Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Army

Why must you insist on having a love-hate relationship? I love the fact that you allowed Sweet Boy to call me today, but I hate that it was only to tell me you were keeping him away for at least another 6 weeks. Why must you torture us so much? I've been nothing but supportive of you. I've given up so much for you, I just wish you could do the same for me every now and then. My life is constantly put on hold specifically because of you. I just want my fiance back with me so we can plan our wedding and start looking forward to our lives together. I have tried to be forgiving, but you make it so hard. This is turning out to be a give-and-take relationship: I give my Sweet Boy to you and you continuously take him away from me. I am afraid this is setting the tone for what our lives will be like. I wish I was still the naive girl who was fascinated by the fairytale and believed my love would always be with me. Please don't make this a habit. I don't think my heart can take much more. Be kind to us.
Love (or hate...take your pick),

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's your song?

It's that time again! Time to link-up with Goodnight Moon for another addition of "what's your song?"

My song for this week is dedicated, of course, to my Sweet Boy. To be quite honest, I don't really like this song all that much, but he does so it is growing on me. It is a sweet little song that he heard on the radio and started singing it.

After he first heard it, he was talking to me and said "hey, babe, there's this new song out that I really like. It is by some guy and kinda sounds like a gospel song." I said, "is this it?" and started playing this song and totally got it right!

This is a typical situation for us. On our first date, he was driving and we were listening to country music (go figure) and he said, "when I was overseas, we became obsessed with this one song but I can't remember the name. It was a country song and it was a guy singing it but the chorus didn't sound like english." I got out my phone and played a song for him and wouldn't you know it, I got that one right, too! I don't know if I have super skills, or if I just get Sweet Boy's thought process and taste in music. Just another way to prove we are perfect for each other :)

I guess now I have to play both songs. Either way, they make me think of Sweet Boy and I miss hearing him sing to me. He may not be the best singer, but I still love it!
I won't let go - Rascal Flats
And now for the not-so-sappy song 
Toes by Zac Brown
(The second one is definitely a favorite of mine)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Awards! (Better late than never...)

Hello. My name is Cate and I am a slack blogger. I swear I don't mean to be!

A little while ago (okay, maybe 10 days ago...) I got an email from Janey at A Few of My Favorite Things to tell me she gave me a blogger award! Because of the time difference, I got the email on my phone, read it, and went right back to sleep. I completely forgot about it until now. Sorry, Janey!

Janey has an awesome blog. I love keeping up with her and her pups. Plus she lives in Hawaii so I like to live vicariously through her. If you don't follow her yet, you totally should. She is one of my favorite daily reads...even if sometimes I forget when she emails me.

The rules are:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to up to 15 recently discovered blogs.

7. I am the youngest in my family, and only girl. Yes, I tend to be a little bit spoiled...oops.
6. My family and I are huge South Carolina gamecock fans. I mean huge. It runs deep. We had tickets on the 50 yard line all my life, but this may be the first season I don't make it to any game and it is breaking my heart.
5. I have a slight obsession with the color pink. Everyone picks on me, but I can't help it. I know what I like. Being the only girl in my family, I was always surrounded by it and grew to hate it in my adolescent age. I often joke that I am making up for lost time.
4. I really want a micro pig as a pet. I think they are just so stinking adorable. I think I almost have Sweet Boy convinced that we need one.
3. Although I am studying Psychology in school, I am hoping to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming a housewife and stay at home mom. I always dreamed of doing this while growing up and I can't see myself in any other way. Luckily, Sweet Boy is so lovingly supporting my dream. Most girls may find that degrading, but I don't care. It's what we think will work best for us.
2. When I was in sixth grade, I was doing cartwheels in my friend's yard, six houses away from mine, and I slipped which caused me to break my ankle. I had to walk home and tell my mom (the nurse) who didn't believe me and didn't take me to the hospital until the next day. That pretty much solidified the fact that I would not make it as a cheerleader...
1. I feel so lucky to be marrying the man of my dreams in just over 10 months. I fell in love with him seven years ago, shared our first kiss with each other, and have never stopped thinking about it. He is my hero and the only thing that keeps me going most days. Yeah, it may be hard when he is away, but it is so worth it when he is here.

I'm nominating:
Krista from Life is the messy bits
Dragonfly from Adventures of a Bee and a Dragonfly
A Creed and a Psalm

Happy blogging :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Get me through the days

There is a Bible verse that is really heavy on my heart. It keeps me going through these months upon months apart. I shared it with Sweet Boy once before when he was away and it has become a saying between us.

Genesis 29:20
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

This just speaks so strongly to me. I know that one some day we will look back on these times away from each other and they will seem so short in comparison to the wonderful times we have together. I love this verse so much that I am considering putting it in Sweet Boy's wedding band. 

I'm trying to see the silver lining, but right now it is just hard. I want him home, and not just for a few weeks at a time. I'm tired of sharing him. I'm tired of missing him. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No address in the Stars

This is always a hard week for me. I dread it every year. I always want to fast-forward through it or just hide in my room until it passes. This could explain why I have been in such a weird mood all week.

Five years ago, I was a junior in high school. My brother and his friends had just graduated in May and I was ready to be the only one from my family at the high school since my brother and I had shared the same teachers and homeroom for the past two years.

On Saturday the 23rd, my family and I were driving up to South Carolina for a football game. I was sleeping in the car when my mom woke me up and said I had a phone call. That's when I knew; my sweet friend A.J., who I had known since I was 8 and was battling cancer, had passed away. I cried the rest of the way to South Carolina.
In the months leading up to A.J.'s death, I had been to many fund raisers for him. He had a very kind and giving spirit. He made it his goal to raise money for better furniture for the families who spent extended amounts of time at the hospital he got many of his treatments and surgeries from. It didn't really seem real until I got that call that day. I guess I was hoping for some sort of miracle, even though we knew it wasn't possible. The cancer had spread far too much.

That Monday back at school, everyone was very quiet and somber. There was even a makeshift memorial set up to honor A.J. that students placed pictures and cards on.
That's when my friend Joe walked up and told us there had been an accident. Jacob, a good friend to my brother and a brother to my very good friend (it's a close-knit community) had been in a car accident and did not make it.
I felt everything drain out of my body at once. I thought I was going to pass out and my friends must have thought the same thing because they took me straight to the nurse. I called my mom and all I could get out was, "Mom....Mom....Jacob." And then I found out another friend, Matt, had been in the car with Jacob and was now in a coma fighting for his life.
That day was one of the hardest days I have been through. Me and my friends, along with our entire school, were forced to face our mortality. It was a scary feeling.
I remember staying in the school's auditorium the rest of the day. I was too unstable to be in class, but I couldn't bear the thought of being home alone. My friends and I shared stories of the boys, added more letters, pictures, flowers, and candles to the memorial, and held one another.

My brother came home for Jacob's funeral the next weekend. When we walked out of the church sanctuary, we held on to each other's hand. It was only for a moment, but it was a bond only siblings can feel. I held him up when he needed it, and he held me up when I needed it.

The boys were only 18 years old and they died one day apart. They both had kind and giving spirits and I think of them often. I am now three years older than they ever will be. It still hurts when I think of them. I will never understand why two wonderful young men had to be taken away from our community so quickly. Maybe some things don't get easier, but no matter what, they always make you stronger.

My song this week for Goodnight Moon is a tribute to these boys and the other friends we have lost along the way.
While I was writing this post, a mass email went out from my college's president. Two freshmen from my school were killed in a car accident last night and two were critically injured. Maybe this week will never be easy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've been a horrible blogger lately. I've just been so stressed, so busy, so....blah. I got two letters from Sweet Boy this week. Back to back! I've already read them each so many times. It's been a rough week. I've been really mopey for some reason and have broke down way more than I should. I'm just ready for him to be back. Almost 5 more weeks. I can do that. There's just some days when I really, really need him.
Our love will always be Army Strong.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Link-up

What's YOUR song? Link-up with Goodnight Moon and play along!

Thursday came up quickly this week. At first it was dragging along and the next thing I know, today is Thursday! I made 4 dozen cupcakes today. Whew! I'm exhausted. I somehow also managed to sleep through my alarm and miss my only class of the day...oops.
Guess what else happened today. I got a letter from Sweet Boy! And it was a recent in sent this week! It was such a sweet letter. He seems to be doing pretty well, just a little lonely. He kept talking about how happy he was I got to see him this past weekend. And he signed it as I love you to the moon and back. Isn't that precious? I love that boy.
Getting back the song of the week: I usually like to put a bit of thought in my song, but this week I can't get away from this song! I think I've heard it three times today and it is still stuck in my head. I don't really like the video, but the song is really sweet.
I love you like crazy, Sweet Boy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cupcake cure

It's funny how some days seem to drag along, and the next seems to fly by. This week felt so long at first, and now I am wondering where the time went today. I finally started training for my job. It is going to be weird to get used to, but I think I will like it. I've already met some nice people that are working there, too, and I can't wait to really get started.
Last night I had a great friend from high school stop by and take me out to dinner. It was awesome to see him. It is always nice to have a familiar face from home. After we went to dinner, we went and hung out and talked about old times. The whole time we were hanging out, I wished Sweet Boy was next to me. I wanted to hear his voice, to rest my head on his shoulder, to kiss him. This week seemed longer than the last three for some reason. I can't really explain it. I'm just trying my best to keep myself busy. Somehow.
Today I started a fundraiser for my aunt who is battling breast cancer called Cupcakes for Cancer. I sent out a message on Facebook, hoping for at most $30. I was humbled when I came back to my computer a few hours later with $50 worth of orders, and still going. I am so excited to raise money for this cause. It just goes to show you that anyone can help raise money if they put their mind to it! I guess my next few weeks are going to be filled with making cupcakes for everyone--I don't mind a bit.
If you are interested in helping as well, check out this website! Any little bit helps. Race for the Cure

Monday, September 12, 2011

Such wonderful news

Friday afternoon, my phone rang. It was a mutual friend of me and Sweet Boy. I thought nothing of it, until I heard those sweet words, "Hey babe. It's me. I got an 8 hour pass today. I don't have my phone but I'll figure out another way to call you for those eight hours." I'm coming up there was all I could get out of my mouth. I hung up the phone and broke down in tears. After three weeks, his voice was the only sound I wanted to hear. And now I had the chance to see him.

I drove 2.5 hours (flew is more like it) to pick him up. He grabbed me tight and wouldn't let me go. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited. After I picked him up, we went to do laundry, went to the military supply store off post, went to Red Robin (yummmm) where he proceeded to eat a huge cheeseburger, mac and cheese, a milkshake, half of my burger, and a lot of my fries...poor kid. After lunch, we went back to the store, got his hair all chopped off, back to the store for a third time, back to post to finish laundry, packed up all his gear and clothes, and made one last run to the PX before I had to take him back, half an hour earlier than expected. All of that means we got to spend around 4 hours together, and most of it was in the car or the store. But I got to see him. I didn't know how bad the no communication effected us. It was hard. Three weeks without any sort of contact is a struggle, but we did it. And we can do it again if we have to, but we won't have to...not very soon anyway.
It was wonderful to see him, even if it was only for a few hours. It was so great to hold his hand, look into his eyes, hear his voice again. I got my little "love tank" filled up again by all of the little smiles and looks he threw at me all day. I was reminded why I am so in love with that boy. He is wonderful.

On a side note, guess what I found in the mail this weekend. That's right. A letter from Sweet Boy. A letter that he sent August 28th. I don't know why it took them so long to send it 3 hours down the road. I feel bad for complaining about him not writing to me. He tried! I told him this weekend that I didn't get any letters and he was so upset. I guess I have at least one more headed my way. I think it was the one where he told me about his pass this weekend so I could be there when he got off. Oh well. For now, the Army won't bring us down. I love him and I will wait as long as I need to (but hopefully it will only be six more weeks!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When the world stopped turning..

On September 11, 2011, I was in the sixth grade.

My dad came to school that morning and picked me and my brother up from school in order to go to a dentist appointment. We heard about the attacks on the radio first. My brother laughed, thinking it was a joke, but my dad had no expression. He dropped us off at the dentist and watched the news from their break room. The whole time I was getting my teeth cleaned, I listened to the people working there freaking out. "Should we go home?" I heard one say. "No," the other replied, "we're in Georgia. We'll be fine."

I went back to my middle school and walked into my computer classroom. Ms McCabe's class. I walked in and told her the news. I had no idea how horrible it really was since I was so young, but her face nearly went white. I still remember how the room was dark and she turned on the TV and stood there with her hand over her mouth in shock as she watched the news stories. The loud speaker came on and told the teachers to turn off the TV's because it may be scaring the students and to conduct class as normal. No one knew what "normal" was anymore. I doubt we actually did any work that day.

After I came home, I was glued to the news for the rest of the night...the rest of the week, really. The images are still burned in my mind. I remember a few days later when I was in P.E. class and our coach took us outside, sat us underneath the oak trees, and told us something much more worse was going on than we could comprehend and that week would be one we would always remember. How right he was.

If you are doing the math, I was eleven years old on September 11th, which would make Sweet Boy only twelve. This was three years before we had even met. We have been dealing with the aftermath for ten years, the majority of my lifetime. I hardly remember a world before the terrorist attacks. Sure, I have childhood memories from years before, but I don't really remember what it was like to feel safe every single day. My family had a trip planned a few months down the line and my brothers, aged 16 and 13, asked not to go. They were scared to travel. They didn't want to fly or go very far away from home anymore. We stayed home because we were terrified of what may be next.

I can't believe it has been ten whole years. It really seems to hit home now that I am months away from being an Army wife. I am so proud of my Sweet Boy who stepped up to protect our country, six or seven years after the terrorist attack. Today our country mourns for those we lost. We fly our flags at half mass. We remember where we were. And we ask everyone,
"Where were you?"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday Link-up

It's that time to link-up with Goodnight Moon again! I was sad to miss last week. I had the perfect song the night before and just couldn't remember it and I didn't want to put in something I didn't put thought into--I know, I'm weird.

This week (and a little before) the images of September 11th have been blasted across our television screens. I, like most Americans, remember that day so vividly. I won't go into details about what I was doing because I am saving that for a later post, but I wanted to share a song this week that I can't get out of my head.

I'm sure most of you have heard this song. I absolutely love it, even though it is kind of sad. It makes me appreciate having my Sweet Boy safe and also makes me thankful for those we've lost at the same time. His voice in this video gives me chills. I hope y'all like it! Can't wait to see what YOUR song is!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

News, news, news

Good news:
I got the job! They called me yesterday to tell me that they were interested in offering me the job and the training starts next week. And even better, I found out a really good friend of mine will be working there too! Now it won't seem like I have such an empty amount of time every night. I'm really looking forward to it.

Not so good news:
I still haven't gotten a letter from Sweet Boy. And, yes, I did check the mailbox twice today. Once this morning in case it came over the weekend when I was gone, and once more this afternoon after I knew the mail had come. Still nothing. It is hard not to feel slightly defeated when I don't come away with a letter from him. I just want something from him. Something he has held, too. Something that he put a little thought into. Something to know he is okay. I know I shouldn't be complaining; he is only off at training. I know he is completely safe, aside from the potential of being dehydrated or the rare threat of lightning when he is out in the field (he is out in the field probably about 95% of the time and they have been getting a lot of bad thunder storms lately so it isn't that absurd of a concern), but I still worry about him. I miss him. It has now been 2.5 weeks since I have heard anything from him and I am starting to worry I may not hear from him until he is back in a few months. And what really kills me is that I don't have his address to write him. Before he left, he told me to wait to hear from him so he could give me his address. I have a card sitting on my desk that is ready to be sent off, but I have to keep waiting.
I have finally become used to my new routine of not checking my phone all the time and going to bed without telling him goodnight. I carry out my days however I want. I still think of him often, but I just have to get used to him being gone all the time. "Such is the life of an Army wife", right?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So many plans!

I've been slacking lately. Ok, so I've been really slacking lately. I don't know where this weekend went! I guess I should catch y'all up to speed.

The interview on Thursday went great! The guy doing the interview was super nice and he practically offered me the job on the spot, but I am still waiting for the official word. Even if the job is pretty much just calling alumni from my school and informing them of upcoming opportunities, it will still give me something to do 2-4 times a week. And we can pick what days we want to work Monday - Thursday. And you won't hear me complain about an extra paycheck every few weeks. Overall, I have a pretty good outlook on this job. Get back to me in a few weeks, and I may have a change of heart. 

Friday I headed home for the long weekend. My parents took me to my old high school's football game. Talk about time warp! I felt so out of place. But then I found two of my brother's friends who are five years older than me and I didn't feel so bad anymore. And it was nice to see old family friends and show off the rock on my left hand :)

Saturday we met my aunt, uncle, and two cousins at the beach. This aunt is the one who was diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 months ago and it was the first time I had seen her since the chemo started. It was heartbreaking to see her bald scalp underneath her ball cap, but she was a trooper and you would never know she was sick!

Sunday was filled with more family time and wedding plans! I'm pretty sure we found a band for the reception. This is all getting so exciting. It is really starting to feel real. Only 11 months to go!

Monday I was supposed to go back to school, but the wedding was so bad I decided to stay an extra night. It was a good decision :)

Wedding Plans so far:
Church: check
Reception venue: check
Wedding band: almost
Colors: purple and looking for the right blue
Guest list: 398 and climbing...oops!
And I'm asking my bridesmaids in a few weeks!

That guest list will be the death of me, though.