Friday, July 30, 2010

Taking chances

I love Seth for many many reasons, but one of the big reasons is because he pushes me beyond my comfort zone. I'm a big scardy cat and don't really like doing new and scary things, but he's a little dare devil and he'll try anything, and he encourages me to do the same. I know I'll usually like it after I try it, but I just have a hard time getting myself to actually try it.

Today was one of those days :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whoops

Ok, I made a mistake in my blog. I typed one up a few days ago (about how Seth proposed!) and accidentally posted it on 7/22, but it was supposed to be posted today. I un-posted it for that date, or so I thought, and I re-posted it today, but it's really under 7/22's date. So, that's lame. I could delete it and re-do it, I suppose, but there are lots of pictures, and I'm finding that pictures are difficult to arrange because, well, it just is.

So here's a link to that post, which is supposed to be posted on todays date. Pretend that I did it right the first time. I'm still semi-new to all this and Blogger was being a bitch that day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Babysitting a kitty

My mom asked if I could “babysit” their new kitty this weekend. At my apartment. By myself. Me alone with a cat for 2 whole days. YIKES! They are going camping and she said Pancake (yeah, that’s the kitty’s name) is too young to stay alone for 2 whole days. Background: I have a slightly irrational fear of cat claws…it’s only slightly irrational because some cats are nice and don’t use their claws, while other cats claw at me any chance they get (like previous family pets we’ve had). I think all cats will claw me to death. I’m mostly afraid (or hate) when I’m under a blanket and I move my feet and the cat sneak attacks me. I hate that. But this new little kitty of theirs will pounce on my feet, but she doesn’t really put her claws out. She’s sneak attacked my feet once, and my parents assure me that she’s done it to them many times and she has never used her claws in the sneak attacks.

Below are the email exchanges between me and my mom regarding this babysitting task of a 2 month old kitty.

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From: Me
To: My mom
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:16 AM

I accept the challenge of babysitting Pancake this weekend. Please be sure to bring her toys with her so I can tire her little kitty self out and then I’ll be sure to have my own good sleep that night, and not worry about her attacking my feet. Otherwise, I’ll need you to buy me some bed stilt things, so I can put my bed up an additional 5 inches to make sure she can't jump up and get my feet! I love Pancake and all, but I have to be sure I get my beauty sleep too. Are you going to be OK with not being with her for at least 24 hours? Is this a 2 night sleep over, or is it just one night? If she scratches me, what do I do? What if she gets home sick and misses you? What if she poops or pees on my floor? What if she happens to decide to run out my front door? Do I have to give her a bath? Oh God, this is becoming overwhelming just thinking about it.

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From: My mom
To: Me
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:34 AM

This would probably be a two night babysitting for no fee job. We will probably go Fri and Sat nights, but I also have a retirement thing to go to sometime this weekend, so we may cut the trip short, depending on when that is. I still have to check into that. But, as far as all the other overwhelming things you have brought up, you will have to deal with them when and if they come up. She is your littlest sister, and I think you two should spend this time together. She hasn't even realized what the doors are for yet. She will enjoy lying in the sun by your closed balcony door. She will pack all of her toys, so as to expend all extra energy there. We will re-clip her nails, so that problem will be minimized. She may choose to poop and pee on your floor, but I will send some extra clothes (a diaper bag, if you will) and some vinegar in a spray bottle to clean it up with. Just blot up the urine with a paper towel, then spray lightly with the vinegar, and reblot with the clean rag, and you should be good. She hasn't had an accident here in the last 2-3 days, so I think the worst is behind her...no pun intended. As for stiliting your bed, it seems like this may just be a ploy to draw attention to yourself. She also requires mass amounts of beauty sleep, and this is why she is so damn cute! she does respond to a stern NO, and when she gets rambunctious, I put her down and let her know that she can't play rough when it’s time to be affectionate. Then, I will usually give her a long play session and then hold her when she is tired out. It's a pretty simple routine: play, eat, sleep, play eat, sleep, etc.
I think you can manage if you really set your mind to this.

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I’m nervous about my first nights alone with a kitty. I probably sound ridiculous right now. It’s just the cat claws that scare me. Who thinks I’m over-reacting? Am I being too dramatic?
But look at how adorable her little face is!!!!


(Her first piece of cheese!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Orders

You know how certain events on certain days you’ll never forget? December 11th, 2009 was one of those days.

It’s been exactly 8 months since Seth got orders to deploy. When he went to Germany, he was told his unit wasn’t deployable until after he was done in Germany. Of course I knew there was always the chance that this was likely to change, but I suppose I was in denial that he’d have to deploy yet again. (For the record, he wanted to deploy and he was sad when he learned that he likely wasn't going to deploy again). Thanks to Obama's surge in Afghanistan to send in 30,000 additional troops, Seth was one of the "lucky" ones....and I use that term very sarcastically.

He was coming home for leave in just a few days. We weren’t even engaged yet, yet we had already talked about getting married THIS summer, summer 2010. Thanks to his orders, that all changed.

It was December 11th, 2009, and I had just gotten to work. He usually called me around mid-morning when he got off of work, but this time, he called me at about 7:55 AM. I thought it was odd that he was calling so early. We said our hello’s, and this is how the conversation went:

Seth: are you sitting down?
Me: yeah, why?
Seth: just wondering. What are you doing
?
Me: Just getting started on work. You’re calling early.
Seth: I have something to tell you.
Me: When are you deploying?
Seth: early spring time.

Somehow I just knew it was a deployment. It was the tone of his voice and how he was saying what he was saying. I could tell he didn’t really want to tell me, he knew I wouldn’t be too happy about it. I’ve always appreciated the fact that when he has not so great news for me, he just tells me. He doesn’t sugar coat it, he doesn’t beat around the bush, he just tells me. He could have waited a full 5 days to tell me in person, when he was home. But he chose to tell me over the phone. He knows I'm not a big fan of surprises (even though he LOVES surprising me) and this wasn't going to be a good surprise for me. I prefer to know things right away, especially something like this, so I can have more time to think about it and how much different things will be for me, for us. I’m glad he told me when he did. If he would have waited to tell me when he was home, and we were together, I’m guessing I would have been in a grumpy mood. To be honest, I think it would have put a damper on our holidays. My holidays, at least. At least when he told me, I had a few days to digest it and we were able to talk about it and it sank in (although it never REALLY sinks in until he actually deploys). When he was home, I tried not to dwell on it too much, but I couldn’t help but to think, “savor the holidays together, because it’ll be 2 years till we’re together for the holiday’s together again.” Everything we did, I thought, “I won’t get to do this with him next Christmas.” As much as we probably should have talked about the deployment, we didn’t. I didn’t want to be all sad about it; I wanted to have happy holiday memories with him and our families.

Honestly, prior to the conversation, we hadn't really talked about him deploying again in the recent months. If it was mentioned, it was that he wanted to deploy again but that wasn't likely for his unit. Matter of fact, the weekend before he got his orders, my mom had asked me if Obama’s surge had impacted (of would be impacting) Seth at all. I told her no, not that we’d heard of…yet.

This deployment was going to be different for me from the last one. We are engaged, and that played a big part of it. Also, it was the first whole one I'd have to go through...beginning to end. A full year. A lot happens in a whole year: four seasons, multiple holidays, another school year (for me), a deployment (for him), both of our birthdays. At least last deployment we met half way through, and he was settled into where he was going to be for the rest of the deployment. Communication was regular: phone calls, emails and IM'ing every single day. It was great. I think that deployment was a spoiler big time. The unknown of this one, the location where he was going, and the lack of communication and “amenities” (again, that term is used lightly) he was warned about, his job duties….they were not settling well with me. I was an emotional wreck leading up to the day he deployed. Hell, I was worse of an emotional wreck after he deployed.

This deployment HAS been different. It’s been rough. Rougher than I ever could have imagined. It started out really bad for me. We’re used to being physically apart – it doesn’t make it easier, but we’re used to it. What we’re not used to is the lack of phone calls and being able to talk. We would talk 3 or 4 times per day. On the weekends, we’d talk for a few hours sometimes (thank God for unlimited weekend cell phone use). Sometimes he’d go away for a training for a few days and the communication would be limited, but it was always a pretty short amount of time and the end of it was in sight, so I was OK for not talking to him for a day or two or three. This time, it sucked. We’d go for multiple days without talking. I couldn’t get my phone card to work, so I’d have to wait patiently for him to call me. He was always faithful in calling me within a 2 hour time period on Sundays. That was our one big conversation for the week. I was lucky to get an email or two throughout the week but they were pretty s hort. I was always appreciative when he called me. Occasionally we’d send a text message here or there. But to hear his voice only once a week sucked so hardcore. It was not pleasant. I wish I could say I was the strong girl who made it through easily. But I would totally be lying. I cried myself to sleep frequently, and I really think I went through a mini-depressive state. I pretty much hated everything, everyone pissed me off, and I didn’t do anything fun. I’d go home after work and just do nothing. I didn’t go to the gym, I didn’t go out, I did nothing except watch TV. I really thought I was going crazy. I'm surprised I never snapped. I really felt like I was close. I came close to making an appointment with a crazy doctor. I cried each and every time our phone call was about to end...and then I cried after we hung up. I didn’t like crying and he didn’t like me crying, but I couldn’t help it. The thought of not talking to him for another 7 days killed me. It was like this for a good month or so. I’ve never really admitted that to anyone, not even to Seth (perhaps he had an assumption, but I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want him to have to worry about me), but here it is in the blog world. For whatever reason, I really don’t know, I just snapped out of it. Honestly, I don’t know what it was. There wasn’t a defining moment, it just happened. I started going to the gym again, going out, laughing, and being myself again. It’s been much better since then. I don’t cry on the phone each time anymore, and actually I don’t know when the last time I cried was. I still miss him all the time, and I talk to his pictures, and we have a new phone routine: I call him on Wednesdays and he still calls me on Sundays, and we email each day and we chat on gmail each day. It’s been great.

Anyways, I don’t really know where I was going with this post, but I'm sure I veered off topic. I think my original intent was to blog about the feelings of him getting orders, but then I veered off into my emotions and how I was coping and all that. Sorry it ended up so long. Basically, hearing he got orders is a huge range of emotions and him actually deploying is an even bigger range of emotions, none of which were pleasant for me. I expected this, but I didn’t expect the extent of this. I tired to mentally prepare myself for the lack of communication and I totally failed. Nothing can prepare you enough for the feelings you'll feel when the love of your life deploys. Nothing.

According to Astrocenter....

My horoscope for today is:

Romance and sex are very much on your mind today, Stacy. If you're presently involved, you'll probably not be able to get together with your loved one right now, but if you keep trying, you'll probably reach your friend. If you aren't involved, don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself. It won't do you any good. Concentrate on creative projects instead. And don't be surprised if your work reflects a little anger.

How so very true the first two sentences are. By “right now,” my horoscope clearly means that I won’t be able to get together with my love in the next few months even.

Monday, July 26, 2010

36 Things Every (single) Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down

I saw this article on MSN today and it’s an excerpt from Glamour Magazine. It’s titled 36 Things Every Single Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down.

Although I’m not “single” by the definition in this article, I’m single in the aspect that Seth is deployed and I spend most of my time alone.

Here’s the list and I’ll work on some of these during the rest of this deployment. Some of these I really can’t do because they involve dating…and well I’m not THAT single. Nor do I want to be.

To Build Your Confidence…
1. Go to a movie alone. (I’ve never done this… too shy, but maybe now is the time. Hello massive tearjerker movie!)
2. Lift weights. When I bench-press 45 lbs., I feel like the bomb. (CHECK! Although I’m not at 45 lbs, I can do at least 23 and I’m working my way up one pound at a time).
3. Try surfing, water-skiing, or some activity you don't already know how to do. Could be riding a bicycle. (I’ve never been into water sports, I don’t even like jumping off a diving board or off the side of the pool really. I will commit to working on that, but don’t count on me surfing or water skiing…and I do ride my bike regularly. Any other ideas? I'll think of something).
4. Take out the trash, set a mousetrap, do your taxes, build a bookcase. (Check! I’ll call maintenance. Already do. I’ll build a pretty box for our wedding cards…I’ve been thinking about this already).
5. Live alone, or at least move apartments in NYC without the help of family. (I already live alone. I’m not moving until we’re married and I move to go be wherever Seth is at).
6. Train for (and finish) a huge physical test like a half-marathon. (This sounds like a big undertaking. How about I commit to losing 15 pounds and we call it even? Deal).
7. Go to a scary doctor's appointment by yourself. I once dragged myself to a CAT Scan in the dead of winter, all the way over on 1st Ave., post-break-up. I felt like I was made of steel. (Check…multiple times. However, whenever I get pregnant, we’ll revisit this one).
8. Quit your job. It feels so good to take a job and shove it (and not be affecting anyone else's livelihood). (Can’t do this, don’t want to do this. Financially, I can’t and I mostly like my job. I’ll be doing it soon enough though, after we’re married. Let’s put this on hold for a year).
9. Fly to a foreign country by yourself. I was nervous on my first solo trip to Europe, even though I almost always have to travel alone. (I’ve done this. Of course, Seth was on the receiving end and I was going to visit him in Germany, but I still flew across the Atlantic Ocean by myself. I’ll be doing this again next spring when I go back to Germany for his homecoming. Then I’ll be finding my way to his town all by myself, which includes train travel. This will be accomplished).
10. Learn to stand up for yourself. (If you're not naturally assertive, may I recommend moving to New York City? It did wonders for me.) (Hmmm, I’ve done this before. I’ll try it some more though).
To Be Able to Look Back and Say "I Had Fun"…
11. Witness something once-in-a-lifetime, like Jokulsarlon, a lake next to a melting glacier in Iceland (see photo). (I’ve been to Alaska twice and saw glaciers and whales! I’m waiting to go again with Seth. We’ve been to a castle and a concentration camp in Germany together. I’m choosing to postpone more fun experiences until we can do them together, because I’d so much rather do them with him).
12. Revel in being able to watch all the reality TV you want. I'm pretty sure no man will be able to stand as much Bravo TV as my roommate Erica. (Ohhhhh, trust me, I already do!! Bekah and I have The Hills and The City marathons).
13. Get drunk during the day, just because you can. Attend Santacon, the convention for Santas, or something similar. (I’ll get drunk this Saturday during the day, just because I can and this list suggests it. Instead of a Santa convention, I’ll go to Amish country for the day and live like the Amish).
14. Go on a date with someone who actually makes you nervous. I can’t/don’t want to go on a date with someone other than Seth. However, I will be somewhat nervous going on our first date after he gets back, after not seeing each other for ohhhh, say like 9-10 months. So, this too is postponed until he’s back).
15. Go out with an older man who takes you somewhere nice and makes you feel like a million bucks. (I can’t/don’t want to do do this except with Seth. He is a year older and w’ll do it when he’s on leave and I imagine we’ll both get dressed up real nice and go to a fancy place and he’ll make me feel like a million bucks. Another postponed one until we’re together).
16. Go out with a guy who makes you laugh ‘til it hurts. (Done. Doing it now. Even though we’re half a world apart, he still makes me laugh. On the phone, in emails, on instant messenger, hopefully on a wecam soon. This too will be done in person when he’s home).
To Get Perspective…
17. Be a good wingwoman. It's not always about you. (Actually it is all about me, but I’ll work on my wingwoman status).
18. Chill with your widowed and single grandma. She knows "alone"! (I have one grandma left and she’s in Oregon. I have another 'adopted' nana though that I can do this with, and we have something planned later this summer…wedding shopping!)
19. Volunteer. (Ok. I really should be doing more of this. I have no excuse).
To Make You Appreciate the Next Guy…
20. Do at least one Valentine's Day alone. (Done and done. This year and next).
21. Attend a wedding (or 15) alone. (I’m not invited to any weddings in the next few months, but if I am, rest assured I will go…alone).
22. Date the creeps. You'll really value the nice guys afterward. (No thanks. Never been a fan of the creeps. I have a perfectly good guy who I am waiting patiently for, thankyouverymuch).
To Make You Feel Sexy and Attractive…
23. Buy yourself some flowers. (Already do…at the farmers market).
24. Invest in a LBD (little black dress) and some sexy stilettos. (Ok…it’s about time I do this. I already know what shoes I want! . I don’t like martini’s and I don’t go to bars by myself. This might be difficult).
26. Buy something frivolous and expensive that you LOVE wearing. (I will do this in a few weeks. I’ll be buying my wedding shoes for $298. Eeek!!! That’s a lot for shoes, but holy crap they are cute as hell!!! See?)
To Make the Most of Your Free Time…
27. Finish all your schooling if you can. Not that it was ever my goal to go to grad school, but I did, and it would've been tough dragging a guy up to isolated New Hampshire and making him sit there in the cold for two years while I studied (and partied). (I should start taking a class again. I’ll look into it. I promise).
28. Throw yourself into something time-consuming, like learning a foreign language. You may not have time to do this again until you retire and the kids are off to college. (How about planning a wedding? I think this will suffice!)
To Make Yourself a Better Partner in the Future…
29. Make a list of all your faults. (Yikes, this doesn’t sound fun. I’ll do it. Maybe I’ll get the nerve to post it).
30. Learn to cook well. (I'm still working on this. This is a constant work in progress).
31. Get some hobbies. Something's gotta keep you occupied—plus it'll make you seem interesting. (I have hobbies, but I could use more. I’ll google “hobbies” and see what it suggests).
32. Let your married friends edit your online dating profile. My dear friend Cheryl has caught a few doozies. (I don’t have nor do I need an online dating profile).
33. Get your finances in order. (This too is a current work in progress).
To Appreciate Being Single…
34. Babysit someone's baby for an hour. (Done. I do this frequently).
35. Help a friend through her divorce or a bad break-up. (Current work in progress)
36. Host a girls-only night. I think some coupled-up women forget how much we need each other. (Ok).

So in summary, lots of these I've already done. Also, some of them really are for the truly sing girls. I'll work on the rest though. And sorry this turned into such a long post. Damn, that was not my intent.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Birds and The Bees

I seem to always have animals and bugs create their home in really random places.
Such as:

The beehive I have constantly growing in a gourd that is supposed to be a bird house. It was a Christmas present from my sister.

And how about the family of birds I have that have been living in my dryer vent? I hear their little feets scratching the dryer vent. Seth told me I need to have the maintenance people remove it before the dryer stuff can't get out and I catch the whole apartment building on fire:

And last but certainly not least, hows about the bird that has built a complete nest in the BBQ? This picture is actually from last summer, but a bird (possibly the same one, I'm not sure) started to build a nest again this summer. I stopped it before it got to this extent:

I also have a wasp or bees nest in one of the pipes in the BBQ. Unfortunately, I can't get a picture of this or else I'll be risking getting stung. I did get stung from this nest last summer.

I'm too scared to remove the beehive from the gourd. Seth told me I should just use a spray can of bee killer stuff and spray it, but since I'm a scardy cat, and I live on the second story, I'm afraid if I spray them, they will chase me and I won't have a place to go (except inside, in which case they will likely follow me and then I'll be stuck). I wish he were home so he could take care of these kinds of things. Ahhhhhhhh!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

OMG!!!! I CAN CALL HIM!!!!

Guess what I did today!! Finally. I FINALLY got ahold of Seth! I was able to call HIM!! I've not had any luck with this since he deployed. For almost 4 months, I have had to wait patiently for him to call me. Not so anymore! He bought me this one calling card when he was in Iraq because it was fairly cheap. I've used it since 2008, and it's worked perfectly. I've never had problems calling before, until this deployment. I looked online to find the country code and this and that and dialed everything and nothing ever worked. I tried a few different numbers, with and without 93 (which is the country code for Afghanistan) and it never ever connected. So I basically just gave up. I was looking on my Verizon phone bill yesterday and noticed that his phone number was listed differently. We were talking on gmail this morning and I told him I wanted to try it. I made sure his phone was right by him and on. I tried a few different numbers, like what was on my Verizon bill and then with and without the 93 and it didn't connect. Then he told me to try a number and my phone card said I had 73 minutes and sure enough, I got that international call weird ring tone. I got realllly excited and then he picked up!!!!! I was so excited! I said to him, "OMG IT WORKED!!!" my coworker in the next cube said, "what worked?" She didn't realize I was on the phone. We only talked for 5 minutes and I asked him if there are limits on when I should and shouldn't call, and how often I can call. He said I can call whenever. I think we'll still keep it to a minimum because it will still be pretty expensive to talk, but it's better than me just having to wait patiently for him to call! The number he gave me, I am postive that I tried it before, but I'm guessing he had his phone off at the time, so it didn't connect. That's what it'd do in Iraq, but I thought it just wasn't working. Now I know for sure it works, and I am soooo excited!!!! Even 5 minutes a day to hear his voice will be SOOOO much better than talking to him once or twice a week. The next 70% of this deployment is going to be much more enjoyable now!!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Proposal

Exactly 7 months ago, Seth proposed :)

December 29, 2009. Here's how the day went.

First, a background. Seth came home for the holidays on December 16, 2009. On December 17th, I called in "sick" to work and we spent our first day together in 9 whole months. We slept in, he made us omelets for breakfast with all his favorite goodies, and then we to see my dad at work. Random, I know. I don't know why I suggested that thinking back. I'm sure Seth would have preferred go see his dad, but he went willingly along. On our way back, he suggested we stop at Helzberg diamonds so he could look at possible jewelry for me for Christmas. I told him I wouldn't mind a little pair of diamond stud earrings, and he said he wanted to see what kind I like. So we stopped in there. We looked at the men's watches, and oh, we found our way to the engagement rings. He had sent me links to a few different rings to get my opinion in the last few months. I fell in love with one particular one and would go back to the website every few days to look at it and hope and wish that would be the one he'd get me one day -- but I never told him this part. Then some sales lady distracted me by showing me the diamond studs earrings while he talked to a salesman.

Fast forward 12 days to December 29th. We had a lazy morning and I think he took one of his tests online. Or maybe he was playing Scrabble online...I don't remember exactly. I know he as at the computer as I was in the bathroom straightening my hair and it was a gorgeous day out. By gorgeous, I mean it was really bright and sunny and it was blinding on the snow from the previous days and it was colder than hell. I think it was around 15 degrees, and the wind-chill made it even colder. While doing my hair, I asked him if he'd want to drive to the lakeshore (like 45 minutes away) for the day to just see it. Since the summer we met, I've wanted to go to the lake with him, but we've never had a chance. He said sure. We finished getting ready and I grabbed my new Christmas present, a Snuggie, and we walked out to the car. He was driving, and I settled into the passenger seat with my Snuggie. He said he'd be right back and he ran up to the apartment. He was taking a really long time and I was sitting in a cold car. I wondered what the crap he was doing up here for so long. He eventually came down and he was carrying an apple and 4 mini cup cakes we had made earlier in the week. I was wondering why it took him so long to get those, and that it was really really random to bring those with us to the lakeshore, but whatever. I asked him why he grabbed those and he just said, "in case we get hungry." Right. Of course.
We finally started driving, and we had to stop at the gas station to get gas. He said for me to pump the gas, and he'd run in, cash our lotto tickets and pay for the gas. Again, it was taking him forever to cash the tickets and pay for the gas and I was standing outside in the freezing cold. I was getting ready to just pay for it with my debit card because I was realllllly cold, but for some reason, I waited patiently for him to pay. He came out eventually and I pumped the gas and we were finally on our way. We were driving along, talking like normal and I was snuggled up in my Snuggie. I'm sure we were holding hands in the car like we always do too. There's this one intersection on the way to the lakeshore that reminds me of the day I got fired on June 1, 2005. As we passed the intersection, I decided to tell him the whole story of me getting fired, and it got me so upset, I was actually crying in the car. He's a very good listener even though I'm a really bad story teller. He's very patient with me. I lucked out there. We got to the lakeshore, parked and then we got bundled up in our jackets and scarves and gloves and then headed out on the pier. I brought my camera with me and he actually was cooperative when I stopped and took a picture of us. He actually smiled for the camera and didn't try to talk me out of taking our picture! I remember thinking he was being too cooperative with me taking his picture. Weird.

We slowly walked out on the very icy pier and he was scaring the crap out of me because it was icy and he was getting pretty damn close to the edge. I was walking down the middle of the pier, as far away from the edge as possible. I was slipping and sliding in my winter boots, and he eventually came over and started walking with me and holding my arm to hold me up.



It was a slow walk out on the long pier and my ears were freezing so I wrapped my pink scarf around my ears. He called me his Little Iraqi girl, because apparently I looked like one with my scarf wrapped around my ears and head. There was another couple at the end of the pier. They had a cute little dog that must have been freezing cold, and I asked the lady if she'd take a picture of us in front of the light house. So she did.

I asked him if we could go back to the car now because I was really cold. He told me we should just stay out there for a little while longer. I was really really really cold and my legs and hands and face were numb. He knows I get cold easily and I was wondering why he was tortuing me to stay out in the cold for a little while longer. For some reason, I didn't whine about going back to the car to warm up, I just stayed there. The other couple left and headed back to land. We were getting lots of pictures and it was a really pretty day. It was incredibly windy which made it even colder. I was getting a picture of the smaller light house across from where we were and my back was to him.
When I turned around, he got down on his knee and simply said, "Miss Stacy, will you please marry me?" and he opened up the box and holy smokes, the sun was shining and it was bouncing off the diamonds in the ring and it was soooo pretty.

(This is a gross picture of my hand. It looks all red and swollen and just gross and my manicure was long over due. Ignore my hand and just focus on the ring!!).

It was so cute and sweet and simple, and I took his face in my hands and said of course. Then I said, "stand up! Your knee is going to get wet and you're going to get cold!!!" He said, "I'm kneeling on your boot." haha I don't even remember feeling him kneeling on my boot or feeling it on my foot!! I don't know how he did that. I pulled him up/he stood up and I took off my gloves and he put the ring on my finger and then we kissed all sweetly and hugged. My body was numb from the cold, literally, and I always expected I'd cry when he proposed, but my face was too numb, I honestly don't think I was capable of crying. We eventually walked back to the car and I took a picture of my hand with the ring and I sent it to my mom and sister and said, "Seth proposed and I said yes!!"
My mom immediately called and she was in tears. She was so excited. We drove to a little restaurant that is a staple when you're at the lakeshore, and it was the first time he'd been there. I'd told him earlier in the day I would buy him lunch. We got to the restaurant, and we sat down and we were finally warm, and we ordered our lunch and warm alcoholic drinks. My sister called me and it was then that it really hit me and that's when I started crying. Plus, I had thawed out so I was capable of crying now. She asked if she could be my maid of honor and if she could do our flowers. We finished lunch and sent pictures of the ring to all of our siblings and family members, and he updated his Facebook Status to say, "I proposed to Stacy today at the lakeshore. She said yes and then she bought me lunch!" hahaha

(this is the picture that was sent to all of the siblings)

I left him with my debit card as I ran to the bathroom. There's a chalkboard in the bathroom and I erased what was on it and wrote:

I went back out to our table, and he had signed my name on the receipt with his last name. I still have that receipt. We drove back and went to his parent’s house. Somewhere along the way, I asked Seth if he had asked my dad, and he said he had. He had called him when we were at the gas station and he went inside to pay. He took longer than expected because he had to make that all important phone call. He took long when he had to run back into the apartment because he had to get the ring, and he kept that in his back pocket in the car and on the walk out to the pier! (He actually bought the ring on the day we went to the jewelry store, and he stored it in the tip of his Army boots in the closet. He is brave!!! The ring was in our bedroom for a full 12 days and I didn't even know it!! He is so freaking sneaky! He even showed his dad the ring on Christmas Eve at their annual family party, under an inspecting thingy!! How could I have not known all this time?!?!) After we went to his parent’s house, we went to my parent’s house. That night, we went to a new hibachi grill in town and we had a really good dinner and drinks (pomegranate martini's). After dinner, we went to the hot tubs, which we always do at least once when he's home.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day with a perfect proposal with the perfect guy for me.

Looking back on that day, me having to wait for him and his cooperation with the pictures make plenty of sense now. At the time, I just thought it was all weird, but it turned out jussssssst right. I can't wait to marry him in 352 days!!!

"Thank you also for your sacrifice." To me? Really?

I love going to the post office. I go there usually once a week, and at minimum once every other week. I usually have at least 2 boxes to send to Seth, and yesterday was no different. I even have a favorite postal worker. Her name is Lucy. I really like her, she’s very nice and has a sweet little voice and she’s been there since I started sending Seth care packages back in 2008. I always hope to get her when I go in there. Yesterday I got a new lady. I’ve seen her there lots of times before, but I don’t think I’ve gone to her window. I really dislike Douchebag David. He’s rude and I try to avoid him. This new lady yesterday, I’ll have to find out her name, but she was really nice too. She told me I could go to the website and order large flat rate boxes and have them sent directly to me, and I told her I’m at the post office so often, I just pick them up while I’m there. I was sending quite a few books yesterday, so my packages where sort of heavy. I put them up on the counter and gave her the customs forms, and she was reading through them. In one of the care packages, I was sending only books and magazines. She said they probably don’t get many magazines, but I always send my dad’s Time magazines. I’ve asked him to save them for Seth. In my other care package, I sent Seth a few bottles of hot sauce per his request and she asked if they were in “absorbent material in a plastic bag.” I told her they were wrapped in paper towels and placed in the plastic container I was sending (which is for ground coffee I sent in a previous care package). She said something like, “I take it you’ve done this before?” I told her yeah, I’ve been sending packages to him for 2 ½ years now. We made other small talk and she said it was nice of me to support the troops. Then she said, “thank you also for your sacrifice.” I really didn’t know what to say to that, so I mumbled a lame, “thank you?!” I don’t know what I was thanking her for. I need to come up with a better answer, but it caught me off guard. I sacrifice some things while he’s deployed, but I think he sacrifices a whole lot more.

I do have a fairly standard answer of when I get the occasional comment of, “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t do it at all.” I try to keep it simple for their sake. I just say, “he’s worth the wait.” I could go into a much deeper reasoning and explanation of why I do wait and tell them how hard it is and how not fun it is and how I would love for him to be home every day, but it’s easier to keep the answer simple and also if I were to really explain it, I would increase my odds of crying and I prefer to keep that at a minimum if I can control it. Especially in public. So it’s simple: I wait patiently because he’s worth it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My blog

Seth and I are talking on gmail right now and he's pressuring me into letting him read my blog. I don't know why, but I'm shy about it. I'm not usually shy, but right now I am. I didn't want friends or family to read it really. He promises he won't tell anyone about it, and I fully trust him not to, but just....I don't know. I was super shy about even starting this blog and totally unsure of it to begin with. He knows my gmail account info, and I told him he could probably find my blog by that, but that's all I said.

Damnit, I apparently gave him too much information because he just found it. Busted.

Oh, hi Seth :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What does "Deploy" mean to you?

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. One of my big pet peeves (since meeting Seth) is when people use “military” terms for everyday conversation.

The word that gets to me the most is:

Deploy – This term should not be used lightly, but it is. I work at a public school district in the technology department. Pretty much everyone in my department (excluding me), will say, “get ready for the deployment of this computer to all the schools” or something like that (be it phones, computers, computer software, etc). Unlike military members, the computers are not getting ready to go off to a foreign country, to fight for their lives, to fight for their (and our) freedom, to leave a loving family behind, possibly a pregnant wife, or a newborn child, to leave a girlfriend/fiancĂ©/wife behind who stresses every day about how her soldier is doing, who longs for a hug, a kiss, or just his touch.

Can we please use “distribute” or “set up” or “install”? Deploy/deployment has so much more meaning and I cringe when people use it lightly. I don’t think people at work realize how much this bothers me.

Deploy to me means: goodbye’s, lack of communication, loneliness, guns, sad, constant stress (for the soldier and for the wife at home), terrorists, no kissing/hugging/touching your spouse for an extended amount of time, HUMVEE’s, constant danger, care packages every week to show you’re thinking about them, him living in a tent on a cot for a year, worrying if he’s going on any missions or convoys (and even if he tells you no, is he saying that so he doesn’t worry you even more?), hand written letters, loneliness, keeping the home front going, war zone, physical attachment to your cell phone, MRAPS, being asked the same questions of “how’s he doing?”, “when is he coming home?”, “when does he get out?”, “how do you do it?”

It also means an immense amount of: pride, love, strength, commitment, adventure, and trust.

By the way, according to dictionary.com, the number one definition for “deploy” is “Military. To spread out (troops) so as to form an extended front or line.”

Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to these types of things, but it just bothers me when this word in particular, that has SOOO much more personal meaning, is used lightly in everyday conversations.

What does “deploy” mean to you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Turbos and holiday's

I went to visit Seth’s parents yesterday. I’ve been meaning to go there for a while. His car had a turbo put on it a few months ago, and after a whole 9 months of waiting (it was supposed to take a week tops), it finally got done. That’s another post for another day though. He asked if I could go to his parent’s house and have his younger brother take me for a ride in it, and I could make some small video’s of the turbo and the blow off valve and take pictures of the boost. So I basically invited myself over, but it was just to hang out with his younger brother, and when he told the parents, they said I should come for dinner, and oh hey, let’s invite my parents too! I went over there earlier than my parents and younger brother and I were going to go for a ride. The reason younger brother had to go with was because I can’t drive a stick shift, let alone a turbo stick shift. Wait, to clarify, I can drive a stick shift, I am just not proficient in it and I really don’t want to learn on his car because he would be very very very veryveryveryvyeveyryryvery upset with me. Very. Upset. With. Me. So I just let younger brother drive me around. It’s always fun visiting his parents and we get along great. They’re really funny and fun and nice and I adore them both. We mostly just sit around in the kitchen and talk about lots of things when I go over there. It always makes me feel closer to Seth when I go visit his family and he’s not with me. I visit them probably once every other month or so. His dad kept calling younger brother “SETH” on accident (all the kids names start with an S) and I had to say, “please stop. You’re teasing me!!” It’s not weird going to see his parents without him, it’s actually pretty normal. Earlier this year, I met his parents and his grandma at Oliver Garden, Seth’s favorite restaurant, for his birthday celebration in his honor when he was in Germany. We called him and passed the phone around. His dad and I actually shared a meal. haha It was his idea though.

It’s not looking like Seth will be home for the holidays this year…any of them…but I hope his parents invite me over for Christmas. I’ve spent the last two Christmases with them, and I’d like to see them again this year, even if Seth isn’t there. I’ll still have presents for them, and they have the best and most funnest Christmas Eve party with their whole family. If they don’t invite me, maybe I’ll invite myself. I have no shame.

A Copied Letter

I SOOO badly wish I could claim this letter for myself. Everything is totally accurate and the feelings are real and I cried while reading it. Yep, I'm at work too. I think I've cried more at work during this deployment that I have ever cried at work in my whole working-life. That's something to be proud of, right? Anyways, maybe someday I will write my own letter just like this, but for now, I'm going to be a copy cat and post it from her blog. The only thing I haven't done is painted his toolbox with glitter and rhinestones...because well, we technically don't live together yet, and I had my own toolbox prior to meeting him. (However, it's ugly black and red and totally not me, so I think I'll be giving it a make over in the near future). Everything else in the letter is spot on though.

Side note: this deployment is 29% done, and chugging along. I can't wait till it's 100% done and I can continue on with our happy life together.

===================================================================
Jennifer's Letter
By Stars and Stripes
Stars and Stripes
Published: February 3, 2010
Editor's note: The following is the full text of a letter written by Jennifer Chaloux to her husband, Spc. Matthew Chaloux, a Georgia National Guardsman, who was deploying to Afghanistan for a year.

When you find out your husband/boyfriend is getting deployed, your world changes completely. The man you share your life with is leaving, and there is no guarantee he will come home. Days fly by quicker than you have ever known. They are consumed with nonstop picture and video-taking, hugs, kisses and sighs because reality is too close. We try to finish projects around the house and get a quick lesson on using power tools.It’s days on end trying not to cry too hard so you don’t make him feel bad ... laying your head on his chest trying to memorize the sound of his heartbeat, the way he holds you, kisses you on the head, his laughter and his cologne. Holding his hand and not wanting to let go, not even for a second. A million kisses and hugs. Saying I love you 50 times a day and still questioning whether you have said it enough.Doing the same paperwork six times over, knowing you’ll have to do it again.Having that conversation no one wants to have about injuries, death and his wishes if it happens. Spending the last week together attending going-away picnics and family events for the military families, the whole time seeing smiles that conceals heartache.Watching families hug more than they probably have in a year, and children running around oblivious of the danger that awaits their father or mother. Having moments of laughter, and the next second reality hits and tears start to flow. Watching other families before they deploy, men holding their newborn babies knowing they will miss their first giggle, word, and wonder if they will know him when he gets home. Families taking pictures of everything, no matter how trivial.Seeing mothers treating their 40-year-old as if he was a kid again, and she always will. Trying to memorize everyone’s face and last name because when he calls he never uses their first name when he talks about them. Not being able to be there when they are promoted to show them and tell them how proud of them you are.Attending a send-off ceremony and watching your husband and all the soldiers recite the Soldiers Creed, and feeling like you are the luckiest girl in the world to be married to a hero. Strong and proud they stand in perfect formation.They are clearly disciplined and well-trained. It’s a side of him I have never seen, and I thought I knew everything about him.The last day together you fight back tears every second and wonder how you can just walk away from him. You watch families around you hugging and saying their good-byes. You feel numb and every emotion all at the same time.You struggle to walk to your car and drive away without him, only to pull over moments later to breakdown.Your home is just a house now. Everyday revolves around thinking about him, worrying and watching the clock to calculate what time it is half way around the world. You try to stay busy, but the stress doesn’t go away. It’s a roller coaster ride, and life won’t let you get off.Being alone some days is more comforting than forcing yourself to be in a good mood to have coffee with a friend. Friends struggle to say the right things to help, but feel helpless as well. It’s an invisible barrier that separates even family.Doing laundry and realizing there are none of his clothes to do, and wishing there was. Setting the table for four at dinner even if there are only three of us. Sleeping on the couch for weeks because you can’t bear to sleep in your bed when he is on a cot, and it’s just not the same without him next to you. Leaving his combat boots next to the front door because it comforts you, and they won’t be moved until he is home.Feeling guilty for enjoying a sunny day, a good movie or just a ride in the car. Avoiding phone calls because you just can’t talk about it, again. “I’m fine” is never enough, but you can’t make them understand no matter how hard you try. Alienating yourself so you don’t have to fake a smile or conversation.Wanting to just scream and yell until you have no voice left, and wiping away those endless tears. “Snapping out of it” will take a year. Bonding with Army wives you just met, and pouring your heart out because it’s easier than telling your best friend.Wondering if he will be the same person he was when he left and feel comfortable in his own home when he gets back. Feeling selfish for having a pity party when he has it a lot worse. Watching the news when you are told not to.Knowing when we talk he will never tell me he had to dive under something to avoid getting hurt or he just came back from a mission that you didn’t know he went on. Not knowing who you are at the end of the day because you can’t be who you were without him.The word “why” is the first word in everything you think about. No matter how hard you try, you’re always thinking the worst case scenario. Wanting to sleep the whole next year because it’s the only time you get a break from worrying. In reality sleep is only a couple hours here and there.Avoiding your favorite CDs or TV shows that you enjoyed together because you have no one’s hand to hold or arms to lay in. Wearing his clothes while he is gone and using a shirt with his cologne as a pillowcase to snuggle up to.Trying to pray double-time, but feeling like a hypocrite because right now you would be angry with God if something happens. Walking around with a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach for the next year. Saying “thank you, he’s fine,” because if you say too much you’ll just cry, like you have done for the past four days. Truly feeling lost, scared and powerless every single day.Just going through the motions of getting up, getting ready and going through your day clutching your phone in case he calls. When he does call you get an instant high just knowing he is okay, and trying not to forget to tell him about all things you did that day, but leaving the part out about screaming like a mad woman because the sink is leaking, your tire is going flat, the lawn needs mowing, bills need to be paid. When all is said and done, you’re proud of the woman you are and you have a girly toolbox because you decorated your husband’s tools with glitter and rhinestones.Wanting people to understand most of the soldiers don’t want to be there either. They want peace like all of us do. Wondering why almost every house you see doesn’t have an American flag on it like after 9/11.Wanting to tell all the people at an anti-war rally that they are there because they are free and have those rights because they live in a country protected by the military. That the people your husband encounters everyday would love to have a right to an education. When the worst happens they will want the soldiers to protect them. That every family and person who lost their life to the 9/11 attacks are being disrespected if we didn’t fight back. Don’t hate the war and the soldiers, hate the people who started the war.Understanding the TRUE meaning of honor, pride, dedication and hero.They are drivers in a convoy, infantry, mechanics, medics, doctors and nurses, and chaplains. Most of all, they are our husbands, wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They have a job to do and a family to take care of.That family not only consists of a spouse and kids, but your family as well.Display the American flag, support our troops and never forget.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life isn't fair.

You know how you can have a really great evening with friends, and the only thing you want to do is go home and curl up with the one you love? I'd so love to do that right now, but that is not possible, and yet it's the only thing I want. I gave up a Friday night alone, which would have been spent watching Whale Wars and wedding shows on TLC, to hang out with a great group of girls and I'd really just love to come home and snuggle up with Seth. I know I "signed up" for this but damnit, I just miss him and I just want him home. The girls that I was with tonight all get to go home to their husbands and sometimes it's just not fair. That's all. I just want to say that 4.5 months into this deployment, I want to be done dealing with it. I want to be married, I want to be together, I want to see him, I want to sleep with him, I want this deployment to be over. Want, want, want. None were military wives either...they all have normal jobs, normal schedules, normal families, normal relationships. It would be different if they knew what it was like. They don't though. I guess I'll quit my complaining and go curl up in my lonely bed with a picture of us and talk to him.

"What Kind of Contraception Are You Using?"

In exactly one year, I will be walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams. I celebrated this fact by making a trip to my annual lady bits doctor. Not the kind of action I was hoping to get on the one year anniversary till our wedding date, but hey, I’ll take what I can get, I guess.

The nurse first asked me “what kind of contraception are you using?” My answer? “He’s in Afghanistan so that’s a non-issue currently.” Alrighty then, that’s settled. When my doctor came in, we had a nice quick catch-up chat. She asked what kind of contraception we’re using, and I told her he’s deployed so we don’t have to worry about that. I told her we’re now engaged, and planning the wedding, and she said that if we’d both be ok with a surprise baby, we don’t really need to use condoms even, unless we want to, and we can use the (dare I say it in my blog?!) the “withdraw method.” I told her we would definitely both be ok with a surprise baby whenever, so that’s not a problem. She asked when we will really start trying, and I told her that I don’t think we’ll not try, but I don’t think we’ll try either. He’ll be just home from a deployment after we get married, and let’s be honest: after deployments, after not seeing each other for 12 months, after no sex for 12 months, we’ll be doing it like bunnies. (Blogs are supposed to be honest, right?) I told her we’d just let nature take its course and we’ll have babies when we’re supposed to have them (unless I don’t get pregnant for a while after trying, then we’ll do some research. This might be a possibility). She said that I should start taking pre-natal vitamins or, at the minimum, folic acid about 2 months before we get married, so in case pregnancy happens right away, I can build up my vitamins in my body to carry a baby. She also had me to go the lab to get some blood drawn to see if I’m still immune to Rubella…if I’m not, I’ll have to get a vaccine for it. I’m really hoping I’m still immune to it, but I’m guessing I’m not. It’s been a really long time since I’ve had any immunizations, so I won’t be surprised if I need to get it. I just hate shots and needles, and I’ve already had both my arms poked in the last 24 hours!

I told Seth what she said and he was very pleased to know we don’t have to use condoms. He thinks a surprise baby would be pretty sweet too, and he agrees that we’ll have lots of sex upon his return.

That’s probably a little too TMI for a blog, but since I have no (public) followers, hell, I’m saying what I want.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WLC - it's a real Scrabble word in my book

Last night, I was playing Scrabble with my parents. That sounds so lame to say. Let me preface my whole evening so I don’t sound so lame. My sister’s boyfriend is in town, and he was coming over to hang out. My sister is still in Oregon, but he came over regardless. So I was hanging out at my parent’s house, with them and her boyfriend and we decided to play a game of Scrabble. Now I don’t sound feel as lame. Ok, anyways, the game was sort of sucking and we all were having a hard time coming up with words. We cheat in my family – we allow commonly used/known abbreviations, and proper names, and stuff like that, that surely wouldn’t be allowed in a Scrabble tournament. Thankfully, we weren’t competing. I came up with the word “WLC.” Duh, that is a commonly used “word” in my book. I told them it stood for Warrior Leader Course. (How could they not know that?) I proceeded to plead my case, “it’s the course soldiers have to go through to get promoted, like Seth had to go to for 2 weeks last November so he can become at SGT.” My dad said that at least 2 people at the table had to know what the abbreviation stood for, and I said, “Seth is here with us right now! He’s in my heart! He’s on my phone! This is a legit word!” (Then I opened my phone and showed his picture and said he would support it). They didn’t buy it, and I had to remove my letters, and not get the 10 points for that word. Damnit. Where is Seth when I most need him?!

In other family news, my parents also got a kitty yesterday!! She’s very cute. I’m not a cat person, but I really liked her. We got her at the animal shelter. She’s a 2 month old, Siamese kitty and she has HUGE blue eyes. We like each other. She winked at me when I was saying bye to her. My mom has to go back today and pick her up. I sent my sister a picture and asked what we should name her and she said “Pancake!!” So Pancake was born.

In other world news, Iran is banning mullets. Except they are not called mullets there. They are called “NASCAR Neckdrapes.” WTF kind of word is that?! I don’t know, but it sounds awesome to me. Does Iran have any more important laws to work on right now? I would imagine so. Where are their priorities?

I’m donating blood today and I just printed out the Seth’s unit newsletter. I can’t wait to read it while I’m pumping blood and saving (up to 3) lives! I do this for both him and I; he wishes he could donate blood, but he can't because of the places he's been. While he’s in Afghanistan, it’s the least I can do to make the world a better place.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Feelin' What You're Puttin' In Me!

Ok, that apparently is an Army saying that Seth has told me a time or two. (Actually the way he phrases it is, “do you feel what I’m putting in you?”) It always makes me laugh and think pervertedly. It’s awesome. I can easily make it fun to say back to him and tell him I can feel what he’s puttin’ in me. I’ll go no further on this topic. (Apparently it means that you understand what’s being said). I just said it to a friend and made myself laugh.

Onto wedding news…I signed up for allrecipes.com and I get daily emails with fun recipes. I got one the other day for homemade vanilla extract. I love baking!! (Especially for Seth while he’s deployed). He also loves baking (he suggested we make our own wedding cake, but I had to tell him no because I don’t want that stress for myself. And by “we” he mostly meant me, because he will be coming from Germany (unless the Army has a different plan) who knows how much in advance of the wedding). Anyways, my sister likes homemade stuff (to make and to receive), and my mom loves vanilla scented stuff and we love baking. I sent the recipe to the three of them, and said this would be a cool Christmas gift. My mom took it a step further with the bright idea of making little bottles of vanilla extract as wedding favors!!! It’s such a grand idea! I can’t wait to execute it! I talked to Seth about it and he said he really likes the idea. My sister also suggested that we tie a little note to it that has a recipe on it. So here’s where the deployments come into play. I always make him homemade cookies and of course use vanilla. So I will do like 2-3 of his favorite cookie recipe cards for “Seth’s favorite deployment cookies.” Isn’t that the cutest idea ever?!

I like it for many reasons:

  • It is practical, first and foremost. I hate wedding favors that are impractical and get thrown out. I don’t want to waste my hard earned money on something for someone to just throw away.
  • It’s “us.” We both really enjoy baking. Yep, I said it: big-bad-tough-as-nails soldier boy enjoys baking. We He made a checkerboard cake while he was home last Christmas, and while we were decorating it, he actually took the frosting bag out of my hand and said, “here, let me show you how to do this.” Haha OK let me get my camera!! He really is a good baker though… and he enjoys eating my deliciously baked goods.
  • It’s fun.
  • It’s unique.
  • It’s homemade.
Also in wedding news, over the weekend when I was working on wedding stuff, I came to this conclusion. Our grooms men will be coming from the following states/countries: Groom: Germany; Best man: Oregon; Groomsmen: Michigan (where we live), South Carolina, Illinois, and California. This ought to be a fun task of coordinating everyone’s suit and the bachelor party! Glad I’m not involved in that!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ugggghhhhhhhhh

Today I'm in a weird mood. By "weird," I mean everything is pretty much pissing me off.

Examples:
  • Today at the post office, I was waiting patiently for a lady to turn. If I would have known she was going to go 2 f'n mph, I would have turned in front of her. I waited to turn to be safe, but my gosh, she should have been going to the damn speed limit. I've been very impatient with slow and/or stupid drivers lately. I find myself yelling obscenities at people in my car....ohhh, pretty much every time I hop in the car.
  • I hate doing the dishes, yet I hate having dirty dishes. I will never live without a dishwasher.
  • I stepped on the scale the other day at the gym. It was up 6 pounds from since Seth deployed. This should be backwards theoretically. I chalked it up to that I weighed myself after a work out, which they always tell us not to do. Then I realized what I ate when I got home from work today and is all contributing to that 6 pounds. Of course, he has lost at least 15 pounds since he deployed. God, I SOOOO wish I had his will power when it comes to food. It is NOT fair. I also wish I had his motivation when it comes to going to the gym.
  • I mostly enjoy Cake Boss on TLC, but Buddy drives me crazy. He's so egotistical and I hate it. I really only like watching the cakes he makes. I do NOT like his personality and I could never work for him. He's an ass.
  • Also at the post office, I got my least favorite clerk. His name is David. Or Douchebag. (He is the one that really made me mad a few weeks ago. I had made a care package for Seth and included deodorant. He asked me if it had alcohol in it....and I kind of hesitated to answer cuz I didn't know the honest answer, and then I told him no. He then said somewhat threatening me, "you know, if there is alcohol in there, and it catches a spark in the belly of the plane, and takes it down, you will be held responsible." Now, I understand they have a job to do, to keep the military safe, and the postal people and all that, but really, do you think deodorant is going to catch on fire and make a plane the crash? No. Do you really think when a plane goes down, the first thing they think is , "oh, who was shipping deodorant?" No. You suck, David. Don't threaten me.) Anyways, he is always unfriendly and not pleasant to work with. Figures his window was open at the post office today. I'm not nice to him either. So there.

I'm going to go for a bike ride now. Then I'm going to come back, hop in the shower, then paint my nails. I'm just annoyed at everything right now. I'm ready for this deployment to be over.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Perfect Summer Day

Saturday was one of those pretty perfect summer days. The only thing that would have made it absolutely perfect days was having my favorite person ever, Seth, with me.

I got up earlyish and headed to my parents. On my way over, I was hoping the neighbor girls would be home so I could see them. I haven’t seen them in a long time, and hangout time with them was long over-due. These girls are 11 and 7, and I’ve babysat them since the oldest was born. So we have a very close relationship and bond, and they love to hang out with me. I planned on washing my car, and I knew the younger girl would be soooo into helping me. Shortly after I got there, the younger one came barreling through my parents front yard. She went immediately to the rope swing, which she has always loved. I went out to see her, and asked her if she’d want to help me wash my car. She’s helped me numerous times washing my car, and I always let her sit on my lap and ‘drive’ the car. We moved it out of the drive way and onto the grass. She sat on my lap and I made her check the mirrors to see if it was clear to back up. Then she steered the steering wheel and I told her where we were going to go. She was a little chatter box, and was talking my ear off the whole time but I loved it. We got my car done, and she even helped me scrub my rims and get the break dust off!! Then I asked her if she wanted to help me do my parents cars too, and she said we should just start a whole car wash and charge people. Haha I wasn’t up for this much car washing, but I could handle 3 cars. I told her we could at least get some money from my parents for doing their cars though. She said, “I’ll be right back! Don’t leave!!” and she ran over to her house. She came back with her little play cash register, and a piece of paper that said, “Car wash $1.” I told her that we should charge $3 and make a little more money. So she scratched out the $1 and wrote a (backwards) 3. We were already up to $6!!! Then she said that maybe her mom would like her car washed too, so we could get another $3 that way. My parents also said that if we wanted to wash off the shed door (which needed to be painted), they would pay us each $1 for that. The older sister was hanging out with us while we were washing the cars, but she just stayed clear of doing the work. We finished both of my parent’s cars (she drove 3 cars that day, and she even backed my dad’s car into the garage, and then we heard a Miley Cyrus song on the radio and she was soooo excited and sang the whole song to me). I went inside for lunch, and she hopped in the pool with her sister. My mom made some chicken wraps, and made one for the younger sister, because she thought she was going to eat with us, but she hopped in the pool instead. After that, we reconvened in the backyard and we started washing the shed door. I was wearing rolled up pants and a t-shirt, and she decided it was time to get me soaking wet. She attacked me with the hose, and got me soaking wet. She was in her bathing suit still, so I got her soaking wet too. It was pretty hot and it did feel good, but I was soaked. She was hungry by this point, so I gave her the chicken wrap that my mom had made her. We sat on the porch, and she ate her chicken wrap and some cherries and I listened to her tell me story after story. We played on the rope swing for a little while, and then her mom pulled up her van on our front lawn and we washed that too. She paid us $4 for her car (because her daughter washed the wheel-well, and her car was the only one that got that special treatment). The girls are saving up for a chinchilla so I was just helping them out with that. She made $6 that day, washing 3 cars and the shed door. Unfortunately, I didn’t do so well. I made $2 (from her mom), but I still had to pay my little friend $3 for washing the cars. My parents didn’t have any $1’s on them, but I did, so I paid her for them. It’s ok though. At least I helped them out with their chinchilla savings, and had a great day with my favorite 7 and 11 year olds. That is actually priceless. I also informed them that they’d both be in my wedding next year. The 7 year old was SOOOO excited for this and couldn’t wait to hear all the details. When I told her she’d be the flower girl, she said, “I will ask Olivia for training!!!! She has been in SOOOO many weddings!!!!” It was adorable! I absolutely cannot wait until we have kids. We always talk about kids, and having our own, and I even had a dream about having one other night. He is so anxious to be a dad, and I can't wait to make him one! He will be such a good daddy-o and he will spoil the crap out of our (unborn, unconceived) daughter!!!

After that, I hung out at my parents some more, and I inventoried all of my wedding stuff. Yes, I really inventoried it all. That’s the kind of girl I am. My mom and I bought a lot of centerpiece vases a few weekends ago and I’m storing them all at their house. Since we are doing our own food, we’ve been stocking up on serving dishes too. We got a lot already, and we went back, but we didn’t know what we had, or what we still needed, so I decided it was time to inventory it all for next time. We got all that inventoried, and I have a sweet spreadsheet of everything. We also looked at other ideas online and I started some rough draft drawings of the seating arrangements. I know it’s a whole year and 5 days away, but dang it, I’ve been planning this for 7 months already and I can’t wait for it!!! Also, Seth has been looking at honeymoon spots today. Since he’ll still be in the Army when we’re married, and likely still in Germany (unless he gets orders to PCS), we’re taking a road trip. We’re going to go to Cape Cod and Nantucket. He was looking up places for us stay while there. He sent me a link for a romantic get-away. I think I’ll let him mostly plan the honeymoon, he likes that kind of stuff. He likes surprising me, and I’m sure he’d love to plan the hell out of the honeymoon and keep me in suspense. He also found a nudist campground and beach that we can stay at. haha

In other, not so great news, I have a wicked virus on my computer. That was another reason for me going to my parents…I needed to download a program to hopefully clean the virus of my computer. Here's what happened: I told Seth that I would download the TV shows he normally watched when he was in Germany, and I’d mail them to him. I followed his instructions, and somehow along the way, I downloaded a wicked horrible virus. By “wicked horrible” I mean it is fucking horrible. I came home on Friday to find a bunch of porn shortcuts on my desktop, IE pages open to porn, and I can’t access anything in the control panel…everything is blocked and I get a message that says it's "infected." I called a co-worker, and he said to download a program, burn it to a CD, then run it on my computer (hence why I went to my parents). I got home on Saturday night and tried to run the program, but when I double clicked on the icon, it said that program was infected too, and could not be run. Great. So I emailed my co-worker again yesterday and asked him if I could drop off my computer for him to fix. This is beyond me and I have no more patience with it. I’m dropping it off to him tomorrow and hopefully I get it back soon. Thankfully I have a work laptop that I will be able to use for the next few days. I just tried to do a nice thing for my deployed soldier, and look where it’s gotten me. I don’t know if I’ll attempt to download any more TV shows for him. I would love to, but I don’t want to risk it again. It’s a bad bad bad bad virus.

Oh, also, Seth got internet access in his tent, so we’ve actually talked a lot over the weekend, all over IM, but we talked nonetheless. After my computer is fixed, we will hopefully be able to webcam. I haven’t seen him since March 9th, and it’s now July 12th. That’s a really long time in case you’re wondering.

This is really long now...

Friday, July 9, 2010

$280.76 later...

And I have 2 new pairs of glasses! Well, not quite yet, but they will be here in about a week. I was in a pissy mood having to go there yesterday, as my previous post made clear. It was a new doctor, new office, new everything and I didn’t want to 1) pay the hefty price for glasses and sunglasses 2) go to a new doctor 3) really get rid of my glasses, although I did want new ones.

I got there to find the whole office had been re-done and they had a much larger selection of glasses than I was expecting. I also got there early and was trying some on, and actually found quite a few pairs that I actually liked. I took them with me to the eye exam, and the doctor said he was there to reveal all my secrets. I said, “maybe my eyeball secrets, but not my deepest darkest secrets!” There was also a big letter “E” on the wall, and I was soooo hoping he’d ask me what letter was projected on the wall. I had all intentions of saying “yer mom, rated “E” for everyone!” Oh god, how I wanted so badly to say that!!

After my exam, I went into the lobby area to resume looking for glasses. I was waiting for someone to help me, and then someone called my name. I didn’t have my regular glasses on so everything was blurry, but this guy named Justin came over to help me. He said something like, “so you’re here to pick out new glasses, huh?” I mumbled something like, “yeah, but I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to pay a bunch of money for new glasses.” He got my drift that I wasn’t happy, but he was totally cool about it, and he made it fun actually. I told him it was not a fun task picking out new glasses, and then since he was wearing glasses, I said, “do you even have to wear those glasses, or are they ones you are wearing just for show? I have a friend that works at Pearl Vision who doesn’t wear glasses, but she did at work, just to you know…make it more real.” He said, “they’re real…try them on!” and then he handed them over, and before I could even put them on, I could tell he was blind as a bat. hA! I said, “oh wow, yeah, you are a real glasses wear-er and you’re blind!!” Thankfully he laughed at it, I realized it was kinda mean after I said it out loud. I told him I also needed to get sunglasses because my other ones broke in half and I said, “it didn’t even break in the middle, above the nose, where it could be taped and I could look like a nerd. No, it broke in the middle of the frame, above the middle of the lens.” He said, “wow, when you break something, you really do it big.” My motto is, “go big or go home.” I also apologized for my bad attitude towards getting new glasses, it’s just I have a hard time finding ones I like, and I don’t like paying for them. He was nice about it. I first showed him the glasses I currently have, the ones I really like, and still get compliments on, even after having them for so long. He agreed they looked nice on me. I then tried on the pairs for him that I had picked out. It was really weird getting another guys opinion on what looked good on me and what didn’t. He was very nice about it, and he gave me good, honest opinions (I hope at least). I picked out a super cheap pair (only $79!!!) and I agreed they were really plain, but they did look OK. He said they were too plain for me. I tried on another pair and they were way too big for my face. I asked if they came in a smaller size…haha never thought I’d be asking that considering my pant size!!! After checking, he said they didn’t come in a smaller size. 2 down, 5 to go. I tried on the others, and I looked closely at the prices of each. I tried on the more expensive glasses, but then decided they were not worth the $169 and $179. I was down to 2 pairs, both at $119. I liked them equally. I tried them on over and over. The thing about trying on glasses, is that you can’t even see clearly, because you don’t have your regular lenses to see through so it’s hard to tell what really looks good on you. It’s stupid. I really liked a pair by Seventeen….I know, it sounds really young and I felt like I should be 16 years old again in high school wearing them. They had little printed circles on the arm things, and I asked if they made the glasses seem “too young, for a teenager.” He said he honestly hadn’t even noticed that about them. I tried them both on a few more times, and then ended up picking the Seventeen ones.

Then I tried on the 2 pairs of sunglasses that I liked. I am not a fan of the big “bug eye” style glasses, and I told him that, so he’d have an idea of what I wanted before I tried them on. They look stupid on me. So, I put the first pair on, and then I put the second pair on, and he said he liked the first pair better because they sit better on my nose. Hmmmm. I put on the other pair to see what he was talking about and there was a little gap. Sold. They’re a little “bug eyed,” but not really. I think I’ll really like them.

We sat down at the counter so he could put in my order and I told him I was expecting to spend close to $400 out of my pocket for these stupid glasses. He rang up my glasses, and it only ended up being $56.76 out of my pocket!! Sweet success there! Then he started ringing up my sunglasses, and they were on sale, and they came to a total of $224. He said good thing I aimed high on spending $400, because I only ended up spending $280 and that’s always fun when that happens. He swiped my debit card, and another lady said to me, “oh, are those your new glasses?” I was wearing my old ones, my rickety ones, and I said, “no, these are my old ones. I have to replace these.” And she said, “ohhh that’s too bad. Those look so good on you!! They really compliment your face!” She went on for another minute or so about how nice they looked on me, and I said to the Justin guy, “see, this is why I don’t want to replace these. I get quite a few compliments on them still, considering how long I’ve had them!” We sat back down so I could sign my papers and I said quietly to him, “that lady? She is totally my new best friend!” He laughed at me. Oh man, I love when people laugh at my jokes. It feeds me, and I keep going with jokes, and that’s exactly what was happening. He kept laughing, I kept making jokes. One time, Seth told me, “you’re the funniest person I know!” That was almost 2 years ago and I still make him laugh. I remember exactly where we were at when he said that. It was November 2008 and we were in our hotel room in Ft. Drum, right after he came back from Iraq. It was right outside the bathroom door and I was against the wall and he was coming out and I made some lame joke that was ridiculous and he was lol’ing at me. He like pinned me against the wall and said I was the funniest person he knew and then he kissed me. :)

So there we have it. After about an hour of being there, this Justin guy said my glasses will be in, in about a week and he’ll call when I can pick them up. He was totally cool and nice and laughed at my jokes, which made the whole experience better than I was expecting. I’m even excited to finally get my glasses. I sent Seth an email about them last night, and told him I’d send him pictures when I get them. He said he’s excited for pictures and he’s excited to see me wearing them!!

This is probably one of the most boring blog posts in the entire universe to read. Ever. Who writes 230948203948203942 words about glasses? Apparently I do. Sorry for the lameness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stupid 4-Eyes!!

I'm going to my annual eye doctor tomorrow. I am so not looking forward to it for one reason only: glasses are soooo expensive. I've honestly had my regular glasses for over 3 years now, and I've had my sunglasses for 2 years. I really like my glasses, but they are getting rickety, and I just am ready for something new. (I've gotten new lenses the last few years, to save money). My sunglasses, on the other hand, have sucked since I got them. When I first got them, they were really tight on my head and pinched my brains together and make my brain guts come out of my eyeballs. Practically. Basically they hurt my head to wear. And the longer I wore them, the more they hurt. The people at the eye doctor said they couldn't make them out because of the material they were made out of, or some crap like that. I stuck with them last year because it was going to be about $200 to get new lenses for my regular glasses and a new pair of sunglasses.

This year however, I cannot do that. Over the weekend, I got in my car and put on my sunglasses, only to have them snap in half. Literally. And not even in the middle, by the nose where they connect. Nope, at least I could tape those!! These ones snapped over the right lens, right in the middle of the frame. It pissed me off. I dug out an extra old pair so I could wear them to the pool and I couldn't see worth crap. So I'm expecting to spend a good $400, and that is after my $250 is applied from my insurance. Luckily, I was anticipating having to get new glasses, so I put another $200 away in my FSA account. I'm still expecting to pay another $200 or so on top of this. Almost $600 for glasses. It's ridiculous. (I'll still have to pay whatever after the $250 is applied out of my pocket and then send in reimbursement forms, so I'll be down that money for a while). And I want extra cute ones because I'll be wearing those for my wedding pictures, and I want nice sunglasses for our honeymoon. And it doesn't help that I am insanely picky about my glasses.

Ugghhhhhh and I wish he could be here to pick them out. I don't know if I can trust the sales people. Also, they better not try to do that little puff of air in my eyeball. I hate that too.

On a side, yet related note, I found a $15 insurance reimbursement check today. It said void after 90 days and it was dated 4/18, so I better get my ass to the bank. That $15 will be going towards my glasses. I wish I didn't even have to wear glasses, but I look stupid without them, I think. Plus, he thinks they look sexy on me or something. All they are to me is an expensive inconvenience. Lucky for him, he's had corrective eye surgery, so he doesn't have to worry about them.

I wonder what Tricare would provide for me. Hopefully something better than this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot, hot, hot

I always check the local weather where my soldier is at. It's been in the 100's lately, up to 105, and today when I looked, the 5 day forecast does not look pleasant:


I can't/won't complain about the 93 degree heat wave we're having here. I am pretty sure we have more humidity than where he's at, but still, I am sitting in air conditioning and I don't have to wear a full uniform, boots and a hat. I wish I could cool it down for him. He hates weather like this. He has air conditioning in his tent, but it's just too hot that it doesn't really make a difference. Poor guy :(

On a happier note, my deployment donut is coming along nicely. It is officially past 26%!! Woo hoo!!!




Heartbreak Warfare

You know how when you hear a certain song or smell a certain smell, it takes you back to a certain place and time and memory? I absolutely love love love moments when this happens.

I just heard John Mayer’s Heartbreak Warfare song and it took me back to March 9, 2010, sitting on the Northwest airplane in Frankfurt, Germany. We had just had our “good bye” in person, and I was getting settled into my seat. They had Northwest Radio playing, and this is one of the songs that was playing. Ironic that the title of the song is “heartbreak warfare,” as I had just said goodbye to the love of my life, my heart was breaking (it was literally hurting), and he was getting ready to go off to war in less than a month. I pulled out my vacation journal to write in it, and guess who had wrote me a sweet little message, unbeknownst to me. I don't know how he does it, but he's really good like that. So there I was, bawling my eyes out on the plane, reading what he wrote me, listening to Heartbreak Warfare.

The actual lyrics don’t pertain to our situation, but the title of it surely does.

It’s just one of those songs that no matter where I’m at, or what I’m doing, when I hear it, I will think of that one day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Positives That Come From A Deployment

By my calculations, deployments 99% are not enjoyable, but there are a few good things to come out of that 1%. I probably more focus on the bad part of a deployment (along with everyone else), because there are many more negatives than positives. But, in an attempt to put a positive spin having your spouse away for up to 12 months (or more) from you, here is a small list of the positive things (for me, at least) to come from a deployment:

  • You don't have to shave your legs daily. Or your armpits. Or you bikini area. Fuck it, no one is seeing it but you, so who cares.

  • You learn how to be more independent.

  • You appreciate the little things in life.

  • You don't take people for granted.

  • You can do what you want, when you want, such as eating ice cream for breakfast, luch and dinner and dessert. (This is actually more of a negative, because you'd rather do even the mundane things with your spouse, but again, I'm trying to be positive here, and it's my list, so I'm putting it on the positive list. Deal!!)

  • You learn how to open apple sauce jars. Ok, this one is pretty specific to me, but no matter how hard I try, I can NEVER open an apple sauce jar. It takes me approximately 3 days of trying, and loosening up the lid, me yelling at the apple sauce to just fucking open, and approximately 3 days of useless sentences in emails to Seth about how I still can't open the stupid apple sauce jar. Ohhh how I sooooo wish he were here to open it for me. Is that too much to ask for? I guarantee he could open it in like 2 seconds flat. Me? No, it takes like 5 minutes of trying over the span of 3 days and then hopefully on the 3rd day I'll get lucky. (And by this time, the apple sauce doesn't even taste as good as it was sounding 3 days before). Geeeez.

  • Making care packages. This is by far my favorite thing a deployment brings (actually, it ties with not having to shave). I love buying him things and writing him love notes, and mailing it off to him. Anything I can do to help him out over there, and to show him I love him and I'm thinking about him, I am sooo willing to do.

  • Fantasizing about, planning and experiencing the reunions and homecomings!! Falling in love all over again and kissing them like you've never kissed them before. The HUGS that come after a long time apart. It's the best feeling ever!

  • The enormous amount of pride I have when I tell someone where my fiance is. I don't like that he is there, but I am sooo proud of him, and what he's doing, and I like having the chance to tell people how proud I am of him. I try to say it with a smile on my face.

  • The stronger we become as a couple.

  • You learn patience...patience with communication (or lack there of), patience with the military in general, patience with each other.

That's all I can think of right now.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Waiting and waiting....

It's approximately 11:53 AM right now and I should be getting my weekly call within 2 hours. I give myself until about 2 PM on Sundays to wait for his call and during that time, I limit my activities. I don't want to put myself in a position of no cell phone service and therefore miss his call. So I wait; sometimes I do a little work out, sometimes I do laundry, sometimes I clean, sometimes I shower (sometimes I don't), sometimes I go grocery shopping early in the morning when I know the probability of him calling is slim to none. However, the last few weeks, he has been calling a little closer to noon than 1:30, so I don't know what to expect today.

But this morning, I've been still catching up on her blog. I didn't let myself read it yesterday because I didn't want to be crying and show up to the BBQ having to explain my puffy eyes and red nose. They wouldn't understand anyways. So I just didn't read it. However, I did read one post last night before I went to bed, but then I caught up on the rest this morning. On Friday night, I left off prior to her March postings, because March was the month of the "accident," as she calls it. This morning I read her March and April postings though. I've been crying and I have a bright red nose and puffy eyes. Cool. I've stopped reading now though, because I know my love will be able to hear it in my voice that I've been crying, from even some 6,000 or 7,000 miles away and he'll ask me why I've been crying. (And when I try to lie and tell him I haven't been crying, he'll tell me to not lie to him and to just tell him why. Damn, he's good.) I don't want to explain it to him either, I don't think it's a good idea for me to talk about other fallen soldiers when he himself is deployed, and in an active war zone. So, the more time I have of getting back my normal, non-crying voice, the better it is for both of us.

The BBQ was fun last night. Of course, it would have been 23020839 times more fun if he were there with me, but I digress. Such is life, and we all make sacrifices. I made a raspberry pretzel jello-y salad, which is always a hit. I reversed the middle and top layer though, and I put the white layer on top, and then made it into a pretty flag pattern. I was so friggin' excited to show it off, but I didn't have the heart to cut into it myself. So I made someone else do it. It was just too pretty. Now, I know it doesn't have the 50 blueberry stars, and the 7 raspberry red stripes, but I was limited on space, so I had to work with what I could. Please don't find this offensive. We had a little bit of fire works, rode the quads, hung out, and then had a bonfire and made s'mores. My mom found some extra huge marshmallows, seriously like 3 times bigger than regular big marshmallows. I was playing "chubby bunnies" with my friend, and I was determined to fit 2 in my mouth. I had a hard enough time fitting one in my mouth, but I was determined. My mom was taking pictures of us playing "chubby bunnies" and she made the comment, something along the lines of, "no wonder he is marrying her! she can fit so much into her mouth!!!" Thanks, mom, for declaring that in front of like 8 people. It's not like I was deep throating them, I was just stuffing them into my cheeks. Funny thing is, though, when I was stuffing them in, I wanted to fit 2 in there to make him proud. haha I just wasn't going to share that with the whole group!

Here's my dessert!!! (I guess looking at this picture, I need to work on straightening my stripes. There's always next time....)


After our phone call, my only plans for the day involve going to the pool and working on my tan. It's supposed to be hella nice today and I'm excited to do nothing. Again, I really wish he were here to do nothing with me, but I shall digress. Again. I'm missing him extra lots right now.

Oh, and sorry for all the misspellings and incorrect grammar in my last post; as I said in it, I was in the back of my parents car on my cell phone and it was a bumpy road and my fingers were flying all over my tiny keyboard and well, I was mad.

12:21 and BAM GUESS WHO IS CALLING RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow, I'm good!!!! Talking to him now and my voice isn't cry-y!!!