Sunday, November 30, 2008

Now what?

Well, I promise today won't go as long as yesterday did! I guess I just can't help it when I talk about my amazing family. So, today I just want to post a short and simple appreciation for another wonderful group of people in my life - My Friends!

After 17 years in the Army I have developed some terrific lifelong friendships. The environment we live in tends to make your friendships closer than most normal situations. I have been blessed with some very special people in my life, some that I have know since my first couple of years in the Army. Some of them are no longer in, as they have separated or retired and moved on with the next chapters of their lives, others are stationed throughout Europe and the US, while, unfortunately, others are currently in Iraq (be safe and take care of you) and Afghanistan. Regardless of where you are all located, you are always in my thoughts and prayers and I am so very thankful to have been able to share parts of my life with you.

The wonderful friendships that have developed through my travels are also very special to me. I have some wonderful friends throughout the States that have had a huge impact on my life, as well as the person I've become. I will soon (in the April timeframe) be heading back to the wonderful state of Texas, to San Antonio, for what will likely be the final chapter in my Army journey. I am thrilled to know that some of those awesome friends won't be very far away and I'll be able to see them again. I'm sure some road trips to San Angelo will be in order! I also always look forward to heading back to the wonderful state of Florida and seeing friends there. I'm sure one of those two states will be my home in retirement, and I will be looking forward to that chapter in a couple of years.

Of course, with each move there are more friends that must be left behind as I embark on the next phase. I will truly miss the wonderful friendships I have developed here in Maryland and will look forward to future visits! So, I just want to say to all of my amazing friends that you, too, have helped to mold and shape me into the person I have become and for that I am grateful! You all mean the world to me and will forever hold your own special places in my heart.

With love,
aka Menny-Jay ;-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Very First Blog

Well, after spending a couple of days with a very dear friend who recently started blogging, I think I've been bitten by the blogging bug! I figured it was time to just jump right in and get started. Why wait - there's no time like the present, right?! ;-) 

So, my goal is to do daily updates, but reality says that likely won't happen. I will aim to do it and hope you'll understand if I miss a day or two, or and there.

So, for my first post, I just want to focus on the things that truly matter to me the most - my treasured loved ones - my wonderful family. At this time of year as the holiday season begins, having just enjoyed Thanksgiving, it seems fitting to say how thankful I am for my amazing family. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a supportive, understanding and very loving family behind me.

My Mom is my best friend and the best Mom in the world and my Daddy is a rock - I will always be a Daddy's Girl and I'm very proud of that fact! Pops and Jayne are the best step-parents anyone could ever ask for. They are both very supportive and loving and treat my sister and I as if we were their own children. Speaking of my sister, Dee is an inspiration to us all as she has built a nice little life for her and Baylee. Dee has become more than a sister, but a true friend and I treasure our time spent together. As for that darling little niece of mine, Baylee, she is the light of my life. She is why I do what I do - she makes serving my country mean so much more to me and puts so many things into perspective for me. She has been "my little angel girl" since the day she was born and will forever remain that special little blessing for us all.

Then, giving us all a wonderful example to follow, has been Gram, who is one of the greatest people in all of the world. I will forever cherish the times spent with Grandma and Grandpa as a little girl, and continue to treasure each moment I spend with Gram when I'm home. I am a very lucky girl to have two terrific women rounding things out, Grandma Irma and Grandma Roxie have both been huge supporters and wonderful additions to our family, too. 

I was lucky enough to grow up living near Mom's only sister, Aunt Fay, who along with Uncle Larry and Debbie, Tim and Cindy have always been a very special and close extended family for us. Dee and I are very blessed to have been able to grow up in such a close and supportive environment and we owe it all to our terrific family. Of course there are lots of others, but unfortunately, distance has made it difficult to really know a lot of Daddy's side of the family. I know enough, however, to know that growing up in a family with 13 children makes for lots more wonderful family members and am blessed to know some of them very well. I only wish we all were closer growing up instead of being so far away from each other.

So, ultimately, I am proud to say the reason I am the person I've become is because of all of the truly inspirational and loving and supportive members of my family who have shown me the person I wanted to be. I continue to work towards that person each day and hope to one day achieve the dream and make them all as proud that I am a part of their family and life as I am that they are all a part of mine! I love you all with everything that I am!

Always and forever,
Your Soldier girl