God Moments: From Airman to Mom

God Moments: From Airman to Mom

Through her unique yet challenging deployment, Amanda learned that she could do more than she ever believed she was capable of and that small acts could in fact change the world. She became more compassionate. And her eyes were open to the kind of suffering that was happening outside of the US every day. She realized she had to do more, so upon return home, she started donating to various organizations in helping people less fortunate than many Americans.

Although deploying changed her in many different ways, another challenge also significantly affected her --- transitioning from Airman to Mom. 

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Why Everyone Should Send Care Packages & 52 Ideas to Include

It wasn’t until I deployed that I truly understood the importance of mailing care packages.

Prior to my experience, I thought the purpose of sending packages to deployed members was to give the person something they needed. Having now been on the receiving end, I realized it goes beyond fulfilling a physical need for some deodorant or beef jerky.

When you’re away from family and friends, there’s a void that you are left with. You miss the interpersonal communication, the personal touch of a kiss or an embrace. You long for something that just isn’t available to you.

Then, on those few sporadic mail days, you are blessed with something totally unexpected and super exciting.

It is on those days when I receive a care package that I feel the love emit from the contents inside.

From the card or note that cheers me up or brings a tear to my eye, to the k-cups that restock my stash and keep me going throughout the day.

These moments make you feel like a child on Christmas all over again.

I regret not sending packages to friends that were deployed; I just didn’t realize the emotions that could travel with these small blessings.

From here on out, I vow to be more diligent to care for friends, near and far. To send them love when they are away or when they are at home and need something a little extra because a little goes a long way.

When should you create a care package?

  • When you can’t physically be there for the person on the receiving end.

  • When you want to show them you love them and you care

  • When you want them to know you were just thinking about them

  • When you’ve identified a need and want to fulfill it

  • When someone is deployed or significant other is deployed, had a new baby, is going through a really rough season, just moved to a new location.

Is there ever a bad time to send a care package?

  • I don’t think there is ever a bad time to send a care package, but ultimately you should check the motive behind sending it. Don’t feel obligated to send something; you should genuinely want to send something out of the kindness of your heart.

  • Don’t replace care packages with actually being there for someone. Things are nice, but you can’t buy love. Sometimes, an individual needs a shoulder to lean on or a person to talk to and if you are hiding from filling that need by sending a package, I would encourage you to reconsider.

 
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What should you include in a care package?

For the Coffee Lover:

  • COFFEE (k-cups, refillable K-cups, Ice coffee packets)

  • Creamer

  • Mug

  • Syrup flavors

  • French Press

For the Food Addict:

  • Different seasonings (adobo, garlic salt, etc.…)

  • Variety of hot sauce

  • A mix of healthy and guilty pleasure snacks

  • Healthy microwavable meals (quinoa packets, protein oatmeal, etc.…)

  • Something homemade

For the Book Worm:

  • Amazon gift card

  • Creative book marks

  • A motivational book

  • A book in their favorite genre

  • A book for their season of life

  • Book darts

  • Book décor

  • A book box subscription

For the Creative:

  • Coloring book with colored pencils and a sharpener (don’t forget the sharpener)

  • Journal + multicolored pens

  • Stationary + stamps

  • Inspirational wall art/decor

  • Command hooks and strong tape to display art

For a Stranger:

  • Anything motivational (book or art)

  • A variety of snacks

  • Water enhancers

  • Activity books, brain teasers, or puzzles

  • Amazon Gift cards

  • Holiday decorations (Christmas lights, American flags, posters, mini Christmas trees, New Years poppers, Easter basket, etc.)

For the Mom/Dad:

  • Pictures of their child doing every day things

  • Child artwork + tape to hang up artwork

  • A book to record themselves reading

  • Create a care package for the parent back home

  • Coupon for a free babysitter for a night upon return

For the Gym Junkie:

  • A jump rope

  • Motivational Tank / Tee

  • Refillable water bottle (aluminum keeps water cold for a longer period of time)

  • Protein snacks

  • Water enhancers (Gatorade, Spark, Fizz sticks, crystal light, etc.…)

  • Running socks (something about deployments make you go through socks quicker)

  • Wireless/portable speaker

For the Christian:

  • A new bible / study bible

  • A bible study workbook

  • Bible highlighters + pen

  • Scripture art

  • Scripture memory note cards

For a Woman:

  • Face masks, spa-day type stuff

  • Nail polish, remover, nail clippers, file

  • Body spray

  • Light makeup (favorite eyeliner, chap stick,

  • Foot scrub

For a Man:

  • See any of the other categories...

  • Beef jerky (lol)

 

Care Package blog

How Physical Fitness & Self-Worth Affected My Relationships

I AM NOT DEFINED BY MY WEIGHT - Part V Relationships/ROTC

This piece is Part 5 of a 9 Part Series called I Am Not Defined By My Weight, inspired by Rachel Hollis' book "Girl, wash your face". 

Recently, I decided to take the 5 Love Languages quiz to figure out my love language. The quiz determined my love language is “Words of Affirmation," meaning for me, actions do not speak louder than words. Unsolicited compliments, kind/encouraging words are genuinely life-giving, and the opposite can be earth-shattering.

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Understanding this love language brought a lot of things into perspective.

From growing up obsessed with physical appearance, to listening to immature boys call me fat, I started to believe the lies that I am what I weigh. Strangers repeated these words often enough, it consumed me and crushed my spirit.   All throughout college, I unknowingly battled these misperceptions, trying to discover who I was and what my purpose was in life. When I joined ROTC, it exacerbated the belief that I wasn't enough.

Firstly, please realize I am not faulting the Air Force, Ohio State or ROTC for any of my self-esteem problems.  I had fantastic cadre members (the officers/enlisted members in charge) and peers that encouraged and motivated me. My story is more than the four years in ROTC.My struggle is a culmination of my culture, my perceptions, and my individual experiences.

ROTC Experience

From day one in ROTC, I was aware I did not meet standards and would have to lose weight to wear the uniform. I also could not pass a PT test (physical training test) to save my life—another requirement to serve in the Air Force.

Knowing this, I continued on.

I went to mandatory PT twice a week, and watched, as every single person was faster, skinnier, and stronger than me. I was also one of a few cadets who did not meet standards, thus was required to march around campus in civilian clothes.

You can say I stuck out like a sore thumb. Because of this, I regularly had people asking me why I wasn't in uniform and what did I mean by "not meeting standards."

Talk about awkward.

I had to explain to people I was too fat to wear the uniform. I would feel sick to my stomach.

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To make matters worse, we would have PT tests once a quarter where we would get weighed in, tape measured, and then tested on pushups, sit-ups and a mile and a half run.

If I didn't make weight, it was an automatic failure and no more uniform for me.  So instead of fueling my body appropriately to do well on those PT tests, I would starve myself the weak prior and spend hours in the sauna wearing a sweat suit to make sure I could make weight.

You can probably guess my performance during those tests were subpar.

It was a lose-lose situation.

In hindsight, I wish I had reached out for help on how to lose weight the right way. I knew there were standards I needed to uphold, yet every Friday after weigh-ins I would binge on Taco Bell as a reward for surviving another week. When I would go out with friends, I would enjoy massive amounts of food and then force myself to puke it up. Not only would the calories not count, but it also prevented hangovers. Pretty distorted, am I right?

Thankfully, that season is behind me, but there is still more to the story.

Self-worth and Relationships

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” – Robert Holden

Even after I had finally achieved the Air Force's goal weight, I still struggled with self-worth. I was finally wearing the uniform, but I was the slowest person on the track. It wasn't enough to make weight, nor pass the PT test. The next expectation was to get 100 points on the PT test, and I was rarely hitting 90.

I felt like a failure, a big fat failure.

It was during this time I started developing feelings for one of the guys in ROTC, except I tried my hardest to fight those feelings.

See, this guy was white, skinny, and came from the suburbs of Ohio.

I, on the other hand, was Puerto Rican, chubby, and from inner-city Cleveland.

What the heck would people think if they saw a big Hispanic girl with a skinny white boy? 

What would my family say? 

I was not going to allow myself to be embarrassed like that. Plus, why would a thin person want to be with a fat person? I genuinely believed I was too big to be loved. That I needed to find someone bigger than me or else it would never work.

I fixated on these beliefs so much, I pushed this guy away from me, into the arms of another girl.

It wasn’t until I realized the other girl was not interested in him that I decided I could not suppress my feelings any longer.

I had to tell him how I felt, despite feeling unworthy of him or his love.

Lessons Learned

♥ Determine your long-term goals and ensure your short-term goals help you achieve your objective. I  solely focused on making sure the scale moved down, I practiced unhealthy habits that hindered long-term weight loss.

♥ Progress is progress. Celebrate all of your small achievements. Every little achievement adds up to big success.

♥ Ask for help. Don’t allow your pride to get in the way of achieving your goal. I relied heavily on my own strength that it took me longer than it should have to reach my target.

♥ Don’t compare yourself to other people. No one has walked in your shoes. You were uniquely created, and no one in the world matches you. Comparing yourself to other people steals your joy.

♥ Love is not dependent on weight. I was so afraid to date someone because I thought I weighed too much, I almost missed out on the best relationship of my life.

Happily Ever After . . . 

Thankfully, I learned how to stifle the negative opinions I had for myself long enough to enter into the best relationship of my life—my marriage. I wish I could tell you that I learned how to love myself before we said our vows, but that would not be true.

I entered my marriage thinking; finally, I would be happy since I had someone who loved me for me.

But that was just not the case.

Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have, and my relationship with myself was not the best.

It was in marriage and motherhood where I learned how to “love” myself.

If you would like to read more, feel free to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or email. Next week I will explore the beginning of my relationship and marriage, and how I learned that I needed to love myself before I could truly accept my husbands love.

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Why I Serve

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Back in 2008, I sat in a large auditorium on Ohio State campus scheduling my first set of university classes. I knew I was going to be a Psychology major and pursue Pre-Med but what I didn’t know was that a desire to learn more about my father would eventually lead me to Active Duty.

In the course catalog, I saw the university had an “Intro To Air Science” class, which taught you about the history of the Air Force.

Introduces the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Topics include mission and organization of the Air Force, officership and professionalism, military customs and courtesies, Air Force officer opportunities and benefits, and communication skills.

I remember the guidance counselor signed me up for this Intro To Air Science (AS 100) class and didn’t mention anything else since she had no idea what the class was actually about.

This was the perfect class for me to learn more about my father’s journey in the Air Force. My father had enlisted in the Air Force years before I was born. He served our country for a few years and got to travel the world. He eventually left active duty and settled in Cleveland where he met my mother. They married and then had three kids. I was the eldest and only girl, so like any daddy’s girl, my dad was my hero.  Growing up I would hear some stories, or see some pictures or currency from the places he had traveled too. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. Besides my father, no one in my family had served our country.

A few days before classes started, I received an email about New Cadet Orientation for my AS 100 class. I was to report the day before classes began for some sort of orientation.

Scared out of my mind and not knowing what to expect I showed up and was shocked to find out what I had signed up for.  They gave us a brief introduction to the program. PT (Physical Training was 0500) Tuesdays and Thursdays, Leadership Lab (LLAB) was every Thursday for approximately 2 hours, Air Science class, uniforms, marching….

Did I just enlist in the Air Force? What the heck did I get myself into?!

They marshaled us through a couple of rooms where I had to get undressed in front of other women to try on uniforms. This felt like the real deal. By this point it was too late to turn back. I had already signed up, so I would try it out for the next 10 weeks. I could have dis-enrolled if I wanted to, but I was not a quitter. I would finish the quarter.

One quarter turned into two, which turned into a year and then four years. Before I knew it, I was taking the oath and commissioning into the United States Air Force. What started off as a journey to get to know more about my father turned into something more. It turned into a desire to finish what I started. A desire to lead the best and brightest in whatever capacity the Air Force needed.But it wasn’t always hearts and rainbows.

To be honest, I absolutely hated my first year. I struggled to lose weight. I struggled to pass my PT test. I struggled every single day and would cry myself to sleep most nights. I really don’t know why I didn’t quit.

Maybe I was afraid to disappoint my dad? Or maybe I was afraid to lose all of my friends? ROTC was my life and without it I was afraid I was nothing. The camaraderie was what kept me going. Some people thought I would quit, but that fueled my passion to show the world I was capable of finishing.

June 10th 2012 I graduated from The Ohio State University and commissioned into the best Air Force in the world.

Deployment - Take 4

This piece is Part 4 in a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.

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If you have been with me this far, then you know my family and I have been on a roller coaster for the last few years. I was tasked to deploy two different times, each time getting canceled for a variety of reasons. During this same time, David and I were brought together, then apart with TDY’s and his deployment, we lived through a miscarriage, then the birth of our rainbow baby, and then finally another deployment and cancelation.

What was weird about the last tasking was that I truly felt God had prepared my heart to leave.

He told me to be strong and courageous, for the Lord my God would be with me wherever I went. 

For reasons I cannot elaborate on, deployment 3 was canceled as quickly as I had accepted it. After a short amount of time basking in the cancellation (and trying to figure out what God really had in store for me), another deployment tasking came down – Deployment tasking #4.

Deployment tasking #3 and #4 were essentially the same tasking, just a few weeks apart and a little bit longer.

At this point, my mind was going a million miles an hour trying to decipher how I was truly feeling. I still believed this was what God wanted of me. He told me to be strong and courageous and somehow I just knew in my gut that I would be leaving my little family behind.

When I mentally accepted this tasking, I stopped telling people I was sad to leave and instead, I embraced this opportunity with excitement.

Why? Well, because God was sending me on a mission. His mission.

Be Strong and Courageous

Once the world around me became still, I began to wonder…

Am I in denial? 

Am I trying to hide the fact that this deployment is going to be hard?  

Am I naïve to think I am capable of deploying? 

Is the enemy trying to confuse me? 

Am I feeling ‘okay’ because I trust God or because I’m delusional? 

To say I was all over the place is an understatement. 

I still don't know the answer to any of those questions. I hope I trusted God. I hope that I felt excited about this deployment because God had a mission for me rather than being selfish about the positives of this deployment because there were definitely positives.

Glass Half Full

Let's be real for a second. This deployment had a lot of perks. It would mean I could sleep by myself with no kid hogging the bed. I could read an actual book, not a kindle version (have you tried reading an actual paper/hardback book near a 1-year-old?).

I could workout and get sexy! Or, as one of my coworkers say "redefine sexy".

And I could make some decent tax free money.

Eventually, whenever my mind would wonder to all the things I would miss, I would think of all of the positives instead. It may seem selfish, but it was the only way I could survive. I had to see the glass as half full. 

Two weeks after the official tasking came down, I was saying “see you later” to my family and hopping into a black passenger van for the airport.

It was time.

Blessing in Disguise

Looking back, there was definitely a reason or a perk for the same deployment getting canceled and turned back on. It gave me another month with my precious family.

The entire first year of Natalie's life, God had been preparing me to leave. He was teaching me how to give her back to Him. How to hold her with open hands and rely on Him to protect her. Finally, I accepted the call he had for me and in return, I received a blessing.

He gave me another month at home and in that month, I was able to see my baby girl take her first step.

How lucky am I?

Friendship: For a Reason, Season, or a Lifetime

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Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
— C.S. Lewis

One of the most difficult things surrounding moving every few years is the ability to find quality and lasting friendships.  You spend enough time at a base to find your community and then the military tells you it’s time to move.  Every move, you question whether or not you’re going to find ladies just as amazing as your last assignment; and you question how many people you will actually keep in contact with.

Sure, I will follow you on Instagram or Facebook, but are we really going to “keep in touch” like we promised? Well, that just depends…

Were we friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime?

I know that may sound harsh, but not every friendship can be for a lifetime. Some friendships start off great and then die down. Other friendships last for a few months or a few years and then no longer serve a purpose. Sometimes, on the rare occasion, you find your female soul mate in the form of a sister from another mister, a best friend whom you will grow old with and become a part of the family.

If you think back to any of your past friendships/relationships, can you identify where people belonged? Did you have a friendship/relationship you thought was going to last a lifetime, but didn’t?

First love ring a bell? How about the best friend you had in middle school?

In hindsight, I see the purpose they served and I am thankful for the time I had with them. No regrets.

Some friendships come into your life for a reason.

Some friendships come into your life for a reason. These friendships serve a purpose or meet a need. When that purpose has been fulfilled, or that need met, the friendship dissipates into a distant memory. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s not like you intentionally befriended the rich girl just so she can buy you those red bottom heals, or the jujube pump bag you’ve been dying for but your hubby wont let you by (it really is the holy grail of pump bags). These friendships happened naturally. Maybe you met them during a short business trip and they were your comfort friend in a scary place. Or maybe you met them in a gym class and they motivated you to finish the workout. These friendships were developed for a reason, a purpose, and once that purpose disappeared, so does the friendship.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
— Romans 8:28

Some friendships come into your life for a season. 

When I lived in Illinois, I attended one of the best churches I had ever been to. I was involved with many ministries and volunteered any chance I could get.  Through the church, I met many amazing women who filled me up, mentored me, and befriended me during a time when I was very much alone. My first duty assignment was two states away from my family and 735 miles away from my boyfriend.  These ladies came over for dinner often, and we would laugh, cry, and pray about any and everything.  I learned so much from these women and truly believe they helped shape me into the wife and mother I am today.

After 2.5 years, I moved out of the country to finally join my hubby. Slowly, but surely, those friendships ceased to exist. Nothing bad happened. In fact, a lot of great things happened, but God brought these ladies into my life for a season only.  In retrospect, those friendships served a purpose. The purpose was to help me on my journey of developing my faith, of discovering who I was in Christ. I still follow them on social media and think of them often.

I look back at most of those friendships and am so thankful for everything I learned.  Those ladies poured into me and allowed me to grow more than I ever thought was possible. I knew that most of those relationships would not survive a PCS, but I was okay with that. I knew that God had a purpose for each and every one of those ladies.

Some friendships come into your life for a lifetime. 

When we are fortunate, we sometimes make a friend or two that will withstand a lifetime.

A friend who overlooks your brokenness and admires the beauty inside you.

A friend who is open and honest…. who tells you when you’re wrong in a loving manner.

God brings certain people into our life to stay for a lifetime.

In this arena, I have been blessed.

These friendships are the ones that you can go a while without talking, but when you catch up, it is like nothing has changed. These are also the friendships that you will go out of your way to spend time with them even though you only have a few days to spend back home. Sometimes, these are the people that you call in the middle of the night, asking for prayers because you feel so broken or so tempted that you don’t have the strength fight the temptation alone. And when you are extremely blessed, these are the friendships that you pour your deepest secrets or embarrassments, because you can trust them to pray for you and hold you accountable.

I reflect on all the people in my life, those that lasted a long season, or a short reason, and those who are currently still in my life, and I am in awe.  Through military moves across states or across countries, through pregnancies and miscarriages, through heartbreak and marriages, these friendships have all shaped me in one way or another.

Had I disregarded any of them because I knew they weren’t meant to last a lifetime, I would have missed out on so many blessings.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Friendships

♥ Recognize that some friendships are only meant for a reason, others for a season, and few for a lifetime.

♥ Don’t harbor bad feelings when friendships dissipate. Instead, recognize the hidden blessings they provided you and continue to nurture the relationships you have control over.

♥ Maintain realistic expectations that sometimes, you may have expected a friendship to last a lifetime, but in reality it was only a season. Although it may hurt, God is in the midst of your relationships.

♥ And no matter the category, cherish your friendships. You never know when a friendship for a reason turns into a friendship for a lifetime.

 
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Can you reflect on your relationships past or present and identify the blessings? 

Deployment - Take 3

This piece is Part 3 of a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.

Incase you haven't read the 2 previous posts, here is a quick recap.

Air Force Deployment Blog

I had been tasked to deploy two different times without actually deploying.  I was removed from my first deployment because the commanding officer wanted someone higher ranking. No big deal. Then, after moving to another country, finding out we are pregnant and then miscarrying, a second deployment tasking drops (remember, this one was a dream job).

I went on a short notice TDY (training) and on the very last day of training I found out I was pregnant. No more deployment. 

We had our precious Natalie and life was good, then two months shy of her first birthday I was notified that a third deployment had dropped... This time, I would leave 1 week after her first birthday. 

Thankfully, current Air Force Policy meant I was safe from deployments or trainings for a year after birth, but i never imagined they would task me right after my daughter turned 1. 

Words can not express the feelings I had about this deployment. No longer was the job a dream job, nor the location a “vacation” spot. To top it off, I would be missing 5 months of my baby girls life.

Deployment Blog

Life Is Not Fair

Why would God wait until she turns 1 to pull me away? Why didn't he let me go on the last tasking, rather than allowing me to get pregnant just to leave her behind? 

It didn't seem fair at all. Not to me and most definitely not to her. And my husband just returned from deployment a few months prior! But duty calls and I volunteered to wear the uniform, at least that’s what I keep reminding myself.

In my moment of desperation, I got to my knees and started praying. Regardless of my questions, I needed to accept the fact that God had called me away from my family.

I eventually accepted the mission I was being sent on, and then it happened...

A text message from my commander that read - Your deployment’s been canceled, thought you would want to know… Happy Holidays!

 
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Christmas Deployment Blog
 

This was the last message I was expecting to receive and I can't say that I was happy with the news. 

How did I get out of not 1, nor 2, but 3 deployments? All of which I feel like I had no control over. This roller coaster of emotions goes right through me.  Everyone starts celebrating that I don’t have to deploy and the only thing I can think about is how God had prepared my heart to leave.

He gave me a sign. I was meant to deploy. 

He ignited the flame inside me to get excited about this deployment, all for it to just get canceled.

I wasn’t happy about leaving my husband or infant daughter. The thought of everything I would be missing just made my heart ache. My eyes would tear up thinking about how she would crawl around the house calling for mum-mum and never find me. Or how she would cling to her caregivers at the CDC (child development center aka daycare) to get the comfort that she can't get from her mommy.

No mom wants to be replaced. But on the other hand, I felt this strong sense that God was sending me on a mission and that mission was now canceled.

The day I found out about deployment #3, God gave me the verse “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, ESV).

This was very much what I classify as a #Godmoment.

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I took this as a sign that God would be with me on my journey away from home, for the 5 months, completing whatever it was that he needed me to complete. So why would He give me this verse, just to yet again, remove this deployment opportunity? 

When this last deployment was canceled, I was still aware of the possibly of getting tasked again, but I didn’t really believe another tasking would drop - until another one did.

There were only a few weeks between deployment tasking #3 and #4. I knew that God had a mission for me, I just didn't know what that mission nor why I felt like I was being jerked around on this road called life. Nevertheless, I was ready for whatever would come my way.

Deployment Tasking #4 (okay, maybe like Deployment #3 take 2).

Deployment - Take 1

This piece is Part 1 in a 4 Part Deployment Series covering my 4 deployment taskings in my Air Force Career.

Recently, I was tasked to deploy, again, for the fourth time! Now it’s not what you think, I actually haven't deployed at all in the short five-ish years I’ve been in the Air Force. So here’s my story…


A few years ago (2014), I received my first deployment tasking. I was in the middle of planning a wedding and had just recently pinned on 1st lieutenant when I received word that I would deploy to do administrative stuff in a joint environment.

The great news was it would be a sweet deployment (more like a vacation than a hardship). The location had, not one, but two pools!

The bad news--I would miss my own wedding.

You would think a girl would be heart broken about this news, right? Wrong. I was actually quite excited for the opportunity until I told my Fiancé. Needless to say he was not thrilled about the idea of me leaving and us postponing our wedding.

After discussing our options, I begrudgingly agreed to try and find a replacement. In the beginning of our relationship, David and I had agreed that we would always put our family first, if ever given the choice.

Going on this deployment would mean putting off our wedding for the unforeseeable future (we had already bought a dress, hired a photographer/DJ and reserved the hall) and there was no guarentee we would be able to have a big celebration in the future.  

It wasn't easy reaching out to my peers, but I humbled myself and sent an email to everyone eligible to deploy in my place, explaining the circumstances.

After a few inquiries, no one volunteered to go, so I mentally prepared myself for this new adventure; and then it happened.

God said ‘not right now’ and He took this deployment right from underneath me. Apparently, the downrange commander wanted someone higher ranking with more experience and so I was removed from the tasking. It was a bitter sweet moment for me.

On one side, our wedding plans stayed the same - kind of, but on the other, I lost out on a  great opportunity to deploy and save a lot of money.

For those of you who never understood why we had TWO weddings… well now you do! We decided to have a small celebration in case I would be tasked again while also keeping the plans for the large celebration.

March 5th 2015

March 5th 2015

September 5th 2015

September 5th 2015

David and I went on to get married, then moved across the ocean to finally live together, like a husband and wife should.

Then, after another whirlwind of events (think—new job, new country, new home, pregnancy then miscarriage), another tasking comes down.

Deployment tasking #2. 

I don’t mean to negate the impact of those previous events, because they surely affected us greatly, and I will talk about those later; my current focus is on the peculiarities surrounding me and deployments.

In a span of four months, David and I rode an emotional rollercoaster, with twists and turns, climbs and drops, which encompassed my first deployment tasking, then deployment cancellation, the passing of my grandma and then finally getting married; all of which I would have missed had I left on that deployment.

Looking back, I don't know why the first deployment wasn't meant to be, but I am thankful for the opportunity I had to spend extra time with my family. Now it was time to prepare for this next mission set before me. 

Deployment - Take 2