Monday, October 17, 2011

1 week Post Deployment

Well that certainly could not have happened any better than it did.

Adam arriving home from his deployment ON his birthday? A week EARLIER than expected? Every once in a while the universe hands you these perfect moments or perfect coincidence. You might only ever get one, so you gotta fully enjoy it ;)

I really do have the best friends and family.

I showed up at work that morning and my coworkers were like "WHAT are you doing HERE?!" I insisted on staying until everyone had at least gotten a lunch break. Finally they convinced my to leave around 2:00pm. That gave me enough time to vaccuum out the car and finish the rest of the laundry.

My uncle Eddie arrived from his 6 hour drive from Long Beach around 5:00pm. Hanging out and chatting with him made time go by SO much faster. . . this was SO helpful! I had so much anxiety it was RIDICULOUS.

The rest of my friends had dropped what they had planned and showed up at my apartment at 8:00pm.

We hung out, ate pizza, obsessively checked adam's flight (or maybe that was just me?). . . signed his welcome home banner.

I got ready to go. . . the girls helped me pick which purse to use.

Before I knew it the time had finally come. We loaded up in our vehicles and headed towards the 5 (interstate).

I could barely contain my excitement. The drive there honestly seems like a blur. I remember I probably said at least 10 times "Oh my God, I am SOOO excited!"

Of course Adam would be flying into the recently constructed Terminal B. . . so that threw another interesting twist into our plan.

Some of my friends arrived first and checked his flight. . . which would now be arriving 23 minutes EARLIER than expected!!!!

Once we all met up, the girls and I headed off for one last bathroom trip. The guys figured out where we needed to be.

We went up all the escalators until we reached the shuttle drop off/pick up area. Uncle Eddie confirmed with an airport employee that Adam would be arriving at one of the two shuttle ports.

So we stood between the two and waited. It seriously felt like HOURS. Our little welcome home band, holding our sign, trying to entertain a tired toddler.

Every time a shuttle arrived I hoped it would be the ONE. Of course none of them were bringing any passengers, and it seemed like hours between each shuttles arrival.

I honestly don't know what I would have done without my friends and family right there with me counting down the seconds until the big arrival.

Finally we could see in the distance a shuttle coming towards the left port. As it got closer we could see passengers.

Mercedes grabbed my hand and we walked up to the front of the shuttle port. I could see two men in uniform right at the front. I immediately recognized the one on the right as Adam.

Mercedes waved and he waved back. We looked at each other and I waved excitedly.

We walked around to the side where the passengers would be disembarking.

There he was, walking towards us.

I took a few steps and for a moment remembered the sign glaring at us which stated "ticketed passengers only beyond this point"

I can't tell you how many times I dreamed about this moment. Wondering if I would freeze, scream, laugh, cry, run or even fall flat on my face.

I stepped past the sign and the steps turned into a run and I threw my arms around Adam's neck.

I started to cry, but no tears came. Just dry sobs as I clutched on to him.

Tears streamed down his own eyes, he leaned down and whispered into my ear: "I'm home Babe, I'm home for good."

It felt like we stood in that embrace forever. I suddenly felt horrible that I had no idea how long Mercedes had been standing there!

We scooped her up into a big family hug. And then we kissed. It all just felt so right! I felt like we could have stood there forever, perfectly happy and content.

Our friends and family hung out with us while we waited for Adam's bags. I was so elated- to be able to hug my husband, hold his hand, kiss him as much as I wanted. . . I honestly didn't care about anything other than being with Adam.

After the bags finally arrived we all said goodbye and headed back to our homes.

I had also wondered many times if it would be difficult getting to sleep next to Adam again, after becoming so used to living on my own and having our bed entirely to myself.

Suffice to say that when I did fall asleep that night, it was the sweetest sleep of my life. Nothing felt more normal or natural then waking up with my hubby right beside me and feeling like life was finally back to the way it should be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

So close, I can almost taste it. . .

My heart is pounding. I can hardly breath. I can barely remember being this excited EVER. . . I think the closest I have ever been to being this excited was in November 2006 when I was in South Carolina for Adam's graduation from basic training.

I remember my little outfit that I bought (which I still have, except the shoes! Still fits. . . just a little too conservative for how I am NOW!) and getting ready in the little loft I was staying in. . .

My heart had been broken the month before when I thought I wasn't going to be able to go see him graduate. I had played in a wedding that day in the Semple Mansion in Minneapolis and Adam had called me and we discussed the dates and airline prices... the verdict we reached was great disappointment to both of us. I sat in the corner of the entrance and just cried my eyes out!

Just a few weeks after that I received a call from my future mother in law informing me of the amazing airline ticket she had found. . . next thing I knew I was all set to go see my boyfriend the weekend of Veterans day! I was in the (second) kitchen of a huge mansion I was cleaning. No one was around so I took a minute to jump up and down and then collapse in a heap of happy tears!

After the graduation, on our way to actually see Adam, I thought I might pass out. I could barely breath! We had no idea if we were in the right spot, but Adams parents and I bravely climbed out of the rental van and approached the crowd of soldiers and civilians. Desperately I looked around hoping to see him. . .

A voice called down to us from above, "HEY! I'll be right down!"

There he was, up on a balcony. Turned in a flash and began leaping down flights of stairs and bolting towards us.

"VALSLER, DO NOT RUN! DO NOT RUN!!!!" The voice of the drill sergeant echoed through the air but had no effect whatsoever on the speed in which Adam ran towards me.

In a second his arms were around me in a tight and endearing embrace. . . pity we hadn't discovered kissing (or anything else) yet! If I could go back in time to that moment I would. . . well, I'll spare you that knowledge!

This time it will be different. I'll be standing in the terminal, surrounded by a few family members and my dear friends. . . we'll be staring at the escalator waiting for a pair of combat boots to appear and watching to see if Adam is revealed as the steps flow downward.

I'm not sure if I am going to run, freeze, cry, laugh, fall over or maybe all of the above. What I do know is that THIS time I will kiss the man I love for a very long time and there will be NO holding back any of the lov'n whatSOever! It's gonna be great :)

Will this happen tomorrow night? There's a chance. A good one. I'm trying to keep myself from hoping too much, but I can't. I really can't. I mean how can this NOT happen tomorrow? It's his fricken birthday! It would be the most amazing birthday ever! I seriously don't even know how I am going to handle the news if this DOESN'T happen?! I know I will make it those few extra days, but will I be able to function????!!!!!!

I hope this wave of adrenalin carries me through until I see him again! I simply can't help but be excited out of my mind!

Ok. Time to get stuff DONE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oct 5th

October 5th 2010 around 1pm Adam and I finally pulled up into our new apartment complex and stepped into the office to finish signing our lease. I can't believe it's been exactly one year since we officially became Californian residents!

We were SO exhausted. This whole "California" thing had only started 2 months prior and BOOM we were here. After 30+ hours in our teeny car we had FINALLY arrived. Wow. . . it was such a wonderful and exciting moment!

In other news, I've now been with Great Clips for 2 years. Time goes by SO fast!

Now why can't this next week just hurry up? ;)

Ok so here's my coping strategy. . . I am REALLY trying to keep a super positive attitude and enjoy each of my last few days alone instead of being miserable and wishing they'd pass by a little (or a lot!) faster.

I think the worst part is not knowing what DAY I'm looking forward to- I just know it's SOMETIME next week. . . ish. I HATE the vagueness! It's like. . . waiting to go into labor! You know it WILL happen. . . just not when. And the anticipation KILLS!

I keep procrastinating certain parts of my "list". I think that secretly I'm hoping that I'll find out he's coming home sooner than expected and I can rush around and get everything done real quick in one final sweep of energy and a major adrenaline rush. That would be a dream come true. . .

That being said, I only have about 4 episodes to finish the last season of "Buffy". . . like most TV shows the 4th season started a decline which unfortunately the last season did NOT improve at all. I'm literally just watching the episodes purely so I can see how it ends. Lame, I know. But this is my life!

I'm happy that my dedication to eating (relatively) healthy and working out has held fast! For someone who drank 1-2 sodas every day (that's right, I said SODA not POP!) I can honestly say I haven't drank an entire soda in over 2 months. And the two I attempted to drink I didn't even finish because I didn't like the taste anymore. . . CRAZY!

Working out is so boring (especially with Buffy becoming insanely blah as of late) so I've thrown in a couple of other TV shows and DVDs to the mix which helps. And I have to say the results I'm seeing are quite a motivation of their own! I'm REALLY proud of myself for sticking with this consistently 6 days a week!

I keep imagining what it will be like- standing at the airport and seeing Adam come down the escalator and towards us. To FINALLY feel his lips again. . .

Our life has really had it's share of ups and downs. But I feel like that makes it all the more worth it to get through such a massive hurdle and to be together again. It's like we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we will make it through anything no matter what. . . We are bonded in a way that few people will ever experience. And the trials we've survived? Just make victory that much sweeter.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1st

The end is near. Extremely near.

I did a little happy dance when I woke up this morning knowing it was October 1st.

Then I cried in the car on my way to work when the radio station I was listening to played "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Proud to be an American".

I was fairly excited most of the day. Talking to my coworkers about my hubby's current position, when he'd be home, etc.

But then I was so exhausted during my last haircut of the evening. It was a half hour past closing and I was finishing up the last customer and thinking about going home to my empty apartment. I thought about the fact that I still have at least a few weeks of work before that blissful trip to the airport to reunite with my lover. I pushed back the tears and carried on my pretense of happiness. . .

It really just feels too far away. How can I be THIS close and feel like I'm farther from his homecoming than I've been this entire year? It literally feels like these next days are never going to end.

Most nights I do my workout, pushing through the soreness as I dream about how excited my husband will be to see me and that I WILL be in the best shape of my life, tan, moisturized, long(ish) hair, pretty much as perfect as I can get myself to be. Tonight I lay there on the floor and feel like I don't want to move. The seconds just DRAGGING by. . .

It's hard to be excited when it feels like the moment I am waiting for is NEVER going to arrive.

Not to mention my fear of the future. What it will be like reintegrating our lives which we spent 3 solid years building together? We'll be starting all over. I'll steal his towel, he'll leave his socks on the floor. . . so on and so forth. I've REALLY gotten into my "groove" lately. It's become comfortable. I even have started to like it :( Of course I'm more than happy for it to be all tipped upside down with the homecoming of my husband, but I am scared of what it will be like.

I'm scared to see what happens with Adam's job situation. Of course something will work out. But I'm scared of the process of finding out what that will be. I'm scared of living paycheck to paycheck, scraping by with the bare minimum and stressing about which bills to pay. I'm scared of bad things happening and having to struggle through them.

There's so many options and so many new things coming my way. I'm excited but so nervous.

I'm a little bit discouraged in my "getting ready" process. I'm losing my motivation and I want to just skip through these next few days and get to the part where I can rest in the arms of my husband, lay my head on his chest, and be at peace.

I remember feeling this way 5 years ago when Adam was going through basic training at Fort Jackson SC. I can't believe that was 5 years ago. . . I look back and say, "Wow, look how much time has passed since then!"

Yet still it feels like I will never make it to a time when I can say, "Remember Oct 1st 2011 when I thought the next day would never come and that I couldn't make it through? Now I have 2 more babies, a house, and am FINALLY planning my wedding to my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary. . . "

And even dreaming of the wonderful days ahead cannot stop my tears from falling.

That was my October 1st.