Monday, February 25, 2019

Dave's Last Week as a Soldier

Congratulations Flower, you made it! I've been along on this ride with you for 23 of your 33 years in the military and there are just not words for how proud of you I am. Starting out with 4 years in the Navy, and transitioning to the Army, living through multiple deployments, big and small, you served our country with pride and the spirit of a true patriot. 

I remember after we married and the post 9/11 conflict erupted, I was asked to speak at a service club in Alameda. I recall sharing that you were a Tanker and laughing, "Who gets out of high school and becomes a Tanker? I'm not sure there is a big calling for tank drivers." And I wasn't far off because when you did deploy, it was with an Infantry unit! Talk about Murphy's Law! We were some of the lucky ones because you came home in one piece and we were able to get back to building our fairytale life, and in so many respects, it is just that!

So now you head into retirement from the military and on to another career that has yet to be determined. I know you will find something you enjoy doing and it won't be a big deal as you really just need to do it until Mason graduates in 2022 and we pack up the dogs and head to North Carolina. You did what few people today can do, you retired from more than 20 years of active duty service to collect a retirement and VA disability. I love you and I love the life we create each day together. Happy Military Retirement! Now get ready for the party on March 2nd...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Valentines Day Cookies

I love baking and decorating cookies, and not just at Christmastime. My Valentines Day cookies are fast becoming some of my favorites. This year I did Bernese Mountain Dog cookies and they turned out super cute if I do say so myself. What do you think?

I have also been writing Month of Love posts on my social media. I had the idea several years ago to write a tribute to my friends appreciating them and sharing how we met and some of my most favorite stories. I've been spending the month of February doing just that. I have each of them posted on my Intentional Winning in Life blog if you are interested. I went passed 28 days and I think I will write a few more to sprinkle into March. It is wonderful to see how blessed I am with the people in my life and it will be awesome for Mason to have as a point of reference about the people I love and loved, who they were, how I met them, and why they were and are important to me. Happy Month of Love that I happen to think should be every month!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Celebrating My Month Of Love

Looking back through the years, this is a small smattering our our Valentines Days. Dave is an exceptional man when it comes to courting, love, and tradition. He loves holidays and takes every opportunity to show us how important we are to him, all holidays included. 
Do you want to know his secret to being such a great gift-giver? He listens and remembers. He hears us comment or admire something, or note something we want to accomplish and then he waits. Sometimes he just makes it happen for no reason at all, and there you have it. He cooks for us, one year I planned a romantic getaway to Somerset, and I typically make his Valentine. Several are pictured, Mutts Comics is our favorite, and the other I had custom printed. Yes indeed, I married an amazing man and I thank my lucky stars every day that he loves me. 
Through February I have been posting about the people in my life that I love. I've been hashtagging #MonthOfLove and I want to share day 14 with you. 
Day 14 in the Month of Love is pretty special, in fact, I think everyone thought it would be Dave but no, it’s Mason. I chose Valentine’s Day for Mason for a number of reasons, first, he was so wanted and conceived in love. I miscarried three times, once in Key West, before Mason “stuck,” that was no fun! So when we stayed pregnant, we were both over the moon. Secondly, Mason taught me that when I thought I couldn’t love any bigger than I love Dave, my heart grew fifty-two sizes! It sounds so cliche’ to say, “Just when you think you can’t love one ounce more, along comes your baby and WOW!” Finally, on this particular day, our society places so much emphasis on couples love, having another person to make you feel like you are not the fifth wheel, I want Mason to break free of those ideas and realize that he is whole just being him.
When you find a partner that you love spending your time with, enjoy all the holidays, have fun and celebrate with a kiss at midnight, flowers, cookies, dinner’s out, shamrocks, colored eggs, American Flags, pumpkins, turkeys, and Christmas trees. But even if you are not in love, celebrate those same things with your friends, even the kiss!! I want Mason to know that his sense of who he is, what makes him feel whole is up to him, he does not need another person to do those things for him.
So today I celebrate my big love for Mason, who he is, what he brings to Dave and me in our family, and how proud of him we both are. He’s a normal 15-year-old kid, he plays video games, doesn’t think he should have a bedtime, is doing some things I don’t like, and feels like he is more grown-up than he really is. I remember feeling that way, I was sure at 16 I could move out on my own and make my own way. Thank God my mom dug her heels in and did not let me, I would have been back at her door with my tail between my legs in less than 30 days! Mason is far better equipped in many ways than I was, but he is still not as equipped in other ways. I love his sense of humor and how kind he is when it has nothing to do with me. Yeah, he is poopy to me, he rolls his eyes when I talk to him about anything, he won’t listen to me but if "his" people tell him the same thing, it’s gospel, and he gives me the “Big Sigh” as if I am irritating him by my very being. It’s not always fun, but it’s normal. What he doesn’t realize is that I talk to "his" people and I let them know what I want him to know, it gets to him even if not through me. Us moms & dads, we have our ways. He’s pretty amazing and I can’t wait to see what he does with his life, I know it will be a sight to see. Happy Valentine’s Day Mason, you have my whole heart in a way no other human can. #MonthOfLove

Monday, February 4, 2019

My Month of Love

Happy February 1st! In honor of the month of love, I am going to post each day about the people I love and why I love them. It stands to reason that I am going to start with my Flower Dave. Why do I call him Flower Dave? I'll post that story at the end of this post so scroll down if you are interested. Dave is the love of my life, not the first one, but absolutely the last one. Dave has taught me what it means to love so deeply that there are no words to describe it. While he was deployed, I learned what it meant to long for someone. How's that for an old fashioned word? Dave has shown me a life that I can live in with confidence that he is loyal and trustworthy. He doesn't send me flowers when we've had a fight, he stays and talks it out with me, and if he feels he needs to leave, he leaves in such a way that I know he is coming back. In fact, if he leaves, we will likely be continuing to work out our issue on the phone because we really want to work it out. More importantly that how Dave shows me he loves me and our life, he has shown Mason what it means to truly adore a woman and how to treat her. I mentioned not sending flowers when we fight, he sends flowers on my birthday, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and the first day of fall. I don't expect them and if they don't come, it's okay, but I do love them. Dave has planned dates for us that may be as simple as dinner in downtown, and as elaborate as tickets to a concert, dinner reservations, and it all started with an outfit I found on our bed with a note, "We've got plans for Friday night, plan accordingly." Yes, he is an amazing man, husband, father, and friend. Some say we got lucky, but I think it's more than that, I think we set up what we wanted to have, what we wanted to live and though we've had some bumps, we do the things we do because we want each other to know our marriage is important - you are important to me Flower Dave! Neither of us is perfect, and we've had moments we are not proud of, but they are far fewer than the ones that make up the happy memories of our life together that started in April of 1996 when I won him on the radio. I love you David, happy February 1, 2019! #MonthOfLove Dave sent me a huge bouquet of flowers after our first date. I was livid mad! I told him after the date that I didn't want to "date." Here I was holding flowers so big you couldn’t even see me, but you could hear that I was not happy. When I finally was able to express myself I said, “Now I have to have this talk with him all over again! Didn’t he hear me say just friends?” I immediately called and thanked him for the flowers but before he could even respond, I started right in on him, “I thought you understood that I just want to be friends, I thought you got that I am not looking for a relationship…blah, blah, blah” Poor Dave, I don’t even know why it is that we are the great friends that we are except to say that we have always been true to ourselves and each other. We have never had to pretend to be anyone we are not. After Dave sent me the flowers and I became so angry, that made quite an impact on my family and friends. They thought I was crazy because I was probably the only woman in this lifetime to get angry with a man for giving her flowers, this became a defining moment in our lives. My friends didn’t know any of the new people in my life so I always had to explain who I was doing things with. Since Dave and I were dancing and talking often - as friends - I started to refer to him as “Dave, you know, Dave, the guy who sent me the flowers.” This went to just Flower Dave and then simply to Flower.