Inner Peace Blogger Award

So this week I was also awarded the Inner Peace Blogger Award by Fibromyalgia and Self Disorders ! She has a wonderful and inspirational blog focusing on these issues close to her heart. I admire anyone who takes a stand or works to better this world for things they are passionate about. If we were all like this this world would be a much more peaceful and loving place! I invite you to check out her blog!

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I am overwhelmed with the support and feedback I have received since starting this blog. I never thought people would truly enjoy my writing and I was really skeptical of this whole thing working out at first but I am so glad I did it and so excited and honored to be given two different awards already! The rules for this award are very simple and are described as follows:

The only “rule” for the Inner Peace Award is that you write a short piece on why you are accepting it. I would suggest that you forward on to other bloggers who you think would like it, 3-10 up to you!

I am accepting this award and feel so honored to have been nominated for it. Inner peace is one of the most invaluable struggles we as humans face. One can argue it is the ultimate key to happiness. I feel it really pertains to the purpose of my blog as inner peace is an even more difficult struggle for our veterans. Dealing with guilt, questioning their identity upon return from war, and the society which often times demeans and demoralizes them.

Inner peace is what we long for as humans. It is what religion and beliefs and morals are ultimately about. Our very own founding fathers found it so important that they included “The pursuit of happiness” in our Declaration of Independence as one of our great American values. I believe when one finds peace in themselves is when they truly FIND themselves. Some of us find peace and then lose it and find it again throughout life, some of us never find it, some not until their deathbed, and some maybe even find peace early in life and never lose it. But life is all about discovery, and I am honored that some find my writing as inspirational enough to nominate me for such an important symbolic award.

So I’m forwarding this peaceful blogger’s award to the four following blogs:

1. Paving the Road Back I find his writing amazing and capturing, I only wish I could express things as well as he does! And the care and work he does for veterans is absolutely admirable.

2. Adopting James his blog covers all sorts of great subjects! And I think anyone willing to love and adopt a child that isn’t biologically there’s is wonderful!

3. Getting on Top I love her writing! And the biggest reason I want to nominate her for this award is because of her inspirational post Because of Him I Conquered the Race

4. Wink and a Smile I’ve already nominated her for the Liebster Award but I feel like this award fits her and her blog so perfectly!

Wow Twice in One Day! I am truly blessed…

Wow is all I can say! I am extremely humbled and honored that my blog has been nominated twice now for the Liebster Award. This time by fellow blogger and a veteran Winkandasmile =) Go check her sight out, she is a disabled veteran fighting to help other veterans in any way she can! She posts and makes amazing cupcakes with her company, some that leave your mouth watering just looking at the picture 😉

Here are the questions she gave me:

1. Why/How did you become a blogger? I’ve heard about blogging before and decided one day that it would be a great way for me to start to spread awareness of combat veterans and their families as well as gather my thoughts for my book ‘Why Heroes Hide’

2. Why did you pick your particular subject to blog about? I chose this subject because it is very dear to my heart. The military/veteran lifestyle intrigues me and those people involved hold a special place in my heart. Don’t ask me why, I wasn’t born a military brat or anything, it’s just what God placed in my heart. We all have our passions. This specific subject I chose because it is the closest to my heart and being married to my husband who is a combat veteran with PTSD it is the part of this world I know best.

 

3. Do you or have you participated in Random Acts of Kindness? How do/did you feel afterwards? I have volunteered, given to causes (for example the orphanage in Honduras that our home church sponsors, and done other things that called out to me. I always feel like I could do more! But helping people, especially when I don’t HAVE to, makes me feel good. It’s a psychologically and Biblically backed truth that helping others feel good makes you feel good!

 

4. Who is your hero and why? One of my heroes is definitely my husband. I look up to him every day and truly admire what he’s done for myself, his family, and our country.

 

5. Have you ever gone through a very traumatic event? How did you or are you dealing with it? I haven’t gone through any “one-time” kinda traumatic event in my life. At least nothing I feel that’s been worse than the average life. However; my childhood could be deemed “traumatic” by psychologists standards. My mother has a lot of mental illnesses and I grew up with her using me as an emotional leaning post. Telling me things kids my age never should hear like how she wished my father was dead sometimes. (He wasn’t a bad guy but they pushed each others buttons and I don’t remember them ever liking or loving each other…they fought everyday in high volumes). Anyways, it’s made it so my heart is full of quite a bit of resentment for her, I can’t be emotional or physical with her very well, and I don’t even like positive emotion from her. I love my mother but it’s caused damage, some that with the help of my husband and sometimes counselors I’m slowly realizing and learning to deal with. Not necessarily related but I also have suffered an eating disorder since I was 14 years old and while that’s not a traumatic event it is certainly life altering.

 

6. How do you feel about our current military soldiers and our veterans? I could talk all day about the subject! I wish more people in this country would REALLY honor and care for them and at least try to understand what they go through. They’re truly my biggest passion =)

 

7. If you could help one group of people, who would it be? And why? I would work to help veterans (especially wounded and combat), military personnel, and their families. It’s what I hope to do with a degree in psychology someday and in any other way I can.

 

8. If you could go back in time and change any part of your life, would you? If yes, what would you change? There are certainly a lot of mistakes and things I would change. I would probably take more advantage of my high school years and even some of my early adult years before I met my husband. I would care less about a lot of things and care more about others!

 

9. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself through blogging? I have learned that when I really put my mind to it I can write and explain what I really mean. I’ve also learned through others kind words that the issue I talk about and the lifestyle I’ve married into with my husband really is challenging and I’m not just being a big baby when I get stressed out about it sometimes.

 

10. Would you still blog even if you had no followers? Why? Yes. While I would love as many followers and readers as I can, ones that really want to listen, if I had none I would still blog because it is still helping me gather my thoughts and practice writing as well as providing me a safe outlet when I need it.

 

Again thank you so much for nominating me =) and thank you to all my readers for following and listening!

 

 

Liebster Award

liebster award

This week I am so honored and blessed to have been nominated for two different awards! The Liebster Award is the first one, which my fellow blogger Budget Loving Military Wife nominated me for. She has an amazing blog on (well you can take a guess) budgeting! I love how she not only has great advice and wisdom to share, some I think we could all find useful, but she is also an amazing military wife and I find her ability to keep such great balance and positivity in this crazy life very admirable! I want to thank her so much for nominating me, I am truly humbled!

If you are nominated for a Liebster award this is what you should do:
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
3. Answer the questions given to you by the nominator
4. Nominate 5 to 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers
5. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
6. Notify your nominees by posting on their blog

The questions I received from Budget Loving Military Wife were:

  1. If you had all the money in the world but still had to have some kind of job, what would you choose to do?  If I had all the money in the world I think I would still finish/use (If I had finished my degree by then) my degree in Psychology to help vets, military, and their families. I would buy a large piece of land, one I found beautiful and peaceful, and design a rereat like ranch where I could host camps, retreats, learning activities as well as emotionally therapuedic activites like horse back riding. I would love to have a dog recue program where I link recued dogs to veterans and families that they could help. If I was going all out I might even hire a physical thereapist for wounded vets. I’d also like it to have cabins and be a place where vets and families could come to just get away for a weekend or something to heal and/or de-stress. I would of course have therapy groups and sessions available. Basically just anything I could think of to help and support people but having all the money in the world would make anything I wanted possible!
  2. Have you ever participated in a Random Act of Kindness? If so, what was it that you did? If not, what is something you could do to make a complete stranger have a better day today? I have a special place in my heart for people. I often feel a tug to give back when I can, sometimes I’ve felt I needed to offer a homeless man water. Most of the time my husband and I like to give to certain causes/families whatever we can. I think everyone can always do more though, I know I can. One thing I really love is when people pay for the person behind them in line, or pay for a strangers meal. I think it is a great and humble way to show other people that there are people that care and love them in this world.
  3. Why did you begin blogging? I started this blog to try and spread awareness and support of military/veterans and their families, especially those battling PTSD/TBI. I also think it will help me hone in my writing skills and gather my thoughts for the book I am working on ‘Why Heroes Hide’.
  4. What is the best piece of advice you have received to date? Oh man, I have received a lot of great advice from amazing people in my life. One thing I really cling to though is my high school track/cc coach’s advice “You can always get better today”. Whether it’s physical activity or in everyday life I believe as long as someone is always trying to be better at whatever they do they will be.
  5. Who is your “hero” and why? I have a couple heroes. My father and family members who are firefighters. My biggest hero is my husband. He’s literally my knight in shining armor (cliche I know) but I look up to him everyday. He takes care and puts up with my while battling his own demons in his head. He strives to be better everyday and never gives up. He’s always positive. Believes and pushes me to be all I can be. And he sacrificed, fought, and protected this country I call home.
  6. If you were able to take a year off from work (but still receive your paycheck), what would you do with your time? Oh I don’t even know where I’d start. I what I’d love most is to travel all over and learn about different cultures and people.
  7. Where is the best place you have ever traveled and why? I really haven’t gotten a chance to see much of the world yet. (Well any really). But my best vacation ever was my honeymoon. We went to Florida and stayed at a resort (something neither of us have EVER done). Enjoyed Discovery Cove and swimming with dolphins and other fish, Seaworld, Butch Gardens, a quiet warm beach, a couples massage, and Aquatica on our last day. It wasn’t traveling the world but so far it’s the best vacation I’ve ever had!
  8. What 5 adjectives best describe you? active, hardworking, devoted wife, empathetic, analytical
  9. If you have a bucket list what is one thing you have already accomplished and one thing left on your list? If you don’t have a bucket list, why not? One thing I’ve done on my bucket list was to join the military, and one I’ve yet to accomplish is skydiving! (I know..another cliche haha)
  10. If someone handed you a million dollars, no strings attached, what would be your first purchase? a home!

I am paying it forward by nominating these 5 blogs!:

Pretty to the Corps because I love the honesty of her writing!
Winkandasmile  because of her creativity and support of other veterans! (and those cupcakes look delicious!)
The Broke Savvy Blonde because I think her writing and viewpoints are refreshing and fun to read!
Wife During Wartime I just recently started following but I find her writing fantastic and I love the insights and passion behind her blog about the military lifestyle and struggles
Semper Spouse is another that I just started following recently and I am nominating her because I love her writing style and the positivity behind her blog even as she lives through the struggles of such a demanding and stressful lifestyle.

My questions for the nominees:

1. What is your dream job/lifestyle and why?

2. What is/has been a big struggle/difficult time in your life and how do you think you handled it well? Looking back what do you wish you would’ve done better?

3. Why did you start blogging?

4. What is the one most important thing you want to get across to your readers?

5. If you could meet and spend the day with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

6. What struggles have you faced with your blog/writing and how did you overcome them?

7. If you were givin a million dollars to use only for good/charity/ext how would you use it?

8. What is one subject/issue you wish you could write about and discuss but either don’t know how to address or haven’t yet?

9. What is one thing you would like to accomplish in the next 5 years? In your lifetime?

10. If you could go back in time and tell yourself something when would it be and what would you say?

Enjoy! :)

Excuse or Reason? PTSD and physical abuse – Daily Prompt – Perspective

A couple days ago while my ridiculously overactive brain was wondering mercilessly at work an issue came to mind about military men/women and  physical abuse at home. The question in my head formed and I decided I really wanted my husband’s, a combat veteran and Marine, point of view so I asked..

“Obviously someone just being a straight up physically abusive spouse is NEVER ok. But what do you think of people who are just straight up abusers outside (or inside without combat experience) the military vs. someone with PTSD that blacks out or has a flashback and hits their spouse vs. someone with PTSD who does NOT black out but is dealing with PTSD and gets pushed too far, angry, and loses their cool and suddenly hits their spouse?”

Now I realize that’s a LOADED question and  mouthful. Through our discussion I also wondered and asked, “How does one (say a therapist) deacifer the difference between a man with PTSD/TBI having anger issues resulting in any form of abuse as someone who is not that kind of person and never would have been otherwise vs. someone who would have been an abuser with or without PTSD but PTSD May have just triggered it to start?”

I know the second question is a little confusing and I apologize. Im not going to write about how I feel on this issue or what my husband’s opinions were in this post because I’m still doing some more research and thinking of how I want to address that issue; however, I know you must be wondering how this pertains to the daily post prompt.

Firstly just being on the subject of perspective ones perspective on this issue will of course greatly vary based on whether or not the person has direct experience with abuse, no experience with military or ptsd, or does in fact have experience with the military and/or ptsd and veterans.

Secondly my perspective on physical abuse is in line with most of our opinions. While I think the abuser could certainly use help and counseling, I in no way shape or form excuse physical abuse and I hate it. However, when it comes to men and women suffering from PTSD/TBI and certain cases of reintegration back into society after war my perspective is a whole lot different because of someone I love and cherish. My husband.

Feel free to stay tuned for my future post discussing this issue..Also feel free to leave any insights pertaining to these questions or perspectives, I realize this is dipping into a very sensitive subject and I hope no one who has been or is linked to a victim of abuse feels I do not support you in any way shape or form or that I am trying to belittle your experiences. That is in no way my goal with this post nor my opinion. 

Just a little FYI…

…I just created a couple more pages containing and organizing previous posts so that they are easier to find and don’t fall through the cracks. Maybe one of these days I’ll upgrade my WordPress and make my blog more customized but for now I think this makes it a little better….So feel free to check them out if you haven’t been following my blog for long or seen some of my previous posts I think you might like them and always love feedback! Have a blessed day all!

A Man’s Best Friend..

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I adopted my dog Ranger as a puppy about 3 years ago from the OKC shelter. He’s been absolutely AMAZING. I’ve never had to have him on a leash, he’s protective but not dangerous to be around people, loving, and incredibly smart. I can literally take him for a stroll through a busy mall off leash and never have to worry about him leaving my side. Anyways, sorry had to brag on my baby for a minute.

My husband and him have bonded really well since we met 2 years ago, they’re best buddies. One time in college I had him in my car when I forgot I had a test to take in one of my classes that afternoon. My husband was on campus too and it was too hot to leave him in the car so we asked my husband’s professor if he could hangout for just the one class period. So they snuck him in the back door and my husband took him to his history class. He did great of course, despite the girls cooing and loving all over him.

We’d already thought about trying to make Ranger a service/therapy dog but mostly just because we wanted to be able to take him everywhere with us (classes, shopping, ext) and since my husband has disability we thought hey why not? We might be able to get away with it. After my husband took Ranger with him to class though we learned that having Ranger around actually DID help. My husband has a problem with large crowds, sometimes it can be very debilitating and some days he literally just cant be around anyone. Classrooms have never really been a huge issue or anything but no matter where my husband is he’s gonna be hyper aware and at least a little anxious.

Having Ranger with him in class actually made him feel abnormally calm for that kind of situation. I know they use therapy and service dogs for veteran’s with physical disabilities as well as PTSD. They even have a few programs out there that link the dogs with the Veterans. So now we are really looking into trying to make him a therapy dog for my husband. We could of course just go ahead and get the vest off line but I’d feel more comfortable with an actual certification, just in case. My husband may have to go back to the VA and have them officially qualify him for one as well but that shouldn’t be a problem since he’s 60%. I can’t wait to see how having Ranger with him at all times might help prevent panic attacks in large crowds such as state fairs and Church, or maybe even help motivate him to go places he’d otherwise avoid.

For many men and women coming home with PTSD a dog can help not just calm them down but make them feel like they aren’t failing everyone around them. Sometimes even when we don’t try to make our spouses feel this way they feel like a burden on their families. They can feel like they are always messing up or failing them. A dog however is always happy to see you despite any kind of stress going on. A dog can also help motivate a veteran (or even a spouse or child) to keep-on-keepin-on. After all, a dog’s gotta be fed, walked, and played with. It could even help with physical therapy. Say a soldier needs to continue walking on his/her new prostetics or a healing injury, or exercise daily to keep blood flowing..a dog can help motivate that soldier to do so.

In the future I think it would be really cool to start a program where we rescue dogs from pounds/shelters/streets and make them therapy/service and/or just good pets for veterans, military personnel, and their family. I’m curious what all of you think? If you are a veteran, spouse, child or military yourself do you think it would be beneficial to your spouse to have a dog companion? Or for you and your kids to have a dog while your husband/wife is away? I’m thinking sometimes it may even just make the spouse more comfortable when they’re deployed knowing that there is a dog at home that can protect his/her family.

I may be dreaming a little for the stars here but I would love to be able to send or take dogs to miltary hospitals and veteran’s retirement homes myself just for a little animal therapy.

Please let me know what you think and spread the word to any other veterans or family members you know! I’d love as many opinions as possible.

Quote

“And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil because I am the baddest mother f***er in the valley.” -Scout platoon 4th tank battalion 4th Marine division, my husband’s platoon wore shirts with this quote on their backs into Iraq. It’s one of my favorite quotes.