I’m Here!

July 10, 2016

I just realized the last time I wrote in this little neglected space of mine was May. :/ Sad. We’ve had a lot going on, and when that happens and I get caught up in not writing it, it builds up and builds up until I think, “Well now there’s just so much to say…”

But I’ll try to at least catch everyone up a bit. I know you’ve simply been unable to function without these updates 😉 haha

The house we planned on moving into two months ago fell through. We were waiting on disability ratings for Sam from the military, and they just didn’t get done in time. It was so, so incredibly disappointing to have the builder tell us he had to sell it, but he offered to take the money we’d put down and roll it into another home for us. Everything was fine financially, it was just that darn paperwork. That ended up coming through in June and so we are building a home now!! We just turned in all our design plans and they’re getting permits so hopefully (oh so much hope for this) we will be in our new home by November. It’s close to where we are now, and I can’t wait to show all of you as it gets built.

So Sam got his ratings. This means that the military takes a look at all his medical records and decides how much to give him for a medical retirement. It can be anywhere from 0-100% and goes by 10% increments. We’d prepared ourselves for 80%. He’s been on Social Security disability for a year now as he waits to get out, and this process has taken nearly two years. It’s crazy how long it drug out. Anyway, 80% would have been SUPER tight to live on but we could have made it work. I probably would have had to gone back to work or something though for a steady paycheck with that. 90% was a bit more, but 100% is the one where retirement significantly increases. We knew it was almost impossible to get that, especially without an appeal, so we planned around the 80.

Everything was taking forever and it was so much stress on us. Then one day he got a call as I drove us down to the SS office, and it was his PEBLO (the person who navigates us through this process). He said his ratings looked good, and then said, “You were awarded 100%. 80% of that is combat related.”
He sat there and I burst into tears. It’s been a good, long while since I’ve really cried. Mostly because I don’t have time lol. But I just felt all that worry and stress melt away. While it’s certainly not wonderful he’s considered 100% disabled and most of that is PTSD, he didn’t have a choice in being medically retired or the extent of his injuries – seen and unseen.

This has been a hard, lonely road to walk for us both in many ways. Being the wife of a disabled veteran who often shows no physical signs of that feels like I constantly have to justify a lot of stuff, and I know he feels the same. It’s difficult to have almost no one understand this. It’s a HUGE adjustment to have him home all the time, because for the past year he’s had to go into work very rarely. Our home kind of became my place to do as I wanted with schedules and cleaning and all of that, now he’s here and we are learning how to both pull our weight but let the other have room to live as well.

On the other hand, being pretty isolated means we have to learn how to do this and let it pull us closer. We still go to therapy together and separately. We’ve taken a parenting therapy class for the past 8 weeks as well. This could easily destroy us at times. I remember telling people over the past 13 years of our marriage, “Oh my gosh, if my husband stayed at home I would go insane. There’s no way.”

I wonder how many times I’ve written the phrase “famous last words” on here… 😉

Many, many people have asked him and me, “But what’s Sam going to do when he’s out?”

Some days are so hard. He struggles so much right now with being caught between leaving the Army and the uncertain life that waits. Taking care of your mental health when you’ve tried to cover it up with work/keeping busy for ten years means we have a lot of ground to make up now. And sometimes it’s exhausting – for us both. He tries though. He tries so hard to be present and accept a new role as more parent than soldier – but I know it must be rough to get there when you’re caught in both worlds still. Sometimes I get so impatient and tired and overwhelmed and just want us to be ok. To be normal and done with the roller coaster of one big deal after another. But here we are again. And today, I flipped my Bible open for the first time in a while (I’m really good at telling myself “I’ve got this”) and read this passage: ‘Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.’ I’m not a huge believer in flipping open your Bible and reading something random and thinking, “This is for me!” But this passage really spoke to me today. If you pray, pray for us. For Sam especially. We are trying so hard to work through this next hurdle and give our girls wonderful memories and sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. ❤️

A photo posted by •diana• (@dianawrote) on

Honestly? He’s going to do what he does now. He’s going to grocery shop, plan meals, fix dinners, make our yard gorgeous, help me wrangle the kids, divide up naps and diapers and laundry, go to therapy, visit his doctors, read Bella books, help with homeschooling, watch the girls while I work and travel some, take trips with us, and get to be more present than ever in our lives. I know this might sound abnormal to some for a 34-year-old man. I understand that. Even in 2016 with all the stay at home/work at home dads, this still seems to really bug people. But this is our new normal, and we’re learning how to change what we thought life would be like (again) to accept what life is going to be like. And you know – nothing is forever. 🙂

The real, visible perks of all of this are seeing Char light up when he comes in the room, watching Bella reconnect with him again after so long of us just feeling like we were barely above water in our life. Right now as I write this, Charlotte is asleep and Bella has a play session with Sam for 30 minutes that we each do with her once a week. To me – that alone is incredible.

Gosh this is nearly a thousand words already. So let me sum a bit more up and I’ll try to get back on here soon to update on the girls and my thoughts on life when you bring home a baby after so much loss.

I went back to school this week after nearly a year break. It’s killer but I’m doing it. Also it makes me a bit ashamed this is so long and yet that 300 word essay on the book of John is still in drafts with around 15 words on the page. lol

Evenings ❤️

A photo posted by •diana• (@dianawrote) on

Char and Bella are doing wonderful. Char is 8 1/2 months and when I say I can’t believe how fast it’s gone – I can’t. I really can’t. I would love to do it all over again with her. She’s such a wonderful baby.

Bella and I are starting to homeschool again after Labor Day. Because we have so much going on this coming year, I picked a highly recommended boxed curriculum – Sonlight – and even flipping through it makes my teacher heart happy.

He probably needs a name huh? ?????

A photo posted by •diana• (@dianawrote) on

We got a new kitty! His name is Atlas and he is a disaster and I love him. He gets into everything and thinks he owns the world. He’s become best friends with our oldest kitty Jynx and it’s really special to see them play together.

I don’t talk about the boys a lot. I know this and at times it eats at me. I think about it often (I think about them every moment but I think about the reason I don’t bring them up a lot online or even in person) and came up with that’s the feelings are still very jumbled with Charlotte here. I’ve noticed a definite shift in responses and patience with my grief because she came home. I prepared my heart for that, but it still hurts. I think I mostly keep it to myself now because I’m tired of being hurt, but I’m also very protective of how dismissive others can be of it because of Char. And I haven’t learned how to navigate that well yet.

But I miss them with every part of me.

We’re at 1239 words so I’ll stop here. Someone needs to remind me to blog again so I get back on here before September rolls around and I’m planning a first birthday (what?!!).

6 Comments

  • Lisa

    July 21, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I’m so happy for you I can’t even tell you…. I was pregnant when you went through all you did with the twins… and was so happy when you got pregnant with Kaden, and so scared when you got pregnant with Charlotte, at the same time I was pregnant with my second. I know the hurt will never go away, and Char will never replace them… but at the same time I’m so happy you were able to have her, when it felt like you had given up, to have a sibling for Bella… one that comes home and is healthy.

    I can’t imagine going through what you have. And congrats on the disability rating, I hope that makes things that much easier for you both… you deserve relief in any way you can receive it, and hopefully some joy, too. I like to think that you are not writing because you are busy enjoying your time with your girls.

  • Becky – bybmg

    July 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    So great to hear an update. Prayers for the new house! So great that Sam got 100%! Keep blogging! Dang FB hides things from me, but my blog feed never does!

  • Melissa Lynn Benham

    July 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I'm so thankful for an update. I think of you and pray for you often. Your girls are sweet beauties!

  • fmbe

    July 10, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    People think the arrival of a healthy new baby means the dead/dying baby chapter is over and we should all pretend it didn’t happen because AWKWARD!

    Our little boy has been wonderful good medicine for our family after losing one of our twin daughters. But he doesn’t negate or replace her. How does this even need to ve said?!

  • Yvonne thumma your cousin

    July 10, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    every thing you had to say about the service and post manic stress is what my husband has lush brain surgery on both sides of his head and stints in his heart.he is on 100 percent disablity.but did not find all this until late he got out of the service experience 22 years.and yes you do go threw changes .us my husband do has short term memory loss from the brain surgery.and has seiures.plus I have had cancer.but the lord gets you threw it.praise God. you two hang in you will do fine.

  • In Between the Piles

    July 11, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Tonight my in laws (who are 88) were talking about their second child who passed away at 3 days. My father-in-law was fighting back tears. They had 3 healthy pregnancies after that, but my father-in-law said, "I still remember those days so vividly." I think of you and your journey when they talk about their daughter. Each of your boys was your heart & soul in human form. Know that your grief will always be warranted. Yes, you have 2 beautiful, healthy girls. But if anyone ever dismisses your sadness or mourning for your boys, they just haven't been there and don't know what it's like. They will live on in your life forever – because you will always be their mama. Huge hugs, Diana! And so good to see an update from you in my inbox!

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