Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is a "Pity Party"

Well... today I feel like complete and utter crap. I had one of those SLEEPLESS nights. I kept waiting and waiting for a phone call, and never got one. So, fortunately, I have learned something useful out of the sleepless night- Don't wait around for the phone to ring, even when he says he is going to call. He told me he would call around the same time he did the day before, which was about 1:30 AM. I was already awake and I had some energy so I just waited up for the phone call that never came.. so 4 AM hit.. and I was still not asleep, the anxiety started to kick in, and oh God- here comes the "what if" questions.. what is something happened to him? what if he isnt okay? what if someone got hurt? what if he is in some kind of trouble? what if he forgot about me? I wanted to rip my hair out.. I tossed and turn for a few more hours and finally around 6:30 AM I fell asleep. and I slept all day- which led to today being my pity party day. I'm depressed today so therefore I want to sleep all day.. I want to lay around and relax.. Sometimes we need these days! Man oh Man- it has helped a lot. I already feel a million times better- I'm VERY tired and exhausted from no sleep but a Pity Party day is just what I needed to heal the anxiousness and worry.

So anyways.. I made myself some pizza.. and I ate me some oreos :) Now time to cuddle up on my chair and relax.. all night!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deployment Diaries Cont'd: Days go By

Sleep well America- My Marine has your back ;)

Chapter 5: Survival tips

Most important tip- KEEP A SMILE ON :)

1. Stay Strong- I feel that Paul being gone has made us stronger, and made our relationship stronger. I feel that it has made me more independant, and I have been doing things on my own, like; paying bills, moving our stuff... taking care of things that he usually would take care of.

2. Keep Busy- The very first night that he was gone, was the worst night ever. I went to softball practice because I promised him that I would keep myself busy... Yeah, big mistake.. nothing like breaking down in front of your whole team. Now I have learned to cope with him not being here, and although it will never "be okay" until he is home, I try not to sit and dwell on the subject. I go out with my friends. I play on a team. I sell Mary Kay. I am currently in the process of moving, and I have a puppy to keep me busy.

3. Call on your friends- Before he first left I thought I would want to be alone, all the time... NOT. I did the first night and that is it. I need to constantly be around people to remind myself that I do have a life and it doesn't consist of sitting on the couch getting fat for 7 months... which we all know some wives face that obstacle. Needless to say- the past 3 months have not been lonely for me; lonely in a romantic perspective, but my friends are here for me and I couldnt ask for a better group of friends to pull my support from!

4. Remember your promise- One of the most common type of feelings felt through deployment is overwhelm. Before my husband left, he took care of all the bills. He took care of the maintanence in the house, and I cooked, cleaned, and did the laundry- and we all know that cooking and cleaning and laundry all day can get tiring. Let alone being the husband and wife all at one time!

5. Throw a pity party- Man oh Man.... I have these quite often. There is nothing more relaxing that the lifetime movie network, and a tub of icecream... cuddle up on the couch and be lazy. Cry your eyes out. Nothing can help better than letting it all out! But dont make it a habit! One day only- then everything goes back to normal the next day :)

6. Be prepared- Make sure that you have everything done that needs to be done before he leaves... like POA and  Wills, and car registration, safety inspections, and make sure everythings good with your insurances. And learn as much as you possibly can before he leaves. Attend the CACO (Casualty Assistance Calls Officer) Meetings- they are depressing, but they are very helpful. Make sure you attend the Deployment briefings, and GET ON the  Family Readiness Officers E-mail list.

7. Face your feelings- We need to take one day at a time and let our emotions run their course. Holding emotions in is VERY unhealthy, and we need to either cry it out or talk it out. When times get tough turn on the comedy channel- or call up some of your silly friends. Laughter is the best medicine :)

8. Keep it Real- Dont set impossible goals, dont try to do a million things at one time, and try not freak out when you can get it all done. You're not super woman!

9. Don't drown in your sorrows- Talk it out. Keep in touch with your family. Don't hold it all in, most likely there are other women around you feeling the same way!

10. Accept a helping hand- Don't try to be superwoman- because you aren't. You're one of the strongest women in the world for being married to a Marine- but that does not mean that you are able to do everything in the world. Sometimes it helps to ask for help- even if you don't like to ask for help. Even finding a support group will help.


Semper Fi Ladies <3

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Long Time No Blog: Start of Deployment Diaries #1

Hey all :) Unfortunately it's been a while since I have blogged!!! And I will warn you now.. this is going to be a LONG one ;)

Chapter 1: Distinguishing between "Families"

 I have been SO busy trying to keep my mind off of this deployment. I went home to Delaware for three weeks, and I spent a week with my family in Georgia. It definitely made time fly by, but it also made me realize that family plays an extremely important role in getting through deployment. Being stationed here is Hawaii has made that so difficult for me, especially when my family and Paul's family is on the East coast and I found that it is important to establish a strong thread of friends in the area where you are stationed, because the people that I have met out here have become my "Military Family". The are the only ones who really understand. Although your family always says they will be there for you through everything, they truly don't understand what its like unless they have been put in the same situation, and most likely they haven't. While I was home I learned that my family really does miss me... Paul's family really does miss him. Everyone has a different way of showing it.

TO ALL OF MY FOLLOWERS... This is where I need your input.. For our families to better understand our lifestyle and situation... please (If you feel comfortable) give me some of your input on this subject.

While we all LOVE our families back at home with everything we have... It's important for us to help them understand our lifestyle. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I love my family to death.. I grew up extremely close with them all. And I was one of the first ones to move away from Delaware. Needless to say; it was a very big deal. I miss my family so much, and its so hard to move to a different place and start completely new. It's been 7 months and some days since I moved to Hawaii. When I was home almost everyone begged me to stay home because my husband is deployed; without understanding that I now have 2 families, they thought I was basically out here just waiting.. which isn't true. I'm "Holding down the fort" for when my husband gets home. This is "Our Home" now and it feels awesome to have our own family together, Me, Paul & our puppy :). I have my family from home, and I have my "Military Family".


Sammy (my sister)- Me- Sabrina (sister-in-law)

Mom- Me- Sammy

Me- Staci (My cousin, DE)

Talia (My cousin, GA) - Me

My Military Family

The three amigos- My support system :)

I think that being separated from people that are going through the same thing as you, makes the situation harder. Although, there are some disadvantages of living with people who "think" they are in the "same" situation as you- it can get very sticky- very fast.

Which leads me to my next subject...

Chapter 2: Drama with the Wives

Well... Each of us thinks that we all know what each other is going through. Even my very close friend and I cant even say that about each other... Something always differs in each relationship. Bree and I have gotten very close and while our men are with each other... call us around the same exact time- when they even do call.. and they have the same job... they are the same rank... and they do the same things... even work out together- I don't know what she is going through because she is under the stress of not being married to her Marine, and I am under the stress of Being married to mine. I can't specifically sit here and tell you her troubles but from my perspective, it has to be hard... Not being the 1st to know if something did happen, less money, basically waiting and the anticipation for him to get home and be married must be insane. But I can say that for me- my troubles are the bills.. questioning- what if something happens to him... I WILL be the first to know... but who would I go to? I am so far from home... So far from my family.. I am alone.. So for everyone who thinks they know- they may know a little... but deep down there is always something yearning.

Publicizing when you talk to your marine also causes trouble. I have seen it cause trouble very close to me and also I have seen it cause trouble from thousands of miles away. Some of us don't get to talk to our Marines as often as we like. Exaggerating from time to time can also cause issues. Don't say its been three weeks, unless if its been three weeks. Because most likely, your friends know- maybe you were with them the last time you talked to him and it wasn't three weeks, it really hurts the people who REALLY haven't heard from their marine in 3 weeks.

Chapter 3: What are you doing to keep yourself busy?

Well... I think to start off we all handle deployment differently but some days- you MUST and absolutely MUST go outside.. yes that entails getting a shower.. putting on clothes maybe put in a little effort to do your hair and makeup... Don't forget to take the trash out on your way! ;) But, no... really.. Be a couch potato. It makes the time FLY BY!! (Sarcasm) -It will make the time drag by actually. This is still my first deployment but three months into it- I have learned a TON! Its so easy to stay completely faithful to your man when you are completely head over heals for each other, so that means get out- have some fun! And meet new people! When you got married you signed a marriage licence- not the deed to your life. You're allowed to have friends. If you trust your husband and he trusts you then my all means- make as many friends as you can! Because I can already tell you- being around the same women who think they are is the SAME EXACT situation as you- will drive you absolutely NUTS and BONKERS and CRAZY! Its important to be a well rounded person. Especially when you are by yourself... EVERYONE will have the days where they want to lay on the couch and do nothing and eat ice cream and watch lifetime movie network all day and that's totally fine!! But get out and do stuff! Meet new people!

I have been playing on a softball team and I have met a ton of new people and its awesome to be around people who know the military lifestyle and respect that my husband is not here. Just because I have other guy friends doesn't mean I am not faithful to my Marine because I made a promise to him- and to God... I will ALWAYS be faithful. I love Paul with everything I have. - But back to my subject of keeping yourself busy... I started selling Mary Kay- which is awesome because I love helping people, and I am helping them keep their skin healthy. I am also moving on base is a couple weeks so I have to pack all my stuff and I am doing it neatly- and being organized about it so I don't have to do it all last minute. So go out- join a team.. go to the gym.. hang out with friends.. meet new people.. get a job.. And deployment will fly by, because it is going by pretty fast for me :) I think that I am coping very well.

THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT I NEED TO WORK ON- but I'm kicking deployments ass :):)

Chapter 4: TIME TO LAUGH


Some really awesome comebacks. Thought they were pretty clever and all you girls could use a laugh!

We get a lot of stupid questions and comments. Here are some responses for the next time you get one.

Do you miss him?
-No. I love being alone. The silence is warming. I enjoy fixing everything that breaks and cuddling with my pillow.

My boyfriend is out of town on business, I know how you feel.
-Yes I hear there is a huge mortar problem in Michigan.

Aren't you afraid he'll die?
-No, I had actually forgotten that that was a possibility, but thank you. Thank you for reminding me.

I don't know how you manage, I couldn't do it.
-Thank god it's not you then. Phew.

At least he's not in Iraq/Afghanistan/Qatar.
-Hes' not!? Shit, that changes everything.

Do you think he'll come home for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary?
-I don't know yet, he just put in his leave request to the Taliban, we're still waiting for a response.

What are you going to do to keep busy while he's gone?
-I don't know. Since he's been gone the house cleans itself, the bills are magically paid, and the kids are angels.

How many days until he gets out?
- Depends. How many days until you join?

You'll get used to it.
-Yeah, the rigorous schedule is something I get used to. I'm actually a robot. I love watching the news, and the surprise missions are like tiny birthday presents from hell. Yes, I'm getting used to it like I get used to a tooth ache.

What is he doing over there?

He signed up for it. It's his fault is anything happens to him.
- Yes, and it's your fault for any teeth you're about to lose.

In my opinion -
-*look at your phone* Sorry, my grandmother is calling from her grave, I have to get this.

That's awful, I'm sorry!
- Don't be, he looked hot doing it. He's good. Did your husband fix your sink?

Why don't you just go see him?
-They frown upon strangers 'round those parts, but by all means, go visit and let me know how it goes.

Don't worry, he'll be home soon.
-Really? I thought we had 8 months left. Thank goodness you reminded me.

How do you go without sex?
- Luckily we hold our relationship to a higher standard than simply our physical contact. Oh, and I have self control. Oh, and I only want one man. It's super easy that way.

What if he doesn't come back?
- Then I will cry until I'm sick to my stomach and I feel like my body is going to break apart. Then I will sleep alone in our bed and have dreams of him being with me only to wake up to him still being gone, knowing he will never come home and that I never got to say goodbye. Oh, too much information? My bad.

Could he not finish college?
- Nah those Taliban guys don't like to negotiate.

How can you support someone that kills people?
- It doesn't count if it's in a different zip code.

Don't you worry he'll cheat over there?
-Yes, I'm super worried that he's going to want to sleep with a woman who isn't allowed to speak or someone he works with and risk losing his job. That's what I'm uber worried about.

How can you marry someone who is gone for so long?
-At least we don't spend 12 months thinking up new ways to hate each other like....oh...sorry.

You look tired.
- Yeah unfortunately the middle east is in a different hemisphere and no one will move it.

You know he's going to miss out on the kids' lives.
- I was banking on them living quite a few years. I think they're good. And we have those crazy telegraph do-dads and boxes that you can talk to people through.

You never know what goes on over there and his buddies aren't going to rat him out.
- Yeah, because they're all eating and sleeping.

The time will fly.
-Time will fly, pigs will fly, hell will freeze over....I'm still waiting.

You're lucky.
- ....compared to.....?

Fuck the troops.
-*whisper* Seven days.

Wouldn't you rather be with someone who's home? Convenience < Quality

Did you hear about the soldiers killed in -
-Awesome, thank you. I was hoping someone would slip that into conversation today.

Can't you text him?
-Why didn't I think of that!?

That sucks.
- Well aware.

Aren't you worried he's going to come back and go crazy and kill you in your sleep or something?
-Oh that's nothing new.

Are you pregnant!? What if you don't get another chance?
- Do I look pregnant?

Oh he's in the military...the easy way out.
- Do you take automatic weaponry with you to brush your teeth?

You deserve someone who can be there for you.
-Well mine has special powers that yours doesn't.

You should spend more time being proud than sad.
- I tried that and it sucked, so now I'm taking the Ben & Jerry approach. Feel free to ride your butterfly out of here.

The front lines are the most dangerous.
- Dammit, I thought they aimed for the back.

You're single, it's time to party!

If there's anything I can do, let me know.
- I hope you're a magician with unlimited minutes.

How do you do it?
-I haven't written down the process yet, but I'll get back to you
Now- I think I am going to take a break from this entry :) I will definitely try to continue this Deployment Diaries again soon :) there is much more I need to talk about!

Remember- We are all part of this together! We are a team. Team Wives! Now let's Kick ass!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh Dear, Government Shutdown ?!

Most of you all know, there very well may be a government shutdown. If this does actually happen there will be a whole lot of pissed off people.

this picture- says it all.

For those of you who don't know what a government shutdown means,  a government shutdown is said to occur when the government no longer provides "non-essential" services. Typically, services that continue despite a shutdown include police, fire fighting, armed forces, utilities, air traffic management and corrections (Wikipedia 2011).

They are saying that the government is working around the clock to resolve the issue, however, many of us are skeptical. Even the president said himself that he is not ready to express optimism...“I’m not yet prepared to express wild optimism but I think we are further along,” he told reporters. “My hope is, is that I’ll be able to announce to the American people sometime relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted.” (Bloomberg News, 2011).

There really isnt that much more to say about it other than, what other people think about it..
I found an article titled "Military Families React to Government Shutdown". ( Its pretty interesting, but its saying all the same things that we have all been saying. Read some of the comments though.. arrogance and ignorance about the issue is a reoccuring problem in most of the comments.

On a personal note: My husband is leaving for Afghanistan in less than two weeks. He is and Infantryman. He has one of the MOST dangerous jobs in the Marine Corp, but he does it for a reason. He does it for our country, for me, and for his family. I said to him,"Paul, your gonna say you arent going on patrols if they dont pay you, right?" His response was, "No, I'm better than that." That right there should show you how deserving these men are of what they work for. Not paying someone who puts their life on the line for you to live freely, is unfair, unethical, and simply CRAZY.

Most military familes that I know live off of one income, the people that Paul and I rent from, rent to all military families. Whats going to happen, the people we rent from wont be able to pay their mortgage, they will lose their properties. This will affect many more people than they think it will.

Military personnel and exempt Defense Department civilian employees are required to continue working without pay during a government shutdown, according to guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
In a memo prepared earlier this month, Defense officials noted that service members and some civilian workers, including those involved in national security and the protection of life and property, still must report for duty but will not be paid until Congress appropriates funds to reimburse them for that period of service. All other employees will be furloughed, the memo stated.
Military personnel are not subject to furlough.
This is new.
During the last government shutdown, in 1995, troops continued to receive their paychecks. According to Federal Times:
When the government was shut down in 1995, military personnel continued to report to work and were paid, but the planning guidance sent to the services and defense agencies says a shutdown this time will be different.
“All military personnel will continue in normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with exempt or non-exempt activities,” says the draft planning guidance that was prepared for the services and defense agencies. “Military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service.”
(Big Government, 2011)

Also, I heard that if you bank with Navy Fed, the CEO of the bank wil cover all military paychecks, until some type of funding if provided.


Ok, so what are we supposed to do? Usually when the government wants to screw you over they will write you some type of letter to get out of it, and with it being nationwide- people, such as: credit agencies, landlords, banks- they might all be leaniant, and understanding, but there is nothing more we can really do.

We just have to wait, save our money, hope and pray that the government doesnt shut down.

I just thought this was funny :) Angry Marines- are going to be ANGRIER- if they dont get paid ;)

Most of us have the same thoughts; Congressman and the President should all be foregoing all of their salaires before any serviceman or woman is not paid.




Sources of Information

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spending Time

So most of you all know, Paul will be leaving in couple of weeks to go to Afghanistan :'( So we have been spending EVERY second of our time together. One amazing thing about being married to a Marine is that it never gets old. Usually when couples spend every second with each other, they get annoyed very easily. Its only naturally for couples to argue, but I have got to say the past few days have been absolutely AMAZING!

For those of you who dont know... Paul and I went to middle school together... We never spoke throughout high school, or part of college, until one day I got a facebook message. We started talking over facebook messaging (Septemeber 2010).. Then we started skyping, because obviously he was in Hawaii and I was in Delaware (October, 2010). Paul asked me to come visit him in Hawaii.. and I did, in Novemeber.. 2 days after seeing him for the first time physically, he PROPOSED :):):):) and of course I accepted! Then sadly the week and a half I was here, went by WAY too fast, and we decided we couldnt be apart. We got married December 28 2010, and I moved out here to be with the man of my dreams!

Now to get to my point... Our time with each other is obviously very important to us because we dont get a lot of it...

The most amazing thing about being a Marine Wife is that everytime you see your husband... You fall in LOVE over and over again.. and it never gets old.. the days and nights alone, make that one day completely perfect, and the few days that you get before he leaves again... you have no choice but to make them count.

HAHA ;) thought you guys might like that one! His cammies & my dress... uhhh ohh :) lol. JK!! we had to get changed really fast after our photo shoot, and we thought it would be funny!

But anyways.. my point being.. spend as much time as possible.. make it count.. and look forward to the homecoming :)

The past few days, we have done so much together. We saw movies, went FISHING!!, we relaxed, and heck yeah- we kick some ass on Call of Duty ;) (gotta make sure your doing things he likes to do too), we got a photoshoot, and we cooked dinner together! Oh, and today.. Our inner child came out, and we went crazy at the waterpark! I am so excited, we are going camping Monday thru Thursday... On the beach, so that means nothing but surf fishing and some quality time with my Marine before he leaves.

Ladies, Make your time count.. Cherish EVERY second. Love like crazy... Being a marine wife is a tough job.. but also the most rewarding job on earth.


Friday, April 1, 2011

First time :)

My name is Brittany LaManna, and my husband is Paul LaManna, we are the HAPPIEST couple on the earth :) And we are also the STRONGEST! And my new blog will help explain why ;)

So, This is my first time doing this! Not really sure what I am supposed to be doing, exactly, but the purpose of this blog is to inform you all of the things that military wives do. The hurts that come along with being a military wife, as well as the moments when you get the butterflies. Whenever one of us gets upset about a schedule change or our husbands having to leave to go to training, or a late night at work, or a deployment.. we hear "Well, thats what you signed up for when you married into the military."

Well I am here to inform you that, from the words of another sister marine wife(Tara).. "YOU CAN SAY THAT ABOUT ANY JOB, PROFESSION OR OCCUPATION." If people were upset about student loans.. someone would say .. "You knew that when you took out the student loans for school." or if someone was upset about having to deal with annoying kids all day,"Thats what you get for being a teacher."

We all control our lives and there are things that may upset us about everyday life but being upset if just a natural thing.. People get upset all the time over things, and since I am starting this blog, you will see what it is like to be a Marine Wife, through the words of myself, and my closest friends here in Hawaii as well as the supportive people back at home(Delaware).

So, I will start off by telling you that my husband, Paul (who I will speak of A LOT), was scheduled for training until March 26, and was going to be home with me for a little over a month, which was GREAT.. because we havent ever spent that much time together at once. Well I got a call around March 10 saying that he was deploying a month early.. Naturally I am going to be devistated because all I had is a month with him before he goes to the MOST DANGEROUS place in the world at the moment, and that time got cut down to two weeks.. and I recieved so many responses from people saying, "You should've known", or "thats what you get for marrying a marine", or "You knew this was coming." I can not tell you how irritating that is to a military wife.. there were only a FEW people that understood where I was coming from, which was Pauls mom (Terry) my best friend (Ann-Marie), my neighbor (Tara) and a sister wife & very GREAT friend (Cat). Cats husband is on the same schedule my husband is on, so she knew what I was going through, and we are going to stick together through ALL of this! These are the people that I am going to rely on for the next 7 months.. My Military SISTERS <3 If anyone in this world has the right to feel alone it is a military wife.. thousands of miles away from your family and closest friends, and sacrificing all of that for the man you LOVE, who is protecting our freedom. So before you judge, remember... being a MARINE WIFE is by far, the TOUGHEST job in the Corps.

This will basically be my military WIFE diary :) I would LOVE your feedback, and any comments you might have- as long as they are respectful.