Monday, September 29, 2014

Managing Expectations

Can I be totally honest here? I really feel like I have no idea what I am doing sometimes.

No seriously.

In the beginning of the crazy, awesome journey called "Battling BARE" I was only on Facebook. I had no idea about websites or Twitter or blogs or anything like that. Social Media was just fun for me--so the idea of using it as a business just blew my mind.

And then things went crazy...
And the entire team that was working with Battling BARE at the time felt like we were simply holding on for dear life.

Fast forward to today and I am really a one woman show as far as everything really goes, and I really let everything slide for awhile. Even thought about shutting everything Battling BARE related down, but was begged not to by many, many strangers.

So here I am--writing a blog, figuring out what it means to have a Social Media plan, what it means to be the wife of a now retired 20 year Veteran, settling my family into a beautiful home that we don't have enough furniture to furnish--and I've decided in all my home-making to literally build most of the furniture and thoroughly adopt the attitude/philosophy of my secret addiction--The Duggar Family's show on TLC of "Buying used and saving the difference."

This idea means that it'll probably be a full 6 months or so before our home is furnished and "finished"--which drives me absolutely insane in the mean time and delays having a "house warming party" where all our family and friends locally can come see our beautiful new home.

On top of all of that, this move from Tennessee to Missouri has been full of crazy ups and downs, financial adjustments, epic the SUV we bought in June having catastrophic engine failure 5 weeks after we bought it...thus we now drive a Ford Flex (which is basically the result of a station wagon and a mini-van/SUV falling in love and having a baby car...ok, I drive a tissue box, people. Ask my children. And yes, he has a name--Felix!) and are still figuring out what to do with the SUV(--so if you have an engine to a 2007 Ford Expedition you are getting rid of, please let me know!)

On top of all of that, we are still recovering from a $3,000 shortage in July, and I just honestly have to sit back and laugh because isn't this life? Isn't this wonderful journey what everyone goes through? That no matter what we plan for and try to figure out, life is full of surprises and pitfalls and just craziness sometimes--and each and every moment is truly a miracle if we stand back and look at it?

Just this morning, I sat contemplating what to write--thinking in the back of mind that really what interesting things so I have to write about? And then all this just started pouring out.

When I look back over 2014 thus far...I could focus on the frustration of all the health effects from the toxic mold in the Tennessee house and how much money we lost remodeling it--or I could realize all the wonderful memories that were made building an awesome flagstone patio and pergola (like this one from  with my children and my husband.

Here are the plans:

I could focus on my husband disappearing to his best friend's house in Carthage, Missouri (9 1/2 hours from where we lived in Springfield, Tennessee) after telling me he was heading to the store to get buns for dinner...thus inducing a state of panic and horrendous fear in the lives of my 3 children and myself. Or I could focus on the outpouring of love and assistance that came from the friends I've met literally and only through Facebook because of Battling BARE.

I could focus on this crazy move to Missouri that we hadn't saved for or planned because I knew my husband needed to be "back home" where he grew up...close to family and friends. That resulted in our financially struggling for the past few months, my daughter and I's precious Pomeranian, "Chewie" getting killed on the road in an area he didn't know and my massive emotional break down because of all the memories of my 1st marriage that resulted in a double homicide Christmas Day 2004 being triggered because Carthage, Missouri is where my 1st husband and I went on our honeymoon  (Odd the way life comes full circle, eh?) and the 30 pounds of weight can that resulted in all the stress...did I mention that when I am stressed I bake...and let's just say I've been baking A LOT!

Or I could focus on this big, beautiful home that my entire family loves! Here is the front of the house:
--and that has a REAL DEAL laundry room! Here is part of it:
(I gotta let my geeky-mom self out for a sec there!)  a huge great room:
 And a functional kitchen that allows my love of all things culinary to go WILD:
Our new precious Pomeranian, "Reggie". The fact that my oldest 2 kiddos were so excited to be in Junior High and Middle school here in Carthage where they would have still been in Middle and Elementary school back in Tennessee. The amazing recipes that I found to feed my "stressed out baking habit" and have made several times over because of the financial strain forcing me to get creative with what I made my family for dinner.

Like this crazy-amazing pizza crust that we now make once a week for Pizza Night on Friday! YUMMY! (Here is the Recipe:

... and the fact that I have an amazing friend, Lori Harder, who got me involved with her workout group and I have amazing support through a group of women who have all "fallen off the wagon" a time or two in their journey to a rock-hard body.

This is Lori...I love her...and just have to tell you I met her at a conference in California. She was walking into the women's potty in front of me and I blurted out, "Girl! You have the nicest butt ever!" Yeah...I have no filter sometimes. *laugh*

Life is nutty, my friends. Life is anything but perfect--and I know none of you really expected me to be perfect...I just put that idea in my head. So here is to having realistic expectations and being open and honest with everyone.

Here's to this blog being a window into my crazy life in the hopes that you will see you aren't alone in the chaos that is having a family affected by PTSD...and that your perspective will shift so you see all the things to be grateful and in awe of in your life...instead of all the B.S. that will always be there no matter what.

So, I think that is enough "mind dumping" for my first blog post in over a year.
Make today amazing, friends!

And remember to:
Love with PASSION!
Live with PEACE!
Dare to DREAM...for you are worthy of everything you desire and so much more!

-Ash Wise

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