All posts by andthismarinewife

Oh the Nightmares

I had a horrendous nightmare last night. You know, one of those that wakes you up and makes it impossible to go back to sleep. It was one of those nightmares that snuggling up next to my completely zonked husband just didn’t seem to make it all better. So, I roamed the house for nearly an hour, trying to get my mind off the dream. When I finally crawled back into bed, my sweet husband woke up, grabbed my hand, and asked if everything was okay. I told him that I had a horrendous nightmare, and he wrapped his arm around me and pulled me to him. In that instant, I finally felt tired again. There’s so much more comfort in the sleepy embrace of my husband when he does it knowing that something was wrong. I felt safe again, and my mind quickly turned off, allowing me to fall back into a deep sleep.

All my life I have been plagued with nightmares. They never seem to escape me, and I almost always remember them. I still remember dreams I had when I was six years old. They don’t occur as much, but I have noticed that they usually pop up more often during pregnancy and whenever my husband is gone for training or deployment. I’ve often wondered what drives my unusual tendency toward nightmares. I actually wrote an essay about my nightmares in college, for a writing class. So, I figured I’d share that with you all.

Demons of the Night

I had a fear. I like to convince myself it doesn’t exist anymore, but it still plagues me once in a while. It used to paralyze me, both physically and mentally. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do anything. All I could do was collapse on a windowsill and cry.

I was a short, chunky kid who swam around in hand-me-downs much too big for me. At least, I felt like I was swimming. I always did. If I wasn’t drowning in large clothing, I was drowning in life. Everything seemed too big for me. I wasn’t a brave child by any means, although I acted like it. When people watched me, they thought, “Boy, that girl has gumption.” I appeared brave. I did all the brave things. I was the one to jump off flying swings. I flipped over the high monkey bars. I traversed through the dark rooms to find the light switch on the opposite end. Yet, I was the most afraid, but no one knew.

Anytime my fear arose, it grappled my gut, making me nauseous. My lungs constricted and breathing was arduous. I became light-headed. I felt fragile, but stiff. Inwardly, I couldn’t move. Despite what my body was doing, my mind screamed at me to stop, to run away, to pull myself out of the situation. My body never listened.

All this was due to nightmares. Anything would set them off: a scary movie, darkness, ghost stories, anything. I had a ritual each night. Standing at least three feet from my bed, I squatted down on my little legs, low enough to peek under the bed. When all appeared clear, I leaped toward the bed, wrestling with the covers till I was safely bound between blanket and mattress.

Although I was safe, I wouldn’t shut my eyes. I couldn’t shut my eyes. I couldn’t allow the freakish scenes to begin. I wouldn’t permit my mind to go off into a place beyond my control. I knew that once my weary eye-gates collapsed, my conscience snapped open to a frightful world. No one could rescue me from that place, no one. Not even myself. My nightmares were reality to me. When I physically awakened, my brain continued to press its subconscious replay button. Whatever occurred in my dreams, I was convinced would happen in real life.

I nervously glanced over my shoulder half-expecting a monster on my heels. I slouched in school, dreading the impending embarrassment. My bus rides home included imaginations of fatal car accidents involving family. These were my nightmares. They followed me everywhere like a fictitious leech. I couldn’t escape them. So, I decided if I had to live with my nightmares during the day, then I would keep them from grappling me in the night. In my mind it was a guarantee. If I had a nightmare during sleep, it affected my life the following day. I wouldn’t be permissive. I wouldn’t allow the opportunity to arise.

Apart from refusing to shut my eyes once in bed, I avoided my bedroom altogether. I knew if I was to climb into bed, I was one step closer to the pillow of slumber. If I was to even walk across the threshold of my bedroom, I was one step closer to my bed. I had this preconceived idea that sleeping with someone would ward off the demons of the night. Being the second youngest of five children, I did share a room with the baby (hardly the best companion when waking up in a cold sweat). It wasn’t the same. I needed protection.

Just knowing that I would have a nightmare, I stood in the doorway of my sisters’ bedroom and with tears printing wayward trails down my cheeks, I pleaded for permission to sleep with them. They barked at me to go away, saying, “You couldn’t possibly have had a nightmare yet. You didn’t even go to sleep to give it a chance to happen.” They didn’t understand. They just didn’t know. I feared sleep. That was just it. I couldn’t let myself sleep. Sleep was my enemy. In my mind, sleep dined with the night hag. Those nightmares affected my everyday life.

One time, as a seven year old, I heard my mom leave to go grocery shopping. With my nose pressed against the window, I tearfully watched the van drive off. I wanted to be with her. I had to be with her. A couple nights before, I had a bad dream of her being in a car accident. I sat at the window, bawling, completely sure that my nightmare was bound to be made true. To me, my mother wasn’t safe until she was home where I could see her.

As I became older, my monsters developed. Grisly monstrosities wereno longer chasing me. I was now a paralytic to failure, to being the object of ridicule, to losing friends. All my extant fears played out in the dark of sleep. They still do sometimes. I find myself avoiding confrontations. I won’t look at a grade on some paper for fear of failure. I divert from embarrassing possibilities. I fear the worst because I have dreamt the worst. Although I don’t recall dreams as often, the night demons still tackle me from time to time. In my world of delusion, I have had to force myself to remember the fine line between imaginary and reality.

DIY Pot/Pan Wall Hangers


Hubby and I had been wanting to make pot/pan wall hangers for quite some time now, and we finally finished our little project. My wonderful husband had gotten me a very nice stainless steel set of pots and pans, and they were just too nice to let our son play with. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a place to store them without him getting to them. So, we immediately started brainstorming about what to do. We looked up a whole variety of pot/pan hangers, but they were all more than we were willing to pay for. Hence, the decision to make our own. And here’s the finished product . . .


Nice, huh? I’m not trying to toot our own horns, but I absolutely LOVE how this looks in our dining/kitchen area!
In my last post, I promised that I would write a tutorial about this when we finished it, so I will try my best to do that right now. We absolutely love antiques, so most of the stuff we got came from an antique store. Here are the things you’ll need for this project:
  • 1 full-sized outside window shutter (can find them at an antique shop)
  • matching small door knobs for as many things you want to hang (found ours at an antique shop)
  • 1 pack of leather strap shoe string
  • 4 long screws or dry wall screws that hold over 100 lbs each.
  • a drill
  • paint color of your choice
  • a saw
  • course sandpaper
1. Saw the shutter clean in half.
2. Paint each shutter piece with the color of your choice. Do not remove the original paint, because it is prevalent for the weathering part of the shutter. Once the paint has dried, you can put on a second coat if desired.
3. After the paint has dried . . . Using your course sandpaper, make long, quick strokes across the wood until you start seeing the paint underneath show through in random places. You can see what I mean in the picture below:
4. Next, you’re going to add your doorknob hangers. For this, you need to first lay out your pots and pans according to how you want to hang them. This way, you can know exactly where you need to place the knobs so that the pans hang properly. Mark your measurements. (Be sure you are doing this on the flat edge of the shutter and not the rounded edge.) We chose to hang our largest pan on the side with our utensils.
5. Our doorknobs had long metal “prongs” coming out the back, so be sure you have doorknobs with something sticking out the back. Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the prongs, drill holes where you made your marks.
6. Then, very carefully push a knob into each of the drilled holes.
7. Now you’re going to hang the shutters. Find wherever you want to hang them on the wall and make sure they are level. Then, using your screws or drywall screws, put one screw on each side of each shutter. (You’ll want to cover the screws with small dabs of the paint you used on the shutters.)
8. To hang your pots/pans/utensils, cut off same-size pieces of the leather shoelaces, making sure there will be enough to make a knot and allow the item to hang. Put each leather piece through the holes in your pots/pan/utensils and tie off the ends with a tight knot.
9. Hang your items, and there you go! You have homemade pot and pan wall hangers!
Now, you may be wondering about the box in the middle. That’s something we added for necessity and aesthetic purposes. We used it to cover up our security system touchpad, and it acts as a nice place for us to store our salt and pepper shakers.
I apologize if my “tutorial” was confusing, but that’s the best way I could explain it. Happy building!

*Btw, this entire project only cost us about $30-$35.



IT’S A . . .

Yay! I was actually right about this one, for once. I kept telling my husband it was another boy, but he was so convinced it was a girl that he almost had me convinced too. To be honest, my husband has never been wrong about my pregnancies or the genders until now. I’m not kidding. He’s known I was pregnant even before I did! I’ve been pregnant four times, and every single time, he told me I was pregnant. Each time I told him I wasn’t, and he was right. There was once that I thought I was pregnant, and he said I wasn’t . . . I wasn’t. Crazy, huh? And then, when I was pregnant with both Ian and Andrew, he told me both times that they were boys. Sure enough . . .

BUT, this time he insisted it was a girl, and my gutt feeling kept saying boy. A part of me thought that I should believe him, since he hadn’t been wrong yet. That seems logical, right? Well, there’s always room for error, so I stuck to my guns. My guns won. Woo hoo! I’m right! I’m right! Okay, now that my little immature “i’m right, you’re wrong” dance is out of the way, you’re probably wondering how we feel about having another boy. Well, hubby was a bit crushed. He so badly wanted a baby girl. He’s got that whole “daddy’s little girl” bug eating at him. A part of me wanted a girl, mainly because I knew how badly my husband wanted one. But, I am super excited about having another boy! (I guess I should add that my husband has come to, and he too is super excited about another boy.) Ian has been so much fun, and I like the idea of having boys romping around the house. I never thought I’d hear myself saying this, but I’m loving the idea of being a “boy mom.” Yes, I do so badly want a girl at some point, but I don’t think I could handle a whole house of girls. Between me and the dog, there’s enough estrogen, emotion, and hoopla to feed three households. Maybe that’s why God keeps giving us boys. He’s going easy on us. hehe!

We don’t have any name ideas yet, but that’s because we just haven’t come across one that we both absolutely love. We’ve used up all the names we like already, so we’re back to square one. Ah well. When we come up with a name, I’ll let you all know. As for now, he’s still just the little marshmallow. While we’re on the subject of him, he’s doing very well and growing right on track. The doctor said that he’s actually measuring about four days ahead, but we’re keeping the due date where it is. He’s currently 11 oz and as calm as a cucumber. He’s so calm that the ultrasound tech was having trouble getting him to move enough to take his measurements and find out his gender. I swear, he only rotated about four times during the whole ultrasound. The poor girl had to keep jiggling him and me to get him to move out of the fetal position. He’s already so different from his brothers. You couldn’t get the other two to stop moving. Okay, I’m probably making it sound like he’s dangerously calm. No; it’s just that he was enjoying the fetal position too much and would move for a bit but then go right back. According to the doctor, he is perfectly healthy so far. Everything is going so well with us that the specialist decided I don’t need to see him anymore. He said that the pregnancy and our baby is currently like the perfect pregnancy. He did many many tests, all which came back negative, and our baby boy is doing well! Yay! So, we won’t be seeing the specialist again until the next pregnancy. At first, we were slightly disappointed, because we liked the specialist as my doctor. He was very informative and helpful. But, not having to continue seeing him is a good thing, so we will rejoice in that and thank God for a wonderful, healthy, growing baby! 🙂

You probably want to see some more pictures, so here they are:


front view of his face, with a hand up by his left cheek

side profile of our adorable little man

As for other things on our homefront, hubby and I have been getting very crafty lately. We love DIY projects, and have been trying to fit them in whenever we can. We are currently working on DIY pot and pan hangers (for the wall) that we have actually designed ourselves. They’ve got an antique feel to them (made from stuff we actually bought–inexpensively–at antique stores), and I’m so excited about how they’re coming along. When they’re finished, I will post pictures and a tutorial on how to make them. This idea is great for people with young kids.

For my own project, I’ll be starting on a fabric wreath made from my husband’s old camis. I can’t wait to get working on that once I’ve finished up my current hair accessories orders! Also on the schedule is a give-away. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to do for the give-away, but deciding when to do it is the key. This one will be in celebration of reaching 30+ followers!

Hugs to you all!

The Hiatus Reveal

And . . . here’s where I tell all – the main reason I had been on a blogging hiatus for so long. (My apologies to those who were waiting for me to write this the day after my last post. Once again, crazy life made the time impossible.)

No, that’s not a bloated dinner belly. Heaven help me if it was! That belly is exactly what it looks like. I’m pregnant again! That picture was taken at 18 weeks. I’ll be 19 weeks on Monday. Below is our little marshmallow (as hubby likes to call him/her) at 13 weeks.

You may be wondering why it’s taken me so long to blog about the pregnancy, but if you’ve read my past pregnancy posts, I think you could get a general idea. This pregnancy has already put us through several loops, but God is faithful and has graciously given us the strength to get through. When we first found out we were pregnant again, needless to say, we were beyond nervous. Would we lose this baby too? A little over six weeks in, and we were sure we were re-living the nightmare again. I came home after a rigorous workout and felt extreme cramping. The cramps were so bad that I couldn’t stand up, but I also couldn’t sit either. I was in so much pain, and it wasn’t long before the bleeding started. Sobs wracked my chest. I didn’t know how many more times I could handle going through this. Hours later, our little family sat in the emergency room, waiting to find out what was the inevitable. When they brought in the ultrasound machine, I let my emotions turn cold, bc I was so sure it was going to be the same as last time. To our great surprise though, the ER doctor just smiled and said there indeed was an egg sac. I almost didn’t believe him at first. How in the world could I have had so much pain and bleeding, but the baby still be okay? We got our answer less than a week later.

We had been pregnant with twins but lost one. Hence, the cramping and the bleeding. They call it a Vanishing Twin, and apparently it occurs a lot more often than people realize. Many women have lost a twin and not realized it. For us, the evidence of the other amniotic sac was still there. There was no mistaking we had two babies at one point. We walked out of that 7-week appt with mixed feelings. We were thrilled that the one baby survived but sad over the loss of the other. And losing that one added to the nervousness we already had about this pregnancy.
So many times we have had to give this baby over to the Lord and trust that He knows what He’s doing. I find that I’m having to remind myself of that almost every day. Whether or not He allows us to keep this baby is completely up to Him. But saying that and actually living it is beyond difficult. It became especially difficult when our little Andrew’s due date rolled around. Andrew’s due date was June 30, and I was about 15 weeks pregnant with this baby. That time was very difficult, and I’ll post about that on another day.
For now, we’ll just celebrate the one that is currently growing inside my belly, and growing it is! I’m not even 20 weeks yet, and I feel huge! Ah well. This pregnancy was so different from all the others. I never had morning sickness until this one. It hit me hard for a couple weeks. I’m still having nausea here and there, but the 24-hour stuff is finally past. That morning sickness stuff was completely new to me this time around. I’m just thankful that it usually indicates a healthy baby. 🙂 Baby’s due date is Christmas Eve, and we’ll be finding out boy or girl in 4 days! We are beyond excited!

Oh, and we got a puppy! Her name is Daisy, and she is the sweetest Golden Retriever ever.

Oh, how I’ve missed you!

Hello, blogging world! I’ve missed you. It’s been several months since I last blogged, and I feel so out of the loop now. *sigh* I apologize to all my blogging friends. It may take me several more months just to get caught up with all your blogs, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing comments on posts from a while ago. That’s just miss procrastinator here trying to catch up and not remain a million steps behind. Truth is I took this hiatus on purpose. Life got super busy super fast, and suddenly I was out of time to even think, let alone focus on a blog. Not to mention that our son seems to be hitting every toddler transition period with no breaks in between. For example, we’re currently going through the battle of the toddler bed, and the little man has recently started showing signs of being ready for potty training. If he could understand what I was saying, I would sit him down and have a little chat with him about how he needs to slow down and stop growing up so quickly. If I remotely even tried to have such a conversation with him, his response would include a mischievous grin, giggles, and then the pitter-patter of little feet running away. So, mommy and daddy are just going to have to follow along as he advances and do our best to not lose our minds. I guess the hardest part right now is trying to function through each day with the minimum sleep we’ve been getting. (By the way, if anyone has suggestions for making the toddler bed transition easier, we’re open to anything. We’ve tried almost everything in the book but obviously have not come across that magical key to making it all better. Someone’s gotta have it somewhere. If you hold the key, please impart your wisdom!)

Another thing that has kept me from blogging is frankly the fact of feeling overwhelmed. So much has happened that it’s been next to impossible to even know where to start. Know what I mean? Every time I’ve sat down these past few weeks to start writing a post, my brain goes back to the last time I posted and all I can think is, “So much has happened! How do I pick it back up?!” So then, with my mind in a spinning tizzy, I just walk away, resolving to try again another day. I continued to try but came to the same, sad result. Until today . . . no more putting it off! I am back and ready to go!

(There have been other factors keeping me from blogging, but I shall save those for another day. If you hang in there, perhaps I will tell all tomorrow. J )
It feels so good to be back. I’ve missed you all!
our little goober

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