Combat Boots & Sippy Cups

I am a soldier.

But, I’m also a mother.

I have been in the military for just over 6 years at this point, working on the next six. I love the army, I really do.

At this point in my life, I’m working on building a family. I have a husband and a child. I love them so much.

But, there’s a problem.

I spend weekends… weeks… months away from them, and it’s hard. I have a duty to both.

I missed my son’s first steps.

I missed my son’s first words.

I missed the start of potty training.

I missed witnessing his vocabulary expand exponentially.

I missed those tuck-ins and bedtime songs.

I missed wrestling him into pajamas.

I have missed so much.

I miss my husband.

I miss being there for him when he’s exhausted.

I miss helping clean the house.

I miss taking Gus so he can nap.

I miss being present.

 

I want to be the best wife and mother I can possibly be. But, I also want to be the best soldier I can be. If there is a perfect balance between the two, I can’t seem to find it.

With development in one area, the other seems to suffer. I’m stuck.

I want to be home with my family, but I can’t stand the idea of leaving my brothers and sisters behind. Guilt.

 

I have watched my peers move forward in their lives. I have watched them go to college and graduate. I have watched them obtain “adult” jobs. I have watched them grow into the type of people we all once dreamed of being. I see their normal, happy lives and I am jealous.

I joined the army. I went to training. I came home and left again for the desert. I returned and drank. and drank. and drank. I started college and got pregnant. I kept going to school through the birth of my son. By the time I graduate, my peers will have been in the workforce for 3 years.

I love my life, don’t get me wrong. It is beautiful… but it sometimes hurts. I wish I didn’t have to say good-bye to my family. I wish I didn’t feel so far behind. I wish I didn’t have to choose between the military and my family.

 

Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself. I’ve decided that’s okay, though. One day, I’ll reach the “adulthood” dream I created for myself. One day my children will understand why I was constantly leaving and returning.

One day I will be okay with my decisions. I hope.

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At the Bottom of a Bottle

I want to talk about addiction.

I’m not sure how to go about that without sounding callous.

Addiction sucks. It sucks for the community. It sucks for the family. It sucks for the person. Just downright blows.

The other day, I overheard a friend talking about their family member who is off the wagon. And while the decisions their sibling had made were terrible, I wanted so badly to step in. I wanted to scream that addiction wasn’t about them.

Yeah, people are caught in the crossfire. They are hurt and sometimes killed. It’s not okay. But I doubt the average person understands what it’s like to have your life ruled by a substance.

The poor decisions and the pain caused to love ones are rarely about others. It’s about them. Addicts are self-centered. How else would an individual sacrifice just about anything for a high?

So, quit it. Your cousin that causes your aunt so much pain isn’t doing it maliciously. The stealing and the lying aren’t because they hate the world. Chances are, it’s because those are the means in which to reach a high. Because that’s the goal. We want to feel something else.

I want to feel something else.

For me, it was alcohol. I struggled. I rationalized the shit out of my drinking.

“Oh, it’s okay. It’s after 5pm.”

“Oh, it’s okay. It’s the weekend.”

“Oh, it’s okay. Today was Monday… Wednesday… Thirsty Thursday… Finally Friday. Better tie one on.”

“Oh, it’s okay. It’s summer!”

“Oh, it’s okay. I’m young; I’m supposed to do this.”

“Oh, it’s okay. It’s only 3pm.”

“Oh, it’s okay. It’s after noon.”

“Oh, it’s okay… it’s almost noon.”

And then there’s actually getting my hands on it.

Normal, happy, healthy people don’t spend extended periods of time in the liquor store deciding on what wine to get. Well, they don’t spend that time checking the alcohol content on the bottles to figure out which wine will get me more drunk for less money.

Normal, happy, healthy people don’t start freaking out when the alcohol is getting low. They don’t consider driving 45 minutes to the nearest store that sells off sale after 10pm.

Normal, happy, healthy people don’t do that. They don’t.

And it’s impossible to explain to someone just how mindless an addict feels.

How you spend SO much time during the day thinking about your next high or your last one.

How you might now have any money, but you certainly can find enough to purchase your vice.

How you once said that you would never be in this position, but here you are. And you don’t know how you got so low.


I am frustrated.

I am frustrated as I listen to people discuss addiction, especially when they have never encountered it personally. I am frustrated as people look so far down on addicts.

It’s so easy to categorize people as good and bad. But honestly, some of the best people I know are addicts.

Chances are, there is more to their story.

Chances are, there is some sort of trauma—physical, psychological, or otherwise—that somehow brought them here.

Chances are, this is all they have ever known.

Everybody is fighting something. Some demons are easier too see.

Mine comes in a bottle.

But yours might be your own shadow.

Coffee Peppermint Body Scrub

What are three things I love?

Baths. Coffee. And easy DIY.

Body scrubs, like soaps in general, clean your butt. Scrubs do just that–scrub. So, you’ll get a bit more dead skin off of you in the cleansing process. Just don’t scrub too hard because that’ll do more harm than good. A little pro-tip: salt scrubs are good for oily skinned people while sugar scrubs work best for those with normal to dry skin.

Apparently you can “scrub the cellulite away” with coffee scrubs. Whatever. I’m not going to put much stock in that… the coffee just smells delicious!! So, that’s what we are making today: coffee body scrub.

Throw in some peppermint for the aromatic benefits. Sugar does the “scrubbing” that we are looking for. The coconut oil squishes everything together and hydrates your skin. Simple stuff, huh?

Let’s get down to business:

Took a whole 30 seconds to collect this stuff. Major effort.
Took a whole 30 seconds to collect this stuff. Major effort.

4 cups Sugar

3/4 cup Coffee grounds

1 1/2 – 2 tsp Peppermint Essential Oil

3/4 cup Coconut Oil

Now, prepare yourself. Intense science is about to happen.

1. Melt down your coconut oil. (It’s a solid at room temp…) You can use a double boiler or nuke it. I chose the latter because that’s how I live my life.

2. Dump your sugar in the bowl with the oil. Mix it. Super complicated. 😉

3. Done? Good. Mix everything else (coffee & mint oil) in.

It's not rocket surgery.
It’s not rocket surgery.

When it’s full blended, it’ll look like dirty sand. Store our delicious scrub in glass jars–mason and the like.

Perfect Christmas gifts!

Perfect Christmas gifts!!

Feel free to adjust the recipe however you want. I don’t care. Try less sugar. Try more oil. Try brown sugar. Try organic crap, if you’re into spending that much money. Try decaf or regular coffee. Try vanilla or lavender instead of mint oil.

Honestly, body scrubs are suuuuper easy to make and suuuuper inexpensive. So, if you’re hurting for cash, they make a GREAT gift. Plus, you can get a few jars out of each batch. If you play your cards right, $10 may create presents for your entire family. I like the sounds of that!

Either way, making the scrub is just as fun as using it. Scrub away, my friends, scrub away!