Sunday, April 26, 2009

My letter to Oprah

Re: advise to military familys. My letter was to long to send in, so I am posting it here. I worked hard on it! :)

I am an army wife, our family has been in the army for almost 10 years now. We have lived in Germany for 8 years now, and enjoy it very much. Although we love it now, we had a very hard time adjusting.

We first moved to Germany in 2002, my husband was deployed in 2003. I was left alone in a foreign country to fend for myself and our two very infant daughters. This was the hardest time I have ever endured in my short life.

Many people move overseas not knowing what to expect. Hearing stories other people tell them, or misconceptions they hear through internet, friends, tv, ect. I know when I moved to Germany I thought about bratwurst, beer and horrible Nazi storys. I can tell people from experience its nothing like that...well maybe the beer part!

The best advise I could give to someone is that the army is one very large family. There are some family members you don't get along with, some you like more than others. We all share on common goal, protecting Americas freedom and standing behind our soldiers. I remember when I first came here and had to go to the hospital for an emergency and had no one that I really trusted, I had only been here for 3 months. My neighbors stepped up and took our two small children in and watched them like their own. Family is not just blood, its what you make it.

My other best advise is taking advantage of the places you will be stationed. I know people that have been in Germany for 6 years and never been to any other countries, barely stepping foot off the base. I drag my family out every chance I get to explore new things, how often will we have this chance again? My oldest child was two years old when we got here, she will be 10 years old this year. She has been to 10 countries! We scrimp and save to go on road trips, but we are making memories that will last forever.

Some of the best people Ive ever met where in my army family. Now they come and go all the time, sometimes you meet a few that you don't agree with, that's what makes us all different I guess.

Keeping in contact with family is important also. I try to call my family once a week. I have not seen my mother in three years. She is unemployed and cannot afford to come here, so we take pictures of our house and give her a virtual tour of things. We don't celebrate birthdays together with aunts and uncles. We see family and feel so sad that the time goes by and we don't see the little ones grow. We feel strange around family when we come home because we cannot afford to come home more than every two to three years. We try to stay close. We miss grandma babysitting, or grandmas cookies. They miss important events like the first day of kindergaden. We sacrifice these things and a lot of American don't realize.

We make home wherever we are. We make family wherever we are. Home is where the Army takes us. We also get culture shock when we go home :)

Thanks for recognizing the military and the family's who keep them going.

Sarah Richardson
Proud US Army wife to SGT. John M Richardson
Go Army HOOAH!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another day around the Richardson house. We have been outside playing and talking to the neighbors.We have planned our route to Spain this June. We are all looking forward to a much needed vacation! Zoey and I went to Spain when John was in Iraq. Emmy was to little to bring. I think Zoey was around 3 1/2-4 when we went and she still remembers a few things about Spain. We went on a bus trip with our neighbors and we all had kids the same age. I remember it was a very long bus ride! It seemed like forever getting there and back. We only stayed three nights in a hotel. Zoey and I went to a midevil show and after that we watched a flamenco show :) That was a lot of fun! I will never forget when my neighbor Shawna and I snuck out after the kids were asleep to the lobby area where there was a bar and they had a guy playing karaoke on a keyboard. I was sippin on something fruity at the bar and there was like 5 people there including the bartender and the guy playing the music.....My friend Shawna got down! She jumped
up there and started singing "Thriller" she knew all the words and even did the dance!!! I laughed so hard I think I almost cried!!! That was my favorite memory of spain. Well worth the 15+hours in a crappy slow bus! I also remember it was super hot and the ocean was beautiful. We all ran down to the water to cool off and it was like icewater cold... so cold it gave you like a ice cream headache! I think I can still feel it somedays............

I also remember almost dying trying to get up this mountain to see a rather famous monastery called Monserate I think that's how you spell it. The roads just went up and up and up and up. It was windy and I swear the bus driver had to push his mirrors in to pass the other tour buses! I had to just breath and look away at that point... And when we finally got to the top I was like "THIS IS IT" I risked my life to see a statue of Madonna that turned black mysteriously....
what the heck...... :) I will tell you we wont be going to see that this time around.

I am looking forward to spending two weeks in a warm sunshiny country :) I know it will be super hot some days and I get super crabby when I am hot...Ill just have to breath and shake it off.... and remember that this will be the most sun my body will see until I either return or a miracle happens and we actually get a summer in Germany this year.

Most summers here it gets up to like 95 which is plenty hot for me. Those are the days we put the TV in the basement close all the windows, and go out and play at like 8pm when its bearable. I know it sure felt good to have a lil sun today. It got up to 65 today I think, which is really warm for April 1st!!!!

In July we are having our niece come to visit us. I am super stoked to show her around :) Her and I get along real well. I have know her since she was 5 years old. She will be having her sweet 16th here. John and I want to take her to the Eiffel tower or somewhere special on that day. How many kids can say that :) John will be working most the days so we will do longer trips on the weekends and such. I will be taking her and the girls to do day trips while dad is at work.

In august we are going home!!! The girls have not seen there grandmas in 3 years!!! It is long overdue! We got free plane tickets for John re-enlisting. We are not rich, just Richardsons...baa dummpp dummp :) Errrr........ So we are planning on coming home as long as we can. We originally wanted to come home for the 4th, but they are not doing the fireworks this years:(
So we are going to the Clark County Fair. I have not been to the fair for probably 8 years! I remember putting the girls in the cutest baby contest :) Emmy was 4 months old. She will be 8 this month.....Jeshhhh!

I think I wrote enough for today :) Ive been trying to pass time and ended up writing a novel. Whatever, its my blog and ill
blog if I want to right?


Oh let the sun shine though!

We have had the most beautiful weather the last 2 days. We are due for a whole week of sun, I am so grateful! I have been outside all day shopping, driving, sunbathing :) I almost forgot how good the sunshine feels on my shoulders:) Ahhhhhhhhh.....................