A letter to my husband on our 5 year anniversary

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Dear Dan,

It seems like just yesterday we were saying our I do’s and heading out for our honeymoon. We have come a long way with multiple moves, a new city, deployment, a beautiful baby girl and sweet baby boy on the way. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.547619_10100846163129315_40045342_n59674_10100775689803425_581663631_nThe day to day makes it often hard to keep everything in perspective. Being pregnant and chasing a toddler is not the dream job, but somehow it suits me. And I couldn’t do it without you.

This letter is for you, about you. I see you.

I see you getting up every morning and changing our baby girl and laying her next to you so I can get some sleep.

I see you going to work everyday and staying late often so we can have ALL the stuff. And it is ALL the stuff. We have everything we need and more! We are very spoiled all because of you.

I see you not only going to work everyday, but working two jobs. I see you as a strong leader in the Army and how people look up to and admire you. So do I.

I see you going to all the places with us on your weekends off. To the mall, to breakfast, to baby stores, to the zoo, to the horse park, to family stuff. And you do it all without complaining. You do it with love and you make it look easy._MG_6754(Above photo by Amanda Hacker Photography)IMG_5463I see you driving me to the hospital on your Sunday off when we have a small scare so I am not alone. (although I thought I would be fine) I see you chasing our daughter so I can relax and get better.

I see you playing with Savannah. And the love you have for her. I see her face light up when she sees you._MG_6612(Above photo by Amanda Hacker Photography)
I see you confused when I cry for no reason. The support you have for me when I’m an emotional wreck means the world. Through pregnancy and I’m sure beyond. Your patience and understanding with me don’t go unnoticed.

I see you encouraging me. I want to be a better person because of you. I look up to you in so many ways. You are our ROCK. I will never be lonely with you by my side. We are a team and can do anything! (you are going to need this encouragement come March, ha)

I see you. All day every day. Even when I am asleep beside you. I notice. I notice you rocking Savannah. All so I can have a few more minutes. I notice all the things and am so appreciative for you and our marriage. As someone once told me during the newborn phase: This too shall pass. And it’s so true. This is tough. It is so tough. But so worth it. Every sleepless minute and day. Each day I get to call you mine and for forever. I love you and am so thankful for you and your sweet love for us.

To SO many more,

Kim

October 19, 2017

 

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What 3 years of marriage has taught me

Today marks 3 years since I said “I do.”  Although it has flown by, it has been highly emotional at times with many ups and downs. Dan’s first deployment was right before our marriage began, and he will be returning home in about a month. So we have been though 2 total. This has taken many sacrifices on both of us and our families. We take a unique perspective on marriage, as about half of our relationship has been apart. We are constantly reintegrating as Dan comes home. And for me, there is always a fear that he will leave again.

I wanted to sum up several things I have learned from 3 years of marriage. This is not to say I know it all (because I don’t!), but things that I have been blessed to learn through this journey.

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Serve your spouse– Even when we are exhausted, this is still very important. The more you serve each other, the more the other wants to serve back. It is funny how this works, but I never take the stance of ‘that’s your job!’ We are a team in this marriage. Going through deployments also helps this in a weird way. I think each of us learns the other’s role while we are separated.

Encourage each other– The last thing your spouse wants from you is for you to bring them down. Our role is to lift each other up in good times and bad. There is enough negativity already in this world, they do not want to come home to it from you! I had to learn this the hard way when I didn’t realize I was bringing work home with me- well, the negativity of it! So now I try to do my best to stay positive and get back to the person I was when we first met!

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Compliment each other– I try to do this every day, whether it is by encouraging Dan to send me his workout pictures, or whether it is telling him I am proud of his accomplishments. I want him to know that he is respected, admired, and loved. I hope there will never be a doubt in his mind.

Try new things together– Whether this is riding bikes together, exploring new cities, or remodeling the house, this can be fun! Keep life exciting, because you never know when it will be coming to an end. I love trying new things with my best friend and husband.

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I am sure there are a bunch more things, but that sums up some of the most important. What things has marriage taught you? I love being married, and so happy to call Dan my husband.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

Countdown to Homecoming

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The title of this blog post makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I can’t believe we are counting down until homecoming. This year has been trying on both of us, we made many sacrifices, and have learned more about each other. For Dan’s last deployment, friends and family waited outside while veterans came in flying flags high on motorcycles, soon followed by the buses of soldiers. You could feel the tears, hear the cheers, and couldn’t wait to get your hands on your soldier. Time had frozen and you were the happiest woman on earth! Fast forward 3 years and it is happening again.

This year, I have been fortunate enough to get to know one of Dan’s fellow soldier’s wife, Burcu, and have been amazed by her strength and resiliency carrying their baby and delivering during this deployment. Little Marshall will be loved by many. I’m sure he has been a blessing to her during this time. I had to include this adorable picture of their son.

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I couldn’t imagine doing that alone. This deployment kind of put our life on hold, including building a family. Once Dan is home in November I can finally feel settled, although you always have the fear of him leaving again.

Here are a few things I learned this year during this deployment:

  1. When things go wrong in the house take care of it myself unless I have to involve Dan. Dan can’t do much from miles away and this only puts unnecessary stress on him.
  2. Reach out to friends and family. People always tell you to let them know if you need anything. I am not very good about that and assume people know I need help mowing, cleaning, etc. Sometimes I feel like superwoman and I can do it all myself.
  3. It’s okay if our house is a mess! This is a tough one for me being slightly OCD. I want nothing more than to come home to a spotless home where everything is neat and tidy. Then reality sets in!
  4. It’s also okay for me to want to be alone. No visitors, no chores, just me and a book or netflix. I struggle with feeling selfish about that, but sometimes just need alone time and I am okay with that. This is not the happiest time and it is not because I am depressed.

So needless to say, I can’t wait until homecoming. I can have my family back together again and be somewhat normal until the next call to duty happens. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I would rather have my husband sometimes than not at all. I will make sure to post pictures of homecoming. Until then, I will be counting down the days!

Thanks for reading! Kim

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Happy Birthday Blue!

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It has been one year since we adopted Blue! Time sure does fly! But what would I have done without him during this difficult year. He has been a blessing to our family and has provided so many laughs, smiles and kisses! It is crazy to think of where he has come in a year, from hiding in the bathroom to now following me around! He sure does love his new family! Today we celebrate his 5th birthday. He might get spoiled and get a bowtie. Do you remember Blue’s story? See the post when we got him and a few months later! He has been through a lot of fun times in the Spalding Family! Blue has even taught us a few things, simple really. Things like love, relaxation and patience!

Today we celebrate Blue, the silliest dog that we love to the moon and back! You’re my boy Blue!

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Thanks for reading!

Kim

How you can serve on Veteran’s Day

In celebration of Veteran’s Day today, I have compiled several resources that will inspire you to honor veterans, not just today, but everyday. Veterans are our spouses, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and the list goes on.  Families are awaiting their loved one’s return. The families serve alongside their soldiers.

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Here’s how you can help:

Operation In Touch – Includes ways to be a friend, serve a military family & create thank you gifts.

Wounded Warrior Project– An organization to honor and empower wounded warriors. Makes a great place to serve, donate, or even use your wedding to support (in lieu of favors, give donation).

Tough Mudder– Find an event near you and participate in a 10-12 mile obstacle course, proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Project.

Jo My Gosh– Various resources on military and deployment. Awesome blog!

Vietnam Veterans of America– Donate your used goods to support Veterans.

On this day my own veteran (my husband) celebrates his birthday! I am truly grateful for all his sacrifices and because of his hard work, our family is strong. He is my hero, my rock. And on top of it, it is also my mom’s birthday we get to celebrate!

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The below picture is my husband returning from his last deployment. A month before our wedding!

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And for fun, take care of yourself today and try this workout:

military-bootcamp-anytime-fitnessHappy Veteran’s Day!