12 Years and counting!

We have been married for 11 years.  Together for 12.  I’m often asked by newly married couples, “How do you keep the magic alive?” My response: “What magic?”   *laughter*

I don’t think marriage is about magic, feelings, or even attractiveness.  Although those things have a place, they are not the end-all-be-all of marriage.  Marriage is work and lots of it.  There are many good days, but there are also many difficult days and days when you feel like you just can’t take another minute.  But days like that should become less and less as times goes on in your marriage.

I share often with younger couples how my mother-in-law told me to take out a sheet of paper and write down the 19 worst things my husband could do to me that would cause me to leave him.  I said, “Why?” to which she replied, “That is not important right now.  Just do it”.  So I did.  My list was filled with things like cheating, looking at other women, and even ignoring me for days on end.  My mother-in-law then said, “All that you wrote, you must forgive”.  My mind was blown, but I promised to do just that.  My husband used up most of the list within the first year.  She told me once the list was done I had to make a new one.  I’ve been keeping to this system all these years.

I think once you remove divorce out of the equation of your marriage, you have a chance for success.  This by no means remove the pain and heartache you will feel. It only allows you to have the ability to work things out without the option of walking out.

We celebrated our anniversary in Brussels, Belgium.  If the military had not stationed us over here in Europe, there is no way we could have done that.  It was an amazing trip, and we truly enjoyed ourselves.  We sit back and think of how blessed we are each day to be living overseas.  How wonderful it is to know we can see all of Europe while we are here!

Here are a few of the pictures from our trip.  Share with me how long you’ve been married and what has helped you in your marriage.

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Neg late Not acceptable

Wow, when was the last time I posted something here?  Its not like my life stopped, on the contrary, it got very busy and exciting.  Now the question is, how do I bring you up to date on all that has been going on?

I think the best way is the start off slowly and allow it all to come back to me as I try to write it all out for you.  I think I will go month by month.  We have only been living here in Germany for 10 months now.  First I would like to bring you up to date on our move and the new home we got, well, that is if I have not already told you about all that.

So, let me do a little bit of looking around on here, things have changed since I last logged in, and see where I left off so I can pick up from that point and move on up to now……

Arriving!  

Our flight was long and most uncomfortable☹️. The excitement of flying to another country quickly disappeared as we went from flight to flight. 😰😰The long layovers did not help at all.😤 We boarded our final flight around midnight. There were paperwork issues that the pilot told us about which caused multiple delays. 2 a.m. Ready for take off. Yay!  🤗Announcements. Now lights out!  


I slowly drift off to sleep….Oh, boy.  Now what? Baby screaming. Nooooooooo! I’m exhausted.😢😢😢 Lights come back on and the attendant asks if we want a drink. No, I want to sleep. 😴😴😴😴. I pull out a book and try to read, but my eyes are too tired. I give up on that. This baby will not stop crying, and the mother seems to be indifferent to its screams. 😭 We are now 4 hours into our flight, and that baby has not stopped crying. The sound is ear-piercing. Now my headache kicks in. Ugh. Hour after hour the baby cries non-stop. Don’t they realize I have not been to sleep for over 24 hours now?  Phew. The crying finally stopped, and I laid back once more in this tiny seat. Turn left, right, and back to the left to find a position that will work.  Ahhhh. I find one, and off to sleep I go……..Nope. The crying  is back, and even louder than before. I give up on sleep. 

We arrive in Ramstein at 1400 local time. Now time to get off this plane of more than 100 people. This is going to take a while. We get our carry-ons and wait. My head is spinning. I soon realize that I’m no longer in the US. I start to feel very homesick. As the tears form in my eyes, we began to move off the plane. I hold back all my emotions and walk off the plane with more bags than I can carry. They pull us out of the very long line to check my husband in.  Yay, I think to myself. We won’t have to wait in that long line. Paperwork begins and the unthinkable happens. We are told to go back to the line, only now we are last because we got out of the line as instructed. 😡

Now to find our sponsor, get to the hotel and sleep. Not just yet.  We have to go through customs. Not too bad, since we did not have to wait very long.  I’m tired and now very hungry 😋.  What now? Our bags will not fit in the sponsor’s car😡. Another soldier comes over and helps. There. All done. Now off to the hotel. We get our room 🔑 and unload the car. Now the sponsor drives us to the commissary to get some food. You know the drill. Shopping while you are hungry is never good 😊. I buy junk, junk, and more junk. After all, I can’t get non-kosher food, so our selection is very limited. I’m too tired to look for kosher food or even go back to the room to cook. We find a bag of chips and soda. How awful is that?  

The sadness is back. My husband scarfs down the food, showers, and trots off to bed. He is sleeping like a 👶. The room is cold, and there is no heat. We arrived just as the Fall season began. This adds to my unhappiness, and all I want is to speak to family. The room offers free WiFi, so I log on and Glide my family and friends. I was hoping it would help, but it made me feel even worse. I finally fall off to 😴. Day one is done.  Check. ✅ 

My first Tishah B’Av as a Jew

 Tehilim 137:5-6 has been in my heart over a month now. –If I forget you O, Yerushalayim……If I do not set Yerushalayim above my highest joy…….
Spending this Tishah B’Av in a hotel has really put things, for me in a different perspective. I watched the news last week and saw how much hate is in the world and how we, as Jews, have allowed our differences; which should have brought us closer, to separate us. We can not depend on the world to accept us, love us, or want us. We must do these things for ourselves.  
I don’t think there is a Jew alive today that does not want to stand before the Beit HaMikdash. We must see and understand different as to what we should or should not do in prayer, eating, or dressing but we all agree on returning home and Hashem is Echad 
My heart is heavy and my mind is filled with sadness but it more about us as a people and the division that we have allowed the world/diaspora to create. I pray that we, today can just think on Tehillim 137. As we perform the service of Tikkun Chatzot, we recite Eichah and Kinnot after reciting the Kinnot following Eichah we recite the passage of Ve’atah Kaddish, ‘and You are the Holy One” and the full Kaddish without Tiskabeil until minhah, we will also have in our hearts to end the division that separates us all.  
Before the onset of Tishah B’Av, we enter the synagogue and remove our shoes. We pray Maariv slowly and tearfully, as mourners would pray.  
My mind was filled with many thoughts and feelings.  
For everyone who is fasting today, I wonder if we, as a people, would accept Moshiach today? Each group has its own idea of who this is and what will happen. Who’s group would he side with, if you please. Any group that is not upheld as “right” would reject him as the Moshiach. Sadly, if it is the group of the majority that is rejected……….
I’ve felt deep sadness over the loss of the Beis HaMikadash my whole life. It has never been a day thing for me in which I turn on my sadness as soon as sun set and then turn it off at sunset. It has never left me. I am in no way judging those who mourn and cry today. I just could not feel that way when the sun set last night. I tried, I really did but it was not real. It was forced and I could not, in good faith, continue. As I said, I’ve felt it all my life. 
So today, like any day, I morn the lost of our Temple and look forward to the day it will be rebuild.  
May we all have an easy fast. (For those fasting)
I pray I have not offended anyone. These are just my thoughts.

Post pack out and PCSing

This might only be understood by those who left Christianity. In the morning, I had a routine of worship. I would wake and turn on some worshipful music and pray. As a Jew, I pray, albeit different, and often with less joy. (Truth can be hard to admit).
Over the pass few years I’ve tried to find Jewish music that had the worshipful connections to it. I found maybe one or two songs that I really connect with.  It is not to say that there aren’t songs within the Jewish genre, it is just that I have not found them.  

When ever I try to find something familiar, I often stop myself from singing it because it contains verses that I no longer hold to be true.  We are in the mist of our PCS move out and the house is pretty empty house and quite.  There are no chairs to sit on or tables to work from.  I find reading hard because I am always laying on the floor, which is super hard, or I am standing and holding the book.  I can;t really study like I would would like right now.  Music seems to be my only true outlet and I don’t have it to calm my soul.  

I often feel my mind is going a hundred miles an hour and there are no breaks to slow me down.  I’ve been thinking about spending my days at the book store.  At least there I would have a chair, a table, and some good coffee…..hahaha

We are living out of our suitcases.  Some have asked why did we ship our HHG so soon, well, I figured we could be comfortable here or there.  I wanted to ship them so that we will not have to wait months once we are there to get back to “normal” life, what ever “normal” is for an Armywife.  

Let your light so shine……

I remember my parents telling me stories of how MLK was viewed in the world. They said that the FBI would put out all kinds of lies about thing he never said or did. They wanted the world to dislike him and see him as a trouble maker. It worked for the most part back then and many said he was a trouble maker. J. Edgar Hoover made it his life’s mission to discredit MLK not for th
Change is hard, no matter who you are. A friend shared with me last night the fear she has for her husband who is a police officer and black. I was in tears as I listened to her share her fear. They are expecting their first child. 
I want to speak to my Jewish brothers and sisters for a moment. we have long known what it is like to have false reports made in the media about us. We have faced many hardships in this world and felt the hate of others simply because of who we are. It is not to say that there are not Jews who do wrong-criminal acts-because there are. There are Jews that hate others simply because of the color of their skin. We are in no way perfect. 
This is also true of black people. Our struggle has been felt for more than 400 years. As an African American Jew, it is even worse. As an African American Jewish police officer, it is just as bad. At some point, we as Jews must learn to rise above the biased news reports that are plaguing our world today and seek after truth before we post or repost a report. 
If you are a Jew and you are a member of groups that promote hate in any form, you must ask yourself one very important question: why? Why is it ok for me to claim to be a bearer of light and promote darkness? We as a people must rise above this type of stereotyping. They’ve stereotyped us all our lives. Let’s start today to bring love into the world. 
Lies are often disguised in truth. will you promote the lie for the small amount of truth it may contain?

Unaccompanied Move is done!

July 5, the movers came to pack our UG.  You know, the shippment that goes on a cargo flight.  I was so excited.  It was our first shipment to Germany.  It made it all seem real, that we will be living in another county for awhile.  The movers were very nice and polite but a word of caution: it is true that you must keep your eye on everything they pack and write on your paperwork.  DON’T SIGN UNTIL YOU ARE SURE.  They will try hard to get you to sign at the end without reading or really looking at what they have written.  Make sure your “high-value list is complete.  Be sure each box is clearly marked with what was packed.  Don’t let the packers tell you how they will pack your stuff, it is yours and at the end you will have to live with your lack of care.  I made a time speed-up of the move.