Before Jamie was a Mommy she was daughter to one of my very best friends. It’s been pretty fun to watch her mature from teenager to Mother, and from what I see she rocks the Mommy gig pretty good. She is mother to Nolan and wife of Josh who is currently serving in the Army on his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq.
So before we get into the Mommy part of this interview, lets talk about Jamie!! You are a Gene Juarez trained hair “artist” and LOVE fashion and such, coming from a house full of boys how did you turn out so girly???
Simply put I was born that way. I remember loving that stuff since I could walk and talk. One of my favorite stories of my childhood is when I was a baby and I would get fussy they would put a pretty little dress on me and like magic I was happy again. They had never seen anything like it! My mom was also a huge part of the equation. She is so beautiful and always dresses nicely. Believe it or not she at one time wanted to be a fashion designer and so in a strange way that I can not fully explain I was drawn towards that sort of thing partly because of her dream.
You met and married Josh pretty quickly..love at first sight..right??
I never really believed in love at first sight until I met Josh. The fireworks were going as soon as he walked into my parents kitchen. *sigh* I get butterfly's in my stomach just thinking of it:)
From what I remember you guys were only married around 10 months before he deployed on his first tour in Iraq. How was that sending your new husband off to war? And more importantly how was it when he came back, after witnessing war?
Sending Josh off to war was horrible. The first few days felt incredibly hopeless. I literally felt like my heart had been torn out. However I was just starting beauty school and about two months into the deployment Toni (my sister-in-law) and I got an apartment together, so I became incredibly busy.
When Josh came home he was definitely different. He seemed older and he had a sadness about him that was not there before. At the time I had I barely heard about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but the amount I did know helped prepare me a little bit for his return home. He would see things that were not there and at times he even saw people that had died. I seldom asked him about what he saw or did over there, knowing he would eventually tell me when the time was right. He would tell me that God would never forgive him for the things he had done and that he was going to hell. Josh could not forgive himself and it was taking a toll on him.
I did a lot of praying. Things started to change though. I remember one night we went to dinner and a movie. We ended getting in a huge fight because I asked him to turn the music down. That fight led into one of the deepest conversations we had had since we were married. We parked in a parking lot and talked for a long time about what he saw and did in Iraq as well as God and forgiveness. Through a serious of events over the next few months Josh eventually began his journey to healing and forgiveness. War and hate changed him, but God never left him. The dreams may never go away or the ache of old wounds, but God has a hold on his life and with that hold, healing.
Your plan was when Josh came home on leave you wanted to get pregnant..it worked! Talk to me about being pregnant without him around, then he his home..and you are far along!! So many adjustments all at once!!
It was difficult at first. I lived with Toni (my sister in law) at the time so her excitement helped me get over my nervousness and doubts. There were times that I was pretty irritable, but Toni was always very gracious with me. When it was time for Josh to come home I freaked out a bit. I was 7 almost 8 months along and I was huge. When Josh left after his mid-tour leave I was in the best shape of my life. My body had changed so much since then and I honestly thought he would take one look at me and run away screaming. On the day of Josh's return I tried to remain calm, but on the inside I was a nervous wreck. It was one of those days where it feels like everything was going wrong. The outfit I had bought for his homecoming was suddenly not as cute and I felt like a whale trying to squeeze into a small swimming pool. I wondered what Josh was going to think? Would he think I was still hot? Would he be embarrassed by my appearance? Suddenly I wished I had exercised more and controlled my eating a little better. However when Josh and I first saw each other and he put his hands on my stomach, the tenderness in his eyes melted all my worries away.
Soon you knew that Josh was going back to Iraq, I can’t imagine how hard that is. How much more different has it been this time having Nolan than last time?
Josh had been home nearly 16 months when he shipped out again. We had gone through so much in our lives leading up to that day. We had become best friends on such a deep level that the thought of being apart again was really hard. We had learned to lean on each other through the difficulties of normal life, an extremely fussy baby, his PTSD and simply adjusting to each other again. So far it has been incredibly different. I am so much lonelier then last time and even though Nolan keeps me busy I am not as busy as I was the first deployment. My mind tends to wander more frequently and it is hard watching Nolan grow without his dad around. Without Josh there are certainly some challenges, like the moment of panic every time I go into a grocery store wondering if Nolan will let the whole store know he is unhappy and I have to leave without getting anything done. I also have to really want something before I go to the mall with Nolan and I have to make it quick. On the bright side, Nolan and I have developed a good relationship and I have learned so much about myself. He is a little character and makes me laugh quite often. Although when Josh gets home I am going to go out, and tan, get my nails done, leisurely shop (MAC counter is a must), buy a coffee and enjoy not having to rush around.......all in that order:) Oh and perhaps lunch at the Nordstrom cafe with a friend or two!
You are soo blessed with a super supportive family, tell me about your parents?? They are wonderful and encouraging. Whenever I need a break from Nolan they take him for a while. Dad is always good for hugs and an encouraging word. Nolan absolutely adores him and always wants to be around him. Mom is my sounding board and has helped me through some difficult things that have risen up with this deployment. They are truly great people and the greatest examples of what Godly parents and friends should look like.
Ok fun questions..what is your ultimate hair dream??
Right now I want to go to Syndey, Australia and work under Sharon Blain. She does amazing work and I aspire to have that kind of talent. After doing that for a couple years and getting tired of living an 'haute couture' lifestyle I want to come back to the states and start my own salon........with a state of the art daycare. A place for women to come, kids or no kids and relax with no worries. I want to make a woman look at herself in the mirror and see a beautiful classy lady looking back.