27 May 2011

things i'm loving '500 followers & Army wife life'

Greetings all,
This week with Paisley Jade 'i'm loving' . . . the big warm hug of 500+ followers, thank you & welcome.  I blog for my husband - he lives interstate & overseas - we miss him, but here he can see how the children are growing & what we're up to.  It's such a lovely bonus & surprise to know you are here too, i appreciate you all so much, your comments warm my lonely heart & blogging is the nicest head space. 
I've celebreated each new 100 followers with a little post sharing more about moi.  With the tragic news of the death of another soldier this week (& more wounded), it's a timely reminder of just how dangerous my husband's work is & the impact on families like us, so i'm going to share my take on . . . what it's like to be married to my handsome soldierAs an independent woman, it might be odd that my personal introduction to new people includes 'my husband is a soldier'.  It defines me, why i'm on my own, why i am self employed, where we live & where the children go school.   
With all the deployments, exercises, training & courses (read: time apart); moving interstate; war zones; parents with cancer/ heart attacks/ strokes/ Alzheimer's; buying houses; having babies; multiple babies . . . i've got a psych degree - i know these are ALL most stressful life experiences - we dealt with them all, in our 20s!!  We've never missed a beat, no break ups or hiccups, he's so easy to love & i could never stay angry with him for long . . . he has dimples!!     
 I could have been born 100 years ago . . . child bride marrying a soldier, having a large family, being a stay at home mother, breastfeeding, cloth nappies, handmade clothes, baking & loving it all, i think it fits with the challenges of modern Army wife life - those vintage ways & times - they got it so right.  Those mothers were on their own & had to discipline, teach & love the children, good cop & bad cop.  We wash the cars, put the bins out, clean gutters, drag 15m long palm fronds out of the garden . . . you just never stop.  
 So what is it REALLY like being an Army wife, beyond the fact you're married to a totally hot guy who makes you feel safe, loved & protected, he is paid to work out & has amazing job satisfaction from being in the ultimate boy's club . . . driving tanks, riding in helicopters, shooting guns & playing with high tech equipment with your mates.  We've seen helmet camera vision from Afghanistan - it's like an xBox war game.  It's balanced by statistics - soldiers typically have daughters & have to plait hair, tolerate pink & deal with glitter. 

When he's home, he's HOME, no laptops, phone calls or work (obviously, he doesn't practise soldiering around the house, doing room clearances & lobbing granades) so we fill the days with trips to museums, galleries, picnics & fun.  Soldiers have MORE clothes, shoes, accessories, luggage & expensive trinkets than an over indulged heiress.  Some have dedicated 'dressing rooms'.  If you dare say "seriously, you need another whatever" they have the "it might save my life" excuse.  There are trunks of gear in our garage i'll never wish to open!!
Everything in the Army has an acronym or abbreviation & many soldiers don't know how to speak in full sentances, as initials will do.  At BBQs they talk 'shop' which is so boring but . . . my all time FAVOURITE acronym is P.E.N.I.S. which stands for Practical Exercise Not Including Students & the abbreviation WOANAL for Warrant Officer Analyst.  He he he.  My husband loathes me changing plans without it in writing & 24 hours notice, pretty sure he'd like a shopping list to read "steaks, individual, eye fillet x 6".  His life is systematic, itemised & orderly.  He even likes his socks folded a certain way (happy socks ladies, they smile!!)
There is a rough, tattooed, drinking & party hard culture in the Army (trust me, we've had them as neighbours) but my husband would rather relax at home with us & save his hard earned money to invest in property & our children's education.  When handsome soldier is away, our German Shepherd (now 3.5 years old, that's him as a new puppy above) sleeps in our hallway, patrolling the house.  Army wives have to be strong . . . mentally - you might be at home with a new baby, your husband is at war & you get one phone call a fortnight . . . & physically - starting an ancient second hand lawn mower calls on Herculean strength!! 
Dumb things which have happened to me while handsome soldier has been away . . . eldest child locked me out of the house in pyjamas & i had to call the fire brigade to remove my front door . . . had his car stolen from Sydney University car park . . . driven into the neighbour's garden wall, blown a tyre & ruined the wheel . . . locked keys in the car 3 times . . . locked myself out of the house at least 10 times . . . run out of fuel on a country highway with 4 children in the car . . . our house has been burgled . . . i've hit a HUGE kangaroo . . . rushed to hospital by ambulance with food poisoning . . . i've been pulled over by the Federal Police because my children were being too raucous in the car . . . OMG, i'm like a combination of ALL the Desperate Housewives & should NOT be left home alone!! 
"Do you worry about him??"  It's confronting question & bubbles my happy denial & la la la everything will be fine.  Accidents happen in peace time; bombs, rockets & bullets fly in war time.  He's highly trained & has great equipment, it's not just what we're encouraged to say to show our support.  Worry - like cry myself to sleep worry & a million reminders a day about him in a war zone worry, YES i worry but have healthy distractions like children to be positive for, a gym to take my tension out in & my sewing to release my creativity!!
 Above all, i'm extremely proud of what my husband does & who he is, he truly makes a difference in this world.  He won't be in the Army forever, it's an amazing adventure with many stories to tell.  He's off to the desert again so i'll be blogging my heart out.  Love Posie
PS Handmade Summit all inclusive pass giveaway ends next Friday & 
mega Lego City NASA Space giveaway ends this Sunday, don't miss out!! 
PPS Is anyone having huge issues leaving comments??  I can log into Blogger to do a post but i can't log into Blogger to leave comments on any blogs!!  Argh, i'm reading you, i just can't leave comments & i'm trapped going around in circles, sorry!!


All For Love said...

And THIS is why I love reading your blog Posie. I think your passion, devotion, commitment to your family and everything you do, is awe inspiring. I so enjoy reading about the connection between you and your handsome soldier. You guys really have done the hard yards and probably still plenty of those to come. But you make it seem so worthwhile and give encouragement without even knowing it. I sometimes think my lot is tough, but reading your blog (and alot of others blogs too) brings me back to reality. It's a very good thing :o)
You're mishaps as an army wife, at home alone, cracked me up xo

MichelleTwinMum said...

Fantastic to read a bit more about you Posie. I love the fact that you state your husband is HOT and paid to workout. Had never considered that of a solider before!

You have my mass admiration for doing such a fab job at home on your own much of the time.

Mich x

Felicity said...

This dear friend is why you have 500 followers.
Raw, honest, warm-hearted writing which informs and inspires.

You know that I think the world of you and all that you do with your family and my heart leapt a beat when I read that your amazing man is heading back 'out there'.

Warmest of hugs to you and congratulations to boot!

Felicity xxx

PS: I think a tutorial on how to make happy socks would be a wonderful treat - how 'bout it handsome soldier?

Liz said...

Great post Jennie, a huge 'stay safe' for your handsome soldier in the desert and an equally huge reminder to you to keep the keys in your pocket... :o)

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your stories and giving an insight into your life. So warm and full of love x

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Oh beautiful Posie...I'm thinking of you here with tears at reading about your lonely heart and Handsome Soldier off to the desert...Then you have me cracking up at all the mishaps ha ha...I admire you in how you cope with it all...I'm busting to get up and see you and Shopgirls...hopefully won't be long now...Love Dzintra

Becky said...

That is an impressive list of things that have gone wrong while home alone. Glad you have dealt with them all and continued on.

Bron said...

What a great post so real and I have learnt alot about your journey and why I can sense through your every day blogging that you are strong.

My MummaMoments said...

I've been having load of trouble leaving comments too...
I love your take on being an Army wife, despite being very different roles, there are some striking similarities between your wife world and mine... I am the copper's wife. I have had knocks on the door at all hours to collect my husband after he's been to the hospital receiving stiches or having pulled a muscle. We've had a gunman at our front door at 2am on a wednesday morning (?), and he handled it wearing only boxers while I cowered inside with our babies. It is frightening every day he goes to work! Your so right in that you have to focus on the positives and keep busy to keep the worries at bay! xx

The Provincial Homemaker said...

Wow Posie, you have really hit the nail on the head with that description of army wife life. Hats off to you. It is true that while there are wild soldiers most are just ordinary guys who happen to have a job in the army.

The disaster list made me laugh - we were just commenting at defence playgroup the other week that domestic malfunctions always occur during absences. My list includes broken heaters (read fire), indoor mouse plague, light bulb explosion (which apparently does not count as an 'emergency' to DHA even though it was the only light in the living/kitchen area).

I think time apart for reasons other than deployment is something that is not realised by outsiders. Our first year of marriage DH was away 8 months with courses and exercises.

Keep the home fires burning. I love reading your blog.

Actually Amy said...

Posie you really are an inspiration. When I heard the terrible news the other day that we lost another solider I instantly thought of your family and remembered that you said that handsome soldier would be off to the desert again soon. I honestly don't know how you do it. If I can be one tenth of the mother and wife that you are I will be so so happy.

Congrats on th 500th followers.

Amy xx

The Moerks said...

I had a little tear in my eye reading this. You obviously love your handsome soldier to bits and worry very much about him. You do such a tremendous job to "keep the home fires burning" and provide a loving and stable home for your children.It just goes to show what a terrific team you guys make and that distance can be overcome.

Renee said...

What a strong and inspirational woman you are - raising your babies, loving your husband, missing him, living life the way you want etc. Some days I'm not sure how I get to dinnertime on my own with my lot - so I take my hat off to you!!! Congrats on the 500 followers!

PaisleyJade said...

Wow - you are an inspiration and I just loved reading a bit more about your life and husband (and his particular sock folding ways - hehe).

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you to everyone in blog land for keeping my wife company when I can't. You don't know how much it helps her. She is truly an amazing, strong and beautiful woman. I love her dearly. If it wasn't for her ability, I doubt I could continue to do what I do. So from me, thank you again.

Jennie, I probably don't tell you enough, you are the love of my life, my best friend and a fantastic mother - I love you.

beachvintage.com said...

Hi Jennie, what a lovely post. I love that you get to spend great quality time with hubbie when he is home, meanwhile we all struggle to do that even though we have our husbands 24/7

Anonymous said...

This is a great post Jen, you are so inspirational and I admire who you are and what you do. You are doing a fantastic job!!

Congrats on the 500, here's to many more :)

Happy weekend.

Seaweed and Raine said...

You my dear Posie, are a phenominal woman. I don't know how you manage the time to do all that you do - but you do! And seemingly well too I might add!!! I love your honesty, and your humour. Your o-oh moments made me laugh... some of it read like a checklist that I could say "check, check, check" to. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that has them! :) (Have you ever driven into the front wall of your garage though? Yep - that's me!)

AllIsClear said...

Brilliant stuff Posie - you said a lot of things that ring true to this British Army wife... have got a tear in my eye now and all of a sudden I really miss my handsome (ish!) soldier who is in Afghan at the moment. I'm so chuffed to be one of your followers (and that you follow me - even if you are on a pretty lonely (solo) path there!!)

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

Thanks everyone, truly warms my heart, love Posie