Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back in the saddle

I really appreciated Katie's post this week about putting our hearts on the line.   It may be a really common idea, but I had never quite thought of it that way.  While our spouses are out there putting their lives on the line for the general citizenry, those of us who send them off put our hearts on the line.  It described my feelings and thoughts to a "T".

As my husband's law enforcement career winds down, I get more and more nervous that I'm going to send him off and have something horribly terrible go wrong while he's at work.  I've always been a little nervous, but at peace.  Now I think, have we come so far to just lose it all to some nutcase, right here at the end?  Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, whom Katie talks about in her post, died this week after checking out a dead deer on the side of the road.  (A fellow officer initiated a stop, where the suspect pulled over near Officer Youngstrom and eventually took Officer Youngstrom's life.  You can read all about it on the various news websites.) 

Whenever I send my guy back into the fray after hearing all the details about a line of duty death, I'm a little more nervous.  My heart races a little more.  I make sure I get an extra kiss or two before he heads out.  I repeat my mantra over and over,  "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."  Proverbs 18:10  (NIV 1984)  And I try not to eat too much ice cream.

What's your go-to method for calming the fears that find you when you aren't (or are) looking?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I'd been thinking recently about all the lingo that is new and different in the police life. Our speech has changed a bit. A while back I saw a post someone did explaining some of the lingo. Well, I've forgotten who that was (let me know and I will link up if that was you!) but I thought I'd put my own list, because there are some that are just too weird.

1. Placing everything you need in a suitcase or bag, ready to go
2. Placing the only thing you need ~ your weapon ~ in your holster of choice, typically concealed

1. The act of making something warmer
2. Your weapon

1. The number on the bill I get out of the ATM to pay for stuff
2. Your location

1. Music: from Italian sostenere, to be performed in a smooth sustained manner (I come from a hugely musical family so this is a serious problem for me!!)
2. short for "suspicious"; That guy breaking into the car is sus.

1. Short for perpetual
2. Short for perpetrator

1. The new reader books my kids like to read: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers
2. Short for Bail Out Bag, which will quite possibly never be used but must be stocked with the very best equipment ever

1. Saturday and Sunday
2. Whatever days you aren't working

1. The day that comes before Saturday and after Thursday
2. The day that comes before whatever days you aren't working

1. The day that comes after Sunday and before Tuesday
2. The first day you work after your weekend

What are your favorites?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Breaking Up Isn't Hard To Do

Dear Blog,

Although I think about you all the time, it's been about five months since I've visited you.  I've been so busy.  I know you can't really relate, seeing as how your visit count has never really been all that high.  But this blog was never about you, was it?  It was all about me.

So, as I was saying, I've been busy.  Do you remember I was pregnant with kiddie #4?  Well, I had labor pains with that baby for almost my entire third trimester.  Oh man, was that scary.  Eventually I did deliver that baby (a girl, to my utter shock!) and only a week early.  She was huge, 8 pounds 11 ounces.  That's huge for me, especially since my first kid was only 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Well anyway, thankfully I didn't almost die (like another lady in labor that day) but I sure had some damage which kept me, well, really injured for a while.  The baby had a stay in the NICU because she had some complications, too.

The best part of all that is we now have a precious, sweet little girl.  I'm almost completely healed, and for all this time my dear husband has been home helping with the kids and causing a ruckus.  He's just gone back to work, and we'll see how long he lasts.  :)

When little one (still haven't thought of a blog name for her yet.... not sure I'll need to, but we'll get to that) was about 2 weeks old we decided to move, and move we did.  It was the first time in our marriage that we moved and boy, was it painful in so many ways. But we've moved and have a temporary landing spot for now, with most of our stuff in storage.  [ED. NOTE: When you have most of your stuff in storage, don't watch Storage Wars with your kids.  They'll freak out that someone's going to sneak in and sell your stuff while you aren't paying on your unit.]

My husband wants to quit his job.  He's getting older, and I think police work just doesn't feel like his life dream.  He doesn't feel like he's making a difference in his life.  I think there are other reasons for that besides his job, but let's not digress now.  I want him to be happy, but I also want him to be paying the bills if he wants me to continue to be the primary educator in our little homeschooling family.  I was hoping his little break from work after the baby would give him some clarity on what he wants to do.  Instead, he took care of me and the kids and moved and took a three week vacation.  Not too exciting, and definitely no clarity there.

So, dear blog, it's been harder for me to get by to visit you. I guess I also don't need you as much any more.  I don't have so much angst over my husband's job, which I would ruminate on and think about via this outlet.  Although I wouldn't know what it would be like to be married to not-a-cop any more, I've finally realized I'd still have the same husband.  Sure, maybe he wouldn't have permission to carry off duty any more like he does 24/7 now (he'd be permanently off duty!), he'd still have the same personality and heightened awareness of life.  So if I'm not back too often, please don't take it personally.  It's me, not you.

Handcuffed Heart

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recently overheard...

We had popcorn and game night at our house recently, where I am usually responsible for the "popcorn" part and not so much the game part. This particular evening it was video game night. While I was tending to something popcorn related, my husband was helping my 7-year-old get the hang of the archery game.

"After you release the arrow, just hold steady. It's just like shooting a gun." Or something like that. I forget the exact piece of advice (maybe that's why my time at the shooting range is not ever that impressive).

Now when has our seven year old ever shot a gun!?? Never.... But considering the source of the advice, I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Found this floating around the internet recently ~ and oh, my, did it speak to my heart. Even if you aren't a believer in the Big Guy Upstairs, I think we can all agree that courage is a necessary ingredient in a life as a significant other to a police officer.

Dear God,
Give me COURAGE, for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need COURAGE as I witness my husband's departure for duty each day.
I need COURAGE as I see him put on his uniform because I know the abuse that perhaps he will be subjected to before he returns from his tour of duty.
I need COURAGE in dealing with the children when he is working long hours during demonstrations or on an investigation.
I need COURAGE when tensions buildup on the job and pressures at home to mount and life becomes almost too much to bear.
I need COURAGE to stand firm and not to succumb to the urge to run away from problems.
Help me to have the strength to be a COURAGEOUS and Valiant Woman, when I learn from the media that a "police officer's been hurt."
The next time I waver or grow faint-hearted, Help me, O Divine Master, to be COURAGEOUS.
And, having found the source of strength in You, Help me to reach out to others, who may be just as scared as I.


Prayer given at the DC Police Wives Installation Dinner, on June 15, 1973, by Reverend R. Joseph Dooley.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Control What You Can

We've spent the first seven weeks of 2012 being enmeshed in a crazy new schedule with crazy new stress at my husband's department. Our computer has been at the computer hospital for a few weeks so I have been relegated to "connecting" via my smart phone. "Relegated"? Since when did society become so entitled? But I digress...

I've been through the whole shift change thing enough times to know that you just have to let it happen to you. You can't force it, you can't make it be something it is not or something you are not. You just have to go with the flow. I'm not like that. I like a plan. I can go with the flow when there is a plan in place. (Don't you roll your eyes at me!) So in the first seven weeks of being back to graves after almost three years off and major, huge stress at work for my husband, I'm getting my butt kicked.

In the eight years of our marriage, I have never once sat down for three hours straight and "discussed" my husband's job with him. Sure, I hear plenty of stories every day, but I don't get three hours of straight entertainment. And it's happening regularly now. The stress and frustration and irritation are oozing out of him and pouring over the rest of us at home. He's trying to not let it, but... it happens.

With all this background (and does anyone even remember I'm still busy building lungs, bones, and vital organs?!?!), it should come as no surprise that we had a day of "intense fellowship" this weekend. He was angry. I was hurt. I got angry. And it never got resolved. Some of it just can't be resolved right now. There is all this crap, serious C-R-A-P floating around in our lives and it seems so overwhelming.

Now that I'm at this point, I don't care anymore. As my friends keep badgering me -- in the nicest way possible, I'm sure -- "When are you going to buy a bigger car? When are you going to move from your 700 sq ft house to a bigger house since you're going to have four kids?" I've hit on, "I don't care any more." Of course I care, but I'm beyond worrying about it. The most amazing revelation someone once gave me was that YOU cannot make ME feel anything I don't want to feel. You can't make me feel dumpy, sloppy, stupid, or ugly, unless I give you permission. In all of this, I WILL CONTROL WHAT I CAN. I can control how I respond. And that's about it.

Every situation, and every dilemma I encounter, presents me with a choice. Will I get my panties in a bunch and freak out, or will I put on my big girl boots with a good attitude? Talk to a friend who has no job. No food in the cupboards. An eight-year battle with ovarian cancer. My choice to do the best with what I have and not throw a temper tantrum seems much more clear cut.

Of course this weekend I absolutely did not follow this advice, and what a waste of time and energy that was.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dear Officers On The Corner

Dear Officers on the corner,

I write to commend you on your handling of the crazy man in front of the cafe last week. I was out running errands in town with my three young children when they excitedly noticed the two police cars with lights and sirens pulling up to the curb nearby. There was a man in handcuffs screaming about being unjustly cuffed. A nearby employee mentioned he's a regular. As in, regularly in cuffs. There were four officers handling the situation, and the man was screaming.

I was very impressed that none of the officers were yelling back at this obviously disturbed man. I was impressed that they weren't joking with each other, or casting sideways sneers his way. Thank you for handling this man, who many would consider the dregs of society, with respect and dignity. I know there is no reason you should except for the goodness of your heart. I also know most of that goodness is tested, banged, and tarnished every day by those whom you serve, and deign to tell you that they pay your salary.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for an awesome OB/GYN who listens to my baby's racing heartbeat (a perfect 140) and says "That is one of the best sounds in the world."

I'm thankful for good health insurance.

I'm thankful for little baby feet stomping on my bladder.

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thankful... but I need some help

I was inspired by Katie over at My Daily Bread Crumbs to get back into my habit of posting my Thankful Thursday musings. It was a good habit for me to be in, to actually practice mindful thankfulness and be willing to look for the good in my life regularly.

Anyway Thankful Thursday came and went this week. oops.
This week I was thankful for our car. It is comfy, it works, and I never worry about it. It's reliable and wonderful, and unfortunately too small to cart around four kids. We bought the smallest car seats we could find (Sunshine Kids, now officially Diono) so we could fit three across in the back seat. They fit. Barely. So I'll be happy to move up to a larger car (I guess?) but I sure will miss this car. I am so thankful it has been so good to us all these years.

I'm also thankful for my husband's job. But he's gone back to graveyards and I'm forgetting how to make it all work. Including myself going to bed at a regular, normal time. :) So I'm asking for help -- what are your tips and tricks for making graves work in your family?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Works For Me Wednesday -- Soap

In light of my ever-hopeful-hope that we will move from our tiny place with an impending fourth child moving in, I've been trying to declutter and really use up things from my stockpile.  One thing I have not used in a long, long time is bar soap. I was an original convert to shower gel and liquid handsoap (FREE of triclosan, thankyouverymuch).  No bar soap for me!

However, one of the items in my stockpile that has grown is bar soap.  I don't use it, so I wouldn't buy it, but wouldn't you know there is plenty of it in our closet!?  It's come from gifts and gift sets, and I decided now was the time to use it all up.  So the kids have been using it and it's going well.  It's totally not as gross or icky as I had made it out to be in my mind.  However, being the frugalista that I am, I want to know:


I have an answer for you.  I tossed them in the bottom of one of the foaming handsoap pumps I'd saved for refills, added some water, and voila!  It "works for me" -- not just on Wednesdays, but every day.  And wouldn't you know, the kids prefer the bar soap over the foaming soap!?!? 

What do you do with the leftover tiny slivers of bar soap?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Well Hello There, 2012!

Happy New Year.  I guess I have to say that, although considering I'm still stuck in November 2011 as evidenced by the fact that it has been about six weeks since I last posted.... well, I'm in a bit of a quandary as to how to welcome 2012. 

We have had a glorious holiday season.  DH had much of December off, and we spent more time than I can remember in recent memory laughing, giggling, and having a wonderful time.  But all good things must come to an end.  School and work start up again next week and already the stress and "police mentality" is creeping back in.  While I'm so grateful for the wonderful, wonderful time we have had together, I'm also battling the "What if's..?" in hard-core style. 

It doesn't help that we're starting the new year with a bang -- literally -- in the law enforcement community.  I follow a variety of law enforcement related facebook pages, and after reading about the three deaths across the country on this first day of the year, I ran across this status update from Wives Behind The Badge: "We're following the story in Washington and will post the official notification when it is available. Sending prayers to all involved."

That made me so mad.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I'm so tired of "following the story" of the crazies in the world that think it's open season on our law enforcement officers.  Mostly, I think it's that I don't want to be part of the next story y'all are following.  So when DH comes home all angry and burned out and treating us like we are suspects on the verge of running and in need of incarceration, I'm very inclined to encourage him to go get that job at Starbucks.  I sure would work less at not worrying. And maybe we would all be -- albeit poorer -- a lot happier.