Saturday, July 23, 2011


tonight I am grieving for friends that will soon be lost.  Usually I think that moving is easier for the person who is leaving, but I am really struggling as we prepare to leave this place.  So here is my list of things I will miss about North Dakota:


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How hard is it to just SMILE?

In the Air Force, many people have desk jobs.  A lot of those individuals represent the group of people who support and serve other military members and their families.  In the process of preparing to move, we have been dealing with many of these support personnel.  As a whole, I have been greatly disappointed by the lack of help and service we have been given.  Moving is stressful on any family, but moving overseas complicates matters greatly.  We have had to coordinate things such as packing dates, vehicle shipping locations, passports, regulations for international travel with pets, and storage or sale of many of our possessions.  Throughout this process, I have had a distinct lack of helpful information and friendly faces.  The people who should know the information we need are either unwilling to share or simply take their own sweet time supplying it to us.
I worked for many years in customer service.  I have worked at McDonalds (ugh), Cinnabon, Panda Express, Hollywood Video, and Old Navy.  In each of those places, I found people who took pride in their jobs.  Those who came to work in their uniform (no matter how tacky), on time for their shift, and served customers with a smile.  Those who made it their business to understand and share useful information.  I tried to be one of those people, and for the most part, I think that I succeeded.  I greeted each customer with a smile and did my best to help them conduct their transaction efficiently.
Now, as a 'customer', I am constantly frustrated by those who seem to have no pride in what they do.  I truly believe that working for the Air Force is more important than serving fast food.  People's lives are complicated by inaccurate information and an unwillingness to help, not their lunch order.  As a military spouse, I have been ignored, misdirected, disconnected, given wrong numbers, and treated with indifference.  My best sources of information are friends who are currently living overseas, not the people whose job it is to give me that information.
I feel like I am swimming upstream, trying desperately to get my house and all the paperwork in order, to make the transition easier on my family (hence the blogging late at night).  I simply wish for everything to go smoothly while we begin this new and exciting chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


   As a teacher I spent a lot of time in schools and working with children.  Some days I would ponder what causes parents to choose a certain name (or spelling) for their child.  Trying to teach a child to write a long, confusing, non-phonetic name is such a pain!  The one that sticks in my head is "Zjhavese".  Seriously. 
   My other pet peeve is naming a boy child after his father.  I think that family names are important, that's why everyone in a family has the same last name.  A child identifies a lot with his or her name, and is stuck with it for an entire lifetime.  Being named after someone who lives in the same house with you would be confusing at best and could possibly cause problems in the future with things like a credit report. 
   While I was pregnant, I had some fun with my husband, suggesting funny names like Aspen, Apple, Ashley, (Ash Tree, get it?), Cedar, etc.  but I would NEVER submit my child to that torture!  Kids are mean enough without fueling the fire.  However, my husband does have a cousin with the name Douglas Fir Tree.  Seriously.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


   I grew up in the middle of a large family (8 children).  As a member of that family, I heard many comments from other children at school, mostly crude or negative.  Oftentimes, I felt like I was just one of a crowd.  Teachers wouldn't know my first name, or I would be confused with one of my siblings.  I was referred to as 'one of the Rollins girls'.  As an adult, I admit that I have done the same to children of large families.  I have called them by the wrong name or neglected even learning their first name.  Unless I spend a lot of time with that family, and get to know their individual personalities, I find it difficult to distinguish between siblings.  I know one family with 6 boys and all of their names start with the same letter.  Talk about confusing!
   I had some good experiences as well.  I always had someone to play with, when we moved I still had a whole bunch of familiar faces.  I learned organization, responsibility, and how to interact with others.  I had a lot of quirks teased out of me at home.  I have to admit that at times, I am still embarrassed by my family.  I had days when I wondered if my parents truly wanted me as an individual or if I was just part of the package.
   My husband and I are slowly building our own family and traditions.  We do not have a set number of children we think should be part of our family, but the number is definitely lower than eight.  Some days I feel that I need to defend my choice to have a 'small' family'.  I really feel that some people can handle many children, and I am not one of those people.  My goals for my children are that they always know they are loved and wanted, and I need to have less children so that I can focus more on the ones I have.  Especially with my husband in the military, I have had to be 'solo Mom' for birthdays, holidays, weekends, camping trips, doctor visits, etc.  I HATE being dependent on anyone, even my husband.  When he is around, he is a fabulous part of our family, but I am the one who is constant and manages the day-to-day situations.  As that constant provider, I need to maintain my sanity, so I try not to take on more than I can handle.  I would rather be a good mom to a few children then a decent mom to a lot.
   I spent a lot of time with pre-schoolers who were often neglected or just ignored.  I had children who knew all the characters on Nickelodeon but had no idea what a cow said.  I had children who would wear the same clothing for days in a row.  I had children so starved for attention that they would do anything to win a teachers approval.  I loved these children but hated their circumstances.  I am determined that my children will never be viewed as neglected.  They will have everything they need, including attention from me.
   I have loved spending time with my daughter, teaching her and watching her grow.  We have had a great few years together and formed a bond that will last forever.