Saturday, November 10, 2012

deployment musings.



I like to think there are three kinds of deployment days; fast days, slow days, and bad days.

Fast days are days when I think, “Deployment isn’t so bad!” They are days when I’m busy from morning til night, and it doesn’t occur to me until I’m tucked in bed that I crossed another day off painlessly and enjoyably. They are usually days spent with family or friends, days when I relish my alone time, days when the weather is gorgeous and the birds are singing and the squirrels and deer come help me get dressed in the morning. Those are the days when people say, “How is everything?” and I respond with, “Good! This deployment is actually going by so fast!” Because on those days it feels like it. I love those days. I’m happy to report I’ve had lots and lots of those days. But not every day is a fast day.

Sometimes, every once in a while, I have a bad day, though. The kind of day that make me hate the Navy and everything that comes with being separated and generally ends in tears, a good friend’s sympathetic ear, and several glasses of wine. I had a bad day when the dog chewed the carpet down to the concrete. I had a bad day the first time R told me to expect a call and I missed both of his attempts. The bad days are less frequent now that I’m in the swing of things, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have them at all. Now they’re just more like bad afternoons instead of whole days.

Most days are slow days. Managable, monotonous, day in and day out kind of days. Slow days aren’t bad days, they are just…incomplete. Slow days are the toughest thing about deployment in my opinion because they are really hard to explain. (I’ve deleted and rewritten this paragraph like four times in my attempt.) The thing about cruise is that there is always this awareness that a part of me is missing. If I have something need to vent about, I have to suck it up and figure it out, (a very tough thing for me to do as I cope with my stress and anxiety by talking it out, or yelling, as the case may sometimes be). If I have a great day, I have to somehow convey that excitement in an email and then wait X amount of hours for a response. (Next time you’re bursting at the seams to tell someone something, go ahead and give that a try. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails faster than having to email good news to someone who is 8 time zones away.) It’s like a twilight zone where I’m married, but I’m not really married. I haven’t had a real conversation with R in months. I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve laughed together since June. By the end of this year, I will only have spent 96 days all year with my husband. You know, that guy I married because I liked him so much I wanted to spend every day with him? I get the sense on slow days that my life is in pause while everyone else goes on living, having babies and buying houses and moving forward, while I check days off a calendar until my life gets back to normal.

I think I anticipated the bad days. And the good days are the best part. But no one really warned me about the slow days, about the limbo and the disconnect.

What I wasn’t prepared for though was how much I would need my friends and family and how awesome they’ve been in return. My military friends and family are always ready to listen and nod in agreement, immediately soothing that nagging feeling that I’m all alone in this. They are always ready with a glass of wine and a story about how they went through the same thing and encouragement about how it gets better. A lot of the difficulties of deployment are pretty universal and the advice and comfort that other spouses who have been there, done that have to offer has been priceless to me.

My non-military friends and family have been even more wonderful, considering they have no idea what deployment is like. They let me vent, check up on me, send sweet texts and emails, and generally remind me that my life isn’t really on pause, it only feels that way sometimes. They are there to pick up the slack for R since he can’t be my sounding board; they listen to me vent about work and school and Virginia drivers and long lines at the checkout in Target, (you’d be surprised how angry these makes me).

Deployment is a weird thing. It’s tough to describe and I think I finally get it when people thank military families for their sacrifices. I have sacrificed a lot. But I think I’ve gained a lot more; a lot of perspective, some invaluable soul searching time, deeper and more meaningful relationships, and a really good list of cheap wines that I’m happy to pass on!

If you’re reading  this and you’re one of those people that has let me unwind or cry it out on a bad day, or you’re one of the people who has made those fast days so wonderful, or you’re there with me in the monotony of the slow days, thank you so much. You know who you are. If you’re reading this and you know a military spouse or significant other who is getting ready for deployment, get ready to use those night and weekend minutes. And if you’re reading this and you’re sitting on a big grey ship halfway around the world hoping your little blogging wife is doing okay, then you owe a few people a big thank you upon your return for taking such good care of me. 

This are just my thoughts. Stay tuned for R's deployment musings. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

halfway!

This past weekend, our squadron celebrated our halfway point! That is a very exciting milestone in my life and now we are on the downhill side of this cruise, which makes me very happy. 

There are all kinds of traditions with halfway celebrations. They vary from squadron to squadron, but usually they involve getting dressed up and they guys doing something to treat us. I mean, we've made it through four and half months of sleeping alone and communicating almost entirely with email. We've earned a little recognition. And boy, did we get it. 

We chose to celebrate halfway with a spa day and a fancy dinner at the Founder's Inn, a hotel and spa in Virginia Beach. (Consequently, it's also on my school's campus. It felt wonderful to drive to school for a massage rather than class.) I got a fabulous massage and relaxed with champagne and a dip in the hot tub with some of the other spouses. We all got ready at the spa then headed over to the restaurant for dinner. 

When we walked in, the table was set up with a red rose and a bottle of wine at each of our place settings. The wine is a late harvest Zinfandel called Liquid Love. I suppose since our sailors can't be here in person, Liquid Love is the next best thing. (And isn't wine always the next best thing?) Our first round of drinks was on the guys. Someone sent them the wine and beer list from the resturant and they chose our individual drinks. R ordered me a pinot grigio, which I love. It was fun to see how well the guys knew their spouses drink orders. We also each got a handwritten letter from our spouse, which, needless to say, got me all teared up. 

After we all got settled, one of the girls announced that the guys had prepared a little dinner game for us to play. Now, here's what you need to know about cruise to understand the premise of this game. While the guys are gone, it's some kind of cruise tradition to grow a mustache. I'm not sure why, maybe its their way of sticking it to the man or something, but it's what they do. The problem is that there are, in my humble opinion, only a few men who can pull off a mustache and still look sexy. Rhett Butler, Tom Sellak, once in a while Johnny Depp... Mostly everyone else tends to look like the kinds of people you see in police sketches on the news. (No offense, Mom! Dad looks super handsome!) Well, some of our guys grew themselves some mustaches and our little halfway game was Guess That 'Stache. We were given a very close up of a mustache and a list of all the officers in the squadron and we had to match them up. Some of the guys (and girls) wore fake mustaches, which made things tougher. 

Well, I was pretty convinced that my hubby was a fake 'stacher and I bragged confidently about how I was SO SURE I knew which one was R. 



This is the 'stache I was convinced belonged to the man whose face I have been staring at for the last nine years. 



This is the 'stache I looked and and thought, "Ew, gross. I feel sorry for the poor girl who has to kiss that guy. Blech." 

I think you can see where this is headed. 

After dinner, the results were revealed and sure enough, I was quite wrong. The good news is that so was almost everyone else. (Except our one husband in the Spouse's Club. Sure enough, he was able to sift through the facial hair and pick out his wife from the bunch. I think he had an unfair advantage...) 


This is the face of a man who left in June looking handsome and clean shaven and now appears to be the other half of the Super Mario Brothers. I mean, I'm not saying it looks terrible, but let's be real, I'm not exactly saying it looks good either. (I teased him plenty about this mustache, which I had no idea he was even growing. I may have used the words Amber Alert more than once...) 

Suffice to say, those pre-ordered drinks came in handy once the full face shots of our husbands (and wives!) with four and a half months of glorious facial hair got revealed. 

After our game of Ew Gross! Is That My Husband? Why Does He Look Like An '80's Cop!? Guess That 'Stache, we enjoyed an evening of catching up and yummy food. 


Here's our fabulous group, minus a few who couldn't be there. It was a great day, from the massage to dinner. It's a lot of fun to be able to celebrate being halfway done with cruise with people who are just as excited as I am. There are more posts to be written about how awesome these folks are and how lucky I am to be in a squadron like this.  

Those mustachioed men (and women) also had a little surprise from us. A couple months ago, we took a group picture to send out to the boat for them to unveil at halfway. Now, I may be biased, but I believe our halfway picture is pretty much the best. 

 Amanda Hedgepeth Photography

Thanks to a group with a good sense of humor and little creativity, we sent this picture out to our sailors. I think it's pretty clear why we're so awesome... (We're all fully clothed behind those signs. Just don't tell that to the people slowing down in their cars to stare.) 

I haven't talked much about deployment, and believe me, there's a lot to say. Halfway is a great time to regroup and evaluate. Stay tuned for my thoughts on cruise so far. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

making a list, checking it twice.


I am glad to report that I found a new church, after much church shopping, and I was so blessed to experience a beautiful communion on my first visit. I wrote about it in this week's edition of A Love Like This on the Circle of Friends website, which I've included below. Enjoy and have a great Friday. It IS on my to-do list to write a little about my home decor projects, but I haven't been able to finish any of them for the before and after pictures just yet. When I do, this will be the first place I brag about it.


A Love Like This
I love lists. To do lists, goal lists, grocery lists, you name it. All around my house and in my purse and at my desk at work there are notepads and little journals and old bank statement envelopes with lists scribbled all over them.

Lists make me feel organized and efficient. They help me clear my thoughts. I write to do lists for the next work day so that I’m not frazzled the next time I get into the office with which tasks need to be done. I make lists when I clean the house because somehow seeing a completed list, covered in thick, dark lines crossed through each item makes me feel more accomplished than even doing the job in the first place. I write pros and cons when I’m weighing a heavy decision, I make little lists of things I want to include in emails to R while he’s away, I even write things on a list that I’ve already done, just to feel the satisfaction of crossing it off. (C’mon, raise your hand if you’ve done this, too.  I can’t be the only one!)

I make mental lists, too. The lists of things I am constantly aware of, but I don’t want in writing as a reminder. On one side of this list are the Things I’ve Done Right and on the other are the Things I’ve Failed At. Woke up early, did my quiet time, ate well, worked out; they all go on the good side. I’m lucky if I manage a few good successes a day. But it seems nothing is too big or small to go on the failed side; slept in, disorganized, didn’t write, late for work, quick to anger, judgmental, not fit enough, not pretty enough, and on and on.
Then something happened as I took communion this past Sunday. As I held that little chuck of bread in my hand, soaked in grape juice, mentally going over my week of failures big and small, I realized that somewhere along the way, I believed this was how Jesus kept rack of my life. Somehow I managed to believe that he keeps a big list in two columns and is always watching me, evaluating, ever recording my successes and failures. When my successes outweigh my failures, then I am welcomed into his arms, filled with the lightness of knowing I’m loved and the feeling of being favored. But when my failures have stacked up too high, because of my selfishness or because I simply didn’t measure up despite my trying, then I am cast out, unable to approach the throne because I am sinful and disobedient. Better luck tomorrow.

Oh I’ve got it so wrong, don’t I? I asked as I stared at that little piece of bread saturated in red.

My shoulders relaxed and my eyes closed as I took communion, letting the reality of grace wash over me. I sat there for a long time, eyes closed, sheepishly imagining my Father erasing my lists, assuring me that I can’t fail big enough to separate myself from his love. I sat there, smiling with eyes closed while he wrapped his arms around me and brought verse and after sweet verse to mind to assure me that his grace really is amazing.

If you’re reading this, I’m praying he speaks the same sweet promise deep into your hurting heart and you watch on in joy as he erases your lists. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

but wait, there's more!

Head over to my page at Circle of Friends to check out what I have to say about being a hot mess and how I just don't care. Enjoy! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

happy birthday, mama.

Check out my Circle of Friends post over here. It's dedicated to my Mom, the ultimate baker of cookies and maker of homes, on her birthday, today. 

Happy Birthday, Mom! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

i'm doing it anyway.


This is the desk my brother gave me that has been sitting dormant, waiting to be used since I got it in... ahem... June. On it sits my old laptop, waiting for me to transfer all my old pictures and documents, also, since June. 



This is my closet, which desperately needs to be organized so that my tank tops are not all hanging on one hanger and I'm not always wearing the same three shirts because they are all I can find in that mess. What you can't see is the shirts on the floor and the box of purses and clutches that is overflowing onto the shoes that are piled on top of each other. 


This is the blank wall above my bed that was going to be one of my many deployment projects. I had big plans to make art buy art , that I still have not gotten around to. Underneath is the chocolate lab that seriously needs a bath and whose pet license is expired. 


This is the hutch that is actually a graveyard for things that have no immediate purpose in my home and they go there because the doors shut and if I can't see them, I pretend they're organized. On top is a stack of mail and papers and two audio books that are overdue as of yesterday and that aforementioned pet license. 

And on and on it goes, in every room of my house, into the garage and the yard, to the car, and beyond. And lets not forget the long to-do list in my head that continually seems to grow, despite my best efforts in checking items off. My life is a constant reminder of all the things I'm not doing. 

Then there's this blog. My sweet little blog, that was such a comfort and hobby for me during my months of not working in Florida. I wanted so badly to post regularly and share all my well photographed adventures, all with good hair of course. But every time I come to it's spot on the to-do list, I make a few excuses and move on. 

But I have nothing to write about.
No one reads it anyway.
I should probably organize the closet first. 

Well, you know what? I'm writing it anyway. I don't really have much to write about, and maybe no one really does read it, and yes, that closet seriously does need to be organized. But I love this blog and I love writing. Really though, if I'm being honest, (and you've seen my closet, so let's not be coy) I am a little scared. I want to share my life with all our friends and family and passerby in a way that's funny and thought provoking and engaging, but I am constantly nagged by the feeling that someone else can write it better, funnier, with better pictures. 

But they can't. That's an assurance from my most trusted source. Only I can write my story in my voice the way I do. So I'm doing it anyway. Even though I may not do it with good hair or great photos, and you should probably know that I'm doing it sweatpants and one of the three tank tops I pulled off the closet floor, I am doing it. I gave my self a posting schedule, but I may not stick to it. I try to take pictures, but I don't always remember to. You know though, I don't think the point is doing it perfectly, I think the point is just to do it. 

Now really, I think I should go wash the dog. 


Saturday, August 25, 2012

my summer vacation in pictures.

Remember those grade school summer vacation papers we had to write on the first day of school? Well, I thought now that my summer is officially over, I might as well remember it fondly in pictures. Sigh, I miss it already. 


We got a new car! My sweet Mazda was ready for a new owner: my little brother, Jonathon. He adopted her and we added this shiny new Altima to our family. Beau wasted no time getting her all messy and full of dog hair. 


We started off our summer right by packing up the dog and heading south to Jacksonville, FL to visit old friends for Memorial Day weekend. 


What Memorial Day celebration would be complete without an America Party. Or A 'Murica Party, for those of us who are feeling patriotic. Naturally, we came dressed for the occasion. Thanks to none other than Walmart for outfitting these sailors and their girls. R's shirt says 'Home of the free because of the Brave'. Fitting. (PS, our America shirts were Hecho en Mexico.)


A few weeks later, R took his pre-deployment leave, which gave us a few relaxing days at home and a few days for our favorite kind of trip: road trip! We headed north this time and made a few stops along the way. First stop was Washington DC. I saw the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknowns for the first time and I was very impressed. We also checked out an art gallery and the International Spy Museum, which of course we couldn't take any pictures in. After learning all about espionage, I'm considering a career change. Or maybe I've already made one...


Then we stopped at the Naval Academy. What a beautiful campus! We have lots of friends who graduated from the Academy so it was cool to learn about all the traditions and history that go way back. 


We stopped for crab cakes and rum drinks at Pusser's in downtown Anapolis. I would got the  Academy just for those two things. Did you know that in the British Navy used to be issued a daily pint of Pusser's Rum every day, and before battle they got a double. The daily ration was only abolished in 1970! So, we went ahead and drank for the British sailors and their girls. 



We stopped in Baltimore for a night before heading up to Philadelphia, but there is no photographic evidence of this. (See, I'm already a good spy!) We briefly skimmed through all the founding father's stuff in Philly, because all I wanted was a cheesesteak and I couldn't be bothered with my nation's history. What can you expect from a girl who wears an America shirt that was hecho en Mexico? 


We did get that cheesesteak and went ahead and had another at the Philly's game that night. If anyone can tell me Philly's weird green mascot is, I would be forever grateful. 


On our way back home, we made sure to stop at a place everyone in Delaware should see. Delaware's highest point! R makes it his mission to try and get to every state's highest point. So far, I've been lucky to be with him for some easy ones. Not sure how I'm going to feel about this hobby if I ever find myself in Colorado or Alaska with him.


We were really in Delaware to go to Dogfish Head brewery, aka Beer Mecca. Dogfish is one of the coolest craft breweries and we made sure to eat at their brew pub and sample lots of beer. R was a happy man. 


After our Liberty and Beer Road Trip, we spent R's remaining days just enjoying the summer and enjoying not being a world apart. We had a few relaxing beach days...


...and some intense Battleship nights. Here's a little secret about us: give us some cocktails and a board game, and we're pretty content. Add in a beautiful summer night and a cigar, and maybe a wager where the loser had to make breakfast the next morning, and you've got a pretty perfect night. And the next morning, R was treated to some pretty perfect crepes compliments of the world's worst Battleship Commander. 


I surprised R with a mini-Christmas since he won't be here in December. I put on the Bing Crosby Christmas classics, lit some piney smelling candles, and even hung stockings on the fireplace with care. Not quite as good as the real thing, so I guess we'll just have to double it up next year when he's home. 


After R left, I drove to Wisconsin to deliver a certain little Mazda to her new owner. I actually did a lot of fun things in Milwaukee, but somehow I managed to only take a few pictures. I'm not sure why I took a picture of the cheese aisle, I think it was to emphasize that when you're in Wisconsin, there are whole aisles dedicated to blocks of cheese. Home sweet home. 


In addition to cheese, I got a picture of Beau and his cousin Lola after a trip to the dog park. Presh. Beau was so impressed with Lola's packer collar and tags, that he got a Packer tag to match. Now he's ready for some football. 


I got a visit from my big brother and my handsome nephews. This is Cain, who just turned 1 this summer. Can you even resist that goofy smile? 



After all my traveling was done and all my house guests had left, I looked out my back window to see that my lawn had grown into a prairie. When I realized that I could not leave it until R got home, I pouted for another few days, then finally mowed it. Since it was the second time I've ever mowed a lawn in my entire life and the grass was literally knee high by the 4th of July and I sweated off about 8 1/2 lbs and the blades kept getting stuck and stopping every 5 feet and I used some pretty harsh language that I'm sure my neighbors could hear, this event made it on my summer vacation list. I might even put it on my resume it was such an accomplishment for me. 


It was a good summer. R and I made the most of our time together before he left and our friends and family helped distract me once he was gone. And now I'm in school! I am taking classes to get a Graduate certificate in Biblical Studies at Regent University. Right now I'm taking Biblical Hermeneutics and Old Testament I. So the scene above is my life for the next few months. Reading, writing, reading some more. It really is a new thing for me to be back in school after so long. Wish me luck! 

Sweet summer, I miss you already. I hope your summer vacay was wonderful, too. Here's to a new season! 


Friday, August 17, 2012

circle of friends.

I haven't mentioned it here, but I am a contributing blogger over at Circle of Friends, a women's ministry that I got hooked up with last year. There are some fantastic writers over there, so if you're looking for a little  encouragement while you peruse the interwebs, check them out. My posts show up every Friday, so I'll be linking them over here as well. 

Enjoy my latest post about starting school next week! Yikes! 

And stay tuned for a little recap as the summer winds down. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

supermarket sweep.

I make it no mystery that I don't eat very well. It's one of my three flaws. I am an inattentive driver, I can't spell 'necessary' without spell check, and I have a diet that would make a teenage boy scowl. 

I never said I was perfect. 

Usually, I'm just fine with my poor eating habits. I like to think that I'm just appreciating vegetables, not taking them for granted like everyone else does. When I eat a salad, it's a happy reunion instead of just a routine lunch. It's like they always say, "Absence from the produce isle makes the heart grow fonder."

They always say that, right? Right. 

Well, today, I went to the grocery store for a quick run and I made the rookie mistake of going on an empty stomach. I headed in telling myself, "Just eggs and milk and maybe a little sumpin' sumpin' from the ice cream treats section..." Then I walked past the lunch meats and my stomach started to growl. "Ugh, forget the eggs, I need something I can make as soon as I get home. I'll grab something quick and easy." Then I passed the Doritos and I started to lose all sense of reason. Suddenly my hands were grabbing things off the shelf all I could hear was my own voice whispering, "Ohhh! That looks good!" and I was seeing spots and I just needed to hurry up and get out of there. 

Then I came home to unpack my bags and this is what I saw:


Actually, that's not entirely true. There was Gatorade, and about three packs of Babybel mini cheeses, too, but those items didn't make it out of the parking lot due to my completely irrational fear of a starvation induced loss of consciousness. 

I feel so ashamed. I'm going to need something to take the edge off. 

Good thing I got those Klondikes. 



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

it's just not fair.

Things my husband has seen the last few weeks: 



The Rock of Gibraltar. 


Palma de Mallorca, Spain.


Rhodes, Greece. 

Things I have seen in the last few weeks: 


Beau sleeping. 


Beau playing ball. 


Some stuff that Beau chewed. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with Beau as much as the next person, but I'm beginning to wonder who really got the short end of the deployment stick here...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

it came and went.

The much anticipated, dreaded deployment day arrived and passed and it appears as if I'm doing okay. Whew. 

The weeks leading up to the big goodbye were pretty difficult. I was on a bizarre roller coaster of emotions. I think I knew I needed to get a handle on things when I started to cry in the toiletries section at Walmart because he was buying nine months worth of deodorant and it sank in that he was really leaving. 

But we managed to say goodbye and I promptly hopped in the car and headed West to Milwaukee and distracted myself with family, friends, and food for two and half wonderful weeks. (More on that later.) 

And now I'm back in Virginia, getting back into my routine, and getting used to a quiet house for a while. The best part about traveling and seeing friends and family is that I looked at the calendar today and realized we're almost done with the first month! 

One down and eight to go! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

back again.

I know, I know. It's the middle of May and I've written like three posts all year. What a slacker. I contemplated just scrapping the whole blog, but a little voice inside me said no. Let me explain. 

I think what I didn't anticipate when we moved to VA and R started doing all these workups is that my deployment survival mode involves a lot of frozen pizza and way to much Hulu and very little motivation to do anything but lay in bed under my piles of dirty laundry. But as the big deployment looms ahead, I've realized that this blog is a good distraction and a great motivation to get my act together and do something semi-productive.

Thanks for being patient as I've been finding my footing through out this whole crazy deployment thing.


So, feel free to let me know you're out there in the comments section. The real motivation for writing a blog is knowing someone is reading it! 


I swear I won't drop off the planet again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

iphone pictures that i love, round two.


There isn't a whole lot going on around here since R is out again for a workup. 

Everybody, say it with me, "Booooo for workups!" 

Okay, that's better. So, because there isn't much to report here on the home front, I thought I'd bring share some more iPhone pictures that I love. This happens pretty infrequently because I update my phone pretty infrequently, and when I do it's a like a treasure trove of photos that I forgot were there! 



I found this sitting out ready for R to take it with him to work one morning. His cover and two nasty generic granola bars. Just the essentials.



This little tip was in a "Everything Labrador Retrievers" book. I think this explains a lot of things. 

 
This is a church near my office... gets me in the mood for some football. 



This is our dry erase board shopping list. R wrote "jelly". I added my thoughts. If you get this joke right away, then I think it's pretty clear why we're friends. If you don't, go ahead and YouTube the song, "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child and you can laugh with me. I laughed for days about this. R just shook his head.



This is clear indicator of how opposites attract. This is our minute usage on our phone bill. I'm going to go ahead and let you guess whose phone is the top line and whose is the bottom.






And finally, because my phone has more pictures of Beau than almost anything else, here's a picture of what Beau does when I block him out of the kitchen so I can sweep and mop. He sits there the entire time watching the broom and mop go back and forth and giving me sad, "I just want to help..." eyes. He also tries to jump on the bed when I'm making it, but I'm usually to annoyed to stop and take a picture.

Looking forward to blogging about some projects I'm getting ready to take on around the house. Turns out deployments and workups fly by when you fill your every waking moment with projects. And Hulu.

Until next time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ch-ch-ch-changes.

I bet you thought I stopped blogging. Well, surprise! I was just hard at work on my new makeover! You see, I decided that I needed to be a little more hush-hush about what I was saying about R's work. That seemed hard to do when I was blogging about it all the time. So I went back into the archives and made a few changes (like no longer using his full name, as I'm sure you've noticed). Then I realized I had to change the title and address in order to get away with that, so, voila! I'm unveiling the new and more OpSec (Operational Security, as we say in the biz) friendly blog! 

So, I won't use R's first name or give any specifics about his job, just that he's in the Navy. If you know us in "real life", you already know all the good stuff anyway. I just figured with this deployment coming up, I am going to want to vent/regale you with all my deployment adventures, and I want to do that in a way that keeps R's professional privacy safe. 

With that said, I think you can be expecting a lot more posts out of me. (Lucky you!) I think my spotty blogging before was due to not knowing what I could or could not say. But now that I'm just married to a capital letter, and after he briefed me on all the do's and don'ts, I'm ready to type til my little fingers fall off!  So I hope you enjoy the new changes, and be sure to forward the new address along! 


Until next time!

Monday, January 30, 2012

postcards from beau.

With R gone (but coming home this week, hooray!) I have been texting him pictures like crazy to help make me feel a teeny bit less far away. I'm lucky he's so patient, because really, no one wants to get texts all day saying things like, "Look at this funny license plate!" and "Here's what I ate for lunch. Stay tuned for dinner! XOXO!" Alas, he is a good man, so he puts up with me. 


Mostly though, I send him pictures of Beau. Because we're crazy dog parents and we think our little chocolate dog is pretty much the cutest thing on Earth. I realized today that I have about 50 pictures on my phone, and I thought I'd share just a few of the good ones. Because if you are one of my three and half readers, there's a good chance think my dog is pretty cute, too. Rest assured there is a lot more where this came from, so be glad I'm only giving you a sampling...


Playing ball at the park near our house is Beau's favorite activity in the whole wide world. This has become our almost daily routine because the winter weather here is pretty much a huge joke. 


I have a pretty awesome job and a completely awesome boss who lets me bring Beau in to work with me. He pretty much chills right next to my desk all day and he is very friendly to anyone who comes in. It's such a blessing considering Beau's separation issues and the fact that R will be gone most of the year. It calms my doggy mom nerves to have him there. Did I mention I have an awesome boss?


This was taken last week in the parking lot outside work. I locked my keys in my car and had to wait for the locksmith and the whole time that mean little kitty taunted Beau by sitting there licking himself on the other side of the fence. As soon at Beau would lose interest, the cat would get up and walk around a little, just to keep things interesting. It drove Beau crazy.


Beau's second favorite place in the whole wide world: the beach. I took him yesterday morning, again because it's pretend winter here, and tried throwing him the ball, but the waves were just way more exciting to run and jump on. Unfortunately for me, so was a dead seagull...


Can you even resist a dog that snuggles like this? I'm not really sure how I ever lived without that sweet chocolate dog. He's good company while I'm all alone.


I am so excited for R to come home this week and eager to see what Beau does when he realizes his buddy is back! We've both missed him a lot this month and I'm sure R will be glad when the texts slow down a bit... until it's time to tell him what I ate for breakfast.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

why i can't work from home.



8:12am- Get an email saying the meeting I was going into work for at 11am has been canceled. Debate what I need to do today and realize it can all be done from my computer at home. Turn phone on silent, go back to sleep. 

10:46am- Avoid Beau's judging eyes as I finally roll out of bed. 


11:31am- After I get dressed and make the bed for appearances sake, I finally sit down at the kitchen table with all my materials to get started. 

11:34- Realize I might need some coffee. Get up to make some. Get distracted by my messy cabinets and write a quick to-do list for this weekend.

11:45am- Coffee is made, to-do list done, now it's time to hit the grind. 


11:46am- Check my non-work email just for good measure. Delete a Facebook notification. Oh, that reminds me, I wanted to Facebook stalk someone really quick. 

12:08pm- Finally decide to quit messing around and get to work. Get up to get some more coffee. Aw, Beau looks bored. Go get him the chew toy I bought last weekend. Ohmygosh, he looks so cute chewing on his new toy! R definitely needs a picture of this.

12:19pm-While sending pictures to R, I remember that I forgot to put the Pinterest app on my phone the other day. Let me just do it really quick or I'll forget again. I won't even open the app once it's on...

12:50pm- Okay, I should have seen that coming. Put phone away, get fresh cup of coffee and focus!

1:13- Super jittery from all that coffee. Need a break. Check some of the blogs I follow. That reminds me, I haven't written a post in a while....

Monday, January 9, 2012

barefoot deployment blues.

They say as soon as your spouse goes on deployment, things go wrong. The dishwasher breaks, the roof leaks, the kids get pink eye, something. Well, Ryan left on Saturday for the first of several month long detachments that he'll go on this year, and the rule seems to be true. 

Maybe, since it's not a real deployment yet, it wasn't a real disaster, but it was enough to make me really miss him. 

I was doing pretty good on Saturday morning when I dropped him off on base. I hugged him, kissed him, and drove off with a lump in my throat. I tried not to cry, because this is going to be a long year of saying goodbye to him. In fact, we totaled up all the time we'll spend together this year between detachments and deployment; a whopping four months. So I swallowed back the tears and reminded myself that we had been apart before, I could handle this.

I spent the whole day with a friend whose husband is deployed now. Apparently it's an unwritten military wives rule that you never spend the first day alone. Love that rule. We laughed and relaxed all day and I hardly even remembered he was gone. Until I got home to a dark house and an empty bed. I got that lump in my throat again, but managed to take a deep breath and try and think of the silver lining; the whole bed to myself. 

Sunday was filled with little 'throat lump' moments; waking up alone, taking the dog for a walk by myself, making dinner for one, and mostly a quiet house.  But I managed to keep it together, remembering that other friends we're only in the first month of six and I would be seeing Ryan in just four weeks.


Today, after a long morning walk with Beau, I left for work. I was starting to feel a little better, despite the rainy, dreary weather. It felt good to be back in the routine of work, my week was quickly filling up with meetings and appointments, and I was looking forward to a busy week that would make the time fly. 


Then I got home and walked in the front door to see that Beau had chewed to shreds every pair of shoes that was on the floor in my closet, and sweetly brought the carnage out to the hallway for effect. Eight pairs of shoes, including my TOMS which I wear every single day of my life and two pairs of super cute heels that I love. He was merciless, not just chewing off a little edge of a heel here and there, but pulling apart the soles and tearing the fabric into little un-vaccumable shreds. (I took pictures, but the wound is still too raw for me to post them for the world to see.)  


Well, all the tears that I'd been holding back since Saturday suddenly filled my horror-stricken eyes and I just sat down in the hallway and cried like a little shoeless baby. Not that Ryan being home would have made any difference, but seeing almost half of my shoe collection lying in pieces up and down the hallway suddenly made me feel very alone. Luckily, there was a sweet chocolate lab with absolutely no recollection of having chewed all those shoes who quickly came to my side on the floor and offered some kisses and his "shake" paw to make me feel better.

Three days down, twenty six to go.