Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Cops Wife

I love my husband and I am so proud of the work that he does.  That doesn't mean I always love his job.  I read the following article and many parts of it, really hit home.  I haven't had to deal with all of the things that are list, but I have missed countless holidays with my husband and answered the question "When will Daddy be Home?"  and then followed by, "Why isn't Daddy home yet?" more times than I care to count.  In addition, every time his shift changes we get about 3 seconds worth of notice in order to rearrange childcare and our life plans.  Every time this happens, I call one of my two friends, Jamie or Michelle, who are about the only two people on the face of the planet who understand exactly what I am talking about... because they too are married to police officers.  My heart swells with pride when I see how much my children admire him, and his uniform seems to have the same effect on other kids as well.  He loves his job and I am so honored to be married to someone with that much joy and pride in what they do.  Here's the article:

People have asked me, “So, what’s it like being married to a cop?!” “Do you get out of tickets?” “Do you know all of the cops and judges in the county?” “Do you get the inside scoop on the local trials?” “Do you get to run background checks on all of your friends and neighbors?” Well…. No, no, no, and NO! But I will tell you what it REALLY is like to be married to a cop…. It’s getting used to his swing shift schedule. It’s getting your kids used to his swing shift schedule. It’s spending weekends without him. It’s expecting him to be home at 2 am…. then waking up at 3am and realizing that he’s not home. And calling him to make sure he’s okay. And not being able to reach him. Panicking. Then finally hearing from him that he’s okay…. that he was dealing with a suicidal gunman who was holding 3 departments at bay. That everything is resolved, and he’ll be home…. when he can…. then trying to fall back asleep. It’s taking comfort in knowing that he works in a big department, where things often don’t get too exciting…. Until they do. It’s moving Christmas to the 23rd, so he can see the kids open their gifts on “Christmas morning.” It’s spending Thanksgiving …. and New Year’s Day…. and the Fourth of July….. and Memorial Day…. and Labor Day….. and all of those special days that typical families get to spend together, without him. It’s sometimes spending those special days at his station in between calls…. Because holidays are fun for most, but are often not for police. It’s going to family functions without him, even if it’s with his family. It’s trying to explain to those who don’t understand why he doesn’t come around. It’s hearing people question the strength of your marriage, when he’s “never around.” It’s sometime sleeping alone. And most times waking up alone. It’s often putting things on hold. It’s hoping you will beat the odds of a “police marriage,” when 75% of them fail. But understanding why they do. It’s helping him cope with a Chief who’s forgotten what it’s like to be a patrol officer. And a Board of Supervisors who make decisions for the department, but have never had to walk a day in their shoes. It’s picking him back up, after those people in charge refer to him as a “necessary evil.” It’s keeping the kids quiet during the day. And trying to explain to them why Daddy doesn’t sleep when they do. It’s being excited that you get to spend a day off with him…. And finding out that he has court….. or an opportunity for overtime…..or that his schedule has been changed….again. It’s watching friends get together without the kids, when you just can’t. It’s hearing about a fallen officer…. and being sad for his family….. while silently rejoicing that it wasn’t him. It’s longing for “normal.” It’s knowing that you are safe at home while it’s raining, or storming, or snowing, or icing…. While he has to be out in the elements. It’s getting an unexpected knock at the door while he’s at work, and thinking for that split second,“God, please no….” then feeling silly when it’s just the neighbor, or the mailman. It’s finding his socks laying on the floor and thinking, “Darn you!” and hoping that’s not the last thought you had of him, before…. It’s being resentful of this lifestyle, while pretending that it doesn’t bother you. It’s resisting the urge to barrage him with complaints about him, or the kids, or the house, or work…. Because he has enough on his plate the way it is. It’s FOP meetings…. And Association meetings…. And departmental meetings…. All of which seem to occur when he’s supposed to be off. It’s realizing that he’s never really “off.” It’s the politics. It’s trying to not make him feel guilty about all of these things, because you know he does…. Even though you can’t help but be angry about them. It’s realizing how precious the time you have together really is, because most of the time, he’s awake while you’re asleep or asleep while you’re awake, or somewhere in between. Rare are the days that you are actually on the same schedule. Yes, it’s all of these things. Despite this all, it is also wonderful. Knowing what he does for this world….for the community…. for our families…. for our children. It is worth it.

#46 Say yes when the boys ask for something

First of all, I'm not a shopper at all!!  In addition, whenever we happen to go to Target, a grocery store, or anywhere else, I don't just meander through the store.  I know exactly what I want, I walk right to that item, put it in the cart, and head towards the check out.  I am not one of those mothers who says yes to my kids every time they ask for something.  In fact, I hardly ever say yes when they ask for random things off of the store shelf.  However, I thought it would be nice to look at their faces once when they asked for something and surprisingly the answer was yes.  It took a while to mark this task off of my list, because HAS and LPS hardly ever asked for anything.  It got to the point that I said to David "Have you noticed that the two little boys don't ever ask for anything when we're at the store?"  I felt like they must have known that my answer was always no. Finally, they did ask for something. I said yes and surprisingly, they both wanted the same thing :-) This has been an interesting to me because before I said yes, they hardly ever asked for things.  In the several times that we have been to the store after this, they have asked for multiple things. The answer is almost always no, so they don't throw a fit or act surprised when I say no.  However, the number of times they have asked for something has greatly increased. Both of the two little boys got a matchbox cars set (Those of you who are mothers of girls thought there was a point where you can say, "We have enough Matchbox cars".  Those of you with boys know otherwise :) ).  JMS  got an Atlanta Braves hat. It was nice to see the smile on their face as they showed their appreciation. It is also nice to have children that do not throw a fit in the store every time I  say no. Sometimes, it is nice to have low expectations, so you can enjoy the little things.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Big Apple~ Here I come

Super excited...  Just my sister and I are going to the Big Apple in September for a couple of days.  No kids, No husbands, just the two of us.  We have traveled together before to see other people... in 2001 we flew to Baltimore to see a friend and her new baby... in 2003 we ran the NYC marathon together and stayed with a friend of Kerri's.  But... this time, it is just the two of us~ seeing a Broadway Show, a Concert in Central Park, and other fun things.  Pictures will come, but I am super excited about this opportunity to spend time with my little sister!!!

Memorial Day~ Better Late than Never

For Memorial Day, David had to work security at a parade in Dacula, GA, so a good friend of mine and I went and took the kids.  The boys got to sit on the back of Daddy's patrol truck and watch the parade, so they thought they were big stuff. 

Bald Head Island Vacation

I am a redhead with very fair skin and recently have had some melanoma removed from my neck.  Having said that, you can understand why I may not be a huge fan of the beach.  I typically hate the sun, the salt, the sand, the smell, the sand, the sunscreen, the packing all of your stuff up to go for a couple of hours, did I mention... the sand.  However, last year my sister approached me about a family vacation so we went about planning a trip with both of our families, my parents, and grandparents to a small island that most people have never heard of.  The island is Bald Head Island at the very southern part off the coast of NC.  There are no cars on the island, only people who run/walk, drive golf carts, or ride bikes.  It was a welcome change in pace and there were so many things to do there that it didn't feel like we were at the beach necessarily.  My parents and my family shared a condo and my grandparents shared a 
condo with my sister.   We got to Southport, NC and then waited on the ferry to arrive and take us on the 30 minute trip to Bald Head Island (BHI).  You are crazy if you do not think the 4 young boys (my 3 and my nephew) love everything about boats... or anything that moves for that matter.
Watching for the ferry
HAS with my parents on the ferry
Now, once we arrived at BHI, the trams carried us to our condo but not our bikes, so some people needed to drive their bikes to the condo.
On the tram
Dad, David, JMS and my nephew riding their bikes to the condo following the tram
Now, there were a lot of things to do on the island:  canoeing, kayaking, crabbing and fishing from the marsh right behind our condo.  Here are some pictures from our time on the marsh:
 We also spent some time at the beach, where we reapplied sunscreen every 2.8 minutes. My two youngest boys had not been to the beach before and they loved every minute of it.  They apparently do not have the same hatred of sand that I do.  They would go everyday if they could. 
Little bit tired
 LPS and my niece playing on the "water slide" they built as the tide came in.  They had sand EVERYWHERE!!!
My nephew sliding down, although he didn't quite make it to the water!!!

 David is trying to boogie board.  The first day we were there, the water was freezing.  After that, the water was a welcome, refreshing treat to the heat!!!
 Mom, Kerri and I give it a try.  I love the picture below of all three of us coming in on the boogie boards. 
The love of my life :)
Faces a mother can love
And of course, there was pool fun...
Our golf cart to drive to the pool
LPS fell asleep in the golf cart on the way to the pool
Better view of sleeping boy :)
My nephew on the slide
Mom and LPS
 HAS on the slide... it took him a few tries to get used to it, but he got then hang of it and loved it. 

Then, there was also miscellaneous fun... 
 We had a blast with the golf carts.  Between the two condos, we had 2 four person golf carts and one six-person golf cart. 
 My sister and brother in law brought their dog, who was a big fan of the golf carts.
 Our whole crew minus David and my brother in law at the lighthouse, "Old Baldy"
When the tide was out there were thousands of crabs and the boys loved to lay down on the boardwalk and watch them . 
 Love the picture below of mom and the boys!
 Some of the crabs
 David and I went to watch the sunset...  perfect night with my love :)
We did manage to get a few family pictures (although the ones of all of us were on my sister's camera).
 Love all of my boys :)

And unfortunately, we had to leave at some point :(
 Hello... wind meets crazy hair :)
 The boys on the ferry on the way home.