December 13, 2011

Christmas Blog Swap with Household 6 Diva

Riding the Roller Coaster
Wife on a Roller Coaster came up with a great idea...a Christmas blog swap!  So a bunch of Milspouse bloggers got all swapped up and we're taking over someone else's blog for the day.  You can find the complete list of participating bloggers and the links on the RC's blog.

You can find me over The Few, The Proud, The Wife.  When you're done reading, this post, please head on over and say hi to Ines and leave me a little comment love.  Thanks!

I have the honor of hosting Ann Marie from Household 6 Diva.  In case you've never heard of her, here's her bio:  Ann Marie Detavernier is a Military Spouse currently stationed in Baumholder, Germany. With her husband currently deployed to Afghanistan, she is a full time volunteer in her community, an award-winning photographer, and a trailblazer for military families living overseas. She writes with humor and refreshing honesty about daily life as an Army Wife and Busy Mom of three small children at

I didn’t grow up with an extended large family.  My parents divorced when I was young and with a working Mom, the holidays were a season of choir and band concerts, carnation fundraisers through student council, and a quiet candlelit dinner at home with my Mom, sister and I.  It was festive. It was heart felt. It was real.
My husband and I were legally married the last Wednesday of November and spent our honeymoon night in a tiny hotel somewhere in northern Ohio on our way to his family’s Thanksgiving celebration.  It would be another three weeks until we moved in together and frantically prepared our new home to receive family for our unofficial official Wedding Day on New Year’s Eve.

The following year, Seth was deployed to Iraq in early November when I was 33 weeks pregnant with our first child.  The first week of December I was invited to someone’s home for a Christmas Caroling party.  I remember that morning waking up with no intention of going.  I was 39 weeks pregnant. The only dessert I had confidence I could prepare properly (that would at least turn out edible!) was a Jello No-Bake cheesecake.  I was perfectly content to spend the day in yoga pants watching tv and sorting through baby clothes for the hundredth time.

Around three in the afternoon, I changed my mind.  I made the crust, mixed up the pudding, and popped open a can of sliced peaches thinking they might look nice as a decorative garnish on top.  Then I ran upstairs to take a shower.  An hour later I was waddling back down the stairs in my nicest white maternity shirt and brown corduroy slacks to grab my beautiful pie and head out to the party. 

When I arrived I was greeted by warm hugs and heartfelt smiles.  It was overwhelming – but in a very good way.  As I set my comparatively frumpy pie among the exotic desserts I remember wanting to cry.  I felt like I didn’t belong there.  My husband was in Iraq.  My belly was huge.  My dessert looked like it had been made by a second grader. 

That was the moment the hostess finally found me.  Ms. Brigitte had been a military wife for many years and instantly made me feel at ease.  “What a beautiful pie you made! I’m so glad you are here!”  She then circled the room with her arm linked in mine introducing me and engaging others in fun conversation.  The evening continued with beautiful alternating rounds of singing and more laughter and stories.

When it was time to go, I again felt tears prick my eyes. It had been a beautiful evening of hospitality and warmth. It was festive. It was heart felt. It was real. 

And although my husband was far away that Christmas, my heart was full because of my new military family.


  1. It was definitely a lesson in military life as well as in the kind of military spouse I want to be! Someone who is gracious, hospitable, and always aware of the quiet person in the room. :)

    Not to mention kind enough to compliment my obviously newlywed-rookie-in-the-kitchen pie that I brought to share.  As my children get older I want to spend more of my time sharing and mentoring other young spouses the way I was so blessed to be.

  2. Awww...why do I have tears in my eyes right now while I read your post? I guess because we have all been there in those moments where we feel like we don't fit in and yet even when standing in a crowded room, can still feel all alone.

    I think this is a great post to remind all of us milspouses that we need to make sure when we have a gathering to circle the room and make a difference in another milspouses life.

  3. And to reach out to the brand new spouse who may feel completely intimidated and not sure they can simply be themselves!

  4. Aww!! I love people like that... ones who just make you feel so welcome and included and loved. They do it because it is just natural for them, not because they are the host or feel obligated, but because they want you to feel loved and welcomed.

    I hope some day, if I am ever in a similar situation, I will have someone to welcome me. And to do the same for someone else if I could.

  5. What a sweet post!  I love that you were able to have a nice night even though Seth was gone.  

  6. It was SO much fun! I still keep in touch with several of the couples I met that evening at her house! :)  I love being part of a Military Family like that!

  7. I know! It was her and a few other women in a women's Bible study who taught me the difference between hospitality and entertaining!  Entertaining is inviting people over to see your pretty pretty house with pretty pretty things.  Hospitality is inviting them to join your family for an evening in your home - to welcome them into your normal everyday life.  

    Ms Brigitte is, and was that night, a true lady!
    I want to be her when I grow up! ;)

  8. I love how military families come together during the holidays!

  9. Such a sweet story! I love it. :)

    *hopping around the Milspouse Holiday Blog Swap!*

  10. I love that we both wrote about military families!  Yes, I know very well that feeling of being taken under someone's wing and made to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.  It's such a great feeling!  And somehow I get the impression that, given the circumstances, YOU'RE now that woman to link your arm through the uncomfortable gal and help her feel comforable.  And girl, do you know how amazing you look 39 weeks pregnant?!  Can't wait to see you again my friend.  :)

    Thank you both for participating in the swap!

  11. Rachelle Organ-SteeleDecember 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I think all of us military spouses can TOTALLY relate to this in one way or another. Not always being in our element or being away from family/spouse during the holidays... Great post!


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