Saturday, February 21, 2009

At a Loss

There are so many thoughts running around in my head at the moment that I am at a loss as to what to blog about. Some things I really don't want to blog about because I don't have enough information to really blog them. I hate not being able to blog. I blog to release stress, free up space in my mind, and share my crazy life with all the people who love me. So if you dare to read on, may not make sense, I may not answer all your questions, and I may step on some toes or hurt some feelings. I apologize for that now.

Feeling Miserable~I really feel selfish for complaining. I really shouldn't complain...there are definitely other people with situations far worse than mine. I should be grateful...but instead I feel miserable. Not a I hate my daily existence kind of miserable, more of a stuck in the mud kind of miserable. It isn't that bad; however, it is still mud and I hate being dirty. I realize this is vague. Sorry.

Goals~I am a girl who has always had a goal. A goal of getting through h.s, getting my college degree, being a teacher, etc. I really don't have a goal for myself at the moment (other than getting a full time job-and there are far too many variables in my way at the moment). Why have I stopped giving myself a goal? Why have I put myself on pause?

Hurry Up and Wait~Is a USMC phrase that I am all-too-familiar with at this point. I hate this phrase. It makes me ill. It may be starting to make me physically ill...ugh.

Irony~I find it ironic (I guess that would be a good word?) that you can do something thinking it is the best thing for you. You think surely this will be great. Then you discover that even though the people are wonderful, you have many friends, you have at least a job in a time where lost of people are losing their's (spellcheck says "their's" is wrong...I'm fairly certain spellcheck is wrong), and all the while you're miserable. Stuck in the mud miserable.

Sorry for the doom and gloom post. Hopefully I'll get my head sorted out and will have a more logical upbeat post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

4th Anniversary of the "Airport Rendezvous Weekend"

Yay! I Love this day, almost more than I love our wedding anniversary. .oO(Hmmm...that probably sounds rather strange, but they are both about equal as special days go.) Four years ago today I boarded a plane in Columbus, Ohio with Dulles International Airport as a final destination. Boarding that plane was the beginning of a weekend that changed my life forever. Upon landing and working my way through the treasure hunt to baggage claim I was greeted with the biggest hug from the cutest Marine I've ever seen. (That would be my husband in case you were wondering.) I was so nervous! I hardly talked to him on the drive from the airport to my hotel room because there were a million things running through my mind. Even though we could talk for hours and hours and hours on the phone I was overwhelmed with actually having him next to me. We dropped my stuff off in my room and he presented me with a heart shaped necklace he had bought for me. I wore it nearly every day after that for at least a year. I wore it on our wedding day. And I still smile when I wear it because it reminds me of how special it was actually meeting the man who had become such a huge part of my life through phone calls and letters.

Then we went to dinner...a very late dinner because my plane hadn't landed until about 8pm or so if I recall. So by the time we fought DC/NOVA traffic it was pretty late. The nerves wore off, but I had a huge dopey grin on my face the whole time. Looking back at the pictures he had a huge dopey grin too, lol. The rest of the weekend was spent touring the DC area, including Pentagon City Mall. Sunday morning he asked me to marry him. He even called my mom and sisters to ask their permission. We didn't make it back to the little shop where we saw a turtle ring before it closed on Sunday evening so Dave bought it later that week and mailed it to me. The turtle ring became my engagement ring until I decided upon a 1/4 carat diamond solitaire a few months later. (I'm not big on flashy rings with lots of stones. Sure they look pretty...but I don't really need that much bling.) I flew out Monday morning and that was the beginning of the visits back and forth between Ohio and DC. And the rest as they say is history!

So today we are once again being lazy and enjoying spending time together!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sibs Wknd ~ Part 2 aka The Rest of the Story

Saturday AM~ I awaken to Katie coming home. She fell asleep at "the boys" house the night before. Katie sounds terrible. She can barely talk and I give her the look that says "please don't give me the plague." (I had awakened Friday night to hear her coughing in her room and worried that she may have bronchitis or pneumonia since she is very prone to both illnesses since she was a child.) She calls mom to ask advice as to whether she should seek care on campus or wait until Monday to see the doc at home in Z-ville. Katie manages to croak out "I need your advice..." before mom tells her "go to urgent care." Mom then calls me on my cell phone to ensure that I go to urgent care with Katie to make sure she isn't going to suddenly drop dead along the way. So I put on some clothes, pull up my hair, and put on a touch of make-up so I don't scare anyone and we head to urgent care. We make two stops along the way. The first is to buy Katie a gigantic bottle of water. The second is to buy me some food from the drive-thru at Wendy's. After Katie checks in I begin reading more of my USMC book and eating my food. Katie thinks I look funny. I think Katie sounds like she just might die any second from the plague. Katie sees the doctor and discovers it is severe sinus problems. She is prescribed an expensive antibiotic and an antihistamine. I hope this will make Katie feel less like she is breathing through a straw and am grateful she didn't have bronchitis or pneumonia.

Saturday Afternoon~After our venture to urgent care, we proceed to go to Wal-Mart to pick up Katie's prescriptions, some tissues, and some groceries for Katie. She enjoys filling my cart with whatever her little heart desires, knowing I am paying the bill. I feel like she should be on a leash or I should be pushing her around in my cart because she is so out of it and is just wandering. We finish up at Wal-Mart and head back to Katie's apartment to drop off our purchases. Then Katie takes me to tour the "new" student center. It has been there for a year or two now, but was built after I left campus. It looks very nice, but the escalators down four levels seemed a bit extravagant. It's a college campus...make them take the stairs! We also shopped a bit more and found the paw print t-shirts. I bought one for me, Katie, Maggie, and Jess since she is our adopted honorary sister. We also wandered a few of the shops that I never stepped foot into during the four years I was there. At this point Katie looks like death warmed over so I take her back home. She feels the need to aplogize for not being more entertaining. I tell her I am having a great time and feel like I have been let out of a cage for the weekend.

Saturday Evening~We go get some dinner at a place called Campus Garden. It was delicious freshly made Chinese type food. Then we go back to Katie's apartment. We watch an episode of John & Kate plus 8 and I ask Katie if she might like to have an "aldergator." She says no. We end up watching crazy house buying shows on TLC. Then Jess and her bf Joe come home. They rented "Night at the Museum" so we watch it. Somewhere in the middle of the movie Casa gets going and we hear thumping base music. Every time we think the thumping music is going to gets louder. Ugh! I couldn't live there. Good thing I don't have to. We pause the movie somewhere around midnight so that I can venture out for a piece of Goodfella's pizza. The bars are overflowing into the streets since the weather is unseasonably warm-a balmy 55 degrees or so. It wouldn't be a problem if I were as tipsy as the bar patrons, but I'm not and I get annoyed. we manage to get the pizza and head back to Katie's apartment to finish our movie. At the end of the movie it is time for bed. Katie sleeps on the futon across the living room from me so that she doesn't have to venture into the arctic igloo.

Sunday morning/afternoon~I wake up and begin getting ready to visit my bff Chantell. Katie loads up the car with my assistance and we get ready to head to Zanesville. Chantell's house is along the way. We stop and visit for about an hour. Then we continue on our way home to Z-ville. We finally arrive and Mom is happy. Maggie begins texting "Sisters?" since she is at work at Staples. So Mom and I venture to Staples. I try to surprise Maggie, but she is alerted by Mom's presence first. I am met with a gigantic hug. We wander Staples and I point out all kinds of things I would love Maggie to buy for me. I know she won't it was more just something fun to do. As we wander down the writing utensil aisle she tells me about how she hates annoying customers like me who find a pen they absolutely love and then can't find it again. She'll ask them to describe the pen and all they tell her is that they really like the way it writes. She asks things like "was it a fine point, a medium point, a gel pen, a retractable pen?" to see if she can help them find another such wonderful pen. They give her a blank stare. I give her a smile when she tells me this, she's finally speaking my language. Mom and I also venture to the mall where I am able to purchase a pair of shoes on sale for $10. They were brown Life Stride dress shoes. I am super excited to wear them to work. I am sure I'll be less excited once I find out how they make my feet hurt, but for now I love them. Then we look and see that we still have time to shop at Gabe's. Gabe's sells "Lofty" (Ann Taylor Loft) clothes that have been either damaged or we were unable to sell all of our inventory. I shop the racks and find three items: a long sleeve t-shirt, a halter style tank in black (that I also bought last spring in red), and a black knit skirt that will serve nicely as a bathing suit cover-up. I spent less than $20 or so on those three items. I am excited. At this point it was time to pick up Maggie at work.

Sunday Evening~I go visit Jean. She is a very special lady who I must visit every time I go home. Sadly, I didn't get to see her children and grandchildren...but we made plans to make plans in June when I go home for Katie's graduation. I only visit for a short while before it is time to run home and pick up Maggie so we can go bowling. I am going to serve as a substitute on Maggie's bowling team. I am a terrible bowler, but I have a fun time. (Even if I didn't look like it Miggles. I was exhausted.) I manage to bowl a 97. Not too shabby in my book. Maggie and I venture home after bowling to watch the Grammy's. Mom had taped them for us while we were bowling. Maggie and I spend our time watching them yelling at Mom and Katie to act like they haven't watched them already. I also was able to drink a bottle of Duplin County Wine since the Wine Rack in Z-ville carries it. (And they were open on a Sunday!!) The VCR remote had also died so I ended up using a broom handle as my remote to fast forward through commercials. Once the Grammy's are over I go to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Maggie & I at the Bowling Alley

Monday AM~ I get up, shower quickly, and head off to see Amy. Amy is like another member of our family. No trip home is complete without a new hairstyle from Amy. (She's our family hair stylist...but we talk about her like she might be another sister or something.) I ended up with a lighter color and a shorter hairstyle. I love it!

Monday Afternoon~I am back at home to try and squeeze everything into my suitcase for the trip Alabama. It takes about an hour to rearrange all of my belongings so that they fit in my suitcase. Maggie kindly reminds us that she has class at 2pm. (I'm so proud she remembered and she was irritated that we didn't!!) Before she leaves I hug her and we both scream "I Love you!" Then it is time for Katie and I to leave so she can take me to the airport. I hug my mom good-bye and reassure her I will be back in June. Katie stops for gas and then we are off to the airport. When we arrive at the airport I hug Katie and tell her I hope she feels better. (She still sounds like she just might have the plague.) I go to check in for my flight and ahead of me is a Marine. I ask if he is headed to Jacksonville. He gives me a funny look and says no. I say "you're a Marine, right?" He says "yes, I'm headed to San Diego." He gives me a funny look and I quickly explain that my husband is a Marine. (I assumed he was headed to J-ville b/c typically all East Coast Marines get stationed there.)

Mom & I

Katie (Very sick), Wendy, & Maggie in our Paw Print T-shirts

Monday Evening~I fly once again to Memphis, but have no layover. I have 10 minutes to get from one plane to another. I manage to do this. Before I know it I arrive in Birmingham and my husband is there to pick me up. I give him a huge hug because he missed me over the weekend. ( I missed him too.) He also had a rather eventful weekend, but I'll leave it at that. As soon as I am in the car he tells'll probably need to do a load of laundry because I am out of clean jeans. I ask him to think back to the days before we were married and ask how he ended up with clean clothes. He says "it was different then b/c Combsy helped me." (Combsy was his roommate at the barracks.) I sigh and know that I am needed. (Another reason he wouldn't survive well without me.)

P.S. And that is as Paul Harvey would say "is the rest of the story." Random Fact-I called Mom on Saturday to ask her "who is the old guy who always says something about a story and the old people really love him." She replies "Paul Harvey?" Yeah, Paul Harvey. Thanks Mom. I knew you would know the answer to that. (Joe had said something about him and his radio show and we couldn't think of his name.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sibs Wknd 2009 ~ Part 1

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't written in about two weeks. I've been a teensy bit busy preparing for my crazy, long weekend in Ohio. There are far too many things to blog about so I'll start at the beginning and probably finish it up in a second blog post. I was terribly excited to go to Ohio, I haven't been there in over a year now. I was so excited that I couldn't fall asleep the night before and I was up at 7am for no reason the day of my flight. (Thursday.) I did manage to talk myself into going back to sleep for a bit, but was up again at 7:45am to get ready and shove all those last minute things into my suitcase. I had to take the big suitcase because I was planning for cold weather in Ohio. I took two big, bulky sweaters and only wore one of them for a few hours in the evening. I took four pairs of shoes and wore the same pair of tennis shoes the whole trip. (I was expecting to hang out in one of the bars a bit and figured Katie would make me dress up, but we didn't and I'll tell you why in a bit.) So after I managed to pack my suitcase it was time to head to the airport. It took a whole 10 minutes to check in at the airport and get through security. That left me with an hour and a half to begin reading my book that I had purchased specifically for the trip, Making the Corps (10th Anniversary Edition) by Thomas E. Ricks. .oO(I am thoroughly enjoying this book, mostly because it makes me think about things I already know in completely new ways and gave me a new perspective on a few things. I'm totally obsessed with the USMC. I should probably seek medical attention, but any USMC fan knows this obsession is just part of the Corps and part of its legend. I may blog more about this at some other point...) Finally it was time to board the plan that would take me to Memphis!

Arrival in Memphis airport: I have approximately an hour and a half until my final flight to Columbus, Ohio. I decide to get a sandwich for lunch. As I am walking I notice a vending machine that is holding Ipods and other Apple products associates with Ipods. I thought "hmmm, I can get an Ipod the same way I pick out a Snickers bar." .oO(I also felt a little uncultured for being amazed at this vending machine.) I continue on to my gate and eat my sandwich while reading more of my USMC book. I overhear several interesting tidbits of conversation which distract me from my book-things like one mom traveling with a child berating some woman for being "snarky" about the fact that the mom was taking up a few chairs with all her stuff and the snarky woman should be nicer to her b/c travel with a child is difficult (they both boarded the same that was a fun flight) and that Etta James made some colorful comments about "the President, you know the one with the big ears" and "the Great Beyonce singing "her" (meaning Etta's) song for the President." Wow. Travel can be fun I guess. Finally it was time to board my plane to Columbus. At this point I had been sitting for approx 4 hours or so total.

Arrival in C-bus: I am overjoyed to be able to stand. My butt hurts from sitting all day. Who knew? I proceed to baggage claim and on my way there I see signs saying "Welcome Home Sgt. XYZ" and "Welcome Home Dad" and a family (I know it was a family b/c they all looked alike) gathered patiently awaiting the arrival of their soldier. (I forget how I determined he was in the Army, but I did.) I passed and nearly started crying. Why? Because I get emotional over things like a welcome home. I know that family had spent probably months waiting for their loved one to get home and were anxiously awaiting his return...which finally occurred that day. I don't cry though my eyes are a bit misty. I go to baggage claim and find my gigantic green suitcase that is so heavy I can barely lift it. I call Katie to see where she is along the way. She and Jess (her roommate and best friend for 4 yrs now) are approaching the airport so they picked me up at the curb. We head to Easton Town Center to shop for an outfit for Jess' interview with Teach for America, see if the Loft there has anything that my store doesn't, and to eat some dinner. We are able to accomplish all of those things and we head to Athens. (The Loft did have a shirt that we didn't get and a pair of jeans in my size-my store was out of my size and I almost had a fit. The Ohio store also had a lot of clearance merchandise that we have sold out of already.) At this point I am exhausted.

Arrival in Athens: We drag my stuff up to Katie's apartment, which is located directly above Casa Nuevo, called "Casa" for short. Casa is a "hippie" type bar/restaurant/bodega (the sign above it says so). It isn't a bad location. At least not until 10-11pm ish when the music and the booming starts. Thursday all you can hear is a slight hint of loud music. Katie shows me her apartment. The kitchen, living room, and bathroom are all a normal 65-70 degree temperature. As soon as Katie opens the door to either her room or Jess' room there is a slight breeze in the room. Their rooms are an arctic temp despite the plastic covering the windows and the space heater to help heat the room. Katie sleeps under three blankets and wraps one around her head in an attempt to stay warm and healthy. I meet Jess' hamsters, Winston and Theodore. I fall in love with the furry Winston and decide I must get a hamster. (Not until we are out of the in-laws house though...the zoo is nearly out of control here.) My husband has promised to let me get one as long as I take care of it. .oO(Considering I take care of the other two animals we have I'm thinking this isn't a problem.) After a lot of talking and laughing I tuck Katie into bed in her igloo bedroom and go to sleep in the living room on the futon. I drift off to sleep listening to the quiet thumping of music and the smell of some neighbor's pot drifting under the crack at the bottom of the door to Katie's apartment. Whew!

Winston-He's so cute!

Middle of the Night: I am uncertain as to what the time is b/c the living room is windowless. I hear a boy yelling obscenities. I debate going to yell at him myself, but determine I don't want to deal with him and I don't want to leave my warm covers. I grumble and drift back to sleep.

Middle of the Night a Bit Later: Not sure how much later, but I awaken to the same boy yelling obscenities. If I had a baseball bat I would take it out in the hallway to yell at him. I ponder this for a few minutes. He finally yells some more and then a door slams. All is quiet on the second floor. (I had forgotten there was a giant wooden fork hanging on Katie's wall that would have served as a nice weapon to invoke come intimidation.)

Friday Morning: I awaken to a phone call from my husband asking me about the amount of money he needed to transfer from one account to another to cover our bills for the month. I inquired as to whether or not he read the paper I gave him with all the info written down. He has seen it, but wanted to confirm what the final amount should be. I determine that if I were to be gone for a long period of time (say 6 months like a deployment) he would require a babysitter. .oO(This is further confirmed upon my arrival home, but you'll have to wait for the rest of the story tomorrow...)

Shortly after my phone call from the husband Katie arrives home with breakfast for us. She has purchased fat free strawberry cream cheese, weight watchers approved bagels, and strawberry banana orange juice. This is a big departure from her normal diet. I'm impressed. My bagel was yummy.

Friday Afternoon: Katie goes to class to take a midterm. I decide to get out of my pj's and take a shower. I love Katie's shower. It has great water pressure and a lot of hot water. Water that gets so hot I have to turn the temp down a bit so I don't scald myself.

When Katie arrives home from class we go shopping. Katie and I pick out some lovely gifts and she finds a Vera Bradley backpack on sale that she simply must have. I found a wallet. We then proceed to the liquor store to see if they really do carry Duplin County Wine like the Winery's website proclaims. The minute we step inside the door I am asked for my id. I was slightly surprised, but quickly remember I am near the college campus. Of course they are ID'ing everyone. They scan my id into a fancy machine to determine it is legit. It doesn't read my id. I am just about ready to produce my military dependent id when the guy checks the birth date and realizes it would be stupid to fake being 27 on a college campus. (This won't be the last time my id gets a double take.) We get beer for the evening. The store does not carry the Duplin Wine. I am sad. We head back to Katie's apartment to wait for the evening to begin. Katie has invited "the boys" over to her house so that I can meet them. (The boys are a few guys Katie and Jess know that are their great friends. They frequently have dinner together and hang out.)

Friday Night: The boys haven't arrived at the scheduled time. Text messages are sent and received. They will be on their way shortly. We wait. Finally we decide to leave Joe, Jess' boyfriend, in the apartment in case the boys arrive and we head across the street to Tony's, a local bar. Katie would like me to try a shot called a Hot Nut. The guy at the door examines my id very well and finally determines I really am me and I am more than of age. I instantly feel younger as we enter the bar. Most everyone in there was probably in their mid 30's at least. (Which really isn't old, but when you find a bar full of people that age on a college campus it is surprising.) Katie, Jess, and I drink our shots and head back out the door and to Katie's apartment. Still no boys. We wait. Finally they begin arriving. We talk a bit. A few games of beer pong are played. A few more games of survivor flip cup are played. (I stink at flip cup and only made my teammates put up with me for one round.) At some point we determine we are hungry. We go downstairs and across the street to O'Betty's. O'Betty's has amazing hot dogs and french fries. Their fries are like fair fries, but wider. It was the best food ever. I am slightly tipsy at this point. Katie walks me up to her apartment and sits me on the futon. She instructs me to lock the door and not to leave the apartment. (She acts like I am 7, not 27.) I calmly tell her that I am more than familiar with campus and uptown since I went to the same college. I also tell her I won't go anywhere. I don't. I wash my face, put on my pj's, and go to sleep. I once again listen to the thumping music from below.

Me, Mark, & Katie (Mark is one of "the boys")

Survivor Flip Cup - Arguing about OU Football and Who is Going to Start the Flip Cup Round

To be continued...