Saturday, September 24, 2011

I am a bad blogger

Hello, I am a bad blogger.  I like to do things at my own pace, and unfortunately that doesn't work in the blogging world.  Not so good to retain readers and such.

Fun that was had on R&R
So a quick update: R&R was fantastic!!  I got to spend some quality with DB, as well as his family, and life was perfect.  Then he had to go back, which was sad, but I knew that the bulk of the deployment was over, so it was easier to accept than when he first left.

I have heard multiple people talk about how it's very sad when their SO deploys, but when they go on R&R and have to return to theater, that their second departure is more devastating than their first.  I'm not sure why that wasn't the case for me.  Likely it had to do with the fact that I had lots going on this summer to distract me.

I spent 6 weeks in Washington DC on a internship (woot!).  It was an absolute blast and flew by.  I actually miss riding on the metro, though I don't think I could sustain a life on DC.  I just don't have enough energy to keep up with the tempo!

And now, I have started another year in school.  Third year: the surgical year.  I think might be ready to start talking about school.  More details to follow.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

R&R is here!

It's been 210 days since I last got to hug my boyfriend!!  Yes, I am being a bit over-dramatic, but I am so super-excited to be seeing him in less than 24 hours!!!!!  Tomorrow afternoon I head to Florida to hang out with DB for 15 whole days.  There will be fun, and bonding, and relaxation, and plenty of cuddling.  Take that donut of misery!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I am incredibly spoiled in that I am able to celebrate Memorial Day with my family and friends.  We remember those that have come before us, but we don't have anyone in our family that has died fighting for our freedom.  I know women that have lost husbands and fiancées to the war, and my heart goes out to them during this weekend.  I cannot imagine the grief that they have gone through, but I am proud and thankful for their sacrifice.

It's been a terrific weekend of relaxing with family.  Yesterday I got to play with my 10-yr-old and 6-yr-old cousins.  It's been way too long since I've visited with them, and they have grown so much since I last saw them!!  I have also enjoyed spending time with my sister and her fiancé, and of course quality time with the dog is pretty priceless.

I'm also gearing up for R&R and I can HARDLY WAIT!!!!  I am so excited to see my boyfriend after 6 months of crappy Skype connections and distant emails.  I am also a bit nervous too - I want everything to go well and I don't want to disappoint him.  I have been very self-conscious about my appearance.  With school the past semester I didn't get to work out as much as I wanted to, so I hope I don't look disappointing, lol.  I'd like to lay out a few times this week so I can 'even-out' and bunch of my weird tan lines.  I leave next week to meet him in Florida - I can't wait!!

Until then, I'm just relaxing and waiting!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Countdown Continues

I am down to less than 2 weeks until I go on leave with my boyfriend!!!  I’ll be meeting him in FL to visit with his family and friends, as well as enjoy some well-deserved vacation time.  If the timing works out right, we may even be able to do a short cruise.  I am so excited to be able to talk and spend time with him without struggling with the internet connection over Skype.  We’ll have five days together alone before his 6-yr-old daughter arrives to join us.  I am a little nervous to meet her; I really hope she likes me.  It’ll be a lot of fun to meet the cutie that my boyfriend talks about so much.  My life has become a lot more complicated since I met my boyfriend (with the deployment and his daughter), but I am still so happy with him in my life.  I can only hope that things continue to go well with our relationship, and I will try to be as supportive as possible during the last 6 months of his deployment.

When I arrive home after two weeks of leave, I’ll have three days before my one and only sister marries the love of her life!  I am very excited to be able to celebrate this occasion with her and family.  I’ll be doing my Maid of Honor duties as well as visiting with family and making sure things go smoothly.  Luckily my sister is not a high-stress/small-detail person.  She has done the majority of the planning herself in the last six months, so we will only have minor things to take care of in the last few weeks before the wedding.  I am doing my best to be involved in the wedding activities, but it’s hard because DB goes on leave for the third and second week before the wedding.  I will be present for the week before, but I have been trying to plan my trip with him while helping with wedding stuff – as well as doing an internship at a local humane society.

I feel like I have been given a lot to deal with this summer, and I am doing my best to make sure that everyone is happy.  I already got an email from my sister saying that I “need to stop planning my life around [DB]” – yes, thank you for putting more stress on my during this already stressful time.  I haven’t seen DB in 6 months, and it’ll be another 6 months before I get to see him after our vacation.  But please, continue to make me feel guilty for wanting to see him while you spend 18 hours of every day with your fiancé.  [end sarcasm]  I will likely just keep my mouth shut and smile during the wedding activities.  No need to cause trouble during this busy time.

In other news, I am extremely happy this morning because I finally have housing for an internship that I have planned in DC!  I am doing a 6 week unpaid internship, and I was really worried about finding an affordable place to stay.  It was getting to the point where I was concerned that I’d have to cancel my internship, but thankfully I was put in touch with a friend yesterday – and I have a place to stay!!  I am beyond excited!!!  All I have to do now is book the flight, pack, then I'll be on my way for a fun end to my summer.

More updates to come!  (I was in some sort of weird Disney clipart mood today - I have no idea why) :P

Monday, May 23, 2011

The blog o' badasses

If there’s still anyone out there that still reads my blog – sorry about my absence.  School kicked into high gear at the end of March, and then from there until finals I was struggling to catch my breath.  Now that summer has started, I have been busy with internships, travelling and reconnecting with all the people that I’ve been ignoring for the past few months.

So far it’s been a whirlwind of activity.  I spent the weekend with my family to celebrate my sister’s graduation from Pharmacy school.  My sister’s a doctor now; she’s a big deal!  Here's a picture of badass #1:
Cap and Gown plus a Hood?  Badass
It was really fun to see all the traditions that came with the ceremonies.  I have always enjoyed formal ceremonies like that.  It could be cause I’ve grown up Catholic, thus attending Church and wearing a uniform to school means that tradition is pretty ingrained in me.  I think that’s part of why the military is so attractive to me because there is an order to it, and many ceremonies take place, with deep-rooted traditions.

While doing graduation activities, I stopped in at the Natural History Museum on campus and saw Comanche, a horse from the Battle of Little Bighorn (better known as “Custer’s Last Stand”).  Comanche was the horse of a Captain in the 7th Cavalry, and he rode into battle along with about 200 other soldiers in the unit.  All of the soldiers perished (including Custer), and many of the remaining horses were taken by the Indians, but Comanche was left with bullet holes and arrow wounds.  The horse was found a few days later by rescue unit, and the horse was transferred to Ft. Riley to be cared for.  Comanche survived the war wounds, and went on to become a mascot for the 7th Cav unit.  When the horse died his hide was given to the history museum where it is mounted.  It’s quite an impressive horse, not at all creepy like I expected.  It’s a real piece of history!

Comanche - badass warhorse
I especially got a kick out of the horse because my boyfriend is now in the Cav!  He is still in his original brigade, but now transferred into a new battalion with exciting new stuff going on.  He was also promoted to Captain!!!  Very exciting and rewarding for him  ;)  I look forward to seeing his Stetson and spurs at the Cav ball when he returns.
My boyfriend's a badass Captain ;)
I’ll write more later when I have time, but unfortunately the place I’m staying at right now does not have internet, so I am at the mercy of the local coffee shop for an internet connection ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ArmyWifeDude: Sweet Dreams

I'm still alive, struggling through school and life.  I don't have any good stories, so here is a blog post from TheArmyWifeDude that I found I could really relate to.  I coped it directly from his blog.  If you like it, send him a comment on his page.


Sweet Dreams

It's wild how one minute things are completely normal(well as normal as they get) and the next it's like the weight of the world is placed on my shoulders. For no appearant reason in what seemed like the snap of fingers the day took a turn. It started off getting out with another dad and our boys and shooting the breeze for a bit. But it was like when I walked through the door to our home it changed. Maybe it was the fact that subconsciously I realized there was no chance to give my wife a hug. There was no chance to run my fingers through her hair as I rubbed her head. There was no chance to have meaningful conversation with the one who no matter how cliche it sounds, completes me. Or maybe it was the realization that no matter how much of her stuff is in this house, no matter that she pays the bills, no matter what pictures hang on the wall, this is not "our" home, it's my home. Her home is in a crumby tent where she is lucky to have hot water and even running water for that matter. I would gladly give up all the comforts of this house for the chance to make her tent more like home. 

When my wife was at Basic Training and AIT most of you are aware of how hard it was on me. If I averaged 4 hours of sleep for the duration of those 6 months I was lucky. Yes there were some seldom nights that I slept for 5-7 hours, but there were even more where I only was able to sleep for 2-3 hours. This time around with her deployed, even though it's a FAR FAR different set of circumstances, I don't have those same problems sleeping. But I still don't get a good nights sleep. Most nights my eyes are shut no later than 11pm. Occasionally it has been later, but that has been very infrequent. For the last week or so I haven't woken with my alarm, instead choosing to turn it off and get an extra hour of sleep until the baby wakes up. But I wonder if I am choosing to get that extra sleep or if my body is just not managing to wake up. 

One of the mistakes I made the last time my wife and I were seperated by duty from each other, I would try to take a nap whenever the baby went down to make up for my lack of sleep. I am sure that contributed to not being able to get a good nights rest. And while you may think a nap is making up for the lack of sleep, it never really did. This time around I have been forcing myself to not nap during the day. I don't want to get into that routine again of not being able to sleep at all during the night. And it seems no matter how hard I try, I just can't get myself to be refueled completely. 

These days with technology being what it is the families of those serving have much more at their disposal in ways of the opportunity to communicate. Whether it by phone or computer. I have heard several times over how fortunate we are as families these days to have this luxury. I have heard spoken many times of what it was like pre cell phones and pre internet and what families would go through during deployments. And no matter how hard I try to understand their rational, I simply can't. Yes they did not have phones so available back then. Yes the computers and emails were non existant or just becoming mainstream. But depending on the era you are talking about, blacks didn't have civil rights, women didn't have equality, mental illness was taboo, there weren't cures and vaccines for certain ailments, etc etc.(and even Hammer pants were in style-ask your folks what they are if you don't know) Times have changed.

During the State of the Union addressed to the nation a couple weeks ago, I found myself rather miffed with comments President Obama was making. I usually don't get too irritated by things our elected officials say but this time I did. He was talking about how America needs to have a future. And how a good portion of that future rests in technology. He began to elaborate on how these days we can have video chats and make calls from just about everywhere. If I am not mistaken he said he even hopes that every American will have the ability to own a cell phone for mobile communication in the near future. And I couldn't get out of my mind how great it would be if there were more options for our deployed to call home. Now I know they aren't on a Sunday picnic over there. And I know there is the challenge of OPSEC(Operational Security), but I also know what it means to get those phone calls and have those internet conversations. Just last week my wife and I were able to chat via yahoo messenger and were able to see each other. Just to see her face gave me so much mental relief. It makes me wonder with technology the way it is today and knowing that the mental taxation these deployments are taking on our soldiers and families, why is there not more being done to open the lines of communication. I mean really, we send a couple spaceships and rockets into space every month, throw some more satellites on them. And if you wonder where the funding would come from, I would venture to guess that the relief from having communication with our family members would put the amount of money being spent on counseling for our soldiers and their families into a steady decline.

I know some won't agree with what I am speaking of. One person imparticular. But times have changed. I would challenge any one who says this ideal is silly to give up their cell phone and internet for a 3 month period. Do nothing that relies on computers. Don't use your ATM card(write a check and balance your checkbook and no automatic billpay), take the phonebook out from under the kitchen table leg and look a number up and anything else that computers give us the ability to do. Today cell phones are in nearly all of our hands. It's not a fad, it's a fact of life. It is more than a part of our culture, it is our culture. We are an instant gratification world these days. And while I do not expect to be able to pick up the phone and call my wife on an hourly basis(or even be the one to initiate a call), it would be nice to know when she has some down time(which she gets) that I can expect a call. Every day may be asking too much, but aren't we already being asked a lot of?

Some days I wish I didn't have a cell phone or a computer.I wish I would have never known the effects of what they offer. Maybe then when I am woken by a dream or a nightmare on a nearly ever 90 minute schedule I would not be checking my phone to see if what woke me was a missed call. Maybe I wouldn't open up the facebook application to see if I received a messege or if she was by chance on the chat feature that moment I woke up. Maybe I wouldn't be irritated by the times I know I wake up and check my phone at say, 0122 hrs, and see that she logged on at 0132 hrs. 

There is no way around the nights of waking up from a dream where I reach my arm to the other side of the bed thinking I was in reality but instead I was having a sweet dream of her. There is no escaping that about every 3rd or 4th dream I have of her at night is actually a nightmare. What I wouldn't give to have my restfull nights back. I would probably sleep better in that tent of hers with her by my side while listening to gunshots than I do in the silence of the night which is broken up by the clicking of my phone while I search for some communication. 

With the time difference we have our schedules are completely opposite. Some of the chances she would have to call are when I should be sleeping. And there is no way of getting her to understand that if she can call, that she should. She of course doesn't want me to be woken up by a phone call so she is hesitant. What she doesn't realize is how much better I may sleep just to have heard her voice. But this is the life we chose. And unfortunately I must "suck it up". I don't want to, but what choice do I have?

As much as what I just wrote about gets to me, I can't help but to think how good I do have it. Yes compared to those stellar people who paved the way during times of collect calls at international rates, but also compared to some today. I have a friend who every time she posts how crappy the satellite phone feeds are I am brought back to reality realizing I ask for too much. Every time I hear her say that she has gone a week, or 2 or more without a phone call, I am reminded how fortunate I have been. The first time I talked to my wife I posted it on facebook. But then I felt horrible when I thought of my friend A.M. It was almost like I was rubbing it in that I heard from my spouse. So now I don't say anything when I talk to her. It's not as much as I would like that I do talk to her, but I know it's more than MANY MANY others. And I am thankful for what I do get. 

*If you are a praying person, please stop and take a moment to pray for our military families. Yes you are reminded about that nearly every time you enter a church, but you aren't told specifically what you can be praying for. So I ask you to pray for the communication of our soldiers and their families. We all know that "communication is key" and while that's a catchy lil saying, it is VERY true. No more true than in the world we live in as part of this military community. But as hard as you pray for our communication with our loved ones, pray for those who are not sleeping. It never fails that my facebook status feed is filled up with spouses who were up til all hours of the night not being able to sleep peacefully as they sleep alone. I know if I updated my facebook status every time I woke at night and checked my messeges, I would add at least 4 updates a night. And nights like last night, I would have added somewhere around 10. That's right, in the span of 8 hours I woke up nearly a dozen times checking my phone. Just hoping to catch her online. But of course I didn't, then I saw I missed her by only minutes.*

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's day thoughts

A quote from one of my favorite military blogs:

"Those of you watching the commercials, chocolate everywhere, and feeling alone, please know you are loved. Completely. Tomorrow is about telling someone how you feel, but your love story does not stop or start tomorrow. Your love is felt all year. For those who get to finally squeeze, I know you will squeeze tightly. And cherish. Because we all wear the same shoes at some point. ~Melissa"

I've never had an exceptionally romantic Valentine's day, and this year will follow in the same vein with DB deployed.  Thank goodness for school.  Valentine's day will happen as normal tomorrow, but with exams next week and all sorts of other stuff going on in my life, I feel like I can handle Vday a bit better than if I was unoccupied.  At least I have school to keep me busy.  Plus DB isn't exceptionally romantic anyways.  Maybe next year we can do a fancy dinner and be all lovey-dovey :D