Saturday, May 31, 2014

The DSFY Project

Before I get started, I wanted to let all of you know that I will now be sharing this site with a very dear friend of mine. Her mane is Emily, and she is amazing! I love her to death, and I can’t imagine my life without her. We will be co-bloggers, and sharing and posting individually, and I am sure all of you out there will love her just as much as I do. Join me in welcoming her to this blog! If you want to get to know a little more about her, just click here.

Now, lets get to it shall we!

I have a question... how often- in our frequently hectic and non-stop lives- can you say you actually have taken time out for yourself? And I’m not talking about taking 15 minutes to sit in-between cooking dinner. When I refer to taking time for yourself, I mean it in the sense of truly stepping away from it all for a few hours, shutting off your phone, and truly breathing in life. Tell me...really, how often can you say you do this?

Think hard- I’ll wait...

Yeah, that’s what I thought! The answer to that question in so many cases is, has been, and will always be: I don’t remember or the ever so famous I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Always...unless you do something to change that is.

Here’s the fact:  if the aforementioned was your answer ladies and gents, trust and believe when I say dead, will come around much faster than you EVER anticipated. In an older blog post I talked about the physical and mental reparations of stress; How stress can manifest itself into serious disorders, physical limitations, and in some cases complex diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infertility, and even death. With more and more of our troops coming home as this war nears it’s close, and more spouses assuming the role of a caregivers to help them with their post-war injuries, the number of reported cases of depression in the caregiver, have grown to almost staggering numbers. Of all the significant elements of caregiving, the most important and most impactful element is the caregiver’s ability to recognize that taking time to take care for you is absolutely imperative to the overall success of the combat veterans health and wellness.

Think about it: if you do not feel well emotionally, what care could you possibly provide to anyone? I don’t know about you, but when I’m deep in the throes of my Eeyore feels, caring for someone is the LAST thing I’m capable of. In fact, I can honestly say that on those days my brain quickly shuts down from Super Mom/Wife/Caregiver to everyman (woman) for himself (herself).  True story.

Which brings me back to my point...if you are not taking time to care for yourself, how can you honestly care for- to the degree in which your war fighter/combat veteran requires care? The answer to that is simple. You can’t. So what do you do about this now? Well, that’s simple too; you just take the time to do YOU!


Ok, I’ve said a lot in this post thus far, and I know for me whenever someone would mention taking time out for myself, my immediate response would be: Well how the hell do you exactly expect me to take time for myself with all that I have going on? Here is the reality behind that response. It’s bullshit! I’m sorry, but it is. And here is what I had to finally break down and realize about the heaping BS of that statement; there are 24 hours in each day, 189 hours in each week, and 52 weeks in each year. You can find the time to do something for yourself within that time trust me. I’m not talking about taking a three week long vacation to Brazil of Fiji (however wouldn’t that be something right!), but when I actually decided to add up all the hours I spent on the phone venting to a friend about how bad life sucked, and added in the hours I spent sulking in a stew of my own misery about things that I absolutely could not change, I ended up with nearly 3 months of time I could have allotted to finding fun events to attend, of vacations I could have taken. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be extravagant,  I’m simply suggesting taking a few hours out of a day each week to do something that excites you, enriches you, energizes you, or helps to remind you that there is still a YOU there underneath the laundry list of “need to do’s” that we all seem to accumulate. Think back long and hard people to the “you” that existed pre-caregiving. What did you like to do? What are a few things you always told yourself you wanted to do if you ever had the chance? Write them down, create a list, and slowly start checking those things off. Go live your life while you have one to live. Believe me, I’m a mom, and I understand the demands of life as a mom and caregiver, but I also understand that this is the only shot at life I’m EVER going to be afforded. Once I’m gone, I don’t get to come back for a do-over. So right now while you have air in your lungs, make your health and wellness a priority.

Because I recognize that when I embarked on my DSFY journey, I was clueless as to where to even start taking with taking time for myself, and how hard it was for me to come up with ideas as to what to do or what resources were available financially to help me, I’ve decided to start posting thing that I found helpful, and resources that are available out there to guide you in your journey. Em, and I will be posting our DSFY adventures on this blog regularly to keep you updated on all the things we do to DSFY, in hopes to give you all ideas, and inspiration to go out into the world and chase your own happiness.

We will be posting things that we have done to share our lives with you and share ideas of what you can do for yourself, as well as sharing resources offered by organizations that offer spouse and veteran retreats, events, family getaways, and more. Stay tuned for more folks, but most of all understand how important your overall wellness is succeeding in happiness in life. We are all strong, we are all capable, we go through trials that would take out most people, and we come out still standing, but sometimes standing isn’t enough to keep ready for the next battle. Do yourself a favor, listen to that little voice inside you that lets you know that you need a break- take that break, and continue thriving.

Health and wellness everyone,


Friday, May 30, 2014

This is me… I'm a chameleon…

This is me… I'm a chameleon…

My name is Emily. I'm a thirty-something mixed Islander with 2 gorgeous daughters and an amazing husband. I've lived my whole life in Washington (state not dc) and I can't imagine living anywhere else. This is one of the best places in the world to raise kids, and I get to watch my girls grow up in the same place I did! (Almost literally right now since we live in the neighborhood I grew up in)

So… about me. I'm proud of my Hawaiian Filipino Irish German heritages. I use to be an avid writer, but then I got this writers block about 10 years ago. This is me coming out of that hopefully. I'm a short girl with a big attitude, but the reality is that if my brain had it's way, I would be an introvert. I'm extremely self conscious of my body image and have been for pretty much my whole life. I am the friend of friends, but get hurt very easily by those I keep close to me. I have a sharp tongue when I've been attacked. I am extremely honest with my advice, to a fault at times. I am the kind of person who you really can call at 3 am for a ride and I will do anything I can to help, even if its not convenient for me. And at the same time I am horrible at keeping in touch because I get WAY too much into my own head sometimes. Music helps me deal with a lot of my emotions. It speaks to me in ways that words can't. As I type this I'm listening to AlexClare. This album brings out a depth in my mind that i don't tap into a whole lot anymore. I am the kind of person who inspirational quotes can be game changers for my day to day. I lean heavily into God, but not as much as I should. My heart is His and His alone. He chooses to share it with my family and friends. He speaks through me when needed. I am DEEPLY Patriotic! I cry at commercials of home comings. (that part of me warms my husbands heart) I have battled depression since I was very young. I've seen my fair share of counselors, therapists and psychologists. (they're all nuts!) I can be very random most of the time. 

I am the youngest of two kids. Still Daddy's girl (well, most of the time) My brother and I have a very interesting relationship. My mom is my best friend. I am very dependent on her (not that I like to admit that, but I know its true) My parents are still married and have only been married to each other.. I'm a rare one.. They still live in the same house that I grew up in. That is still where I consider "home". Both of my parents worked full time jobs while I was growing up. My dad a police officer from the time before I can remember. My mom was a professional singer. I wasn't close to my mom until I grew up and out and had a daughter of my own. And now I get it! I spread my wings early and tried to be the cool girl. I started smoking when I was 10… because I wanted a boy to like me and he smoked. A nasty habit that I gave up a few times and finally gave it up for good when my oldest daughter was about 4. I had bad friends and good friends. I liked the bad ones better. 

I am a kid at heart, and a 1940's war bride at soul. I've been through schooling for quite a few different things. I still can't decide what I want to be when I grow up. Although, I would say that my life now is just as I want it. Not exactly the way I thought I would get here, and definitely not the easiest road to go down, but this is what I was made for. I had always wanted to be a stay at home wife and mother. Make the kids' lunches, have breakfast ready to go, send them all off and tidy up the house… have snacks for the kids for after school and dinner on the table by 5:30. This whole "Donna Reed" thing going on.. Well… be careful what you ask for, right?

I had my first daughter when I was 22. Her father and I had known each other for a very long time. He was around until she was about 8 months old. Then he had to make a choice between us or drugs… Best decision he ever made was to walk away (although it took me a LONG time to realize that). Z is the spitting image of me. and I CAN wait for her to grow up. Seems like nowadays kids are growing up way too quickly. But isn't that how it's always been? 

I met my husband a little over 5 years ago.  When we met I knew he was injured in combat. I wasn't sure about anything other than I felt like I had known him my whole life. His injuries didn't throw me off, much. Our love affair started off in a whirlwind. But I believe God knew exactly what He was doing, for both of us. We were married a little more than a year after we met. And about 9 months later he adopted Z. We tried for 3 very long hard years to have a baby of our own. and in September last year, she arrived bright and smiling!! That was quite the journey… getting sick, a cancer scare, medications and multiple doctor visits. But as with all things, it was all in God's timing. 

I've learned that there are some very specifically strong women out there. Some who are able to hold the whole world up on their shoulders and still manage to take care of everyone else around them. They have a voice very seldom heard out loud, but when you do, its the voices that move mountains. They are strong, powerful and almost always selfless. They take the cards that are dealt to them and start handing them out to help others. They are able to juggle running a household, raising children (of all ages), being a taxi, a nurse, a cook, a dog catcher, a banker, a wife and all while taking care of our countries bravest men. We are the wives of Wounded Warriors. But that doesn't even begin to explain who we are. I've learned that I am one of those women. I have fought hard and have earned the right to be a part of this amazing community of women.

I hope you continue to follow my journey. I will take you down paths of deep shit and glorious days. I will be real, even if I don't want to be. I will be honest, even with myself. I will share the high highs, and the low lows. I will share some of my favorite inspirational quotes and always let you know what I'm listening to. I hope what I write will inspire and ignite a fire within those who read it.

Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (CEV)
listening to Pandora- Hawaiian Radio

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hello there! How the hell are you?!

Hello Blogger Friends!

It's been a YEAR since my last blog – maybe a little more by a few days, weeks, or months, but that’s all semantics- and now I’m back!

I guess we can chalk the year or epic absenteeism up to a need to do some soul searching, major life challenges, just life in general, blah, blah - but I'm happy to say that life is now GOOD. I very much I hope that you've been thriving as well, and that life is treating you gently. Because I can’t make an epic blogger return, without providing some explanation of what they hell kept me away, I’ll let you all in on a few things that have gone down:

I became a mom overnight to a healthy (now... thank God) and happy little boy! A real mom! A fulltime, boo-boo kissing, bedtime story reading, non-stop, all-the-way mom! Not to say that being the Stepmom of my beautiful 10 year old Ladybug, didn’t qualify me as a real mom, but I’m sure you all know what I mean. And yes, I am VERY serious by saying it was an overnight kind of, sink or swim, welcome to the motherhood, sudden and extremely surprising dive into parenthood. A dive that at first, I almost didn’t make. It is a very complicated, and convoluted story that I fully intend of divulging in an upcoming post, but suffice it to say for the purpose of this post, that all is well, we are all happy and thriving, and I am so very lucky and blessed to have him.

The passing of my father. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced pain that ran that deep, in all my 30 years of life. My father passed away on April 29th, 2013, and I can honestly say that his passing changed me in ways – both positive and negative- that I never could express in great enough detail here. Because of that I will just say, it broke my heart, and kept me away from this blog, and pretty much suspended my life until January of this year. As stated above, I’m in a much happier and much more mentally healthy place now, and I am looking forward to all the incredible blessings life has to offer.

I was promoted at my job! It was a HUGE promotion and an incredible opportunity, but I quickly learned that the new role would consume much more of my time than I anticipated. Can’t complain though- I’m thrilled to pieces to have this opportunity!

I could go on and on about the How’s and Why’s of my year without blogging; Work, kids, hubs, blah, but instead I’ll just say that I’ve missed blogging dearly and will make much more of an effort to blog more frequently from now on.

And to remind myself of this new promise:

I look forward to seeing your comments, and look forward to posting all the amazing information I have collected as of late!

A Special Day for Remembrance

Although today may be a difficult day for many, it’s still a special day to remember the lives- and sacrifices- of our Military and Veterans. Past and present- we thank you.

Happy Memorial Day!