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

Monday, February 7, 2011

Restless dreams of a Gleek

I enjoyed watching the Superbowl commercials in between bits of the game, as well as eating various tasty football snacks, but the real treat came after the game: GLEE!!  I am a super Gleek (fan of Glee, for those that aren't familiar with the term).  Honestly, I could care less about the characters.  I sit through the talking portions so I can dance through the songs.  And most of the time I watch it the day after on, and I end up rewinding the songs so I can listen to them two or three times before I let the episode continue on.

Yes, the Gleekiness is unreal.  I have groups of friends that love the show, and those that hate it.  But I watch it because it makes me happy.  Lately what makes me happy is Daren Criss, who plays Blaine from a rival high school (pictured above).  He's all preppy and cute (I have some sort of weird uniform fetish) and they did Katy Perry's Teenage Dream awhile back!  I don't mind Katy Perry on the radio, but her songs are 10x better when Glee does it.  In case you haven't seen the song:
Sunday night they did a rendition of "Bills, bills, bills", which was good, but it didn't quite have the same feel as the Teenage Dream song.  Still enjoyed it though.  My other Glee favorites include Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat's "Lucky", Cee-Lo's" Forget You", "Imagine", Queen's "Somebody to Love" and of course the classic "Don't Stop Believin'", plus pretty much all the songs from the Lady Gaga episode and the Rocky Horror episode... I could go on all day, lol.

Anyways, my other story is that I have been sleeping like a thrashing monster.  I don't recall having any particularly violent or active dreams, but my bed has been a disaster every morning when I wake up.  I'm not really a still sleeper anyways, but this is out of control this week.  I found my pillow on the floor this morning and my blankets were all pulled out of the foot of the bed.  I'm just chalking it all up to stress.  After all, since last year with grad school I started grinding my teeth so I now have to wear a really sexy mouth guard at night.  Oh baby, oh baby.  I can tell when I hit stressful times of the year because I literally chew the crap out of them and have to replace them sooner.

Of course, this active/angry/marathon sleeping doesn't do much to actually rest my body.  I have a rough day at school, fall into bed exhausted, and then wake up feeling even more tired.  I'm starting to wonder if I need to get one of those goofy guardrails that you put on the edges of toddlers' beds so they don't fall out.  I've done my best to work out *relatively* regularly so that I can work some of the stress off, but there are so many hours in the day that I can sacrifice to non-studying activities, and things like food and sleep take priority.

Obviously sleep is not taking enough priority right now, since I'm up late blogging.  G'night folks.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Deaths in threes

My apologies for lack of posting.  It has been a hell of a week.  We had two snow days (Mon/Tues) which lead to Wednesday being a landslide at school and I feel as though my life has been turned upside down.

First, the major things: ever hear about how people die in 3s?  Well I've had 2 deaths in my life in the past three weeks and I've been having nightmares about someone else dying.  SPC Torre was killed in Iraq, and my future sister-in-law-of-sorts (Emily) unexpectedly died on Tues day night.

My sister is getting married this June to her wonderful man John, and Emily is John's sister. (So technically Emily is my sister's sister-in-law, but you get the picture).  The plan was to have five bridesmaids and four groomsmen at the wedding.  I am the maid of honor (as the bride is my only sister) and I was going to walk down the isle alongside Emily and Jeff (John's twin brother).  Tuesday night, Emily wasn't feeling well.  She had some pain in her calf, and she passed out at home.  The ambulance arrived quickly but they were unable to resuscitate her.  Autopsy later revealed multiple pulmonary emobli, likely from a deep vein thrombosis.  Emily was quite young, only 29, but I guess she was as risk as a smoker and being on birth control.  The family is absolutely heartbroken, as am I.  My sister got to spend a lot of time with Emily, and my parents got to meet her at John's college graduation, but I never got to meet her.  I feel absolutely awful about it even though I'm quite removed from the situation.

Emily's funeral is 4 hours away on Monday, and I can't miss school for it.  On top of that SPC Torre's memorial service was rescheduled due to the snow, and now I can't attend because I'll be taking my Radiology exam at that time.  All this on top of the usual stress at school has turned me into an unhappy person this week.  I just feel conflicted - I don't know how to handle this other than to pretend it's not there.

Meanwhile my friends continue on with their lives.  Triumphs and failures, stress and fun times.  I went out to dinner with friends and all I could think about was death - which made it really hard to have appropriate conversation.  (After all, who wants to go out to have fun and then end up talking about serious/sad things)  I expect this conflicted feeling will slowly ebb away over the next few weeks, but I've been sleeping poorly and deep down I'm afraid of someone else in my life dying.  Maybe it will be someone who is exceptionally close to me.  I know this is completely irrational and worrying about people dying around me will do no good, but I still have that small thought in the back of my head.

On a high note, I did get to talk to DB for 20 min this afternoon.  He's not sure if he'll watch the superbowl (it'll be airing in Iraq at 2am).  He's not big into football, but this is the only time during the deployment that the guys are allowed to have beer - 2 beers to be exact, so he might go just for that.  Regardless, I hope he has fun and isn't too overtired in the morning.

Check out that handsome man

Alas, I should get back to studying.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Running the day away

Today was a big running day.  From about 11:30-5:30 today, I was solidly active, whether it was running or briskly walking.  I was one of two people in charge of laying trail for my running group.  I'm a part of a social running group composed of graduate students and soldiers from the nearby post.  We do a run every weekend, anywhere from 2-12 miles, and it's always a new route.  The two leaders set marks along the way by dropping handfuls of flour behind them, so the entire run is like a big scavenger hunt.  It's not uncommon for 4 miles to take us 1.5 hours with lots of dead ends, getting lost, and enjoying the activities along the way.  Today I was a leader with another group member, and I had worked out my upper body really hard the day before.  So from lifting weights and running, my body is completely zonked.  I'll likely spend most of Sunday resting (of course while studying everything that I've neglected in the last two days).

I came across this post in my dashboard while reading blogs:  Too funny!  I love a good dose of sarcasm :) I have a lot of sarcasm in my sense of humor, and sometimes I wish I could let it shine through a bit more.  But it always seems to come off as cynical or negative, so I do my best to just be happy around people.  I certainly don't want to be one of those people that others avoid because they're not fun to be around.  I don't try to lie to those around me, but I don't want to be constantly whining about "poor me" or "I miss my boyfriend, blah blah blah".

Ok, I am entirely too overtired and I'm afraid this post is going to turn to emo, so I shall call it a night.  Hopefully I'll hear from DB tomorrow!!  (I missed a call from him today while I was out running  :(

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hundreds gather to honor fallen soldier

Today my heart goes out to the family of SPC Torre, who died last week in Iraq.  His body arrived stateside in California yesterday, and the OC Register wrote a very nice article documenting the event.  I've read about soldiers dying overseas, but I have never had close connections to them like I do to Torre.  His was the first death in DB's brigade since they've deployed.  It comes as a shock because things are calming down over there, but it is still very much a war zone.  DB is always working inside the wire, so I sleep ok at night, but I feel for the families of the men that stick out their necks every day on patrols.  Death is a reality of war, but none that anyone would wish to go through.  I hope the men in his unit are coping as best they can during this hard time.

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

All gave some, some gave all.  Thank you for your service SPC Torre.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Merp rocks my socks off

If anyone is looking for a TERRIFICALLY WONDERFUL TIME (<- note how wonderful, wonderful enough for all-caps) please visit my friend Christine at  She is a masterful story teller and award-winning MSPaint artist.

Happy tears

I am not a fan of Sundays, mainly because it means that the weekend is over and a new week of activities is coming up (which is often composed of schoolwork).  But there are two things I particularly love about Sundays: going to church to spend an hour with God and reading the updated PostSecret blog.  It updates every week late Saturday night, and I just love reading the new secrets.  Many are sad, but some are funny, and most all are inspirational.  It really makes me reflect on my own secrets and how I would send them in.  Well this week they had a video posted in addition to the regular secrets.  There was a guy at one of the PostSecret events who proposed to his girlfriend on stage.  I watched the video in YouTube and of course started clicking on the related links.  Soon I was watching other proposal videos, then military proposal videos, then military homecoming proposals and then just normal military homecoming videos.

One of my favorite scenes from a homecoming video

I had plans to get a lot of studying done tonight, but no, like a crack addict looking for a fix I kept clicking on video after video to see more happy families reuniting with their military loved ones.  I literally sat at my computer watching military proposals/homecoming videos for two straight hours with big tears rolling down my cheeks.  Happy tears, but tears nonetheless.  I started to get ahold of myself, but then I clicked on a video of a military person reuniting with their dog after a deployment and then that just opened up a whole new can of worms - more adorable videos and more crying.  What is wrong with me, why do I put myself through this torture?

I was lucky enough to hear from DB this afternoon; we got to talk for 45min via Skype and it was so awesome to hear from him.  I have actually been quite proud of myself, because for the past week I have not been continually reminded about how much I miss him.  Most of it relates to school starting up in full swing so I really haven't had a moment to breathe and reflect, but some small part of me hopes that I am finally starting to adjust better to him being gone.  After all, come next week he will have been gone for 3 months.  That should be enough time to adjust, shouldn't it?  I don't expect to ever be completely ok that he's deployed, but I would assume that an adjusted feeling would eventually come around.  I know that I've been slowly emotionally shutting down, but I don't want to completely shut down.  I want to feel ok.

I've also recently come to the realization that I don't remember what DB smells like, the way his hair and clothes smell.  I don't remember what it feels like to cuddle next to him, which breaks my heart a little bit.  He always comes out of the shower smelling like Irish Spring, and if it starts to bother me enough I may just buy some Irish Spring at Walmart.  I found out today that his old roommate (who is PCSing at the end of April) has the key to DB's storage unit so that he can return DB's vacuum before he leaves.  Before he leaves, the roommate will leave the key for me to keep for DB.  I was really surprised because I thought that DB brought the key with him overseas, but we didn't really talk about it - I just knew that his things would be safe while he was away.  So I was thinking tonight about how once I get the key, I may go by his storage place and pull out some of his clothes, something to remind me of him.  I have one of his sweatshirts, but it has been washed many times by now and doesn't smell like him.  Then maybe I shouldn't go to the storage unit because it'll just remind him of me more and then I'll miss him more.  I'm pretty torn, but I have until Aprilish to decide if I'll do anything.

I am an emotional wreck now after watching those videos; that was a really stupid idea to watch them in the first place, but it certainly made me happy before I remembered that I still have 5 months before I get to see my boyfriend on R&R.  By that time it will have been 8 months since I last got to hug him, and that's just R&R, not the end of the deployment, and who knows when that will be...

My apologies that this post ended up being more rambling than I had planned on.  But then again, that's why I started this blog - to "blog it all out".  I am now going to go pretend to care about Radiology for another two hours or so before I call it a night.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back To Reality

Christmas vacation from classes has been a blast, but tomorrow morning it ends.  Oddly enough, up until yesterday I was super-excited to dive into the semester.  Now I'm having the beginning-of-the-semester doubts about being able to conquer everything that's laid out in front of me for the next few months.  I have my fingers crossed that this feeling will pass and it will be a regular school day tomorrow.

This weekend had a moment of grim reality - one of the soldiers in my boyfriend's battalion was killed by a roadside IED.  An official message was sent through the FRG listserv and a memorial service is scheduled on post in a few weeks.  I would really like to go to pay my respects to the soldier, but the service is on a weekday morning so I'd have to skip class and drive 30min to post.  I may still do it, we'll see.  I spoke with DB briefly on Sunday; he sounded very grim and didn't want to talk about what was going on around him.  I think it was a combination of him trying to deal with the sadness and also not scare me too much.  I just hope that the battalion's morale continues on strong after this blow.  I'll definitely be saying extra prayers for the fallen soldier's family.

In unrelated news, a group of my running friends have pressured me into running a 10 mile race in 3 weeks.  I consider myself a mediocre runner.  I can do three miles ok, and 5 miles is a bit tough.  But 10 miles?  I am absolutely terrified, yet I am still going to do it.  The competitor in me doesn't want to walk at all during the race, but I'm afraid that may just be how it goes.  I will be quite pleased if I can finish the race and not throw up.  Luckily my running friends are great motivators, esp Mary who is really good about encouraging to overcome what I 'think' I can do and just do it.  The story on my running group is a fun, but long one - I think I'll save that for another post.

And I'm off to get some beauty sleep before the first day of school!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The many faces of DB

I'm having Christmas all over again!  I've heard from DB three days in a row, 3 count them 3!!  This is absolutely unheard of because he is usually very unavailable to talk online, but thankfully things have just worked out well the past few days.  I also came home after visiting my parents, and after getting everything settled I checked the mail.  Lo and behold, there were 2 envelopes in the mail with cards from DB!  I am loving hearing from him so much!

So since we have actually had time to talk, he's been telling me about his new "fun hobby".  He's been talking to one of the guys in his shop who is a former day trader and he's spent a lot of his extra time learning about the stock market.  It sounds to be a lot like betting at cards, but there's a better chance that you can actually make money if you know what you're doing.  Now one of my nicknames for DB is Mr. Moneybags ;)

Also, DB is head of his shop and he tells me all about how he "rules with an iron fist" and that he may have people that yell at him, but at the end of his day he's "king of his castle".  I disagreed and felt like he was probably more of a "captain of his pirate ship", but it was fun to joke about it.  In celebration I drew him the following pictures:

The pirate one is my favorite, mainly because of the bird  :D  I realize that this post probably doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but I think that DB will get a kick out of it (I emailed him the pictures).

In other news, my dog was not particularly fond of the snow that I left at my parent's house.  However, he does look pretty dang adorable in his little sweater in the snow.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Martini madness

Oy internet world, I'm back from an action-packed weekend!  Friday evening I spent some quality time with my Aunt & Uncle across town and my 6 & 10 yr-old cousins.  It was a blast to play with the kids, and we did some Wii games as well.  I was introduced to the awesome game called Just Dance.  Not only was it fun, it was a real workout.  I did Eye of the Tiger with one of the cousins, and it was all punching and karate stuff - I felt like I was in a cardio class!

Saturday was extremely productive.  I went to a Bridal Expo downtown with my sister (she's getting married in 6 months).  We checked out most of the booths (there were a TON!), plus I was sure to stop at some of the cake booths for tastings :D  Then later in the afternoon I met up with friends in a running club for a 2-mile run through downtown (I may tell more of this story in another post).  Afterwards we had a great dinner at Old Chicago.  Hanging out with friends really lifts my spirits.  I feel so happy, sometimes I find myself looking around for DB in the midst of my friends - it really feels like he's here with me.  It's a nice little moment of ignorant happiness.

Today was quite relaxing, with Church in the morning and lunch with the family.  My Uncle across town bought a new iPOD and called me for help, so after lunch I went over there to try to be helpful.  I'm pretty sure that just because I'm young, but it was still nice to feel like I could help out.

One of the weekend highlights was the abundance of martinis!  My Dad is really into fancy drinks; I think of it like experimenting with cooking in the kitchen.  The fun is in looking up recipes and trying to come up with tasty combinations.  Our favorites so far: the Lemon Drop Martini, the Midori Martini and Cinnamon Amaretto Martini (well that last one isn't a martini but I had to somehow fit it in with the others).  I feel like I'm living at a bar, lol.

Lemon Drop
Midori Martini
Mango Martini
Sync or Swim

May there be many more merry martinis in my future!

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's TV time!

Vacation: time to catch up on TV and stay in my PJs all day.  I love it.

Due to school, I rarely regularly follow any TV shows.  I love Glee, and I also follow Chuck and Grey's Anatomy as time allows.  God Bless hulu for streaming these shows, because I don't have cable hooked up to my TV.  My TV is purely for watching DVDs or for my roommates to play video games.  Well this past week I've been catching up on my shows and finding new ones.

I signed up for Netflix for the month, and I've been watching MI-5 and 30 Rock streaming online.  I was a big fan of Alias when it was on TV, so I have been really enjoying MI-5, which is like a British version of Alias.  Also, I can't lie, I'm also watching it because Matthew Macfadyen is in it.  He played Mr. Darcy in the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice.  P&P with Macfadyen is HANDS DOWN my favorite movie.  I love action and adventure movies, but I just love a good romantic period film as well.  So MI-5 is giving me my Macfadyen fix for the moment, but I'll probably stop watching it once school starts up.  30 Rock is just stupidly entertaining at the moment.  I hate Tracy Morgan but I like Tina Fey, so there's a bit of a trade off there.

Joey (the dog) is a welcome companion for online TV-watching.  He is a very good model to look to when on vacation.  He catnaps throughout the day moving to different sunspots around the house.  His favorite spot right now is in my window seat with a full view outside so we can keep tabs on the neighborhood.  He is not a watchdog though, more of an "attack-you-with-kisses" dog.

I can only aspire to be as lazy as him.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I am super-excited about two new movies coming out that I saw preview for when I went to go see Harry Potter.  I'm excited to see Beastly and Red Riding Hood. (Click on the links to watch the trailers on YouTube)  Hooray for fairytale movies!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunny day

I had a sunny day today!  Well I kinda forced myself to have a sunny day, because it's never fun being gray, so today was stuffed full of rainbows :D

I finally got around to seeing the latest Harry Potter movie.  It came out back during Thanksgiving time, but then life seemed to shift into fast forward for me.  Between studying for finals, taking finals, and travelling over Christmas, I didn't make the time to get to the theatres.  But today I said enough is enough.  I pulled out my coupon for a free movie and made it to a matinée.  The show was AWESOME!  I can hardly wait for the final movie to come out this summer.  I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so I think they could've produced a really crappy movie and I would've loved anyways, but thankfully they put out a great production.

In other very exciting news (cue sarcasm), my dog was groomed today.  I'm staying with my parents for a week before school starts up again, so I get to hang out with my dog, Joey.  Technically he's the family's dog and he lives with my folks, but he has always slept in my room and been my dog.  Regardless, it's a blast to see him when I come home on weekends.  So my scruffy old man dog was groomed this afternoon and he looks just adorable.  He always comes home from the groomers exhausted because he spends the entire day awake and barking like a crazy man.  Now he's home looking super-spiffy and utterly exhausted.  A tired puppy is a good puppy!
My tired handsome old man

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gray day

I am a very lucky person to be blessed with so much.  I have been given so many opportunities and have had so many wonderful people in my life.  I do my best to be a happy person because I have so much to be grateful for.  And after all, who wants to hang out with Debbie Downer?

But today I had a gray day.  A day where everything felt off/wrong, and everything I tried to accomplish did not go as planned.  By mid-afternoon I gave up and went back to bed.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've decided to try again tomorrow.  Rather than spreading my gray day to other people I would rather keep it contained and avoid others from being infected with my frustrations.

My day was not without one triumph - I got to talk to my boyfriend (DB) via Skype for about 30 minutes.  I was able to tell him how I was feeling (disconnected, lonely) which was a real victory for me because I've been keeping it all inside for awhile now.

Ever since he left in November, I've sent messages via email and facebook nearly every day or every other day.  Most of my messages are just the day-to-day happenings that go on in my life.  Unfortunately I hear back from DB very infrequently, so I told him that it was really bothering me that I didn't hear more from him.  He explained to me that due to the busy nature of his job, he just doesn't get much downtime in his chu.  He is able to talk on Skype maybe once a week and send a message here and there, but that he would try to make an effort to send more messages.

It was the first time since he left that I felt like we actually "talked" to each other.  I've never been a fan of small talk, but I understand sometimes that's just what happens.  In the 30 min that I talked to him, I was very emotional, but it was such a relief to actually feel again.

I have a group of friends that are either dating or married to someone in the military, and one of their stories constantly haunts me.  She told me about how her husband came home for R&R and she had such a hard time connecting with him again.  She felt like they had become strangers to each other since he first deployed, but it wasn't the fault of either person, but rather a result of what the deployment had done to their relationship.  She had to emotionally shut down to keep from missing her husband so much, and her husband had to shut down as well so he could perform well on his missions.  Other than breaking up with my boyfriend, this is my #1 fear right now: disconnecting from  my boyfriend.  I expect that it will happen to a certain degree as the deployment progresses, but I am so afraid of having to start all over once he's home.

In the words of the CSM, I am determined to "not just survive but thrive during this deployment".  Here's to a sunny day tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hi, I'm Emmie

I have a few friends that blog, and I certainly read blogs, but I have yet to blog for myself.  Until now.

I've got a lot going on in my life (both good and bad) and I've decided that the answer is not to splash it all over facebook or whine about it to my friends, but rather "blog it out" so I can leave it behind.  This will be an experiment, probably a very messy one, but I plan to do my best to "blog out" all the craziness of my life.

Hi, I'm Emmie.  I'm a graduate student in Kansas currently dating a soldier in the Army.  He's currently 57 days into his second deployment to Iraq.  Though I'm thankful that he is in a very safe place, I haven't adjusted all that well and I miss him terribly.  I love all things crafty, especially sewing and jewelry-making, but due to my grad program I rarely have time for these things :(

I chose "Blue But Beautiful" on a whim, mainly because I'm not feeling all that creative at the moment.  Maybe I'll talk about that later.