Bullocks with Butterflie Wings

best of 2010

Posted in blogging, concerts, deployment, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 30 December 2010

My BFF MeganDubYuh is starting up a nifty little End of Year meme that I wanted to be sure to participate in. Here’s the deets for you to follow along:

“It is so easy to focus on the negative things in our life. Let’s all take a minute to talk about the best moments of 2010. In the five categories below list out your #1 from 2010. Post it on your blog and link back to this post (and post to Mr. Linky at the end of the post). We can use this as a blog hop and to review the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century.

The categories:

Best song to sing along to in the car.
Best movie.
Best TV show.
Best website to waste time on.
Best memory you made.

My Answers:
Best song to sing along to in the car
hard to pick a Best song, but the most frequently listened to was “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas – Sidney absolutely LOVES that song and would request it for each of our MANY road trips

Best movie.
Toy Story 3

Best TV show
What Would Brian Boitano Cook? (thanks @ajuribe for the super laugh-fest recommendation!)

Best website to waste time on
Facebook. Seriously, I couldn’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve wasted on there.

Best memory you made
There’s no #1 best but here’s a few amazing memories that were made: first official deployment ceremony, sending off my man;
becoming a Scentsy Independent Consultant;
road tripping from NM to WA w/ my BF MeganDubYuh;
the ups and downs of R&R;
visiting my high school BFF for the first time in 9 years;
seeing The Black Crowes for a second time – woo!;
meeting some of my Tweeps, @sara0120, @ajuribe, @tammymunson and @armywifebethany;
making friends with some of the lovely other spouses of Taco’s unit, and the Twitter MilSpouse community…and finding that we really can make it through one of the most difficult events of our lives

I must say, this year has not been a boring one!


a vicious cycle

Posted in deployment, military by MommyTaco on 28 December 2010

Ahhh, the deployment cycle. That never ending process that looms in the back of the minds of Military Spouses. For your entertainment value, I made up my own MilSpouse version of the deployment cycle (seen at left).

I started thinking about the cycle tonight, remembering a few of my fellow MilSpouse Tweeps (wow, I really just used that word), who are gearing up to face a deployment of their own. It makes me think back on when I was getting ready for our deployment. Thinking of who was getting into their stages of Excited or Ooo La La. I think how I felt a little pang of jealousy at those who were welcoming their men home just as mine was leaving. I wish I hadn’t felt jealous, because I was so excited for them to be reunited with their men but still, it is only natural. As this deployment cycle clicks to the next stage for all of us, I’m going into Excited now and others are soon to be Emotionally Unstable. I will be doing my best to keep the excitement low-key and remain a support to those facing their hardest moments.

Please remember each and every one of our MilSpouse Family just as we remember their spouses who serve.

Frontierville (not)Anonymous

Posted in blogging, deployment, games, military, technology by MommyTaco on 31 October 2010

Pre-ramble: I have an addictive personality, and relish the thought of living in a virtual realm. RPGs are the bane of my existence and I forbid myself to touch The Sims again until The Boy (and future children) are graduated and out of the house.

Sometimes I wake up early (i.e. before The Boy) only so that I have quiet time while I feed my cows and geese on Frontierville. That’s right, I’m a Frontierville junkie and it seems to be the only thing that I look forward to in the day. As John Lennon put it best, “whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright.”

As sad as it seems, this is what gets me through the night. Once this deployment is over, I have full intentions on cutting the habit – cold turkey – and deleting the wretched program. Honestly, what is wrong with me that I would rather feed some virtual chickens and harvest imaginary potatoes than wash the dishes in my REAL sink? It’s such a waste but at least there is something I actually have motivation for.

It started on R&R, when Taco was home. Rather than going out of the house and doing things together, we opted to save money and have a stay-cation. (FYI: I hate that word.) Where did we stay? Our dining room table. It was a pretty sad sort of set up, I had my laptop and Taco had his netbook and we sat there for hours at a time feeding animals and harvesting crops on Farmville. I had tried the game before, but decided it was the biggest waste of time I’d ever made and let my animals starve and my crops whither. Taco, however, has been obsessed with it almost the moment his foot touched the South Asian sand. No, there must not be more gratifying things for him to do over there. But again, whatever gets him through the night.

Naturally, these crops of his could not be laid to waste for two weeks while he was at home, so I decided that if I couldn’t beat the addiction, I’d join it…temporarily…or so I thought. We sat there at the table together where we discovered a new addiction: Frontierville. Oh joy! Now there were TWO virtual wastes of time to harvest! I even became ecstatic when Zanga announced the release of the free Farmville application for the iPhone/iPod. Now I could harvest my strawberries while spending productive time on the shitter!

I have since deleted Farmville because it took up entirely too much time to plant, harvest, plow and plant again. Frontierville? Yeah it’s still there and my frontier is bigger than ever. I’ve strategically planted my crops not only where I know I’ll have enough energy to harvest at once, but also I’m planting for the most pay-out. Same for my animals: I will feed 50 Ox over 50 chickens because the Ox give out more food when you sell them.

Besides the mental distraction for myself, it has continued to be something that Taco and I are able to do together. It’s better than getting back into Word of Warcraft, and we don’t have to depend on his crappy internet connection. On the very rare moments that we are online at the same time, our conversations will always lead to what the other needs help with on their Frontier. What items do we need to complete missions? What crops do we need harvested or the likes? It’s quite ridiculous that this is how we are spending our precious time talking and of the things I look forward to the most, it’s the moment where I delete the application from my Facebook and put my foot down that he does the same thing. It’s bad enough how much time he spends on the Playstation, God help us if the Farmville/Frontierville addiction continues on top of that.

P.S. Anyone want to be my Frontierville neighbor?

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 14

Posted in blogging, deployment, military, technology, travel by MommyTaco on 24 September 2010

Here I am almost a whole month since my last post and even a few weeks behind on Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. I have been dealing with what I’m going to call the Deployment Blues. Absolutely nothing tickles my fancy, especially sitting in front of the computer. I’ve mostly been reading books or knitting, which suits me just fine. There’s a “real” blog post brewing in my brain, I will probably post that here in the next week or so. But for now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another MilSpouse Friday Fill-In (I’ll do a catch up for the past missed weeks later).

This week’s questions…
1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad)
I would have to say that I have more confidence as an individual. I have never been the type to rely on other people or feel the need of being around people all the time. Yes, I miss my husband like you would not believe, but I feel accomplished at not being a sobbing ball of mess 24/7 with him gone. And let’s face it, girls/guys, but we’re pretty much on our own with our men/women gone. I am just super blessed to have an awesome support system that I know I can lean on when I am just having one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from ‘Tis the Life of the Army Wife)
Well that’s a tough one. I am going to throw a generic answer out there and say anywhere with mountains and lots and lots of green trees. I have gone visiting a ton of people over the last year, but I can’t remember the last time that I had an honest to God vacation. i.e. no agenda, no responsibilities other than the daily Triple S (shit, shower & shave).

3. If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue)
Like if I could name what restaurant to be put in place? Hmmm…that is hard because the Ft Bliss PX is going through a major overhaul and will contain a shit-ton of stuff already. I suppose I would pick something that you can only get back home, Taco Box.

4. Where did you go on your honeymoon? (from Pennies from Heaven)
Non-applicable. Still waiting for our honeymoon…maybe this coming summer?

5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
I’m going to refer back to a previous question/answer from MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 2, question #1

“happy” anniversary to me

Posted in cooking, deployment, food, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 30 July 2010

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

Five years ago today, I married the love of my life and my very very best friend. I walked down a home-made aisle in my grandparents’ backyard to one of the most beautiful songs of all time – “Grow Old With Me” (originally by John Lennon, but we used the Peter Breinholt cover, which is BEAUTIFUL). My grandfather gave me away on behalf of my family. It was dusk and we had twinkling white lights surrounding the alter and yard (see pic, taken after the ceremony). We were in the presence of family and very close friends, but most importantly, God. I know He has a crazy way of dealing some of the cards in life but it keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering what is coming up next.

I think that days like this are harder to face alone than the usual birthdays or holidays missed…everyone gets a chance at celebrating their birthday every year. Not everyone is blessed to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and I mean REALLY celebrate it. Also it’s one of those days that not everyone knows so they don’t call or text all day long to wish the day be happy. It really can give the feeling of being forgotten. So…I don’t really know what to say about today, since there’s a lot of obvious mixed feelings involved.

I’m sad because this is the second year (in a row) that we haven’t been together for our anniversary.
I’m sad because this is one of those milestone anniversaries that it would have been freaking awesome to be together for.
I’m sad because I have not been able to talk to him on our anniversary, my time – we chatted last night when it was our anniversary in his current time zone.
I’m sad because I don’t REALLY have anyone to make a half-assed attempt at celebrating it with while he is gone. There is only so much that a 4 year old can understand when you try to explain this kind of day to them.

I’m happy because wow, 5 years have already gone by! It partly seems like it zipped by fast, but then at the same time it feels like we have been together for forever.
I’m happy because even though we have had our share of roller coaster ups and downs, I know that we are in it for real and will do whatever it takes to come together and make it work.
I’m happy that I know he is missing me just as bad as I am missing him.
I’m happy that even though we don’t get to talk every day or even every other day, no matter how long our communication is gapped, we are okay with it and are strong enough to not need to talk every day.
I’m happy that we can live our lives together but still retain our individuality and not be 100% dependent on each other.
I’m happy that the card he mailed me arrived yesterday, so I got to open it first thing this morning (my card to him still hasn’t arrived yet).
I’m happy that he is MY husband!

If it hadn’t been for a prior agreement to help a friend out with childcare at her church during VBS, I probably would have spent the day on my couch crying and feeling completely sorry for myself (that’s still coming, don’t worry). I would not have answered my door or telephone, had anyone actually called. I also originally was to have company for the night with friends traveling through, but they are postponed for the time being, and a raincheck was needed for the dinner entertainment at Peter Piper Pizza with some other friends.

This evening on our way home, The Boy and I went to Albertsons and bought a small carrot cake (for supper, yes…I didn’t feel like cooking), the same kind we had for our reception. I also bought a pack of 7-UP and a tub of pineapple sorbet to make punch, also served at the reception. I think it’s a cute little tradition that we may be able to start every year, whether we are together or not. And hey for nights like this where my better half is on the other side of the globe, what better way to drown my sorrows than with cake and punch? Maybe I’ll even add a little rum to make me feel better.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #1

Posted in blogging, deployment, food, military, moving, technology, travel by MommyTaco on 25 June 2010

One of my MilSpouse gal pals, Wifey of a Sailor, has started a new blogging topic called MilSpouse Friday Fill-ins. I really like this idea, as it is a great way to get to know some of my MilSpouse gals that I have become friends with thanks to the interwebs. I thought I’d take a few minutes to make my own post, while Taco is Farmvilling and The Boy is watching good ol educational television (thanks PBS!)

This week’s questions are:

1. How did you and your spouse/significant other meet?
Officially, we met on MySpace. After a few weeks of chatting via Yahoo! Messenger, we were both bored one Sunday afternoon and decided to hang out and go to a movie. It was nice because neither of us were remotely interested in getting into a relationship with anyone, so there was no stress-to-impress…we just wanted something to do besides sit in front of the computer. He showed me his tits while waiting for the movie to start (after I asked if he had any other piercings than his double labret). Apparently he liked me so much that he didn’t want to leave my presence, so we went to Arby’s for dinner afterwords, where they had run out of roast beef of all things. Though, if you are from Clovis, you know that this Arby’s is the most ridiculous Arby’s ever and it’s no surprise that they had run out of the beef. Since that day, we were nearly inseparable and besides the military taking him on adventures away from me, I can count on one hand the number of times that we have been apart.

The funny part about how we met comes that about 9 months into our relationship we realized that we had met in the past. In my pre-Chicago waitressing days, I worked with and was very good friends with his ex-girlfriend. Of course, they were dating at the time, and I was in a long-term, long-distance relationship, so neither of us really paid attention to each other. But I do remember having hung out in his dorm/barracks room with her while he was gone to work and having taken her to visit him at work to bum some money for smokes. I like to think that he stayed stationed at Cannon AFB waiting for me to come back from my “learning experience” in Chicago…it just took a year for either of us to find each other again. 🙂

2. What is the best thing about being a MilSpouse?
The best thing about being a MilSpouse is the amazing people that we get to meet along our journeys. Some are amazing in a not-so-pleasant way but most are amazing people that will continue to touch your life even after you have moved on. Some are also people that you may never meet in person but the wonders of technology and the internet have brought us together. The bonds formed with these fellow MilSpouses are like no other, and as much as our civilian friends try to, no one else can truly relate to the struggles that we face as a MilSpouse.

3. What is the hardest thing about being a MilSpouse?
Obviously having to spend great lengths of time with your other half living on the other side of the planet or gone for training 75% of the time they are “at home.” But second to that, is leaving behind the aforementioned friendships. I am sad as heck when Taco leaves but I know that in the end, he is coming home to me. But when friends move or we move away from our friends, I think it’s difficult on another level because who knows if or when we will get to see those friends again?

4. What is your favorite dish?
it’s a toss-up between baked mac & cheese or chicken & dumplings (rolled shortening dumplings only)

5. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?
Invention of teleport machines so that we can still visit our friends who have moved away without breaking the bank

there and back again

Posted in blogging, deployment, military, parenting, travel by MommyTaco on 14 June 2010

It’s been less than a month since The Boy started his summer break from school and we have already done a TON of traveling! I will get around to posting more about those trips, especially my most recent expedition to the GORGEOUS state of Washington with my bestie, MeganDubYuh. Add all the miles up that I have put in during these last few weeks and it totals approximately 4500 miles! WOW! And yes, that is all driving miles…doesn’t count the flight back from Seattle to Albuquerque.

I am very excited for our next adventure, to South Carolina, where I will get to visit my BFF from high school that I haven’t seen in the last 9 years. That is a LONG time! But before that, I am so happy to announce that the next two weeks will be spent at home with Taco! He arrived today for his 2 weeks of R&R. We were going to reschedule the SC trip to where he could go with us, but thanks to the ever unpredictable timing of the military, I didn’t want to book anything until he was actually here. Having to schedule that close to traveling time makes for VERY expensive airfare and rather than spend an additional two THOUSAND dollars (on top of the fares I have already paid), we decided to stay here in El Paso and explore the area and enjoy the time together here.

So yes, I am sitting on my laptop while my delicious hubby is sitting right in front of me. I’m on Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and am blogging. Don’t chastise me, since he’s having some much needed Playstation play time with The Boy. I’ll get my “time” with him later. 😉

thankful thursday pt 1

Posted in deployment, military by MommyTaco on 29 April 2010

I have to sit down and share a couple of the things that I am extremely thankful for on this day in particular. Mind you there are so many things that I am thankful for, like the wonderful friends and family in my life. I’ll give each one a separate blog since I will probably ramble a little about each and don’t want you to feel like you’re reading a novel.

Re-Enlisting into Army A year really does pass fast when you sit and think back on a major event in your life. It has been one year today since Taco swore back in to the ranks of the military, this time for the Army. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. I cannot begin to describe the pride that I felt for my man at the moment this photo was taken. Not just because such a great and wonderful person would once again be serving our country, but because of all of the hard work he put into getting to that moment.

I hope that when I share with other people the struggles he went through with his Air Force career being shattered doesn’t sound like I am being bitter. I am not. I love the Air Force just as much as I ever have, and while everyone has their faults, I do think that there are several lessons that “they” could learn from his experience. In reality, Big Boss of the Air Force will probably never hear about it, and there isn’t anything that can be done anyway. So instead, I look more on the fact that Taco has those experiences behind him that are certainly already shaping him into the kind of dedicated soldier that he has become.

That dedication came way before he ever swore that oath of enlistment, too. It took a brave man to swear it the first time. It took a faithful man to swear it again, knowing full & well what he was getting into. I am so thankful every day for the wonderful, God-fearing man that was placed into my life. Knowing the inner struggles he faced in answering the call of God and the call of duty was a difficult thing for me to watch. But at the same time, it was so amazing to see God go to work as soon as Taco said “Yes, Lord.”

He has certainly had his share of struggles even after having answered that call. But he knows that nobody ever told him it would be easy. I’m so proud of him, that he truly gives meaning behind the phrase “soldier on” – holding his head high through every task put before him. He will be blessed beyond measures and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will work in him next!

I also can’t wait for this year of deployment to pass as fast as the last year has!

one month down, 11(ish) to go

Posted in deployment, military, technology by MommyTaco on 23 March 2010

I am marking today as officially one month into deployment. Technically it should have been yesterday but due to the “layover” in El Paso, he left country a month ago today.

The first month seemed to go by fairly smooth and fast. There were a couple of moments where I did something completely out of my mind but nothing that landed me in either the hospital or in jail (though I wonder about both things). Not from acting out and having fun either, more or less those moments where my brain has had a serious malfunction and I have done something I don’t think I would have done had I not been going through a deployment.

Emotions are pretty much in check. I’m not bursting into tears at random or yelling down the neck of someone because of something they have done (my son doesn’t count, does he? ha ha…really, I’m joking!… :\ ) My irritability levels are a bit elevated though and it’s pretty easy for me to throw the towel in with a person or situation just because my brain lacks the ability to process the stress it/they cause.

I am beyond grateful for the technology we are fortunate to have. Neither of us are phone-talkers usually, so it doesn’t bother me that I’ve not received any phone calls. But the availability of the internet from his bunk bed more than makes up for that. Our last deployment, he didn’t have a laptop to be chatting the night away. Being able to see his face via Skype or Google Talk webcam is AMAZING! I don’t get to talk to him every day, but it doesn’t bother me. There are some nights I stay up LATE (morning his time) wondering if I will get to talk to him that day, because he wasn’t online in the morning (evening his time). But most of the time I wonder what it would actually be like to experience a deployment pre-internet style. Relying on nothing but snail mail or an infrequent phone call at best.

Technology is such a privilege I think a lot of people take for granted, whether they are military or civilian. So the next time you get an email or a text message, a phone call or a webcam chat…or especially if you get to look your spouse/significant other in the eyes NOT through a computer screen…thank God, or who/whatever it is you believe in.

half my heart is in… El Paso?

Posted in deployment, military by MommyTaco on 23 February 2010

D-day has crept up on us and gone. Yesterday we said “see you later” to Taco as he and his unit left for their deployment. We don’t ever say “goodbye” though, only “see you later” because we know that we WILL see him later.

Mother Nature decided to play a nasty joke and have a cold spell come through El Paso yesterday. Adding that to the wet weather we’d already had, and there were ice issues with their plane. Six hours of waiting after they bused up to get on their plane, they de-planed and went to spend the evening somewhere on post. When I talked to Taco on the phone, he had decided he was too tired to wait for them to acquire 200+ cots for everyone and was going to lay down to sleep on the tile floor.

I don’t know how it felt for them, I can only imagine that they all just wanted to hurry up and leave. I do know that it was a sad and even aggravating thing to go to bed alone knowing that my husband was still here, and hadn’t even left yet but couldn’t come to sleep at home.

One day down, approx 364 to go.