Real Army Wives: When Reality Smacks You in the Face

Real Army Wives: When Reality Smacks You in the Face****Disclaimer: Links on this site are affiliate links. April collects a small advertising fee when you purchase through links on this website.*****

We left Oklahoma full of excitement over finally being together as a married couple. We were ON OUR WAY! Things were looking up for us. Alan and I were finally picking out our first house. Okay, so we were only 21 and 23. Maybe we’d settle for an apartment or a nice townhouse, but either way, it was going to be OURS, TOGETHER!

Eeeeee!!!! Happy, happy! Joy, joy!

But there was this one problem holding back our complete happiness. Dark, foreboding figures loomed in the corners of my mind. They looked like naysayers to me.

“I hear 4th Infantry Division is deploying to Turkey. Going in from the North,” Alan’s buddies at Officer Basic Course, back in Oklahoma, said.

Thankfully, everything was all “probably”, “maybe”, and “talk of the possibility.” There were no actual set-in-stone facts yet. (You see, at that point, America had not set foot in Iraq as part of the War on Terrorism yet. We were still only fighting in Afghanistan.)

“Ah, no one knows anything for sure, ” I comforted myself. “I’m not believing any of these rumors until I hear them from Alan’s soon to be unit in Texas.”

I always held out hope. This was my turn to finally begin my happily ever after, and all these gloom and doom storm clouds hovering all around me were ignored to the best of my ability.

Gray skies were everywhere, but the sun could come out at any moment. Not a drop of rain had fallen yet. Not a single lightning bolt had actually flashed. They just threatened.

With that mindset, we packed up Alan’s white Blazer and my bright royal blue Grand Am, arguing about the best way to make it all fit, and headed south.

I don’t remember where we were. It was somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Texas. But neither Alan nor I have ever forgotten that day. I’ve never forgotten that punch-in-the-gut from out of nowhere feeling.

Since we were driving two separate cars, Alan didn’t even know what happened, but when he saw me pull over, he pulled over too.

Real Army Wives: When Reality Smacks You in the Face

Just like on 9/11, I heard it from my radio. It was somewhere around January 15, 2003. I was all singing at the top of my lungs, until the news came on.

That’s when the news man announced that it was officially released, just that day, that 4th ID did indeed have orders to deploy their division to the northern border of Iraq in preparation for invasion.

Just like that, I was Chicken Little, and my thunder clouds had all just dropped their rain at once. The lightning was everywhere. The thunder was louder than the news on my radio. The rain was so thick I couldn’t see in front of me.

My heart was broken. I was bawling my eyes out. How could this happen? Why did this have to be? Our happily ever after just kept slipping further and further away.

I’d finally gotten to spend a week with my husband, and even that week we’d traveled to all our family’s houses and then come back for him to go out to the field, so really we’d been married 5 MONTHS and still had not spent one regular week together in a home of our own.

There was nothing to say, and not a thing in the world anyone could do to help us.

So in that moment, I did the only sensible thing.

I pulled my car over, laid my head on my steering wheel, and I cried. Alan came over to my car, and I had to explain to him what I’d heard on the radio.

Alan probably wasn’t surprised. He was more connected to the military community, so he understood better that this was coming. Of course, he was not feeling the same way I was. Alan is an Army officer. This was his dream. He was only too willing to go over there and fight some war.

If I said one prayer of lamentation, I said a 1,000. Many petitions were made for Alan’s safety, for direction with my life, for guidance with my next step.

But that first day, I just cried. Bravery was for later. Alan hugged me and apologized and held me while I blubbered.

Reality had reached out and smacked me in the face, so it was time I looked her in the eye. I buckled under the weight of it all, with hours left to drive.

Alan and I dried up my face, hugged, and we drove on.

For last week’s chapter, click here. To start at the beginning of this series, go here.


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Educational Games for 2-8 Year Olds





Bad news from the summer that just keeps on giving


You wouldn’t believe the news I got today. Or if you are military,maybe you would.

It’s easy to feel happy and hopeful when life is going pretty well. Sure, life is hectic always with little boys to take care of, but at least you can find some sort of ‘normal’ in that. We are all healthy. Things have been okay. Isn’t it funny how easy it is to shake your head at the whiners when your life looks pretty good? I think it’s pretty common to become annoyed with people who are going through a hard time and are constantly whining about it.

Proverbs 14:20:

“The poor is hated even of his own neighbor:  but the rich hath many friends.”

There are many Bible verses that echo that sentiment.

No, we are not poor, not even a little bit. However, hard times do come to all of us. I have been without a place of my own since June 13th. Alan has his little hotel room in California, but the boys and I have gone between my parents’ and Alan’s parents’ houses in Alabama. We’ve been sleeping in their living rooms, invading their beds and kitchens, and in general totally disrupting their way of life.

THANKFULLY, both sets of them seem to be happy to have us. My parents were terribly sad to see us leave last week. (Sorry, ya’ll!! We do miss you!)

The thing is it’s been 40 days now, and we are ready to have our own place to call home, you know?

No problem, right? My house is mine in only one more week. We pick up our keys on August 1st. Hurray! Plane tickets are purchased, and movers are booked…..

WAIT! Not so fast. The current tenants have decided to delay a week. Oh, now, isn’t that cute?


Do I get angry? Do I cry into my pillow and pound my fists on the floor? *Sigh* Why bother? That’s just life. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “Life is just a series of problems to be solved.” Ha! It’s true, and you know it! But as Alan’s dad recently said, “It really is just a series of problems to be solved, but thankfully there are enough good moments sprinkled in there to make it worth it.”

🙂 Sprinkle. Sprinkle.


chubby baby cheekies and Daniel quotes: At least I still have those!

Watching Joshua study animals and checking out Caleb’s latest fort–that he has constructed–in the hallway, blocking all hallway traffic… I love it.


children on slip-n-slides, mint Klondike bars, hearing from someone who says that they enjoy reading my blog, and big giant hugs from my handsome and amazing husband (I MISS that right now!) These things DO make it worth it.

Plus, we’ve had bonus grandparent quality time, so at least we haven’t been living in a hotel all this time!

So what now? Will we rearrange Nonna’s plane ticket for later? Will that work? She was going to help us unpack, but there will be nothing to unpack until at least August 11th. I actually will have to live in a hotel for 11 days…..yikes! Is that even possible with four children???

Ya’ll! How is this four kids/hotel thing going to work? Anyone have any advice!?

The thing about problems is that they DO happen to everybody. Do you think I’m excited about spending two months (when it’s all said and done) of this year, basically homeless? Do you think I’m not worried about how this anxiety is affecting my children? Let me tell you. They are greatly affected.

We all have hard things to deal with sometimes, right? The important thing is HOW we handle our problems. You probably think I’ve handled this well, but that’s only because you haven’t had to live with me. Ha!!  Not kidding. I have been impatient with my children and probably also a slightly ungracious house guest. I do want to do better. It reminds me of that country song, “Heaven knows she’s not an angel, but she’d really like to be….”

Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, DaddyO and Nonna, for helping us through this time. Thank you to my brother for driving Alan’s truck across the country!

I hope to do better than my best through the rest of this stressful moving process. I hope to tackle the difficulties while still managing to share God’s love with others and decrease the amount of sighing and complaining.

Thank you all so much for reading my blog. It has been the perfect outlet during these years of figuring out the whole parenting/military life thing! I know it bothered a few of you when I made the blog public last year, but thank you for sticking by me anyway.

Now let’s just pray the tenants don’t push this back any more, or we will have to find another house. I really have my heart set on living on the military base. I like the efficiency of the move-in/move-out system. I also like the whole “no security deposit” thing. Pretty awesome, huh?


“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”        Psalm 34:19

“though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24