Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long Weekend Recap

This Memorial Day Weekend was a success! Everything went off without a hitch. Now, I'm not going to say that eight people (including my pregnant sister-in-law), four dogs, and two cats staying under the same roof isn't stressful, but it was still fun. And the baby shower was so much fun! A lot of people came and we had yummy breakfast food and cupcakes and my sister-in-law got some really, really cute gifts. Lots of pink stuff...I was a huge fan. I can't wait for my niece to finally be here! Come on, August!

My highlight of the weekend, though? That would have to be when my oldest brother saw my soldier for the first time. He called out my soldier's name and practically ran up to him to give him a huge bro-hug. It warmed my heart. Thinking about it still makes me smile. Then we all sat around the table and shared stories and pictures and spent hours talking. It was wonderful to have everyone back together. Finally all under the same roof. The next time that happens, I will probably be an Aunt! (Can you tell I am super excited for my niece to get here?)
For a short time, my family was complete. We turned off our phones. We stayed up late talking and playing games. We shared stories of things we did last week, and things we did years ago. There was no fighting. No fussing. We all got along. We all fell right back together. It was perfect.

Now I am getting ready for bed to start my next two summer classes. Oh, how I have not missed 8 a.m. classes. But at the end of this week, my soldier will be back with me! For two whole weeks....give or take a few days. Two weeks?! That is unheard of! Granted, he is staying with some of his friends and I will still have to take classes for nearly 5 or 6 hours a day, but we will get to see what being a real couple feels like. And spend more than a day and a half in the same town. I can't wait to cook dinner for him. And to snuggle up on the couch. And go for picnics. And lay out by the pool for hours. I am so excited. Now if only these few days would just hurry up! Summer classes? Boo. Boyfriend time? Yay!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Thoughts

As much as I hate when my soldier and I have to depart for the week, I have to catch myself this weekend and rethink things...
I am so lucky to have my soldier. I am so lucky he is back with me. I am so lucky that he is safe. I now know when I will see him again. I know I can call him and hear his voice basically whenever I want. Not everyone has this luxury.
Memorial Day is a unique and special time. We are reminded of all the people who are no longer with us. We are encouraged to honor their memory. We are forced to think of all the sacrifices they gave for us so we can continue with life as we know it.
On this Memorial Day, I was overcome with emotions. I am so happy to have my soldier in my arms, I am so blessed he is still with us, but I know this isn't the case for everyone. Tonight I give thanks for those who lost their lives so we can live ours. I give thanks for the families who were left behind. I give thanks for the pride they had for this wonderful country. Tonight, I will do all I can do to remember them. That is the best way to honor them; simply by remembering them so their sacrifices are not overlooked. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Down!

As of this morning, I am finally done with my maymester! Yippee! That means only four more classes this summer....and then fall semester starts. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! It is very, very small...but it is still there!
Now for a relaxing three day weekend with my family and my soldier! We are so excited to all be reunited. Everyone keeps calling and asking when we will be there. We will finally be a family of eight again....soon to be nine! My niece is due in two months and we are having a baby shower this weekend so we can all ooooh and aaaahhhh over little tiny baby clothes and toys.
I know he will be sharing some stories with my oldest brother who is about to jump out of his skin with excitement. I can't wait to show him off. I'm so proud of my soldier. I know my family is, too.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back to our normal

It is so wonderful to have my solider home again! Unfortunately, I am back at school trying to finish up my maymester. Just two more days and I will have a long weekend...just in time to prepare for my June classes.
I was very thankful for how understanding everyone was this past weekend. My teacher let me out of class. My friend turned in a paper for me. My family and my soldier's family let us have time together and tried not to call us too much. This past weekend was perfection.
I am slowly getting used to being a normal couple again. I love being able to text him little things during the day. I love that now I can call him when I want to! I love that I am now guaranteed to talk to him before I go to bed. And he is falling right back into our old routine. He probably called me 6 times yesterday to chit chat just because he could. I love that about him. I love having my best friend back.
We are going home this weekend to spend time with my family. They have been calling me and telling me how excited they are to see him! And I know he is excited to see them as well.
Things are getting back to normal. We even have plans to have a date night...just the two of us! We didn't spend nearly enough alone time this weekend. He wanted to spend time with the friends he didn't see. I wanted to spend time with all of them, too. So this coming weekend may be just what we need.

Monday, May 23, 2011

And then there were two

This weekend, I took a break.
I took a break from blogging...
I took a break from school....
I took a break from reality, really....

I ignored phone calls. I didn't text people back for a while. I went to dinner. I went to a movie. I drove all around town with nothing in particular to do. I went shopping. I went and looked at puppies. I sat on the couch for hours.
But for the first time in a very, very long time, I didn't do any of this alone. I did this with my best friend. I did this with my soldier.

He's home! The day I dreamed about for months on end finally came true. It still doesn't feel real. But it is. And I am so glad.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I wasn't prepared...

I wasn't prepared for this life. No one sat me down and told me how things worked. No one told me what to expect. I had to learn how to be a military girlfriend all on my own. I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I agreed to date him. 
I wasn't prepared for him to leave. I knew from the beginning that he was going to leave. We even knew the projected date. I thought everything would go on as normal, we just wouldn't see each other. I had done a long distance relationship before. I knew the whole time this relationship between my soldier and I would be long distance, but I didn't know how bad it would hurt when I drove away from him knowing he was leaving in a week and not knowing when I would see him again.
I wasn't prepared for the first time I went out without him. I wasn't ready for the snide remarks people made when they found out I was going out with friends. I didn't know how torn I would be between my decision of going out or staying in. It seemed as though everyone had an opinion of what I should be doing to handle myself and they never seemed to be the same opinions I had.
I wasn't prepared for the first time I was hit on by a guy after my soldier left. Even after I told him I had a boyfriend and he found out what he did, he wouldn't give up. He told me I had a better chance to be with him because I didn't know if my soldier would come back to me. What a great pick up line. I can't even describe my anger from that night. 
I wasn't prepared to go to an extended family function without him. I had to try to answer all their questions that followed the "Where is your boyfriend?" question. My stomach turned with each one. I didn't have many answers and what I did know, I didn't feel like telling them. I ended up avoiding the majority of people that night just so I didn't have to constantly explain why I was alone.
I wasn't prepared to wake up in the middle of the night from a terrifying dream only to realize I was hugging onto a pillow. I felt broken when I wanted to reach for my phone and call him to get some reassurance, but knew I couldn't. There were countless nights where I laid awake wondering where he was and what he may be doing. And I had to get up the next morning and act like nothing was wrong. I didn't expect that feeling of helplessness.
I wasn't prepared for the amount of tears that streamed down my face the first time I saw a man in uniform. I searched his face to see if I could catch a glimpse of familiarity. I turned around and scanned the crowd around me, hoping my soldier had come home early. In those short moments that felt like hours, all I could hear was the sound of my heart beating in my ears. This was not my soldier. It wasn't our time yet. I had to keep waiting.
I wasn't prepared when one of my best friend's father passed away. I had to face it alone. I had to go to her house and try my best to be a pillar of strength for her and the rest of her family, when I had nothing to help back me up. My comfort and strength was thousands of miles away, but I still had to be strong for that family. I had to keep going.
But through all of this, I wasn't prepared for how much our relationship would grow. I didn't know how much we took for granted until it was all gone. No longer was I mad when he didn't call me when he said he would. I had almost forgotten how funny he was and how much we had in common. I've grown to love the sound of his voice even more now that I don't hear it as much as I had hoped.
I wasn't prepared for how deeply I would fall in love with him while he was gone. I didn't know how much someone could be missed. I didn't know how badly it would hurt to be separated. I didn't know the strength we had to keep our love going, even in the hardest times.
I love my boyfriend very much and although I could have never been prepared for this life, I wouldn't give it up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I was featured!

I was featured on To Love a Soldier

I was first introduced to this particular blog page by a good friend of mine. She sent me the link to the post "Promises" (which is still my favorite) and I have been hooked ever since! The writer of this blog has such a kind spirit and does everything she can to help. About a month after beginning to read her blog and exchanging a few comments, she asked me to participate in her group of Different Perspectives. She used me to get my perspective as a girlfriend. It is my hope that people will find me on her page and find a little part of me in their path of life, too. If you haven't checked her out yet, you really need to. She is a beautiful writer and you won't regret it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't get your hopes up

This week, my daddy celebrated his 54th birthday! Happy birthday, Dad! He has been so strong for me throughout all of this. There have been many times where I snuggled up on the couch next to him when I was feeling down and he was put his reassuring arms around me.
He has never been too keen on the idea of me having boyfriends (he's gotta protect his baby girl!), but ever since I got back with my soldier, he has been different. "We miss him, too" he will often tell me. That means more to me than I could explain. Daddy asks about my soldier and tells me he is praying for us and can't wait for him to come home. He has never second guessed our decision to be together.
At the same time, my soldier has tried really hard to form a relationship with my dad. Daddy can be a quiet guy, but my soldier makes an effort to spend time with him when we are home and tries to talk to him about anything he can think of; mainly sports.
When I told my soldier Daddy's birthday was coming up, he told me he wanted to call and wish him well, but he wanted to wait for his actual birthday. This made me light up. I thought it was just precious. I gave him Daddy's phone number and told him the actual date of his birthday and we decided I shouldn't tell Daddy to expect a call so he would be even more surprised. I was so excited because I knew Daddy would be very happy to hear from him.
That was the last day I talked to my soldier.
I've gotten a few very short emails, but no more phone calls. There was no contact the day before or the day of his birthday. Now, this is pretty standard for us. We get to talk a good amount, but it isn't uncommon to go a few days without contact every now and then.
When I talked to my dad on his birthday, he asked how my soldier was and if I had heard from him. He even made a sarcastic joke that he should have taken time out of his day to call. I wanted to tell him how hard we tried to get my soldier to call. I wanted to tell him that I hadn't heard from him in a few days either. I wanted to tell him my soldier wanted to call. I wanted to tell him all of this, but I didn't want to get his hopes up that my soldier may call later.
It is really hard not to get our hopes up. We get so accustomed to how things normally go. We figure if they have called two or three days in a row around the same time, they will call again at the same time. And when the phone doesn't ring, we are crushed. We forget how their schedules change almost daily. We forget that there is not really a normal right now. But we have to keep reminding ourselves that this will end and life will come back to normal very soon. Even when we get our hopes up and they come crashing down around us time and time again. It all will end and life will continue just the way it should.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Houston, we have a poster!

Since I had nothing to do today, I decided to make my "welcome home" poster! It turned out really awesome. I painted blue stripes on a white poster board and wrote "Here to pick up my HERO" in silver and purple and made red stars out of construction paper for the corners of the board. I haven't decided if I want to add glitter to it yet. But I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. It was a good use of nearly 2.5 hours. Those stripes were a killer though. I'm not sure I would do that again.
As I sit here now on my couch with the freshly painted poster in front of me, I feel so torn. It is an amazing feeling to see a tangible object that proves that he will be here soon. On the other hand, it is so hard to look at this poster and know that we still have a while to go. I want to show him the poster now. I want to show him all I have worked on. I want to run and jump in his arms.
I have one more poster to make for him. I want to make it and put it on his door. I'm just currently out of ideas. If any of you have any ideas, let me know! Hopefully I can stay busy with all my summer classes and everything else I have to do so I don't only focus on the dwindling days ahead of me. I'm getting so excited and so nervous. I'm just a ball of emotions!

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm going crazy

One of the main things that will really make a military girlfriend/spouse mad is trying to sympathize with them by saying "Oh I know how you feel. My boyfriend has been gone for two days and I'm going crazy without him!" I'm sorry...but it just isn't the same.
I'm going crazy without him because it has been way too long since I've seen him. I'm going crazy without him because I can't call him. I'm going crazy without him because I don't know when I will see him again. I'm going crazy without him because the only way I can communicate with him is usually through the computer. I'm going crazy without him because I am  forced to live my life without him, to attend events without him, to spend lonely nights without him. I'm going crazy without him because it seems like every time we talk, our conversations are cut short for a number of reasons.
I stay up at night wondering when I might talk to him again. I may hear from him in three hours, or three days. I worry about his safety, his health, and his sanity every day. I worry about where he is and what he is doing constantly. And I won't stop worrying about him until he is in my arms again.
As the days continue to tick away, I become increasingly nervous about all the things that could go wrong. But at the end of the day, I'm just ready for him to be home. Not much longer! Soon all my tears of worry and frustration will be a thing of the past.

On a completely unrelated note...my brother left for Indonesia today to do missionary work for two weeks. I'm proud of my boys and the good work they do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moving backwards

I had a dream last night that my soldier and I were reunited. It is sad that right now the only time I can see him is in my dreams, but the dream felt so good. He came home early and surprised me and I was so excited. But then I realized I wasn't wearing the dress I had picked out for our homecoming and I was so mad. When I told him about my dream, he just laughed. At least we still have our humor.
In a message I got from my soldier last night he told me how he was missing me and just wanted to come home. It broke my heart. I want him home just as bad, but there is nothing I can do to make it go any faster. I know he is getting antsy. I know it is so close he can taste it, but I told him he needs to focus on what needs to get done and we will be together before we know it. However, if I give him the same advice, I have to follow it for myself. I count the days and look at all the things that I have to do before then and it seems endless. Something has to make the time go faster!
I was doing so well today. I was kicking butt! The days are ticking along, but time is starting to feel as if it is moving backwards. I sometimes wonder if this will ever end. I know it will, but I want it to be over now. I wish we wouldn't ever have to do this again, but I know that isn't true either. Hopefully I can hear from him tonight so he can give me the reassurance that the days really are ending, and soon this will too. Soon, very soon, but never soon enough.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sometimes I wonder..

Although I may regret saying this later, I am starting to enjoy having my place to myself. My roommates are gone  and I get to do whatever I want. There have been a few moments where I was lonely, but they were short lived. It is nice to have a break and spend some time alone. I don't remember the last time I was able to do so.

I talked to my soldier today so maybe that helped me not feel so lonesome. He always knows what to say to make me feel better. His little comments had me rolling with laughter. This makes me so excited to see what things are going to be like when we are back together.
Often times, when I think about homecoming, I get nervous. I wonder what things are going to be like when we are together. I know things will be fine, but I wonder how long it will take for us to get used to one another again. I wonder what it is going to be like to have him sitting next to me on the couch again. To actually see his face again and feel the touch of his skin. I wonder how long it is going to take me to get used to calling his own phone again (I'm sure it won't be long). I wonder what it will be like to not have to wonder if I will hear from him that night.
I wonder if the first time we go out if it will feel like our very first date again. I wonder if we will still be able to stay up all night talking on the phone. I wonder if our relationship will feel brand new. I have my butterflies back..that's one positive thing this distance has given me.

I changed into my pajamas around 3 this afternoon and I think I am just going to relax tonight; do some homework and watch TV. Hopefully I will hear from my soldier again tonight. But no matter how boring I think a day might be, it always brings us one day closer to being together. And I can't wait for that.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A piece of him

What a relief that this semester is over! One step closer to getting my soldier home. Finally. Although I am still taking way too many classes this summer, I still have so many activities planned that I know will make this one of the best summers ever! I have a lot of little weekend trips planned. Many concerts and baseball games and events to attend. Ending these classes lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

I took this weekend as a short break from school and went to visit my family. I was also able to see my soldier's sister. We had a nice visit. I always love to hear little stories of him from when he was younger.
When she left, she gave me a box of his stuff he left in his room and a huge bag of clothes his family didn't take when they moved a few months back. So now I have them sitting in my room....waiting. It was so great to have some of his stuff in front of me again. It was like I had another little piece of him with me again. There were little shirts or pants that I remembered him wearing. He wore them on dates or many various times we were together.
The box was full of momentos he had from his childhood. Pictures, arts and crafts, and trophies. I saw pictures from the teenager I fell in love with so many years ago. I forgot how adorable he was even back then! I loved looking through all of this, but I stopped so he could go through it with me soon and tell me all the stories and why he kept all these things. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh, finals week..

I know a few posts ago I talked about how awesome technology was, but I hate it right now. The last three times I've talked to my soldier, we've been cut off. I think the power on his end keeps going out. These recent events have struck a nerve in me. I can't shake it. I need to talk to him again to know that everything is alright.
I hear people talking about what they think is going to happen now. They come up with some crazy ideas. I know half of them are wrong, but it still makes me uncomfortable hearing everyone's opinions. I wish people would stop and think about what they are actually saying and just support our government and our troops.
Every day that passes, we are another day closer to seeing each other. Another day closer to giving him the biggest hug I can imagine. I know it is in my best interest to focus on that, but I can't help but think about what may happen. Too much to think about--too much to write about.
I'm thinking of starting a new project very soon. I'll write more about it soon. I'm very excited about it, though. Send some prayers my way to hope that it will work out!
This is a short post since it is finals week. I can't wait for it to be over! Just two more days before a wonderful weekend with my mom--until Maymester starts on Monday. Oh, joy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moments saved in Time

There are moments in your life where you think to yourself, "This is it. This is going to change everything I have known." There are times where people will ask you "where were you when...." and you can, without a doubt, recall them so vividly.

I remember being at the dentist with my brother and father. We were the only people around. I remember the dental assistants trying to do their job, but talking among themselves. Asking, "should we go home? Should we still be here?" I remember walking into my computer class and telling my teacher the news. I remember not even remembering all the names of the buildings that were hit (mainly the Pentagon). I remember the shock and horror I saw on her face and the panic that slowly set in among my classmates. On September 11, 2001, I was in the sixth grade.

I remember nearly two years later being asleep in my room. The next thing I knew, my oldest brother was running into my room and practically jumping on top of me in my bed. "We got him," he said. "We got Saddam." I was thirteen. Even then I knew it was a big deal. I thought it would be just a matter of time before Bin Laden was captured and this war would be a thing of the past.

Last night, my roommate and I were watching the Lifetime special, Coming Home. My phone rang just after 10:30. It was my soldier. "Babe," he said,"I need you to turn on the news." I innocently asked, "Which news?" "Any news. Just turn it on. I'm going to go watch this and call you after," he told me.
So I did what I was told. I had no idea what was going on. When I turned on the news, the screen only said 'Breaking News'. I had to sit and wonder what it could be. I began to text my family to tell them something important was going on. And I waited.
Then the news broke, and I couldn't believe it. Bin Laden is dead. We got him. I was in tears. I was shaking. My stomach was flipping over. I started pacing from the couch, to the kitchen, to my room, and back. My phone was buzzing what seemed like every ten seconds. My head was swimming and I couldn't make sense of anything.

Last night was not a night I am likely to forget. I won't forget the way I found out. I won't forget how I felt. I won't forget the out pour of love and concern I received from my friends and family, but I hope to forget the insensitive people who crossed my path.
We've been waiting for ten years. Ten years! This all began when my soldier and I were mere children. We knew it was a big deal, but we had no clue how much it would affect us in the years to come.
In this short time, I have learned more about military life than I had ever imagined. I never pictured myself with a military man. It was not what I thought was in my life plan, but here I am.
Our troops are fighting for a cause. For a purpose. Last night proves that. Justice was brought forth. I am proud to be a part of this military life. I am proud of my soldier, and of all of our service men.
However, it is not over. We still have a long way to go. We don't know what they are going to do now that Bin Laden is dead. All we can do is hope and pray. All we can do is wait.
I am so scared of what is to come. I know this is just going to add to my sleepless nights. I will not feel okay again until he is back with me. I am just counting down the days, and praying with all my might that he will come back safely--that they all will come back home.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The case of the dead bird

Well, it is officially May! Another month down. April seemed to fly by, thankfully. Keep those days ticking down and before we know it, I won't be so lonely anymore. But with a new month's joys brings new challenges.

I got a phone call from my mom this afternoon. She called to tell me my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a hard one to swallow. It really came out of the blue and caught me off guard. I sat there on the phone quite calmly and let the facts my mom was telling me digest. Words like mastectomy and chemo danced around in my ears. It was not until I texted my roommate the news that it really hit me. I had been doing so well all day with the thought of celebrating a new month. I sat on my bed in disbelief. When will all this end? I feel like I have been thrown so many trials and tribulations - all of which I have had to deal with on my own. I don't care if I am being selfish, I want my soldier back so he can be here to listen to and comfort me.
But I know that I am not truly alone. I have some wonderful friends and the best family I could ask for. They just aren't him. They aren't my soldier. They aren't my best friend. They aren't the one who knows me inside and out and knows just the right thing for me to hear.

As I am sitting here writing, I can't help but laugh at how he tries to cheer me up whenever I am upset. There was one time when I was driving and a bird came out of nowhere and decided to dive under my tire. Totally not my fault at all! But it still upset me (yes, I am one of those girls every now and then). He called not long after the bird sacrificed its life to my tire and I told him all about it.
Oh, honey, don't be upset! he said. The little birdie just called me. He said he thought you might be upset but he didn't die! He's okay. He said he had to run off to see his little birdie babies and couldn't tell you himself.
Childish? Perhaps. But do I care? Not one bit. He had me laughing and forgot all about the poor bird that was surely squished on the interstate behind me.
Now, I'm sure he would kill me if he knew I wrote about this, but thankfully he doesn't read my blog. It is the little things like this that make me see how wonderful of a guy he is. How amazing he is. The way he treats me is just like a princess. This example alone shows he will make a wonderful father one day, and I really hope I can be there with him to see that transformation.

I guess blogging has turned out a lot more theraputic than I had imagined. I say things here I wouldn't tell my friends or family. I can sit in my room and get my frustrations out, but then realize they aren't really that bad after all. I just keep looking on the positive side, and I hope you do, too. Thanks for sticking around, bloggers. I couldn't do it without y'all.