Under Construction


Hello All,

It’s been a while, but growing a baby human can be quite exhausting at times. On an exciting front there’s only about 5 weeks left until Baby T makes his way earthside. I know that once he is born things will be even more wonderfully hectic. Between preparing for the baby and house hunting for our new forever home I haven’t been online very much.

Hopefully, there is some more exciting news in the works on the house front, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. Stay tuned!

As many of you know I am in the process of writing my memoir of the adventures Richie and I have shared focusing on a lot of our time in Japan. I’m considering switching gears slightly and focusing a bit more on how anxiety has affected our journey.

I am also in the process of constructing my own website and online portfolio. A friend reached out to me requesting some editing help recently. I realized I don’t have any kind of portfolio or list of services for my freelance work. (I can do anything from ghost writing assistance to editing to constructing professional resumes if anyone is looking for some help).

I’m hoping this blog will be a main focus once I finish my new website so don’t go anywhere! I appreciate all the love and encouragement everyone always gives here and thanks for sticking with me.

Aly

 

 

Reach Out …For Ali


Ali asked me how my day was yesterday. Simple question. Simple answer.

It was fine. Sophia and I went outside and played. Took a nap, made dinner.

Pregnancy has taken a toll on me this time as well. More physically. Being at home in winter has enabled me to limit my physical activity to walking across the street to Nana’s or playing in the backyard with Sophia. So really, I’ve gotten big and lazy. haha. That’s okay though, the weather is warming up and Baby boy is only 3 months from arriving earthside. I better get ready.

Anyway, back to Ali, we are like those old timers who sit around and reminisce about the “good ole’ days” which for us meant the days that we used to talk once an hour! I literally knew what she was doing at all times and she knew what I was doing. If one of us ever went missing, they would know to call the other one to find us. Even though we live several states apart and always have. In the true fashion of life, we have both become busy and fill our days with our beautiful families, work, church, school, friends and everything in between. We often go days without talking, although Facebook makes it easy to keep up to date on each other. We have been lucky enough to get together two summers in a row! Since we made it back from Japan and it’s been great. Our little girls are the same age as one another, they have as much fun as we do I think. This summer I’ll have a newborn in June, but hopefully in August Ali and company will make it down to the Shore house in Maryland and stay for a few days (Come on, Ali and Robert, free place to stay right on the water, fishing, crabbing, swimming in the creek).

I’d like to try to close the distance. The one thing from the “good ole days” I want to bring back. More connection with people I love. Especially in the days that we are so connected, it shouldn’t be so hard to keep in touch. After our talk last night Ali told me to get a new mouse for my laptop so I could write more. And I did. I charged the laptop, plugged in the mouse and here I am. My vow, to Ali, and to all of you.

Life tends to get in the way of living. But I promise that no matter where I am and what I’m doing, the ones I love are always on my mind. If you don’t hear from me, start bugging me, text me, call me, send me an email. Chances are I will be responding back right away because I needed to hear from a friend just a much.

We all do. We all need to be that person to reach out. But just in case your friend hasn’t made the first move, go ahead. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. As always my friends, I love you. Share your light with others and start with people you love the most.

And to Ali, thanks for always being my best friend near and far.

Adult-Ing


There are lots of funny memes and what not around the internet that basically decry having to be an adult or “adult-ing”. I have to say I totally agree with them. I would love for someone to come take care of me, feed me, clothe me, and entertain me. It’s hard to be an adult. It’s crazy because I know that when I was young I always wanted to “grow up.” Now I’m here and I wish I could be a kid. Haha

Every day I learn more about the responsibilities of being “grown-up.” Not only do you have to get up, be presentable, attend your job or at home duties, but you also have to attend to the tedious, not-so-fun stuff like cleaning out your garage and doing maintenance on your house. Last night I had to research new health insurance plans because Richie is switching jobs. Adult-ing, am I right?

I hope that Sophia never loses her childlike sense of wonder. She loves to color and run around and hide from me. She always laughs and tells great stories. (I know what you are thinking, she is a genius and she’s not yet two years old). Being around her every day makes me want to get back some of that wonder and amazement. It’s easy to be stressed and bogged down by your responsibilities, but it’s important to add in some fun.

Whether she knows it or not, my little girl is an inspiration. She reminds me not to let “adult-ing” get me down. And for that I’m ever grateful.

The Dream Job


I never imagined I would be a stay at home mother. I never imagined that I would find so much joy in being with one little tiny person day in and day out. I guess that’s motherhood. My mother used to say, “You’ll never understand until you have kids of your own.” (You know your mom said it too). I would just laugh and brush her off. I knew everything. I knew that she just didn’t understand ME or MY FEELINGS.  Wrong again. My mother was right. (Hear that, Mom?). I never understood how much love I could feel for my own child. So I’m glad that I have been given the opportunity to stay home with her. I haven’t worked outside of my home in almost two years. And I’m eternally grateful for that.

But, as I mentioned in my previous post I have been job hunting and looking at opportunities for writing and editing. I LOVE writing. I really do. It’s been my creative outlet for twenty years. I also love being home with my baby girl. She’s still my baby and I want to be here for her during the day. We are still proudly breastfeeding at 19 months old and I know it would be hard on both of us for me to be gone all day. (Oh yes, Happy World Breastfeeding Week!). I’ve been submitting article after article for publication as well as applying to writing and editing positions. I have even had one decent interview, but no luck so far. I have also been working on my memoir. I’d love to be able to work from home to still have time with Sophie.

It’s not truly about money. Though, being paid to write would be ideal. It’s more about keeping up with the other parts of me. I’m not just a mother (though I am devoted to that part of me) and I’m not just a wife (also one of my favorite parts of life). I am many things among them a devoted mother, wife, daughter, and friend. I’m also a writer and (if my husband is to be believed) I’m pretty good at it. I’d like to keep writing, share my words, express myself in that way, and grow in my craft.

Yes, I’d love to get paid for it too.

I know there really is no “dream job”, but there is something out there for me, I hope. Something that I can do to share my writing and editing skills. To take the passion in my heart and the knowledge from 7 plus years of schooling and do something amazing with it. Know what I mean?

Reaching Out


Have you ever wanted to help somebody?

You know someone who needs a boost in life, a great person with dreams and aspirations and love who needs to get back on there feet, and you know in your heart that you want to do something for them.

I do.

Sometimes I wish I was wealthy or won the lottery or hit it big on the stock market because then I could just give to people who need help. Charities, schools, people, whoever it may be. Unfortunately, I haven’t it it big yet. (I’m still hoping).

There’s a family in need that I know personally. Loss of employment for a few months set them back in bills a lot. Now this goodhearted woman (single mother) has a new job (Yay!), but could use a little help getting her bills caught up. If we had the money we would say, “Hey, here ya go!” But like I said I haven’t hit it big just yet.

It’s been a rough couple of years for this family, being homeless and having to stay with friends, moving from place to place having to start over. But last year, she was able to purchase a small, safe home and start a decent full-time job. This job didn’t work out unfortunately and she was left with mortgage, electric, water, and car payment. It might not seem like much, but these bills add up fast when you aren’t bringing any money in. Currently, they can’t even stay in their home because the electricity has been shut off. The electric company won’t turn it back on until they pay $600.

I’ve done what I can by helping with job applications, resume writing, and calling around to local charity organizations to find help with utility payments, but there has been no luck yet. With her new job, she will be able to start paying down her bills, but this is an immediate need. The electric needs to be turned back on, the water bill ($186) needs to be paid off or they will shut the water off too, and her mortgage is a few months behind. It is hard to be living out of a suitcase, not being able to sleep in your own home, cook in your own home, and basically have your own space. A little bit of financial help could get this family back on their feet in no time.

This isn’t a sob story, and there are many people out there who face these struggles daily. I’d like to help everyone, but I’ll just start with one family and hope I make a difference. So I’m reaching out here.I want to teach my daughter the power of giving and sharing. If you are able, please donate to the Go Fund Me account I’ve started. If you are not able to donate, please share this link with family, friends, friends or friends, or even strangers in your network. The more people can see it, the more likely we are to get donations to help!

Please Share! Raising Money for a family in need!

Thank you all for reading and God Bless!

xo Aly

The Future


When we are young we always think about the future. What will happen when we grow up? When we go to high school? When we graduate college? When we get a job? Where will our life go? How will things turn out? I always loved imagining how life would be when I was “grown up.” Now, here I am 27 years old and I STILL keep looking for the future!

I think that I struggle keeping myself in the here and now. Enjoying each beautiful day that God has blessed me with. Is this because of my anxiety? Is it because I worry too much about things that may happen? Yes. A lot of it is. Often I wake up in the morning and think, “Oh what do we have to do today?” I run a list of things that I need to finish and things that are happening next week and next month. I’m always saying, “I can’t wait for….”. The problem with this is that I”m missing the things that are happening right this second.

Sophia is napping here beside me. I was writing a list of phone calls I needed to make and thinking of when I should get a job and when Sophia turns 2 (hint: it’s not for 5 more months). I just need to STOP! Why not enjoy this quiet time? Use it it to write a little bit, reflect on things that are going on right now, instead of focusing my eyes on the future. I am a thinker and a dreamer. It’s in my blood. Often this causes me to wile away the hours daydreaming or planning or imagining. Instead of really just being in the moment. That’s my goal for today. Just enjoy the day. Maybe go to the pool or take Sophia and Shisha for a walk. Then, in a few hours I’ll make dinner and spend the evening with my family. I won’t focus on tomorrow’s agenda or what needs to be done before we move next month. I’ll just worry about it when it happens.

Here’s my challenge to you: Enjoy TODAY! Take a moment and do something that is just for you, just for now. Go for a walk, read a book, sit down and eat your lunch without filling in your To-Do list. I’m going to try!

Inspiration


I’ve been working on my memoir for the past three years. I pull it out I work on intensely for a while and then I put it away to think on it. At the end of last month I had close to 70 pages completed. I know what I want to write, but sometimes the motivation isn’t there.

As a writer I’m always looking for inspiration, the lucky thing is I see it all around me. I keep this blog as a record for my thoughts and my writing because when I’m inspired to write I don’t want to keep it in. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a subject close to my heart and that is motherhood. I’ve read approximately 4 billion articles/blogs/editorials about motherhood and I can say it never really gets old because every single piece reaches a piece of me. The one that tugs at my heartstrings the most is the loneliness that comes along with being a mother (or a parent).

My baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She lights up my world in a way I never imagined. I am fortunate that I can afford to stay home, write, and be with my little princess all day long. Sometimes though, it’s lonely.

How can you be lonely, Aly? You are with Sophia day and night. Your husband never deploys and comes home right at dinner every day. You are never alone. That’s true, I am never alone, but sometimes it can be lonely. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to people I used to consider my best friends, most nights I go to bed before Richie while I’m trying to get the baby settled for bed, 90% of my days are spent trying to please a little person who can’t yet articulate what she needs.

The loneliest part is that even though there are billions of people on the Earth, many of them are mothers who are feeling the exact same way that I do, I feel like I’m alone on this island where all I am is a milk machine who fixes meals and changes dirty diapers. Even though the love I feel for my daughter exceeds anything I’ve ever felt before she’s too little to know that sometimes parenthood is tough.

So today I am inspired to reach out there into cyberspace. And say, “Hey Momma, (or Daddy) you aren’t alone! There is someone out there just like you, who feels the same way that you do. Next time you are feeling like you are alone on that island…go to the park, smile at that other parent sitting by themselves, go introduce yourself! Finally make that play date you’ve been meaning too. Your babies deserve the best and the best is a happy mommy! Chin up and when you feel alone, know that I’m out here too!

Being Brave


For those who know me, I am pretty resilient, pretty strong, very independent. I wouldn’t say that I am brave though. I get very nervous when I have to step out of my comfort zone (I do it anyway but I think that’s because I’m hard-headed).  In Lejeune (*tear*) I hated staying at the apartment alone, hell I hated staying in my mom’s house alone. It just freaked me out for some reason. I’m learning that in Okinawa I am going to have to learn to be alone more often than not. Richie had overnight duty for the second time in three weeks and I had to sleep alone (I had my Shisha girl, of course.)  I was pretty creeped out by it but then I realized I had to be brave so I went into our room and went to sleep. This morning I opened my eyes and I had survived the night! I also have to learn to be brave when I’m driving. For whatever reason the idea of getting lost here (even though its only 67 miles long) freaks me out. The cell service isn’t great (not that I would know where to tell someone I was if I did call) and I’m not to awesome with directions.

I wrote a while back that getting lost is my biggest fear. I’m starting to realize now that it is more about the unknown. (yes, that is what many people fear, I am no exception).  Once, I let myself explore and experience things I start to love them but it takes a big leap of faith (with my eyes closed) to get there. So far my being brave in 2011 has been great. I got married (best decision ever), I moved to Okinawa with my husband (equally great decision-it would suck being home without him) and I have started exploring the island!  Everything I do by myself, makes me more proud and strong. I know there will be a time when Richie Lee will have to leave me (whether for training or a deployment) and I will have to go out on my own. It’s a scary thought but I think that I can do it. I’m starting to make some really nice friends (including my awesome neighbors!). I have people here that I can count in if I get scared or sad or just plain confused.  My puppy dog is the sweetest thing ever. I love her so much and she loves us right back.  I am learning to be brave.

People say that my writing takes courage and skill. To open myself up like this, to make people feel my emotions through my words.  To me, writing is as easy as breathing. It comes naturally. So maybe if I keep trying, being brave will come naturally too.