We’ve grown a bit!

We’ve been a little preoccupied lately. We welcomed our third child, Leonidas Rae in April after a long and trying pregnancy. Since his arrival into the world things have been so busy! Having three kids is crazy! Camren & Riley have fully grown into the roll of big brother and sister, and we couldn’t be more proud!

I feel right back at home with another baby. I truly truly enjoy the world of having a newborn/baby. Toddlers on the other hand are NOT my forte. Probably because they can talk back :-O.

I think Tyler is still adjusting to the new addition. I can tell that he’s uncomfortable, and I think that it stresses him a bit. Tyler has also gone back to working, doing a construction type field. I think that he really enjoys the work, but not necessarily working for someone else.

We are still pushing forward with our mission to aid all Veterans & military in their reintegration process, ailments, and issues. We are so passionate about helping those who have served overcome the demons of war. To aid us in doing this, we’ve created a couple of different avenues! We have created a store, which I will post the link to at the bottom.

We also have a group on facebook! If you would like help, or would like help serving those who have served please ask to join our group. There is help available. It does work. You CAN have your life back.

store: http://www.squareup.com/store/essentialoilhustle


Cam leoLeo 1Riley LeoLeo Newborn

The never ending rollercoaster



Its been awhile. Life took over for a bit. We’ve been riding that rollercoaster of ups and downs with life in general and also with PTSD. Overall, things have been pretty good….some occasional bad days….some scary moments….and some moments of “oh no not again”. Do you have those? Do you ever wonder if you will ever be able to stop the rollercoaster? There are days that I wonder if this is just the way life is now……like it will never “go back” to how it was pre-deployment. Don’t get me wrong, there are things that I love about post deployment life, but there are also things that I really wish would have stayed in the desert. Or maybe that’s the problem? Maybe too much stayed in Afghanistan…and only pieces came back home. Its hard to say for me. I’ll never truly understand…and maybe that’s for the best?

From the perspective of the spouse, wife, lover, partner, etc, there are days that I wonder if I can continue on living on egg shells. Wondering if the struggles we are dealing with are hurting our children….will the remember? Will they be scarred? How is it affecting them? How is it affecting me? Will Tyler truly ever be “back to himself”? Is this who he is now?

When I can find the time to get away, I’ve taken part in a group “decompression” for spouses of PTSD diagnosed Veterans….the common theme? “Is this PTSD or is he just an Asshole?” Surprising to some, seemingly disrespectful to those who don’t live this life…it is a question I seem to ask myself regularly. What brought this on? Was it something from OVER THERE….or just something in his every day personality? How can you tell? Is there even a way? Does it matter? PTSD is such a vast and unknown world that I don’t think we will ever know. To me, its a very general term given to basically every symptom that COULD be related to trauma, whether war related or not, and plopped on people like a hat. Similarly to IBS, in my opinion….basically it seems like the doctors way of saying “well we don’t really have any idea of WHAT is wrong, but we know its in your gut so lets just say its IBS”…… REALLY?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not starting a mental health diagnosis debate here, but PTSD presents very differently in each person, so to me it is very generalized term, and maybe thats because we just don’t know enough about it….but believe me we are on the rollercoaster of PTSD that doesn’t seem to ever stop…. The Highs are amazing, exciting, gut wrenching even….but the lows….are like when you are upside down in the dark and you feel the safety harness shift and you’re terrified its going to unlock and you will plummet to an uncertain future….. and the best part is…. you cant see the front of the cars, so you don’t ever know which way you are headed……

I’m going to coin a new phrase…. who want’s coffee mugs?

“I’m married to PTSD….whats your super power?”


From where we came

from Melissa

Tyler and I met in high school. We became close friends during those years, and then lost each other after graduation for a short period. As fate would have it, we both moved back to our hometown within a month of each other, and reconnected. As they say, the rest is history. In the beginning of our relationship, we had a lot of ups and downs, and enjoyed our 20’s together. Towards the end of my radiologic technology training, Tyler decided to join the military. In February of 2009, Tyler was sworn in to the Army National Guard of South Dakota. Little did I know our lives would never be the same.

September 11, 2009 was the day that Tyler flew to Fort Knox, KY to begin his training as a soldier. At the time I thought this would be the hardest thing we would ever go through, to be away from each other for 3 months, boy was I wrong. During his training in Fort Knox, and then Fort Leonard wood, MO, Tyler grew to love the military and his purpose with it.  There was even discussion of leaving the National Guard, and transferring to active duty.

After returning home from his training’s, life returned to normal. He spoke of his “battle buddies” often, keeping in touch with several of them as they all went separate ways after AIT. One of the most frequent names that I heard him speak of, was Dawson. You see, Dawson was his bunk mate at Fort Leonard wood. They grew to be as close as brothers.

Shortly after leaving AIT, Dawson was activated and deployed to Afghanistan. He was only 20 years old. I could tell that this affected Tyler, he had a desire to be there with his buddy, but knew that it wasn’t his time yet.

Then the news came. Dawson gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. I watched as this rocked my hero to his core.