Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dreaming Big

Well, I'm dreaming big. I was searching for jobs the other day and found one with the Department of Education that looked like it might be fun. The job is located in the Office of Non-Public Education. One of the requirements was a year of teaching. Been there, done that. So I procrastinated, I mean worked very hard (yeah, battling self doubt) and submitted my application. I spent a day getting my resume in tip top shape. I spent another day answering 3 questions that you had up to 8,000 characters to respond. (I think my longest answer had 3,000 characters including the spaces so I hope they are ok with that.) I submitted my application online Sunday night and faxed my transcript yesterday. I'm dreaming big here because I'm not certain they will think I am the most qualified for the job, but I thought I would never know unless I tried, right? (I'm taking the fact that I heard the song Shimmer by Shawn Mullins playing on the radio at Office Max while I sent my fax as a good sign. It is the #1 song on my blog playlist.) So I'm dreaming big and hoping it pays off. I'm hoping they at least want to interview me. Eek. That would be scary...certainly I could wow them in an interview, right? Right. Go away self doubt! So if I've seemed a little preocuppied lately it was because this oppurtunity has been looming at the back of my mind for several days now. I've done all I can do and now I must wait. (This could be a long wait though. The last govt job I applied for took 6 months for them to send me a letter stating that they decided not to fill the position.) So here's to hoping it doesn't take that long for feedback.

Happy Belated 24th Birthday Husband!

I've been a bit busy the last few days so I haven't been able to get the birthday blog ready, it is a day late. So in keeping with the tradition last year I am going to try and think up 24 reasons why I Love my husband or things you may not know about him. It should be noted these are in no particular order either.

1. He wanted to meet Sarah Palin yesterday at Books-a-Million to have his book signed. She is apparently a hot politician. (I think he just likes the fact she totes a gun sometimes.)

2. He did get his book signed, but did not meet Mrs. Palin. He ended up giving his book to a friend to have them get it signed for him and was perfectly happy with that.

3. He supports me in my dreams, no matter how big or small.

4. He bought a cowboy hat last night and wore it in to work today. It made me laugh when he came to give me my kiss goodbye with it on.

5. He keeps trying to buy me a gun. (I don't really want to tote one around, but he just wants me to be protected is all. Sweet really.)

6. He knows I am the organizer of stuff. I know where things are kept. He asked me yesterday where his black sweater vest might be located and I had it for him in less than 3 minutes. He wouldn't have found it that quickly and may have given up the search since it was in a box of winter type clothes.

7. He will wear a sweater vest. It looks handsome on him.

8. He always has a weapon, even if it a plastic sword that had the olive for your drink, at hand because you never know when someone might attack.

9. He loves to eat at Mellow Mushroom. Yummy. We had a birthday dinner there last night.

10. He always has to be somewhere early. If we get there on time we're late. (I'm always on time or late.)

11. He loves to socialize with friends. (It makes me less of a hermit sometimes.)

12. He has been obsessed with anything pomegranate lately. Juice, the actual fruit, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, and of course pomegranate alcoholic drinks. (They're pretty yummy. We mix vodka, lemonade, and Cranberry Pomegranate juice and maybe some other secret ingredient.)

13. No matter how many times I tell him I will not write his papers for English class he still asks me. (No no no no no. Academic integrity people!)

14. If I needed to gather a militia for something then he would be the head of my militia. (Not sure why I would need a militia, but anyhow...)

15. He told me last night that having a book and never reading it is like buying a gun and never firing it. It's just wrong he says. LoL. (Having a book and never reading it is a waste though.)

16. He was more excited than I was to wear his Max suit for Where the Wild Things Are.

17. He has more product that any man I know. And by product I mean body wash, shampoo, cologne, shaving cream, etc. I think I started buying more in self defense, lol. He always smells good though.

18. He can cook. He cooks yummy, yummy things too. He will just throw stuff together and it is yummy.

19. Did I mention he cooks?! (I know it is cheating to use this twice, but I think it should count for two because it makes my life so much easier sometimes when he cooks.)

20. Our house always smells good too because he buys candles, air freshener automatic sprayers, scented plug-ins, and anything he can find that smells good. (Our apartment in DC had plug-ins in it before we even moved our stuff in.)

21. He will play video games for hours, especially if his Marine buddies are online to play games together. It is fun to listen to them coordinate tactics.

22. He would love to live in our old DC apartment too. (Seriously people, I think we're both nuts about this apartment.)

23. He's starting to act like a member of my family. I can't go into further detail for fear of self incrimination, but we're a crazy group of girls who have enticed him to the dark side, lol.

24. He feels that Arlington National Cemetary is a peaceful place. I totally agree. There is a silent peace there that I haven't felt anywhere else.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Musical Band Aid

(I'm going to apologize now for my typos. I've indulged in 3 doses of a tasty alcoholic beverage and my brain and my fingers are no longer on the same page.)

I'm listening to my blog playlist and it makes me happy. I said in my previous blog post that one of the songs was like a musical band aid, but really the whole playlist is like a band aid. Each song on my playlist plays a different role in the healing process. Some of them simply cover the wound, others are like a salve put on the wound to make it feel better, some are like the feeling you get when you get to take the band aid off when the wound it healed, and yet others are simply the fun you are having before you end up wounded. (Wow, I sound really damaged don't I? I guess as I reminded my husband the other day "we're all broken, just in different ways.") I've been a bit obsessed with the concept of a musical band aid all day. I'm weird, it's ok.

Darnit...I forgot what else. Hmmm...

Things That Make Me Happy:
1. Thankgsiving is only a week or so away! Let's hear it for a guilt free indulgence in food.

2. That also means Dave's birthday is only a week or so away...must go shopping...

3. I'll get to bust out my Christmas purse soon! (I live a life governed by my own silly rules. See later in the blog post for more abou this.) But, the purse is reserved for the time period after Thanksgiving until Januaryish. This is so that I don't wear out the specialness of my pretty red Christmas purse by using it all year. It gives me something to look forward to.

4. I get to put my Christmas decorations up. Oddly enough I am excited about this. Typically the holiday season is merely suffered through (with the exception of family gatherings...I am sooooo weird, right?) but I'm kind of looking forward to getting all my stuff out this year. It has been two years since I have decorated my house for Christmas. (I boycotted decorating the year Dave was deployed. It was just too crazy and I was headed to Ohio for Christmas anyhow. Last year we got out a few ornaments, but most things stayed in storage.) I'm especially excited to get out my stocking and Dave's stocking~they're both handmade.

5. Dave has been having fun with his new video game. Last night he was able to game online with some of his Marine buddies. It wasn't quite the same as having them all in my living room, but it was still fun to listen to them play and talk to each other. (I cherish the fact that these boys included me in their fun times during all of their gatherings. I guess the fact that I wasn't all drama queeny with them made it easier to include me.) I am really hoping that come March (Spring Break time) I am struggling with figuring out how to rearrange all my furniture to make room for a houseful of boys (and some of their ladies). It would be so wonderful. I know they would all love to be here too for some Marine time. We have one confirmed reservation for two so far.

6. Getting to know my Alabama girls just a little bit better each week. I'm so blessed to have this group of ladies. Really blessed. I can't wait til our New Moon midnight premier adventure this week.

My Silly Rules: I have very strict personal rules about some things. Some are rational, others not so much.

~Pumpkin Rolls may only be made between the months of November and January.

~The Christmas tree & decorations may not make an appearance in my home until after Thanksgiving. Not a minute before. No excpetions.

~The Christmas purse may not make an appearance until after Thanksgiving either. This yeas it has been tough to hold off on bringing it out of hiding, but I keep reminding myself Thanksgiving will be here and gone before I know it. I simply love my red purse. After 4 years of love it may need to retire this year and be replaced, but we'll see if it can make it.

~You can only eat chili when it is really, really cold otherwise it is a waste.

~No gathering is complete without a camera. (Except Friday Nights, we're too busy having fun to pause for pics.)

~Cats do not belong on tables and counters (although they aren't convinced and climb there when I'm not awake/home) and no one should know you have cats until they see them. (Which they see them the minute they walk in the door 'cause ours are friendly.)

~Books may not be written in (unless it is pencil), they may not be dog-eared, the cover may not be bent back thus creasing the spine, and you simply cannot throw a book away-it must be passed on to another good home. (Seriously, I sound like a librarian-right? I had books that received water/mold damage once and it nearly killed me to throw them away.) Ugh.

I know there are more, but those are the ones I can think of right now. I'm off to bed.

Week Update

There have been many points I have thought about blogging this week, but just didn't get a chance to sit and let the words pour out. So here is my week in review.

Monday~Dave and I spent the day together. It was wonderful. We didn't go anywhere 'til about 4pm and that was a mad dash to Wal-Mart to get some snack foods. Noah and Tyler came over for dinner, drinks, and a few rounds of Apples to Apples. We had a lot of fun. We really need to schedule these gatherings more often.

Tuesday~At midnight Dave picked up his copy of Modern Warfare 2 and that has been all I have heard since then. Also, it was the 234th birthday of the USMC. Wonderful.

Wednesday~Another day spent together because he didn't have school since it was Veteran's Day. I was lucky and didn't have to work. We spent the day sitting on our respective couches. I watched tv on the pc and he played more Modern Warfare 2. (Yes, like any good vet mine was playing war games.) We then went out for dinner and did some actual grocery shopping. We tried to take advantage of Applebee's free dinner for vets, but there were way too many people there se we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. (I would love to get a glimpse at their profits for that day though by just offering vets a free meal. Other restaurant parking lots were nearly empty and people were circling the Applebee's lot looking for a space.)

Thursday~I cleaned the house a bit. Then I headed to work.

Friday~Hmmm...laundry and work. No Friday night tonight, which was good b/c I didn't have to feel bad for working.

This has been a pretty good week. I've been able to spend some quality time with my hsuband, something I don't get to do as much as I would like. (I know, I know...at least he isn't deployed.) Seriously though, I can't believe how difficult it is sometimes to schedule some "us" time. I almost think it was easier to schedule that time when he was active duty. Sad, huh? Oh well, such is life sometimes.

I know there were other things I was going to blog...but darnit I can't remember what it was so I guess I'll go to bed now. Hope everyone had a good week!

P.S. I finally added a playlist to my blog. These are songs that take me to another place, time, memory, or simply make me happy. Shimmer is one of my favorite songs "We're born to shimmer, we're born to shine. We're born to radiate. We're born to live, we're born to love..." Beautiful message. Lullaby is another favorite b/c it helped heal some harsh wounds..."everything is gonna be alright" and it makes me mellow out, kinda like a musical band aid. (Not the band aides we had in high school band, but the "I'm stuck on band aid brand cause band aid's stuck on me" kind of band aid.) So listen friends to my lovely music. (If you're reading on FB you'll need to "view original post" to listen.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 234th Birthday Marines!

I love Marines. I'm just sayin'. Today is the 234th birthday for the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was born on November 10, 1775 in Tun Tavern Philadelphia, PA (the city of brotherly love-how fitting). I have read several lists of "reasons to love the Corps" and while I find myself smiling, laughing, and tearing up at the list I thought I would make my own list of reasons why I love the Marines Corps and "my boys." (But just in case you're wondering what the "official" list says you can click HERE to read it.

This is a pic of Bivins, Volkov, and Combs during their MEU deployment in 2007. (Spain)

1. One word ladies~Blues! A Marine in his blues is doubly handsome as a Marine in cammies.

2. Two words ladies~white trousers! {Sigh} A Marine in a blues blouse and white trousers is just plain HOT! Whew! (Bivins is the hottest of course, but you can't deny that all Marines look more handsome in white trousers.)

3. Evening Parades (Friday nights at 8th & I, Marine Barracks Washington late May-late Aug) They are an amazing display of the Marines Corps. 8th and I Marines are often known as the pretty boys of the USMC and aren't always taken seriously in the fleet, but man can they put on a show. (And let's not forget that if a Marine is posted somewhere there is a reason!)

4. Sunset Parades at the Marine Corps War Memorial ~ Another amazing display of USMC pride, ceremony, and honor. I have only had the honor of seeing one parade, but it is something I will never forget.

5. Brotherly Love~ A Marine loves his fellow Marines like brothers and as the wife of a Marine I know that should I ever need anything from them, "my boys" would be there to help me in a heartbeat 'cause that is just how Marines are. (Ill never forget that as tears were running down my face as I watched the bus leave the parking lot with my Marine and his buddies-half of my family- another Marine-one I knew- who was kept home from deployment hugged me and said "if you need anything call me.")

6. Family~The USMC is like a family. We all serve a purpose in the family and are there to help each other out no matter if we have known you for 5 minutes or 5 years. Even those of us who have left the active duty family still experience the family love of the USMC.

7. Corps Values~The Corps has values, thus Marines have values. Honor. Courage. Commitment. 'Nuff said.

8. Marines run to the sound of the guns. ~If there is a fight to be had a Marine is ready to go and already in it before it starts.

9. It is all true.~I've said it before...everything I have ever heard about Marines is true. All the good and all the bad, but I love them anyhow.

10. History~Marines live, breath, eat and sleep their history. They can tell you all kinds of random facts about the Marine Corps. They know that their part of Marine Corps history will be taught to Marines in the future. (The more I read about the making of Marines, the Marine Corps, and Marines at War the more I am amazed and awed.)

11. Never Forgotten~As part of that living, breathing, eating and sleeping their history no one is forgotten. Marines remember each other and those who came before. No one gets left behind either. It is part of Marines taking care of their own.

12. Once a Marine, Always a Marine~A Marine is born after bootcamp. One a boy/man becomes a Marine he is always a Marine. You can't ever change him back to what he used to be before the Marine Corps. (This is what causes a lot of problems in relationships that begin before the USMC...sometimes it is hard to adjust to the Marine who emerges from bootcamp. I don't have that problem.) I don't know why you would want to try to change a Marine to something he was before the Corps. (Although this is also what makes life after the Corps so challenging too.)

13. Crazy~Marines are crazy. Anytime you get more than one Marine gathered hilarity will ensue. Especially in alcohol is involved. I also can't promise they won't break something, set something on fire, shoot something, offend someone, get in a fight, or any number of other things that may cause a problem. (I have many stories and some of them I have blogged about. Others I have suppressed.)

14. The mind of a LCpl~ Oh the mind of a LCpl. I know it well and yet I don't know it. I have even started having some LCpl thoughts at times. Perhaps this is my own form of PTSD from life after the USMC. A LCpl just has a different perspective on life... (much less annoying than the perspective of a boot.)

15. Perfection~The Marines have rules about things. They follow them or they suffer the consequences. One of them is that their uniforms are perfect (no ip's here). An example...Bivins tried on his blues blouse tonight just for fun and when he had all the buttons done he began to fix and straighten them so they appeared just right. It was such a Marine thing to do.

16. Ooo-rah!

I have many, many more reasons to love Marines and the Corps...

In case you wanted to watch the Commandant's USMC Birthday Message...

17. Valor.

Happy Birthday Marines!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walk in Closet

Spoiled. Tremendously spoiled. Our first apartment has the most amazing closets. I had places to hide all kinds of junk (I mean valuable stuff) that I didn't have to see it lying all over my house. We even had a closet that we saved all of the boxes from our move so that we would have them when it came time to move again. (Such is life in the military. You are always prepared for the next move.) I miss those closets. Tremendously. They were ginormous. I would move back to that apartment any day. Yes, I certainly would. Although the closets were a huge selling point that apartment had other selling points, like its proximity to DC. {Sigh.}

Our walk in closet in our bedroom was my favorite. I really miss it. I remember how all of my clothes (and Dave's) fit nicely in that closet. I could go hide in that closet whenever I needed "space" and find my sane self again. There are times when I travel to that closet in my mind and it sort of helps. (Yes, I'm crazy. I'm ok with it. I think Bivins is too.) Oh to have a big closet... If and when we ever own a house I just want a big closet. I really love closets. {Sigh}

Friday, November 6, 2009

Buckle Your Seatbelt

It's going to be a bumpy ride....through the ramblings of my mind.

I'm rereading the Twilight saga...currently on Breaking Dawn. I didn't read through it quite as fast this time and it is evoking all kinds of emotions and memories I had buried. Buried securely for a reason. Since I read the books at night before falling asleep it leaves for some strange and restless dreams. I've been waking up feeling like I'm in a fog. (Although I take some sinus meds and the fog dissipates.)

Dreams: Had some weird ones lately. The weirdest one I remember though is shoe shopping with my sister Katie. I think we were shopping for shoes for her wedding. (She isn't engaged or getting married anytime soon-as far as I know-so I'm not sure why we were shoe shopping, but we were.) The problem was that we had to find freakishly small open toed stiletto's in white or silver that didn't look like stripper shoes. (The freakishly small must have been my take on the size of Katie's feet. She wear a size 8.5 and is several inches taller than me...I wear a 9.5) I asked her "so where are we starting with this shoe shopping adventure?" She replies "I thought we would go to DSW first and then go from there." I remember sighing and thinking I'd rather be doing something else. Poor Katie. I promise when the time comes to shop for shoes for your wedding that I will work up a little more enthusiasm about it as long as you promise not to make it take allllll day. OK? We'll find the perfect pair of open toed white or silver stiletto shoes to go with your wedding dress with pockets.

Dave's Latest Rumblings: One night this week I awoke to Dave reaching across me towards the table on my side of the bed. I asked "what are you doing?" He says "do you have my gun?" I mumbled some response of "no" and wondered why he was asking me. He then said something about it not being on his side of the bed, but he rolled over and went back to sleep. (Wow. Even if I did have his gun I wasn't about to give it to him when he was sleep talking. The things I manage to survive amaze me, lol.)

Another night this week as I was lying in bed reading Dave wakes up and starts lifting up the edge of my blanket (we each have our own...I'm a blanket hog) and was searching for something. He tells me "when you move I keep hearing something that sounds like the rounds I dropped earlier." So I say "you dropped rounds earlier?" He says "yes, have you seen them?" Uh, nope. (We talked about it in the morning and he said he had no idea what that was about. Me neither.)

Days off: On my days off the previous weeks I haven't accomplished much as far as housework and anything else goes. I managed to watch a few shows online and read. I'd do a bit of laundry or clean a room and that was it. (Dave would come home and say "so what did you accomplish today?) Yesterday I managed to clean our bathroom-scrubbed the toilet, cleaned the tub, scrubbed the sink and counter, cleaned the mirror, and swept and mopped the floor. Then since I already had the bucket and mop out I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. (It makes me crazy! I can clean it and it still looks dirty. Ugh. My OCDness freaks out about it.) I then decided I was going to start reclaiming the flat surfaces in our house. They are all covered with junk. It makes me crazy. I can't stand it. Yet I can't seem to stay motivated long enough to declutter them all. So I managed to focus long enough to clean off the kitchen table. Dave came home and saw the cleaned off table set for dinner and said "did you have too much free time on your hands today?" Ugh. No! I am reclaiming the flat surfaces of our house! Sort of. Hoping that my table stays cleaned off. Eating dinner at the table will help me keep the living room floor clear of crumbs longer.

Perimeter Protection: Remember the floors I mopped? Yeah so does Zeus. He thought it might be fun to take his dirty paws onto my freshly mopped, still wet floors. Not a good idea Zeus. We played a fun game of "keep Zeus out of the kitchen." It involved a lot of yelling ans swatting at Zeus. My mom thought it was hilarious when she heard me stop mid sentence on the phone with her to yell at Zeus "get away from my kitchen floor!!!"

Ft. Hood~Wow. There aren't words for the things we are learning about that situation. Dave and I talked about it a bit last night. I just can't imagine being in the families shoes who have lost someone. I said I think it is one thing when you have said that final goodbye to your loved one deploying and knowing that they might not come home, but knowing you've said that goodbye. I can't imagine them going for their predeployment checkups and stuff and not coming home from that. Granted that isn't the only situation occurring, but it is the one I thought of the minute I heard it was a processing station for the final paperwork and medical stuff before deployment. I pray that the families of all directly involved find peace and I also pray that all those working and living on or near Ft. Hood find peace too. They won't easily put this situation out of their minds.

Hmmm...ok you can unbuckle your seatbelt. The journey is over today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Living Far Away is Hard

Living far away from your family is hard (even when you have family really close by too.) I've lived at least a few hours away from my family for many years now. The past four years I have lived at least 6 hrs from my family and 9 hours most recently. Nine hours doesn't seem like a long time does it? Really not more than a days work, but it really is far away when you consider a 9 hour drive. It always seems to me that somewhere is a lot farther away when you add up how many hours it takes to get somewhere.

Most days it isn't too bad living far from my family. I think when things are going well and people are enjoying happy moments it is fun to share in those moments via telephone conversations, e-mails, blogs, facebook, snail mail, and espn (yeah that is what it is). I wish I could be there for those moments (and I make plans to make it home for as many of the big events as I can), but it still tugs at my heart a bit that I can't be there whenever I want.

Some days it is downright difficult to be so far away. This past weekend brought that point glaringly into the forefront of my mind. Saturday I found out the one of my best friends in Ohio lost her mother after a lengthy health battle that spanned a few years. Nope, she isn't a blood relative-but she is my family. I love Chantell like a sister (and I already have a few of those so I'm extra choosy in who I include). We have a special friendship that no matter how long it has been since we've seen each other we can pick right up where we left off. A few weeks ago I knew it might not be long before Chantell would have to bid her mother farewell and I remember waiting intently as my own mother texted me updates about how Chantell's mom was doing in surgery and shortly thereafter. I wanted to be there with my buddy, holding her hand as she patiently waited for news-but the best I could do was sit here miles away, wait and offer my moral support via telephone. It was a long and restless night as I waited to find out if her mom was going to make it through the next 24 hrs. She made it and continued her fight a bit longer, but she finally had to give it up. Her body just couldn't take any more and her daughter is left missing her. I am left missing her and wishing I could be there to support by best friend. I wanted to hop on a plane immediately so I could be there with her. Instead, here I sit thinking of my friend and knowing that no words can make it better, but knowing she knows I support her and would be there if I could.

Also, on Saturday night my own mother was feeling terribly ill. We thought it was the flu, but couldn't quite tell if it was something more severe or not. After several phone calls all around the sisters determined if she wasn't feeling better by Sunday morning she was headed to the hospital whether she liked it or not. (I do mean several calls...Maggie to Katie, Katie to Me, Katie to Dad, Maggie to Dad, Me to Maggie, me to Mom...I think you get the idea...and trying to sort out exactly how mom was feeling, her symptoms, her temperature, etc.) Thankfully she was feeling much better Sunday morning, but once again I was left feeling helpless many miles away.

So yeah, living far away is hard...