. but by far I think it sucks the worst for Piston.  He is SO much more attached to Rob now.  He can't stand it when he leaves the house without me (the rest of the time he is in his kennel.. so I think that helps him).. he will sit by the door and just wait for him to come home.  When Rob does come home he wiggles like you've never seen a dog wiggle.  It's like every time he walks out that door Piston is afraid he isn't going to come home.  It is like he has post traumatic stress every time Rob leaves his sight.

One of the positives that did come with him coming home (besides him being home, of course!) was us moving to Georgia.  With that we both left our old routines.. the one he had in Kuwait, and the one I had in Kansas.. and have created new routines here.  Or are in the process of doing so.  This had majorly helped because it wasn't so much adjusting Rob back into Piston and I's new routine.  It was just us making a whole new routine together.  I tip my hat to those of you that have to work on adjusting an important part of your family back into the routine that went on while he was away.  I can't even imagine.

So the advice I can give from what we've experienced the last month and a few weeks:

  • Patience.  Use it and love it.  Your service member will ask you a thousand times where something is before it sticks.  They will mess up your routine.  Maybe even not be on the same thought process as you.. but they are home, right?
  • Adopt a new routine in some way that includes the service member so they don't feel quite so much like life went on without them and they are no longer needed.
  • Let them cook dinner, mow the grass, wash the car, drive the car, choose the TV channel.. make some decisions.
  • Try not to get mad when the dog (or other animal) forgets you (Maybe the hardest thing I've had to deal with..) and permanently glues him/herself to your better half.
  • Celebrate. Life. The end of the deployment. Your relationship.
Cause let's face it... this is a celebration.  They are home.. now you get to welcome them with open arms back into your everyday routine.  It's a process, just like everything else.  But totally worth it to know that your special someone is at home for a hug when you need it, a phone call away and a shared dinner instead of a solo one.


Always,
Amanda

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Insta Tuesday Update!

I know I've been relatively missing from the blogosphere when it comes to everyone else's blogs and comments and such.  For that, I apologize.  I saw on Twitter though that the lovely Jane at Taingamala is doing a link up today and I thought what a PERFECT opportunity to share what the heck is going on in our new neck of the woods.. so with out further ado, I bring you Insta Tuesday.



A couple of weekends ago we made the two hour drive over to Atlanta.  Man oh man.. I am not kidding you.  Downtown ATL is gorgeous.  Hands down the prettiest downtown I think I've ever seen.  We went to the World of Coca Cola and a gun show and then drove back home.. I can't wait until my parents get here later this month to explore even more.
All of our goods have arrived.. my stuff from Kansas, Rob's stuff from Kuwait and of course the stuff that made the trip with us.  So now I have the daunting task of unpacking it all.. boo.. not a fan.  My motivation to do just that has been absolutely lacking.. which sucks.  And considering they destroyed my desk.. a major piece of furniture, I have no way to set up the office.. which only adds to the suck factor of unpacking.
This past Saturday I went and got my second tattoo.  It was my Grandmother's birthday.  In her honor I got "love always" in her handwriting on my wrist.  I love this tattoo.. it means so much to me.  And it's right there every single time I look down.
I've also spent a lot of time with these two.  Although Piston has pretty much permanently attached himself to his Daddy again, which kind of sucks for me.. at least he is home.  :) 
Finally I've been missing home.  Someone I know from back home posted this on Instagram (@ caramfpoe) and it reminded me of why I love my hometown so freaking much... and who can blame me??

Find me over @ agregory08 !!!!

On my to do list is to catch up with blogs and e-mails.. so if you get some whack out there delayed response to an e-mail, sorry ahead of time!!

Always,
Amanda

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good or bad idea?

Today I went to lunch with my cousin and an interesting idea was brought to my attention, yet again.  I say yet again as this is not the first time I have entertained this idea.  Since I just moved from Kansas to Georgia, I obviously gave up my secretary job... which leaves me to find a new job [starting the hunt after my parents come in a few weeks].  My cousin asked me if I would ever do a home business such as Avon, Scentsy, PartyLite, etc.  The answer is yes I would.  But I'm not sure it's a good idea.  Let's face it almost every military spouse has some kind of home business that they do in an attempt to bring income in to their family without having to leave the house on a schedule they don't control.  But there are some positives:
  • Make your own schedule.
  • Holidays off.
  • Stay at home with the dog.
  • Discount from whatever product.
And some negatives:
  • Don't make money if you don't spread the word.
  • Sometimes hard to spread the word.
  • Because everyone and their mother sells.
So I ask you, the reader, what is your opinion on this?  I am leaning towards Scentsy if I do take the plunge. But I am having a hard time convincing myself that it is actually worth it in the long run.
P.S. If you sell Scentsy, can you e-mail or comment with information regarding how much you make off each sale and what taxes are each year please.

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In other news our stuff is here.. we have a demolished desk (thus I am typing this from a dresser that is a smidge to tall to be classified as a desk with a comfortable reach for the keyboard), broken dressers, smashed to a thousand pieces glass lamp.. and all I've unpacked is the kitchen. :)  But the washer and dryer inside of my house, the vacuum and the rest of my clothes is a major plus.

Hoping to finish unpacking this weekend to give a glimpse into our new world.

Always,
Amanda

Monday, August 6, 2012

I've got pictures.

Every parting is a form of death, 
as every reunion is a type of heaven. 
 ~Tryon Edwards

Pictures from my type of heaven:

Handing over the keys to the truck.



P.S. If you have/had/need my new address, please e-mail or comment. :)

Always,
Amanda