Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making wedding progress...

I just officially reserved our wedding photographer! I really like her work, obviously. What really sold me though, was that for the package we are getting, we get some super cool things, such as a DVD Montage and a coffee table book. I am mostly excited for the DVD montage!! It’s a photo slide show that is about 30-45 minutes long, and we get to choose 15-20 songs, and then she puts our pictures with our music!!! I honestly will watch this ALL the time. I’m the type that would totally have it playing in the background while I’m cleaning, just listening to it and to our songs, and looking at a picture here and there. The coffee table book is a hard cover, custom designed book with our pictures. It’s 12 X 12 and it has about 300 pictures, and it’s a book that will, well, go on the coffee table. No, it will not be used a coaster.

We also get two photographers in the package we are getting; they are a husband/wife team, and the husband stays with our guys, and the wife stays with us girls for the day, and they both have different approaches to photography. She has a photojournalistic approach and he has a candid approach. We also get some editing and processing of the pictures, and touchups, and black/white and sepia pictures, and a brides album which is a black leather album with about 300 of our best pictures. We also get a CD released to us with all of our photos from the day and we can do whatever we want with it, such as make more prints, or make copies for family or whatever. She’s also been in the business for 18 years now.

I get all this, and a little bit more that I’m not listing, all for a very reasonable $1,645. I found another guy in our area and he started at $1,700 and all that was included in that price was his photography skills for the day. It didn’t include any printed pictures (those started at another $245), any DVD video, a back-up photographer, or any picture album. I really liked his work, but his price and what was included didn’t even compare to the lady we selected. (Plus, he’s really young; younger than me, so he doesn’t have a track record nearly as big as hers). Photographers are freaking expensive. I thought he was a great deal, because all the others are around $2,500 for very basic packages. We’re going with this lady and getting the “elite” package and we’re getting a shitton for the less than other people start out.

My soldier wasn't there for the consultation, and I told her where he was at. I didn't want her to get the wrong impression and think that he just didn't care, so he didn't want to go. Even though he doesn't care much for his photograph being taken, I know he would have liked to go with me to the consultation. In her email back to me, she said she wishes my fiance a safe return, and she looks forward to meeting him. :)

Now, if only July 16, 2011, would hurry up and get here!!! 12 1/2 months until we can put her to good use, and I'll have a new favorite DVD to watch!

Weird phone call

My soldier called me the other day. It wasn't our normal Sunday talking date, so it always makes me a little nervous when he calls during the week. He actually called twice and I answered the first time, but I couldn’t hear anything. I kept saying “hello? Are you there? I can’t hear you. Helllllo, SETHHHHHH?” And then I heard a male voice with a heavy middle eastern accent. I suddenly said in a very serious tone, “HELLO?” then whoever mumbled something else again, and then the line cut out. My stomach sank, my heart dropped…whatever that saying is. I said a quick little prayer to make sure everything was OK with Seth. The first thing that went through my head was that he’d been held hostage and they were using the phone to torment me. Not sure why they’d call me, but that’s the thought that went through my head. I don’t even know if they would use the soldier’s phone to call someone, but regardless, it was a horrible, horrible feeling.

This is the reason why he can’t tell me certain things over the phone: because it’s a bold reminder that he’s in Afghanistan and he has an Afghanistan cell phone and you never know if the line is being tapped. Anyways, he called me back, and after I said “hello?” twice, he said hey. He said he was in his tent, in his bed. I was thankful for that, and he just wanted to tell me hi. I think he was having one of those days where he just wanted to talk to me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Got Parkinson's?

Ok, there's nothing funny about having Parkinson's, so I’m sorry in advance if this is offensive.

I saw a bus just like this one in the mall parking lot the other day, and after recognizing what looks like the Canadian Leaf thingy (I’m not Canadian, for the record), I immediately thought to myself (and started laughing hysterically): “I bet it was a shaky ride from Canada!!”

I'm probably going to hell now. BRB!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My "deployment donut" and Our Telephone "good-bye"

I ran across the deployment donut while reading another military wives blog, and after searching online for pretty much eternity, I couldn’t find a downloadable version. So I emailed this lady and asked her to send me the Excel document, and I could specify it to my/our dates. I enjoy my donut. Sometimes I like my donut with a warm cup of coffee (ok, that’s a lie, I don’t actually drink coffee, but generally donuts go with coffee, so I said it). Mostly I enjoy my donut with water. Either way, I enjoy it just the same, and I like the donut graph to show that the “done” part of the donut is getting bigger and the “to go” part is getting smaller. (I would like to include a picture of my deployment donut, but I haven't learned that part yet. I'll do this when my donut is, like, half eaten).

According to my “Deployment Donut,” as of right now, the deployment is 23% done!! That means it’s almost a whole ¼ over with! Almost 3 months down, 9 months to go! I can’t believe it, yet I can believe it. It seems like just yesterday that I got the last phone call from his German room, saying this was it.

See, his duty station was in Germany and I’m currently in Michigan. Yes, I was in Michigan when he deployed. That makes me feel horrible to say, and really, really unsupportive, but maybe it was best that I was here and he was there. Maybe it was “easier” to say “see you later” over the phone that it is in person. Granted, we had our “good bye” in person about a month before he actually left. I went to visit him in Germany for 10 bittersweet yet perfect days. Anyways, I’ll never forget that phone call. It actually makes me teary eyed to just think about it. Not one to violate OPSEC, he couldn’t tell me the exact date that he was deploying, or the time he would be leaving that day. He gave me a window of 3 days, and luckily, the day he left fell on a weekend. I would not have been able to emotionally handle it if it was a work day.

It was Saturday night at about 9:30 PM my time and early morning Sunday his time. I was watching TV, dreading this phone call. I had been crying all afternoon and evening (oh hell, let’s be honest, I had been crying the days leading up to this), anxiously awaiting his phone call. I was in my pajamas already. I was curled up on the couch, with my blankie and in my camouflage Snuggie (which his parents had imprinted with “Army Strong – Stacy” for Christmas) just waiting for my cell phone to ring, with his oh-so-familiar ring tone of crickets, and water and nature-y sounds. At 9:38 PM, it rang and I knew this was “the call.” I hesitated for a moment before answering it. In a way, I didn’t want to answer it, somewhat in denial. I took a deep breath and tried to hide that little thing in my voice that indicated that I’d been crying. I can’t fool him though, he always knows. I think after I said hello to him, my first words were, “so this is it?” He said, “this is it.” We only talked for 5 minutes. This was IT. This deployment was finally real, and he was really deploying. I don’t remember much of what was said in those 5 minutes, but I do remember asking him if he was ready, and if he was excited. I know that sounds weird to ask if he’s excited about a deployment, but he was generally excited for this. (Or maybe he actually was more nervous than he appeared, but for my sake, he came off as strong and ready to go). He wasn’t excited to be “leaving” me, but he was excited to get back in deployment mode. I’ve never held this against him (nor will I ever), and in a weird way, I would rather he be excited to deploy, than be scared shitless and nervous about going away to The ‘Stan (as we affectionately call it) for a whopping 12 months. Since we met, I’ve known that he doesn’t get excited for big things until the day of the event (such as, when he was coming home, he wasn’t excited the days leading up to it, but the day he was able to come home, then it finally sunk in that he was coming home and he’d get excited then. Me on the other hand, I get excited about a month in advance and I ask lots of questions. That’s another blog for another day though). So anyways, I was bawling the whole 5 minutes. I remember when he called, I went immediately to my bed. Because of the time difference, sometimes we would go to bed “together” and for some reason, I hopefully thought this was one of those times, even though I knew he was getting ready to leave for the day, for the year. Again, I was in denial. He’d always call me when he was in bed for the night, and I wanted to go to bed “with him” one more time.

I remember telling him to be safe, to come home to me, I love him and to “have fun.” Again, that’s probably a weird thing to say as my future husband went off to war, but he chuckled at it, and told me he’d be safe, he’d come home to me, he loved me too, he’d call me when he gets the chance. I am pretty sure I said, "see you later" instead of "good bye" too. When I cry, I realllllly cry. I sobbed myself to sleep that night, and the nights following it. I remember telling him that I wished I could be there for him, but then we both agreed maybe it would be a little harder if I was there sobbing in person.

Not much was said in those 5 minutes. What is there to say when the person you love the most is about to go away to a war zone for the next 12 months and you have no idea what to expect for the year? Not much.

I'm Coming out of the Closet

Today, June 28th, 2010, marks the day that I am coming out of the closet. The blogging closet, that is. I’ve had this thought in the back of my mind for a few months now, but I’ve been scared/nervous/anxious to reveal my inner and personal thoughts to the blogging world to freaking strangers. And let’s be honest: I’m a bit of a weirdo. I hear this frequently from friends and family. I’m OK with it though.

I’m mostly doing this for myself. My fiancĂ© is in the U.S. Army and he’s currently deployed to Afghanistan. This is going to be one of my coping mechanisms (other mechanisms include ice cream and late night baths, working out in an attempt to balance the ice cream eating, reading, writing him letters, making him care packages, and venting about deployments on the soon-to-be-spouse end. There are more, I’m sure, I just can’t think clearly right now). Maybe, just maybe, if I can help another spouse going through a deployment on the waiting-not-fighting end, all the better. If someone can read my blog and know they aren't alone while their spouse is away, hallelujah! You're not alone and I'm not alone, but there are certainly days when we feel like it.

So here it is. This is my official first coming-out blog. I've already got my second post started, but this will do for now. I can't back out now, I have to keep this going, if only for myself!

I wonder what he will think of this when I tell him. "He" being my fiance, who shall remain nameless for now. I'm thinking of a good nickname for him and that will be published at a later date.

Until next time...