Tuesday, September 27, 2011

101 Things Every St. Louisan Should Do

So, now that I am starting to feel like I actually am a St. Louisan, I found the above appropriately titled list that I am going to try and conquer.  I don't know if I'll make it to everything, but it sure is a fun goal, right?  So far I have already marked a few off of my list.  Stay tuned, pictures of course are coming.

Other than that, I have been a busy little bee.  I have my fun five hour class tonight, so I promise I will be updating soon.  Hopefully Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is this Lifestyle really for me?

Ok, precursor to the title.  Joel and I are fine.  Amazing, actually.  So this has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with me.  And yes, we've discussed.

The military lifestyle, for me at least, is...different.  Some people mesh very well with it.  They live on post and love it, always attend the family support meetings (the Army calls it an FRG, I am not sure what the Air Force calls it).  They love moving, getting new orders, and seem to make insta friends wherever they go.  This is not me. 

And I don't mean to sound like I am bashing this breed of military wife.  I envy it, actually.  It takes me a while to find my groove in a new place.  I would never live on base, unless forced.  I don't like the military to envelope my life.  I love that my husband feels joy in what he does.  But what he does and what I do are two different things.  I need the separation from the base.  Minus the time spent overseas, we rarely shop on base, and when Joel gets off of work, the uniform gets taken off and I feel like I can return to my "normal" life.

And I HATE moving.  See previous post about my lack of a career happening, but I hate resigning from one job to search for another, make another house a home, all to realize that I have to do it all again in 2-3 years.  I hate leaving old and amazing friends, and it is hard for me to put myself out there to make new ones.  I hate that one of the first questions I am asked is "what rank is your husband?"  I hate deployments and TDYs.  I hear all the time "thank God he's leaving for a week" but I loathe away time from my hubby.  I hate when he gets called in or stays late for nonsense that only the military can make up.

A lot of rambling just to say while some spouses thrive in this kind of lifestyle, I have yet to find my groove in it.  Luckily I seem to have met at least one person here that makes me feel normal and myself, and doesn't define me by my husband, what he does, or what his rank is.  I am trying my best to be open, and will of course continue to support and love my husband to my greatest ability, but I hope that someday I grow more fond of what this lifestyle has to offer.  And if anyone has any friendly advice, it is always welcome.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Fill-In!

Yes!  I am so glad to be back in a routine to finally do these again!  Psst, Air Force, can we keep the moving to a minimum please?  No?  Oh...

Nevermind, it is on to Wife of a Sailor's...

1.  My plans for Labor Day included taking it easy with some of Joel's old friends from Chicago, but what really happened was it was too hot to do anything too productive, and I got sick!

2.  Call me crazy, but sometimes I just need to sit on the front porch by myself and read a good book.  That is what I call good "me" time.

3.  One of the funniest things I’ve seen lately is my pugs acting like fools when they are excited I get home.

4.  It’s strange, but teenagers drives me crazy while my husband acting like a teenager is perfectly fine with me!

5.  One, two, buckle my shoe… three, four what are you waiting for?  It's football season!  Go Dolphins!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do I want to be when I grow up?

We all asked ourselves this as kids, right?  Some of us wanted to be doctors or lawyers, some firefighters or cops, and some chefs or moms.  I knew from the time I was little that I wanted to be an attorney.  When I went to college, I majored in Political Science because I thought that it would give me an advantage in Law School.  I eventually double majored in History because I just grew to love it, so when I graduated I received a B.S. in both.  I also lived out a dream by moving abroad and living in Europe.  Along the way, the unexpected occurred.  I met Joel, who I fell madly in love with, who also told me that he wanted to be a career Air Force Officer.  Insert tire screech here.  I almost didn't date him.  Why?  Because I have never met a military spouse who also had their dream career.  But in the end, love won out and I don't regret my decision at all.

I had a great job in Germany working for the army, and learned a lot of life lessons along the way.  I decided that being an attorney, trying to go to law school and retaking the bar every two to three years in a new state, just wasn't going to be feasible while also being a spouse.  So, I decided I would teach.  That is why I am going for my Masters in Special Education.  In the meantime, I feel conflicted.  I have never not worked.  I got a job at 14, and even worked full time while in college.  It is very hard to find a professional job where I am.  I live is SW IL, right over the border from St. Louis, but to go to the city and work would put a strain on my family time and my stress level while in grad school.  Rush hour in the morning is NOT fun.

I accepted a job a month ago part time making half of what I made overseas and doing something way below my skill level.  I anguished over this decision.  Sure, it was a paycheck, and albeit small one, but I felt like I shouldn't have taken it.  I felt like doing so wasn't doing anything for my self-esteem or for my family time.  I didn't get a degree to work on Sundays with no benefits, right?  So, after much discussion with my husband, I put in my resignation.  It just wasn't worth it.  Now, I am on the job hunt again.

This is probably the hardest thing for me as a military spouse.  Why is it so difficult for us to also have personal satisfaction in our careers?  I keep hearing about all of these hiring initiatives, but I think they are all crap!  Potential employers know when our resumes are so diverse who we are and I have been downright shot down because of it.  I wish I knew what to do to fix this or change it, but right now I just feel stuck.  Hopefully I can find something soon, but in the meantime I am unemployed for the first time in my life, and I hate it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going to the Lou!

Well, Labor Day weekend we finally decided to get out and enjoy our new city.  The 'burbs have been very good to us, but we wanted to be tourists in our own city, and see the sights!

We started it in a really cool area called Laclede's Landing.  It was a really neat place!  It is located in "Old St. Louis" near the waterfront, and it really had a lot of charm.  It was chocked full of small little restaurants that had al fresco dining, which I am smitten with, and we found out most of them allow pets to join in if you decided to sit outside.  Score!  Here are a few pictures.
The Landing

We also decided to go up into the arch.  The arch had a fantastic view, but was really crowded over the weekend.  I definitely recommend to all visitors to get tickets in advance!
View from the top of Busch Stadium!
Happy and hot, crammed in our pod on the way to the top.