Sunday, August 28, 2011

Reintegrating.


Hello long lost bloggy world.  I promise I’m around, I’ve just been really distracted by a certain boy that is finally home :)

This past week I was told by my professor an exam I thought I would have was moved to after Labor Day weekend, thus giving me a 4 day weekend with little to no homework.  Boyfriend notified me he found a new house to rent and was going to be moving this weekend.  I decided on Tuesday that I’d pop on down and give him another set of hands. 

I drove down and arrived Thursday just in time to go out to dinner and have a real date night together.  We ran into a few guys from his platoon leader days so I got to meet some of the guys and their wives/girlfriends/fianc├ęs for the first time. They were nice, and enjoyed giving me and boyfriend a hard time about being together so long and still not married *rolls eyes* like we haven’t heard that one before! But it was nice to joke around and dish it right back over a few beers.

The following day was filled with reintegration training for him in the morning and packing and moving the rest of the day.  On Friday we managed to move completely from his house he shared with roommates to his new place starting at 11am and completely moved all boxes into the new place by 4:15.  There wasn’t much furniture to move so that made things go much faster.  I no longer have any desire to move a washer or dryer ever again.  Ugh, thankfully a long hot shower and chocolate cures most moving related aches and pains. 

Saturday was spent shopping for furniture, unpacking, putting together the new furniture, and decorating the new place.  It was fun “playing house” and putting together a household.  Saturday over dinner we had some very frank conversations about the whole LDR situation and his thoughts on where his career is going with the Army.  He mentioned the Special Forces, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly terrified.  I know he’s just putting in a packet and seeing where things go, and he’ll regret it if he doesn’t try.  Again, with the wait and see game. 

We discussed how we are both so ready to live near each other and experience living together rather than being apart all the time.  It’s unavoidable and necessary right now while I finish my education, but in a perfect world we’d be able to relocate by now.  We seemed to step right back into where we were before deployment with only a few hiccups.  I thought we were crazy about each other before he deployed, but like the Brad Paisley song, "I thought I loved you then".  To keep from going too nuts I think I'll just have to keep repeating my mantra of “delayed gratification”.

Just a few more days and I’ll be off to his grandparent’s house to meet the entire extended family for the first time… eeep!! Let the awkward conversations with people I’m meeting for the first time begin.  I’ll have my new camera by then, so I’ll be sure to share photos. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

He's finally back!

After 4 plane delays he finally made it in :)  I spotted him right off the plane and couldn't stop the happy tears then.  I've been all smiles ever since the ceremony.  His family and I got to have dinner with him and then he and I had few hours to ourselves last night before leaving early this morning.  Unfortunately it was a very brief visit, but block leave will be here soon enough.
Now I just need these next few weeks of classes and work to fly by so that I can go with him and his family for an extended Labor Day weekend for a welcome home party out in Nebraska.  Oh boy, things are getting serious, finally meeting the whole family after 6.5 years ;)

Photos from the day:

Finally spotted him coming off the plane.  Look at that big smile :)

Welcome home hug and kiss.

I was shaking at this point.

Lost in conversation.

The family plus me.

His momma and I.
And this is the face you make when your 15 minutes are up.

Look at all those bags!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I should be sleeping.

Tonight, I should be cuddled up with my soldier, chatting about anything and everything, and getting all caught up on our lives from the past 3 months since R&R.  I should be giving him the back rub I promised and listening to his plans for leave while talking about where we go from here now that he is home.

Instead the Army decided to have other plans.  They decided they needed his journey home to take another 2 days.  His parents and I rushed down here yesterday after getting the official phone call thinking there may be a change of up to 24 hours after the call.  Boy were we wrong.  It got pushed back another day, and this afternoon it got pushed back yet again. 

I'm just beyond frustrated, and starting to feel a little bitter.  I don't know if this is a normal thing or if it always just seems to happen to us.  I know I should be really thankful he is on his way, but I just want him here now! I guess I have another day to spend with his family and hoping that things maybe get moved forward.  At this point, if he gets delayed anymore it'll just be a quick "hi/bye" and we'll have to hit the road again so I can get to school.  So much for having a long weekend together.

Come on Army, get the guys home already!  I'm off to the hotel vending machine to eat my feelings a little bit.  Is this typical??

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Raw Emotion


Today, I finally got the information I’ve been craving for almost a full year, a homecoming date.  I’m not 100% sure of the exact time, but it’s nice to finally have some finality to this deployment.  Nothing makes a morning like a message saying “I’m on my way.  See you soon”.
"Leaving on a Jet Plane"
Going into this year, I was naive about the nights I’d spend alone, and the amount of communication I’d be able to have with my soldier.   But here I am, still standing strong despite the year apart.  I never thought I’d be at this point, it certainly took its time in getting here! If he had come home on his original date, I’d be in his arms tonight.  But duty called and Uncle Sam wanted him a few more days so I guess I’ll just have to wait.  I do know that I can count the number of days on one hand and it is such a relief to know that he is en route to me right now.  

I’m trying really hard to have realistic expectations about the ceremony and not over romanticize the entire day.  I know he will be tired, his family is going to be excited as well, and that I am going to have to work hard for some alone time while respecting his family’s time as well.  

I’m already crying about the day, it’s like I can finally breathe again.  I’ve been walking on eggshells and felt like there was a huge weight on my shoulders this last year.  Now that I know he is moving, the weight has been lifted and I can feel some of the anxiety I’ve been holding in about the entire year.  Tonight I let myself have a good “ugly cry” because it’s finally over and I can start to get excited about this. I think I’m just in a very weird place emotionally. 

It didn't help that I was at a wedding alone yesterday thinking about how he should have been with me.  I've attended many weddings alone and while I was so excited for the couple,  I was throwing a pity party that everyone had a date and a slow dance partner while I was sitting at the table alone with my drink. I was the only person in my group of friends without a +1 in attendance.  At least the weddings I'll be going to in the next year, he'll hopefully be at my side, and I'll have someone to whisper sweet nothings to during slow dances. 

I'm hopeful this week will fly by, and I'll enjoy some time alone together where we can catch up and get back into our LDR routine.  At least, I'm excited to know that after that hug, just a few days of redeployment training stand between the two of us and block leave. It's not looking like we'll get a quick weekend together on Labor Day, instead I'm going out to Nebraska with his family to meet the whole fam-damily.  Maybe at Christmas-time we'll finally get that elusive vacation together.  

I'll try to update with photos as soon as I get the chance, but odds are, I won't be updating until next week when I return from the long weekend down at his base.  Thank ladies for all your support and kind words that have gotten me through this year.  Seeing all the love from the blogging community has really been beneficial, so thanks again :) I'm hopeful about our future with the Army because I've seen all of you balance through the good days and the dark days as well.  So hats off to those of you with multiple deployments under your belt. You're the ones that have kept me going some night with your optimism and blunt truths about military life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Single Digits, and Vertically Challenged.

Well, the donut told me I'm vertically challenged.... but in real life I am far from it- ha!  I opened up my Donut today after taking a few days away from looking at it, and enjoying some much needed girl time in the STL.  I was SO incredibly excited to see such a small percent... goodness where has this year gone?


In this last year I have:
1) Completed 3 full semesters of grad school
2) Moved to a new town and explored it where I no longer feel like a tourist.
3) Welcomed back some BFFs from their semesters abroad.
4) Made some great new friends in grad school.
5) Become an even bigger ear nerd.
6) Started to gain a ton of clinical skills.
7) Figured out my future life goals (for the most part).
8) Become an even stronger person than I ever felt I could be.
9) Learned to cherish a 10 minute phone call.
10) Fallen even more madly in love than I ever thought possible.

I am so ready to welcome him home, now it is just a matter of keeping myself occupied.  I know tomorrow is going to be really tough having to say "see you soon" to two of my BFFs before they leave for China next week, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology I know I will still be able to talk to them lots and lots.  Just a wedding, starting some clinicals back up, and before I know it, I'll be back with boyfriend just like I ought to be.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back Again!

Hey all!  Finals are finished, conference is done, and now I finally get to enjoy my summer break, well the whole 1.5 weeks of it that is.  I've been getting caught up on my google reader count- yikes 80+ and my TV shows from the last week or so.  I will admit, it was nice to unplug and unwind for a few days, I think I need to do that more often. 

In terms of the conference, I had entirely too much fun.  Thank you Phonak, I enjoyed my time greatly.  This was a chance to train up on my skills, learn about new technology and also network with other students and hearing professionals in the industry. I made some awesome new friends and also got some time to relax with my classmates.  It didn't help the company had an open bar at all the events either ;)

I thought I'd share some of the highlights, and most of the photos were taken in the cerumen management course I elected to take.  I'm now certified to take out earwax... yippee!!

Suction method of removing wax.

LED magnified headset.

Having cerumen irrigated. This actually tickled.

Drying my ears post irrigation.

Classmates.

Thanks for the great time Phonak!
In other news, I'm trying to keep uber busy and stay distracted until boyfriend comes home.  It's going to be in the next few weeks with all the moving around that has occured.   I'm just sooooo ready for him to be home already.  I have my homecoming dress all picked out, and I cannot wait to wear it!
Dress front.

Back of the dress, I love the open back!
I did get an email tonight, and I'll be honest I cried, cried because I was so happy to hear from him after multiple weeks of not hearing anything and I also cried because I heard the news that so many service members will not be coming home after what happened yesterday.  I'm thinking of all those families and keeping them in my thoughts.