Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Word of the YEAR

Since 2009 I have been participating in One Little Word by Ali Edwards.  I've gone through a wide variety of words starting out with Strong, Remember, Organize, Brave, Faith, and Happy last year.  This year I am taking my word to an entirely different place.  For the last year I have toyed with the word "me" and I've realized I need more Me in my life.  So when I sat down and started thinking of my word the first thing to hit me was
 I feel it fits so well into the Me path I so desperately need to take.

Merriam-Webster defines


 verb \ˈspär-kəl\
: to produce small flashes of light
: to perform very well
: to be or become bright and lively
  I know in the years we have lived in Maine I have let everyone and everything Dull my Sparkle.  I can see it in everything and I don't want that for myself anymore.  I don't want my girls growing up and thinking it's okay to let people dull your sparkle.  So I am going to spend 2015 embracing my SPARKLE and letting it shine bright.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Banned Books Challenge

So as I was searching for Challenges I came across the Banned Books Challenge and who am I to turn down Banned books.  So I knew this Banned Books Challenge over at Buckling Bookshelves was perfect for me.  

RULES: Any book that has been banned or challenged counts. Books can be any format, any length, and can overlap with other challenges. Graphic novels, children's books, picture books are all fine -- any book that has been banned or challenged works for this challenge.

WHERE CAN I FIND BOOK SUGGESTIONS? There isn't one specific list to work from, but there are many different resources you can check out for ideas:
  • The ALA's lists of frequently challenged books. There are multiple lists split up by author, year, decade, and a separate list for classics, so there are a lot of options from all different genres.
  • GoodReads has several listopia lists on the subject -- this is particularly helpful for identifying books you already have on your shelves if you are a user of the site.
  • If you learn about a book getting challenged in the news, on a book blog, around the web, or wherever else you get your bookish news, it's fair game. One book that made headlines last year was The Miseducation of Cameron Post -- it doesn't need to make any of the big lists to count. And if you learn about a new incident, I'd love to hear about it!

LEVELSBelow are the levels you can choose from. Changing your mind is OK -- you can go up or down in level at any time. I said low-pressure, remember? I'm not the book police, I promise.

     Making Waves: 1-2 Challenged Books
     Trouble-Maker: 3-5 Challenged Books
     Rabble-Rouser: 6-9 Challenged Books
     Rebel: 10-14 Challenged Books
     Leader of a Revolution: 15+ Challenged Books

So I am going to go with Trouble-Maker and let Miss Zee help since she loves her banned books too.

1. the handmaid"s tale
2. Fahrenheit 451
3. coraline
4. the absolutely true diary of apart time indian 

Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015

I signed up this year for a Series challenge but like how this one sounds more.  It gives me some flexibility with books that are not completely finished that I am reading so I signed up for this one over at Socrates' Book Reviews.

Choose a level....

Level 1 (Novice series reader) - Complete 1 series.
Level 2 (Testing the waters) - Complete 2 series.
Level 3 (Experienced) - Complete 3 series.
Level 4 (Expert series reader) - Complete 4 or more series.

I am going to start with Level 2 completing 2 Series.  

Georgina Kincaid
Lonely Lace
Courtney Crumrin

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

I participated in the Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge this year and have already outdone myself so of course when I saw it was going on again I signed on up.  So if you want to sign up to go here. 

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

I am going to start with Getting My Heart Rate Up since I read almost 100 books this year.

Im at 92 so far 

You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge 2015

Even though I am setting my Goodreads and Shelfari goal for 80.  I am going to push past that with this challenge, hopefully I can make 100 and blow the 80 out of the water.   It's going on at Book Dragon's Lair.

  1. There are several levels to choose from
    Level 1: 100 minimum
    Level 2: 150
    Level 3: 200
    Level 4: 250 or more
I am going with Level 1 with 100 books

I am at 92 so far 

Full House Reading Challenge 2015

I loved doing the Bingo board this year and I don't know if I will black it out but I am two books away.  So when I saw this board over at the Book Date I figured I would try it out for 2015.

1. Library Book
2. Novella
3. Author Outside your own Country
4. Won or Borrowed
5. 2nd book or more in a series ~ Secrets and Lace

1. A top book of 2015 for you
2. Setting that you now want to visit
3. Book by author you really like
4. Book set in Northern Hemisphere
5. Been on your TBR "forever"

1. You heard about the book online
2. Award winning
3. Free choice
4. Debut novel by author
5. Published in 2014

1. Set in the Southern Hemisphere
2.  First in a  series
3. Published 2000-2013
4. Published pre 2000
5. Type of book you rarely or never read

1. Published in 2015
2.  A Keeper
3.  Outstanding Hero or Heroine
4. Author new to you
5. You love the cover

2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge

It's sure going to be a year for "new" things.  I came across this challenge and figured why not.  So I found the Bookish Resolutions Challenge over here and signed up.


1.    Create between 1 and 5 resolutions related to books/book blogging (there are examples below but you can make up your own)
2.    If you have 2 or more resolutions than 1 can be unrelated to books/book blogging
3.    Create a sign up post and add it to the Linky on this post (sign up before Feb 1st)
4.    On the 30th of each month (and the 28th for February) create an update post about your goals and add the post to the Linky that will be on Laura’s or My blogs
5.    This is a year long challenge, so you can’t add resolutions that could be done in a day these must be year long goals.

Book Resolutions 

  1.  Read 80 books ~ 1 of 80 read 
  2.  Finish to publish date 3 series
  3.  Read 12 chapter books with Zee
  4.  Read 5 books out of the To Read Book Binder
  5.  Blog at least 2 time a month

Tweet your progress to #BookishResolutions
- See more at:

2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I did this challenge from Bookish last year and loved it so much.  It kept me more to my list (of course I did stray away from it because who wouldn't when so many great books keep coming out).  But I did knock out around 40 books off my list.  It might have been more but I don't remember off the top of my head.  So I knew I had to do this challenge again.  So if your TBR pile is as long as mine swing on over here and sign yourself up too.

How many books are you planning to read for this challenge?
1-10 A Firm Handshake
11-20 A Friendly Hug
21-30 First Kiss 
31-40 Sweet Summer Fling  
41-50 Could This Be Love?
50+ Married with Children

I am going to shoot for Sweet Summer Fling this time!!!!
    • Read-A-Long (poll will go live 12/18/14)
    • Vote for March read
    February (Evie)
    • January - February Wrap Up
    • Announce March's read and schedule
    • Read-A-Long
    • Vote for May read
    April (Debbie)
    • March - April Wrap Up
    • Announce May's read and schedule
    • Read-A-Long
    • Vote for ​July read
    June (Debbie)
    • May - June Wrap Up
    • Announce July's read and schedule
    • Read-A-Long
    • Vote for September read
    • Giveaway
    August (Jessica)
    • July - August Wrap Up
    • Announce October's read and schedule
    • Read-A-Long
    • Vote for November read 
    October (Tiffany)
    • September - October Wrap Up
    • Announce November's read and schedule
    • Read-A-Long
    December (Andrea)
    • November - December Wrap Up​
    • Giveaway

    2015 Library Challenge

    Love me some library time and even though I signed up for a different Library challenge for Zee and myself, I am signing up for this one too.  I think I will combine all of our books since we read most of them together for this one.  Plus with our library looking at growing and it is one of the girls and my favorite places (yes, even though all of us own e-readers).  I figured we would love this.  We are constantly going in and finding a new audio book for while we are in the van, or even music cds for a break from the radio for awhile.  The girls also love checking out movies, and Kyrie's new thing is graphic novels.  She has blown through those lately and has even moved upstairs to the adult section with a few ya's or no not yet's from me.  So if you want to join me hope on over here and sign up too.

     1-5 check outs in 2015 – NOVICE
    6-11 check outs in 2015 – ROOKIE
    12- 16 check outs in 2015 – INTERMEDIATE
    17 – 22 check outs in 2015 – SEASONED 
    23 – 27 check outs in 2015 – EXPERIENCED
    28 + check outs in 2015 – GOING PRO!

    I think we will shoot for intermediate with this one.  

    1. 1. The Book of Life
    2. 2. Hobart 
    3. 3. Smile 
    4. 4. The Problem Child
    5. 5. Odd Apocalypse 
    6. 6. Chasing the Prophecy 
    7. 7. Seeds of Rebellion
    8. 8. The Wishing Spell
    9. 9. Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me
    10. 10. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang 
    11. 11. Princess Posey and the Tiny Treasure 
    12. 12. The Lonesome Gods 
    13. 13. Coraline
    14. 14. Anya's Ghost 
    15. 15. In Odd We Trust 
    16. 16. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasure Vol 1
    17. 17. Odd is on Our Side
    18. 18. N. P. H. Choose Your Own Autobiography 
    19. 19. Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasure Volume 2
    20. 20. Anita Blake Vampire Hunter The First Death 
    21. 21. Foiled
    22. 22. Courtney Crumrin & the Night Things
    23. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
    24. American Vampire Vol 1
    25. Out of the Easy
    26. I Was a Teenage Fairy
    27. American Vampire Vol 2
    28. True Blood All Together Now
    29. Unwritten Vol 2
    30. Fever Moon The Fear Dorcha
    31. Unwritten Vol 3
    32. Unwritten Vol 4
    33. The Hobbit Graphic Novel
    34. House of Odd
    35. True Blood Tainted Love 
    36. Beautiful Creatures The Manga
    37. The Imposters Daughter 
    38. Pink Smog
    39. Awkward Family Photos
    40. Courtney Crumrin & the Coven of Mystics
    41. Blood Roses
    42. Kalona's Fall
    43. Courtney Crumrin & the Twilight Kingdom
    44. Cursed Foiled Again
    45. The Bad Beginning 
    46. Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday 
    47. Through the Woods
    48. Courtney Crumrin The Witch Next Door
    49. The Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 1
    50. Courtney Crumrin The Final Spell
    51. Guilty Pleasure
    52. Pippi Goes on Board
    53. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 2
    54. The Laughing Corpse
    55. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 3
    56. A Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel 
    57. The Amulet of Samarkand The Graphic Novel
    58. I Am Malala
    59. Aesop's Fables
    60. A Midsummer Night's Dream
    61. Tantalize: Kieren's Story
    62. The Witches
    63. Psyche in a Dress
    64. Milk Eggs Vodka
    65. Olive Kitteridge 
    66. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story
    67. How to (un)cage a Girl
    68. Macbeth
    69. The Christmas Box Miracle
    70. The Christmas Box 

    I Love Library Books Reading Challenge 2014

    So I am going to keep two lists for this one for me and one for Miss Zee.  We sure do love our library!!!  The Challenge is hosted here

    • choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
    • read books you checked out of the library
    • books may overlap with other challenges
    • any format allowed (print, ebook, audio)
    • reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is. (post with review linky is coming in January)
    • a blog is not necessary, just comment that you want to join in or link up another way

    • board book - 3
    • picture book - 6
    • early reader - 9  Zee and I will both shoot for 9 books to start with.  I'm sure Zee will knock this out well before me
    • chapter book - 12 
    • middle grades - 18 
    • Young adult - 24
    • adult - 36
    • just insert IV - 50 
    Zee's List

    So of course I forgot to keep up but we checked out a ton this year so I will try and update as best as I can 

    1. Old Mo
    2. Happy Pig Day
    3. City Dog, Country Frog
    4. Pig Has A Plan
    5. Let's Say HI to Friends Who Fly
    6. In A People House
    7. I Have A Garden
    8. Glasses for D. W. 
    9. Princess Posey and the Tiny Treasure
    10. Warriors Manga 
    11. Warriors Manga
    12. Warriors Manga 
    13. Never girls
    14. Geronimo Stilton 
    15. Thea Stilton
    16. The Day the Crayons Came Back
    17. Baby has a mustache
    18. Ivy + Bean
    19. Elephant and Piggie
    20. The Bad Beginning 
    21. Pippi On Board

    My List
    1. The Book of Life
    2. Smile
    3. The Problem Child
    4. The Wishing Spell
    5. Seeds of Rebellion
    6. Chasing Prophecy
    7. Odd Apocalypse
    8. Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me
    9. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang
    10. The Lonesome Gods
    11. Coraline
    12. Anya's Ghost
    15. In Odd We Trust
    16. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasure Vol 1
    17. Odd is on Our Side
    18. N.P. H. Choose Your Own Autobiography
    19. Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasure Vol 2
    20. Anita Blake Vampire Hunter The First Death
    21. Foiled
    22. Courtney Crumrin & the Night Things
    23. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
    24. American Vampire Vol 1
    25. Out of the Easy
    26. I WAs a Teenage Fairy
    27. American Vampire Vol 2
    28. True Blood All Together Now
    29. Unwritten Vol 2
    30. Fever Moon the Fear Dorcha
    31. Unwritten Vol 3
    32. Unwritten Vol 4
    33. The Hobbit Graphic Novel
    34. House of Odd
    35. True Blood Tainted Love
    36. Beautiful Creatures the Manga
    37. The Imposters Daughter 
    38. Pink Smog
    39. Awkward Family Photos
    40. Courtney Crumrin & the Coven of Mystics
    41. Blood Roses
    42 Kalona's Fall
    43. Courtney Crumrin & the Twilight Kingdom
    44. Cursed Foiled Again
    45.Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday
    46. Through the Woods
    47. Courtney Crumrin the Witch Next Door
    48. The Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 1
    49. Courtney Crumrin The Final Spell
    50. Guilty Pleasure 
    51. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 2
    52. The Laughing Corpse
    53. A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Vol 3
    54. A Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel
    55. The Amulet of Samarkand The Graphic Novel
    56. I Am Malala
    57. Aesop's Fables
    58. A Midsummer Night's Dream
    59. Tantalize: Kieren's Story
    60. The Witches
    61. Psyche in a Dress
    62. Milk Eggs Vodka
    63. Olive Kitteridge
    64. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story
    65. How to (un)cage a Girl
    66. Macbeth
    67. The Christmas Box Miracle
    68. The Christmas Box

    Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge

    1. A Book with more than 500 pages
    2. A Classic Romance
    3. A book that became a movie
    4. A book published this year
    5. A book with a number in the title
    6. A book written by someone under 30
    7. A book with nonhuman characters
    8. A Funny book
    9. A book by a female Author ~ Secrets and Lace by Bonnie Paulson
    10. A Mystery of Thriller
    11. A book with a one-word-title
    12. A book of short stories
    13. A book set in a different country
    14. A nonfiction book
    15. A popular author's first book
    16. A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet
    17. A book a friend recommended
    18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
    19. A book based on a  true story
    20. A book at the bottom of  your to-read list
    21. A book your mom loves
    22. A book that scares you
    23. A book more than 100 years old
    24. A book based entirely on its cover
    25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
    26. A Memoir
    27. A book you can finish in a day
    28. A book with antonyms in the title
    29. A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
    30. A book that came out the year you were born
    31. A book with bad reviews 
    32. A trilogy
    33. A book from your childhood
    34. A book with a love triangle
    35. A book set in the future
    36. A book set in high school
    37. A book with a color in the title
    38. A book that made you cry
    39. A book with magic
    40. A graphic novel
    41. A book by an author you've never read before 
    42. A book you own but have never read
    43. A book that takes place in your hometown
    44. A book that was originally written in a different language 
    45. A book set during Christmas
    46. A book written by an author with your same initials
    47. A play
    48. A banned book
    49. A book based on or turned into a TV show
    50. A book you started but never finished

    The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge

    I'm trying this challenge from Book Riot this year.  Hopefully it shakes up some things with reading for me.

    1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
    2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
    3. collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)
    4. A book published by an indie press
    5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ
    6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own
    7. A book that takes place in Asia
    8. A book by an author from Africa
    9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native AmericansAboriginals, etc.)
    10. microhistory
    11. YA novel
    12. sci-fi novel
    13. romance novel ~ Secrets and Lace by Bonnie R. Paulson
    14. National Book AwardMan Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
    15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
    16. An audiobook
    17. A collection of poetry
    18. A book that someone else has recommended to you
    19. A book that was originally published in another language
    20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)
    21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)
    22. A book published before 1850
    23. A book published this year
    24. self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

    2015 Reading Challenge Addict

    It's getting close to the end of the year and it means it's time to pick my reading challenges, and my word of the year.   I couldn't find the list I picked challenges from last year but I was able to find quite a few reading challenges on my own.  So first I am going with Reading Challenge Addict hosted here.

    I am a Reading Challenge Addict.

    So we are challenging each of you who can also say that you also are a Reading Challenge Addict.

    How addicted are you? 
    • Easy as Pie: 1-5 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
    • On the Roof: 6-10 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
    • In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
    • Out of This World: 16+ Challenges (Entered & Completed)

    Ok so counting my Goodreads and Shelfari I am entering 14 Challenges not counting this one.  Wish me luck I might loose my mind.

    1. Goodreads & Shelfari (I am counting these as 1 since they are just a certain number of books)
    2. I Love Library Books
    3. 2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge 
    4. Outdo Yourself Challenge
    5. Banned Book Challenge 
    6. Finishing the Series 
    7. You Read How Many Books
    8. Library Challenge 
    9. Th2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge 
    10. Full House Reading Challenge 
    11. 2015 Birthday Month Reading Challenge 
    12. Book Blogger Organization Challenge 
    13. 2015 Reading Challenge by Popsugar
    14. The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge 

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    15 years still feels like no time has past

    It's hard to think it has been 15 years.  I was so young, you were the  big brother I always wanted and the one I needed for so many things but you weren't there anymore.  How is someone supposed to deal with loosing a best friend at 15.  It was a constant struggle and had it not been for Chris I would have never gotten through it.  My world turned upside down when you left it, I knew NO fear I lost it when I lost you.  I had this crazy idea nothing bad could happen to me because you were watching me and you wouldn't let it.  It's amazing I survived.  You brought me out of my shell and turned me into a better version of me.  I remember crying at your grave when I found out I was pregnant with Kyrie.  Happy and sad all rolled into one.  How could something so amazing be happening to me and you not be there to share it with me.  She reminds me of the me I was before you came along a little shy and unsure of even herself.  Funny  to think I was that unsure of myself before I met you.  Little things remind me of you constantly and I know your still with me but it's still so hard knowing you aren't there.  I don't know how many times after you were gone I called your phone just to hear your voice.  Here it is 15 years later and I still can't bring myself to drive a standard, you were supposed to teach me.  I break down anytime anyone tries to show me.  Sometimes I just cry because I just need to know you are still there.  How could a wrong number ever have lead to such a friendship.  One to surpass your death and still be there for me when I stumble.  David, I miss you so much!!!!

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    The Path to Forever

    Thursday, January 2, 2014


    I've been a huge slacker about keeping up with this.  We had such an up and down 2013 but we made it through.  2014 is going to be different I am going to look at life different downs are not downs they are just little speed bumps.  We did add a dog to our family, Lucky.  He was a shelter find and he turned 4 in December.
        He has been such a blessing to us.  Right off I could see how much having the dog made a difference with Seth.  He might have needed us, but I'm sure we needed him more.  I also got Seth to venture outside of his bubble a little by spending sometime outside.  Hopefully we can continue it this year.  I am also catching up on applications.  I sent one off and will send the other off tomorrow.  The fight has been a long one but I feel that as we approach the 5 year mark (it's hard to believe it's been that long, it still feels like yesterday I got the Phone Call that changed EVERYTHING) I am finally getting the hang of all of this.  I also want to help people so they don't stumble through it all like we did.

    Sunday, July 29, 2012


    Websters Definition of STRENGTH

    1: the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance
    2: power to resist force : solidity, toughness
    3: power of resisting attack : impregnability

    The past two weeks I got a whole new definition of Strength!  It's so simple it's just SETH!!!!  Seth decided he was done with the pills and after 2 and a half years of being on morphine by doctors prescription Seth said I'm DONE!  In a little over two weeks Seth kicked the morphine.  This man never stops AMAZING me with his level of strength.  Here is to us rebuilding the Path that took some huge detours and got derailed but we will make it.  We are strong, we are survivors, we have each other I think that's the most important part!!!!!

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    It's a Battle

    I've learned a lot in my new path as the wife of a Wounded Warrior!  It's hard to think of where we came from and what we have been through when it feels like we lost that life.  We lost the people we relate too.  Our people are Military people, it's a way of life.  It's something people on the outside don't seem to get, unless you have experienced it.  Leaving it behind has left this void in both of us because we don't know what to do now.  We didn't expect this, we were not ready to be done with it.  Now we have to deal.  After battling with things beyond what any one person should deal with it just keeps adding up.  I don't see a break in the dark anymore, the light isn't coming through the cracks.  But we keep forging on to get to where we need to be. With all that being said we don't ask for help, most of the time no one even knows we have issues.  We fight a battle every day trying to help him REMEMBER, to fight through the pain.  But it's our battle, we faithfully fight it daily!  Because we do this it doesn't change who we are, it doesn't make him a "Monster" or "Damaged Goods" (and yes, that is in reference to Dr. Phil).  We fight to be Normal, to fit in with people who don't understand what we gave up, what we have sacrificed and now we have this stigma to add to it.  What the hell, seriously there are thousands of people out there dealing with these issues and now you have managed to crush them and make them insignificant.  But we will keep fighting our battle, so our family can be a FAMILY!!!!!!

    With all that said.  We have had a number of not great days.  We have fighting with the VA in our future because apparently they think we have nothing better to do.  Apparently it's fun to make up things and guess when you don't know.  We were informed he never had a hole in his head (I saw it, I packed it with gauze, I had to clean it, IT WAS THERE)!!!  So now we have another battle to add to our list of things we have to fight for.  It's funny he fought for his Country with no questions asked, he did what he was told when he was told.  And now that it's there turn to take care of him, they can't toe the line and do what needs to be done.  Well I am a Warriors Wife, I've been through three deployments, experienced HELL and stared my biggest fear in the face and walked away from it!  I am not a person to be reckoned with and I WILL ACCOMPLISH WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!    I'm a new breed of Military Spouse one you didn't ever foresee and and I am going to get MY WAY!  We deserve nothing less!

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Lots of Changes

    We just recently became aware of the Caregiver program and signed up for it.  I had to complete a test and we had to have a home study.  Now we are all signed up and things are done we have some repairs to make before our next home study in March and will continue to have them every three months.  We also have someone to help answer the questions we had that were not getting answered and found out who to go to for our issues. 

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    A lesser Woman Would have gave in

    I guess I can start with being thankful for being a very inquisitive kid and up in everything when someone was fixing something or working on outside stuff.  It's come in really useful lately.  We tackled the bathroom for a leak and first off if you can walk away from a situation with knowledge and it costing you less then a professional and you did the job yourself then RIGHT ON!  So lots of Google, YouTube and trips to Lowe's later we managed to fix the bathroom.  Bless Seth's heart for struggling to get it all done.  Then we have been taking care of lawn things.  He mostly ran the saw while I had to do the heavy lifting and pulling because he can't do that stuff it's too much for his back.  We got a good chunk of it torn out of there and called it quits for the day.  Today I got out there by myself and went to town on the thing.  It is weird when you have to be the one to tackle the big things because physically he does not need to be doing them.  It does feel wonderful to know that all that time dealing with deployments and handling stuff helped me get out there and tear down that stuff.  I still have to haul it away and dig up the vines so they don't come back but I did it!  I looked the impossible in the face and beat it.  I took all my frustration out on it and overcame this huge hurtle.  You learn to look at things differently when you have a injured spouse.  The little things you take for granted come clearly when you are the one who ends up having to do them.  It broke my heart the other day to watch him crawl up the stairs after falling and refusing help.  To watch the daily struggle that goes on in him and know that I might be the only person who sees it.  But he still gets up every day and does it all over again and fights through the constant pain to be able to function for me and his kids.  It makes you understand the meaning of the quote "You don't know how strong you are until being strong is all you have".  There have been times when everything seems like it is collapsing around us but I know we have the important things to make it through, our love, our family, our faith and our strength.  They might not seem like much to you but to us they are what keeps us going day to day.  It's what gets us through the hard days.  Until you understand what it's like to live that life you wont ever get it.  Almost two years ago our life changed and every day has been a constant battle to just LIVE!  Take time and enjoy things, appreciate what you have and relish in your accomplishments.  You don't know when those things will not be there or you will not be able to accomplish them.  This whole experience has taught me to enjoy the small things, try and not sweat the other stuff and blessed me with a renowned since of Faith.  From the day I got the news I new that Seth had Angels and they protected him for a reason.  My Faith and belief in that has not wavered only gotten stronger.  God only gives us what we can handle, I am just a lot stronger then I could have ever known.  Take each day as the adventure it is, be thankful and blessed.  A Lesser Woman Would have Given in with all I have done, seen and endured but Love and Faith have a powerful way of making you strong enough to battle the Demons that arise form PTSD and TBI!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Good Days and Bad

    It's been one of those battles between the good and the bad here lately.  It angers me that he has to deal with the idiocy along with everything else.  Really he has given up so much for our family and his country and here we sit in this in-between place.  I hate to see the bad days, the struggles he goes through for the girls and I to have a semi normal life.  I despise the because he doesn't look or seem broken to you does NOT mean he isn't.  If you don't understand it look it up, ask questions you don't get it if you guess because you do not want to admit you don't know it all.  It's amazing how when those bad days hit you do whatever you can to ease the pain off of him even if his pride doesn't want it. 

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    It's Not Easy

    It's funny that you still encounter Stupidity about Seth and all he has been through so much.  The people who believe we have it so easy, I would gladly trade with them so they can see ya we get to stay home all day and do Stay at home parent things but it came with it's costs.  I am thankful for all of the people who get all we gave up for this life and thankful for what Seth gave up for them.  I have just been to disgusted to blog lately about all the people who complain about the little petty stuff to us.  Really do you understand what we have gone through your problems don't even make an inch of ours.  We choose the Army Life knowing that we would not spend tons of time together, and he would go off to war.  We don't regret the choices we made and we live with the consequences of those things daily.  But I can not listen to how we have it so easy!  You do not see the struggles, you did not see the pain, you don't know what it's like to have your life shatter to pieces and have to try and rebuild it the best way you can again.  In June and the beginning of July we had to go to Oklahoma and back for a funeral and Seth I'm sure pushed himself past his limit so we could be there in time with driving.  We made overnight stops on the way there, and left very early in the morning so that he could get enough sleep at night before having to head out again for another 12 hours of driving.  We have to brake our shopping up into days because it's too much for him all at once.  The things you take for granted our the ones we have to fight at every day.  Remember that he gave up so much to just be able to be with us.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    It's been awhile

    I met a very interesting older man this past weekend that told me about Adaptive Sports they do up at the VA here.  I talked with Seth about them and even wrote them down for him.  Hopefully he remembers the next time he is out there to check into them.  I think it will be good for him.  I also found out they have family support group meetings and I know it's something I need to look into.  It's nice having people who understand and who have been there too, to talk to.  Seth has been having more bad days then good ones lately and he's taken a number of falls.  Sometimes it's hard to see him struggle with simple things and know there is nothing I can do or say to help.  He is going to step outside his normal comfort zone and try to be a leader in Scouts.  Hopefully it will give him something he can use some of that knowledge he learned in the Army to help him and will be a great experience for both him and the girls.  I entered a photo of Seth in a photo challenge in my Mom's group and he won.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Temporary Rating

    We got a letter last week from the VA with Seth's temporary rating.  It's 100% which means he can't have a job, so as much as he wanted to do photography maybe he can keep doing it for his hobby.  He's good at it and it seems to calm him so it will be a win, win type thing.  It feels like we are finally moving somewhere now that we have this rating.  Now we just wait for the permanent status.  Fingers crossed everything else looks like it is falling into somewhat of a place. 

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    2011 before the Switch

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    The Bad Guy

    Seth came home yesterday with paperwork to fill out and a sheet for me to fill out.  It's about how things have changed since the accident (I don't know what else to call it) and the things he can't do and all of that.  I'm terrified I've had all these feelings and things I have been terrified about but am afraid to tell people.  I know there are people out there who are and have gone through the same thing and know my "secret fears" because they share them to but what kind of person does it make me to share them.  Seth said to tell them all of them it will help in the long run for them to judge the care he needs and the extend of the injuries and the side effects we are dealing with but I feel like it makes me a bad person for having to say them about him.  I have been torn about them since he told me yesterday and he knows what they are and if he is comfortable with them being read by these people why am I not?  But I will have to bite the bullet and do it even if it does make me feel like I'm being mean or the bad guy because I know he needs this.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    A lot of stress, a ton of tears and little results

    My brain feels like it is on overload.  There are days when I just don't know how I can even function.  It's so hard to try and focus on the good days and not the bad ones.  I know it's not his fault and I have this hate in me that wants to meet the person that did this to him and beat him in the head so he has to deal with the same thing.  It's hard knowing that most people don't know or understand how I feel and I feel lost and alone a ton of the time.  It would be nice to have a support group closer to here where I could have wives to talk to that are going through the same thing.  He does things that end up making him feel worse because he doesn't want to look like he can't take care of us and then I feel horrible because I know how much it hurts him to do them. 

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    If he can, so can I

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    The Little Things

    Seth decided he wanted to do product photos today and he needed posterboard for a backdrop.  So we headed to A C Moore because I had a coupon, and some money left on my giftcard.  He found his posterboard and I had him get a black one too just in case and I picked up flowers to make my coffee pens for work out of.  Then we headed to the grocery store where the lady behind the counter paid for our groceries.  I don't know if she did it on purpose (we did ask if she did it right) or if it was because Seth was in his Purple Heart Hat but sometimes it is amazing the little things people do because of everything he gave up.

    Walk Around Town

    Seth decided he wanted to walk around downtown and take pictures.  Sometimes it amazes me how much pain he is willing to fight through just for "that shot".  Photography has become such a big part of his rehabilitation program and his 365 program has helped so much with giving him a sense of purpose and something to focus on each day.  Plus he is really good at it. 

    Here he is trying to get the perfect shot and it does make me see how much his little hobby has really helped him.  I just wish it didn't cost a small fortune. 

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    A little peace and a whole lot of pain

    I'm so thankful for Seth's Mom.  She watched the girls today so we could run errands in peace and we had a few places to go.  By the time we got to the last store though you could see it in the way Seth walked that our 4 stops had taken it's toll on his back and he was in serious pain.  At least he did get something positive out of the experience and he got to stop and photograph something he wanted to photograph.  I'm so thankful he has that outlet to help him cope. 

    And of course I don't know how he tolerates the looks.  We walked into a store today and the guy behind the counter stared at him for the longest time like he was a freak because he's a 30 year old with a cane.  I know it's not normal but he had his Purple Heart hat on as well he proudly served and sacrificed a great deal for some punk to look at him like he's a freak because of it.  It just irritates the crap out of me. 

    New Year trying something new

    So we come to the almost two year mark since Seth got hurt and I figured I would give blogging about it a shot.  I realized there were more people like us that are blindly going around not knowing what to expect or how to cope.  Every day brings it's own challenges there are good days and really bad days.  There is a lot of reminding myself that Seth is not at 100% which is the hardest for me.  So I guess it's best to start with the beginning.  On January 12th, 2009 Seth got hit in Iraq and I got one of the hardest phone calls of my life.  As I fought to keep it together for the girls while be thankful he was alive.  I waited and jumped whenever the phone rang.  Seth got hit in the back of the head and had a whole in his head.  He was medi-vaced to Germany, then sent stateside to Illinois then back to Ft. Hood.  Then we had to learn how to deal with this.  Thankfully we had cognitive rehab to help or who knows what would have happened.  Cognitive rehab showed him how to be able to function again.  So now we are retired (as of November 27th 2010) and we must learn what a 30 year old retired guy does.  I'm worried constantly when he talks of trying to get a job in a normal setting because I am terrified of what could happen.  But we have learned to deal with this for almost two years we can deal with this too.