Friday, March 27, 2015

A Revelation

It's been a little while since I have written - but I don't want to bore you with the mundane tasks of my Stay at Home Journey - I will simply say that it has been busy, productive and definitely life changing.  I enjoy it more than I thought I would, and feel as if GOD put me right where I need to be - and is showing me some beautiful things that I have missed out on - and that I am learning to enjoy now.

The dynamics in our home have completely shifted - and there is a calmer "feel" at home.. if that makes sense? It may to many of you out there that are used to being on the Go Go Go and constantly putting out fires, with a half empty CO2 Extinguisher.... That is how our old life felt -

There is a surprising sense of peace within me.  I'm still a task master - a list maker, a list checker offer - if I did it and it wasn't on my list - I put it on my list... I still want to see that I have been productive - (I know, I know.. stop shaking your head laughing at me.. Yes - I add it to my list if I did it and it wasn't on the list...)  I learned to do this in my Navy days - with my to-do books... this is how I tracked me activity from Eval to Eval and then Fitrep to Fitrep... if it wasn't written in my book - or on my calendar - it didn't happen...   Same premise here...  Some things will never change :)

I have come to enjoy my time at home - I feel like I have more quality time with my boys.  I am home when they get home, we talk more (as much as 15/16 year old boys will talk to you) 

My relationship with George has improved tenfold! Just life in general seems a little more controlled.. a little less out of control and chaotic.  I don't always feel like I am running on empty. 

I could go on and on - but to my point...
My Revelation...

This last week my boys left for a Mission Trip.  They were going away for basically 8 days. How exciting for them... traveling with the church to Mexico for Spring Break and helping others.. Yes
Both boys have gone to Winter and Summer Camps with the Church.  They were gone for 3-7 days.  And each time they left it was not very "emotional" for me.  Not to sound harsh, or like I didn't miss them, but I just simply was happy they were away having a good time and that was that... This time, as I stood around with all the other parents - waiting for the goodbyes and wondering if my teenage sons will even acknowledge me to say good bye to me - Alas, they did - to my surprise, both boys did, and when they did, with that hug, I love you, and the loading of the bus - I WANTED TO CRY?

WHAT? They were leaving for a week! Why did I want to cry? Why was I feeling so emotional over them leaving for a week?

For those that have followed my blog - you know that I was a single mom for many years, who relished any alone time I could get, and then when I wasn't, I was deployed upwards of 6-8 months at a time and even 12 Months in Afghanistan, where my contact was limited - How do we do this, as moms? We compartmentalize.  We learn to compartmentalize and feel but not feel... You feel it and then stuff it deep and just let the surface "missing you" hang around - not the "I really miss you and feel like I am missing out on so much."   If we don't "stuff it" down and compartmentalize, we can not concentrate on the mission at hand...

So what' my point?

Until now, I never let myself take the time to  FULLY "feel" in the joys, thrills, and even emotional moments of being a mom...

Instead - I was too busy being busy,
too busy being tired,
too busy working,
too busy being gone -
too busy to feel...

I have struggled all week with why this week was so hard on me with the boys being gone. Why have I felt sad that they were gone (when I otherwise would not).  Trying to figure out where all this was coming from... I wanted to tell myself "Suck it Up - Buttercup!"


I think I feel how every "normal" mom would feel.  They miss their kids when they're gone.
I think I feel what I should have been feeling for the last 20 years. 

I now have the time to feel, I don't have to "stuff" it anymore
and the LORD is teaching me how to let myself.

I know, realizing this, that I am right where God wants me to be! I have still so much to learn and so much he is teaching me - still through my kids. 

But this - This was a big revelation.  So glad that I am learning this now - before it's too late!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Post Retirement....and my Mid-Life Crisis Journey

It's been a year since I've retired from the Navy...
In one month, Katrina graduated high school, I retired from the Navy - after more than 20 years, and we relocated to Grants Pass, Oregon, and bought a house. 

In the weeks we spent waiting to close on our house, and waiting for our household goods... we all enjoyed life without electronics (gaming systems, computers, etc) and rode dirt bikes on the property, grilled out, hiked... and just enjoyed nature..

Then, our household goods arrived, our internet and cable were hooked up - and life went back to status quo...

George had interviews for jobs, and I - after 3 weeks off - started searching for a job...

I applied and interviewed for a job as a Real Estate Assistant...  It was fast pace - lots of computer input - right up my alley... I think I have Administrator Blood in me...  I just love it... I know, I know - most of you are saying "Really? Are you sick... in the head??" But I do - I enjoy all things administrative.  And so, I loved the job... I worked with great people and after about 4 months - decided - "I need to get my Real Estate License."   I spent about 6 weeks working through the real estate course and in February - tested for my license...  
and so it began, I changed positions from an assistant to an agent in our office... What a great Team Leader and boss I was privileged to have - she helped me through every step - with LOTS of training.
This is why this team is soo successful... the training never ends - we are always learning...

Throughout the last 6 months - I have been working as an agent, Katrina had my first grand daughter  (which I was Privileged and Honored to be there and help her through that delivery).  As time has passed - I feel like I have been re-evaluating my life... and what I want to do "when I grow up" so to speak...

so - with some help from George, my Home Group from Church and  a great Mentor and Team Leader, I have decided to take a step back and truly evaluate God's Plan for me and my life.. To truly take some time OFF - no work, no filling the time just to fill the time .. but actual time off - and quiet time to reflect on my future and God's Plan for me....

And as if I didn't know God has a sense of humor - my first 2 weeks off have been full of taking care of sick family, to include myself.. (just to ensure I took some Down Time.... LOL yes - I look up and laugh... Thanking him for this great opportunity...

So, here we go... I am on the upswing of this sickness I hope.. so time to start figuring out me.. and this..

Here's to my Mid Life Crisis.... Let the Journey Begin.


Sunday, May 1, 2011


My trip to Qatar –

Yesterday morning I woke up with a mission… Get out of NKC. I did some checking and was able to get on stand by for a Helo flight to Bagram. Once arriving in Bagram (after a surreal – last time ride – across Kabul, I was able to get on the stand-by list to fly from Bagram to Qatar. Fortunately, I made it.. However, it still turned out to be a loooong day.

We had roll call and were told to wait – finally the time came to load in the plane.. so they marched us all out there (not literally, altho we were in ranks..but it was more like a casual walk) we got to the plane and were told to standby. So we did, to find out they had a hydraulic fluid leak, and we weren’t able to load yet – so, we were marched back to the waiting area.. to wait. After about an hour, we did this all over again, but this time, we were able to board! We actually got in, got seated and took off. After about an hour in the air – they noticed a fuel leak – so yes, you guessed it, we turned around. Now, I was sleeping throughout this, so imagine my disappointment, when we landed after about 2 hours of flight time (the flight to Qatar takes much longer) – to discover we were back in BAGRAM! OMGosh.. wow.. the landing was very scary.. you can tell there was panic, because the two Airmen were strapped in, and feverishly watching through the windows.. then you hear some bangs, and we landed.. hard.. I have to say, I was praying the whole time we were getting ready to land…asking GOD to not have taken me this far, to end it this way..

Obviously, we landed safe and sound, and were ushered off the plane ASAP – leaving everything behind.. After about 4 hours of waiting, we were once again taken out to the plane – to reload – only this time, it was a new plane. We got on board and were yet again, told they were having mechanical issues and there would be a delay. After about an hour – we went airborn.. THANK YOU GOD. We made it to Qatar about 2 am in the morning and were sent thru customs/immigration and the armory to drop off any weapon and magazines.

I was fortunately picked up by some of our guys and taken to billeting, given a room and was finally able to settle in about 5 am this morning. What a day!!
Today, I went to the CENTCOM building. This part is mainly for my Casualty Folks – so listen up..

Some things to know:
The wires were not run yet for the computers. Desks/computers were there, but not the wiring/cable. The office is as it is listed on the slide. Awesome.. Huge, compared to the closet we live in there. The space has tons of filing cabinets, a huge TV (will have to be moved, tho – for better viewing) and printers, fridge, etc. Now, the unfortunate part is that the couple of people that are working in there are not due to move out until next month – and with them they will take some of the stuff – what that will be, is anyone’s guess, therefore I could not do an inventory. Looks like you will still be good to go, though, even if they take half the filing cabinets, everyone will have plenty of space!

-things to note coming in to QATAR
-You can turn in your ammo here, at the armory, when you turn in ALL your magazines and weapons – do not bring knives (longer than 6 inches) brass knuckles, weapons of any sort…
-no magazines that could be considered porn of any type.. no pornography of any kind (CDs/toys, etc) – no shit they say this at the brief!

For the building you will work:
-No external devices allowed in the building: laptops, cells, CDs, iPods, etc. They are very strict on building security, cameras every where and if you breach it, you can bet your butt, there will be a lock down and they will find you..
-there are 8 desks set up including a Tamberg for Video Teleconferences (that is on order) you can set up in the CAS CELL area – Capt Trexler is ordering enough and I told him we would need one – follow up with him when you get here, to ensure you get one of them
-That space I was trying to figure out what it was – looks ilke a hallway –its actually a “customer service” counter that’s the area customers would be waiting, but that door – to that area- will be locked and you shouldn’t have to worry about it – it will be more like “dead space”
-MSgt Tate will need to come when all is set up – ensure now that the comms guys (talk to Mr B) know that we need to have a SHARE Drive – not just Share Point – no lines are up yet, therefore I could not check that out
-Ensure to add to the SOP that in the event of a USFOR-A death – at AL Udied – those reports need to be reported to us in the same manner we process for USFOR-A Kabul personnel BUT we also need to inform 357th I think it is - the AF personnel that runs the base here.. they need to be informed of any death that occurs on this base – verify the unit (357th or 359th.. something like that)
-Once MSgt Tate comes in, he will be able to inventory what Is left in the office, and then, order any thing else that is needed.. keeping in mind, what we do not order – will stay behind when the cell moves to a different building
-Our Cell is not with any other USFOR-A personnel. We are down the hall and around the corner.
-Couldn’t take pics inside the building – due to the security restrictions – but it looks as its laid out on the PPT
-They only have a couple vans – but its not too hard to sign out the keys – to make “pick-ups” etc.. you guys will have to coordinate that with Capt Trexler or MSgt Brooks- they have the keys (2 different vans)
There is a big white board in the office area – again, you guys will have to turn things around a bit – to make the most of it.. they are all set up like cubicles, so, you can move around, just keep in mind all cabeling is done from under the flooring, so you wont be able to move them too much, but you can atleast open them up to eachother – so everyone there can see eachother.. or, however you choose

For the billeting:
Rooms are 2 person rooms and every two rooms share a kitchenette/common area and a bathroom, as the pictures show
The rooms are cold.. and there is one big rug between the beds, but you will probably need runners and rugs in common areas- but there is an exchange here so you can do that then; definitely KEEP your heating blanket/etc – there is no “heat” option on the thermostat
No coffee pot in the kitchenette area – so you’ll need one (if you want coffee for your room)
There is a DSN phone in the kitchenette areas – but – you can’t call out on it, only receive calls on it
There is free WI-FI throughout and its good!
The beds are ridiculously comfortable.. not the skinny flimsy mattresses.. they are very nice!
There is a fridge and microwave in the kitchenette
In the rooms there is a sink with mirror and a closet across from it
These are the weird plugs – so you will have to get converters – they are not the same as the Afghanstan plugs (you can buy them here at the PX)
Billeting building is the most beautiful building here (on the inside) – it’s the most color you will see
The outside is very drab.. very grey.. NO COLOR.. you will be lucky to see a fake green shrub somewhere..
There is laundry facilities (to do your own) (I sent pics) at the ends of the halls
It’s a constant 80-85 degrees except during heat of day – which it has risen to about 100-105. I am sure it will get worse during summer
The wind blows and it smells like the ocean here.. love it!
The building is a 5-7 min walk to work, 5 min walk to the gym that’s the size of Crisostomo. It has racquetball courts, a pool and of course all other gym related equipment; across the street (about 5 min walk) is the PX that has a theater, pizza hut, starbucks, couple little shops, and of course a PX
Further down the road is the Coalition Forces side – which has another PX, other fast foods and the sports bar – its probably a 20 min walk or so – in that same area is what they call the “Bra” because it has two tents, with tips that stick out – making it look like a BRA – that is the hang out – music, sports bar, stores etc around it, to include karaoke, etc
There is a bizarre here, but I have no idea where..
The airport terminal – actually looks like one.. nice shiny floors, TVs, customer service desks – set up just like at a CIV airport, they are very friendly and helpful!
Across from the airport is the shoppette – it’s a 24 hour store – but you don’t have to buy anything – you sign in and make your selections and they put it in your bag, and off you go (sub sandwiches, chips, cereal, milk , pop, candy bars, MREs, pop tarts, etc.. you are allowed 2 sandwiches, 2 chips, 2 candy bars, 2 drinks, and then of course cereal/muffin milks, etc.. you can go stock up – at no charge

Okay, I think that is all I remember. Again, I could not get pics of the inside, but the PPT is a good replica. I wish the cabeling was done, I would ensure you had a share drive/network to move stuff too, but get with the comms guys (via Mr. B) to ensure that is being done and that they can transfer our files, etc
I hope this helps you guys! You will be happy here (even with the differences in security (no laptops, etc) it is a much nicer facility, much nicer billeting and amenities we just don’t have at NKC. I think you will be happy..

BTW – the 3 drinks a day – the beers (from what I hear) are in very big TALL glasses –probably the size of 2 normal beers in the states – so really – its more like drinking 6 beers.. rather than 3. I have not partaken in the alcohol consumption – told my mom I was going to wait and have my first glass of wine with her.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

One day..

When I was growing up, we had very little "extras." When I was growing up, my parents struggled just to put enough food on the table; we had powdered milk, corn bread and beans - more often than I care to recount. However, we knew no different and were appreciative that we had food, and clothes (even if they were from good will).

I didn't have Barbies, XBox, a Cell Phone, a color TV, DVD Player....

But what I did have (an old Buffet style stereo/record player), what I did have (my music tapes) - I treasured..

My mom more often said no, then yes. We had curfews and strict check-in times. We were seldom left to our own "running of the neighborhood" - and although we thought them too strict, and quite honestly thought they were the meanest parents ever - in fact, I am grateful that they were my parents

I appreciated everything I had. I always got good grades, started working at 14, and was buying my own clothes, snacks and "extras" - with my own paycheck. I appreciated everything - because not only did my parents work for what they had.. I worked for what I had..

It wasn't until I was a parent, that I understood and appreciated their efforts - beauase it was then I realized that is why I am who I am, that is why I appreciate everything I have, and know that it all came with HARD WORK.

I was never handed anything - I had to baby sit, mow lawns, rake leaves, work the drive thru, make pizzas, and grill fries - if I wanted something.

When I had kids, I had the opportunity to give them what I didn't. I lived with guilt that they didn't have a full time father - I was divorced (one too many times) and they suffered those consequences; I was deployed alot - so out of guilt, out of emotional guilt, I provided as much as possible - thinking it would make up for it;

Unfortunately, I think it had the opposite effect and my kids have never truly had to work for anything. Meaning, their appreciation of value - (physical or sentimental) is lacking. Now, I have taken a stand. Now, I have made it known that I will not suffer the emotional blackmail - the guilt, anymore. It will end.

I have worked my butt off to get to where I am. I am not a money tree - I am not an ATM - I have worked to get to where I am; and if they want what I have (in their futures) they will have to earn it. They will have to work for it. They will have to learn to appreciate each and everything they get - because they will have to work for it, save for it, earn it, or simply be told NO - until they can do it for themselves.

School and work are priorities. With as much as they have already - they have no right to ask for more from me - nor make me feel guilty when I say no.

I'm done feeling guilty. I have done all I know to do. I have done my best. I have worked my way from the bottom - I have earned where I am at.. its now time for them to learn these lessons.

They may hate me - each and every time I say no. They may hate the decisions and priorities I have placed in their lives

- but -

One day, my kids will understand the decisions I make. One day, they will understand that sometimes, things don't work out as planned. One day they will appreciate the fact that I tried; tried to make their lives as happy as possible, even when I wasn't there to share it with them; One day, when they have kids of their owns, they will love and respect me, and understand.

One day...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My journey

I've spent the last 12 months on a journey to the other side of the world
This journey has led me on amazing paths, discoveries, and spiritual reawakenings

Looking back, this IA couldn't have come at a better time in my life..
I was lacking in my faith with God
I was hurting over a love lost
And on a serious quest to find discover who I was beyond
Someones girlfriend, a mom, an officer....
To discover who I was outside of all the other roles I play in my life

First and foremost, I am a mom
I know this...
I am a United States Naval Officer
I am a law school student
A tenant, a consumer..

All these roles and responsibilities come with a certain responsbility and stereotype to live up to
Standards of conduct, something that everyone has different expectations for you to meet..

I have never met Tanya...simply...Tanya
I was a young wife, young mother and very young sailor
As I got older, I was simply a divorcee, a little wiser, yet still busy, mother, and more seasoned Sailor
But thru it all, I was never able to decide on my own expectations, my own desires, me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret a decision one that I have made that brought me my children and the loves I have experienced,
There has to be something I am missing?

I have a driven ability to meet and exceed all these expectations, all these responsibilities,
But what I haven't done is figure out my own...
Me.. Who I am without a man..
What I am besides a mother
And what job I want beyond being a sailor

This journey, has been enlightening.
That's not to say I have all the answers, because believe me, I don't think we will ever have all the answers...
I believe I will still have a question of "why" at something.... On my death bed.
What I have gained is this

I am an individual, with my own needs, my own desires and my own expectations - beyond what others have of me
I am strong, independent and driven
I'm a workaholic, I am a perfectionist
A litle obsessive compulsive, cursed with anxieties that I try hard to tame
I love to be loved
I love to make others happy..
I love to succeed, to meet goals,
I want what I want, and don't like anything to get in my way
I'm not materialistic, I'm simple
Give me the attention I need, the little things, little notes, little favors,
Things that you do for me, because you know that I would enjoy it...
It's the little things
I don't like gaudy things..
I am simple, I like small simple jewelry, neutral colors
I like to be taken care of, and vice versa
I like to make my own decisions, my own mistakes..
That's safer..then I only have me to blame, when I am wrong
My trip here has been rewarding careers wise, as well..
This is the first job I have had, where I really truly feel as if I led my team.
I was not micromanaged, I was left alone to be the leader, and led
I never failed my boss, so she never interfered in my office
She respected my opinion as a leader, let me have control of my personnel
And assisted me in breking the barriers my rank held with other senior officers
I was truly a dept head
She was my cheerleader, watching from the sidelines, with full confidence, that I had this...
As I wind up my tour here, I realize that this has been the most rewarding tour of my career
personally and professionally
I am thankful I was given the opportunity to experience this journey
to lead, like a true leader and to discover the realities in my personal life;
the truths about me, defining me as well as see where I need to make improvements;
again, both personally and professionally
This tour has allowed me to see how to become a better parent, daughter, leader and sailor
I have made a difference -
I contributed to the cause, leaving behind a better process in place and improving the job we do here
for Afghanistan
I have seen, through the eyes of my parents and their endless efforts - where I have strayed, and how
to improve my relationship with my children, and my role as a mother
Finally, I have improved me. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 April 2011 - The French Hospital

4 April 2011
It has been a rough few days here…
Friday I went to medical because I was having some pains, very symptomatic of a cyst, but a little more painful. It started Thursday night, and by Friday morning was giving me some pretty good pain, my blood pressure was up, my heart rate was high and I was very nauseous. I ended up throwing up, Anyhow, I went to medical, they immediately put me on IV’s and ran some blood tests to ensure it wasn’t my appendix. After a full exam, it seemed obvious that it was my ovary, not appendix. The Doctor here wanted to ensure I didn’t have a twisted ovary, so he sent me to the French hospital to get an Ultra Sound. So after about an hour, I was Medevac’d to KIA French Hospital.

Fortunately, Trisha came with me.. which was a blessing!! OMGosh..

When I got there, they took out the IV, and drew blood from the other arm.. (Maybe they don’t trust the US medical?? LOL) Anyhow, then brought in the Ultra Sound machine, after forcing me to fill my bladder (which would’ve been easier through the IV… just sayin..)

Anyhow, the diagnosis.. 3.5 by 3.5cm cyst that was hemorrhaging. Now, I have a history of cysts.. but never a history of bleeding cysts.. I had a cyst and it was bleeding internally to my ovary.. it was definitely painful – but fortunately, before I left my medical office, they had given me a shot of toradol and morphine. I was not in any pain… until several hours later, when the meds wore off..

Anyhow, after the ultra sound, the French Dr said he wanted to keep me in observation – I was originally told.. overnight.. but that changed to 2 nights.
Anyhow, I was taken back to a room (it was the isolation room; I can only assume I was back there because I was the only female patient? )

I was brought back there – dropped off, and not spoke to again for about 15 hours.. No Doctor came to see me, no nurse, no one to tell me what was going on, no vitals.. NOTHING. NOTHING for 15 hours. I had to go to the desk that night to try and convay I was in pain and needed pain meds..

I was given something that made me sleepy.. but did NOT take away the pain..
The next morning, the Doctors did their rounds at 0800 – that is when I found out I was being kept for (observation) for another night.. What kind of observation was this?? I don’t get it..

I woke up at about 440am.. after not having slept much.. being in pain all night. And basically woke up crying.. and in pain.. I ended up calling my boss to get some help.. these guys weren’t talking to me.. couldn’t understand me.. and it was extremely frustrating..

Anyhow, again, I was pretty much alone, until the next day. I was able to convey I wanted meds, and a blanket.. but.. that was about it..

Ultimately I was released the next morning – but they did not do a follow up blood test, no follow up ultra sound.. nothing.. I needed to get out of there.. those guys were only giving me Motrin and Tylenol.. and after having Toradol and Morphine at my base…

Fortunately there was an American Dr that came in and helped me out..

Finally, I was released Sunday morning, and came back here to NKC. My doctor here gave me some real meds, put me on 48 hours bed rest.. and here I am. I think the anti-inflammatories are working wonders and suspect I will be back to work tomorrow.. the pain is mostly bearable and not near as bad as it was the first few days..

Besides.. I am a horrible patient and hate to be strapped down to my bed, so to speak..

I am glad to be out of there and back at work!