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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today was a good, good day

Finally! A good, good day. Good at work, good after work, and tonight, I think we just might win at Trivia! If we do, then I am just going to by a lotto ticket.!

Today, I placed several students. Thank GOODNESS!!! I was getting more and more ancy as each day went by. I have been swamped and at my wits end with work, busier than I can imagine being. It isn't just me either. Our whole team is swamped. Boy, does it feel good to get some of that weight taken off, by simply having someone say "Yes". It is even better when it is several at the same time! :)

After work, I went out and fixed what I had already fixed once on the fence. Matt put in a new driveway, and a gate for the truck to fit in the backyard so that we had extra parking for April while he was gone. Also, so that his truck wasn't always out in the open. He also put in a gate for the lawnmower to actually fit through. My honey is so fabulous! Anyway, one of my projects for the summer is to put up new, matching panels for the fence. Well, April and I got motivated this weekend and put it up. We put up twelve panels before it got dark. Each panel was perfectly level...with itself...We thought that would work, because the yard goes up in a hill. Yeah, didn't look so good.

So, yesterday, I put out a line that would help me see the grade of the hill, and mount the panels accordingly. That helped it look MUCH better. I talked to Matt last night, and asked him how he spaced out the panels. He said he butted them up together. Sigh. So, today, I took them all down, again, and butted them up together. Those were twelve panels.

I managed, in one and a half hours, to put up all of the panels for the side of the fence. And, get this, it looks GREAT! They are level, butted up together, and even increase with the grade of the fence. Pictures to come soon. I want to finish the back side of it before I get pictures up.

Anyway, it feels so good to accomplish stuff like this. It feels good to have "progress". I feel sad and lonely sometimes, but I know that Matt would be proud of these silly little accomplishments that would take him one time to figure out. Oh well. Now, when I do the other, longer side of the fence, I will have this all figured out!

So, wish us luck at Trivia tonight. If we win, I am all about a Lotto Ticket!!! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More friends leaving today.

Matt has been gone for three weeks today. This has been easier than I thought, but also way harder than I thought. That doesn't make sense, really, except to me, I guess.

Today, many of our friends will be leaving. My friends' spouses will be leaving, but also Trina will be leaving today. Trina has become such a great friend. She is always there when needed, and it makes me feel good that she will be over there with Matt, as I know that she would look out for him, sort of like I would, just to make sure that he has a good friend there. She is such a beautiful person with a smile that will make his days go a little better, too. I feel good that he is over there, to be her friend, and someone for her to talk to and to lift her spirits as well. She amazes me every day because she has been through a rough couple years. Somehow, she is still the one who is always first to smile, and first to offer assistance if she sees a friend in need. It is truly amazing. Trina had to leave her husband and two kids. See? Simply amazing.

The husband of a good friend of mine also leaves today. Actually, she was the first friend I met here. They just had a baby during his time home. I just can't imagine doing this with kids. Kudos to all military families with kids. Both those leaving, and those staying behind, that have to always hold it together, for the kids. You are truly the strongest of the strong.

More friends and spouses of friends are leaving today also, and also later this week. I just wish everyone the best, and I guess I want everyone to know that I am here if anyone needs anything, even if we haven't known each other for too long. I think that our strength together is so much more than individually. The support that I have had over the past several weeks has been what has helped me through this time, and I am ready to offer it to others as well.

Tonight, I get to hang out with another couple who are friends of Matt and mine. The wife of this couple is also leaving this week. I wish we all could have spent more time together during the time home, but at the same time, these precious 12 months of spending with your loved one prior to them leaving again, it is hard to give up your time together, knowing that this is all you have for a while. Gosh, have I mentioned yet that the soldiers and their families and loved ones truly are an inspiration?

Paige's husband will also be leaving this week. She has been one of the strongest supports of me throughout Matt's deployment, and even before. She and her husband have been through so many deployments and separations, they are nearly pros at this. Let me tell you, it doesn't seem to get easier the more you go through, even if you are a pro. They have a son as well that John will have to leave. The time leading up to the departure is almost worse than the actual goodbye, but of course no one wants to let their loved ones go. I just hope that she knows I want to be here for her every bit as much as she was there for me.

Anyway, I guess I should end my entry for today. I am sad for the separations of families that are taking place. I am thankful, happy and proud of the soldiers that are defending us and our freedoms, and protecting our country and our values. I am amazed and proud of the families that are left behind, having to be strong throughout the deployment. The strength that you have is what allows us to have our lives the way we do. When you take a moment to stop and think about all the people that those in our military protect, it is mind boggling. The sacrifices that are made are amazing. Thank you all for your service, and thank you all for everything that you do. Hero is an understatement for the military personnel as well as the families left behind. THANK YOU.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Missing Him- My Own Little Selfish World

I wanted to blog about our spa day. I really did. I actually wrote one, and was waiting for my pictures to upload, but then lost it when I actually was trying to upload the pictures. Now, I think I need another spa day, ha ha.

Of course the spa day was good, and relaxing, and a wonderful time with the girls. That was great. However, I think that it jiggled my "strength" away. I think that I was so strong because I was so stressed. Maybe a constant "I have to deal with this" feeling. The spa day seemed to have relaxed me enough to allow me to let it go. I wish now that maybe I could go back to "strong". Strong was easier.

Matt didn't call me at all this weekend. He couldn't call me at all. I have gotten so spoiled and used to him calling. I couldn't help but feel a bit of anger, and maybe a little bit forgotten. I know that is not what it was, but that is how I was feeling. I also had feelings of guilt for being angry. How selfish of me.

Reisa, one of my saving graces, called me on Sunday morning, and told me that the phone lines were down where Matt was at. That made me feel better, and less angry I guess. I talked with Paige, and Trina, and of course April about it. We had an issue during our Saturday night girls night, so the Blue Ray player wasn't working. John and Paige came over and John fixed it. That was very nice. Well, the video in the blue ray was of our wedding pictures, those that we had had throughout the years, and a compilation of those that we had together. I have watched this since he left, but yesterday, decided I wanted to watch it. It then became a weird addiction. These pictures are all I have of him right now. So, I watched it seven times. I laughed the first time, cried the next time, laughed, cried....

I know they say don't watch the news. You shouldn't look at the news, or read the news. I have been pretty good about that, because I don't want to know what is happening over there, and because I try to heed the advice of those who have done this before. I am an incredibly anxious, and worrisome person. I was not going to watch it. After I talked with Reisa, and Paige and Trina yesterday, I got on the internet to email Matt and tell him how I was feeling, and that I loved him, and that I knew that he couldn't contact me just yet. On my home page, the first article- bomb in Khandahar. I had to read it. I only read long enough to know that no soldiers were killed. I knew he was safe anyway, even when reading it, but it hit me....hard....I guess it was the first real realization that I had had that he wasn't just over there being bored. He was over where there war was taking place. People were getting hurt, people were dying. I knew this in my head the whole time, of course, but it became more real to me.

Talking to the girls, they have all gone through this before, they seem to understand, but they seem to deal with it so much stronger than I did. I called my mom, because I didn't want to bother anyone with my "freakout", but I had to get it out. I messaged my brother, a flight engineer for the Navy, who had some consoling words. He has been there, and could offer me consolation about what Matt was probably thinking or feeling. I can't help but be upset with myself. Here I am, worried and sad and scared and angry at this stupid war. Matt and the other soldiers, are over there, in the midst of all of this, and they just carry on as I would for my job. My job that the largest risk I have is some stranger yelling at me. They have to be strong, courageous, and they have to carry on their days with a clear head, and they have to supress all their worry, sadness, fear and anger. They can't risk having a "freakout", as it would put their lives, and others' lives, in danger. They don't get a spa day to relax, or they don't get to have a drink to help console them. They just do what they have to do.

Today, I tried to work. I could not get out of bed (well, the couch, because I could not sleep in my bed last night). When I did, I tried to work, but could not take my mind off of it, could not clear my head and focus on what I had to do. I had to stop. I was no good to anyone if I kept "trying". Matt doesn't get a day off. He doesn't get to call in because he "can't take it today".

How selfish of me. How incredibly, horribly selfish of me.

I did get to talk to him last night. He told me he was okay. All I could do was cry and tell him how horrible the day was for me, that I didn't hear from him, and that I was scared. How freaking selfish. Boo freaking hoo. Now he has to think all day that I am here sad. On top of everything else he has to worry about.

So, I might have these days in the future, I am sure that I will. But, I am going to do my darndest to keep it to myself.

I am sorry, honey, for upsetting you. I am sorry that I have been so self-centered, when you are over there not just for you, not just for me, but for everyone in this country, fighting this stupid war. I want you to come home now. I love you, baby. I miss you so much.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gettin' Things Done

Last night, April and I were very, very productive. We finally got the living room, office, garage and her room organized to where it looks like we live in a house again, rather than a storage space. How exciting! We can actually turn on the television now, without the remote sensors being blocked by piles of stuff. I think this will be really helpful to her as well, because she can start working again, and also knows where her stuff is!
One of our projects was the hang the Wall Mount for her television in her bedroom. "We can do this", I said. So, we went and got all of the tools that we would need (plus some, apparently). We opened the directions and got to work. Funny thing about the directions is that there were no written directions. It was just pictures. That actually made things more difficult, but we figured it out.
We drilled 13/16" holes in the wall for the wall swing arm mount. Let me go back. We first measured, leveled, marked, and then predrilled holes. We did also use the stud finder, but apparently it is not exactly correct. As you can see by the first picture, there was one casualty in the wall. We then went to the old "knock on the wall" trick, as well as the stud finder. That worked better. :)
By using our "picture book directions", we attached the mount to the TV, and then hung it on the swing arm mount. Actually, the only real problem we ran in to was to get the nut to go on the screw that attached the swing arm to the TV mount. And, I think that was mostly because someone had bought the item and returned it, and they put grease or something all over the inside of the attachment, which made the nut slippery.
The one tool that we forgot to get was the socket wrench. I asked April to go find it in the tool box. I said "can you go get me the Crescent Wrench". She looks at me blankly. "You know, the one that goes qchqchqch." She knew exactly what I meant. This is how she and I work so well together! :) (And yes, we know now that it is a Socket Wrench!)
We had a good time with this project, and felt very accomplished. Her television is now on the wall in her room, and it is not going anywhere! I think we should start a "HandyWoman" business! ha ha.
I do have to thank my sweetheart for the stuff that I learned from him. There is no way I would have even attempted this project if I hadn't been working with him on other projects where I learned how to do some stuff, and also where I gained some confidence, especially for drilling big holes in to walls! I love you, sweetie!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Its weird what I have missed.

There is no picture to this blog, because the things I miss aren't the things we have pictures of. I wish we did. I remember saying, "honey, we need to take a picture of this so that I have it". Then, it is time for him to put on his gear and leave. Time flies, and you don't always have to be having fun for that to happen.

The thing that I miss the very, very most is the way he looks at me. If we are watching a movie, and I am laying with my head is his lap, he looks at me. He looks at me in the most loving, caring way. It doesn't matter if I have make up on. Selma Hayek could be on the TV. He just looks at me with his sweet, caring eyes. That, I miss alot.

I miss falling asleep while watching movies, just content to be near him. I miss the way he mindlessly rubs my feet, even though he has been the one having the long, hard day. I even miss the way that he squishes me when we are falling asleep. I miss the way that he cares about me, and for me. I guess I have to finally learn to do that myself.

I have been doing pretty good over the last couple of weeks; been pretty strong. I am proud of myself for that. I really thought I was going to be a basket case for the entire year. It is nice to prove myself wrong from time to time. But today, I was eating Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and that sent me to thinking about him, and laying on his lap, watching TV, and him looking at me. He loves Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. I thought maybe I could reverse my sadness by eating Dill Pickles. :) Somehow, I don't think that will work.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Her Misses Her Daddy

This is an old picture, but this is pretty much what she has been doing. Well, this and eating things that she shouldn't be. She has been quite chewy lately. I suppose it is stress. She misses her Daddy.

The first few days after Matt left, Lily was looking around every room, every time I came home. It is like she thought I had him stuffed in my purse or something. She misses him. Every day I pet her real hard and say "You have to pet her real hard so that she knows that you love her". That is what her Daddy says. She likes that, but I think that she misses her daddy's big hands that can pet her. She misses snuggling with him.

Lily lays on Matt's side of the bed during the day while I am working, or right before bedtime. She still grumps when I climb in to bed, though, and jumps up to go to her bed.

It was funny the other night when Matt called me, I put the phone on speaker phone so that she could hear him talk. She looked behind her, above her, to her sides. When I turned off the speaker phone, she pawed at the phone. I am going to have him record his voice in a doll and send it back to me. Maybe she won't chew this one up! I have also asked him to send some shirts that he has worn to put on her bed. She has not chewed those up, as we have sent them with her when she boards at the vet from time to time.

I can't wait until he comes home. I bet she will be SOOO excited! I know I will be!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's a girl to do?

My husband uses security to the max. I love him for it. I feel so much safer because of it, and he has helped me establish some good security habits as well.

However, here is my dilemma. He has this massive key chain that houses all of the keys for his locks. I had April take this picture because it was funny. And somehow, he knows which key goes to what, and they all look the same to me! We have keys and locks for EVERYTHING!

Maybe Matt is teaching me patience while he is away. :) Any time I need to get in to anything, I will have to systematically go through the keys. See, he is always looking out for my best interests! :)

Food Food Food!!!

So, one of April and my goal this year together is to learn how to cook. So far, I think we have impressed ourselves. Here are pictures of some of the items we have cooked:

Stuffed Green Peppers with sauteed Red peppers, asparagus and zuchinni.

Spinach, Lettuce and Raspberry salad with mozzerella cheese.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Pasta with Asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and just yumminesses.

Pizza: 1/2 Hamburger and Portabella Mushroom with fresh mozzerella, 1/2 spinach, cherry tomato and goat cheese. I didn't like the goat cheese, but the stuff where there was no goat cheese, it was AWESOME!

I am proud of what we have done so far. April and I compliment each other well when cooking, because she has good ideas of what to put together, and I don't have too much fear when it comes to spices!

So far, so good. We haven't really tried to actually open a cookbook yet. For some reason, that is where my cooking seems to be the worst. We have a year to get really good, and hopefully learn what we do wrong and right while cooking! :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"A Friend Loveth At All Times" Proverbs 17:17

“When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.”
What an appropriate quote for April's arrival to Clarksville! April came from Chicago to live with me during Matt's deployment. She has been there for so much throughout the years. We have been friends since High School, and been through so much together!
While April is here, we have big plans. We are going to become Master Chefs (ha ha), have plans to grow a garden, become healthier, and of course have "girl time" with the ladies who are here in Clarksville, who have all become so close, as we pass the time for the soldiers to come home.
April will also be pursuing her photography business in the Clarksville area, and will be working with another friend and photographer, Paige Kimball, to photograph weddings. April and Paige both photographed Matt and my wedding, and they are so talented!
I am so thankful that April will be here to help me through Matt's deployment. Having her here will help keep me busy and help the time pass by quickly, but also allow her to expand on her business and personal goals as well. It is so nice to have her so close in my life again!
Expect to see pictures of us, funny, goofy. She is also going to help me document my time during Matt's deployment.

A Soldier's Wife

Just one month and 22 days after we were married, my husband deployed for his third tour, the first since we have been together. This deployment is to be twelve months. Of course I was sad to see him go, but know that he will return to me, safely, and we will continue this journey we started, together. Matt is in Afghanistan for the second time, his first tour being in Iraq.

My new sister-in-law has shared a poem that I am taking from her blog, because it has truly given me strength since the first time I saw it, the day after Matt left. It has lead me to find strength since he has been gone; strength I did not know I had.

A Soldier's Wife's Prayer
Dear Lord,

Give me the greatness of heart to see
The difference between his duty and his love for me.
Give me understanding so that I may know
That when duty calls him, he must go.
Give me a task to do each day
To fill the time when he is away.
And Lord, when he is in a foreign land,
Keep him safe and in your loving hand.

Thank you for sharing this, Amanda. You don't know how much it has truly helped.

As the deployment goes on, I hope to track our lives together, only separate. Our journey will continue after he gets home, and we will open more chapters.

The Day Life As One Began

Since the day Matt and I met, we have pretty much been two peas in a pod. We have been together daily, minus very short training trips, or a quick trip here or there. We practically moved in together within a week of dating! He and I have been through many things already, including major home remodeling, moving cross country and back, and just fun times together.

On January 2, 2010, Matt and I married. It was the greatest day of my life, knowing that I would join this man forever. He is my true love. Our day had our very closest family and friends, and we are so excited that we could share it with those we love. During the wedding, I could not stop staring at him and smiling, knowing that we had found each other. I was so happy. The way he looks at me is nearly spiritual, it is so pure and loving.

The day after the wedding, we could not stop looking at each other, calling one another "husband" and "wife". Of course each time we said it, we laughed, so excited that we had become one. Every day, I wake up and can't wait to start the next day of the rest of our lives. He makes me feel so loved, so safe, and he makes me a better person. Together, we have grown so much!