Saturday, May 23, 2009

They're Almost Home

I am excited for my 3/8 family. Their Marines will be home very soon. (Not totally sure how soon for most of them, but I know soon.) I know that this deployment has presented several trials for the Marines and their families, but reunions are in store for them. I pray that each of them makes it home safely (because after all they're not home yet). I remember how busy and exciting those last days of deployment were and I hope that the Marines arrive home according to schedule. Let's hear it for no delays!! (Marine wives are tired of Semper Gumby, lol.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MiSh MaSh

This is a blog containing all the things I haven't blogged about recently.

My new favorite "happy" song is Run to You by Lady Antebellum. (Thanks Steph for blogging about it so that I had to go to YouTube and check out the video/song.) I love this song. Put a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

The church down the street from out new digs had the strangest sign for read "Carla Robinson Cancer singing" (and had the day and time...not sure if I got her name right.) I'm not really sure I know what a cancer singing really is, but I don't think I want to find out.

Veterinary Sign: There is a vet on my way to work who has the best signs. I'm convinced. I think their most recent is my favorite "You should watch the road." I'm guilty. Other signs have read "My boss told me to change the sign. So I did." and "If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble you win. Forever." (Technically it is against Scrabble rules so you couldn't, but it still makes me laugh. And yes I am aware that my thorough knowledge of Scrabble rules makes me a total geek.) They also sometimes advertise free kittens to good homes. Sooooo tempting, but the crazy, married cat lady is resisting. I fear a revolt-human and feline alike-coming soon if I don't continue to resist.

I attended a 6 yr old's birthday party on Saturday and had the best time I've had at a birthday party in a long time. I followed kids around the yard taking pics and laughed a lot. (No offense if I've attended a birthday party for you recently, lol.) Unfortunately said 6 yr old thinks my husband is awesome, right down to his tattoos. I fear we are a bad influence on said child. If he starts walking around drinking beer I think we may have to move, again. On the other hand my husband did remind the 6 yr old's mother not to google things that might put her on an FBI watch list while attempting research for the party. Hmmmm...does one outweigh the other?

Working retail is very bad for a shopping addict. I have my addiction under control at the moment, but it certainly is a battle.

I love my retail job. Do I love it more than being in a classroom? Most of the time I do. Sometimes I long for a classroom again, but is it just in a quest for an excuse to buy new school supplies? Probably.

A family near and dear to my heart is having to say good-bye to yet another member of their family at the moment. It makes my heart hurt for them to think about it. There are children losing a great-grandma, a woman losing her grandma, and a woman losing her mother. I wish I could be with them to offer support, but I'll have to settle for offering my moral support from AL at the moment and passing out hugs when I am in Ohio in June.

June...the countdown begins! I'll be in Ohio for a whopping 5 days almost. Granted I arrive one of those days and leave another one of those days, but still that is a lot of days. My husband will be with me too! He won't be my imaginary husband this trip.

Katie is graduating college. She has been accepted to 3, yes 3 law schools. She can rattle off the statistics about how rare that we're more than a little proud of her. Plus, your prayers have paid off and all of the schools are offering her scholarships for about half the cost of tuition. So far it looks like she will be attending Ohio Northern, but she is still waiting to hear from 2 other Ohio schools. (The out of state schools were just a bit too expensive.)

Do I feel a bit like an underachiever? Yes. But I'm over it. Lol.

I'm looking forward to bowling with the family. It should be fun. We'll have to take pictures. Lots of pictures.

My husband has been playing either Gears of War or Fable 2 on his XBox 360 for the past week. Ugh. He tried to teach me to play Gears of War. I spent my time "playing" trying to follow him, not get shot, and looking up and down. We played for about an hour at least. That is what I mastered...looking up and down. There are waaaayyy too many buttons on that controller for me. The last gaming system I used was the original Nintendo and my favorite game was Dr. Mario. It was like Tetris, but colored pills instead of shapes. Shapes were too much for me, lol.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Taking Chance

I feel like I should start this post with a slight warning that you may need some tissues and it may be rather grim. I know what I want to blog, but not sure if it will turn out that way or not. I also may ruin bits of the movie for you...although it isn't like you wouldnn't know how it ends.

Preface: Taking Chance is a movie made by HBO about the journey of a Marine, PFC Phelps, home from Iraq to his final resting place. It is based on a true story of Phelps and the Marine officer Lt. Col. Michael Strobl who becomes his escort from Dover, MD to WY. It is a highly unusual thing for a man of Strobl's rank to escort a PFC (the next to lowest USMC ranking) unless they were friends or relatives, Strobl and Phelps were neither. The movie aired on HBO in Feb and we didn't have HBO at the time (still don't) so I went online to see if I could order it. I knew I must watch this movie. I couldn't resist, even though I knew it would make me horribly sad and cry. It was like a bruise I simply had to touch just to see if it would hurt. So I ordered it from HBO directly. I was excited about my order...until I received the notice that it was back ordered until its official release date, which was undetermined at that time. Slightly disappointed, but still ok since it would arrive eventually. Fast forward a few months to the move...well the DVD was going to be shipped to the in-laws house. Not really a big deal, but I wanted to have it the minute it hit the mailbox. (Crazy, why yes I am.) So I view my order. At this point it tells me the official release date is May 12th. I try to change my order by contacting the online customer service. They can't change my shipping address even though it is "backordered." They can cancel my order though and I can reorder it. "Fine." So I am about to reorder from HBO when it hits me...I may not have to pay full retail price if I can get it from I search and can get it for $ HBO order was $22.93ish. So saved the day. "Taking Chance" was also in my mailbox waiting for me on May 12th.

I patiently waited for Dave to get home from work so we could watch this movie together. It was something we had to do together (or at least I felt like we did). I knew Dave had taken part in the ceremonial aspect of funerals and I just wanted to see what exactly the process is for a Marine (or and service member) during their final journey home. I had made myself a salad to eat while I watched the movie. I ate a few bites during the previews and immediately stopped eating when the movie began. The first scene was just like a punch in the stomach, especially to a woman who lived the Marine's wife life. I won't tell you what it is, but it is gut wrenching. I may get some of the details to the actual process the USMC goes through wrong so I apologize, but once a casualty is confirmed Marines in dress blues are dispatched to notify the next of kin. It showed the two Marines sent to Phelps' family arriving at their house. The Marine on the passenger side got out of the car and waited at attention for the driver to join him and they walked in step to the door. I don't know if that is really part of the routine or not, but it struck me as being an excellent detail used to portray just how precise the USMC really is. It made me smile.

Another scene depicts the bodies being packed up to leave from Iraq and fly to Dover, MD. Random fact: All military deceased (in combat/overseas) are flown to Dover for processing regardless of their branch of service. They show the passing of bags of ice to place in the plastic shipping containers, similar to the passing of sandbags. I had never thought of that aspect before, that they would need to be able to keep the bodies cool.

Another scene is after Lt. Col. Strobl has departed from Dover in a hearse with Phelps on their way to the airport to fly cross country to WY. Strobl and the hearse driver are having a conversation about why the hearse driver began doing this. The driver said he wanted to do something to help, but he didn't want to go into the military. (The hearse driver has shoulder length hair.) The hearse driver begins talking about having classmates from high school served in Iraq. One was injured pretty badly and the other one came home in a casket. The hearse driver says I really don't understand all the shit that is going on over there. He then aplogizes for saying shit. Strobl chuckles and says "it's ok you can say shit." I laughed and looked at Dave with the look that says "silly Marines."

Another scene shows Strobl on a plane and his seat mate is a younger girl. She talks to him and offers to let him read her magazines and then begins texting. She starts to text "Hot Soldier on the plane next to me." Strobl sees what she is texting and says "actually its a Marine, not a soldier." Again I look at Dave and totally crack up because it is such a Marine thing to do. Never, ever call a Marine a soldier unless you want to totally tick them off. This also happens to be the leg of his journey that the pilot is prior Air Force and asks all passengers to wait and let Strobl off the plane first as he is escorting a deceased Marine home. The young girl cries and apoligizes to Strobl.

I could go on and on and on about this movie and how each scene touched me in a different way and the things I thought about. I think it is a must see movie because it depicts a relatively unexplored aspect of military life with such care and detail. I cried through 95% of the movie. It got to the point that tears would just stream down my face as I silently watch this movie. The only two times I spoke were the two scenes I told you I laughed. I was near sobs by the end of the movie. It was beautifully put together. After watching the movie it took me awhile to relax and my mind was just turning. I hugged my husband several times and told him I Loved him. I also fell asleep praying that night (and had the best night of sleep I've had in a really long time) for all of those is harms way at the moment because we still have so many who are. I prayed for those who are tasked with transporting, preparing, guarding, and burying deceased service members because the deaths weigh on them too, even if they didn't know them. I think Marines especially feel a lot of guilt in dealing with deceased brothers & sisters because they feel they should have been doing more. .oO(I shouldn't be marching around or working in an office I should have been there shooting right next to you, protecting you.) If you think about it say a prayer for all of our service men and women, but especially those tasked with these difficult jobs that leave impressions and scars on their lives that they may never ever talk about with anyone.

Friday, May 1, 2009

8 Things

I was "tagged" by my friend Stephanie to do this several days ago and am finally getting around to it. I am not going to tag anyone else to do it though, but feel free to join in on the "8 Things" bandwagon if you wish. (I always feel like a bad person for not doing something I was tagged to do...crazy, I know.)

Here's how 8 THINGS works:-
Mention the person that tagged you.
- Complete the lists of 8's.
- Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends.
- Go tell them you tagged them!

1. Going home to Ohio in a little over a month for Katie's graduation.
2. Spending the next two days with my husband.
3. Finishing the unpacking process...probably just in time to move again.
4. Eating my Lucky Charms for breakfast. (I'm 27 and I can eat whatever I want for breakfast.)
5. Going to the beach sometime this summer. (It better happen or I think I'll up and move again, lol.)
6. Getting a tan instead of a burn.
7. The day I can actually have a radio in my car again. (Mine stopped working and can't be fixed. That makes for a very long 45 minute drive to and from work.)
8. Spending time with my husband the next two days. (I know this is on the list twice, but I'm really excited about that.)

1. Went to work @ Ann Taylor Loft. (Mention Friends & Family and you should get a 30% discount til Sunday.)
2. Put lotion on my sunburned skin.
3. Scratched my back a lot yesterday since the peeling process has begun. Icky.
4. Drank a margarita and it was YUMMY!
5. Watched not one, but two movies with my husband.
6. Ate french fries from Five Guys Hamburgers and Fries yesterday for lunch. YUMMY, YUMMY! (Like fair fries, but better since you don't have to tromp around the fair grounds to get them.)
7. Made a list of things to do today.
8. Snuggled with the furry children. (Zeke & Zeus)

1. Live at the beach all summer.
2. Get another kitten. (I'm pretty sure Zeke and Zeus would torment it. I'm also pretty sure it would be next to impossible to find housing in the future with 3 cats. That is the one thing (and Dave) keeping me from being the crazy cat lady.)
3. Live in DC again.
4. Be a librarian at the Library of Congress.
5. Have a room with wall to wall bookshelves, complete with a wooden rolling ladder (like in Beauty & the Beast), and have those bookshelves filled with wonderful books. (I know, I simply could have said "have my own library in my house" but my way was more fun. I do however own a "librarian chair" thanks to the church yard sale...more on that later.)
6. Fly my family to Alabama so they can all see how crazy and wonderful it is.
7. To teach or not to teach? Yeah, I can't decide.
8. End the repetitive deployment cycle so my friends can spend more time with their husbands home.

8 TV SHOWS I WATCHed: (I added the -ed because we don't have cable/satellite/etc and I don't watch tv anymore I watch movies.)
1. Army Wives
2. Jon & Kate Plus 8
3. Real Housewives of Orange Beach (I love to hate watching this show...)
4. What Not to Wear (I fully expect to be "surprised" by them at some point.)
5. Project Runway
6. Guiding Light (I hear it is being sad. I remember watching this with my mom when I was little.)
7. The Real World (Another show I love to hate watching.)
8. The View

THE END. Especially since I didn't tag anyone. Off to enjoy my Lucky Charms and my day.