Monday, September 23, 2013

What's New with the Beenes

Just thought I would post a little update blog to let everyone know what has been going on lately with me and my little family:)

Well, It seems as if Fall has officially come to England. We had one nice day yesterday, but mostly the clouds and rain and chilly weather has once again returned to stay until June. It was a nice warm summer, so I am not complaining really. But I am dreading the looming darkness and dreariness that winter brings to this part of the world. But on the positive side, I really like fall clothes and am really into hats and scarves this season, so I am excited to be wearing those things much more often:)

As far as me goes, I have joined the MOCSC (Mildenhall Officer and Civilian Spouses Club) as the historian this year. All I mostly do is take pictures and post them on facebook, but its fun for me to get involved with other spouses. I also volunteered to be a Key Spouse for my husband's flight. For those of you who aren't familiar with the program, I basically am just there to help out and reach out to any spouses who may need it. We try and spread word about upcoming events and ways to get out and about:) I also organize and participate in Toddler Play Group for Max. We are a bunch of moms and kids who get together twice a month to either go random fun places, or sometimes just to each others house to hang out. It's nice to get adult time and also nice to let the kiddos play. Hum, what else am I doing?.....I think that pretty much sums of my life right now... I have a few crafts I am working on like a new knitted scarf and I am really trying to get into couponing, but am having a tough time motivating myself to get it going. I have been able to read more lately and have recently finished "Divergent" and looking forward to continuing that series, but right now I am pretty consumed with the book "The Outlanders". I am looking forward to the Holiday season (as always) and already planning Christmas presents and parties:)

Jeffrey, well I suppose you'd have to ask him about more specifics as what he has been doing recently, as I only know so much about his work:) He has been keeping very busy the last couple weeks at work and I do know that he is getting to really love his job here, which makes it good for everyone:) Idk if you all know, but Jeff is working on his Masters Degree online and is only a few classes away from graduating, so that's one of his things to keep up with. Also, twice a week a participates in an online Spanish class which helps him keep his Spanish more fluent. He also has recently competed in a "tough mudder" and a "spartan" race the last few weeks.

As far as Maximus, well he has been keeping the most busy out of all of us. He is constantly on the go, from morning until night! He just went down to taking only one nap a day, which means even more time for him to run around haha. He absolutely loves playing outside and could play on slides for hours and hours. Going up and down and up and down is just so fun for him, but he only ever goes down the slide on his belly:) He is a pretty good walker for his age, almost 14 months, but he tries to act like he is a bigger kid and it doesn't always work out for him. I am constantly chasing him around as he still gets into things he shouldn't, puts randoms things in his mouth, and tries to climb on everything! He exhausts me almost everyday! He is getting to be so much fun as at this age is able to understand a lot of what we are saying. He can still only say a hand full of words, but he understands a lot more. We can finally do activities together like playing with balls or collecting pine cones or simple fun "toddler" activities. We are really starting to see him personality now and it is so much fun. It is like he is no longer a baby, but an actual kid you can play with! He LOVES bananas! He would eat them for every single meal if I let him. I suppose there are worse things he could love, but its so funny.  He is a really fast learner and Jeff and I are starting to have to be careful what we do or say in front of him as he is starting to mimic some things. You show him something once and he can usually copy it. I know all parents think their kid is super smart, but Max really is a smart kid:) He has been sleeping really well at night now, most of the time from 7pm- 7am, which is awesome for us! I guess it is because he is so busy during the day.

Well, thats us, the Beenes. Not a super unique crazy life, but we are enjoying it! We try and enjoy every single day and look forward to the fun things to come:)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Perks of being a lonely Military Spouse.

So we have all heard the woes and and hardships that military spouses have to go through when their spouse is gone. Although it is hard and there are SO many things that down right suck about having your spouse gone, I thought I would write about some of the good things. Being a military spouse, know one is immune to being alone or away from their spouse. I don't care what rank your husband is, he will be away from you for more than the average civilian couple, and you will be left to take care of the house on your own. Although none of us, (military wives) look forward to our husbands being away, it is a fact of the military life and we can either mope about it and cry and get depressed, or focus on the positive part and try to make the situation as best as we can. Whether he is gone for a few days for training or on a year long deployment, having the house to your self doesn't have to be all bad.
So, after giving it some thought here is a list of positives and not so terrible things about being a single mom/wife.

1. The house stays cleaner. I don't know about everyone else, but when my husband is gone I tend to focus much more time on keeping a clean house. Maybe it is because there is one less person to get things messy/use more dishes/create more laundry but my house is always just more clean when he is gone. I have more time when the baby is asleep at night to clean the house. When Jeff is home I would rather be watching a movie with him or playing a board game instead a cleaning, but when I am all alone, I notice more what I need to clean and it gets done!
2. I get to watch whatever I want on TV. Let it be said that there are some "trashy" TV shows that I simply love, that Jeff cannot stand! To name a few, "Keeping up with the Kardashians", "Teen Mom" and "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant", are among the shows that Jeff refuses to watch with me:) So I take the opportunity when he is gone to soak in all the bad reality TV that I can!
2010 Girls Twilight Trip to Forks Washington!
3. Time with girl friends. There is never a better time to spend with your girl friends than when your husband is away. It is easier to get more girl time when you don't have kids but either way, it can be done. When I lived in Montana and Jeff had a schedule of gone for 5 days and then back 4 days for nearly 2 years, it made for some times to get together with friends! My friends and I would get together a lot and take turns hosting parties or fun craft times, movie nights or even crazy vacations. We would share holidays and have such a fun time! Especially when you have friends whose husbands are also gone, this is the time to catch up and who doesn't love a Pinterest Party? Wives who have their husbands home every single day, rarely ever get to experience the fun of spending so much time with girl friends! It is harder to spend so much time with friends once kids are in the picture as you don't have the hubby home to watch the baby if you want a girls night, but you can a get a sitter at one house to watch the kids and go out and get pedicures with the girls, or even just have some other moms over during the day for soda and snacks. With kids or not, friend time is definite bonus!
4. More Money. Ok, so everyone knows about the non taxed pay while your spouse is deployed, but there are other pay benefits too, depending on where they are and for how long. They get paid a per diem amount and some hazardous duty pay and extra pay benefits too! While it sucks to have them gone, you may just be able to afford that new living room set by the end of the deployment:)
5. Extra time for "ME". When Jeff is gone, I get more time to work on crafts or sit in bed and read for hours when Max is asleep. "Me" time is hard to come by when you have a family and sometimes you can lose sight of who you are. Take advantage of this time and find things YOU like to do. Redecorate the house or work on making a scrapbook for when your hubby gets back. Take up a new hobby, just do something that you like to do and enjoy it! When you have a family, a lot of the time is spent  doing "family" things. And while that is not bad, use this time to remember yourself and that you are a person too:)
6. I always learn something new.
Lets face it, there are jobs and things around the house that normal wives would never do, chores that are set aside for husbands and considered "mans" work. Civilian spouse get the luxury of never having to learn or do these things, but when your hubby is gone, it is all up to you to keep the house in running order. I have learned to do things that I have never done before when Jeff was gone. For instance, I mowed the lawn for the very first time when Jeff was gone because we got a ticket from the base housing office and the lawn had to be mowed in the next 24 hours. I also learned how to change a furnace filter, (being in a freezing house in Montana, can teach you a lot of things). Learning how to drive in a foreign country is something I have also recently learned, because if my husband was always around, I would just have him drive me everywhere lol. Things like changing light bulbs, unclogging toilets are not necessarily fun things to learn but hey, when it's all done you feel pretty confidant that you can do anything- Girl Power!
7. Gives me that chance to lose some weight! Practically everyone I know would like to either lose weight or tone up their body. What better motivation is there than to have a rockin' body when your hubby gets back? It is the perfect time to eat healthier (It's always easier for me to eat better when I am not making meals for both us and can just plan for me:) and lose weight! Whether you have just 10 pounds to lose or 100, when your spouse is gone for months at a time, you have no excuse not to step up and just do it! Just imagine his face when you next see him and it will all be worth it!

There are obviously many downfalls to being alone, and not having your life partner around to actually live your life, can be a huge challenge. I am going to say it is easy, but I just want military wives out there to be aware that there can be some good in it. There are most definitely more negative than positive aspects of having your husband gone for an extended period of time, but Look at your life and look for the positive notes. It is what you make it! And that's all a military wife can do:)