Monday, June 29, 2009


We have had some awful storms this summer season. I am from the South and have weathered many tropical storms, hurricanes, and thunderstorms. Our weather has been consistently bad the entire summer with hardly a break to be found.

The Man took The Boy to speech around 4ish today. I started supper when I knew they were heading home. By the time 5:15 p.m. rolled around, the weather went from a decent day to wild.

We were eating supper while warily looking out the windows at the rain that was so heavy, we couldn't see the street in front of our home. The winds were blowing so hard the faint shadows of the trees outside looked like they were bending in half.

I might have mentioned to The Man a time or two that maybe we should head to the bathroom with all it's windowless glory. You could say I was just a tiny bit on the nervous side.

Paige was sitting to my right at the supper table and on the other side of her was my cell phone. I asked her to hand it to me.

I proceeded to put it in my bra, nestled ever so nicely.

Paige raised an eyebrow and asked me why did I just do that?

I responded:

"Well, if I get blown to Oz? I need a way to call you to come pick me up."

The storm has passed for the moment, and the cell phone is on the table beside me. I think Paige thinks I have finally gone around the bend. It's good to keep your kids guessing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moving steady forward

First off, as of yesterday (June 21st), I have been smoke free for one solid month. A whole month without a cigarette. When I decided to quit, I honestly didn't know if I'd make it one day, much less a month. Is it getting easier? Sure. The habit is getting broken hour by hour as I find other things to fill my time. I'm not craving the nicotine per se, although I have the occasional day dream of the drug hitting my brain and the soothing goodness that comes from it. I don't ever want to pick up the habit again. It costs too much financially and health-wise. I miss it, God KNOWS I miss it. I still have to make the decision NOT to smoke every single day, some times every single hour. Maybe I always will.

On to current thoughts and such, my will power was surely tested this weekend. Since The Man and I decided that he should retire this upcoming November, we've been put on a roller coaster ride of MASSIVE proportions. I love a good roller coaster, mind you, but it's been a while since I've ridden one. I've gone along with the ride for the most part. I've planned the reception for his ceremony and got that taken care of. I'm not stressing a bit over that part.

This weekend, out of nowhere, I got hit with a sucker punch.

It hit me that I may have to uproot my family and take them to yet another new place to live. I don't want to do that. I'll be honest and up front with you.


These are things I CAN do but DON'T want to do:

1. Find a decent school district and put my children in different schools where I know no person that works there.

2. Find new doctors(family doc, psychiatrist, psychologist) that will provide quality care for my family.

3. Find another OB/GYN for my personal needs.

4. Find a new dentist for all of us.

5. Find a new church that will fill my family's spiritual needs. (This should really be first.)

6. Find my way around a new town.

7. Map another route back to South Carolina to my parents house.

8. Realize that if I am over 35 miles away from my family, they won't come visit. Ever.

I just about melted on the floor. I got so angry and mad about the whole entire deal. For once, I want it to be easy. It's nothing but work work work all the fricken time. While I know my husband would be there with us and not out to sea this time, I still have to do this crap because he's going to be starting a new job. I know it's my job as The Wife and The Mama to make all this stuff magically happen, but I just want a durn break, ya know?

I feel so old. I'm not some starry eyed new military wife looking for the next adventure. That's not how I roll. I love stability. I love knowing my place where I am. This just isn't me.

But, I have no choice. Thanks to a plummeting economy, we will have to go where my husband can find a decent job to take care of a family of five. Trust me, you can't live off a retirement check.

Right this moment, I'm just depressed/upset/sad/mad/tired over what I'm going to have to deal with in the next six months. Whatever and where ever God sends us, I'll make do because that's just what I do.

I just need a little bit of time to wallow in the pool of crap I'm in so I can get it over with, put my big girl panties on, and deal with it.

......and I quit smoking???

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Banner Day it was!!!

Well, Sir, we had us one fine day here at The Edge yesterday. I know some of you are my friend over at the face of book, so you're on top of it, but I saved the pictures for the blog...cause that's how I roll.

Paige reached the fine age of 15 back in April of this year. That, of course, qualifies her to go get her learner's permit and start driving. Sister was not able to go get that piece of coveted plastic because her grades just weren't up to par. The Man and I laid down the law and told her all classes had to be passed with an 85 or greater at the end of year in order for her to drive. She wasn't too thrilled with that edict, but she prevailed and had the grades in the end.

We went to the DMV (ok, this is what I've always called it- DMV- Department of Motor Vehicles) the last week in May for her to get that learner's permit.

It didn't happen.

She aced the signs and was told she wouldn't have to take that again. My poor kid. She was so stressed from those last two weeks of school and anxiety reared it's ugly head when she sat down at the computer to take the test. I told her many people have to take it again and that I knew she would ace it because now she knew what to expect. She was bummed and I can't say I blame her.

I decided that she would wait a week or so before trying again. She was starting a new job that really needed her focus. Plus, she needed to study the book a little more. Ya know, making decisions like this...the ones that upset your tough. She didn't like it as she wanted to go right back and try again, but Mama won and she waited until things settled down a little bit.

Yesterday was the day! I picked her up from work so we could head to see Rose (I told you the whole family is partaking of the counseling). Afterwards, we made our way to the DMV. This time The Boy was with us. He was as good as he could be while Sissy took her test. She really took her time and when she needed help, the lady working there was more than happy to help. Apparently, if people have a hard time comprehending what the question is, the ladies who work there can offer assistance. Good deal.

Next thing I know? My girl is doing the happy dance (literally) as she waits to take her picture for her brand new learner's permit!

I remembered when I got mine....oh, around 23 years ago. Wow. I knew exactly how she was feeling. It's like your first real step to independence is in your hands. It is something you accomplish all on your own. Your parents can only stand in the background offering support. Although, I had to take my test on a paper and wait for them to grade it and she immediately knew as the computer flashed up the "You Passed!" on the screen.

Of course, I took some pictures. You didn't think I would let you down, did you?

Why, yes I did go right on up to the counter and take a picture of my child. The lady looked at me and I replied, "It's for the blog." She said it was no problem and that led me to believe that I'm not the first parent to do this.

I just wanted to cry! I was about to bust wide open because she was just so incredibly happy in this moment.

Is this not the best picture? I know you can remember this moment, when you could FINALLY take the wheel legally!

She wanted to drive home and I nixed that idea quick. We would have to drive past the interstate and all the traffic that surrounds it. She was a good sport and didn't complain, she just texted all her friends like crazy the whole way home.

When we got in base housing, I pulled over to let her take the wheel. YaY!!! Talked about thrilled. I knew base housing would be a good place to start. Very little traffic, 25 m.p.h., and lots of stop signs! She did pretty good but decided that the Tahoe was too big. I told her she's going to learn to drive it and when she does? She'll be able to drive anything! We might have had a tense moment or two when she turned too wild and my voice went up a few octaves telling her to slow down, but we made it through.

Drive on, Baby Girl! I'm so proud of you!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Working Girl

My baby girl got herself a job for the summer! A bona fide, paid by the hour, taxes taken out job. Our base here has a teen summer work program for ages 14-16. The teens have to put in an application like any other DOD (Department of Defense) worker and go through the interview process. She walked in with full confidence to that interview and hasn't looked back.

She was pretty sure she was going to end up working at the CDC (Child Development Center). All her references were child care related and she was okay with that. How surprised she was to find she was going to be working at the TVQ (Transient Visitors Quarters- like a hotel on base) at the front desk.

She is also glad she goes to church on a regular basis because she has to dress up for this job. No denim or tennis shoes are allowed at the front desk. Miss Coty sure saved the day because of all the cute clothes she passed on when she purged her closet before moving up North. I'm also glad that the dress clothes I've bought her are getting some use instead of gathering dust in her closet. How happy I am that I've always dressed my children up on a regular basis. My girls are just as comfortable in a dress/skirt as they are in jeans.

Each morning she gets up to make a fresh gallon of sweet tea. I have enforced that she will be taking her lunch and not buying it as that will burn up her money quick like. She has a big cup of tea "to go" along with a 32 oz. container so she can sip all day at work. I love that she went shopping with me at the commissary last week and bought a majority of her own food to take to work. She packs up her little frozen meal she purchased with her own money or the left overs from the previous night's meal in a cute bag and off to work she goes.

Every evening we get to hear all about her exciting day. This has been declared the BEST SUMMER EVAH with memories to last a lifetime. We have some Brits visiting and Paige is thoroughly enjoying being flirted with and listening to that British accent. The older ladies who work with her are very protective and cast the evil eye on many who flirt with my child. Paige declares all the time she can't help that she looks 21...and she really can't. It wears those of us protecting her virtue clean out! I threatened to have a shirt made that says "I AM A MINOR" across her chest for those pervs that abound out there.

Soon she will be certified to work the front desk. I'm not sure what that really means, but she is excited over it. She has plans that when we move, if we are near an interstate or large town, she will have an "in" for a job in the hotel industry to see her through high school and college. I'm pretty sure she will be writing her resume soon.

Right now her short range goals include getting a laptop. She is searching and price comparing very seriously to get the very best bang for her buck. Money is being saved for her cell phone upgrade in September so she can get whatever her little gadget heart desires.

I am so proud of her I can't hardly stand it. Sure, she's tired in the evenings and sometimes grouchy. She was scared at first and thought something was wrong because she would come home and sleep every day. I laughed and said she was just tired from working! Paige has now come to the conclusion that being cheery and a people person is flat out exhausting. Whew. (Those of you who know her can totally see her saying that.)

She's a good kid. I'm tough on her and expect a lot out of her. She delivers.

That's my girl.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quitting the Habit

I've had a few people email, call, and text asking me how I quit smoking.

I quit?

Well, I haven't lit a cigarette in 20 days and put it to my lips. Hold on a second while I daydream about inhaling, would you?

I think I'm going to be like an alcoholic. I will have to wake up every day telling myself I will not smoke that day. I don't look ahead a week, month, or year. I want to succeed each day.

I didn't wake up one morning and say NO MORE. I am the type person that I have to come around to my way of thinking. I have to contemplate it for a while. I have to get bronchitis and do breathing treatments to breathe. I have to cough all night from the bronchitis to the point I gag.

My biggest fear in life is that I will die before my children are grown. See, no one can raise them better than I can. No one can love them like I can. I pray every day to God that He PLEASE let me live to raise my children. After that? Anything I get will be gravy and a lottery won.

I really wasn't helping the Big Guy any with the smoking. I wasn't a heavy pack or two a day smoker...but what does that matter when you have asthma. Asthma didn't bother me when I was young because I was invincible and all that rot. Since we moved to the Bermuda Triangle of Allergies here in Georgia, I have fought that cursed asthma like a fiend. It got to where I knew every time I lit up, I was doing some major damage up in the lungs. How could I ask God to let me live and raise my children when I was steady killing myself every time I lit a cigarette?

The last time I went to the doctor for bronchitis and/or sinus infection (a little over a month ago), Dr. Rude gave me a run for my money. He immediately referred me out for the Smoking Cessation program we have on base. What? I didn't know such a thing existed! I got the letter in the mail and nurse called. I wasn't rude, but I wasn't as nice as a Southern gal should be. I made an appointment to go in and "just listen" to what she said.

I showed up for my appointment. While the nurse assisted a person ahead of me, I started reading the posters on the wall. You know the ones...where you see graphic pictures of bad lungs and sad faced children. Ugh. Until this point, I had started weaning down the number of cigarettes I was smoking a day, but I just wasn't ready to quit. Not quite yet. This was on a Tuesday.

I was surprised to learn that I didn't smoke enough to qualify for the heavy duty starter nicotine patch. The nurse told me to start the second step patch, along with some nicotine gum and see how it went. I am the type person who will talk a subject to death when I got it on the mind. She was so patient and answered or argued every point I made. She said she would see me in a week. Right.

I headed out the door with no set game plan but armed. I knew I had a new pack at home and that box of patches beside me.

I decided to finish the new pack and be done with it. I smoked all Tuesday afternoon and evening. I smoked all day Wednesday and into the evening. I savored each cigarette and I thought about what I was getting ready to undertake.

Thursday morning I woke up and slapped a patch on.

I know me. I know I could not break the mental and physical addiction both at one time. For those of you who quit cold turkey? God Bless You! You are amazing and I am humbled by your strength.

I had to break the habit first. As the day wore on, I got antsy. I NEEDED that cigarette in my hand. I made myself stop. Literally get still. I asked myself was I having withdrawals from the nicotine or was I missing the cigarette. Mental check. Nope, I was cool with the nicotine part. I wanted the cigarette.

I got busy. I've scrubbed counters. I've done laundry. I've cooked.

All I know is I am tired of fighting myself!

It has gotten easier. I know that I will always fight the urge to light one up. Every day that I don't will be the ultimate success for me.

Today I went to visit the nurse. I was given the final step down patch. I am going to make a tentative goal to be nicotine free within three weeks. I'm right excited about that, to be honest.

I have been warned that food will taste so much better. Lord, that was never broken to begin with and I surely don't want it fixed to be better!

I've always hated the smell of cigarettes. I look forward to hating it ten times more. How could I smoke if I hated the smell so bad? What can I say...the habit was stronger than my sense of smell.

My blood pressure has gone down around 14 points on the bottom. I was borderline hypertensive and was starting to concern the doctor. I am working on my cholesterol now. Healthy is my goal.

I have so many thoughts left to share, but I'll leave it for now. If you want to quit, you can. Is it hard? OH MY GOODNESS YES. I have been blessed to have amazing support with family and friends and there is nothing I'd rather do than pass that on to someone else. You need support? I'm your gal.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Catch Up Thoughts

Since I was battling the addiction at the time, I didn't get to post anything about Memorial Day. We went to church the Sunday before and I have to tell you, it was just the best morning for me.

I'm sure you realize we live in a military town. The churches here are very supportive of the men and women who serve our country- past and present. That morning was no exception.

The Man and I were sitting there before service watching the people filter in and find seats...chatting with those we knew. I saw this elderly gentleman come down the aisle with a snazzy red sports coat on. On it, was a patch signifying his having been a Marine. His gray hair was slicked back with little tufts sticking out here and there. The elderly women greeted him with smiles and hugs. I started grinning because there was four elderly women dressed in their Sunday finest....fawning over this gentleman. Hugging him, smiling ever so sweetly, literally gushing. There he was, basking in the adoration and soaking it in...preening like he was fresh out of boot camp. You know what they say: Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Our choir did the Armed Forces medley, where the songs are sung from each branch of service. If you've never seen this, you have truly missed a treat. I've seen it once before and it never fails to touch me, make my chin tremble, and bring a tear to the eye. As each branch's song is sung, it is asked that those have served or is serving for that branch to stand up and be recognized.

Oh my.

I can't tell you how amazing it is to see men and women stand up when "their song" is being sung. To see young people in their first years of service, to my husband about to hit twenty years, to the elderly hanging onto the pew in front of them for balance (yet proudly standing) just touches my entire heart.

Before I married my husband, the military was something I knew about. I knew that many of the guys headed to Myrtle Beach and we gals sure loved to say hello to them when passing them on the Boulevard back in the day.

To live with someone on a daily basis who has dedicated their lives to service of our county has been an eye opener. It has made my love for my country grow by leaps and bounds. We spouses of active duty members are told all the time that we, too, serve our country. I guess so. I don't feel like I've done anything special. I love The Man. The Man loves God, his Country, and me. (I promise the list is much longer.) I'm kind of hoping that I'll move up a notch come the end of the year. We'll see.

I apologize for this post being late, but I don't think it hurts to remember those who have served our Country and gave their all. I honestly don't think one day is enough to cover it.

All I know is that it was a very special Sunday morning where God and Country co-existed beautifully in a Baptist Church in a small coastal town.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Right Way to Say it

You just gotta work with me here, Internets. I've composed this post at least four times and sent it to the draft folder. I just couldn't find a way to put it the right way. It's personal. It's a struggle. It's flat out hard.

I quit smoking.

I am going into my third week with no cigarette. I am empowered. I can breathe.

I could eat one- filter and all. Lighter optional.

This is the hardest thing I've done.

I think I'd rather give birth ten times WITHOUT drugs than go through this again. (I've done the birth thing with a big headed baby, so I know.)

I found myself composing this long post about how I smoked and don't judge me and I have an addictive personality and smoking was my addiction. I found myself getting all defensive and literally arguing the more I typed. Who was I arguing with? I have no idea. I think that was around the time I was going into day 5 where I was thoroughly pissed over the whole thing.

I have still grieving my habit. It's the death (literally and figuratively) of a long relationship.

I told you in previous posts I was taking baby steps towards better health. Well, this wasn't a baby step. It was a LEAP off of a mountain.

Around day 7, I found myself crying for alcoholics and drug addicts. My habit was small scale compared to theirs, but I GET IT. For those of you beating your habit daily? I GET IT. I pray for you. I pray for me.

My house is much cleaner as I find myself keeping busy so I don't think about how I would love to light one up and enjoy five minutes of "me time". No, I didn't smoke up in my home, but I had designated smoking areas. I avoid those areas now. I scrub counters instead.

I am trying to keep food from being a replacement. For those of you who have seen me lately? You KNOW that is the last thing I need to do. So add in walking past the closed pantry in there along with no cigs.

Day 10 found me contemplating nerve pills a little bit more seriously. I composed another post that was full of the "Woe is Me" stuff. Ugh. I got to delete that one. I'm the only one who's read it but it embarrasses me.

I do still ask that you don't judge me. I am still fragile and fighting this day by day. Yes, it's gotten easier. I told just a few people I was going to do this. Neighbor Debbie and Chelle (both blogs to the right) stepped up and started sending encouraging text messages. The first week? I got a text message about every hour. These two ladies don't know each other but their wavelength was amazing. It was like they alternated hours and I'd get that text message and appreciate it so much. "You can do this!" "I'm so proud of you!" "Cowgirl up!" <--Neighbor Debbie. Each one was needed and loved. Neighbor Debbie is down to around two texts a day. She's a former smoker. She knows. God bless those of you- the family and friends who knew- who have supported me doing this.

I'm typing this fast and going to post after a quick spell check because I love my blog. This has been keeping me from blogging and doing something I love because my focus HAD to be all on quitting. I'm starting to have ideas again to post about but I needed to post this first.

Okay, I just sighed really big.

Done. Now you know how it's really going at The Edge.

Bring on Week 3!!!!!!!!!!!