Mom Fail: Turdlers

I see other mothers on social media that look like they have their lives together, I however am not one of those moms. I drink wine in my bathtub after my daugthers go to bed because somedays it’s needed. Most day I don’t get dressed and get myself together because I’m probably not leaving my house, three kids anywhere by myself LOL no thank you, they gang up on me. I don’t have a good skin care routine, often I forget to wash my makeup off so I sleep in it(whoopsie). Somedays I sit on my kitchen counter and eat aerosol whipped cream by the can because well that’s who I am. I wasn’t given a parenting manual when I had Gracelyn and I most certainly wasn’t given a Twin Manual when they came along. I had three daughters in 19 months. I had seen family and friends parent, so I thought I had a good idea what I was doing when I had them, I was wrong. The first week is rough getting adjusted to having a baby. They cry, you cry, they sleep, you spend that time watching them sleep to watch their breathing, and the cycle continues. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. As the days go by you start to get the hang of things. Baby starts sleeping more and you feel confident in your parenting. You know your child/children, you have a good thing going but that confidence doesn’t last long because then they hit that stage we know all too well, the Turdler stage. Also known as the Sasshole stage. That is the ultimate test of your parenting ability, although I’m fearful teenage years with these three might be the icing on the cake but we haven’t got there yet, pray for me.

What is a turdler you might ask? It’s the age range where a baby turns into a toddler, then it decides to act like a turd. In my experience the age range is 2-4 years old, and we are in our prime time for it in my household! Well in my case specifically a turdler is a beautiful blonde girl with big blue eyes, that has the same face I had as a kid, with the same attitude and sass. This specific turdler is hilarious to the point it’s hard to punish because I laugh, she’s clumsy as in trips over air(just like her mommy), she’s sneaky and she’s a sweetheart. When they say the apple doesn’t fall far, they meant the apple doesn’t leave the tree. Take this turdler and times it by three, that is my life. Gracelyn made me a mom, she made me grow up and stop thinking of myself first and put others. She changed me in ways I didn’t know existed, I learned to light sleep to listen to her breathing. She taught me more about life than I had learned in the 23 years of my life. She was the scariest thing I had experience, knowing I would have to take care of her and keep her alive when I barely felt responsible enough to take care of myself. We did it though and we decided to have another baby so Gracelyn had a sibling close in age. The day the Cubs won the World Series(GO CUBS GO), I found out we were expecting again. A month later, we got the shock of a lifetime when we saw it wasn’t one baby but in fact two very healthy babies. Nothing prepares you for learning there are two coming, I was in denial for a while because the thought of having three babies under 2 was overwhelming and I knew judgment from others was coming. We had a rough pregnancy but we delivered our di/di identical twin girls 1 year 7 months and 4 days after Gracelyn was born.

Let’s fast forward a few years and we have hit the mother load of turdler days. They take turns, depending on the moment. Picking a movie or tv show, one will agree and the other two protest, one will be vocal and the other will stomp away and pout. It’s like clockwork. Usually it’s the big sasster(see what I did there) that is vocal. Today this was our debate…

Gracelyn- Mommy nooooo we don't want to watch True! We want Scooby-Doo!                                                                                                                             
Me- Gracelyn, Paityn chose True, we can watch Scooby next.
Gracelyn- THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID!(arms crossed, grump face) *Maisyn runs to the corner and cries*
Me- Girls, we can watch it next
Gracelyn- Fine mommy be a brat like you are and see if we like you 
Me- You love me cuz I do everything for you
Gracelyn- Then get me Gold Fishes*as she stomps her feet*

I stared at her waiting for manners. Nope, Turdler was in full sasshole mode.

Me- Gracelyn, where's your manners?
Gracelyn- Prolly next to the Gold Fish...
Me- I can't even with you *face palm*
Gracelyn- Then don't even. Gold Fish momma, Gold Fish

And that also my friends is when it sank in that to them, I’m just their snack b***h. I’m their maid, their tv person, I give them the food they want when they want and what do I get in return? Demands. Maybe I’ve just created a monster within my spoiled kids, or maybe I’m just a good mom who provides for my children. It depends on which way you look at it I guess. I get demands but today for instance, I got something I haven’t had in at least a year or maybe even two, I had all three girls sleep and cuddle on me at some point today. I had unlimited kisses from both twins, I had Gracelyn grab my face telling me how I’m the “greatest mommy” because I gave them frozen gogurt. They are the definition of sour patch kids, like is the company hiring? I have three beautiful girls that would be able to do the commercials without having to act. I should also make mention that at one point today Gracelyn told me to “stop being Carole, Candyce.” I turned to her and asked “what did you just say to me” and sure enough my tiny tot looked at me straight in the eyes and repeated “I SAID STOP BEING A CAROLE, CANDYCE.” I had to take a minute to respond to her and she looked at me with her eyebrows raised, hand on her hip, staring at me while shes wearing her blue princess dress and rain boots, waiting as patiently as she could get for me to reply. She was staring directly at me waiting for a reaction, she stood there like she was thinking of her next comeback to me. It clicked in my brain pretty quick that she has been paying attention at night when I had been watching Tiger King. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tiger King, Carole is hated for multiple reasons, long story short is she’s a bad person(I recommend watching it, it has more curve balls than a baseball game). So my 4 year old used a Tiger King reference calling me a bad person. I couldn’t correct her or punish her for it because I couldn’t stop laughing. MOM FAIL. She caught me off guard so hearing her call me Carol made me laugh so hard I cried. My turdler knew then that she had me hook, lined and sinker. She was going to get her way. No one gave me the heads up that this is one of the hard parts of parenting a turdler. If you laugh, they will continue to do it and it’s ridiculously hard to stop laughing when your child does/says something they aren’t supposed to. Does it make me a bad mom to laugh at it? Probably, do I regret it? Not at all. It gave us a moment for both of us to laugh and she realized she made me happy, she was proud of herself so she ran up to me and hugged me.

Another mom fail I have, I cuss. Whoops. It’s been a work in progress to get better at not cussing but it’s easier said than done. I’ve improved a lot but there are also a lot of other adults around that have potty mouths. Kids are smart and pick up on things easily. It’s not cute when a child cusses in my opinion, but sometimes when your child says something and it catches you off guard it’s kinda funny. I have two different times Gracelyn has said bad words, I had to keep it together to make her realize you can’t do that. It’s frowned upon. Like I said, I’m not one of those moms who have the perfect life. The twins have yet to cuss thankfully, they feed off each other so if they did it would be impossible to get them to stop. They are the reason I have worked hard to improve my choice of vocabulary. I’ve never been a mom that said my kids won’t have this or eat that, because let’s face it, it’s nearly impossible to keep them 100% healthy. Kids are picky, currently my girls are living off mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, Gracelyn with ranch and the twins with ketchup, pickles and olives. If I can get them to eat woohoo! Sometimes it’s a serious struggle to get your children to eat food, the whole “they’ll eat when they’re hungry”, those people should come hangout with my kiddos especially once they hit the hangry stage. My girls are huge milk fans though so they do have that going for us I guess. Picking and choosing your battles are a serious thing around here. You don’t want to wear pants? Okay, but don’t take your undies off and pee on my floor, deal?(we are potty training twins, it’d be amazing to have that Mommy Manual right now) You want your mac n cheese with ketchup on the purple plate with the blue fork? Done, as long as you eat it all. I’ve also learned that when I make plates of food, they won’t want what’s on their plates but they will love what’s on mine even if it’s the same food. So I make two plates for me, the dummy plate and my food I might get to eat. There’s so much to keep these turdlers happy, but we are achieving it.

It’s amazing to see their personalities come out and who they are becoming. I’m happy to see how driven they are, kind of concerned the drive is going to keep me in the principals office. Strong personalities create strong women, that’s what I’m thinking though. Judge me if you want but being a good mom Trump’s being a “perfect” mom. They know I’m a mess most days but that’s how they love me. They need a happy mom, that’s what I’ll give them. A happy home, a safe home, a comfortable home where they will always know they are loved. Each day is chaos, it’s a mess, but I am blessed to have three of the greatest turdlers. Mommy is the best title I’ve held.

Love,

Candyce

Grief: It Gets Better, Right?

*Emotional Blog for me, I apologize in advance for the ramble*

Uncle Kent and myself circa 2000?

“Life asked death, why do people love me but hate you? Death replied, it’s simple, you’re a beautiful lie and I’m a painful truth.”

As I walked out of work tonight I took a second to look around. The crisp cool air hit my face, the sound of the squad cars running, a random neighborhood dog barking and both flags(American and Thin Blue Line) gently moving with the little breeze. All felt calm, still and I was able to take a deep breath. Maybe I’m alone in this but sometimes the air gets heavy and it gets hard to breath for no reason. It wasn’t a bad shift at work, although its been a rough week for the county. As I opened my eyes after taking a few breaths, I noticed the large boulder that now sits at the entrance of the Sheriffs Office. I walked to my vehicle while I kept my eye on that reminder of last year. As I drove off, I mentally said the prayers I say before I drive each time, thanking God for another day and for prayers for a safe drive home. It’s the same thing I’ve done day after day for the last year. Every time I drive, it’s sort of like a car concert but amped up. Sometimes it’s Christina and some times it’s Salt n Pepa(I can rap Shoop like I was born to), other times it’s sappy country songs(no surprise there). I had spotify playing in the background as I’m deep in thought driving home. A lot has been on my mind lately, specifically grief. It’s something we all have in common but we all suffer different ways. I hate to use that word, suffer, it sounds so painful but I’ve yet to experience grief that hasn’t been painful. As I got about halfway home a song came across my Spotify that caught my attention, Lauren Alaina- The Other Side. I was zoned out thinking about aliens and wondering if chickens have knees, you know the normal things people think about as they drive home. As the song hit the chorus it caught my attention, so I restarted the song and listened all over again. Instantly my thoughts turned to my best buddy, my uncle Kent.

Kent September 10, 2016 giving me my special present for my wedding day

Kenton “Mouse” Priebe passed away January 29, 2018. Most reading this won’t know who he is but I will give you a quick run down on him. He was my godfather, referred to as my uncle Kent, the man on the motorcycle and my best buddy. When his house caught on fire back in the late 90’s, he gifted me with the mold of his dentures that were burnt in the fire(like the mold was charred), because it’s a gift no one else could ever give(he thought it was hilarious). He had me holding snakes that were bigger than me by the age of 5, ironically now I’m terrified of snakes even though I used to cuddle them. He and his wife, my aunt Chris, were there for every important day of my life until his wife passed in 2015(that is another blog that’ll come, when I’m ready). After his wife died he continued to do the things my aunt should have been here for, meeting my first child, getting me ready for my wedding and watching me walk down the aisle, to meeting my twins. He was there for it all, even when he was fighting cancer. He was a quiet man, gentle but loving. Long haired, ponytail and durag, mostly seen on the back of his Harley, he was there for it all. He never told me he had cancer, until he was sitting in a hospital bed after suffering a seizure. That’s when I got the call he was in the hospital and his memory was slipping. I went to visit him, I was pregnant with the twins, I walked in terrified he wouldn’t recognize me since he hadn’t recognized anyone else, but he knew who I was and instantly smiled. He hugged me and I sat with him and we talked like all was well. He recovered but his memory wasn’t the best. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the cancer came back with a vengeance. The week he died he was on hospice care and I again was given the warning he might not remember me. I walked in with my mom and the room was filled with his family members. He was resting, looking around, as soon as he saw me we locked eyes and he smiled. I knew then that he knew me. I walked up to him and said “hey old man, time to wake up and talk to me”. I grabbed his hand and he squeezed and tried talking. We couldn’t understand him but he was trying. We spent a while together and he would continuously squeeze my hand while looking at me. His eyes spoke for him, he was glad I was there. The whole room was silent besides my sniffles from softly crying. Down the hallway we could hear an alarm dinging and the nurses talking in the hallway. All was still, calm and silent, the air heavy and it was hard to breath, just like today. As I left that day, knowing very well that could be the last time I saw my best buddy alive, I hugged him so tight. The cancer had taken a toll on him, he was so thin, I could feel every bone in his back as I wrapped my arms around him. He held on to me, squeezing me because he too knew, that that might be the last time he saw me. That moment I felt helpless, nothing I could do could keep him and nothing anyone could do could keep my best friend here. I would soon learn how to live without him, continue my milestones without my right hand man there to hold my hand. I had to live with the lessons he instilled in me and learn to exist in a world that he wasn’t in. He kissed my cheek and I kissed that big forehead where his receding hairline was. I looked at him and said over and over “I love you”, he hadn’t spoke clear words in days but he said to me “I love you”, everyone stared as someone gasped, because it was clear as day. Those were the last words he ever spoke, I love you, and they were to me. I cried the whole way home and then some. We visited a few more times the next few days before he passed, he was in a deep sleep. A family member text me to tell me he wasn’t doing well and I told her I was on my way. As I got to the end of my driveway I looked at my phone and it was my aunt Chris’s sister calling and I knew. I took a deep breath as I looked at the sun starting to set and I just knew… He was Heaven bound on a Harley. It was an hour drive from my house him, the funeral home waited until I got there to say my last goodbyes. As I walked into the building the air was warm, heavy, with a stale smell. I felt like I was walking so slow I was going backwards. I walked into his room and hugged family. I didn’t cry, I couldn’t. I don’t know if it was shock that it happened or the numbness of the grief setting in, but I held it together for the next few hours as we sat with him telling stories and listening to music. He was a simple man, with simple wishes. We celebrated his life on his birthday in March, it was great to see faces I hadn’t seen in years and to meet those I had only heard of.

Thumbs Up, always

Tonight the grief of losing him got the best of me. I’ve cried this whole time writing this through my tears(Nick thinks I’m a basket case because I’m crying, he’s not wrong though). It’s not the only loss I’ve been grieving, losing a good friend has taken it’s toll. The truth about grief? No, it doesn’t get better. Nothing about it gets better, you get used to it. You feel the stinging pain, the shock, the yearning to cry for your friend and their loved ones. You deal with it and learn to function when you don’t know how to. It’s not a wound you can just slap a band-aid on and expect it to heal. Some say to face your trauma, loss, and that’s how you move on. Nope, hasn’t worked in my experience. The truth is, there is no answer, no magic spell to take that pain away. Learning to live in a world without someone you couldn’t think of living without, makes you strong. You don’t have a choice but to be strong. It makes you courageous, it makes you bold. Sometimes it’s a song that hits you and suddenly nothing can stop the tears, maybe it’s a smell that triggers your grief and you can’t explain why you feel crushed. Many times I’ve sat in my car trying to pull myself together before going into work or home, because grief strikes at any time and that is okay. It’s okay to break down, it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to vent. We all grieve. We all grieve differently. And to be honest, it’s okay if breathing is the only thing you did today. That too, can be a huge accomplishment especially when you feel like you’re drowning. Grieve for a little while, grieve for a long time or grieve forever, there is no time limit. Nothing is the same after the loss, you have to make a “new normal”, and it’s not fair. Life isn’t fair. If there is anything death has taught me, it’s life is short, unpredictable and it’s those who deserve to live forever who get taken too soon. It’s taught me to take the pictures even if someone hates pictures, to save the messages, keep the memories alive. It’s taught me to love even when someone isn’t lovable, to forgive those who don’t deserve it, to move forward when I want to stand still or crawl in a hole. Baby steps are still steps forward. It’s taught me breaking down is okay, no matter how much time has passed. Overuse I love you. Live life, stop just existing. Moral of my ramble, Grief, does not get better…

-Candyce

Family.

A few of the River Rat kids before Cross Dress day at school. Yours truly standing in the front.

When I was younger, I didn’t realize what “family” meant. I thought everyone was family, whether they were the neighbor or the old guy that lived across town that handed out toothbrushes for Halloween. London Mills kids, you know EXACTLY who I’m talking about. Even though we really didn’t know each other, we were family. Why did I think this? Because growing up in a small town and community, you come in contact with the same people over and over as the years ago by, you learn their lives and who they are as people. The same group of kids I grew up with continued to be friends for years, we fought often like siblings but at the end of the day we all made up. We didn’t have electronics to keep us occupied, we had outside. We had basketball at the park, the swings we used to not use correctly but instead sat on top of them listening to the lovely Backstreet Boys. We made up dances to the different songs and life was so stress free. Instead of our parents calling a phone for us to come home, we watched the streetlights and if we weren’t home by the time they came on, we could hear my mom yell for us from the front porch. Many nights we spent stargazing while laying in the roadway, not fearful of being ran over because let’s face it, traffic in town happens two weekends a year. Life was good, it was simple and we were family. We spent more time at our friends houses than our own. My mom cooked for an army not knowing which neighborhood kids were coming to eat, but she made sure we were all fed. The neighbors, whom I have known since ’94 have treated me like a daughter and been there for me without missing a beat since even though I’m grown now. As I laid in the hospital bed after having heart surgery and a stroke, I received a gift from those same “block parents” as my parents refer to them as. Why did they do that? Because we are family. Family isn’t just blood, it’s a group of people who love each other and care about each others well being. It’s seeing the best in someone when they haven’t had the best days. We as a community are a family.

My “block parents” daughter and I, best friends from the day I met her.

Fulton County Proud

One of the first memories I have is of a benefit, held in London Mills for a person fighting cancer. I remember seeing so many people, as a child I thought it was the coolest thing but didn’t understand the circumstances that brought everyone together. That benefit raised a lot of money for that person and they were able to have assistance while they recovered. As I got older, I witness many more countless acts of the community coming together for one of their own. Many places in this country don’t come together to rally around their own but we do, because we are family. In the mid 2000’s, I’m going to say roughly 2005-2006 London Mills had a massive storm that caused major damage to the town. I remember the night the storms happened, it felt like the movie “Twister”, there were firetrucks and people everywhere outside. I was terrified of storms, my neighbors came to our house and we sat in my basement stairwell singing “There’s a hole in the World” by the Eagles. My mom stood in the kitchen making Chinese donuts for us to keep us calm because quite frankly a few of us were a mess. My dad has always told me if I see him worry then I can worry otherwise it will all be alright. After the first storm came through, there were trees down everywhere and we had no power. The town came together to start to clean the debris up as we heard another storm was almost there. Surely enough a second storm came through and we continued to stuff our faces with donuts and sing at the top of our lungs(still to this day that’s a coping mechanism for me so if you see me singing Mind ya business). The sun was coming up and the towns people came together and got to cleaning. There were a few houses that trees came into or trapped a few places. I remember seeing our fire chief directing the towns men on where we should start and work together. Everyone pitched in and the town became home again. I could also go into details when the town flooded in 2013 and it was the first time in my life we have had to evacuate. My brothers house was along the river and was a total loss. Multiple homes were unlivable for some time and it took a while for many to recover. We came together and together we got through it. It’s forever etched into my mind and has influenced me into the kind of person I aim to be.

Aerial photo taken from above London Mills flooding early 2013. My brothers house is the house on the far left middle of the photo. We bent but we didn’t break.

If you’re local to me and you’re reading this, I feel confident you have many other stories you can share about times the community has come together as one. As we currently face the pandemic of the COVID-19, I feel positive we will get through this together if we continue to work together. This isn’t a one person effort but must be a team effort to get us back to where we belong. It’s a terrifying feeling to not know what the future holds but knowing WE can help decide that if we work together is something positive. I work an essential job and a wonderful person brought in masks for those who need them. They were homemade, stitched together with every intention of a good heart. I do not know the person who created them but they thought of the community and the communities best interest. I’m sure most of you social media peeps have seen the Facebook page “Heart Hunters”. It’s a page for people to post pictures of different hearts that have been displayed in windows for others to see. Something so simple yet something to remind us all that we are not alone in this, we can do it together. It gives me hope that I’m raising my daughters in a community that has changed since I was a child yet remained the same, dedicated to helping each other. Everyone’s lives have been effected by this virus somehow. When Nick and I were house hunting(okay truth be told I was house hunting, he was clueless. He was away with the military training with no phone and when he got his phone back I informed him we had bought a house, surprise honey!), I wanted to live in the same school district I went to. I wasn’t a good student to say the least, I think I might hold the record for most missed days in a single school year, yet I passed. I can only imagine how good of a student I would have been if school started at noon. I went to the same school my whole life, so i knew the faculty pretty well. They called me out on my bulls**t, they held me accountable for my actions and while it might have made me upset then I’m incredibly happy they did it. It was a place I want my children to attend because I know they are in good hands that I trust, my daughters will be given the love and care I received and they will be pushed to the best of their ability. Recently they have had to go to online learning due to the COVID-19, every day Gracelyns teacher reaches out with new information, an online video of her reading to the kids or something to keep positive. Her teacher cares about her students and continues to give them the information they need at home to learn. The older students are doing facetime learning and the teachers are doing whatever they can, researching new ways to get the students learning materials, they want the students to succeed. Why have they gone so far to make sure the students are taken care of? Because we are family.

Class of 2010. Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I graduated.

One Day At A Time

I’m a social person so social distancing is a struggle for me. I keep telling myself that if I think of 30 more days of distancing it seems like forever away, but if I take it day by day it goes smoother. I’m sure others are also struggling with this, whether it’s the gym, salon(IGNORE MY ROOTS OKAY, MY STYLIST WOULD HUNT ME DOWN IF I USED BOX DYE) or something else, we can get through this. I try my best to stay positive so I have to think something good is coming, after a storm there’s usually a rainbow. Maybe the positive is us coming together to get through this, maybe it’s a lesson for us all to work together. Maybe it’s a lesson to show us how to be kind to others, to help when possible, however possible. One day at a time family, we can do this. I’m proud of my community and “family”.

Love,

Candyce

Deployment, Day One?

For the last year and a half, we have prepared for this day. The day Nick left for his next tour of the middle east. It’s been a mentally exhausting challenge to prepare for but we’ve somehow did it. Hooray? No, not quite. The last few weeks leading up to this I’ve became a basket case, overly emotional and quite frankly I’ve became even more annoying than normal(shocker). How do I face my children who cry for their father, when I want to cry with them? How can I be strong about something that makes me so weak? You can’t. I found that answer really quick when my youngest, Paityn, came crying for her father who had left to go to the grocery store. You learn to put on a stone face, snuggle them and cuddle them as much as possible. You learn new breathing techniques so you can avoid making that ugly sobbing noise that’ll clearly give away you’re upset while you hold your child tight. We’ve been through Nick being gone many times, but nothing compares to the length of this deployment and the fact our daughters are older now. He signed up for this, I know it’s a territory that comes with being married to a soldier, but he chose this career long before I came around. I wouldn’t change it though, if you know Nick he’s military to the core. It’s something he’s so passionate about, the four things that are his life, Military, Sports, Clash of Clans(eye roll) and his family. He also likes to get into politics but I refuse to go there with him. The struggle of him being gone is worth it and seeing our daughters faces when he returns will be amazing to capture. Positive thinking right?

But wait….there’s more!

It’s Sunday night, I’m laying in my bed trying to get Twin A, Maisyn to go back to sleep. She’s snuggled up to me snoring as I type away. This was to be our final night together as a family. It’s funny, actually quite terrifying and not at all funny so I don’t understand that expression, but anyway, how things can change in an instant. Nick received word that they will not be leaving for their next phase of deployment tomorrow morning. It’s currently a giant question mark of what the time frame will be. Thanks Coronavirus. Although you might be thinking “that’s good news, more time together right?”, yes and no. I’m a planner when it comes to things like this, I NEED to have things in order and KNOW when things are happening. I HATE surprises, to the point it gives me anxiety(woohoo). Does him being home longer mean he will be gone longer next year? Who knows. Will we have a warning or a few days heads up before he gets notice to leave? No idea. What a giant mystery for us to play out day by day. I’ll be keeping updates in my future blog posts, because Lord knows I’ll have a lot to say. Like I said, it’s always a mess. So for now we continue to play it out day by day. I pretend I’m okay but to be honest I have that kind of anxiety I get when I know there’s only seconds left on the tanning bed and it’ll shut off, or when I’m opening a can of biscuits and I’m not sure when it’s going to pop open, you know THAT kind of anxiety. It’s been great though, to take time off of work and spend it with my extended family. Coronavirus has put a stop to many things, in fact it’s put a stop to everything, but with the lovely technology we have now a days, it’s been great to be connected without risking health. 2020, you have became an unpredictable hot mess, let’s hope your PMS is over for soon enough. I know this is my first blog, but it’s one I figured would help get the word out when I know a thousand questions are coming about Nicks deployment. I appreciate you listening to my rambles and frustrations. Military life isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s not just the uniform and the dog tags. It’s the unknown, it’s the uncertain, it’s the last minute change and you have to make it work. It’s the facetime at 3am because your soldiers in another time zone. It’s the lonely nights over and over, the keeping it together while not letting your soldier know you’re struggling because they need to focus on their mission. But he chose it, he chose this life for us before there was an “us”, and I chose him, so this is our life. It’s only the beginning of this next chapter, but I’m sure it’ll be eventful. Day 1 is almost over and I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Love,

Candyce