Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You are a mist...

The other night, I was stressing out about some pretty big decisions Hubby Blue and I were considering, and I flipped open my Bible to a random page.  Years ago, for who knows what reason, I had highlighted this section of James 4 and just happened to land on it that night:

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 

You can say it was a coincidence or not, but it definitely spoke to me at that moment.  I know those verses won't mean much to my blog readers, but part of starting this blog was to create a document for me to look back on.  So I guess you could say this one is just for me...for now.

On another note...

At 3:52 this morning, I got a text from Hubby Blue that simply said, "Late felony arrest," and I knew in that instant I would not be seeing him this morning!  I just think that's funny because two months ago I would probably have responded with all kinds of questions, the first one being, "What does that mean?"  In fact, when this happened to HB for the first time, about a month ago, HB was the one texting me with all the updates about what what had happened, what they were doing right now, what was about to happen.  Now, it's like he's an old pro at this. :)  You know you're a police wife when...right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Making It Work

Ahh!  A whole six days since my last blog post!  Sorry, blog friends. :)  I'm baaaaaaack.  And I'm loaded with questions for my fellow police wives!

Hubby Blue and I have been working out an issue over the last few days, and I'm curious to hear how other people handle this.  When HB works the night shift, his internal clock is (naturally) all kinds of messed up.  A lot of the time, even on his days off, he stays up all night and goes to bed right around the time I'm waking up.  I hate this, but I also understand how hard it is to be flip-flopping his sleep schedule all the time.  On the other hand, when Hubby Blue sleeps through most of the daylight hours of a weekend, that leaves very little time for us to spend together.  He says he misses me, and I miss him.  I don't want him to be exhausted when he has to go back to work because of the safety factor, but I also want to do things together.  I am definitely not looking forward to the inevitable point when he's on nights for 6 months at a time and I'll essentially go 6 months without sleeping at the same time as my husband.  So that is the first part of my question to all of you: when your spouse is working the night shift, how does he handle his days off?

Part two: Hubby Blue works an 8-hour shift.  We live about 45 minutes from his department, so by the time you add in the travel time in each direction, the time to get dressed and ready at the department, and the actual work time, he works at least 10 hours...and that's probably conservative.  Being "on" for that long is understandably draining.  So it's felt to me like HB pretty much works and sleeps, and he agrees.  However, who wants to live like that?  I have been trying to handle most of the household chores myself, but I also work full-time.  It's starting to burn me out.  For as much time as I spend by myself, I do an awful lot of housework and very little of anything for myself.  While other police wives have given me the advice to find things I enjoy doing on my own, it's really not been much of an issue because I'm so busy cleaning and cooking and making lunches and doing laundry.  In the past, I've asked Hubby Blue to pitch in, and while he always swore he would, it rarely happened.  So, finally, the other day, we got the idea to make him a list.  Actually, it was HB's idea.  And it worked!  Between the time I went to bed and the next night when I got home from work, everything on his list was crossed off, and it was glorious!  Later that night, when HB left for his shift, I cleaned bathrooms with absolutely no resentment because HB had already taken care of watering the Christmas tree, paying a bill that was almost late, vacuumed the first floor of our house, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and made dinner.  Little things really do add up.  We did the same thing--made him a list--this morning with the same results.  Thank goodness.

This all sort of came about because I finally got the copy of "I Love a Cop" by Ellen Kirschman that I requested from the library.  She writes that police spouses can't take on all the responsibilities of running a household or they start feeling like martyrs.  Maybe that's common knowledge to a lot of people, but I had been feeling like my hubby is under so much pressure all day long at work that it was my job as his wife to just do it all.  Kirschman writes that you have to stand up for yourself and demand that you deserve to have your needs be met.

So that leads me to part two of my question to all of you police wives: is this something you struggle with too?  Does your cop help out with the housework, and was it ever an issue?  If it was, how did you resolve it?  And if it wasn't, why?

...which leads me to part three.  Do we live too far from Hubby Blue's department?  We live where we live because our jobs are in opposite directions from each other and we split the difference by living in the middle.  This is definitely a bigger issue that really deserves a blog post all its own, but I'll just briefly bring it can look forward to this at a later date. :)  Anyway, we live about 45 minutes from HB's work, and I fear that is just too far.  Like I said, he's "on" for his shift and then has that long ride to get home.  After a slow night, HB sometimes comes home pretty sleepy.  Also, I am fully aware of how driving can wipe you out.  After all, I commuted an hour each way to work for two years myself.  Finally, and this is the thing I most dislike talking about, what would I think of living this far if anything tragic ever happened to Hubby Blue while he was working?  He has told me how I would be notified, but if I was at work, I think it could take a good hour and a half for me to get to him.

I know these questions all seem pretty disjointed (and that I started this post by saying we had AN if there's ever only ONE issue, ha.  Guess not. :)), but I guess that's just how life is going at this point.  Adjusting to being a law enforcement family has me feeling like I'm pulled in ten different directions at once, and it's causing me to reexamine a lot of my priorities.  That's probably a good thing, but I never expected that being a cop's wife would be so complicated...I hope someone can tell me it's rewarding too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm Thankful For

This year I have a lot to be thankful for.  I think this year more than others I am really thankful for my husband.  He's brought so much love and laughter into my life, and he is changing me for the better all the time.  So many things in the last year taught me how to rely on him, trust him, and support him.  I think I'm finally really, truly understanding what it means to be a wife.  I firmly believe there is no one else in the world who can better teach me how to shoot a gun, turn grocery shopping into a fun outing, assure me I probably don't have a stomach ulcer, turn a boring night at home into a wine and cheese party or indulge me with a banana split.  I don't know what I would do without him!

I am also extremely thankful we both have we really enjoy, at that.  I know a lot of people out there in the world are not so lucky right now, and even though Hubby Blue's job can cause some stress, we are very, very fortunate that he is employed and that he is so happy.  And so am I. :)

I'm also super grateful for my family (especially my mom and dad, who make a point to visit me way out in the boonies where I live, at least once a week because they know I get lonely, my brothers, who, despite being my younger brothers, have always looked out for me, and my in-laws, for sending us house alarms to help me feel safer at night and for praying for us), the friends who have really shown themselves to be good friends when the going gets tough, and everyone who reads this blog!  I never knew what level of support I would find on the internet, and I have to tell you who read this, you are helping me more than you'll ever know.  I've only been at this a short while, but I feel like we could be friends in real life.  Thank you for your advice and your support and for being the incredibly strong group of women you already are.

After that, I guess mostly, I'm really thankful to have a mailbox (the town we used to live in was so small that we didn't get mail delivery at our house...we had to pick it up at the post office)...and I'm thankful for a library, a gym, and a grocery store, ALL in the same town we live in.  Hahaha.  Seriously, I feel so spoiled!  I used to be thankful for my flip phone, but I (finally) just got a smart phone, so I'm thankful I finally quit being so stubborn and joined the 21st century. :)

Last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful for the grace of my Maker.  God has gotten me through a LOT this year, and all I can do is praise Him for the blessings that have rained down on me.  Thank you Lord for all You have given me!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here's to another year full of thanks!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Aaaaaand we're back to the night shift.

Hubby Blue was supposed to switch over to the day shift yesterday, which would have meant that even though his days off were Wednesday and Thursday, he'd be HOME, WITH me, every night.  We'd go to bed at about the same time, I probably would have gotten up with him in the morning, we might have felt like we were living some semblance of a normal life.  I WAS SO EXCITED.  I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE WITH CAPS LOCK JUST HOW EXCITED I WAS!!!

And then on Friday, his schedule changed again.

(I've lost track of how many times this has happened.)

When HB first called to tell me, I was ANNOYED.  Seriously, I thought, just give him a schedule and stick with it!  Then, when I realized that on this new schedule, HB would have Saturdays and Sundays off for a couple of weeks, I thought maybe this was a really good thing.  A blessing in disguise, if you will!  We'd have a little time to catch up and sort of live like a normal married couple for a little bit.  Maybe even--gasp!--make plans!  I didn't even care that yesterday, our Sunday off together, Hubby Blue slept until 3:00 pm (I may or may not have stayed in my pajamas all day anyway).

But then...tonight happened!  Hubby Blue and I had talked last night and tried to see the positive in him working nights again, and he said he would really sleep all day, he'd have dinner ready when I got home and we'd have eat together and spend the whole evening together before he had to go into work.

It did not go like that at all.

I got home from the gym (which I almost did not go to because I was soooo tired today but HB pretty much MADE me go) at about 6:00 and our dinner was still in the preparation stages.  By the time our homemade pizza finally went in the oven close to 7:00, HB was already upstairs to take a shower before work.  HB is infamous for his "quick showers" that last 45 minutes.  The pizza came out of the oven (HB is still not done), I waited a good 15 minutes to cut it, and then, since I was starving, I just decided to eat.  At about 7:50, HB comes down and says he really needs to get going and he's just going to eat in the car.


Before, when he was on nights, he would leave at about 8:15, sometimes even 8:30, to get into work on time.  Turns out, he forgot to mention he had to go in early to finish some paperwork from the other night.  Where did my husband who used to communicate with me so well GO???  I know I'm just being too sensitive, but I really feel like I am second fiddle to the job a lot of the time.  If I stop feeling sorry for myself, I know my husband is probably just really overwhelmed with everything, but that doesn't make me any less disappointed when he tells me we're going to eat dinner together (for maybe the third time in as many weeks) and then he misjudges his time and doesn't have any left for me.  And then I'm just trying to put on this fake happy face when he leaves ("Yes, dear, I love it when you have to work all night!"  Sounds horrible but actually Hubby Blue laughed.), but I don't even know if Hubby Blue knows that I'm disappointed when I think we'll spend time together and then we can't, or if he does, if he even has the emotional space in his mind to care right now.

I guess I just don't know what to do.  If there's even anything I can do.  Or maybe I'm just supposed to flounder around like a maniac until FTO is over and hope that it gets better whenever this is over.

I seriously miss those summer days when my biggest concern was whether or not the creases I was ironing into Hubby Blue's academy polo shirts were razor-sharp enough!!!


Do you ever stop and evaluate your friendships?  I am starting to.

I was supposed to have breakfast over the weekend with a group of friends from college.  We were really close in college and even in the few years after, but then I got married and moved to a tiny town no one ever heard of, one girl moved downstate, and another moved to another country!  Life got busy and we all just drifted apart.  We see each other about once a year at weddings and we always say we should get together.  So, we finally made plans.  The international friend was going to be in town, the downstate friend was also coincidentally going to be in town, and the fourth friend and I said we could make the drive into the mutually-agreed-upon "central location."

Long story short, the plans fell through.

Here I am, going through all these ups and downs of adjusting to my new police wife life, trying to fill my lonely weekends with old friends and activities, feeling like if ever I was in need of a few friends, this is it...and people don't come through for you.  And it's not just this weekend either.  I've been experiencing this a lot lately.  So I could either take this personally, or I could look at it and realize a few things:

1. Why are we friends in the first place?  Or perhaps, better stated, what do we still have in common?  If all we have in common is that we lived on the same dorm room floor when we were 18, do we still have enough to maintain a long-term friendship?  If we have the same values, then maybe we do, but if we don't, am I trying to hold onto something that isn't really going to enhance and improve my life?  Am I just trying to maintain the friendship because it's familiar?

2. I have a couple of friends who I have known since high school, and I really think and hope they will be friends for life.  I do believe there are some friends who can stand the test of time.  However, more and more, I'm coming to believe that most friends come into your life for a season, and then they go.  I don't think I should feel bad about these friendships fading over time because I think different people will help you through different times in your life...and then you'll have different needs and need different people.  (Wow, I used the word different a lot in that sentence.)

3.  A handful of good friends is more important than a whole truckload of so-so friends.

4. I really believe I have been trying to maintain so many friendships because after our wedding, Hubby Blue and I moved away from where I lived before getting married, and I feel alone and far away out here a lot.  I have my work friends, but other than them, all my other friends live at least an hour away from me.  I guess I was hoping that we would move back there someday and that when we did I would still have all the same old friends and it would be just like nothing had changed.

5.  People who make you feel bad whenever you see them or talk to them are not good friends!  Some friendships just aren't worth it.  I've realized this and decided to let those friendships fizzle, but I was doing so in a way that was causing me a lot of resentment.  Thanks to one of those lifelong friends I mentioned, I hope that I've made some progress in letting go of one of those friendships in a more graceful way.  That friend pointed out that I simply don't have the emotional capacity right now to handle the current stress in my life AND feel this anger.  That was hard to hear, but she was also right.

6. I need to be grateful for and hold onto the people who do prove themselves to be good friends.  I need to feel blessed to have the good friends I have.  They might live hours away or even on the other side of the country.  But I need to focus on the friends who do come through for me and focus my energies on maintaining those friendships.  I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes (saw it on Pinterest, where else?): Gratitude turns what we have into enough.  I first saw this quote when Hubby Blue had just graduated from school and we were living on one income and barely getting by.  It was more of a reminder that we had enough in the way of things, food, fun.  But now, it feels like a reminder to be grateful for the people in my life.

7.  Expectations can really ruin a friendship.  Sometimes--okay, a lot of times--I expect too much from people.  I try to give people my best and think I should get the same from them.  It doesn't always work that way.  I also can't expect other people to understand what I'm going through.  I don't have a single friend who is also married to a cop, so they can't understand why I might need them right now.

8.  I can't expect other people to make me happy.  I need to find my own happiness.

9.  Finally, sometimes you just need to let go.  I've been seeing this floating all over Pinterest and I love it:
You can see the original picture here.

What does this have to do with being a police wife?  Nothing, and a lot.  Nothing, because I'm sure these are realizations people come to whether they're married to a cop or not.  A lot, because I was relying on friends a lot to get me through this transitional time in our lives.  And to some extent, I know I still can.  But I think that can't be everything.  I need to just find my own happy.  (Also, sidenote: I might need police wife friends who understand this life without the long explanations.  Just a thought.)  But maybe if I stop trying to fill my life with so many friends, I'll have more time to focus on my life with Hubby Blue and I won't feel so much like we're going in two separate directions all the time.

I kind of have to laugh.  I never expected to be doing so much reflecting and growing and evolving when Hubby Blue became a cop.  I thought I had myself pretty well figured out, and it turns out, I had, and still have, a LOT to learn!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inspired...and Thoughts on Flying Solo

On Friday night, I went to a fundraiser for a friend of Hubby Blue's.  Well, he's my friend too, but he was Hubby Blue's friend first.  I went without Hubby Blue.

So, there are two separate stories here.  (This is going to be a long post.  You've been warned. :)

1. Inspiration
Hubby Blue has been friends with...Dave ('ll call him Dave) since HB was in college.  They first met while working in the veteran's office there, but they were also both involved in a veteran's organization on campus.  Anyway, Dave has been a wonderful friend to HB for several years, they've helped each other work through a lot of the issues involved with coming home from combat, and he was even an usher in our wedding a couple of years ago.  Dave has this larger than life personality and a heart of gold.  He served two tours in Iraq and came home without any visible wounds, but with the unseen disability of PTSD.  Back in June, Dave was in a freak accident that left him in a quadriplegic condition.  It was devastating.  When it first happened, no one knew what the outcome would be, but doctors gave him a 50/50 chance that he would walk again.  Now, if Dave is anything, he is a fighter, and he and his family and his friends firmly believe that he will be in the 50% that will not only walk again but will run.  Anyway, Dave has been fighting like hell for the last five months and he's made incredible progress.  He's now home from the hospital, but his parents' home needs extensive renovations for it to be livable for him.  So, on Friday night, I attended a fundraiser that was trying to raise the money needed to start the remodel.

I was blown away by what I witnessed at this fundraiser.  There was an overwhelming buzz of electricity in the room, and I could feel a contagious sense of hopefulness for Dave.  People were happy and friendly and you could really just feel how excited people were to be there.  Over 500 tickets had been sold for the event, and at one point, the organizers announced they'd already raised over $28,000, just in plain old donations, for Dave.  I admit I had wondered with the current state of our economy how well this would actually go, but how inspiring is that?  I looked around the room and thought to myself how much I would like to be a part of something like this.  So many of us go to work day in and day out, just trudging through one day after another, griping about this or that, bemoaning our current state of affairs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I'll admit I feel that way about my own job a lot of days.  I work in a very low-income school with a lot of kids who struggle to learn how to read, and as hard as I work, there is always that little thought in the back of my head that wonders if I'm indeed making any difference with them.  Even if I can teach them how to read, will they take that skill and run with it?  Will they study hard in high school?  Apply themselves?  Will they go to college?  Will they break out of poverty, or will they just fall into the way of life that their parents live?  Will they start having babies in high school and live on welfare for the rest of their lives?  Will they turn to drugs and alcohol?  Will the same teachers I work with now be working with these children's children a few years from now?  Big questions.

Anyway.  I'm going to jump to Saturday morning, but I promise this will all come full-circle.  Stay with me. :)

Saturday morning, I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and saw a link from a girl I went to high school with requesting that people visit the Officer Down Memorial Page and send a letter to the Prisoner Review Board asking that parole be denied for the cop killer who took her uncle's life many years ago.  This hits close to home for me now, so I printed out the letter.  I was at my parents' house, so my brother saw my letter, told me to print out one for him too, and then it snowballed.  My mom said she would send a letter, said she would have other people sign one too, and so on.  It got me thinking: is there something bigger that I could be a part of?

Attending this fundraiser on Friday night and sending this letter got me wondering if there is something out there that could be more--or perhaps, differently--fulfilling than what I'm doing now.  Hubby Blue's schedule as of late, the evening shift, has had me feeling like we are really going in two different directions.  We were never seeing each other, anytime we talked it was about housekeeping things, and you can forget about any quality time.  I tried staying up late to see him when he got home at 11:00, but I was usually so exhausted I couldn't even comprehend a conversation.  He tried getting up early with me but said he couldn't go back to bed and get enough rest.  The grand solution I thought I'd found last week was really not so grand.  I don't always feel like we are on the same page.  I feel like sometimes we're leading two very separate lives that are disconnected from each other, and coming back together once a week to catch up is just not cutting it.  I'm not saying that starting a charitable organization or even just getting involved with one is the answer...I don't even know what I could do.  I just know that I was touched and inspired by things that happened to me this weekend.  I'm not one to go outside the box and take a lot of risks...I am very comfortable with my 8-4 job, where I get a paycheck twice a month without fail, where I answer to a boss rather than be the boss.  I'm just saying...I might be feeling a nudge from God to be open to other possibilities.  I've actually been feeling a lot of those nudges lately.  I think Oprah calls them whispers from life, but whatever... :)

2. Flying Solo
Hubby Blue knew for a long time that he wouldn't be able to attend our friend Dave's fundraiser because of his work schedule.  I decided I would go anyway because Dave has been such a good friend and because we really believe in him and want to support him.  My parents also went.  Thank goodness for that.  I only knew a few other people at the event: Dave's parents, who obviously were very busy, and two friends of Hubby Blue's, also from college.  Police wives say it all the time: you feel like a married single person.  I know this is just the reality of being a police wife, but it hit me hard that I'll attend a lot of functions by myself from now on.  It's not so hard going to family things--parties, get-togethers, birthdays, even holidays (I'm just guessing on this actually...we haven't had any holidays since HB started)--because it's family.  And my family and Hubby Blue's family are being pretty gosh darn amazing with this whole adjustment.  But going to social events solo is a different story.  I'm a pretty shy person and a lot of times I feel uncomfortable going into new situations even when Hubby Blue is with me.  And as stupid as it is, I feel funny always giving the "Oh, Hubby Blue wanted to be here so badly but he had to work!" speech because I'm used to him being at events like this.  I'm used to Monday-Friday jobs where you get your weekends off.  I'm painfully aware that most people do not understand what his job or even his schedule are like because I myself did not understand what this job would be like until a few months ago.  I catch myself worrying what people might be thinking about the "work excuse" because I know that it's not an excuse at all.  It's just the way of life now.

So, it was a good thing my mom and dad were able to come with me.  And even though I was not looking forward to going to this fundraiser without HB, I walked away from it feeling really, really glad that I was there.  It's probably important for me to remember that even when you really don't want to do something because you have to do it alone, it might turn out to be a really good thing.  Again with the little nudges from God.

Hubby Blue worked his last evening shift last night, and I was here (awake...sort of) when he got home.  We talked about the fundraiser and I admitted I wished he could have been there.  And once again, HB came through for me and with this happy sparkle in his eyes, he told me how much he loves doing his job.  He says he's really getting used to being on the streets and that when he lights up the car and hits the siren, he feels this incredible rush of excitement that he's about to go catch a bad guy or stop a crime.  I certainly can't argue with that.  If it means he's happy and feels a sense of purpose, I guess I can fly solo when I have to.  And maybe I'll find a new purpose of my own in the process.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good Reads

I got a library card last week so I could borrow the book, "I Love a Cop" by Ellen Kirschman.  (This was a huge deal for me.  I haven't had a library card in two years because the town we used to live in was so small that it didn't have a library.  It's the little things, people.)  I have been looking at this book on Amazon for months but I can't bring myself to buy it because I am trying not to bring more stuff into my life (ahem, anybody moved recently?  We did, and it. Was. Awful.) and because I think it's the type of book I want to read in hard copy instead of on a Kindle.  My library had to request it from a different library, but I could really use a good police wife book right now!

Any other book recommendations for police wives?

I'll start!  I read "Lives Behind the Badge" by Kristi Neace a couple months ago and definitely recommend it!  It was short and just full of stories from police wives about things they've learned, trials they've been through, and even some funny little things like, "You know you're a police wife if..."  My favorite was "You know you're a police wife if you've ever chased your husband down the street in your nightgown because he forgot his gun."  Hubby Blue has never forgotten his gun, but he did forget his duty belt once, and I have been known to run wildly out into our yard, flailing my arms all over the place with his lunch...more than once.  I never do this simply for dramatic effect.  And obviously, I was wearing my PJs...that just makes me look like more of a crazy person. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day

As the wife of a combat veteran, I would like to say thank you and Happy Veteran's Day to all veterans and active duty military members today.  These men and women deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for serving our country in a capacity that most of us never could.  They fight for freedom, for equality, for justice, for the right thing.  They leave their homes, families, jobs, and lives for Duty, Honor, Country.  Some of them make the ultimate sacrifice.

Being married to a veteran has taught me more about courage and sacrifice and selflessness than I ever would have realized on my own.  My Hubby Blue came into my life three days after he had already become a veteran, but we went through a lot of ups and downs together to get where we are today.  Lots of veterans come home and are misunderstood or unappreciated by our society, and we owe it to them to do everything we can to support them.  So thank a veteran today!  Let them know that their sacrifice and service was not for nothing and will not be forgotten.  God bless veterans.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What a Difference a Week Makes!

I can hardly believe it's already Friday and we've made it through (almost) another week of FTO!  And what a difference a week has made.  A week ago, I had HAD IT with the evening shift, I was miserable, Hubby Blue was miserable, and things were pretty negative around here.  It's amazing what a little attitude adjustment and a lot of support from caring people (both family and blog readers like you!) can do!

So, what was different?  For starters (I said this earlier this week), I made myself a list of things to focus on each day, and for that day, I ONLY focused on those things.  Not an exaggeration!  One night, Hubby Blue started to say (as he often does), "Someday when we buy a house..." and I immediately cut him off with, "Nope!  We're are not talking about someday!  I am ONLY thinking about today!  And since I am going to bed in about 4 minutes, I am only thinking about the next 4 minutes!  I will think about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here, so we are definitely not discussing someday!"  We had a laugh about that, and eventually (like 2 minutes later), I let him talk about tomorrow, but only because it was like 11:52 and tomorrow was going to be here in 8 minutes.  All joking aside, though, it really helped to simply focus on getting through one day at a time.  The part of me that loves to-do lists suffered a little bit, as thinking about only today meant I couldn't really make a to-do list that was 74 items long, but I think I'll get over it. :)

Another thing that was different about this week was that we saw a lot more of each other.  A fellow police wife, Crysi, commented a few days ago that sometimes you stay up and talk at 2 am because that's the only time you have to see each other.  Crysi, we don't know each other and I'm not even sure how you found my blog, but I have to thank you for that simple comment.  Just reading that from another police wife changed my perspective.  So on two nights out of the last four, I stayed up until Hubby Blue got home and we talked.  I mean, really talked.  I didn't just waited up until he got home; we actually had a conversation.  And on two mornings, Hubby Blue got up with me in the morning before I left for work.  Yes, I've been tired all week, but I'm a whole lot happier!  I think (hope) Hubby Blue is too.

The other different thing I did this week was just finding other things to keep me busy.  I worked on our honeymoon scrapbook (yeah...we've been married two years...I've got a lot to catch up on), I cut out the pieces of an apron I'm hoping somebody will teach me how to sew...I had a nice long chat with my oldest and dearest friend from high school...I figured out how to download books for my Kindle from the library...that sort of thing.  And what do you know?  Here it is, Friday, the end of my work week and we've survived.  Tomorrow is Hubby Blue's last day of his work week, and I am taking the opportunity to have lunch with a friend from college AND visiting my little brother at his college!  I am really excited for both. :)

I know I couldn't get through this without the love, prayers, and support of family, friends, and now other police wives.  I just wish I had a way to thank all the people who have been there for me, whether it's been in "real life" or online through this blog or others.  I only hope I can return the favor someday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Toughening Up

Boy, oh boy, I feel like life has just been a roller coaster of emotions for me lately.

First, I want to say thank you to all the people who have commented on my blog in the last few days.  When I started writing this, it was more so that I would have a way to look back over my experience of being a police wife and maybe to connect with other police wives.  I never imagined that I would have any followers or comments from people I had never met, and I am truly blown away!  It's a funny feeling, knowing that the women who may understand me the best of anyone are people out there in cyberspace, probably all over the country, who are experiencing or have already experienced the same things I am.  I feel blessed that you read this blog and that you are sharing your experiences with me, and I feel humbled that I might say something that helps someone else.  All your comments are really helping make this journey a little less scary.

Last week was Hubby Blue's first week of evening shifts, so he is gone from the house from about 12:30 until 11:00 or later five days a week.  It was a hard week.  He was off on Sunday, so we went to visit some friends who moved about two hours away from us, just for the day.  We had a lovely day, enjoyed catching up with them and meeting their new baby boy, and headed home around 7:00 that night.  I decided to drive because Hubby Blue had had a few drinks, and what do you know?  I got my very first speeding ticket.  Technically, Hubby Blue keeps telling me it's not actually a speeding ticket because it's a "city ordinance violation" but seriously?  It's a speeding ticket to me.  You know what would not be a speeding ticket?  A written warning, or better yet, Hubby Blue speaking up as the cop who was sitting next to me allowing me to speed and getting no warning at all.  HA.  I didn't even know I was speeding actually...not really surprising given that I'd never been to this place ever before!  Whatever.  I'm always looking for the lesson in things, and I said this to Hubby Blue.  He said maybe the lesson was that I need to slow down in life.  I said I didn't think I was speeding through life at all and that maybe the lesson was to realize why pretty much everyone hates cops.  I know I'm probably supposed to just own the fact that I was speeding and accept the punishment and respect the officer who gave me the ticket and remember he has a family just like my officer does, and blah blah blah, but honestly, I felt angry.  I'm not going to get into my excuses and all that, and maybe I just felt angry because I feel like I am giving and giving and giving and the universe saw fit to make me give more ($75 more) to this little town.  Ugh.

Anyway, getting that "ticket" really pushed me over the edge.  I guess every little thing that goes wrong feels like a catastrophe these days.  All my stress spilled over the whole rest of Sunday night and into Monday morning.  But then I had a wonderful conversation with my dear mother on Monday morning, and she gave me some really good advice.  She said that my blog made it sound like I was doing really well, and I finally admitted out loud that I try to make things sound really positive on here, or at least end on a positive note, but a lot of the time, I am not feeling very positive at all.  After our talk, I recommitted myself to taking it one day at a time (again) and started Monday by thinking ONLY about what I was going to accomplish on Monday.  I actually physically wrote down three things I wanted to accomplish at work and three things I wanted to accomplish at home.  I didn't get through all of them, but that was okay because of what I DID do...

Hubby Blue got home late on Monday night, after I got home from work and working out (he was off but was visiting a friend about an hour and a half away for the afternoon) and said right away that he was going to go out to the store to "pick something up."  I, of course, ever-mindful of our spending, said, "No!  We've already spent enough on groceries this week!" (gosh, our grocery bill has gone up a ton lately, anyone else?)  As it turned out, Hubby Blue wanted to go to the store so he could get all the supplies to make banana splits for us.  Am I not married to the sweetest man ever?!  Because of how thoughtful this was, I agreed we could bend a little on the budget, and he came home with bananas, cherries, whipped cream, a cute little baggie of "nut topping," chocolate sauce, crushed pineapple, and of course, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream.  He proceeded to make banana splits exactly like a picture he found on his phone and we enjoyed them while watching a little How I Met Your Mother together.  It was such a small gesture, but it meant so much more to me because of the new schedule we live on.  It was a little thing that made our rare time together special.  I think I'll remember this little thing for a long time more so than I would remember it if we did this sort of thing all the time (and if we did, I'd be pretty fat, so it's probably a good thing we don't :).  I am so thankful for HB and the really kind, sweet, nice things he does for me.

I'm on my own again tonight, and so far, so good.  And I'm not just saying that. :)  For the time being, I really am taking it one day at a time, hoping that this tougher attitude I'm attempting is helping to strengthen our marriage a little bit more each day.  Here's hoping I can say the same thing five days from now!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Loving a Cop

I had almost a whole blog post written about what life has been like this week since Hubby Blue started on the evening shift, and then Hubby Blue said, "I don't want you to blog about this."

So, let's just say...

FTO is hard.  Really hard.  Maybe even harder than the academy.

This week, I became even more aware of what my responsibility as a police wife is.  During 4 days of evening shifts, wanna know how many face-to-face conversations we had?  Three...and one was an argument!  Quickly resolved, but definitely triggered by our lack of time together.  After those 4 days, I was all set to tell HB we needed to figure out a way to make this shift work better for our personal life and find a way to see each other more.  After our third conversation of the week, I realized that for the time being, our personal life has to take a backseat so that he can concentrate on becoming the best cop he can be.  I'm beginning to feel like backseat thing is part of being a police officer's wife.  Sometimes, our marriage coming first means it actually has to come last while the job comes first.  I guess maybe a better way to put it is that putting your spouse's needs first means your own come last.  My need for more time with my husband will just have to wait.  And I'm okay with that for the time being.

When we were getting married, we received a letter from a very good friend of my husband's, and in it, he gave me the advice to "love him in the way that only you can and pick him up when he's down."  Hubby Blue wasn't a cop yet (wasn't even really entertaining that idea yet actually), but lately I feel like that advice rings even truer these days.  Who else but a police officer's wife understands the stresses he is under?  At the end of the day, when the vest is off and the gun is locked away, the toll this job takes on a person is plainly visible.  It makes you tired, overwhelmed, frustrated...

When the academy ended, we thought the 12- and 14-hour days were behind us.  As it turns out, they're just getting started.  If I am noticing anything, it's that my husband needs my love and support and prayers now more than ever.  When I made those vows, I was promising to be there for him in good times and in bad, all the days of my life.  It's a powerful thing, pledging to stand beside someone no matter what, but I would never, ever undo it.