Reintegration

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My hubby finally comes home today! This was yet another 2 week deployment and he was gone an extra 6 days because of Joaquin – side note: I am so proud of the efforts of our Coast Guard!

I’ll be the first to admit: I don’t handle Joe coming back well.

Not that I don’t love my husband. I miss him like crazy! I cannot wait to see him! I hate sleeping alone and end up staying awake past midnight almost every night he’s gone. I freak out over every little noise, sure someone is breaking into the house. Then I troubleshoot how I am going to get to the other side of the house to get Jackson. What happens if I have to shoot an intruder who is standing in between me and Jackson? Do I shoot with Jackson’s room behind him?? Oh, maybe it was nothing…back to Candy Crush to take my mind off of it.

Then there is the whole single parenting thing – it’s not easy and I commend every parent raising kiddos on their own. Jackson is working on his last three teeth, so he’s been a little fussy. It’s also been the month of throw it on the ground and say “uh-oh” over and over until Mom picks it up. FUN.

I don’t ever go work out because I feel silly asking someone to watch Jackson so I can get to the gym.

I don’t like cooking for one person. (or for 1 1/2 people)

I hate taking the trash out.

I don’t like doing the last sweep through the house at night, checking all the doors, and turning on the alarm.

But still, I have a hard time letting Joe back in.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’m pretty independent. Joe’s deployments are just long enough for me to figure out how to function without him. I get a routine down. Survival mode turns into “okay, I’ve got this.”

Then Joe comes home and suddenly his shoes are where he always puts them. The chair he sits on to take them off is pulled out from the table and not put back. He lets the dog out and doesn’t lock it when he lets her back in and we end up sleeping all night with the back door unlocked! I give Jackson a bath like I do every night, but now I’m spending it frustrated that Joe isn’t helping. (even though I didn’t ask for help)

Suddenly cheese and wine, or a bowl of Cheerios isn’t an appropriate dinner. Then I have to make dinner, then clean up afterwards. I seriously think I might have run the dishwasher 4 times while Joe was gone for 3 weeks. And I had people over twice. (Speaking of dinner, I need to get to the grocery store)

Joe really does like things tidy – and is way cleaner than I am by far – so I can’t leave my clothes on the bathroom floor. And for some reason, it frustrates him when I use my sink as a laundry basket/junk drawer and use his sink to brush my teeth. I realize there are clothes all over the house somehow and that I probably need to downgrade the toys.

Then when I do ask Joe for help…

He doesn’t do it right.

I mean, how self focused can I be? I spend the entire time he’s gone missing him. Then he comes home and I spend my time judging him and resenting him.

I recently had this conversation in my mind deciding that I am going to make our bed every single day. Here’s how it went:

Me: Well, if I’m going to make the bed every day, Joe is going to have to make his side when he gets up. He likes to push the sheets down and messes up everything, so he will definitely have to make his side of the bed. And not wake me up while doing it.

God: Or you could just serve him.

Me: Gosh Lauren, you are so selfish. (in the tone of that one Veggie Tales show)

The day Joe left, I had my small group start praying that reintegration would go well this time around. I want my husband to come home and feel home, feel loved, feel missed. I wouldn’t want to be loved the way I love my hubby sometimes. I want to love him well.

Anyone else have a hard time with reintegration?

3 Dinners

It’s not fair. Not even a little bit.

My husband eats at least 3 dinners. EVERY DAY! He’s like a hobbit on steroids eating third supper…

I guess it might be two snacks and a dinner, but come on!

Cutes eats dinner 1 in the afternoon around an hour or two before dinner. (yogurt and cheese stick, chips, apple and banana – I know these are snacks, but I’m using them to prove my point.)

Cutes eats dinner 2 that I make him (or leftovers) around 6. This is usually at least a sandwich. 🙂  Or more like a hamburger, veggies, chips and salsa or something along those lines. Spaghetti if he’s lucky!

Cutes eats dinner 3 around 9 or so every night. (bowl of cereal, pb&j, ice cream and an apple – this is more like a meal than a snack in my opinion!)

How in the world am I supposed to stay thin when this man is constantly eating around me?!?!?

Dear Jesus, please let my children get their father’s genes.

Wuv, Twoo Wuv…

Our love story happened pretty fast, so I thought I’d share it!

After Cutes Proposed!
Caution: Love story ahead!

Growing up, I had some twisted idea of what falling in love would look like. For me, I didn’t really want that one moment. Sure, I wanted someone to sweep me off my feet, but I dreamed of someone I would know forever that would turn into my forever. I wanted us both to remember childhood, middle school, high school, and college together.

After graduating high school, I realized that I would probably marry someone I would know throughout college. I would be able to fill him in on my high school experiences. We wouldn’t be able joke and laugh about a certain prom or epic basketball playoff game, but I could tell him and we would make college experiences together.

When my grandmother passed away my first semester of college, I was devastated. One thing that really hurt is that if I didn’t marry someone I already knew, my future husband wouldn’t know how awesome my Grandma Mitzi was. I couldn’t even imagine sharing the rest of my life with someone who never got to meet my grandma. Isn’t it funny how little things like that stick with you?

Over the next couple years, between finishing college, graduating, getting my first job, teaching and coaching it seemed like everyone was getting married. I truly believed the Lord would bring my forever best friend, but it wasn’t an easy wait. I lived by myself my first two years teaching – both in different towns. I had the blues. Seriously, I had two inside cats!

On my wedding day before walking me down the aisle, my father said something to the effect of, “it wasn’t too long ago you were crying and sad because everyone was getting married. Now it is your turn.”

In August 2010, one of my dearest friends from childhood got married. Kate and I had known each other from middle school. Our families would go to Fiesta Texas (sorry, it’s call Six Flags now!) together when we were younger. I vaguely recognized her younger, yet surprisingly handsome, younger brother. I guess I never payed him any attention! Kate and I had always thought it would be cool to be sisters and tried to entertain any though of marrying into each others families.

Setting up before her wedding, I remember Kate yelling across the room to Joe that he should just propose to get me in the family. He claims he didn’t hear her, and that’s why his, “What??” response sounded funny, but I thought he was acting appalled! I made the comment that he didn’t have to sound so offended!

He eventually contacted me through Facebook and we sent messages after messages. He asked if he could call me sometime, which evolved to skyping. I remember getting the Facebook message that had the big question: Do you want to see if this can be more than friendship? I was having a hard time getting past the fact that I was spending so much time talking to my best friend’s kid brother!

When Cutes came home for Thanksgiving break, I picked him up at the airport. The more I get to know him, the more I realize what happened in the middle of baggage claim wasn’t out of character at all! He said hi, gave me a hug, then I heard the words, “now this is gonna happen.” He threw me over his shoulder and started spinning around. He told me he wouldn’t put me down until I said I would be his girlfriend. I decided to listen to the random old lady walking by that told me I better say yes fast!

For anybody wondering – it is not easy dating a man at a military academy. They seriously have no time! They definitely don’t have time to text just because they were thinking of you, let alone to spend more than 8 minutes on the phone at night before bed!

I hated being in Texas while Cutes was in Connecticut, but we made it work. We were intentional with what we were talking about. We both had the same goal – to get married if that was part of God’s plan.

I knew by Christmas.   🙂

I went to visit Cutes for Easter weekend and let me tell ya – it was a really good Good Friday! Now knowing the other side of the story, Cutes had literally gotten the diamond set on the ring hours before putting it on my finger. He had made up this crazy game where you flipped over a bucket, grabbed the football underneath, then turned and passed it to your partner. You were competing against another pair. Somehow he distracted me while his brothers stashed the ring under the bucket instead of a football. He distracted me playing a competitive game – how smart…

The pictures are pretty funny – Joe kneeling behind me while I’m still looking for the dang football, completely oblivious to the bling bling!

Looking for the football!
Looking for the football!
I was surprised!
I was surprised!

God opened up a window for us to get married in August 2011 between his summer assignment and flight school. We were fortunate it fell during a time his two brothers could make it before heading back to the Coast Guard Academy.

So, as it turns out, God brought me someone I did kind of know for most of my life. Even though Cutes and I didn’t go to the same school ever, our families knew each other and every once in awhile we find some crazy memory we both recollect!

God is the most faithful person I have ever met.