I wrote this post as a guest post on my friend Tia’s blog…Military Wife Theology 101. Her posts are much more meaningful and thoughtful than mine tend to be, so I was a bit intimidated. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So, now as our lives are in the midst of chaos known as a PCS across the country, I’m reposting here, as a reminder to myself just why it is I blog.
Thus, I’m going to share why I started my blog almost two years ago. Our family has followed my husband’s Army career through 11(now 12) moves, 3 deployments, 3 adopted kids (that’s a post for another time!), and 19 years of marriage. He’s currently recruiting in Wisconsin, which is a whole new world for us.
I admit, there was a time when I volunteered for every thing I could on post, wherever we were. Then, as our children came along, I dialed it back. A lot, I thought. I still attended Catholic Women of the Chapel, shopped at the commissary, and used the hourly care facilities on post. During my husband’s last deployment, our kids were 5, 3, and 1…so you better believe I needed and used that respite care! And of course, I’ve always been a frequent visitor to the post library.
Anyway, I felt as though I was pretty disconnected from military “dependence.” Then we unexpectedly received this assignment. Like so many, our plan was to retire at twenty years, and we even bought our “retirement home” in Washington. My husband received word of his selection for the recruiting command via a voicemail while we were closing on our home. We lived in our “forever home” for a year, then headed to Wisconsin.
I’m not complaining. Really. If we had turned down this assignment, he would have deployed for another year to Afghanistan. Retirement was no longer an option, since his unit was slated to deploy. 99 percent of the time, I love our Army lifestyle, and I was excited for the next chapter to begin, in a whole new world for us…recruiting and being away from any military installation.
I felt full of optimism when we moved in the summer of 2011. I envisioned a small town life, filled with sledding and other winter fun, and a continuation of all the social aspects of our life in the military. It was a rude awakening, to say the least. We rented a gorgeous home on five acres out in the country, but within sight of neighbors. Not too isolated, right? Wrong.
Our kids’ school is a small 4K through 8th grade country school. We love that aspect of life here. The drawback? Everyone rides the bus or parents just drive through to pick up…so there’s no social interaction with parents. I made a few friends when we moved here, but the majority don’t understand our lifestyle and seem to already have a social circle, with no desire to expand it.
We found a church we really like, but I naively assumed every civilian church would have a Bible study for women. Nope.
So you’re probably wondering where all this meandering is going. Here’s my point. I never realized how very much I depended on the military community to provide a built-in circle of support, through friendships, church, and just having a shared lifestyle. No matter what post we’ve moved to (and, by the way, we’ve only lived on post once. I felt experienced in “civilian living.”), I’ve always known people, or had mutual friends that provided new friendships, wherever we’ve moved.
After about two months here (basically when the boxes were unpacked, the hubs was back at work, and the kids were in school) I realized how very unfulfilled I felt. I realized long ago that I need social contact and a creative outlet to be happy. I was doing my best to make those social contacts, but with little success. So I decided to focus on the creative.
I’ve learned I’m a much better wife, mom, and friend when I create a little something every day, whether it’s a craft, a handmade card, photography, or simply cooking something delicious. And my blog was born.
It’s been a challenge to build my subscriber list…after all, there are about 3 million blogs out there that do the same kind of thing I do. While I would love to be the next Martha Stewart, mostly to justify never going back into the workplace, I am happy to have a forum to express myself. It’s a thrill when friends around the world comment on something I’ve made, and I know my family appreciates the change in my mood.
I know that God led us to Wisconsin and this new adventure. I see it all around me. Our church even started a Bible study for moms. Our kids are thriving, despite the oldest being diagnosed with Aspergers last summer. My husband loves what he’s doing. And I “think” we are winning the hearts and minds of the civilians! Or perhaps they are winning ours…
In any event, that’s why I started my blog. I hope you’ll stop by often to check out some recipes or crafts, or just to take a peek at our adventures.