Monday, August 29, 2011


Well, we survived Irene.

We evacuated on Friday morning because, well, when you grow up next to a lake, just the idea of a hurricane is pretty scary. A girl from R's class grew up in Northern VA and she invited anyone to come up and take refuge there, so we did. Her parents cooked for us, we watched movies, and slept in, and we even went shopping at Ikea. Saturday night, the night that it was supposed to be the worst, we slept right through what sounded like a windy rainstorm. It set the bar pretty high for any future evacuations.

We were a little nervous to come back home, not knowing what we would find when we got here. We hurricane proofed the house as best as two Midwest kids could, but somehow taking all my jewelry but leaving all the windows un-boarded didn't seem like a fool proof plan. I kept wondering what we would do if a tree had fallen on it or if it was flooded two feet. But luckily, I didn't have to worry, because we got back to our house with no damage, no flooding, no power out. We even forgot to turn the air conditioner off, so it was nice and cool.

I'd say between Ikea and a house in perfect condition, we did alright for our first hurricane. R even said today, "I wish we could go back on vacation for a few more days." I had to remind him that we were not, in fact, on a vacation. We are very thankful that it happened the way it did!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

q and a.

I will now attempt to answer all the questions that I know you have been dying to get answers to.

Yes, we had an earthquake here today.

Yes, it was my first earthquake! No, it was not R's. Apparently the earth did that once in Indiana.

Yes, we are fine. It was teeny. Actually I didn't even know it was earthquake, I thought it was an F-18.

Yes, F-18's are so loud and rumbly you can mistake them for a teeny earthquake.

Why yes, they are flying right now at 10:30 at night.

No, I don't think they sound like freedom. I think they sound like baby earthquakes flying over my roof. At 10:30 at night.

Yes, there are also hurricane warnings for our area.

No, it's not the apocalypse... I don't think.

Yes, we may have to evacuate. And yes, we will let you know about that adventure if it comes.

Yes, I sort of hope the hurricane takes my car away so we can collect insurance on it and get a new one.

Yes, I know hurricanes don't quite work like that.

No, I don't know why some songs like 'Raspberry Beret' just get stuck in your head and you can't get them out.

Yes, I feel a little bad for mentioning 'Raspberry Beret', because now you have it stuck in your head, don't you?

No, you've never heard of that song? You know... "She wore a raaaaspberry beret! The kind that you find at a second hand store." Oh, now you remember?

Okay, I think I've answered all your questions!

And yes, I will let you know of any other natural disasters that occur.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

can't get rid of us that easy.

We have some exciting news!

No, I'm not pregnant. Ever since we got married, I can't tell anyone I have exciting news without them going, "You're pregnant?" Sorry, Mom, not this time. Sheesh...

Our exciting news is that last week, R found out what job he'll be doing. Drumroll please... R will be the newest member of a strike fighter squadron stationed at NAS Oceana! If you're not quite sure where Oceana is, it's about 2 miles from our house. That's right, we're not going anywhere!

If you know R at all, you know why this is great news for him. Being in a strike fighter squadron was his very first choice because he'll be working with jets. After everything he's been through in the last year concerning his career, it's awesome for him to still be a vital part of the aviation community and spend his days around F-18's. Also, he gets to wear a flight suit to work, which is pretty much like wearing pajamas. And if you've talked to me about my job search at any point in the last year, you know why this is great news for me. I am finally doing work that I love, with a staff that I love, in a career field that I love. I've also been making friends here in VA, so I'm starting to feel like I'm home for the first time since I left home.

I will have to continue to be careful about what I say on the blog about R's work, but as always I will keep you all updated about how school is going (he just passed the halfway mark!), his new squadron, and eventually, deployment (next year... boo).

And I know I've said this before, but thank you to all our family and friends for wishing R well and keeping him in your thoughts and prayers and supporting me as I support him. After a long year, we finally feel like both of us are doing what we love and we know that we are right in the center of God's plan for our lives.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

taking the leap.

Last weekend, I jumped out of a plane. I strapped myself to a 200 pound man, flew up to 14,500 feet above southeastern Wisconsin, and flung myself out of an airplane.

And it was pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done.

My sister Melissa decided she wanted to start crossing things off her bucket list, and she wanted me to help, so she went ahead and booked us two skydive spots at a place just south of Milwaukee. She called me (after she bought them) to tell me I had until October to get myself to Milwaukee so we could be adventurous together. After some hemming and hawing, I decided it was now or never and I bought a ticket to Wisconsin. Also it was the first weekend of the Wisconsin State Fair and you know how I feel about the Fair. R couldn't come because he has a real job that he can't just bail on at the first sign of adventure and cheese curds. Score one for non-profit!

So, I hopped on a plane (I didn't jump out of that one) and surprised my parents, who didn't know I was coming and we headed straight for the Fair. Then we told them we were going skydiving the next day and my mom nearly choked on her cream puff. Dad just wondered why we didn't get him a ticket.

The next day, bright and early, we were on our way to take the leap. It didn't quite hit us until we were suiting up what were about to do. We met our instructors, geared up, and all of a sudden, we were getting ready to get on the plane. No time to be nervous.

Thee coolest thing is that you had the option to have a photographer go up with you and jump with you. Both Melissa and I took that option and we have great photos and video of the whole experience. Of course, Dad stayed on the ground and took pictures from that vantage point as well.

This was around 7,000 feet and we were really nervous now. My instructor kept teasing me and pretending to be scared of high how we were. Not so funny when my whole body was shaking and the only way out of that plane was strapped to him. Everything goes really quick once you get up there. They pop open the door, tell you to put your goggles on, and pretty much shove you out.

What you can't see in this picture is the door wide open, two jumpers already out, and he is scooting me (fast!) towards the door.

Melissa jumped out right before me, so my photographer got a cool shot of her right after she was out. Look how high we are! That's I-94 right under us. Then my photographer crawled outside the plane, we scooted up to the door, and I had about 2.5 seconds to decide if I really wanted to do this or not.

Here I am thinking long and hard about whether or not I want to hurl myself at the ground going 120 mph.

I decided to go for it.

I'm pretty glad I did, because there is no feeling quite like free falling. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. My brain needed a few seconds to catch up with my body, but once it did, I couldn't stop smiling and screaming a the top of my lungs. The free fall only lasted 40 way too short seconds, but it was unbelievable. Then the instructor opened the parachute, I had a minute to catch my breath and take in the view, and before I knew it we were landing.

We couldn't stop talking about how much fun we had all weekend. As soon as I got back to Virginia, I told R he better get ready because I'm definitely going again and he is coming with me. If you have ever toyed with the idea of skydiving, I highly recommend you do it immediately.