I woke up to several posts on my Facebook wall thanking McDaddy for his service to our country. I was humbled to think that several of those posts came from blog readers I have never met.

If you knew McDaddy in real life, you would know that recognition or attention is the last thing that he desires. But he is certainly appreciative of each of you who took the time to think of him, and thank him. And I am, too!

Our lovely little church has been planning a Veteran’s Day service for a number of months. I knew it would be the kind of service that would make me†regret putting†mascara on because I get all emotional and sappy about stuff.

As it turns out, I was right.

I was humbled to escort McDaddy into the service. My mascara lasted approximately 3.4 minutes.

We were seated near a World War II Veteran†who†worked for†months in a 7,000 bed POW hospital.

Two other World War II veterans were honored for their long-standing serving overseas.

Another Veteran was credited (and honored!) for saving a comrade’s life.

I didn’t feel worthy of sharing a pew with these men. They had served for years in foreign countries. Witnessed horrific events. True American heroes.

When McDaddy†first told me about this upcoming deployment, I acted like a brat. OHYESIDID.

I slammed stuff. I cried. I said “I TOLD YOU SO.” I questioned. I cried some more, and then I got quiet. It was like I had hopped on a roller-coaster and couldn’t get off.

But here’s the thing; I am so freakin’ proud of McDaddy. And I support him. It’s just that I know how tough these six months are going to be. When the kids go to bed, it is sooo†quiet in the house. When I’m cheering for the boys at a ballgame, and I think about McDaddy being alone in a foreign country, it’s almost more than I can bear. He’ll miss holidays. And both of our 40th birthdays. School activities. Important events. You name it. He’ll miss it.

Deployment†is not easy. In fact, it was the hardest time of my life.†But, when McDaddy took the oath to uphold the constitution, and protect this country against all enemies – foreign and domestic -†he meant it.

He meant it with every ounce of his being, because that’s who he is.

And when I took a vow to be his wife, guess what?

I vowed to support him – for better or for worse – in this endeavor.

And I sometimes need reminded of that.

So, as I sat and listened about†the sacrifices of these true American heroes,†(one received FOUR purple hearts, AND SAVED A LIFE!) a tear ran down my cheek. And when McDaddy†presented a World War II Veteran with a plaque and saluted him, I cried the ugly cry because I could tell McDaddy was holding back a tidal wave of emotions.

It was enough to give me the swift kick I needed to get a grip on this thing.

And believe me, I needed one.

I was humbled and honored to participate in the Veteran’s Day service today.†Political affiliations†and beliefs aside, we are all citizens of this great nation, and we, as responsible adults should be praying for our leaders to make sound decisions, and for every single service member to make it home safely to their families.

And, remember that any day is a great day to†thank a Veteran for his service.

There are some pretty special Veterans in my life (my father-in-law, my cousin, and two great uncles) and I’d like to†thank them for†their brave service and sacrifice. Words could never properly express my gratitude.

And to the most important Veteran in my life, I would like to say that the boys and I love you and support you. We are a team, and we will get through this. The boys are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, selfless example as their most important role model. You are my hero.


The Crazy Is About To Get Crazier

From Inmates To Playdates went live in November, 2008. With†a limited†knowledge of HTML†(which is code for crazy computer language – so really it should be called CCL) and a flair for the dramatic, I had hoped that I’d be able to make a go of this bloggy thing. With a little bit of luck I thought that I might†have a handful of readers who would stop in here every few days for a daily (or every three days) dose of crazy.

As luck would have it, I did get the handful of readers.

And then another handful.

And finally, another handful.

And that first handful started leaving sporadic comments.

I’m not real sure when or how it happened, but somewhere between the giveaways, the reviews and the blog carnivals, y’all showed up here.†Who would have thought that†this boring stay-at-home-mom (who rarely stays at home) from West Virginia (who uses way too many commas) could write anything that would motivate people to read my daily ramblings,†because let’s face it, there are at least two of you out there who think that every West Virginian woman is barefoot, pregnant and toothless in the kitchen.

Or on the porch.

[And you might as well go ahead and include run-on sentences to that list, too!]

But alas, that is not the case.

I mean, I AM a head case. But I am not a barefoot, pregnant, toothless head-case.

Because if I were pregnant (who cares about those other two?), I’d be over in the corner somewhere rocking back and forth, wondering how long my mental stability would stick around now that I was facing deployment and pregnancy. BUT JUST TO BE CLEAR, I AM NOT PREGNANT.

Late Friday evening†(and after I cleared the specifics with The Pentagon) I wrote†the post about the impending deployment.†

It wasn’t long after hitting publish on that post that†I†began receiving comments and e-mails and Facebook messages and phone calls letting me know that you all – my loyal blog fans (LBF’s for short) – would commit to praying for my family as we prepare for this time of separation.

*Excuse me while I wipe tears.*

And as I sit here pecking out words on this screen, I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate every single message you all left for us. And I know McDaddy does too!† I read each one with tear-filled eyes and mascara running down my face because I was doing the ugly cry.

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving on us and leaving such beautiful words of comfort, encouragement, and concern. You will never know how much it means to us here at the McResidence.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And another thank you for anyone I might have missed.

It’s going to be a long, several months, but fear not! I will be here every step of the way documenting as much as the journey as I am permitted by law and the Department of Defense.

Folks, the crazy is about to get crazier.

And me and my flair for the dramatic would†love it if you’d come along for the ride.

The Bearer Of Bad News

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here this week, you’ve probably noticed a somber tone in my writing. While I try to keep things light around here (because let’s face it, people have enough of their own†drama without coming here and reading about mine!) honestly, that’s just not possible all the time.

While I’ve danced around this subject for the past two weeks here on the blog, what I really want to say scream from the top of my lungs†is OUR LITTLE FAMILY HAS BEEN HIT WITH DEPLOYMENT AGAIN AND I AM NOT ONE BIT HAPPY ABOUT IT.


That felt good.

While we knew there was a chance he might have†to serve another†sentence assignment, the news was still hard to stomach.†There were tears at first. And then anger. And then more tears. And then OH MY GOSH WE HAVE TO TELL THE BOYS.

Oh, and our boys?

They are troopers.

They responded to the news by getting the globe and finding the location. And then, they talked about what all they would do for daddy while he was gone.

We each have different ways of working through the news, and I can honestly say that our boys, our sweet boys, handled the news better than I did. And if I’m being honest, I haven’t completely worked through the news because it is still like a fresh, open, raw wound. It is tough to work through news like this. There are little minor details that need to be worked out, like who will change the air conditioning filter†while he’s gone,†and then there are the biggies, like updating†the†power of attorney, and figuring out how McDaddy can balance the checkbook from half-way around the world so that me and my mad math skills†don’t land us in the poor house.†

Deployment†feels a little different this time around†because we have been through it once already, but†when he delivered the†news, it was as if he dropped a bomb in my lap. I was not expecting it, and just like the first time†I felt angry and scared. I was angry because it feels like he just returned from Guantanamo Bay yesterday, and I was scared because, well, these are perilous times we live in. Over the past few months, McDaddy and I have talked extensively about his military career. He joined the WV Air National Guard when we were juniors in high school and so this is all we have ever known. Still, it is like unchartered waters because he is not going back to Cuba. And, unlike last time, we will not be able to visit half-way through.

That means for six L-O-N-G painful months, we will be apart.†And as I sit at my keyboard with tears†streaming down my cheeks, I am scared.

I’m scared about our boys getting sick or having an accident, because he is always the voice of reason.

I am scared for his safety.

I am scared because†our boys need him to check their homework if they stand a chance at passing math.

And I’m scared that my emotional stability may not be up to this challenge.

And I’m angry.

I’m angry because our country is in a mess making this deployment necessary.

And if I’m being honest, I’m angry because†there are servicemen who have never been deployed, yet, here we are for our second go-round in three years.

I know that probably†sounds selfish.

And I’m sad.

I’m sad that my boys have to go through this pain again.

And mostly I’m†sad that this man, this man I love with every fiber of my being will be all alone and away from everybody and everything that is familiar to him.

And that makes my heart hurt in a way that I cannot describe.

So, on behalf of our family, would you commit to praying for us? First, that God would prepare our hearts and our minds for this difficult time of separation. (Because honestly? I need it badly.) And secondly, and most importantly, please pray specifically for McDaddy’s†safety while he is away from us.

I know that in times like this I have to trust.

But man, it is so tough when the mountain is so tall and you seem†so small.

And so it begins…..

Happy Thoughts

Our little family has had a stressful weekend. I am trying to occupy my mind with†happy thoughts.

Like my sweet, handsome fellas.

Happy times in the Jeep.

Beautiful sunsets on the beach.

Knowing that this man comes home to me after a long day week at work.

Happy reunions.

World travels.

Crazy, happy times.

†And remembering how proud of this guy I am for his dedication and sacrifice.

I am blessed to share his life.

And right now, that is what I am focusing on.

Happy thoughts.


Something To Smile About

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my bloggy†friend, Allison, inviting me to be a guest blogger over at her place. We met virtually through our mutual blog designer, and hit it off once we discovered a mutual love for Dr. Pepper. (Anybody that loves Dr. Pepper has to be a great person, right?) When McDaddy was deployed, I was suprised to receive†a goody box filled with items from the Dr. Pepper museum in Texas (where she lives) to cheer me up (and it worked!). I was humbled that she†took the time to let me know she was thinking of us.†Each year, we exchange Christmas cards (and pictures and letters) and†if I am ever in Texas again, meeting Allison is on my list.

Each year Allison hosts a project on her blog benefitting two charities that are near and dear to her heart. You see, she and her son Will have both had cleft-palate surgery. This year, I am honored to be a part of her annual†Project Smile.

Twenty years ago, I received a new smile too, and I would love it if you’d go over and read my post, and then share about something that makes you smile. Your comment will cost you nothing, but will help a child get a new smile.


Here’s how Project Smile†works:

Go over to her blog, Leave a comment†on†my post (AND any posts dated May 24 through June 24, 2012, the first anniversary of her son, Willís cleft palate surgery). For every comment received, (you may only leave one comment per post!)†Allison will personally donate $1.00 to both Operation Smile and Smile Train. It costs you nothing yet gives something that is priceless! Feel free to spread the word, share the link on FB, tell your friends, and by doing so, you are sharing a smile, literally and figuratively!

Now, what are you waiting for? Get over there!