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Smelling the Roses

Last week I shared our house hunting adventures in Birmingham, Alabama, but I failed to mention that we’re already here in a corporate apartment close to Brian’s new office. We “moved out” (most of our junk is still there) of my in-laws’ place at the lake in Georgia and decided to live on top of each other in a two bedroom apartment until we close on our house. And thanks to our very nice but very close quarters, I have a whole new appreciation for parents whose children share a bedroom. Seriously, how do y’all do that?

Bedtime around here resembles feeding time in the chimpanzee cage at the zoo. 

And I’m not talking about the cute, cuddly chimpanzees who will hug you and pick bugs out of your hair for you. Because those are some helpful, well-trained chimps. I’m talking about the crazy ones who plot against the zookeepers and help each other escape.

Bedtime is like a code red lockdown at the zoo. 

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Our Bittersweet Independence Day

With little more than 2 1/2 months remaining in Brian’s Air Force career, we have both been hit with the realization that this is not just a job we’re leaving. We’re not merely moving to a new city or a different house. We’re leaving behind a lifestyle. We’re saying goodbye to a community that we’ll never really be a part of again. Sure, Brian is and always will be a veteran, but there’s a different camaraderie amongst active duty service members and their families.

And while this change is 100% what we want for our marriage and for our kids, the bitter part of the bittersweetness hit us both last Friday night like a ton of bricks.

Or like 50 cannon blasts and an amazing fireworks display. 

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Sisterhood of the "Single" Moms

In all the excitement of my in-laws’ visit, I didn’t have time to share with you what happened the day before they arrived.

Two Thursdays ago, around 6:30 p.m., I sat down at a favorite, local restaurant all by my lonesome. All by my glorious lonesome. Brian and I try to set aside time each week for me to run away from home so I can write, and I generally prefer restaurants over our local Starbucks—mainly because there is a “regular” at this Starbucks who insists on wearing headphones and singing Italian opera at the top of her tone-deaf lungs.

[Tone-deaf lungs? That makes no sense.]

If lungs could be tone-deaf, this woman should donate hers to science.

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It has become a ritual of mine to take photos of the cemetery here on Fort Leavenworth at various times of day, in different seasons, on holidays, and under certain weather conditions. There’s something about the pristine uniformity of this military cemetery that makes it so beautiful to me. And never is that more true than when the grounds are covered in a blanket of clean, undisturbed snow.

Blanket of Freedom

I look at the innumerable headstones and remember that each one represents a living soul:  a man, woman or (in some cases) teenager who was willing to take an oath to defend our nation against our enemies.

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I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus

One of my very best friends (a fellow military spouse) and I had a conversation recently about Christmas and how we want our kids to experience this magical time of year. My friend is a fellow Christian who home schools her 4 kids—all of whom are young enough to believe in Santa Claus.

Before I go any further, I have to let you know that this post is a Santa spoiler alert. So, if you have a habit of curling up by the fire and reading my posts aloud to your children, now would be a good time to forgo that routine. Instead, you might want to read them something a bit less scarring.

Back to my story…

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The Lost & Found Letter

In case you’re wondering why my posts have been pretty infrequent around here, I’m now able to share with you the reason why. I have been working on a story so near and dear to my heart that I have poured all of my free time and energy into it. This is a story so incredible that I flew from Kansas back to Georgia to capture it.

It’s a story about my Grandmother, Geraldine “Gerry” Hinesley, and the man who was her first love.

A story about a letter she wrote and how it arrived 69 years later…

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My Grandmother's Tongue

“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
(Proverbs 31:26-30, ESV)

When the author of the second part of Proverbs 31 “penned” these words, I can only imagine he must have known a woman like this:

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Does anyone else feel like they’re watching an episode of Days of Our Lives with everything that has been going on with this whole General Petraeus scandal? It’s almost like Days of Our Lives meets Army Wives meets Real Housewives meets The (Married) Bachelor.

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I found a fun, new way to creep out your neighborhood, Starbucks barista!

After my hubby got home from his class this afternoon, I decided to go grab a coffee and head to the grocery store – alone. Believe me, after a cross-country flight to Atlanta and a scream-filled road trip to Montgomery, Alabama, I needed some solo time.

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