It’s a Wonderful Life

Do you ever scroll through your Facebook/Instagram/photo albums sporadically?  I was doing this today.  I was originally looking for a specific photo, but this turned into a fifteen-minute, nostalgic affair.  My Facebook starts in 2006, so there are a lot of memories, photos, life events, and posts to see.  I did not look through everything, but I did notice something – it’s a wonderful life.

No, not the film.  I really have a wonderful life.  I have the opinion that social media only exhibits the positives in life, so perhaps my view of life is skewed.  On the other hand, perhaps this is a way of social media presenting all the good in my life – the things to cherish, remember, and enjoy.  In all honesty, who would want to remember the funeral they attended, the year their basement flooded, or the numerous struggles and disappointments in life?  As I scanned through 10 years of photos, I saw many things.  I saw life in 4 states and 3 countries.  I saw the birth of 3 additional children.  I saw birthdays, holidays, parties, accomplishments, and even the random events (I have an entire album titled, “Random pics from random things”).  There have been struggles – so many struggles – but maybe it is okay to remember life as these happy moments.

I tell people all the time that Andy and I live a fortunate life.  Most people, knowing that my husband is active-duty, look at me like I have lost my mind.  How is your life fortunate when your husband has deployed to a war zone 4 times and spent 2 years in Korea over your nearly 13 year marriage?  How is your life fortunate when your child/children have spent half of their life with a father away for work?  How is your life fortunate when you and your family have moved 6 times in this same 13 year period?  I could go on and on, but you see the gist.  Yes, it is hard.  Yes, it is extremely frustrating, almost daily.  Yes, I have become an expert on packing, moving with pets, school enrollment, and living day-to-day.  Despite all this, we have lived a fortunate life.  Here are the pros:

–  We have lived in so many amazing places; in fact, we have a difficult time picking our favorite.

– We have 4 children born in 3 different places (Tennessee, Washington, and Germany).

– Our children have traveled more than some adults, and they are cultured, educated little demons.

– Before I married Andy, I felt fortunate to have traveled outside the United States once.  Just once.  In our marriage, I have traveled to ten different countries.  I have taken my children on vacations I could only dream of as a child, and the future opportunities are endless as we venture to our next assignment!  The girls even ask things like, “Can we go to Paris again?” or “Is the beach better in Spain or Italy?”  What a TERRIBLE childhood they are having.

– None of us are fluent in a foreign language, but we all know enough to fluctuate between 4 languages for basic conversation.  How cool is that?

As much as I would love to complain when Andy is gone for a month or of another yearlong remote assignment, there are perks.  I told my brother this about the military:  you take the good with the bad.  There are plenty of days where I hate it and would love to crawl up in my mom’s arms, sob, and just let someone else deal with it all.  But most of the time, I embrace the challenge and keep my head up for my husband, children, and the positives that life may bring.  It’s a difficult life, but when it is good, it’s a wonderful life.

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