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So… I’m going to violate PERSEC for a minute: I’m going back to Kansas for a few days next week. I know, I know… I’m not supposed to say where I’m going, that I’m leaving, blah, blah, blah…

Honestly? Kansas is a pretty big state and if you REALLY wanna know EXACTLY where I am, I’m sure you can find that out just fine without me mentioning it on my blog. BFD.

But anyway… I want to express how deeply excited I am to be going. Off the wall, can’t sleep already, excited. I’m going to see some of the people who helped me through deployments, life and the like. People who confided in me when they didn’t have to. People who are a huge part of my life and who I miss terribly. AND… ONE MY BEST FRIENDS IS GETTING MARRIED!!! AHHH!!! I am so excited to be a part of her big day!

Also… I get to spend about three days with my familia. They are amazing and I am glad I am getting to sneak in a little family time while back in the land of OZ.

Some really neat things I’m looking forward to? (In no particular order)

  • Taking pictures with my camera. Of: The wedding, friends, debauchery that I’m sure will take place. Family!! Those two little girls that I adore so much? They will be SICK of picture taking by the time I leave. AND: Kansas. I really do think that place is beautiful (You can call me crazy and think I’ve lost it… I haven’t. I think lots of places are beautiful that others don’t. It’s called being optimistic and not shitting on everything folks. Try it. It’s fun.)
  • Spending time with my Daddy. I’m a daddy’s girl to the core and since he retired… he has free time to spend with his one and only daughter.
  • My Mama. She’s awesome and she likes wine. I think that’s all that needs to be said.
  • My nieces. They are so cute and growing SO FAST! I can’t wait to make them hug me until they can’t feel their arms anymore.
  • Allergies… In Kansas. Ok… now I have allergies. They weren’t THAT bad in Kansas, but here? OMG they make me want to scratch my eyes out with forks. I love spring, but hate allergies. I’ll be glad to not have to deal with them in their current intensity for a bit.
  • My friends. Confession: I have more civilian friends than I do mil-spouse friends in real life. While they couldn’t ever say “I know exactly what you’re going though.” They were always there with wine and dinner/chocolate/date time. I could escape the military life when it sucked the most and be a civilian again without having them pressure me to talk about TC and his job. (Ever notice how when military wives get together the topic almost ALWAYS goes to military? What is with that?!) It was nice to be “normal” and not worry about the Air Force. Their friendship was invaluable to me and I CANNOT wait to see them again.
  • The wedding!!! Have I mentioned that my BFF is getting married?!?! She is! To an amazing man that’s taking her to live in Hawaii. (Tough life, huh…) But she’s gorgeous inside and out and I could  not be happier for her. Oh… and… my bridesmaid dress? It freaking rocks my socks off:

image from target.com

I know – it’s amazing. Be jealous. I also have a new dress to wear to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner:

Luxe Jersey Crossover Knit Dress
Image from anntaylorloft.com
To say that I’m excited might actually be an understatement.
One more thing to be excited about? I love to fly and to travel. I don’t know exactly what it is that I love so much, but I get crazy, super psyched about it. It will be a good trip… it just needs to get here already!

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Day 8: Three things you want to say to three different people.

Can they be anonymous? I’m going to make them anonymous. Ok, two of the three are anonymous.

1. Please stop using your unborn child for attention. I get that you’re scared and that you’re going to give birth while your husband is deployed, but if it was SUCH a big deal… why did you actively try to conceive when you KNEW he was leaving for an eight month deployment?! You made your bed, now stop trying to gather sympathy from everyone.

2. Thank you for making me see that life is short and that I need to tell those that I love just how I feel about them. Thank you for reminding me that there are things in life I cannot control and as hard as I fight them, it’s easier to accept and move on as best I can. I will never forget what you have done to myself and to so many others that loved her, but I am slowly learning to forgive. You had demons to overcome. I feel that you are doing just that. While I will never forget the night you took her from us, I hope that you never forget either. I hope that every time you have a drink you remember her. I hope  our loss and her death caused you to become a better man; to make better decisions.  “Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons.” – Jessica Lange

3. Dear AF: Thank you for sending us to, quite possibly, the most beautiful location you could send us within CONUS. I feel very, very lucky to be here and I’m glad TC finally has a mission he enjoys. The past five years have been really hard on him and he needed a good assignment to regain his entusiasm in the military and with flying. It also helps that we’re on the beach and I’m have a really great tan building up. So, thanks for not sucking on this one!!

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Since I know how EVERYONE loves these things… I thought I’d bombard your reader with one as well. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to do two of these… don’t worry, I won’t do them back to back, I promise! I hope you don’t get too bored with my overly exciting life!!

Day one: Write some basic things about yourself.

  • I grew up in an itty bitty town in Kansas.
  • Thunderstorms make me incredibly happy.
  • My two favorite beers currently are SeaDog Blueberry Wheat Ale (brewed in my favorite state) and Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat. Yum-O.
  • I’m a pretty awful friend in that I don’t call/text/write/send smoke signals/etc for days at a time… but I’m always thinking about my friends!! I just don’t want to bother them. I know they have their own lives.
  • One goal for the next three years is to get a photography business up and running not just to make money, but to do OpLove. (You have to be “professional” to be an OpLove Photographer.) I don’t really care about making money, I just want to help out fellow MilSpouses to capture those special moments. I also want to be a pet photographer.
  • My husband is a ninja. No really. I can’t tell you what he does because A.) I’m not 100% sure myself and B.) If I told you… I’d have to kill you. I’m not kidding about that.
  • I’ve seriously considered a maid to come in and clean up the kitchen after I cook, simply because I hate doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. However, I’m OCD about my kitchen and the way things are cleaned so I think it would just add more stress to my life.
  • I firmly believe there is NOTHING a good glass of wine and some good company can’t fix.
  • Chicago is my favorite city and if TC ever does a deployment of a year or longer, the pigs and I will be there in an instant. To live and work in the windy city? It’s my dream and a small obsession.
  • I love sushi.
  • I love climbing into clean sheets that still smell like laundry detergent and fabric softener.
  • Fall is my favorite season, seconded only by spring.

So there you go, some facts about me. Some are not so basic, but I’m a complicated person… maybe not.

See you tomorrow for day two!

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math

I skipped a few days! Oh NO! I’m sorry to have left you guys hanging this weekend. It was filled with sun and beach,

beer at a local brewery (my favorite Saturday afternoon ritual, by the way)

and a hot tub. It’s kind of nice to disengage for a while and not worry about anything. But I missed ya!

You know how I’ve been claiming that I have some pretty severe OCD when it comes to the organization front? Well… my calendar looks like Rainbow Brite threw up all over it. The calendars on my phone and also on my computer desktop are the same way. Lots of color. Lots of organization. Lots of OCD. This is not new; I’ve done this since I was in high school. I’m going to blame my mother and the fact that when I complained about the planner that was issued to me when I was a freshman and she took me to the Franklin Covey store. I’m a lot like her in the organization respect and she fed my OCD. Thanks, Mom…

But the point of this is not that I’m crazy. You and I both know that. The point is to do a little math. I finally got around to pulling down the boxes of office supplies from the top of the closet in my office that haven’t been unpacked yet (don’t judge) and I found my old planners! (I’m also a borderline hoarder when it comes to certain things… I might NEED to know what I did on November 4th 2007!!!) I’ve written down every TDY, deployment, overnight flight and every other time TC has been away from me for an extended period of time. The first night we spent together was our second date… so I just started from there. Other than the military (and a few other random trips for my work) we’ve spend every night together since that day. So, here’s some math for ya.

1,635: The number of days we’ve been together (wow… and we haven’t killed each other yet. This = miracle.)

683: The number of days he’s been deployed to the sandbox. (or in transit to and from)

189: The number of days he’s been at training within the states but not at our station.

94: The number of days he’s been TDY outside the US.

The totals for this (if you’re not great at math, or simply don’t want to break out the calculator):

Of the 1,634 days we’ve been together, we’ve spent 966 days apart.

Almost 60% of our relationship has been long distance.

I know this is nothing exciting for many of you and there is a large majority of ladies out there that are saying, “Yeah… so?” But my civilian friends are simply floored by this number. Confounded even.

He’s been home since November, and secretly… I might wanna kill him. I kid! I kid! Kind of.  This is the longest stretch of time we’ve ever spent together. As much as deployments and the time away makes me appreciate him, it’s a different beast trying to adjust to having someone home so much.

Side note: Please don’t hate me right now by talking about how it’s SO inconvenient to have TC home. I don’t feel that way at all. I’m treasuring the fact that he’s actually here and I’ve been getting so much time with him. The next three to five years will consist of 2-3 months deployed, 1-2 months home.

But the readjustment… Spending over half (60%) of your time alone and not with someone else is… interesting. When TC is gone, I don’t have to check with anyone to see if they have plans for that night. I don’t have to cook for someone else unless I really want to. I don’t have to work with someone else’s schedule. It’s strange to have another human with opinions and thoughts living right next to me, all the time! I don’t really know how civilian couples do it!

I am very used to being by myself. Doing things on my schedule and not worrying about not spending enough time with TC. I am usually the one to take out the trash, pay all of the bills, feed the dogs, etc. Having him home has shifted the balance of our household and we’re both a little freaked out by it. I am slightly resentful that he doesn’t know what days the trash man comes. I’m slightly resentful that he has no clue how much we spend on water and electricity every month. I know these things. They are second nature; I’ve never had a need to share them with TC.

It’s a learning experience for us both, and something that we’ve been working on for the past three months. I’m sure that we’ll get it figured out just in time for him to deploy again. Isn’t that always how it works?  When that happens, I’ll fall back into my routine of being alone and pay all the bills, take out the trash, and occasionally have cereal for dinner… or chocolate chip cookies… or popcorn. The dogs will have to be walked without TC’s drill sergeant type discipline. We will all adjust… and we’ll have it down to a science, again.

But until then, I’m just enjoying TC being home and the percentage of time we’ve spent apart vs together in our relationship slowly decreasing. 🙂

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Don’t you just love how a bad month can culminate into a shitstorm of a horrible day? This was my day yesterday. It was so bad at one point that I just went back to bed. On any given day, I could have taken the individual events of yesterday in stride, but it seemed like life pushed me down and started kicking me in the stomach repeatedly.

A short list of things that went wrong:

  • My car is STILL not ready yet. They were supposed to have it to me last Friday. Tick tock, folks… I’ve got places to be and things to do.
  • No car = no grocery store run = no ingredients for my breakfast smoothie 😦
  • My run was 35% SLOWER than normal! UGH! So frustrating.
  • I’ve been nursing a pinched sciatic nerve and slipped disc for about a month now. I jacked it up, again, on the slowest run of my life yesterday.
  • Baxter shot out of the front door the moment I opened it, causing me to run frantically around my neighborhood to find that little guy, watched him almost get hit by a car TWICE, pulled my quadricep muscle chasing him and got yelled at by people driving because my dog was out. DUH! I knew that! I’m wasn’t chasing him around for my health! If they were SO concerned about my dog being out… why didn’t they get out of their nice cushy cars to help me corral the little bastard?!
  • In all of this commotion, the electricity people showed up to do something with the meter (without our permission…) and our programmable thermostat won’t work. In fact, our thermostat won’t work AT ALL. I’m glad we don’t NEED AC or the heater. They just need to change out the programmable thermostat to something else, BUT our landlord won’t give us the permission to do so… *Insert side-eye and look of death to landlord here* (Did I mention we’ve been dealing with this issue with our landlord for the past six weeks?!)
  • I’m still waiting to officially start my job. I was offered this position a month ago (one month ago TODAY, in fact) and I haven’t received word on when my starting date is. The money would be helpful, but ultimately, I’m super excited about the position and I want to WORK! Is that so wrong?
  • I dropped (and broke) my french press.
  • My health issues aren’t getting any better. A call from the doc yesterday confirmed some of my worst fears and also explained quite a bit about what’s been going on. I’ve been working out like crazy and eating pretty well… and still gaining pounds (yes, plural) every week. So. Frustrating. But hopefully, they’ve figured out what’s wrong and they can fix at least the weight portion of things. Everything else is still screwed. (Sorry for the vagueness here. It’s complicated and has a pretty involved back story that’s really personal. Know that I love you guys, but I’m just not 100% ready to share it just yet.)

But there was a bright spot in the middle of my day. I didn’t post of facebook, or twitter, or tumblr, or any other social medium about my horrible, horrible day… but as I was sitting on my floor, crying and contemplating opening the wine at 11 a.m., I got a really sweet text message from my dear brother: “Hey, I just wanted to say hi, I love you and have a great day!”

What?! This man, who hasn’t talked to me in week, who used to hate me with a passion only reserved for siblings, who would deny my existence 99% of the time, who didn’t even hug me voluntarily until I was 24 (we’re a family of huggers), who has said that he loved me so infrequently that I can count on one hand how many time he’s said it to me in the past year… sent me a simple text message to bring me back to reality. Thanks, bro!

I’m really lucky to have some great men surrounding me. TC, my dad, my brother and even some really great guy friends are always there for me, no matter what. They’ve shown me what it’s like to be an adult and a great friend. They’ve also taught me how to laugh at life and not take things so seriously. In the midst of my really craptastic day, my brother made me feel special and not so alone. He’s a good guy. I’m lucky to call him my brother.

 

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