3 Ways To Improve Situational Awareness (Without Becoming a Nervous Wreck)

I’m so bad about sitting in my husband’s preferred seat in restaurants.  I always manage to sit in the spot where he’ll inevitably give me the look that says, lovingly, “move it.”

At first, I thought it was weird (and annoying), but after 7 years of dating and marriage, I understand better what’s going on in his head.

When he looks around while I’m talking, I know he’s paying attention to me, but I also know he’s checking where the exits are. He’s thinking about where he could duck for cover if needed. He’s wondering how and when he’d draw his gun if he needed to. He’s assessing whether anyone in the restaurant gives him a weird feeling.

3 Reasons To Go To Church as a Law Enforcement Family (And How To Make It Happen)

Most people live for the weekend, celebrating Friday as the last day of the work week. Saturday is for sleeping in and resting, getting caught up on house and yard work, and spending time as a family. Sunday is another day of rest, and for many, it’s the day to go to church. 

We all know this isn’t the case for those who work the weekends. Friday is typically the busiest night of the week, Saturday is full of overtime opportunities, and Sunday is often just another day on the job. In the law enforcement field, someone always has to be at work. And that someone is often one of our husbands. 
 
It has always taken me a while to come to terms with the loss of the “typical” weekend. Sure, the days off are nice in the middle of the week and you won’t hear me complaining about having a three day weekend every week. But after three years of my husband working as a first responder and a police officer, I have done my fair share of “actual” weekends without him. 
 
One of the hardest parts of these weekends is getting myself and two kids under two to church.
 
Honestly, it would be so much easier to just stay home in our pajamas.

10 Ways To Have A Game Night When You Can’t Be Together

Technology is pretty amazing, isn’t it?  I mean, think about it.  We live in a time where if we miss someone, we can instantly contact them via text or social media or anything.  That wasn’t the case even 10 years ago.  Heck, I remember spending many of my teenage years warning people NOT to call me until after 9 (or else I’d go over my minutes and get in trouble!)

But I think a lot about my husband’s grandparents when I think about this topic.  My husband’s grandfather was a game warden, and his grandmother has said there would sometimes be as long as a week at a time without word from him.

A week.

I mean, they’re an awesome example of a strong law enforcement couple, because he passed away a few nights before their 76th wedding anniversary.  Talk about commitment.  But I can imagine it wasn’t always easy.

Now that we have smart phones, we can keep in touch at all hours of the day (or night) via phone calls, texts, or even FaceTime sessions – which is amazing for law enforcement families!

To My Son Who Sees His Daddy As a Super Hero

To my sweet little boy,

I love how much you love your daddy.  Even though it sometimes pains me when you’ve been a butt for me all day and you’re an angel for him, I love the way the door opens and you drop everything and run to him, demanding he pick you up.  You wrap your arms around his neck and want to tell him all about your day.  He might not be able to understand a word of it, but it doesn’t matter.  You just want him to know all about the adventures you had that day.

When you see your dad, I know you’re seeing so much more.  You’re too young to really understand his job yet, but you know there’s something special about what he does.

Regardless, he’s your hero.

24 Open When Letter Ideas for Police Officers

If you’ve been on Pinterest for any length of time (or been in a long distance relationship), you’ve probably heard of “open when” letters.  They’re letters you pre-write for a particular person for them to open when something special happens or they’re feeling happy/sad/lonely, whatever.

I LOVE them.  I think they’re such a fun idea, and they especially appeal to me since I like writing (hence the reason I blog :)) and they’re an inexpensive, meaningful gift idea.  I love homemade gifts, and one from the heart like this really appeals to me, especially because it can be enjoyed for a long time.

If you want to make a set, just choose however many you’d like to do (say, 5 or 10… or 24, if you’re really feeling motivated!) and write out the letters however you’d like.  You can type them or hand write them if you’d like, or type to get it all formatted, then copy it down in handwriting if you want to make sure it’s perfect (or if you’re okay with stuff being scratched out as you go, that’s fine too!)

She is a Girl: Why your Husband’s Female Partner is your Ally, Not Your Enemy

It’s late.

He should have been home by now.

He said he was going out with the shift for a beer or two, but that doesn’t take three hours.

You check your phone.  Again, nothing.

You check Facebook to see if maybe there was a call that made them leave work late. Nope, still nothing.

You check other social media, you check your phone one more time, and you even spend a minute or two listening to that scanner app you downloaded a few months ago to no avail.

The fear that your husband is in imminent danger suddenly gives way to doubt when you remember the whole shift means the whole shift, including his new female partner.  Suddenly, the concern you had for your husband has turned into pure jealousy.

Now you think, he’d better have a darn good explanation for being late.

4 Ways to Hold Tight To Your Faith When Your Faith Is Shaken

I feel like before I became a police wife, I didn’t really know much about the world.

I thought because I worked in a domestic violence shelter I really had a handle on the worst things in life.  I felt like I understood it and was prepared for the emotional toll it would take.  And even though my husband does his best not to tell me the worst stuff he sees, he’s also better able to separate himself from the emotions – so he doesn’t always realize the stories he tells me are things I didn’t want to know.

And sometimes after hearing these stories, I can’t help but wonder: why did that have to happen?

I mean, the question is really a classic one.  Who hasn’t asked the question, “why does God let bad things happen to good people?”

Ending Locker Room Talk Starts At Home

Have you ever heard the saying, “a mouth like a sailor”? 

Well, I’m here to tell you that the saying should be updated to “mouth like a firefighter”. 
 
Our nation’s first responders are hardworking heroes. They work long shifts and often see humanity at it’s most vulnerable. They are quick on their feet and the first ones to arrive in someone’s time of need. They are professionals on the job, dressed in their uniform, trained to help in crisis and efficient wherever they are needed. 
 
But my husband recently let me in on a little secret: back at the station, all “hero/professional” vibes are off. Men who acted professional on scene are now able to relax, and the “locker room banter” is often free to flow. Since the firehouse is not a typical professional work environment, the firemen are able to relax, put their feet up, and speak uninhibited. From replaying work scenes, cussing every other word and speaking inappropriately about women (both in their lives and outside of it), the firehouse can quickly resemble a ship on the high seas, full of cussing sailors. 

5 Things Being A Police Wife Taught Me About Life

Something about the last few days has made me contemplate where I used to be versus where I am now.

Maybe it’s because my son is about to turn two (where did the time go?), maybe it’s because I realized I’m now closer to 30 than I am to 20 (seriously, where the heck did it go?), or maybe it’s just because, well, I’ve grown a lot over the last year alone, let alone the last 5 and 10 years.

It’s amazing to look back at who I used to be and think of all the differences.  Just under 10 years ago, I moved out on my own for the first time.  I learned how to live alone, I learned how to manage my money, I worked all kinds of jobs and lived in my super small studio apartment that I was insanely proud of.

My husband was just my boyfriend at the time, and had barely started applying to police departments.

We had no idea what life had in store for us.  Looking back, I feel like we were just kids.

The 10 Best Educational Apps For Toddlers: Guest Post

Hey, everyone!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that my most recent post for My Joy-Filled Life is now live!

When I first became a mom, I was dead-set on never letting my son play on my phone, tablet, or even watch much TV.  I was sure I’d be soooo good about keeping him away from screens and being a low-media mom.

That’s one of the many things I’m now totally eating my words on 🙂

Don’t get me wrong:  there’s definitely a time and a place for electronics.  My son isn’t consuming media all day long, every single day – but I’ve found that electronics can be useful tools.  And not just to give me a short breather, but also to help teach him different concepts in a new way.