Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#6 Get Ready. . .

October gets closer with each passing day. . . I have named October 2011 the "month of bliss" for reasons which are obvious.

Now that my family has returned to Minnesota, I've recovered (mostly) from a horrible stomach flu bug, and the vertigo is easing up (for the moment). . . it's time to GET READY.

So here's a few things on my list to accomplish before "sometime in the month of October". . .

To be done the week he returns:

-Buy a dresser for Adams clothes (currently in boxes). Wash and put away all clothes so they are ready and accessible for when he gets back.

-Detail the car (yes I intend to do this all by my lonesome. It's going to be difficult and it's going to suck horrendously but I am still going to do it)

-Wash/Wax the outside of the car

-Stock the cupboards/fridge with Adams favorite foods

-Deep clean the refrigerator, oven, microwave

-Buy a table clothe for the table (Mercedes "decorations" have been permanetly etched/colored into the top of it)

-Deep clean the bathroom and vanity in my bedroom

-Reorganize all closets/cupboards

-Dust/wipe everything down

-Shampoo the carpets

-Wash the sheets on our bed (the day of, so they are super fresh!)

-Clean/organize Mercedes bedroom

-Shampoo the carpet

-Get a pedicure/manicure

-Do a body wrap on myself (gotta put those rusty esthetician skills to work!)

-Wax, wax, wax, wax EVERYTHING

-Buy a lot of candles

To work on over the next month:

Work out EVERY day. . . I've always considered myself active, but when I was a swimmer and regularly exercising I was in incredible shape. I'd like to get *close* to that so when Adam gets back I look, feel, and am as hot as I possibly can be. I know Adam doesn't care, but I do.

I was going to buy an entirely new outfit (that's not out the window entirely yet!) but instead I'm going to raid my closet and see what amazing ensemble I can package together from what I already have. We'll see

What I've already been working on:

Growing my hair out and keeping it blond. . . if you know me, you know how difficult this is. Adam doesn't care how I have my hair but I know that he loves it long and he has never seen me with long luscious blond locks. I might need to invest in extensions, but hey I've done a pretty darn good job just with letting it grow!

Getting all of our "affairs" in order. . . that's right, got my 2012 registration tabs already, oil change done, important paperwork sorted and filed, all bills paid, talked to our leasing agent about keeping our awesome great rent deal, found JFHQ and got my military ID renewed, etc etc etc. All important things that I want out of the way for Adam's return :)

Basically I want everything to be PERFECT. For him to come home to a home that doesn't need anything but for two happy people to live in it. No chores to do, nothing to put away, nothing to organize, nothing to set up. . . just perfection.

I know that might not happen, but it's my GOAL and that's what I'll be working towards over the next days, week, month. . . (love that singular term. . . MONTH! not m...oo...n...t..h..ssssss)

It feels really good to be at this point. REALLY good. Just to know that I'm getting things ready for his homecoming makes me feel all warm and tingly inside :D

But as good as it feels, it hurts that much more to crawl into my bed all alone. . . yes I've gotten used to it, but there's still a deep sadness that sets in every night before I fall asleep all alone. I just miss him so much. . . and really NOTHING can make that feel better :(

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Do you Remember this?

I do. As a young teenager I was greatly impacted by this event. Little did I know that exactly 10 years later I would be married to a soldier who currently is continuing to wage the fight against terrorism brought on by that fateful day in 2001.

2,977 people died as a result of this attack.

My heart bleeds for the lives lost that day and for the lives that have continued to be lost through events of "Operation Enduring Freedom". . .

Here's my thoughts as plainly as I can put them:

I am proud to be an American. I feel this country has a unique beginning and we have a lot of wonderful things to be thankful for. This country is not perfect. It's inhabitants are not perfect. Collectively a lot of "not perfect" things have happened over the course of America's life. A lot of the people who live here do not agree on much with each other and there's quite a bit of hatred spat in all directions. I can't say that I know all the answers or what's best or even that I know much at all- but I know I live in a nation where people bind together in times of need and work together to accomplish a common goal. Somehow through all the "muck" of our world today we find a way to be a team, so to speak. We take care of each other and stand strong together, not as clearly and simply as that but that is really what it comes down to.

We were ATTACKED on September 11th, 2001. It was an incredible tragedy that rocked our world. But we stood together- we cried and prayed. . . others were there in the midst helping the victims and fighting the carnage. A month later our soldier's went to war. . . here 10 years later they are still fighting to protect us and to stop the people who did this from doing more harm. I know it's not as simple as all that, but for those of us in the military, it is just that simple.

I am proud of my husband for his time spent in Operation Enduring Freedom. . . and remembering what happened a decade ago helps me to find meaning in this deployment.

It is sad to remember this horrible day. But it is good to remember it. Reflecting on it helps put things in perspective and reminds us of the reasons why we make sacrifices and to be grateful for all the good that we DO have and to not take ANY moment for granted.

Thank you to everyone who serves to protect and care for the people of America, I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#5 It's OK to cry (a lot)

2 posts in one week, dang I'm on a roll!

Well life is somewhat back to "normal". . . after a 10+ day visit with my Mom and Sisters- trekking down and across the state of California- and wrapping it all up with a mini visit from my cousin Tony. So yes, I am back to working a full work week, scrambling to find a babysitter, and one of my daily highlights being watching the next episode of "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer"

It's the oddest thing, the closer I get to "the end" the more mixed my feelings become. Part of me feels like with the finish line in sight a burst of energy is going to send me sailing across it with no problem whatsoever. Yet, at the same time, I feel like I have used every last resource and I am going to collapse and never reach the end.

One day I feel like "Wow, this whole deployment thing has been quite a success! We've paid off some major debts, actually built a savings account, our relationship has remained intact and our closeness has not dwindled. Yay us! I could do this again no problem!" And the next I wonder how I have even gotten through this year. The pain of being alone is so extraordinary I find myself numb to it most of the time, but the times when I really TRULY feel it, it's so unbearable I can hardly breath. Literally there is a deep, physical pain in my chest and it aches so bad. . .

But as with anything in life, no matter what your pain- no matter what has happened to you that makes you feel like the world has stopped and life will never go on- the sun rises on time and the day just goes on. Minute by minute, hour by hour- it passes just as it always has and always will. It does not pause, it does not take notice, it simply just continues.

And so when you reach those days where you feel like you can't keep going, you focus on making it to the next minute. The next hour. . . half of the day, and finally the end of the day. You can't think about tomorrow or next week- let alone how the next month(s) are going to go! This has pretty much been my strategy for this year. I know Adam will be home and it will be amazing- but I can't take the burden of every day all at once- just one day at a time.

I find a way to be strong for the most part- I talk about everything without completely losing it. I retain my composure (for the most part anyway) and "stay strong" so to speak.

But the smallest thing, from a sad thought to a moving photo or an emotional climax in the TV show I am watching- will simply send me into a pathetic sobbing, blubbery mess.

Somehow afterwards I feel better. Of course I feel silly and like I have somehow lost perhaps even MORE dignity, but who cares?! It's OK to let those emotions out. . . it helps.

This coming Sunday, 9/11/11 is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I don't care what you believe or what you think the solution is, but the cold facts are that we were ATTACKED and there and those out there who are fighting to protect us and to stop the people who did this from doing more harm. I know it's not as simple as all that, but for those of us in the military, it is just that simple.

I'm sure it will be a day of even more tears for me (hopefully not while I'm at work!) and I hope that the rest of you take at least a moment to reflect on the day and to thank our servicemen and women for their protection.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Take a few road trips. . .

Until recently the thought of a road trip only brought back terrible memories. . . memories of being squished into a 9 passenger station wagon with all of my siblings- later in a 12 passenger van- the fights, the car sickness, the vomiting, the break downs, the long hours, the jolty bumpy ride which seemed to endure for eternity- lets just say being in the car for more than an hour seemed like something I would try to avoid at all costs for most of my young-adult years thus far.

Of course, I was cured of that after a 35 hour road trip in a teeny Ford Focus jam packed with our belongings with absolutely ZERO comfort or sleep the entire time.

So far this year (including the end of 2010) I have made 6 trips to the bay area (San Francisco, San Jose), 3 trips to Napa (2 of which were on the WAY to the bay area, but whatever!), 4 trips to Santa Maria (home of my infamous video-game-playing Grandma!) 1 trip to Fort Bragg, 1 trip to Long Beach and 1 trip to South Lake Tahoe. And several of these have been just me and my little travel buddy Mercedes!

Not only have I (mostly) overcome my extreme fear of traveling to places I have never been (especially scary cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles!) I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed getting out and doing some mild exploration of California. I love the breath-taking mountain scenery, the coastal range, the magnificent hills, the variety of coasts and shorelines, the world renowned cities. . . heck even the incredible aqueducts bringing precious water to southern California are pretty dang cool to look at!

Looking forward to these road trips and the people I get to see at my various destinations has really brightened this year for me. Seeing the dates on the calendars, having a little countdown until I leave on my trip- it's all really helped break up the year into more bearable parcels. Those hours in the car just fly by as I gaze at the beautiful scenery and process all the crazy thoughts flying through my brain. . . as I daydream about each detail of my hubby's long awaited return. . .

I am SO lucky and wonderfully blessed to have such an amazing family- and even moreso that they live in so many terrific areas!

I simply can't wait for Adam to get back so we can go on road trips together. . . here's a few things on my list for this coming year:

Visit/Camp at Yosemite
Boat/Camp/Visit Lake Tahoe
Camp in the Sierra's
Camp on the beach
Visit San Diego
Visit Tricia in Pheonix AZ (in the winter! When it's "cold" here LOL!)
Visit Santa Cruz
Visit San Francisco, more of the bay area, and tour alcatraz!
Visit the Oregon Coast (possibly camp there as well!)
Visit Fort Bragg
And of course, a few trips to Long Beach (disneyland!) and Grandma's house in Santa Maria :P

Don't know if life will let us make it to all these places this year, but hey, a girl can dream! And they're all right here at my fingertips :D

I <3 life!