My best HOOAH moment

Today’s topic is:

“Describe your best HOOAH moment”

HOOAH: The phonetic pronunciation of the acronym HUA (Heard, Understood, Acknowledged)

According to Wikipedia, HOOAH can also:

  • be used as a call and response cheer, with one soldier exclaiming, “hooah!,” and other soldiers responding in like.
  • be uttered at random and in a group in order to boost morale. One or a few soldiers will begin chanting “hooah!,” and then others join in.
  • be used as a sarcastic remark for something specific to the Army. Sometimes used sarcastically. As in, “This detail is about as hoo-ah as it gets.”
  • to describe a highly motivated individual. As in, “Greenfield has been extremely Hoo-ah lately.”

I can think of a few things that make me want to say, “HOOAH!” – like seeing my man in uniform! I am so proud of him and it is an honor to stand by his side.   Also, when I finally had him back in my arms after his deployment – what a day to celebrate!

When I read this topic though, I immediately thought of a time where I felt really proud of myself as an Army wife.  A time that I felt like I pushed myself, pulled myself up from my bootstraps so to speak, and worked through it.

When Rob was deployed to Iraq last year, Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) decided to attack our truck.  Our truck that was fully paid for and our only option for transportation.  A few issues came and went, but the one I was the most proud of was when I fixed a window on the truck, saving us 200-300 dollars and earning a lot of self confidence.

One day my daughter and I headed out to run a few errands.  We had a big list ahead of us and a lot of driving to do, so our first stop was to fill up the truck with gas – something that should have been routine.  As I hopped back in the driver’s seat and closed the door, the back left window fell down.

Ok, that was weird. I didn’t shut the door THAT hard.  I’ve had windows fall before so I thought I’d just hop out, push it back up with my hands and be on my way.  Only, it wouldn’t budge!

Tried the power switch – it would go down, but not up.  Great, I just made it worse. Tried the other windows and they worked just fine.  Isolating the problem already!

I decided I couldn’t go run my errands and leave the truck with an open window (and our purchases inside) everywhere we went, so we changed our plans and went home.

Normally, I would have just waited until Rob got home and he would have taken care of it.  He’s handy with fixing things like that but since we had several months of the deployment left to go, I knew it couldn’t wait.  My second best option? Google. I quickly came to the conclusion that the window had either simply fallen off the track, or the window motor would need to be replaced.  Neither of those sounded like something I knew how to do, so I called a repair shop for a quote.

“$300-400 including parts & labor.  Oh, and we don’t have any in stock so it’s a special order.”


I needed a plan B.  Sure, we had the extra deployment money and even money in savings, but I sure didn’t want to spend it on that.   So, I prayed for direction, and then I looked up the price of the worst case scenario – a window motor.

The price of the part? $100.00 delivered to my house.

That’s it?  God is so good!

I knew that if my husband were home, he would replace the part himself to save us that $200-300 dollars, so I was determined to do it myself.  Now, how to accomplish that?

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

It is an amazing world we live in, folks.  Seriously.  I’m aging myself here, but the internet still amazes me on almost a daily basis.  You can find anything out there.  Lots of things I don’t even want to know about, but that’s another post.

I found a video on YouTube of a guy demoing how to take off the door panel and replace the window motor.  I can do this!

I put on my work clothes, got the tools out, and took my laptop out on the driveway to keep the video handy.   I’d watch a little, push pause, work a little, hit play…over and over until I was done.   I ended up taking the entire panel off the door, removing the speaker, unhooking the motor, and then putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.  It took me about 30 minutes.  Mechanics get a really good hourly rate!


Sure, I was proud of myself, but even more I was thankful that God helped me get through this.  I trusted Him and He never lets us down.  It’s moments like this where we can choose to let the hard times knock us down, or we can push through them.  It was important to me to do this for several reasons — 1) I wanted to make my husband proud – for him to know I can handle things at home,  2) I wanted to save us from spending money if we didn’t need to, and 3) I wanted to be an example to my daughter – she even got to help me!

When the hard times come – and they will – I hope you’ll make the choice to push through them and find your own HOOAH moment! You’ll be glad you did.

He’s HOME!

So I had this post ready to post yesterday, but got busy and forgot to post it 🙂  You’ll understand why.


Aug. 31, 2010 – Rob was sworn into the Army (again), and left to begin his training as a “prior service” soldier first going to WTC (Warrior Transition Course), and then to AIT (Advanced Individual Training).

He was gone for 5 months. I saw him for a couple weekends during that time.

January 28, 2011 – We moved our family to Fort Bragg, NC

February, 2011 – We spent the month together! Hubby worked ‘normal’ hours.

March 1, 2011 – Hubby left to attend pre-deployment training at JRTC for one month.

April, 2011 – We spent the month together! Hubby worked for 2 weeks, and was off for 2 weeks.

May 17, 2011 – Hubby left for his deployment to Iraq


TODAY – December 22, 2011 (also the 11th anniversary of the day he proposed to me!)……


after being apart for 14 out of 16 months…


after 222 days of living over 6400 miles apart……




All I want for Christmas is my Hubby!

The U.S. troops have exited Iraq and crossed into Kuwait.  Watch the video if you haven’t seen it.  It’s awesome to see that gate close.  The next step is HOME!  I am so ready for my husband to be home again.  Today marks the 219th day since I have seen him, and the closer we get to him being home, the harder it is to wait! I had prepared myself for a much longer deployment as we were originally told, but ever since Obama announced that they are coming home “by the end of the year” – I have been on pins and needles!

Every time the song “All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth” comes on, Lovebug sings,

“All I want for Christmas is my Daddy!” with a huge smile on her face!  She is just giddy with excitement, as am I!

Tonight I told her that the only present I want for Christmas is Daddy, and she replied “That’s one present you can’t unwrap!”. 

I had to laugh!  Oh, the joys she will one day learn about marriage!


In the meantime, we are keeping busy as we count down the days till his arrival. 

Clean house – check.

Welcome home sign made – check.

Laundry done – check.

Groceries purchased for his favorite meal – check.

Clean house again because we’ve lived since the first time – well, not quite ready to check that off, but we are getting there.

Troops in Iraq are coming home!

I am so excited!! This deployment that was supposed to last until May, will be over soon! According to the President, the troops that are in Iraq will be home by the end of the year.  Obama even said they “will definitely be home for the holidays”.  Of course, I don’t know if he means Christmas or the New Year, but either way his promise means nothing to me until my husband is sitting next to me on our loveseat in our living room.  I know that it’s the Army, and things can always change, but even if they don’t make it before the holidays…


There is a lot of preparation going on.  The troops are getting instructions on reintegrating back with their families.  Some like to say it’s the “what to do (or not do) if you go home and your wife has spent all your money” talk.  It’s sad that those type of talks are even necessary, but unfortunately they are.

The FRG has also been getting things ready for the single soldiers’ barracks – collecting bedding, toiletries and snacks, so they can come home to a room that isn’t just cold and empty.  One thing I never realized before we started this deployment and Hubby explained it to me is that the single soldiers have to move out of the barracks before they deploy.  All of their belongings are put into storage until they return.  That means that when they get back, they are assigned a room, but they don’t have any of their things until they get to their storage.  We don’t want them to come home like that, so we are making sure they have sheets, a blanket, pillow, snacks and basic toiletries in their rooms.  It’s the least we can do!

Then there are the welcome home signs to make, the outfits to plan, and the food to cook.  Hubby is looking forward to my meatloaf and mashed potatoes so I’ve assured him I will have the supplies on hand, or it already made when he gets home.

We as spouses have even had meetings on what to expect when our soldier returns.  We’ve been instructed to make sure we are communicating with our spouse about our expectations – with the kids, with chores, and with intimacy.  As one experienced wife put it, we need to know whether he is expecting things to be like a microwave or a crock-pot that first night. I thought that was a great analogy!

Thankfully, Hubby and I have been doing a lot of communicating.  It’s something we’ve always been pretty good at, so we’ve been asking each other questions about expectations and sharing with each other what we are looking forward to.  We need to be on the same page so that unmet (and unspoken) expectations don’t cause friction, and I think we are right there together!  Such a great feeling!

It’s funny because when I thought he was coming home in May, I had myself all prepared for that we were in a routine so it didn’t bother me.  Now that I know they are coming home, it just can’t get here fast enough!  It’s harder knowing it’s so close, but still so far.

For operational security reasons, I won’t be giving any specifics on here as to his return even once I know something (which I don’t yet!).  All I can tell you is what the media has already released, like I mentioned above.  Don’t worry though, I will let you know as soon as I can once his boots are on the ground here at home!

Strong Bonds Retreat at Great Wolf Lodge

This past weekend, Lovebug and I had the chance to attend a Strong Bonds retreat.  It was put on by the Army Chaplaincy and was specifically for spouses & children of deployed soldiers.  We were blessed with a free stay at the Great Wolf Lodge a couple hours away from Fort Bragg.  Our stay included dinner Friday, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, and lunch Saturday.  We didn’t even have to share our room with anyone! Of course the stay also included the waterpark during our free time, so that was an amazing bonus!  The only thing we had to pay for the entire time was for Lovebug to play the Magiquest game, but that was optional and completely our choice. 

The Army provided free childcare by licensed childcare providers while we attended sessions where we played ice breakers, chatted with friends, met new friends, and learned some great tips on communication with our spouse.

We had a great time!  Lovebug and I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with some great friends of ours, and we also had some fun time together just the two of us. 

If you ever get a chance to attend one of the Strong Bonds retreats (they also do them for single soldiers as well as for soldiers and their spouses), I highly recommend it!


We’re HERE!!



She must have been still eating her turkey on the way in because she has food in her mouth in this picture! Ewww – too bad, because otherwise, it’s a great shot 🙂



Our room



Chilling on the balcony





With her wolf ears! They came with the kids meal at lunch



She’s howling!



The kids got their faces painted, and there were several tiger friends running around.  She even got a wolf TAIL too the next time we went to the restaurant – extra treat!

2011-09-18_10-27-10_388     2011-09-18_13-58-43_692


MagiQuest adventure time


In the waterpark


 2123 2125 2126 2131


She went down this orange slide!! She was so nervous, but she said she really wanted to do it.  She doesn’t like fast slides at all, and she really doesn’t like the unexpected.  I was so proud of her for overcoming her fears and not letting them stand in the way of her fun.  I told her if she didn’t want to do it then she could walk away, but if she wanted to do it I would be there with her to help her.  She came down and was so excited she went back a second time!



Meeting Violet after the bedtime story and animal show



All tucked in with Daddy!



Thanks again to all the many people who made it such a wonderful weekend!

Take THAT, Murphy!

When Hubby was in AIT one of our vehicles had a flat tire, and I tried to change it myself.  I failed miserably. 

When he was at JRTC, Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) tried messing with our truck, but HE failed.  I can only chalk that one up to a true miracle.

Now that Hubby is deployed, Murphy tried messing with my truck AGAIN.  He almost slowed me down.  I thought I was going to miss a trip I had planned to see a friend.  I thought I was going to have to spend lots of money to get it fixed. 

But I was wrong!  I beat Murphy this time! With a lot of divine intervention and help from Hubby & a good friend, that is.

Our truck has been acting funny for a while, but this last week it started getting MUCH worse.  I’ll spare you the details, but driving a truck should NOT feel like you are riding a bucking horse.  I ended up getting the error code from the truck which told me that the problem was with the Throttle Position Sensor. 

What? You don’t know what that is?  Neither did I, but I do now.  Here, I’ll show you.


I consulted our trusty Haynes manual which gave me instructions on how to test and replace this faulty TPS.  They made it sound a lot more complicated than they needed to, so when I read it to Hubby we both decided that I should just take it in and let the Firestone people fix it for me.  Stuff about electrical currents and all.

Thankfully, I mentioned it on Facebook where one of our good friends saw it.  He has years of experience fixing his trucks, so when he found out what the problem was he was sure it was something I could do and gave me some pointers.

This morning, I dropped Lovebug off at camp and then headed to Autozone for the $30 part I needed.  I came home and got to work! 

First, I needed a screwdriver because I was going to need to remove 2 screws to get the part out.  Hmmmm, only these weren’t phillips or flat-head.  They were a star tip.  I’ve never seen that before, but I do remember Hubby asking for a set of star tips for his birthday, so I looked in his well-organized toolbox and found them. 

Great! It had a hole in the bottom, so I assumed I needed to attach it to something with which I would actually turn this thing.   Yep, laying close by I found the ratchet.  Cool, I can do this!

The next step was to use these tools and get the old part out of the truck.

FIRST – disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.  No electrocuting myself!

SECOND – I was supposed to disconnect the electrical connection of the TPS.  I pulled.  I tugged.  I wiggled.  I looked for a secret latch. It was NOT coming off. 

At this point I was doubting myself and giving myself a pep talk all at once.  I was NOT going to let this little thing beat me, but I also wasn’t sure how hard I could pull.  I have NO experience working on a car (other than removing a battery and putting it back in once), and I was a little concerned about messing with the electrical wires.   I was already thinking ahead that I might have to call a friend to take me to pick up Lovebug from camp.

Then I got an idea!  God bless Al Gore for inventing the internet (HA!) because I Googled my problem and found someone suggest prying it a bit with a flat tip screwdriver.  Well, I had considered that, but like I said I was concerned about breaking something.  However, now that some perfect stranger on the internet suggested it too, I figured it was a good idea. 

It worked!

Great, now all I have to do is get the 2 screws off and take the old part out.

Here is the old part, and all the tools I needed to do the job!



Well, almost all the tools. 

As I was in the middle of removing the screws, I dropped the star tip down inside the hood somewhere.  OOPS!

Thankfully, one of the other tools Hubby had requested for his birthday was a Magnetic Tool Retriever


It’s like he knew I would need these! 

Using the retriever and a flashlight I quickly recovered my dropped tip, and held on tighter the remainder of the time.


Next, I put the new o-ring and TPS on, tightened 2 screws, and reconnected the battery.

ALL DONE! In just 20 minutes, without paying $100 in labor charges, and I only got a little dirty.

2011-08-11_09-05-55_461    2011-08-11_09-05-46_526

Maybe I should be a mechanic when I grow up.  They make some good money for knowing how to fix things and getting dirty. 


It was actually quite fun and made me feel good to be able to fix this.  If Hubby had been here, he would have fixed it himself and I would have made him an iced coffee.  But, when you get thrown into the fire, sometimes you find out how strong you can be.  It felt good.   I’m so so thankful to God that this was a simple, inexpensive repair!  Sometimes God uses these challenges in our life to show us that we can, in fact, do all things through Him who gives us strength.

Note to Parents:  Teach your kids about tools and how to perform minor repairs on the car.  My dad always came to my rescue and fixed my flat tires and while that was awesome, I never learned anything about tools or taking things apart as a kid.  As a result, I now get a little timid around things like this because I’m worried I’ll break something.  Hubby was the kid taking apart the toasters in his free time, and is awesome about encouraging me to try.  That’s what I want for Lovebug – to know her way around tools and to experiment like that.  Maybe not with MY toaster, but I’ll gladly buy her one at Goodwill to play with. 

Just being real

I need to just be real today.  This past week has been hard for me.  Not hard in the grand scheme of life, but harder than before.  I miss my husband so much it hurts.  From the time we found out about the deployment up until several weeks after he left, I have been fine.  I really was.  I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t scared.  I got to talk to him almost daily.  I was fine.  I had a feeling from the beginning that it would hit me about 2 months in, and it sure did.

For the past almost 11 months, I’ve spent 2 of them with my husband.  The month after he graduated from AIT and he came home to move with us to our duty station, and then the month in between JRTC and deployment.  But even when he was in training, I was able to see him once a month.  Either he came home for a weekend, or I went to visit him.  Even though they were brief visits, at least I got to see him and it made the weeks in between go by faster.

A week ago, when the “2 months deployed” mark arrived, I realized this is the longest I have ever gone without seeing my husband.  Ever.  We’ve been married for almost 10 years and dated for a couple years before that.   So, one night this past week, I went to bed and as I looked at his side of the bed, I just cried.  I wanted him there, and not just because I like him to warm up my side of the bed.  I missed him so much.  I ended up staying up late watching TV until I was tired enough to go to sleep without thinking.

I know that 2 months is nothing compared to what most military spouses have gone through, but it’s just the start of mine.  If this deployment lasts a year, then out of 21 months, I will have seen my husband for 2 of them.

Words can’t describe the aching inside as I long to have him by my side.

Some days, most days actually…are great.  Lovebug and I stay busy going on adventures and playing with friends and it’s easy to focus on other things.  We cook together, we do homeschool, we play outside, we laugh!  We get to Skype with Daddy, to email him, to get letters from him.

But there are some days where I just get tired of doing it all.  The cooking, the cleaning, the homeschooling, staying strong in front of my daughter when what I really want to do is cry and let it all out, not getting to sit down and have a break until 8:30 at night and then being too tired to read the book I wanted to read.  Not having my partner to sit down with over dinner and talk about our days.  Not having someone to unwind with at the end of the day.  Going to bed alone.  Again.  I imagine he feels the same.

I don’t know how people do this without having a relationship with Christ.  That is what gets me through each day.  Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that we were called to this Army by our Heavenly Father.  Knowing that God is always there for us, will never leave us, or forsake us.  Knowing that He is in control and is more powerful than we can ever imagine.

My relationship with Christ doesn’t keep the pain away.  It just gives me a place to go when I can’t bear it anymore.  Arms that will hold me and ears that will listen and truly understand. 

Jesus knows what it feels like to be sad.  To be lonely.  To hurt.  He knows.  He wants me to turn to Him.

So I do.

I turn on my praise music, and I read His Word.  I remember those saints who have gone before me and I realize that I’ve really got it easy.  So, I’ll take a bubble bath and let the tears out.  I’ll go to bed early and make sure I get a good night of rest.  Then, I’ll start the next day with a cup of coffee and my prayer time as I ask God to give me strength to get through this day and to really cherish it.  I ask Him to help me thrive during this time…not just survive. 

And He did.  He does.  He will.

4th of July on Fort Bragg

Yesterday, Lovebug and I went to the 4th of July celebration on post.  It was one HOT, crazy day!  I was able to reserve a spot ahead of time by paying $25 for a 10×10 foot space with a canopy tent already set up for me. SO glad I did – totally worth it!  If Hubby had been here, I could have paid the $10 for a spot and set up our own tent, but I didn’t want to mess with that myself!  We had a great spot! We had a front row seat to see the paratroopers free-fall demonstration – always cool! I even got to share it with some good friends and it was so nice having the company!

It was crazy hot though!! Next year I will show up a little later, and with more ICE :)  We took tons of water and food though, so we were good, but I wasn’t thinking clearly and forgot a couple things that would have been a HUGE help.  Hubby’s Camelbak, and our large thermos that I could have filled with ice.  Oh well.  Thankfully they had a large water tank there filled with ice cold water that was available for FREE, so we filled our water bottles many times.

The kids area was NUTS! $7 for "all you can play" got us 3 bounce houses.  There were many more to choose from, but it was too hot (earlier in the day), or the lines were insanely long (later in the day).  Good thing Lovebug was happy with 3, and I consider it $7 well spent for her enjoyment.

Charlie Daniels was one of the performers, and being from Texas, I was so excited to hear him! Hubby and I both love his music and I was so sad that he wasn’t here to enjoy it with me.  As for the actual performance, we didn’t get to see too much, but we did enjoy listening to it.  Since our spot were no where near close enough to see the music stage, we walked over there for a bit to see about getting a couple pictures for Hubby.  We couldn’t get close enough to really see, and it was right in the SUN! After a couple songs, we went back to our shade and listened to the rest of it from there!  That was good enough for me and I enjoyed hearing it live. Had we been in the FRONT, it would have been awesome – I love Charlie Daniels and he plays a mean fiddle!  But, being in the back of the crowd wasn’t so exciting.   Gotta take your pick – reserve your spot with a canopy on one part of the field, see the parachute show and flag ceremony up close, or stake out a spot in front of the music stage.  Depends on your preference.  I was happy with our chosen spot.

Around 8:20 PM, just as they were posting the state flags, it started lightening and the sky turned super dark with rain clouds.  Lots of people started leaving.  We decided to hang on until the flags were done….until the winds went nuts and it started raining!  So, then we headed toward the car.  As we were walking, in the rain, we heard the lady start to sing the National Anthem.  So, what do Lovebug and I do? We stop in the rain, place our hands over our hearts and listen to it.  I figure if she can keep singing, we can wait 2 minutes.   I loved that both Lovebug and I stopped at the same time, and she turned around to tell me to put my hand over my heart just as I was doing it.  I didn’t even have to ask her to stop and show that respect.  Hubby would be so proud!

After that, as we continued walking toward the car in the rain, all of a sudden the rain stopped raining hard and was just barely coming down.  Suddenly we hear this BOOM and look up to see that we now have a PERFECT, front row "seat" to the fireworks show!! It was awesome! We stood there on the side of the road, looking right over the trees and watched the show.  Then, we finished walking to the car, and because of our careful planning on where we parked, we made it home in 20 minutes!  I was thrilled with that since I had heard stories of being stuck in traffic for over an hour to get home, even on post.

All in all, it was a great day!  I asked Lovebug if she thought it was worth going, and she said "definitely!", so I’m sure we’ll go again and I can’t wait to go celebrate with my Hubby next time!

Enjoy the slideshow!

Deployment: Week 3

It’s been just over 3 weeks now, so how are we doing?  I’ll tell you!

I hesitate to say it’s going well, because I don’t want anyone to think I don’t miss my hubby.  I do. A LOT.  At the same time, I’m getting to talk to him almost daily, and I just have to count my blessings.  When I think of those soldier’s families in years past – so many of them didn’t have the technology that we have now.  Even in “recent” years, it wasn’t like it is today.  Then if you think back to WWII, wives had to wait MONTHS just to “maybe” get a letter.  So, I can’t complain – I really can’t.

I have to say, these first few weeks of deployment are much easier than the last couple weeks leading up to it.  In that time leading up to him leaving, I was so focused on spending time with him, preparing myself for missing him, trying to make sure we got plenty of pictures, didn’t miss anything, and my emotions were going up and down like a roller coaster.  I was just ready for him to GO…so he could “Git R Done” and come home!

Now, we’ve settled into a routine again.  Lovebug and I are doing our school work, weekly field trip adventures, spending time with friends, going to the library, going swimming, and making sure we get in some downtime watching movies and reading to each other. 

I’m focusing on getting my daily time in the Word, my household chores, taking care of my health (eating right and exercising), and am even making progress on finding a new church (I think we’re getting closer!).  I’m also staying busy doing some volunteer work with the FRG, and with Wives of Faith.

And of course, there are the care packages! Lovebug and I have fun coming up with ideas for Hubby’s care packages and sending those to him.  We also write letters and send cards pretty often so we can feel connected to him.

So far, so good!  Of course it will be better when Hubby is here in my arms though!!

Project Homefront Week 1

Lovebug and I are doing a project this year while Hubby is gone.  We are going to (attempt to) take a picture of each of us every day just living life so that we can share those with him and help him feel more involved.  I missed getting one of me on one day, so expect some bumps along the way.  These are not going to be my best photos, as many of them will be taken with the camera phone, and half of them will be taken by Lovebug herself.  They might be taken early in the morning, or late at night.  That doesn’t matter.  I’m not worried about composition here, just sharing our lives with Daddy while he’s gone.

I share the pics with Hubby daily, but I thought you might enjoy seeing them too.

So, here you are….WEEK ONE!


225277_10150189566924294_814099293_6842773_1811370_n 230512_10150189567024294_814099293_6842774_3469222_n




  230122_10150193357129294_814099293_6874778_4015611_n    248417_10150193357279294_814099293_6874782_462028_n  249061_10150194316209294_814099293_6881013_5578014_n  249586_10150194316274294_814099293_6881015_4483242_n  250611_10150194316424294_814099293_6881018_7119488_n 249201_10150194316334294_814099293_6881016_3725711_n