How do you want to be remembered?

I’ve been deep in thought the last month. I have been reflecting on each detail of my life. I’ve been asking myself hard questions and I have been trying to breathe and accept change. With this, I have been overly anxious, more so than usual.

I have been quicker to anger, I’ve been unpleasant to be with, and I have been just emotional. The other night on my way home from work, I just needed to call my grandma. I sadly hadn’t spoken to her in a few weeks but knew she would say the things I needed to hear.

She made a simple statement, “when I die, I just want to be remembered as being kind.” If any of you know my grandma, we all know that amazing woman only knows how to be kind. She truly would give her shirt off of her back to a complete stranger. This really struck me hard. Dying is inevitable but how we live and love is how we will be remembered. When we are physically gone, our actions live on way longer.

Talk about real talk. Ever since that conversation, I have been actively working on me. The quote “love is patient, love is kind” has stuck with me. I love with my whole heart. I am kind but far from patient. I feel like I have a big heart and try to be kind to everyone but I have a problem with being patient. My temper is quick and my words can be fierce.

My child is a sponge right now and I really need to ensure that she remembers me the way I would want to be remembered. With that, I am choosing to practice kindness and patience. How do you want to be remembered?

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Bigger and better in Texas?

img_4170They say everything is bigger and better in Texas but so far I beg to differ. It’s been a rough go for me here.

It’s always hard to move but it’s been especially hard for us this year. We have moved 4 times in three completely different states this year: Hawaii, Missouri, and now Texas.  Not just the packing, moving, and unpacking but finding new doctors, HAIR DRESSERs, dentist, vet, favorite restaurant, grocery store, etc…. while trying to make friends and keep adulting. Also let’s talk about finding the motivation to want to workout too on top of cleaning your new house and making it a home. It’s all SO exhausting.

I have been tirelessly cleaning my new house top to bottom while unpacking and I absolutely feel like it’s never ending. My “vacation” truly isn’t relaxing. So I decided to spoil myself and go get my hair done. I don’t know what it is but I have been cursed by the hairgods for the past almost year. I do my research and find the best around and I always have the worst luck.

4 hours later, a bleached Lularoe shirt, and a raging headache…. I came out with… purple and gray hair when all I wanted was blonde highlights. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking that is. It truly has set my mood for this time in texas so far.

To add to the list: my packages have been delivered to the wrong house every single time so far, this puppy I got destroys everything in his path and has eaten cords to electronics, brought poop inside to Jecelin’s playroom, ruined new decorations I got, and I go back to work next week and have to meet new friends.

Also, we  want another baby but Jecelin’s toddler tantrums have been WICKED. She still doesn’t like to sleep through the night and she has to be twisting my hair to fall asleep. I never realized how dependent a little human can be 24/7 til I met my little J. Trying to find out the right time to have another baby is unsettling too. Is there ever a right time?

but hey, we got a new Ninja coffee maker… and it’s been life changing so there’s a positive.

I know there are much more serious things going on in our world right now and my problems are minimal compared to them. With that, let’s hope for a better week for all. Stay safe my friends.

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Working mom 

This is to the working Moms. This is to the women who pre kids and pre work life used to feel beautiful. 

As I lay here on my bed on a Saturday morning watching my sick baby sleep, I am overwhelmed with the huge list of things I should be doing. I am unmotivated and hell, maybe slightly depressed. This year has sped by. In less than a month, my little baby will be one.

I never really could grasp when  people used to tell me, enjoy your time with your husband while you guys are kid free. 
Being a mom has changed me. It has changed me for a lot of good, but there is some bad and ugly that surfaced too. My entire life I have been a go-getter, an overachiever, beyond motivated, a perfectionist, and I hate to admit it OCD. I  can stress my own self out with even the thought of my own expectations. 

This year I have let who I am go. As I try to adapt and learn about my new title as a mom, I have given up. I appearance wise am not the old Ashley anymore. I used to love how I looked and used to love taking a “selfie” because I felt beautiful. I truly can’t tell you the last time I got dolled up just because. The last three weeks, I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to get “all pretty” just because but guess what? I haven’t done it. I feel ugly, I feel unattractive to my husband, and I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Because I feel ugly on the outside, I have been letting a lot of ugly from the inside surface. Goals wise, I have given up too; I feel defeated. Every time I try to accomplish a task, J wakes up, cries, wants to be held. I’m not complaining or making excuses. She is a baby and baby’s need us but it has taught me patience but it has also made me bitter. My life is different than a year ago. Time management has been a bitch and things have been paused. I feel guilty when I’m away from J because I don’t want to miss a thing but I am running on “E”.

I’m exhausted. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night or even slept more than 5 hours total. I get up at 4 am everyday and don’t get home until 5 pm. I’m commuting more to work than usual and there’s a lot more preparing things the night before now. I feel like I’m the energizer bunny from 4 am-10 pm. 

My marriage. It has changed too. I feel like I’m in a business partnership. We make a pretty good team but we both have exhausting days. The weekend is a struggle to chose if we catch up on all our chores and soon schoolwork or do we neglect it and go do something fun or heck just sleep in and relax. 

Not too sure what the point of this post is but I do want to give a shout out to all the working parents out there. Also to the working parents with sick babies. This thing called life is beautiful, confusing, and challenging. I am thankful for all the support and friends that have helped me balance and learn how tough and rewarding mommy life can be. 

Now, time for some coffee ☕️ 

Mahalo Hawaii

I’m an emotional mess as I write this post. I started writing this post a week ago but have had a Hawaii hangover this past week. We said goodbye to our home and my heart broke a little as we handed over the keys. I always bitched about that house and the mold and how tiny it was but you know what? It’s where I took FOUR pregnancy tests in total shock I was going to be a mom. It’s where I flung open the door to the bathroom with a pregnancy test in one hand and a bib in the other and watched Daniel’s face as I told him he was going to be a daddy. It’s where we spent three Christmas’, it’s where we hosted the many family and friends that came to visit this piece of paradise, it’s where I watched my husband eagerly build all the furniture for our child’s nursery, and where we brought our sweet J. It’s where I watched my parents lay eyes on their first grand baby! It’s where so many amazing memories were made with friends who turned into family. 

This was the first true place I “adulted.” This is where I truly fell in love with Daniel. It’s where we worked through our difference; where we cried with each other, shared countless laughs, and where we expanded our family. It’s where the Army trusted me to lead Soldiers for the first time. It’s the first for a lot of things for me and for that I will forever be grateful.

May 16, 2013 Daniel and I got married in Hawaii, just the two of us with God and a complete stranger as our witness. Three and a half crazy and fulfilling years later and we have created so many more memories; all here in Hawaii. 

 

We have traveled throughout Hawaii, have hiked to beautiful waterfalls, scenic points, snorkeled amongst the most beautiful fish and sea life,  ate amazing new foods, and made life long friends. 

Sadly this Army life is crazy and it sucks saying “see you soon” to amazing friends that have become family. I’m not good with goodbyes at all and this past few weeks has been extremely hard on me. The hardest thing was watching all my friends develop a relationship with J. It warmed my heart watching how deeply they all cared for her. 

I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to blossom in Hawaii. I’ve meet some amazing mentors, I’ve learned hard lessons, I’ve led Soldiers, I’ve seen the most beautiful things. I’ve frolicked with the most beautiful animals in the ocean, I’ve hiked volcanos, and I tried everyday to touch the people and things in my life in a positive way. 

I will miss you Hawaii and you will always own a piece of my heart. Thanks for loving my family. Mahalo and until we meet again! 🍍❤️

To my Husband

To my amazing Husband Daniel, 

You earned a new title 7 months ago. You added, Daddy, into your identity and I have never seen an identity fit a person better. To say you’re an amazing Daddy is an understatement. From the moment we found out we were expecting you started preparing for your journey as a Dad. You stood by my side, catered to me, held me while I cried, built our babies’ furniture from scratch, and went to every appointment and class with me. 

The day my water broke we were both so excited and scared. But you know what? You stood tall next to me for the entire 24 hours I was in labor. You respected my wishes for my labor and encouraged me throughout it all. I will never ever forget when it was go time to push how amazed you were. You were the first person to put your hands on J in this world. As you pulled her into this world, she knew right then that you were going to be her guardian forever. She came into this world knowing she was safe and loved. 

Since the day J came in this world, I have seen a change in you. A good change though. You are even more patient than I thought you could be, you spend as much time as possible with J, you take her everywhere with you, she melts every time she hears your voice or sees you. I’m not even one bit jealous that she’s a daddy’s girl because she has the best daddy ever. 

You change her, you clothe her, you bathe her, you feed her; you do it all! A lot of women say you’re so lucky to have so much help. Yes I agree to that but parenting takes two. Daniel, you’re the best partner I could ever imagine. I woke up this morning to a quiet house and when I called you, you were grocery shopping with the baby. Yes you could have woken me to watch her while you ran an errand but you didn’t. Some people use their baby as an excuse but you NEVER have. I’m not always sure that I’m cut out for this Working Mom thing but it’s only possible because of you. I love you Daniel and you complete me! 

It’s here 

Absolutely sick to my stomach and possibly a slight depressed. This next week is coming quickly and I have to return to work. I am actually crying as I write this. The past 10.5 weeks has been the best. I have learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I have learned to function on little sleep, I have learned so much about patience, I have learned about unconditional love, and I have incorporated poop/boob words/stories in my everyday language without even thinking twice. I have transformed completely and fully love my new title as Mom. I have never felt more needed and wanted in my life. Call me selfish but I love when I’m the only one that can calm my baby down. I love when she follows me with her eyes as I cross the room. I love that as soon as she’s in my arms she relaxes and I love how we snuggle up in bed every night together. Starting Wednesday I’ll be spending 12 out of 24 hours away from her.

Daniel and I have chosen to opt for a live in nanny to keep Jecelin as comfortable as possible throughout the day. Knowing she is home will make me feel better but I still feel overwhelmed. It’s my baby. Anyone should feel so blessed to spend the day with her. She’s truly a gift from God and she’s given me a new spin on life. 
So here it goes. My second letter to my little baby.

Dear Jecelin,
You are 78 days young today! You amaze me more everyday. Your newest trick is rolling over and you are so proud of yourself. You have been talking up a storm, you hold your head up like a superstar, you give open mouth kisses, you’re so ticklish, and you are starting to love massages. You are such a perfect little baby. I have to leave you next week to go back to work. I will not stop thinking about you throughout the day. Mommy has been acting really strong about it all but it’s hitting me that we won’t spend every single day together now. I hope one day you know how hard this is but why I’m doing it. I am already so excited for your future and I am trying my best to ensure you’ll always have what you need. I am sobbing as I write this and as I watch you peacefully sleeping on my lap. Your fur siblings and Madi will take good care of you. The best part of my day each day will be coming home to you. I love Jecelin Connie and I can’t express to you how blessed I am to be your Mommy and watch you grow.

💙 Mommy 

Torn- what is my identity?

I have been so torn lately. My heart has been aching, I’ve been begging God for the answers, and I’ve been sick to my stomach thinking about the future.

I have precisely a month of maternity leave left with lots of activities going on between now and then. This past year I’ve been so torn thinking about if I wanted to stay in the military or exit it and move on to something else. I have been in the Army since June 2009. The National Guard/Army has made up a huge chunk of my identity the past almost 7 years. Without this chapter in my life, my life would have been much different.

I may have not went/finished college, I would have never done ROTC and met my husband, I would have never become an Officer and get to lead Soldiers, I never would have lived in Hawaii; my life wouldn’t be the same way without this amazing experience of serving in the United States Army. The Army has given me opportunity I never could have dreamed of before.

The past year and a half though, I’ve been questioning if I want to continue my service. I don’t feel like I am making the difference /being allotted the time and training I want to in order to do what I originally sought out to do when I swore my commitment to serve and defend the greatest country. The Soldiers, the Leaders, the mission isn’t the same quality of what it originally was. I don’t know how to explain it better, it’s just not the same for me anymore.

Throw in a newborn that melts my heart each and every minute of the day and knowing that I’ll soon be leaving her for long days at work where I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing/bettering the mission. I feel like the military has become so much more political lately, wasting lots of money, and getting very far removed from our tactical missions and training. Garrison life is beating down our Soldiers mentally and physically. 
Also, throw in living on an island in the middle of the Pacific away from my family… It’s just hard and emotional a lot. 

My identity has been Soldier and Leader for some time now. I’m scared. What would I do if I exited the military? What am I good at? What makes me happy? We only have one life on this Earth and damnit if I don’t live it doing something that makes me happy and impacts everyone surrounding me in a better way.

I am not one to sit around and do nothing. I strive for chaos and juggling many things at once. I have an undergrad in Speech and language sciences. Do I go back and pursue my masters to practice Speech Therapy or Audiology? That would mean I need to take the GRE. Do I want another baby in the near future? Daniel wants to stay in the military for a bit longer. Where do we go next? Not sure of any of the above. I keep sitting on all of this when the reality is within the next 6 months if I don’t make up my mind now, it could make the next year and a half way crazy for my little family. 

I am asking for many prayers and I’m hoping for some signs to lead me down the right path. As always, thanks for reading friends!