Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy Birthday SgtDub!

Just a short blog to tell everyone that today (Jan. 31) is SgtDub's birthday!!!!! During our 15 years of marriage, SgtDub has managed to miss several of his birthdays due to military adventures. I don't know if he is doing this on purpose or what, but I'm starting to see a trend. He has managed (for the most part) to be around for my birthdays -- or at least make arrangements to torture me. He once took a real-estate sign, spray painted it and wrote Happy Birthday in giant reflective letters and stuck it in our front yard. He used this technique for several years until one day the sign disappeared. Whatever happened to that sign? As much as I hated turning another year older, I always laughed when I rounded the corner for home and saw that goofy sign. Last year, with the help of family, friends and co-workers, we managed to have the ultimate "surprise" party for SgtDub. SgtDub's little brother was in town visiting and we pretended that we were going to meet some other family members for dinner. I had one of my friends call me on my cell phone and say that something had come up at work, and I needed to run by and pick something up. The plan was that I would jump out and run inside to give everyone a head's up, while MissDub, Uncle Joey and SgtDub stayed in the car. Uncle Joey was supposed to then say he wanted to come inside to look around and then bring SgtDub to the conference room where everyone was hiding. It didn't happen this way, and they all piled out behind me, so I took off running and they were all saying "wait up". Goobers! Long story, short, MissDub, Uncle Joey and SgtDub wandered around for a few minutes before they came to the conference room door (all the lights were off). Uncle Joey opened the door and SgtDub saw just enough of shadows to know that he was about to walk into something he wasn't sure about. The lights came on and everyone yelled "surprise!" The look on SgtDub's face was priceless. He was so surprised that he had to be pushed inside the door. He soon realized what was going on and we had an awesome party. Papa Phil was the MC for the evening. We went around the room and everyone told stories about SgtDub adventures. His police buddies relayed the story of the time SgtDub almost got his head cut off by a clothes line while on bike patrol (I can talk more about that in another blog). Several people shared the story of the flooded truck (see previous blog), and I had the opportunity to talk about our life together. It was a wonderful evening and I know SgtDub was so happy. Anyway, SgtDub, I hope you know how much we love you and we miss you, and even though you can't be home on your birthday, we are there in your heart!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Night in the Big Town

WooHoo . . . it's Friday night and I'm home alone! I'm wondering how my life would be different if SgtDub was home right now. Would we be going out to eat dinner, seeing a movie, going to the mall, or just laying around? How wonderful it would be to have my family together! I never imagined I could miss him so much and long to touch his skin and smell his stinky feet. MissDub is having a sleep over with her best buddy, so here I sit feeling sorry for myself. I have friends who think I'm so lucky to have my "alone time". They live such busy lives and would give anything to have a night to themselves. Here I sit wishing I could walk around the corner and find SgtDub and MissDub sitting there watching TV. When we first married, we lived in a 900 square foot home. We could see each other from every room in the house. It was so small that you could watch TV and go to the bathroom at the same time. We moved up from there to a 1200 square foot home and thought we'd moved into a castle. We could still hear each other from one end to the other, but we had 2 bathrooms. We now live in a 2200 square foot home and although it's bigger than anything we've ever had, it's really small right now. I think back to how our life was before SgtDub was deployed and how we went about our day-to-day routines. We each spent time in our "own" rooms, and passed in the hallway. I took my family for granted. I assumed we would always be together under one roof. If I had known what was to come, I would have held them closer, said I love you more and spent more time together. I would have stopped long enough to sit and listen to what they had to say, instead of worrying about the dirt on the floor. Everything in life happens for a reason, and I've had the opportunity (twice) to realize just how very important my family is to me. After SgtDub returned from his last deployment, I swore things would be different, and they were -- for a while anyway. Time slips through your fingers like sand, and it's impossible to recapture what you've lost. I'm learning to enjoy the small things in life and not sweating the big stuff. It all works out, and even if it doesn't, as long as I've got my family, I have everything I ever need. With love, MrsDub

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thanks for tagging me ... here you go
1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? On a mountain top overlooking a valley with a river running through it
2. What’s your favorite article of clothing? comfy pjs
3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? his smile
4. What’s the last CD that you bought? Rascal Flats
5. Where’s your favorite place to be? at home with my family
6. Where is your least favorite place to be? stuck in traffic
7. What’s your favorite place to be massaged? back and feet
8. Strong in mind or strong in body? mind
9. What time do you wake up in the morning? 6:30 am
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? dish scrubber that holds liquid soap
11. What makes you really angry? bad drivers
12. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? piano
13. Favorite colour? purple
14. Which do you prefer…sports car or SUV? SUV
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? Only in Heaven (not reincarnated as a cat)
16. Favorite children’s book? Charlotte's Web
17. What is your favorite season? Fall
18. Your least favorite household chore? mopping
19. If you could have one super power, what would it be? strength
20. If you have a tattoo, what is it? none
21. Can you juggle? no
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? Mother-in-Law
23. What’s your favorite day? Friday
24. What’s in the trunk of your car? blanket, boots, toolkit, flashlight, ice scraper
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? hamburger

I tag SGT Dub, if I had to do this, so does he.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Do Nothing Day"

It's Saturday morning, and I've decided to have a "Do Nothing Day". What is a "Do Nothing Day" you ask? Well, my definition of a "Do Nothing Day", is when you stay in your pjs, watch TV, veg and just enjoy the day. Not that this is different than any other weekend for me, I've decided that today I'm not going to drive myself nuts trying to get things done. I feel like I can do this today because I busted my hump last weekend with house cleaning and eliminating junk. My "Do Nothing Day" started at 7:30 a.m. when I was awakened to the whimpers of our dogs begging to go potty. Apparently the dogs don't respect me, or else they would have held it until I was ready to get up. Don't they know it's Saturday? This was my first set back. I sometimes fall back into bed and wait until our dog (Sunshine) starts scratching on the door to come back inside, which usually takes less than 1 minute. By this time, the horses are pacing the fence and begging to be fed. Again, no respect. MissDub and I have an arrangement that I feed the horses in the morning, and she feeds in the evening. It used to be that she would feed during the week, and I would feed on the weekends. Regardless, I think I got the short end of the stick (no respect). Whose idea was it to get horses? Oh right, SgtDub . . . and where is he? So I slid into my insulated jumpsuit, snow boots, hat, scarf and gloves and headed out to the barn. Determined to stick to my plan, I jumped back in bed and slept until 9:30 a.m. when the phone rang. It was SgtDub, so I decided it was time to get up. Following our call, I had my morning cup of coffee, wrote in my journal, read my daily devotional, ate breakfast and watched Rachel Ray (my favorite). I managed to last about an hour before I broke down and put on my sweats. The guilt was killing me and I felt like I had to be doing something. I then proceeded to make the bed, start the laundry and wander from room-to-room picking stuff up. Even though I'm no longer lounging in my pjs, I am going to try to do nothing for the rest of the day. I have to go now, the dryer just stopped and I feel the need to walk on my treadmill. I hope you have better luck at your "Do Nothing Day".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Things that go Boom!

A term I don't wish to hear again . . . SgtDub started my day with a phone call to let me know about a car bombing that happened outside the gate at the camp where he is stationed. Definitely not the way to start the day (or end it). SgtDub and all the soldiers are safe and no one was injured (Thank Goodness!) I'll leave it up to SgtDub to give a description (if possible) of what actually occurred. He's learned from past experience that I do NOT wish to get my news from the television. We've had issues in the past with the police department when I would see breaking news of a shooting or police chase or something big and I would start trying to call him, and get no answer. The problem being he's on the scene and unable to call. I've now got him trained at the first sight of a news team to pick up the phone and call to say it's not him. That's all I need to know. So, on to lesser news . . . Day 5 of the winter blast and we're still here. School was cancelled today and is already cancelled for tomorrow. The highways are clear, but the problem comes in getting there. I stayed home from work again today - I never thought I would miss work, but I do. Why don't we get "heat days" in the summer, say when the temp reaches 90 degrees, we all stay home -- at least we could go outside and have some fun. I'm happy to report that MissDub has finally finished cleaning her room and it looks and smells so much better! We'll see how long it takes her to trash it again. She wants to re-do her bedroom when Daddy gets home, so I've told her that if she keeps it clean, we will proceed with the room make-over. My alternative is to let her grab one change of clothes and her toothbrush and then I'm putting a pad lock on the door. She can just wash her clothes every night and wear the same thing over and over. I think she finally realized that I was serious and not going to back down. Although I did end up helping her last night. I told her that she could just pay me $10 an hour to do it. She jumped right on that (she's obviously getting too much allowance), but I told her to keep her money. So, at the current time, we all have clean and organized rooms - at least until June. I'm really trying to loosen up and not worry so much about what the house looks like. In my younger days, I would clean every Thursday night (whether it needed it or not), now I'm lucky if I clean every 3 months. Before long, I won't even care, but by then MissDub will be old enough that I can make her do it for me. Maybe tomorrow I will tell the "Cheesey Italian Turkey Hash" story. Til then, be safe and warm :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Oh What a Beautiful Morning!'

Although I don't think this is the kind of day they were referring to when they wrote the song, it's a beautiful morning to me! For the first time in 3 days, I woke up to see the sun shining in my window (yipee!) I've been keeping all of the blinds closed to keep the heat in, so today I got to run from room-to-room opening the blinds and letting the sunshine in. I don't know what it is about sunshine, but it makes me happy. Everything outside is covered in a thick white blanket. It's not ice, but it's not snow either. There are no footprints and it crunches when you walk on it. It's pretty to look at, but I'm ready to get out of the house. I thought I did okay on stocking up on groceries, but apparently not. Our meals quickly turned to as what MissDub once called "carbonated" foods (carbs). We've had packaged noodles, canned beans, potatoes, cornbread, garlic bread, cinnamon toast, crackers, cereal, cereal and more cereal. I did manage to buy some fruits and we've eaten that, but I didn't get any fresh vegetables, salad or even meat. MissDub is really picky about meat. She refuses to eat fish, chicken, pork and ground beef. However, she will eat Sonic burgers, chili and $20 filet mignon. She likes the way I make meatloaf, but won't eat Papa's. She did try sushi the other day (California Roll). I told her to just shove it in her mouth and not to try to chew it. She ate it and didn't spit it out. Not sure if she will ever want it again. SgtDub is weird about meat also. Hmmm, wonder where she got it from? SgtDub won't eat fatty meat, rare meat, shrimp or Cheesy Italian Turkey Hash (another story), but he will also eat a $20 filet mignon. He goes as far as to trim the fat off of bacon and ribs. It's quite comical when Papa and SgtDub are eating together. Papa makes a meal off what SgtDub cuts off. Now I know where bacon bits come from -- SgtDub sits there with his knife and cuts them up. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not much of a cook. I have all the tools and toys to cook, I just choose not to. When asked what I'm making for dinner, I say "reservations". I'm ready for the ice to melt, so I can get some "real food" -- RESTAURANT FOOD!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The "Big Chill", Day 3 . . .

I'm happy to report that MissDub and I are still doing fine. We still have lights, heat, running water and cable (whew!) I keep puttering around the house trying to do projects. I have a real problem just sitting down and doing nothing. Just ask Dub, I sit down to watch TV and I notice the curtain is crooked and I jump up to fix it and then get distracted and end up mowing the lawn or something like that. I like to think of myself as being fairly relaxed, but I guess those closest to me would disagree. This morning I decided to curl up on the couch and read a book. The book was a gift from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law entitled "E-Mail to the Front", One Wife's Correspondence with Her Husband Overseas. The book is written by Alesia Holliday and published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. My first thought was "why would I want to read someone else's emails", and then I thought "the same reason people are reading my blogs". Alesia is the mother of 2 small children, a dog named "PJ", and her husband "Judd" is in the Navy. Reading her emails made me laugh, cry and laugh some more. My heart goes out to the military spouses with young children. Deployments are hard on children (any age), but I think when they are older, they can at least understand the concept of time and what is going on. Regardless, they still miss mom or dad (or any relative). Our MissDub tries to be such a "tough girl". She doesn't let anyone see her cry. She cried when the dog had to be put down, but not when Dad left (at least not where anyone could see her). Why is that? It's okay to be sad, lonely, and mad while still being proud. As I sit here writing this blog, I am reminded of the toll this war is taking on my family. A poster hangs on the wall in SgtDub's office that is MissDub's winning Poster entitled "My Dad Police and Soilder" (actually spelled that way). The picture is a soldier standing in front of an American Flag, and I smile every time it catches my eye. Okay now, wiping tears -- Alesia's book is great and if you get time, check it out. I can relate to the lawnmower story, shopping at the Commissary on pay day, "Top Ten Things Not To Say To a Military Spouse", and last, but not least, "I never thought I'd appreciate the sound of your snoring". As I just said to SgtDub, if they ever published our correspondence, it would be a comic book. Hoorah!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ice Storm - Day 2

Is it warm anywhere else? It's freezing here and I'm ready for summer. We are now 24 hours into our "Arctic blast" and the second wave should be arriving soon. The worse is yet to come and should arrive on Sunday. Oh goodie! We made it through the day without losing electricity. The satellite dish was of little use because the wind was blowing. We've never had satellite before, so we're not real sure if that's normal or not, but our "Dish" stinks! What good does it do to have it, if it goes out every time the wind blows? It's really useful during tornado season (laugh inserted here). It's easier to stand on the porch and watch for the tornado to drop out of the sky, than to get the signal. Our horses are staying warm and dry inside the barn (if that's what you want to call it - it's more like a lean-to). We tried to put the blanket on MissDub's mare (since she's old), but it wouldn't stay hooked. She got it caught on the fence last year and ripped the trim off of it. I tried doing what SgtDub would do if he was here, so I just "duct" taped it. Is that "duck" or "duct" tape? Always thought it was "duck" tape, but couldn't ever make the connection. Anyway, it didn't work (I must not used enough), so we had to take it off. During the last ice storm, both horses stood in the rain and were covered in ice. Horses aren't real smart - I guess that's why they're outside in the barn and I'm in the house. I really need to clean house while I'm home, but can't get motivated to do it. My attitude is "why bother" - it's not like anyone will be dropping by, and it doesn't appear to bother anyone but me. MissDub is in the midst of cleaning her bedroom. She, like her Daddy is a pack rat and it drives me insane! She and I go round and round over my definition of "clean". I reached my limit the other night when I went looking for a pair of socks in her room. I started opening dresser drawers, only to find clothes stuffed inside. I started pulling everything out and making piles in the floor. I even found some of my clothes crammed inside a drawer!!!! She has been banned from doing anything until the room is clean and organized. My mother just laughs and says this is "payback" for the all grief I caused her. I actually caught myself saying words that were straight from my mother's mouth . . . "do you think I'm an idiot?" Well, yes I did, but now I don't.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby . . . Winter Blast 2007

Anyone who has ever been to the Great State of Oklahoma knows that if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change. This is so true! Yesterday it was 71 degrees and very windy. Today I am sitting at home because a major ice storm is upon us. I had planned to go into work for a while to get some things done, but the storm is moving faster than expected and the roads will be freezing soon. I did manage to drop MissDub off at school before returning home. I did my grocery shopping on Thursday morning before work to stock up on the necessities (which was 4 boxes of SpecialK Red Berries). I've become addicted to cereal and want to eat it at every meal. I guess their slogan is correct that if you replace 2 meals a day with SpecialK, you will lose up to 8 lbs in 2 weeks. Worked for me, I've lost 8 lbs, 1" from my waist and 1 1/2" from my hips. Only problem now is that MissDub is also eating it, so we're going through a box a day. I guess they're are worse things we could be eating. Back to my storm update . . . I had to go to 2 stores this morning to find milk and bread. I grabbed the last loaf of bread off the shelf at Homeland. Yikes, I guess this is going to be serious. They are predicting that we will have freezing rain, sleet and high winds (which will cause power lines to snap). We could possibly be without power over the weekend. Although we use propane for our heat, oven and hot water tank, everything else is electric. We have a water well, but it has an electric well pump. It's times like this that the generation gap becomes apparent. So far, during my 40+ years on earth, things have been pretty convenient. I've always enjoyed color TV (although I was the remote for my dad -- thank goodness there were only 3 channels). We always had air conditioning and indoor plumbing. I do remember a time before microwaves, CDs, cell phones and believe it or not, the Internet!!! I guess that makes me old. My point is that I've never learned to be prepared for "what if". Living in Oklahoma, we've had our fair share of disasters (natural and otherwise), and through them all, I've managed to be okay. We've been inconvenienced by not having power for a few hours or no phone service, but never anything serious (thankfulness inserted here). I got really upset at my mother last night when she called to ask me if I had taken care of groceries, batteries, flashlight, water, matches, etc., and then she proceeded to go through every possible doomsday scenario with me. Yes mother, I bought groceries, no mother, I don't have a generator, yes mother, I realize it would be much easier to just pack our bags and come and stay at your house, but we can't always do that. I've got responsibilities that force me to stick close to home. Yes, in a perfect world, SgtDub wouldn't be 7000 miles away fighting in a war zone, but he is, and he's not here to protect us at the moment. If he was here, we would have everything necessary to make it through the storm. At least we have a home to protect us from the elements, we currently have heat, clothing, food and running water. If that does not continue to be the case, then I believe we'll survive (at least for a couple of days anyway). SgtDub left some yummy MRE (meals ready to eat) in the garage, and I've got plenty of bottled water. So folks, if you don't hear from me in a few days, you'll know that I'm sitting in the dark, in the boonedocks, freezing my butt off. I think next time I'll be prepared for "what if". P.S. Mom I'm sorry I barked at you, and I love you (and I would rather be curled up at your house)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sgt Dub tagged me with the silly meme so here are my answers.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Man, my hair looks good enough that I don’t need to wash it.
2. How much cash do you have on you? $22
3. What's a word that rhymes with DOOR? More
4. Do you label yourself? A Compulsive Perfectionist
5. Bright or Dark Room? Depends – sleeping dark / office bright
6. Why is there always a missing question? Could you repeat the question?
7. What does your watch look like? Anne Klein II
8. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping
9. Where is your nearest 7-11? 3 1/2 miles.
10. What's a word that you say a lot? “hello”
11. Who told you he/she loved you last? SgtDub and MissDub
12. Last furry thing you touched? Simba (the cat)
13. How many rolls of film do you need developed? None, just dropped 3 off Saturday
14. Favorite age you have been so far? 28 (the year I married SgtDub)
15. Your worst enemy? No worst enemy, just a lot of people that I complain about
16. What is your current desktop picture? My horse standing in the snow
17. What was the last thing you said to someone? I’ll take care of that
18. The last song you listened to? Don’t know the name – just listening to on-line radio at my desk (KLOVE)
19. What time of day were you born? Not sure – maybe late at night
20. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Depends on what I was trying to get – if it was chocolate, I would beat the h*%$ out of it ! Otherwise I would probably just be mad.
21. Do you consider yourself kind? Yes, but only to certain people
22. What's your life motto? Life’s too short not to light the pretty candles
23. Name three things you have on you at all times? Wedding ring, SgtDub prayer band, underwear
24. Can you change the oil on a car? No, but the guy at JiffyLube does
25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? 1994 – letter to my father-in-law apologizing for making him mad.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Another Weekend Down

MissDub and I have had a busy weekend. We had "girl's night" on Friday with dinner and a movie (The Pursuit of Happiness), which was an awesome movie. We spent Saturday doing chores around the house (which I would have preferred to delegate to SgtDub), but they had to be done and I'm happy to say we did it! GIRL POWER! I'm still working on taking down the Christmas decorations. I'm almost as excited (not) as I was when we put up the Christmas tree. It was flashback to when SgtDub was gone in 2003. We have a big tree, but weren't able to maneuver it, so we opted to use the small one instead. We used patriotic decorations with red, white and blue lights. It looked really neat. MissDub did all the decorating this year -- I just showed her the boxes and said "knock yourself out", and she did a great job! We listened to Christmas CDs and one song that played was by Randy Travis "Where My Heart Lives". One line says "don't start celebrating without me", which believe me, is hard to do. Sorry this isn't a more exciting blog, but it's been a long weekend, and I've got a really big day at work tomorrow. MissDub and I are attending a formal ball tomorrow night, and as usual, it just won't be the same without SgtDub. I hate that he's missing out on so many things, and I wish we could rewind and get the time back that we've lost. Do you suppose we can get a "do over"? I hope everyone has a great week and I will try to have a better post on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

10 Things I Take For Granted

I've been thinking lately about all the things that I miss about SgtDub and all the things I take for granted. I thought perhaps I would do a top 10 list (although there are more than 10 things), this is just a few . . .

10. Fresh air and clean water
9. Sunset and Sunrise
8. My job
7. Being an American (the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave)
6. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
5. A warm bed
4. Foot rubs and back massages
3. Good health
2. The yard work being done

Now for 10 things I miss about SgtDub (and believe me, there are a whole lot more) . . .

10. Being able to ride in the passenger seat and stare out the window
9. Being able to call his cell phone as often as I want
8. Curling up together on the couch
7. The way he fixes things around the house
6. Holding hands
5. Rolling the trashcans to the end of the driveway (he he)
4. The smell of his cologne
3. The way his mustache tickles my lip (he he)
2. Bedtime prayers

I've decided I need to list some more . . .

11. letting the dogs out to potty in the middle of the night
12. Chocolate milk in the fridge and Cocoa-Puffs in the pantry
13. tripping over his shoes
14. folding his laundry and then complaining when he doesn't put it away
15. Playing "pinch bug" when we see a Volkswagon
16. Being the good guy when MissDub's in trouble
17. Putting my cold feet on his back
18. The way he looks in Wrangler jeans (he he)

I watched the sunset tonight and took this picture to share with you. When was the last time you watched it? Have a good day and be safe!

Friday, January 5, 2007

I hate surprises!

Since marrying SgtDub 15 years ago, he has managed to surprise me on more than one occasion. One such surprise occurred when SgtDub decided he wanted to buy a used truck at an auction. Money was tight (as always) and we had agreed upon an amount and he had strict instructions not to spend over the limit. Well, he apparently decided he was smarter than me, so he bid (and purchased) the truck for substantially more than we discussed - SURPRISE! Needless to say, SgtDub was soon parted from his truck (he was the one surprised). Another surprise came on Mother's Day 1993 when SgtDub was summoned to help a relative who's house was about to be flooded. He had been given specific instructions (do you see a pattern emerging here?) that he could not drive up to the house because of the high water. Well, SgtDub again decided he was smarter than everyone else and by gosh and by golly, he made it to the house and pulled in the driveway. Our relatives were standing on higher ground when he drove by and they said to themselves "what an idiot!" It was at that moment that they realized it was SgtDub. Well, before he could gloat on his accomplishment, the flood waters swept him and his truck down the creek - SURPRISE! Yet another surprise occurred prior to SgtDub's first deployment. We had planned a farewell party for SgtDub at a local restaurant, and all of our family and friends were there. Apparently, SgtDub thought it would be funny to have a surprise 40th birthday party for me. Only problem was that I had just turned 39!!! And now for the biggest surprise . . . Around my birthday this year, SgtDub had indicated that he was sending me a package. I rushed home everyday, only to be disappointed because I didn't have a package waiting for me. I asked if it was coming to the house or office, and he said "either". He then even said "your package should be arriving any day now". My birthday came and went and there was still no package. I was really getting bummed out at this point. I returned to work following a long holiday weekend and had gone out to lunch with my girlfriend. As we were returning to the office, she received a call saying that we really needed to hurry back. I wasn't sure what was going on, but didn't expect what happened next. I entered the office and the receptionist said "your package has arrived from Afghanistan" - my response was something like "well it's about time" and then I rounded the corner and noticed all of my co-workers starring at me, and that's when I saw him! There in person was SgtDub grinning from ear-to-ear. I don't remember what happened in those few minutes, but I do remember saying "what are you doing here?" and then ran and jumped in his arms - SURPRISE!!! Well Dub, I think you out did yourself on that one and it will be hard to ever top it. That my friends was one of the BEST days of my life and I still smile every time I walk into the office and think about him sitting there waiting for me.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Saying Goodbye . . .

It's hard to believe that 2006 is already gone. It seems like just yesterday SgtDub was packing his bags and shipping out. SgtDub had to report for duty on March 1. MissDub and I were able to drive down with him and stayed with relatives. We attended a farewell ceremony on March 2nd and then drove home without him. This was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. We were 3 hours from home and it was the longest drive of my life. MissDub and I both cried and listened to songs on the radio. The song playing when we pulled out of the parking lot was SheDaisy "Please Come Home Soon". Wow, the timing couldn't have been better. If you ever get the chance, listen to this song. It was written from a military spouse's standpoint. Our sadness turned to joy when he was allowed to come home for a short visit (May 24th to June 2nd). I was fortunate enough to be able to take leave from work and spend time with him before he departed for Afghanistan. We hung around the house and enjoyed every moment together. I found myself fighting sleep at night because I didn't want to let go of the day. I used to complain about his snoring, but now found myself enjoying the sound and feeling comfort knowing he was home. The time flew by and before I knew it, I had to let him go (again). While he had only been gone a few months, I had settled into my day-to-day routine (school, work, chores). Hours turned to days, days into weeks, and weeks into months. Don't get me wrong, I was so happy that he was coming home, even if it was only for a short time. I did pretty good until the day before he had to leave. I started feeling sad and dreading his departure. I know how hard it's going to be and that I will have to start hurting all over again. It's like pulling a scab off (sorry, that's gross, but that's what it's like). Although he had a plane ticket back to Mississippi, I convinced him to ride back with the other soldiers on a bus. This meant we would have to make the 3 hour drive to meet the bus, but we were willing to do it because it would mean we would have more time -- precious time. My parents accompanied us on this trip, so the drive back was not as bad. Once home, I wandered from room to room expecting to find him just around the corner. I went outside and looked some more. The first few nights are terrible. Turning off the lights and going to bed, and waking up, knowing you're alone. I am hoping that MissDub will blog about what this experience is like for her. She doesn't talk much about her feelings and she tries to hold it all inside. She has cried a few times, but quickly "sucks it up" and moves on. I guess I'm the emotional one in the family, because I cry at the drop of a hat. Well, I had again settled into my day-to-day routine when I received a big surprise from SgtDub . . . and you'll just have to wait until tomorrow to hear the rest of the story!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Til Death (or Deployment) Do Us Part

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is safe and ready to start 2007. I know I am. A few of my New Year's Resolutions include: losing weight, exercising, stop using bad words, and learn patience. MissDub has agreed to help me with my "expressive" language, but I'm on my own for the rest. My motivation to lose weight is to look good when SgtDub returns. During the last deployment, I worked out with personal trainer and thought I looked pretty good -- that is until someone snapped a picture of me hugging him (SgtDub - not the trainer) and my rear-end looked like the hood of a Ford Truck after a hail storm (yikes!) So, my goal is to "wow" him when he walks in the room.

My blog today is "Til Death (or Deployment) Do Us Part". As a kid growing up, my dad served in the Army National Guard and was a "weekend warrior". Back then, it was only 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. I don't have many memories of our family vacations due in part to the fact that my dad' vacation was always spent at "summer camp". I remember going to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas to visit him for the weekend and we stayed at some shanky little motel and we got to visit DogPatch USA. WooHoo, big family vacation. From the moment I met SgtDub, he had a desire to serve in the military, and we discussed the pros and cons, and I always prevailed with the cons. I was determined that I didn't want my kids growing up not being able to take vacations because he would be having drill or summer camp. SgtDub never gave up, and he finally wore me down (actually MissDub arrived and I was just too tired to argue), and he enlisted in the National Guard, and thus began our family's military journey. SgtDub attended boot camp at Fort McClelland and was gone for what seems like years, even though it was only a few months. MissDub and I basically moved in with my parents while he was gone. We didn't get to talk much by phone, but he did write a lot of letters. Looking back now, our country was about to change, and that change occurred on April 19, 1995 at 9:02 am when the Oklahoma City Federal Building was bombed and 168 people were killed. SgtDub was at boot camp and didn't get the news about the bombing until sometime later, and then he was allowed to call home. I remember just feeling numb, crying and not being able take my eyes off of the TV. MissDub was about 18 months old at the time, so she didn't have any idea what was going on, other than everyone was crying. The image that is burned in my memory is the fireman carrying Baylee Almon out of the daycare center and her lifeless body was covered in dust and all you could see were those tiny little socks. SgtDub completed boot camp and returned home in June 1995. We went to the airport to pick him up and I guess I had this preconceived notion about how things would be. He would think I looked great and would make over me and MissDub and everything would be perfect, right? Not so, SgtDub stepped off the airplane wearing his military uniform and standing very tall and serious. The military had changed him -- he wasn't the same man that left us several months earlier. He dotted on MissDub and then gave me a peck on the cheek and a hug (a hug? what the heck was that?) Needless to say, the mood had been set for his homecoming and it wasn't what I had envisioned, so I wasn't happy. It took us a very long time to reconnect as a couple and as a family. I thought he was arrogant, but now I realize he had gained self confidence and respect for his country. SgtDub never missed a drill weekend and sometimes he would volunteer to do extra tasks. He was always signing up for some class and would take every opportunity he could to better himself and gain another promotion. Before long, 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer turned into month long classes out-of-state and more and moret ime away from home. Just as I suspected the family vacations got put on the back burner. Once again, our Country experienced a change - this one on September 11th. What started out as a crisp fall day, quickly turned to panic and fear. SgtDub and I were both a home and MissDub had just stepped on to the school bus and drove away. My heart sank in fear of not knowing what was going on, and when it became clear it was a terrorist act, that's when it all hit home. Our safe USA would never be the same again. We would become a country at war and all of our soldiers would be called to duty. SgtDub was assigned security duty at the Armory and we stayed at home waiting for direction. Life eventually returned to normal, but we were at war and troops were being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Lives were being interrupted and families were being separated, and ours became one of the statistics. Before SgtDub's first deployment, I resisted the military and refused to participate in any aspect of it. I couldn't even sit through the annual family picnic without complaining. I didn't like someone telling me what time I had to show up to play horseshoes and when I could leave. Once the orders arrived and it was clear to me that I didn't have an option, I decided to embrace the military and use it to my benefit. I purchased books for military spouses and learned about those stupid acronyms. The military can't use simple words. My first hurdle was the pay issue, but I figured that one out quickly and to my amazement, the military pays on time and so far, we have never had a problem. I joined the Family Readiness Group (FRG) and volunteered to serve on the committee. I jumped in with both feet and kept myself busy with support group meetings, family activities, newsletters and socializing. I made some really good friends through the FRG, and I recommend anyone facing a deployment find their FRG and get connected. Our first reunion was terrific! The soldiers marched into a packed auditorium and we waited for what seemed like an eternity to get our hands on him. Once I had him in my arms, there was no letting go. He was back and we could resume our lives! The excitement lasted about a year before word came again that he was going back to Afghanistan. We packed his bags, sat through a deployment ceremony, cried alot, said goodbye and now we communicate by phone and email. SgtDub just re-inlisted, so we're in this for the long haul. We're hopeful that this will be his last deployment, but we all know that anything can happen and we just never know what's ahead. Our family has sacrificed a lot for SgtDub to be able to serve, and we will gladly pay the price for freedom. So Dub, Happy Anniversary and next time we renew or vows, let's add "Til Death (or Deployment) Do us Part". All my love XoX0X0