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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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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. While I understand that some people thrive on this day o’ love, I’m not one of those people. Maybe it stems from the fact that this will be the fifth Valentine’s Day TC and I have been together for and this is the first one we’ve physically spent together and I’m not 100% sure what we’re supposed to do. Or the fact that I don’t like to celebrate holidays with the masses, but I’m not a fan. I don’t plan things on this day, I don’t make a big deal out of it.

Yet, here I am, sitting in front of my computer, snuggled up next to the dogs, drinking my coffee and posting about Valentine’s Day. So here’s the deal: I don’t feel the need to gush about Valentine’s Day because TC loves me every single day. I’ve had some pretty creepy boyfriends in the past. Crazycakes central here folks. I appreciate TC for lots of reasons that I express all the time. I don’t need one day singled out to feel special. Our plans for tonight? Watching the Netflix movie we’re scheduled to receive in the mail today. Trying a new recipe (Potato and Leek soup) and checking out a new gym close to our house. Maybe… just maybe, if we’re feeling wild and crazy… we’ll study a little bit together too. I know what you’re thinking: “This girl needs to calm down. There is no way her husband can take all that romance.” Well, he’ll just have to find a way, since that is my big plan for the night.

But perhaps in the upcoming days… I’ll post about some of the crazycakes I’ve dated in the past. Those stories provide an endless supply of comedy gold. Comedy. Gold.

 

Anyway – Happy Valentine’s Day to those that celebrate it and Happy Monday to those that don’t. Eat some chocolate and drink some champagne just for the heck of it!!

 

(Anyone else think it’s cruel to have Valentine’s Day fall on Monday? To those of us who have had to spend this BS holiday alone… it’s kind of a really crappy way to start the week. Right?!?)

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First of all – Merry Christmas! I hope you got to spend some time with your loved ones and significant others. If you didn’t get that special time with them, I hope you were able to reach out to them to let them know they were missed and loved by all. TC and I have shared many Christmases apart (all but one, actually) so I know how hard it is to be without them on such a celebrated day. My thoughts are with you.

Second – I learned a very valuable lesson this week. TC left to go be with his family on Christmas, (a sore subject with us… but I can’t be “that” wife and say, no, you can’t go be with the family you only see twice a year – maybe more on that in a later post) and I was planning on driving back to my parents (about 18 hours) on Thursday with the dogs. I had a sinus infection but the base doc couldn’t see me again until next Wednesday I just let it ride itself out with the meds I already had.

Protip #1: Don’t let these things “ride themselves out.” It will get worse.

By Thursday, my temperature had been over 100 for four days and I decided I needed to go to urgent care to get this taken care of. Turns out, I had bronchitis and it was rapidly turning into pneumonia. One banana bag of rehydrating fluid and a steroid shot later they decided that I might need to be admitted to the hospital. It didn’t come down to that, but I did worry a little about what I would do if I was in an actual emergency without TC here. We’ve made friends but no one yet that I’d feel comfortable with sending to my house to take care of the dogs, or taking me to the ER if needed.

Protip #2: Emergency contacts are no good when those people are thousands of miles away.

Good news though, I’m getting better. I don’t feel like dying and my temp dropped below 100 for the first time since Monday. I’m focusing on things again and I’ve stopped feeling like someone is sitting on my chest. YAY! I might actually be able to get out of the house tomorrow! It’s been tough spending the holiday that I love so much with just my dogs. Don’t get me wrong, they are pretty amazing and I love them dearly… but it’s hard to not be with my family, or TC.

Always remember that no matter where you live, it’s important to know SOMEONE that can help in an emergency. My goal when I’m better is to make sure I have those people (and to know that they are in town during holidays.)

Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

<3, Meg

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So, it dawned on me as I was writing my Friday MilSpouse Fill-In, that I haven’t told you guys how TC proposed!

He’s never been one to really plan anything, but he wanted to take me to Chicago the last weekend in March 2009 to “just get away and relax.” Work had been really very stressful leading up into our major event season in April and I was hating my job. A weekend away in Chicago was perfect. We both love, love, LOVE that city so it seemed fitting that we vacation there. I had no idea what he actually had planned. This is TC, he doesn’t plan ANYTHING, there was no way he could be planning to propose.

My Mom came to pick up Allie on Thursday. The weather wasn’t looking amazing, but we hoped we could at least get off the ground before the snow really picked up on Friday. While meeting my Mom at the house, the FedEx guy shows up, I sign for a package and immediately throw it in TC’s office because I’m sure it’s car parts… literally, I threw the package into his office. I was very wrong, it wasn’t car parts. What girl signed for her own engagement ring and threw the box on a couch like it was worthless crap? This girl.

My Mom took Allie so we could fly out the next day and I went back to work. Friday came and it snowed. Not a little snow, but like 10 inches of snow in just a few hours. Not awesome. We went to the airport six hours before our flight to try to get on standby for the earlier Chicago flight. No go. We sat at the airport and watched the last plane that would leave for Chicago de-ice for almost an hour before it took off, without us. I was angry. Livid, actually. But TC was worse. I’ve never actually seen him so angry about missing a flight before. We drove back home and watched movies all night. I cried, a lot. Work was stressful, I needed away and I was stuck in freaking Kansas.

The next morning, TC work up crazy early (5:00 a.m. to be exact), chipped his truck out of the ice and snow, and went to a little coffee shop down the street to get me Chai, him a latte and the Wall Street Journal. By the time he returned I was awake but refusing to get out of bed. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I should have been waking up in Chicago.

He placed my Chai on my nightstand and we start to read the paper. He then asked if it tasted ok, he didn’t think they made it right. Reluctantly, I pick up the cup and sitting on the top was a dog tag. Allie’s dog tag. That had my first name and TC’s last name. As I sat there, very confused and wondering what the heck was going on, TC pulled out a ring box and asked me to marry him. In our bed. In our house. At 6:00 a.m. on a snowy day in the middle of Kansas. I was shocked. I said yes.

I waited until around 7:00 a.m. to call my parents – who had been in on this THE WHOLE TIME. They knew it was going to happen but they thought it would be in Chicago. (That explained why they were so upset that our flight got cancelled too…) We then called TC’s parents, and our siblings. Everyone already knew. I was the only one left in the dark. Well played TC, well played.

Turns out he was going to propose to me in the middle of Millennium Park basically the same way, with Allie’s new tag and a cup of Chai. No “down on one knee.” No big to-do about the whole thing. It was private. It was very personal. It was just like us. I wouldn’t have changed the way things happened at all.

On the plus side – we got all of our money back from the flights and hotel room so we went out and bought a really big plasma tv. Win/Win weekend for us! I got a pretty sparkly ring and TC got a giant tv.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving! I’m lucky enough to be with my family this holiday, although TC isn’t here to celebrate with me. In the spirit of this day, I’d like to share a list of things I’m very thankful for. Enjoy!

– My family. They are perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have them any other way. As dysfunctional as we are, I still love them more than anything else in this world and would do anything for them.
– My friends, old and new. Wow, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without their help and support, laugher and shoulder to cry on, wine and chocolate.
– My dogs. Yep, I’m thankful for them as well. They provide the unconditional love that makes me feel I can do anything. No matter where I am in my life, they will love me. They support me in whatever I choose and they don’t judge. I couldn’t ask for better creatures.
– My education. I’m thankful I decided to continue with my education even after I had several setbacks. I pushed on and achieved my goals. I’m even thinking about going back for a Master’s degree .
– I’m thankful I have the opportunity to pursue my educational goals.
– My health. The past few weeks have been iffy, health wise, but overall, I’m very healthy and active.
– My fitness ability. Loads of people can’t go out and exercise. I can, so I do.
–  The Military. Yep, I’m even thankful for this. Not only because it provides a good living for my little family, but because they send me to fun places to live… like Florida 🙂
– Being home with my parents for Thanksgiving. Moving so far away, I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to be here this close to the move. It’s so nice to be with my parents for awhile.
– Finally… TC. I’m so thankful for that man. More on that tomorrow 🙂

Now I’m off to help cook Thanksgiving Dinner with my Mom, a family tradition. No turkey for me, you better believe I’m going to be throwing down some pumpkin pie.

❤ always, Meg

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And that reason is the fact that I am a planner. I plan everything when it comes to traveling. If we have a 3 hour lay over while flying, I’ve already planned out where the best place to grab a beer would be in the terminal. If we’re headed to a new city, I’ve already researched public transportation, things to do and see, where to stay, etc. I don’t schedule every minute of our trip, I just research and provide lots of options. I think it’s fun to plan out trips and such. (Maybe I need to be a travel agent?!?)

But TC is nothing like this. For example: I’m sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight that takes off in… FIVE HOURS. Why? Because TC was my ride to the airport and he had to be at work at 0730. That’s fine, except the airport is 45 minutes from our house and another hour and a half back to his work. Ugh. But, this airport has free wi-fi (Thank you technology…) and a decent little cafe to grab some coffee and catch up on blogs that I haven’t had time to read. Oh and study… that studying thing has me thrown these days. It’s taking all of my willpower to get it done. I’m sure it will pass, but gah! I’m just ready to be done with it.

In other news, I’ll be in my hometown and with my side of the family later on today and that makes me happy. Neither one of my parents (or my big brother, actually) have handled this move very well. I”m sure they’ll get used to me being more than four hours away, but right now, they’re all kind of freaking out about it.

My genius idea of traveling on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday of this week was shared by most of Florida, evidently. The people watching is prime though. So I’m sure that will keep me entertained for a good while.

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Arizona vs. Florida

TC and I are deployment masters. We both handle them really well and it’s almost down to a fine art. Stateside TDYs are a different story, at least for TC. I’m not sure whether it’s the fact that he has more downtime, or that he’s used to traveling through the country with me by his side, but he gets a little… clingy during these TDYs. So clingy, in fact that he was in Arizona for a week and rescheduled his flight so he could be home 18 hours early. He had the opportunity to wander around Scottsdale for almost a full day and he decided to come home to me. I was thrilled by this, or course, but sad for him at the same time. How often will he be in Scottsdale, for free, and available to just wander around and explore? Not many, I’m sure.

So I asked him about it when he got home. I felt badly that he thought he needed to hurry home to be with me. He came back with this:

“I thought about staying and wandering around, maybe even going to Taliesin West but it’s just not as much fun without my partner. And I missed you. A lot. I just wanted to be home with you and the dogs.”

**AWWW… Insert gagging noises here.**

I was flattered. Wow. He wanted to give up exploring a new city (something that we both adore) to come home to me and the dogs. Just wow.

But it gets better. As we laid in bed that night talking, I started to fall asleep. I didn’t mean to, I was just extremely tired. And I drifted in and out of sleep. He laid there and rubbed my shoulders and whispered this into my ear:

“I’m going to miss you when you fall asleep for the night.”

Um… Who are you and what have you done with my husband?! He’s pretty awesome and while he’s still a man, he knows exactly what to say to me to make me feel special.

I’m leaving for a week and putting TC in charge of the dogs. This could be interesting as he’s never had to take care of the dogs, or the house, or be at home without me for a full week. I hope the dogs are still alive when I get home and the house is still standing. I’m not even asking him to keep it clean, just keep it standing. (That’s not TOO much to ask, right? Right?!?)

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