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Preview: Life While Handcuffed to a Lawman...

Life While Handcuffed to a Lawman...



a police wife with three little mice... my heart is handcuffed to my lawman



Updated: 2018-03-06T11:28:29.981-07:00

 



Identity Crisis

2013-11-12T10:42:50.123-07:00

Maybe you saw it coming.  I sort of saw it coming, but I did what I am best at -- I swept it under the rug.  I ignored what I knew was going to happen.

I'm having a major identity crisis.

It's been seven months since we left the LEO life and moved into a completely new and foreign land -- literally and figuratively.  I'm still at a loss for what to do, and most shockingly, who I am.

It really struck me this morning, as I was trying to 'introduce' myself in the online world.  The first things to say were "LEO wife, mom of four..." and then I stopped short.  What?  I'm not a LEO wife anymore, and while I may be a mom of four since when do I only define myself by other people?  Everyone jokes about that -- once you are a mom you completely lose your "own" identity.  But why?  Why is that funny?  IT'S NOT FUNNY.

When I think of who we are as a family, I think "LEO family on sabbatical."  But my husband is pretty darn sure he's not going back into law enforcement.  So where does that leave me?  A dear LEO wife friend was lamenting some LEO-family-specific issues and she felt so bad.  "Can you even relate to me any more? Do you want to change the subject?" Wow. Shockingly, I still define myself by that LEO family title.  And Wife.  And....

Really.  Who Am I?



It is finished.

2013-06-11T11:06:35.341-06:00

This post has been in "draft" mode for quite a while.  I kept thinking I needed -- wanted -- to keep writing but I couldn't decide what to say.  There is so much, and yet so little, to say.  I think this entire post could be summed up in one phrase:

I didn't know I had stopped breathing until I finally took a breath.

The day after my husband worked his last patrol shift, that phrase popped in my head, and it won't go away.  I didn't realize I was holding my breath and preoccupied and waiting and worrying and wondering for every minute of every shift.  And when he had finally worked his last shift, I took a breath.  I started breathing again.  My shoulders dropped down a teeny bit from their tense-tight-worry shrug.  And I had no idea what that would feel like until it happened.

My husband resigned from his agency, and we moved to a new state with nothing but some money in our bank account, a bunch of hopes and dreams, and a rental home in which to lay our heads.  Oh, and lots of boxes.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.

Our new city is recruiting laterals like mad.  We keep going around and around and back and forth -- they work a weird, crazy, pull-out-your-hair schedule.  Will this job -- once again -- cloud our vision from the hopes and dreams we dragged along with us from our previous home?  Would we like some health insurance?  (that's a no brainer!)  Our children have only ever known daddy as a police officer.  While I thought kicking the job would get rid of some of the worse parts of "the police life," there are some things that are still hard to deal with.  I'm not sure if they'll be there forever and The Job changed my husband forever, or if they will slowly and quietly melt away over the months and years ahead. 

What I do know is that it's fun to have a husband.  An awake, available, nearby husband.  And for now, I'm counting my blessings until the next chapter of our life unfolds with our hopes, dreams, and boxes open and free.



Back in the saddle

2012-09-08T10:06:41.055-06:00

(image) I really appreciated Katie's post this week about putting our hearts on the line.   It may be a really common idea, but I had never quite thought of it that way.  While our spouses are out there putting their lives on the line for the general citizenry, those of us who send them off put our hearts on the line.  It described my feelings and thoughts to a "T".

As my husband's law enforcement career winds down, I get more and more nervous that I'm going to send him off and have something horribly terrible go wrong while he's at work.  I've always been a little nervous, but at peace.  Now I think, have we come so far to just lose it all to some nutcase, right here at the end?  Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, whom Katie talks about in her post, died this week after checking out a dead deer on the side of the road.  (A fellow officer initiated a stop, where the suspect pulled over near Officer Youngstrom and eventually took Officer Youngstrom's life.  You can read all about it on the various news websites.) 

Whenever I send my guy back into the fray after hearing all the details about a line of duty death, I'm a little more nervous.  My heart races a little more.  I make sure I get an extra kiss or two before he heads out.  I repeat my mantra over and over,  "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."  Proverbs 18:10  (NIV 1984)  And I try not to eat too much ice cream.

What's your go-to method for calming the fears that find you when you aren't (or are) looking?



Lingo

2012-08-14T23:08:00.156-06:00

I'd been thinking recently about all the lingo that is new and different in the police life. Our speech has changed a bit. A while back I saw a post someone did explaining some of the lingo. Well, I've forgotten who that was (let me know and I will link up if that was you!) but I thought I'd put my own list, because there are some that are just too weird.

Packing
1. Placing everything you need in a suitcase or bag, ready to go
2. Placing the only thing you need ~ your weapon ~ in your holster of choice, typically concealed

Heat
1. The act of making something warmer
2. Your weapon

"20"
1. The number on the bill I get out of the ATM to pay for stuff
2. Your location

Sus
1. Music: from Italian sostenere, to be performed in a smooth sustained manner (I come from a hugely musical family so this is a serious problem for me!!)
2. short for "suspicious"; That guy breaking into the car is sus.

Perp
1. Short for perpetual
2. Short for perpetrator

BOB
1. The new reader books my kids like to read: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers(image)
2. Short for Bail Out Bag, which will quite possibly never be used but must be stocked with the very best equipment ever

Weekend
1. Saturday and Sunday
2. Whatever days you aren't working

Friday
1. The day that comes before Saturday and after Thursday
2. The day that comes before whatever days you aren't working

Monday
1. The day that comes after Sunday and before Tuesday
2. The first day you work after your weekend

What are your favorites?



Breaking Up Isn't Hard To Do

2012-08-11T23:08:35.603-06:00

Dear Blog,

Although I think about you all the time, it's been about five months since I've visited you.  I've been so busy.  I know you can't really relate, seeing as how your visit count has never really been all that high.  But this blog was never about you, was it?  It was all about me.

So, as I was saying, I've been busy.  Do you remember I was pregnant with kiddie #4?  Well, I had labor pains with that baby for almost my entire third trimester.  Oh man, was that scary.  Eventually I did deliver that baby (a girl, to my utter shock!) and only a week early.  She was huge, 8 pounds 11 ounces.  That's huge for me, especially since my first kid was only 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Well anyway, thankfully I didn't almost die (like another lady in labor that day) but I sure had some damage which kept me, well, really injured for a while.  The baby had a stay in the NICU because she had some complications, too.

The best part of all that is we now have a precious, sweet little girl.  I'm almost completely healed, and for all this time my dear husband has been home helping with the kids and causing a ruckus.  He's just gone back to work, and we'll see how long he lasts.  :)

When little one (still haven't thought of a blog name for her yet.... not sure I'll need to, but we'll get to that) was about 2 weeks old we decided to move, and move we did.  It was the first time in our marriage that we moved and boy, was it painful in so many ways. But we've moved and have a temporary landing spot for now, with most of our stuff in storage.  [ED. NOTE: When you have most of your stuff in storage, don't watch Storage Wars with your kids.  They'll freak out that someone's going to sneak in and sell your stuff while you aren't paying on your unit.]

My husband wants to quit his job.  He's getting older, and I think police work just doesn't feel like his life dream.  He doesn't feel like he's making a difference in his life.  I think there are other reasons for that besides his job, but let's not digress now.  I want him to be happy, but I also want him to be paying the bills if he wants me to continue to be the primary educator in our little homeschooling family.  I was hoping his little break from work after the baby would give him some clarity on what he wants to do.  Instead, he took care of me and the kids and moved and took a three week vacation.  Not too exciting, and definitely no clarity there.

So, dear blog, it's been harder for me to get by to visit you. I guess I also don't need you as much any more.  I don't have so much angst over my husband's job, which I would ruminate on and think about via this outlet.  Although I wouldn't know what it would be like to be married to not-a-cop any more, I've finally realized I'd still have the same husband.  Sure, maybe he wouldn't have permission to carry off duty any more like he does 24/7 now (he'd be permanently off duty!), he'd still have the same personality and heightened awareness of life.  So if I'm not back too often, please don't take it personally.  It's me, not you.

Love,
Handcuffed Heart



Recently overheard...

2012-03-18T04:54:57.985-06:00

We had popcorn and game night at our house recently, where I am usually responsible for the "popcorn" part and not so much the game part. This particular evening it was video game night. While I was tending to something popcorn related, my husband was helping my 7-year-old get the hang of the archery game.

"After you release the arrow, just hold steady. It's just like shooting a gun." Or something like that. I forget the exact piece of advice (maybe that's why my time at the shooting range is not ever that impressive).

Now when has our seven year old ever shot a gun!?? Never.... But considering the source of the advice, I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. ;)



Courage

2012-03-06T19:36:01.162-07:00

Found this floating around the internet recently ~ and oh, my, did it speak to my heart. Even if you aren't a believer in the Big Guy Upstairs, I think we can all agree that courage is a necessary ingredient in a life as a significant other to a police officer.

Dear God,
Give me COURAGE, for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need COURAGE as I witness my husband's departure for duty each day.
I need COURAGE as I see him put on his uniform because I know the abuse that perhaps he will be subjected to before he returns from his tour of duty.
I need COURAGE in dealing with the children when he is working long hours during demonstrations or on an investigation.
I need COURAGE when tensions buildup on the job and pressures at home to mount and life becomes almost too much to bear.
I need COURAGE to stand firm and not to succumb to the urge to run away from problems.
Help me to have the strength to be a COURAGEOUS and Valiant Woman, when I learn from the media that a "police officer's been hurt."
The next time I waver or grow faint-hearted, Help me, O Divine Master, to be COURAGEOUS.
And, having found the source of strength in You, Help me to reach out to others, who may be just as scared as I.

Amen

Prayer given at the DC Police Wives Installation Dinner, on June 15, 1973, by Reverend R. Joseph Dooley.



Control What You Can

2012-02-22T05:15:00.847-07:00

We've spent the first seven weeks of 2012 being enmeshed in a crazy new schedule with crazy new stress at my husband's department. Our computer has been at the computer hospital for a few weeks so I have been relegated to "connecting" via my smart phone. "Relegated"? Since when did society become so entitled? But I digress...

I've been through the whole shift change thing enough times to know that you just have to let it happen to you. You can't force it, you can't make it be something it is not or something you are not. You just have to go with the flow. I'm not like that. I like a plan. I can go with the flow when there is a plan in place. (Don't you roll your eyes at me!) So in the first seven weeks of being back to graves after almost three years off and major, huge stress at work for my husband, I'm getting my butt kicked.

In the eight years of our marriage, I have never once sat down for three hours straight and "discussed" my husband's job with him. Sure, I hear plenty of stories every day, but I don't get three hours of straight entertainment. And it's happening regularly now. The stress and frustration and irritation are oozing out of him and pouring over the rest of us at home. He's trying to not let it, but... it happens.

With all this background (and does anyone even remember I'm still busy building lungs, bones, and vital organs?!?!), it should come as no surprise that we had a day of "intense fellowship" this weekend. He was angry. I was hurt. I got angry. And it never got resolved. Some of it just can't be resolved right now. There is all this crap, serious C-R-A-P floating around in our lives and it seems so overwhelming.

Now that I'm at this point, I don't care anymore. As my friends keep badgering me -- in the nicest way possible, I'm sure -- "When are you going to buy a bigger car? When are you going to move from your 700 sq ft house to a bigger house since you're going to have four kids?" I've hit on, "I don't care any more." Of course I care, but I'm beyond worrying about it. The most amazing revelation someone once gave me was that YOU cannot make ME feel anything I don't want to feel. You can't make me feel dumpy, sloppy, stupid, or ugly, unless I give you permission. In all of this, I WILL CONTROL WHAT I CAN. I can control how I respond. And that's about it.

Every situation, and every dilemma I encounter, presents me with a choice. Will I get my panties in a bunch and freak out, or will I put on my big girl boots with a good attitude? Talk to a friend who has no job. No food in the cupboards. An eight-year battle with ovarian cancer. My choice to do the best with what I have and not throw a temper tantrum seems much more clear cut.

Of course this weekend I absolutely did not follow this advice, and what a waste of time and energy that was.



Dear Officers On The Corner

2012-01-16T05:30:00.871-07:00

Dear Officers on the corner,

I write to commend you on your handling of the crazy man in front of the cafe last week. I was out running errands in town with my three young children when they excitedly noticed the two police cars with lights and sirens pulling up to the curb nearby. There was a man in handcuffs screaming about being unjustly cuffed. A nearby employee mentioned he's a regular. As in, regularly in cuffs. There were four officers handling the situation, and the man was screaming.

I was very impressed that none of the officers were yelling back at this obviously disturbed man. I was impressed that they weren't joking with each other, or casting sideways sneers his way. Thank you for handling this man, who many would consider the dregs of society, with respect and dignity. I know there is no reason you should except for the goodness of your heart. I also know most of that goodness is tested, banged, and tarnished every day by those whom you serve, and deign to tell you that they pay your salary.

Thank you.



Thankful Thursday

2012-01-12T05:32:00.793-07:00

I'm thankful for an awesome OB/GYN who listens to my baby's racing heartbeat (a perfect 140) and says "That is one of the best sounds in the world."

I'm thankful for good health insurance.

I'm thankful for little baby feet stomping on my bladder.

What are you thankful for this week?



Thankful... but I need some help

2012-01-06T13:49:00.263-07:00

I was inspired by Katie over at My Daily Bread Crumbs to get back into my habit of posting my Thankful Thursday musings. It was a good habit for me to be in, to actually practice mindful thankfulness and be willing to look for the good in my life regularly.

Anyway Thankful Thursday came and went this week. oops.
(image)
This week I was thankful for our car. It is comfy, it works, and I never worry about it. It's reliable and wonderful, and unfortunately too small to cart around four kids. We bought the smallest car seats we could find (Sunshine Kids, now officially Diono) so we could fit three across in the back seat. They fit. Barely. So I'll be happy to move up to a larger car (I guess?) but I sure will miss this car. I am so thankful it has been so good to us all these years.

I'm also thankful for my husband's job. But he's gone back to graveyards and I'm forgetting how to make it all work. Including myself going to bed at a regular, normal time. :) So I'm asking for help -- what are your tips and tricks for making graves work in your family?



Works For Me Wednesday -- Soap

2012-01-06T02:01:38.334-07:00

In light of my ever-hopeful-hope that we will move from our tiny place with an impending fourth child moving in, I've been trying to declutter and really use up things from my stockpile.  One thing I have not used in a long, long time is bar soap. I was an original convert to shower gel and liquid handsoap (FREE of triclosan, thankyouverymuch).  No bar soap for me!

However, one of the items in my stockpile that has grown is bar soap.  I don't use it, so I wouldn't buy it, but wouldn't you know there is plenty of it in our closet!?  It's come from gifts and gift sets, and I decided now was the time to use it all up.  So the kids have been using it and it's going well.  It's totally not as gross or icky as I had made it out to be in my mind.  However, being the frugalista that I am, I want to know:

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE TINY LEFTOVER PIECES OF SOAP SLIVERS?

I have an answer for you.  I tossed them in the bottom of one of the foaming handsoap pumps I'd saved for refills, added some water, and voila!  It "works for me" -- not just on Wednesdays, but every day.  And wouldn't you know, the kids prefer the bar soap over the foaming soap!?!? 

What do you do with the leftover tiny slivers of bar soap?



Well Hello There, 2012!

2012-01-01T16:22:56.824-07:00

Happy New Year.  I guess I have to say that, although considering I'm still stuck in November 2011 as evidenced by the fact that it has been about six weeks since I last posted.... well, I'm in a bit of a quandary as to how to welcome 2012. 

We have had a glorious holiday season.  DH had much of December off, and we spent more time than I can remember in recent memory laughing, giggling, and having a wonderful time.  But all good things must come to an end.  School and work start up again next week and already the stress and "police mentality" is creeping back in.  While I'm so grateful for the wonderful, wonderful time we have had together, I'm also battling the "What if's..?" in hard-core style. 

It doesn't help that we're starting the new year with a bang -- literally -- in the law enforcement community.  I follow a variety of law enforcement related facebook pages, and after reading about the three deaths across the country on this first day of the year, I ran across this status update from Wives Behind The Badge: "We're following the story in Washington and will post the official notification when it is available. Sending prayers to all involved."

That made me so mad.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I'm so tired of "following the story" of the crazies in the world that think it's open season on our law enforcement officers.  Mostly, I think it's that I don't want to be part of the next story y'all are following.  So when DH comes home all angry and burned out and treating us like we are suspects on the verge of running and in need of incarceration, I'm very inclined to encourage him to go get that job at Starbucks.  I sure would work less at not worrying. And maybe we would all be -- albeit poorer -- a lot happier.



That was my one last nerve!

2011-11-19T13:46:15.223-07:00

I don't care where you work -- if you're a cop, you automatically have a big fat target on the back of your uniform. You may work in a more "dangerous" area -- cities that people across the country may hear of and know about, and not for their beautiful beaches and friendly people -- or you may work in a neighboring jurisdiction that gets the overflow from one of those crappy towns. The longer my husband is in law enforcement, the more I learn that there are all kind of cops working for all kinds of agencies (ever seen a Postal Service Police Officer? I have!). And they all have their unique idiosyncrasies.

There has been major tension in our larger metro area lately, with lots of conflict between the cops and the illogical, left-leaning, narrow-minded citizens that see the uniform my husband wears and make all sorts of assumptions about him. And they don't even know him! Now, generally speaking, my husband's jurisdiction is rather benign. One of those places where you automatically think "Oh, that's not too bad," but at the same time they get the overflow from some of the more nasty towns around.

So, yeah, I feel pretty "safe" when my husband goes to work. (What a joke that is. But that's for another post.) He's gotten plenty of his shift buddies out of jams in his years on, been crashed by a drunk driver... but really? It's not that bad.

So imagine my surprise when I was driving home with the kids in the car recently and I heard the breaking news that there had been a shooting right in the middle of DH's jurisdiction. When he was on duty. In the middle of his shift. In the middle of his jurisdiction. Did I mention he was working right then?

Like I recently said on Twitter, my insides died a little while I heard that tiny snippet. I knew not to call him. If he had been the shooter, or on the call during the shooting, or been shot, he's wasn't going to answer the phone. If he was providing support to the whole situation (highly likely, eh?), he wasn't going to answer the phone. So I just had to breathe... and know that whatever had happened had already happened. And I would know if I needed to know and when I needed to know. I called my brother and had him comb the internet for details -- just find out who got shot, was it a good guy or a bad guy? I hung up and called home to check the messages remotely. No messages. Ok, I think that's a good sign. I think.

It turned out to be a good sign. About 90 minutes later DH called and my insides collapsed in relief. Yes, he was still on duty. No, he wasn't on the call. No, he wouldn't be coming home on time. Yes, I would need to scramble for a babysitter. That "late home" and "not available for you" part sucked. But I didn't even care when I knew he wasn't involved in the incident.

I'm having a hard time synthesizing my feelings about the whole thing. The multiple incidents piling up -- a fight here, a shooting there, crazy morons here, obscenities and profanity... all in one week? I can take it spread out but shift after shift after shift, working 12 hours on with three days off spread over 14 days?

If I'm having trouble, how are these officers doing it?

DH had a glorious day off yesterday and now he is back in the trenches. I'm sorting through my feelings, and definitely not discussing with my non-LEO friends because they cannot wrap their mind around it. Oh, and potty training. And cleaning up barf. That's what we are doing today. What's on your schedule today?



I do it all. Except....

2011-10-29T07:47:43.137-06:00

I pride myself on being able to sit down and take it. Not in a "do you know it is domestic violence awareness month" kind of way, but more of the "just do it" way. I schlep uniforms to the cleaners. I speed-racer ironed academy uniforms (then said "no more!"). I pack lunches at dinner and make breakfast for lunch. I have my weekend on Wednesday and Thursday and celebrate Christmas on any day in December that starts with a twenty-something. Heck, I celebrated Thanksgiving for several years straight at the police station!If you are a LEO family this is no big news to you. And none of us (usually) are complaining, it is just a reminder of what our normal is. It is one heck of a different kind of normal than most other people I know. That is why I was knocked on my butt this week when I realized there is something I just won't do when it comes to the police wife life, because as I have just explained, I do it all. bulletblocker.comMy husband brought home his body armor for a good cleaning. Some wear them over their shirts, some under, but if you have half a brain you wear your freaking vest on duty.  This is the one piece of equipment that kind of creeps me out.  It's this ugly, smelly, nondescript thing that could very well save my husband's life at the very best or at the very worst make a horrible injury much less severe.  I'm happy he is bringing it home for cleaning, but it sure does give me the creeps.  Oh, did I already say that?  Well, it does.  He's scrubbing it and cleaning it like it's a pair of boots he's sloshed through a homeless encampment in and all I can think of is "Please don't die, please don't die, please don't die."Which is totally *NOT* like me.  People ask me stupid questions like this All. The. Time.  "Don't you worry?"  "What would happen if...?"  From some people I know it is sincere and they are truly concerned.  But other people who are asking me stuff; it almost feels like they have no right to ask, well... don't get me started.I was doing ok ignoring the whole thing and keeping it together until I saw this little tiny rectangular piece laying on our bed (because really, where else would you clean this stuff?!).  A little bigger than a 4x6 index card, I think.  (I'm not sure, I didn't look too long.)  The Trauma Pac.  Now, this picture over to the right is just a representative photo I found on a message board on the great world wide web.  But I can tell you that if that tiny little rectangle with the nice "Trauma Pac" description and "second chance" were sitting there on my bed WITH AN OUTLINE OF A HEART like this one has, I would have been through the roof.  I almost had to pick it up and put it under the bed or in my husband's sock drawer because I had such a strong reaction to it.But I'm tough.  I do it all.  I'm a police wife.  So I kept my freaking-out-ness to myself and just in passing mentioned it to my mom the next time we were chatting.  It felt good to have it off my chest and I could move on.  I can't tell you how ecstatic I was to have that thing all put together and back in my husband's locker... yes, doing the job it was intended to do, keeping him safe(r) and sweaty on the streets.Is there something about the job that is like nails on a chalkboard to you?  This one is certainly mine![...]



It's such a funny place

2011-10-15T15:12:07.638-06:00

I've been a bit emotional lately (more on that in a minute) and really been mourning the loss of that good friendship.  Ok, mourning isn't the right word, but maybe "recognizing" the loss.  The difficult part is, our children attend many classes together (remember, we homeschool?) and so I have to see their family on a regular basis.  Makes the absence a little more.... obvious.


This week I found out that this former friend is pregnant.  And guess what?  [drumroll please....] I am too!  So it's making me even more nostalgic about how fun it could be to be pregnant together, and recognizing that it's just not going to be like that.  It's ok.  It's a stage.  But I can still "miss" it.  And be emotional.  ha.

So if you want to be my pregnant buddy, I'm totally looking for new applicants.  JUST KIDDING.  Yes, for those of you counting, this will be our #4, and this is the first time I'm really wishing I had that pregnant buddy along for the ride with me.  It's just that every pregnancy is less and less glamorous (if you have had more than one, you KNOW what I am talking about) and I'd love to share it with a good friend.

Happy Saturday, strange world!



update

2011-09-12T16:44:01.827-06:00

I said goodbye to the teeny-tiny church and unfortunately, had to also say goodbye to the main friendship I had there.  I did the best I could to say goodbye, but things are never as they seem.  Evidently I'm a demanding, perfectionistic friend who will only be friends with you if you are perfect.  Yeah, I got the line "All we've ever tried to do is make you feel welcome and cared for...."  Thinking back on the conversation, I laugh.  She's the tall, skinny, beautiful mom who regularly cleans her house and cooks delicious meals for her family and her house is always all neat and picked up.  As a squishy mom [ahem] with piles of crap everywhere at home (including more dustbunnies than one could ever want), and a favorite meal of chicken nuggets and potstickers (organic, but does that even count?!?) I find it hard to believe that I will only be your friend if you are perfect.  Then again, you feel how you feel.

Talking through the conversation with my mom, I thought of all these things I wanted to say.... and she gently helped me see that defending myself to them isn't going to help.  So for now I'm mourning the loss of what I thought -- quite mistakenly -- was a deep, wonderful friendship and wondering how not to get myself in this predicament again.  sigh.

It's always something, isn't it?



realization: church

2011-08-14T18:10:34.650-06:00

The best piece of advice I received a few years back was from the wife of a sergeant nearing retirement (in fact, he's now retired). She told me [paraphrased], "You can't do everything. You have to give yourself permission to smile and say 'no.' Most people will not understand what it's like to have a husband in law enforcement and what that does to you and your family. You build your own hedges around yourself and your family and to heck with everyone else." Actually she was probably even more mild than that (that's who she is) but it really stuck with me.

It sounds lame, even now, as I've written it here. Of course! Set your own boundaries. Be good to your family. But I feel that in law enforcement our boundaries can be so different from everyone else's -- and for reasons which are more or less incomprehensible to those around us.

(image)
http://www.cumberlandchurch.com/

I'm still in the mode where I feel like I do everything by myself -- not just social events, but the entire life of our family. I won't list everything out because it will be bad for my psyche, but one thing I've really been struggling with lately is church. No, I'm not going to get all religious on you, just work with me here and know that we go to church -- more often than not -- on Sunday mornings.

When I say "we" I mean myself and the kids; husband is either working or sleeping on Sunday mornings. We've been going to this nearby teeny tiny church started by our friends but it's such an effort. There's nothing restorative or regenerative or inspirational about Sunday morning for me with three kids in tow there. It's a chore, and certainly not a joy, to participate in Sunday morning. For the last two Sundays, however, we've visited a church I attended years and years ago when I was very single and very childless. It's grown and changed in all these years, but some of the same dear people are there, as well as some "new" dear people our family knows now, too.

The guilt is, I've enjoyed being there these last two weeks. It's all the things I haven't had at the teeny tiny church. But it's 20 minutes away as opposed to 10 minutes. I'll be leaving behind friends who I'm sure will be crushed at the teeny-tiny church. And I can't decide if I'm being selfish to just "church-jump" this way or if my family really will benefit from being at this other church more permanently. The clincher for me is that my husband might actually -- gasp -- go to church with us at this new place. That would seal the deal for me if we could all worship together.

I'm dialing this in to the "married single mom police wife life." If I wasn't as dry as the Sahara Desert I wouldn't be craving a sort of restorative Sunday morning like I am. But, here I am. It's how we roll at HHPD these days. And as a LEO wife, I'm not expecting anyone else to understand, or agree, but I think I'll be jumping ship to this new church shortly. And I'm sad. Again.



Here she comes, there she goesI

2011-08-08T22:45:46.880-06:00

It's been a bad summer. Today the minutes ticked by past the "witching hour" ~ the moments when I had expected DH home, then hoped he would be home, then started checking every car that drove by to see if it was someone delivering bad news. About half an hour later, the phone rang and the first thing my husband said was, "We're OK," [and you always know this comes before the "but"] "but I'm going to be late."

So, so, so grateful today. Trying to focus on what I have instead of what I don't. I'll be happy when this summer is over.



Department Politics

2011-06-21T17:37:16.304-06:00

I know it's a brotherhood. I know I should be grateful that anybody covers my husband's butt on any kind of call so that said butt can come home every night from work. (Although there are a few out that who would actually make the call worse... but I digress.)

In the midst of all this "brotherhood" there are politics. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that there is bickering. I have three kids. In fact, I spent a bunch of time today mediating all that "bologna" with said three kids. So I know how it is.

But adults? ADULTS? Seriously!?!? My husband does the best job he can, every day he goes to work. He's been injured ON THE JOB and kept working while getting treatment. He busts his butt to actually -- get this!?!? -- do his job the right way.

To be fair, I love my husband dearly, but he does have his faults, too. I especially can't stand how black-and-white everything is for him. It is absolutely right or absolutely wrong. Yet, he can also be the most forgiving cop there is, taking the stance that showing someone mercy may have a much bigger impact in changing their behavior than a measly citation. He's a conundrum, that one.

So when I know all this about him, about how he works so diligently and hurts so much.... when a superior starts spreading rumors about him, you'll see why I'm a little peeved.

In the real world, my husband would calmly, and politely, call them on the carpet. He would nicely say "I hear you told your whole team I'm a lazy tard. Can you clarify for me the problem you see with my work, so that I can improve?" But of course, dear sweet husband can't do that. Because then the "rat" (who told my husband about the rumor-mill-maker) will be outed and my husband cherishes his brotherhood. He is so grateful for the "rat" who told him he's being falsely accused of x-y-z *behind his back* and now he knows he must watch out for said back.

I'm just livid.

How do you handle department politics? Because I'm sure not doing a great job of handling them right now.



Treats for your Sweet

2011-06-20T10:10:12.044-06:00

src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=handcheart-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003TRL74E&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align:left;padding-top:5px;width:131px;height:245px;padding-right:10px;"align="left" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"> src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=handcheart-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000EJRA9Q&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="align:left;padding-top:5px;width:131px;height:245px;padding-right:10px;"align="left" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0">

Ok.... Now I know I feel 100,000 times better when I don't eat junk, but with stuff out there like this.... who can resist? Make your own chocolate candy from molds (right) or just order the badge pre-made as a blue lollipop to hand out to your adoring fans. Either way, you'll be "popular" (cue music from "WICKED" which I love).

It's summer! Go out, have fun! We are. :)



Spring Thaw

2011-05-26T08:06:57.813-06:00

Life is swirling at an unbelievable rate these days, and I cannot keep up. 

I thought that with this shift rotation everything would be "great."  Husband is working a modified day schedule (starting in the late morning) and I thought it was close enough to the type of schedule that "regular" people work that it would be great for our family.  In a way, it has been great.  But there are other things, like interpersonal stuff, in our marriage that I thought would be helped by this schedule too. 

Is it no surprise they aren't? 

People say that with kids, it's not about (fancy) "quality" time but quantity.  I guess I thought our marriage would benefit from time together at the "right" time of day (i.e. when I am awake and husband is home and not working).  :)  I don't think it's worked out like that.  It's almost been worse, like there is the expectation that it would be better but it's not so therefore it's worse.  So maybe it's no surprise that I haven't posted for over a month.  School and life has been kicking my butt and I've been so discouraged.  (And I've gotten addicted to Words With Friends.  Oops)

So now, of course, I'm posting because I have good news.  Because I cannot stand to be the bearer of bad news, Debbie Downer.  We're on vacation!  Forever!  Just kidding.  It's not forever but it feels like it.  :)  I'm realizing that I do actually like this person I married (just in case I had forgotten.... which I somewhat had, let's be honest) and I don't remember laughing as much as we have been.  Along with lots of other things, that's the thing that will stand out the most about this spring thaw: the laughing. 

I've said it for a while and this vacation is proving it.  We don't have any big plans to go anywhere, and I think that's good.  Everyone needs to chill out and "thaw" once in a while and for those in law enforcement it's even more important.  I'm thankful, so very thankful, for this thaw and praying for some great progress in so many areas of our marriage and family. 

How about you?  How do you thaw out from life on a regular basis?



Job Description

2011-04-22T00:06:18.723-06:00

Remember back in February how I wrote about my husband's new job description? I recently read an article where an officer was fired for a Facebook status he posted (big surprise) that said something to the effect of "going to take out the garbage at work tonight."

Guess if I want my husband to keep his job I'd better lay off the "My husband's a garbage collector" line. :(



Fundraiser For Brian Stow

2011-04-14T19:54:01.360-06:00

If you follow much of the EMS world, you may have heard of the SF Giants fan who was beaten in the parking lot on opening day at Dodger stadium.  He is a paramedic in the San Francisco Bay Area (near The Happy Medic's stomping grounds) and a father of two young kids.  There has been a huge outpouring of financial support from all sorts of places, including SF Giant's pitcher Tim Lincecum today announcing he is donating $25,000.  You can read about them all on the Support4Stow blog.

I was excited to see a fundraiser that speaks my language: jewelry.  Stella & Dot Jewelry, to be specific.  Go to the Support4Stow blog to see all the ways you can donate, or head straight to Stella & Dot for 100% of the commission on your purchase to be donated to Mr. Stow's family.



I've Seen Better Days...

2011-03-23T16:01:42.270-06:00

While I cannot rival Mrs. Fuzz's recent bout with kidney stones and craziness, this last week has not been the best.  I suppose I could write my list and say "this went wrong" or "that was bad" but it would mostly be whining and complaining and, well... pointless.

It's been a week that cannot be categorized. Between lack of sleep, illnesses, worries, conflict, and weather that has sprung from spring to winter, and autumn and summer in between, well, who can categorize it!?!?  So while trudging through life with the weight of too many things on my heart, I've come away with two helpful thoughts.  Not totally original ones, but they are getting me through the days.  Of course, with three small people in tow at all times, the most basic saving grace is: "The days are long but the years are short."

I find it easier to live until bedtime when I realize that I most absolutely must live in this moment. I will never have this moment back again.  I had a friend in college who listed the number of seconds on the back of her front door with a catchy phrase that you will never have another one of those seconds back -- ever -- and to make every one of them count today.  It's the same idea.  I may be wishing for sun while it storms outside.  I'll get my sun.  Not today, perhaps, but it will come.  And when it does come, I will wish for rain because the water bill is too high.  Instead, I choose to cherish this very moment because it will never come back to me and I want to remember it most sweetly.

As I lay on the floor of my children's room last night, willing the snuffling baby to sleep by shear force of my will, my daughter reached out with her tiny hand to stroke my cheek and search for my hand.  She would shift a bit and then rearrange herself so that she could still reach a few of my fingers and hold on to them.  I always race out of their room as quickly as possible after lights out so I can throw myself on my bed, count the many hours since I awoke and the seemingly-too-few until I must wake again tomorrow.  But last night I didn't.  I cherished their tiny room, crammed with my desk and their clothes and my grandpa's law enforcement cast offs from the 1950s.   That moment will never come back, and some day my daughter may not reach for my hand like that.

But I was there, for that moment, and I will never wish to go back and "re-do" it because I screwed it up so badly.  Other moments, yes.  Last night? Not a chance.