Thursday, July 29, 2010

End of semester. In Colorado.

My semester has just ended and I've made it to CO. Heath stayed home. He had to work, and he's in school. It's a bummer that he's not here, but I think the peace and quiet might be good. He'll be able to do some school.

It's nice to be done with school, but I'm not feeling it quite yet. I feel like I'm still in school, like I have homework I should be doing, or a test I should be studying for. It probably doesn't help that even though I'm "finished" for the semester, I've dealt with UNO every day. I'm trying to get my schedule for next semester squared away. I've got to retake a bio lab, so that's mucking everything up. I hate biology with a passion.

Anyway, for now, I'm in Colorado, and I'm TRYING to take it easy....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coast Guard vs. Army

I was reading another blog, I can't remember the name of it, but I'll link it in the comments section. Anyway, the blogger is an Army wife. It got me thinking about how grateful I am that Heath's in the Coast Guard. I'm so thankful that I don't have to go through long deployments. Though Heath is often late getting home, I seldom have to go to sleep without him.

So now, because I was thinking about it...

For those of yall who don't know, Heath was in the Army before we were married. He did 2 deployments. When we met, he was just getting back from deployment 2, and he was in the process of getting out. It was February 2006. In June 2006 we were married, and if I remember correctly, he was already on terminal leave by that time. So, essentially, he was already out. (Except we were still pulling the paycheck, which was freaking awesome!)

A few months later, around September/early October 2006, we found out I was pregnant, and though we had insurance, the deductibles were a constantly ruining our budget. It would seem like we'd account for the deductibles we had last month only to have more the next month. Being that Heath didn't really know what he wanted to be yet anyway, he decided that he'd just look into joining the military again. It made sense. he wasn't sure what he wanted to go to college for. We knew the insurance was free, and I'd be able to afford to continue with school. In addition to that, we'd be able to move around, which we very much wanted to do anyway.

He knew he didn't want to go Army again. Been there, done that. And another deployment, after 2 already? No thank you! Haha. So, he called the AF. He figured shorter deployments and usually better treatment/facilities, but they didn't want prior service. So that was out. He definitely didn't want the Navy. We've got nothing against those in the Navy, he just didn't want to be stuck on a ship for so long. His friend Matt had suggested the Coast Guard a while back. He figured, what the heck, it couldn't hurt to check it out. So we did. We went to Denver and heard what the recruiter had to say.

As it turned out, we liked what we heard. He was able to get in fairly quickly. I'm bad with dates, but I believe it was around the beginning of the year. It worked out, because he quit his other job right before Christmas. Excellent timing, right? So there we were, our first holiday season together with Pit Stop (a shorter Basic Training for prior service in the CG) looming in the very near future. Fortunately, we did get to spend our first Christmast together. :) On our last morning together before he left, I also felt our baby move for the first time. :) It was pretty special. Unfortunately, Heath didn't feel it, but it was still pretty amazing. It makes pregnancy real in a different way than an ultrasound can.

So anyway, he went to Pit Stop, came home, then we made our first move. We packed up everything we could fit and drove ourselves and our cats half way across the country in a Toyota Corolla. We frequently had to stop because my pregnancy feet kept getting swollen. It wasn't the most fun trip ever, but it was very exciting. It was our first adventure in an entirely new place. We were heading out into the unknown, completely by ourselves. It was very romantic and a little scary. I'd be having a baby without the support of my family or friends back in Colorado. YIKES!!!

Long story short, we lived in South Carolina for about 6 months. We had our son, Harper, who is now three (and is currently having a very animated fight with a Spider Man punching bag). He's a great kid. :) After SC Heath got orders for Petaluma, CA. He was going to A School!! YAY! That meant promotion, more $, and another move. All of which were excellent news. We were in Petaluma, which we ADORED, for about 6 months. Then Heath got orders for New Orleans. It's not our favorite, but it's ok. Better than Iraq, that's for sure.

All in all, the CG has been pretty good to us. We've already lived in 3 different states and are ready to try some new places whenever they're ready to send us.

Probably the biggest plus though, is that aside from being stationed on a boat, which is bound to happen at some point in Heath's career, we don't have to worry about being separated. He'll never have to go to Iraq if he doesn't want to.

I'm just really grateful for two things:
1. For the families who do make that deployment sacrifice, especially those with kids. Your service does not go unnoticed.
2. That Heath went CG this time around, and that the longest I'll have to go away from him is a few months. As much as he drives me crazy, I'm glad he's here with me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Toys and Chocolate Frogs!

I'm still catching up with posts from last week. They're all so different, they deserve different posts.

This one is from a few days ago. Harper's Granny sent him a Toys R Us card for his birthday. He was SO excited to go to the store and pick out his own toys. He had so much fun.

When we got to the register, I had some fun of my own. :) Um, they have Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs!! I got one the other day, and two more the next day! Each frog comes with a card. I got some good ones, Mcgonagall and Lockhart, but really want all the Weasleys AND Snape too. So...I guess I know what I'll be getting when we head back to the toy store. :)


Camping in the Living Room

Since Heath got a tent for his bday, we thought we'd camp in the living room. The thing is so big we had to move our sofa just to fit it in. Haha. I tell you what though, that's my kind of camping. Air conditioned and in front of a TV. :) If only we could fit a bed in there.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Survey Help

I need some help with a school project. For my psy class we've got to do an "experiment", many involving this survey. If you guys wouldn't mind filling it out, it only takes 10 minutes or so, and it will really help out me and my class. Here's the link. Thank you!
http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eLhmB0EEJTFXx8U

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kate Gosselin

Warning; Short Blog!

I've decided that Kate Gosselin is seriously smokin hot. I've also decided that I'm seriously not.

I'm not setting a weight, size, or anything else goal. I've done that in the past and it has never worked for me. I'm going to try something a little different. I'm going to set a fitness goal: be able to hike for a couple of hours without almost dying. I've got this somewhat romanticized view of being able to hike and enjoy it. So...here goes nothing.

Oh gosh, where do I start...?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who am I???

I feel like I've been having an out of body experience these last few weeks. Haha. All of these things are out of character for me.

1. I've agreed to let my husband get not one but TWO guns. He's got a shotgun back in his hometown, and I've recently officially approved of him bringing it home, not that it mattered because I'm pretty sure he was bringing it home either way. Lol. Darn men! The second gun will be a new purchase, a small handgun. Now, I'm demanding a gun safe for them, but still, the fact that I'm letting a gun in my house is a huuuuuge step for me.

2. I've agreed to go..... camping. I seriously must have been possessed. I don't camp. Of course, I've got a qualification in order for this one to happen too; I need a toilet. I just can't go someplace and use a port-a-potty. They gross me out! What if there's some creeper hanging out in there?! Haha, my Heath is being nice about it though, we're waiting until it's cooler here in Louisiana. At least we won't be sweating in our sleep.

3. This one seriously came from left field. I was even the one to suggest it!! I mentioned to Heath that it might be a good idea for our next vehicle to be a truck. Lol. I think I can actually get on board with the truck thing though, because it's got some serious advantages. The next time we move, it would be super convenient, and depending on where we live, it might be nice to have something that handles somewhat well in snow. Not to mention, our van is getting old and starting to have some maintenance issues, so it might be best to look into trading in while we can.

Does anyone have any truck recommendations? We would need something with a back seat that has enough leg room, preferably 4 door, with a maximum V6 engine (not looking for a gas guzzler), and of course nothing too expensive we're on a single income-E5 salary after all. :)

Well, back to the point, though I've been making some pretty unexpected, uncharacteristic decisions lately, I'm also pretty excited about the direction things are going.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Military families and "fitting in"

I keep coming back to this thought about fitting in, in that I don't. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to have a pity party for myself. I'm not saying to myself, "Poor me! No one likes me!" I just, I never feel like I fit in.

Like right now for example, I go to school, talk to classmates. I do as much as I can for my son and my husband once I get home. I care for my pets. Though I cannot live near them, I talk to my immediate family often and keep good relationships with all of them. But...there's something missing. I feel like I'm not living up to my full potential. How do I explain...? Ok, for instance: I've read a few other blogs, and they're just so...full. These people live. They really live. They have full lives, not just full of STUFF to do (haha, that's not a problem here, I've got plenty of that) but full of PEOPLE who care about them and want to spend time with them. I don't feel like I live; I don't feel like I have the time to live. I can't keep relationships with friends. I mean, I've got a close group of people (husband, sisters, mom, some long distance friends), that I keep in touch with, but it's just not the same as face to face relationships.

I'm not saying I want friends just for the sake of having someone to hang out with. I'm fully aware that I'm someone who doesn't really make friends easily. And in many ways, it would be easier to just suck it up and not make friends at all until we move again. After all, we've only got 2 more years in Louisiana, then it's off to a new place where this whole cycle starts over again. Even if I do make friends, will it matter...? And, not that I'm excuse making (ok, so maybe I am a little), but the Coast Guard makes it a little difficult to make family friends who can sympathize with our situation. There's no base housing for the Coast Guard. We're all spread out, no one knows anyone else, there's never really any family socialization that goes on, so all the spouses are left to kind of tread water on their own. I wish the Coast Guard had a welcome committee. Lol, is that crazy? I mean, it would just be nice to have a contact, another military spouse, who's lived here for a while, knows the other spouses and family members and can get people in touch. I know the Coasties probably wouldn't be interested, but maybe if they did a once monthly morale event, 1 kid friendly and 1 for adults (they could alternate every month). It could be little things like bowling, a potluck picnic type thing.....just SOMETHING to get us all together so we can find like-minded people: people who understand only living some place for a few years, having to make new friends all the time, essentially living out of a suitcase whenever the military says so.....all that jazz.

I am a military wife

I stumbled across another woman's blog tonight, and I really enjoyed reading what she had to say. She's a military wife (Air Force I believe) who's husband is currently deployed. Though I've never had to go through a deployment with Heath I can certainly sympathize with her. Anyway, I really appreciated the poem she posted, so I figured I'd share it as well. (Is this technically blog-plagiarism? Haha, oh well if it is...I cited my source.)

I AM A MILITARY WIFE

I am a military wife -- a member of that sisterhood of women who have had the
courage to watch their men go into battle, and the strength to survive until
their return.

Our sorority knows no rank, for we earn our membership with a marriage license,
traveling over miles, or over nations to begin a new life with our military
husbands.

Within days, we turn a barren, echoing building into a home, and though our
quarters are inevitably white-walled and unpapered, we decorate with the
treasures of our travels, for we shop the markets of the globe. Using hammer
and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall, and our roots to the floor as
firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime. We hold a family together by
the bootstraps, and raise the best of "brats," instilling in them the motto,
"Home is togetherness," whether motel, or guest house, apartment or duplex.

As military wives we soon realize that the only good in "Good-bye" is the
"Hello again."

For as salesmen for freedom, our husbands are often on the road, at sea, or in
the sky, leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment. During
separations we guard the home front, existing until the homecoming. Unlike our
civilian counterparts, we measure time, not by years, but by tours -- married
at Knox, a baby born at Portsmouth, a special anniversary at Yorktown, a
promotion in McDill.

We plant trees, and never see them grow tall, work on projects completed long
after our departure, and enhance our community for the betterment of those who
come after us. We leave a part of ourselves at every stop. Through experience,
we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car or hold baggage, and live
indefinitely from the contents within: and though our fingers are sore from the
patches we have sewn, and the silver we have shined, our hands are always ready
to help those around us.

Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our
men into battle, will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic
group, thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday,
while anticipating tomorrow.

Never rich by monetary standards, our hearts are overflowing with a wealth of
experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military
life.

We pass on this legacy to every military bride, welcoming her with outstretched
arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the
bounty of our unique, fulfilling military way of life.

Author Unknown

If you're interested, here's her blog:

Bree Tanner

Last night, after finishing my required reading I picked up Stephenie Meyer's latest story, "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" intending to read the first chapter or so. I don't recall it being divided into chapters exactly...because once I started it I really couldn't put it down! I kept looking at the clock, which by that point was inching closer and closer to 4 AM, but there was so little book left that I just haaad to finish, you know?

So, while I'm between classes I figured I'd let y'all know what I thought. If you like Twilight, you'll be satisfied with Bree's story. The bit of a love story between Bree and Diego, while sweet, reminds me of "The Host", which isn't a bad thing, but it makes for a little bit of monotony. Don't get me wrong, I'm eternally grateful to Stephenie for giving us all Twilight and just about anything to do with it, I just felt like Bree's story wasn't enough, or maybe it was too similar to "The Host". I am glad we got to hear what Edward saw in Bree's thoughts though. It completes a small piece of the much larger puzzle. One thing that I found really interesting in Bree's story: Freaky Fred. I'm really hoping Freaky Fred makes a comeback, because that kid's got some potential. I like the idea that he's out there somewhere in the world, and it's possible we might see him again.

http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/breetanner.html

Anyway, time to head back out to class.

P.S. Dear Rain, you can let up anytime now. I think we'd all appreciate it. Thanks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Quickie.... nevermind. Random, and a little complicated.

Yep, this is going to be another short post. Honestly I haven't been able to think about much except school. But there is some excellent news: I'm half way through the semester!!! I'm so excited. My semester project for Research Psych is moving along pretty nicely. Psych is going well in general. Bio is a whole different story; it's most definitely a challenge. There's so much material to cover in a VERY limited amount of time. Honestly I'm not doing well at all right now. However, I'm hoping to be able to devote more time to studying the book material and the online material.

Other than school, I've been sick. Haha, when it rains it pours, huh? Harper got pink eye and a cold while my parents were visiting us from Colorado, which sucked but kind of had a silver lining. Because my parents were in town, we had someone to help us out with watching Harper, plus Heath already had some leave time scheduled. However, after my family left and Harper got better I got worse. It wasn't anything too serious, but it was enough to make me miss classes. Well, that all happened in the last 2 weeks. And now, well, this weekend was Heath's birthday, for which we went to lunch, dinner, AND a movie.

The next night (we're now up to last night, I know, a whirlwind recap, but it is what it is :) ) we went to see ECLIPSE! Heath and I actually got to go on a date and it was awesome. I mean, I still had my cold and some kind of throat infection thing (from the cold) for which I have to take an antibiotic (ew!); Heath now has said cold and a cold sore (seriously, it ain't raining, it ain't even pouring, it's like a frickin hurricane, lol). But, all illness aside, it was nice to go out Harper free and actually spend some adult time. My AWESOME Aunt Shannon, her daughter Taylor, and my other cousin Mady came over to babysit. So, after the movie, I called to check in on Harper and he was good. Aunt Shannon encouraged us to go out to grab a bite for dinner as well (and I'm so glad she did), so we went to a place that we've passed at least a hundred times since we moved here, Sake Cafe. It was AMAZING! Lol, if I'm being totally honest, I might be biased because it was my first Harper free meal in a looooooong time, but seriously, it was still awesome. We're definitely going to be heading back for that Moon Roll (YUM!).

So, now I'm caught up. I'm currently sitting on the sofa (at 1:20 AM). I've gotten a good bit of homework accomplished today, and I'm organized and ready to go for tomorrow, when I'll pick up right where I left off tonight. I'll finish chapter 14 in Psy, and I'll start reading Bio. Both have to be finished and ready for Tuesday. (Thank GOD I have Monday off to work on all this stuff!!)

However, since I'm caught up for the moment, I wanted to share a few other thoughts on some things that have been going on in my life. I don't want to get into the whole thing, because it's a lot of background story and a LOT of drama, but long story short I've got some pretty strained family relationships, not in my immediate family (fortunately that's all good) but with my extended family. Recently, I've lost a relationship with my Grandmother. It's sad, it's frustrating, and it's hurtful. There are multiple sides to every story, I know that. And like I said, it's more complicated that what I'm grazing over right now, but my bottom line is this: though you can't choose your family, you CAN choose whether or not to have relationships with them. I've recently received a very hollow apology email from her, and I'm more upset than anything now. I mean, it's been a month since things happened between us. I left her house in tears because of her words, and it's taken her this long to "apologize." I'm fed up. Maybe it's wrong, but I just can't have her in my life. I know she's family, and I don't hate her, but I don't like her. It's bizarre though, it's like I'm split on this issue. I'm totally fine with keeping these bad people out of my and my family's life. They're like cancer, and I want to keep them as far away as possible. However, I'm TORN because I think "Oh my gracious, if someone else told me they were cutting people out of their lives like that, would I think they were terrible?" I don't think I would, but who knows. I mean, I think my reasons are legitimate, but would I hate me if I didn't know me? You know?

I don't know, maybe I just need to go to bed and not worry about all this stuff. Haha, if anyone out there in the world reads this and has any thoughts on this last bit I'd love to hear it. Am I doing the right thing or am I going to regret it later...like when my Grandmother is dying? Alright, with that I'm signing off of here and crawling into bed. A full day of school work awaits me tomorrow. Oh joy!