Wednesday, December 21, 2011


As I write this my Sailor is on a plane headed home!
We get 9 days with him! 
I am so happy I could explode!!
Best Christmas present ever~ all my kids together! 
Best wishes to all
for a joyful holiday season! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

so far away...

So, there's my sailor, looking good at A School.
He is doing well in nuke school~ staying very busy.
Some of my fellow Navy moms, who have kids
in A Schools in other fields, are very happy
with all the communication they now have
with their Sailors. As for me, I am
almost nostalgic for boot camp. 
I miss the letters.

For you see, nuke school moms are often
 at the end of the food chain. 
The reality is that nuke school is hard and demanding.
The material is challenging. The hours are long.
There is little free time.

So, I continue with my crash course
in Letting go 101.
So far, it is hard. We missed our Sailor
so much at Thanksgiving, but this is what 
he signed up for. I get that, but it does not
make me miss him less. 
But~~~There are positives...
#1~ He is doing well in school and seems
well-adjusted to military life.
#2~ Technology saves the day! Hooray for
Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and texting. 
I don't get a lot of communication, but I am
grateful for little every crumb!
#3~ CHRISTMAS!!~ Our Sailor will be home
for 10 days!!! YAY!!!!!! ♥♥♥

When I used to read accounts online about nuke students
not having much time to communicate with home,
I told myself ~"Not my son! He will find time."
Ha! The Navy is a great equalizer...
Yes, my son!... He is busy AND he is doing 
what he has to do. The apron strings are severed. 
He is on this great adventure and I am proud 
of him. My battered heart will heal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

truth is...

I miss my son.
Everything is okay. My sailor is safe in Charleston,
settling into his home for the next 2 years.
I am glad boot camp is over.
But this letting go... it's not so easy.

On a positive note~ My son will be home
for Christmas. As much as I dislike the stores being 
so decked out so early, this year it reminds me that 
the holidays will bring a visit. ♥ 

I promise a more upbeat post in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

son and sea shop

When my son was in boot camp I began making
Navy mom, wife, girlfriend, etc pendants.
I have opened an Etsy shop and will keep
it stocked with lots of Navy pride designs.
I am saving my profits for care packages
and trips to visit my Sailor son.

Friday, October 7, 2011

brave new world

Last week at this time we were in Great Lakes enjoying 
our son's brief liberty after his boot camp graduation. 
It seems like a year ago! 
The time flew. Those few hours over 2 short days were
not nearly enough. The good bye at O'Hare 
was brutal. Since my son's arrival at NNPTC 
communication has been pretty good... texts, phone calls,
FaceBook. But it is hard to realize that this 
is as good as it gets. I've been sad, but I am
determined to accept this new reality, and to
support and encourage my Sailor. 
It is a rough road, a lonely place for a mother's 
heart. But there is no option except to let go
and CHOOSE gratitude. 
Today I am grateful for family and friends,
for the supportive military community
and for the gift of this day. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


A year ago my son was a high school senior
who was talking to a US Navy recruiter.
Today he is a a Sailor with three red stripes
on his sleeve, stationed at
in Goose Creek, S.C. 
He begins classes later this month, 
the start of a long trek toward becoming
a Machinist Mate-Nuclear Field. 

PIR (boot camp graduation) was amazing.
Our short time with our son was an emotional
roller coaster. I don't like roller coasters.
I thought my first post after PIR would be 
a song of joy, a celebration of pride.
And I feel those things, I assure you,
but in all honesty, I am bereft.
Boot camp had a beginning and an end.
But this, ah this... this is our new reality.
Our son is a Sailor. He chose to serve
and he is gone and he is grown.
He is not in college or at a regular job. 
Nothing or no one comes before 
his commitment to the Navy.

I trust that this new reality will lose some of its
sharp barbs in time, that this ache will ease.
I am grateful for easier communication 
with my Sailor now, happy to know
he is safe and moving toward his goals.
I am trying to concentrate on these things
and thinking of Christmas, hoping 
he has leave.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My son is a SAILOR!

At last! 
We leave for Chicago in the morning!
I am so proud of my sweet Sailor son! 
Millions of photos and details
to come. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the power of a smile

The shortest distance between two people is a smile.  
~Author Unknown

My sweet son is in his last days at RTC . He graduates  next week! 
His division's finals days will be filled with challenges~
final PFAs, inspections, drills, Captain's Cup
We received a short phone call on Monday~ a reward for a perfect
score on an inspection. My son sounded great, a bit weary, 
but upbeat and ready to wrap this thing up! 
On Tuesday, we got the best gift ever! 
 has two contests weekly. One of our division moms 
WON Tuesday's trivia game (no small feat, as there
 are MANY parents, spouses, etc playing). 
So, with no further ado~ I  present 
Ship 7 USS CHICAGO Division 327
83 strong and lookin' good in their NWUs!!! 
 A photo from boot camp is a treasure!!! Winning the contest
is the only way to get a photo from boot camp.
It is just amazing to have this peek 
at the division! And best of all... look at those GRINS!!!!
They were told what the photo was for! They know their moms,
 dads, wives, girlfriends, etc will
see this photo. I love their beautiful smiles!
This photograph is a treasure. 

And where is my SR?
He is on the very top of the heap~ top upper right,
CLIMBING (oh, how he loves to climb) on something
and rocking the best smile ever!!
That's my boy! 
Note his collar device~ He is a Recruit Petty Office.
That smile is a beautiful sight.
See you soon, son! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

almost there...

It is rather surreal to think that in 2 weeks and 2 days 
we will be Great Lakes bound!
My son graduates from boot camp on 9/30/11~ the last group
to graduate in dress whites until next spring.
My son is in a push division which means his time 
in boot camp is 7 weeks, not the more standard 8 weeks.
So, we will see him soon! 

The past 5 weeks has, at times, seemed endless.
Our contact with our son has been minimal...
the form letter, the 'kid in a box", 3 real letters
and ONE and only ONE PHONE call (2 weeks ago).
That is not much, but it does get you through. 
I am also part of a FaceBook group for his division 
and that is a great resource. I have made some wonderful
new friends. The Navy community is pretty amazing!
By sharing info from our letters
and calls, we can piece together a pretty good glimpse 
of how things are going. All of the communication
from my son has been positive. 
He says that being in leadership is one
of the best things about his boot camp experience.

Many in the division have been ill, which is typical.
I assume it is a combination of bringing lots of people together 
from all over the country, mental and physical stress
and extreme fatigue that makes the recruits vulnerable
to the "Ricky Crud" and other contagious maladies. 
My son had the crud when he called AND pink eye 
AND 4 wisdom teeth had been pulled. This is my 
"never sick" kid... but he did not complain and I am assuming
he is well by now. Nowhere is the adage "no news
is good news" more applicable than boot camp.
Hopefully the entire division is better now.

The last few weeks are certainly hard, but at this point the divisions
should be working together and the training is more...
fun?? Is that the word? Well, more hands-on anyway.
They should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I see my own little light, too. In a short time
I will see my son~ briefly. He will depart for A School
in South Carolina the day after PIR. And then the real journey
begins. His schooling is long (2 years) and then out to the fleet
for 4 years and them some commitment to reserves... .
it just goes on and on. My son will not be home for most holidays.
He belongs to the U.S.Navy now... for real, and that 
is the hard part, the "my heart is bursting with pride" part,
the real letting go. 
I am learning my lessons and the first one
may be this~Make the best of the time you have. 
~not a bad approach to life in general, that "glass
half full" thing. I believe in that, try to live like that.
Gratitude is always the best choice.
For now, I am focused on our trip to RTC  in
a little over 2 weeks, to that moment when the new sailors 
enter the graduation hall...
For now that is enough.

Friday, September 2, 2011

best day(s) ♥

How wonderful is is to have some communication from my son
in boot camp!!! We have now gotten TWO real 
letters and a glorious, long phone call!!!!
My son is doing very well and has the honor
of holding a Recruit Petty Officer position! 
He sounds great in his letters and on the phone.
In spite of having a cold (known as the Ricky Crud),
pink-eye and having all 4 wisdom teeth pulled,
he is upbeat and determined! 
He had his birthday in boot camp and spent
his first hours of being 19 standing watch and toting
a 9mm pistol. He is making friends
and says his RDCs are "smart, good people"
beneath "the show they put on". 
I am so grateful for his positive attitude! 
Our trip is booked now and in 4 weeks 
we will be at our son's PIR.
That will be another 'best day".

I ♥ the gratitude campaign

It is no small thing to say "Thank you." Just do it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I ♥ the mail carrier!

What a wonderful thing is the mail,
 capable of conveying across continents 
a warm human hand-clasp.  
~Author Unknown
The Navy teaches you things, lots of things~ 
like an appreciation for the U.S. Postal Service. 
In these days of instant communication, the thought of waiting
for a letter seems rather quaint, but when a loved-one
is in boot camp, letters become golden.
So far I've gotten two~ the form letter
and a nice 3 page letter last Friday.
It was so good to "hear" my son's "voice",
to see his new "military handwriting".
He is doing well and says parts of boot camp
are FUN!! And some parts suck.
He has made some friends and is learning
to deal with sleep deprivation.
He misses us.
Today he started his 4th week and graduation
on 9/30 doesn't seem so far away anymore! 
I am so proud of him. He is working hard
to become a Sailor, but...
he is still my boy, my sweet son who remembers
that his mom likes to know where her babies sleep.
So, this made my day. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

waiting game...

A week ago I got my son's form letter from boot camp. I was delighted to read the lines he wrote...

He's okay! Likes the food! Misses his girlfriend and dog 
and still has his sense of humor!! 
Best of all the first line~ "I'm doing good."
Oh, joy!!! My mother-heart was filled with gratitude! 

Now a week has passed... a long, quiet week. Today my SR started
week three of boot camp. Hopefully his division is working together. 
This is how they earn phone calls and the privilege to write 
and receive letters (of which he should have a lot waiting for him!). 
In the Navy, no news is good news. I know better than to expect 
any communication this soon. It will be at least 3 weeks... 
no sooner. 

So, I am in the doldrums... the still, quiet time of waiting. 
I am staying busy and thinking the best.
I hope and pray that my son's division is smart and strong.
I hope I hear his voice soon... or open my mailbox
to a sweet surprise. I hope my son has made some friends
and is learning and feels he has made the right decision.
Mostly I  hope that he knows he is loved and supported.
Press on, son. Press on. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

the box...

When your child departs for Navy boot camp you understand
that communication will be extremely limited. The night of arrival
 there is a 30 second call to say "I'm here." 
The recruits basically read from a script for that call.
It is hurried and succinct, but the few words
 you hear are like gold. "I love you" never sounded sweeter.

Then follows the wait for the dreaded "kid in a box". 
My son arrived in Great Lakes this past Monday and "the Box"
arrived on our doorstep on Thursday. In my continuing effort
to "man up" and face this Navy thing square in the face,
I opened the box. Inside were the clothes and shoes my son
left home in, along with his boarding pass and a few other 
papers. That cardboard box really makes this Navy thing real.
My son is there, in Great Lakes, wearing Navy issued clothes
and shoes... he is gone! Cue the violins,,, but wait! What's that?
There on the box flap is a message... a few words that lit my face
with a grin that has accompanied me for 2 days! 
"This is already too easy! Love y'all!" 
After 5 days does he still think that? ;) Did he write it to
soothe his mom's troubled heart? All I know is that
it made me remember that this is his dream, his life
and I would be a fool to be sad. 
Yes, I miss him... so very much! 
But I am glad for him. And so proud of his choice to serve.
I am so grateful for the gift of those scrawled words.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

signed, sealed and delivered...

No, I was not as sad as I look in this photo, I promise!!

Yesterday was the big day. My son did his final swearing-in
and boarded the plane to Great Lakes. 
He was able to text me and even called from the airport.
And then at 12:32 I got "the 3 second" call.
He sounded strong, wide-awake (I'll bet!) 
and the teeniest bit nervous. I said a few encouraging words
and told him we love him and that was that.
Mostly I am relieved that he is there safe and sound.
I know he can handle boot camp. 
Yes, I miss him terribly, but I am refusing to give over
to sorrow when there is so much to be grateful for! 
This is what he wants to do! Qualifying for Nuke School
is an accomplishment in itself. I am so happy for him 
and I have confidence in the US Navy. 
This is what they do~ they take boys and girls
and make them men and women and United States Sailors.
It is an honor and privilege to serve.
Today begins the wait for "the box" containing
his clothes, the form letter where we can write him
and the next call (in 3 weeks hopefully) and the first letter.
If he can do boot camp, I can do Navy mom!
Having the support of  loving family and friends,
the amazing US Navy family and a strong faith
comforts me and reminds me to focus on the good.
So~ I give the Navy my precious son with confidence
and gratitude and a fervent prayer that these 
8 weeks go swiftly and without complications. 
HOOYAH! Go Navy! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

3 days...

Look at  that smile! That's my sailor-to-be at the helm
of a cruise ship way back in the day. 
Actually, wasn't that yesterday?

He leaves for his recruiter's office Sunday afternoon
then on to Great Lakes for boot camp.
He is 18.
I tell you, there is no way  to explain this letting go.
The military is not like college. It is grown-up stuff
 and there is little margin for error. 
I think of this sweet boy and how quickly
he must become a man and my 
mother-heart aches. 
But this is an opportunity for him to shine,
to meet the world head-on and 
get busy with the business of life.

I will let him go in a few days. I will fold my sorrow
like a secret and slip it deep in a pocket.
This is what a mother does
and strives to do so with grace. 
Godspeed son. 
I love you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

up, up and away...

At this time next week my son will be at MEPS
doing his final swearing-in. We will send him off
with love, prayers and encouragement! 
Today I am mostly excited, ready for his
great adventure to begin! 
I keep thinking about how important it is 
to have the right attitude. I want my son to go
forth with confidence and determination. 
I can ask no less of myself! I want to focus
on the positive and radiate peace as I support
my son and learn to navigate my new life
with a less full nest. It's all good.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

tick tock~tick tock

So, now we are down to 11 days until our son ships out... 
which is actually 10 days because he has to be at the recruiting
office at 3:00 the day before, then on to a hotel for the night.
We can take him out for dinner that night as long as we stay 
very close by (preferably in the hotel) and have him in 
his room by 10:00pm.We will go to MEPS  the next
day to see him do the final swearing-in 
(the "no turning back, you're in the Navy now" one) 
and  then say good-bye. Some parents go to the airport and
 hang out, but unless our son requests this, I think I'll pass. 
I can only take so many farewells.
Things seem surreal. It is hard for me to imagine him gone,
despite the 10 months we have known this date.
I am very excited, proud and grateful for this opportunity
for my son, but it is bittersweet. 
I don't even know what to do these last days.
He seems quiet and a bit withdrawn. I know this 
is not unusual and is part of the separation process.
I have the business of organizing an "Anchors Aweigh"
 party to distract me. Then come the good-byes 
and the long wait for communication from boot camp.

What a ride this has been...
and it has barely begun! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

19 days and counting...

I'm not sure how we got here, but my son leaves
 for boot camp in 19 days.
It seems like yesterday that we were counting months
and now it is just over 2 weeks! .
I am staying busy, trying not to obsess, but it is tough-
and he's still here! 
My son is getting ready. Yesterday he went through
a lot of stuff in his room. He cleaned up his desk top
computer since he now has an amazing lap top
to take to Charleston. The ball is rolling
and gathering speed. His new life is so close.
I am so excited for him, but scared, too.
How will he feel in Great Lakes,
 so far from home,
among strangers and under duress?
 I have confidence in him, but still, a mother
 does not like to know 
that her child will be in distress, tired and homesick.
I KNOW he will do fine. I understand the method.
These young people have to be able to withstand pressure
and still perform their tasks. 

So, it is nearly time for my son to say good bye
and face his future.
19 days.

Monday, July 11, 2011

28 days...

I live a blessed life. I have a a husband who is actually Superman
 (shhh! that's top secret), four children that amaze me every day, 
wonderful friends, a pretty home and the privilege
of time and space to pursue my artistic dreams. 
My heart sings a constant hymn of gratitude.

My oldest son is married to a sweet, lovely gal that we adore.
 He works for Frito-Lay and loves his job. They live close by
 which makes me so happy. My only daughter is a college student
 and a very talented artist. She is finding her way at her 
own pace (translation~ taking forever to get through school). 
She is a sweet, sweet young lady with a heart of gold.
My future sailor is an interesting kid~ very hard working, 
smart, driven. He knows everything, as do all 18 year olds.
 Beneath his bravado he has a tender heart and loves to help people.
And my "baby" is going into 9th grade. He is also very talented in art. 
He is very kind and brave.
I love them all beyond measure.

And in 28 days I will say goodbye to one of them. 
And it is goodbye~ goodbye to his childhood.
Unlike the more gradual transition to adulthood that most
 young people make,  the military life is a crash course
 in growing up. I know when my son leaves
 on August 8th, no matter what, he will be changed
when I see him again. I am excited for him
and proud of his choice. But part of me will mourn the loss
of his childhood, of his carefree life. 
I see it already~
 the realization of the seriousness of this endeavor. 

Next month at this time he will be in Great Lakes
being challenged  and molded into a Sailor in the world's greatest navy.
If he can do that, then I can do my part.
I can choose to dwell in gratitude
 for this opportunity, for all my sweet children, for this life that 
blossoms like the most tender rose. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

♥It is a great privilege to live in this amazing, FREE country. 
I am grateful for all who have created,
 nurtured and defended our freedom and to those that continue 
to devote their lives to service to our country.
 My hope is that God will continue to bless
 not only the United States,
 but this beautiful world that we share 
with our brothers and sisters. ♥
♥ Happy Independence Day!♥

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

reality check

Early last November there was excitement at my house.
Our middle son, a high school senior, had gotten an impressive
ASVAB  score, one that opened the door to a world
of opportunity for a very bright kid who is a bit of a, shall we say,
non-conformist. This boy loves to work, loves to DO things, figure
out things, fix things. He is impatient with extraneous stuff-
like elective classes. He wants to learn useful things, that pertain
to the job at hand. Nuke school sounds like the place for him.

So last fall, through the winter, even this spring~ his ship date 
of 8/8 seemed distant. It was easy to be excited
and happy about his choice to sign a 6 year contract
with the US Navy. And now, at less that 2 months
until his departure, I am still excited and happy, but ~
 BUT~ reality is whispering in my ear.

I am thinking of how everyday life will be without 
this sweet, funny boy close by. He is my most
attentive child, the one (of 4) that looks out for me. 
He's a mama's boy~ not in a wimpy way, but in 
a sweet, loving way. I always thought he'd marry a sweet gal
and live around the corner. I thought they'd eat dinner with 
us a few times a week and he'd still carry heavy things
for me and kiss me on top of the head when he left.

But, this boy will sail the seven seas. He will learn
and grow and become a fine man and a sailor.
And it begins soon. 
It is what he needs to do and I am excited and happy.
I am. I am. I am.
That's my job. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

the choice to serve

Having a child make the decision to serve their country 
can really make a parent think. 

While many people regard the choice to enlist in military service
as a fall back for young people that have few options, 
nothing is further from the truth. Today's Navy is over-manned-
due to downsizing and the current economic climate in our country.
Most recruits (after passing extensive testing) will encounter a long
wait until their field has an opening. 

My son enlisted in November, graduated last month
and departs in August. He qualified for one of the few under-manned 
rates- nuclear field (only about 3% of the Navy). 
It is not easy to enlist and even before recruits leave for 
boot camp they begin learning the Navy way. My son is
in the Navy's Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and attends
meetings and is in regular, close contact with his recruiters. 
He is expected to learn material, practice drills and keep his 
nose clean until his departure. 

Young people who choose to enter military service and 
are able to qualify are privileged to serve and we, 
as US citizens,are also privileged to have them
 looking after us in a dangerous, complex world. 

The next time you hear of a young person making this commitment,
don't assume they had no other options. 
Instead, understand that they are embarking on a noble,
challenging endeavor to benefit not only themselves,
but also the greater good of our nation and the world.
Know that they are among a select group of young men 
and women that qualify and choose to live an uncommon life
of self- sacrifice and courage.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


My son went off cheerfully to his last day of high school last week.
I think he felt only happiness and an eagerness to move forward 
and leave his public school days behind.

Me? Not so much. 
My feelings were mixed. Another one of my "babies" finishing high school
is a great, but bittersweet feeling. Three down, one to go.
Where did the time go? 
Ah, well, it flies. Days, months, years~ all gone like fallen
snow when the sun comes beaming out. But it is a good thing, the way
of the world. We cannot stop time, but memories are a sweet
balm to the aching heart. I am happy, mostly. 
My son said, "Mom, why do people make such a big deal about high school graduation?
Everybody graduates!"... I told him it was a milestone, 
a distinctive marker in a young person's life, the end of an era~
but what does an 18 year old grasp about milestones? 
He is looking toward his bright, exciting future.

My son's recruiter was at graduation and even though
it is still two months until boot camp, this sure did feel 
like I was handing him over to the capable hands
of the U.S. Navy. 

So now I count the double digit days...
We need to get a power of attorney, go though my son's room...
Graduation was an ending, but also a beginning~
a new life awaits my son... and me. 
Ready or not.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ready or not...

Things are moving faster and faster now that my's son's boot-camp departure
is well under 100 days away! 
At the senior awards ceremony he was recognized
by the Navy. Graduation is this weekend!

  On Saturday he participated in the DEP Olympics.
Five local Navy Recruiting Stations sponsored this great family event.
Future Sailors participated in drills, sit-up, pull-up and  push-up competitions 
and tug-o-war. There was lunch and lots of time to meet some of the Chiefs
and other recruit family members. 

 The drills were impressive. You could tell the Future Sailors had worked hard.

  Tug-o-war was exciting! The highlight was when the Chiefs challenged the winning recruit team.
Of course they won... they way out-numbered the recruits. LOL! Too bad!! 

My favorite part of the day was seeing these eager, hopeful faces! 
The esprit-de-corps was wonderful! 
Already, these young people are supporting their future shipmates.

 Then on Saturday night my son participated in a mock swearing-in at the local arena
football team's game. The military was honored because it was Armed Forces Day.
It was very moving to see these future sailors and marines on the field. 

And to wrap up a wonderful weekend, our church celebrated the class of 2011.

Time is literally flying. My son is working out almost daily.
I think he will be ready when the day arrives.
And I will, too.
Healthy birds leave the nest.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Yikes! When did time become winged?
My son's boot camp departure is suddenly
under 100 days away.100 days! That's nothing?
High school graduation is in a few weeks.
My son is 18 years old
and right on the rim of real life.
He is getting serious about his physical training. 
I nagged him for months to no avail and then suddenly,
it clicked. It is time to get ready!

And it is time for me to get ready, too. 
I wish it was as easy as going to the gym.
No, I am having to prepare my heart.
I need a manual, a sherpa, a dot-to-dot
to show me the way to let go.

Monday, April 25, 2011

this boy...

This boy is enjoying his last days of childhood.
He mows lawns and sings in church choir.
He plays X-box and hangs out with his girl.
He teases his little brother
and tells me he loves me.

I can not imagine being 18 years old and making such
a major decision. He has signed up
for 6 years of military service. Six years
is a long time no matter how you slice it, but at 18
it is HUGE! 
I admire his courage, his willingness to leap
forward into real life. 
And I hope he will be happy with his choice.
I hope he will appreciate the amazing opportunity
he has to learn and do meaningful work.

This boy~ he makes me proud.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

with open hands...

Every day I receive gifts. The world offers such beauty, 
so much opportunity, so many choices.
I am learning, through this journey, how very much our choices
 and our attitudes define us. 
I am striving, every day, to open my eyes, my hands, my heart. 
I am choosing to be grateful for the gift of letting go. 

My son will soon spread his wings against the wide, wild sky.
 His life will unfurl before him. And I will know that we have loved him well, 
that he has been raised to be honorable, caring and brave. 
He will take his own path out into the world, but our love
 will follow him, buffet him against storms and trials, 
remind him that we are here, a heartbeat away,
always lifting him upward and onward.  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

thanks a lot...

Fear is a part of the parenting experience. 
From the first moment we hold our newborns
and ever after we have some level of concern
about our children's well-being. 
Worry is fear's troublesome voice that whispers
in our ears and paints ugly pictures of what might be.

My son's Navy journey thus far has stirred this nagging voice.
As a mother of four I thought I had nearly mastered worry
and fear. It is a matter of survival and sanity, to come
to some sort of truce with with these destructive thoughts.
But, oh, the prospect of my son in boot-camp, 
in an extremely challenging school, on a ship,
working on a nuclear reactor, so far from home!!~
These thoughts have awakened my fears more than
I care to admit. 

But here I am admitting and facing my fears. 
And I have found an anecdote, a tried and true 
balm for my trouble spirit. 
I am focusing on GRATITUDE, on paying heed to the 
good and beautiful things in my life. I am 
actively appreciating the gifts that surround me-
the blessing of a sunny morning, my parrot's chatter,
the sweet sound of my children's laugher. 
I have been reading 
Like the author of this book I have begun a list
of one thousand gifts. One of those gifts
is the opportunity offered to my son by the US Navy.
Gratitude enriches my life, slows my thoughts, stills my heart
so that I might see the blessings of my life.
Fear fades. Worry hushes.
My heart is filled with quiet joy.
Click HERE to follow my list of 1000 gifts.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the power of thoughts

I find myself fighting doubts, wondering if we have left a "T" uncrossed, 
an "I" undotted as my son's boot camp departure inches nearer. 
 You see, today's Navy is over-manned.
Recruits find themselves under the microscope, as the Navy
 can well afford to accept only the best. 
Even with an ASVAB  score in the highest category 
my son has to toe the line. The Navy disqualifies 
many recruits for seemingly small things. I understand 
this though. With recruits and potential recruits lined 
up for jobs, it is the logical thing to take only
 the cream of the crop. 
This being said, I have to have confidence in my son. 
He is determined and a hard worker. 
His test scores have qualified him for one of
 the military's most challenging educational
programs~ nuclear propulsion
He had an incredible opportunity. 
And he is thinking BIG!
So, I will do the same.
 I owe it to my son and to myself to think BIG!
"Who are we? We are children of God. 
Our potential is unlimited. 
Our inheritance is sacred. 
May we always honor that heritage
 - in every thought and deed." 
-Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the funny thing about time...

What's the deal with time? It seems to go in jerks and fits,
not in some nice, flowing linear path. 
See that sweet boy? He's my future sailor and I could swear
I took that photo last week. How did he get to be a high 
school senior? We were on cruise, off the coast of Mexico.
My sailor boy loved that ship. He was seven and he and I explored
the ship together. I was so happy that he seemed to love the sea 
and ships as much as me. 
So he will eventually spend a lot of time at sea, working hard,
but hopefully also appreciating the majesty of the world's oceans.
Time is a strange concept. As the days tick past and boot camp
looms I sometimes want to rush forward. I want to be
on the phone getting that "I'm a sailor!" call at the end of boot camp. 
But mostly I am savoring these days while my son
is still here, still, in some ways, that grinning boy on the big
cruise ship, my buddy watching the sun rise off the starboard deck.
All the while, the clock ticks...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the "d-word" revisited...

A few posts back I mentioned the "d-word"... danger. 
We live in a dangerous world, as is evidenced by the current
 tragic situation in Japan. My heart goes out to the people
of this country. They are showing such grace and resilience
in these unimaginably trying circumstances. The losses
are incalculable and now a nuclear disaster seems to be inevitable. 

The U.S. military, and particularly the Navy, are deeply involved
in rescue and recovery aid at this time. They are doing noble work
and they are in danger. I pray for all involved in this situation,
 victims and rescuers. There are so many heroes~
 the people of Japan who are helping one another, 
all of the brave aid workers, the military personnel,
the nuclear workers who are trying to avert a total reactor melt-down. 
So many are in the danger zone.
I pray for good news, for safety,
and I pray prayers of thanksgiving for heroes unsung.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Remember this...

~Sailors aboard the USS TORTUGA delivering humanitarian aid to Japan~
~photo credit~ US NAVY~ enchanced by SeaDreamStudio~

There are real heroes in our turbulent world.
Our military is all-volunteer. 
Our country CHOOSES to help the world.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Today I am taking a break from my rambling to encourage prayers, donations, good vibes... whatever you can offer to those affected by the massive earthquake in Japan this morning and tsunamis following. 
There is reassuring news from our Naval facilities in Japan. 
The tsunami waves are just beginning to be felt in Hawaii where many of our sailors and their families are located.
If you are looking for a reputable agency to donate to for disaster relief,
I recommend the United Methodist Committee on Relief. 
The USS Ronald Reagan will be joining the 7th Fleet
in recovery and relief efforts. 
Godspeed to these brave sailors.