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 I’m lucky in the sense that I came to police wife bizarrely well-prepared for the trauma.

I mean, I spent a few months working at a center for domestic violence victims.  I studied the effects of rape, sex trafficking, and other kinds of trauma throughout college because it’s a field I wanted to work in.

While it better prepared me to help my husband cope with the horrors of his job, there are some things you just can’t prepare for.  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 did not want to know.

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

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.

To The Police Wife Who’s Struggling: You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Hey there, it’s me.

I see you over there.  I know you’re feeling broken down, frustrated, and overwhelmed.  Sometimes this life is just way harder than you imagined, am I right?

Sure, at first it seemed a little exciting – after all, admit it: uniforms are super sexy.  And you’re so proud to have a husband who’s a real-life superhero.  But after the excitement wears off, it’s just flat out tough.

After all, when you said “I do” to your husband, you might not have realized he’d have another wife – one that’s much needier, that calls him at all hours of the night.  One to whom he responds, every single time.  It’s hard to feel treasured as a wife when there’s something else that always comes first.

And that other wife?  She can be a real wench, right?  She sends your husband home tired, frustrated, worn out, even traumatized at times.  You can’t ever really tell what his response is going to be after a long shift, whether he’s going to shut you out and refuse to talk, or whether he’s going to need to feel close to you (even if he still doesn’t want to talk.)

5 Ways To Make Money From Home And Spend More Time With Your Family

Have you ever considered working from home?

Honestly, I’d never thought much about it.  All the work from home jobs I’d seen before seemed spammy and questionable, or were part of a multi-level marketing scheme (although, to be honest, I joined one of those once simply for the discount :))  The problem I had with that was, I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else.  I didn’t want to be locked into the number of hours I needed to work a week, or have to follow someone else’s set of rules.

What can I say?  I just like doing my own thing.

How To Set Goals as a Couple (And Why You Should)

I was so excited to set New Year’s resolutions this year.

I mean, my resolutions aren’t things I plan to do every day or anything, just goals I want to meet by the time 2018 rolls around.  Two of them are just mine (losing 15 pounds and publishing a book), but the third is one my husband and I are working toward together, and that is to save up a down payment for a house.

It’s been so exciting.  I mean, it’s only February, but we’re relatively on track with our plan to save money each month.

And even more exciting than us progressing toward that goal is the time we’ve been able to spend thinking and planning together.  We spend a lot of time thinking about what we’d like in a house, what kind of neighborhood we’d like to live in, how many rooms we want to have, how we think A would like having his house, whether we want a dog someday, how we’d like to garden, and so on and so forth.

Having a goal in common has been amazing for our marriage.  There’s something about rallying each other to meet our big goal and getting to celebrate each accomplishment together that has made us excited about each other and about the future again.  It reminds me of when we were planning our wedding, and I’ve loved every second of it.