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 matinĂ©e.  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.