Sunday, December 30, 2012

~* RSVP *~

Friday night, one of my clients invited me to a party at her house the next night. My first invitation to a party in I-don't-know-how-long. Maybe my first ever alone. 70s and 80s themed. Ummm.

I was TOLD to go. By more than one person. Apparently, the entire gym has taken it upon themselves to make sure I get out more in the coming year. I guess I'm the new pet project. So, I agreed to go. But what the hell was I going to wear?? I had just packed up most of my stuff...

This is what I came up with.

And ya know what? I had a freakin' blast. I was the token white girl, which, where I come from would have been a little awkward...but not here. Not with these people. There was a DJ playing old school 80s hip hop, good food, good people...just a really really good time. I'm so happy I went!! I can't wait for the next chance to try something new!

Friday, December 28, 2012

~* List-Making *~

I had a good long talk with one of my clients yesterday. She's a therapist, and she was able to help me with a few things I'm going through and she pointed out a few things. This separation, if used correctly, will be a period of growth for me. I'm looking forward to that. She encouraged me to realize that there are things about myself- singly and in a relationship- that I'd like to change, but there are also things to like about myself. She also said that I should use this time to decide who I'd like to be and what I'd like to do in the future. So, I did what I always do. I made some lists.

List #1: Things I Like About Me

- my sense of humor
- my passion
- my dedication
- my domestic abilities
- my unwillingness to argue
- my intelligence
- my family-oriented-ness
- my organizational skills
- my ability to take care of myself
- my fairness
- my open-mindedness

List #2: Things I Want To Change About Me

- say "no" more
- stop being a doormat
- think before I speak during arguments
- argue less, period
- stop pushing buttons
- learn to share my space, my thoughts, and my life
- stop being such a control freak, but maintain boundaries
- be more decisive
- put myself first
- become more financially secure and stable

List #3: Things I Want To Do, Specifically In 2013

- clean out my closet (literally) and re-do my wardrobe
- get rid of anything with negative memories attached to them
- go to the beach
- check out the botanical gardens
- go dancing
- paint more
- spend as much time as I can with family
- treat myself at least once a month
- meet new people and solidify friendships
- say "yes" to new, interesting things
- help someone, somehow
- get my passport and plan a trip
- save up some money for a new(er) car
- save up some money, period
- be nicer and more approachable
- finish the certifications I'm working on

So, these are my lists. I think this next year is gonna be my year. Time to get to work, folks!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

~* Entitled? *~

This is a word that has been thrown around my unhappy home a lot lately. He seems to think I feel entitled to things, and I feel that he thinks he is entitled to things. I don't know who's right or wrong, but it has caused a bunch of arguments and more awkward tension.

So, I'm moving out in about 2 weeks, sometime in the first week of January. I haven't been bitchy about demanding money or anything. He offered to give me some money for my sofa, since his junk is all over it in the garage. But he doesn't have that money yet. He told me I can keep the entire tax return when we file. But he doesn't have that money yet. He told me that if he gets a roommate, I can have the BAH that he would have to give me anyway. But he doesn't have that money yet. And I haven't pushed for any of it, except a little bit for food. Wow, you'd have thought I was trying to pack up his penis and take it with me.

Ok, here's my opinion on this. I didn't even have a job when we got married, so he knew he would be the moneymaker, and that it would fall on him to support me financially. Forturnately, I have been working pretty steadily since then. Unfortunately, I don't make much money. He gets $1300 every month just because he is married. All I'm asking for is enough of that to feed myself. Not really any more than what gets spent to feed me now, actually. He thinks I feel "entitled" to this, but he says he can't afford it. Well...I am entitled to it, right? I could be a total bitch and get all lawyered-up and take half of that BAH every single month for the next twelve months and not care if he can pay his bills or not. But I'm not doing that. Besides...if it weren't for me, he wouldn't even be getting that extra money at all. So, no, I don't think I'm being unreasonable at all. And yes, I do feel a little entitled to just a little bit. This marriage didn't go down the tubes solely because of me, and I shouldn't be punished for it.

Ok, that's my vent.

Friday, December 21, 2012

~* Big Changes Ahead *~

2013 is already intriguing.

I'm going into the New Year on my own. My heels are going one way, while his parade boots go another.

My baby brother is moving to the Windy City to move on up the corporate ladder, one rung closer to his dream.

My dad is finally making the retirement trip south, to stay with my older brother in Florida.

We survived the apocalypse. What's next?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

~* Wiping The Slate Clean *~

That's the only solution I have.

The hubs and I have been arguing nonstop for about 2 months now. Longer really, if you don't count the months he was away. Those were really our happiest months, the only time we've REALLY gotten along. It's been bad. Ugly. Vicious. We have both been mean and hurtful and spiteful. We've both been hurt and angry and sad. We've both been inches away from leaving.

I've told myself from the beginning that if this marriage doesn't work, it won't be because I haven't done everything I can, given it my all. Every time I think I'm fed up, that I can't handle anymore, that I don't WANT to handle any more...I have to be honest and ask myself  "Have you done absolutely everything you can?". To date, the answer is always no. There is always a little more I can give, a little more I can handle. And so, I jump back into the fight.

This time, the ONLY solution I can come up with is to wipe the slates clean and start over. The hubs and I both realize that we don't really know each other. To be fair, we never really got to know each other in the beginning. We didn't give ourselves time to date, and now we are each different people, so figuring each other out has been even tougher. So, I think it's time we dated. We need that "getting to know you" period. I don't know if it's realistic, and I don't know if it's going to work...but it's the last idea I have.

So, today, we went on a date. We went out and shared pizza for lunch. We had ice cream for dessert. We went and did a little shopping together, and sat down and ate dinner together. And we talked. We talked without yelling or blaming or insulting or getting angry. It hasn't been an easy day, and the conversation is harder than I would have expected....but we are both trying.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

~* 30 Days of Thanks *~

I've noticed that a lot of people have been posting, on Facebook or blogs, one thing they are thankful for each day of November. I would rather just list 30 things I'm thankful for right here, right now, and get it out of the way

I am thankful for:

1) My given family. Dysfunctional as they may be, I wouldn't know respect without my father. I wouldn't know how to turn on the oven without my mother. I wouldn't know the unconditional love of children without my sister. I wouldn't know the depth of familial bonds without my brother.

2) My chosen family. My husband and my dog. When one pisses me off, the other one is there to make me smile.

3) Seriously, my husband. It has been a rough ride so far, but that man is just as stubborn as I am and he has stuck to me like glue through all the twists and turns.

4) My friends. I don't have a lot of them, but seeing them each settle into happiness has taught me what it is to truly be happy for another person.

5) My job. I am so thankful to be able to say that I have a job that I love. I truly enjoy going to work every day, and I am thankful that it is a job that I can take with me if need be. I am granted an opportunity to help people improve their lives in so many ways, and that improves my life.

6) The gym. If it weren't for the gym, well, I wouldn't have a job. But I also wouldn't have anywhere to go when I just need to get away and clear my head for a bit.

7) My health. I am a ridiculously healthy person. Sure, I get recurring shingles, and that sucks, but in the big scope of things...shingles isn't a big deal.

8) Chick flicks. "13 Going on 30",  "P.S. I Love You", and "Love, Actually" have gotten me thru some sad times.

9) My driver's license. After 18months without it, I will never take it for granted again.

10) My lack of a car payment. One less thing to worry about.

11) Veterans. 'Nuff said.

12) My Catholic school education. I may have hated every day of every year I spent in Catholic school, but I will admit that I got a better quality education than I would have otherwise.

13) Our home. I am thankful to have a roof over my head, with food in the fridge, and a place to lay my head at night.

14) My hubs again. The 14th is his birthday, and I am thankful to have a reason to have cake.

15) BankShots, my cousin's bar. Best therapist's office/family reunion venue ever.

16) The Army- they provide my mortgage payment, health insurance, and education.

17) The Ravens. Real men wear purple.

18) 5:30am. No matter how bad I slept, how bad the day before was or the day ahead is going to be, at 5:30am Monday-Friday, I get to plaster on a smile and face my first client of the day with the hopes that the day will run smoothly.

19) Edy's Creamy Coconut Bars. Yum.

20) My Keurig. One cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea coming right up.

21) Holidays with my family. They are becoming fewer and farther between, and I cherish every one I am blessed with.

22) The distance between my family and I. We are close enough to make the trip if desired or necessary, but not so close than anyone is just going to "drop by".

23) Books. A getaway lies just beyond the cover.

24) Hot guys with their shirts off. Thank you, Channing Tatum.

25) Good music and the ability to hear it.

26) Birth control pills. I'm not a mom for a lot of reasons.

27) Video games. They provide the necessary break for the hubs when he needs his down time.

28) Guitars. Man, I do love listening to him play.

29) Christmas and all things Christmas related. Movies, cookies, music, smells...all of it.

30) The beach. Every beach. Any beach.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

~* It's His Party...*~

Well, it was, anyway. Yesterday. We celebrated the hubs' 25th birthday. Man, I feel old.

The party was kind of a last-minute thing. We had originally planned to take a weekend and go to the beach. You can do that in November in North Carolina. But, I realized that was really something I wanted to do, and we have been running a little light in the bank accounts, so we decided to do something else. We were going to go to the outlets for a day since the hubs does love to shop, and then do dinner at TGIFridays, because that's where we had our first dinner out together. But then he decided he wanted to have "a few people over". Oh, man.

I am not a good hostess. I know this. I accept this. I am extremely comfortable with this. I have no desire to change this. However, I decided to attempt to compromise this time. It's his birthday, after all. The guy deserves a party. So, I agreed with a few stipulations:

2) I wasn't going to clean up ahead of time, and I wasn't going to clean up afterward.
3) Start early, finish early.
4) Keep it outside. I panic about having that many people inside of the house. I don't know why.

Hmm, I think that sounds simple. But it never really is. There were about a dozen or so people. One guy brought his kid. The kid was quiet, but got into everything, and ended up having a free-standing shelving unit fall on his head. At least it was empty. (The shelving unit, not the kid's head). I didn't clean up ahead of time, but I did have to set up because the hubs is ALWAYS running late. I didn't clean up much afterward, but I did have to bring in some of the food that was left outside. We had people here for 7 freakin' hours. Too damn long. It got cold after it got dark, and rude as it may have been, I came inside and got cozy under a blanket for the last half hour. And, for the most part, people did stay outside, but there were a few times when every guy there was in the house- shots, I presume.

I tried. I really did. I just am not a partier. I don't drink much, and people who are drunk get on my nerves. But, I still think things went fairly well. Nobody puked, nobody got a DUI, nobody crashed on the couch, none of our belongings were destroyed or stolen, and the hubs got the party he wanted. Happy birthday babe ;)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

~* Dressing Up As Lazy for Halloween? *~

I don't feel like going into my personal issues today, but I feel like I need to blog a little. So, allow me to vent about Halloween.

I had a few late clients last night, so I was not planning on being home for the trick-or-treat crowd. I had a few cancellations, so I stuck around the gym to workout and waste some time. I turned into my neighborhood around 7:15pm and ran right smack into a freakin' traffic jam.

Now, when I was a kid- a little kid- my parents walked with us from house to house to collect candy. Of course, our neighborhood had sidewalks, which strangely, this one does not. But my parents would NEVER have wasted gas money driving us from one house to the next. Apparently tho, that's the thing to do now.

So, I pull into the neighborhood right into headlights in my eyes. There are cars parked on both sides of the street, forcing me to crawl up the narrow middle of the road. Problem here being that with the headlights in my eyes, I can't see the kids dressed in black as goblins or witches or whatever, playing in the middle of the damn road. And then, there are the kids that don't care that I'm operating a motor vehicle- they will walk directly out in front of me anyway. I have never been more relieved to pull up into my own driveway without blood on my car in my life!

I guess my point here is this: Parents, if you're going to let your kids knock on strangers' front doors, in the dark, and accept their candy...maybe you should hold their hand while they're doing it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

~* Wanting To Be Needed *~

I think everyone wants to be needed, to feel like their very presence is important to someone else. I know I do, and I was lucky enough to have that wish satisfied yesterday.

The hubs and I had a good talk last night. He has fallen into a funk too, because he hasn't had a lot of time to get into the gym and he feels like he has gotten fat and sloppy. Just for the record, he isn't fat or sloppy-looking, but I completely understand how he feels. He told me that he feels like I am the one person he can depend on to make sure he gets into the gym regularly. Blew my mind.

I know it's my job to make sure other people get a good workout on a regular basis, but I never really thought about how I might have an impact on the hubs' workout schedule. Even when we go to the gym together, we never work out together, so I figured he would rather be on his own or with "the guys". I can't explain the awe I felt at hearing how important a push from me is. So, we decided on a plan- even if I've already worked out for the day, I'll stick around and do some extra cardio or something to make sure the hubs has no excuse for not getting to the gym regularly. And, I've learned (yet again) not to jump to conclusions- just because he's big and brawny doesn't mean he can't use a woman's strength every now and again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

~* Come On, Get Happy *~

That's what I have been telling myself all day. Come on, get happy.

I've been in a funk for a while, and I'm tired of it. The only thing I can control is how I look at things, so it's time to switch it up.  I realize I have a tendency of getting stuck on the negatives, and I lose sight of the positives. That's what I've been doing with my marriage. I can't expect good things to happen if all I'm looking for are the bad things. So, it's time to remind myself.

I have a damn sexy hubby. He has a steady job and a mode of transportation. He supports me, financially and emotionally. He loves me the best he can, and he does it even when I'm being a complete horrible bitch to him. He loves my cooking and he loves my job. He encourages me to be better at everything, but never tells me I'm not good enough. He loves our silly little dog. He has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met. He's good at his job, and he will probably never know how proud I am of him. I have no doubt that if I had an emergency, he would drop everything and move heaven and hell to get to me. And I am fortunate enough to know that is a mutual feeling. We may argue and bicker and scream and give the silent treatment, but I believe that our marriage is rock solid. I have a partner, and maybe it's just my turn to pick up the slack. He'll do it for me when it's his turn. That's what partners do.

Friday, October 19, 2012

~* All By Myseeeeeeelf.... *~

That's right, the hubs is on staff duty tonight, and he's not expecting to be home until somewhere close to 10am tomorrow.

Usually, I wouldn't be thrilled about this. Tonight...well, tonight I kinda need my space.

This has been a disappointing week, to put it bluntly. Monday was great, as I've mentioned. But as I also mentioned, I knew it wasn't going to last. Tuesday wasn't terrible, but unremarkable. Wednesday was horrid, and Thursday was just...disappointing.

Let me back up. Tuesday really wasn't anything special. Wednesday, I had a late client, and the hubs was late getting home. I made dinner, and he had a friend of his come over. Naturally, I shared our meal. I was pretty much left out of the conversation, so I excused myself and left them to do their "guy" thing. Next thing I know, the hubs decides to show off his guns. In the bedroom. I HATE having people- especially people I don't know- in our bedroom, and he seems to forget that it is OUR bedroom. We've had that conversation more than once. Then, his friend left a little after 9pm. I had to be up at 4am, so I went to go to bed. I gave the hubs about a half hour before I started to wonder what he was up to. He was on the freakin' computer. I couldn't even get a half hour with him before I needed to sleep, but he had time to fuck around on the damn computer. I was livid.

I got over it yesterday, as I usually do given enough time. I suggested we set aside some time for a lunch date next week. He countered with a promise to make the evening better. Shoulda known better. He fell asleep at 7:30pm. I woke him up at about 8pm and practically begged him to spend an hour with me since I was leaving at 5am and wouldn't see him til sometime Saturday. Nope, no chance. He couldn't stay awake.

It's so disheartening to know that if it's something involving his buddies, he can stay awake without a problem, but unless we're having sex, I can't get him to stay awake for one effing hour.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

~* Funny How Things Work Out... *~

Just yesterday, I had decided to just start taking care of myself again, and letting everyone else take care of themselves. And I was on a really good 8ish-hour roll.

Then the hubs came home. And we just clicked! Like magic! I know it won't last, but the realization that maybe when I start taking care of myself, the rest will fall into place is pretty overwhelming right now. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm more than a little bit of a control freak, and I like to know that everything is done and clean and in its place, and I have always believed that if I don't get it done, and NOW, it won't ever get I'm in awe right now.

The hubs called to let me know when he was on his way home from work, and I started dinner. I didn't wait for him to get home- I guess he got stuck in traffic. I was almost finished my dinner before he made it home. He got his plate, cleaned up the dishes, and sat down to talk. We didn't have a really in-depth conversation about anything, but we managed to talk. We even managed to laugh! Like, he almost fell off the couch and choked on his food laughing!

After dinner, he fell asleep for a little bit, and I didn't worry about it. I was busy FB messaging with a friend of mine. When he woke up, he took out the trash and finished loading the dishwasher...and we had some *ahem* adult time!

I've decided not to over-analyze this one, and just enjoy it. Days like yesterday make all the rest of the crap worthwhile.

Monday, October 15, 2012

~* Gettin' Back In The Groove *~

Another successful family visit down!

The in-laws came to visit on Thursday and left yesterday morning, and it has been like Christmas around here. They sure came bearing gifts! They brought some stuff from the hubs' room at their house, stuff for the dog, clothes and a gorgeous dresser for me, and a table for the hubs' garage. They never let us pay for anything, and this weekend wasn't any different. I ate out so much over the weekend that all I really want to do today is eat salad and work out!

Which is a good thing, because I need to get back into my groove. The hubs and I haven't quite been able to click into place yet, but I need to get my own schedule back under control before I start to feel sick. I'm already feeling some physical side effects. It's  pretty crazy much getting thrown off can really affect my body. Some people are good at doing different things at different times of the days, but I'm a creature of routine. I know that sounds terribly boring, but it's true. I usually eat very well and work out regularly, and I get physically sick and really cranky when that changes.The hubs went back to work this morning, and I'm contemplating doing a bikini competition in February, so I'm more than ready to get back into it.

So, this morning started with an oatmeal pancake, clementines, coffee, and chocolate almond milk enjoyed do the soundtrack of the artillery impact zone behind the house. I'm going to do some studying, put my books on my brand new bookshelves (thanks to the in-laws!), and hit the gym. Who said Mondays always have to suck??

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

~* No Rest For The Working Class *~

So, the hubs is on leave. And we haven't left. And we aren't going to. And I feel kinda bad about it.

I don't feel terrible about it. The fact that we aren't leaving means people have the "opportunity" (sarcasm included) to come visit us. That's why my mom and brother came to visit, and that's why the in-laws are coming to visit tomorrow. My mom has been to visit twice before, but this is the first time the in-laws are coming to visit. I think the hubs needs that, he needs to know that his family thinks he's worth the trip.

But we couldn't have gone anywhere anyway. Aside from the fact that the roommate and his screaming toddler would have probably burned our house down (no joke, he forgot to turn the oven off last night), I can't afford to take time off from work yet. I don't have a very large client list, but I need to maintain and grow the one I have. So I've just been working like normal, while the hubs has been working around the house. He's fixed a few things with my car, done plenty of yard work, helped pick out and move some furniture, cleaned a little around the house, and started to settle in.

Not that he hasn't had time for some drinks and video games. There's been a good bit of that, but I feel like he hasn't had a chance to relax. And I just never relax. But we both need some "couple" time to just RELAX. I'm trying to work out a weekend getaway for his birthday next month, but he might not even get to be home for his birthday. He's supposed to be going to WLC, which takes 3 weeks, sometime toward the end of this month. But he's also supposed to be getting some kind of surgery on a vein before that- he's at the doc getting a CT scan right now, actually. Then comes Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are never times to relax, and Airborne School. Maybe, if I'm really lucky, we'll have some time to relax sometime in 2013.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

~* Out And About *~

My mom and brother came to visit over the past weekend. Aside from the fact that the family time was awesome and much-needed, it gave the hubs and I a chance to get out and about a little bit. I never realized how little we actually do outside of the house- there are a bazillion places around here that we haven't ever been to and things we haven't seen.

So, we went to dinner on Friday, after they got checked in to the hotel. We didn't go anywhere new. Actually, we stuck with a good favorite- Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill. Yum! Then we treated TCBY for dessert. Growing up in Delaware, we had TCBYs, but it was so much different as children. Now, it's like a fro-yo buffet.

Saturday, we went downtown and saw the new Veteran's Park and the Airborne Museum. I don't know why, but I had never been there, and the hubs hadn't been since the park opened. They did an amazing job with the park...I got goosebumps more than once. The Museum was a really cool thing to go see. It's run entirely on donations, so don't be a jerk if you go- give them a couple of dollars. They did a beautiful job. There are paratroopers hanging from the ceiling, Little Birds with soldiers jumping out of them, and tanks with cans of Pringles. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Since we were downtown, we decided to go check out the Folk Festival around the corner from the Museum. That would have been a blast if we had had more time- there were little vendor stations set up all the way around Festival Park, with food and goodies from all over the world. All we really got to sample was pizza and fried plantains, but there was a ton of yummy smelling stuff! We saw a guy from Australia playing wooden spoons, some Native American dancing, and some African dancers (btw, they looked like they were having the most fun of all).

Saturday night, we went to Gillis Hill Farm for some homemade ice cream. I had read about the farm in the newspaper a while back, and it's right around the corner from our house, but we just hadn't been. It's a tiny building, and they're only open 3 days a week for 6 months of the year- but the ice cream was AMAZING!! My brother and I both got cones of pumpkin ice cream, the hubs got mint chocolate chip, and my mom got vanilla. The cones were fresh- I think they might have been homemade too, and it was so nice to just sit in little white rockers on the front porch of the building eating ice cream with my family.

Sunday, before the mall expedition, we all went on post to check out the Special Warfare Museum. The hubs and I had been there once before- last year on Memorial Day- but only half of the Museum had been open. We were anxious to see the other half, and we were not disappointed. It's really cool to go through the centuries of changes in warfare, and to see what the SF guys go through.

So, the entire to point to this rambling post is that if you haven't had a chance, go see some of the cool stuff around post!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

~* Cinderella Got Her Ball Gown *~

Actually, she got 2.

My mom and brother came to visit this past weekend, and we all (Prince Charming included) decided to go dress shopping. We have our first Military Ball together in a few weeks, and I was not government-issued an appropriate dress. I do have a slightly unusual problem when it comes to shopping for formal dresses- many of them are lower cut, and I have a tattoo in the center of my chest. The hubs said it doesn't bother him, but I want to look nice and not be a reason for any unpleasant gossip in his direction. So, shopping was a bit of a nightmare.

I had promised the hubs that I could find a nice dress for less than $100, too. I'm a helluva bargain shopper, and since I don't have a very long client list yet, I always feel guilty for spending money. I had taken on a pretty insane mission.

We had decided to try the mall first. I don't mind altering a dress a little if it's not a perfect fit off the rack, and the hubs and my brother wanted to look for some things anyway. First stop was JCPenney. By the way, I will NEVER be shopping in Penney's again. I had taken 4 or 5 dresses into the dressing room. The hubs, my brother, and mom all waited inside the doorway at the end of the hall. Well, security told my husband that he had to leave because men weren't permitted inside the dressing room area. My brother got offended because they were only speaking to my husband, and I got upset because the area wasn't gender-specific, and because I didn't want to have to walk all the way down the hallway, leaving my personal belongings unattended. Plus, they were just very rude about it.

On to Belk. I had never been in a Belk store before, but it's just another department store. Just another department store where I hit the jackpot. Ok, let me clarify- we had ventured in and put a dress on hold, wandered into Sears, went back to Penney's (the dressing room thing happened on the 2nd trip), then back to Belk. So, back to Belk to pick up the dress we had put on hold. I wanted to scour the racks a second time to be sure I wasn't missing anything. I ended up taking 4 dresses, plus the one I had placed on hold, into the dressing room. 3 black dresses were dismissed by the general consensus as "eh, nice but not WOW". Then I stepped into a royal blue, one-shoulder Ralph Lauren number that had a $180 price tag. I got goose-bumps as I looked at my reflection in the mirror. Holy crap, I look amazing.

Then I put the on-hold dress back on. It's also a one-shoulder number. It's pink and silver and very barbie-doll-like and the hubs loves it. I like it, but not as much as the blue one. SO....turns out the pink one is 50% off the 50% off that is already marked on the ticket....from $200 to $25!!! The Ralph Lauren was 50% off, plus 15% off for some sale that $76!!! The hubs decided to just get both and we can decide later, and paid (after tax) $108 for both!!! Looks like Cinderella is now equipped for 2 balls, folks (get your mind out of the gutter). Prince Charming is pretty amazing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

~* These Feelings I Feel *~

I feel like I'm boring myself with all these posts about re-adjusting. But it's only been 3 weeks, and the re-adjusting is still happening.

I feel so alone. The only place I don't feel alone is the gym. That's become my sanctuary. The hubs doesn't push me to work out anymore, I do it on my own. He doesn't even come with me anymore. He's got another guy around to keep him company.

It's crazy, but I'm a little jealous of the roommate. They spend all day at work together, then go to the gym together, then sit at home and drink beer and eat the dinner I cooked. Together. And I'm just on the outside, watching it all and screaming on the inside "WHAT ABOUT ME?!?! DOESN'T ANYONE WANNA PLAY WITH ME???" like the kid left out of the sandbox.

I'm not sure if it's the jealousy or the bitterness at the complete upheaval of my life, but something has sparked a LOT of anger inside of me lately. It's a very uncomfortable feeling for me. I'm a pretty positive, upbeat, chill kinda person, and to feel so much rage makes me a little nauseous. And frankly, I don't handle it well. I've gotten good at walking away from the hubs and the situations at home that make me angry, but I worry that walking away will make me resentful, and ultimately more angry. I usually feel better after a little time away, and sometimes I forget what I was upset about in the first place, but is it really a healthy thing to do?  I don't know. I've thought about going to talk to someone about it, but I'm not sure anyone can help me. I think the only advice I would get would be to communicate with the hubs (tried it, doesn't always work, often the very source of my frustration) or to do exactly what I'm doing, and walk away before saying things I'd regret. I guess only time will tell.

On the upside, my mom and brother are coming to visit this weekend, and I'm looking forward to some quality family time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

~* Stay Calm and Breathe *~

So. This adjustment period is not going smoothly. At all.

The roommate is a slob. My husband is a slob. The roommate's kid is a spoiled brat (not the roommate's fault). I'm caught up in a testosterone tornado and I WANT OUT.

Whoa, not out of my marriage or anything. Just out of the swimming pool of slob I seem to be drowning in.

And it's not just the mess. The hubs seems so negative about EVERYTHING these days. His job. His workouts, The roommate. Even me. And I can't help him, because he has zero interest in talking to me about anything at all. Nothing. At. All.

I feel like we avoid each other. I have tried to stick to my routine. I tried to change it up over the weekend, and got completely frustrated because I didn't get anything done. So, I've decided to stick to what I've been doing because it makes me happy. So, he seems to be home when I'm gone and gone when I'm home. We spent a little time together over the weekend, but it was mostly because we both wanted to get away from the roommate's screaming kid. The strange part is that it's a little irritating that we aren't spending time together, but I don't really mind it. I became very comfortable with my life and where I am while he was gone.

The hardest part to deal with seems to be the sexual stuff. He wants to jump right back into it. He told me he doesn't know how to talk to me about sex, and he doesn't know what turns me on anymore. When I tried to tell him that I want to be wanted on the whole, for more than just sex, he fell asleep. No joke. I was mid-sentence when he started snoring.

All I can do is just breathe. I hope things get better when he gets leave, and finally has some time to get sorted out. I hope someone reads this before going through it all. It's a lot tougher than anyone prepared me for.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

~* Reunited and Readjusting *~

I got my man back!!!! Amen and Hallelujia and all that jazz!!!

He got back late late at night (or super early in the morning, depending on your perspective), and it's been an interesting time since then. I was absolutely aware of the fact that coming home would be a huge adjustment for him. However, I was not so much aware of the adjustments that I would be making. Wow, that sounded really selfish. I didn't mean it to. I just mean that I figured since I've been here the whole time, it wouldn't be a big deal for me.

I was wrong.

My entire schedule got flipped around when he got home, and I am STILL recovering and trying to get my clock back. I thought I didn't sleep much when he was gone- well, I'm still not sleeping much. It's tough getting used to having someone else in the bed again, not to mention the fact that he pretty much squishes me when he sleep-cuddles. He's a big dude, and I'm kinda little...his limbs are heavy!
The grocery bill has already sky-rocketed. The house looks like a tornado came through. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get things done and spend time with him. I am starting to see clearly why we had so many problems before he left, and I am doing my damnedest to avoid picking fights over the little shit. Really, he's home. Nothing else matters. But biting my tongue in itself is a HUGE adjustment.

Anyway, not that many people read this, but I just wanted to let y'all know why I've been MIA lately. I hope to have a little more time to keep ya updated here soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

~* And I'm Keeeeyyyyy, Key Callin'...*~

(Sung to the tune of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'").

Haha. Sorry, that put a little smile on my face.

I am a Key Caller for the FRG. I know, I know. FRG, ewwww. Whatever. I got involved with the FRG to stay in the loop, to make the hubs look good, and hopefully to meet people. I haven't met a lot of people, but it has kept me in the loop, and I hope it reflects well on the hubs.

Anyway, so I got involved a whiiiiiile ago, and now I'm kinda wishing I hadn't. Ok, that's not quite accurate. I have enjoyed it, for the most part. I am just feeling selfish. I was making my first redeployment phone know, the "hey, your hubs is coming home on this day at this time...". I got to be the bearer of good news, which should have been exciting and made me feel good. Instead, it kinda bummed me out. My hubs wasn't on that list.

It's not that I had expectations. I just didn't think it would be so hard to be unselfish. It flat-out sucks to be giving other people the good news they have been waiting for, while still waiting for my own. And, damn, you'd kinda think maybe people would be excited? Nope. It's been more of "oh, ok, yeah I guess I should grab a pen and write this down". WTF?!?! When I get my news, I'll probably cry tears of pure excitement. Until then, I'll just continue bringing the good news to people who don't seem to appreciate it. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

~* So Much To Do in So Little Time *~

Scratch that. Reverse it.

So little to do. Sooooo much time.

I got all the big stuff done. Groceries are stocked. The grass is cut. The liquor is bought. The bike has been started. The house has been cleaned.

Now, we wait.

I know I just posted about the waiting a few days ago. But really, that's all I do with my time. When I'm cooking or reading or watching TV or working, I'm really still just waiting. However, I did not exactly realize that there may be people who want to wait with me.

The hubs comes from a large, close-knit, Italian family. I come from a large, disconnected, dysfunctional Irish family. They talk and laugh and drink and hug. We don't. So, it just is not part of my nature to reach out with little pieces of information. I just assumed that when I talk to the MIL, word gets around. Well, you know what they say about assuming things, right. Right.

I got a Facebook message from one of his cousins today, full of questions, and I felt so freakin' guilty! I tried my best to fill her in on as much as I could, but now I'm wondering how out-of-the-loop everyone else feels and is it my job or his to fill them in?? I really don't know. I hope they don't all hate me for not keeping them up-to-date. I didn't do it intentionally.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

~* Hurry Up And Wait *~

I think anyone with any affiliation to any branch of the military is probably familiar with this phrase. It's so relevant to the way everything happens in military life, and redeployment is apparently no different.

I am currently in that high-anxiety, just-ready-for-it-all-to-be-over-with stage. Ever since the last FRG meeting last week (was it really only a week ago?), I have felt it. The sense of urgency. We all need to be ready for the phone calls that are bound to be coming...but nobody knows when it could happen. Sometime in the next 2-4ish weeks, so be ready. Make sure they know how to contact you every minute of every day until then. Be ready. And just keep waiting until your readiness is really needed.

It's definitely the most frustrating part of this entire journey. I should be loving it, because I get to talk to the hubs a little bit more than I have in the past few months, but it's tough because both of us are avoiding the question that nobody has the answer to- WHEN?

On the plus side, my house is pretty much always clean, since I want it to be ready.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

~* Paper or Plastic? *~

I'm going to take a minute to vent.

I don't have many complaints about Fort Bragg. I don't actually go on post for much. The gym, the commissary, and the occasional FRG meeting, so I consider myself lucky that this is my biggest complaint. Ready for it??


These people ruin my grocery trips. I am admittedly OCD. I put items in my cart in a way that makes sense- cold stuff with cold stuff, boxed stuff with boxed stuff, meats with meats, fruits with fruits, etc. I then put my items on the conveyor belt in the same way. Not simply because I am OCD, but because that's how I would like them bagged. I don't get the option to bag my own groceries, so I try to make it as dummy-proof as possible.

So when I look at my bags, some packed to overflowing, some ripped. some with one small item in them, some with meat and fruit in the same bag...well, I get freakin' upset. These people expect me to tip them for this?!?!  You've got to be joking. There are a zillion people in this town who would give an arm for a job on post, and these people can't even pretend to have a clue about what they are getting paid to do. And they have the nerve to look insulted when I don't leave any cash in the tip basket.

Now, I'm sure some people are wondering "Well, why don't you just bag your own damn groceries, then?". Believe me, folks, I'd love to. However, I'm never given the option, and the conveyor belt always starts running while I'm scrambling for my ID and completely unfocused on making the request that could rescue my morning. I just wish instead of asking "Paper or plastic?", someone would ask "Hey lady, wanna do this yourself?".

Friday, August 3, 2012

~* Your Mission...,*~

Should you choose to accept the role of a GOOD milspouse, is as follows:

1) Stand by your man. Or woman. Don't fall prey to a Jody.

2) Be flexible. The only things certain in the military life are the things that have already happened.

3) But don't be a doormat. Once your soldier walks through the front door, you are partners. There is no rank in the home.

4) Learn things. Like how to cut the grass. Who to call when there is hail damage to your home or vehicle. How to cook- for 1, for 2, and for an entire battalion. Learn your way around post. And for God's sake, learn to call your MIL weekly. If your soldier has time for a phone call, you are probably first on the list, but your MIL deserves to know her kid is alive and, shooting.

5) Live on your budget. Deployed or not. Steady pay does not necessarily equal  awesome pay, and it won't always be tax-free. Anything could happen. I know your parents have been preaching it for years, but it's a good idea to have a little cushion. Just in case.

6) Have a life. Don't let the term "milspouse" define you. Make friends. Pursue hobbies. Continue your education. Get a job. Go sightseeing. Live.

7) Have a plan b. I know it sounds cold, but there is always a chance that you will be on the wrong end of bad news....which leads me to the last, but most important part of the MilSpouse Mission...


Friday, July 27, 2012

~* Where's Waldo? *~

Erm....I mean...your spouse.

The redeployment briefing I went to last night made it sound like that's exactly what's gonna happen when the planes start coming back. And maybe this is the way things normally, happen. I wasn't here for the last homecoming. But it sounds like it's going to be a clusterfuck, 'scuse the language.

Here's the process, to the best of my understanding.

My FRG leader will call me. She will say something to the effect of  "Your hubs is on flight codename zebra" (obviously made up, OPSEC and whatnot). She will go on to say "Here is a phone number for you to call for information on that flight". I will call that number, give them my top-secret codename, probably along with a blood sample and fingerprints, and they will say "That flight is scheduled to come in on xxxx day around xxxx time". Then I have to call back every 6-ish hours the day the plane is scheduled to land, just to make sure it is still scheduled to land.

The plane will land at Green Ramp. The men will exit the plane. They will say their "Hi, I've missed you"s and then they will sit through a short speech. They will get on a bus. This should take no longer than 30 minutes (yeah, ok).

Now, if I choose to go to Green Ramp, it probably won't be too hard to follow the bus. And the traffic. And the masses of emotional family members. To wherever they decide to unload the men.

However, if I choose to skip that part to get a decent parking spot and really be able to welcome the hubs back home...well, who knows where that parking spot might be? If his unit has the majority of the men on the flight, no problem, got that location down. But if not...not only do I not know where he might end up, I won't know how to find out  or how to get there.

I"m not completely helpless. I will have his phone turned back on before then. But geez, it seems like kind of a mess. A completely worth it mess, but a mess nonetheless.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

~* Stolen from Army Wife Network, via Facebook *~

Status Update
By Army Wife Network
He takes her from the home she knows
to lands of which are new
Survival in an unknown place
becomes her test of truth.
Her burdens are of many and
his tanks sometimes are small.
She keeps her faith through thick and thin
and makes the best of all.
She lives with some uncertainty,
knows not what dawn may bring,
But he knows nothing stops his girl
from doing anything.
Whether star or stripe or bar
adorns his collar for his strife,
Nothing means more to a soldier
than the one he calls his wife.
-Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~* Don't Mess With Texas *~

So, I got the phone call first thing Saturday morning. Hubs got orders. For Fort Bliss, TX.

For those of you who don't feel like looking at a map, Ft. Bliss is as far west in Texas as you can get before you hit New Mexico, and it's practically a border town. I've never been any farther west than New Orleans, and that was just for a weekend a few years ago. So, I'm a little nervous. Also a little intrigued. This is part of what I signed on for as a milspouse, and it's kinda cool that I might get to see a different part of the country.

However, this is our first PCS, and I've got questions. See, hubs has been stationed at Bragg for 3 years, even though he's been gone for 2 of them. We really didn't think there was much possibility of us having to move. That's our kinda luck though.

I know the Army will pay for the move, but how much of it? Movers, I know. Plane tickets or gas and hotels? Will they still pay if we aren't going to live on post? I'm guessing we still need to shell out for a security deposit on a place. What about finding a renter for our place while we're gone? How long are we going to be gone? The list of questions seems endless right now. Luckily, the report date isn't til the spring, so we'll have some time to figure it out. I've always wanted to drive cross-country =).

Monday, July 2, 2012

~* A Bit Discouraged *~

So...I think I already mentioned that the hubs overlooked my birthday. All in all, not a huge deal, but it hurt my feelings. Especially after it became obvious that he had time to order things for himself online (sent here to the house, go figure) and talk to his old bartender.

Silly me, I thought it would be a good idea to let him know that my feelings were hurt. Boy, was I wrong! He flipped. He got defensive (par for the course, really) and then mad at me for even bothering to mention my feelings. He actually blamed me for him almost getting killed twice that day because he was distracted. Wow. That's a helluva thing to say to someone.

I understand life is tough for our soldiers, especially while deployed. Is it too much to expect that they realize life is tough for us, too? I don't have a whole lot of expectations from him, really. Mostly because there's not much that I can't handle by myself. But come on, I'm not supposed to feel as alone as I physically am. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But I don't think I am. This whole thing definitely has me feeling a bit discouraged about the near future.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

~* Happy Birthday To Me *~

I passed my personal training certification AND got to talk to the hubs, so this was a good week. Still, I woke up today, my birthday, in a complete funk.

I'll be going to work in a few minutes. I'll be having dinner with friends tonight. The hubs even sent me a facebook message to say happy birthday. I'm just not feelin' it today.

I know I sound silly and whiny. I can't help it. I think the hubs actually forgot about my birthday until I mentioned it to him earlier this week. I think that's what's got me a little thrown off.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

~* WHOOOOAAA.... *~

We're halfway there!!!

Well, according to the Army, anyway. We all know how that goes, so while I'm hopeful, I'm not expectant.

I am, however, a little more than a little nervous. The move to the new FOB went well, as well as it can, I guess. The hubs is out and about more, which definitely makes me nervous. You never hear about things going wrong while soldiers are sitting around, watching internet porn. It's always while they're in motion, and now he's in motion a lot.

I'm also a little nervous about life after the return of the missing hubby. Let's be honest, we didn't have the greatest first ten months together, before he deployed. Sure, things have been better while he's been away...the whole absence making the heart grow fonder effect. But I am not going to lie, I am terrified that things will go back to the same way they were before. I like to think and hope that we have grown as a couple, and have learned to let more things slide and not take each other and each day together for granted. But I'm worried that things won't have really changed. Then again, I am just a natural worrier.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

~* Memorial Day *~

I know I'm a day late posting this, but I've been working a lot lately.

Memorial Day. There are a few things about this "holiday" that really really bother me.

1. The phrase "Happy Memorial Day". Really? Is there something happy about it? I watched a debate about this from the sidelines over the weekend, and what I heard was the same things people say at a funeral. The typical "be happy for the memories you have", etc. I get that, I really  do. But Memorial Day is not a funeral, and it damn sure is not a happy time. It is a day to remember how many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice. That may be humbling, or inspirational, but not exactly happy.

2. The effing people who don't know the effing difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

3. The sales. Jesus Christ, the sales. Any excuse to make a dollar, I guess.

4. The fact that so many people only "respect" Memorial Day because it provides them with a long weekend, and an intro to summer.

Ok, ok, I'm going to stop now. I'm ranting. I'm not going to apologize, but I am going to stop.

Monday, May 21, 2012

~* Someone Come Over For Dinner! *~

Sigh. I really do try not to complain about my life too much. Really, I have it pretty good, all things considered. My hubs, even though he is halfway around the world, loves me more than anything, and I'm fortunate enough to say the feeling is mutual. I have two jobs to keep me occupied. I have a roof over my head, and a car to get from point A to point B. I have a dog who is always ecstatic to see me. But, I'm so tired of eating dinner alone.

To top off this recent, deep-set loneliness, my job at the gym transferred me to a different location. I accepted the offer because it's a few extra hours a week, which equals a few extra dollars in my paycheck. But it's so hard to start over, in a brand new place, with brand new people. I spent almost nine months at the other location. I got to know the members and my co-workers. They became like a second family. So, it kinda sucks. But, I guess it's really not worth complaining about. It could be a lot worse.

However, I really am tired of eating dinner alone. Yesterday, I was just flat-out fed up with it. So I posted on my Facebook "someone come over for dinner". And, in the midst of my lonely little life, I find I am fortunate that 2 of my co-workers took the time to come over and keep me company for just a little bit. I  really am lucky.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

~* Nightmares *~

Holy Jesus, I have had some nightmares lately. The kind of nightmares any military wife knows all too well. The kind of nightmares that seem unbelievably real because they are unbelievably possible. The kind of nightmares that wake you up with tears streaming down your face. The kind of nightmares that leave you praying for an email or a phone call or SOMETHING just to let you know he's ok. The kind of nightmares that make you want to call your mom, even though it's 1am and she probably wouldn't really understand. The kind of nightmares that make you scared to close your eyes again.

I'm so tired, but I don't want to sleep. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

~* Care Package Bitterness *~

I know that care packages and bitterness are not supposed to go together. But for me, they kind of do.

I want to send packages as often as possible. I want to stuff them full with as many goodies as possible. I want my husband to have all of the comforts of home. I want him to be happy and taken care of.

The bitterness comes in because I can't do that.

I can't do that for two reasons. The first one being that he won't tell me what he wants or needs. It drives me crazy. Everything he needs, he asks his mom for. He tells me not to spend my money, because she has so much more than we do. I understand that, but it makes me feel helpless and kind of...unnecessary. The second reason is that he is expecting to be moved to a different FOB within the next two weeks. I understand this too. Obviously, if I send something, he might not get it if he leaves. He also said not to send much because he can't take it all with him. Well, that sucks. What about the stuff I've already sent??

And to top it all of, the FRG is having a care package party this weekend. I can't go because I'll be working. But, I wanted to contribute, so I got all kinds of goodies to give the FRG leader. However, as much as I'm wanting to contribute and be a part of it all, I'm a little bitter because none of that will be going to my hubby. He got split, along with a few other guys, from the main body of the unit.

*Sigh* I'm done venting. I need to let this all go before I go to work.

Monday, April 23, 2012

~* Skype-vs- Facebook- vs- Phone Calls *~

Which is better??

Skype is awesome because I get to actually SEE the hubs. When he has a minute to sit in front of his computer. I also get to see some of the other people he's over there with, which I guess is kinda cool. Downside- they can all see me too. So, when I'm looking gross after a workout or tired, in my PJs ready for bed, or stuffing my face with dinner...yeah, everyone sees that. The crappy connections get kinda frustrating too. And it seems to never fail, the hubs gets on Skype, we start to talk, then one of two things happens: 1) he is actually too busy to really have a conversation OR 2) we run out of things to talk about *gasp*. I know, it's weird, but it happens. We've agreed to only Skype about once a week.

Facebook Messaging is freakin' awesome, because we can have a steady continuous stream of conversation without having to drop everything else we are doing. He can be talking with multiple other people, and I can be making dinner or studying. It's also a lot easier to have a multi-purpose conversation that way, because you're never interrupting each other. And it's so nice to have sweet words and "I love you"s in black and white to go back and re-read over and over. I still read the messages we sent each other from his first deployment. It's a nice reminder sometimes.

However, for some bizarre reason, nothing beats a phone call for me. They always come out of the blue, and his voice is my favorite sound in the whole wide world. When he calls, it's not usual for some practical reason, just "hey, I know you're awake and I was thinking about you". Nothing, absolutely nothing (well, besides obviously having him here in person) can beat that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

~* House Avoidance Issues *~

This is something I experienced for the first time over the weekend. I just flat out simply did not want to be at my house. It was too big for just me.

I went to work Saturday morning from 8am-12n. As 11:30am rolled around, I found myself wishing that the girl coming in after me wouldn't show up. I didn't want to go home. So I took myself to lunch. I sat on the deck at On The Border, and treated myself to a Corona. I don't know if it's just been a long time since I was there, or if they really have changed up their whole menu, but it was amazing! I had a chicken-stuffed deep-fried avocado, and it was heaven!

After that, I came home because I at least had to let the poor dog out. I played with him for a bit, then I took a nap. When I woke up, I just wanted to be anywhere else. So, I went to the movies. I saw "21 Jump Street" with a girl friend of mine. If you haven't seen it, see it. It's freakin' hilarious. Then, I went for a drink at the bar that is my second job. Just one, but I was encouraged to return. I'm not much of a night person, so I said maybe, and I went back home.

Almost as soon as I got back home, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to hang out. It had been a while since I had seen them, and I didn't want to be at home, so I agreed. We went back to the bar, and we ended up talking about the hubs all night. By the end of the night, I was over my house avoidance issues. I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world, except in the arms of my hubs.

Monday, April 9, 2012

~* Easter Schmeaster *~

That's pretty much how I felt yesterday. I was supposed to have an early dinner with a friend of mine, but I woke up feeling just flat-out bitchy. I was PMS-ing, and completely anti-social. Last year, the hubs proposed to me on Easter. This year, he's halfway around the world. Boo.

So, to avoid spreading my misery like an Easter Scrooge, I took out my frustrations on the weights. I hit the gym, and I hit it hard. I felt better when I was done, and I am feeling it this morning =) Then, I went to work at my new second job. I went back to bartending at a little place near our home since the gym was cutting hours (because they are sooooooo overstaffed it's ridiculous). The owner cooked up a hell of a spread for the 6 of us who were there, and it was nice to feel like I was a part of something. They let me go at 11ish, and I was excited because I thought I was gonna get to Skype with the hubs. Wrong. Commo blackout. Again.

So. Screw Easter. Let's try again next year.

Monday, April 2, 2012

~* Every Accomplishment Counts *~

I believe it truly is the little things that matter most. Every little accomplishment matters.

I am fortunate to have some of the most incredible friends and family members ever placed on this planet, and without them, my accomplishments would be few and far-between.

My mom and her man came to visit this weekend. Well, they didn't come to visit. They came so he could hook up some motion-sensor lights on the back of my house. Yes, they drove 7 hours for that one specific reason. But while they were here, they gave me the greatest, most perfect gift. A sense of confidence. A feeling of "hey, I really can get through the next few months on my own". A lawnmower.

I will be 29 in a few months, and I had NEVER operated a lawn mower until yesterday morning. I didn't even know how to start one. I didn't know about filling a gas can or pulling the string or holding down the bar...I never needed to. Even in all of my time living alone, I never need it. I lived in apartments mostly, and when I lived in a townhouse, there was a neighborhood kid who cut my grass for $25 a week. I knew this time was gonna be different. I'm growing up, and I don't really have $100 a month to just give away anymore. Not to mention, with a yard the size of mine, I'd feel terribly guilty about only paying $25 a week. Turns out, I don't need to worry about it.

Yesterday morning, before it got too hot, my mom showed me how it works. And I did it. I cut the lawn. I can do this, and I will be ok =)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

~* Holy Homeownership *~

It's official!! As of 1pm on Friday afternoon, we will be homeowners!!

It has been such a freakin' headache!! I'm gonna share with you the lessons I have learned throughout this hellatious experience (keep in mind, the loan is just in the hub's name and I only have specific POA's)

1) GET A GENERAL POA- I know the Army advises against it. I know it's a scary thing because of all the crazy spouses out there who will buy a new car, house, and run up a brand new credit card. But if you're buying a house together, that level of trust should already be there. You're not gonna commit to a 30-year mortgage with someone you have to worry about like that, right? Believe me, it would have made the whole process a lot smoother.

2) GET YOUR DOCUMENTS TOGETHER AHEAD OF TIME-  you will need copies of: POA, military ID, 2 LES statements, 2 years worth of W2's, 2 months worth of bank statements, verification of any checks deposited, cashed, or written to anyone else, copies of orders, employment verification from a supervisor (because no, the ID, LES statements, and W2s aren't enough), and possibly a picture of you in a zebra costume. Be prepared.

3) UNDERSTANDD THAT THIS TAKES TIME AND MONEY- We were pretty fortunate that the sellers paid a lot- most of the closing costs and the few things that needed to be repaired. We did have to come out of pocket for about $700 total, and all of the paperwork-signing is time consuming. I know, you're thinking "It's just a couple of signatures", but it's so much more. Phone calls, e-mails, text messages. I had to play middle-man for 6 weeks for a loan that should have been able to close in 3.

4) ASK QUESTIONS- You are signing your name (or your spouse's) to a 30- YEAR COMMITMENT. Make sure you know what you're signing for.

5) PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN- Don't be afraid to say "Hey, I'm not OK with this". I had to do it a few times- I NEEDED to move in by a certain date. If it wasn't going to happen, we weren't buying this house. Period. The sellers let me move in a week before closing, thankfully, but I had to sign a one-week rental agreement. In the lease, it stated there would be no pets allowed. We have a dog, and I damn sure wasn't leaving him behind. Sometimes, you might not get as lucky as I did, but you have to stick up for yourself. Nobody else will. Your realtor and loan officer are in this for the money, not for you.

6) FIND A GOOD REALTOR- Your realtor is going to be a lot more open and helpful than your loan officer. I found one that I almost consider a friend by this point. She has been so incredibly helpful. She walked me thru the entire process, and helped me remember to breathe when I started to melt down. I'm not all about endorsements, but if you live near Bragg and want to buy a house, ask for Megan at MDM Real Estate. She is freakin' phenomenal.

7) KEEP A BOTTLE OF WINE OR BEER AROUND- This process is stressful. You will want a drink every now and again. Go for it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

~* No, That's Not Creepy At All *~

Last night, I went to take the dog out around 9:30pm. I always take him out right before I go to bed so he doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night like "hey, uh, you forgot something". On my way out the door, I noticed a piece of paper on the ground. I tossed it inside, and we went for our walk.

When we got back inside, I looked at the paper. It had a phone #, and it said "Text Me, John". Who the fuck is John, and how does he know where I live?? 'Scuse the language, but those were my very first thoughts. So, I locked all the locks on the door, and indulged my curiosity. I texted the number, asking who it was and why they were leaving notes at my door. Then, I did the "sensible" thing, and let the hubs know about it.

Way wrong move. He went into super-defensive-husband mode, which is one of the things I both love and loathe about him. He passed the # along to a buddy of his, who he designated to be my guard dog before he left. Then he actually went so far as to inform the sheriff's office! I think that's a little extreme, but whatever makes him feel better. In the meantime, "John" texted me back to say he is "a man trapped in the beauty of a woman". I flat out told him that was creepy. After a while, I received a reply acknowledging that it could be taken in a creepy way, but he really is just shy, and asking for forgiveness. I conceded, but made sure to mention the fact that the hubs knows about all this.

So, I still don't know who John is, or how he knows which apartment is mine. When I get off the computer, I'm taking the .380 to the gunsmith, and I'll be shopping for a new 9mm. Just to be on the safe side =)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

~* Let's Talk About...Anything Else...*~

Anything except the house. Please, let's talk about grass. Or clouds. Or potholes. Anything except this house and the headaches that are going with it.

We got approved for the loan, so I thought that was good news. Apparently, that was just the onset of a continuous migraine. We got approved, but we're not closing when we expected to originally. Actually, we're closing 2 weeks later. Which is BAD news for me, because my help will be here a week before then. So, if the sellers won't let me at least put my stuff in the garage until closing, I may very well be living out of a U-Haul for a week. Yeesh.

I feel so freakin' helpless. I love my realtor. Can't stand the mortgage guy. He keeps asking for more and more documents that I don't have access to. So, I'm stuck playing middle-man between him and the hubs who is 7300 miles and 9.5hours away. I have no power to say or do anything, really. I have him asking for documents, and the hubs asking how it's all going, and I'm just stuck in the middle, wondering if I'm gonna have a place to go. Well, that's a bit dramatic, I guess- I'm sure I'll have somewhere to go, but where the hell am I gonna put all of our stuff??? I have like 10 people lined up to help me move- next weekend- and some of them are coming from good ol' DE to do it. So the stuff is getting moved...but where?

So, I'm FaceBook messaging with the hubs, and he starts going into the house stuff, and with all of this stress I needed a break from that topic. And, thank god, he gets it. He gets me. He's got me. He told me he loves me, he misses me, and asked me what I did today. I love that he knows me well enough to know that by listing what I did, one by one, I would relax. I love that man.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

~* I Have To Do WHAT Alone?!?! *~

Move. I have to move. Alone.

Ok, ok, I'm exaggerating. I will have a little help (if all goes according to plan, which it never does). But it's an intimidating thought. I am not only moving my stuff, his stuff, and a dog without the hubs, but I am buying a house. Well, technically, I'm signing for him to buy a house, but let's not get caught up in the details.

I just got the news today that our loan for the house got approved, which is a huge relief. At least now I know where I'll be going at the end of my lease. But now I have to pack everything, move everything, clean the entire apartment, learn to spacal (sp?), and try to set up a whole house to make it comfortable and welcoming for when the hubs gets home. I think that's really the scary part. Obviously, we picked out the house together. But it's empty, and it's up to me to make it "home". The artist in me finds that incredibly exciting. The realist in me is worried that I might not get it right. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, March 5, 2012

~* Moments *~

We have a picture hanging in our living room that was given to us as a wedding gift by some good friends. It's a framed phrase really, rather than a picture. It says "Life is not about the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away". I also saw 'The Vow' yesterday with my new friend C, and throughout the narration, the stress is on the importance of moments.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the important moments of my life. It's probably because I've had too much time to think, and I'm trying not to dwell on the possibilities behind the lack of communication between myself and the hubs. I've been pin-pointing some of the bigger moments of my life, and I'm kind of amazed at how significant they really were.

The moment I decided not to go to college changed the course of my entire adult life. I had been offered nearly a full scholarship, but I didn't have the money to cover the balance of the tuition and my mom told me I hadn't tried hard enough. I was so angry and bitter that I decided right then and there not to go. If that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have ended up living in Baltimore, working in bars for years. I wouldn't have come out of my shell. I had been a painfully shy, awkward child, and I think that wouldn't have ever changed if I had gone to college. I wouldn't have met the majority of people in my life today.

The moment I decided to marry my first husband set my life on the course it is on now. If I hadn't made that mistake, I wouldn't have met Mr. M, and I can't really imagine what my life would be like right now. Before I moved to NC to be with Mr. M, I was living alone back in Baltimore, working a decent job, but I didn't have my license back yet and I had no transportation, and my friends had all fallen off the map. I loved my job, but there was only so much time I could mooch a ride to work. And having no social life gets depressing very quickly.

These are just two examples, but if any of the moments had been just the tiniest bit different, my entire life would be different. And I love my life right now, even with all of the tears and heartache.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

~* Name That Cliche' 80s Song *~

I really do miss my hubby. I mean, I've said it before- before I moved to NC, when he was in the field for a few days, when we just had conflicting schedules and didn't get to see each other much. But the true depth of that phrase is really starting to sink in.

He's been gone for over two weeks now. On the plus side, that's only 22-38 more weeks to go. On the minus side, that's 5.5- 8.5 more months to go. I did finally get to Skype with him the other day for a few minutes. I was so happy just to see his face again that I didn't know what to say. I just wanted to sit and look at him.

The hardest part has been the nights. I can't sleep. I know people say that a lot, but really, I can't sleep. I have to be up at 3:30am to open the gym, so I go to bed around 9:30pm. I roll around and try to get comfy and wind up staring at the clock every 20minutes. I open the window. Then I close the window. I turn the music on. Then I turn the music off. I roll to my side. Then my arm goes numb, so I flip to my belly. Then my neck cramps up, so I flip to my back. Next thing I know, the auto-timer on the coffee pot kicks in and my apartment is draped in the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Thank god, because I need it. I haven't slept a wink. It's so cliche', but I never realized how much I need him next to me until I couldn't have him next to me. I feel like a cliche' 80's song- you know the one.

Monday, February 27, 2012

~* Estrogen In The Air *~

Yesterday, I had a girl date. Actually, I organized a girl date. Anyone who knows me realizes this is completely out of character for me. It's not that I dislike other women. It's just that I usually feel suffocated in the presence of excessive estrogen. Everything changes, right?

I had already decided that every Sunday while the hubs is gone, I will treat myself to fro-yo. Sunday is my "free" day from my healthy living routine- I don't go to the gym, I can have pasta for dinner and brownies for breakfast, and I can have a bottle of wine instead of a glass (if I so choose). And the fro-yo place is where we had our last date before he left, so it's kind of my tribute. However, I'm not a complete hermit, and I didn't want to go alone.

I work at a gym full of women who try to live healthy, like myself, so fro-yo is more appealing than ice cream. Also, my neighbor upstairs is alone since her hubs just left also. And there's the super-nice girl who took me to church last weekend. So, I decided to send them all a Facebook event invite to join me. I didn't really expect anyone to come, and I was a little nervous since only the girls from the gym know each other. But, it turned out to be five of us, and I think we had a really good time. Girls just wanna have fun, after all. All smiles, no drama. It's strange to say this, but it's exactly what I needed yesterday. Hopefully, we can continue the ritual. I'll be there regardless, but maybe I'm not too old to make friends who will join me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

~* One Foot In Front Of The Other *~

Suck it up, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have to remind myself to do this multiple times every single day.

Adjusting to life by myself, but not really by myself, but really- by myself again is TOUGH! It's a lot tougher than I thought it would be. It's been nice to wake up in the morning to a phone call from 7300 miles away, but it's hard to know that that's all I get for the next 24 hours or so. It's hard to hang up, but sometimes it's hard to keep talking. It's hard to make normal conversation when all I want to do is break into tears and tell him how much I want him to come home. It's hard to remember that if he comes home early, it's not going to be for a happy reason, so it's hard to just pray for the days to fly by.

It's hard to remember that there's no way that truck I just saw drive by could be him. It's hard to revert to cooking for one. It's hard to watch Jeopardy alone- I feel like half of my intelligence must be halfway around the world. It's hard to go to sleep alone, and it's hard to wake up alone. It's hard to remember to only make a half of a pot of coffee. It's hard to pull into the parking lot in front of our building, to see his truck, and remember that he won't be inside. It's hard to try to make plans for the future knowing that I have to make decisions and hope he likes them when he comes home. It's hard to answer the ever-present questions "How's he doing?" and "How are you holding up?". It's hard.

So, I need to tell myself constantly- suck it up, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. The next 6-9months will be over before I know it, and I want to make him proud. I want him to want to come home and not leave again (even though we both know he will most likely have to). No matter how hard it is, I know that in the end, it will be worth it. But to get to the end, I have to put one foot in front of the other, and just keep going.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

~* When's The Fun Start?? *~

I thought that after the hubs deployed, I'd enjoy certain parts of life so much more. I was wrong.

I thought I'd enjoy having the bed to myself. I can't sleep more than 2 hours at a time. I wake up, checking my phone to make sure I didn't miss a Facebook message from him.

I thought I'd enjoy not having the alarm go off at 4am every day. I'm up at 4am anyway.

I thought I'd enjoy having a clean apartment. I haven't had the motivation to clean up all of his things.

It's not all terrible. I do cry a lot, but it's not all terrible. I got to hear his voice for the first time yesterday morning. I cried, but it was a different kind of cry. It looks like we're getting the house we wanted, so I'm planning all of that out- paint and new furniture and a few surprises just for him. I went grocery shopping on Sunday and only spent $36- and $10 of that was vitamins. I made a new friend- the wife of a guy hubs is deployed with. We're both going through this for the first time, and it's been nice to have someone to share the experience with. She even got me to go to church with her this past weekend. I'm not instantly some religious zealot, but it was nice to be in a room where everyone was doing the same thing I was- praying.

It's only been a week, and it has not been easy. But, hey, I only have somewhere between 24-40 weeks left!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

~* Some Minutes Are Better Than Others *~

So, can we all just say it- Worst. Valentine's Day. Ever.

I told the hubs I'm going to rip February 14 out of every calendar we ever own. Last year, he had to come back to NC on Valentine's Day. This year, he had to leave me again on Valentine's Day. Ugh.

I haven't been to sleep yet. I got home at 3am, and the dog wouldn't come to bed. He keeps waiting for Mr. M to walk through the front door. I tried to sleep, but I kept getting text and facebook messages of love and support (which I am SOOOOO grateful for). I decided that as long as I stay busy, I'm ok.

So I got up, took my neighbor shopping for care package items and some Starbucks, did dishes and taxes, and have managed to stay pretty busy all day. Until now. I'm trying to make dinner and the tears keep trying to come out. I am going to be strong through this. I am going to be a wife to make my hero proud. But dammit, it's going to be hard. Some minutes I feel fantastic. Others, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry until I disappear.

God, give me strength.

Monday, February 13, 2012

~* How Do YOU Know? *~

This week is gonna suck. No way around it. I'm going to be stuck to my husbands side until the second they yank me away from him. I'm a depressed, nervous wreck but I'm trying to keep it together. This is my time to step up to the bat and be the Army Wife that makes everyone jealous.

However, if one more person rubs my back or pats my arm and says "Don't worry, he'll be ok", I might punch someone in the face. How do YOU know he's going to be ok? How do YOU know that out of all the men injured, wounded, and KIA every day, every week, every month- how do YOU know he won't be one of them? He's not going for a jog around the block folks, and the sucky reality is that he might NOT be ok. I've accepted that. He's accepted that. It's your turn.

Don't get me wrong- I understand that it's something a lot of people say because they feel the need to say something but they don't really know what to say. Say anything else, please. Really, anything. Tell me my hair is a wreck or someone hit my car or my shoes don't match...or just tell me you'll say a prayer for him.

Monday, February 6, 2012

~* Mama Knows Best *~

Or at least, she thinks she does.

My mom is coming down to see me this weekend. I can't possibly express how grateful I am that she will be here. She knows that this time in my life pretty much blows, and she said she was coming down. She didn't ask. Moms don't ask.

However, as grateful as I am (and believe me, I am grateful!), there is a tiny part of me that's worried. I have always sucked at finding a way to balance my attentions on more than one person at a time. And I'm feeling a little selfish. I want to be able to enjoy this last weekend with the hubs as just the two of us. But this is probably better. If it was just the two of us, we'd probably focus on the miserable situation staring us in the face. This way, at least I'll have a distraction. And sometimes, mama really does know best.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

~* Time Is Not On My Side *~

Eff you, Keith Richards, and eff you Mick Jagger, too. Time is most definitely not on my side.

The hubs and I got things worked out, finally, and now there is just not enough time. There isn't enough time to get everything done. There isn't enough time to spend together. There aren't enough mornings left to wake up together, and there aren't enough dinners left to eat together. I'm freaking out.

I had my major meltdown last week- Friday or Saturday (the days are all running together), and I haven't been able to stop the tears since then. I'm running the constant risk of having the Nile escape through my eye sockets. I burst into tears this morning after someone said they would keep us in their prayers. This is gonna suck.

We were supposed to have more time before this happened. More time before he had to leave again. More time to spend once we figured out how to spend it. More time to be newlyweds. Now, he's working practically around the clock, and when he is home, he's sleeping or I'm at work or both. We NEED this time. I don't know what to do...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

~* Not Issued *~

We all know that saying, "If the Army wanted soldiers to have wives, they would have issued them". I'm starting to realize how true it really is.

The hubs finally got his orders today. It only took 2 months. According to the paperwork, he's leaving at the end of February (which means anywhere from Valentine's Day to the middle of March). It's starting to sink in. We had a really rough week, and we were supposed to see a counselor tonight, but now he's on guard duty all night. Awesome.

So, we're in rough waters, we only have maybe another few weeks together (to try to work our issues out)  for the next 6-9 months, and...he's not allowed to come home tonight. Great. Oh, he'll be off tomorrow? That's fantastic. I'll be at work. Grrr. I guess I'll just suck it up and pray for a good weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

~* You're Making Me Blush *~

I got the most unexpected compliment last night at work. It wasn't from a beefy guy or a girl complimenting my chiseled physique (yet!). It was from a girl I work with, but the compliment had nothing to do with my work ethic, stellar customer service skills, or my ability to whip up a wicked smoothie creation. She looked right at me and said "I wish I had your confidence. I have to start channeling my inner you". I was blown away. I still kinda am, actually.

I know I am one of the most confident people I have ever met. I didn't realize that I broadcast it quite so clearly.

It's funny, because I was a terribly shy kid with absolutely zero self confidence. I didn't start coming into my own til I was about 19 and I started working in bars and clubs, and even then, it took a few years to fully develop. Like a reeeeeeeeeallllyyyyy slow-drying Polaroid. The picture was there, but the details were fuzzy for a long time.

This girl at work, I'll call her Jem, is a sweetheart. Not the brightest bulb in the box, and she talks a lot, but she's pure southern-sticky-sweet. A lot of people have picked on her in the short time she has been working at the gym because sometimes she comes across as shallow and dim-witted, and she's not exactly a quick-learner. I think that she is just maybe a little sheltered and naive and young. The thing that blows my mind is that no matter how much she is picked on, she's still sweet to everyone. Maybe it's because she doesn't realize it, but maybe it's just because she really is a nice person. Hopefully, she stays nice. But when she told me she wanted to channel her inner me because she's too shy to have a conversation with a guy, I had to tell her the truth. It comes with age and experience.

Maybe I could learn a little bit from her, too. Maybe I could be a little nicer to people around me. I'm not gonna get my hopes up, but maybe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

~* I'm Not Actually Betty Crocker! *~

So, there's a battery lunch this week. That's interesting. Kind of cool, kind of inconvenient...I'm working nights most of the week, so it's not ideal, but still something to look forward to. Strange that they're planning to grill out in the middle of January, though. And I can't stand the kids that come to these things...nothing against kids in general, but come on people, control them! Everyone has been asked to bring something, and Sean suggested I make my fantabulous PB & J chocolate cupcakes. Ok, no problem. I have everything here that I need to make them anyway, I just needed to get some disposable cupcake tins.

We were in the store yesterday, and I grabbed 4 trays, each of which holds 6 cupcakes. He asks me " How many cupcakes are you making? You do realize this is a battery lunch, right? And there's, like, 120 people in the battery...". Yeah, I know. ..."So...why don't you make some more?".

I may be pretty awesome in the kitchen (if I do say so myself). However, I'm not ACTUALLY Betty Crocker. Not even a distant relative. Everyone is asked to bring something so that everyone has something, not so that everyone has everything! I'm not Jesus feeding the masses! I am one woman, and a pretty busy one at that. I'm taking time out of my already filled schedule to bother to make anything at all, so pleeeeease don't complain about what I'm making or how much of it I'm making. Try to take into consideration the fact that I'm making food for people that I don't really know, for an event that I don't really have time to go to, and that I have to transport all of it myself. How the heck would I transport 120+ cupcakes by myself???

So, with all of that said, if it's not enough...feel free to tie on an apron and hop in the kitchen yourself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

~* Am I The Worst Wife Ever? *~

No, I don't really think I am. I haven't lied or cheated or any of that terrible stuff. But I'm not sure I'm a good wife, either. Why? Because, honestly, there is a tiny little itty bitty (well, maybe not that tiny) part of me that is looking forward to D-Day.


Yeah, I said it. No, I'm not looking forward to the 6-9 months of constant worry, the crappy internet connections, the sloooooow mail system, the lonely mornings and lonelier nights, spending our anniversary and my birthday alone,  taking the dog out by myself at 4am, lugging the trash out, cleaning the drains, and all the other "man-chores". But I am looking forward to a few things.

I'm looking forward to being able to have more than 3 square feet of the bed at night. I'm looking forward to being able to take up the whole sofa if I want to sprawl out and watch a girly movie. I'm looking forward to not having someone to clean up after. I'm looking forward to my home staying clean for more than a few hours at a time. I'm looking forward to the hugely decreased grocery bill! I'm looking forward to not tripping over shoes and boots, and I'm looking forward to the lack of gross, disgusting, sweaty, smelly PT clothes going in the laundry. I'm looking forward to a little bit of peace and quiet.

Now, I know better than to voice all of this out loud. I know that the universe may take this to the extreme...anyone who is military-related knows what I'm talking about here. So let me be clear- I'm not wishing all of this to be a permanent condition. AT ALL.  I'm just looking forward to a little bit of a break. But I feel so guilty for even thinking this way. I know I should be 100% sad and worried about missing him and his cuddles and whatnot...come on folks, my hubs is 265lbs...he's heavy when he cuddles, and I'm not much of a snuggler. So, again, I I the worst wife ever?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

~* Happy 2012 *~

Wow, it's been a while since I had a chance to post. Things have been hectic. The hubs got me sick right before Christmas, and then we went back to Delaware for the holidays. Despite the sickness, I was incredibly blessed this past holiday season.

I got my license back. I got a car to get around in. I got to spend time with my family. I got tuition assistance approved so I can become a Certified Personal Trainer. 2012 is looking up. Aside from the big D, that is, but we'll talk about that when I have more details.

I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions. I don't really believe in them. I believe every day is an opportunity to resolve to do something better. However, I do intend to be the best person I can be, every single day, and to do some things for myself this year. I will get certified. I will go to the beach. I will make a few more trips to see my family. Things like that.

I hope 2012 is the best year yet, for everyone!
" Don't place your better days in the future."