“Thank You”

Two little words. Yet they mean SO much (when used correctly).

I’m in a business that doesn’t let me hear that often. I work solely to make my supervisors look good. They take credit for my work, make it their own, under the guise of making our Commanding Officer look great. I rarely hear “thank you” because I’m told ” you don’t get thanked for doing your job”. Well no, but crap I do on the regular – not my job. I’m a “jack of all trades, master of none”. People think they know how to do my job better than me and then, when they flub it up, it’s my job to fix it. And I may or may not be scolded for allowing them to screw up.

Such is life when you’re in the military.

Except.

There’s a new blogger in town, frtzkrn, and he got me thinking about the fact that we, as military members, get a lot of “thank you”s when we’re out and about. As a matter of fact, I was at Pizza Hut (don’t judge me) the other night and an older gentleman stopped me and said “thank you for your service to our country”. That made my night.

I’ve had run ins with people who don’t feel like that. In Wal-Mart (again, don’t judge me) one afternoon, Beanie and I had to stop and pick up dog food, I had a “gentleman” tell me that I was wasting my time being in the military, that I’d only get screwed in the end, and that if I was smart, I’d get out while I was still young. To be honest, Beanie was the only thing stopping me from handling this guy in the manner I saw fit. Instead, I simply told Beanie (loud enough that this man could hear) that not everyone was grateful for that everything they’ve been given and that, when you throw your life away, you become bitter at others for no reason. He, rightfully so, got irritated and stalked off. I was applauded.

But I didn’t do it to make a fool of him. I didn’t say these things simply because he lacked proper dental care (and teeth). Or that he was wearing pajama pants (at 3:45 in the afternoon) that could only be acquired after purchasing enough cases of Budweiser and earning a signature pair of their logo’ed pants. Or that he didn’t realize he had already heckled myself, E, and Beanie on a different sunday because we were wearing Ravens jerseys (while he was sporting the exact same pants). I did it to teach a life lesson to Beanie. People want to cut you down for the things you do because they’re jealous. Whether it be they’re jealous of the attention or they’re jealous of what you have, they want you to fail because it would make them feel better about themselves.

What did this man have to prove by telling me that I was wasting my time in the military? Did he think I’d immediately quit my job? Does he know I can’t do that? Sure, the military is the last legal form of slavery (it is, for real. Read our contracts). But it’s not a bad gig. The deployments suck. Being away from your family sucks. Missing milestones suck. But you’re a part of a family that will rarely let you down. We just recently had two guys whose wives gave birth. We got two new little Coasties into our family. They were welcomed with open arms. We showered them with gifts. That’s what family does. We celebrate with one another. When someone loses a family member, we send flowers and someone, anyone, will show up to show support. That’s what we do. Nowhere will you make friends that will continue the friendship 8 years down the road, after 3 different duty stations, while you’re each on a different side of the country.

E took me out for Veteran’s Day and we were approached by our waitress who told us how awesome we were for Beanie’s behavior. Normally, when you see a small human being seated near you, you roll your eyes (I do it and I have a kid so don’t act like you don’t). You don’t want to have to shout to your dining partner because some parent wants to allow their child’s self-expression to continue at an extreme decibel or you have to get your food to go because some kid is all up in your face because their parent wants to ignore them for a meal. (We’ve encountered this pre-Beanie). Beanie sat in her chair, watching Mickey Mouse on the iPad and only asked for milk and bites of her dinner. Because we work hard not to raise an asshole.

We were thanked for that.

Hearing the words “Thank You” is probably the most selfless thing a person can do. Making someone feel appreciated is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 21, 22, and the weekend

Day 21: Describe an outfit that makes you feel good. (It can be from any period of your life.) Double points if you post a picture of yourself in the outfit.

Oct 12, 2013 - the day I ran a Half Marathon

Oct 12, 2013 – the day I ran a Half Marathon

I’m not going to lie. I felt pretty badass in this outfit. Nike Dri cropped capri pants with an Under Armor Heat Gear t-shirt. Champion Socks and New Balance running shoes. I also look sort of thin in this picture and that’s a major plus.

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Day 23. How important are book covers in getting you to read a book?

Extremely important. I totally judge a book by it’s cover. If it looks fun and flirty, and like it might be an easy read, I’m going to try it out. I deal with some much serious BS at work and on a regular basis, I want to get lost in that chick-lit, “only in a fantasy world” book. I want to read the fiction that makes two people fall in love and live happily ever after. Sounds lame, I know. But I dig it.

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I was going to post a “30 Things I’m Thankful for in 2013” post but in all honesty, I don’t know that I’m thankful for 30 things that have been a part of my 2013. Granted, thinks at work are going smoothly, E and I have adjusted to living in Maine, and Beanie is thriving after some health issues but I’m ready to see 2013 become a part of my history and I’m ready to look forward to 2014.

I wouldn’t mind if 2014 brought some changes. I’ve already started making some changes.

*Those women in my life that perpetuate the Mommy Wars — Gone.

*Those family members and friends that just want drama — Gone.

*Schooling — back on the list and ready to knock out some credits and put a serious dent in that “Credits Needed” column.

Those are just a few.

I look forward to seeing what might come of this and here’s hoping I still remember to blog 😉

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Days 29 and 30

29) Something in Your Home:

My couch.  I have, what I affectionately call, a Fat People Couch. It’s one of those deep-seated couches that you sit down and then have to roll onto the floor to get off of. It’s fantastic 🙂

and finally

30) The Thing You Are Most Thankful For:

My family.

E and Beanie make me feel whole. Before E, I felt like I was missing a chunk of the puzzle and he completed me. Now we have Beanie and I feel like the part of me that was lost is now found. I was telling some friends the other day that Beanie was driving me batshit crazy the other night. The whining, the crying, the screaming, the climbing, the clinging. I was going nuts.

But then she grabbed my finger and pulled me towards the Christmas tree and was pointing at the various ornaments and grunting. I was telling her what they were and she would grunt again, presumably trying to repeat what I was telling her. And then it hit me. Here she is, this tiny person that is only just learning how to be a tiny person. She kicked my ass at first but she is really just a tiny human now that is still learning and she WANTS me to help her learn. I always get this pang of guilt when I pick her up from school and she’s one of the last kids there and I think she will come to hate me because E and I work so much but I realized that night, she doesn’t hate me because I work. No matter what I’ve done, she still shows me that she loves me every day, whether it’s in her hugs or her clingyness. She wants me to help her and I’ve never felt that feeling of want or being wanted before.

She makes me feel whole ♥

Beanie LightsBeanie Tree

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Days 26, 27, and 28

26) a Charity:

Well, it used to be Susan G. Komen but I was left with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth after the whole Planned Parenthood debacle. I’ve since split what I give to SGK and given a portion of that, included with another portion to the ASPCA, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and March of Dimes.

Although Beanie was 5 days late, she was still a NICU baby and I’ve seen the babies that go into the NICU and my heart breaks for the parents that have been through that and that are currently going through that.

27) A Song:

 Heaven by Bryan Adams and Jason Aldean

E and I had a very small (read: 20 people) wedding and we didn’t have the reception with all the food and dancing but we both agreed, early on, that this was our song. This is the song that reminds us of each other.

 

 

 

28) A Gift:

hmm. I can’t pick one. I’m grateful for all of my gifts but if I could call her a gift, I’d say Beanie. We weren’t supposed to be able to have babies so when I found out I was pregnant, I felt as though I was being given a gift ♥

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Days 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25

I have some catching up to do, clearly.

19) A Favorite Piece of Clothing:

My sweatpants and Lands’ End Moccasin slippers. I would live in these two pieces if it was socially acceptable

 

 

 

 

 

 

20) A Keepsake:

I have several but I think my favorite came to me very recent. My grandfather, who recently passed away, gave me these hand-made sailboats. I haven’t displayed them yet so I don’t have a picture but they remind me of the water and him and how simple things can be, yet so very intricate at the same time.

21) A Disappointment or Fear:

I’m not completely clear on why this is a list of things to be thankful for. But I f*cking HATE spiders. Bugs of all sorts, really, but spiders, OMG, I can’t deal.

This bigass thing is as big as you think it is. I was going out to check the mail and I see this thing. I yelled to E and I ran the hell inside. He goes out to look at it and the next thing I know I hear “I’m going to need some hairspray, two plastic cups, and a lighter”.

I’m not sure who was more scared.

 

 

 

22) A Book:

My all time favorite book is Jewels by Danielle Steel. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a love story that can actually be real, dealing with death and divorce or what but I just fall in love with this book every time I read it. I wore out my paper copy so now I have it on my Nook.

23) A Feeling:

Love. Plain and simple. No matter if it’s my parents, my grandparents, my friends, my husband, anyone. To feel loved is by far the greatest gift ever. Beanie has recently started giving hugs and there is just something about this little person throwing themselves into your arms and giving you a hug, especially when you need it the most.

24) A Photograph:

 

 

It’s no secret that I have MANY favorite pictures but with these two, I fall in love over and over when I look at these pictures.

 

25) A Luxury:

Pandora Radio. Without Pandora, I wouldn’t have something to listen to all day and without something to listen to, I wouldn’t have 90’s Pop Radio and without 90’s Pop Radio, I wouldn’t have these beauties.

Don’t tell me you don’t have at at least one of these songs stuck in your head now.

You’re welcome 🙂

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 18

18) A Saying/Quote/Scripture:

I have two.

I am proud to be a United States Coast Guardsman.

I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world.

I never, by word or deed, will bring reproach upon the fair name of my service, nor permit others to do so unchallenged.

I will cheerfully and willingly obey all lawful orders.

I will always be on time to relieve, and shall endeavor to do more, rather than less, than my share.

I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties.

I shall, so far as I am able, bring to my seniors solutions, not problems.

I shall live joyously, but always with due regard for the rights and privileges of others.

I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live.

I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril.

With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works…

A UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN.

This was read at my Basic Training Graduation, 12 yrs ago. It is our creed to live by.

The second quote:

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.” – Benjamin Franklin

I actually have “True to One, Enemy to None” tattoo’ed across my stomach. It’s a reminder to be true to myself but to create no enemies.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 17

17) A Store:

I absolutely adore BJ’s Warehouse/Costco/Sam’s Club. I know it sounds ridiculous but I love that I can get everything in bulk. I’m definitely no Doomsday Prepper or anything like that but with Beanie being mobile, 100 rolls of paper towels are nice to have to clean up the messes that she leaves in her wake 🙂

Plus, they serve samples of good stuff.

Seriously. Check it out 🙂

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 16

16) An Experience:

I’m an Active Duty Enlisted person, I think everyone knows this. My “experience” isn’t one I’m thankful for but the outcome of it has made me thankful for my friends and family and that’s Sept 11, 2001.

I was stationed on a cutter and we were among the first responders. I remember hearing that we were leaving and heading down to NYC and my first thought was “WTF did I get myself into?! How can I get off this boat??” but away we went and we stayed there for about 2 months following the attacks.

During that time, our ship was forced to make the best of the situation. We only had each other and it was tough. We couldn’t leave the ship, we couldn’t do laundry at all as much as we’d like, and we were anchored off the Statue of Liberty. The smells, the sights, it was all horrendous.

But it made me incredibly grateful for my friends and family. They sent me care packages with candy and my favorite things. I didn’t get to see them but I know they were thinking of me. It really put things into perspective for me. I love my job but I love my family and friends more.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 15

15) A Recipe:

I ADORE the Iceburg Lettuce Wedge Salad from Outback. I think I love it a little more than people are supposed to love food but I love this. The tanginess of the blue cheese and balsamic with the saltiness of the bacon — YUM! I found a recipe online and just went with it.

1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar

1/8 C of Honey

1/4 t Salt

Mix in a saucepan on the stove and reduce to a thick syrup. I threw some beef stew meat (the chunks of beef) into the sauce and then put that over a wedge a lettuce with the bacon (extra crispy please!) and the crumbles of blue cheese. I don’t make my own blue cheese, I prefer Marie’s Extra Chunky Bleu Cheese.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Days 13 and 14

13) Something Old:

A Lavalier that was my grandmothers. She left it for me and my aunt presented it to me on The Sibling’s wedding day. I’m saving it for my daughter to wear on her wedding day (if she so chooses). It reminds me of how classic jewelry used to be and how pretty things are with the different sizes and shapes put together.

14) Something New:

This was an easy one — My wedding set. It’s still considered “new” to me because we haven’t been married for that long. I absolutely adore the setting he picked and the stone. It’s an ascher cut diamond with two baguettes on the side. The wedding band doesn’t match, I know, but that’s what makes it special to me because E and I “don’t match” but I wouldn’t trade him for the world 🙂

Last night, Beanie was ALL fired up. I’m not sure who fed her a tub of sugar but she was bouncing off the walls. Before she decided it was time for bed (evident by her starting to make her way back to her bedroom)

She stole my shoes and attempted to fit them into her car quad

Then has a stare down with Lenny and was pointing from him to the car

Either she wanted him to help her fit the shoe in the quad or he was next. We aren’t sure.

rachelkern152

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