Saturday, November 22, 2014

8 Tips For Surviving the Holidays Without Your LEO

Encouraging tips for thriving through the holiday season

 as a Law Enforcement Family

One of the hardest aspects of being a Law Enforcement family can be the subject of holidays. For most families, we will experience a holiday or two alone or spent without our LEO. Depending on your situation, celebrating a holiday without your LEO can be anything but happy. It can bring up feelings of sadness, abandonment, loneliness, and depression. For children it can be confusing and hard to understand not to mention a total drag having your mom or dad miss out on holiday festivities. For most families it can be a difficult and disappointing reality of the job.

So how do you cope as an LE family during the holiday season? Here are a few tips that I have found helpful to overcome the downer of a holiday alone.

  • Be Flexible- This has become a necessity so far for every holiday in our family. Many of the holidays throughout the year my LEO works, whether because holidays fall on his shift days, or he takes the holiday/overtime pay opportunity. One way we juggle the holiday schedule and still feel like we get to celebrate the season is by staying flexible. We celebrate the holiday on a different day and try to keep a positive attitude. We look at the situation with a positive perspective. While we may not celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day, we celebrate the days before and our family ends up having a Christmas week...can that get any more fun? Our family gets to celebrate the holiday on our own day and we end up having two holidays when we come together with family and friends on the actual day. While my LEO may not be present on the actual holiday, the fact we make an effort to still celebrate together on a different day helps buffer the affects of celebrating with others without him. Not having your LEO home on the specific holiday is not an end flexible, be creative, and you just might find your holiday season filled with double the merriment! 
  • Check Your Realities- Couples canoodle everywhere, the ideal image of happiness and cheer are in every ad, holiday song, or movie, commercials show huge, happy family gatherings. There are the pressures of the latest gifts, baking/cooking craziness, and the perfectly hosted party. Check your realities. When you feel the pressures of the holiday, remember the commercial expectations of the holidays are not reality for anyone. Don't expect the perfect holiday. Expectations are unfair to yourself and can produce more disappointment and hurt when they don't come to pass the way we imagined. No family is perfect, no holiday will be perfect, and sometimes things don't go as planned. Give yourself a break and remind yourself that how your family does the holidays is perfect for you...even the crazy, messed up parts. When you feel caught up in the craziness, take a deep breath, get back to square one, and remember the simple things about the holiday are what matter most. Hold your ideals of the holiday loosely and remind yourself to go with the flow. Give yourself and others a break during the holidays and remember, your best is good enough.
  • Make Your Own Traditions- Who says you have to celebrate the holiday the way millions of others do? In the same way you shouldn't be afraid to mix up the holiday schedule don't be afraid to make new traditions from the adjustments too! Whether those new traditions are who you celebrate with, meeting your LEO at the office for a quick Christmas cookie and milk moment, or finding a way to surprise your LEO when they are on shift (think little stocking stuffers all over their squad car, or in the pockets of their vest). If it's a summer holiday, meet your LEO on their break for a paper plate BBQ in the park to include them in 4th of July festivities. There are probably other families in your department celebrating without their LEO- get together for a spouse/kids day and enjoy games and yummy snacks with other LE families. There are lots of ways to make the mixed up moments of the holiday season a tradition for your family and traditions can also include others!
  • Communicate with Others- One way to buffer some of the heartache of missing your LEO on holidays is to communicate with family and friends. Let them know when your LEO won't be part of the festivities and don't be afraid to share if you are struggling or need extra support. Often times friends and family have no idea that holidays alone are part of the job and can be painful. By communicating your situation and feelings it allows your support group to come along side and do their part to help. Let them know this year is different for your family and see if getting together on a different day is possible. It can become another of those crazy Police family traditions!
  • Pick Your Family- For some families, celebrating with immediate family on a different day is just not an option. Whether because of everyone elses' work schedules or travel, spending a holiday with extended family may not be an option this year. In that case...pick your family! I can guarantee you, you are not the only Police family celebrating on a different day or without your LEO. Last year I hosted a LE Thanksgiving and invited a few other LE families to our home a week before Turkey Day. Our dinner included the whole nine yards and we enjoyed watching the kids play and were able to have adult conversation just like the actual holiday. Thanks to being flexible, I met one of my dearest friends that day. We are a part of a very special Blue Family, don't be afraid to include them in your holiday this year!  You might be very surprised at how much fun you have with your adopted family!
  •  Be Good To Yourself- If you are feeling blue don't forget to take care of yourself. Treat yourself to a special day, do what feels good, or do what you want to. It's ok to get together with friends for a fun day, take a walk in the fresh air, or set aside some time to yourself for self care. The holidays can get nutty and taking time for yourself is a must. It's your holiday too and you are absolutely allowed to be there for yourself just like you are there for others. Know your limits and your needs and don't be afraid to take care of yourself! Make that huge dinner just for yourself, or take a break this year and invite yourself to someone elses' party. Each holiday is different and our situations each year are different's ok to shirk the ideal holiday and do what is best for you this year.
  • Don't Let Guilt Hitch A Ride- Throw guilt out the window, whether it's guilt from not being happy during a holiday, or guilt from celebrating without your LEO. Try not to put unfair pressure on yourself to be happy or even to enjoy the holidays. Try not to over-think your situation and interactions with others. Give yourself a break during a holiday and remember you are human and your best is enough.
  • Positive Perspective- Finally, when it all comes down to it, life is uncontrollable. Especially as an LE family. Plans change, time is interrupted, and disappointments happen. But one thing is my lifeline through it all...a positive perspective. I refuse to hurt myself with negativity. I want the best for myself because I'm worth it and one way of claiming my value is by trying to stay positive. We can be our own worst enemies by the outlook we have in situations. Instead of reacting with negativity to hardships, practice seeing the good and keeping a positive attitude. Operating in negativity or operating with a positive perspective takes the same amount of energy, though the result of staying positive produces the best outcome for your efforts.

I hope you are able to truly enjoy the holidays this season, knowing your best is good enough and even if this year is a difficult one, there is always next year (thank goodness, right?). With a little self management, a positive perspective, and an overcoming spirit, no matter what the holidays throw at you this can survive and thrive this holiday season!

Here are a few more articles for a successful holiday season!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

4 Ways to Love Your Husband {When He’s Being Unlovable}

words of wisdom from Joy McMillan at


Have you ever experienced a time in your marriage where your husband is a real pain? When it feels like you've traded your knight-in-shining-armor for a total turd?

It can happen in any marriage and it seems like, especially in an LE marriage. Your husband endures stresses, drama, lies, and manipulation every day, all day. How that wouldn't affect someone eventually, I have no idea. There has probably been a time or two when he has brought a bad mood home. And if it hasn't happened yet, it will. We are human and humans make mistakes. Wives make mistakes, husbands do too. But just because our spouse has hitched a ride on the jerk-annoying-at times unlovable wagon, doesn't mean we as wives are allowed to give up on them. When our husbands are the most unlovable is when they need love the most! And it can be the hardest thing to figure out, much less feel like doing.

I read a blog called Simply Bloom often. It is written by Joy McMillan a beautiful, upbeat Police Wife. Her words are always an encouragement and it's likely you have seen her amazing graphics talent floating around Pinterest too. She is responsible for the awesome LE themed "We Are A Family of Heroes" printable.

Joy wrote a wonderful article on 4 Ways To Love Your Husband {When He's Being Unlovable} (plus it includes an awesome free printable). I really want to share her incite with you because she is spot on! And it's a real struggle we all have. It's ok to have, we are human, and it is possible to overcome! So please read on, or visit the original post. I truly hope you are encouraged!

4 Ways to Love Your Husband 

{When He’s Being Unlovable}

This post is alternately entitled:  “You’re Being A Punk…But I Still Love You”.

A sweet friend of mine texted me a couple of months ago with a plea that read something like this…”please write a post on loving our husbands when they’re being unlovable.  I need it and know a few women who could really use the encouragement right now”, and being the great friend that I am {ahem}, I stashed it away in my momma-brain and promptly forgot about it.

Until recently.  When my hubby was being a smidge unlovable.  Go figure.

And while the initial thought of writing a smushy ‘how-to’ post about being a better wife made me laugh out loud, here it is…a few words of simple wisdom from a perfectly imperfect wife who has, admittedly, told her hubby on occasion to stop being a punk.
1. Check Yo’ Self
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 10 years it’s this: unrealistic and unspoken expectations will destroy a relationship.  It is so easy to assume, especially when you’ve been married for a while, that your husband knows what you need or want, when you need or want it.  Clear communication, seasoned with grace, is essential in making a relationship work.  I think we forget how very differently we’re wired; between our upbringing, personal baggage, temperament and personality, along with the fact that men and women are cut from entirely different cloth.  If we aren’t clearly communicating our needs, which are not to be confused with unrealistic expectations, the chances that they’ll be met are slim.

Occasionally my hubby will distance himself emotionally from me because he can sense a low-grade level of dissatisfaction from me.  When I get disenchanted with him because he’s not meeting my expectations, out of self-preservation, he withdraws.

It’s amazing how easily we can bring out the best – or the worst – in our loved ones.

With this being said, let your hubby off the hook.  There’s a tremendous difference between living with lofty expectations and living life with expectancy.  Master the latter.

Our identity, security and worth were never intended to be forged through them.  Affirmed, yes.  Nurtured, yes.  But not established and maintained.   We love our husbands well when we stop demanding that they meet needs they were never designed to meet.
2. Speak life {or Zip Your Lip}
Our words are powerful weapons…they can be used to destroy, or defend.  We can either fight with, or fight for, our guys.

I don’t know about you, but my filter malfunctions frequently.  I blurt something out and then lament my complete inability to think before I speak when passion is coursing through my veins.  When I get fired up, my mouth can get me in trouble.

But here’s the deal: in a world of raging negativity, criticism and disrespect, we can be a safe haven for our husbands.  I want my hubby to know that whatever he faces out there in the world, his name is safe in my mouth. I will honor him with my words, rather than cut him down, and I will never publicly embarrass or disrespect him.  We never speak negatively about each other in front of our kiddos, because we realize the power we have to enhance or destroy the way they see us.  It’s not always easy when blood pressure runs high, but it’s a commitment we’ve made…and it has made all the difference in our family.

And you know, friends, the truth of the matter is…our husbands are only as great as we believe them to be.  What we speak reveals what we believe.  And they will live up to what we believe about them.

It’s easy to pick out the dirt in other people’s lives, and it’s even easier to talk about it because it makes us feel better about our own dirt.  But we love our husbands well when we choose to speak life instead, when we intentionally choose to seek out the gold we know is sometimes buried beneath their temporary punkiness.  Go for the gold, girlfriend.
3. Don’t Drink the Poison
I’ve heard it said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping to hurt another.  This poison is particularly potent when drunk within marriage.

On the flip side, resilience and grace are two of the healthiest ingredients we can add to our relationships, and should be drunk in large quantities, frequently.  We are imperfect humans married to imperfect humans, in an imperfect world.  We will disappoint, and we will be disappointed.

What a gift we give each other when we choose to live unoffended.

In the same way a house is kept in order more easily by sweeping through it daily and making sure things are roughly in their right place, a marriage is kept free of clutter when we make a point of not allowing baggage to accumulate.  In other words, don’t allow the sun to go down on your anger.  Graciously unpack your baggage together daily – uncomfortable as it may be in the moment – and refuse to let bitterness or resentment simmer overnight.  Don’t sleep on it.

Forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice.  Even though our hearts may hurt, we can choose to lay down the grievance and give up our right to seek revenge.

While we may feel slighted at times, and may be tempted to demand a blood sacrifice to right a wrong, we love our husbands well when we don’t drink the poison, when we keep our tabs short and make grace more important than justice.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it”

~ Mark Twain

4. Seduce the Dude
While we may not realize how vital sex is to the health of our marriage, the proof is in the pudding.  Have you ever noticed that there’s a direct connection between the way your hubby interacts with you emotionally and how long it’s been since you connected physically?

When life gets busy and we don’t intentionally carve out time for us to reconnect and have a heavenly hoorah!…well, let’s just say…everyone’s a punk.

We know that most men have an overwhelming physical need for sex, but we often fail to recognize that our hubby’s sex drives are intricately connected to their ability to feel like a ‘real man’.

Interesting thing is, they also have an overwhelming emotional need for sex. While they may not express their heart the way we do – that level of raw communication does not come naturally to most men – our hubbies struggle with deep feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Making love makes them feel desired, it improves their confidence and self-esteem, and boosts their well-being and performance in every area (For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn).

So, even though it can be excruciating to want to be intimate with someone who’s not being particularly lovable, we love our husbands well when we put on our big girl panties {however the thong works well here too) and choose to be selfless rather than selfish, honoring the fact that God created them a certain way – even if it irritates us at times – and connect physically in order to reconnect emotionally.

It’s “hello hotstuff, ta-ta punkboy” magic.  Try it.

You’re welcome.

Written by Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom Blog, June 28, 2013

Isn't that an awesome read? I pray you take Joy's words to heart and find hope that even when your man seems unlovable...there is a way to get back on track, to love through the tough times. It's important to never give up learning and striving for this ability in a marriage. Love, grace, and forgiveness are lifelines in a relationship. No matter how grumpy or annoying your LEO is...he still deserves your love. I hope this article helps you find a way to keep showing him love. Blessings sweet LEOW and prayers for your strength and endurance as you journey forward with your LEO. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Great Stories about Good Cops!

Tens of thousands of Police Officers walk their beat every day with a purpose for good. They encounter the darkest of life's situations, witness countless acts of evil, and endure the ever present reality of danger and death. They combat it with a declaration for good, a purpose to change the darkness and make a difference in our world. 

 Below are images and video from across the web, and even from the Blue Line Life family, of our Officers in a positive light, doing what they do best. I am happy to say that as I searched the internet for positive articles, images, and videos...I found tons of great stories! It literally has taken me weeks to look through all the positive content. I can guarantee there will be a version 2.0 of this post because there is so much more to share!

Enjoy the photos and videos, remember that protecting and changing communities for the better is the main heart of Law Enforcement, and if you like this post (and others you see on the web) SHARE IT! Don't forget to hashtag your social media posts with #goodcops #goodcopstories #stopthehate #copsdoinggood so that the positive image of Law Enforcement can begin trending! Get the voice of the good cops out there and let's begin changing what trends across the internet to include the amazing, positive, honorable work our Officers do daily!

Inspiring Images and Stories of Police Officers 

Around The Country.

Photo: William Farrington
Officer Ramos (NYPD) saw a homeless man sitting in 28-degree weather with no boots and a white t-shirt. He decided to give him his sweatshirt by removing it from under his coat.

The homeless man was interviewed and he said: "He gave it to me. He said 'don't worry about it.' I felt good about having it."  Source:


From a Blue Line Life Fan
 Sent in from a Blue Line Life fan. "We love our police officers here in Baltimore, MD!!"


Police Officer Pulls Man Over For Speeding... Ends Up Saving His Life
 Dashcam footage of Officer Harrington performing live saving CPR



From the Montgomery County Police Department 

From a Blue Line Life Fan
Our Officers are Dads and Moms with big hearts! Deputy Mike Platt, Trumbull County Ohio, walking with his daughter from the bus stop.

Photo credit: New York Daily News
Charles Ziglar, a Winston-Salem police officer, stopped to help a woman and child in the pouring rain and his kind action was noticed on social media after a colleague took his photo. A great example of the kindness Law Enforcement Officers display daily!

Off-Duty Cop Rescues Unconscious Driver From Flames 


From a Blue Line Life Fan
Michigan State Police Officer with his very proud nephew and a touching photo of his father pinning his badge upon graduation. Family support at its finest!

 An awesome video of 12 acts of kindness from Police Officers!


Two sisters from Edmond, OK, ages 9 and 11, were unable to sleep at night because of their fear of crime in their neighborhood. No matter how their mother tried to reassure them, including nightly safety checks around their home, the girls were still overcome with worry.

Upon hearing of the girl's distress from his wife, Lt. Paul Barbour decided to do his part to set their minds at ease. Working the night shift, Lt. Barbour took time to hand write a note of reassurance to the two sisters. He taped the note to their front door. He later learned that his note had done the trick and the girls are now able to sleep with the lights off!
“I felt a lot more safe and secure knowing that someone is watching after us.” Source:


Photo Right: Leo Howard Lubow
The Police have soft spots for animals too!
Baltimore Police Officer Jon Boyer often rescues stray cats and dogs and brings them to the shelter. The 26-year-old cop considers the rescues as just a part of the job, but when he agreed to pose for a photo with a kitten he brought in last May, he became an internet sensation.
His fellow officers now call him the "cat man" in good fun. "I used to hang posters in my room of cats, because I loved them," he said. "My parents always wondered why I didn't like dogs. I love dogs, but cats are kinda my thing." Boyer says he is happy knowing that this media attention will help more stray animals find loving homes. Source:,

From a Blue Line Life Fan
"This is a picture of Trooper Haddad (Michigan State Police). He visited a school to talk to children about Police, their uniforms, and what they do on the job. The kids loved him and gave hugs all around!

 Officer Pulls Woman From Train Tracks

13-year-old Cameron Simmons called the police because he was upset after fighting with his mom. Cameron told police he didn't want to live in the house with his family anymore. Officer Gaetano Acerra responded to the call.
"I said, 'You have it good, you have a roof over your head,'" said Acerra. "I told him I would try to help him out."  
But when he arrived, he noticed the boy didn't even have a real bed. He was sleeping on an inflatable mattress. In fact, Cameron didn't have nearly anything he needed for a bedroom.
"My heart went out for him," said Acerra. "I thought the little things that he needed I could give him, to make him a happier kid."
A few weeks after the call, Acerra showed up at Simmon's house with a truck full of gifts including a new bed, television, desk and Wii game system.
 "I didn't do this for publicity or to get people to notice me," Acerra said. "I did it because I could. It was the right thing to do and I think people should do things like this."

From a Blue Line Life Fan
 Sent to us from a proud LE Daughter and Medic. 
"Officer Yunger of Loveland Police Department! He's my daddy and my hero."

Detective Changes the Lives of Two Young Boys
Pittsburgh detective Jack Mook is a hard-nosed, 22-year veteran of the force who lived a happy life of a bachelor — until he met two kids that changed everything. This is above and beyond! 
Source and video credit:


From a Blue Line Life Fan
A small town LEO bringing some smiles and showing the love to the community he serves and protects. Proof Officers have great big hearts!


 Officer Saves Stunned Deer
 Huron County Sheriffs Deputy Ryan Swartz comes across a stunned deer at car-deer accident scene. The deer is frozen in fear and standing in the middle of the road. Deputy Swartz fails to shoo it off the road and finally takes the time to carry the deer to safety.

From a Blue Line Life Fan
Trooper Jordan of Mount Pleasant Post, Michigan visiting with the preschoolers, answering questions and talking about safety. 


Photo credit: Jennifer Foster
 On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counter terrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man.
The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.
A wonderful example of the care and service our Officers provide.


From a Blue Line Life Fan
Officer Pate with Whiteville Police Department is all smiles as he works his beat! Credited as a dedicated, honorable Officer, his fiance sent us this photo as a loving tribute! 
Cop Challenges Street Youth to Dance-Off


An Arlington, Virginia Police Officer went above and beyond the call of duty when he arrived at an elderly man's home who had just been burglarized.
The victim, in his 80's, was very upset about the home violation. Officer Brandon Evans was there to comfort the man, even helping vacuum up the broken window glass. Before the Officers left, Evans noticed the man trying to saw a piece of plywood to cover the open window. Evans stepped in to help, cutting the plywood and boarding up the open window. "When I asked Officer Evans what he was thinking, he said he could only think about his father and how he needed to do everything he could to bring dignity and respect back to this elderly man," said Police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Cook. The Arlington Police Department posted the photo to their Facebook page, drawing in over 4,000 likes in just one day. A small act of kindness goes a long way. Source: Arlington Police Department Facebook,
From a Blue Line Life Fan
Trooper Dalton getting ready to deliver 7500 energy drinks to the LEO's working the search for the PA Police shooting suspect in NE Pennsylvania. 

 Drowning girl saved by Boston Officer Ed Norton, who dived in to rescue her.

From a Blue Line Life Fan
This photo was sent to us by the proud wife of this Chartiers Twp Police Officer, celebrating 20 years on the job. Not only are many Police Officers dedicated public servants, they are moms and dads, spouses, family members, and heroes! There is a heart and a family behind every badge. Congratulations on 20 years of service, sir!

From a Blue Line Life Fan
"This is Officer Marlowe with my APBT, Tess. Officer Marlowe was respectful and kind, and when I asked him to take a photo with my dog, he was all for it. Definitely a great LEO out on the beat!"J.R.

Officer Rescues Wheelchair-Bound Man From Rain Storm
Fort Myers, Florida, Police Officer Gil Benitez has been praised as a hero after his kind deed was captured on a dashcam when he rescued a wheelchair-bound man stranded in the open during a thunderstorm on Thursday, August 14th.

A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer responded to a burglary call to find a mother devastated because her son’s birthday presents were stolen from her car. Purchased with their tax refund, she had no money to replace the gifts.
Officer Derek Pratico wrote up the police report but before moving on to the next case he showed us all what community service looks like.
The next day he went to the store and purchased with his own money a toy police car, a birthday cake and card, and a Spiderman backpack. He brought it to the boy and also handed his mother a $100 gift card to “help her get back on her feet”. Pratico said, “I did not do this for any recognition, I just felt it was the right thing to do at that moment.” Source:


This little person couldn't have said it better!
Nothing frustrates me more than when I see negative news articles winning featured headline space instead of the good deeds our Officers do daily. We as Police supporters have to take matters into our own hands. When you see a good story that shows the goodness of an Officer- Share It. When you see a post on social media of something good- Like It. Share your own good stories, take photo or video when you witness a kind act, help combat the negative reporting with a flood of goodness. Don't forget to hashtag your social media posts with #goodcops #goodcopstories #stopthehate #copsdoinggood. And might I add...that photos of Cops doing good things are not hard to find because they don't do good things...they are hard to find because people don't notice and don't make the point to show the proof. Let's change that!

The Police are our lifeline to a safe world. They are the reason we sleep safe at night, the reason the public has no idea what kind of evil is out there. Even if no one chose to recognize them, they would keep making a difference. It's not what they do when people are looking that makes them heroes, it's the fact that they change the world when the majority of us never pay attention, and they don't need our recognition for a reason to do it. They do a job that few are born to do. They are set apart to be the line between evil, to stand against what others fear. Police Officers are good with honorable hearts, protector spirits, and a passion to make a difference. To the Officers out there...Thank you for saving our world!

Looking for places to hear more positive news about Law Enforcement? Check out these websites and Facebook pages!

Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Habits of a Successful LE Family

1. Communicate- This is the most important trait of a healthy family. Communicating with one another prevents misunderstandings, can heal wrong perceptions, and clarify confusion. All of this helps us to get on with living a fun, happy, healthy life. Don't forget to communicate with everyone in your family, not just your spouse. Children benefit from communication, especially with their parents. It sends a message that they have value, how they feel matters, and teaches them a way to channel emotion in a healthy way. As much as communication involves words, don't forget to listen, ask questions, and affirm one another, even if what the other person has to say is difficult to hear. A successful Police family knows there is more important ways to spend time together than to let misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or pent up emotion get in the way. The key to successful communication is listening, patience, ask questions, and remember the other person has as much right to express and feel emotion as you do. You're a team, and you're all in it together for the same good outcome...never forget to use communication as the tool to keep a healthy momentum in your's the best tool you have!

2. Make Time- Every Police family knows that time together is precious. Many people use the term "finding time" to do things together. No matter how busy your schedule, no matter if both parents work, or kids are busy with school and activities...make time, don't just find it. By making time we ensure time together will happen. Making time together puts everyone first, it makes time together priority, and when life is at its busiest, time together is one area that should not be neglected. One of my favorite quotes is "In our family, love is spelled time." It's a simple reminder that memories, good feelings, and bonding is created with time...not things. So sit down, look at your schedules and make time. Go on that road trip you've been talking about, take a day off to do an activity together, go on a date, or just have a fun day around the house. Nothing is more important than time together and nothing makes a bigger impact in the success and joy of a family. Visit my post Family Time Ideas...The LE Version for some fun ways to spend time together!

3. Stay Positive...& Laugh- Learn to laugh. Not every day will go perfectly, not every situation will have an easy fix. There are going to be plenty of days when plans are upturned, your loved ones drive you nuts, or the LE life gets to be too much. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is our help in difficult times and it takes just as much energy to laugh as it does to despair. Keep your sense of humor intact. Fight to keep your perspective positive. Laughter and humor are the keys to staying positive. You can train your brain to see in a positive perspective and once you make joy your goal in difficult times (which there are many as an LE family) you unlock your greatest potential for success. Check out Laugh It Off for more insight on staying positive!

4. Don't Future Trip- Future tripping is another term for fearing the unknown or the things we are afraid may come to pass down the road. It's so easy as Police families to focus on the fears in our lives. At times, evil is all around us. We hear about what our LEOs face each day, how one call turned ugly, or how someone hurt another person. Top that off with the fears of losing our LEO and it can get to be too much. Let me remind you, stay in today. Today is all we have, this moment is all we know. To look so far forward into the future that we begin fearing the unknown is unfair to ourselves. It is abuse of our emotions, our realities, and our perspective. Remember to stay in today, keep your realities and your thoughts on what you know, not what you are afraid might happen. Most times what we fear never comes to pass but instead robs us of our peace in the moment. We can become consumed by it, changed by it, and it begins to affect all around us. You deserve a joyful, peaceful life. Remembering the truth of what is and not what we fear may come to pass will help you last through the years as an LE family. It will keep you strong and controlled during the tough times. Read more about overcoming fear and expecting peace in your life...I Expect Peace

5. Be Flexible- "Never underestimate a turd ball's ability to ruin your plans." and it never fails. Whether it's a canceled date because of overtime, a crappy nights sleep because of a call out, or a holiday spent alone because your LEO works, the life of a Police family demands flexibility. And that can be a tough pill to swallow. One way to learn to be flexible is to hold plans loosely and fight the tendency for expectations. If your LEO says he will be home at 5, plan in your head for 6. Don't hold times or dates so tightly that they are bound to not work out. If my LEO says date night at 5 and I plan for somewhere between then and night still happens and I don't hold the situation to a cut and dry result. It's easier on my own emotions and gives my LEO a break. Officers have weird schedules, we all know that, so give you and your LEO a break and be honest that sometimes things don't work out, but there is next time. Keep a positive, forward perspective when it comes to holidays, there is always next year. And part of the weirdness of messed up schedules and having to deal with them is exactly what makes Police families a rare breed. We are forced to put expectations aside, hold plans loosely and go with the flow. It's a strength and skill that trickles into other areas of our lives too...and that's what makes us stinkin' awesome!

6. Remember Gratitude- When it all gets to be too much...remember what you have. Remember the power of gratitude. It takes what we have and makes it enough. If we are always searching for a fix or something better, we will miss so much of what we have. If you are struggling with burdens and perspective, sit down for a moment and remind yourself the wonderful things you have. It is easy to think of what we miss out on as Police families or how much harder we have it. Don't go there. Because there is so much that we have as Police families that others don't. We have amazing perspective on the value of time and life. We don't take moments for granted. We know how to watch out for each other. We know the true meaning of family, both blue and blood. The things that make life challenging as Police families are also the very things that make us unique, exceptionally special, and admirably strong. Don't ever let hardships steal your ability to see the good in life. You have a LEO who does a dangerous job...but because of that you love deeper and don't waist moments together. You have weird schedules...but because of that you have learned to be flexible. You are alone sometimes...but you can be grateful you have someone to miss and the strength to keep going. Just remember, a lot of the things that drive us nuts are the very things we would miss if they were gone. Keep reading about overcoming hardships with gratitude and the wonderful realities of the LE life at...Finding the Light Through Gratitude and The Silver Lining 
7. Ask for Help- This is huge. A Police family goes through a lot. It is absolutely, without a doubt, ok and necessary to ask for help once in a while. We all get to a point where we want to pull our hair out. Maybe you're not getting enough time with your LEO...tell them, make some time, and ask someone to watch your kids. Maybe you're not getting enough you time...ask someone to take something from your list of to-do's so you can take some time for yourself. Maybe you need to vent, you're feeling unsure, or over up a fellow LEOW, a family member, or someone who will understand and talk. It's ok to need a re-boot and it's double ok to recognize and admit you need help. I used to think I needed to be super mom and a super Trooper wife (haha, get it?) but that is so not the truth. No one is created to do everything on their own. We belong to a wonderful Blue family, people who know what it's like as a Police family. Call someone up and lean on them. Last time I checked, God created the world with a whole lot of people in it...proof we don't have to go it alone.

8. Forget About the Joneses- Does it ever feel like other people seem to have it together better than you? Do you ever find yourself comparing the way you go about things to the way you see your friends living their lives? Especially with social media, it can seem like other people have it totally together while you're sitting there out of sorts or totally upside down. Remember, when it comes to comparing ourselves to others, no one ever sees everything that goes on in other people's lives. My dad always says "Everyone puts their pants on the same way, one leg at a time." And it's true. We all have struggles, we all fall short, no one is ever perfect. I can guarantee that the PoPo family that seems like they have it all together, doesn't. They struggle just like you, maybe in different ways, but they are not perfect just the same. Don't waist your time comparing your "faults" to their "strengths". Many times our perceptions of how other people excel or succeed are not reality but rather come from our own insecurities. Focus on yourself and instead of thinking about how you could do things better like so-and-so, remind yourself of the wonderful things you do do...and how you are wonderfully you just the way you are. The demon of comparison will chip at your resolve. It will kill your confidence and attack your strength. You are enough...and you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it. You have everything within you to succeed and thrive.

9. Take a Break- Don't forget to take time to shut it all off. Whether that means a vacation, or just some free time to yourself. While the Law Enforcement life is an honorable one that we are proud of, each member of our family has their own identity, heck, even my LEO has an identity outside the badge (gun nut, foodie, mountain man extraordinaire!). Sometimes it's nice to hang up the job and the struggles that come with it, and just say we're human. Remind each other to rest, have hobbies, and take time for themselves. My husband loves to reload ammo in the garage and I love to write or watch girly shows he has no interest in. When we go out on dates, we leave the work stuff behind (unless someone needs to talk or needs support). In general, we try to take time to shut off all the things that come with the badge and just be us. It's a wonderful, refreshing reboot when we set aside the stress and intensity and just get back to basics. The best way to cope with the day to day crazy is to take a break and take care of yourself. Find ideas for self care at Taking A Minute for Me...and You!

10. Remember It's a Journey- Lastly, don't forget to give yourself a break. There might be something on this list of habits that's just not you. You might struggle with even the idea of managing one of these things...for me it would be not fearing the future and being flexible...not part of my natural personality. But that's ok. The adventure of being a Police Family is a journey, one we will excel at, at times, and one we will struggle with. No one gets it right out of the gate. And that is perfectly fine. It's not about the end result, it's about the journey we take to get there. The person you are today is enough. You're going to make it if you keep trying, and it doesn't matter how long it takes. Life is a process and when we give ourselves a break and lighten up on the expectations, it can become a beautiful journey full of learning and living. If you keep a hopeful attitude, and a positive perspective, no part of the LE life can shake you. You were made for this and part of being successful in life, is not being afraid to live the life you were made for. I've written more at LEOW Life is a Journey...I hope you take a second to read it!

While these 10 habits are not the end all to thriving as a Police Family, I hope they offer a start to supporting you in your journey. These are ways to live an LE life that I have figured out on my own, as well as been encouraged to embrace by other LEOWs. Perhaps the best advice I can give, in closing, is to remember your support system. Remember the wonderful Blue family you belong to and the faithfulness of the Lord. You are set apart for great things. You have within you everything needed to succeed in the life you were given. Never forget your purpose, and always remember your value. While the LE life can be difficult, it is one of the greatest adventures we can take. It proves our courage, our strength, reminds us of what matters most, and keeps us grounded. I pray peace, safety, and all the success possible for your family!

If you have other habits or traits that have helped your family through the years, please share in the comments!

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