Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Review

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Margaret Thatcher

So, this week was the premiere of Married to the Army-Alaska. This premiere caused quite a ruckus all over the land, but particularly here IN ALASKA. MTTAA was filmed here on JBER-Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, using Army spouses whose husbands were deployed. I think it will be interesting to most to see this show, but its also caused a lot of dialogue amongst the spouses, not always in the positive. So, I will give you a summary of the show. There are 7 wives, whose soldiers vary in rank and who are thrown together (most did not know each other before this) to film a docudrama about our lives as Army spouses during a deployment. The first episode was a train wreck, honestly. I think it pointed out the extreme ugly side of our lives in regards to friendships, judgements and stereotypes....

I wonder why we keep perpetuating these stereotypes. The stereotypes if you don't know are Officer wives are classy, educated, pretty, charming, bitchy, obnoxious, rank wearers, intimidating, insulting. For Enlisted spouses its that we are vulgar, uneducated, baby-popper-outers, partyers, bad mothers, amongst others for both sides. All are further from the truth for the most part, I think "WE" can all fall into each and every stereotype at times. Another stereotype is that military spouses can't associate with spouses that have husbands of higher or lower ranks-Which is NOT true... Spouses do NOT wear rank. I am not an E8 in the Army, Sal is-Me, not so much. Sure, there are varying levels of "to do" responsibilities that CAN be associated with the spouse as the soldier makes his/her way up the ranks and how much you involve yourself is up to you. It certainly does not make your soldier look good or bad, his abilities are all on his shoulders. I have dear friends whose husbands and or wives are litterly every rank from E1-Generals and my friends have NEVER behaved like some of the spouses on this show. Being a spouse of an officer, does not make you proper-Nope, not at all, it makes you So and So's wife or husband. Thankfully there are spouses on that show who REALLY and truly show what it's like to be graceful, kind, loving and selfless, these few ladies really will be the reason most will learn anything about our lives. Its funny how just a couple bad apples can really cause so much anger amongst military spouses and can cause NON military people to text me and ask me if that is how it really is with us spouses. Watching the first episode only sets my opinion in stone how important mentorship is within the world of the spouses. Sometimes someone needs to take us under their wing and say  "Mary, how about I give you some advice"- In a NON COMBATIVE WAY... I have had AMAZING mentors in my life as a military spouse, they have helped me make good choices in this life. They have made me want to be involved and help where needed and to be supportive of my soldier. I also pride myself on being what I hope is a great mentor to young spouses. I truly with all my heart love this life we live, so when I see the ugly side of it, it makes me so sad and disapointed. Seriously, who cares how 2 people met and how is it ANYONES business. Sal and I were married while I was still in high school, every odd was against our success, I dropped out of high school and had 4 babies by the time I was 21, is that horrible? Ideal, NO! Sal and I love each other and at 18 we took the bull by the horns and made the commitment to each other. I am not ashamed of any decisions we made and NOBODY will ever make me feel less than because of it. I personally know one of the spouses in the show and while we aren't friends, I felt really sad for her treatment on the show because she did nothing wrong in answering a question honestly. Her reaction would have been anyones reaction for the most part.

So for those young spouses or men and women prepping to marry a soldier, don't be scared. Embrace the role you are about to commit to, toughen your skin up and be true to yourself and others. Remember there are no "proper" ways to be a military spouse, you will find your own way. Make sure you find a great mentor that can give you great tips on being a spouse in the military.

In further opinion about the show, I think a bit more diversity would have been good. There aren't any spouses of SR NCOs, or male spouses. There are women in the Army who are married and those spouses really get no representation. Its a new world people, modern times, modern times. All in all I think it will be a good show, the aftermath however is becoming more and more amusing by the moment and by amusing I mean RIDICULOUS.......

Friday, October 19, 2012

Did I shave my legs for this?

No, I didn't fall off the planet, just been busy with life and all things that it brings. Since I last blogged we have had a new grandson enter our world, a son celebrated his 19th birthday, Cassidy moved back home for the semester, my sister had heart situation and I believe that is it. Whew, life...gotta love it.. My sister is doing better, thanks to prayers.

 So I have been pondering what I would be blogging about and with all the recent redeployments and deployments going on where we are, I thought that possibly a brush up in what to expect when you're "expecting" a deployment or redeployment. (A redeployment is when the military members return home)

 So, when a soldier returns home it IS indeed a wonderful thing. We get in our best outfits, primp, shave, highlight, lowlight, tweeze, pluck and wax. We find the cutest patriotic outfits for our babies, prep the house, etc... We arrive HOURS before the planes and busses and wait....and wait...and wait-Then its time and a sea of troops march in, just like in the movies! Our hearts race and while the command is speaking, we just want them to shut up so we can love on our soldier!!! What is really a 5 min speech, feels like hours. Then it comes-They get released and its like a sea of crazy! Swarms of families, crying, laughing, searching, hugging. Daddy's meeting new children, mommy's reacquainting with their children, new loves and old loves reuniting, its a beautiful and tremendous sight.... And then we drive home.

Coming home and getting back into your family life can be hard. When a soldier returns they don't get a few weeks off, they litterly go back to work for reintegration just hours upon returning home, that can be hard for us to handle, we just want all that time for us, the Army has had them for a year, we want our time, BUT we have to realize that this is part of return process and there are reasons and a method to this madness. We as spouses NEED to be patient and instead of having a fit and causing more stress upon the entire situation, calmly vent with your battle buddy (I can assure you they are probably going through the same thing or have gone through it.) Remember that our soldiers have to decompress and adjust to being home from a combat zone-They do not however need a new combat zone to battle) Is it hard to not scream, "I WANT YOU ALL TO MYSELF!!!!!"? ABSOFREAKINGLOUTELY! But it will only add to the stress of it all. Its a transition to merge back as a family, but we ALL have to pitch in and be understanding of each other. This is going to take time. If my husband wants to sleep for 36 hours will it irritate me? Sure, piss me off even, BUT its what he needs. Merging families with children also has its quirks and hills to climb. For a year you have been mommy AND daddy and your system of things is what worked while he/she was gone, well they are back now and need to have a say as well. Be supportive of each other during this transition, if he/she didn't handle something how you would have, talk to them when you are alone and figure it out then. Kids need a united front and need to see how to handle all of this too.
My point to all of this is to not expect things to be perfect and how it looks on TV. There is NO normal in this, only what is right for you, your soldier and your family. Some families have no issues at all and it feels as if the service member never left, others have a lot of issues, neither is right or wrong, it just is what it is.

To my friends who have recently welcomed their soldier home, "woohoo!" you did it, you ran the marathon and did just fine!!! To my friends who are just now begining the marathon-You can and will do it. You are strong and brave and loving..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our birthday baby

Here you go, Miss Cassidy!

Happy Birthday to our baby girl! 20 years ago today, we were given a sweet little ginger angel. You had a bit of a rough start in life, but you are a fighter!!! I remember when I held you for the first time, I couldnt believe that you were so tiny, I had never had a baby that small before. You had a headfull of ginger hair and huge blue eyes, and a tiny heart mouth. I could tell from the very first moment I met you, that you would be strong, brave and loving-and I was right. I was so excited to have another baby girl, (your dad was in disbelief that we had a 2nd girl-he thought something was wrong with him, LOL) I couldnt wait to dress you and Ashlee alike and do your hair and have 2 little princess' in my life. We all babied you so much, because you were just so cute and tiny. Such a good and easy baby you were and smart, sooo very smart. One day you were laying on your tummy on the floor and you litterly sat up and walked, like you had known how to walk for your entire life! You were on a mission and needed to keep up with Ashlee and Nicholas. You have such an old soul. Your loyalty and love to your family amazes me. You never give up on people and your friendships and relationships prove that. I am proud to call you one of my daughters. Daddy and I cannot wait to see what the future brings to you, PS-Dad said it better bring you a job hahahha!!! We are happy you are in college and in a good and loving relationship with our Katie pie, the love you show each other is precious and we are so happy to have her in our lives.

A piece of bday advice, always remain true to yourself, don't change because of what others think you should be and do. Love always and live life, we only get 1 of them so do your best-Don't waste the gift of time we are given.

Mommy and Daddy love you and want you to know that we miss you and are UBER proud of you.. Keep on being FABULOUS!!!!


Dear Dad

Hi dad,

Its me again. Today is your birthday, in earthly years you would be 63!! You left too soon 38 is too young. I miss you and just want you back. I want you to be here with us and watch the kids grow up and do funny things. I want you to open your wallet and have oodles of grandkid pics falling out. I want to listen to your laugh and listen to your stories of when you were a kid and I just want you here. Today, if you were here, I would imagine we would have a nice BBQ meal and angel food cake for your bday cake. I wonder what you would be like now-I am sure you would be just as funny and wise, maybe just a little grayer. I just miss your face. I hope you watch down on us and are happy with our lives.  Love you daddy!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dear Anthony...

Dear Anthony,

Watching you grow into a man has been quite entertaining. I never realized what a little romantic you are and that makes my heart melt. Dana is a lucky girl. So, there are a few things I want to make you aware of about women. You think you may know it all, but kid-You will NEVER have women figured out.

ALWAYS be a good listener, don't interrupt and when asked your opinion-TREAD carefully... One wrong statement and you are TOAST..
Remember that we as women can change our minds fast as lightning.. Living with me and your 2 sisters, you should know that by now.

Know that you will hurt feelings, its human-BUT You are not weak in saying you are sorry. In fact, just the opposite, because it takes a very strong person to say "sorry".

Keep your own individuality and interests. Difference is the spice of life, and be supportive of those things.

Remember the little things. Little things mean the most.

Treasure the "lean years" I know, lean isn't a word you are familiar with in your life, but trust me when I say, the lean years will happen and they are GREAT. Some of mine and daddy's best memories are from those lean times and in case you aren't sure what lean means-It means BROKE as a JOKE! Those times when you stick together and rise above it will be the best times. Sure, they suck when you are going through it and you cannot ever imagine anything worse, they do indeed get better.

Don't sweat the small things like butter being left out, or toothpaste being squeezed from the middle and not the end, relish the quirks.

ALWAYS BE A GENTLEMAN! Open doors, hold hands and always let her have the biggest piece of the cake.

Be a GREAT FATHER! When the time comes one day for you to be a father, be a great one-you had a wonderful role model and I couldn't have asked for a better dad for my kiddos. Even when you are exhausted, muster up enough excitement to show a 5 year old how to tie a shoe, or a 16 year old how to parallel park. Be a good husband to their mother and allow your kids to see the love that exudes from your relationship.

Think before you speak when you are angry.. Words hurt! If you need to take a run, or punch a bag- do it and clear your mind before you say a word.

I love watching you and Dana and your relationship unfold. You two are so cute and funny and just savor the moments. I am proud of the man that you have become and me and daddy are VERY proud of you. Remember, one day you may have a daughter and she will have a boyfriend so think KARMA in how you treat your sweet love..

Momma and daddy love you to the moon... Smooches, Your mom!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Roman!

6 years ago this afternoon, we gave birth to who would be our 6th and final Army Brat. In true Urzi boy fashion he weighed in at a whopping 10lbs!!! I still can't believe it's been 6 years since we had him, seems like only yesterday. Roman has provided us some crazy family stories and also given us much happiness and love. Our family didn't really feel complete until he was placed in my arms-then we knew he was EXACTLY what our family was waiting for to be complete.
Roman is a perfect combination of all the other 5 kids, it's a little crazy actually. He has the exact hair color and sense of humor as Nicholas, the temper and spirit of Ashlee, the lovingness and eyes of Cassidy, the mischieviousness and loyalty of Anthony and the love of life and laughter of Dominic. He has been a cutie pie for us and we just love him..

Dear Roman,

6 years old!!! Yayy 6!!! I love that you are such a strong and good boy. I love coming home from work everyday and hearing you tell me you want a cuddle and you get on my lap with your cute blankie and just melt into my arms. Although right now as I type this journal you are having a HUGE temper tantrum and making me crazy-I still think you are a cutie pie and love you-ALOT! I secretly do not want you to grow up. I cannot lie, I get very teary eyed at the thought of you not being a little boy, you are such a cute and sweet little guy. I hope you always have that innocense and love for life. I love that you call bacon bits, bacon bites and I love that only momma can make you perfect chocolate milk, its cute that you like to dip EVERYTHING in ketchup and that you know exactly how to order at starbucks. You make me laugh little man. Momma loves you to the moon sweet boy, to the moon....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day!!!

Today is Fathers Day. Its bitter sweet for me. Bitter, because my daddy is no longer here and I do miss him terribly. Fathers days are "eh" for me. I just try and stay busy. Now my childrens father and the love of my life-Well he DEFINATELY needs to be celebrated because he pretty much rocks! I do INDEED know how lucky I am to have him in my life. For instance today is HIS day, he could sit and do nothing all day if he chooses, but do you know what he did? He detailed my car, filled the gas, played with the boys, sanded down some wood furniture for me, BBQd our dinner and just took the boys to the park! He is just awesome.

He has always taken his fatherly duties seriously and with everything he does, gives it 150%.. I truly am greatful he is in our lives.

Dear sweetest man on the planet,
SMOOCHES and I love you. I am choked up just doing this blog because you bring me tears of joy just at the memories of the past 23 years of you being our childrens' father. Here are some reasons WHY I think you are a great father:
*You put our marriage first
*You love unconditionally but have HIGH expectations for them
*I've watched you teach a son to parralell park in the pouring rain
*I've watched you give a daughter away to her love of her life
*I've seen you weep when they haven't always done the right thing
*I witnessed you sending off a "child" to war
*You have shown our sons what kind of men they SHOULD be
*You have given our daughters VERY high expectations of whom they should love
*You've held my hand when we nearly lost a child
*You have had to wipe my eyes and held me when I was nearly at a breaking point
*You made a corsage for our daughter when I was out of town
*You change diapers!!!
*You are the BEST monster to 2 little boys
*You make our kids laugh
*You are firm when you need to be and soft as its needed
*You embrace our childrens' individuality
*You talked a son through pitching a tent via phone
*Even though you "act" like they are financially sucking you dry, You still help them when needed
*You buy them gifts and "blame" it on me
*You clogging at Ashlees wedding to make her smile

 There are SO many more things that you do that I appreciate, but you get the idea. Thanks for being a SUPER daddy to our kids. Thank you for being a wonderful "Boss" as well, our grandkids LOVE you always and forever......

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day..

Memorial Day is a special moment to me, but should be a wonderful moment to every American. It was at the cost of MANY amazing Americans that we can say whats in our hearts and minds, we can disagree and even love whomever and believe however, with freedom. I have personally known some of these wonderful men and women that paid the ultimate price for this freedom I love.

I also am married to a wonderful patriot. Sal is a great American. I am sure when he reads this he will be very modest and say to me "my sexy mama is crazy" and then he will walk over to me and kiss me on my forehead, LOL.. I also have men and women in my life who serve as well, they know who they are and why we love them. We have been blessed to have amazing people in our military family and our lives would never have been the same without them. My father and stepfather and sooo many other family members have served and still serve-It makes me proud beyond words.

To the many of our fallen, the Urzi Family salutes you. I can never know what posesses someone to join the military and go into battle-KNOWING full well at any given moment you could make that sacrifice that we remember today. You, the fallen have been in our prayers and thoughts daily as well as the loved ones you left behind. Thank you for making my opinions okay to voice and for the many other voices in this country. Thank you for being the steele fabric in this beautiful country's quilt.

I hope those of you today, while you are BBQing and having a wonderful time with friends and family, that you take a few moments to remember those that served and still serving and will NOT be spending this wonderful day safely at home.

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! ~Thomas William Parsons

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Military Spouse Day!

Ladies and Gents!

Today is Military Spouse Day!! A day that people can verbalize their appreciation for military spouses. Military spouses are the silent ranks, which means that while "WE" don't "serve", we do indeed have a place in the military bubble. Our place is to provide stability to our soldier and our family. It isn't always easy, but it is something that indeed MUST BE DONE. I can only speak for myself, but I also like to play the role of the opposing opinion to Sal. I usually agree with his vent or topic of discussion, but I like to provide another view, LOL. He says I am playing Jedi Mind Games when I do that, muhaha!

What is a military spouse to me? A military spouse has different roles, depending on the person. Some spouses relish in the "being active on post" role, while others prefer not to be involved. Do NOT confuse lack of involvement with not supporting their soldier. We all have different personalities and comfort zones. For me, I am a pretty open book with most people. And if you ask me a question, I'll give you an honest answer. I wasn't always that way. When Sal first joined the Army there were NO FRGs yet and we weren't authorized housing yet because he was only an E1, so I wasn't even living around military spouses in our apt complex. It was new to me and I muddled through and read books about being a spouse LOL.. Nothing I learned or read about in books was really prepatory for my military spouse life. It was a road of live and learn. Not until we went to Giessen Germany did I really ever have a mentor-Then I had several!! I had Lana, Kristy, Lisa, Michele and Melissa. A great group of ladies who REALLY showed me everything wonderful about being an Army Spouse. They are still in my life and I love them like family. My payback to them have been to try and always be a good Army Spouse role model and mentor. My honesty and realistic approach can come off harsh, but it is what it is-I'm not one to sugarcoat things and I think MOST spouses want to hear the truth, as harsh as it may be at times.

Military spouses endure alot! Being alone, making decisions big and small at the drop of a hat, Mom, Dad, Jury, Judge, friend, foe, Nurse, hugger, kisser of booboos, disciplinarian, baker, chef, housekeeper, butt wiper, shoulder to cry on, gardner-I could go on but you get my gist. We also sit at night, in the calm and cry and think about our soldier.. What is he/she doing? What is she/he seeing? We also think and cry about having to wake up the next day and be everything to everyone. We all get to the point of "really? This has to happen again tomorrow? Can't I have a break?"  At times, we even get irritated with our soldiers down range because they aren't here taking up some slack-It may sound wrong, but it's true... It is what it is.

Military Spouses also endure some amazing things- I have helped spouses give birth and watched these amazing brats come into the world! I've watched my fellow spouses of all faiths sit with me and cheer on my children as they have made their first communions and confirmations. They were the family for our kids-we are the family for each other-Good, bad or otherwise. I have also been very blessed to be at the homecomings taking pics for friends and spouses to catch a glimpse of the love and affection that goes on after not seeing each other for a year. I have also been the reciever of a homecoming and watched my sweet love, get off that plane or bus and run into the arms of 6 kids and me. I love watching all the kids talk to him at once, sharing their whole year with them at the same time and in the matter of 20 seconds. I love seeing his face during that time-Total Bliss and happiness.

Each wonderful military spouse has their own story and path. If you know or see a military spouse-tell them "good job'! If she is walking through the airport with 6 kids, 12 pieces of luggage and a frazzled look on her face, Don't be upset if I don't wave back, LOL...

Thursday, May 3, 2012


That was the most I have blogged in forever, but the Month of the Military Child is VERY near and dear to my heart. I too was an Army Brat and VERY proud of my daddy's service to this country and the sacrifices he made.

So, I should be cleaning and getting ready for my family to visit, but I don't feel like it right now. I have lost my motivation-bahhha. Saturday Ashlee and Kaydence arrive then Sunday my stepdad and mom get here and Monday our fave son in law lands in Alaska!! Next week, Cassidy and Katy come-WOOHOO!!! I wish our whole family could be here, but we will hopefully see them soon.

In other news, Big Sal graduates Friday!!!! Its been a long road but I am beyond proud of him. He has already begun to take his classes for his BA, which he should have next year. Oddly, he HATED highschool and would have rather been hit by a truck that go to HS, LOL.. Its also a little bit of HMMPH! to his English teacher at Greenway High in Arizona. She once told him he wouldn't amount to anything.. Seriously, what kind of teacher says that to another human being? Even without the degree, Sal has become one of the most AMAZING men I know. He has a wonderful career in the Army, a happy family that loves him, soldiers that he mentors and friends that think he rocks! Really, at the end of the day a college degree doesn't make the man. Even though he "acts" like it is no big deal for his graduation, I can see the pride in his eyes. Many times taking his classes I could see on his face a look of BLAH and frustration, BUT success is VERY important to him and I knew he would climb that mountain and conquer it. So my love I write to you..

I cannot even find the words to say how proud I am of you in EVERYTHING that you do. I frequently wonder how you do it. How do you go to school, lead in the Army, put up with the crap that you do at work, love me, love our children, friends and family. You will always help anyone that needs it. I like to think I am a pretty good person, but I couldn't hold a candle to you. I love the kid I fell in love with 25 years ago and I love and adore the man you have become. You my sweet are the poster child for a decent human being.. I love you! I have a fun memory of you with each of our kiddos.

 With Nicholas, watching you talk to him at our house right after his basic and ait and I was taking pics and noticed that while you were talking to him, he was standing at parade rest. It was so hilarious.

With Ashlee, watching you dance with her on her wedding day was so beautiful and heart wrenching. You doing the soul train was hella funny too!

Cassidy graduating was VERY hard on you and watching you say goodbye when she left to move to Arizona- while it was sad, what was funny was all of us standing outside wondering if you were going to cry.. We won!

Tony's prom night, watching you carefully help him get ready-like you were helping a soldier get his uniform ready for a board.. Pride, love and respect

Dom and Rome-Teaching them to pitch a tent and "camp out" in the back yard. Watching Dom help and work hard and watching Roman hide and act like he was helping.. Even though they didn't make it out there ALL night, you made a fun memory with them.

Thank you for all these years of memories. It hasn't always been an easy climb, but its been worth every step...

Baci, Baci, Baci!