Finally Out of Excuses

I’ve been putting off writing. Life has been stressful.country home

Marty came home.
We went on vacation.
We came back, we celebrated Thanksgiving.
Marty had to go to WLC, and then we celebrated the holidays, which involved going on a short vacation again.
We started to panic because our PCS was coming up. (Okay, maybe I was the only one panicking.)
We started trying to find housing/lodging and plan our move.
We had to pack up our entire house since we chose to do a DITY move.
We had to move, which was the most stressful part of the whole thing!

And now, I have no excuses. Well, other than unpacking, but I can only unpack so much every day, so, like I said, no more excuses not to get back to writing.

Missouri is where we are now, and no, we’re not miserable. We actually got through the move rather unscathed, and we found a really nice rental house out in the middle of nowhere. Marty, Leela the dog, Tumbles the cat, Pumpkin the bunny, and I are all settling into our big country house on 3 acres in the middle of the forest. We love it here and can’t wait till springtime when we can start planting and growing our own vegetables. We might even expand our little zoo by getting a few chickens! What better way to eat organically than to eat home-grown food, eh?

I’m not sure where this blog is going these days. I’m not even sure where this post is going, to be honest. I just know that I want to write again. More. I want to blog-write and write-write. In fact, I’m going to set up my typewriter in the sitting room attached to our master suite (yes, that’s right – be jealous), and I’m hoping that will help me feel inspired to do more writing. And blogging is going back into my weekly schedule, so expect to hear from me more. Even though I’m not sure what you’ll be hearing.

So… that’s all! Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Good Weekend and Some Bad News

Two soldiers from Hubby’s division, who were deployed to the same location as my hubby, were killed Saturday during a training exercise with US soldiers and Iraqi soldiers. It was only one Iraqi soldier who was out for blood, apparently, and the man’s own commanding officer also died trying to take him down… But still, just one soldier with a plan to use live rounds instead of blanks, and we’ve lost two of our men. I pray that God comforts their families…. I can’t even imagine the pain.

I know that a lot of us wives are finding that this is a wake-up call. Iraq, right now, is still unsafe. Yeah, it’s better than it was a couple years ago, and it’s better than Afghanistan. But there are still so many dangers there, from the vehicles breaking down or catching fire during mission to the people who make stupid choices and put others in danger, to the Iraqis who still hate us and don’t care whether they survive their attempt to take as many down as possible.

I’m reminding myself, however, that it’s not a wake-up call to worry. It’s a call to pray more and trust more. The God who loves us and gave his Son for us has all things well in hand, and I know he wants for me to lay my anxieties at his feet and allow him to comfort me.

Thankfully, when I heard the news this weekend I was occupied by a visit from one of my best friends! It was good to have a distraction. I think without Erika here, I might have spent the whole weekend saying to myself, “I know he’s fine, but….” and “what if….” and “…but if he’s okay, why hasn’t he been online?” I watched four movies this weekend with Erika…

  1. 1. Knight and Day – Funny movie, but oh, so corny. The dialog was pretty bad, the stunts were pretty outrageous, and…I just expected more from Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.
  2. 2. Easy A – Liked this one fairly well. It was a cute movie and a decent story. My complaint is with the girl playing the main character. I’ve seen Emma Stone in several other movies without complaint, but I did not like her in this role. It didn’t seem like a good fit. She was annoying and kind of awkward, in my opinion.
  3. 3. The Dilemma – Liked this one pretty well, too. It was funny – definitely has its moments… But it’s the kind of movie that kind of makes you cringe for the main character. He seems to always make bad decisions.
  4. 4. The Social Network – Good movie! Although, it did make me kind of hate Mark Zuckerburg. The movie kept me interested all the way through and was just…very captivating and entertaining. And I liked how it neither spoke as to who was right and who was wrong, nor did it gloss over everything as if it was all just a little unnecessary drama. The characters seemed very real – in the sense that sometimes people just don’t THINK and sometimes geniuses are stupid jerks and sometimes friendships aren’t very deep… I guess I can’t really explain it.

I hope that y’all will help me pray for the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq on Saturday. And pray for the rest of the soldiers that are still there in Iraq and in other dangerous countries, such as my Hubby (who, by the way, is fine 🙂 He was able to get back online last night and reassure me).

Welcome to 2011

First blog of the new year! I’ve been at this for several months, now, and despite what my recent lack of activity might suggest, I am still interested in keeping this blog going. I do, however, think that this is a good time to reassess some things.

It seems I need to recognize that I’m in a different place in life than I was last February.

I am, for one thing, no longer an Avon lady, per se. I can still order products, but I don’t have the website to allow customers to place orders online, and I don’t order and distribute brochures. What do I do, then, ask my friends and family. Do I go to school? Well, no. I’m not currently going to school, either.

I am an Army wife who is trying to survive her first deployment through the help of God, family, friends, and a regularly-scheduled counseling appointment. Since deployment began, if I’m really honest, I haven’t done much of anything. At all. After deciding to finally give up on Avon (I’m not a sales-person…), I intended to spend “work time” each day doing blogs and working on my novel. But the truth is that I don’t spend my days doing productive things like that. I don’t do the things that are high on my priority list, or the things that are the most fulfilling for me. I do the things that are the easiest, and the things that pass time quickly, the things that take my mind off of reality. And I regret it, and then the next day I do it again.

I’m an Army wife trying to survive her husband’s first deployment. I leave the house a few times a week: to go to counseling, to go grocery shopping, to go to church, and to go to Bible study sometimes. I go walking for thirty minutes about five times a week. I try to read my Bible and pray daily. I write a weekly snail-mail letter to my husband in Iraq, despite the fact that we talk almost daily online. And I watch a *lot* of Netflix. And play Minecraft. And sleep.

But am I still passionate about writing? Yes. And am I still an aspiring novelist, an artist of sorts, a homemaker, a Christian? Yes.

So, what will Ocipura.com look like in 2011?

*More personal. I tried hard in 2010 to keep the blog from becoming a personal journal. And when I say tried hard, I mean hard. It was a lot of effort for me. You can ask Hubby – one of my most frequent complaints was that I couldn’t write about something or didn’t know how to write about something without making it too personal. I’m not too worried about that anymore, and I think that my friends who read won’t be too bothered by the blog becoming more personal.

*More fictitious? I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to post some of my writing on here. I haven’t decided for sure yet. Frankly, I’m worried about my work being stolen. Not that someone would necessarily take my words and pass them off as their own so much as they might take my ideas and write them better. So this isn’t something I’m saying you will see in 2011, but it’s a possibility.

*More pictures. I know I’ve mentioned before that this blog has a severe lack of pictures. I really would like to correct that.

*More interactive. I’ve already talked to my webmaster about the possibility of adding a forum, and I’m really hoping to get more feedback from readers this year. We’ll see. On that note, please, can you tell me what I can do to entice you guys to become more involved? I ask questions frequently and try to open things up for discussion, but that rarely draws a single comment. Any thoughts?

Vlogging: The What, Why, and Where

We started a vlog! I may not have gone through with it if it weren’t for the fact that my husband turned out to be just as interested in the project as I am! So, we’re starting/have started a joint vlog!

What & Why?

We’re vlogging about life. I don’t promise that there will be a video for every day, but I do promise that the vlogs will chronicle our days. They won’t be super fancy, but hopefully they will be entertaining. You’ll see a lot more of me than of him, as he’s gone a lot for Army business. I want to give a feel of every day life in our shoes (as soldier and Army wife) as we go through crazy training schedules, friends getting married, selling Avon, deployments, and potty-training (you’ll just have to watch to find out what that’s all about!)

Where?

We’re posting the videos on YouTube, on my channel: www.youtube.com/ocipura. You can see that there are already several uploaded! As yet, there is no regular posting schedule.

Help Me Out!

You can really help me out by encouraging me and showing your interest, both here and on YouTube, for one thing. For another, give me some feedback about whether you think I should include videos in my blog posts, as in embedded, or not. I was thinking that I should just include a link to the most recent vlog at the bottom on my blog posts! What do you think?

Do you have a vlog, about Army life or something else?

Interview On Army Wives’ Lives

Last Wednesday Ocipura.com and I were featured in an interview on Army Wives’ Lives. They blog about things that are related to the goings-on in the life of an Army wife, such as facing deployments and frequent moves, how to deal with it all, and so on. I appreciated the opportunity to do the interview and be featured on such a website because, for one thing, I don’t write about Army wife life quite as frequently as some other blogs. I only write about it occasionally, as it is not the main focus of Ocipura.com. And my other reason for being grateful is that the interview is helping give me the chance to meet other Army wives! I’ve already come in contact with two or three that I might not have met otherwise. If you’re interested, take a look at Army Wives’ Lives blog and my interview!

From Whence I Came

For now I just want to share a little bit of how I got where I am now. To me it is evidence of God working in my life!

My writing – I’ve always, always loved to write. I admit that in fourth grade I despised “Writing Wednesdays,” but that was just because I was being forced. The first stories I wrote (that I remember) were in second grade. Our teacher would staple together little booklets, and we would fill them in during class. I swear I filled in almost twice as many as other kids. I’ve also kept some sort of journal almost all my life, starting when I was probably in first or second grade until now.

I enjoy writing. I enjoy grammar and languages. I didn’t learn to enjoy it at school, but in a lot of ways despite school (I did not enjoy my composition or English classes very much). Now, I’m at the point of having participated in NaNoWriMo twice, winning both times, and dreaming about one day publishing a novel. But speaking of writing, this leads right into…

My blog – Blogging is something I wanted to get into because of how much I enjoy writing. It’s a thrill to move my fingers across the keyboard and have words appear, words that mean something. I enjoy trying to make my words flow and have a certain “sound.” In person, I’m quiet. After being so shy throughout my childhood, this quietness is sort of stuck in me, and I don’t really mind it. It just means that I usually won’t speak up unless I’m sure what I’m saying is relevant and important/useful. But it’s a different story here. Here, I can and will say what I want to, when I want to, and I know that only those who are interested will continue to read. And I’m okay with that! It’s a way for me to express my opinions, experiences, and thoughts that I might otherwise hold back, afraid no one is interested.

My art – I come from a very artistic family, on all sides. My father’s mother painted numerous landscapes, one of which is currently hanging in my living room! I have a niece whose drawings get better every time I see them. My mother’s brother, aunt, and grandmother are all very artistic, and even my stepfather brought in some income for a while by selling his art online. My husband is a whiz with a pen, with paint, with almost any medium he’s tried, so our kids may end up artists as well!

As for me, I never saw myself as an artist. I was just another kid who drew people’s faces. Until, one day, I decided to really try, and I impressed myself. I took an art class in grade school, and a tried a tutorial online one time, but other than that, I’ve been completely self-taught, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Avon – I started selling Avon for a number of reasons. One, I had recently quit my job due to getting married, and I wanted to help bring in some extra income for our little family of two.

Second, I wanted the flexibility of a basically self-employed status because, as an army wife, my husband’s schedule can sometimes be unpredictable. I want the freedom to be able to work when my husband is working, so that I can be spending time with him when he’s not working.

Third, I wanted the challenge. I’m an opinionated person. I can be forceful when I need to be, as I demonstrated at my previous job when I had to speak with insurance companies regarding lack of payment on claims. And I’ve taught myself to be less shy than I used to be. But being a salesperson, developing relationships with strangers, and being assertive is another story completely. I didn’t know if I could do it, but I was and am determined to prove that I can. And you know what? I’m really loving it. Also, I get discounts on products that I’m growing to love.