Friday, December 16, 2011

~* On The Road Again *~

I GOT MY LICENSE BACK!!!! A-freakin'-men! I am finally legally allowed to operate a vehicle again! It has been a long year and a half, let me tell ya. Folks, don't be stupid like I was. Soooo not worth it.

I just want to throw a quick "thank you soooooo much" to a few people who have been there for me the whole way, even though nobody reads this. Thanks to Dr. Panner and Mr. Riley, for always helping me get where I needed to be, and to my mama for taking me grocery shopping more times than she really had to. Thanks to mama's man for somehow squeezing a free car out of his sister (I'm still stumped on that one...). Thanks to my cuz, without whom I would have had to walk down here to North Carolina, carrying all of my earthly possessions on my back. Thanks to Mr. M, for never making me feel like the inconvenience I know I've been. Thanks to the FAST buses, for always being on time and having convenient stops. And- kinda outta left field for me- I want to thank God (or whoever is out there watching out for me), for giving me the strength to prove to myself that I could do it. I had my doubts, more than once, but I did it. I. DID. IT.

Monday, December 12, 2011

~* Comings and Goings *~

Watching the news is one of my addictions. I turn it on first thing in the morning (yes, it is on at 4am) and again in the evening, if I'm home. I don't have time to sit through all of it, but I enjoy sitting on the sofa, sipping my coffee, waking up with my newscasters.

Lately, though, the experience has been a little less enjoyable.

A lot of the news lately has been about the homecoming of the last American troops in Iraq. It's been all over the national news, and especially the local news since we are at Fort Bragg. The POTUS is coming to Bragg this week to thank the troops for the last decade of their service in Iraq. And yes, I am thankful for the return of those troops. But at the same time, it's been hard for me to watch. Knowing that here are all of these men and women coming home, but mine is going....

It's hard because I haven't really given myself a chance to get emotional about Mr. M's leaving yet. Mostly because he's still here, so why bother? Partly because I am just really terrible at emotions. But it has definitely affected my ability to enjoy the news, and I'm not thrilled about that.

We went to the FRG Christmas party on Friday night. It was nice to get to meet the people in his new unit, to meet the FRG leader, to meet the people I'm handing my husband's life over to. It was heart-wrenching, too- the majority of them are boys, just babies, not even old enough to drink. Dear God, I hope they all make it home quickly and in one piece (and they haven't even left yet).

I feel guilty for feeling so torn- wanting to be happy for the returning troops, yet selfishly wishing that no more had to leave. And I want to be able to watch the news again without wanting to cry.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

~* Did You Just Call Me Fat? *~

No, honey, I didn't call you fat.

Believe it or not, Mr. M got super-mad at me last night because he thought I called him fat. That's right, folks. HE thought SHE called him fat.

My husband is a big guy. Not big as in fat, big as in Hulk-like. He's not too tall- 5'11"- but he's about 260-265lbs. He has a 51" chest with a 36" waist. He has legs thicker than my waist and he can bench press a small village. He recently gained some additional strength with the help of some supplements that were being sold through the gym I work at. One of our trainers had teamed up with a pharmacist to create some really amazing products that produced almost instant results, and Mr. M was one of their "test dummies", I guess you could say. The product was working fantastically, and Mr. M was happy as could be. But then the trainer quit suddenly, leaving the gym with no supply. When Mr. M got a hold of him, he had some story about why he couldn't supply the product anymore, leaving more than just my husband hanging.

Mr. M is a harsh critic of his body. Because of the way he is built, he is constantly being weighed and taped, even though he has not once broken tape. Now, he's afraid that he will. He's spent a lot of time lately criticizing his body and stressing about his weight and shape. I usually let him go on about it, but quite frankly, I tend to tune him out. I love his body. I wouldn't have married him if I didn't.

Yesterday, he passed another PT test (with flying colors), so when he got home, he treated himself to 3 beers and popped open a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I said to him, about halfway through the pint, " Just put it down, babe. You know deep down that you don't want to finish that". WAY wrong thing to say, apparently. He got mad. But not yelling mad. Pouting little kid mad, which makes me mad, so things got stupid really quickly.

Let me explain- I said what I said because I hate contradictions. If you're gonna bitch because you feel fat, DON'T sit down with a pint of ice cream. It doesn't make sense. Like the obese people who get their Big Mac value meals super-sized, and then get a Diet Coke to wash it down with. It doesn't make sense. I tried to explain that to him. I still don't think he understands. Granted, it probably wasn't the smartest thing to say, but I'm tired of listening to him bash himself and then eat junk like that. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

~* Monster-in-Law? *~

I used to like my mother-in-law (referred to as MIL from now on). I thought she liked me, too. She's been outwardly supportive of our marriage, she held a get-together for us when we went home in September. She sends us packages in the mail, and always says hi when she's on the phone with Mr. M. And SHE wanted to pay for our actual "wedding" (which, btw, doesn't look like it's gonna happen- thanks, deployment). So, all signs pointed toward "yes, she likes me".

I might have been wrong.

Mr. M told me yesterday that he had called his mom and mentioned that we were looking into buying a house before he leaves. Our lease is up in March, and I'm gonna need to move anyway- it kinda makes sense for us to just buy a place, especially since it looks like we're gonna be stuck here in FayetteNam for a good long while. And we NEED more space! So, anyway, he tells her the exciting news and she is- well, less than excited. She thinks it's a bad idea. Naturally, I ask "Why does she think it's a bad idea? It makes sense". Asking that question was a bad idea.

Apparently, she thinks I'm going to leave Mr. M while he's gone and take everything and leave him with nothing to come home to.

OUCH! Are you kidding me?!?!

Mr. M didn't even stand up for me, mostly because they were both at work when this phone call happened, and he didn't want to fight with his mom in the middle of the work day. I told him that I could understand that, but that he needed to call his mom back and fix this. What she said was insulting, inappropriate, and completely unacceptable. Well, of course he got all upset- at me- because I was insinuating that he wasn't upset about the situation.


That's not what I was doing at all. I just want to make sure that she knows that what she said is not ok. I want my husband to stand up for me. We're supposed to go see her right before Christmas, and stay in her house, and I'm supposed to be able to share support with her while Mr. M is gone- and now I don't feel like I can do any of that. And to top it all off, Mr. M and I went to bed without speaking last night because of the whole situation. Great. There's another typical Wednesday for ya.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

~* It's All Happening *~

So, I finally have internet back at home. And enough free time to use it!! Woohoo!! Thank God, cuz I'm gonna need it.

We got news. Mr. M is deploying soon. We don't have exact dates (the Army never has exact dates), but we've heard it will be between February and April, most likely closer to February. I'm scared to death, but trying to hold it together. I'll wait til he's gone to fall apart.

We knew he would deploy again. He's got 3+ years left on his contract, so it was bound to happen. But I didn't think it would happen so soon. He just got home in January! He's excited about it tho. He likes actually being able to do his job, and he's excited about the extra money he'll be making (so we can FINALLY save some). I don't care about the money, I just want him to come home to me when it's all done. I'm sure I'm not the first Army Wife to say that.

I feel so lost about the whole thing. We weren't together when he deployed before, so I'm not sure what all I need to do. If I need to do anything. Maybe I just keep going on, day to day. He'll be here one day, gone the next, and then back in a few months. Well, more than a few, but you get the idea. I was originally set on going home while he's gone, back to Baltimore, but I think I'm gonna stick around. I hate FayetteNam, but I'll be driving again by the time he leaves, so I'll be able to visit my family. And we're planning to save money while he's gone, and it's cheaper for me to stay here. Plus, I'll get into less trouble here. I don't want to fall back into my old life, and I'm not sure I'm strong enough to resist that temptation. I have a decent job here, with room to move in different directions, and I don't want to give that up. I don't want to be suffocated by family, and it would probably be helpful to learn more about the town we're probably gonna be stuck in for a good long while. But now, I need to work on a support system.

That's the part that worries me. I'm good by myself, but I know that this next year is gonna be tough. I don't want people around me who will say "oh, I know how you feel. I've done it before". I want people who will be FRIENDS- people I can cry with if I need it, people who will let me scream if I need it, people who will take me shopping or to lunch or a movie if I just need to be distracted. I don't know a whole lot of people in this town, but I guess it's about time to change that. So, if anyone out there is reading this- feel free to say hello =)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

*~ Holiday Mail ~*

So, I still don't have internet at home. Long story, hopefully it will be fixed SOON, but that's beside the point today...

Today, I got a Facebook notification reminding me of something that I want to share with everyone. Every year for a few years now, I send Christmas cards to injured soldiers. If you are interested in doing this too, check out the website for more info : Please take a few minutes and participate. You can buy a box of 20 cards at the dollar store and a book of stamps for less than $10...if I can do it, so can you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

~* Itchy Fingers *~

So, it's been a little bit since my last post, and I am craving a keyboard. Mr. M and I decided to switch from Time Warner Cable to DirecTv, and I'm still waiting for the internet to be connected. I'm doing this on my piece of junk phone right now, but I need to get ready for work. It's not the simplest option, but maybe I'll make a real post this way later today...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

~* Searching for a Venue *~

We are trying to find a venue for our "wedding".  Well, I am trying to find a venue for our "wedding". And it's not as much fun as one might think.

I've never been really psyched about having a wedding, and considering the fact that Mr. M and I are already married, it just seems like an unnecessary headache to me. But- he wants the ceremony and reception, and his mom wants to pay for the majority of the festivities, so I'm not exactly in a position to refuse. And, hey, I love a good party as much as anyone.

The headache comes in because Mr. M and the MIL want to have this shindig back home in the PA-DE-MD area. Easier said than done, especially considering that I'm not driving yet. All I have to go on is reviews and websites, and quite frankly, it's both overwhelming and underwhelming. But this is my only day off without Mr. M for a few weeks, so I guess I better get to it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

~* Disabilities *~

"The only real disability is a bad attitude"- Scott Hamilton

Strange how true this is. You could be a soldier who lost both legs because of an IED, or a child born with CP, or a woman diagnosed with breast cancer (it is October, after all). But not a single one of these becomes a disability until, and unless, you think of it that way.

I believe people underestimate the power of their own brains. If you can find a way to see the silver linings, and to always count your blessings, and just to remember that things could always be worse- life gets a little bit brighter. It doesn't take a ton of work to think this way, it's just a little re-programming of the thought process. Being more aware of what you think, especially if you're prone to speak first.

At work, we're supporting the Ride2Recovery, a bike ride for wounded vets who bike for therapy. These are guys (and girls, I'm sure) who have lost limbs and senses (some are blind) and comrades, but they're out there trying to build a better life for themselves. We'll be having a few of the guys in the gym over the weekend on their specially-equipped bikes, and I truly hope they provide a little motivation that so many people seem to be lacking these days. I know I'm looking forward to meeting them.

Life is beautiful if you're looking through the right window.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

~* Feelin' Alright *~

I'm feelin' good, actually. Damn good. I've been getting up early every day, although not as early this week, and gettin' it in the gym every day before I clock in. I'm only on my second full week of a consistent workout routine, but I feel goooood. The very first thing I noticed has been an increase in my energy level. I don't have a problem getting up early, and it's not tough to make it thru the day.

I also feel stronger. Not just Hulk-like stronger (although there is a bit of that), but mentally stronger. I feel like I stand a little taller and have a little more of a presence. I feel like people are starting to notice me.

I'm happier. I haven't had as many mood swings lately. I haven't been as irritable. I have a sunnier (sunnier than usual) outlook on things. I think that's mostly due to a healthier diet. I've completely cut carbs out from dinner (aside from a tiny sprinkling of cheese in my salad, anyway), and I've been supplementing meals with protein shakes to increase my calorie intake. I know it sounds crazy and counterproductive, but I really hadn't been taking in enough calories before, and that has some drastic effects on the body and mind.

I've also been getting more educated about fitness and nutrition. "Champions Body For Life". Great book, check it out if you have a second.

I feel like Mr. M and I have a stronger bond these days. We don't get to spend as much time together because I'm working later, but I feel like the time we do get is being better-spent.

It's nice to be a part of something  I believe in.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

~* Tiiiiiiime is not on my side.... *~

No, it's not. Well, it hasn't been. This is gonna be a really short post because I'm in a hurry... I've been spending 15 and 16 hour days in the gym lately (no, I'm not body building, it's my job). When I get home, it's been dinner and bed. Today is really no different. Gotta go put lunch together for me and Mr. M and get ready to hit the elliptical before putting in a full day of work. So....happy Tuesday!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

~* He's Baaaaaack! *~

My hubby is home! Woohoo!! He got home around 7:30pm last night, and lemme tell ya, I have never been so happy to see anyone in my life!!!

Now, I realize that it was just a few days really, since I saw him over the weekend. Nothing like a deployment, which many spouses are about to experience. But I miss him when he's gone, and I'm excited that he's home. Simple as that.

That's all I have time for, so have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

~* Wonderful Wednesday *~

Since I'm all alone today, I'm skipping the "hump day" thing, but it is- already, at 6:07am- a pretty wonderful Wednesday.

Mr. M got to come home just long enough to take a shower and wolf down some food last night, but it was late, so I didn't really get to spend any time with him. But he did tell me that he gets to come home tomorrow night!!! Yeah, I know it's only a day early, but it still makes me incredibly happy. He also will have Monday off, which is nice for him, but I'll be at work all day.

So, remembering that news got my day started off great, but then I saw a text message that made it even better. "Hey sugarpie, I know you're asleep and I hope this doesn't wake you, but you are the most beautiful, amazing woman of my life and when you see this in the morning I hope you will know that you mean more to me than anything in the world. Without you, the most euphoric places on  Earth would feel like the 7th ring of hell. I want to do something nice for you when I get back. I love you."

(I fixed the punctuation and extended the shorthand) Oh. My. Goodness. My big, strong, bear of a hubby has the sweetest side ever!! He would kill me if he knew I just posted that entire message (not literally kill me, relax), but those words melted my heart and put such a huge smile on my face that I just felt compelled to share. On top of the extra dose of sweetness this morning, I realized that I've been in a better mood for the past few days in general. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I completely changed up my eating habits. I've started to realize that nutrition really does affect every aspect of your body. I could go on about that forever, but I need to get ready for work.

I hope everyone else has a Wednesday that ends as wonderfully as mine has started!

Monday, September 19, 2011

~* Count Your Blessings *~

This is advice we all give, but how many of us take the time to count our own blessings? Today begins day 1 of week 2 for Mr. M in the field. I'm not thrilled about it, and I'm not thrilled about the way he left the apartment this morning, so I'm going to take my own advice, count my blessings, and put myself in a better mood.

I am grateful for my dog, who loves me unconditionally and is always excited to see me come thru the door.
I am grateful to have a job, at a time when jobs are hard to come by.
I am grateful for my co-workers who barely know me, but have already opened their car doors to me.
I am grateful for my little brother, who took time out from Oktoberfest fun to let me know I am loved.
I am grateful for a stocked fridge and a full coffeepot.
I am grateful that it has not rained on me while I wait for the bus in the morning. (Yet).
I am grateful to have a soft place to lay my head at night.
I am grateful for anyone and everyone who has ever pushed me just a little bit farther.
I am grateful for everyone who has stuck by me thru countless mistakes.
I am grateful for my love of reading, because I will never be bored.
I am grateful for my health and happiness.
And last, but not least, I am grateful for my husband. I am grateful for the love we share and the life we are building together. I am grateful for his friendship, faith, and support. I am grateful to have someone to laugh with, and to cry with. I am grateful to have someone to dream with and someone to bring me down to earth when I need it. I am grateful to have someone to hold and who will hold me. I am grateful for someone to love with all of my heart, thru the easy times and the rough patches. I love you, Mr. M. Come home soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

~* GOYA!!! *~

Get Off Your Ass!!!

This is something my old boss used to drill into my head, and I think he stole it from the movie "Boiler Room". It was used in a sales atmosphere, which comes in handy for my new job, but I'm using it in the most literal sense this morning.

Yesterday, I was a little shocked. I tagged along with one of my co-workers to grab his leads from a lead box at a sporting goods store, and to pick up some pamphlets from various places to order food platters for an event we're having soon. He parked the car closest to the sporting goods store, and the grocery store was 3 stores down. He looked at me and said with complete sincerity "You weren't planning to walk down there, were you?".

Actually, I was. I walk almost three miles round-trip to and from the bus stop every day. 3 stores down is not a big deal to me. Besides that, we're working for a gym, not a car dealership. Geezus, the percentage of the human body that is comprised of pure laziness astounds me sometimes. Granted, I was a lazy lazy lazy kid- sleeping til noon, sitting around reading instead of playing sports, bribing my sister to do my chores for me. But that was when I was a kid, and I didn't need to represent a company's point of view (or get myself around). So grow up, GOYA, and be a good example people!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

~* Same Ol', But A Little Bit New *~

So, Mr. M is in the field. Again. For 2 weeks this time. We just got home, he just found out about this on Saturday, but I guess it's all part of Army life. Boo. At least he should be able to come home over the weekend. Fingers crossed. We're planning to see the new Lion King 3D movie =) We're both just kids at heart.

On the new side of things, I started my new job as a fitness consultant for Gold's Gym today. I had a good day, but I didn't get out til a little after 6, so having to take the bus home, I didn't get in until almost 8pm. Luckily for me, it wasn't dark yet. It was that perfectly pretty time of day with a light breeze and cotton candy sunset.  I hate to sound like a wimp or paranoid, but I'm not terribly comfortable walking home in the dark. I feel amazing after spending the whole day in the gym! True, the only exercise I got in today was the 3 mile roundtrip walk to and from the bus stop, but I feel healthier and in better shape just from the gym atmosphere. I can't wait to get in a good workout, but I'm waiting for the computer systems to catch up (they were down all weekend). To keep with the feeling-good-feeling, I had a yummy salad for dinner. I don't know why, but I love making salads at home. I guess it's that creative side of me.

Anyway, I better go spend some time with the poor dog before bedtime. G'night y'all!

Friday, September 9, 2011

~* Home Sweet Home *~

So, we're finally home from, well, home. Actually, we got back around 9pm Wednesday night after a hellatious drive through the flooded northeast. And we came back with at LEAST 8 times as much as we left with!! Clothes,a new mattress, homemade spaghetti sauce, shrimp, 4 bags of Amoroso rolls, 6 jars of sweet peppers, tools, and a toolbox that required a tow truck to take out of the Penske truck. No joke. A freakin' tow truck.

As happy as I was to be going "home", I gotta admit that it's nice to be home. In our own space, on our own schedules, with our own belongings. We get to control the remote control and air conditioner. Not to mention, it's nice to have privacy for *ahem* adult time. I never thought I'd be so happy to see this tiny, cramped apartment!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

~* Deep Breath, It's a New Day *~

Yep, I'm pep-talking myself. I cannot express how grateful I am that it is a new day, and I can leave yesterday behind. I don't really want to go into all of the gory details that yesterday consisted of. I really do want to just enjoy the fact that with the sun, I got a brand-new day, wide-open and empty, and just waiting for me to fill up the minutes. And boy, do I have things to fill the minutes with!

Because we are leaving early tomorrow (woohoo!) and I am neurotic, here is my to-do list, in no particular order:

1)Wash every single dish in the sink so that there are no funky sink smells when we get back
2) Empty every trash can (for the same reason)
3)Wash every single piece of clothing that is dirty, including the clothes I'm wearing now
4)When those clothes are clean, wash the robe I'll be wearing while the above clothes are washing, and towels
5)Wash all 3 blankets that G (the dog) sleeps on
6) Clean out the fridge and get rid of any food that will go bad while we are gone
7) Put together some snack-packs for the trip
8) Bag up a week's worth of food for G
9) Pack. Check it. Add or subtract items as needed.
10) Set an alarm for Mr. M, so that he can sign out for leave at midnight
11) Set aside cash for tolls

I know I'm a lunatic. But I would have made a pretty good boy scout because I like to be prepared.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

~* Got It! *~

I got a job!! I'll be working at Gold's Gym, starting when I get back from "vacation" next week. Woohoo!!

I don't understand how people have a hard time finding a job down here. It took me a month to get my first one, and that was mostly because I didn't know the area and I was scared to ride the bus. But once I got over that, it's been a piece of cake. Employers down here want to hire people, there are jobs available (not great ones, but still jobs). The problem I've been seeing is that people here don't want to work. They say they want a job, but they don't want to have to actually work. That's a mind-set I just don't understand.

Anyway, I'm off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of...eyes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

~* The Golden Rule *~

I was browsing thru some of the blogs that I read regularly this morning, contemplating sharing my good news with everyone (I got a new job!), when I came across this and it made me cry at 5:45am. Good cry, not bad cry. Read it, and really think about it. We all have room for improvement.

Five Lessons About How To Treat People
-- Author Unknown

1. First Important Lesson - "Know The Cleaning Lady"

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. Second Important Lesson - "Pickup In The Rain"

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3. Third Important Lesson - "Remember Those Who Serve" (this is the one that made me cry)

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "50¢," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "35¢!" she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.

When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4. Fourth Important Lesson - "The Obstacles In Our Path"

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand - "Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition."

5. Fifth Important Lesson - "Giving When It Counts"

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Monday, August 29, 2011

~* Hunting Season *~

Job-hunting, that is. I quit my miserable excuse for a job Saturday evening practically at the demand of Mr. M. Don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to quit, but I usually like to be a bit more prepared when I do.

The entire day had been stressful. It had gotten that way a lot recently, since my previous co-worker left and the new one signed on. But Saturday I decided I had had enough. Nothing major, just a lot of little things.

We were open on the day of one of the worst projected hurricanes to hit the Carolina Coast, so my day started kinda lousy. I knew we weren't gonna get much damage, but still. So, I show up for work at 8:30am and wait for my first customer for two hours. When I got there, the new schedule was stuck to my timecard. It had me coming in at 8:30am on Wednesday to clean. I am not fucking Cinderella, and I can't get there that early. AND I've told them I can't get there that early. My co-worker came in at 10am, and she has a speech impediment. That is, nothing impedes her speech. The girl doesn't shut up. Ever.

Now, let me back up a bit. The only reason both of us were at work to begin with on a Saturday (generally a slow day) was that the Infidels were supposed to be having their anniversary run, and they were due to stop in at our place from about 11:30am-1pm, and there was supposed to be about 60 of them. Well, they finally rolled in at 1pm- about 35 of them- and they only stayed about an hour or so. My co-worker started handling them wrong from the get-go, and I could tell she was upsetting the poor cook. So I stepped in and delegated, and I have to say, things went pretty smoothly from there. When things calmed down, I went to talk to the she-owner about a few things. 1) I brought up the schedule. Oh, don't worry, she and my co-worker had that figured out before she finished the schedule. EXCUSE ME?!?! 2) I expected to be paid more than waitress salary if I was coming in an hour and a half early to play maid. 3) My co-worker was NOT going to take half of my tips that day because she wasn't waitressing. Ok, done. So I go back out, and as I'm taking my first breath since the Infidels left, he-owner comes up to me and says "Standing around again, huh? Doing what you do best." WTF?!?! Even if that was meant as a joke, it's not funny, and it damn sure is not how you talk to an employee who has busted her ass for you without so much as a please, thanks, or good job. The final straw was that she-owner said he-owner wanted to inspect my clean-up before I left. I haven't been inspected in 2 months, and I felt like I had just been demoted. I was so mad, I was red and shaking, but I did it.

When Mr. M picked me up, I conveyed the story of my day, and he practically demanded that I quit. I wanted to quit, but I also wanted to have a backup plan. I hate not having a backup plan. I'm a planner- I like to know that things are gonna be ok. He said he would support me either way, but that I deserved to be treated better. And he's right. I am a damn hard worker, and I DO deserve to be treated better. So, it's Monday morning, and I'm sipping coffee decided whether to go to the pool or paint today. Maybe I'll do both.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

~* Behind Every Good Soldier *~

I read a quote this morning that went something like this: "Behind every good soldier is a great Army wife...holding his PT belt saying 'Honey, you forgot something'." And it's so true!

I love Mr. M to pieces, but he is so forgetful! Well, I am too, but we're forgetful about different things. I, for example, might forget that it's time for an oil change. He might forget to dispose of the oil after he changes the oil himself. It's just a different set of priorities. This morning, he told me "Don't let me forget my cell phone today". Forget your cell phone?? How is that even possible?? I never talk on the phone, but my phone is permanently glued to my back pockets- for texting, of course. I could never forget my cell phone.

Another one I love- he walks out the front door to leave for work. I get a phone call 30 seconds later that goes like this "Honey, I forgot my beret. Can you toss it over the balcony?". Oh, and the keys!! We wandered around Walmart for over half an hour one day trying to figure out where he left his keys only to find out he left them in the ignition!! It's amusing to write about all of this right now, but let me tell you, it's not nearly as amusing when it's happening. Especially when it comes to bills.

I try to remember that I've been paying all of my own bills a lot longer than he has, naturally, since I'm older than he is. So when I ask him about the extra money in the bank account and he replies "Oh, I forgot to pay my insurance this month", I try not to get upset. It's not hard- I'm usually more bewildered than upset. How do you forget to pay something like that? Especially with all the technology- you can have it paid without even thinking about it, or at least have a digital reminder sent to you- I honestly have a hard time understanding how it's possible to be so forgetful. But, he has a hard time seeing how I forget to turn the oven off sometimes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

~* Not So Fast *~

Well, so much for that. I'm not going to the eye doctor today after all. Mr. M told me at 7:30am that he would be able to take me. Then at 9:30am I got a text saying plans changed and the neighbor upstairs would be taking me. Me, being stubborn, decided that I'm just not going. I'm not being passed off on people with no explanation. Dumb move, I know, but I can't help it. I don't like having other people plan out my day with no explanation or input from me. I told you I have control issues. Now I also have vision issues. C'est la vie.

~* I Can See Clearly Now... *~

Well, not just yet, I can't. But I am finally going to the eye doctor this morning. I've had my last pair of 2 week disposable contacts in for the last 2 months- the time has come.

I didn't marry Mr. M for money or for health insurance, but I gotta admit- it's nice to know it's there. However, we both expected the health insurance for me to be a bit more comprehensive. Honestly, we expected it to be the same as it is for him. Actually, for all I know, it is the same. He's not one of those "I need to go to the doctor" types. (Meaning: He's a man) I have never heard of health insurance that will cover an eye exam, but not the part of the exam where they fit you for contacts. I've never heard of health insurance that considers contacts and glasses to be an option, unless you have a separated retina or something extreme like that. Anyone with eyes as bad as mine would know that it is most definitely NOT an option. I've heard of insurance that wouldn't cover the contacts, but never one that splits the eye exam into two separate parts. But at least I get to go, right?

It's tough trying to find a new eye doctor. Or really a new anything down here. I've gotten used to Googling reviews. That's how I found the place that cut my hair last month. They did a good job, but it was pricey. That's also how I found this eye doctor, so wish me luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

~* Did I Jinx It? *~

I know I was incredibly grateful to have some time to myself on Tuesday, but I may have jinxed myself. Late Thursday afternoon, Mr. M got notified that he was being sent to the field from Sunday (today) til Saturday. Dammit.

I know, I know- it all comes with the territory, it's part of being an Army wife, blah blah blah. I get it. I do. But that doesn't mean I love it. I love my husband IN SPITE of the fact that he is a soldier, not because of it. I will never take the time we spend together for granted again. I know it's only a week, and I should consider myself lucky for that (and I do), but I'm definitely hoping this week flies by.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

~* Finally Alone With My Thoughts *~

Whew! Today is the last of my 4-day weekend, and I finally get to enjoy my alone time. Don't get me wrong- I had a fantastic weekend- I just haven't had any time to myself yet. Saturday, Mr. M got done a 24hr duty at 9am, and surprised the hell out of me by not going to sleep. We watched a movie and went to our friends' house for a drama-free barbeque. Sunday, we did a little random shopping and just enjoyed spending the entire day in each others' company. Yesterday, he got to come home after PT because of the 24hr duty, so we went to the gym together, cooked a yummy dinner, and again, just enjoyed being with each other. We've been clicking really well lately, and I love it. I hope I didn't just jinx it.

Work has been interesting. Once we figure out if we would be able to live on his money alone, I'm planning to have the "manager" conversation with my bosses. When I was first hired, they told me that they would come to me in 2-4 weeks for an evaluation and the possibility of my being made a manager, with a salary. Needless to say, that conversation hasn't happened yet. But it's time. I had 94.5 hours in my last paycheck, I had to train the new girl (who may not be great, but apparently she made it all weekend without a major problem), I'm in charge of the schedules, and now I'm supposed to be handling the beer order. I think I deserve more than $2.55 per hour for this. But we need to know if his pay would support us just in case they say no.

I have also been contemplating making a HUGE change to my life and joining the Army myself. Mr. M, bless his heart, doesn't like the idea as my husband, but as my friend he is willing to acknowledge that it may be what I'm looking for. I've kicked myself in the ass for 10 years for not joining right out of high school just to be rebellious. Both of my parents pushed too hard. And now, here I am, pushing 30, with no real direction in life. I don't wanna be a waitress forever, I don't have time or money to go back to school, so...this is an option. Problem- I can't run to save my damn life. I'm trying tho. I'm starting to use the treadmill at the gym, and I've decided that if I can get to a decent time, I'll go see a recruiter in October when my probation is up. That's all I've decided so far.

Friday, August 5, 2011

~* RedShirtFridays *~

Hey y'all. I don't have a whole lotta time this morning, but good news- after a 10hr day today, I get my first day off in 3 weeks!!! I just wanna take a second and mention how much of a supporter I am of Red Shirt Fridays. I wear red every single Friday. Even if you can't make any type of financial contribution to the troops, it doesn't cost a penny to dig out a red shirt and Remember Everyone Deployed for one day every week. I guarantee that if you need to remind yourself "Oh, it's Friday. I'm wearing a red shirt today" you will be thinking of the reason for that red shirt. Support our men and women in the easiest way possible- let them know they haven't been forgotten.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

~* It's Gonna Be A While...*~

This is the last time I'll get to post for a while. The only other server I work with is leaving tomorrow, and she didn't bother to give "notice" til Friday. That means I'll be working non-stop til they find someone to replace her, and the new someone is capable of handling a full shift alone. So it's gonna be a while. On the plus side, I'll have a LOT less stress and a few extra dollars in my pocket.

Ok, let's see...what's been going on? Mr. M finally got reimbursed from the fire that cost him all of his personal belongings while overseas last October. Nothing like good ol' American efficiency. Anyway, he got it, and he spent a good portion of it already. Fuck it, it's his money and he deserved to have some fun with it.

Last Wednesday, we went to lunch with the neighbor upstairs. Her hubby (the one that works with my hubby) was in the field all week, while mine is on a driving detail, so we wanted to do something nice for her. After lunch, the girls went wedding dress shopping while Mr. M went gun shopping =) First, we went to David's Bridal. The snooty bitch with the fake British accent wouldn't let us even try on a dress because we didn't have an appointment. We got pretty much ignored from there. Too bad for the snooty bitch (who works on commission) because I actually found and bought my dress at the next place we went.

Friday night after work, Mr. M and I went to a book signing at Barnes and Noble. "Lions of Kandahar" by Major Rusty Bradley. I'm excited to read it when he's done with it. It was written by an ACTIVE DUTY SF guy. Still active. I think that's cool- freedom of the press and whatnot =)

I worked a 12hour day on Saturday for the Christmas in July Toy Run. I'm not looking forward to having to do that again. True, it's for a good cause, but I was stuck inside all day. The only fun part for me was watching 370 bikes leave out at the same time for that good cause. It was a pretty impressive sight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~* Good Mornings *~

Yeah, I typed that right- mornings. I've had good mornings all week. I've been getting up at 4:45am every day just to spend a few minutes with Mr. M before he leaves for work. We get to spend 45 minutes talking, drinking coffee, laughing at the dog, and dancing in the kitchen. These kinds of mornings make me realize why I put up with all the rest of it.

We've actually kinda found a nice little groove over the past few days and I'm loving it. Ever since I went on my cleaning spree, come to think of it. We both sat and had a heart-to-heart about the things that have been bothering us lately, and promised to be more considerate of each other. I know I sound like an ad for couples' therapy, but it definitely helped. He's as hard-headed as I am the majority of the time, but when it's time to really communicate, he's in it with me and he'll stick it out until we both make our points understood.

So, I'm tipping my coffee cup (or just lifting it to my lips) and saying "cheers to good mornings, and happy hump day all!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

~* Monday Again *~

Holy crap, we finally had a good weekend =) We had a little, um, disagreement yesterday afternoon, but it was all in all a great weekend! I'm so excited and relieved to be able to say that!!

Let's re-cap. Well, Friday night was pretty uneventful and there really isn't much to talk about. We found out that Army insurance isn't nearly as awesome for spouses as it is for the sponsor, and that's about it. No, nothing major went wrong. I just need to make an eye appointment ASAP so I can order new contacts. Apparently, insurance for me will cover the exam, but not the contact fitting or lenses. Weird, but ok.

Saturday, I worked until 2pm, and we were planning to go to the gym when I got done. Mr. M came up to get lunch about an hour before my shift was over, so he called up his friend B and B's wife S to come keep him company. S is a really cool chick- she's also older than her man, so we're kind of on the same page. Unfortunately for her, she is about 4 months pregnant. So Mr. M, B, and I wound up sitting around for a few hours after my shift just drinking and eating and talking. Well, the guys did most of the drinking. I felt bad for S, having to watch pitcher after pitcher disappear, but she's a good sport and we got along pretty well.  But we didn't get to the gym. Saturday night, Mr. M and I ventured back to Lucky's for the first time since the shooting, but we didn't like the bartender, so we only stayed for one drink each. Then he literally fell asleep kissing me. Like actually on my face. Poor guy was so tired.

Yesterday was a good good day. I got up nice and early and made veggie omelets and blueberry muffins for breakfast, and we did get to the gym. My workout tried to kick my ass, but I put it in its place =) I felt sooooo good afterward. Hell, I'm still feeling good. I've been working out for almost a month I guess, and I can feel the changes in my body more than I can see them. I have more energy, my PMS has been virtually nonexistent this month, I have more confidence (which I didn't think was even possible), and I get to bond with my man. I've lost an inch on my waist, too =)

Before we went to the gym, we went shopping. I don't know if you've noticed my links, but I'm a member of Soldiers' Angels (, and I recently adopted my first soldier. Being that Mr. M knows what it's like to be deployed, I told him about it and got him to go shopping for care package supplies with me. He's been so supportive of the idea, and he came up with some really awesome care package gifts. It was actually his idea for me to join the site, back around Thanksgiving, and I've been sending letters overseas ever since. If you've ever wanted to contribute, but haven't been sure how, check out the site. There are so many "teams" you can join! I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but when I was stuck in my apartment in Baltimore with nobody to talk to and no way of getting anywhere, this saved my life, so I'm a HUGE fan.

Anyway, I feel the ADD setting's a picture of the newest me, taken yesterday morning before the gym. Can't see much difference, but I feel it =) Thanks Jillian Michaels and Mr. M!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

~* Cinderelly, Cinderelly *~

Our apartment is driving me batshit crazy. I've never understood that term- batshit crazy- but I think it probably fits right now.

In terms of square-footage, this apartment is a little larger than my last apartment in Baltimore, which was plenty of space. For me. Singularly. No men, no pets, just me. And when I moved here to NC, that's exactly how I moved- just me. I wasn't planning for that situation to change at all, let alone as quickly as it did. I've realized that that is part of my problem. When I moved, this was MY apartment, and I could set it up and keep it as clean or cluttered as I liked. I have control issues.

I haven't adjusted well to sharing "my" space, I admit it. I like things to be the way I like them. I'm not fantastic at compromise. I'm trying to get better, but it's a process. Mr. M had the cojones to say to me last night "I feel like aside from dishes and laundry, I'm the only one who cleans". That's because it's all your mess, genius. He will go thru the whole place and clean it to shining. Then the next day, he throws clothes, work gear, papers, trash, whatever everywhere! So here's my solution- today, I will CLEAN clean the whole place and I'm gonna put all of his "stuff" in a "Mr. M Lost-and-Found" area. All of his stuff that may or may not be important will go here, so I don't throw anything away that he may need, but it will be out of my way. That's the best compromise I can come up with.

On a different subject- I got to see Charlie Daniels live on the 4th of July on post. We had been at the gym on post, so we were already gross and sweaty, so we figured "Why not get a little gross-er and sweaty-er standing in the sun listening to some awesome music for free?". Little Big Town also played, but we had to get home to the dog before then. Here are a few pictures of the band, which didn't come out great, and of the paratroopers, which was phenomenal.

Friday, July 1, 2011

~* July?!?! *~

Holy crap, it's July. As I get older, time seems to make less and less sense. For example, I can't believe it's July already, but I feel like I've been living in Fayetteville a lot longer than 3 months. I don't get it.

I've been smoke-free now for 3 whole weeks (yay me!), and some days I wonder how. Believe me, I've had more than a couple of situations in the past 3 weeks that definitely called for a foot-long cigarette. I haven't mentioned a whole lot of them because, believe it or not, I really don't like to complain. My job has been a big stressor, and every now and again there is a situation at home, but I'm most proud of myself for not smoking when I drink. Now, I don't drink NEARLY as much as I used to, but drinking and smoking have just always gone together for me. Like peanut butter and jelly. I put myself to the test a week ago today.

Last Friday night, Mr. M and I went to Lucky's, a little Irish bar right down the road from the apartment. It's a pretty regular Friday night spot for us and a bunch of the guys he works with. It's not super-close to post, so I don't understand the mass appeal, but I love the convenience. And it's NEVER super-crowded, which is always a plus for me. I tend to get uneasy in big crowds. Anyway, there were a lot of us hanging out last week- more than usual- and we were all having a really great time. And I didn't so much as take a drag off of a bummed cigarette. Mr. M and I left probably around 11:30pm, because I had to be at work the next morning at 8:30am.

Turned out to be a blessing in disguise that I had to be at work early. Two of our friends that we had been hanging out with that night got shot in the parking lot of the bar at closing time. From my understanding, there was some macho pushing and shoving and shit-talking....and people got shot. One of them was a very good friend of Mr. M, a really sweet guy with a pregnant wife. Luckily, he only got shot in the leg, through and through, and he was sent home pretty quickly. The other guy was someone I had just met that night, and we shared pitchers of beer for a while. He seemed like a typical alpha-dog douchebag, but he still didn't deserve to get shot. He got hit in the stomach, and the bullet nicked his intestines, colon, and pancreas, and exited out his lower back. He is still in the hospital, but expected to recover.

Now, you may be wondering why I'm posting this when I intended this blog to be about my experiences as a military wife. I have a few reasons- 1) I lived in Baltimore for 8 years, and never knew anyone who had gotten shot - 2) These boys are friends of Mr. M- and 3) THESE BOYS ARE SOLDIERS. These boys fought for your fucking right to bear arms, and you choose to use that right against them??? Are you fucking kidding me??? They survive getting shot at every day for a year in hostile territory, just to come home to the same thing??? Excuse all the language, but I am disgusted. I don't even know what else to say- just wanted to share all that.

And I still haven't touched a cigarette =)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

~* Better Late Than Never, Right? *~

Wow, I just realized that I've never really introduced myself. No wonder nobody ever reads this =) So, being a little worse than fashionably late- please allow me to apologize, and introduce myself old-school myspace style. Enjoy!

Name: Jen
Age: 28 (which is ancient in an Army town, with a younger lower-enlisted soldier hubby)
Gender: if you haven't figured that out, please stop reading now
Status: happily married to Mr. M, age 23
Hometown: born in Newark, DE, but I call Baltimore "home" since I spent my adult life there
Current town: Fayetteville, NC
Job: server/bartender
Parents still together?: Not since I was about 5
Siblings: brother and sister, 1 younger of each. 4 older half-brothers.
Pets: chihuahua named Gus
Smoker?: Not anymore!! 2 1/2 weeks smoke free!!
Drinker?: yes, but not as much as I used to. Learned my lesson the hard way.
Hair: blonde-ish red-ish
Eyes: blue/gray/green depending on the day
Height: 5'4" on my good days
Vision: still lousy with contacts
Freckles: tons
Shoe Size: 6, or a 4 in kids
Piercings: nose and ears. I've had tons more, but they just didn't work out
Tattoos: 10 (for now)
Best Feature: eyes
Worst Feature: skin - I still break out like a teen hitting puberty
Look more like Mom or Dad?: maybe both, maybe neither. I can't tell.
Favorite Color: silver
Favorite Number: 3
Favorite Animal: baby giraffes
Favorite Flower: hibiscus
Favorite Food: anything seafood, especially steamed crabs
Favorite Ice Cream: soft-serve chocolate with butterscotch topping
Favorite Candy: Skor bars and Laffy Taffy
Favorite Alcoholic Drink: mostly beer. margaritas. lime rum and coke.
Favorite Non-: good ol' H2O
Favorite Musical Genre: depends on the day. I like it all.
Favorite Book: Farenheit 451
Favorite Movie: Wizard of Oz
Favorite TV show: Jeopardy
Favorite Season: summer
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Favorite Sport: Football
Can you drive?: technically, yes. legally, no. DUI last year- haven't had the money to pay the fines yet.
Can you speak another language?: Sarcasm counts, right? I'm fluent.
Did you do well in school?: yes, very
Do you collect anything?: not intentionally
Do you have any obsessions?: life
Do you have any regrets?: not exactly, but there are a few things I would change if I could
Do you ever smile for no reason?: all the time
Do you support gay marriage?: 100%
Do you trust easily?: strangely, yes
Do you forgive easily?: that depends on the person
Do you get along with your parents?: for the most part
How do you vent your anger?: in my blog =)
What are your fears?: birds, drowning, going blind, fire
What are your goals?: get my license back, travel a bit, be a good wife, be a good person in general, get        back to school, take a vacation....
What are your weaknesses?: I'm easily distracted, I tend to only see the good in people, I'm a dreamer
What are your strengths?: I'm a dreamer, an optimist, and I stand by my beliefs
What do you wanna be when you grow up?: a kid again
Are you:
a daydreamer?: absolutely
shy?: not at all
talkative?: if I have something to say
energetic?: somedays
happy?: yes, more than most people
depressed?: no
funny?: some people think so
boring?: possibly
mean?: no
nice?: I try to be
caring?: yes
trustworthy?: yes
confident?: incredibly
friendly?: I think so
smart?: not as smart as I used to be, but yeah
sarcastic?: oh yeah
dependable?: definitely
mature?: when I need to be
religious?: not so much
logical?: only when it's necessary
outgoing?: yeah
daring?: sometimes
lazy?: no, not at all
optimistic?: oh yeah
persuasive?: I could sell ice to an eskimo
curious?: about everything!
artistic?: well, I'm creative...artistic implies some level of talent
respectful?: very
hot-headed?: nope
romantic?: not as much as I wish I was
ambitious?: yes, but my ambitions change daily
jealous?: nope

Monday, June 27, 2011

~* Couples Who Sweat Together...*~

We've both been working out lately, but he does it during his lunch break, and I do it at home before work. Yesterday, we finally got to go to one of the gyms on post together. I gotta admit, the first one he took me to intimidated the hell out of me. It was one level, all the equipment was squished together, and there was only one other female. I know that's the one Mr. M really wanted to go to because it has a protein bar in it, but I just couldn't picture being comfortable there. So he took me to another one, which turned out to be much better. It has an upper level just for cardio, the machines on the lower level are more spread out so you don't feel like someone is right on top of you, and it wasn't too crowded.

We spent about an hour and a half at the gym. I spent an hour doing cardio upstairs, listening to some reggae while pedaling thru a hellish program on the bike. Mr. M laughed at me listening to reggae while working out, but I love it. I hate cardio with a passion, and reggae helps me relax and get thru it with a smile on my face. After that, he came up to get me and show me how some of the machines work, which was helpful. If you've never spent an abundance of time in the gym, it can be kind of scary.

We didn't spend a lot of time "together" at the gym, but we've both been so stressed lately that I think it definitely helped to just be able to say "Hey, I know we're both freaking out right now, so let's go distract ourselves for a while". When we got home, we just curled up and watched a movie for a while, which was nice, too. I hope he has some luck trying to figure out this BAH situation today. If not, I don't know how we're gonna pay rent on Friday. We've used all my money just trying to make it thru this month. So, fingers crossed...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

~* Failure? *~

So, after my post about the President's plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, I got into a conversation about it with the hubs, and what he had to say has blown my mind.

He doesn't understand why Americans are so supportive of a troop withdrawl. He believes that the troops were sent over there to do a job, and that job has not been completed. He believes that withdrawing the troops is equal to admitting failure. Wow.

This is how I see things- we (USA) wanted to get Osama, and we did. Mission accomplished. Bring the boys home.

He believes our mission is to "westernize" Afghanistan. The trouble is, they don't want to be "westernized". And really, who can blame them? We don't exactly have our shit together these days. But because of their resistance, he believes that we can't settle for teaching them, we need to conquer them, or else we have failed and leave ourselves vulnerable. I am shocked and amazed to hear this opinion from a soldier, and to know that he is not the only one with this mindset. I don't usually get into discussions like this with Mr. M because we very rarely share the same opinion,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

~* Obeezy Thinks 30% Is Sufficient?!?! *~

Mr. M's nickname for our Commander-in-Chief is Obeezy, and after reading this article, I'm too upset to bother with any respectful names. I'm happy to have any troops home, but 30,000 out of 100,000 is just not good enough. Listen to 75% of America's citizens! (Taken directly from

Obama to announce plan to pull 30K troops out of Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 21, 2011 8:50 a.m. EDT
  • NEW: Plan would pull 30,000 surge forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012
  • The president expected to speak on troop withdrawals Wednesday
  • The initial drawdown of U.S. troops will begin in July
  • About 100,000 troops are in Afghanistan
Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama is expected to announce a plan that would result in the 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn completely from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official told CNN.
This comes ahead of the president's expected speech on the Afghanistan troop drawdown on Wednesday.
The time-frame would give U.S. commanders another two "fighting" seasons with the bulk of U.S. forces still available for combat operations.
An estimated 100,000 U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan, some 30,000 of which are part of the so-called surge ordered in late 2009 in a bid to control the rising violence.
Obama is mulling how many troops should be withdrawn this summer and by the end of the year.
He is expected to discuss preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, the official said.
The drawdown will be accomplished by troops returning home and not being replaced as well as cancelling some proposed deployments.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Obama had yet to make a final decision on the size and scope of the troop withdrawal, but would do so "soon."
"The president is still in a process of finalizing his decision on the pace and scope of the drawdown that will begin in July of 2011," Carney said . "He's finalizing his decision. He's reviewing the options and the assessments and will have an announcement to make soon."
Obama has said troops would begin coming home in July, and he recently indicated the number would be "significant."
The president has repeatedly said he is confident the United States can meet the self-imposed deadline to begin bringing U.S. troops back from Afghanistan without compromising Afghan security, though military commanders and government officials have raised concern about the readiness of Afghan security forces.
"We have made great strides toward achieving the objectives laid out in the mission that the president articulated in December of 2009," Carney said. "And he will make his decision based on the need to succeed further in achieving those objectives and to transfer authority gradually, security authority, over to the Afghan national security forces, with an eye to the fact that, as agreed to by NATO in Lisbon, we will eventually transfer full security lead over to the ANSF in 2014."
Nearly three-quarters of Americans polled this month said they support the United States pulling some or all of its forces from Afghanistan.
That figure jumped 10 points since May, likely as a result of the death of Osama bin Laden, pollsters said.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted June 3 through June 7, with 1,015 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

~* Day 11 *~

Today is my 11th day smoke-free =) I've gotten a lot of support, and Mr. M says he is really proud of me. It's funny though, I don't really feel proud of myself. I think I might when the cravings stop. They've been worse this week than they were last week. But I'm not giving in. I'm working out every day, and I feel better already. I have been having some weird dreams tho, and I've heard that's a side effect of quitting smoking. I've dreamed I was screaming at someone twice in the past week, and woken up with a sore throat. Weird.

Anyway. Life is pretty much the same for me. I had to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday while Mr. M had a 3 day weekend. I wish I could find a regular Monday- Friday job so that we could have the weekends to spend together, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

I've been wondering lately if I've become too sensitive to him. I've always been a fiercely independent girl, but I know that he needs to feel wanted and needed, and maybe that has had an effect on me. As I said, he had all weekend off. He didn't do a whole lot with it- hung out with some friends, washed the bike, helped someone move a bed. Nothing major. I got up at 4:45am yesterday, like I've been doing every day to spend a little time with him in the morning, and kissed him. He pulled away from me, saying he didn't "have time". Excuse me? How the fuck do you not "have time" to spend 30 seconds making out with your wife? Oh, you had to steam your ACUs at 5am on Monday morning? Did you not "have time" to do it in the 3 entire days you were off??? Hmm.

I feel like I complain about my husband a lot. I really don't mean to. I'm very sensitive when it comes to him, and I'm terribly OCD. I like things, particularly around the house, the way I want them when I want them that way. I've been trying really hard to compromise, but it's easier said than done. Not only do I love Mr. M to death, but I am completely head-over-heels in love with him. I just don't really have any other outlet for my venting. I do think he knows how much he upset me yesterday tho, because this morning he had taken the trash out and apparently looked thru my birthday hints by the time I woke up.

I have hope that today will be a good day =)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

~* To BAH Or Not To BAH...*~

That is the question. Well, we got an answer...although not the one we wanted. Mr. M won't start receiving his BAH until the 30th. Not great news, but at least it will be here in time for the next round of bills. I don't understand how they figure that stuff out- the neighbor upstairs got married 2 weeks after we did, but he got his BAH this week. Anyway, it's too early to start complaining. It's on its way.

But, I do feel bad for Mr. M. My birthday is next week, and without having that extra income, I don't want to ask for anything. Well, truth be told, there's not a whole lot that I really want anyway. After the last year and half of my life, I've learned to live off the basics. "What do I want?" turned into "What do I need?", and I haven't really snapped out of that. I don't need much. But we did start a "hint cup" for birthdays and holidays and the like, and I have put a few "hints" in it, and now I'm feeling guilty about it. Damn Catholic guilt. All I really really really want is dinner, cake, someone else to do the dishes, and a good night with the hubby =)

Anyway, seeing as how it's Wednesday again...happy hump day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

~* Making Monday My Bitch *~

So, I'm always hearing about how tired and sore Mr. M is because of the physical stresses of his job. Now, I completely understand that his job is a lot more physically demanding than my own, but hearing about it constantly makes me feel thisbig. So I decided to do something about it.

Now, I'm not in bad shape, but I'm not in great shape either. I've been smoking for 7 years, and I just quit 3 days ago. Really quit. I haven't had a single one since Friday night. We don't have a scale, but I'd guess I'm about average weight for my height- not chunky, but not skinny. I walk a mile to and from the bus stop on days that I work, but I couldn't run that mile without feeling like I was dying. So, there's room for improvement.

Today is Day #1 of The Best Me I Can Be Challenge (I just came up with that). With some motivation from my Hulk of a hubby and some direction from Jillian Michaels, I am determined to just better myself all around. The smoking thing isn't really bothering me, and I enjoy eating healthy already...but damn, Jillian kicked my ass with my first workout in a loooooooong time this morning. But it feels good. And I know that when I finish this 30 day program, I'm going to look and feel a LOT better, and maybe then Mr. M won't see me as just a wimpy, delicate girl anymore. I have an inner badass and in a month, she'll be here for everyone to see =)

I'm attaching a few pics of me today. Hopefully, I'll see some changes soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

~* Yet Another Unhappy Hump Day *~

Damn, Wednesdays are just not my day, it seems.

Yesterday started out really well. I got up at 5am, made the hubby some breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, played with the dog, got myself ready, and went to work. I had a slow day at work, but I was still in a pretty good mood. Then Mr. M asked if I wanted him to pick me up from work. He had carpooled to work with the neighbor upstairs, and they got done early. So I said yes, of course. I was almost done my closing duties, and I had expected to be finished by the time they arrived.

But I wasn't. I ran into some problems that took a little time to fix. Mr. M got impatient, and apparently so did the neighbor. I told the hubby that if he was in that much of a hurry, he could leave and I'd just take the damn bus because I couldn't leave my job unfinished. Well...he was in that much of a hurry, I guess, because damned if they didn't leave me. And it figures that I was ready to go 2 minutes later. My kinda luck. So I got stuck waiting around for 45 more minutes for Mr. M to come back and pick me up. We spent the majority of the evening giving each other the silent treatment. But, again to his credit, he was willing (and ABLE!) to sit down and talk things over with me. We're ok today, but I really have to find a way to stop wasting the precious little time I get to spend with him.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

~* A Tiny Bit of Relief *~

So, we got the AER loan last week and the bills are all paid. There isn't anything left, but everything that needed to be taken care of has been, so that's a little less stress to deal with. Amen to paid bills =)

I feel like it's been a while since I posted, but I think it's only been about a week. I've been pretty busy with work, and I don't even usually turn the computer on when Mr. M is home. You (my imaginary reader) haven't missed much. Let's see...

We finally did the joint bank account thing.
He got a 4 day weekend for Memorial Day. I didn't.
He got in a fight over his weekend. I didn't. (In all fairness, he did the right thing)
We did have a "double date night" with our upstairs neighbors- a movie and dinner on Monday.
We had our one month anniversary...started out with an argument, but it all ended well =)
And that's really about it. All in all, it's been a pretty quiet week. Let's hope I didn't just jinx it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

~* Stats from CNN *~

War by the numbers

Iraq war

Ramona & Robert Nichols Began in March 2003. Official combat operations ended last August but 47,000 U.S. troops remain as transitional forces. They are scheduled to begin coming home this summer.

Afghanistan war

Rebecca Nichols Began in October 2001. About 90,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed.

2.2 million

Number of troops that have served in the nation's longest running wars, according to the Pentagon.

Invisible wounds

Combat stress

Rebecca Nichols About 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from a psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, nightmares, anxiety, irritability, anger and depression.

Brain injury

Rebecca Nichols About 68 percent of the combat wounded also suffer from traumatic brain injury or TBI. This is a signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where soldiers are subjected to blasts and concussions. A 2008 Rand study said: "Closed head wounds from blasts, which can damage the brain without leaving an external mark, are especially prevalent in Iraq." If detected, both PTSD and TBI are treatable.

Alcohol abuse

12 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans report alcohol problems on post-deployment health assessment forms. (Source: 2009 Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans of America (IAVA) study)

Only 0.2 percent were referred to treatment. One reason for the low treatment rate could be because it is not confidential. (Source: IAVA study)


1,100 members of the armed forces took their own lives between 2005 and 2009 -- an average of one suicide every 36 hours. (Source: Department of Defense task force study)

6,500 veterans commit suicide each year. (Source: The Veterans Administration) Vets make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for about 20 percent of suicides.
I got this information directly from a story on this morning, and I can't find the words to express my feelings toward these statistics. I'm both angry and sad. I want to find a way to help these men, and to ensure that it doesn't happen to my Soldier. I just...don't know how.

Monday, May 23, 2011

~* You'll Lose the Battle with the Bottle *~

Life is full of stress, some major, most minor. A lot of it is in your perspective. I'm a hopeless optimist, so I tend to view a lot of stressors as minor. Mr. M doesn't view a lot of things as stressors period, so when he is stressed, it's always something major. He has, and this is a quote, 3 ways of dealing with stress. 1) going to the gym 2) "adult time" and 3) drinking. Sigh.

We've both been really stressed about our current financial situation lately. I don't need to expand on this subject. I've already touched on it before, and really, nobody wants to hear about anyone else's financial struggles. Saturday, I got called in to work to cover for V. until 3pm. I wasn't thrilled, because I had really been looking forward to spending the entire day with my hubby, but I didn't complain because every penny helps.

After he picked me up from work, we went to a friend's house for a small barbecue. Everyone was drinking, except the pregnant girl and the minors (of course). But nobody was drinking nearly as much as Mr. M. Instead of drinking beer like the rest of us, he downed an entire bottle of Red Stag in maybe an hour or so. The aftermath was not attractive.

Yesterday morning, I asked him about it. That's when I got the "3 stress relievers" response. I understand, better than most people, the idea behind wanting to drink your problems away. But I also know, better than most, that when it comes down to it, you'll never win the battle between you and the bottle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

~* Friends Come and Go *~

I don't usually post twice in one day, but today I kinda feel like I need to. I've mentioned the fact that my marriage has been kind of a secret (well, I finally told my sister on Monday). We've been throwing the idea of the courthouse thing at Mr. M's mom to feel out her reaction. She seems ok with it, even offering to pay for the wedding next year, so the secret isn't so necessary anymore.

However, I don't think I've mentioned how Mr. M and I met.

That first marriage I talked about before- it was to Mr. M's good friend. He says best friend. I'll reserve my own opinion on that one. My first marriage lasted a whole 11 weeks. I made my share of mistakes in that marriage, not the least of which was not realizing that I was NOT ready to be married. My ex harbors a lot of hard feelings toward me because he thinks I made soooooo many more mistakes than I really did. His opinion doesn't affect me- I know what I did wrong- but it has played a part in my current relationship. My first marriage fell apart right before Mr. M deployed to Afghanistan, but for some bizarre reason, we stayed in touch. At first, it was just a short Facebook know "hey, take care of yourself over there" kinda thing. It just kinda grew from there. When it became clear that our relationship was growing, Mr. M asked for time to break the news to my ex on his own terms, and I naturally agreed. I have no contact with my ex, so I didn't care.

I did tell my best friend the basics of my new relationship, and I asked her to keep it quiet because she and her husband are good friends with my ex and his girlfriend. I was trying to respect Mr. M's wishes and share my happiness with my friend all at the same time. She has been there for me thru thick and thin, although it has been mostly rough patches on my end. I haven't had a whole lot of good news to share with her in the past, and I was excited to change that.

Over the weekend, Mr. M decided to finally have that conversation with my ex. It quickly became clear that he had already known. When I asked my friend if she had said anything, she said simply "people talk". Be that as it may, I don't talk to very many people. I was disappointed, and then it was topped off with a few low blows last night, especially when she said she was tired of making excuses to explain why we're still friends. I know I haven't been the best friend, and I've expressed this to her before. But dammit, I try. Then she got upset that I hadn't told her that I was already married. After knowing she couldn't keep her mouth shut with the one thing I asked her to, I had to laugh at that. The only person I told was my sister, and like I said, that wasn't until two days ago. Considering the only reason I'm actually married right now is for the Army's convenience, I don't think I was wrong to want the "wedding" to seem like the real deal. I don't know how she found out anyway. Maybe she read this blog. Who knows? All I know is that it sucks to know that 15 years of friendship just got rinsed away like chalk on the sidewalk. And I feel awful for Mr. M- some idealistic part of him hoped that my ex would understand, like a grown-up, and he could be the best man. Instead, he got closure on the end of a friendship that had been on the rocks long before he and I got together.

~* Happy Hump Day? *~

Ha, if I'm lucky. Mr. M had to report for formation at effing 4am this morning, which means he had to get up at 2:30am to take the dog out and get ready. And I know he was NOT in a good mood about getting up, and while he was taking time getting ready, the dog shit on the floor ( I keep telling him to take the dog out right away when he wakes up). So...tonight should be interesting. Hopefully a yummy dinner and a few beers will help.

I miss the physical aspect of our relationship. Not just the sex, but all of it. Kissing, cuddling, the whole nine yards. He's so worn out when he gets home, and I'm so busy with dinner and dishes and laundry. It's like as soon as dinner is done, he falls asleep. And I can't even really be mad about it, not with the crazy hours he's had to work this week. I'm just craving some "us" time. On top of that, this is All-American week, so he has to wear the same PT uniform all day every day, and he only has one tee shirt, so I'm washing it every freakin night. He's awake long enough to take the shirt off, then I have to stay up to make sure it gets in the dryer. I'm really not even venting this morning...I just miss my husband.

Monday, May 16, 2011

~* Time Flies *~

 So, I was slapped in the face yesterday morning with the reality that May is half over. That means that June's rent, electricity, and cable bills will all be due in 2 weeks. ( I don't know how every single one of my bills is due between the 1st and the 5th). Mr. M hasn't started receiving BAH or BAS yet because apparently someone higher up dropped the ball with the paperwork approvals. I dunno. I don't really understand it, but I know I'm panicking. Hopefully, it will all come in with his next check so he doesn't need to take out a loan just to pay bills. I'm not gonna hold my breath, but my fingers are crossed. And it's rough, because I feel like a failure because I can't cover it all by myself anymore. It's a weird feeling sometimes, to realize that I have gone from being a fully self-sufficient girl to half of an equal partnership. But only half, no more and no less.

On the plus side, we did finally make it to the grocery store last week and we have a fully stocked refrigerator for a while =) And we've been getting along a LOT better, no more bickering. I think that with me working, maybe we have both realized that if we're not getting much time together, the time we have should be better spent. Whatever it is, I truly believe that I am a lucky lucky girl.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

~* Better Today *~

Things have gotten much better since my last post, and now I feel guilty for ranting so much. Friday night, Mr. M and I sat down and talked about what was bothering each of us. That is one of my favorite things about my husband- he is always willing to TALK things out and find a solution with me. I truly feel like I have a partner who is in this right there with me, giving as much as I am.

I started my new job on Saturday, and let me tell ya, it's rough. After only being out of work for a month and a half, my body has gotten lazy. Hopefully it won't take too long to snap out of it, because I have a very physically demanding job. I work in the Speed Demon Bar & Grill at the Victory dealership. I gotta hand it to servers everywhere- bartending was easy compared to serving! Everything I needed (including customers) was right there in front of me. None of this running back and forth and back and forth stuff. But it's fun, and I'll get used to it. Plus, I have a pretty cool co-worker, V. She's a laid-back kinda chick who is with a man who just recently got out of the Army, so she understands the stresses I'm going thru. All 4 of us hung out and shot some pool after we got done work on Sunday, which was not the best day of the week to be out, I'm sure. But it was sooooooo nice to have some more estrogen in the room!!

So Sunday evening almost turned disastrous. Another example of how awesome my hubby really is. I was at work from 11am-6pm, so he offered to go to the commissary and do the grocery shopping. He hates grocery shopping with me anyway, because I'm so OCD. The cart needs to be organized the way I want it put on the belt, so that it goes into the bags the way I want. Anyway, he practically jumped at the chance to go alone, so I wasn't gonna argue. He's a big boy, he can handle it.

Except that he didn't. He wound up hanging out with his buddies all day, lost track of time, and was almost late coming to pick me up from work. We didn't talk about it right away because, like I said, we went to shoot some pool. When we got home, I told him that it sucked that when he works all day, he comes home to a clean apartment, a dish-less sink, and dinner either ready or almost ready, but I came home and still had to clean up and wash dishes and make dinner and worry about an empty fridge. Instead of going all defensive like a lot of men I know would, he simply asked how I would like to split the housework from that point on. God, I love him!

Oh, oh, oh-- two days running that he remembered to pull the shower curtain closed =)

Friday, May 6, 2011

~* Craving a Cigarette *~

So, I've "quit" smoking. I put it in quotations, because it's not exactly intentional. I just don't have money right now, I don't have a car, and I know Mr. M is not a fan. He wouldn't ever tell me to just quit, but I know how he feels about it. When I do smoke, I always wash my hands and rinse my mouth with mouthwash afterward for his sake. But it's been 24 hours since I had a cigarette, and dammit, I want one.

I don't know why there's so much tension between us lately. We haven't even been married for 2 full weeks! We've only had sex 4 times since we got married, and he blames that on the fact that we just got a dog on Easter. Then give the damn dog away!! I would much rather have my husband than a freakin' dog any day!!

Mr. M left for work this morning in a pissy mood, and then texted me telling me I made it worse because I "had an attitude" when I told him that I hope he comes home in a better mood. Yeah, I did have an attitude. I wake up with his alarm at 4:15am five days a week. I stay awake AT LEAST until I'm sure he's up, and not back asleep. I get up to hook the chain on the door when he leaves. I stay awake until he lets me know he made it back to post, between 5:30am and 6am. Monday thru Friday, this is my routine. I don't start my job until tomorrow, so I don't HAVE to get up that early. I do it because I care. I feel like he kinda takes that for granted, and just expects me to be up because he is. I know for damn sure that he won't be up with me at 6am on Saturday while I'm getting ready for work.

I dunno. I hate venting so much. I just want things to be good between us again, but his job is wearing him down mentally right now. They did decide to "grant" him 5 days of leave, which they informed him of yesterday. Doesn't do any good now, so he sees it as a slap in the face. He has to take 5 leave days to stay at home and do nothing really. We can't go back home for the visit. Well, he could, but I told my job that I will be available, so I'll most likely be working. I hate seeing him so miserable, and it tears me up that he thinks I'm making it worse. I try my best to make his home life quiet and easy and stress-free. I don't know what else I can do...Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

~* Wife or Mother? *~

Today, I'm maybe even more frustrated than I was yesterday. Sure, I'll chalk some of it up to PMS, but some of it I believe is completely valid.

I love my husband to death, I really do. But he is a complete slob. Maybe this is because he has to be so squared away for his job, so he doesn't want to bother when he's home. I get it. But I hate it. We have a pretty small apartment, so when there's a mess, it takes over. I hate to be a nag or sound like his mother, but Jesus Christ man, is it necessary to leave clothes all over the living room, receipts all over the counter, and crumbs all over the kitchen?

He tells me he can't take a hint, so just say what I want. I told him on Monday that I wanted him to clean the drains in the kitchen sinks because it just grosses me out. Still not done. I told him I wanted him to put his 3 loads of clean clothes away before I washed another load. Still not done. I've told him repeatedly that I'd love it if he pulled the shower curtain closed to cut back on icky mold. Every freaking day, it's left open. And for God's sake, I would LOVE to have more than an hour and a half per day with him before he falls asleep!

Look, I know he has a tough job and works long freakin' days. I do, I understand, I sympathize, and I do whatever I can to make his life easier. I cook dinner almost every day. I set the alarm on the coffee pot so it's ready when he gets up. I do his laundry twice a week. I pay the bills. I make the grocery lists. I keep the apartment as clean as I can. But I just got a job, I start on Saturday. I don't want my frustration to turn to resentment when I'm working and playing Holly HomeMaker, too.

God, grant me the strength....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

~* Disappointment *~

So, today I've been an Army wife for 9 days. Mr. M proposed to me on Easter Sunday (he put the ring in my Easter basket, aww), and we did the courthouse thing the next day. I wasn't a huge fan of the courthouse thing, since this is my second marriage, and that's how the first one happened. But, I've learned that the courthouse marriage makes things easier for a soldier. He can start getting BAH, which he's really looking forward to (of course).

Let me clarify- this is not a contract marriage. I truly love Mr. M with all of my heart, and I have no doubt that he feels the same way about me. The rush of the marriage is just hurdle #1 that comes with the territory, I suppose. I haven't been able to tell my family or friends that we are married yet. Everyone thinks we are simply engaged, and will be actually getting married next October. We are planning to have a "wedding" next year, but the secret has become a necessity because of his traditional family. I hate secrets.

The first big disappointment of being an Army wife was dumped in my lap at 8am this morning. Mr. M was planning to take leave starting tomorrow, to give us time to get all of our paperwork in order and for a brief visit home (Delaware). His leave got denied. I have to tell my whole family that I won't be able to come see them as planned. It's especially upsetting for me because my Dad is 77 years old, and I want to get in as much time as I can with him while I can. Now, I have no idea when I'll see him again. I feel selfish thinking like that, since Mr. M just got back from a year in Afghanistan in January, but I can't help it.

Part of me has been angry all day (well, for the 2 hours since I got the news). I feel like maybe if he had put in for leave earlier, he wouldn't have gotten denied. I know he does tend to procrastinate. It's one of the weird balancing acts of our relationship. He procrastinates, I get things done immediately. One of many weird balancing acts. Then, I get bitter. One of his soldier buddies lives in the apartment directly above ours, and he will be going on leave starting tomorrow so he can go back to Texas, get married, do paperwork, and have a few days alone with his new wife. I haven't gotten a single day alone with my new husband and now we don't have time to go to the paperwork and it's not fucking fair. Gah, I'm being a selfish, whiny bitch. I should have preempted this post with a PMS warning. Sorry.

OK, I'm done venting for now. Time to go pop a Midol.
" Don't place your better days in the future."