Let me preface this by saying I absolutely love my life. I can't imagine it any other way, and I am so happy and content with the path God has laid out for Parker and me. That said, it's not always easy. I know you're thinking "Well, duh, life's never always sunshine and rainbows". Of course you're right, but the part of our lives that tests us the most is something that isn't a factor for everyone. You've probably guessed it by now. It's the military.
I have said this six ways to Sunday: being a Navy wife is never something I planned on or even wanted. None of my immediate family, or close extended family for that matter, served in the military, and I was just clueless on the subject. To be frank, all I knew about the military is they all leave at some point, and not all of them come back. Sitting here having just typed that sentence, all I want to do is delete it, but that's the harsh reality of the military life. These men and women put it all on the line. All give some, and some give all. So why the heck would I grow up dreaming to be a military spouse? Like I said, I didn't. God has been so faithful to me and given me a husband more perfect for me than I could have even dreamed up. We truly are best friends, and I mean that. Amidst all the romance and the married stuff, we are simply besties for the resties (okay I had to laugh at that phrase). In allowing me to meet and fall in love with Parker, God showed me that his plans for me were soooo much bigger than the plans I had laid out for myself. Thank you Jesus for always knowing what's up, because man is this life fun and exciting and perfect and... you get the gist.
It's an exciting life, but it comes with its share of hardships. I still feel like we are "babies". We haven't done the big thing yet- Parker has never had to deploy. That day will come quicker than I care to think about. He's already started flying a little longer, being gone for a week at a time, etc. And that stuff's just not fun. Parker is in the longest training pipeline possible (literally, the longest), so a lot of our friends are going to deploy before he will. Selfishly, I wish that weren't the case. I wish I was going through a deployment at the same time as my friends. Why? Because military spouses are the only ones who truly get what it's like to know your husband is overseas protecting our freedom.
The love and support of our family and non military friends really does mean the world. In fact, Parker and I would not be where we are today without them. That said, they can't fully understand what this lifestyle is like because they haven't lived it. They can empathize with us, but they will never truly understand, and that's okay. One of the biggest blessings through military life, if not the very biggest, has been the new friendships that have formed. I have met military spouses who have truly become some of my very best friends. They get it. They get it because they are living it too. Geography may have separated me from a lot of them, but they are a quick phone call, text, or email away if I ever need to vent. And sometimes, you just have to vent to someone who gets it.
I am thankful for a community and close friends who will always understand. The reality is being a military wife demands a certain degree of independence, strength, and determination. I'm not tooting my own horn and saying I have mastered any of those things, but one day I hope to. With each duty station we come and go to- Pensacola, Kingsville, and now Corpus Christi, I have met women who make the rainy days of military life a little sunnier.
To my military spouse friends (you know who you are), I love you all so much and cannot imagine going through this journey without you. There have been way too many girls who have gotten me through the last two years to name, but know that you are appreciated and cherished.
And now, a photo dump of pictures of people that, if the Navy would oh so kindly station us near, I wouldn't hate it. So basically I'd like to go to California, please.