He's back!  The world is right again.  The kids are happy, I'm happy, life is good....

For a few days anyway......We have done this reintegration thing 3 times.  This time is our 4th time.  I thought we had it down pat.  I was wrong.  Hubby came home and all was good for 4 whole days.  Then it hit, the rough patch came and it threw me for a loop.  What the heck?  We are old hats at this. Typically we don't even fight, and we especially don't fight  4 days after Hubby gets home from war.  What is going on in my perfect little world?  I am crushed, not only were we fighting, but it was so bad I was ready to send him back to Afghanistan and I'm serious.  Girl was so upset that when I went to tuck her in she was crying and begging me to stop fighting with her Daddy - she didn't sleep much that night and neither did I.  What were we fighting about you ask? Stupid shit.  Seriously.  Stupid S H I T.  He felt like I did too much while he was gone and that I was too controlling (HELLO - I've been the only adult here for a year, yes, I'm controlling and while you were away did you forget I am Type A?).  I hated that he came home and went straight to work on the house - cleaning out stuff and trying to take charge when all I wanted him to do was sit back and hang out with me and the kids.  I wanted him to have a little down time, relax and have fun!  I wanted to stare at him, touch him and savor the moments.   What is wrong with him I thought - why doesn't he want to spend every second with his family?  I was hurt and crushed and quite honestly I wasn't being very nice about it. 

That is when I had to take a look at myself and remember a few things:
1. - He is the boss at work. When he tells the children what to do, they look at me to make sure it is OK and then I give them the nod.  This can't be a good feeling for him.   
2. - He has been living by himself for 1 year.  Seriously, think about that.  He has lived by himself for 1 year, and then he is thrown back into this crazy life of 4 kids, a wife and a dog.  Even though it is good stuff can you imagine?  He can never get away.  Someone is always hanging on him demanding his attention because he is like a new toy to us.  We can't get enough of him.  We want to love on him, ask questions and just be near him - CONSTANTLY.  Geezs, if I were him I would fake going to work!  No joke!
3. - He rarely had to report to people.  Now all of a sudden I'm asking him all kinds of questions, telling him he needs to be here for this,  and there for that, don't forget that so and so needs this....  and I'm constantly asking him where he is going what he is doing, blah, blah, blah....this has got to make him insane.
4. - Not only is reintegration hard, but let's throw an overseas move on top of it, just because we can.  I'll be surprised if we are still married after all is said and done.  (I'm just joking, back off ladies, I still love and adore him! ;-)
 5. INTJ.  He is an INTJ on the Meyers Briggs Personality test....I'm an ESFJ.  If you know anything about Meyers Briggs, you will know that an ESFJ is a bit much for an INTJ at any given moment, not to mention during reintegration.  My emotions and feelings are hanging right out there on my sleeve, on his sleeve, really on anyone's sleeve that will listen. INTJ's well, not so much.   

So why do I tell you all this?  For those young military wives that think they are alone in this, you are not. I'm a (cough)  "seasoned" wife and  I've been around this block a few times and it is different every single time!  We all have our ups and downs.  Life is hard no matter who you are or what path you are on.  You just need to keep your shoulders back, chin up and move forward!  (A good friend told me this just today!) I'm in it for the long haul and if that means I need to take a look at myself and change a few things then that is what I am willing to do.  I am SO honored and SO proud to live this Army life with the love of my life ~ even when the road gets bumpy.....
Remember that feeling you would get when you were a kid of something happening that was so exciting that you couldn't sleep the night before? For me it was the night before Six Flags each year.  I remember one particular sleep over at a friend's house in JR High, we stayed up all night doing each other's make-up (and when I say doing each other's make up, it wasn't pretty - boy I wish I had pictures of that!) and then we were up, dressed, ready to go and waiting outside HOURS before my sister-in-law was to pick us up.  Ahh, I have that feeling again!  Something so exciting is happening that I feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest.  After a long year apart Hubby is on his way home.  The excitement is almost more than I can bear.  

Along with all that excitement comes so many more feelings, thoughts and questions that run through my head....Here is a sample of what goes through my head as my spouse returns from war: 

*What will I wear to the reunion?
*Will he still think I am beautiful, I mean this deployment has taken it out of me, I have more wrinkles than I could ever imagine, I'm not at my perfect weight, I can't seem to get rid of those dark circles under my eyes, and THANK GOD for hair color!
*Oh gosh, the house has to be perfect...."Don't walk on the floors!"
*Crap, I have to clean off the desktop of our computer - he can't stand all my files being right out in the open.
*What will the kids wear?
*How will he adjust to being in such a rambunctious house after living in a chew all by himself for over a year?
*I really need to get the tires on his jeep rotated.
*I wonder how much he has changed. 
*I hope I haven't changed too much.
*What will I fix for dinner on his first night here?
*Will things between us be weird?
*Will he mess with the A/C? I hope he remembers how cold I like to keep the house.
*OH CRAP, I can't remember his favorite soda....Diet Coke, or Diet Cherry Coke?
*WHY can't I find Singha in this God forsaken town?!?!?  That is all the man has asked for!
*Will we mold back together as parents and have a united front as we once did?
*Will the kids play us against each other?
*Why do my children seem so calm when I feel like I could have a panic attack at any moment?  Is something wrong with them, or me?
*I just said "my children" - oh no, what does that mean?  Am I too independant?
*Why am I sitting at this computer when I should be cleaning?
*I'm used to living alone, being the boss, how is he going to fit back into our family?
*I really need to fill those picture frames hanging on the wall.
*I really need a manicure and pedicure, but I don't think I will have time.
*OH, I really need to shave my legs.
*Will the kids like him more than they like me?
*Will he be happy to be home or will he want to run away?
*Will I be happy to have him home or will I want to run away?
*Will friends and family understand that we need and want family time without having people tugging at us from all different directions?
*Will he still love me?

Isn't that crazy?! I can't believe I (and so many other spouses) put myself through this, but each and every time Hubby deploys for extended periods of time I go through these feelings of happiness, excitement, uneasiness and straight up fear!   I know everything will be fine. It may or may not be a tough adjustment (every deployment is different), but I know we will make it through another reintegration cycle.  As it says at the top of my blog, we are....
Army Family, Army Strong.  

Last week I was talking to my brother over Facebook when I nonchalantly said, "I'm not even going to bother getting it fixed, I move to Korea in less than three months."  As I typed those 4 words, LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS I had an internal freak out.  Are you kidding me?  LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS.  That part isn't the real kicker, the kicker is all the thing I have to do BEFORE we move that have nothing to do with the move itself.   Not to mention that we don't have family orders yet.  Hubby has them for himself, but we are waiting for our family command sponsorship to come through, and if you think I'm sending him away for two years without our family, think again!  HEY KOREA, USFK, anyone out there listening?!?!  I would REALLY like to have our family orders IN HAND so I can finish up what needs to be done on this end!!  Fort Hood  sent the request over a month ago!!   I've got work to do over here and my time is dwindling.  Did I mention that I'm a planner?  (Yes, I do realize I should just be happy that I know this far out where we are moving to next.)

I need orders in hand to:  book travel, book moving companies (we will have 3 different pack outs), get Boy 1's drivers license since we have to report to Korea 6 Days before his 16th birthday....they tell me that if I have ORDERS WITH HIS NAME on them he should be able to get his driver's license BEFORE he turns 16, but I'm still waiting for those orders.  Hello people in high places in Korea...  I know I can wait for Hubby to get some of this done, but I would really like to get it done before he gets back (because I am good wife - stop laughing!  :)  so we can spend the last 6 weeks of our time here at Hood doing all the things that need to be done as a commander is changing out of command Not to mention that he will have just come back from a war zone and will need a tiny bit of a break before he moves overseas again...

Let me break it down for you:
4 weeks till Hubby comes home
9 weeks till Hubby's Change of Command
11 weeks till we clear Fort Hood
13 weeks till we are in South Korea
 And SO MANY THINGS in between.  Breathe.  Just breathe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, all things that are happening are good it is just that my head is just swirling! 

(And yes, I do realize we will not be IN Korea in less than 3 months, but our household goods will be packed and shipped in less than 3 months.)
I wrote this blog post on Sunday night, I wasn't going to post it, then I was, then I wasn't....here it is.  Maybe just maybe someone needs to hear this.....

It's true. There are days when deployment sucks more than other days. Today I planned to take the kids to Sweet Berry Farm for a little strawberry picking. It didn't happen. I stayed in my PJ's all day long. (Don't worry, I didn't leave the house - I don't think it will EVERY be THAT bad!) Yes, that is unusual for me but sometimes everyone needs a PJ day, plus the kids were more than happy to play outside with their friends and NOT go strawberry picking! 

Today was total pity party day.  Woe is me, my life is hard, blah, blah, blah.....  I know, I always preach “put your big girl panties on”, but mine were in the laundry today.  I do agree it is not OK to have a pity party EVERY DAY, but one day every few months is OK as long as it doesn’t last too long. I think this was my 3rd, maybe 4th  pity party this deployment.  For me this pity party has been building for a while now. I'm tired. I miss my husband!  I've been going 100+ miles an hour since deployment hit 10 months ago. (I'll wait for you to get your violins out…) I've been a single mom, (BUT I'm married) I've been the 'dad', I've been the only one to shuttle kids around from activity to activity, I've been the only grocery shopper, cook, nurse, vet, gardener, housekeeper (OK, I did get someone to come in and help me with that every two weeks), teacher, disciplinarian, DRIVING INSTRUCTOR (which is enough to put anyone over the edge), mechanic, (maybe I'm getting carried away here, but I DO take both cars in for routine maintenance)..... and being the only one to do all of that sucks! I've been worried about Hubby and TF Maverick more than normal these past few weeks - if you are keeping up with what is going on in Afghanistan right now you will understand why. I've been worried more about Boy 2 who has been acting out a little more than normal. He is our worrier and I know he is worrying about Daddy too - it shows in his drawings. Boy 1 is a great teenager, but even great  teenagers know how to push their mom's buttons! Girl was bullied in school this past week and Momma Bear had to go in and talk with her teacher and then to top it off somehow her Texas Brown Tarantula ended up on the wrong side of the cage and was hanging out with the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula.  Now if you know anything about spiders, this is NOT a good thing. Girl cried for over an hour because her FAVORITE tarantula was eaten by her other tarantula.  (I know, most of you are scratching your heads wondering if you read that correctly - yes, you did and this is a story for another time.) Boy 3, well, he doesn't seem too effected other than the fact that he 'sneaks' into my bed every night and I am awoken by a foot to the face about 3AM EVERY NIGHT.  OH and did I mention that I am TIRED?  So again, woe is me.
Pity parties aren't all bad. Sometimes I need to have one to realize just how blessed I am, and let me tell you, I AM BLESSED!  My husband ROCKS. He is very involved when he is here. He helps take the kids to school and to sporting events; he does the lawn work, car maintenance, helps the kids with school work and so much more. He is the backbone to our family. When he is not here I actually have much more help than I let on in the previous paragraph.  Boy 1 mows the lawn and the little guys pick weeds. When I am at my wits end Boy 1 takes charge.  He is an amazing big brother and son - he ALWAYS steps up when he sees the need or when ask to.  I have AMAZING friends that bring dinners to us occasionally and that call me when they are at the commissary to see if they can pick anything up for me. I have found bottles of wine and all kinds of Cavalicious paraphernalia at my front door waiting for me when friends know I have had a rough day and many times 'just because'.  Did I mention that I am blessed?    

So I've had my pity party for today and now it is over. I finished it off with a batch of Brown Buttered Brownies and lots of hugs from a few terrific kids (If that’s not a cure all, I’m not sure what is!) Tomorrow is a new day. I will wake the kids with a song and a smile (No, I'm not joking - they wish I were!), make Texas shaped waffles and bacon and put this day behind me.

Only 6 more trash days (give or take a few)......
Over the years many people have ask me about military life, they ask questions like:  "Isn't it hard being a military family?"  "How can you move your family every few years?"  "Isn't it hard on the kids?"  "How do your children handle switching schools during the school year?"  "How can you handle your husband being gone for long periods of time?"  "How do you handle deployments?"   And statements like this are made often:  "You are so strong; I could NEVER be a military spouse."  "I wouldn't be able to move like that - I need a place to call home, a place to have roots"

Let me tell you a little about me: I grew up in the same city from the time I was born until the time I graduated high school.  I moved 2 times, once after my Dad died when I was 11 and one time in high school when we moved to another town that bordered my hometown –and that was traumatic!  I thought I was going to stroke out then and there.  There was NO WAY I was going to go to another high school and I didn't.  I used my sister's address so I could remain in the same school.  As a teenager I thought that was probably the worst thing that could have happened to me.  After high school I moved to another town in Texas not too far from my home town to go to college.  After my first year in college I moved to Wyoming to work on a dude ranch for the summer, and that is when I got the 'bug'!  Up until this point Texas was all I knew - I had only taken one airplane ride my ENTIRE life (to California after my father's death),  and I had been to Oklahoma, but come on who counts Oklahoma as a 'destination'?  From there I moved to New York to be a nanny and I went to school part time.  Since my time in NY I haven't looked back - I was hooked on traveling. Up until this point I would have NEVER considered living any place but Texas permanetly.  I was Texan through and through.  If someone had told me back in the day that I would be a military spouse in the future and would be moving every two years on average I would have laughed in their face and told them that they didn't know what they were talking about.   Fast Forward to today, 20 + years, 13 moves, 6 states, 2 countries, 4 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 tarantulas, 4 hermit crabs, several water crabs and too many fish to count later, Hubby is going to be the one trying to convince me that it is time to retire from this life.  I love *almost* everything about military life.  First and foremost I adore my husband. (And not just because he has been deployed for 10 months.)  This is not to say we are perfect, because in fact we are FAR from perfect, but I still adore him nonetheless. I love exploring the place the Army decides to make our home for the time being.  We try to see as many sights in the area as possible.  I love meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.  Since we have been an Army family for so long when we move to a new place we always have old friends to meet up with. So, at this point it really isn't like we are starting all over with each new destination.  I've learn not to say good-bye to friends,  but to say see you at the next duty station.   So you see, I wasn't always the adventurous person that I am today.

To answer some of the questions above -
"Isn't it hard being a Military family?"  No, not really.  It is what you make of it.  The way you live life is a choice. Sure we sometimes have a few more challenges than 'normal' families, but to us this life IS normal. We are a family and we have a strong bond.  This life is a choice, if you choose to embrace this life then there is nothing you can't do!  It is those that choose NOT to embrace this life that have a hard time with it.
"How can you move your family every few years?"  Easy! The Army hires movers; it is part of the package deal!  They come in and pack you up and they will even unpack you at your destination if you choose to have them do so! 
"How do your children handle switching schools during the school year?" I've learn that moving during the school year isn't so bad and the majority of our kids prefer it.  This way they can make new friends BEFORE the summer because as you know, summer is VACATION time, lots of families are gone for at least part of the summer making it harder to meet people!  This is not to say that saying goodbye for the wee one's isn't hard because it is.  There are always tears (and this is the hardest part for me), but thanks to technology kids are able to stay in touch with each other much easier than in the 'olden days' when letter writing and long distance phone calls were the only options!
"How can you handle your husband being gone for long periods of time?"  This is relevant.  I consider a year a long period time.  Two-six weeks is a vacation from cooking and cleaning.  I welcome two-six weeks in the field here and there.  It does a marriage good.  Seriously. When Hubby has been home too long and we start wearing on each other's nerves we know it is time for him to go to the field!
"How do you handle deployments?" One day at a time!  I won't lie, deployments are hard.  Being away from the one you love for extended periods of time SUCK.  Parenting alone sucks. I would HATE to be a single parent.  I am so thankful Hubby and I are on the same page (most of the time) when it comes to parenting!   The kids and I stay busy during deployments.  I volunteer more than normal during deployments.  The kids have LOTS of sleep overs during deployments.  Porch parties with girlfriends are a MUST!  The beauty of deployment is that it makes you realize many things about yourself and your relationship - I have realized that I am a much stronger woman than I ever gave myself credit for and that I love my husband more than I ever thought possible. Plus, I'm the lucky one, I get to keep the kids during deployment - hubby is alone.  I don't know if I could live without hugs, kisses, yelling, tattling and all the other things that come with a family for an entire year.  Oh, and wine helps too. :o)
"You are so strong; I could NEVER be a military spouse." If this life chooses you and you embraced it, yes you could.  In my experience  military wives are just like other wives, you do what needs to be done for your family.
"I wouldn't be able to move like that - I need a place to call home, a place to have roots" Humph...we do have a place to call home, it is where we are living at the time. And as for roots, we have those too, ours just happen to dig further into the ground and spread wider than 'normal' roots.  Our roots are our family values, morals, integrity, each other, our military community, our biological family and the way we give back to the community we live in at the time.   Remember how I told you we have military family where ever we move to?  Those are parts of our roots and like I said, they spread far and wide!  We may not have one particular house to return to, but we do have each other to return to.  That is home and that is where our roots begin.  

Since this is such a hot topic I ask friends to tell me one thing they LOVE about being a military spouse.  Here are some of their answers:

I love the lifelong friendships that I make at each duty station. ~ Crystal
That my husband is a bad ass. He would be anyway, but seeing him in camo with a gun. Mmm. He's hot! ~ Tori
I love the moving...not all the glasses I unpack...I love the friendships...I love the opportunities...dear Lord I could go
on.... ~ Suzy
I lived in the same town until I was 29 and I LOVE moving! Knowing there's a new adventure ahead every 2 or 3 years keeps me sane! ~ Carey-Leigh
I love the travel, our lifestyle, the power as a spouse that we discover as we grow (separations), we can move anywhere and convert a shack into a home, our kids talk about countries we visit not parks so much....I can go on
:) ~ Carmen
I love the moving and adventures of living in a new town. Each time we get orders I get excited to GOOGLE our new place and find exciting things to do...I love being proud of my husband and the sacrifices he makes for our family and Country. And...I love making new friends that become your family! Being from Fort Benning...I love the pride that a Military Community shows toward the USA! ~ Tracy
I love that no matter where I go, the "Sisterhood" goes with me. :) ~ LeAnn
I love that it shows you how much you really love your spouse. I think people throw marriages away every day...but when the love of your life leaves the country to go get shot at, you realize how much he means to you. And you realize how strong you are. Being in the Army has strengthened our marriage more than anything else could have. ~ Peggy
I like that it forces me out of my comfort zone, so I can be all I can be and I'm NOT in the Army! ~ Rachale
I love the adventure and the wonderful people I meet along the way! ~ Cyndi
The people I get to meet! ♥  ~ Becky
I love all the amazing friendships I have made. No matter what happens in your life, these are the women that will be by your side in a minute. ~ Michelle
The challenges we have daily aren't the obstacles so many perceive hem to be....the challenges are like a good spice blend, testing us and challenging us to think outside of the box! It's a blessing! And I would agree about all the
hubby things and the girlfriend "sisterhood." We've learned it truly isn't goodbye but until we meet again... ~ Roxanne B
I have the biggest family with homes all over the world! ~ Roxanne S
And to be fair I ask them what they dislike about being military spouse:
The waiting.... I love having my hunny by me. And I know it is his duty to go where they send him...I just hate
the wait (will always wait for him) but i hate that time more than anything. fear of the unknown i guess. ~ Loretta (Her hubby is about to do a 1 year unaccompanied - that is right, she can't go-  tour to Korea)
I've found those people that I want to be old and senile with, but they live all over the flippin globe.  How the hell am I going to get to all those patios? ~ Jefanna
Having to say good-bye, even thou it's short term because I know there is a Hello! on the other end! ~ Roxanne
Coming across a spouse who wears her husband rank! ~ Wanda
When non-military people forget that there are still people in war zones fighting or in danger, finding a new hair person/church every time we move, leaving good friends behind, developing new allergies, trying to hang the dang curtain rods in cheap dry wall... ~ Rachel
incessantly having to start over . . . and wives that complain the longest and the loudest, but when it comes down to it, they have NO clue what they are talking about . . . ~ Allison
Deployments. Having to leave good friends. ~ Becky
Moving to a place that I don't like or a place that is not on "MY" list of places to live. ~ Beverly
Unpacking glasses, hoping my boys are okay, missing fun friends....and leaving ideal weather.........the large amounts of money, that is not reimbursable to start up a new home.....condiments, some dinners out, cleaning supplies, etc...... ~ Suzy
‎"knowing" where you're PCSing next, only to have it ripped away and somewhere completely different given to you...not that that's happened to me of course..... LOL...and we always seem to find the city's BEST pizza about 3 weeks before we move...how does this consistantly happen??? ~ Cara 
Wondering...will this be a door to door move or....will I actually have a house when we get there....hoping the school system isn't a complete failure....please tell me there's a whole foods or Trader Joes near by.....will I like my neighbor.....one more house with suck as* carpet.... ~ Nancy
Unpacking, saying good-bye, and dealing with your kids heartaches due to leaving friends behind--so hard! ~ Kelly
Curtains...I have 2 boxes of them! I just want uniform WINDOWS...is that so much to ask? ~ Jamie
Having to much furniture or not enough furniture depending upon the house that we are moving to, leaving friends, finding a good dentist and hair stylist, and having to interview for a new job (I really hate this part!). ~ Jane
My kids having to leave their friends is harder for me then leaving my own, routine changes, having to find quality athletic/sports for my kids to participate in (good gym for gymnastics, soccer league, piano teacher), shopping locations and feeling like the first day in high school when you size up who you will pal with:)  ~ Carmen

So, as you see, this military life isn't so bad, and as for me, I wouldn't change a thing...wait scratch that....I wouldn't change much about it....

Each month of deployment our battalion has held a large event in hopes of helping spouses connect with each other and to help the time go by more quickly.  It is true that you cannot speed up time, but during a deployment time seems to move slower than a turtle running a 5K. 

Month 10 (yes we are ALMOST THERE!!) was marked by having a Cav Hatters Tea Party!  The theme of this even was "the many hats we wear'.  We ask participants to come dressed in their Sunday best and to wear a "Cavalicious Hat" (store bought or homemade)  that shows the many hats you wear as a military spouse.  We had some amazing hats as you can see ---->!

At our monthly events each company (there are several companies in a battalion - six in our battalion) battles it out for the coveted Traveling Trophy.  When a company 'wins' the trophy they take it for the month and add something to it.  This is what the trophy looked like in the beginning:
And this is what it looked like before the Cav Hatters Tea Party:
Things that have been added: Stetson, small base, larger base, pink sparkle spurs, spur key chain, musical notes, pinecone turkey, Christmas ornament & tacky tinsel!
The Fort Hood Culinary Arts Team graciously made all the desserts for us!
I love the detail on many of the hats...notice the peanuts for Georgia and the flip flops for Hawaii?
Don't you just love the two naked baby girls on top of the 'S'? ;o)
This was my hat...
Another view of my hat.
The over-all hat winner! I wish I had a better picture of this one...she ran out of room on her hat, so she had to extend it into a veil!
Ops Company decorated the room and turned it into a Cav Wonderland!!
Musical notes, Stetson...can you guess who this hat belongs to? (Hint, the 1st Cav Band is in the HHBn Battalion!)
I just love the 'Bow Heads'!!
Love my Cavalicious girls!
All things that glitter!
Our British Spouses hat! She is always so elegant!
It sparkles, just like our spouses!!
And the company that walked out with the traveling trophy for this event was Ops Comany!!
Ops Company set up a photo booth for our guest to take silly pictures! How fun is that?
Our guest speaker was AMAZING! Teri drove in from Lousiana to talk to us about the many hats we wear.  She was funny, inspirational and by the time she left she was a part of the HHBn Cav family!  She is not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. 
She put on at least 10 different hats to represent the different hats we wear on a daily basis!
While wearing this hat she was heckled by someone in our audience (all in fun of course!).
Teri's sister came to offer support! :o)
What a great afternoon with a bunch of great ladies!! Only 2 more months to go!! We can do this!
If you would like to read more about this event here is a link to the article in the Fort Hood Sentinel.
I know, I know - we have been back in school for 3 weeks now. I'm a little behind.  Back on the 17th of August we had a battalion back to school bash at Summer Fun Water Park in Belton.   This is a small water park, but it was packed with loads of fun!  This was my first time at this water park, and I was sad about this....if I had known about this water park before now we would have had summer passes!!  Summer Fun Water Park is perfect for younger kids (under the age of 12) but all will have fun here!   They have 2 big water slides, a lazy river, a big pool, rings that you try to swing across the pool on, a little kid section volley ball pits and lots of places to hang out in the shade.  You can bring in food and drinks, but if you don't - no need to worry they have a full snack bar complete with pizza and sno-cones! AND the prices are reasonable.  Seriously - if you buy a soda here, don't forget to save your cup because refills are much cheaper if you bring your cup back!  The battalion rented a pavilion for the day. 
Hooah! :)
We all got a kick out of this sign. We are the HHBn, not the HHBM.
Boy 3's first time down the water slide...he took it nice and easy the first time, but after that all bets were off and he was flying!
I never saw anyone get past the 4th ring.
Some of you may have noticed that I am a *wee* bit competitive. We started having water slide races (they have 2 water slides exactly the same right next to each other), and I want you all to know that I am the water slide CHAMPION for the HHBn. I beat all children and adults. Yeah, I'm proud. ;o)
I always have on a little CAV flair.
HHBn spouses and children battle it out for the traveling trophy with a back to school trivia game.
Ops Company - Proud new owners of the traveling trophy! They were tied with I&S Company and DSC - the tie breaker was who could sing the Army Song the best....Way to go Ops CO!!!
The coveted traveling trophy.
This flag still stands for FREEDOM.
10 years ago on this day I was 8 months pregnant with Girl,  I was at home in Fort Knox, KY watching Good Morning America. As I watched the second plane hit I knew at that moment it was not an accident. Post shut down. Ten years ago today we experienced the worst attack America will never forget. It has led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where my husband currently serves and where troops continue to deploy. Today and every day I pray for all their safety. Today and every day I remember those that have lost their lives and pray for those that lost loved ones. Today and every day I remember the first responders and say thank you to them. I would also like to say thank you to the ones that got out alive and still wear the scars on the inside and outside who often wonder 'why was I spared'.  Today and every day I say thank you to all that have served and are serving our country. Today and every day I say thank you to my husband who has missed first steps, first haircuts, the first visit from the Tooth Fairy, the first day of kindergarten, the first day of junior high, countless birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases and too many normal days to count. He does this for us, all of us, you included and he is just one of many. Thank you to my children who don't know any other life and live this life to the fullest.  Thank you for being kids that honor their nation and The Flag, kids that when you hear the national anthem play you stop what you are doing and put you hand over your hearts and stand in reverence no matter where you are or what you are doing.  Thank you for being kids that get angry when you see others not stopping in their paths to do the same. Thank you for being kids that are proud to be called "Army Brats".  Thank you for being kids that know Daddy's job is to leave for years at a time to 'go fight the bad guys' knowing all the while that you may not ever see your Daddy again. Thank you to all the military brats that live this life.  Thank you to all the soldiers and your families for all the sacrifices you make during these long deployments because of what happened to all of us on this day 10 years ago......
Soldiers of 1st Cav HHBn Rear Detachment at Killeen High School, 9-11 Remembrance ceremony.
Freedom Walk at Killeen High School. Wounded Warrior Transition Unit - walking in honor of those that have been effected by 9-11-01
Proud Army wives walking to honor all those effected by 9-11-01
Walking to honor our Maverick Battalion!!
Thank you.
Just in case you don't know this...the Round Rock Express are total lovers of the military. They GIVE the military tickets ANYTIME they want them.  For an extra bonus event in the month of August I picked up 80 tickets for the Round Rock Express Game - FOR FREE!!!  Which I totally appreciated. Thanks to all the families that came out to support!
Boy 3 showing his Granny where to go.
Showing support for our soldiers so many miles away.
Boys will be boys!
Look Dad - one of the players came up and gave me a ball!!
Round Rock Express, thanks so much for being so good to our military!  You guys ROCK!  (No pun intended.)
***Warning, I'm feeling down. Don't read if you are expecting me to be funny or uplifting - I am sure to disappoint. ****
What a day. 
Today is Hubby's birthday.
Birthdays are a big deal in our house.
We like to pamper the birthday person.
Today started off kind of 'blah'....everyone was feeling kind of 'blah', and the kids all woke up and said different 'blah' type things- one said - "today is Dad's birthday, what do you think he is doing?" One woke up and pathetically said "Happy Birthday Dad..." One burst into tears. Another was solemn. I was trying to keep it happy but all the while I was super sad on the inside. Typically we would send someone a package - a party in a box - and ask them to decorate Hubby's office. This year he specifically ask us NOT to do that. Crushed as we were we listened and honored his wishes. No party in a box. We sent him birthday packages, but that is not the same, no streamers, no balloons, no cake, no nothin'. I bet no one even knew it was his birthday - he's just that type of guy. Thinking about that (no one even knowing or caring that it was his birthday) all day today made me even more sad. No one was there to give him a hug, make him breakfast, decorate his room, or bake a birthday cake for him. He probably didn't even think twice about it being his birthday, it was just another day for him...he says every day is like Groundhog Day. I bet he didn't even save his birthday packages to open on his birthday. What made it even harder for me is that I couldn't even call him to say happy birthday.....sometimes I hate deployments, today was one of those days.