Sunday, October 28, 2012

...on Prepping For The Holidays

One of the topics that weighs heavily on my mind is how to share the holidays with my husband while he's 7,000 miles away.  I want to be able to start new traditions like any other family.  The whole Thanksgiving/Christmas season is my favorite time of year!  I don't like the idea of being away from my husband during the season, but that is what I have and I need to find productive ways to make it as great as I can.

I am going to create homemade decor for our home.  Pinterest had several cute ideas!  A monogram "wreath" for the front door, a garland for our columns on the porch, perhaps lights and garlands for indoors as well.  I am planning on making them during the month of November, taking photographs for an album, and sending our home holiday spirit to David in December.  Now that I think about it, I have only 4 weeks to create all of my projects!  That seems like such a short time frame right now, haha.  It's going to be great to stay busy AND create lasting home decor at the same time.

...on Getting Good News

I've discovered that the months leading up to the deployment are the worst part of the deployment.  I cried and freaked out about the deployment up until the day that he left.  It has been 3 weeks since he left and I haven't had any kind of emotional breakdown.  I do understand that I'll eventually have a breakdown... but I'm fine so far!  Husband has WiFi in his "room" and a satellite telephone to call me, so we talk every day in some fashion.  One of my worst fears was that we were going to have a strained relationship because we wouldn't be able to communicate often.  Ehh, that hasn't been a problem so far!  :)

I found out last week that I have gotten the job with Wounded Warrior Battalion on Camp Lejeune.  I am beyond excited about it!  I'll be an aquatic exercise rehab assistant!  I also found out that a former coworker got a similar position!  YAY!!  She's really amazing and we work well together.  I can't wait to get started.  I will finally make money that is worth mentioning and contribute to my family!

Friday, October 12, 2012

...on Care Packages and The Holidays

Dirty Little Secret:  I LOVE CHRISTMAS DECOR!!!

My 25th birthday is in 3 weeks, and when I lived in my own apartment, I would decorate for Christmas as early as Nov 3!!  When I lived with Ryan, he forbade me to decorate before Thanksgiving... I think I got away with 2 days prior to Turkey Day.  David is kind enough to let me decorate whenever I want!  (Plus, he's not here this year and I could do it anyway.  I'm in charge of this beeyatch!)

The first care package went out on Wednesday Oct 10.  I think I will make it a bi-weekly event, so the next one will go out Oct 24-ish?  I might have to include some cute Halloween-themed goodies inside!  I know the other wives are doing that.  David likes candy a lot (probably too much) so I think I'll stay away from that.  I'm also going to put in some delicious home-canned food!  I'm going to do roast beef, green beans, apples, and potatoes.  David is going to love it!  :)

I think I'm going to host my family at my house for Thanksgiving this year.  With Grandma's passing, we don't have much of a reason to say in Garner.  I am really going to enjoy having my family here, too.  I can't wait to show off my little one-stoplight town, take them to the beach, and have them meet my in-laws.  I guess I should start planning this shizzzz pretty soon.  My family doesn't do planning very well.  They're kind of the go-with-the-flow, last-minute-decision kind of people.

I had an interview on Tuesday for Wounded Warrior Battalion on Camp Lejeune.  I would love to have that job!  My goodness, it sounded like an amazing opportunity.  If I get the job, I'll be working by December.  That would be awesome - especially to keep me busy while David's gone.  I want to see Eden for New Year's Eve, though.  I hope this job doesn't keep me from doing that...

I suppose I have to clean the house at some point.  I'm getting a weird sensation to go do that now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

...on Dealing with Loss

Ever since I dropped David off, I have been dealing with the "loss" pretty well.  I went out with friends last night and upon coming home, I started to miss him very badly.  I still didn't cry, just had a slight ache of sadness.  I've been lucky enough to get 2 phone calls from him, so I think that has helped me deal with him being gone.

After I got off the phone with David on Sunday, I got a phone call from my mother:  My grandmother died in her sleep on Saturday night.  I am actually very relieved that she isn't in pain any longer.  The last time I spoke with her on the phone, I was trying to ask her about things to get her mind off her pain.  I asked her about the fall weather and about the card that I wrote to her.  She wouldn't pay attention to me at all - in fact, she just kept saying, "I hurt so bad."  I broke down and cried into David's shoulder because I can't stand hearing my most amazing grandma cry out in pain.  I heard pa cry out in pain, too.  Man, that feeling just sucks.  There is no other way to say it.  It sucks.

I accepted grandma's death that day.  She's been in so much pain from this shoulder injury that she wasn't eating or even getting out of the bed.  She turned 90 years old last week, for crying out loud!  It was her time to go.  Here's a little quirk about grandma - she NEVER said "I love you" back.  When I was a kid, I would say "I love you grandma!" and she would reply "Thank you!"  (It is actually very humorous to me.  She's a kook!)  Well, the last day that I spoke to her, she said "I love you, too."  Even grandma knew she was going to die and she wasn't afraid to return my love.  David heard it, too, and he looked at me with a look of wild surprise mixed with awe.  I'm glad I got to share that moment with my husband.

I feel myself getting more emotional about David being gone... It's a mixture of not being able to speak to him and the fact that he's been gone a few days now.  I'm bound to cry and get emotional eventually, ya know?  Well, add the fact that I've lost my grandma and my emotions are running on "high."  For that reason, I'm not going to grandma's visitation.  I have never liked the idea of standing around for a few hours and crying in front of people whom I don't know.  I would rather remember my grandma on my own and have my emotions shared with my family on the day of the funeral - I will definitely be present for her funeral so I can pay my respects and say "goodbye" along with other members of my family.

Today I am baking pumpkin bread to send to my husband overseas.  I'm also preparing my home-canning endeavors to send food to my husband.  Everything that I have learned about cooking and baking is 100% accredited to my grandma.  I was 10 or 11 when I asked her if I could help her bake, and of course she said "Well yeeeeeeessssssssss!" in her very unique vocal inflection.  We baked a 1-2-3 Cake, which is a recipe in which every ingredient contains a 1, 2, or 3.  The second thing we baked together was a set of pecan pies for our family Thanksgiving.  I love that lady more than I can put into words and I will continue to think of her every time I bake anything  :D

Friday, October 5, 2012

...on The Day of Reckoning

I'm in such a weird cloudy/foggy emotional state right now.  I guess I just can't believe he's gone for a year.  A year?!  I can't really fathom how lonely and weird it's going to be until it really gets started.  Well, here goes Day 1.

On our last day together, we had lots of errands to run.  I am very thankful for those errands.  Before we got started with our day, I was feeling very sulky and crying a lot.  Once we had a list of things to get done, I was feeling much better with my mind off of his departure.  We visited mom and dad while we were in Jacksonville, too.  I know they liked seeing him; he liked it, too.  

The whole day is kind of a blur to me now. I can't really believe how quickly it went by.  Around 4pm we were home from running our errands, so we started packing.  We checked (then we double-checked and triple-checked) his packing lists.  Once he was packed, he was getting jittery and nervous.  I was trying to be the calm one so that he didn't feel like too much of a mess!  What kind of wife would I be if I was sitting around crying while my husband was feeling so chaotic?  We watched some "Scrubs" and I made dinner.  By 6:45 he shaved and got dressed.  Any time he left the room, he called for me to come sit with him while he was doing his last-minute chores.  It was very sweet, and I appreciated it very much.

We left the house by 7:30pm or so and headed to Lejeune.  We made sure to hold hands for the entire duration of the drive.  We got to the building where everyone was gathering, loaded up his stuff onto a giant 7-ton truck, and went inside with the other families.  We huddled next to a couple with whom we had a double-date a few days ago.  There were so many children running around!  I'm used to having unit functions where there are maybe 7 or 8 adults and a child or two.  I can't imagine having to be a parent while saying goodbye to my husband.  That's going to be a very interesting time.

I don't even know what time it was when the Command Team started their send-off speeches.  They had a few people talk to us about who to call if we needed anything and the Chaplain said a prayer.  That's the first time I teared up - I was hugging David around his waist with his arm around my shoulder.  I was thinking, "This is the last time I'm going to see my husband for a year."  We went outside and found a private place to sit and talk for a bit.  He wanted to be one of the very last people on the bus so that we could spend every second together that we could.  When the time came to really say "goodbye," I kissed him all over his face, walked him to the doors of the bus, and told him I was going to turn around and go straight to the car.  That's what I did.  I didn't even see him get on the bus, really.  I just turned and left, and I cried all the way to the car.  

I didn't cry at all last night.  I came home, put on some "30 Rock" and texted Eden until I fell asleep.  I think the kitties knew I was sad because Winslow came and sat right on my chest (which is not unusual at all) but then Winny sat right on top of my feet (extremely unusual).  We all cuddled on the couch and I eventually fell asleep.  It was terrifically comforting to wake up with a cat splayed out across my chest and one curled so neatly over my ankles.  I got up, turned off the television, and went to bed.

I slept well, but I had really stressful dreams.  It wasn't a bad dream per se, but it was one of those dreams that I felt very frustrated and woke up with a strange feeling.  It was like a weight was pressing down on my chest.  Anyway, I woke up with kitties cuddled all around me (thank heavens for those cats!!) and I felt better.  I even went back to sleep for a few hours.  I have spoken to Megan about staying the night at her house and we're going to the Seafood Festival in Morehead City tomorrow.

I really haven't cried today, either.  I saw a pair of David's shoes on the ground and I thought, "I don't know if I want to pick those up or leave them there for a year."  I'll probably leave them there.  It makes me more comfortable to think that he still lives in the house, even though he really doesn't.  I know that I'll feel much better when I can speak to him again.  I'm hoping to have an email within the next few days.

In the meantime, I have two people to meet about prospective jobs!!  I have to get in shape for a photography shoot.  I am going to volunteer with my FRO and with LINKS as often as possible.  I have a few friends to meet up with and I am going to Raleigh.  Little steps to get through this year.